Mike Huckabee talks ObamaCare, 'Duck Dynasty' controversy, 2016; Joel Osteen's Christmas message

Former Arkansas governor sheds light on hot topics, possible presidential run


This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," December 22, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

Still another ObamaCare change has the insurance industry and Republicans up in arms.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Since I'm in charge, obviously, we screwed it up.

WALLACE: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee weighs in on the latest rewrites of ObamaCare. And we'll ask what he means about keeping the door up for a 2016 president run, as well as getting his take on the "Duck Dynasty" controversy.

Mike Huckabee, only on "Fox News Sunday."

Plus, a special message for the holiday season.

PASTOR JOEL OSTEEN, LAKEWOOD CHURCH: To me, Christmas is the birth of Christ, number one. But it's also about making memories. It's not necessarily did I get the exact right gift?

WALLACE: Lakewood Church senior pastor and best selling author Joel Osteen on the spiritual state of our union this Christmas.

And our Power Player of the Week, with the mission to lay a wreath at each and every veterans grave.

MORRILL WORCESTER, WORCESTER WREATHS COMPANY: I think there are around 2.7 million graves. And that's a tall order to decorate 2.7 million graves.

WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Mike Huckabee is fond of saying he is a conservative, he's just not angry about it. His folksy brand of politics made him a surprisingly strong candidate for president in 2008 and a surprise drop out last time.

Well, now, he is surprising people again, talking about running for president in 2016.

And joining us again is the former Arkansas governor and host of "Huckabee" on Fox News Channel, Mike Huckabee.

Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday.

MIKE HUCKABEE, HOST, "HUCKABEE": Thank you very much, Chris. Great to be with you and merry Christmas to you.

WALLACE: Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and to your family.

This week, the president made still another change to ObamaCare partly suspending the individual mandate for people whose policies that have been canceled. How do you see all of this working after the first of the year when people actually start going to their doctors under this new system.

HUCKABEE: Well, it's not working very well, especially for the people who had insurance and who like what they had. They were promised they could keep it. We know now that was not true. And that's why President Obama was named -- the holder of the lie of the year from "PolitiFact."

I guess the buzz word that the Democrats keep using is that we can't make these changes because it's the law of the land, and, yet, we continually see the president making all kinds of arbitrary changes to ObamaCare because this law of the land is beating people up and taking from people, the insurance they had and they like, taking from them the doctors they had and they liked, and it was supposed to be $2,500 per family less expensive. It turns out it's thousands of dollars more expensive for most families. It's anything about the Affordable Care Act.

WALLACE: But estimates are, Governor, that for its problems, that in the end, ObamaCare will extend coverage to 30 million people who are now uninsured. The latest estimate of Republican plan is that it would only cover 3 million of those uninsured.

Do Republicans -- does the GOP need to have an answer, an alternative, that will reach those 30 million people or is that just not a priority?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think it ought to be a priority. But the priority should have been to deal with the 15 percent of people who didn't have insurance rather than disrupt the system for the 85 percent who did and who were largely satisfied with insurance, as much as anybody will ever be satisfied with insurance.

But what we should have done was to recognize that of those 15 percent, about half of them were insurable, they just didn't want insurance. They'd rather spend their money on buying a new truck, or maybe investing in an added room on the house. But there are people who are uninsurable. And for those people there should be a safety net.

But the problem is, with ObamaCare, you're putting them into the main marketplace, which skews the cost for the rest of the market. What we should have done is something that was comparable to what was done back 1982, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that was called TEFRA, the Tax Equity Family Relief Act. TEFRA operates in about 19 states. Arkansas was one of them.

What we did in our TEFRA program was take people who had severe developmental disabilities, for example, and those medical expenses can be hundreds and thousands of dollars per year. Well, there's no way a family can afford that. But the only way for them to qualify for Medicaid would be to impoverish the family. Well, that doesn't make sense.

So, what we should do is to say there's three things that are still be comparable, a premium, a deductible, and a co-pay. But it's going to be reasonable premium, a reasonable deductible, and a reasonable co-pay.

And then the government would, in fact, subsidize those people whose medical expenses are extraordinary. I don't think most Republicans, most conservatives, would, or should have a problem with that, and if they do, they need to get over it, because it could be them. And I think what we need to do is approach the problem of the insurable.

Then you have a more reasonable and responsible marketplace for people to buy insurance, but buy what they wanted, and what they needed. Frankly, Chris, I don't need maternity coverage. I don't need drug and alcohol counseling. But I'm going to have to pay for it under ObamaCare.

WALLACE: Let me switch subjects on you. Dramatically, the "Duck Dynasty" controversy, when that broke, you announced that you were setting up your own Facebook page, we have it on the screen. "I Stand with Phil", with a goal of getting 1 million people to signup.

