Ilario at the AFDI/SIOA 911 Freedom Rally March 25, 2012
VERNE STRICKLAND August 17, 2012:
Had a great call from our buddy Ilario Pantano. It's always a special time talking with him. We just talked on and on about things on our minds. Here's an unedited version of our chat, which I know he'd like to share with his friends and admirers throughout his home base here in Cape Fear Country:
ILARIO: You know, Verne, my recent experience in this the GOP primary taught me a lot. It showed me in the first place that I've had too much self-confidence when I needed to put my faith entirely in the Lord. More I found that I took this loss too much to heart. With God's help I've been able to shake that off and see it as a learning experience. The scriptures tell us that all things work together for good to those who are in Christ, and are called according to His purposes. That's what I took away from that political event. Also I gained a great respect for David Rouzer, who was chosen to lead our party into battle against Mike McIntyre in November. David is an outstanding American, and I support him fully in his campaign. He's going to recapture the Seventh District and America and return us to conservative Constitutional government under God. That can't happen too soon for me.
VERNE: You're a good man, sir.
ILARIO: I don't know if I'm a good man. I know that I am a humble sinner saved by grace, Verne Strickland. That's who I am. Let me share something with you. I'm listening to this unbelievable series on what it means to be a Christian man. I'm going to try to get a few copies of these and distribute to some friends. It's by a pastor, Marine combat veteran, and a battlefield historian who uses Civil War heroes in our history to reveal men who were strong Christians, and how they use their faith in their life and their leadership. The two best examples are General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson. Romans 8:28 was Jackson's life verse and Lee quoted it as well. Wanted to share that because your Yankee Doodle Dandy is becoming a card=carrying member of the Sons of the Confederacy. After the war, they were measuring Lee for a statue, and asking what he wanted inscribed on his tombstone, and he said, I guess just my name and the dates to let them know I died. If you have to put anything, just put "A humble sinner saved by Grace." What a testimony to the humility of a truly great American!
VERNE: How are you doing and what are you doing?
ILARIO: We're doing great, the family and I, we've been traveling the country and enjoying our Summer together. And that's been a blessing. I'm working on a book that I'm very excited about, called "God, Guns and Guts" -- How the South will save America again" -- It's about Revolutionary War battles fought in the South. Most Americans are aware of the South's role in American independence. I reveal how northeastern liberals have worked very hard to dismantle America's Southern history. One thing I've come to realize is that in the ascendancy of Southern politicians, whether it was Bill Clinton and Al Gore when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, or the fact that since '84 we started to see significant Republican majorities out of the South, or '94 when Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott and all these southern figures were on the ascendancy in politics, the South has had new punch that exceeded its weight, as a result the South has picked up electoral votes, it means not only is the South voting in a bloc, but the bloc is growing, and over the last decade, most of the economic growth in the country has occurred in the South. Between the Texas job miracles and the great things going on in the Carolinas, and manufacturing returning to Tennessee, and new economic energy in Kentucky, we are seeing employment resurgence here that is not rivaled by any other parts of the country. Because of low tax rates and the fact that the South is not weighed down by union incursion, we have not followed in the perilous footsteps of the North.
I've got a piece of news I will share with you -- in my research I've discovered that I actually have kinship with North Carolinians in the Revolution. The Ilario/Gregory family line on my mother's side arrived in Virginia in 1630. We were Colonials here in the Revolution and the War of 1812 and beyond. This is a part of my own personal history that I did not previously know and am very excited about, and I'm very excited about these new personal revelations.
Once I have proof positive and everything confirmed -- we can't leave any of this to chance -- as the left will do anything to discredit me (I'm one of their favorite punching bags) I will come back to you to share the facts and information on the battles and the wars and the actions in which my kin fought for America in the struggle for independence. And I'll be excited to share that story with you once I develop it.
VERNE: Fill me in a bit on the great Chik-fil-A episode and what it represented to you.
ILARIO: Well, as a matter of record, they really didn't stand in opposition to anyone. What they did was stand for Biblical principles. The moment you stand for something in this country, immediately you'll be attacked by haters and detractors and quite honestly, by fools. And in this case the owner Mr. Cathy, who is an committed Christian and conducts his life and business in a manner pleasing to God, he closes his restaurant on Sunday. This is a person who has been unapologetic also in defense of Christian marriage. God has defined this. Then who are we to redefine it? What a blessing to have men of character like that in our society, don't you agree? It's just a shame that they would be attacked by a bunch of left-wing politicians from Chicago, Boston, and lots of godless places in between.
Lord knows, it was exciting to see such a turn-out, even in places like New Jersey, where people gather in long lines, and I'm getting e-mails by Marine friends in Jacksonville who wanted to get into the Chick-fil-A but the crowds -- which were always orderly -- were just too long. That's the kind of demonstrations I'd like to see more often. Christian demonstrating their support of a Christian business owner, and not yielding to bullies who deny God.
VERNE: I don't think you've lost your magic, good sir.
The glory goes to God, my friend. I just show up and He makes everything happen from that point. Look, just know that you're in my thoughts and prayers -- my family's too. Great to visit with you.