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Like any good major-league pitcher, Frank Pastore knows how to bring the heat. He played eight years in the bigs, recording his best season in 1980 (13-9, 3.57 ERA) with the Cincinnati Reds. Today, he's the face of Salem's Los Angeles station KKLA and host of the number-one local Christian talk show in the country.

An unashamed, take-no-prisoners conservative, Pastore throws out sound bites like fastballs:

• "I'm sorry, but abortion is murder, and murder on a moral plane is more severe than dealing with the poor."

• "Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo … are pawns being played by the political Left."

• "I'm not a compassionate conservative. Compassionate conservatism is a euphemism for, 'We are never going to cut spending, but we will continue to hold taxes flat.'"

Listeners to Pastore's show, tagged "the intersection of faith and reason," are as likely to hear a discussion of Snoop Dogg's latest arrest as a spirited debate between Pastore and National Council of Churches president the Rev. Michael Livingston.

But Pastore is clearly most energized by politics. After injuries derailed his big-league career, Pastore earned degrees in philosophy of religion from Talbot Theological Seminary and political philosophy and government from Claremont Graduate School. He isn't shy about his opinions, and he expects the same forthrightness from his guests.

"They should be out front," Pastore says of his left-leaning interview subjects. "[They should say], 'We are socialists. We want taxes to be higher. We believe the United States should not use military force.'"

As much as he enjoys the back-and-forth of hosting an interview-driven program—the competitiveness of crafting arguments and taking names—Pastore is seeking to ...

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In the Magazine

February 2007

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