Am I Doing God’s Work?

“Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here … Continued

“Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

–John F. Kennedy
January 20, 1961

I was ten years old when I heard those words. They still resonate with me nearly a half century later. Am I doing God’s work? Is being a journalist my vocation? How does my faith influence my judgment as a reporter? Should it? Are the demands of my chosen profession leaving enough time for my responsibilities as a son, brother, husband, father and friend?

St. Luke teaches us “to whom much is given, much is expected.” Am I hearing that admonition—and responding to it in a generous way? Do I have a true appreciation of the uniqueness and goodness of others? More questions than answers, I’m afraid.

One particular day provided some clarity. September 11, 2001. I don’t think the English language has yet found the words to describe the pain and anguish we felt that day. And yet we learned much about each other. The bravery of the first responders who went up the stairs of burning buildings. The heroic selfless souls on United flight #93. The patience of tens of thousands of drivers who left the devastated areas in an orderly way.

I have not honked my car horn since September 11 as a gesture of respect to all of them. 9/11 also gave me a whole new insight into my Dad and why he left school in the 10th grade to enlist after Pearl Harbor. I wrote a book affirming his life. It changed my life and my relationship with my father—and my son—forever. We now share openly the love and respect and pride we have in each other. A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me. Now that’s a journey I never expected, but one which is so meaningful—perhaps even more important than my “career.”

Bottom line. I’m working hard, laughing often and praying with purpose. On with life!

Tim Russert is the Managing Editor and Moderator of Meet the Press and political analyst for NBC Nightly News and the Today Program. He anchors The Tim Russert Show, a weekly interview program on CNBC and is a contributing anchor for MSNBC. His two books, “Big Russ and Me” in 2004 and “Wisdom of Our Fathers” in 2006, were both New York Times #1. bestsellers.

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  • Andrew

    Gee, Tim, you’ve been a shill for the criminal war in Iraq, an enabler of the neo-Stalinist scum in the White House, a supporter of torture, kangaroo courts and illegal spying on innocent Americans, and on and on and on. If you’re doing god’s work, I’m really glad I’m an atheist. You are the definition of what’s wrong with American journalism.

  • Bobby

    Andrew wrote:Ah yes that atheist argument: I dont believe in God’s existence because of what other human beings are doing in God’s name….Very rational, yes.OK, I dont believe the US constitution exists because of Bush’s policies. I dont believe that Germany is real because of Adolf Hitler.Very rational, yes.

  • Daniel

    Your essay has already been up for more than 90 minutes and the only reply is one bitter critic. That is not too bad. (It could be alot of bitter critics).The way I look at the world, there are a few people on top, who control the levers of power, (mostly the money spiggots) and enable big things to happen, mostly in a confused cacauphony. But most of the rest of us, all, do our jobs, large and small, to make the whole world work, to make every little thing happen. I don’t think I would use the term “God’s work.” But I believe all of the little and obscure jobs of the world, performed by all the little and obscure people, are for a good purpose, to support the whole, of the orderly society in which we all dwell, and from which we all derive benefit.

  • Daniel

    PS

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Mr Russert -I truly hope that your faith does not influence your reporting. Reporters are supposed to report FACTS. Faith – by definition – has nothing to do with facts. Viewing the facts of a story through the prism of faith makes them no facts at all.We have more than enough commentators in the media these days, commentators whose stock in trade is to distort the facts to suit their particular worldview. What we need are a lot more reporters, dispassionate reporters who care more about uncovering facts and reporting them than they do about offering their opinions.As far as not honking your car horn – I know where you’re coming from. I used to fly my flag religiously. I have not flown it since the day that George Bush illegally assumed the office of president in 2001. I will fly it once more when this sorry excuse for a human being leaves office.

  • anon

    Mr Russet:I can’t speak for your private life as to how you let your faith guide you, but as to being a reporter your faith should not bias you. And, in fact, it has been my conclusion that it has biased you in favor of the Dems vs. the Repubs. Let me paint an overly stark summary: The Dems (modern day liberals in general) governing policy approaches that of a collective commune, to be more black vs. white, the Dems tend toward Socialism and Repubs tend toward individual liberty that can be labeled as Social Darwinism (again, I’ve got limited time and space so this is a stark description of the two political factions). Your reporting seems to favor the Dems since their redistribution of income/wealth operationally can look like as if it is something that can be labeled Christian charity — and maybe it is, and maybe that’s a good thing. But you need to be more mindful of the other side of the argument — the individual freedom (not to be confused with the freedom of free-loaders) — and recognize that the Repubs’ over arching governing narrative leaves Christian charity up to the individual and not to be generally mandated by force of government. Your reporting and more importantly, the questions on your show seems to be biased against the Repubs in this respect. I suggest you dig more into the Dems as ask them (in multiple subtle ways) why, in effect, those things they support that looks like “Christian charity” should be imposed by force of law.

  • yoyo

    Terrorists including suicide bombers also claim to be doing god’s work.It’s such a ridiculous phrase. As far as we know there is no god.If there was a god we wouldn’t need to have faith in one.

  • Jack

    Dear Mr Russert:Thanks for doing the best you can. Unforunately it seems most of the journalists presenting the news are so caught up with presenting it that they never develop the perspective to understand the underlying issues:Case in point – recently analysts have said the price of gasoline is going down and up – depending on the group being quoted and what time of the year it is. What is missing is that by 2012 prices will go up dramatically unless dramatic changes are made in fuel efficiency or in alternatives. No perspective leaves half the people satisfied with the status quo and the other half nervous.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Yoyo: Do the actions of suicide bombers reflect satisfaction with their lives’ accomplishments? Not that it is our place to judge, but we can certainly observe what sort of faith is reflected in the actions of despair.

  • Andrew

    Bobby: When you miss the point, you really miss it. I was raised an atheist. Russert was not an instrument of my conversion, I was never converted. Russert is simply a symbol of the evil that people do regardless of their religion or lack thereof. Secular people in the Soviet Union and Cambodia, for example, committed enormous atrocities as well. BUT, when some piece of filth like Russert talks about doing god’s work, then it’s god that gets the hit in this case.

  • E Favorite

    Anon – let’s not call it “Christian charity.”Let’s leave religion out of Government. That’s what our founders intended.

  • Dara

    Thank you, Tim Russert, for posing such thoughtful, introspective questions and comments. No matter my line of work, I consider my work, God’s work, because I feel that I am here to serve God by serving people, making their lives easier, better, as best I can. I question myself, my faith, and my Church all the time and try not to act blindly but rather thoughtfully so as to live my life to the fullest. Your leadership on this kind of thought process gives me hope that more people in this country will also work for others, think more about others, and question themselves in a productive, life-giving way.

  • Jack

    Wow, I wasn’t aware that Atheism was a religion. If what Andrew says is true about religion, he’s spewed enough hatred to ruin Atheism since the beginning of time, err the big bang, and err Adam and Eve… Sorry those would infer a Supreme Being.Perhaps we all could think about living a more peaceful or more thought provoking life, with or without mentioning the Prophets.

  • Ken

    “Faith – by definition – has nothing to do with facts.” a wholy made up definition that has nothing to do with either facts or faith. “since the day that George Bush illegally assumed the office of president in 2001” asserted in the face of these facts: Gore’s margin of victory in the popular vote was more slender than Bush’s margin of victory in Florida and has never been verified by recounts. Bush’s victory in Florida has withstood the scrutiny of several recounts. The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution prevents changing a state’s method of choosing its electoral college during a federal election.If FACTS are important enough for you to capitalize, don’t willfully ignore them to shore up your delusions.

  • Asmodeo

    Is God’s work the bombing and killing of thousands of innocents in Iraq? is God’s work that Dubya got “selected” as president? Just questions…

  • Gaby

    If everybody would pray less for and do more for their fellow man the world would be a better place and we could all be more satisfied.

  • E Favorite

    Lovely essay, Mr. Russert, and you finessed the God issue very effectively, I think, by asking questions which you then left unanswered. Maybe this is because you don’t really have answers or perhaps it’s that you don’t want to tell people how you feel. Easier to be ambiguous. That way, it’s more likely that “people of faith” will assume positive answers to the questions raised, as I see some of the responders have done.Of course, the nature of your faith is nobody’s business. Our secular democracy promises both freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Still, I hope the day comes soon when a prominent journalist who volunteers to write on the subject of God in his life, neither intentionally or unintentionally obfuscates about his own faith.

  • bbaltrus

    Mr Russert,Your words are very inspirational. I have read your books, and i couldn’t help but wonder what had made you such a grounded person. I listened to you on Imus and I always had a great deal of respect for your integrety and honsesty.The statement that caught me the most was, “We now share openly the love and respect and pride we have in each other.” This it seems to me is the true measure of a human, man, husband, father brother and son. If we can all practice that life would be so much better.

  • ROBERT COOPER

    Anyone who has the courage to examine their religious beliefs would benefit from watching the BBC documentary “A Brief History Of Disbelief” at veoh.com.—especially Tim R.

  • M. Stratas

    God and one’s relationship with God used to be a personal private matter. Even Jesus cautioned against public avowals of one’s love for God like the Pharisees who self-congratulated themselves on how godly and good they were. It is our actions that can signify how decent we are not some public pronouncements. Bush called himself the compassionate conservative, the uniter, the friend of the military as the Commander Guy; and yet, his policies pointed differently. I say beware the people who trumpet themselves as following God’s or Jesus’ teachings.

  • Christian in NYC

    Tim, we just wish you would pretend to be more of a journalist (people with “skepticism”? ring a bell?) than a shill and a hack for the Beltway Establishment and the failed policies of the GOP. But for you to do that, I guess we will all have to do a lot of praying.

  • JP

    Tim — I’m especially fond of Micah 6:8 when seeking guidance on my life’s work and how my faith should influence it. Perhaps this would provide such guidance for you, too.”But he’s already made it plain how to live,It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love,

  • Vulture Breath

    Tim, I think it’s a helluva lot more likely you’re doing the devil’s work. You’ve been an enabler of this horrible, corrupt administration since day one. But thanks for making me laugh.

  • Someone

    I think that, unfortunately, not only Mr. Russert’s faith, but his political leanings as well, influence his judgement as a reporter. Because of this, his reporting is most often slanted.

  • Andrew

    Oh, please Bobby. When you miss the point, you really miss it. When people engage in consumate evil and claim they are doing god’s work, then god takes the hit. When secular people, Stalin and Pol Pot come to mind (Hitler and the Nazis were Christian BTW), engage in consumate evil, then godlessness takes the hit. I was raised an atheist, and in 60 years, I have found no evidence of any kind to alter that belief. Your straw man garbage is ridiculous. If you have evidence that god exists, I will change my views. If you do not, take a look at Russert’s record and tell me where I’m wrong – how do his actions comport with your Christian views?

  • Andrew

    Jack:What pathetic drivel. Atheism is just unbelief. That’s it. It is nothing more. Russert is a piece of filth who long ago abandoned the most fundamental principles of journalism. 75% of everyone I meet is a Christian. The vast majority of my family and friends are Christian. How could that not be in a country that is 75 % Christian? But Russert’s very question is un-American and anti-American in the extreme. If you allow your religious beliefs or lack thereof to define the facts in front of your face, then you may be great in your religion, but you are an execrable excuse as an American.

  • Andrew:

    Jack:Oh, there’s more. Yes, I detest Tim Russert and everything he stands for. BUT, if you define what I actually said as hate, then you must be a supporter of criminal warfare, mass murder, torture, the subversion of the Constitution, demonization of everyone who disagrees with you, etc. Pathetic indeed

  • Ted Atkinson

    Mr. Russert,I think God would like you to ask some pointed questions and do some actual follow up.God also would like you to remember Leviticus 12:17: “Thou shalt not talk to politicians with thine understanding that everything they say is offeth the record, or there will be a great rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.”Also, God would like you to know that now that the president is at 28%, God will be taking his his seat back, thanks, and you can start to put hard questions to the man. Yours in Christ,Ted Atkinson

  • DC Lite (without the cynicism)

    Dear Mr. Russert:Thanks for your piece. One of the great things about doing God’s work is that there is so much of it to do, those who are anxiously engaged in it have no time to read the type of nonsense written in most of the comments here. Speaking of which, I better get back to work myself.

