'Glenn Beck': Now Obama Cares About Religious Freedom?

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," August 17, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Hello, America.

I have a special treat for those of you who really, really want that Ground Zero mosque to go up. It's going to be — it's going to be fabulous. They have a right to build it. I think we all know that. But now, let's talk about the "wisdom" of building it.

The president first came out firmly in favor of it. Then he used his stern "let me be clear" voice and he said — and then he wouldn't talk about the wisdom of it.

Why not?

It doesn't really take a rocket scientist to see maybe this isn't the best idea. I mean, do you have a right to tell your wife, "That dress really does make you look fat, honey"? Yes. But it wouldn't be wise for you to do it. But you do have the right.

Anyway, let's take a look now at some of the people gathering around and saying, you know, I think the president might be right. Who agrees with building the mosque at Ground Zero?

I love this guy. He's just the senior leader of Hamas. Here's what he said:


MAHMOUD AL-ZAHAR, HAMAS LEADER: We have to build the mosque as you are allowed to build a church and the Israeli are building their holy places. We have to build everywhere — in every area we have, Muslims we have to pray, and this is — this Mosque is the only site of prayer.


BECK: Absolutely. That's the only place they can do it. By the way, have you ever been to Israel? Because I have. It's really interesting how one group of people seem to be erasing all of the other religions. Maybe it was just me.

Nothing says building bridges to me like the leader of Hamas. Am I right or am I right? So that's great.

You have Hamas and the president in lockstep. That's great. And I can't really get past the fact that the president was lecturing us on the Constitution and religious freedom. In case you missed it, grab some popcorn. It's really good. Go ahead. Watch:


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Let me be clear, as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion, as everyone else in this country.



BECK: Yes!


OBAMA: That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accord with local laws and ordinances. This is America and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.


BECK: That's it? You're not going to play the ending? Man, I hate that. Well, I bet it has a scary ending, but I'm not sure.

He is a stickler for that Constitution thing, isn't he? Let me tell you, I remember when he tried to get health care passed — remember what he said about the Constitution?


OBAMA: I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or the Senate.


BECK: Procedures, procedures — what's the difference? Who cares about the procedures when you talk about the Constitution? Blah, blah, blah, blah. He had bigger fish to fry, like passing something that a lot of people think is unconstitutional.

This president and his administration seem to be slightly out of step with the average American — you know, those people who are just bitterly clinging to their God and their guns.

If they really cared so much about religious freedoms, then why, may I ask you — I'm going to puzzle for a minute, I'm going to puzzle and puzzle until my puzzler is sore on this one — why did the Obama administration, a mere five weeks into his presidency, officially state their intention to rescind a Bush-era regulation called the Freedom of Conscience Act?

What does that mean? It means if something bothers you, you better do it! Unless this was in.

See, the act cut off all federal funds to hospital or clinic or health care plans that didn't accommodate doctors and other health care providers who refused to participate in care that they felt violated their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

Here is what our administration said. Well, "We've been concerned that the way the Bush rule was written, it could make it harder for women to get the care that they need."

May I? Because I'm an alcoholic, I'm a recovering alcoholic. So, I speak fluent bull-crap. I can translate bull-crap to English. It's not that hard.

Once you've really been — once you've, you know, done a lot of alcohol in your life, man, that bull-crap runs right out of your mouth. So, here it is, B.S. to English: "The care that they need" equals abortions. OK?

Then he says it's worded so vaguely that some argued that it could limit family planning counseling — abortion — and potentially blood transfusions and end-of-life care. End-of-life care. Let me translate bull-crap to English. End-of-life care, night, Grammy — pulling the old plug. But more on that later.

Now, as the Freedom of Conscience is still standing now, I wonder why he wanted to yank that out. When I heard he wanted to do that, I thought, gee, is that in step with America? That you can't be — I mean, this is a land based on religious freedom, at the same time, our president is lecturing us that he'd like to force doctors who believe that abortion is the equivalent — the equivalence of murder. You've got to commit murder or you can't work here anymore.

Now, I'm just a simpleton, clinging to my imaginary friend in the sky, so maybe somebody is going to have to explain the rationale here.

