Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Faith and Politics

BOND: You talked about having a prophetic voice in politics. How can you do that while insuring that we have this separation between church and state that we think is so important in this country?

RUSH: Well, I think that it's important, too, but I think there's a distinction between separation of church and state, the official state machinery and religion, but there's not a separation between religion and politics. I think that politics can be a way of mobilizing a religious group or mobilizing believers in the gospel to perform a good — to make sure that there's a good that's delivered. Let me make sure that I'm saying this real clear.

I argue with the right but I also argue with the left. I think the right is, in my estimation, my opinion, they are short-circuiting, they are bastardizing the gospel of Jesus, okay? However, I believe that the left has become so compliant. The left is so unsure of itself and suffering from such an identity crisis that we won't challenge the right based on the principles of the gospel that we've — you know, I was brought up on the Bible. So I know what the Bible means and what it says and the gospel of Jesus. I understand it real clear, you know, what Jesus was about, his public ministry. And so they can't tell me that the gospel of Jesus didn't put poor people first.

BOND: Well, on that prophetic note we have to end. I want to thank you, Congressman Rush. Thank you so much for being with us.

RUSH: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

BOND: Thank you for spending the time.

RUSH: Thank you.