Briefly, why is this such a big deal for you?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think it has come to a point in our culture where political correctness has made it so that if you want to take a point of view that is traditional, that holds to steadfast, old fashioned biblical Christian values, which are also, by the way, values of traditional Judaism, and even Islam, that somehow you're supposed to just shut up and keep that to yourself. But if you want to advocate for same sex marriage, we're supposed to be very tolerant.

I'm tolerant of people who have a position on that issue that is contrary to mine. But I'm not tolerant of the intolerance.

And so, what we've seen is that there is a new level of bullying of the part of these militant activist groups who if anyone says something that holds to the same position that Barack Obama held in 2008 when he at the Saddleback Church with John McCain, made it very clear that he opposed same sex marriage, and he said he did so he was a Christian and because of his biblical views.

Well, if that position was OK in 2008, how it isn't OK in 2013 or 2014?

WALLACE: Governor, but I think the counter-argument would be -- it isn't just the fact that Phil Robertson said he disagreed with it or felt it was a sin, it's how he said it. Let's put some of that up on the screen.

Robertson in this article in "Esquire" magazine called homosexuality a sin. But then went on to say, "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman, and that woman, and that woman, and those men."

And paraphrasing Corinthians from the bible, he said, "They won't inherit the kingdom of God."

And when asked about blacks in Louisiana before the civil rights movement, he said, "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

Are you not offended by any of that? Not the substance, but the way he expressed it and how he said it?

HUCKABEE: Well, he said it in a way that would be a little more probably appropriate for the duck woods than it would be for the pages of a major news magazine. By the way, I will say that I think I saw the world of the south a little differently than maybe he did, growing out in South Arkansas.

But that being said, this issue was never about those comments. This issue was specifically about GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign protesting to A&E over his comments regarding same sex relationships.

Now, let's keep in mind, that for a Christian to talk about sin, homosexuality is no more sinful to a Christian than is pride, than is lust. So, a person who is totality heterosexuality lust in his hurt after a woman, that's as much sin as any other sin. There's no division about which sin is the most important, they're all out of the glory, out of the perfect will and mind of a holy God.

So, that's the whole point of being a Christian. We're all sinners. None of us are perfect, none of us have measured up.

WALLACE: The reason that we originally invited you on before all this news broke is because you gave several interviews this week in which you left the door -- and you know what you're doing -- left the door wide open to possibly running for president in 2016.

Now as we said, back in 2011, when a lot of people thought you were going to run, you didn't, and here is what you said then.


HUCKABEE: All of the factors say go, but my heart says no. That's the decision that I made.


WALLACE: Governor, what's changed?

HUCKABEE: Well, I don't know that anything has changed so dramatically in the circumstances, because I would never make this decision just based on circumstances. It would be a decision of the heart. I try to be honest in all of my evaluations, not only back in 2011, but even now.

So, when people ask me, are you open to the possibilities? The honest answer is yes. Does that mean I'm running? I don't honestly know. I think there is a lot of time between and then, and, frankly, the Republicans have a strong stable of possible candidates. What I'm looking is to find out whether it's the right thing for me to do, and I'm not ready to make that decision. But I just don't want to tell people, oh, no, I wouldn't open my mind to it because that would be, frankly, dishonest at this point.

WALLACE: But -- I mean, forgive me. I think you're being a little coy because you did an interview in The New York Times, you did an interview with the Washington Post. You're putting it out there more than just saying, well, I'm not closing it off.

I understand that it's 2013 and that's an eternity in politics. Chances you'll run, better or less than 50/50?

HUCKABEE: I would say maybe at this point, it is 50/50. But I don't know. I don't know that I would put a percentage on it.

And, by the way, the only reason I talked to those news entities is because they asked me. You know, I didn't go and solicit them and say, hey, I'd love to have an interview with you and lets But as people approached me and they've asked me about it, I had friends who said let's do a poll, let's just see if you're in the mix.

You know, those are things you at least listen to. And so, right now, I've got other things that I've got to focus on on a full-time basis, and I'll just keep that option open and make a decision after the 2014 elections.

WALLACE: Part of your appeal, if you do run, is that you're a populist who is concerned about reaching out to minorities, to working class folks who don't typically or certainly in the last election, didn't vote Republican. And you're also, like the president, interested in income inequality.

I want to put up something that you said recently at an event. "We devalue people sometimes who are poor. We do not deem them worthy of the same level of treatment we give those who are connected to the real axis of evil in this country, the axis of power that exists between Washington and Wall Street."

I must say I was struck by that. Axis of evil between Washington and Wall Street?

HUCKABEE: Well, there is such a collusion, Chris, between what happens in the financial world and what happens in the political world. One hand washes another and one feeds another.

And who takes it in the teeth? It's most of the working class people of America. Big banks get bailed out. Big insurance companies get bailed out. Who bails them out? Washington bails them out.

Why? Because there are campaign contributions that come along with the bailout.

