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Larry King Live

What Did John Ashcroft Say at Bob Jones University?

Aired January 12, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, an exclusive look at the videotape of Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft. Members of the Senate are demanding to see it. The man who released it to us, Dr. Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University, is here for the hour from Greenville, South Carolina, and he's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Before we begin, this item out of Santa Monica: President Reagan, former President Ronald Reagan, broke his hip in a fall at his home today. He was taken by ambulance to St. John's Health Center, where he will have surgery tomorrow. This has been confirmed by his spokesperson Joanne Drake. She said that the former president is resting comfortably and the incident is just a simple fall.

Our special guest for the night is Dr. Bob Jones, president of Bob Jones University. He comes to us from the home of Bob Jones University down there in beautiful South Carolina, in Greenville. And once again, always here under unusual circumstances: this time dealing with an honorary degree presented to then Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri in 1999. Also, presented degrees that day were Asa Hutchinson and Lindsey Graham, two congressmen. They got honorary degrees.

Do you often give honorary degrees, Dr. Jones, to politicians?

DR. BOB JONES III, PRESIDENT OF BOB JONES UNIVERSITY: Only when the politicians have done something that we consider worthy of honor, and in this case we certainly did.

KING: And so in the Ashcroft case, he was honored why?

JONES: He was the first senator, I understood at the time and still believe to be true, who called for President Clinton's resignation in order to avoid the nation's embarrassment and the lengthy hearings and impeachment trial that he had to go through. That was a courageous thing in our estimation, and at the same time we honored two of the floor managers from the House, who were quite prominent in that whole impeachment event, Lindsey Graham and Asa Hutchinson.

Both -- all three of these men had been marked by the Clinton administration for political destruction at the next election. And so while they were being slapped on the back, we wanted to give them honor. And so, that's what it was all about. We felt like they had done the nation a favor.

KING: And you always by matter of form tape your ceremonies, your graduation ceremonies, and the speeches made?

JONES: Yes. Yes, we give those -- we sell those actually to the graduates and their families.

KING: Now in this case, this speech now, the committee that's looking into this, Judiciary, wants to see the tape. They have not seen it yet. No one has seen it yet until we show it in just a moment.

I understand they got a transcript of it, is that correct, to your knowledge, Dr. Jones?

JONES: We -- we heard late this afternoon that the Republicans had received a transcript, and that was the first we know -- maybe about 5 o'clock we heard that.

KING: All right. And we invited...

JONES: I don't know where they got it.

KING: Senator Leahy said that wouldn't be good enough. He wants to see the tape. And so Senator Patrick Leahy will now get that opportunity. We're going to show it to you, and then we'll -- Dr. Jones will be with us for the full hour and we'll talk about it.

This is the tape the Judiciary Committee will see. No one has seen it yet but the officials at Bob Jones and the people in our room in the control room in Atlanta. We're in Los Angeles, so we're going to ask them to punch it up now.

Here is the address given by Senator John Ashcroft upon receiving an honorary degree in 1999, May of '99, at Bob Jones University. Watch.


SEN. JOHN ASHCROFT (R), MISSOURI: I want to thank each of you for investing yourselves in the mission of Christ, of redemption and forgiveness, and for preparing yourselves in the way that you have.

A slogan of the American Revolution, which was so distressing to the emissaries of the king that it was found in correspondence sent back to England, was the line "We have no king but Jesus." Tax collectors came, asking for that which belonged to the king, and colonists frequently said, "We have no king but Jesus."

It found its way into the fundamental documents of this great country. You could quote the Declaration with me. "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights."

Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different: We have no king but Jesus.

My mind thinking about that once raced back a couple of thousand years when Pilate stepped before the people in Jerusalem and said: "Whom would ye that I release unto you: Barabbas, or Jesus, which is called the Christ?"

And when they said Barabbas, he said: "But what about Jesus, the king of the Jews?" And the outcry was "We have no king but Caesar."

