Tucker Carlson: 'We all should be' praying for America
'I'm an Episcopalian, and even I have concluded it might be worth taking 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future'
In his last public address before leaving Fox News, Tucker Carlson had some simple advice for Americans who are concerned about the direction of their country: pray.
Carlson, 53, delivered the address on April 21 at a 50th anniversary gala event for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank where the news commentator got his first post-college job.
During the speech — which covered both politics and faith — Carlson gave no indication that he was aware of Fox News’ impending announcement on Monday about his departure from the news network.
Instead, Carlson used the address and subsequent Q&A session with Heritage President Kevin Roberts to speak on his faith background, missed political calls, and where he believes the United States is headed.
He recalled how he ended up landing his first job — “To say I was not a promising hire would be an understatement,” he quipped — as a copy editor at Policy Review, the Heritage Foundation’s quarterly magazine, in 1991.
“I was leaving college without a degree or a job and attempting to marry my girlfriend, which I subsequently did and ran into this giant roadblock in the form of her Episcopal priest father, who said, ‘No, job first!” he said.
It was against the turbulent political backdrop of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that Carlson’s career got underway.
“We were in conflict with a country that was both anti-markets and anti-Christian,” he added.
He contrasted that era with today’s political climate, which in his estimation shows the “country's really going at high speed in the wrong direction.”
“You look around, and you see so many people break under the strain, under the downward pressure of whatever this is that we're going through, and you look with disdain and sadness as you see people you know become quislings, you see them revealed as cowards, you see them going along with a new thing, which is clearly a poisonous thing, a silly thing,” he said.
As an example, Carlson pointed to the rise in “preferred pronouns” used by trans-identified individuals and their allies and the rise of corporate diversity initiatives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Really? You're putting your pronouns in your email? You're ridiculous,” he said. “What does that even mean? … You're saying, ‘LGBTQIA++ ... what's it like to be a plus? Am I a plus? I'm serious, I feel like I'm an addition. Does that make me a plus?”
Carlson also pointed to the pandemic-era practice of people “saying things you know they don't believe because they want to keep their jobs.”
“If there's a single person in this room who hasn't seen that through George Floyd and COVID and the Ukraine war, raise your hand,” he prompted the largely conservative audience. “Oh, nobody? Right, you all know what I'm talking about.”
A longtime Episcopalian who hasn’t shied away from criticizing the denomination in the past — he once said in a 2013 interview that “the Episcopal Church loves abortions” — Carlson acknowledged being a little overwhelmed at the outset of the Heritage event during a public time of prayer.
“I was actually overcome a little bit with emotion as you prayed because I realized that I was so upset by the behavior of some people I love, frankly, in a country I revere and always have, that I wasn't praying for the country,” he said. “You know, that's on me and we all should be [praying].”
Perhaps aligning with Heritage’s Christian orientation, Carlson appeared to use less political and more theological terms to describe what he depicted as a moral battle being waged across America.
For him, there are two groups pushing for what he called two diametrically opposed “baskets of outcomes”: that of “order, calmness, tranquility, peace,” and “their opposites — violence, hate, disorder, division, disorganization and filth.”
“So, if you are all in on the things that produce the latter basket of outcomes, what you're really advocating for is evil,” he said. “That's just true. I'm not calling for a religious war, far from it.
“I'm merely calling for an acknowledgment of what we're watching.”
Rather than Christians taking part in what he called “totally fraudulent debates” over cultural issues, Carlson proposed a commitment to prayer instead.
Spending just a few minutes praying for our country, he added, should be a priority for those who call themselves by the name of Christ.
“And I'm saying that to you not as some kind of evangelist. I'm literally saying that to you as an Episcopalian, the Samaritans of our time,” he said. “I’m coming to you from the most lowly and humble theological position you can.
"I'm literally an Episcopalian, OK, and even I have concluded it might be worth taking just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future, and I hope you will.”
On Monday, Fox News unexpectedly parted ways with its highest-rated primetime opinion host, issuing only a brief statement to announce the move.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the statement added.
The company said the last episode of Carlson’s program “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired on April 21. In its place, "Fox News Tonight" will air live “helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named,” the company said.
Since then, Carlson has yet to publicly comment on the announcement.
The announcement comes nearly a week after Fox News settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million over the network’s 2020 election coverage, which included unfounded allegations against Dominion of rigging votes to tilt the election in favor of President Joe Biden.
With over 3 million nightly viewers, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was one of the top-rated primetime shows on Fox News, which is also the most-watched U.S. cable news network, according to Reuters.
Prior to joining Fox News, Carlson co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller. He also hosted MSNBC’s “Tucker” and co-hosted CNN’s “Crossfire.”
Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com.