Silent No More Book Launch
World Harvest Church, Columbus, Ohio
April 16, 2005
(in progress)….. Only the sadly uninformed would fail to note that since September 11, 2001, our country has raised a great chorus of spiritual desperation in a land where it was once thought to be rude to discuss religion in public, and men spoke seriously of the death of God, questions of faith now rule the public discourse. From Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ to Rick Warren’s purpose driven books, to the rock group Evanescence singing “wake me up inside from this nothing I’ve become” to a Newsweek cover story asking “Who is Jesus?,” our generation is seeking as possibly no other in our history. Even distortions of the truth, like the popular novels The DaVinci Code and The Rule of Four show that Americans are grasping for spirituality at price. This I know, but it is not why I speak now. Instead, I speak because we have come to a moment in time in the history of our own nation when the possibilities for this nation are so great, and when the crises in this nation are so pressing, and with the voices of wisdom and the voices of reason seem at times so few and far between, that not to speak now would seem to be a violation of a scared trust.
As President George W. Bush said in his moving speech at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC just days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, “the commitment of our fathers must now become the calling of our time.” And, he was right. The time is now to renew our father’s commitment. The time is now to reclaim our spiritual heritage. The time is now to remember there is much to be gained by the return to the discarded values of the past. (applause all through)
Therefore, I have chosen to be silent no more. How can I remain silent when the founding faith of our nation is driven from the market place of ideas? How can I sit quietly by when the very words our founding fathers intended to protect faith are used to destroy it owing to a horrible perversion of language and law? The same First Amendment that is supposed to bar government from restricting belief is used to drive Christianity from the public square. Our society ought to be secular we are told. No prayer in our schools. No God in our pledges. No faith in our politics. And all this we are to accept from the hands of activist judges who routinely overturn the will of the people as expressed to their elected representatives. I will not. You must not. And together we will not allow such outrages to go unmarked. (applause, organ)
Nor will I sit by in embarrassed silence while all faiths and new agendas rush in fill in to fill a void left by a supposedly discarded Christianity. I need you to hear me. I will rail against the idea that the God of Christianity and the God of Islam are the same being (long cheers, applause, organ).
I’ll say it one more time. (loud cheers, applause) I will rail against the idea that the God of Christianity and the God of Islam are the same being. I will lift my voice against the agenda of America’s tortured and abused homosexuals and against Hollywood’s perversion of love and sex, and against the murder of the old and the unborn alike.
I know what folks will say. They’ve already been saying it for the last 9 months. These are the same old issues that Bible thumpers have complained about for decades. They don’t know me! (cheers) They don’t know where I’ve been. (applause). They don’t know what I’ve been through (cheers). They don’t know what He had to take through in order to get me where I never thought I’d be. They don’t understand that I intend to speak to both sides of the political spectrum. I intend to speak. For too long the church has had the church to itself. I intend to speak to both sides of the political spectrum. To the believing and the non-believing. To the socially conscientious as well as the economically conscientious. I intend to take issues that traditionally belong to the left and commit them to the right. I intend to take the concerns of the religious and commend them to the secular. Let me say it this way. In short, in the book Silent No More, I intend to offend everyone. (cheers, applause, organ) In fact, tonight, if you want to be politically correct about it, I suppose you could say I intend to be an equal opportunity offender.
Let me share just a little bit of what I’m talking about. I can no longer sit in silence while poverty suffocates millions. The religious right doesn’t know a thing about that. I cannot sit in silence while poverty suffocates millions in the richest nation on earth, where 1 out of 6 of our children are going to bed hungry every night.
