From Thursday night’s Fox News All-Stars.
On the role of the Egyptian military and the current unrest:
But so long as it doesn’t join any attack on demonstrators and as long as it doesn’t split, I think it is the key to any transition and to the future. It’s the only institution with universal respect and prestige and support and it’s also the most stable and pro-western.
It would be suicidal to cut off aid to the Egyptian military, unless it splits and joins in a suppression of the demonstrators — in which case all bets are off. If it doesn’t [do so], it’s the key because Mubarak will be gone and the army will remain. It has to be like the military in Turkey between Ataturk and Erdogan, meaning for the last 80 years in Turkey the army was always the guarantor of the state and the guarantor of secularism. It has to be in Egypt. If it adopts that role, we’re going to have a good outcome, and that’s why our relations with the army have to remain strong and uninterrupted — and no cutoff of aid.
On President Obama’s Thursday speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in which he said “My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years. All the more so, when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God”:
When he [President Obama] says “what matters not is what other people say about us,” color me skeptical. Not skeptical about the sincerity of his religion, but skeptical about the implication that there is no connection whatsoever between his late and recent ostentatious shows of religiosity on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the polls that show only a third of Americans believe he’s a Christian.
Clearly he’s acting as a politician. I don’t begrudge him that. He wants to counter a false impression. But I find it somewhat distasteful that he always does this: Whenever he does something for obvious political reasons, he pretends that it’s not. And he always argues that the opposition is reacting to elections or partisan politics — but he never does, he always rises above it. And this is another example of that.
The other part I find slightly distasteful is not particular to him, but [to] presidents starting with Jimmy Carter, including his predecessor George Bush and others, who wear religion on their sleeve. I think religion is a private issue and I think there is something sort of contradictory about publicly proclaiming one’s private religiosity. …
I remember the prophets saying that God is not terribly pleased by public shows of religiosity. (In that [biblical] case, it was in public sacrifices.) It’s about what’s in the heart.