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The one-tooth wonder (Coming home from my 1st CPAC)

Tim Pawlenty and me, CPAC, February 2011

I’m shuffling through Reagan National Airport on Sunday, laden with books, buttons and brochures from my first CPAC. Looking for Gate 32, highlights keep flashing across my mind:

  1. Meeting presidential top runner Tim Pawlenty after his spot on, common-sense speech.

    Andrew Breitbart and me, CPAC, February 2011

  2. Watching charismatic, whimsical Andrew Breitbart recount his confrontation with bussed in, paid union protesters – they were speechless when asked simply, “Why are you here?” On rollerblades, Andrew commanded them to go to Appleby’s, and the “sheeple” all went! Andrew joked that liberal hippie chicks used to be almost bearable because they were “kinda slutty,” but now, like Code Pinks’ Jodie Evans, they are getting “long in the tooth!”
  3. Getting sucked into Ron Paul’s straw-poll-winning speech and philosophy only to be reprimanded by the Jewish think-tank lawyer sitting in front of me that Ron Paul is “insane,” and isolationism cannot work! The young people sure love the Paul! Thousands of polite, well-groomed, suit-and-tie, fresh faced, exuberant youth were there, and many wore Ron Paul stickers. Some who didn’t follow Ron Paul wore pins with a U.S. and Israeli flag crossing.

    Ron Paul fan and me, CPAC 2011

  4. Watching gorgeous 20-year-old Regis Giles (founder of GirlsJustWannaHaveGuns.com), who recently killed a wild boar with a spear, passionately shout from the podium, “I’m sick and tired of seeing defenseless girls being abducted in broad daylight by some perverted freak who gets aroused by raping and murdering them! My company stands for those girls who have decided not to be the victim and arm themselves with a gun that will pump lead into an attacker at 1,200 feet per second!”

    Regis Giles and me, CPAC 2011

  5. Meditating as Eric Metaxes, author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” reminded us God comes first, not politics and that we are to love our enemies. In this battle of ideas and solutions, we are just as broken as our opponents, and following Christ comes first.

    Eric Metaxes and me, CPAC 2011

  6. Laughing at the hilarious, smart, edgy comedy of Stephen Crowder as he took on “the gay elephant in the room.” He was effectively funny without offending anyone. Ann Coulter said that it was wrong for the liberals to kidnap women, blacks and gays. She said that she was glad “the gays” were at CPAC but that she’d rather they didn’t “separate” themselves with labels – just be one of us.
  7. CNN interviewing me for an hour and me being deeply suspicious of how they will twist my words.
  8. Time magazine interviewing me and me being surprised at how young the interviewer was, and how pale she got when I started listing the preponderance of evidence proving Obama’s communism. (Read Dinesh D’Souza’s “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”)
  9. Accidentally offending Pat Caddell. Ann Coulter was making her way through a sea of admirers, when I ran up to her and said, “Remember me from our appearance together on ‘Politically Incorrect’ in the late ’90s? I’m political now!”

    Ann: “You weren’t then? It was called ‘Politically …

    Me: “No! I was just a Christian! Now, I’m a conservative!”

    Ann: (quick as a wink) Oh! So Christianity is the gateway to conservatism!”

    She leaned over to show me her tiny cross necklace and said, “Pat Caddell gave me this!” She was smiling at a nearby bearded face. I said, “Who’s Pat Caddell?” The bearded man slumped and mumbled something that sounded derogatory about me. Ann was pushed on by her bodyguards. I then realized that the bearded man was Fox News Democratic pundit Pat Caddell and, I had offended him by not knowing him. Doh! I know the feeling. I was in the Macy’s Day Parade early in my “SNL” career. Up on a snail float, freezing to death, someone from the crowd shouted out, “Who are you?” They were expecting someone famous. I shrugged and shouted back, “It doesn’t matter!”

  10. Watching Pamela Gellar’s brilliant and detailed documentary, “Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks” about the fight to keep the Muslim mosque from being built on Ground Zero. I want to help this cause. It’s insane that we’re even discussing it. Common sense has been replaced by the liberal media’s political correctness to the bizarre degree that our enemies, (we are at war), are allowed to not only cross our borders freely, be defended in court trials and be coddled like royalty, but also permitted to seal their conquest with a victory mosque on the site of hallowed ground. The Quran teaches violence toward “the infidel” – non-Muslims. My Dad says, “It’s a good thing most Muslims are ‘luke-warm’ or we’d all be dead!” Watching the film, the countless interviews where the liberal media attack Gellar and condone “moderate” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (who has proven ties to terrorist organizations) – I am sickened. It would confuse me, but look at top guy, O. He has been pro-Muslim, pro-terrorist and anti-American since day one.

