T.D. JAKES, PASTOR: Thank you.
KING: While you were then talking about the
president president- elect -- and that was almost a year ago, how do you
think he's doing?
JAKES: Well, you know, I think he's up
against a tough job. I think he's -- I've been seeing some progress. I
think America is hungry and (INAUDIBLE) much, much more. But it's not
just him alone. And it's Congress. It's everybody working together to
bring about the change that we need in this country.
It would have been nice to hear what changes
Mr. Jakes was referring to. As a prominent figure in America with
such a large following, I believe Mr. Jakes is obligated to explain a
little more in detail what he is talking about. Too many leaders
beat around the bush instead of laying it out where people can
understand where they stand and what they are talking about.
KING: Do you think we expected too much too
JAKES: Those of us that did, I think, were
really unrealistic. When I think about...
KING: Do you consider yourself one of them?
JAKES: Not -- not really. Not really. I'm
very -- very pragmatic in my thinking about this country. I thought that
he inherited a very complicated, complex dilemma. He came into the
presidency at a time that our nation was fighting two wars
simultaneously, economic depravity breaking out everywhere. I knew that
there would not be a simple solution. I did not expect, a year from now,
to have pie in the sky.
Why would Mr. Jakes say "Those of us" and then
go on to say that he is not one of them? Rather confusing or he is
excusing himself from the fray.
KING: Now, there was
some -- there was some reporting earlier in this show -- I want to make
sure that we're right -- that you were one of a handful of pastors
President Obama has turned to for private prayer sessions on the phone
and discussions of religion in general. "The New York Times" said that
JAKES: Fairly true. We had prayer with him,
more accurately, when his grandmother passed. And a circle of ministers
were asked to come together and pray with him during that time.
KING: What was that like?
JAKES: It was just different people taking
turns praying in their own way, lifting up his needs and the needs of
our nation up before God. I was there from a very nonpartisan
perspective. It really wasn't a political thing at all.
KING: It was right before the election,
though, wasn't it?
JAKES: Yes. But it was prayer, you know. It
was really just praying for -- for somebody who was facing a really
KING: And she was very close to him.
JAKES: It seemed like he was really deeply
affected by it, really deeply touched by it and affected at a time that
you couldn't afford to be affected, you know...
KING: Yes, the election in a couple of
JAKES: Exactly. Death is not always
KING: You -- you also counseled George W.
Bush, did you not, prayed with him, too?
JAKES: Prayed with him, known him. He was
our governor, obviously, there in Texas before he ran for the
presidency. And I had the privilege of being invited to the White House
off and on throughout his presidency.
KING: Now, politics aside, he's a man of
deep faith, correct?
JAKES: He is -- and very open about his
faith, very, very open about his faith. And that's -- that's something
that has -- we've seen quite a bit in recent presidents and even in
candidates. It's interesting to see that more and more people are
starting to talk about their faith.
KING: Do you think it's important that a
president have faith?
JAKES: I think he's going to need it. You
know, the presidency is a very tough, tough job. And because our nation
is primarily filled with people of various degrees of faith, I think
that the American people, many are comforted when they feel it -- so
that the president has faith. The bad thing about it is that the
president lives in such a fish tank that when you promote yourself as a
person of faith, you're scrutinized on every issue and evaluated not
only by your political policies, but how does this line up with the
tenets of your faith?
Why would Mr. Jakes who is supposedly a man of
faith and believes the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, not just
come right out and say that not only the President but everyone needs to
have faith and not only that but a faith in The Almighty God Himself?
KING: You -- we have reverends, bishops,
What is a pastor?
JAKES: To me, a pastor is somebody who has
direct access to the membership, cares for their day to day needs, is
able to provide ministry, insight, compassion and counsel.
KING: Well, then all religious leaders --
rabbis are pastors in a sense, are they not?
JAKES: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely.
KING: Do you feel that -- and back to Obama
-- that there's anything he should be doing he's not doing?
JAKES: Well, I think there's so much to do,
you know? I'm -- I'm not sure that I'm qualified to be the one to tell
him what he ought to be doing. I think that he's got his hands really
full. I mean both abroad, as he begins to grapple with our relationship
with China, which I think it's imperative that we begin to mend the
international view of our country. It has really deteriorated. And I'm
glad to see him move around internationally and solve some of those
But on the other hand, we have local crises that are going on here. And
he almost needs to be bionic to be everywhere that we're hemorrhaging
Unfortunately no one person has to be bionic.
This country ran fine for over 200 years without anyone man having to be
superior to any other man. Mr. Jakes skirts the real issue here
when he very easily could have said that all we need is strong level
headed people along with the President working together to confront the
issues before this country.
KING: Now, they -- they have yet to choose
a church in Washington. They've been worshipping at Camp David, as I
Are you giving him any advice on what church to choose?
JAKES: You know, I think we have created,
in this country, a very awkward situation, and largely through this past
election, where it has become a little bit dangerous for a president or
even a candidate to be connected to -- to a particular church. And
that's -- that's really unfortunate, dangerous from this perspective. If
you're going to run for office again and everything that your pastor has
ever said is going to be used as a tool to unseat you, then it becomes
very dangerous. And look at what happened with Governor Palin and how
her faith and her life of faith was scrutinized. And also with President
Obama and his -- his pastor. It has become popular to declare war on
Why would a man of faith make such a statement?
