Alternate headline: “You call that a faith editor?”
One of the most popular and well-read parts of TheBlaze.com is our Faith vertical. At the helm of this important collection of stories is Faith Editor Billy Hallowell. Before bringing his talents to TheBlaze in early 2011, Hallowell’s writing was featured on other major sites like Mediaite, Fox News and Human Events. He is a regular guest on TheBlaze TV shows and is heard weekly on various radio shows around the country. Billy, his wife Andrea and daughter Ava Grace live just outside of New York City.
Since we’re fairly certain Billy’s going to Heaven, we decided that, for Mike Opelka‘s regular interview feature for the June issue of TheBlaze Magazine, it was necessary to give Billy a taste of Hell by putting him “In the Hot Seat”:
MAG: As faith editor, it’s kind of a “given” that you are a person of faith. Have you always been a religious person? Was there a faith “pivot point” in your past?
BILLY: I grew up in a non-denominational Christian home, so faith was always a part of my life. But it wasn’t until college that I realized that a relationship with God isn’t inherited—that it’s something we all have to work toward. That’s when I really started to understand Jesus and my Christian faith. It’s still a process and a continuous one that includes mistakes and subsequent growth and understanding, though I think that’s probably how it should be.
Faith, to me, is the only thing that really makes sense. The world is chaotic, we’re all distracted, but when we really dig down into the realities and complexities of the universe we live in, I’m not sure how anyone lands anywhere other than “there is a God.”
MAG: Where do you stand on the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and on our money?
BILLY: I absolutely believe that there is a God and that He wants a relationship with His people. To me, not thanking Him and not recognizing not only His creation but the blessings He’s bestowed upon America and our individual lives is monumentally silly. So I have no problem with “under God” on currency and in the Pledge.
I do think that most people don’t realize that “under God” and “in God we trust” weren’t added to the Pledge and paper currency until the 1950s (though the motto was around long before that). I have no problem with people debating the constitutionality of the issue, but I also have absolutely no opposition with those words having a presence in public life.
No one is forcing anyone to say the Pledge or believe in God, but since the vast majority of us do, we’ve chosen to embrace Him on our currency and in our national recitation. What’s so wrong with that?
MAG: Do you identify your personal politics? If so, please share. If not, is that question not as risky as asking about one’s faith?
BILLY: I’m a conservative on many issues, though I recognize that there is a grey area where the truth many times resides. I’m not a Republican, nor am I a Democrat, as the parties have really lost their ways. I think we need to find the balance between logic and compassion, and neither party really encompasses that ideal.
When you start living in New York City at age 18, you learn pretty quickly how to live with people with whom you disagree. That’s been a blessing, and it’s helped me understand how to peacefully oppose people and still remain friends with them—a skill I truly value.
MAG: Your coverage of the Nation of Islam and the Westboro Baptist Church have brought some negative attention your way from both of these groups. Can you talk about your “hate mail”? Does it concern you?
BILLY: Hate mail only …
Get the rest of the interview—including questions about Billy’s superpower dream, his fantasy dinner party, what would most surprise you about him (it’s worse than you think) and more—only in the June issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
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