There's a difference between a culture that has no king but Caesar, no standard but the civil authority, and a culture that has no king but Jesus, no standard but the eternal authority. When you have no king but Caesar, you release Barabbas: criminality, destruction, thievery, the lowest and least. When you have no king but Jesus, you release the eternal, you release the highest and best, you release virtue, you release potential.

It is not accidental that America has been the home of the brave and the land of the free, the place where mankind has had the greatest of all opportunities to approach the potential that God has placed within us. It has been because we knew that we were endowed not by the king, but by the creator with certain inalienable rights.

If America is to be great in the future, it will be if we understand that our source is not civic and temporal, but our source is godly and eternal, endowed by the creator with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I thank God for this institution and for you, who recognize and commit yourselves to the proposition that we were so created, and that to live with respect to the Creator promises us the greatest potential as a nation and as individuals. And for such, we must reacquaint ourselves daily with His call upon our lives.

Thank you. God bless you. And thank you for honoring me by allowing me to stand with Asa and Lindsey and the great governor.

God bless you, everyone.



KING: We'll be right back with Bob Jones. Dr. Jones is the president of Bob Jones University. He's our guest for the hour. We will be including your phone calls. That's the first airing of this tape. Don't go away.


SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: You don't unite this country when you pick someone for your Cabinet who is so far out of the mainstream that it really divides the country. It's almost a reprise of the election. I mean, these were hard-fought issues. And we know that President-elect Bush did not win the popular vote. We know that, in fact, Al Gore did.

So when you pick someone to be the highest law-enforcement officer of the land, and that person has been a leader in trying to criminalize abortion, and that person has been a leader in blocking some of the most qualified minorities from judgeships and positions of leadership, this is a terrible signal to send.



KING: Before we continue with Dr. Jones, some updates on the incident with former President Reagan. He broke his hip in a fall at his home. He was taken by ambulance to St. John's Health Center, where he will have surgery Saturday. That health center is Santa Monica. Reagan will turn 90 on February 6th. He's resting comfortably, said a spokesperson, Joanne Drake; described it as just a simple fall. The former president's wife, Nancy, went with him to the hospital which occurred this -- Friday afternoon.

Drake said the surgery would probably involve installing a pin in the hip. Reagan disclosed in November of '94 in a passionate letter to the American people that he had Alzheimer's. The nation's 40th chief executive faded from public view a short time later; discontinued going to his Century City office a couple of years ago; still made trips to parks and occasional strolls on the Venice Beach boardwalk with his Secret Service Contingent.

Drake said, by the way, that Reagan's children were informed, including his eldest daughter Maureen, who is undergoing cancer treatment at the same hospital.

Now we go back to Dr. Bob Jones, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, who always seems to be in the middle of things. When John -- when Senator Ashcroft made that speech, that was at the time where you had banned interracial dating; right? Subsequently, you changed that one this program. Am I correct?

JONES: Yes, that's correct.

KING: Did Senator Ashcroft know that interracial dating was banned at Bob Jones University when he accepted that?

JONES: I have no way of knowing that, but I seriously doubt that he did. And you know, when a man accepts an honorary degree, in no way does that imply that he endorses whatever it is that the granting institution might hold. We gave what we thought was a gift of proper recognition to a man who is a good man, who did a noble thing in our eyes. We gave him a gift, and the receipt of that gift does not imply to any thinking person that he believes confidently and everything that the giver might believe or espouse.

KING: Since we would guess that you agreed with everything he said in that very short acceptance address, does it give you concern that as attorney general, he has to -- a lot of things divide church and state, and that he was putting together church and state a little there or do you think not?

JONES: No, Larry, I really don't. In fact, I think he was being quite Reaganesque. It grieves me to hear what you've just told your listeners about former President Reagan, who most of America admired so greatly. John Ashcroft is very much Reaganesque. The values are quite similar, actually, and, none of us -- so many of us loved and embraced and applauded Reagan's values, and I think for the same reason the same people should be so thankful that there is a man like John Ashcroft who can enforce the laws of this land.