  • VictorLaszlo

    “Am I Doing God’s Work?”As long as you think it might be OK to bomb and torture our fellow man, the short answer is ‘no’.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Jacob Jozevz et al.,To quote you:”How WE were not Citizens at that time, as we immigrated, legally from Israel . My Parents brought us to America after Germany, for Humate wrongs & correction of Sin, payed a certain amount of war reparations as compensation of such tragic times.” In September, 1957, I sailed from Brooklyn to Haifa on the S.S. Zion, a vessel purchased by Israel with West German Holocaust reparation funds, to work on a kibbutz in the northern Negev.I loved Israel but my American heritage proved too strong and I returned here.

  • Daniel

    I think Mr. Russert’s brief and superficial relgious comments look like a sort of standard Catholic thing to say, though I do not know that he is Catholic. But millions of people are. They trudge along, in their sort of quasi-devout, bland Catholic faith. So, is that so shocking, or unusual? No. It is just ordinary. I am not saying this to bust Mr. Russert’s chops, or anything. I just wonder, why is everyone so angry at him, for expressing religious feelings that are so nominal, commonplace, and ordinary?

  • wmc418

    Mr. Russert, You have a job where you have an obligation to the truth. Only you know if you are doing your best to get the truth from your guests. My opinion is, you don’t. My opinion of your problem is, you (and you are not alone) fail to realize the power you hold as the medium of access to the nation. Somehow, you have lost faith that people “of power” need your airwaves more than you have faith in believing they will return time and again if you are rigorous to your profession. This lack of faith, that they need media access more than the you need guests, is a sad commentary on the state of television journalism, that the fear of competitors being chosen by those “powerful people” to deliver their message.The fear is unfounded.For example, FOX News is this Administration’s choice to dissemble without hard questioning being the price of public access. The public knows and when this occurs it discounts the information as the citizenry (minus party zealots on both sides) still has it’s propaganda filter still intact. You (and other powerful media members) are at a crossroad,it is, whether your future is aligned with journalism or synchopant-ism. I have “faith” you recognize this crossroad and will choose the correct path.

  • Jim Dickey

    Like you, Tim, I was raised Roman Catholic.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Tim,Before you next host an Administration official on Meet the Press, how about trading in your overused softball for a really hard one?Regards.

  • Someone

    Daniel:I think the problem is that Mr. Russert’s reporting seems to be tainted, for lack of a better word, by his religious beliefs, as well, I believe, as his political leanings. As a reporter, he should be reporting facts, plain and simple. How he reports, interviews, and mediates should not be swayed by any personal beliefs.As far as his religion, I am assuming he is Catholic, since he referred to Luke as St. Luke.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Tim,Another thing:There’s a brand-new invention/technique for journalists:It’s called “the follow-up question”.You might want to try it out.All the best.

  • Daniel

    Dear Ted Atkinson: You said, “I think God would like you to ask some pointed questions and do some actual follow up…”You said, “God also would like you to remember Leviticus 12:17 …”You said, “Also, God would like you to know that…”So, how do you know all of these things about what God thinks and wants?Christian, Islamic, and Jewish spokesmen often fall into the habit of speaking for God, pointing out what God wants, thinks, likes, and hates. Aside from the impossibility of thinking for God, all of these attributes of intent are purely and transparently human in nature and in no way knowable, with regards to God. Yet I can see how many people might fall into this habit of viewing God. We only have our experiences of this world in which we dwell to characterize any conceivable phenomenon; so, when we think of God, it is by way or our very small and limited conceptual abilities. When you really think about it, isn’t it a little arrogant and even weird to speak for God, and tell other people what is on God’s mind, what fears and anxieties lie heavy on God’s heart? Indeed, the concept of God, and the nature of God is entirely speculative. Even the most devout believer, believes in his speculations, and the speculations of others, but cannot truly know anything of the true nature of God.

  • skip

    My gosh!what hateful people.Have they no life.

  • David

    Positive that the answer is a resounding “yes”, Russert asks a wholly rhetorical question, ‘Am I doing God’s work’ as “journalist” and “reporter.”But there are “journalists” and journalists. Just how much of a journalist Russert is we may gauge from the recent Libby-trial testimony about how valuable he was to Dick Cheney for the uncritical broadcasting of neo-con talking points. Or perhaps from the softball questions he invariably lobs to his Republican guests. Or perhaps from the treacly sentimentalism of the cliche-ridden essay above.Are we supposed to believe that Kennedy’s words have been resonating with Russert all these years — since he was ten! Give me a break. One of the jobs of the reporter is to tell the story straight, with a minimum of Pollyannesquing. And what about this?”I don’t think the English language has yet found the words to describe the pain and anguish we felt that day.” I know it’s heresy to suggest that, since America is the Swellest Most Jesus-Loving Country Ever, 9/11 wasn’t the biggest thing since the Big Bang,So, in answer to the original question, ‘Am I doing God’s work as journalist?’ I’m afraid the answer is no, Timmy. You’re doing grossly overpaid, pampered, gas-bag/shill work of your corporate masters.A clue Tim: “Work” for which the compensation is vastly disproportionate to the effort, risk and sacrifice invested is never, ever God’s work.There are many who have done God’s work as journalists, Timmy, but you just play one on TV.

  • colorado kool aid

    What kind of screaming sh*tbag is this “Andrew” guy on here? What miserable life experience has led him to be such an ignorant *sshole who seems to spend his life inflicting hate and pain on others? If there is “filth” in this blog Andrew, it is YOU! If you can’t make your arguments without spewing your bile, shut the f*ck up!

  • Kristie

    I happen to feel that Tim Russert does present a fair and balanced view of the apalling state of political affairs in America, an almost painfully balanced view, given the drama being staged at any given time in Washington. He asks the tough questions that make the bad guys flinch, and he is restrained in his comments when it’s obvious that the truth is not a part of the current administration’s policies or procedures. He’s equally as tough on Democrats as Republicans, and he holds lawmakers to task with reminders of their previous statements and voting records. If I were the moderator of “Meet the Press”, I would be barely able to disguise my contempt for members of “Team Texas”, who have run roughshod in Washington for 6 and a half years, and who have divided this nation, and the world, like no previous administration in our history. It’s no wonder that on the whole, the posts here today sound angry and disturbed. Our nation itself is angry and disturbed, and one has only to look to it’s leadership to see why. When thoughtful dialogue gives way to ridiculous accusations of “enabling the enemy”, and when one’s patriotism is questioned if s/he raises doubts about the validity of unsubstantiated “facts” handed out like penny candy in the administration’s “talking points”, an unseen fire begins to burn. It’s taken years for the shifting winds to ignite the flames, but Americans are finally beginning to smell the smoke. I say, “Thank God – the truth will out!” And I thank Tim Russert for being true to himself, his ethics and his faith.

  • speed123

    It was not religion that caused this war …. Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith and the NeoCon thinkers Leo Strauss and Benard Lewis did NOT plan this war in the name of religion…although they are all Jewish.This war is about destroying old orders and traditions (religion) and replacing them with the neo con order – atheism, capitalism and UNCHECKED imperalism.Neo Conservative is a misnomer: these guys are Jacobins and Bolsheviks…. ruthless and opportunistic revolutionaries who believe in totalitarian, central government to enforce change and desirable order on the masses. You atheists should LOVE this war and the hundreds of thousands killed, again, in the name of progress…it is against tradition and religion and it will fail.

  • E Favorite

    Andrew – your posts are the first example I’ve seen of an atheist being crude and hateful toward believers.I wish you’d cut it out.I make a point to let the Christians here know when I don’t think Jesus’ love is showing through in their writing. For non-believers, I would hope that a sense of common decency would guide them.

  • speed123

    PS – why do you think Christopher Hitchens, the atheist man of the moment – supports this war so much?

  • Gaby

    Colorado Kool Aid:You may be from COLORADO, but KOOL you are not, and you are not AIDing anybody with your obscene diatribe.

  • Daniel

    Thankyou Speed123! The comments are now going in a different, but pretty predictable, direction. Now, we are on the runnaway roller-coaster ride called, “Jesus-maniacs and the people who hate them”.No matter what the subject, this is where we always end up.

  • Debra

    To David (at 3:41 pm) — Your comment is a brilliant response to Mr. Russert’s “question.” I would return to watching the political affairs programs on Sunday if individuals possessing the intellectual clarity and incisiveness you appear to possess were hosting the programs. I now rely exclusively on blogs, and I’m also very pleased that Bill Moyers has returned. Mr. Russert’s personal religious beliefs are not of interest to me. I would suggest a look at a different example. Mother Theresa never had to ask if she was doing God’s work — she just did it — quietly, sincerely, humbly, and with no view towards personal aggrandizement.

  • Silence Dogood

    The “Two masters” dilemma.Putting one’s hand to the plow, but looking back.Confess Christ before men and He will confess a Christian before His Father.The First and Greatest CommandmentWe should understand that some of the critics and non-believers who write into this and other sites do not know the First Priority for a Christian.Therefore they can present a view that Politicians or candidates should be that, and only that. And a journalist should be a journalist only, when he/she is doing journalism.But any Christian that buys into the First and Greatest Commandment and understands what Jesus meant about touching a plow or picking up a personal cross and following…they know that their primary choice is to honor the singular Master.I think that Tim is telling us that he is ever-mindful of the Master as he takes his journey through life.

  • reality-based educator

    Tim, not only are you NOT doing God’s work, watching Meet The Press every week, I’m not sure you’re even doing a journalist’s work. Heck, there was a reason why the VP’s office used your show to sell the Iraq war, the sliming of Ambassador Wilson, etc. – because they knew you would let them.Instead of giving yourself divine airs and patting yourself on the back for your “journalism” career why don’t you watch a few tapes of the Bill Moyers show on PBS and learn (or relearn) what a journalist should be doing.

  • Gaby

    Who is Christopher Hitchens?

  • vanfleet14

    I don’t believe I’ve read all these responses! I like the “no flag flying” until Bush is out of office. Could we ALL try to find out who in the Administration told the families living in the contaminated trailers, to open the windows and put on the air conditioning? Or who designed the shield on the doors of the Hummers to stick, killing all inside instead of just blowing off their legs. It is getting harder and harder to wonder if anyone is doing God’s work. How childish does that sound? Let’s keep knocking them out of office, one by one, until Bush is impeached by consent of A L L.

  • Andrew

    Mr. Russert, you cannot possibly be doing God’s work when you enable the Bush regime, and there are few in your world of pretend journalism who have done more to enable him.By the way, it sounds like you squealed like a pig when the FBI interviewed you about Scooter Libby. So much for protecting sources. But you thought you would get way with it, thinking that all of you could hide behind shield laws.

  • Mike

    I’m sick to death of people claiming that reporters are supposed to report facts and only facts. A reporter who just reports facts is a stenographer. We have had enough of those these past 6 years.But Mr. Russert, your faith can also be a guide to you in more than just the way in which you report. It can also inform your decisions on what to report and whom to invite on your show.If I were you, and I say this with all due respect!, if I were you, though, I’d have had a crisis of faith a long time ago when it became clear to what extent Meet The Press has been transformed on occasion into a tool to push a political agenda. To cite but one example, in 2003 the Vice President had orchestrated leaks to Judy Miller at the New York Times about aluminum tubes, and the Veep himself went on MTP that Sunday morning to cite that leaked story in bolstering his own claims of WMD programs in Iraq. He used your show to be his own second source to a leak he himself orchestrated. How has that not shaken the very core of the journalist within you?How has that not caused a crisis of faith in everyone who works so hard to make the Meet The Press the premiere Sunday morning talk show?In what way is your “faith” informing your decisions to bring the V.P. back on your show, or really to trust or believe anything he ever says to you again? Where was your “faith” when you were protecting the anonymity of political agents of this administration after they intentionally tried to use you as a messenger that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent?If you ask your “faith” these questions, I think you’ll be surprised at how clear you’ll see the answers.Mike

  • rick

    question: Am I doing gods work? Answer: No, you are working for the GOP.

