February 19 2010

Claremore Daily Progress article
November 8, 1991

North uses humor to proclaim faith

by Carey Kinsolving

Lt. Col. Oliver North laid his Bible on the lectern at the National Press Club and quipped that during the Iran-Contra hearings he used to read it and the Washington Post at the start of each day just to find out what both sides were doing.

North used humor and his boyish, gap-toothed smile to needle the audience about things they had written about him – and to frame the deeply religious content of much of his recent speech to journalists at the press club.

In September, North’s felony conviction was set aside and all charges were dropped in connection with his role in the Iran-Contra affair. He compared his ordeal to that of the prophet Daniel’s three friends.

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego believed in the God of our fathers, and yet they weren’t stopped at the door of the fiery furnace,” North said. “They were thrown into the furnace.” Scripture records that, like North, they were delivered safely.

Using a white-water raft ride to describe his Christian journey, North said the congressional hearings and his trial had strengthened his faith.

“God does not promise you a smooth passage,” he said. “What He promises you is a safe delivery.”

In a written question posed to North after his speech, he was asked if he felt lying to Congress was justified to protect a president and a policy in the name of national security.

“No,” North replied. “It is not justified. It shouldn’t happen. I shouldn’t have done it.”

“I testified as to what I had done in the hearings,” he said. “I testified again to it in my trial.”

North said he was wrong in several instances: “It was not right for me to participate in setting the price for a human life at 500 tow missiles. It was not right for me to walk into the White House situation room on August 6, 1986, and fail to tell the truth to that committee.”

North was asked what should be the proper relationship between fundamentalist Christianity and government.

“What we have in this country is a system of Judeo-Christian values of secular laws made by godly men. My hope is that godly people will understand and participate in government and that fundamentalist, evangelical or charismatic Christians won’t choose to withdraw from the process.

“I do believe that Christians who are supposed to be in this world but not of the world must also be salt and light in this world and be involved in the political process. Failure to be involved leaves it up to those who do not believe the words in this book.” As he spoke he lifted his Bible.

North said in 1978 he saw what his relationship to his Creator should be. Since that time he has observed the providence of God at work in his life.

North said his new book “Under Fire” has risen to number 3 on the New York Times best seller list after only two and one-half days on the bookshelves.

He said his wife especially enjoyed his book. “She was glad to find out what I was doing all those years.”