Author and conservative comedian Brad Stine shared with HUMAN EVENTS his thoughts on Christianity, current events and his new book, "Live From Middle America." Our interview is printed below.
Do you find it hard to be a Christian in your field?
Being a Christian in any field is tough simply because the one consistency all Christians share is our inability to be as honorable to our faith as we would like. In other words when it comes to being a “good” Christian, we all suck. This is consistent though with the premise of Christianity which states that no one can be good enough to impress God thus being the only religion that postulates that God looked at the idiots His creation became, threw up His hands, and said “Hang on, I’ll be right down.” That’s why I’m a Christian…it’s the only religion that would have me!
Part of it is God’s fault of course since He seems to have made some unreasonable demands on His followers. What other faith demands that you “Love your enemies”? Are you serious!? Think of the paradox that places a conservative comedian in. 1) I’m forbidden to hate people. 2) France exists.
The one thing I tried to define in my book is that I’m making fun of ideas, not people. I did throw in a few jabs at Harry Reid and Hillary but only because I’m a conservative and just like the platypus it appears God allowed some creatures to exist for the sole purpose of being made fun of.
That being said I do separate my values driven conservative ideals from any particular political party so no one ever takes me for granted. Republicans have championed many of my conservative beliefs for some time now but who knows when the compromises will become the standard.
What do you think of the recent immigration protests?
You mean the protests by illegal immigrants? If there is one conservative idea that these protests help illuminate it’s the fact that the U.S. is the greatest country on earth. More people want in here than any other country on earth and I don’t blame them, especially when we send these poor people mixed signals. “Do not sneak into this country illegally and if you do you will be punished by being given jobs, health care, and in some cases, voting privileges. I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson that when it comes to illegal immigration…we mean business! Now, where’s my cabbage?”
Obviously the issue is complex but I believe this shows just how potently the politically correct philosophy has injected itself into spinning perceptions in the U.S. When you see a person here illegally carry a sign saying “we are not criminals” it begs the question what should we call people who break the law…pesky? Apparently all one has to do is arbitrarily make up your own linguistic rules and this perception becomes” truth”. Fat people aren’t fat they’re “big-boned and full figured.” The fact that these words are synonymous with fat is less important than censoring the word that draws attention to the truth thus magically making it supposedly disappear.
I am for legal immigration like any good American, especially if at least some the newcomers are better at maintaining my lawn than I am, but the minute a senator champions constitutional rights for people not OF our constitution, I’m thinking we are at an impasse in ideological differences. Duh.
You say the three conservative ideals are God, family and country. Do you think these ideals are under attack in America, or is it just the media trying to put a negative spin on things?
No, no, no! Liberals’ anti-God? Why nothing could be further from the truth! Obviously when the Founding Fathers guaranteed that Congress would never pass a law that made a particular Christian denomination the national religion (which is what Jefferson was speaking of in his separation of church and state letter) it also guaranteed the free exercise of whatever religious persuasion you adhere to. That could only be interpreted to mean remove all religious displays from public property. Deny the singing of Christmas songs at Christmas, and do everything in your power to remove any religious heritage or religious tolerance from the day to day lives of Americans who also happen to inhabit the most religious western nation on earth.
Family isn’t under attack unless you consider it oppressive to insinuate that one man and one woman committing their lives to each other until death do us part is the perfect family scenario. I made the mistake of having that archaic belief and had the pleasure of watching Publishers Weekly use that belief as their first attack on my book being evil and intolerant. If the inmates aren’t running the media asylum it’s their second cousins.
As far as country goes lets make it easy. Conservatives always err on the side of the U.S. Liberals err on the side of everything but.
Where do you get most of your material?
Though I’m called “America’s conservative comedian,” I find my best material and greatest pleasure in mocking politically correct ideology simply because it’s so inherently stupid. Everything from believing animals and humans are equal, to believing that big tobacco is bad but big government socialism isn’t. One kills you by inhaling bad air; the other kills you by exhaling bad ideas.
There is no consistency in the liberal ideologue. They always champion choice as long as they get to choose your choices. Killing your baby is good. Killing tax funded abortions is bad. If you choose to kill yourself smoking, they will stop you. If you choose to let a doctor do it, it’s dignified and they’ll fight for your right to die, which seems strange since they’re knocking off one of their own voters, but gee whiz, it just feels right doesn’t it?
How has your book been recieved by the mainstream press?
Well this may come as a shock but so far the only TV I’ve been on is Fox. All the conservative radio hosts love it and as I already mentioned Publishers Weekly which has a pretty poor record for being fair in critiquing conservative books (ask Bernie Goldberg) wasn’t crazy about it. Fortunately that just makes my constituency buy more.
Liberals are learning what Christians are figuring out when it comes to material we aren’t crazy about. If a Christian protests liberal material it usually generates more sales. When a liberal leaning media source lambastes the only conservative comedian in town it’s a little like piling on which infuriates my people and they by two just to have complimentary copies to send to the ACLU at Christmas.
Do you read a lot of conservative books or websites? If so, which ones?
I read all the time but am most interested in philosophical exploration of presuppositions, which is driven by my Christian worldview. What someone believes doesn’t interest me as much a why they believe it. If I can cause someone to doubt their “why’s” I can plausibly lead them to rethink their “what.”
The books that I have read are too numerous to record here at least without receiving compensation or at least a foot massage but some that come to mind are Robert George’s “Clash of Orthodoxies,” Benjamin Wiker’s “Moral Darwinism,” Paul Vitz’s "Psychology as Religion,” Philip Johnson’ “Darwin on Trial” and "The Right Questions,” and I am currently reading Rodney Stark’ “Victory of Reason” (how Christianity led to freedom, capitalism and western success.)
Websites I read are Breakpoint, American Thinker, Patriot Post and more…
How was it to perform at the Conservative Political Action Conference? Would you do it again?
It was exciting to be able to perform in front of some real political heavyweights that not only think like me but who are also able to invade rogue countries to prove it which I haven’t acquired the leverage to pull off yet.
It was strange to be working in front of Bob Novak and Sam Donaldson at the same event, but at least I was confident if there was going to be any problems I had Wayne LaPierre covering me cause we KNOW he was packing. That’s one conservative speaker that hasn’t had a pie thrown in his direction if you haven’t noticed which also goes to prove the idea of concealed weapons being a deterrent.
How are you received by other comedians?
I rarely work where other comedians are anymore since my social commentary using my faith and political views as a theme throughout my show pretty much has me performing solo.
The closest thing I can get to sharing the bill with another comic is when I work with Ann Coulter, who is funny, smarter, and easier on the eyes than me.
Comics I worked with coming up the ranks are supportive and think I’m funny because comics tend to appreciate the difficulty with being successful at this job and as peers are supportive at least when we are within earshot of one another.
What do you have planned next? Any more books?
I must admit that I never thought I would write a book. That being said I have written two so far, so if what I say people want to hear then yes I will probably write more.
I finished a movie that stars Brian Dennehy and Crystal Bernard and am pursuing projects for TV or motion pictures whichever can’t live without me the most.
I am writing a new concert album which will be my fourth and have some Christian projects in the works as well. I have a career that I love. I’m saying things that many Americans want to hear and I am their comedian. I have a wonderful wife and two kids and I was born in the United States of America. I have been given amazing opportunities and privileges by God and I only hope to stay the course and finish the race. I have nothing but gratitude for my life. If you ever hear me complain I give you permission to kick me.