(Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a two-part interview with U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jeremiah Denton. Don’t miss Part 1.)
On March 28, retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jeremiah Denton died of heart failure at the age of 89, and much of the coverage of Denton’s death rightly focused on his incredible courage in the midst of the barbaric treatment inflicted by his North Vietnamese captors for nearly eight years.
In addition to his deep frustration at how the United States let victory turn into defeat in Vietnam, Denton was shocked when he returned home after his years in captivity and observed how immoral the culture had become.
“After what I’ve been through, all my life devoted to serving this country and serving God to the degree that I haven’t been sinful, propels me and makes it no other choice for me but to continue to talk about the culture. I couldn’t stay in the Navy and talk about culture. I had to resign and form the Coalition for Decency,” Denton said.
In “When Hell Was in Session,” Jeremiah Denton, the senior American officer to serve as a Vietnam POW, tells the amazing story of his nearly eight years of abuse, neglect and torture behind the closed doors of a Vietnamese prison and how Denton and his men fought back against all odds and against all kinds of evil.
The primary reason for Denton’s successful 1980 U.S. Senate bid was his desire to help America restore it’s moral foundations and reclaim the founding principles of our nation.
“I went there because I saw Ronald Reagan on the rise and I thought he was going to be the reversal of the counter-cultural trend that had begun around the time of Vietnam. And he was. We regained security and defense supremacy in the world and he was able to go over and say, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down [this] wall,’ and he did,” Denton said.
In a 2009 interview conducted while Denton was promoting the release of his update autobiography, “When Hell Was in Session,” he passionately argued that a our society can only remain great by adhering to its moral underpinnings.
“We were formed as one nation under God. Every one of the Founding Fathers believed that. Every one of the colonial governors believed that. The people who wrote the Constitution and Declaration believed that,” he said.
“Our Declaration of Independence defined what our government is going to be based upon. And we say today, ‘Oh, the last thing that’s important in all these policies is ideological discussions. Well, that’s baloney!” Denton said. “Even conservatives are beginning to yield to that. Ideology is the key to your outlook on the world, the criteria for judging right and wrong. We’ve lost realization of that fundamental fact.
“Now the government it denying the fact that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. He is the only One who can give us rights. He created us. He gave us those rights. It’s not a government. It’s not a dictator. It’s not an emperor. It’s not a congress or parliament that can do that. They can’t use rights that interfere with the parameters which went with God’s rights. They are constrained by the Ten Commandments, which are just another way of Jesus’ statement of you’ve got to love your neighbor as you love yourself,” Denton said.
Listen to the 2009 WND/Radio America interview with Rear Adm. Jeremiah Denton below:
Denton said the destructive behaviors encouraged by society fly in the face of America's core principles.
"We're having free sex, by which the kids are being told, 'Go get it, man. It's there. It's a joy. Don't listen to your parents or your preachers. Use contraceptives. It's simple. You'd have a lot of fun. And then if that fails, all you've got to do is go and have an abortion,'" said Denton, who blasted Planned Parenthood and others for even young girls to get abortions without their parents' knowledge or consent.
"That is leading to disastrous marriages. It's leading to a disrespect for children. It's not women's rights. What about the kid's rights? He's a human being in that womb. He can feel, and to tear it to shreds and then to have the same jerk saying, 'Oh, you can't give a guy a waterboarding,' even if you know he just killed a thousand Americans and he knows about future plans to kill a thousand more. That's insane! It's like the world is upside down," Denton said.
The 2009 interview was conducted just prior to Thanksgiving. When asked what he was thankful for, Denton's love for America was obvious.
"The most grateful Americans are immigrants, particularly those who were in an exodus from a communist or a dictatorial, imperialist country. As soon as we look at what they had and what they fled, we see how blessed we are. This country is not perfect, but it's the best country in terms of what it has afforded its citizens and what it has done for the rest of this world," Denton said. "Some of these politicians are not doing right now. They're voting themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in pensions when I get $6,000 for my Senate work. That's all new. It's an acceleration, a cosmic explosion of greed and of me-ism.
"You've got to come off that. No nation that has ever let its government be God has survived. They've all gone within 200 years," Denton said. "When you have plenty, you starting getting lax about realizing how you got it or how your forebearers got it. You start splurging on self-gratification, it's all over unless we rebound, and we can rebound.
"Our country is worth preserving. We should love her. We should be willing to defend her," Denton said. "We should be trying to return to what its founding values were, which is the reason we got as far as we have."
(Editor's note: This is Part 2 of a two-part interview with U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jeremiah Denton. Don't miss Part 1.)