Radio Host Questions Merge of Religion & Politics

Mike Papantonio, an active Methodist, hosts the Air America radio show "Ring of Fire."

Papantonio considers himself a moderate Christian.

He believes the children in the Kids on Fire Bible camp are being used as political pawns by adults with a conservative political agenda.

Papantonio and Pastor Becky Fischer, who runs the Kids on Fire camp, appeared on "Good Morning America" to discuss the new documentary film, "Jesus Camp," with Chris Cuomo and Diane Sawyer.

Read excerpts from Papantonio below.

Q: Is this just passion?

A: I'm not so much a critic of Becky but more of the idea that you have televangelists trying to merge politics with their religion. Anytime you do that, the success and failure of religion is tied up in the success and failure of politics. That's what really bothers me.

Q: When you talk about the politics, why shouldn't evangelical Christians organize around their faith?

A: They certainly have that right to do that. But when they start imposing that on everybody's family.

Let me give you the best example I can. There is part of Christianity that says, well, we don't want blood transfusions or medical care. They teach generation to generation that we should not have blood transfusions.

That's fine for them to teach that to their children. It's fine to live that. But when they start imposing that by way of legislation on my family, I think then I'm affected by that.

When they start saying we want a Supreme Court judge who is going to follow my politics, that goes beyond mere belief. If you're honest, you choose to use a horse-and-buggy carriage. That doesn't mean I should have to use it. They shouldn't legislate that.

That's what's happening with what I call -- it's not the evangelical movement. The evangelical movement is doing great work in this world. They clothe people. They house people. They feed people.

But there is a different edge to it that people miss.

Q: Is there is a difference between saying anything and, again, a camp at which they are so clearly … emotionally overwhelmed at times by what they're being told.

A: I think to some degree what ends up happening, when you lead a child to believe, for example, some of these children are home-schooled. They're led to believe the Earth is 6,000 years old when in fact it's 4 billion years old.

The problem is they then relate that to their religion. It's not the same kind of suspension of disbelief when we're talking about the Easter bunny. This is a fundamental part of science.

Then they grow up and understand, they [adults] haven't been honest with me. How does that shape their faith?

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