This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 5, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, GUEST HOST: A member of President's Advisory Council on Faith Based and neighborhood partnerships is joining the long list of radicals now serving in the Obama administration. His name is Harry Knox, he was appointed by the president this past March. And he has some very curious theological views. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You have a statement saying Pope Benedict XVI was quote, "hurting people in the name of Jesus because he did not support promoting the use of condoms as we need to control the spread of HIV." And do you still believe the pope's position on condoms is hurting people in the name of Jesus?
HARRY KNOX, PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COUNCIL ON FAITH BASED AND NEIGHBORHOOD PARTNERSHIPS: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And so, even in light of a Harvard professor, researcher and AIDS prevention said that the pope was correct in that condom use aggravates HIV spread in Africa. So, in light of that statement, do you still hold to that position?
KNOX: He's simply incorrect in his assertion. All the other evidence of science shows otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Many Catholics understandably are outraged by Knox's comments. In particular his assertion you just heard that the pope is quote, "hurting people in the name of Jesus." Well, coalition of Catholic leaders have signed an open letter to the president demanding he fire Knox. That letter reads in part, quote, "The self-proclaimed anti-Catholic bigot you appointed to head up faith-based partnerships has reiterated his deep seated prejudice against the pope and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and your failure to remove him from office speaks volumes about how much you really value respect for diversity and religious differences."
Joining with reaction are the Founder and President of the Media Research Center Brent Bozell and Founder of American Papist Blog, Thomas Peters. They both signed the weaver for the president. Thanks very much for joining us.
• Watch Tucker's interview
Mr. Peters, hurting people in the name of Jesus. I wonder, which organization has fed more poor people, the Catholic Church or the gay rights movement? Give us some perspective on this comment.
THOMAS PETERS, FOUNDER OF AMERICAN PAPIST BLOG: Well, it's an excellent point. I mean, the Catholic Church is one of the world's largest charities. And so, for, you know, Knox to say that, you know, the pope is killing people in the name of Jesus is not only wrong but it's outrageously wrong. It is not the first time he's said it either. So, we are really kind of the end of the rope on this one.
CARLSON: So, Brent Bozell, give us a little perspective on Mr. Knox. Is this an isolated case maybe had a couple of cocktails, lost control of himself, something that he don't really mean or is there a history of this?
BRENT BOZELL, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Well, I wish it was Tucker. Then that's good point, you know, somebody says, something off-the-cuff and he want to retract it, that's what the reporter was asking, do you want to retract this? This is a man who is, let's make it clear, he's an activist with the human rights campaign. He's an activist homosexual who hates the Catholic Church. He's an anti-Catholic bigot. He has a long history of making these kinds of comments, that is not the only thing this man has said.
He has said, the Catholic Church is guilty of behavior that is immoral and insulting to Jesus. So, he's not only insulted the Holy Father, he insulted the Catholic Church. He has said that the Catholic Church, that it sends a message that violence and human right abuses against lesbians and gays and bisexuals and transgender, people is acceptable. He has called the Knights of Columbus the foot soldiers in the discredited army of oppression.
This man is an anti-Catholic bigot. What in the world is he doing sitting on the Advisory Council of a Faith-Based Initiative on Neighborhood Partnerships?
CARLSON: Well, that's a great question. Thomas Peters, maybe you can answer that question, this doesn't really add up. I mean, here you have a president whose whole reason for being is uniting America. Seeking out our commonalities, bringing us together, not dividing us.
CARLSON: He really appointed this guy to a panel?
PETERS: Well, Tucker, you make the exact point I would make here. If you look at the mission of the Faith-Based Council, it is supposed to bring people of different faiths together for community service. Well, I can tell you, if you walk into, you know, a Bible study and you point to someone and say, your leader is killing people in the name of Jesus. That's the worst thing in the world to do to try to actually bring people together.
And so, this is a situation where in this case, Obama should lead by example and kick people out of his administration who were engaging exactly this sort of divisive wrong language that he condemns other people for.
BOZELL: You know, Tucker, why not bring in the KKK too, they hate Catholics too. I mean, this man is an anti-Catholic big.
Look, people need to speak out against this. This is the people's house. And when the people's house is abused this way, people have to speak up. There's a petition out there, I'm not the originator of it, it's www.stmichaelsociety.com. People need to sign up on it and tell the president, you don't have anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bigots on these councils, take this man off.
CARLSON: But, you, I mean, you both know people get away with this. I mean, if you got up and attacked a Jewish leader or a Hindu leader, even a leader of the Episcopal Church of which I'm member, you couldn't do that, I mean, people would say that is unacceptable. That violates the spirit of ecumenical discourse, you are a bigot. You go after the pope? Oh, that's cool, we're alright with that.
BOZELL: I hope so —
PETERS: I mean, I've been blogging five years on Catholic news. And I think, one of the sad things that come to realize is that the last acceptable prejudice is anti-Catholicism. You are absolutely right Tucker, if he had said something about this, you know, for another religious leader, you would have seen this everywhere. But, you know, unfortunately, it seems the Obama administration just doesn't really care if they offend Catholics.
And this guy, you know, the thing about Knox is he really walked into it. He said the exact same thing, he said, you know, about nine months ago, even after the reporter gave him a chance to say, you know, have you looked at the other evidence here? Because there is actually a very large body of evidence supporting the pope's claims. So, not only is Knox being offensive, he's wrong.
CARLSON: Right. But they are not interesting in debating that. I think all people of goodwill want to reduce the spread of AIDS, my gosh, of course, every person does.
CARLSON: And there's a legitimate debate how to do that? And to dismiss people who disagree with you as bigots, who are crazy, who were acting in the service of Satan, ends the conversation. That's an unreasonable position. I want to ask you.
CARLSON: I want to ask you a very — I know you live in Washington been around a long time. This president in particular, needs Catholic votes, and so, will Democrats in the coming midterm election. You can't get elected without them. This is a very potentially, very alienating appointment for him to make. Why is he doing it and why he's not backing off it?
BOZELL: Tucker, it is one of those tipping points. It is the many growing tipping points, it is another one of those reasons where people are scratching heads and they're saying, even if they voted for this man, they are saying I voted for this? There are so many reasons why people are now second guessing the vote for Barack Obama because this is not what they voted for when they voted for this man.
And this man is intransigent, this administration is so hardened in its ideology, they won't back down even when given they're given an invitation to do so.
CARLSON: But it is so stupid. I mean, in the end, you don't — if you are Barack Obama, you don't need this you got some kind of anti-Catholic nut.
BOZELL: You don't.
CARLSON: You cut him loose.
You guys are great, thanks a lot for joining us.
PETERS: Thank you.
BOZELL: Thank you Tucker.
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