It matters little what anyone thinks when standing up for your faith in
the Bible and the Great I Am. To put politics before God is what
is dangerous and Mr. Jakes surely knows this.
KING: Do you endorse candidates in your
JAKES: I do not.
KING: You do not.
KING: Speaking, by the way, of the D.C.
Churches where he might choose, Catholic Charities possibly cutting
services in Washington over gay marriage -- services that help homeless
What's your position?
They're going to -- they're going to -- it looks like they're going to
have gay marriage in Washington.
What are your thoughts on it?
JAKES: Well, you know, I think that what
we're trying to do in this country is interesting. When you bring together partnerships between the secular and the
sacred, there are going to be areas where we disagree, where we all
don't line up. Even within the sacred community, we don't
always agree on issues.
Once again, an explanation would be very
helpful here. What partnerships is he relating too?
And what I have advised pastors to do, if they are going to provide
services similar to what the Catholic Church is doing and use government
resources, is that they don't bring it under the umbrella of their
church. I think, you know, it's wise to set up CDCs and EDCs, economic
development corporations, and merge together community leaders, as well
as religious leaders that are expressly appointed not at theology, not
at politics, but really at helping people.
KING: What are your thoughts about the
concept of gay marriage?
JAKES: Well, you know, I -- I've been
clear. I'm not supportive of gay marriage.
JAKES: I am not
supportive of gay marriage. But I -- I don't think that
that's the real issue here. I don't think that that should stop them
from serving 68,000 people who are homeless or hungry or maybe gay or
disenfranchised. I know in our church, when we start feeding the hungry,
we don't ask them about their sexuality. We don't ask them about their
faith. We don't ask them the color of their skin. When we work with
people who are infected by the virus HIV, we don't ask them how they got
it. It's irrelevant.
A man of faith who says he is not supportive of
Gay Marriages "but". Mr. Jakes once again, skirts the issue of gay
marriage and discusses again, the feeding of the hungry, etc. Mr.
King didn't ask him about feeding the hungry nor what questions he would
ask of those who come for food.
When you really love people and you want to serve people, sometimes you
can have the principles, but you cannot let your adherence to the
principle become stronger than your love for people.
I for one, do have principles and have them all
the time. I will not sacrifice my faith to feed anyone without
feeding them and also allowing them to know what my beliefs are at the
same time. To me that is like saying, "I will set Jesus aside for
a little, while I take care of feeding these people and then go back to
supporting Jesus and His Word. We should always combine the two
KING: Do you support gay union?
KING: Where they have -- for example, the
Mormon Church which fought against gay marriage in California;
nevertheless, recently in Utah, supported a concept of total equality
for gays in all areas of life in Utah.
JAKES: I think for many
people of faith it is a matter of semantics, in part, to a degree,
because of what marriage means in the scriptures. And it's very, very
difficult for secular people to understand, for those who fundamentally
apply the word of God, why there is a discomfort there. But for the
Christian, marriage should be a picture of Christ in the church.
Mr. Jakes sounds more like a politician all the
time. Not only for the Christian but for everyone marriage should be a
picture of Christ! Sounds a lot like a compromise to me.
KING: But do you favor equality in
JAKES: Oh, absolutely. And I'm against
abuse to gay people and the -- the hate crimes and so many things that
we can agree on. I think the problem now is that we exacerbate what we
don't agree on rather than focusing on what we can agree on.
KING: Bishop T.D. Jakes will be talking
about his book. It's "The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times.
Speaking of that, did Christianity cause the economic crash?
Before you smile, that's the title of an article in "The Atlantic's"
current issue. And you can read it at CNN.com/larryking. And we'll talk
about it ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKES: You may have to adjust your
expectations to reality. And you can't be stable if you're guided by
your emotions. Just find somebody with some faith and tell them I'll
never be the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: His new book is "The Memory Quilt."
It's his third novel. We'll be asking about it in a little while.
Abortion is now part of the health care debate. The House only passed
after abortion limitations were put on it. Senators were in an uproar
about it, Barbara Boxer (INAUDIBLE).
What do you feel about abortion and health care?
JAKES: Well, you know, the thing about it,
I think that the health care in this country really needs to be
overhauled. And I'm glad that we're having the conversation about it in
this country right now. I would hate to see
abortion derail and divide our country at a time that we have millions
of people who are dying of leukemia and diabetes and -- and other
diseases because they can't get the care that they need.
Whatever happened to standing up for what a
person knows is right with God and His Word? How does Mr. Jakes
think Jesus would reply if asks the same question? I am sure that
Jesus would tell all of us that there is a better way to overhaul the
Healthcare System without killing millions of children in the process!
Makes a person wonder what Mr. Jakes is really truly willing to stand
for when concerning the Bible?
And I think when you add abortion onto the ticket, it's going to be a
point of division. It's back to politics as usual. It's divisive of our
nation. I think as we go along, however, we will continue to improve and
enhance the health care and eventually it may become a -- a point of
How sad a statement! Division of the
Country? I do believe Jesus would rather us stand for Him than for
KING: Do you agree with a woman's right to
JAKES: I'm -- I -- I
support the right to life, you know. That's -- that's my position on it.
