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Ex-Navy Sniper and Friend Killed; The Big Game is Here; Panetta to Testify on Benghazi; What Americans Think; Funeral Today for School Bus Driver; Boy Scouts May Vote to Allow Gay Members; Survey Says God Influences Sports; How to Be a Super Bowl Party Expert
Aired February 3, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It's 4:00 p.m. in the East, 1:00 p.m. out West. I'm Miguel Marquez, in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're just tuning in, thanks for joining us. These are the top stories we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.
New details are surfacing with the murders of two military veterans, one a highly decorated former Navy SEAL, considered one of the military's best snipers. Thirty-eight-year-old Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed today at a gun range near Fort Worth, Texas. Police say the man who pulled the trigger is also a veteran who Kyle and Littlefield may have been trying to help with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Susan Candiotti is following the story for us and joins us now live from New York.
Susan, there was a press conference a short time ago. What more do we know about how this happened?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miguel, we got some brand new information during that press conference. First of all, we learned about an alleged confession. And police say they think they also have found the murder weapon, which they describe as a semiautomatic handgun that was found at the suspect's house.
Let's back up a little bit. After the double shooting at that gun lodge, police say the suspected shooter, who's 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh took off in Kyle's, the SEAL, pickup truck. Then they said that he went to his sister's house and told her and his brother what had happened, and then left that house.
That's when the sister called the police. Police put out an all points bulletin and tracked Routh, the suspect, to his own house. Now the home was ringed, according to what one police lieutenant told me, with at least a dozen police officers. They tried to talk the suspect out of his house. And somehow he managed to get out and jump in a pickup truck and take off down the road.
He got about six miles out, and they were able to catch him, pull him over, stopped him, they said that he gave up without a struggle. They searched the house and that is when police say they found what they believe is the murder weapon, a semiautomatic handgun. Now this appeared to be the very first time, authorities say, that Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield met with the suspect at the shooting range. Here's what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF TOMMY BRYANT, ERATH COUNTY: There has been some mention of the suspect's mother, who was a schoolteacher for what we understand for a long time, she may have reached out to Mr. Kyle to try and help her son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: Now, again, motive. Police say they just don't know what prompted all of this, police are still working on that. They have acknowledged, as many other people have, that Mr. Kyle worked with veterans, particularly those that were suffering from posttraumatic stress syndrome. Apparently so did Chad Littlefield who was also killed.
And Chris Kyle was interviewed at a gun show recently, actually an exhibition in Las Vegas just a couple of weeks ago, and talked about his work helping vets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS KYLE, FORMER U.S. NAVY SEAL: It's tough. I mean, you go from being military to civilian. You know, we learned our job identifies who we are, and it's heroic, it's honorable, and you're doing it for the greater good, and all of a sudden you don't have an identity, you have to learn a whole new way to act, because you can't act the same way we do at work out in public. And -- people will think you're a savage or something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: As you can see that was published by Guns.com. Now, again, we're talking a lot about post traumatic stress syndrome. But investigators acknowledge they really don't know what prompted this, if something was said at that shooting range. They do describe this place as being a remote spot on this complex, which is really quite big, when you see it from the air. And that they arrived at about 3:00 in the afternoon, that it was a guide who found their bodies about two hours after that. And that's when 911 was called -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Susan Candiotti in New York, thank you very much.
Chris Kyle was well known to millions of Americans. He appeared last year in the NBC reality show "Stars Earn Stripes." And he was the author of the best selling book "American Sniper." Kyle claimed in the book he carried out more than 150 sniper killings in Iraq. Last year he told TV's Conan O'Brien about his reputation among Iraqi insurgents.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": You were so well known by the Iraqi insurgents that you were fighting that they put a $20,000 bounty on your head, is that right?
KYLE: Yes, sir.
O'BRIEN: How did the Iraqi insurgents identify who you were?
KYLE: When I'd go into a house, and we had to occupy houses, I would take the top of my uniform off and just have my short sleeved shirt on, and you could see my tattoo coming down the arm. And they identified that with me, and started -- everyone time someone would be shot by a sniper in the area, they associated that with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: In moments we'll hear from a reporter who did an extensive interview with Kyle last year, but first a quick check of other top stories.