I hear politicians that will resent the fact that some single mom is getting some assistance to put food on the table for her three children, she is doing the best she can, busting her backside try to help them, and those same people that somehow resent that single mom are the one and saying, but it's perfectly OK to bail out to the tune of billions big bangs who are run by Ivy League people who should have known better how to recklessly mismanaged.

Now, the point that I do make, and a lot of people misunderstand, I don't want the government coming in and creating a situation where they determine what income equality looks like. I think the government can mess more up than they can ever fix. So, the last thing I want is more and bigger government getting involved.

But I want there to be a calling out and an attention given to the fact that a lot of the crisis in America is not a money crisis. It is the moral crisis of people who seem to have a complete disconnect with a lot of working class people.

The reason that's important to me, Chris, I grew up a whole lot more in common with the people who are in the kitchen than the folks sitting at the head table. I had to learn how to sit at the head table. I didn't have to learn how to connect to the people who are bringing the food out to that head table.

WALLACE: Governor, I've got to say, if you do run for president, I suspect you'll be a very formidable candidate. We want to thank you so much for coming in today.

And as we say goodbye, you talk about things you're going to be doing in the meantime. We want to note -- you're starting your own news Web site next year called, appropriately, "The Huckabee Post." Good luck with that and merry Christmas to you, sir.

HUCKABEE: Thank you so much, Chris. Have a wonderful Christmas.

WALLACE: Same to you.

Up next, the ObamaCare deadline is just around the corner, but the rules keep changing. Our Sunday joins us to discuss that and the growing calls for reform.

Plus, this holiday season, have we lost the true meaning of Christmas? Pastor Joel Osteen will be here later.

And be sure to tell us what you think on Facebook and share your favorite moments from today's show with other FNS fans.



OBAMA: The basic structure of that law is working, despite all the problems. Despite the Web site problems, despite the messaging problems, despite all that, it's working.


WALLACE: The president on Friday maintaining, despite all the problems with Web site and insurance policies being canceled, ObamaCare is still doing what it was supposed to do.

And it's time now for our Sunday group, syndicated columnist George Will, Kirsten Powers of The Daily Beast Web site, columnist Charles Krauthammer, author, you may have heard, of the number one New York Times bestseller "Things That Matter", and Fox News political analyst, Juan Williams.

Well, the president continues and he did this week, to take unilateral action without going back to Congress, first on big business then on all small business, and then this week, partly suspending the individual mandate.

George, I want to begin with a question that I asked Governor Huckabee. What do you expect to happen on January 2nd when people actually under this new system have to go to their doctors and start getting health care?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's going to be the backlash cube. At this point, Chris, it's very hard to quantify, perhaps most of the law has been waived or otherwise suspended. The president said this week that the suspensions of the employer mandate and the individual mandate, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, do not go to the core of the law. If not that, what is the core of the law?

By now, it seems fair to say three things. First, if you told the truth about the law, about keeping your doctor and your health care, he probably wouldn't have been elected in 2012.

Second, he'd be better off today if in 2012, the chief justice had voted the other way, they struck down the law. It wouldn't be such a burden on his presidency.

But beyond that, we've now added to incompetence and dishonesty, naked unfairness, when he says, if you had health insurance and it was canceled, you're preferred. If you didn't have insurance, you could still be punished by the government for not getting it. People just think it's a (INAUDIBLE) -- excuse me, unfair.

WALLACE: Is it as break as that, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, THE DAILY BEAST: It's pretty break, and I think it's also creating sort of chaotic. And when it comes to health care, which is something that's so personal to every person, to have this sense of chaos to not really know when he keeps changing the rules of what people have to do. Now, do you have to get health insurance or do you not? I think it's confusing to a lot of people if they're required to have it.

And then you have situations like the Oregon health exchange sending out notes to everybody saying, if you don't hear from us by January 1st, you should probably get health insurance somewhere else. Well, that's kind of scary to people, you know?

And so, I think this isn't as it was sold, and I think that as -- George is right -- as we great to the first, second, and start seeing people may be not having health insurance and thinking that they did, it's just going to get worse.

WALLACE: I want to go back to this point that George was talking about, because the president in his news conference Friday said that none of these problems get to the core of ObamaCare. You can argue whether that's true or not. But that's what he said. And that 85 percent of Americans that benefited from the benefits you get under ObamaCare.

Charles, your reaction to that. And is it possible that for all of the problems so far that they can get this worked out and that as we get -- just to pick a month at random -- by next November, most people are saying, you know what, ObamaCare is OK?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's possible. It's highly unlikely.   One of the things he did, one of the reasons this strikes at the heart of ObamaCare is that what he has done is to take away the financial structure underneath it. The reason the insurers are apoplectic about what's just happened, is because he is now told a whole class of people you don't have to be in the exchanges. And these are people who were probably healthier and the younger ones who are going to be outside of the exchanges. Which means that the cost to insurers of people left in the exchanges is going to be exorbitant.