KING: You're against abortion?
JAKES: I'm against abortion, personally.
I'm against abortion. And I think that one of the things that's
important to me -- for me, life begins at conception. My understanding
of it makes me believe that life begins at conception.
The great thing about this country is that we have so many diverse
people. And I respect other people's views
who see it differently from what I do. I'm not narrow minded.
But that -- that's my opinion about it. But
I would hate to see that stop us from getting health care to people who
really need it.
Re-read the two comments above.
KING: And we've got a jobless rate in
double digits, pastor -- millions unemployed, thousands of family trying
to avoid foreclosure.
What do you say to them?
JAKES: A lot of things. I know them.
They're in my church. They're in other churches. They're in our cities.
They're all around us. I think these are tough times like we -- this
generation has not seen. Certainly, our parents and grandparents did.
I say keep the faith. We're a strong people. We're a resilient people.
We're a resourceful people. This is a time for us to bind together --
for families to bind together, people to reach out to people who are in
need and to respond to that need in any way that's possible to make life
better for them.
KING: You're a very wealthy man and you --
there's no denying that. You make a living selling God.
Is it hard to tell people...
JAKES: Whoa, wait a minute. Wait a minute.
KING: You don't make a living...
JAKES: I don't make a living selling God,
so let's rephrase that.
KING: All right.
JAKES: God is not for sale.
KING: How do you make a living?
JAKES: I make a living a lot of ways. I
produce movies. I work for Sony. I work for Simon Schuster. And I
KING: All right. You're well off, though?
JAKES: Yes. Yes.
KING: But not -- not selling God.
JAKES: No, no. No.
KING: Oh. We'll take that back.
JAKES: Yes, take that back.
KING: But is it hard for a wealthy person
to preach well in bad economic times?
It should be for as Jesus said. It is
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man
to get to heaven.
KING: Might someone in the congregation say what do you know what I'm
JAKES: They might that if they didn't know
me. But I spent years digging ditches and putting in gas lines to feed
my children. One time things got so bad for
me that I was running a lawnmower service to cut grass, to keep my
utilities on. Sometimes when people see you at one stage
of life, they define you by one sliver of your life. It's like somebody
coming in at the end of a movie and evaluating the whole movie by the
last -- the last part of it. I've lived my life a lot of ways.
I would ask this simple question? What is
wrong with running a lawnmower service to make a living? I would
imagine that there are many many people in congregations all over the
country who cut grass for a living and pay their tithes and offerings to
the church. Mr. Jakes makes it sound like it belittled him to have
to do such a thing. Maybe that is what is wrong with people who
have so much money. They get to where they think they are above
such things as manual labor or to have such a menial job.
KING: We mentioned the fact about
Christianity causing the crash. That's a headline from an article in the
new edition of "The Atlantic" magazine.
Here's a short part of it. The author writes that: "America's mainstream
religious denominations used to teach the faithful that they'd be
rewarded in the afterlife. But over the past generation, a different
strain of Christian faith has proliferated, one that promises to make
believers rich in the here and now. And it's known as the prosperity
gospel. Claiming tens of millions of adherents, it fosters risk taking
and intense material optimism. It pumped air into the housing bubble and
one year into the worst downtown since the Depression, it's still going
We've linked this article to my blog at CNN.com/larryking.
What do you make of that concept?
JAKES: You know, it's a funny thing. I'm
old enough to remember when religion focused on the hereafter and that
was the total focus. And they were criticized for that. They said that
we were so heavenly minded, we were no Earthly good.
There are those that go to extreme views about prosperity. But I thought
that the article did not interview the people that it mentioned to get
their perspective on it. I was briefly mentioned in the article. And I don't -- I don't consider myself a
prosperity preacher. And...
KING: You're not a prosperity gospel?
JAKES: No. No. That's
not my gospel. My good news is that he rose from the dead.
But I do believe that, to those of us who work with people to encourage
them and to give them hope, it's not a negative thing to encourage them
to be all that they can be. To say that The Potter's House, for example,
focuses on how to make people rich means you don't go there, because if
you went to our church, we taught debt management. I wrote an op-ed
about unfair practices in banking long before the crash came along. We
teach people how to get out of debt. We did encourage people for home
ownership. We also encouraged them to go back to school.
The problem with this statement is that when
Mr. Jakes teaches people to be all they can be, he includes the
prosperity gospel in it. The Bible clearly reminds us that "our
reward awaits us in Heaven" not here on earth. To teach otherwise
is nothing short of the "prosperity gospel".
KING: Are you offended by the article?
JAKES: Not at all.
JAKES: Not at all.
He should be if he truly understands the
teachings of Jesus. Today very little is taught about the
hereafter. The majority of teachings are about living your best
KING: The Fort Hood tragedy, Sarah Palin
and your calls are coming up.
We'll talk about the book, too.
Back in 60 seconds.
KING: Harry Connick. Jr. is Saturday night.
Tonight, it's Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Here let's divert a little and talk about "The Memory Quilt: A Christmas
Story for Our Times."
Why do you write fiction?