KING: Are you surprised at all? Are you surprised at the furor?

JONES: Very surprised. But -- but not considering the source. Not considering the source. They -- the raucous and radical left, which by no means do I think is in the mainstream of society or political thought, makes a lot of noise, does a lot of self-serving fund-raising by this kind of thing, but I don't believe they represent middle America; mom and pop, and kids in homes, and so I'm not I'm not surprised considering the source, and I fully believe that this good man will be appointed and that the nation will be well off with this man looking after the laws that he is sworn to uphold.

KING: In all fairness, would you agree that the radical right also doesn't represent the majority of thinking in this country?

JONES: No, I don't think so. But, you know, to the radical left, anybody to the right of them is radical right. So, I think when you talk about the mainstream you've got to cut off the radicals on both ends and then you have middle America, obviously.

KING: All right, his confirmation hearings will begin on Tuesday. These tapes will be played again to that committee and the rest. Is there anything in there, do you think -- now, I'm asking you to try to be objective -- it is difficult -- will give him a problem: such as "We have no king but Jesus," or thanking God for Bob Jones University? Do you think as a -- politically, that could give him a problem?

JONES: You know, his remarks -- there was one brief part of the sentence in there where he said anything about Bob Jones University. And the rest of the sentence said, "I thank the Lord for Bob Jones University, which understands that all men are created equal." This whole speech was about the declaration of independence and his joy over such a document -- that we all should have joy over -- underlying the very foundation of this country.

These are words of Thomas Jefferson that he was quoting. And the words about, "We have no king but Jesus," were the words of the revolutionaries, the Colonial revolutionaries of this country that did give us freedom from the king of England. And he was quoting Colonial thought when he said that. And, you know, nobody should be scared of John Ashcroft and the words he spoke here unless they're scared of Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration and the founding fathers of this country. KING: The Declaration, though, was a declaration. They didn't put God in the Constitution. Does that often give you pause?

JONES: No. The Constitution is a governing document, a legal document. It doesn't concern me that the mention of God is not in every law written by every legislature in this country. So it doesn't bother me at all.

KING: We will ask Dr. Jones in a minute if the John Ashcroft he knows can fairly judge, say, the prosecution of an abortion case when, say, a rally was prompted at an abortion center and harm occurred to one of the people entering. Can John Ashcroft prosecute this fairly, with his strong beliefs? And lots more, and your calls, too -- don't go away.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do think there's going to be some interesting discussions about the law and his willingness to enforce civil-rights laws, for example. And he will. I had a good, long talk with John about civil-rights laws. That is a good man. He has got a good heart. And when people hear his record and see what he has done in public life, and -- having been elected twice -- or three -- three different times -- three different offices statewide in Missouri, they will find him to be an accomplished, good American.

And I'm confident he will win the votes.



KING: And, by the way, a program note: The secretary of state of Florida, Katherine Harris -- who testified today before that civil- rights inquiry in her state -- will be the special guest on LARRY KING LIVE Tuesday night. It's her only live appearance. And she will take your phone calls -- Secretary of State Katherine Harris on Tuesday night.

Back with Dr. Bob Jones, president of Bob Jones University.

Can, do you think, John Ashcroft fairly handle an emotional issue that he feels so strong about: the prosecution in abortion?

JONES: Larry, I think to be able to have any basis to provide an answer for that -- because anything else would be speculation -- we have to go back to his record as attorney general of Missouri or as governor of Missouri.

This man governed fairly. There was never an accusation against him that his views kept him from dealing in judicial fairness with all cases. This is a fine, Godly, fair, gentle, convictioned man. And this man believes in governance by law. And everything in his history shows that. And so, I think, with absolute confidence, we can all say he will continue to do as he has done in the past. KING: I guess one of the big things they will bring up is the fight to deny the federal judgeship to the Missouri state judge and the successful fight to deny that judgeship. Do you know a lot about that matter?