  • rick

    question: Am I doing gods work? Answer: No, you are working for the GOP.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that picture of Mr. Russert is that great. He looks a little Demonic.

  • Alan Schein

    Gee Tim,And I thought you were an intelligent person. You and your co-religionists of all persuasion and intensity, including the mule-eared ass in the white house and his nemesis assassin in Crapistan, won’t quit till you’ve worn your flea-biten neanderthal “Do It To Me One MOre Time/I Can Never Get Enough of a God Like You”–primitive exclusivity to the bone.You misbegotten defunct and defective chattering brainpans will never get it. Televangelists use technology and take prescriptions based on the science antithetical to their world view. Is that a late night joke or what?What is this love of myth shrouded in quasihistory? The only rapture or heavenly virgins you folks will ever see is on a hip-hop video. Hip-hop white rabbit, it’s late!

  • shaun doherty

    Tim,Thank you for being a good person and doing a good job. I look forward to your show/writings and feel that you cover topics fairly and thoroughly. Please continue with the good work. I wish you continued success.-ShaunPS. Please continue to not let the fringe elements of any situation drive you off a story

  • Alan Schein

    Gee Tim,And I thought you were an intelligent person. You and your co-religionists of all persuasion and intensity, including the mule-eared ass in the white house and his nemesis assassin in Crapistan, won’t quit till you’ve worn your flea-biten neanderthal “Do It To Me One MOre Time/I Can Never Get Enough of a God Like You”–primitive exclusivity to the bone.You misbegotten defunct and defective chattering brainpans will never get it. Televangelists use technology and take prescriptions based on the science antithetical to their world view. Is that a late night joke or what?What is this love of myth shrouded in quasihistory? The only rapture or heavenly virgins you folks will ever see is on a hip-hop video. Hip-hop white rabbit, it’s late!

  • Thomas Yarbrough

    Mr. Russert.As long as your faith is in the TRUTH, then the truth will set you free, and you will not need to question so much your usefulness. your job as a high-profile talking head masked over as a serious journalist feeding america “the truth” is to certanly set aside your persional religious faith to the facts, and ask tough qeustions to obtain these facts, which you could help yourself by re-schooling. your are complicate in the current state of america ignorance by spooning us confusing and contridictory tripe.

  • Alan Schein

    Gee Tim,And I thought you were an intelligent person. You and your co-religionists of all persuasion and intensity, including the mule-eared ass in the white house and his nemesis assassin in Crapistan, won’t quit till you’ve worn your flea-biten neanderthal “Do It To Me One MOre Time/I Can Never Get Enough of a God Like You”–primitive exclusivity to the bone.You misbegotten defunct and defective chattering brainpans will never get it. Televangelists use technology and take prescriptions based on the science antithetical to their world view. Is that a late night joke or what?What is this love of myth shrouded in quasihistory? The only rapture or heavenly virgins you folks will ever see is on a hip-hop video. Hip-hop white rabbit, it’s late!

  • Thomas Yarbrough

    Mr. Russert.As long as your faith is in the TRUTH, then the truth will set you free, and you will not need to question so much your usefulness. your job as a high-profile talking head masked over as a serious journalist feeding america “the truth” is to certanly set aside your persional religious faith to the facts, and ask tough qeustions to obtain these facts, which you could help yourself by re-schooling. your are complicate in the current state of america ignorance by spooning us confusing and contridictory tripe.

  • WNY Ex Pat

    Tim, will God shine upon our hockey team and let it rebound from an 0-3 deficit? We can only pray.Go Sabres!

  • Jack

    Journalism is a discipline of gathering, writing, and reporting news, and more broadly, it includes the process of editing and presenting the news articles.An editorial is a statement or article by a news organization, newspaper, or magazine that expresses the opinion of the editor, editorial board, or publisher.I believe many of you don’t understand that Mr. Russert is a Journalist. If you haven’t noticed since 1991 when he began hosting Meet the Press, Mr. Russert allows his guests to hang themselves with their statements, and then allows them to come back on the program at a later date to explain their “rope burns.” He leaves it up to you to figure it out.If you need someone to explain to you whether a particular politician with his statements is lying or telling you the absolute truth, just go talk to the politician. But be careful which side of his mouth he’s speaking from.Dogma doesn’t have to be Roman Catholic in order to be Dogma. Nor does it have to be affiliated with a religion. Dogma is a belief. It’s just most people fail to understand YOUR beliefs.

  • Anthony

    RICK: God isn’t going to ask you once you get into heaven, “WHAT POLITICAL PARTY WERE YOU IN.” “YOU WERE GOP SO YOU CAN’T COME IN”. That is insane and you know it. Look in your history books and read up on some of those other political people not in the GOP and you tell me are they any better?

  • candide

    Faith, being a sort of will-o-the-wisp good feeling, doesn’t really have much to do with how people behave. It is a sort of dream sequence which they find useful from time to time, but I have rarely met anyone who really is influenced by faith. Many pretend they are, for a variety of purposes, often not very respectable.Those really influenced by faith are more often than not destroyed by its dogmatic requirements and anti-human pretensions.I like Tim Russert but see little in his work which depends on faith — certainly not on faith in the rather questionable record of the Roman Catholic church.

  • Angela

    To be separated from my FAITH, there would be no me. So I couldn’t possibly live the life that God has ordained me if I didn’t LIVE BY FAITH. That means in everything I do, I do unto God. So if I am to report FACTS of the country and world there is a way of doing it w/out being against my FAITH. If my boss gave me some work to do that was unethical or immoral, I would (According to my Amendment rights) have to decline that offer and say it is the law (That all depends on the kind of job I am in. I couldn’t be a stripper and tell my boss that I won’t be taking my top off tonight UHH DUHHHH). Now there are times when you just have to use your personal judgement and let the Holy Spirit dictate to you what to do. So in the instance of Mr. Russert. He doesn’t have to be some nasty when he asks his questions. He could rephrase his questions sometimes. He could have the hard core facts before saying some of the dumb things he and other REPORTERS say. But that isn’t to say he isn’t a man of faith (whatever faith he proclaims to be in) He just doesn’t GET IT and doesn’t have all of the answers and that’s why we must stay in the Word and be obedient to the commands of God. Living our lives HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE WILL OF GOD WHICH IS OUR REASONABLE SERVICE. HE WILL DIRECT OUR PATHS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK (SPEAK TO HIM AND HE WILL SPEAK BACK THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT BECAUSE THAT IS PRAYER-COMMUNICATING BETWEEN YOU AND GOD/HOLY SPIRIT.)

  • Gaby

    Brother ECLATi-ON, I’ll join you in a BREWSKY as soon as I get home.May your PHOTONS shine BRIGHTLY!

  • Steven

    It’s been fashionable lately for people in the media to discuss their faith, Tim. And here you go! You even invoked some images from 9/11 to achieve an air of solemnity. Nice touch.

  • Troll

    Okay, Let’s all give Mr.Russert a break. We all went along with the Hype given out about anything to do about anything after 9/11. Who was the one who hand fed each reporter or group from the get go? Give the guy a break and leave him alone! All I’m seeing from these comments is mostly two groups are represented, the right and the left. Most of our countrymen are centrists who want to live a decent life, buy a home, send their kids to school and retire. Right now we can hardly afford to do any two of those things and you guys want to gripe about someone expressing a comment about faith! We started out as a country with tolerances and we really seemed to have lost them. What happened to not kicking someone when they are down? What happened to not attacking because they believe differently? We seem to attack anything or anyone who doesn’t like what we do yet quite often we can’t even express what it is we like.

  • Eric M.

    Thank god for the internet. In the days before we could talk back, I would just watch windbags like you go on and on and on. Now, never again. I give you credit for being interviewed by Moyers, however. At least you took responsibility for your lazy journalism.

  • Jack

    Candide, if you haven’t noticed many of the laws in our Constitution were derived from the Ten Commandments. Kind of shoots your theory all to hell, doesn’t it?No one is asking if you’ve been converted you if you follow the Constitution. Yet no religious beliefs, Candide? “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” It seems we have many Saints in our midst.

  • Mr Mark

    I remember the days when the show Meet The Press actually involved guests meeting the press. Today’s version of the show should be called “The Tim Russert Show.”In the old days, diverse members of the press appeared to ask questions of politicians, so there was a sense of balance to the proceedings. Now, the show has a single “press” member doing the asking, followed by a panel of pundits who are there to hear their own voices and not much else.I don’t care who the simgle moderator is, his bias will show through over time.I’d like to see them get back to the old forum.

  • Eric M.

    Thank god for the internet. In the days before we could talk back, I would just watch windbags like you go on and on and on. Now, never again. I give you credit for being interviewed by Moyers, however. At least you took responsibility for your lazy journalism.

  • candide

    JACK: most of the 10 commandments have nothing to do with faith; they are social conventions, derived from Babylonian culture, which seek to preserve society. They can be thought up either under religious auspices or non-religious auspices.

  • Gaby

    Oh, Angela, your holy spirit is nothing but the consciousness you already have in you! It was bestowed in all of us, we just need to reach into ourselves to find it. Everthing part of the cosmic heartbeat, including us. IT is in us and around us all the time, therefore when we leave our bodily shell we simply return to become part of IT.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Jozevz,Thank you for your post and for telling us your family’s interesting and tragic history.My family is WASP – White Anglo-Saxon Protestant in origin. The Hoyts have been in this land since 1628 – one relative was hanged as a witch in Salem MA in 1692. Another cousin was William Tecumseh Sherman of Civil War fame (or infamy) – his mother was a Hoyt. In the late 1800’s the landscape was littered with “Sherman Hoyts” (one living cousin still bears that name.)My immediate family was fortunate to emerge unscathed in WWII – my uncle was a colonel in the China-Burma-India campaign.A couple of years ago my family became friends with the publisher of a Yiddish newspaper in Brooklyn. For privacy reasons I won’t mention his name. He was determined that my lawyer son should work in NYC and arranged an appointmen with a former U.S. Attorney for the district including Brooklyn. Mike had a nice visit but decided to stay in Vermont.By the way, on my first evening on the Zion the waiter in the dining room asked me my name. He had an accent and I figured he’d never figure out “Hoyt”. But he immediately said, “I know – change at Hoyt Street!” which, as you know, is a subway station in Brooklyn, which was featured in a Crocodile Dundee movie.Thanks Jozevz, for setting us on the path to these reminiscences.

  • Carol

    Hi Tim, I’m very pleased that you do what you do. I trust you. I have faith in your reports and interviews. Every week, you provide purchase for my continued sanity in this chaotic world. I think we all question the influence of our faith on our work. A test of faith is to stand and speak out for what you believe to be the truth. There will always be people who have different views than you do and will quickly let you know that fact. We cannot control all the events of the world, but we can discuss what we have experienced with others who have shared the common experience. Although I have never met you, except through your work, Rudyard Kipling’s “IF” is a narrative that speaks to the type of man I believe you to be. Your books, very able reporting, and interviews have not shown me otherwise. Thank you so much for your valuable efforts. Carol (^o^)/

  • Herbert

    Mr. Russell, just the facts please!

  • Jack

    Mr Mark, Wikipedia is very proud of you. Now do you have any thoughts of your own?

  • E Favorite

    Jack, you say, “…many of the laws in our Constitution were derived from the Ten Commandments.”Have you read the Constitution lately, Jack? How about the Ten Commandments? Please illustrate the derivation. I’m especially interested in how the commandment about graven images relates to the US Constitution. It’s #2, so it must be pretty important.