And there's also no way he's going to be able to hold a line on this because of the unfairness.

KRAUTHAMMER: If you're exempting people who didn't have -- who had insurance and were canceled, and you're exempting them from the fine and the requirement of getting insurance, there is no way that you can require -- fine people who didn't have insurance in the past. So, you're going to have an abolition of the individual mandate. You've already postpone, abolish the employer mandate. The insurers understand that they're going to be completely ruined.

And what's going to happen as a result of this? There's only one way out, a huge government bailout of the insurers is waiting at the end of next year.

And that's an issue that Republicans ought to focus on right now. It's the only way that ObamaCare survives and it ought to be stopped before it happens. It ought to be -- Congress ought to say no bailout, particularly because this is not a natural disaster, it's a manmade disaster.

WALLACE: Yes, I just want to bring that up as I bring you in, Juan, because the hardship exemption, which these people who lost their policies and are not going to have to sign up, or can sign up for this bare bone catastrophic, with the hardship exemption was supposed to be if your house was blown away by Hurricane Sandy, you know, you had a hardship exemption, you couldn't afford to pay for health insurance.

The hardship exemption here is ObamaCare.


WALLACE: It is. It's the fact that your policy was canceled by ObamaCare. So, there --

WILLIAMS: I mean, you know -- I think there is going to be a big lump in all of your Christmas stockings because I just think, these are -- you guys are like looking at the negative so heavily. You're so invested in piercing out Obama and ObamaCare, it's just wild to me.


WILLIAMS: Hang on, let me finish my point.

I think if you look at the reality of what's happened here, you have people who say there is a market. We saw a million people already sign up, despite all the problems. There is a market there. The second thing to say is, and the president said this, this speaks -- the problems that exists don't speak to the core issue. Most of us have insurance to our employers. No change for us. For the people were in the individual market, most of them who are canceled have gotten new policies through --

POWERS: For double the amount.


POWERS: Why do you think that's OK?

WILLIAMS: I don't know if they're more or less.

POWERS: Well, I have to tell you they're more. I mean --

WILLIAMS: They've gotten new policies. So, what we're talking about is about a half million people and a half million people some of whom were under 30, were really (INAUDIBLE) eligible for this catastrophic program, right?

OK. So we're talking about oh, but now, young people might be coming in that shouldn't be in there. So, we're talking about maybe 250,000 people.

And yet at this table this morning, it's like, oh woe is me, ObamaCare is done and it's the end of the world.

WALLACE: Briefly, because there is as one person here who was directly affected. You lost your policy.

POWERS: Yes. I mean, and it's not just a handful of people who lost their policies and it's people who, frankly, are responsible, who had insurance, who are now being punished. And even for some of these people who now have a hardship exemption, they're going to -- they don't really have a lot of options. I mean, the insurance companies aren't going to give you back your old policy.

The ObamaCare policies are too expensive for a lot of these people. So, then, you have the responsible people who had insurance not having insurance.

I mean, how is that helpful and how is that part of insuring the people have health insurance?

WALLACE: We can keep talking about this, and we will, but I want to talk about the other big story this week and that is the growing call for restrictions on NSA surveillance of Americans. We had a federal district judge who said the bulk collection of phone records -- billions of phone records of Americans -- is likely unconstitutional. You had a presidential panel come up with 46 recommendations for restrictions. The president indicates he's open to some of them.

George, are we in danger of letter our guard down here?   WILL: Yes, we are, in the sense that the head of the NSA has said, we're not fighting the nation, we're fighting the network. They're dispersed in populations. In order to find a needle in a haystack, you to assemble the haystacks, and that's what that metadata does.

That said, the following is true -- I think the judge who said there is a plausible Fourth Amendment case that all this constitutes an unreasonable search has done the NSA a favor, because this may go to the Supreme Court. It really has to because he challenged the Supreme Court precedent, and the Supreme Court, with its immense prestige, will either clarify the issue by reining in the NSA, or by saying it's all right will ratify it.

So, it will have done a favor. What the judge said was the precedent based on 1979 telephone technology cannot be controlling and deciding whether a Fourth Amendment unreasonable search is taken place. NSA says whether or not it's unreasonable depends on a cost benefit analysis, the cost of privacy as against the benefit to security. That's an argument we need and we're going to have it at the highest levels.

WALLACE: Juan, the president pointed out in defending NSA surveillance, although he says he is open, and I think indicates he's going to accept some restrictions, but the president said, in more than 10 years of this mass collection of data, there's not a single documented case of abuse, a single case that we know where an American's privacy has been violated.

WILLIAMS: Correct, but -- I mean, the larger problem is, (INAUDIBLE) said, what that they could be fishing around in your private materials. Nobody wants it, nobody invites it.