But it's totally cool to go forward with a mosque run by a potentially radical nutjob and it's not — doctors can't refuse to do procedures they believe is murder.


Can I tell you something? Come here. I'm holding an event the day before 8/28. Next week for a week from Friday, 8/27. I'm doing this Restoring Honor thing at the Lincoln Memorial on next Saturday.

But at the Kennedy Center the night before, I'm doing this thing with a whole bunch of rabbis and preachers and priests and everybody else. And what we're doing is — they're giving speeches or sermons that were actually given at the time of the American Revolution. And then they're going to — they're going to put it in today's context. It's going to be great.

Well, I went — my wife and I — we wrote the check to rent out the Kennedy Center and we're giving all the tickets away for free because I don't want to profit on that. No, that would be wrong. Well, last week I get a call from the Kennedy Center.

They call up and say, "Glenn Beck?" And I'm like, "Yes." "You can't purchase — is there going to be prayer there?" I'm like, "Yes, we're going to start with prayer. We're going to also say the Pledge of Allegiance, too."


They went crazy. "You can't pray in a building that receives tax dollars. We're the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts."

And I'm like — oooh, sue me.

So, after being in my basement, clinging to my .45-caliber SIG-Sauer, I decided we're going to pray anyway. Yes. Yes.

So, that's what we told them. And, Kennedy Center, arrest me. Arrest me because we're going to pray before, during, after, maybe spontaneously. We might even sing a few prayers just because it really will agonize you.

So, let's see what we have: In America, we have the president making sure that you can build a mosque that's in poor taste, lecturing us about the Constitution, but, at the same time, I'm told that you shouldn't pray at the Kennedy Center. In fact, they told me at first I couldn't, but then I think they remembered who I was and they knew it wouldn't end well for them.

Then we have a group of Christian students that found in May that they can't discreetly pray on the step of the United States Supreme Court building. On the steps, they can't do it. Their prayer was abruptly cut short as they were ordered to stop praying on the grounds.

Is that, Mr. President, in step with regular America? Is that America? Is that — is that in step with the Constitution? Is that in step with — what did you say about Muslims? Oh, yes — that people have a right to practice their religion, just as anyone else in this country?

How do those thoughts line up, Mr. President?

Who is it, who is it, honestly, who is threatened by people praying outside of a courthouse? I don't care what religion — who is that hurting? Who walks by like I'm scarred for life? How does that happen?

By the way, they were praying for Supreme Court and the decisions they need to make and also praying for our congressmen. Who in Washington thinks that's a bad idea? Especially religious zealot like Nancy Pelosi, you know, from San Francisco. She was just telling us not long ago about her favorite word.

Here it is:


SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: My favorite word is the word, is the word.


BECK: It is.


PELOSI: And that is everything. It says it all for us. You know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the word.

And that word is — we had to give voice to what that means, the word. Isn't it a beautiful word when you think of it? It covers everything, the word. Fill in it with anything you want, but, of course, we know it means the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.


BECK: Oh, she seems so sincere there. Now, surely, a Christian warrior like Nancy Pelosi would appreciate extra prayers, right, Nance?

So, what sounds more American: A group of people praying for leaders or the feds coming in saying "no prayer"? With regards to prayer, which one is more American?

The president was silent in all of these things, but when a mosque was going up next to Ground Zero, he springs in action, tosses his hat right into the ring.

Who is this president in step with? I mean besides Hamas. Who?

I know he certainly referenced the Constitution and our Founders, but does he even really understand our Founders? Has he read, oh, I don't know, what we used to call a book about the Founders?

Thomas Jefferson do you think he discouraged public prayer? Come on, Mr. President, call me up. Did he? Did he?

All of the progressives, tonight, I just want you to know — Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He was the principal author of something called the Declaration of Independence. It's a very big document. They had very large note pads — hard to go to school those days.

This is the actual — this is the actual document. People will be like he's got the actual document. He's throwing it around. Shhh! I'm going to Washington next week. I'm switching it.

All right. Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. He wrote it — he knew a little something about freedom and religion.

Now, here's something you probably never heard before. Did you know this building — do you even recognize it? That was the Capitol building. Do you know that on Sundays, it served as a church gathering place? Yes, believe it or not.