JONES: Well, only what I read. I -- of course, I have never talked to him about it or anybody else in Missouri. But I do know this: that during the time he was governor, that there were 23 black judges appointed, and he was responsible for endorsing 21 of those. I think that's a mighty good record.

You see, there are reasons for denying people of color opportunity to be judges or officers of state or whatever that are, in no way, based upon racial matters. For whatever reason, he evidently considered this man to be unqualified to be a judge. And it had nothing do with race, obviously, because there were 21 other African- Americans that he did appoint.

KING: Do you expect to attend the hearings?

JONES: No, I really don't. I hadn't even thought about it.

KING: Do you like -- do you kind of enjoy being in the middle of controversy? I mean, does it affect the university at all? Does it affect the fund-raising, all of this? Does it affect future speakers?

JONES: Well, it may affect future speakers. It depends upon what happens in the months ahead, and I guess how courageous they may be. But, obviously, it affects the university. And, no, we don't enjoy being in controversy. And it is really funny. I mean, we have done a lot of laughing around here lately that the university should be in this controversy.

KING: Why?

JONES: Well, because, a -- never before, never before in history has an attorney general's political views -- have an attorney general's political views entered into his qualification for being attorney general: his personal qualifications, his judicial qualifications, but never his political qualifications. I mean, his predecessor, Janet Reno, is a radical leftist. And nobody ever said: You hold leftist views. And, therefore, we think you are unqualified and you would not administer laws fairly.

And to apply standards to this appointment that they never applied to any attorney general before is just mind-boggling and shows tremendous prejudice, negative prejudice. And, therefore, you know, the fact that this man, in a very innocent moment, receiving an honorary degree, somehow being superimposed upon his qualifications to be attorney general, it just doesn't add up. It is not in sync. And that's why I've been so amazed.

KING: Janet Reno had no political record, other than being a state's attorney in Dade County many years. She had never made political statements, left or right. While in Dade County, she just was a prosecutor. She didn't hold Senate offense or governorship offices where you could criticize her record.

JONES: But the truth is that all of President Clinton's Cabinet, for eight years, was leftist. It reflected his very liberal political views.

KING: Do you include Senator William Cohen of Maine?

JONES: I'm not as familiar with him as I am of some of the others, but I would have to say that every one I knew about was absolutely liberal -- absolutely liberal. The Bush Cabinet reflects the most balance of any Cabinet that I have ever seen in my lifetime. I mean, when a man becomes president, it's obvious that he is going to surround himself with people who will help him promote his agenda, his beliefs.

KING: Yes.

JONES: And so that is expected.

KING: Our guest is Dr. Bob Jones, president of Bob Jones University. We thank him, by the way, for making this tape available to us. We will be including your phone calls for him. And we will continue. Elizabeth Taylor is going to be with us Monday night. Next Wednesday night, Peter Jennings will be aboard. Don't go away.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: There's 280 million Americans, all of whom have to be represented by the attorney general -- whether they are rich, poor, Republican, Democrat, black, white -- no matter what. But there are only 100 people who get to vote on this nomination, the 100 members of the Senate. I intend to conduct a hearing beginning next week on John Ashcroft's nomination. It will be a fair -- it will be a complete hearing.



KING: We are back with Bob Jones.

And, by the way, Joanne Drake, the chief-of-staff for President Ronald Reagan, has just issued this statement for us on this program: "President Reagan fell at his home in Bel Air, California early this afternoon. He will undergo surgery Saturday morning at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica to repair a fracture to his right hip. He is fully alert, in good humor and in stable condition. Mrs. Reagan has been with him all day. Doctors have placed restrictions on visitation and flowers. Mrs. Reagan has requested that get-well wishes be sent to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation or" That's

"Further information released at the appropriate time. Please no flowers or attempts to visit at St. John's Hospital."

And, Dr. Jones, you may well want to say a word about President Reagan yourself.