There's a funeral going on this afternoon for Alabama school bus driver Charles Poland. He was killed as he tried to protect the kids on the bus when a gunman came on board. All the kids made it out safely except for one 5-year-old boy. He was kidnapped and he's been -- and held underground in a bunker for six days now.
Super Bowl Sunday is finally here. It's times for wings, dip, pizza and beer. The Ravens versus the 49ers in a little over two hours from now.
We'd like to welcome our -- to our ranks, new CNN and turner sports anchor, Rachel Nichols, who's dealing with loud and boisterous crowds down there in New Orleans. She's following the Super Bowl for us. All the action.
What's it like down there, Rachel?
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN AND TURNER SPORTS: It's been a lot of fun. This is a city built for a party. And there's no party bigger than the Super Bowl. So everybody is walking around. You've got the Ravens fans shouting out to the 49ers fans. See, a lot of people here representing state jerseys. They're trying to get the hometown a little bit of a push, but everyone is in the mood to have a good time. It's a beautiful day. Great day for a football game.
MARQUEZ: It sounds like New Orleans is making a roaring way back on to the national scene. Just fantastic to hear. All eyes are on the star quarterbacks in this game. Tell us about their contrasting styles and experience.
NICHOLS: Yes, this is really interesting for people. It's new guys coming to the stage, someone's going to win their first Super Bowl today, which is always exciting at the quarterback position. And two very different styles. You know, they're both still kind of young guys. Joe Flacco is only 28 years old but he throws like an old school quarterback. He plays from the pocket. He can't move around a little bit but he's 6'6", so definitely tries to sort of use his height over the line and throws these great long balls. He's got great power, he's got good accuracy, even on the D ball, and we saw him beat Peyton Manning's Broncos team with a long pass. So we've seen him do that a couple of times this year. He is going to try to do that today. They think that that's an area that this 49ers could be vulnerable to.
And then you've got on the other side, Colin Kaepernick. He's even younger. He's in his second year in the league. A new style of quarterback, much more in the idea of Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson out in Seattle. A guy who is mobile. We've seen that before in the NFL but also can throw the ball like a fastball pitcher. So that combination of a great arm and that mobility.
There's this new style of quarterback in the -- in the NFL, and there's a question, the Super Bowl is really being seen as a referendum. How well can that work? Will that be in vogue in the coming years, or is it the kind of thing where these guys, it's a gimmick and it's only going to go so far? We'll see a little bit of that today. It's going to be interesting to watch.
MARQUEZ: Rachel Nichols, have a great time down there in New Orleans.
The Boy Scouts of America could decide to lift its ban on gay members as soon as tomorrow. The group holds its executive meeting this week in Texas, where officials may vote on whether to allow openly gay scout leaders. But Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas says there's no reason to change the ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons. Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been, it doesn't need to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Perry is a former Eagle Scout and spoke yesterday before a statewide Boy Scout meeting.
And what do you think? Dropping a ban on gay members in the Scouts would be a huge change for the 105-year-old organization. We'll discuss the issues a little later in the program.
And now back to our top story. A shooting at a Texas gun range that left two men dead. One of them, a well known former Navy SEAL, 38- year-old, Chris Kyle.
Joining us now a reporter who got to know Kyle after interviewing him last year. Doug Dunbar with our affiliate KTVT-KTXA.
Doug, you did a great story with Chris last year. Snipers are really, really tough guys. And they do so much to survive in their jobs. How surprised were you to hear about the way he died? DOUG DUNBAR, KTVT-KTXA, NEWS ANCHOR: I don't think the word shocking is underused. I don't think you survive 10 years as a Navy seal and then, you know, three to five years with the name as the devil of Ramadi as he had labeled -- been labeled by the insurgents over there and a bounty on his head, I don't think you survive all that only to come home and get taken out by somebody here, right? You know, I think shocking is probably the best word.
CANDIOTTI: Yes. Snipers live through absolute hell to get their job done. Mr. Kyle had a stellar, unprecedented career as a sniper. What kind of guy was he?
DUNBAR: I spent an entire day with him. I had numerous conversations on the telephone. I can tell you he was a proud American. There are many people who, you know, were against what he did. Even within the confines of our own United States of America, but he never once worried about opinion. He said his job from day one until the day he left the Navy SEALs was to protect Americans. Protect American military. And it's a job he said he did with pride each and every day.