JAKES: You know, sometimes it's
entertaining and still inspirational. I think sometimes it's easier to
look at somebody else's life and get inspiration from it than -- than
our own. I wrote this particular book because I knew that these were
hard times and I knew that people were dealing with tough things.
And it's an easy way to encourage them. It's an uplifting look at a
woman in the church who's named Leila that I use as a backdrop to talk
about her -- the many vicissitudes that she faced and how she was able
to learn something from making quilts and from reading scriptures.
And we deal with her children and her disappointments and -- and the
things that happened in her life in a way to encourage people throughout
the Christmas season.
I think it's going to be a great Christmas, even for those who have had
to move and relocate and do different things. And all of us have had to
tighten our belts in one way or another.
KING: What does -- part does the quilt
JAKES: The quilt plays a very significant
part, because if you think about making a quilt, it's made from
discarded material that is probably worthless.
JAKES: But when you put it together, it
becomes quite valuable. Quilts, if done right, can be quite expensive.
And as Leila makes the quilt, she begins to realize that if you look at
one aspect of your life isolated, it might not look like much. Like this
season in somebody's life might not be the way they want is to be. They
may not -- their marriage might not be going right. Their family might
not be going right. But you can't look at life in segments. You have to
sew it together.
I believe that all things work together for good.
KING: And it's a memory quilt.
JAKES: Yes, a memory quilt.
KING: The book is "The Memory Quilt." It's
now on sale everywhere.
Still to come, the death penalty and terrorists -- what's faith got to
do with them?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKES: Some of you that are depressed, you
are depressed because you are expecting something that is not realistic.
This is the place where love heals the hurts and achings in his soul.
This is the place where David feels safe at last. And if you are
determined not to be anything, get out of the way and let the sister
behind you step up, cause she's been praying for a chance for several
Certainly sounds like prosperity gobbly-gook to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: One other thing in the abortion area,
Bishop Jakes. If -- since a health bill is so necessary, reform is so
necessary, if it did include payment for abortion, would you ask people
to vote for it?
JAKES: I don't ask our people to -- to
KING: Would you support it?
JAKES: Would I vote for it?
JAKES: I don't think that would let me deter me from
voting for it.
A horrible response from someone who claims to
be a follower of Jesus. As stated above, to allow the killing of
millions of babies just to get better healthcare is disgusting.
When you think about it, it sounds rather selfish don't you think?
KING: Have churches been affected by the
JAKES: Hugely. In an amazing way.
KING: Less contributions?
JAKES: Lowered contributions. Some of them
are seeing higher attendance. It depends on the area you live in.
KING: Higher attendance?
JAKES: Higher attendance, less
contributions. And some are getting lower attendance. It depends on the
demographics. If you're in Detroit or Cleveland or areas that are hard
hit, the churches are hard-hit, too. The church is no more than the
people that are in it.
We have a Twitter question: "What does T.D. Jakes preach more -- why
does T.D. Jakes preach more about prosperity and material things than
having a relationship with God?"
Is that true?
JAKES: First of all, it isn't true. The
first time I found out I was a prosperity preacher, I read it -- until
-- nobody thought that until the...
KING: But you talk about prosperity?
JAKES: No, not -- not largely.
KING: You don't?
JAKES: I do mention it. It's a part what --
what I preach. But it's not a focal point --
less -- less than about maybe 5 percent of my sermons are about it.
Mr. Jakes has convinced himself of what he
thinks he is instead of what he actually is. I have listened to
many of Mr. Jakes sermons and read many of his writings and they seem to
have a common thread which includes prosperity and be all you can be
while here on earth.
KING: Should money and materialism have
anything to do with the church?
JAKES: It has something to do with the
people. It has something to do with every part of our life in society.
But it's not a focal part of my ministry.
Mr. Jakes must have forgotten that the Church
is the People. Materialism is contrary to the teachings of Jesus.
Why would Jesus teach otherwise if it was so important to us here in the
now. Jesus told the rich man to sell all he had. Was this
not the true understanding of what Jesus taught so that we would receive
our reward later in Heaven instead of now?
As I was saying, what has been a focal point for me was ministering to
hurting people. In almost every tape, that has been -- I did a message
called "Women That Are Loose," which really exploded around the nation
and it dealt with women who had been abused and been assaulted and been
through domestic violence and to say that there was a way out. And my
ministry actually exploded.
Sometimes when people learn who you are by reading an article or hearing
an interview and that's what they know of you, you can be put in a box
that really doesn't fit you.
KING: Maybe you have an image that's
JAKES: Well, it just isn't that one aspect.
I'm not crying about it. I mean people...
KING: Because here's another question,
Twitter: "I do not have luxury possessions, such as nice cars or homes.
Am I not good enough? Does God favor you more than me?"
JAKES: Absolutely not. And see, I'm not on
the side they think they're on. The question is a great question, but
they're sending it to the wrong guy. I work over in Third World
countries where there's great faith and some of those people are hungry
and -- and starving. I don't define faith by materialism. I absolutely
KING: What keeps him going -- what keeps
you going when times are terrible, that belief remains?