    Geller: “Truth is the new hate speech.” “The Ground Zero mosque has become a watershed issue in our effort to raise awareness of and ultimately halt and roll back the advance of Islamic law and Islamic supremacy in America. Although 70 percent of Americans oppose this insulting victory mosque, the mainstream media continue to propagandize for it, whitewashing the links to jihad terror and unsavory financial dealings of mosque organizers, and smearing the vast majority of Americans who oppose the mosque as racists and hatemongers.”

  11. Meeting young Rocko in his wheelchair at the bar. He designs submarines! He’d never heard of Joni Erikson Tada! Now he has! His friends Tim and Shaun are sending me “Citizens in Action Advocacy Handbook.” There is an art to being an involved citizen. There is a system, a protocol. I did not know that.

Still shuffling through Reagan National Airport, I hear an announcement for a church service taking place in 15 minutes at the chapel in Terminal B. Church in an airport?! I have two hours to kill. I start to look for signs that say “chapel.” I hope it’s not Unitarian. I’m hungry and thirsty for the word of God and a still, quiet place to worship him.

Flashes of my first CPAC continue to bombard my brain – Bachmann’s grace, Palin’s absence, Trump’s swagger, the buzz about Allen West, bumping into tea-party friends Alfonzo, Tony Katz, Levi, Amy Kremer, Benjamin the Navy Seal and Gold Star mom Debbie Lee, the devoted college student Kevin who sat through our three-hour Lisa Mei-hosted freedom concert waving his big, yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and even praying, head bowed. He runs a six-member tea party on his liberal college campus. He is the future of our country. He touched me so much. And, the two Liberty University students I met at the T-shirt booth, Justin Stroud and Sean Maguire. The love of Jesus flowed from their eyes. Our country is in good hands here.

Me and Liberty University students Justin and Sean, CPAC 2011

At the end of the terminal, I find the chapel, a tiny room squeezed next to the security guard office. I wonder if loved ones have grieved for plane crash victims here. I see some Gideon Bibles, so I feel safe. A gentle man who speaks in thee’s and thou’s introduces his kind-faced wife. There is a thin, black woman in the corner wearing a hoodie and a knit hat. She is scribbling furiously with pen and paper. I sneeze and get two “bless you”s.

Me: Sorry.

Pastor: You shouldn’t apologize for sneezing. It allows others to truly ask God to bless your soul.

Me: I will never think of a sneeze the same again.

Pastor: Are you flying somewhere?

Me: Yes! (chuckle) Why else would I be in an airport?!

I was thinking about the uncomfortable, invasive, total-lack-of-privacy, germ-infested routine of airport schlepping.

As we begin our tiny worship service, a large, unkempt black man with no teeth (well, he had one tooth protruding from the right side of his mouth) shuffles in with what appears to be two guitars in new, zippered cases. Pastor welcomes him and passes out hymn lyrics. We’ll call him Jim. Jim offers to accompany with guitar. Pastor kindly acquiesces, but we all look skeptical. Key of D? OK. We begin singing “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” and the chords that come out of that guitar are heavenly. Jim’s music is brilliant. We are all shocked and then swept away. We forget about ourselves and truly worship. Five strangers at the end of the airport terminal.

After two songs, the word, “Wow!” pops out of me. My face is tear-stained. Pastor echoes, “Wow” and Jim mumbles praise to God and glory to God alone for his gift. Pastor reads Psalms 119 and Matthew 5 and then we take prayer requests. Jim says he is in a “situation,” homeless, staying at the airport and “I have a goal of recording.” The thin, scribbling black woman says she is “staying at the airport,” waiting for her tax return, and needs $15 to get to New York. Wow. My prayer request is, “For our country – that it comes back to God; that we get leaders into office who love and respect God.” Pastor asks me to pray for my request and anyone else to chime in. We pray for each other. Gathering my bags, I remember my last blog where I said the church should take care of the poor and not the government. I hand the strangers money and shuffle back into the terminal fray with tear-stained cheeks and a holy glow.

At my gate, I run into smart, pretty Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch and her entourage.

I am totally inspired to stay the course, for God, for country, for family.

On my flight home, my gay flight attendant and I discuss politics. He is a liberal. I am a conservative.

I pour love all over him and feel Eric Metaxes and Jesus smiling.