MARQUEZ: Yes, you also talked with his wife during that story, what did she say about the difficulties of military life?
DUNBAR: As is often the case, Miguel, she was a single parent for all intents and purposes. Out of three years, the last three years, Chris Kyle is in the military, she had had him on to six months out of three years, raising two children. And they in their relationship had a watershed moment back in 2009, where she simply sat him at the kitchen table and hit him with a shot that he never saw coming which is how he talks about.
He kind of laughed about, and that was, she said, we're at the point where you have to decide your career or me. And to me that was an interesting psychological moment, because Chris Kyle, and what he did in the military as a sniper was everything he was as a man. And everything he was as a person. Outside the fact that he was a father and a husband as well. But so often what we do defines who we are. And that was a big moment for him.
MARQUEZ: It all takes such a heavy toll on these guys. He may have been trying to help Mr. Routh, the suspect in this thing, who may have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.
Do you know if Mr. Kyle also suffered or wrestled with PTSD?
DUNBAR: He talked to me a little bit about it, yes. I mean, he had, I'll say, issues. I don't know how deep those issues are, we're -- you know, we're not clinicians, I can't get into that. But he did say that he had trouble sleeping at times and he had a lot of thoughts about what went on overseas. But he also said at the same time it was nothing that ever took him away from his family per se.
I don't know that he ever sought clinical help for any type of PTSD, if it was established with him. But he did talk about thoughts of his military career. But the biggest global thought he had, Miguel, during all of our talks, was that if given the opportunity, if it was OK with his family, he would go back and do it all again immediately. He was -- he was blunt about that. He really missed what he was doing.
MARQUEZ: Doug Dunbar, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
DUNBAR: You bet. Thanks, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: President Obama has got proof he went skeet shooting. Check it out, doubters? Now the president's top advisers head to Twitter to take on the controversy.
Plus, he's a football legend and Christian minister. Rosey Grier tells me about the role faith played in his NFL career.
MARQUEZ: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta came out in support of Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for Pentagon chief in a rocky confirmation -- hearing earlier in the week. I asked our chief political correspondent Candy Crowley what we can expect to hear from Panetta about that deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly what you've heard from Republicans thus far has been, why -- where is the Calvary in all of this? Why didn't the military over the course of what we've been told was a seven-hour incident if you can call it an incident when four Americans were killed? But nonetheless, why over the course of seven hours was there not a strike team of some sort that could be put into Benghazi to try to help out?
And I -- as you know, on the show today, I had not just Leon Panetta, the outgoing defense secretary, but as well the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Martin Dempsey, and I asked them that very question, like why wouldn't you on 9/11 have troops sort of ready? And Dempsey -- General Dempsey said to me, we did, the minute we knew the incident happened, the secretary of defense said, move some troops, scramble some troops, get them ready, and let us know what their transit time would be.
But that's kind of where it ended. They did have a strike force at an air base in Italy, and I said, why didn't you just move them at that moment when you knew there was trouble. And here's what Dempsey said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: We can't be a replacement. I might remind you, it was 9/11 elsewhere in the world not just in Libya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: And that's pretty much what Secretary Panetta said again. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: This is not 9/11, you cannot just simply call and expect within two minutes to have a team in place. It takes time. That's the nature of it. Our people are there, they're in position to move. But we've got to have good intelligence that gives us a head's up that something's going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So I suspect there will be lots of similar questions and even a broader discussion if as expected the defense secretary goes up on the hill to talk about Benghazi.
MARQUEZ: Chuck Hagel who is the alleged next secretary of defense, he got grilled up on the hill this past week. Didn't do so well by most accounts. What do you -- handicap it for us. What do you think the committee is going to do this week?
CROWLEY: I think that probably what happened during the Hagel confirmation hearings is he lost some more Republican votes. There will be some Republicans who vote for him. I think the majority of Republicans are likely to vote against him. And I think some of those piled up watching him at those confirmation hearings.
However, remember, it's the U.S. Senate, Democrats are holding solid. They -- there is not a dissenting voice among Democrats about Chuck Hagel's confirmation as Pentagon chief. Now what could the Republicans do? They could filibuster but I hear no signals that that's going to happen.