JAKES: I know what kept me going. I knew
that God had not forgotten me. I knew that he was there with me. I did
not define my relationship with God as a Santa Claus just to give me
what he needed. I do believe that God blesses his people. I certainly
do. But all of those blessings are not always material all the time. He
blessed me with healthy children. He blessed me with a loving wife. He
blessed me with health insurance. There's a lot of ways to be blessed.
KING: God is a what to you -- a spirit, a
being, a what?
JAKES: The bible says God is a spirit and
they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. I accept
KING: Do you believe you're going to be
with him some day?
JAKES: I'm with him now. He's with me now.
A relationship doesn't begin in the hereafter. It begins right now.
Mr. King didn't ask Mr. Jakes if he had Jesus
living inside him now, he as him if he was going to be with God someday.
I cannot believe anyway than to believe that Mr. Jakes thinks he has
Heaven here on earth and is not willing to wait until after the Judgment
to receive his reward. There is an enormous difference between a
relationship and actually being with God someday. A person may
have a wonderful pen-pal relationship with someone but they are not
"with" them. Heaven awaits us later. A relationship is
something we have now with our Savior.
KING: What happens in the hereafter, do you
JAKES: For a believer, to be absent in the
body is to be present with the lord. I don't believe that I am my body.
I live in my body, but I am much more than my flesh. I believe that, as
a Christian, I have eternal life with God. But that -- that relationship
begins now. That's not something I'm going to get, I have that now.
Not a very good explanation of the Hereafter.
This explanation focuses on the here and now instead of what Mr. King
actually ask him.
KING: Do you ever doubt it?
KING: You do?
JAKES: You have doubts. One of the -- one
of the great lines that I love in President Obama's book that he did
before he was president, "The Audacity of Hope," as he wrestles and
grapples with faith, he says that he does not -- he finally learned that
the presence of doubt does not mean the absence of faith. I think that's
a very powerful line, because the presence of doubt does not mean the
absence of faith. Faith just rises above the doubt and conquers it.
KING: The book is "The Memory Quilt: A
Christmas Story for Our Times."
More with T.D. Jakes after this.
KING: Program note. One of the mystery
figures in the whole Michael Jackson episode, Dr. Thome Thome, you've
heard the name. He'll be here Thursday night exclusive, Thursday night.
Our guest is bishop T.D. Jakes. His new book is "The Memory Quilt." All
right. The massacre at Ft. Hood, a terrible tragedy, your own state of
Texas. You counsel any of the victims?
JAKES: I have not. We had prayer in our
church, because our church is affected. We're not that far from the base
and we're affected directly and indirectly. I have been to Ft. Killeen
and worked with the chaplains as well as the troops down there.
KING: The alleged shooter is a Muslim. What
does a Christian pastor say to his parishioners about Muslims? Do you
ever talk about them?
JAKES: No --
KING: You don't?
JAKES: No, I don't downgrade anybody's
faith or religion. I just preach what I believe. But I don't think that
you can define anybody's faith by extremists, no more -- I would not use
him as a barometer to define the Muslims no more than I would the KKK to
Once again, Mr. King did not ask him if he
downgraded anyone's faith or religion. He ask if he every talks
about Muslims. Mr. Jakes should be teaching his congregation that
the Bible is the only TRUE faith and that all others are deceived.
Mr. Jakes goes out of his way to make sure he doesn't offend anyone even
to the extend of backing away from anything which may be controversial.
KING: Unfortunately you know people take it
out on them.
JAKES: They do that and it's unfortunate
because the Muslim community were one of the first to speak out against
this behavior. Any time you put people in a box, whether they're
preachers or black people or anybody and say all of these people think
this way, you've done a great injustice.
KING: The president spoke at a service for
the victims at Ft. Hood. Here's some of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES: It may be hard to comprehend the
twisted logic that led to this tragedy, but this much we do know. No
faith justifies these murderous and brazen acts. No just and loving god
looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the
killer will be met with justice in this world and the next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Did the president strike the right
note there with the reference to faith?
JAKES: Well, you know, for me, my focus is
not on the killer. It's on the families. It's on the children. It's on
the mothers who are left behind. If I were in that situation and got an
opportunity to speak to them, it would be to encourage them. I've been
on the bases where -- it's a different world on those bases. Those
people are coming and going. They deal with a different level of stress.
Then to have to face this on top of it, I know it's a devastating time.
KING: Are you an opponent of war?
JAKES: No. I think that there are times
that we have to fight for what we believe and we have to protect our
country, just like you would protect your family. I think there are
times that we have to fight to protect what we believe in.
KING: Army suicide rates have set another
record. You ever had to counsel someone who wanted to commit suicide?
KING: What do you say? What brings them back from the brink?
JAKES: First of all, you know something,
you'd be shocked to find there are more people amongst us who grapple
with suicide than you would ever believe. Whether you're dealing with
soldiers or dealing with stressed-out --
KING: Depression is a national calamity.
JAKES: It's a crisis, young people and
everybody. And it is the death of hope. That's why when people accuse
you of being a perpetrator of hope; they've accused you of something
positive. We need hope. Without hope, we face suicide, destruction,
degradation. And I think it's very important to remind people that when
you take your life, you've taken your tomorrows. My, how my life has
changed over the years. I wouldn't have seen my children. I wouldn't
have met my wife. There's so many good things that can happen tomorrow.