I was born to parents who were raised in Martin County, KY. You couldn’t tell that by my accent, could ya? Martin County, KY. A county that was so poor that President Lyndon Baines Johnson some 40 odd years ago decided to declare his unconditional War on Poverty there. We were raised so far back in the deep dark hills of Eastern Kentucky that we had to pipe in sunshine. (laughter) Let me help you. June Bugs didn’t show up until August. We had to use hoot owls for roosters. Are you getting the picture? Some said we were raised too poor to pay attention, but I can tell you that we were taught values in the midst of that culture that cannot excuse criminal activity and behavior as the result of poverty. (cheers, applause, organ)
We…we, we may have been poor, but we hoed our own beans and ‘taters. (cheers, organ) We didn’t steal from anybody because we were poor and we didn’t murder anybody because we were poor. I could tell you that my family will never forget what its like to be poor. I can tell you that hunger sucks hope out of the human soul. I can tell you that haunting lack unchallenged by faith gives rise to fear and to bitterness. And while the political left offers the poor more of the strained resources of the state and while the political right offers the poor only a more level economic playing field—whatever the world that means (yeah, shouts) --the church sleeps on.
I can also not remain silent in the face of the rushing tide of racial hatred in the United States of America. It is a sad and serious indictment that Sunday morning is still the most racially segregated time of the week. (organ) Recent surveys show that racial hatred among our teenagers and youth is not on the decline. It is on the increase. We are literally teaching our children to hate one another based on nothing more than the pigmentation of their skin. And I’ve got to say this. It is not a liberal issue. Race is not a conservative issue. Race is an issue for all patriots. (cheers, applause. cheers) (Parsley says something but it’s not understandable over the crowd)
As painful as it may be—I don’t know if you know it--but painful as it may be I can also not refrain from confronting the materialism of our age. (Alright!) We are swimming in a sea of debt. We are drowning in an unrestrained lust for more toys. And the more we get the more we want. And it’s robbing us of our peace and it’s robbing us of our community. The things we demand and the debt we are willing to tolerate to have them is creating a bondage that my children and my grandchildren and yours are going to be forced to face in generations that are coming.
Should I not point out a more noble way? Now, I understand what some will say. They won’t understand this at all. They look up here and they see me saying I’m going to be silent no more. And those that know me best know that I’ve rarely ever been quiet about anything. There’s a good reason for that.
When I was born, it was tragically without a mouth. I had ears, eyes, nose No mouth. Well, the doctor came in and said, this is not a problem. We can make your baby, Mrs. Parsley, a mouth. We just need a little instruction as to height, and width, and breadth Well, my mother was groggy from the medication. She said, “hmmm, about here to here.” The doctor thought she said, “from ear to ear.” I haven’t been quiet since.
The discovery. I have spoken to the church because I do believe that the church is still that sleeping giant that has the ability and the anointing from God almightily to transform our nation from the heart and from the inside out. But in order to do that we gotta break ourselves free from these chains from the bondages of style and personality, of religious tradition and of flawed and vain theology. We’ve got to break free from our padded pews and our crystal chandeliers. We’ve got to break free from an attitude of powerlessness because they told us that there was a separation of a church and state. My Bible says that 2nd Peter 4 and 17 says that judgment begins at the house of God. And so, I’ve made the determination that I will continue to speak to the church, even in its powerless state. I will continue to speak to the church and believe it to be that vehicle that exudes change into that very society into which God has infused it, because if the church is not a vehicle of change, then the church as lost its purpose. We are that city set on the hill. We are those people that allows (cheers, applause—can’t understand Parsley) in our left hand and 10,000 in our right. We are the largest special interest group in America, and the world and the nation are about to find out that we have a voice and we refuse (applause) to allow our values (applause) to be trampled under feet. (applause).
So now, perhaps we begin to give a glimpse of why I have decided to be silent no more. To lift up my voice like a trumpet. To stand as ancient Samuel stood (pause) whose message was moral because he was what he said. (amen, applause) And to declare to the liberal left and the religious right that sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. And the only way to get it right consistently is to stand on Bible ground. Is there anybody ready to stand on Bible ground? (applause, organ) So, I hope ------ until the day that our fathers’ faith once again rides. Until the dream of our forefathers is played out for us before again. I hope you’ll join me in understanding that to be morally consistent is to be politically unpredictable. Don’t you dare say that you are a Republican. Don’t you dare say that you are a Democrat. Stand with me and Zell Miller and say I am a Christocrat. I am, I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. (applause, organ) I am believer in the truth (?--lots of loud applause).