I do not think that opposing the president's choice for a Cabinet position is something that Republicans want to fight with a filibuster. That's heavy artillery, I'm not sure they want to do it, but they will voice their displeasure on the floor, I'm sure. I think in the end that you are likely to see, and I think most observers watching this think you're likely to see, Chuck Hagel as the next Defense secretary.
MARQUEZ: But if Panetta doesn't serve up the red meat that the Republicans want, if he doesn't perform, could that hold up Hagel's confirmation?
CROWLEY: I don't think so. Hagel obviously was out of office during Benghazi, but what did hold it up, I think, is there were Republicans who said, until we get the current defense secretary who was around during Benghazi, on -- you know, down here in front of these committees, we are not going to confirm Chuck Hagel.
MARQUEZ: And the president will be in Minnesota tomorrow for both his gun control proposals. What does this mean for his push for gun control measures?
CROWLEY: I think what we can say, watching the president from the time of the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings until now, is that he promised that he use the bully pulpit to push this. And indeed he is. I think we have seen him bring groups in. You see him talk about it publicly several times. I think he will continue to do that. I don't know that it will be sufficient -- and a lot of folks that we talked to here on the Sunday show, do not believe that an assault weapons ban has that much of a chance of passing both sides of the hill.
And what the talk now is about universal background checks and that is at gun shows where currently you don't have to have a background check. And there does seem to be kind of a head of steam for that.
MARQUEZ: Now as we mentioned President Obama heads to Minneapolis tomorrow to talk about his plan for gun control. But back in Washington, everyone is talking about a certain photo released by the White House. This photo. It's the response to calls for proof after the president revealed in an interview that he likes to go skeet shooting at Camp David.
The president's senior adviser, Daniel Pfeiffer, tweeted this. "We're all skeeters, POTUS shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David on August 4th, 2012."
And this from former adviser David Plouffe. "Attention skeet birthers. Make our day, let the Photoshop conspiracies begin."
Before the picture was released, a chorus of conservatives had questioned the White House's claim like Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why has he not referenced it? At any point in time is we have had this gun debate that is ongoing, you would have thought it would have been a point of reference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: The NRA is responding saying, quote, "One picture does not erase a lifetime of support -- supporting every gun ban and every gun control imaginable. And you'll hear more about the president and guns this week, he's taking his push for gun control on the road tomorrow. We ask folks how they feel about his proposals.
Plus you've got to see this amazing shot. With seconds to go in a high school game, he shoots, he scores.
MARQUEZ: Gun control, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and the Super Bowl, it has been a busy week.
CNN's Paul Steinhauser finds out what Americans think about all of it.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey, Miguel. President Barack Obama takes his push to reduce gun violence on the road tomorrow. He heads to Minnesota to meet with local officials about his proposals on gun control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: So what do you think? Nearly four in 10 of those questioned in a recent Pew Research Center poll said the president's proposals on guns are just about right. With just over three in 10 saying they go too far, and 13 percent saying they don't go far enough.
America has got a new top diplomat. Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts is now secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Clinton. A majority of people we questioned in a CNN/ORC poll in December said Kerry taking over the State would be good for the country. Kerry was easily confirmed by the Senate. But the president's pick to take over as defense secretary is having a harder go of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I want to know if you were right or wrong. That's a direct question, I expect a direct answer.
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: I'm not going to give you a yes or no answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: Forty-eight percent of the Americans we questioned last month say the Senate should confirm former Republican senator of Nebraska, Chuck Hagel, who's come under criticism for his positions on Iran, Israel, and the war in Iraq. But what about what most of you care about today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: And this Super Bowl matchup has it all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: A new national poll from Clarist Research suggest that neither the San Francisco 49ers nor the Baltimore Ravens are favored among Americans. But guess what? When it comes to the Super Bowl, there's even a partisan divide. Yes, a plurality of Republicans are pulling for the 49ers and Democrats, they're pretty much divided between the two teams -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Interesting, two University of Texas coaches are accused of having affairs with students. But they are not getting the same punishment.
Longhorns women's track coach Beverly Kearney was forced to resign after admitting to an affair with a student in 2002. And Friday the school announced that it had disciplined assistant football coach Major Applewhite for consensual sex with a student four years ago. He's being allowed to stay on. The situation is raising big questions about fairness and double standards.