And if you cash in the chips over the tragedies of today, you throw your
KING: Do you believe it's weak or guts?
KING: Is it weakness or guts to take your
JAKES: I think it's both. I don't deny the
fact it takes a certain courage to do it. But it's weak from the
standpoint that ultimately you have given away something that's not
yours to give, not even your own life.
KING: A call from Boca Raton, Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question would be is how do you keep your own
personal faith in light of Ft. Hood, 9/11, the holocaust, with the
everyday atrocities that we come across?
JAKES: You know, it's very, very important.
My faith, to me, is not challenged by those things. My faith is a
personal intimate relationship with Christ. I don't believe that that
relationship is based on everything going right and going well.
Calamities have been happening all over the world for years and years
and years. We have a media today that brings it right in your living
room. A steady diet every day can destroy anybody's faith. But I don't
eat that all day. I spend time in prayer. I spend time with my kids. I
spend time looking at sunsets. I spend time holding my grandbaby.
KING: Doesn't it bring you doubt when you
see a holocaust? Don't you say why, god?
JAKES: No, I don't say why, man? I don't
say why, god.
KING: God could have stopped it.
JAKES: Yes, he could have stopped it but he
didn't do it. There's a different between -- he could have stopped
anything. But the reality is sometimes we make the mistake of blaming
god for things that we need to question human behavior. I really do
KING: It's easy to say he couldn't do it
but he chose not to do. Why didn't he choose to do it?
JAKES: Anger or depression needs somebody
to blame. Sometimes god is easy. He's available.
KING: Patrick Swayze's widow is here
tomorrow along with his brother, Donny. We'll talk about the Dirty
Dancer's final day and the legacy he left all of us. That's Wednesday
night on LARRY KING LIVE.
We'll get to Sarah Palin and more politics with our bishop friend after
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The undisputed center of the stage this week is
MATT LAUER, TALK SHOW HOST: The latest on Sarah Palin, her political --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarah Palin's new book "Going Rogue" out today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah Palin made a big stop on her book tour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During all her appearances, Palin will talk about how
the media won't leave her alone.
KING: You cannot have a discussion today
without a discussion of the lady from Alaska. It's all over the news.
What do you think of her?
JAKES: I think she's an
intriguing person. She's captured the fascination of America. I can't
find anybody who doesn't either love her or hate her. She doesn't leave
you in a neutral position. But I personally think she's a fascinating
KING: Recent polls say most Americans don't
think she's qualified to be president. They like her, but they don't
think she's qualified. So how do you explain this kind of fascination?
JAKES: Hopefully, you can love someone for
their charisma or be intrigued by their background and not necessarily
think that their expertise rises to the level of being the president of
the United States. But I think she's an intriguing person because she
brought that folksy sort of presence to the stage in a way that we had
not seen heretofore. She was woman. And this past electoral process was
amazing. We had Hillary Clinton running for office. We had Sarah Palin.
We had the first African-American. There were a lot of firsts going on.
And she was intriguing.
KING: She also on the recent cover of
"Newsweek" and is not happy about the photo. Here's what she told
Barbara Walters. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, TALK SHOW HOST: Have you
seen the cover of "Newsweek"? It's a picture of you in shorts. From the
photograph that was taken for "Runner's World" magazine. How do you feel
about this showing you like that on the cover?
SARAH PALIN: I think it is so cheesy. Had I
known then that a picture of me in shorts would end up on the cover of
"Newsweek," I would not have allowed "Runner's World" to profile me. I
think that's -- for me personally, it's a wee bit degrading. "Newsweek"
should be more policy oriented, more substance oriented than showing
some gal in shorts on the cover.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Well, the obvious question is, she
did pose for the cover in shorts. So she's charging sexism. Is it sexism
if she posed?
JAKES: Interesting question. You know, I
kind of got the feeling from listening to her that she's a bit bruised
from the whole process that she's been through. I kind of understand
that. People who live in the spotlight really do get burned by the
light. Then sometimes they, rather than shy away from it, turn it on
even brighter. I think in some ways she writes the book to kind of set
the record straight in her own mind or at least the way she sees or
wants to be seen by the American people.
KING: You like her?
JAKES: I don't really know her. I don't
really know her at all. I was just fascinated, as most Americans were,
by watching her. But I've never met her.
KING: Has Carrie Prejean become the poster
girl for religious conservatives?
JAKES: No. I don't think there is a poster
child for religious conservatives. The misnomer that the church is
facing today, even amongst conservatives, is that they're monolithic.
You get a bunch of conservatives in the room, we'll argue just as good
as anybody else will. We're all over the place --
KING: Do you have consider yourself
JAKES: On some things. On other things, I
am not at all. It just depends on the issue, especially when it comes to
conservative about politics. There are some issues that I'll line up
very much with conservatives. There are other things I think
conservatives are really missing the ball. And when you take a person
and you have make them fit within a box, which we have to do for an
article or an interview, you really do it at the expense of cutting off
some of the sides and angles of our unique nuances.