JONES: Of course, I admired him greatly. He was probably the best leader that has ever been before our nation in the White House in my lifetime. He also was a speaker here at Bob Jones University. Vice President Quayle has been here on several occasions -- Senator Dole. Senator Thurmond was on our board for more than 40 years -- Jack Kemp. The list goes on and on.

And God has blessed our nation with some tremendous leaders who fear God. And we are a God-fearing institution, a Christian institution.

KING: Would you -- on that basis -- excuse me -- would you, on that basis, say, invite another God-fearing person, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, to speak?

JONES: We very well might. We have special forums here in the evenings. And we have invited people of all of faiths who don't represent our Christian beliefs, but who represent conservative American beliefs that we hold dear and want espoused and want our students to understand. I -- on your program back in August, I think it was -- spoke very highly of Senator Lieberman.

By the way, how is it that the radical left allow him to get away with speaking so fluently and frequently of God, and of praying, and of quoting Bible verses, and when someone who is right of him does such things, they get excoriated? Somehow, they are scary people and they have onerous connotations connected with their political views.

KING: Do you think there's a double-standard or that the other side just handles politics better?

JONES: I think there is absolutely, Larry, a double standard. I think as long as somebody represents their political point of view, they are willing to let that person to get away, if you will, with talking about God. But when somebody also talks about God and believes contrary in political matters, then somehow maybe God is going to get too much into political life and that scares those people.

KING: We'll take a break...

JONES: It shouldn't.

KING: ... and be right back with Bob Jones, and take your phone calls for Dr. Jones. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



ASHCROFT: ... unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal; not being civic, and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus.


KING: Senator John Ashcroft speaking at commencement in May of 1999 at Bob Jones University. Let's include phone calls other questions for Dr. Jones.

Ellijay, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Dr. Jones, in your opinion, will this tape that we just heard on the show tonight help or hurt Senator Ashcroft's chance to be confirmed as attorney general?

JONES: I believe with all my heart that those gracious, calming words, giving honor to Jesus Christ will help him. It should give comfort to the American people to hear these words from his own lips rather than having the text of this filter somehow through media hands.

I think it will help him greatly because he honors our founding fathers in this speech, and an attorney general who understands the source of the powers of those who govern can only govern well and with confidence, and I am -- I am thrilled with what he said in this speech, and I believe the rank-and-file of all America will be as well, and will be greatly put at ease, and I'm thankful for it.

KING: Since you have not -- you don't shy away from controversy and you've known it, do you think in a sense that by supporting him so strongly, in a sense you hurt him?

JONES: Well, possibly. I certainly would not have wanted to. I felt like I was helping him by giving you the tape tonight and letting people hear it.

KING: No, I mean just because image of Bob Jones -- you had that image which you changed dramatically that night on interracial dating, with image of Bob Jones University is a very strong Christian university. You've had tough views on the Catholic church, on the Mormons and others. You've been very public about that. That it may with certain element of people might well say, well, if Bob Jones likes him, I don't.

JONES: Well, that wouldn't surprise me at all. But I think that -- sometimes I don't like myself very well. But, so -- that wouldn't surprise me. But you know, the fact that this man and the others who received degrees with him and by the way, our former governor, David Beasley, also received a degree that day -- I'd like to comment on that in a minute because that's quite significant.

KING: Sure.

JONES: But, the fact is that these good men, who are all Christian men; born again, godly Christian men, wanted -- were willing to let us say to them, here is a pat on the back for you. Well done, good job in standing up for the rights of virtue when so many others were belittling these virtues, and we're proud of you as a Christian for doing the virtuous and right thing. It seemed to normal that we should do such a thing. It never have occurred to us that it would be a matter of controversy.

Our governor, by the way, he had just lost his governor's chair in hard-fought race for two reasons. he stood against the -- video poker and he stood against keeping the Confederate flag on the dome of our statehouse, Now, you know, he got a lot of flack for that, and it was a major factor in losing the governor's chair here in south Carolina.