  • Daniel

    “Faith” means “trust.” That is all it means. It doesn’t mean pious or devout. If you are unfaithful to your wife, it does not mean you have been un-religous, it means you have been untrustworthy. People are using the word “faith” as a sort of substitute for religious belief. But a religeous belief that is well thought out is usually pretty complex. Most people with a complex religious belief would not call it faith. That is just a word of quacks and charletans. President Bush’s faith is as thin as water. He sells it for votes among the right-wing Christianist-posers. When Tim Russert mentioned a little about his “faith,” he didn’t really say much. Maybe his beliefs are not complex. Or maybe he just didn’t feel like saying much. I am usually at church on Sunday morning, so I almost never see his show. Sometimes it is re-run later in the afternoon on CSPAN and then I sometimes see it. I do not blame the problems of America on Tim Russert. I blame the American people for choosing the President that we have. Now we are all suffering. I blame Mr. and Mrs. Wholesome Middle America for chosing that jackass that sits in the Whitehouse now, not Tim Russert.

  • James

    Do you really report? Last I heard, you wait for sources to call and everything is off the record. That’s not reporting that’s stenography without a reference.

  • billy

    Let’s imagine for a moment that atheists are right – there is no God. Evolution shaped life on earth to become what we see around us. What would the world look like? How would events occur around the world? 1. Prayers would have absolutely no effect on whether you live or die or get sick or get well. People who die in accidents would die more or less randomly, such that Christians would not enjoy particularly long or accident-free lives. Check.2. Natural processes such as human invention, climate, and randomness would govern the path of history, and not self-serving ideas such as particular groups of people enjoying the blessing of God. Check.3. Normal distributions would be all around us, indicating the genetic process plus amount of noise in the system that generates how Earth’s beings would look and behave. Check.Etc. etc.Praying with purpose indeed. Tim, please wake up and have the courage to face reality instead swallowing the sugar-coated pill religions depend on for their existence.

  • Jack Hughes

    Being a willing stenographer for — and providing a megaphone for — the absolute worst gang of sociopathic criminals ever to seize control of the US government doesn’t say much for your brand of “faith.”More courage and less credulity would have served your country infinitely more.

  • Jim J

    Got another book to sell, eh, Timmeh?

  • Vaidya Maneesh

    Oh my.Now you are also in that band wagon for God’s Work?What happened to News-media /Journalism in U.S?Mind you these are the same journalists and News organization who kept quite after 9-11.Has Tim under impression that he is greatest Journalists i U.S?The title itself shows his bias.

  • jim

    Mr. Russert, I don’t know if you are “doing God’s work,” but I sure know you aren’t doing a journalist’s work. You are too enamored with your own celebrity — we really don’t care what your “faith” is. That is between you and your God. What we do care about are FACTS and the responsibility of a free press in a democracy. Did 9/11 teach anything about that? Or did it just teach you to wave a flag?

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Daniel -Actually, faith means:Main Entry: 1faith 1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

  • Rajiv M

    Andrew : thank you for making sense amidst all this garbage. most religious people are hypocrites because they live by the knowledge that science helped create and discover , but they withdraw to fantasy when science poses unpleasant questions about religion. as far as i am concerned, the bin ladens and the billy grahams and the jerry falwells of this world have a lot in common : faith that simply refuses to consider material evidence. this kind of thinking is responsible for most of the evils in the world. come to think of it, communism too was ultimately a kind of faith.

  • Richard

    All this faith talk seems to spreaden wider and wider, like a disease. Don’t people have real things to do?I mean: how about a little thinking, trying to pick informatiom from various, different sources, compare, try to understand background, to avoid the thin surface, ….In my mind faith, religion does the same as any meditation is doing: create a state of mind that is abstracting the reality. That might be, that probably is a very needed for meantal health. So on a chemical level there will be all kinds of expression of the various neurotransmitter, (yes, folks that is the substrate we’re on), bringing the inner state into a different position after being tilt-off by all the stresses of the daily life.The trouble with faith is: it is being used beyond the individual, it is being used in the political domain as a power tool, as a tool to control groups of a society. For not so nice goals. Sounds like Orwell? It is.Very good that the catholic church is no longer in charge, there would be witch-burning still, I am sure. I would hope other religions would find the separation as well.However, currently we seem to be on our way back into the darkness. Look at all that stupid rapture talk, when in probably in 882 years from now we will get hit by a huge meteor, which is physical and as such real. It’s called physics. Ever heard of Newton?Reason, not belief must guide our decisions.

  • Mark

    Quite a few of you have a lot of free time on your hands………..Religion in any form is man’s attempt to answer the unanswerable. There are plenty of people who can’t handle admitting we don’t know the answers, so they cling to religion as a blanket / crutch, whatever you want to call it, as a source of security. Some take it to the extreme. The more you believe, the more answers you have. If you associate religion with community meetings and helping those who are less fortunate, than religion to you is a good thing and you don’t understand why other people hate it so much. If you strap a bomb to your chest and kill innocent people, then you don’t understand the people who receive joy by helping others. Never has one word had so many different meanings to so many different people. If Tim questions if his work is affected by his beliefs – at least he acknowledges his imperfection as a journalist – something not many others would do. I think he makes bland subjects interesting and I enjoy him on Meet the Press.

  • Tracy M

    Tim, Faith mixed with unanswered questions. Your Jesuit education at work? I too am a John Carroll University graduate–class of 1989.Too bad that a lot of posters can’t grasp the idea of faith beyond narrow concepts of dogma and organized religion. I have grown so weary of my fellow liberals disparaging religion one minute and quoting Dr. King or Gandhi the next. Jim Wallis got it right in “Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.” How disappointing that some of the nastiest postings are from people who profess to work for peace, something I’ve dedicated myself to for 14 years. When working with faith based peace and justice organizations, especially with Quakers, I’ve appreciated the emphasis on shared humanity as the road to solving the world’s problems. How amusing that you’re getting picked on for being to pro-Democrat AND too pro-Republican. While I see plenty of flaws in the Sunday morning talking heads circuit, I prefer your show to many others because I can hear actual conversation instead of a barrage of soundbites. I do wish the networks would bring in a broader range of voices from outside the Beltway, particularly people directly affected by the issues being considered. I’m no longer a religous person, but I still ground my life in the core values of scripture, all boiling down to “Do unto others…” So I can appreciate the questions you ask about your own work. All the best …

  • Victor

    Troll: “We all went along with the Hype given out about anything to do about anything after 9/11.”Speak for yourself, rube.

  • thersitz

    I just puked. Russert is big blob of scum. The number of people who give a whit what this faux journalist thinks dwindles by the day.Bottom line: He’s working hard to propagate Republican talking points, laughing often at all the American People who feel he has betrayed us, and praying with purpose that he never has to account for his participation in producing the status quo this country finds itself embroiled in. We can only hope he follows Fallwell into the arms of his God and that his God can forgive him! We cannot.

  • Patrick

    Actions speak louder than words any day. Empty words are words that are not consistant with their intent and the subsequent actions associated with those specific words.All those people claiming to do “GODS” work need to clarify that they are doing what “they think” is “GODS” work.No proof of Gods existence to date. Just conjecture.People are doing their own work and blaming the outcomes on someone else. In this case GOD or JESUS.

  • Anonymous

    ONE-BOOK-OF-THE-PEOPLE is Near. The MELCHIZEDEK PEACE BLESSING via the 1st “JOKTAN” is upon US, and annulled and have Reversed the NOAH DRUNKIN story & Abrahamic “KATAN” War Blessing(s) of ancient King David “Judah” Line. Peace is near. Life is so beautifull with ECLATi-ON(s) & never with Eclati-OFF(s) et al! Space-Ship Momma Poppa Earth will be ruled by Eclati-On(s) in plus minus 400 years or by the year 2400. You will see! Ya Ya Bludd Cludd!

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    For the record:1. Saddam, his sons and major henchmen have been deleted. Saddam’s bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. 2. Iran has been contained. (besides fighting the civil war in Bahgdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes oil continues to flow from the region.)3. Libya has become civil.4. North Korea is still uncivil but is contained.5. Northern Ireland is finally at peace. 6. The Jews and Palestineans are being separated by walls (analogous to the two Czech republics). Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. 7. Bin Laden has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.8. Fanatical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. 8. And the stock markets and economies around the globe continue to show good growth and opportunity for the common stock holders.So George and his guys and gals have not been perfect but there are some major accomplishments. Bill Clinton and his crew definitely had their accomplishments but were not “pretty wingie talking thingies” either.

  • Carl

    Is Russert actually reporting anything? I have not been impressed with his simpering softball interviews, either.

  • Brigitte N.

    Did not think that Tim needed it–but, wow, one more guy exploiting the dear Lord and 9/11. Wonder for what?

  • anon. in oxon hill

    Will the religious pandering ever end? I always liked Tim Russert but this crock is disturbing.

  • Imran

    How pathetic to hear this hypocrite speak about GOD.Pitiful!

  • J

    I know this is not relevant, but Tim Russert sure has an ugly mug. I guess it sorta matches his “work.”

  • Mel

    [May extra Photons shine upon him et al] – love that. Hope it’s not copyrighted because I plan to start using it . . .I’m sorry, what was the point of this blog?

  • Warner

    I’ve no doubt, personally, that you are a religious man. A fair and decent man. But because of the particular place of trust you hold in American politics, I wish you’d begin to think about alerting, telling truth to power; we’re in trouble. Playing nice and fair, and politically correct when it means giving nation killers and liars and conspirators voice is nothing to be proud of. We need to know. Do some documentaries. Start with AIPAC. Who owns Congress is more important than a political chat. Don’t be afraid to talk about Israel. Somebody better. Don’t let the libby trial tame you. Nobody believed it.

  • Meyer Baron

    Tim, if you were doing God’s work, you wouldn’t have to tell us. btw – I think you’ve misunderstood JFK all these years.

  • Gerard Deagle

    You DO honk your horn, Timmy boy.

  • Scott Weil

    Well that didn’t go so well, did it Tim, or your editor?I am not sure what has caused all my fellow readers to respond with such strong negative comments to the six fairly neutral paragraphs you wrote, but it does serve to exemplify how divided this country has become over almost every conceivable issue.

  • kent taucer

    test, test

  • Incredulous

    Question for “concerned Christian”: You aren’t actually suggesting that Bush had anything, ANYthing at all, to do with peace in Ireland??? I won’t even address your other thinking errors, but that one just leapt off the page…

  • jerry rubin

    After seeing the good reorting by Bill Moyers on how you failed as a “REPORTER”, I now wonder how you ask for your forgiveness.A good REPORTER does not just repeat news clips and asks questions, but also investigates issues to find if the people they speak to are telling the truth.Your failings are yours and you and your family will live with the ineptness of a good REPORTER and the many deaths that have occured since then.

  • Tom Grubisich

    “I don’t think the English language has yet found the words to describe the pain and anguish we felt that day.”You may be right. But check out Job. Or Jeremiah. For starters.

  • jbs

    i don’t feel as though Tim said anyting about God or if we was/is doing His work. all he did was tell of his family’s pride and used JFK to create a back drop feeling. if Tim is saying he believes in God his life needs to manifest it always and never be compromised.

  • jbs

    i don’t feel as though Tim said anyting about God or if we was/is doing His work. all he did was tell of his family’s pride and used JFK to create a back drop feeling. if Tim is saying he believes in God his life needs to manifest it always and never be compromised.

  • 2greekdc

    One person’s faith or ideal of faith is far different from another’s. We should leave God or our subjective belief in God out of politics and journalism. PERIOD.

  • Tom Grubisich

    I meant to add:Why do so many people coming, when talking about faith, their faith, post anonymously?

  • Incredulous

    We post anonymously, dear Tom, because in this country, you CAN be persecuted for your beliefs. Don’t be naive.

  • 2greekdc

    To Timmy boy,How is it that you believe in God and still believe that it is OK to bomb and torture people from another land? Your God is far different from mine!

