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ESPN2's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith.


Operation Save America Director Flip Benham appeared July 27, 2006 on ESPN2's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. Other guests were Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League; Danny Schayes, Jewish NBA center; and Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Flip has come up against Barry Lynn in the past. It was Lynn who was responsible for the removal of Alabama Judge Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument. He is notorious for his hatred of Jesus and all things religious.

The program's subject of discussion was a lawsuit won by high school football coach Marcus Borden against the New Jersey school district that had forbidden him to pray with his team. In describing the results, Flip said U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh ruled that Borden may bow his head and “take a knee” because of football tradition as long as his lips don't move. Flip questioned whether this is the great victory that others are portraying it as.

It was obvious that the original plan had been to have the other guests line up against Barry Lynn. But, as the program unfolded it was revealed that everyone, with the exception of Flip, believed you can pray as long as one god is not above another. “Once the name of Jesus was mentioned,” he said, “these guys were siding with Barry Lynn and against the one who said there is one God and His name is Jesus.”

“It became a classic case,” he said, “of Jesus uniting his enemies. He did it with Pilate and Herod who had been enemies but became friends. He did it with the Sadducees and Pharisees who hated each other.”

Following is the ESPN2 program transcript provided by Mia Michael. Comments from viewers at bottom. To read more about Coach Marcus Borden's lawsuit win click here.

ESPN2's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith.
July 27, 2006

Stephen Smith began the segment by introducing everyone: Bill Donahue (President of the Catholic League), Danny Schayes (Jewish NBA center), Rev. Barry Lynn (Americans United for Separation of Church & State), and Flip Benham (Director Operation Rescue/Operation Save America).

He then played a tape of Coach Marcus Borden who has come under fire for praying with his high school football players.

Barry Lynn began by saying that the judge made a bad ruling because “it fails to understand that this coach has been doing his own leading of prayer for about 20 years in various high schools including this one. When I last checked on this matter Stephen, the issue with coaches is they're supposed to win games their goal is not to win souls. We know that this man has tried to lead children in prayer, he has tried to take these student athletes and bring in outside clergy have them lead prayer.” He went on to whine that “If you want to get along with this coach then you better get along with his religious ideas.”

Bill Donahue was brought into the discussion and said that if it was a dictate coming from the school board, superintendent, or principal, then he would agree with Barry. “This praying is student initiated, it is voluntary. This is free speech. This coach didn't check his constitutional rights at the locker room door. No doubt the same people who object to this wouldn't have any problem if the coach, bowing his head, would have flipped the bird and put his middle finger up at the sky. That would all the sudden become freedom of speech.”

Flip entered the segment and said, “Barry Lynn basically wants to expel God from the schoolyard and when that happens He is replaced with metal detectors, condoms, and violence of unprecedented order. This coach did a wonderful thing. It takes great courage to stand up for Jesus in a high school. Kids need to have an integrity of heart. The coach is giving them this and has every right to do it.”

Stephen Smith said that “the coach is an authoritative figure and is a Christian. And because of this the kids might be influenced by him. They might pick one religion or another because of their coach taking such a stance.”

Flip replied, “Of course. They are going to be influenced by their coach. That's why it's so important that we return to the God of our Founding Fathers and of those who have fought to create religious freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. That is what makes America free. We've got to stop running away from Jesus.”

Barry countered that a school is not a place to be participating in religion and went on to say that the coach has been turning this into a religious experience.

Flip answered him by saying, “Barry you want the Law of God gone and for everyone to do what is right in his own eyes.”

Barry: “I want the Lord God to be promoted by the people who believe.”

Flip: “Wait a moment, there's a different God…”

Barry: “The God that I'm talking about does not need a coach at a high school…to promote God.”

Stephen then brought former NBA player and the last Jewish player to play in the league Danny Schayes into the discussion.

Danny said that if you're bringing a coach in and allowing free expression that's one thing. But bringing Jesus into the school is another thing. You have to be careful what you're promoting: freedom of religion or a Christian/Jesus agenda.

Bill Donohue agreed 100% with Danny and disagreed with what Flip said. He wanted the prayers to be voluntary and student initiated. He said that he “did not want the invocation of the Name of Jesus. As long as it's voluntary and non-sectarian there's no problem. You do not lose your freedom of speech just because it has religious content."

Barry nodded his head in agreement and said, “You don't lose your freedom of speech. This government agent (the coach) is promoting Christianity. He isn't saying a Muslim prayer, or a Jewish prayer, or a Zoroastrian prayer. Flip is saying that we have to promote his narrow view of religion.”

Flip replied, “What about the truth. Does it matter? Is there a God? He went on to say “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12). We are blessed because we have a Lord named Jesus.”

Stephen asked, “Which god are we talking about?”

Flip: “We're talking about the only God. His name is Jesus.”

Stephen: “What about Muslims who don't believe that?”

Flip: “Don't worry about that. Muslims are sincere, but they're wrong.”

Stephen: “Who are you to make that call?”

Flip: “I'm not. But I've got a book here (the Bible) that has made the call. That is what makes America great and free and why we don't have Sharia Law.”

Stephen: “People would say what makes America great is because…it embraces everybody.”

Flip: “Why America is great is because Jesus said, ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.' He didn't shove His dogma down anybody's throat. That is what makes us free and diverse and beautiful – Jesus.

Danny Schayes said “The conversation has nothing to do with being free. It has to do with who is right.”

Flip: “Amen! Jesus is right.”

Danny: “The problem is having to decide who is right and who is wrong. You cross the line when you make it into a conversation that one side is more righteous than the other. You cross the line when you start to it as a Christian experience.”  ...

Comments from Viewers
ESPN2 “Quite Frankly”

Flip was great he was on FIRE for JESUS!  He did a great job, Mike and I were watching and just rolling with him.  Sounded like Flip had a great time too!

 I agree with him let's not be afraid of HIS name!

 Michelle Wolven

To Flip:

I saw you on ESPN tonight.  First time to see you speak.  Thank you for not being afraid.

Thanks,

Caleb Johnson

Flip,

Praise God for your participation on the show with that “goof ball” Barry Lynn.  You did a great job presenting the truth, the gospel and yourself! 

Thanks, Flip, you're a good friend!

Blessings,

Pastor Sonny

Hello Flip,

My name is Jason Plouff I was watching Quite Frankly the other night and saw you on it. I have to say that it was great to see you with such passion. I wish that you and others would have more ways to make an impression on a national level like that show did.

Keep up the great work.

Jason Plouff