Surely an institution that is racist would not have done such a thing. We are not racist. We've gotten a terribly bum wrap on that. As matter of fact, as far as I know, I was the first preacher in South Carolina to publicly in print say to the state, I really think this Confederate flag needs to come down. I think it's unnecessary offense to good people, and I believe that with all my heart. Our governor...


KING: And why do you think that didn't get a lot more attention?

JONES: Because I think there's an awful lot of bias there who doesn't want the good things to be known. I think -- for the same reason that a lot of that bias doesn't appreciate good people like leaders who do right, but who don't get in step with the radical agenda of the people they represent.

I think Clarence Thomas is at the very top of my judgment of the best justices we have, and I have said this publicly all over America. But he is despised by a lot of African-American people -- leadership, a lot of leadership, African-American leadership because he doesn't say the approved things, and doesn't fit the mold that they would like to project.

KING: Were you bothered ...

JONES: So, I think there's a whole...


KING: I'm sorry. Were you bothered when President-Elect Bush apologized to the Catholic hierarchy in New York for appearing at Bob Jones?

JONES: I was.

KING: Disappointed?

JONES: Disappointed. I love him. I'm glad he's president. He has my backing. But I sure didn't feel that sort of capitulation was necessary. But I love him.

KING: We'll be right back with Dr. Bob Jones. As we go to break, here's an aerial view taken tonight of St. John's Hospital, a very well-known medical institution in Santa Monica, California. Maureen Reagan is in that hospital being treated for cancer and Ronald Reagan in that hospital for surgery tomorrow on his right hip, which he broke today at his home in Bel Air. This LARRY KING LIVE. We'll have a retrospective tomorrow night on years of Bill Clinton as through his own interviews with yours truly. Monday night, Elizabeth Taylor; Tuesday night, Katherine Harris; Wednesday night, Peter Jennings and next Thursday night, Senator Robert Byrd and former secretary of state James Baker.

We, by the way on a personal note, wish the president and Nancy the very best. We'll be right back with Bob Jones and more phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: Another call for Bob Jones; Dana Point, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Mr. Jones, I'm of the Jewish faith and I don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord. I take great offense in Senator Ashcroft equating that as part of the Constitution. Am I to be disenfranchised if he is nominated to be attorney general of United States?

JONES: I don't believe that Mr. Ashcroft addressed any issue in the Constitution in his remarks, he was addressing the Declaration of Independence -- and certainly not. He spoke very highly of the fact that the Declaration of Independence guarantees to all people their freedoms, regardless of their faith.

This is a country made up of many faiths, but you surely don't expect John Ashcroft to abandon his faith or to speak deceptively about his faith. He is what he is.

Joe Lieberman spoke very boldly about his faith and I found that quite commendable; and I think that people of the Jewish faith or any other non-Bible believing Protestant Christian faith should rejoice that a man is what he is: That he is that true, that he is that honest...

KING: And can you, Dr. Jones, if you're as close to it as Joe Lieberman is, or as John Ashcroft is, can you separate your views from state -- affairs of state, which you should do?

JONES: Absolutely; look at all the great Christian presidents we've had in this country who were great because they were God-fearing men, Bible-reading men, who understood that they had to humbly govern under the authority of God, and it was God who gave them that authority. And that's exactly what was being said in Mr. Ashcroft's speech you heard a while ago.

And those people actually are in a wonderful position to govern in this country because they govern with humility, they govern with restraint, they govern with God dependence. And they are no less effective in the carrying out of the laws of this is country, they are more effective because of their faith.

KING: Springfield, Missouri for Dr. Bob Jones, President of Bob Jones University, hello. CALLER: Yes, hello. Mr. Jones, I was wondering just wondering -- I'm assuming that your university is quite conservative, and it looks like, sort of, Republican; but I'm wondering what kind of criteria do your students need to be able to go to your university? And then, upon graduation, how are they fit, as I suppose one would say, in the global nature of the world?

You know, I mean, we have all faiths, all religions, all creeds, all -- you know -- and if you're going all over the world, how does that fit, how does a degree from Bob Jones University fit?

