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5 Minutes With . . . David Brody

5 Minutes With . . . David Brody
(Photo courtesy of David Brody)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 10:22 AM

They say politics and religion are taboo discussion topics, but David Brody has made a career out of merging the two.

The chief political correspondent at the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) has spent the last 30 years in the business of political journalism, interviewing everyone from Donald Trump and Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

An Emmy Award winner, the 52-year-old is also the author of "The Brody File," a well-respected political blog.

He's got a book on President Trump's spirituality in the works, and he recently launched a political talk show on Facebook Live called "Faith Nation." He's also often tapped by major networks to comment on the intersection of politics and religion in today's society.

Here, Newsmax spends some time with Brody to get his take on the state of politics, the role religion plays in Trump's life, and the inside scoop on what's going on within the White House.

Newsmax: Congratulations on your new CBN political talk show on Facebook Live. How will "Faith Nation" differ from other news shows?

David Brody: Most of the shows on cable television today are a bunch of arguing talking heads. "Faith Nation" seeks to be different by cutting through the mainstream media clutter of chaos and delving into subjects that Americans are really interested in. In essence, the show is an intersection of faith and politics with an emphasis on interaction and engagement with people on all social media platforms.

NM: What is your sense of the president on a purely individual, human level?

DB: Donald Trump wants everyone to know he’s the “law and order” president and, indeed, he’s all that. But he’s actually very compassionate and personable when you get to know him. He has a soft side to him but, as he would say, that’s not good for the brand!

NM: The president doesn’t seem to fit into a typical evangelical mold. How did Trump win over that group?

DB: Actually, it’s pretty simple. Many evangelicals like the fact that he has no time for political correctness and also like how he sees the world in absolutes such as right and wrong, good and evil. Evangelicals see the world in much the same way. Plus, typical GOP-pandering politicians before have burned them, so many were ready to try something different. Furthermore, he said he was going to deliver on certain Judeo-Christian principles and, so far, he’s come through with flying colors.

NM: You’re a convert to Christianity. Can you tell us about your journey?

DB: I grew up in a "Jewish household" but neither one of my parents were very religious. I would go to temple and Hebrew school and I had my bar mitzvah at age 13 so I was doing all the religious stuff but I was just going through the motions. I never had any sort of understanding of God. All I knew was that I did these things because it was tradition.

In college, my girlfriend and future wife Lisette (who I had known since high school) started to talk to me about having a personal relationship with Jesus. I remember thinking, "What are you talking about? I don't need a personal relationship with God. I’m Jewish."

The year after college, Lisette invited me to her charismatic church in New York City, Times Square Church. Something seemed to be tugging at my heart. I think the sermons about life and death and this personal relationship with Jesus Christ interested me on some level. But, more importantly, [I] was hearing this idea that you could have a personal relationship with the God of the universe. This was very foreign to me.

My wife and I married in June of 1988. I had not become a Christian yet. After the honeymoon, Lisette and I moved to Colorado Springs and two months later, we were at a prayer meeting led by a man named Lorenzo who asked me to stand. He began to recite my past history like he had known me his whole life. But Lisette and I didn't know anyone there because we had only just moved to town. He said he knew I was searching for God but that the answer was a personal one that I would have to find for myself. I was getting nervous and I could tell that a decision point was nearing. I knew that this was it. God was asking me to give my life over to him. I prayed hard and asked him, "God, is Jesus truly the way?" My heart was pounding and he spoke right into me: "Yes, believe and accept him as Lord and Savior."

Well, it was there at that prayer meeting in Colorado that I gave my life to Jesus. More important than anything else, instead of feeling "no longer Jewish," I actually felt more Jewish then I ever had before in my whole life and that was extremely important to me. I felt a sense of godly connectedness to the past and to the Jews of the bible. My blood is still Jewish blood. I'm still ethnically Jewish and I have been given an awesome gift . . . My promised "Jewish Messiah.”

NM: Is there any book, other than the Bible, that has had a real impact on your life?

DB: “The Shack” by William P. Young really struck a chord with me. It rolls tragedy, compassion, faith, and the face of Jesus all into one wild ride. It makes you really think about who God is and how He satisfies your every need.

NM: As both a conservative and a Christian, what is it like to rub shoulders with the Washington press corps?

DB: I enjoy it. People in the press are overall pretty friendly. It’s a chance to shine your light and let people in the press corps know that yes, there is something different about “us evangelicals.” Hopefully, that will speak to them in creative godly ways.

NM: Whom do you respect most in the mainstream media?

DB: There are quite a few. I think John Dickerson at CBS is very good and very fair. Willie Geist over at NBC is a pretty straight shooter. Robert Costa and Dan Balz at The Washington Post always provide fair, down-the-middle analysis.

NM: Everyone is talking about media bias and “fake news." Share with us the biggest example of this you’ve seen.

DB: Remember, with the mainstream media, many times it’s subtle in nature. The Washington Post called President Trump’s executive order a “Muslim ban.” Actually, it wasn’t that at all. If it were, all Muslims would have been banned from entering the United States. The Washington Post also talked about how “the Trump administration — and [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions in particular — has taken a hardline stance on immigration.” Actually, the hardline stance is on ILLEGAL immigration, not immigration. The list goes on.

NM: You covered President Obama. What surprised you most about him?

DB: I wouldn’t say it surprised me but he was genuinely pretty nice. Very down to earth and you could tell he wasn’t just being a politician. He is just naturally charming in person, which is a good quality to have in politics.

NM: You’ve covered Congress as well. Whom in the Senate and the House do you respect most?

DB: Well, I respect anyone who will shoot straight and not feed you a bunch of bologna! Overall, that’s hard when it comes to politicians, but I must say Congressman Louie Gohmert always just “lets it rip” and that’s refreshing.

NM: You have been in D.C. for 20 years. What has changed, for better or worse?

DB: Things are just nastier. There was a time where the goal was to compromise on legislation. That’s not the goal anymore. Now, it’s to dig in your heels and see who will blink first.

NM: Pat Robertson is an icon for many Christians. What is he like?

DB: One of the nicest, kindest people you’ll meet. Always curious, always looking for information, always giving God the credit for everything and always saying, “God bless you brother!”

NM: Do you tune in to any of the political dramas like "House of Cards," "Veep," or "Scandal"? Are they close to reality?

DB: I must admit, I’ve only watched small samplings of those shows. There’s enough real-life drama going on covering D.C. everyday.

NM: You live in Maryland with your wife of more than 20 years and three children. What's the secret to a long and happy marriage?

DB: Listen, listen, and listen. And turn talk into action!

NM: If you had to give some confidential advice to the new first lady Melania, what would you tell her?

DB: Keep on praying to Jesus and know that He is on the throne. Quite frankly, that wouldn’t be confidential. I’d be more than happy to tell that to her in public.

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They say politics and religion are taboo discussion topics, but David Brody has made a career out of merging the two.
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Wednesday, 16 August 2017 10:22 AM
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