  • rbird

    I have always been amused at the so-called conservatives who, upon reaching sixty-five years of age, can’t wait to get to (FDR’s) Social Security office and sign up. The next stop for the ‘conservatives’ is signing up for (Johnson’s) Medicare. That’s what I would call a part-time conservative.

  • CAM

    Gosh, Tim, I’d like to ask God how someone with no journalism experience whatsoever got to be chief of NBC’s Washington Bureau.This is for Tom Grubisich: I have a deal for you. When the mainstream media, like the Washington Post, stops using anonymous sources, bloggers will stop using pseudonyms. Until then, stop lecturing us.Pseudonyms in history have served a useful purpose: Silence Dogood, Caelia Shortface and Martha Careful, Busy Body, Anthony Afterwit, Alice Addertongue, Polly Baker, Benevolus and Richard Saunders were all Benjamin Franklin.Cogitate on that over the weekend, why don’t you?

  • Andrew Burt

    “4 Letters Brian, I R A K , er, sorry, Q.”Tim Russert Gold.

  • Jodie

    Boy, there’s so much infighting and loads of different opinions here….I wonder what is the “right” answer? Should we believe in a god or not? Should we be led by blind faith or not? Should our government be led by the religious right or the socialist left? Why can’t we all realize how big and diverse this country is and respect each other for our differences? Do other people worry our country is going to be split up into factions like so many other countries in the world? I don’t have any answers, only my own opinions. I worry for our children and grandchildren…the lack of respect for humanity and the finger pointing all over the place gives me less hope every day. I don’t know whether or not a utopian society can exist, but I try desperately to teach my children kindness (not because faith says I have to) and tolerance of others in the face of such a negative world. Maybe some of these questions should come up in Mr. Russert’s journalistic conversations. Aren’t we all (religious or no) trying to look for the same thing–the meaning of life (however different those meanings may be for everyone)?

  • Vincent

    I like American gernerally, admire some even.And those people are actually happier before “God” invade their country, lives, and culture.

  • RC

    I’m sure you, your son and your father are perfectly fine people, Tim. However, I don’t care that you are a religious man and “pray with purpose”. I care that you maintain journalistic integrity and report the important, complex stories without reducing them to black and white pablum to sell soap and keep people tuned in. Pray all you want as long as it leads to sound judgment and reason.

  • Laibach

    I have not eaten goat cheese since September 11 as a gesture of respect to all of them. The Pet Goat Lesson also gave me a whole new insight into my Japanese dad and why he left school in the 10th grade to enlist after Hiroshima. I wrote a book affirming his life.

  • D.Wayne

    Well Tim, I guess there may be a few people left that don’t know you’re a paid propaganda agent.

  • jim

    This is really what mainstream journalism has sunk to in this country: homespun homilies about “faith, flag, and country.” Did he mention the “heartland” or the “fatherland” or the “homeland?” How about baseball and apple pie?

  • katakaha

    In the introductory lines of his short essay, Russert relates how his faith challenges him to live a better life. Then, focuses on a particular challenge, “Do I have a true appreciation of the uniqueness and goodness of others?” The body of the essay describes how appreciation for others has enriched not only his life but also the lives of so many others that he has had the good fortune to meet. Inspired by the This is not a bad thing, is it? He writes, “I have not honked my car horn since September 11 as a gesture of respect to all of them.” A honk is an aggressive expression of disapproval. We can disagree, even strenuously, without aggression. There is a difference between contending and being contentious, between disagreeing and being disagreeable. It is the difference between trying to establish the relative merits of ideas, and trying to establish the one’s dominance over another person. It is the difference between a debate between friends and a fight between enemies.

  • Miguel

    Tim, God and Satan (good and evil)are within all human being and each one of us can manage wich one we allow to surge. Unfortunately, religion sometimes make men to uprise evil thinking they are doing God a favor. The example in America is the decision of this Mr. President in toppling Saddam Hussein from the presidency in Iraq. He thought he was doing God a favor and compared the battle as the fight of good against evil. Of course he was intending to let we know Saddam was the evil. I agree that he was an evil man, dictator and criminous. The problem is that “in the name of the Lord” now a democratic and Christian president would stand up and go to fight a war against evil using his legitimacy based in the Bible and its commandment. But really by going to war Mr. USA President was the personification of an even bigger evil to the world. So, the Bible and religion in general are a double-shearing sword. Bin Laden was wrong when he attacked New York in 9/11. But he was certainly thinking he was doing the biggest favor in the world to Alah/God. Jesus tought a commandment which is against any attack; against any war and against discrimination, slavery or hungry: Love God above all things and your brother as you love yourself. Capitalism impede us to even try to attend this commandment because capitalism is the institution of the differences of classes, hungy, desease, crime, prostitution, rape and murder. War is the result of stupidness. 9/11 was cruel but what about civil people, chindren, women, elders and innocents who died under the blast of bombs in the war and still die everyday? Is Iraq or afghanistan peaceful and more safe now than the times of the rude regime? Is there any solution for the situation in theses countries as well as in Palestine ore Ivory Coast and Sudan? Is Jesus happy with America, the most evangelical and puritan country? Miguel – Campinas – Sao Paulo – Brazil.

  • AJ

    Many people of faith have very different views of what God’s work is for them. That doesn’t make Tim Russert a hypocrite. It only makes him human.

  • Slats

    Gosh Tim, You may or may not be following your faith, that is personal to you and for no one else to decide, but I just have to ask (and I know you are not a fan of the follow-up question) – what in the heck does horn honking (or not) have to do with respecting the victims of 9-11? Can you expand on this?

  • arun1

    Like ‘state and religion’ makes a heady combition,(8 year presidency of GWB)so is good ‘Journalism and Religion’.It’s time Tim to retire from journalism and become a full time evangelist and spare his viewers with this hypocrisy.

  • anne

    is this guy delusional? here’s the question: are you taking money for it? the spiritual life isn’t a career path. if you can’t tell your ego from your soul, assume that warm feeling of virtue is your ego rubbing it’s hands together . . . what a child!

  • Jim

    >>what in the heck does horn honking (or not) have to do with respecting the victims of 9-11? Can you expand on this?I’ll take that one. Every time a horn honks an angel gets his wings. Well, I assume that is what he meant. Or maybe horn honking attracts “terrorists.” Anyway, it is clear that everything changed after 9/11, so horn honking had to change in some way. You really have a pre-9/11 mindset there, Slats.

  • Susan E.

    Are you doing God’s work, Tim? Maybe when you volunteer at a soup kitchen in your spare time. But not when you’re sitting on MTP throwing softball questions at Dick Cheney or Condi Rice, and nodding solenmly as they lie. When you’re doing that, you’re just another enabler of the Bush administration.

  • Anonymous

    Our ‘Grand-MA Sun a/k/a Solor is setting Now, here in N.Y. U.S.A., Praise the LOR-ECLA”i” for ALL posterity as of TODAT! “This is the MELCHIZEDEK PEACE BLESSING is UPON-ALL-HUMATE-KIND(s) here or in other Worlds & Beyond, as ONE-GOD!

  • scarshapedstar

    “I dont believe in God’s existence because of what other human beings are doing in God’s name….Very rational, yes.”Well, if Jerry Falwell is his first smiting, he’s got a hell of a lot of catching up to do. Surely even you will admit that.

  • John Keating

    Faith in a religion that lost it’s way shortly after the time of Christ is not a good basis for anything. There is nothing in Christianity today that is reminiscent of the teachings of Jesus Christ, so please don’t allow this hollow shell of a religion to influence your work.

  • bob tichell

    If someone needs a God concept in his (or her) life in order to tell right from wrong then we would hope they would do what’s right, i.e. “God’s work.” If someone is able to be what we consider “good” with out the need of a God concept then we would hope they continue to be good. Evil has been done in the name of a God and by people who do not have a God concept. I don’t think anyone has a right way since no one knows.Faith or belief tells people that they receive the word of god. Those who don’t belive in a God see the Bible, Koran, Buddism, Hinduism,as just myths told by people in ancient times and written down in books by Jewish,Roman, Chinese and Indian men.Personally, being an old Jewish man, I know not to believe stories written by other old Jewish men. I don’t believe pronouncements by old Italian,(or Polish or German) bachelors as being useful in leading a good life. Not to say that they couldn’t be. So, as the only old Jewish man who I did believe, my dad, would say, don’t bother with religious discussion, noone changes his mind. Tim must be doing good work as he takes nasty hits from the right and the left.He could do better, and probably will. Go Sabres. Go Bills.

  • bob tichell

    If someone needs a God concept in his (or her) life in order to tell right from wrong then we would hope they would do what’s right, i.e. “God’s work.” If someone is able to be what we consider “good” with out the need of a God concept then we would hope they continue to be good. Evil has been done in the name of a God and by people who do not have a God concept. I don’t think anyone has a right way since no one knows.Faith or belief tells people that they receive the word of god. Those who don’t belive in a God see the Bible, Koran, Buddism, Hinduism,as just myths told by people in ancient times and written down in books by Jewish,Roman, Chinese and Indian men.Personally, being an old Jewish man, I know not to believe stories written by other old Jewish men. I don’t believe pronouncements by old Italian,(or Polish or German) bachelors as being useful in leading a good life. Not to say that they couldn’t be. So, as the only old Jewish man who I did believe, my dad, would say, don’t bother with religious discussion, noone changes his mind. Tim must be doing good work as he takes nasty hits from the right and the left.He could do better, and probably will. Go Sabres. Go Bills.

  • henry

    Sorry timmy, but you are a partison, you hardball Republicans and sweettalk dems, journalist, no, I don’t think so.

  • E Favorite

    So, Jack, now you’re on to the religiosity of the framers of the constitution — without ever addressing the derivation you asserted, of the constitution from the ten commandments?Seems to me, that a good Christian, or a good person of any or no religion, would just admit they were wrong and move on. Can you do it?

  • Rob

    Mr. Russert, I read your book “Big Russ and Me.” I couldn’t help feeling the title was chosen because your editor told you it would be unwise simply to name it “Me.”

  • RavenWind

    This kind of blubbering exceptionalism — no one has ever suffered like WE did, it is, in fact, indescribable — is a sick joke. Primo Levi wrote about the Holocaust and even translated into English he conveyed unimaginable pain (and hope) into prose.Moreover, pain and anguish are a sad fact of life. Unspeakable crimes are committed on entire populations every day. There’s a market in Baghdad that has been bombed four times in the past six months. Dozens have died there. Still, the remaining merchants set up shop there every market day. Why? Because they have to go on living.We’re in this mess because people we needed to be adults are still hung up (and more than a little enthralled) on a national trauma that happened SIX YEARS ago? What a child.And to honor that, he doesn’t honk?My God, the city, the Port Authority and the real estate agents have been pissing lawsuits over the ‘sacred ground’ of Ground Zero — they’re clearly past this eternal weepiness.If Kennedy or FDR or Big Russ lapsed into treacle recalling momentous events — instead of being clear-eyed and focused — we would have surely lost WWII and probably have had a nuclear exchange with the Soviets.And someone commented how this thread just shows how divided or polarized we are. No, if you read all the comments as I did, you’ll see that the vast majority have little patience with Little Russ’s drivel, much less his vaunted “objectivity’ which simply means–don’t ever ask a follow-up question when you know the Republican on your show has just lied.

