Mohler, on 'Larry King Live,' says Clinton scandal reflects Bible events
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Making his third appearance on CNN's internationally televised program "Larry King Live," Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. joined a panel of other talk-show hosts Feb. 18 to discuss a wide range of issues.
Mohler -- himself the host of the "Bible and Life" program on the FamilyNet TV cable system -- often provided the most biblical perspective among King's other guests, who were either radio or television talk-show hosts, including: film critic and author Michael Medved; Jim Hightower, host of the Austin, Texas-based "Hightower Chat 'n' Chew;" Raoul Felder, New York host of the "American Perspective" for the British Broadcasting Corporation; Janet Parshall, conservative radio talk show host; and Rosanne Barr, host of the television show, "Rosanne."
One of King's first questions reflected the issue that has been topmost in the media the last 13 months: President Bill Clinton's impeachment and trial.
"Does the Bible relate to what we just went through?" asked King.
"Absolutely, from beginning to end. ... These events as being played out in Washington and across the nation are exactly parallel to those demonstrated even in Holy Scripture," Mohler replied.
Answering a question regarding the talk of First Lady Hillary Clinton's possible bid for a U.S. Senate seat representing New York, Mohler said, "I think her standing in the nation would be transformed remarkably if she turns into a partisan candidate having to defend her own positions in the public square. ... The American people who repudiated her health-care proposals would find her other positions quite unacceptable as well."
"Run, Hillary, run," was Medved's response. "It's a sure Republican seat."
After explaining the devastating negative political effect of the First Lady's call for a Palestinian state, Medved asked, "What has she ever done in her life?" He further explained she had some scandals of her own to explain and that many of them were political liabilities for her husband.
Medved said her recent popularity is based in the "very lovable role" of being a victim.
Shifting the focus to the well-known, yet unsolved murder case of Jon Benet Ramsey, King sought Mohler's opinion.
"We are settling for some kinds of violence at the expense of others," said Mohler, after expressing deep regret for Jon Benet.
In the face of the millions of "infants aborted in wombs and murdered there," Mohler continued, "Americans seem to have a great deal of confusion and kind of a double standard about our concern for violence and even for children.
"We are settling for some kinds of violence at the expense of others. And those who are not quite so beautiful, not quite so blessed with celebrity as Jon Benet just do not receive the same kind of attention from this culture," Mohler said.
Pointing to another heinous crime, King mentioned the case of an African American man from Jasper, Texas, who was dragged by a chain behind a pick-up truck until dismembered, decapitated and dead.
"Every crime is a hate crime," Mohler said, "especially a crime against another human being. This was a man who was made in the image of God, and no one had a right to take his life."
Reflecting the Bible's stance, Mohler further noted, "The most extreme crime calls for the most extreme punishment. I think capital punishment, if the perpetrators are found guilty, is entirely appropriate.
"The only positive note to observe in all of this is that this horrible crime has brought on nearly universal abhorrence, moral abhorrence, on the part of the American people," Mohler said. "We have come a long way from the 1920s and '30s when such a thing was simply put under the nation's carpet."
"Those who take another human being's life ... willfully and cruelly as these lives were taken, deserve to die," echoed Medved.
A caller to King's show asked if "the overwhelming support for the president and the First Lady is a backlash against the anti-Christian, right-wing, hate/hypocritical radio talk shows."
After marginally agreeing with the caller, Hightower opined regarding the whole Clinton affair: "The people of America were not saying that Bill Clinton is a wonderful human being. They're pretty much saying he's 'scuzz.'" He also lamented what he believes is the hypocritical moral condition of Clinton's accusers.
"I think we have hypocrisy just about everywhere here, but perhaps not so easily assessed as was just labeled," Mohler answered.
"I think what we see here is a great culture war, the great moral divide in this country being made very apparent. ... [People] saw the president's sins, and the resulting consequences which should come of them, in entirely different worldviews. It was impossible for persons on one side of that divide to understand the other.
"I think we're all losers here. ... I think we've learned something new about the moral climate of America, something very disturbing.
"There is sin all around. No one has any right to act as if there is no sin in him," Mohler said, reflecting comments from some of the other guests who noted the sick and dark condition of Americans' hearts and souls.
"The issue is what do we as culture ... rightly expect to be the moral standard whereby our leaders should live and be accountable to the American public?" Mohler asked.
"The real issue is the president's character ... [and] the way we have separated sin from consequences. That is fatal for a society. ... We're becoming very satisfied with an inconsequential understanding of moral evil."
Mohler said later generations will be "greatly harmed" by some of the immoral messages afloat in American culture, including the message sent by the senators who acquitted Clinton.
King went around the horn asking his guests if they were "optimistic or pessimistic" about the America's post-Monica-gate future.
Except for Mohler, the panel was, to varying degrees, optimistic about the country's future.
Mohler described his outlook as "neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I am hopeful -- hopeful that there will be a moment of moral awakening in this country.
"I'm also confident that there is still more to this story. There is a judgment coming. And that should be a chastening word to each of us."