RP: I don't want government to make laws about what you should smoke and drink, but good parents should tip you off about what's good for you. A lot of times there aren't good families. That's where you look to the community and the church to fill in the gaps of poor parenting, not government. The least amount of authoritarianism to tell people what to do to replace the family is very bad. And this can be a real, serious dilemma because the family should be the major governing force in our society. And if you have the breakdown of the family, society breaks down. There are quite a few examples of people who had a rough bringing up, living in poverty in single-parent families, and they end up okay. But there was usually someone along the way who helped them, maybe some teacher, maybe a church or something like that. I think the freer the society the more likely that is to happen.
No one is going to be able to wave a wand and all the sudden have perfect families. If we have the choice between very powerful political leaders who give great speeches versus somebody who knows how to encourage an emphasis on the family, good families are going to solve more of political problems than political leaders.
DN: Are traditional conservative values and religious freedoms under attack in the current political climate?
RP: there are certainly are times when they are being challenged, but I think all of our liberties are under attack. I think the principle of private property is attacked. The principle of contracts is being attacked. And in a way, religious freedom and personal liberties, to me it's all one and the same because if you have absolute protection of private property, you have religious freedom because you have your home and your church and whatever you have and nobody can touch you. The same way property protects your right of free speech. I think all of those liberties are under attack because the bigger the government gets, the less personal liberty is intact.
So today, whether it's a spiritual belief or education of our children or food freedom, like the soda ban in New York, all these things, the government is way too much involved. Whether it's religious freedom or economic freedom, it's only protected if you understand that we are important as individuals because we get our lives and our liberties from our creator and the limited role of government ought to be to protect that. To allow people to make up their own minds about their intellectual pursuits, their own mind about their spiritual pursuits and their own mind about how they want to run their own body. And what they put into their bodies, their minds, and their souls, all that should be protected by the government.
Some people will say 'Oh no. Some people will be poor, some people will read communism, and other people will say 'well, they'll put dumb things into their body.' Well, a free society they get to make those choices and suffer their own consequences. But the government's role has to be just that of providing that liberty.
Who monitors? The individual, the family, the church, the community. So it's not like there's no one monitoring. The question is do we want the government to monitor our religious and personal freedoms? And that is what I don't want because I don't trust the bureaucrats and politicians to monitor anything. So it really falls to the individual. It won't be a perfect world, but it's better than dictatorial rule.
I also include in that that we have no moral authority to tell other countries how to live either. We may set a standard, and advise, but you can't force people to believe the way you do. I want government to protect liberty and not be involved in any of that.
DN: Is there a bent to protect the speech of liberal, or violent and sexually exploitative media over conservative speech?
RP: Sometimes I think there is misinterpretation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment says: 'Congress shall make no law' curtailing religious liberties and what we say. And then someone else will come along and assert: 'that means you're not allowed to say anything that makes people uncomfortable.' The government is not allowed to impede our speech. This idea that you can't say a prayer in a school or a public place because it might make someone uncomfortable, which is not the meaning of the Constitution. So there seems to be a systematic attempt to close down certain kinds of speech.
DN: But violent, harmful speech is protected…
RP: I want no prior restraint by the government on the media. But I don't want the government to have the power to restrain the production of anything. Sometimes there's a liberal who will say, 'the government should never have prior restraint in the media, that violates freedom of speech! Let them do what they want!' But that's the way it should be in everything that we do.
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