Some fascinating video to go with a fascinating story out of Rochester, New York. Two high school basketball teams tied with seconds to go in the game, and at the buzzer point guard Daniel Barley finds a way to get off a half court three-pointer. And it's good, giving his team the win 57-54.
An Alabama community comes together to say good-bye to a hero bus driver. He died saving the kids on his school bus. But one 5-year- old was kidnapped and is still being held hostage. A live update from the scene is next.
Plus, an asteroid is heading our way. And this one's going to be close. How close? The details ahead.
MARQUEZ: Welcome back. I'm Miguel Marquez, in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're just tuning in, thanks for joining us. These are the top stories we're following now in the CNN NEWSROOM.
There's a funeral this hour for an Alabama school bus driver, Charles Poland. He was killed as he tried to protect the kids on the bus when a gunman came on board. All the kids made it out safely except for one 5-year-old boy. He was kidnapped and is now being held in an underground bunker for six days now.
Our George Howell is live in Midland City, Alabama.
George, what -- are people in the community saying about Mr. Poland today?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miguel, good day, you know, so Chuck, as he's better known here, we found hundreds of people coming together today at a civic center nearby. They had to find a bigger venue for this thing. There were even buses that brought students and faculty, even members of the military, Miguel, stood by outside in honor, as people filed in, and today people remembered Mr. Poland as a father, as a husband, as a bus driver who lost his life on Tuesday to protect his students.
He's a person who they say didn't want to be recognized as a hero, but today in this community, Miguel, everyone is considering him a hero and they're also praying for this 5-year-old boy who just behind me on this property has been now held in a bunker for six days.
MARQUEZ: Police have not been saying much about the negotiations or even the operation itself. Do we have any reason for a little hope here?
HOWELL: Well, you know, they do give us some glimmers of hope, Miguel. They gave us some insight into exactly how Mr. Dykes is treating 5-year-old Ethan. First of all we know that he has an electric heater and blankets in this underground bunker. Keep in mind, it's about a constant 50 degrees underground. It gets cold out here at night. So that is good news that he's able to provide that comfort of blankets.
Also investigators are still able to get medication inside this bunker. They're able to get coloring books and crayons. Also toys and potato chips. So Sheriff Wally Olsen said it's a sign that Mr. Dykes is taking care of Ethan. And it was interesting the other day he seemed to make a direct appeal to Mr. Dykes, saying, I want to thank Jim Dykes for taking care of our boy.
So, you know, it raises the question, does he have a television or radio? Can he hear these messages? These are the questions we're asking as we wait to hear any new updates from investigators -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Let's hope this ends well and soon. Thank you very much.
A Marine veteran in Texas is being held on a $3 million bond after allegedly shooting to death two fellow vets. Police say the suspect 25-year-old Eddie Ray Ruth, opened fire on an ex-Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle and veteran Chris Littlefield during an outing at a shooting range near Fort Worth, Texas. The motive is unclear.
An asteroid will sweep pretty close to us on February 15th. NASA says this near earth asteroid will be 17,000 miles away. That's inside the ring where weather and communication satellites fly. The asteroid is half the size of a football field. But you won't be able to see it without binoculars. Scientists say the asteroid has no chance of hitting earth.
Let's take up some of what's trending on the Web right now.
The Super Bowl kickoff is just about two hours away. Beyonce will deliver the half time show. The Grammy Award-winner -- winning singer promises to sing live. No lip-synching or prerecorded tracks.
Oprah's OWN network is being slammed with a sexual discrimination suit. The Web is exploding with buzz that a former senior director claims she was fired a month after returning from pregnancy leave.
Frank Ocean says he's a lover not a fighter. On his Tumblr account, the singer writes that he'll quote, "choose sanity." Ocean says he was jumped by singer Chris Brown on January 27th. But Ocean says that he wants peace, so he won't be pressing charges or sue. It's a change that could affect millions of families. The Boy Scouts may end their ban on gay members. Up next, a former Eagle Scout who is gay and was expelled. Even took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. And an active Eagle Scout who supports the ban. Both sides of the debate ahead right here from the CNN NEWSROOM.