The most regular attendee — you'll never guess — he had a designated seat there just for him: Thomas Jefferson. He wouldn't even let the rough weather keep him from missing service. He was so devastated that he'd get on the horseback and ride in the driving rain so he could get there. So, it stands to reason that he wouldn't have trotted over, you know, the guy who wrote this would have trotted over to the students praying on the step of the courthouse — if the courthouse had been there — and tell them to stop before they offended anybody. And he would have done it not just because it would have made him late for the church service he was attending inside the Capitol building.

I don't know anybody who is offended by prayer. I don't know anybody who is offended by all of this stuff. You know, I started at GlennBeck.com — 15-minute spiritual thought of the day. It's not just for Christians or anybody else. It's just — today, I had a rabbi on. Rabbi Laffin (ph). I don't know if you have heard of this guy. He's brilliant. Brilliant.

Well, how did you pray with him? He's Jewish. Ahh! I know.

You know, we have a lot more in common. People of faith have got to start standing together. I don't know how people can feel so threatened by faith. I really don't.

I hate to tell you, when we need help, we all call to the same guy. You can put your hands over your ears and say, la, la, la, but you know what? It's not going to change reality. There are things that need to be said.

Things that need to be said — one of them, is — you know what I'm saying? Call me.

He's doing what I do every day. He's like, they don't call me. They don't call me.

Here are some other things that have to be said and nobody wants to say them. But they have to be said, nobody wants to hear them.

First one: We're broke! We can't keep spending. We are broke! Game over.

Two: No one is going to ride in to save you. No one. There's no hero — it's going to be you in the end.

You see the scene in Pakistan? People were waiting in line for aids from floods. And they were complaining, how come the aid is not here?

Look, when America is gone, who's going to save the people in Pakistan? See, we got to change this one, because we're the ones that always ride in to save people.

Third one is: We're not an empire. People think we are, but we're not. Empires don't take crap from other countries. France, we would have obliterated a long time ago. We're not an empire.

But we may be Rome, because we are not immune from suffering the same fate as they did. You know, they were amazing as well. They brought innovation such as the state-of-the-art construction abilities. They were able to build enormous, enormous bridges over the Rhine and Danube. They finished the bridge over the Rhine in less than 10 days.

Look at that. Do you think we could do that? They didn't have unions back then. Trick question.

They created a road system so sophisticated that road travel times didn't decrease until the invention of the steam engine during 19th century. And, of course, the Coliseum, which I think — this would have been cool. You know they filled this with water they think and they could reenact naval battles. I mean, these people were — I mean, OK, they did feed people to the lions, but that's a different story.

They created massive aqueducts. They brought us a calendar with a leap year. This was an empire. The world emulated these things. And we still use a lot of these things today.

But when they went away, they still went away. Do you think anybody might have said, "We're Rome, we'll never —" they ended. Which was good thing, because remember the lions.

If we end, what is it rest of the world takes from us? What else have we left? McDonald's? Coke? What is it?

It's one thing — one thing — that the world should take from us, but I don't know if anybody has it anymore. And it's the fighting spirit. It's American ingenuity. It's the "never say never" attitude.

Let me ask you this, America: What's over the horizon? Over the horizon, as you look at — stop looking at today. Americans, we're always about becoming and not being. Now, we only care about being.

What's over the horizon? What are we becoming? Are we going to become more free or less free on the road that we're on?

Our laws — do we have more laws based on the Constitution or more laws not based on the Constitution coming our way?

Are we going to have more tolerance or just more political correctness?

See, these are the questions that people need to ask. But we're being told to unite. We got to unite. We got to unite. On what? Unite on what? Just for the purpose of uniting? What do we stand for anymore?

You know why people hate us around the world? Because we don't stand for anything. Do you think we actually — how many of our kids even know this?

We have forgotten our principles. That's what we need to unite on: our principles. We need to discover them again and then live them every day and it starts with you and it starts with me.

You know what made us great? Living by principles. We've never been perfect. No one is.

Those principles is what made us stand up and lead the way. Getting away from those principles is what makes us stumble in the bad times. Find your principles. Stand by them and unite with other people that stand by their principles.

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