Interview with Roberta Combs: Moral Majority?

( [email protected] ) Nov 20, 2003 09:47 AM EST

Q: As president of the Christian Coalition of America, you must have been delighted to see President Bush sign the legislation outlawing so-called partial-birth abortion early this month.

A: It was a huge victory. I think Bush is doing a great job.

I know him personally, and he is a friend of mine. Whenever I see him, he is very supportive of me.

Q: But at the same time, you seem to be taking the coalition in a progressive direction, at least compared with your predecessor Pat Robertson, who once advised blowing up the State Department.

A: If you are going to make progress, you have to be tolerant. You have to be willing to work with Democrats. If there is legislation that affects the family, you have to work with both sides of the aisle.

Q: You proved that when you teamed up with Senator Charles Schumer on an anti-spam bill to eliminate Internet pornography.

A: Actually, when Senator Schumer called me, I was a little surprised. He turned out to be a nice man.


Q: And you stunned some of your colleagues by agreeing to meet with Senator Hillary Clinton.

A: Yes. We talked about prescription drugs and the elderly. I can't judge her. I would like to think there is good in everyone. Tell me, whom did you vote for in the last presidential election?

Q: Gore.

A: Well, just because you voted for Al Gore doesn't mean that you and I can't talk! I wouldn't hold that against you. That's my personality. I'm just hopeful you will vote for Bush next time.

Q: I hear you. Tell me about your childhood.

A: I grew up in Charleston, S.C., where I still go on weekends. My father was an insurance debit salesman. There were five children, and every night before bed we went into the living room and prayed aloud, one at a time. I heard my father all my life pray for Israel.

I always had a love for Israel in my heart.

Q: You recently visited Israel.

A: It was my first trip. There was a bombing on a bus, and I decided to ride a bus on that line two hours after the bombing. I want to show the Jewish people that we are here for them.

Q: What do you make of the alliance between conservative Jews and evangelical Christians?

A: Andy, my husband, is in the development business, and a lot of our friends in Charleston are Jewish. It's kind of ironic. There's a bond there. Jewish people are very devoted to their families. Maybe that's the bond. They stick together.

They have strong values. That goes back to the Bible.

Q: Your critics say you are befriending Jews in the hope of converting them to Christianity.

A: I have never tried to convert a Jewish person. We have a common enemy, and that is the terrorists. And we need to work together.

Q: Do you think that the differences between Judeo-Christians and Muslims are reconcilable?

A: I have a real problem with that because of my love for Christians and Jews. Can we ever all get along when there are terrorists out there? It is doubtful.

Q: What do you think American foreign policy should aim for in Iraq?

A: In the new country, under the new democracy, why should the official religion be Muslim? I think as Iraq becomes a democracy, there are going to be a lot of churches springing up.

Q: Would you like to see American products like television shows flourish in Baghdad as well?

A: Oh, no. I hope they don't show ''The Osbournes'' over there.

The Osbournes are definitely not a typical American family. Their language is so offensive. Shows like that wouldn't exist if mothers stayed home with their kids and supervised what they watched.

Q: But you yourself are a working mother. Do you think you could have been happy as a full-time housewife?

A: Probably not. Probably it would not have been enough for me.

I always had a desire to make a difference. That is why I love the legislative process, where you can make a difference. One voice and one vote can make all the difference in the world.