MARQUEZ: It could be a groundbreaking change. It's already hotly contested. Should openly gay leaders and members be allowed in Boy Scouts? The topic is before the scout leadership this week as they meet in Texas. Let's bring in one guest who is very clear he does not favor allowing gay members -- gay scouts.
Robert Knight is an Eagle Scout and senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union. He joins us from Washington.
How are you, sir?
ROBERT KNIGHT, SR. FELLOW & POLICY EXPERT, AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS UNION: Afternoon. Just fine, thank you.
MARQUEZ: Why do you think the Boy Scouts of America should maintain the ban as it is?
KNIGHT: Well, it protects the scouts. You can't allow openly homosexual men or boys in the Boy Scouts. It would not only cause havoc, it would put kids at risk. The scouts have had an ample lesson in the Catholic priest scandal, Jerry Sandusky of Penn State. Why anybody would put men attracted to males or boys attracted to other boys in that way deliberately in the scouts is beyond me other than some corporations are trying to push this on the Boy Scouts.
And I think the scouts ought to man up and say, you know, you can keep your 30 pieces of silver, we're not going to sell out these kids.
MARQUEZ: That assumes that gays don't -- they would have just sex with each other if they're allowed to be together. Why do you assume that?
KNIGHT: Yes. Well, what marks a homosexuality? It's behavior, OK? Because -- people have all sorts of things in their head. And you don't even know about it unless they act out somehow. Either what they say or do. And that can cause havoc. You're talking about young boys right on the edge of pubescence.
We had a kid in my scout troop when I was in Maine and he started talking about stuff and it made kids very uncomfortable and nobody wanted to tent with him. And finally started trying to touch other kids. And the scout leaders had to say, look, you can't be here. That's -- you're not morally straight. We feel bad for you but you can't be here. You're causing havoc.
If they change their policy, those scout leaders would probably be thrown out of the scouts for doing the right thing and protecting the other boys. MARQUEZ: Well, look, I went to military school and all sorts of hanky panky happened. And everybody sort of lived through it. We got on with it. I am assume that if that kid was really a problem then they could deal with that. But -- I mean --
KNIGHT: Well, how did they deal with it? They invoke the policy they had which is that hey, you're not acting in a morally straight fashion. What they're talking about is getting rid of that policy and saying, there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. It has nothing to do with moral character. Well, how you act sexually has everything to do with moral character. The scouts know it.
And, you know, listen, if they want to stop lawsuits, look what happened in the Catholic Church. Eighty-one percent of the Catholic Church priest victims were young men or teens. This wasn't just a pedophilia scandal. It was a homosexual problem.
Why would the scouts, seeing this, seeing the millions of dollars in lawsuits, invite the same thing into the Boy Scouts?
MARQUEZ: Mr. Knight, thank you very much for your views.
KNIGHT: Well --
KNIGHT: Thank you for having me.
MARQUEZ: Our next guest was called exemplary and a poster boy for the Boy Scouts but as an assistant scout master and Eagle Scout, he was expelled in 1990 for being gay. James Dale took his case all the way to the Supreme Courts and lost. James joins us now from our Miami bureau.
Thanks for being here. The Boy Scouts are meeting this week. This issue has certainly brought a lot of unwanted light to the organization. Do you think it will reverse the ban?
JAMES DALE, FORMER ASSISTANT SCOUTMASTER PLAINTIFF: I think it's time that the Boy Scouts did what is morally right, and they stop teaching young children that discrimination is an American value. The president of the United States, just the other -- a few days ago in his inaugural address equated the civil rights struggles on African- Americans, women and lesbian and gays.
This isn't about anything other than blatant discrimination and fear. I think it's time that the members of the Boy Scouts rise up and speak out and say that they won't accept discrimination any more.
MARQUEZ: Yes, I mean, you look at the Boy Scout oath, which I printed out here. "On my honor I will do my best to honor my duty to God." It talks about being morally straight. Reversing this ban, does it undermine any of that oath that Boy Scouts stand up and take?
DALE: Well, quite interestingly. When I was in the Boy Scouts in the age of 8 to 19 when they expelled me in 1990, in those over 12 years in scouting, my mother, my father, my brother, nobody seemed to know that homophobia and the Boy Scouts of America were the same thing. Then in the '90s the Boy Scouts were taken over by right-wing people with very small minds and high-level of intolerance.