Somebody gonna (can’t understand over applause) when they refused and denied to be (?) Somebody is waiting for the America that it was and can once be again that resurrected itself out of the ash heap of our current moral decline. Somebody understands that God has given us the land. Somebody is ready to say “here am I, send me-- send me to the school board, send me to the city council, send me to the highest office in the land. I am ready. I may not have all the educational ability, but I do know this. I am infused with power from on high, and I will surrender to God my spirit and my body and my will and my emotions and I will be silent no more! (applause, cheers, organ)
Would you slap somebody a high 5 and say silent no more?
Response: Silent no more.
There’s a real good book goin’ around here. I hope you get a copy of it. It’s called Silent No More. The very first chapter deals with what our nation is in the throes and grips of right now: judicial tyranny.
Do you know what Patrick Henry said? Patrick Henry said, the United States Constitution is not an instrument of the government to restrain the people, but an instrument of the people to restrain the government. (applause)
I can share with you. I can share with you that this idea of separation of church and state is the biggest lie that has ever been perpetrated on the people of America—especially people like you and me who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as t separation of church and state. The whole thing came out of a Supreme Court decision in 1947 (pause) Emerson v School Board where Justice Hugo Black asserted—asserted—that the First Amendment erected a wall of separation between church and state that should remain impregnable. What the First Amendment says is that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. Do you begin to understand what I’m talking about? How did we come so far from our moorings? How is it that we are willing to accept an America that allows the First Amendment rights of every priest, every rabbi, every preacher, every prophet, every cleric deny their First Amendment rights the moment they walk into a building like this and stand behind this podium. I would like to know who the federal government thinks they are to tell me where I can and where I cannot declare that which God Almighty has spoken with me and my spirit. I will say it on the street corner and I will not set my citizenship at the door of the church that God ____ (cheers, applause, organ—can’t understand last word)
My time… I gotta get out….
Chapter Number 2. That one’s on race. Do you know one of the greatest racial problems that we have in this country is spiritual racism. (amen) Spiritual racism. What am I talking about? I’m talking about fine, beautiful. African Amerians like Cassius Clay who want to change their name to Mohhamed Ali. (shouts) And Lou Alcindor to change his name to Karem Abdul Jabhar. Oh, you’re so quiet. Do you know why you’re quiet. You’re quiet because you’re intimidated. The church has been intimidated long enough. It’s time to become informed and drive the intimidation out of our hearts. (applause)
I will rail against the idea that the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are the same being. They are not! That young black men cease to connect with his identity when it his history. Karl Marx said a people without a heritage are easily persuaded, so he tries to connect with his heritage and he is told by a bankrupt educational system that Islam is his traditional religion and that Christianity is a white man’s religion. (shouts) And, so he attempts to connect with his heritage. But when a lie is repeated often enough it takes on the validation of truth, and so he begins to believe that Christianity ‘s a white man’s religion and Islam is his native religion. There goes the rise of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. (loud applause cheers—Parsley says a few words that can’t be heard over the cheers). When in reality, Islam is the original slave religion of the entire African continent (shouts). You are looking at me like a puppy dog worried (can’t understand)
Mohammad didn’t receive a revelation from God. He himself thought that he was possessed of a demon and went to his wife and she declared he wasn’t possessed with a demon, and then they went to Christian to get confirmation and she said-- the Christian said—he was not possessed with a demon, but was rather was the prophet of his people.
The Arabs were worshipping in the Kahabbah (sp?). They were worshipping a black stone that they thought was a meteorite in a black building, 250--250 tribal deities were worshipped at that Kahabbah (sp?). Allah was only one. But.when everybody told Mohammad he was a prophet, when he himself thought he was possessed by a demon, then he began to say Allah is the only True God and Mohammad his prophet, and everything else in there is a fallacy.