To me, though, it's a political issue, with the highest levels, as George was just saying. And as a political level, you have to be ready to say -- yes, I cut back and I limited the powers of the NSA, and that's why we've had this newest attack by terrorists.

We live in a very different age. It's not only, George, that the laws have changed in this, technology has changed, we live in an age of terrorism. And I think we have to say to our political leaders, and it's very difficult in this time when nobody trusts anybody, but that -- yes, as long as you don't snoop around Chris Wallace's, you know, private e-mail, OK, we want you to be able to track patterns of terrorist communications and protect us, because protecting us is a government's number one job.

WALLACE: Well, let me just say that my e-mails really are beyond reproach.


WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here and take a look at (INAUDIBLE) board.

When we come back, is A&E's suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson justified?  Our panel tackles that, next.

Plus, we asked you to weigh in on the controversy online. Just go to Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.



GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA.: Here is what I think that is so hypocritical of A&E and the Hollywood and the left. They all say that they're for diversity, they're for tolerance, they're for, you know, minority views and opinions unless you disagree with them.

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: His view that homosexuality is a sin is religious tenet of many, many Americans and we ought to respect people who believe that, but his language was crude and offensive.


WALLACE: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Karl Rove joining the debate over comments from "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson and the decision by the A&E cable channel to suspend him. And we're back now with the panel. I'm calling an audible. We're going to talk about that a moment, but Charles, and he actually even invoked the fact that he is a number one New York Times best-selling author, says, he wants to talk for 30 seconds about the NSA. Charles, the floor is yours.

KRAUTHAMMER: I can't believe you did that.


WALLACE: What you said to me?

KRAUTHAMMER: Off the air. Yes.

WALLACE: OK. Anyway.

KRAUTHAMMER: What happened.

WALLACE: The clock is ticking.

KRAUTHAMMER: That's OK. I'll be concise. But I think on the issue of the NSA, the controlling decision of '79 is different because the technology has changed.

WALLACE: Let me just quickly say, the decision of '79 was, if you've got phone records, you basically, you don't have any expectation of privacy, because the phone company has those records.  

KRAUTHAMMER: So, technology has changed, but also the threat has changed in our response to 9/11, a decade ago, we may not be applicable to what is happening today. And therefore, the decision -- not coming from the court, which is a mutable, it should be a moving decision that will change overtime and it ought to come out of Congress.

WALLACE: Very well said, sir.

KRAUTHAMMER: I think it was worth the interruption.

WALLACE: I know you do.


WALLACE: Anyway, George, "Duck Dynasty" I'm sure you think yourself -- I never thought that at this point of my career I would be talking about an A&E cable show. I want to start with the question we got on Twitter, and let's put it up from Riosmythe -- "In the context of this controversy, is political correctness killing our freedom?

WILL: No, our freedom is really quite secure. Look, this is a big complicated country. This is a week in which New Mexico and Utah became respectively the 17 and 18 states to acquire, by judicial decisions, the same sex marriage. In the same week, Walmart's supply of "Duck Dynasty" merchandise sold out like that as a sign of support for Mr. Robertson. So, we've got people on both sides of this. His First Amendment rights are not in danger. The First Amendment protects individuals from government action that would either prior restrain speech or punish speech after it's uttered. This is an argument between him and his employer. Let them sort it out.

What we do see here, and this goes to the viewers' question about political correctness, the new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended. People think they have a right not to have their feelings hurt, not to have their sensibilities in any way exacerbated. I'd refer them to Jefferson who said, it does me no harm if my neighbor believes in 20 gods or one god, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. We have forked for millennia to get to a point where we say the law will protect our possessions and our persons, but not our feelings and people just have to get over it.

WALLACE: Kirsten, what about Governor Jindal's comment that we had at the beginning of the segment that Hollywood and the left are all for tolerance and for minority opinions as long as you don't disagree with that.

POWERS: That's a terrible argument. Does he seriously believe that if you hold the minority position that whites and blacks shouldn't be married, that's acceptable? Is that what he's saying? I mean that we should all think that? It's -- the point here is not that this person supports traditional marriage. The point here is that he is a bigot on many levels. And that he said very bigoted things, not just about gay people, but about African- Americans. It's not even really getting that much coverage. And there was a video that was just found of him speaking in 2010 saying about gay people that they are ruthless, full of murder, arrogant, liable to invent ways of doing evil.

I mean this is not a person who just -- oh, I just think marriage is between a man and a woman. So if he had just said that, there would be no controversy. The controversy is over the fact that he is saying very bigoted, hateful things that are in no way supported by being a Christian or are found anywhere in the Bible.