What we see is they've hijacked the organization for the past 23 years, all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Over the past 13 years, America has spoken out and it said, we do not favor the Boy Scouts' brand of discrimination. What they need to do is they need to do it once and they need to do it right, and top down the executives of the Boy Scouts of America have to be leaders.
They weren't leaders when they had discriminatory troops and they segregated troops in the '70s. They need to be leaders now. They need to look back at their own history and understand that any type of discrimination has no place in the Boy Scouts of America.
MARQUEZ: And how do you respond to this claim that gay people are somehow less moral?
DALE: I think that that's a good question for the -- your higher deity to answer. Who am I to judge another person's morality? Who's somebody to stand in judgment over me? All I know is I live my life with integrity. And many kids are coming to terms with their own identity whether they have to be gay or straight. And they'll have to be in the Boy Scouts. And I don't want any negative messages being sent to them.
I think it's irresponsible and immoral to tell a young child that's gay he can't be a part of an organization because of who he is and who he cares to love, or how he cares to identify himself.
We have to be bigger people now. This is 2003, this is not the 1950s. This isn't the 1900s. As a civilization we have to evolve and make sure that we stop teaching young children that discrimination is an American value. That's immoral.
MARQUEZ: Because there's so many religious organizations involved with scouts now, if this ban is reversed, will it -- will it shake the scouts to its core?
DALE: I don't think so. The church that I was in, when I was a Lutheran, I went to King of Kings Lutheran Church, and they were actually in the end fully behind me. And they sponsored my first scout troop.
I think we're going to see that there's going to be a whole lot of nothing that happens after this. Just like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." People said the world would fall if there were gay and lesbian service members serving side by side with their straight colleagues. And you know what? Nothing's happened.
I think the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America are really out of touch with today's youth. I think they should short of poll the young people in scouting, poll the young people that have left scouting on why they did so. They don't believe in discrimination. It's a small- minded executives that do. And it's time for them to change.
MARQUEZ: James Dale, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
DALE: Thank you.
MARQUEZ: Some Super Bowl advice today from NFL legend and a man of faith, Reverend Rosey Grier. He says God doesn't listen when players pray for a win, find out why next.
MARQUEZ: Does your team have a prayer of winning the Super Bowl? More than a quarter of the Americans believe God, quote, "plays a role in determining which team wins." Those are the new study. From Tebowing to players making the sign of the cross or pointed to heaven after big play, expressions of faith are a big part of the game. More than half of Americans believe God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success," the Public Religion Institute found.
Rosey Grier was a pro-football star with the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants. He's also a well known actor, singer and ordained minister. He's the perfect guy to talk about god and football.
Rosey Grier, thanks for joining us today. When you were playing, what role did faith play in your performance?
ROSEY GRIER, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, at that time I knew very little about god. I knew very little. And so I just played football. I did my prayers. But I never thought about the connection. And that in -- and then as I learned later on that Tom Landry was a Christian and I found out all these guys were Christians, I said, why didn't you tell me? That's how I learned what it was. And it just made me feel good.
MARQUEZ: Do you think god helps -- people pray for their team, they think they turn on the TV, and they start watching it, and their team takes a dive, and they think it's all because of them watching it. They pray to God for help. Do you think God helps one team or athlete over another?
GRIER: Absolutely not. God is a god -- he don't respect any of that kind of prayer. But he does look out for them health wise, and I pray for the health of each time a person's praying is out there on the field. And in fact, when a guy goes on the field now, I pray for the guy who went down and pray that the lord would let him get up and start playing again that he would not be hurt seriously.
MARQUEZ: And what do you think about players like Tim Tebow and Ray Lewis? They proclaim their faith in such a public way. It wasn't like that when you were playing.
GRIER: I wasn't like that when I was playing, but, you know, as one grows and he learns about who God is, about who God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are, they now begin to understand the power that is in the word of God. They understand that by asking God to give them strength and courage and bonus and confidence. They know that they're honoring God, and the point is in our lives, we have to honor God. We weren't born on the earth just to run around and have a good time. We were born to win others to the lord.
And when I see those guys playing, I am so happy. You see there was a time, they used to put the guys playing the TV would flash away from them. And I felt so badly because they was missing out on a great thing that enjoys (ph) the world.