JONES: That's a great question, I'm glad you asked it.

Bob Jones University believes and exists for the purpose of training people in the Bible for all walks of life. We have more than 120 majors, so the liberal arts curriculum all the way through is represented here and our students go out on all walks of life with these degrees to serve and work.

We are like Harvard, Yale and so many other of the Ivy League colleges were when they began. They began for the same purpose: to train young people in the Bible and, for 100 years or so, they did that very effectively. And then they decided to abandon that and go other directions.

What Bob Jones University is, is right in the mainstream of what most of the private universities in America were at one time. They were almost all church-related, Bible-believing institutions. And we're trying to train young people to go into the world to bear testimony to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, to the fact that he is king and Lord.

And, you know, a while ago when the senator was talking about that phrase, that King Jesus -- I'm sure the media and I'm sure the liberal detractors are going to pull that out and try to make some sinister, scary thing out of that. But for those who understand Christians, that's not scary at all. The Lord Jesus said all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. The Bible says one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the father.

So this is Bible-based belief. And it says, when he comes back to rule and reign, on his vesture will be written "king of kings" and "Lord of Lords." So that's who Jesus is. And a Christian who loves Jesus would quite naturally...

KING: All right.

JONES: ... express that love as King Jesus.

KING: Dr. Jones, as strong as you feel about abortion, you will encourage John Ashcroft to fully enforce the laws of this country that say it's legal?

JONES: Well, I'm sure John Ashcroft doesn't need encouragement from me, but if he did, I certainly would do that. He's going to do that instinctively. He's going to do that because it's his nature to do that. It's his Christian conscience that will demand that he do that.

KING: But is -- doesn't that same conscience say to him -- if the same conscience also says to him, abortion is wrong, it is morally wrong, it is murder, doesn't that put him in an awful dilemma?

JONES: No, because the Bible says to give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and he is there to enforce Caesar's laws. And he can't be a good Christian and refuse to give to Caesar what is Caesar's.

The Bible also said -- the Lord said in that same breath, in that same sentence, "Give to God what is God's." He will do that as well. But he will not refuse to give to Caesar what is Caesar's, because he's a good Christian and good Christians do that.

KING: We'll be right back with Dr. Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University, on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We have aired for the first time the tape of the -- of the speech by Senator Ashcroft when he received his honorary degree from Bob Jones University in May of 1999. We'll be right back.


ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY-DESIGNATE: The fight against John Ashcroft is being waged entirely on ideological grounds by some people outside the United States Senate, and that would be a new level of partisanship brought to Washington.



KING: We're now showing you the front of St. John's Hospital, Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. President Reagan is in that hospital tonight. He fell at his home in Bel Air earlier today. He'll undergo surgery Saturday morning to repair a fracture of his right hip. He's in excellent spirits, we are told, by his chief of staff. They're asking no visitors, please don't come by the hospital if you're in California, and no flowers. They wish you send any greetings to the Ronald Reagan Foundation, presidential foundation, or you can do it on the Internet at

Sadly enough, Maureen Reagan, his first child, is in that hospital as well for cancer treatment.

Back to a call for Dr. Bob Jones. Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call. I appreciate that.

In Canada right now, we've already accepted gay rights as a fait accompli, and we've now accepted that there is complete legal equality between same-sex couples and opposite sex couples. And this is likely coming to a neighborhood near you. How do you react to this? JONES: As a Christian, I cannot embrace this in any way because the Bible calls this a sin, that the homosexual practice is a sin. And I cannot embrace this any more than I could embrace a heterosexual adultery or thievery or murder or lying or stealing. They're all declared sins by the Bible. And as a Christian, I cannot put my imprimatur upon it, nor can I give my compliments to it, nor should anybody be asking Christians or Muslims or Jews, all of whom, all of whose teachings are against homosexuality, to endorse a lifestyle that their religious beliefs condemn.