WALLACE: Charles, I would love you to respond, but Kirsten, but I also want you to respond to a question we've got on Facebook from James Nathaniel who asks why are conservatives making a big deal about this?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look, I think it is overstated what's going on. Because it is not matter of rights of the person amendment. That's government composure. We're talking about cultural composure. And I think there is a lot that we ought not have in the country. And we work it out without any real rules. At some point you're way over the line and people will punish you and the culture will have you fired. On others I think they're more equivocal. And this is a dispute between a private party, a network making a lot of money off private party, and it can decide if it thinks that person has gone over their line or not. It's a personal decision and it will be adjudicated in the end by whether the boycotters of the network are going to be stronger than the boycotters of the products that -- of those who are opposing it.

I do think there is one irony here. Which is, the gays who have heroically fought for equality in the marketplace, in housing, in the military, in marriage, and as for tolerance and acceptance, having achieved it or largely achieved it, ought to think about using their influence and power to delegitimatize and to be ill-tolerant towards others, things as was pointed out by Governor Huckabee, the same way Obama did in 2008. It can't be that illegitimate if the president himself, whom all of us would say is not a bigot, had those biblical approaches in 2008.


WILLIAMS: Well, I think the reason that the right is so strongly backing because they think there is a potential wedge issue, especially older white evangelical voters, Chris.  And so, people like Mike Huckabee ...

WALLACE: Do you think this is all just politics?

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, heavily political. Because as everyone who's been on this panel, it's not a First Amendment issue. You know, talking about bestselling books -- I had a bestselling book on this topic, "Muzzled", because guess what -- I got fired for saying something that somebody didn't like. Now, when I got fired, it was, I think, part of an honest debate of terrorism in our society. My employer didn't like it and fired me. But my point is this is not about honest debate. What was said, actually, shuts down debate because it invites -- it was ugly language about homosexual acts and it invites bigotry, it invites people to hate people who are gay and to see them. And this I amazing, because it's not in the Christian tradition, to make judgments about them and to put them in a box. So, I think it was very ugly. You know, you look at it -- you know, you think the right goes after Martin Bashir. They want Martin Bashir fired. Remember that.

WALLACE: Yes. For his comments about sex.

WILLIAMS: Dixie Chicks -- remember, Dixie Chicks -- or Tim Robbins or Bill Maher -- all of that, the right says, get them out of here. But when people then, they then want to cry foul when people are intolerant of them. That's very political, Chris.

WALLACE: To be continued. An interesting discussion. And my guess is something people will be talk about over the holiday season more than ObamaCare. Panel, thank you for joining us. Up next, Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen on how to break out and stop limiting ourselves this holiday season.


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WALLACE: His positive message of hope and faith is watched by millions of people in this country and around the world. And his new book called "Break Out!" It became an instant bestseller. Earlier this week, we sat down once again with a pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Joel Osteen, and in case you wonder, it was before the controversy over "Duck Dynasty" broke.


WALLACE: Pastor Joel, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

OSTEEN: It's so great to be with you, Chris.

WALLACE: You have a new book called "Break Out." Break out from what?

OSTEEN: That's breaking out over rut -- sometimes we can get stuck in life. Just thinking that, you know, of going as far as I can go and lot of times, even myself, I never dreamed I would be a minister. I used to tell my dad I can't get up there and speak in front of people. So, I think we put limitations on our own selves. You know, I'm not that talented, don't have the education, I'm going as far as I can. Think you have to take those limits of yourself. But first place you have to break in is in your mind.   WALLACE: Yeah, I want to ask you about that. Because we talked about it last time. And I must say I'm guilty of it, I guess you made me realize that we all are. We have this negative dialogue going on inside our brain.

OSTEEN: Yeah, there is. A lot of people -- you know, we're talking to ourselves all the time. Some people don't realize it. Even psychologists call it our internal dialogue. Some people say negative, and they grew up that way. It's just you know, I'm not that smart. I'm just not going to be a good dad. It's raining outside. You have to change that dialogue. I'll tell people, don't be against yourself. You've got enough people in life against you, don't be against yourself. You know, we should be thinking -- you know I'm talented, I'm smart, I've got what I need. I'm a person of destiny (ph). Just positive things.

WALLACE: So, what you are saying is, a lot of the limits that we face in our life are limits that we put on ourselves?

OSTEEN: I really believe that. And I say that from my own experience. I'm thinking, I'd never be (inaudible) like in front of people. I told my dad that for 17 years. When my dad died and I just took over the church, you know, just grown and here I am. So, I do think we put a lot of limits on ourselves.

WALLACE: And you say the answer is a concept that you call in your book further, faster. What does that mean?

OSTEEN: Well, I believe it's about having faith in God, believing that you're a person of destiny, that God can take you further faster. In other words, you know, one good break, or I call it one touch of God's favor can put you 50 years down the road. We think I'm never going to get out at Dad, I'm never going to get well. You don't see the medical report. On and on. But you know what -- it just takes God just moving things in your direction that can put you where you never thought you could go.

WALLACE: Well, I mean you certainly would agree that just believing in yourself or just -- that's not going to necessarily feed the bulldog as the line goes.

