LOPEZ: If you are a Jew or Christian who has adopted leftist values, you typically “do not subscribe to many of the traditional beliefs of their faiths — especially divine scripture.” But haven’t you heard the Bible quoted plenty at Democratic/social-justice rallies?
PRAGER: Yes. But very selectively. I haven’t heard them cite Exodus, which demands that the poor man not be favored in judgment, or that murderers must be put to death (the only law in all five books of the Torah), or that nature is created for man, or Second Thessalonians, which states that “if anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
Citing verses that demand that the naked be clothed and the hungry fed are simply calls for an ever-expanding state. What traditional American church, or Rotary Club, was not preoccupied with feeding the hungry?
LOPEZ: Who are you to say Islam needs to be reformed?
PRAGER: I am an American who may be blown up by a Muslim who thinks God wants him to slaughter as many Americans as possible. And I am a Jew who recognizes that tens, if not hundreds, of millions of Muslims want, more than anything else in life, to annihilate Israel. Is that sufficient?
LOPEZ: So what is the future of Judeo-Christian values and the free market? And they are connected, aren’t they?
PRAGER: Freedom is indivisible. There is no such thing as political freedom without economic freedom, and vice versa.
LOPEZ: China could be the future if we fail?
PRAGER: That’s possible. And it would be a bleak future indeed for humanity, as the Chinese Communist regime has no moral compass.
LOPEZ: What have been some of your most important observations since being in grad school at the Russian Institute at Columbia University?
PRAGER: One of my most important was one I actually came to while at Columbia: that the primary reason our universities are so morally confused and so bereft of wisdom is that they are godless. See my 2003 column, “How I Found God at Columbia.” The secular world has produced many nice people, many bright people, but almost no wisdom. No God, no wisdom.
LOPEZ: What’s your warmest memory of that time?
PRAGER: The girls I dated.
LOPEZ: What’s most gratifying upon looking back, on progress we’ve made?
PRAGER: The unique American acceptance of people of all backgrounds is mind-boggling. We are the first non-black civilization to ever choose a black leader — and almost no American could care less. And we may elect a Mormon as president — again, with people giving it little thought.
LOPEZ: What’s so wrong with the leftist desire for “a world — and therefore an America — devoid of nuclear weapons”?
PRAGER: It’s utterly naïve to think it is possible. Bad people will gain nuclear weapons while the decent get rid of theirs. Evil wins when the good are naïve.