CBN News Reporter John Jessup recently spoke with conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas and veteran Democratic strategist Bob Beckel on how God has blessed their friendship.
For Beckel, God has helped him day by day to overcome his struggle with alcohol addiction. Watch for more, or read the comments below.
John Jessup: What I see here is very genuine. It doesn't seem made up. It doesn't seem like you're doing this for the camera. I'm curious for the people who do watch this. What have you two learned from one another, not just doing the book, not just doing the column, but in the year of friendship that you have maintained over the years, what is it that you take away from this relationship and this experience that you all have in working together?
Cal Thomas: Well, Bob is one of my dearest friends. And I've gotten to know his kids who've i've also come to love and respect. And the work that he's done with alcoholics.
He's one of the great treasures God has given me. And Bob says this when we go out and do our program together. He tells people look, if you want things to change in America, get to know somebody from a different party or persuasion. Sit down and talk with them, because out of personal relationship comes growth. I've learned a lot about why he believes what he believes. And I hope he's learned the same things from me.
Bob Beckel: I'm a recovering alcoholic, and alcoholics who have recovered have a deep and abiding, living fear of going back. And you have to have a great deal of faith that, before you drink up a drink, that there's going to be, in AA they say a higher power, I say God - between me and a drink. Because although I've been sober for a long time, I'm only one drink away from probably never coming back in.
I had some difficult times five years ago. I wasn't drinking, but one of the first people to come to help me was Cal, and in the process led me to faith.
He was a vessel for me. You know it's good to have skin and bones. It was not real to me. And one of the interesting things was that up unto the point, I had hung on with my fingernails to my sobriety. There were nights when I thought I was going to lose it for sure. When I came to faith, whenever those thoughts came to my mind, there was always the spirit there saying, "No. We're not going there." And, the power of my higher power- who is God, my Creator - literally has saved my life. And there has to be a reason for that.
There's a reason we were brought together.
There's a reason why I didn't come to faith until I was 52 years old. I had a lot of friends of mine who are not, and they are constantly asking me questions about it. Constantly. Now, I think, in a way, that's a pretty good thing, because they're asking the questions not to be belligerent, but I think they're really curious. I mean, how could you possibly believe you know in floods and rivers parting and all the rest of it. You've seen the movies. Yeah, there you are. But, in the end it gives me an opportunity to tell them - and this is something that I learned from Cal - that there is another way to live your life.
And, if you think about it, to be born again - something that I used to make a lot of fun of - I used to think it was a funny slogan - but how many times do you get two chances at life? You know, and one, entirely more preferable than the other. In my case I had three. I had a life of drinking and drugging. I had a life of sobriety, but it was painful. And I then have a life since I found faith, and sobriety's not been difficult at all. I've been able to work with a lot of drunks. I can tell you that, I certainly hope I wasn't as bad as most of them I work with.
I deal with them all the time. I drive them in the middle of the night to rehab. But, in the end, what made that such a treasured part of my life. I'm glad that I was a drunk and I am a drunk. I'm glad because without that I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet Cal. I would not have found faith and would not have found a relationship with my Creator that has made my sobriety not only, hopefully, day-by-day a solid sobriety, but something I could give off to other people who are desperately in need of help out there.
There are a lot of them, you know. And I believe firmly that sobriety is a daily reprieve based on your commitment to your Creator. And if you firmly believe in a power greater than yourself - or God - then you will stay sober. If you don't, you won't. And if you don't, you'll die. So, the options seem fairly obvious to people.
So what has this brought me? We've done a lot of speeches. We've written a book. A lot of good things have come out of it that are important in the political system, but not nearly as important to me as the relationship and my faith. Everything else pales in comparison.