OSTEEN: No, I think that's the start, though. If you are negative and against yourself, and discourage. You don't have any dreams, I think that's, you know, that's going to limit you. And you have to put faith behind your actions, you have to, you know, use what God has given you, take some steps of faith, develop your gifts and talents. Be disciplined, focus. There are other things too, but I think it does start where if you just say, you know what, this is it, you are not going to have to drive to move forward.

WALLACE: Let's take on that look at where we are as we approach Christmas and the end of the year. When you survey the state of our spiritual union, what encourages you?

OSTEEN: Well, what encourages me, Chris, is that it seems like fate is at an all-time high in one sense. Meaning that, I never dreamed we would be having churches in a basketball arena, and, you know, being able to see, you know, faith where it is today. I don't want another sense, you know. Part of the society seems like it's going down. But I guess I'm an optimist. I probably live in, you know, in world. I see faith is at an all-time high.

WALLACE: And conversely, speak of realist, when you survey the state of our spiritual union what worries you?

OSTEEN: Well, I think sometimes it concerns me just, you know, where some of the society is going. Just, you know, I just think sometimes it's not as honorable as it could be. So, some of that -- some of that worries me. And a lot of -- I don't know if it worries me, what concerns me is the respect for mankind, you know, not being -- it seems like there can be times, especially with the Internet and things there can be a lot of mean spirited stuff that comes out, and just things like that can be more prevalent today, because in the old days you know, you had to send a letter to be critical and stuff, and, you know, I don't like that part of it.

WALLACE: I know that you don't like to talk about politics particularly, but I'm going to talk about issues that have a political, but also a moral component. In 2014, this next year, the Supreme Court has agreed that it's just going to hear a case involving the birth control mandate in ObamaCare. The idea of whether or not the government can say to a for-profit company, you have to provide the option for birth control and health insurance even if that violates the owner of that company's religious, spiritual beliefs. Where do you come down on that?

OSTEEN: Well, I would come down on the fact that I don't like to see that happen. I believe that, you know, just from overall perspective that that Constitution protects us to practice our faith, and I would just hope -- I hope that wouldn't happen.

WALLACE: What the president and the administration would say is hey, look, if I'm an employee in a company, it's not -- it is not the owner, I'm deciding whether or not I want to use birth control.

OSTEEN: Yeah, you know, I think it's a fine line. I don't know where it all fall out. I've just -- maybe on a broader term, and just, you know, as a minister, as a pastor, having thought of it as a company's term, but, you know, I just wouldn't let people -- the government being able to tell me, maybe, I couldn't practice the faith in the way I would like to.

WALLACE: Time magazine just named Pope Francis "The Person of the Year." What do you think of this new pope?

OSTEEN: Well, I like the new pope. I like, you know, I'm sure there are certain things that, you know, people may not agree with, but I like the fact that he's made the church more inclusive. I do think, for a while, even, you know, American churches, it seems like we try to narrow it down, telling who can't come to my church. I would rather throw a wide, wide net. Listen, the church is not a place for perfect people, it's for all of us to come and find, you know, health and guidance, and restoration.   WALLACE: Billy Graham is perhaps this nation's greatest evangelist ever. He is now 95 and by all accounts in declining health, what do you think Billy Graham's legacy will be?

OSTEEN: Well, I think his legacy, at least to me, will be a man of faithfulness, of integrity. Somebody that stayed the course. And I think about 50-60 years ago, when Billy Graham was starting, he had a lot of critics. He had a lot of people trying to, you know, tell him, you know, he could not fulfill his calling, but he just stayed with it. And really, he inspires younger ministers like me to just -- you know, stay focused on the main thing God's called you to do. And do not let people talk you out of it and to stay -- live a life of integrity. I love the fact that he is finishing strong.

WALLACE: As we get together once again on the holiday season, and I must tell you I consider it a privilege when I get to sit down with you, I want to ask you about a controversy involving this holiday. What do you think? Is there a war on Christmas?

OSTEEN: Well, you know, for one sense I see what people are saying. Again, Chris, I'm an optimist. I think there is always things coming against faith, and I don't think that's going to stop people of faith. I do think the society is changing. It's not like it was when I was growing up. So, in one sense maybe there is, but those kind of things it doesn't stop my faith, it doesn't discourage me. Even the Scripture says it's going to get darker in the world, but it's going to get (inaudible), you know, for the church or for believers. So, it's just another way to let our life shine brightly.

WALLACE: Do you think that there is a conscious effort to try to take the religious meaning out of this holiday?

OSTEEN: Well, I think there are certain groups that would like to. I mean I've seen the billboards in New York in different places. I think there are certain groups that would like to. But, you know, there's still millions and millions of people of faith, and if they, you know, took it out in their minds, or, you know, through the media, something else is not going to change the faith in our hearts. So, you know, I'm probably not as concerned about it as some others.