KING: By the way, do you pray? That's for
the audience. I don't have to ask the bishop that. That's a quick vote
question. Go to CNN.com/larryking. Cast the ballot. Back in 60 seconds.
KING: He also wrote "Reposition Yourself
and Making Great Decisions." This is his 17th book and novel "A Memory
Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times." Do you have fun making little
figures do what you want them to do when writing fiction?
JAKES: Yeah, I think it is fun.
KING: A lot of control power there.
JAKES: Yeah. It's almost like weaving,
telling a story and making it fit together. Then let the editors rip it
KING: If you had to say the message of this
book is, what would you say?
JAKES: I would
say that the best part of Christmas are in our memories and in our
families and the simple things and that we need to put them all together
and enjoy and be warmed by the quilt of our memories during the holiday
Even though this book is fiction, no mention
here about the Birth of Christ as our coming Savior. I would
rather be warmed by the knowledge that Christ was born and I have a
Savior! Mr. Jake's explanation sounds too much like more earthly
KING: Are quilts still big?
KING: Are they around a lot?
KING: Are quilt stores?
JAKES: They've upgraded from back in the
day where you flipped them over and the back side had all the strings
hanging off of them. Now they're really fancy and some of them go for
very high prices. But most of them are made from discarded material.
KING: Have we lost a lot of the meaning of
JAKES: I think we have. I think we have.
Not certainly from a sacred perspective. We almost want to wash Christ
out of Christmas.
KING: Everybody says we have, but nobody
does anything about getting it back.
JAKES: I don't think we know how to get it
back in a society that's trying so hard to be even-handed. But even from
the secular perspective, it used to be about families and friendship and
love. It's not about money. It's not about the size of the gift. In some
kind of way we've gotten far from what really matters in this country.
If Mr. Jakes truly believes this then why not
mention in his explanation and book about Christ being born and becoming
our Savior. That may be just the step needed to get someone back
to the real meaning of Christmas.
KING: The book is "The Memory Quilt: A
Christmas Story for Our Times." Back with our bishop after this.
KING: Back with T.D. Jakes in a moment.
First let's check in with Anderson Cooper, he'll host AC "360" at the
top of the hour. What's up tonight?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, tonight a lot of controversy and
confusion growing over the new mammogram guidelines. We're going to have
a debate between a doctor who is part of the task force that changed the
guidelines and a doctor who says the new guidelines are outrageous.
Also a special "360" investigation, killings at the canal, the army
tapes. Did U.S. soldiers commit murder in Baghdad or was it a case of
battlefield justice? We've obtained nearly 24 hours of interrogation
tapes. We'll show you some of them tonight.
And Sarah Palin making the media rounds. Her book is out across the
country. A new interview with Barbara Walters with some surprising
answers. We're also going to look at the book and her message. Are they
fact or fiction mostly? We're keeping them honest. Tonight those
stories, a lot more ahead on "360."
KING: That's Anderson Cooper 10:00 eastern,
7:00 pacific. Back to Bishop T.D. Jakes. Let's take a call. Beverly
Hills, California. Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Bishop Jakes. First of all, I'd like for you to
know I enjoy you every Sunday. I tape you and then watch you every
Sunday. But my question is, I attend a church in Los Angeles and
recently the pastor of our church has come under fire for a large
scandal. And while many of us are in the church, we are talking -- the
parishioners are talking on the phones during the day and at night about
the whole situation. Is it true? Is it not true? But my question is, how
does one cope and deal with a pastor that's going through something like
that? It's affecting all of us. And we don't know we don't know what to
do. We don't know what to say. It's like we've been punched in the
stomach. I just wanted you to tell me how does one -- how do I get
You don't? What kind of answer is this?
You can get through this and every issue when you have God, Christ and
hte Holy Spirit as your help. I am appalled at his answer!
KING: Good question.
JAKES: One of the things that really breaks
my heart is that church has not done more to provide a place for pastors
to be restored and be renewed. It would be like being a physician and
not being able to go to the hospital.
KING: What is does the parishioner do when
the pastor does something wrong?
JAKES: There is a lot I have to know. Has
the pastor been sat down?
KING: Generally. She said scandal.
JAKES: Your faith is not in the pastor.
Your faith is in Christ. And you have to keep your eyes focused on him
and look to the lord. I would stay off the phone. I would stay away from
the gossip, the people who are calling and discussing it, is it true or
not true? I would get away from it.
KING: It's natural, though.
JAKES: It's natural to do it but I think
it's wise to get away from it. But we need, Larry, in this country a way
for pastors to be able to get out from under the fire and get some help.
Get out of the pulpit when they need to and get restored, get
counseling, get help when they need it.
KING: The D.C. sniper was executed last
KING: Do you believe in the death penalty?
JAKES: I think that there may be times when
it is appropriate. But I'm very, very reluctant. You know, we have had a
DAA in Dallas that has done a great deal of uncovering. He has gotten
national attention. He brought up something that I suspected for years.
First of all, minorities are often disproportionately.
JAKES: People don't have the money. They
don't have the resources to get the counsel they need.
KING: Rich people don't get executed?
JAKES: Precisely the point. And I think
it's a travesty in this country that we have this going on.
KING: Why not then do away with it?