  • ecoast

    You are doing God’s work? I think you are

  • Brett Paatsch

    In recent days both Bush and Blair have publicly declared that they believed that they had done the right thing in relation to the invasion of Iraq. This belief, that article of faith, they hold, despite all that has happened since, and despite that both men had to know before Bush gave the order for the invasion that it was against the UN Charter which prohibits aggressive wars and despite UN Resolution 1441 which afforded Iraq “a final opportunity” and states the UN was “seized of the matter” to proceed with the invasion without UN approval. I am not a person of faith, I am a person of conscience. It constantly seems to me that faith and belief are used as rationalisations for our own personal failure. Our failure to grasp complexity, our failure to do our homework, our failure to expend the effort and to take the time to reason through propositions. The world is a complicated place. But previous generations of men and women through their efforts and sacrifices bequeathed our generation certain noble ideas embedded in sometimes flawed institutions – ideas like the United Nations the purpose of which is to “save succeeding generations from the scurge of war”, ideas like the Constitution of the United states which enshrine rights to citizens and places checks and balances against the abuses of power. Tim – faith, uncritical faith, unquestioning faith, lazy faith, complacent faith is exactly what is wrong with the world and with America at present. Faith enables people to huddle together and to do wrong together whilst feeling good about it. What is needed are men and women with active consciences who will take up the challenge to question assumptions, to do the research, to make sure that wars are not started on bad faith or bad research because to do so has consequences such as demoralising other people and placing them in a situation where they have to find a faith of their own to oppose the faith of yours because those of faith do not in the end support the rule of law. Ultimately men and women of conscience have to choose the rule of law or the rule of faith. These things are not ultimately compatible. By listening and speaking and doing homework and research and by understanding the work that has been done by previous generations – by understanding the Constitution, the UN Charter etc we can, if we choose, find reasonable solutions to problems that arise between us, but NOT, if people of faith are placed in charge of the weapons of military force. In the end Tim, any person of conscience is my friend and a friend of humanity open to the humanity of others, but any person of faith is not. Faith is closed. Faith is anti-human. And faith (being uncritical and pleasing to the person or persons that have it) turned into policy does almost all the evil that there is in the world.

  • Karen

    I am so sick of journalists, or political hacks who once worked for democratic politicians calling themselves journalists, always talking about themselves. It is like an Anderson Cooper nightmare, a bunch of egomaniacs thinking what they have going on in their heads matter. Stop the madness. You are irrelevant because the internet is where we get our news because the left-wing media is so beholden to the liberals and illegal immigrants and Europeans, they wake up every morning and hit themselves 6 times because they were born American,and promise their statue of George McGovern that they will go forth and hate Americans all day. Who cares what Tim Russert says? Aren’t his ratings lower than a test pattern on Thanksgiving night?

  • Dennis Cavanaugh

    Until the need that religious tenets fullfil in us all is defined and clarified, there will continue to be conflicts between the different religions. This is a major problem on our planet today.

  • Fellow CHS Alum

    Mr. Russert,The reaction to your posting exemplifies the fruitlessness of forums such as these. I have never posted before, and I hope to never do so again. My impression was that “On Faith” was different in that it was intended to be a forum where positive, new understandings might result from the sharing of ideas; however, as with most forums, your genuine sharing–in this case about religious convictions and philosophies–has primarily resulted in shallow, visceral, mean-spirited nonsense. What ever happened to the ability to deeply disagree without coming across as a hateful soul? What ever happened to “love thy enemy?”

  • Granny

    Mr Russert:Please get over yourself. Thank you.

  • Dr. Don Key

    I’m not sure what your point is. Firstly, America’s response to 9-11 was wrong since, er, Iraq didn’t attack America. You’re comparing apples and oranges when you compare Pearl Harbor to 9-11. Secondly, being religious and patriotic aren’t synonymous. In fact, religion influenced George Jr.’s response to 9-11, and it shouldn’t have. Attacking Iraq simultaneously appeased the ultra-Zionists and Reduhblican fundamentalists. 9-11 and America’s response simply proved that there’s a lot of evil in the world, and, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s not all perpetrated by non-Whites and non-Christians. There’s nothing wrong with using religious faith to deal with tragedies, but stop making excuses for one of the worst, corrupt and retarded presidents in American history.

  • Dr. Don Key

    I’m not sure what your point is. Firstly, America’s response to 9-11 was wrong since, er, Iraq didn’t attack America. You’re comparing apples and oranges when you compare Pearl Harbor to 9-11. Secondly, being religious and patriotic aren’t synonymous. In fact, religion influenced George Jr.’s response to 9-11, and it shouldn’t have. Attacking Iraq simultaneously appeased the ultra-Zionists and Anglophile Reduhblican fundamentalists. 9-11 and America’s response simply proved that there’s a lot of evil in the world, and, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s not all perpetrated by non-Whites and non-Christians. There’s nothing wrong with using religious faith to deal with tragedies, but stop making excuses for one of the worst, most corrupt and least intelligent presidents in American history.

  • Dr. Don Key

    I’m not sure what your point is. Firstly, America’s response to 9-11 was wrong since, er, Iraq didn’t attack America. You’re comparing apples and oranges when you compare Pearl Harbor to 9-11. Secondly, being religious and patriotic aren’t synonymous. In fact, religion influenced George Jr.’s response to 9-11, and it shouldn’t have. Attacking Iraq simultaneously appeased the ultra-Zionists and Anglophile Reduhblican fundamentalists. 9-11 and America’s response simply proved that there’s a lot of evil in the world, and, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s not all perpetrated by non-Whites and non-Christians. There’s nothing wrong with using religious faith to deal with tragedies, but stop making excuses for one of the worst, most corrupt and least intelligent presidents in American history.

  • Dr. Don Key

    I’m not sure what your point is. Firstly, America’s response to 9-11 was wrong since, er, Iraq didn’t attack America. You’re comparing apples and oranges when you compare Pearl Harbor to 9-11. Secondly, being religious and patriotic aren’t synonymous. In fact, religion influenced George Jr.’s response to 9-11, and it shouldn’t have. Attacking Iraq simultaneously appeased the ultra-Zionists and Anglophile Reduhblican fundamentalists. 9-11 and America’s response simply proved that there’s a lot of evil in the world, and, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s not all perpetrated by non-Whites and non-Christians. There’s nothing wrong with using religious faith to deal with tragedies, but stop making excuses for one of the worst, most corrupt and least intelligent presidents in American history.

  • Jim

    Tim,I don’t think you answer your question at all. Maybe good or bad faith, but poor journalism.

  • AJC

    Don’t you GE employees own enough of Nantucket Yet?

  • Anonymous

    Ravenwind: You are the man.

  • Roy

    Russert, weren’t you involved in the criminal and treasonous activity of “outing” a CIA agent?

  • Peter Brawley

    There could not be a more brazen, sanctimonious example of ugly national narcissism than Russert saying the English language has not yet found words for the pain of 9/11. Hitler, Stalin and Mao murdered tens of millions. The suffering of those millions, and of their survivors, has been described in many languages including English. Was that suffering less? The war in Iraq has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Is that suffering less? Hundreds of thousands of innocents are dying in Darfur. In the “third world” 25,000 die every day from poverty and starvation. Are those sufferings less? Is there no limit to American self-absorption?

  • Stuie

    There’s nothing that I could possibility add to all this except to say: Tim you’re an idiot.

  • Stuie

    There’s nothing that I could possibility add to all this except to say: Tim you’re an idiot.

  • jim

    >>What ever happened to “love thy enemy?”Here’s a question: Do you love Osama Bin Laden? Do you want the US to turn the other cheeck and invite him to blow up more buildings? Just asking. If not, aren’t you just a whited sepulchre? Most Christians in this country fail to understand that Christianity practiced as Christ preached it leads you like “sheep to the slaughter.” If you want to be of this world, and rule it, then you need to start bombing people. If you want to be a real Christian, prepare to die as Christ did. The rest is just hypocricy.

  • kuvasz

    Ah, gag me with a spoon. No, Timmah, you are not. Those doing God’s “work” would promote peace and justice. You don’t.A guy like you would have been miles away from Gethsemane hiding under a bed when the heat came down.

  • Redman

    Tim, If you want to do God’s work, do your job! You have to presume that God had the wisdom to give you the talent to be an actual journalist. So be the journalist, not the shill for the criminal enterprise known as the Bush administration or anyone else. Anything short of that would make you a slacker, a hypocrite and if you are throwing God up as a smoke screen you can add a blasphemer also. It is all up to you.

  • Steve Bennett

    Why do you think it’s necessary to do God’s work? Hasn’t this planet and the multitude of cultures, species and life in general suffered enough at the hands of Man, doing “God’s Work”. We are as ignorant today of any knowledge of God’s Work or His Will as the last Easter Island inhabitant when they cut down the last palm tree there. We are lost as they were, on a lost world.There is somewhere, somewhen, a Creator of all this vast Debris, the owner of the flotsam and jetsam of this and so many other Universes. But I somehow doubt very much He is concerned if you are doing His work, or not. God’s work is done, many epochs ago. Ours is just beginning as we lurch from primordial swamps, or some Garden of Eden, into full sentience. I can tell you this though and I must. Many things are worth dying for, but nothing is worth killing for. So religion will be judged in the long memory of the Increate.Be satisfied with doing the busy work of Man, and don’t presume you know one Nth of what is the work of God, as He is beyond your knowing, so is His work.

  • Kurt Peterson

    Russert’s statement is perhaps the most blandly vapid statement of how faith affects vocation I have ever read. I truly genuine faith would find much clearer expression.

  • Kurt Peterson

    Russert’s statement is perhaps the most blandly vapid statement of how faith affects vocation I have ever read. I truly genuine faith would find much clearer expression.

  • E Favorite

    Dear Fellow CHS Alum – I hope you come back to read this and decide not to give up so quickly on the “On Faith” forum. It has been, as you say “a forum where positive, new understandings might result from the sharing of ideas.”Just recently, the level of discourse has taken a dive. I’m not sure why, though I can say that it started with the Jerry Falwell conversation and is sustained though this one.Hopefully, it will change back to its normal self again soon. Meanwhile, I suggest you read some of the earlier Guest Voices essays.

  • Frodot

    Tiresome stuff.

  • shellie -Boise ID

    I really am saddened by the attitude of the anti-christian society that is at work in America. I don’t at all believe that it was our fault that we got hit on 9/11. But I do know that they did not want to kill us in 1950. Our America was a much different America than it is now.I as so many Americans don’t like what is going on in our culture, it makes us look like a very deviant society. And yes Christians do, in the majority, make decisions through their faith, because their faith is what makes them who they are.

  • Frodot

    Tiresome stuff.

  • Ethan Houser

    TIM – I believe you must try to report the facts and cover all perspectives and opposing points of view. If all sides feel you have conveyed accurately their viewpoints then you have put forth an honest and true picture. Don’t let your own prejudices slant your reporting even if you are afraid of the truth. Slanting a story is exactly the same thing as “bearing false witness”. As a reporter your only “agenda” should be the truth. God asks for little more.

  • John

    I am tired of Tim rambling on about his father and son and the joyful bliss of being the generational wedge between them. My frustration is magnified when Chris Matthews and Tim get together and congratulate each other on how great they are as reporters. I am glad his son goes to BC, my alma mater. I am unhappy that BC accepted yet another white Catholic who speaks Spanish because of his housekeeper. How diverse. There needs to be a housecleaning at NBC.

  • E Favorite

    Tom Grubisich – I see you’re a journalist who espouses internet transparency. Many people here are not professionals in the field and thus want to protect their privacy.It’s unfortunately that on-line anonymity can result in rudeness, but it also can result in extremely open and direct conversation among strangers — especially in matters of faith, a subject that is generally taboo in polite conversation. I’ve appreciated the frank conversations I’ve engaged in with people whose beliefs are different from mine and try to overlook the occasional rudeness and crassness.Hope that answers your question.

  • ahux

    Surely, no one is taking this plate of tripe seriously.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ahhh, the wrath of those who voted for Al Gore still pervades the blogs!!!! Hang on, November 2008 is coming. Be wary though, Fred Dalton Thompson might just be the guy to lead the world!!!!!

  • merlallen

    Yes, if telling lie after lie and sucking up to those in power.