WALLACE: When people say "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas," do you view that as just people -- religious political correctness going overboard?

OSTEEN: I think a little of both. It doesn't bother me, though. I just -- again, I try not to let surface type things like that bother me. I know it's about Jesus and his birth, and also, I'm not offended by that. I think too, I realized traveling a lot, not everybody believes like me. They are not all -- we're not all Christians in this nation. Even some Christians believe differently, but I'm open to respect everyone, and it's not going to offend me if when I pray in Jesus' name, and somebody doesn't. That doesn't offend me.

WALLACE: And what about -- this is certainly not a new development, but it just seems to keep getting worse, all the commercialism of Christmas. What do you make when it seems as if this holiday is all about presents and parties? And not about the birth of Jesus?

OSTEEN: You know, it is, I could not agree with you more, it gets so hectic and so commercialized. I don't know that we are going to change it, I think we have to come back and say, OK, I am going to remind my family what this season is about. I think, two, you know, not getting so caught up in having the perfect gift. To me, Christmas, is the birth of Christ, number one, but it's all about making memories. It's not necessarily did I get the exact right gift, is did I spend time? Did I make memories with my family? Did we laugh, did we love, have time to love and respect each other? I think sometimes we get so caught up and stressed over the holiday meal that we don't take time to say, hey, let's just enjoy each other's person. We may not have another Christmas together. I hope we all do, but that's the way we have to look at it. Each day is a gift from God.

WALLACE: Well, I can't think of a better and more appropriate Christmas message to all of our viewers. Pastor Joel, always good to have you. And if I may, to you and all of the Osteens, merry Christmas.

OSTEEN: Thank you. Same to you and your viewers. God bless.

WALLACE: Up next, our Power Player of the Week. Honoring America's fallen this Christmas season.


WALLACE: It's a Christmas tradition here to share the story of how one family has found a way to express the meaning of the holiday season. It's a moving example of love for our country and personal generosity. Once again, here is our power player of the week.


WORCESTER: We would not have the opportunities if it wasn't for the people that fought for us and who gave their lives for us.

WALLACE: It is that plainspoken wisdom which has driven Morrill Worcester for years, on a mission that has touched America's heart. Each December, Worcester places wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, and thousands of volunteers are there to help him.

WORCESTER: I think a lot of people think like I do, and they just want to -- they appreciate the veterans and they want to show it.

WALLACE: This story begins back in 1962, when Worcester, then a 12-year-old paper boy from Maine, won a trip to Washington. What impressed him most was Arlington. Its beauty and dignity, and those rows and rows of graves.

WORCESTER: Every one represents a life, and a family, and a story. They're not just tombstones, I mean, those are all people.

WALLACE: 30 years later in 1992, Worcester was running his own wreath company in Harrington, Maine, but as Christmas approached, he had a bunch leftover.

WORCESTER: These were the real fresh wreath I just made. And I just didn't want to throw them away.

WALLACE: He thought of Arlington and all those graves. When the cemetery approved, he and a dozen volunteers drove the wreaths down and laid them on the headstones. And so it continued for years until a few Christmas's back, when an Air Force sergeant took this picture, which ended up on the Internet.

WORCESTER: It kind of struck a nerve and people emailed it to each other, and it really went around the world.

WALLACE: We were there the next year as he and his workers of the Worcester Wreaths Company loaded up 5265 wreaths. Then they embarked on what Worcester calls the world's longest veterans' parade, a 750-mile journey that at some points attracted more than 100 vehicles. And when they got to Arlington, so many people wanted to participate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This ceremony you are about to witness, is an Army wreaths laying ceremony to be conducted for the Worcester Wreath company.

WALLACE: For years, Worcester paid for all of this out of his own pocket. And he started Wreaths across America, sending hundreds to cemeteries and war memorials around the country. But he will need help to reach his new goal.

WORCESTER: I think there are around 2.7 million graves, and that is a tall order to decorate 2.7 million graves.

WALLACE (on camera): But you would like to do it, wouldn't you?

WORCESTER: I really would. Yes. Sometime -- I don't know how, but hey, you know ...

WALLACE: How long are you going to keep doing this?

WORCESTER: I'm going to keep doing it for as long as I work, and then I know my family is going to continue. So, it will be here for a long time.


WALLACE: This is the 22nd year Morrill Worcester has taken on his Christmas wreath project in Arlington and other veteran cemeteries in all 50 states and overseas. More than 540,000 wreaths now mark the graves of veterans, and Google donated $250,000 this year to help Worcester continue his work.

And that's it for today. Come on guys, come on in. With three of the Wallace grandchildren here, we want to wish you a great week, a happy new year. This is Caroline, James, and William. Have a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours, and we'll see you next Fox -- that's it. Say Merry Christmas, everybody.

CHILDREN: Merry Christmas!

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