KING: To Des Moines, Iowa, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I'd like to ask Reverend Jones if he thinks the reason there perhaps is not a negative reaction to Senator Lieberman's comments about God -- and there often is to conservative Christians questions about God or comments about God -- is that the conservative Christians often have the belief that they -- they're very exclusionary and they do not believe in being accepting of groups outside of themselves or religious beliefs outside of themselves.

KING: Doctor?

JONES: I think there are two things here that we need to talk about in what she said. I think her observation is valid for discussion. No. 1, no Bible-believing Christians that are my friends, in my circles, want to be exclusionary, want to be in any way offensive to those who don't believe as we believe. We do believe, however, that the Gospel message is an exclusive message: that Lord Jesus, our Lord and Savior said, "I am the way, the truth, the life; no man comes to the Father but by me."

He said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." He said, "I am the father alone." He claimed deity.

Now if he is who he said he is, then we're left with two choices: one, to fall before him and say, "My Lord and my God," and claim Him as our savior, our sin-bearer who paid the price for our sin on Calvary's tree, or to say, "He's a fraud, he's a phony, he's a blasphemer, and let's reject him."

So Jesus Christ is the great dividing figure in all of human history. No other religious leader claimed to be God. No other religious -- great founder of any of the world's religions claimed what He claimed. And he either is what he is or he is not worthy of our further consideration, because he was a fraud: No fraud should be followed.

So we believe what we believe, because the Bible says it and because we have embraced Christ as our Savior, and we want everybody to know the joy that our Savior brings, that forgiveness of sin brings through Christ. And He told us to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.

So in trying to obey Him, we want everybody to know Him and to be saved by His shed blood, as we are. And so, you know, maybe -- maybe our love for people's souls and our concern for them makes it look like we're somehow offensive to them. We sure don't mean to be.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Dr. Bob Jones, president of Bob Jones University, after these words.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: My intention, as I think it is the intention of most of my colleagues, to vote for a large, large majority of the president's choices. But this particular choice is more troubling than the others, because Senator Ashcroft is much further over to the far right on his views, and combined with the fact that attorney general is probably the most sensitive office to which a president can appoint somebody.


KING: Bob, how is interracial dating working out?

JONES: Larry, there hasn't been a ripple here. Everything is fine.

KING: No problems?

JONES: No -- no problems whatsoever. The racial harmony here is wonderful.

KING: I thank you very much for being with us, Dr. Jones. This was an important show tonight and thank you for giving us this tape so that everybody had a chance to see it.

JONES: Larry, thank you. It's been a joy, as always, to be with you.

KING: Always good to see you. Dr. Bob Jones, president of Bob Jones University. And earlier, you saw that tape of the speech by John Ashcroft receiving his honorary degree. This program is repeated three hours from now. If you missed it, you'll see it again.

Another big story occurring tonight, of course, involves former President Reagan, who fell at his home earlier today in Beverly Hills. He was taken to St. John's Hospital Center, Medical Center in Santa Monica. Tomorrow morning, that right hip will be operated on to repair the fracture.

He is fully alert, we are told. He's in good humor and in stable condition. Mrs. Reagan was with him all day. And if you want to help out, no, they don't need any funds or anything, but if you'd like to send, in lieu of sending flowers, if you just to send a message of support, you send it to the Reagan Presidential Foundation, or

And further information will be released at the appropriate time. And Bill Hemmer, who will host "CNN TONIGHT" following this program, will stay right atop this story with correspondents here in Los Angeles. Don't forget, we've got a Web site now and we'd like you to click into it. Our Web site -- and you can send us e-mail; we want to hear from you -- that's

And a special word of congratulations to our buddy Bob Franad (ph). He runs Headline News. His retiring from CNN tonight after 17 years. We worked with him on a lot of stories. He's not only been an integral part of this network and Headline News, but he's been a great friend to LARRY KING LIVE. We're going to miss him a lot, because he's also a good guy.

Stay tuned for "CNN TONIGHT" with my man Bill Hemmer and more updates on the Reagan story. Thanks for joining us. Good night.



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