Lee Greenwood asks, 'Does God Still Bless the USA?'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, GUEST HOST: With Fourth of July fast approaching, the streets will be filled with American flags and the airwaves filled with Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA."

The singer has a new book called, "Does God Still Bless The USA?, A Plea For Better America." Sean sat down with him to talk about the book.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: "Does God Still Bless the USA?" I hope the answer is yes.

LEE GREENWOOD, SINGER, AUTHOR: There's a good question. You have to buy the book before I'm going to give you the answer.

I can give you the answer. As a Christian, of course, I believe He does. This nation sometimes we kind of got this push and pull, but I think it's time for the question. It's time we stand up and make a stand.

HANNITY: It's funny. You've been gracious over the years, we've been become very good friends. I think the world of you. You've done the Freedom Concerts with us. You've been on the road. I would never miss your set.

I could watch it every night for years, when you sing, not just "God Bless the USA," but a lot of your other big hits, too. But that one in particular, I watch the audience, and every time without fail -- in some cases 12,000 to 15,000 people -- rise to their feet. You ask them to take out their cell phone, and every time I get chills.

GREENWOOD: We did that, because lighters are not allowed in the building, fire code. It's interesting people would do that, just a natural response. One night, I asked them if they're ready, "OK, you got your cell phones, make a call, lock up the network," and we did.

HANNITY: This song -- there's something about it that touches the heart and soul of this country.

GREENWOOD: Next year, 30 years since I wrote it, 2013, 30 years.

HANNITY: I will tell you and I'll confess to you, this is why the book is phenomenal, "Does God Still Bless the USA,"I worry about whether or not America's better days sometimes are behind it. I really worry if we've lost an understanding of our Constitution, our founding principles, an understanding of what makes us strong. Sometimes I get concerned.

GREENWOOD: I have the same fear, Sean. I have a 17-year-old and 13- year-old. My 17-year-old, Daulton, asks me -- this was some months back before he turned 17, so he was 16 at the time, not that's a lot of maturity, but he's a mature young man. He said, dad, is the American experiment coming to an end? He cited other empires, the Roman Empire, the British Empire and how it only lasted so many years.

HANNITY: For a 16-year-old, that's a powerful question.

GREENWOOD: Of course in my book, my co-author, Rita Tate, from Tate Publishing in Oklahoma, interviewed my wife and my two sons. They have their own dialog inside the book. It made me proud the things they said.

You talk about the traditions of America. I want to read something to you. One of the chapters of our book is called "The Battle for America's Soul." Historians probably know this. "John Adams, the general principles on which our fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. Also from Patrick Henry, it cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Further, Thomas Jefferson, God who gave us life gave us liberty." There's a lot of things in the book, I go ahead and cite facts --

HANNITY: You probably couldn't say that in some public schools today. Couldn't even quote them.

GREENWOOD: Well, no. The one in Massachusetts that tried to change my song from "God Bless the USA" to "We Love the USA." I have no trouble with saying, "We love the Untied States of America." I

HANNITY: But don't change your song!

GREENWOOD: You don't have to be a Christian, you don't have to be a patriot, but I do have a copyright. I did say that on my tweet, on my web site that I was a little disappointed as an educational institution they felt they had the right to do that.

HANNITY: It shows how political correctness permeates every aspect of human life almost.

GREENWOOD: It's way too far. I don't understand. The things I've got in the book, though, I talk about -- I start the book, Sean, with I'm not over 9/11, and for us, we remember this event, just like my father remembered Pearl Harbor when he signed up for the Navy. This is an event that will live with us our whole life. Yet my kids were 6 and 3, and I think now it's sort of a matter of history.

HANNITY: You know, there are few songs that can literally shift or change the cultural landscape and have such an impact as this song. You'll still do 100 dates this year, as you always do.

You're out on the road, in the bus often and you told me you sleep better in the bus, which cracks me up.


HANNITY: But every night when you get to that point in the program, usually the last song.


HANNITY: And you sing it. I just love looking out at the crowd. I would look at you, obviously, not that I didn't want to look at you, but I'd look at the crowd reaction. I'd see people crying, tears coming down their cheeks. I'd see people holding pictures of military members, people waving the flag, people holding their phones up.

GREENWOOD: It brings patriotism to bear and I think one of the reasons I decided to write the book was to actually wake up or patriots, wake up the people who believe in America so strongly.

HANNITY: Lee Greenwood, God bless you. You're a great American. Thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

GREENWOOD: Thank you, Sean.

Hey, let me just say this. Anybody that wants to answer the question, "Does God Still Bless the USA?" Go to my web site, LeeGreenwood.com and give me your answer, yes or no and also say why.

HANNITY: Go to LeeGreenwood.com.


HANNITY: All right, Lee, thanks for being with us.


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