I…I just wish I had time to talk about Queen Noor who converted to Islam from this great nation. I wish I could tell her when she had the audacity to make a statement that Islam is courteous to women and is a great opportunity for women. She’s obviously never been where I’ve been. She’s obviously never been to Sudan where women are having their arms hacked off and men their hands cut off. (applause) It’s in the book. It’s in the book.
We could talk about the chapter on homosexuality. (whoa,, applause, cheers, organ). Three nights ago with Dennis Miller on Dennis Miller’s program about homosexual marriage. But you know what I refuse to be? I refuse to be another screaming voice moving people to radical activism in the name of patriotism. Let me tell you how I want to move people. I want to move them first to compassion (cheers) and secondly to wisdom (applause) and thirdly to duty. And please don’t surpass wisdom on the journey.
I have compassion. Why do I preach about homosexuality? Because some of the rightwing preachers on television decided that it was the right thing to do and we can’t break ranks? Let me tell you when you know that God is truly dealing with you when you break ranks with everybody that you think and everybody else thought ought to agree with you. Then you may be standing in the middle. Then you may have a prophetic function. You think you may be speaking the Gospel saith the Lord.
Here’s why I preach against homosexuality. Not only because of the Biblical record says so, but they that don’t believe the Bible have no standard to judge my statements (amen). But I get their attenton when I share with them that the life expectancy, excluding AIDS-- AIDS not being in the picture-- the life expectancy of the average homosexual in America is 45—well, 43 years of age. His heterosexual counterparts, 75 years of age. 43. 75. For a lesbian. Her life expectancy in America is 45 years of age. For her heterosexual counterpart, 79 years of age. Less than 1% of the homosexual population in America is over 55 years of age. Less than 1%
Now you’re quiet. How can I trusting in God’s word not to tell the truth to people’s whose lifestyle is robbing them of half of their life expectancy. (applause, organ) I’m gonna raise the standard. I’m gonna sound an alarm. I will be silent no more.
I want to talk, but I can’t do it all now. That’s why I like the framers –thank you Ambassador Keyes. I pray first. In the Constitution--. I wrote it down so you can read it. . How many of you would like to read what I’ve been addressing-- inalienable rights. Irreplaceable people. Do you know that the entire rule of law in this nation is based on that principle? This principle. Let me get it down to Christian venacular for you. People matter. (applause, organ) Things don’t matter. Things don’t matter. People matter. (applause, organ). When your child in an automobile accident and you get that phone call and they say there’s been an accident, you don’t ask is the front tire is blown, you don’t ask if the bumper’s all right. You do not ask how the steering wheel, is or the stereo equipment inside that automobile. Your first thought is --is anybody hurt? Is my baby OK? . Because people matter. Things can be replaced. People cannot be replaced. There is no replacement for a Terri Schiavo. There is no replacement for the 4 thousand babies that are being murdered and (can’t understand) in this nation (loud applause). There is no replacement for an aunt, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a neighbor, a child., people (applause, cheers, organ)
I’ve got some folks with some books in their hands, cuz I don’t want anybody to leave tonight without one. They’re $20 and you don’t have to stand in line. $20 and you don’t have to stand in line. Ushers have them right now. Put a $20 bill in your hand and the ushers will give you what’s right here . Just away 120 of them next door. So, if you want one, take it home with you. They’re already signed. I’ve already signed them. so you wouldn’t have to stand in the line. You’ll have to stand in Ann Coulter’s line. (laughter) You don’t have to stand in line.
Are you having a great time tonight? (cheers, applause) One more time! Are you having a great time tonight?. (louder cheers, applause) People say one time: Let the revolution begin.
Response: Let the revolution begin!
We’re having a tremendous time Where are we going from here? (pause)
I suppose they thought I’m going to give this wonder full marked-up copy o this bbok to my beautiful daughter, Aslhey Blair. Stand up and let everybody say hello to you. (applause)
MC: (don’t know name):
You’re gonna have a great time right now. Everybody take a deep breath. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Doesn’t that feel good? (yeah!). Now take one more deep breath. Would you let it out saying Free at Last!
Response: Free at last
Musical promo for Brad Stine...