'This Week': The Religious Right

Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. Russell Moore, Ralph Reed, and Cokie Roberts on the influence of the religious right.
10:15 | 04/20/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': The Religious Right
And here now to discuss are the reverend franklin graham, Dr. Russell Moore, president of the southern Baptist ethics. Ralph reed, chairman of the faith and freedom coalition. And our own cokie Roberts. Welcome to you all. We'll talk about politics in a minute. But Easter, a fitting time to talk about religion and faith, as Christians flock to churches, but maybe not as many this year. Let me read you these Numbers from Gallup, attendance is down across the country. In 1992, 70% of respondents said they were a member of a church or a synagogue. In 2013, that number had dropped to 59%. Reverend, what is happening? Listen, no question those Numbers are correct. I'm an evangelist. I want people to know that god loves them, that god is real. This is Easter. Jesus Christ came to this Earth to take our sins. He died on the cross. I know you're going to be in church today. But let's talk about the change, let's talk about this declining number. What do you do about it? I keep telling people about god's love. Because even though people may not be going to church, people still want to know the truth, and people want to know how can I -- Okay, you're not worried. Dr. Moore, are you worried at all about this declining attendance? I'm not worried, either, I think what we're seeing a collapse of a form of christianity. In order to be a good person, a good citizen, one had to nominally at least be a member of the church, those days are over. So, we're at a point where christianity is able to be authentic and christianity is able to be authentically strange. The response is to say that sounds freakish to me, that sounds odd and strange. Well, of course it does. That's the same sort of reaction that happened in the greco-roman empire when christianity first emerged. It offers an opportunity for the church to speak clearly, articulately about what it we believe to give a clear message. Okay, the political powers. One more thing on the church thing before you turn to politics is that we do see in the Numbers is very interesting in the pew Numbers. Young people are the people least likely to go to church, but, all of these people who say they're not connected to a religion, most of them say they believe in god. And something like 25% say they pray every day, so it's organized religion that they're having a problem with, it's not really beliefs, I think that's significant. And I must say, as someone who goes to a catholic church every Sunday, I see this new pope has injected so much joyfulness. That really do see a tremendous -- Maybe the evangelicals can get a lesson from the pope to inspire. There you go. Let me turn to politics, Mr. Reed, in 2011, a poll of evangelical leaders around the world, 82 mkt of American evangelical leaders say that evangelical christianity was losing political influence? What do you do about that? What we do at the faith and freedom coalition is going into about 100,000 nationwide. We pass out voter guides. We now have the ability because of the technology of the internet to communicate with 89 evangelicals online. I don't want to frighten anyone. If you go on certain websites or if you buy a Christian book, we have the ability to send you a voter guide. Martha, they have been writing the obituary of this movement for 30 years. After I left the Christian coalition they said we were dead. Let me bring in Dr. Moore. You said the moral majority no longer exists, basically, moral majority is no longer sustainable. Jerry Falwell's movement -- It's a different time. The way that we speak, we speak in a different way, we speak to people who don't necessarily agree with us. There was a time in which we could assume that most Americans agreed with us on issues and we simply had to say we're the same things you're for, join us. It's a different day. We have to speak to the rest of the culture, we have to say, here's why it's in your right. You heard Dan's piece there and certainly the issue of gay marriage has been a big one, reverend graham, I want to ask you about this. Just a few months after taking office, pope Francis spoke out on the issue of homosexuality. If they accept the lord, have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. You recently said the congress could learn something from president Vladimir Putin on the issues on homosexuals and adoption. Gays and lesbians can't have children. Biologically it's impossible. They can adopt? Yes, they recruit. I greed with Putin, I think protecting his nation's children was a pretty smart thing to do. I suspect you still support what you said. You still support Putin? I think Putin is going to do what's right for Russia, not what's right for America. But for Russia. We used to have a president in this country that did what was right for this country. Putin is going to make these decisions that's best for the Russian people. He think exploiting children is wrong. You agree with what reverend graham said? I believe that every child deserves a mom and a dad. I have two children I adopted from a Russian orphanage. I see the way that Mr. Putin has used Russian orphans as pawn. There are children in orphanages all over Russia who are waiting for parents. I agree with reverend graham that a child needs both a mom and a dad. By the way, the social science on this is clear. This isn't about Vladimir Putin, what's best for children here in the United States. A child who grows up in a home without a mother and father present, and they both very unique socializing roles, they're nine times more likely to end up dropping out of high school. And the fact that people are willing to take these children and raise them and raise them in a loving way is clearly better for these children. Would you agree with that, would you rather have a child sitting in an orphanage than have gay parents? I think the social science isn't in on same-sex couples. I think the law has every right to set an ideal. But the ideal is a mother and a father to raise children. First of all, that ideal isn't true in all kinds of families. The divorce rate being what it is and abandoned mothers. But it's also true, if we got better men we would be in better shape. But the reason the Numbers have changed so fast and so dramatically, on this question of gay marriage, is like no other issue was ever experienced, was because everybody in America has experience with someone who is gay. People have come out of the closet and said, I am your brother, I am your sister, then they have seen these families raising children and see these loving families. I'm going to switch on this last one back to you, reverend graham, and I'm going to ask you about your dad, your dad was known as the pastor to the president, does that rule still exist? I don't know. Our country is different today. It has changed, no question. But my father is doing pretty within a couple of well within a couple of days ago. He's doing a little better. 95 years old. 95 years of age and he's still, his mind is still sharp. And that's what's so amazing. When we talk about families and we talk about gay people, many people -- maybe gays that are watching want to know, can god forgive me? Or, can you go to heaven as a gay person? Absolutely. But it's the same for any win of us, we have to repent for our sin. A person can't stay in adultery and be accepted by god. What would you say to those children of gay parents? Of gay parents? Of their parents. Like any parent, who's living in sin, if we repent, franklin graham, I'm a sinner, I'm been forgiven, I have turned from my sins. Anyone willing to repent, you'll be forgiven. Hot of gay people feel they're sinners but not because they're gay. Thank you, cokie, thanks to everyone and happy Easter to everyone. Happy Easter to you. That discussion taped earlier this week so our guests could celebrate Easter.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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