MARQUEZ: And a lot of athletes and fans are very superstitious. I know when I start watching, I'm always convinced that, you know, my team is going to start losing as -- as soon as I turn on the TV and start watching, or I'm sitting on the wrong place on the couch or did something that affected the outcome. Did you have any superstitions when you were playing and what about your team mates?
GRIER: Absolutely no superstitions whatsoever. I believe that by preparing, working together and loving one another, and that each guy go out and do his part every game, we had a chance to win. It wasn't about superstitious thing. I didn't believe in that. I don't believe in that now. There's no such thing. But people have that idea, that's a devil's tool. The devil will use that took to make you think that you've got to do a certain thing in order to win. That's not true.
MARQUEZ: Reverend, you are a piece of NFL and sporting history in this country. What do you make of the Harbaugh bowl and these two brothers who are facing off on Sunday?
GRIER: I think it's great. You know, when you're playing the game, when you're playing against your brother or you're playing against your friend, in the football game to have a referee and all that out there, and you play as hard as you can -- I remember I had a friend named Lenny Moore, when I was playing with the New York Giants and he was playing Baltimore Colts, and they used to run a play, then I'll tell Lenny Moore, I said, Lenny, man, that's really dumb. Because every time they run that play, I'm going to tell you what, he said, I'll be back. I'll be back.
MARQUEZ: I love it. I love it.
GRIER: And he came back.
MARQUEZ: Where can we see more of you? What are you up to these days?
GRIER: Well, I'm up to a lot of things. See, I believe that we all have to work together to change our society. We need to be an example to the children. We need to be an example to one another, and so I'm working -- in my life I work with the Milken Family Foundation. We want to get good teachers in schools and we want to make sure that community learns how to repair themselves.
People in the community must have ownership of the community. Otherwise if they don't have a piece of it, why should they care? So I believe that if I can get the athletes working together with businessmen and churches, we're going to see a major change in this country.
MARQUEZ: Rosey Grier, a pleasure and an honor to speak to you. Thank you, sir.
GRIER: Thank you.
MARQUEZ: Now you can see more about this story on our belief blog at CNN.com/belief.
Are you getting ready to watch the big game tonight? If so, we've got some advice. We'll tell you how not to be a super jerk when you go to someone's house to watch the Super Bowl.
MARQUEZ: Now do you want to know how to eat healthy at a Super Bowl party? Yes, not really. Or do you need a preview of some of the best commercials this year? If so, CNN.com has you covered.
CNN producer Jarrett Bellini explains.
JARRETT BELLINI, SENIOR PRODUCER, CNN.COM: Thanks, Miguel. I know there's nothing more exciting than a guy sitting at his desk pointing at things on a monitor, but bear with me, and I'm going to show you some of the great content we have at CNN.com/superbowl.
All right First of all, we've got a great story about healthy foods you can eat at a Super Bowl party which, mind you, is a terrible idea. Because the Super Bowl is all about calories, it's about chicken wings, pizza and other horrible things you can put in your body. But if you do want to go healthy, we've got a great article about that.
Now, of course, for some of you the game doesn't matter, you really don't care. But there is the half time show, and that sort of matters. Beyonce is going to be performing this year. And we also have a gallery of the best and worst half time performances, and, of course, the other big non-football thing that everybody loves is the commercials, and at CNN.com/superbowl we have some of those to preview. You can check them out before they go on TV on Sunday.
All right. So we've covered commercials, we've covered the half time show, we've covered food, there's one other thing that most people are probably going to watch, too, and they may not even watch the game. It's the Puppy Bowl. So we've got a little thing on here, where you can preview the puppies that will be competing this year. You don't want to miss that, because it's puppies. It's puppies.
And, you know what, if you're not into that, and you're not into all the other aspects of the game, but you still are being dragged out to this party, we have an article that will tell you how not to be a jerk at somebody's house. Just because you don't like things that are fun, doesn't mean you have to ruin everybody else's fun.
All right. So all of that can be found at CNN.com/superbowl. We're even going to have some in game analysis from our friends at "Bleacher Report." Check it out and enjoy the game. Back to you, Miguel. MARQUEZ: Well, coming up, Wall Street had a great week. What's behind it and what should you be doing with your money? Stay right here, we'll tell when you we're back.