JAKES: Well, there are
cases -- there may be cases where it is appropriate. I'm not sure. But
what I am sure about is that many, many people who go to trial cannot
afford a lawyer for representation. What Craig is doing is he pointed
out through DNA testing is that many of these people were -- they were
totally innocent, spending 20, 30 years in prison.
KING: You have to assume some people are
innocent have been executed? 200 have been released already.
JAKES: Here's the problem. When you get it
wrong with the death penalty, you can't take it back.
KING: Khalid Mohammed, the accused master
minds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be tried in a federal court in
New York. Former Mayor Giuliani is not happy about it. The current Mayor
Bloomberg is very happy about it. What do you think?
JAKES: Well, I can understand why there
would be some concerns about it. I mean New York has gone through so
much. And to be in the spotlight again, I think I would be concerned
about retaliation. But I think there is some need for us to seek some
kind of justice.
KING: And that's when a crime occurs?
JAKES: That's exactly where the crime
occurred. I think there is a need for them to be closure to the people
that have been left just dangling wondering will there ever be a
resolution? When we started the war in Iraq --
KING: Terrorism in New York surrounding the
JAKES: I worry about that. You know, I
worry about that. And I certainly hope that we heighten security if
we're going to do that and that we protect the citizens of New York.
They've been through enough.
KING: 1 in 6 Americans is hungry tonight.
Pastor Jakes and I will talk about what role the church plays in helping
KING: Thanksgiving is a week away. 1 in 6
Americans are hungry. There will be relief organizations, churches, and
many others will give these people a turkey and then they'll go back to
being hungry on Friday. You know, not that people are doing that, it's
very nice. What does the church say about hunger?
JAKES: You know, I know what our church
does. We go out and gather the homeless up every week and feed them, let
them shower, do job fairs for them, try to help them find apartments and
that sort of thing. I'm not saying that it's nearly enough. But we're
doing what we can.
KING: Should any American be hungry?
JAKES: No. And I think
it's every American's responsibility to wipe it out. I really, really
do. The church can't do it all. You have to realize the church is
working with 10 percent of a few people's income and the government is
working with 33 of everybody and they can't do it.
What are your thoughts on this article?
As a rich man, Mr. Jakes should be parting with
some of his millions and helping all he can instead of telling us that
it is every American's responsibility to wipe it out. I cannot
understand how a person who has millions can say anything to anybody
when they have all this money instead of using it for good. He
talks about what his church is doing but he should also be doing more.
There is nothing wrong with making money but it what you do with it that
makes the difference.
KING: You wanted to make a church about
30,000 people attend, right? What sort of swine flu precautions do you
take? Do they all shake hands with each other?
JAKES: They do. Through the recent things
we're doing, I have seen many, many more people coming with the little
antiseptics. It's very important in big crowds.
KING: Do you worry about it? Have you had
cases in your community?
JAKES: Not widespread. We've had some but
it's not as widespread as you might think. And I'm glad.
KING: We have a Twitter question. How do
you prepare your sermons?
JAKES: First, when I study, I very seldom
study for a sermon. I study to feed myself. Out of the wealth of things
I read, I get a sermon. I do have an outline. I do have a formula.
KING: You don't print it all out?
JAKES: I do. I just don't use it. Once I
print it, I don't work with a manuscript like some preachers do. But
I'll have an outline of that; once I write it, it generally sticks to my
head and I can do it on my feet.
KING: One more call. Santa Fe Springs,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Larry. I'd like to ask Bishop Jakes, what
are your aspirations for the future and where do you see yourself 20
years from now?
JAKES: You know, that's a very interesting
thing that I've been grappling with. I think I moved to a degree from
destiny to legacy. I'm more concerned about who's next, the perpetuation
of our faith and our community. And I think I'd like to coach -- I'd
like to be on the corner of speaking to young men and young women and
saying watch out for this. I did this right. I did that wrong. You know,
I'd like to be a coach 20 years from now.
KING: What is the hardest part of being a
JAKES: I think the realization that the
needs are greater than you're able to respond to.
KING: So you fail a lot?
JAKES: Absolutely. If the goal is to be
there for everybody and the crowds grow, you will fail. But I think
that's by god's design. I think the goal ought to be not to give the
people you but to give them him. But we love them so. We want to give
them us. And we eventually have to learn that if you do that not only
will they be disappointed, you'll be exhausted. You, your family and
wife and kids need your time as well.
KING: You're in Dallas. Do you see the
JAKES: I have not seen them since they got
KING: I would imagine one day they'll drop
into your church.
JAKES: That will be nice.
KING: Have you seen Ross Perot?
JAKES: Not in church. But at the
restaurant. We both like to eat.
KING: We asked about you. Did you ever
think of retiring?
JAKES: Yes, I do.
KING: How old are you now?
JAKES: I'm 52. Not now. Not now. But I
think there is a point that you need to back away.
KING: Are you in good health?
JAKES: Yes, I'm in excellent health. I feel
100 percent. But I think there does come a
point that you need to back away and let some younger man get the wheel
and encourage him.
Why not bring the younger man along with you
instead of backing off? After all, two ministers of the true Gospel is
better than one.
KING: Thank you, Bishop. Always good seeing
JAKES: Thank you, Larry.