  • Jack

    E Favorite, can you read? Can you relate in any way to, common sense? Derive is a verb, meaning to reach or obtain by reasoning. deduce; infer.As I mentioned, most of the framers of the Constitution were religious men, some were Deists, and if you don’t believe me, please, read some books, search the web, wherever you get your information. However, they were aware, through history that religion and government do not mix. The framers created a Constitution that reflected their religious cultural beliefs even as it marked out a clearly secular role for the federal government they proposed.Also, understand that secular at the time of 1787 did not include Atheism, since Darwin’s book, “The Origin of the Species” wasn’t introduced until 1859, where its’ conclusion brought the argument against a need for a Supreme Being.Our democratic government was not created to produce moral citizens; moral citizens constructed and preserved the democracy.John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.””Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”Don’t try to compare the framers of the Constitution with the religious zealots that we have today who try to manipulate our government with their interpretation of the Constitution.

  • Sean

    Tim:We used to have Edward R. Murrow. We used to have Walter Kronkite.Please go watch tapes of their work. You claim to be a journalist. So act like one.My grandfather left for the Navy the day after he graduated high school in 1942. NO ONE CARES THAT YOUR DAD DID THE SAME NOBLE THING THAT EVERYONE IN HIS GENERATION DID. Get over it.There is no one on Earth (except you) who is going say, “wow, that Tim Russert had a really great dad.”Grow up, Timmy. You’re a disgrace to your profession until you stand up to the powers that be, and granting everyone off-the-record status unless they say otherwise is PATHETIC.I went fishing with my grandfather when I was a child and I know what was important to folks in his generation. And it was truth that mattered. He knew when someone was playing things straight and he eviscerated anyone that wasn’t playing straight.Get straight, Timmy. Because right now you are a goddamned joke compared to the giants who have gone before you. Respect needs to be earned, son. And you haven’t earned anything.Sean Corey

  • speed123

    Jim, you are dumbas* and know nothing about affecting change in the world. The current war has worked wonders, hasnt it….

  • KC

    Wow. Tim doesn’t honk his horn anymore. 9/11 DID change everything. And, wild guess here, the car isn’t a Chevy Malibu.God does work in mysterious ways.

  • montag

    Ah, Tim… I have questions, too. My horn hasn’t worked for eleven years. Does that make me a Communist? For almost all of that time, I haven’t cared if it worked. Does that make me a terrorist, or an evangelist, or an inside the Beltway pundit? I’m confused–I really don’t know what I am on the basis of the standards you present here.What I’m not, however, is Jack Welch’s remote-controlled toady who’s willing to kiss the ass of every moron in the Bush administration (including that of the Frog Prince himself) in order to further their agenda, so I have no idea how that works with horn-blowing, etc.Thus concludes the homily for this day.

  • Winston Smith

    The voice from the telescreen was still pouring forth its tale of prisoners and booty and slaughter, but the shouting outside had died down a little. The waiters were turning back to their work. One of them approached with the gin bottle. Winston, sitting in a blissful dream, paid no attention as his glass was filled up. He was not running or cheering any longer. He was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow. He was in the public dock, confessing everything, implicating everybody. He was walking down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at his back. The longhoped-for bullet was entering his brain. He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Wow, that Tim Russert had a really great dad. God bless him, his family and all who have served the USA.And I bet you many oil dollars that SPEED123 is a Democrat who voted for Al Gore and continues to wail with blog “niceties”. Fred Dalton Thompson for next President of the USA!!!!!

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Nunya,Well researched with excellent presentation!!!

  • Seth Chandler

    If you really gave a tinker’s cuss about honoring the 9/11 dead, you’d have stomped on George Bush and Dick Cheney every time they used them for political purposes.

  • James R Conrad

    The fact that he believes in fairy tales doesn’t surprise me at all. And yes, seeing what christians actaully do IS a reason for athiesm.

  • Guy

    Are the Sunni and Shia in Iraq doing God’s work?btw: A car’s horn is a safety device. You can tell your driver it’s ok to use it.

  • peter

    Could someone please explain to me how not honking your car horn is a sign of respect to those who dies on 9/11? This is truly one absurd piece of writing. Instead of worrying if you’re doing God’s work, Tim, perhaps you should just do your job and hold those in power accountable for their actions. You’d probably sleep better at night and not engage in this kind of silly blathering.Oh, and one more thing. Run out and buy yourself a little English grammar guide: “A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me.”Really? Do all other sons and daughters have the same dad? I don’t think so. I believe the correct way to say this is “their dads.”

  • peter

    Could someone please explain to me how not honking your car horn is a sign of respect to those who dies on 9/11? This is truly one absurd piece of writing. Instead of worrying if you’re doing God’s work, Tim, perhaps you should just do your job and hold those in power accountable for their actions. You’d probably sleep better at night and not engage in this kind of silly blathering.Oh, and one more thing. Run out and buy yourself a little English grammar guide: “A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me.”Really? Do all other sons and daughters have the same dad? I don’t think so. I believe the correct way to say this is “their dads.”

  • E favorite

    Dear Jack – Atheism existed long before the publication of the “Origin of the Species” and is unrelated to it.In terms of the Founders’ views on Christianity, I think that was covered very well in Nunya’s post above. You still haven’t addressed how the Constitution is derived from the 10 Commandments and I no longer expect you to. You have provided yet another example of the lack of Christian love that too often, in my opinion, shows through on this forum.

  • Bruce

    What would Jesus do?Would he honk his horn to support the Iraq war?Would he honk his horn to support people whose children or spouses or parents were killed in Iraq?Or would he refrain from honking altogether?Seriously Tim.What would Jesus do?

  • KRAKEN

    what in the heck does horn honking (or not) have to do with respecting the victims of 9-11? Can you expand on this?I’ll take that one. Every time a horn honks an angel gets his wings. Well, I assume that is what he meant. Or maybe horn honking attracts “terrorists.” Anyway, it is clear that everything changed after 9/11, so horn honking had to change in some way. You really have a pre-9/11 mindset there, Slats. Posted May 18, 2007 8:26 PM TOO FUNNY! THANKS FOR GIVING ME A LAUGH THIS MORNING.LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO’VE POSTED HERE I DON’T PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT RUSSERT’S RELIGION. I DO, HOWEVER, CARE ABOUT HIS JOB AS A “TALKING HEAD”. I THINK MR. RUSSERT WOULD BE WELL ADVISED TO CONTEMPLATE HOW HE IS DOING OR NOT DOING HIS JOB. I VERY RARELY WATCH HIS SHOW ANYMORE BECAUSE I FIND THAT HE IS ONE OF THOSE WHO GO ALONG TO GET ALONG. I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST HIM PERSONALLY BUT PROFESSIONALLY I THINK HE IS AWFUL. I THINK MEET THE PRESS SHOULD GO BACK TO IT’S OLD FORMAT AND HAVE GUESTS ACTUALLY MEET THE PRESS NOT ONE LONE GUY WHO ACTS LIKE A CELEBRITY. IF THE SHOW HAS TO BE ONE GUY I’D MUCH PREFER TO SEE BILL MOYER’S ASSUME THAT ROLE. HE DOESN’T MIND MAKING THE POWERFUL UNCOMFORTABLE.

  • Sandy

    What Sean Corey said!

  • aimai

    If this is what Tim Russert thinks is “doing God’s work” what on earth are the rest of the world’s religious people–and non-religious–for that matter doing feeding the poor, protesting the war, honestly and humbly doing their jobs, raising their children, cleaning up the environment, etc…etc…etc…? Now I learn that “refraining from honking my horn” is sufficient! I’ve known from my brief forays watching Russert, and, of course, the Libby Trial that he was a self made buffoon, a stooge, a shill, and a blowhard but really until I read this essay I could not have imagined the depths to which this pretender has sunk. There are actual journalists being killed in Iraq, being kidnapped in Gaza, suffering from wounds inflincted trying to cover the political mess you and yours ushered into the world. How you can get out of bed in the morning and assume the mantle others have woven and carried so honorably is beyond me. Rest assured: you are not “doing god’s work”–you aren’t even doing a *journalists* work. You aren’t doing any kind of “work” at all if by that we mean producing something of value for society.aimai

  • Jon

    I’m an atheist, Tim, but I’ll bite.One of the defining characteristics of God is that He’s omnipotent. Therefore He doesn’t need you — or anyone else — to do His work, whatever that is. Whatever it is, it is effortless for Him.You are doing the work of the power-and-money plutocracy, as a propagandist. It’s what you are paid to do. In General Electric we trust.

  • Avedon

    I don’t think I’ve ever honked my horn. Why would you need to?My father also enlisted during WWII. He couldn’t hear very well afterward, but if he’d been treated the way BushCo. treats today’s troops, he probably wouldn’t have made it home alive (and if he had, we would have been poor ever after).Thank God for Roosevelt and the GI Bill, Social Security, and Edward Murrow, if you wish – but not for Tim Russert, who agreed to lie in November of 2000 and call Florida for Bush when he knew it wasn’t true.

  • E favorite

    Tom Grubisich – Hello again. You asked, “Why do so many people coming, when talking about faith, their faith, post anonymously?” I wonder – are you, a journalist interested in on-line transparency, here mainly to ask questions? If so, that’s fine with me. I understand that that’s what journalists do and I’d be very interested in reading a subsequent article of yours about your findings here. However, I’d also be interested in hearing about your faith, and seeing people’s responses to a post from you. I think it would be a good example of practicing what you preach and would provide additional perspective in any article you write.I hope you consider this idea.

  • Jon

    Josevs –Re: Pascal’s WagerWhat if you put your money on the wrong god? There are tens of thousands of them, you know, spanning human history. You put your money on your god, but the REAL god turns out to be a big nasty lizard god who does not like you betting against him.Better to keep your dough in your pocket and leave gambling alone.

  • Jim

    >>”Better believe then not to. Why?, If G-d is “Real” you Win, If G-d Not real, you loose Nothing”Same goes for the Tooth Fairy. If she is real, you get a quarter under your pillow. If not, you lose nothing. Or the giant monkey who lives on Mars. Or the Easter bunny. Or horn honking.Wait, shouldn’t we just believe in everything then? What if Allah is the “real” God, though? Shouldn’t you believe in him also? Hmm, I guess Pascal was stoned when he came up with his wager. Sounded good at the time, though.Basing a religion on “calculating the odds” like this is not only essentially anti-religious, it’s just stupid. It is funny, though. So I’m all for it.

  • g

    So Timmeh is doing God’s work by not honking his horn since 9/11? Way to sacrifice, Timmeh!And while we’re on the subject of cars, why the eulogy, right after the memory of the firefighters and the passengers of flight #93, to the DRIVERS of New York and Washington, patiently stuck in traffic on 9/11??Who saw 9/11 from that perspective? Sounds like Timmeh and his limo were stuck on the beltway.

  • Jim

    We now learn that 9/11 so affected Tim Russert that he refuses (to have his chauffer) honk his horn, when all this time I just assumed that the way 9/11 affected him was that he refused to knock Dick Cheney or any administration official off of their talking points. That’s the liberal media for you.

  • ignoreland

    Hey Tim – let’s remember that people weren’t spontaneously approaching you with stories about their parents. You solicited those stories on your Web site, then packaged them and pocketed the money. Remember Matthew 19:24? “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.” If you want to do God’s work, sell the Nantucket house and give the proceeds to the poor.

  • Foamy

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  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    As noted by Mr. Russert, he does not honk his horn in traffic jams as a tribute to those who died, were hurt or were heroes and good citizens on 9/11. With respect to all the “honking” comments, they wreak of those still suffering from their presidential votes of 2000 and 2004. Fred Dalton Thompson for President!!!

  • susan

    “I suggested we put the vice president on ‘Meet the Press,’ which was a tactic we often used,” Martin testified. “It’s our best format.”No, Mr. Russert, you aren’t doing God’s work, you are doing the GOP’s work.

  • Mr Mark

    susan wrote:No, Mr. Russert, you aren’t doing God’s work, you are doing the GOP’s work.”Thanks for reminding us of that, Susan.Mr Russert loves to play gotcha with his guests, resurrecting quotes from their past in an effort to impeach their present positions. To my knowledge, Russert has never addressed the fact that the WH considered MTP to be a friendly format in which to distribute their lies and propaganda.How about it, Tim? Would you like to address the issue now? Were you a willing mouthpiece for the spread of lies that have led to untold deaths, or were you an unwitting patsy?

