LOPEZ: What do you mean when you write that “Mr. McScrooge is a legal force to be reckoned with”?
PALIN: As I wrote in the book (and, by the way, why’d you wait until two days before Christmas to ask me about my book?!), there is a unique legal doctrine that gives the “Mr. McScrooges” of the world (my stand-in for angry atheists) the ability to sue over public religious displays even when they’re just offended by what they see. Then, if they win, a town can be on the hook for huge legal fees. We can’t sue simply because we’re “offended” in other areas of the law, but courts allow these atheist lawsuits to go forward. It’s a quirk in the law that wastes resources and stifles the First Amendment. Your rights aren’t violated when you’re offended or your feelings are hurt. Hey, Mr. McScrooge: Buck up, grow thicker skin, and become tolerant, as conservatives are constantly told to do.
LOPEZ: “The atheists are trying to make Nativity scenes such a pain for cities to maintain that the public officials will simply remove all religious displays entirely.” Why, really, do we need religious displays on public property? Aren’t they more appropriate at church?
It’s about history and truth. It’s a simple fact that America was built largely on a Judeo-Christian foundation, and it’s a simple fact that our nation has a rich Christian history drawn from the thousands of years of our Judeo-Christian tradition. Without this tradition, our nation would be distinctly different. These displays acknowledge faith while reminding us of our very real history. They’re appropriate at church, yes, but they’re not inappropriate in the public square. They remind us of our heritage — a heritage that our founders clearly acknowledged was crucial to our long-term well-being as a nation. In fact, in my book, I quote John Adams, who wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
LOPEZ: “Christmas has come under attack in recent years, and it’s not just some figment of the religious Right’s imagination.” But do you ever hesitate to use the phrase “war on Christmas,” given that there are actually people in the world who risk their lives to go to church and to live as Christians out in the open?
PALIN: I care very deeply about Christians being persecuted for their faith. In fact, I’ve been talking for months about the American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is tortured in Iran simply for his Christian faith. The Obama administration is cutting deals with his torturers, and it’s shameful.
So, absolutely, other Christians experience much worse injustices, and I certainly do not in any way want to belittle the suffering and persecution that Christians in other parts of the world are enduring for their faith. However, we can also honor their struggle by being vigilant here at home in protecting our religious liberties. America has long been a haven for religious freedom, and that fundamental liberty is increasingly under attack.
We know the difference between a shooting war and a political or cultural war, and so do those who hear this term. Here’s the bottom line: There is — unquestionably — an effort to drive Christ from the public square, and since Christmas is inseparable from Christ, that effort shows itself most publicly during the Christmas season.
LOPEZ: Are Christians part of the problem? We can surrender to secularism ourselves? We’re not all living lives that overwhelm the world with the radical call of the gospel, are we?
PALIN: I’ve personally never met a Christian who claimed to be perfect. Christians are by definition people who recognize their imperfection and hence their need for Christ. In fact, we’ll never overwhelm the world with our own goodness. It’s Christ who overcomes the world, not Christians.
LOPEZ: When you write that “there is no ultimate peace apart from Christ, and it is Christ who empowers every act of ‘goodwill toward men’ in our otherwise fallen hearts,” what does this mean to you, practically speaking?
PALIN: It means that I can take the kids to the soup kitchen over Christmas and not leave with a puffed-up sense of pride because we “did the right thing.” Rather, I identify more with people in need because I’m so desperately in need of Christ in my own life.
LOPEZ: How is it that A Charlie Brown Christmas is still airing on prime-time TV and remains so popular given its explicit Christianity?
PALIN: It’s a beautiful expression of the gospel. The Bible teaches that God set eternity in the hearts of men. I tend to think that short, sweet cartoon touches the longing for eternity in the human heart.
LOPEZ: Is there a secular case against secularizing our culture? Why should an atheist want to defend Hobby Lobby?
PALIN: An atheist should want to defend Hobby Lobby if an atheist supports the right of conscience. Would an atheist business owner appreciate being compelled to buy Bibles or evangelistic material for his or her employees?
LOPEZ: Is it a bit much to say the “logical result of atheism” is “moral decay”?
PALIN: The morality of atheism rests on individual choice, with each person doing what’s right in his or her own eyes. Of course there are many decent and moral atheists, but if you take an objective look at atheism’s historical track record you’ll see that its natural progression is moral decay. Don’t take my word for it. Look at what might be called the great atheist empires of the 20th century, and you see a horrific legacy of death and despair — from Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.
LOPEZ: What’s so troubling to you about Kwanzaa?
LOPEZ: What do you have against women-only gym hours at Harvard?
PALIN: I find it inconsistent that universities will bend over backwards to protect some sensibilities even as they spend enormous effort and endure many lawsuits in the quest to kick others — like Christian clubs — off campus. It’s a ridiculous double standard. What I’m opposed to is the double standard.
LOPEZ: Will you ever stop referring to the “lamestream” media?
PALIN: Sure, when they stop lamely applying double standards, lamely and lazily getting facts wrong when the facts run against their ideology, and lamely buying into and perpetuating stereotypes of conservatives. So, it’s entirely up to them.