  • Ralph

    It is unusual to see such hostility directed toward religion. He begins by asking what religion has to do with fair, honest, and responsible reporting. Then he answers that he no longer blows his car horn in traffic out of respect for the 9/11 fire fighters.What a say guy.I’m glad my parents kept me away from such people when I was growing up in the Washington suburbs.

  • Mr Mark

    Jack writes:Or in my own words, not copied word for word.”Well, at least you made an attempt to answer my question, even if your response is hopelessly weak. Thanks for trying, but I think you’ve lost this skirmish.

  • peter

    Could someone please explain to me how not honking your car horn is a sign of respect to those who died on 9/11? This is truly one absurd piece of writing. Instead of worrying if you’re doing God’s work, Tim, perhaps you should just do your job and hold those in power accountable for their actions. You’d probably sleep better at night and not engage in this kind of silly blathering.Oh, and one more thing. Run out and buy yourself a little English grammar guide: “A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me.”Really? Do all other sons and daughters have the same dad? I don’t think so. I believe the correct way to say this is “their dads.”

  • peter

    Could someone please explain to me how not honking your car horn is a sign of respect to those who died on 9/11? This is truly one absurd piece of writing. Instead of worrying if you’re doing God’s work, Tim, perhaps you should just do your job and hold those in power accountable for their actions. You’d probably sleep better at night and not engage in this kind of silly blathering.Oh, and one more thing. Run out and buy yourself a little English grammar guide: “A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me.”Really? Do all other sons and daughters have the same dad? I don’t think so. I believe the correct way to say this is “their dads.”

  • peter

    Could someone please explain to me how not honking your car horn is a sign of respect to those who died on 9/11? This is truly one absurd piece of writing. Instead of worrying if you’re doing God’s work, Tim, perhaps you should just do your job and hold those in power accountable for their actions. You’d probably sleep better at night and not engage in this kind of silly blathering.Oh, and one more thing. Run out and buy yourself a little English grammar guide: “A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me.”Really? Do all other sons and daughters have the same dad? I don’t think so. I believe the correct way to say this is “their dads.”

  • lex

    A deist is a person who believes, based on inconclusive evidence, that God exists. An atheist is a person who believes, based on the same inconclusive evidence, that god does not. Either of those beliefs will inform a person’s philosophical view of the world in a fundamental way. Mr. Russert is asking whether his belief in a God of life, hope and light is being reflected in the work he’s doing in the world – it may or may not be, but that’s an important question for a Christian to ask.I’ve known atheists of every political stripe. The libertarian and conservative types tend to look at my own faith with a kind of wry amusement if they bother to think of it at all, but they’re generally quite content to let me believe in whatever fantasies I choose – it’s no skin off their nose. But it’s really instructional to see so graphically displayed on this forum how great the overlap is between the other kinds of atheists: The ones that think believers are not just deceived but also stupid and even evil has an evidently significant correlation with the hysterically angry, foam-flecked, hate-filled left, the kind of people that believe that anyone who believes in any political policy different than their own is not just wrong, but stupid and evil. I bet you guys are fun at parties.

  • catbirdman

    My wife and I watched “Deliver Us From Evil” a couple nights ago. I had read a lot about pedophile priests, but until I actually saw them working it on TV I couldn’t appreciate the magnitude of the EVIL involved. In LA, I’m treated to the serene visage and wise words of Cardinal Roger Mahoney on a regular basis. This documentary exposes him for the complete creep that he is.Anyway, if you’re Tim Russert — a journalist and self-identifying Catholic with a massive megaphone — and you’re wondering whether you’re really doing God’s work, then you must be doing your fair share to expose the incredible, stinking rot at the heart of the Catholic church. Are you, Tim?Anyway, I can’t recommend “Deliver Us From Evil” highly enough. You will be mesmerized and sickened. You will have more many more questions than answers.

  • catbirdman

    Oh, and Lex, since you’re next to me in comments, I dare you to watch “Deliver Us From Evil” and not reach the conclusion that the Catholic church is evil. I don’t think they’re stupid, though, since they’ve made a fortune off smart people like you and Tim Russert.

  • Randy

    “A day doesn’t go by when other sons and daughters want to share stories of their dad with me.”Timmy – can I call you Timmy? – do you even realize that you’re claiming here that “other sons and daughters” never, ever want to share these stories with you? Shouldn’t being able to write a sentence that says what you mean it to say, instead of the exact opposite, be a bare-minimum requisite for being considered an (alleged) journalist? Or who knows, maybe that really is what you meant to write. I wouldn’t want to share any such stories with you so you could make a buck off of them.

  • lex

    Catbirdman – that’s Definitions are important – you’re using the term “Catholic church” to describe the hierarchy of the institution. That’s a step up from those who think it’s a building on the corner, but it’s still wrong. “Church” comes from the Greek word Some people will attempt to do so using the accumulated wisdom of our civilizations greatest moral thinkers over two millenia. Others will watch a movie.Each to their own.

  • cds

    Mr.Russert, your message sounds like you’re pandering to the base here. Are you thinking about running for office?

  • catbirdman

    Hey Lex — since you’ve gotten all “definitions are important” on me — when someone says people “like you” that doesn’t mean you. It means people with your mindset. I have no idea what religion you belong to and I don’t care.The point is that evil is not “moving” in the Catholic church — it is at the heart of it. But to learn about that you’d have to watch the movie. You feel safer and more superior mocking people who learn things from watching documentaries. And lecturing me about the origin of the word “church.” I feel smarter already. Bully for you.

  • lex

    I wasn’t lecturing you so much as hoping to help you understand that when you indict the “church” you are talking about many, many more people than those loathsome members of the ordained hierarchy who abused children, or the morally bankrupt seniors who sheltered them at the expense of their flocks.Since you now understand the origins and meaning of the word “church,” your continuing point then that “evil is at the heart” of the Catholic church includes the membership in its entirety. Evil then at the heart of over 1 billion people world-wide – the vast majority of whom were at least as shocked at these abuses of pastoral authority as were those outside the church. People who nevertheless continue to believe there is good in the world also and a spiritual responsibility to seek out and extend that good.But no, it turns out that they’re actually evil.Gosh, now I’m smarter too.

  • catbirdman

    Okay Lex, to be clear, I was referring to the church’s heirarchy, not to all the billion-plus Catholics in the world. I thought that was obvious.Anyway, my point was that Tim Russert ponders whether he’s doing enough as a Great American and Pious Catholic when there’s a stinking rot at the heart of his religion that he could definitely be helping to heal by shining some of his Big Light in there. Do you disagree?

  • Jack

    Well, perhaps on your deathbed you may wonder what all of this was for. I kind of feel sorry for you and your children. What’s your purpose?

  • E favorite

    Jack, from the little I’ve seen of you here, your purpose seems to be misrepresenting Christianity’s relationship to the founding of the USA, and then — go to heaven?

  • Mr Mark

    Jack writes:Oooo. The big, bad bogeyman Jeebus is going to GIT YA when ya die! Let’s throw in the children for good measure – Jack cares about your children even if YOU don’t. Isn’t he the perfect little Xian, while you – the ATHEIST – display such disregard for the eternal souls of your own offspring?Typical Xian arrogance posing as insipid piety with a good measure of bargain-counter benevolence thrown into the mix. Gads!In his latest book (“god is not great”), Christopher Hitchens points out the totalitarian nature of religions – all religions. Jack’s mind reeks of the fears of those oppressed by totalitarianism – their total distrust of their own humanity and their all-too-ready embrace of a group think that is unsupported by reason and enabled by the willing suspension of disbelief. Jack’s unthinking support for “the state” (in this case, Xianity) has the unfortunate effect of blinding him to his common humanity with his atheist brothers, and leads him to scold his brothers by throwing out that overused totalitarian question, “what’s your purpose?” – a question to which Jack neither expects – nor will respect – an answer.Thus does the religionist ply his unctuous trade.

  • Mr Blifil

    Tim:Has it also occurred to you that those returning from Iraq missing forelimbs and such may be physically incapable of horn honking, and so you should be including them in your “tribute to the fallen.”Here’s an idea how you might make an even bigger contribution to spiritual rectitude. Stop using your show as a forum for providing war profiteers and racist jingoists a platform from which to excuse their offenses against God and humanity. Just a thought.

  • Soullady53

    So little Timmy, in other words you did absolutely nothing, say it again? I simply will not and cannot, understand republicans. You are, withnout a doubt, the most shallow, crass people in the world. The last time you went to church did you take from the donations, clink a taped coin on the bottom, or just not give at all? Do you mean to tell us that from the millions you earn every year for being a pontificating pumpkin head, that you could afford to give nothing in the way of donations to some charitble fund, or even start one for the victims of 9/11? What about a journalist plaque somewhere in tribute to the victims? No? Well, then let me disabuse you of the notion that you are doing God’s work by not honking your horn. That’s Satan’s work.

  • DJ

    “A Catholic poet should be an apostle by being first of all a poet, not try to be a poet by being first of all an apostle. For if he presents himself to people as a poet and if he is not a good one his apostolate will be ridiculed.”– Thomas Merton, New Seeds of ContemplationSubstitute “journalist” for “poet”, and you will readily deduce what this Trappist monk would have thought of Russert, who has become a disgrace to his profession.

  • TP

    So I guess we have to start calling you Father Russert now.

  • E Favorite

    Soullady53, Please – Mr Russert simply did not comment on his charitable giving. This doesn’t mean he made no donations.

  • David

    There must be a God, since Mr. Russert has clearly been doing Satan’s work. The former works mysteriously I’m told.

  • Wil Burns

    Fred Dalton Thompson for next President of the USA!!!!!>>Why… because he is doing such a great job as Manhatten’s District Attorney!

  • Jack

    After reading your threads, I think I know what your purpose in life is.To write meaningless threads in a simple “think piece” from someone who has achieved something in his life.

  • Paul Gaskin

    Tim, I depise you. I pray for the end of your career.

  • Paul Gaskin

    I meant “despise”. Tim, you’ve given succor to Bush for many years. Bush really appreciates your loyalty. Thanks for all your years of propaganda.

  • Paul Gaskin

    Xeno:”It has been a long time since I have read anything as shallow and self-serving as this piece.”I didn’t even bother to read it. I just want that bloviating Bush-loyalist to stop giving succor to Bush on the public spectrum.Think of the children!

  • Paul Gaskin

    Here’s what you mainstream media guys don’t understand. You’re not going to escape the stench of your own corruption unless you do a full mea culpa. At this point, I don’t think any of you are capable of it. You can’t even imagine what that would entail. Tim Russert, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, but especially you, Tim Russert – you guys are going to live a long time as the media continues to change. Eventually, you’ll all be socially-isolated and deeply embarrassed by the loyalty you’ve shown Bush. You won’t even want to go in public because people will spit in your direction. Just wait until we have our say. It’s been all you guys and Rupert Murdoch for a long time.Just wait until we have our say.

  • TJPR

    Thanks, Tim, for your very humble and heartfelt comments. I remembered you as a Bills fan in ’91 when Washington won the Super Bowl, but now I have something to appreciate about you. Faith (uppercase ‘F’) and faithfulness (lowercase ‘f’) are two sides of the same coin. I admire anyone who’s willing to lay themselves out there for this kind of acrimony, and for your own willingness to look at yourself. Your family will only benefit from your efforts – God bless all of you.

  • Marc

    Tim Russert’s sanctimonious essay has rightly stirred up quite a few cynical liberals and atheists on this blog. Not honking your horn in remembrance of 9/11 does not make Mr. Russert righteous or faithful, it makes him nice. Bragging about it makes him prideful. I’m not sure that’s what St. Luke was talking about.

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