This July 1, 2013 file photo shows, Kimberly Guilfoyle, from left, Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld and Andrea Tantaros co-hosts of Fox News Channel’s “The Five,” following a taping of the show in New York.Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/Associated Press

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Today is Thursday, February 24th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. 

Democratic political analyst Bob Beckel died Monday. He was 73 years old. Commentator Cal Thomas worked with Beckel for years and has this remembrance.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Usually my commentaries have to do with politics and worldly events. Not today. I have lost my best friend. Bob Beckel was an original co-host of “The Five” on Fox News and my writing partner for 10 years for the Common Ground column in USA Today.

Bob had a difficult, but productive life. His parents were alcoholics and he says his father regularly beat him. His ironically titled memoir I Should Be Dead is a highly readable work about overcoming addiction and his own alcoholism and finding Christ as his savior.

In 2004, Bob was among the speakers at the media dinner I have hosted for many years in Washington. It was the first time he spoke of the emptiness that had been in his life and how Jesus Christ—yes he named Him—had filled that hole, forgiven his sins, and saved him.

Bob and I traveled the country doing our Common Ground program. It was quite a contrast to the bitterness and failure that characterizes Washington. When you get to know someone of another political persuasion and listen to their life experiences, you understand them better and they understand you better. Instead, too many of us are in our ideological bunkers launching rhetorical mortars at each other.

Politics has always been rough and tumble. It should be more about winning the battle of ideas rather than demeaning and diminishing one’s political opponent, which unfortunately is the dominant theme today.

When I posted on social media about our relationship and Bob’s conversion, someone wrote that Democrats don’t go to heaven. That was just one person, but I suspect there are others who feel that way. All that matters—and what Bob believed—is that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Bob Beckel was more than a brother to me. We shall meet again in glory and perfection.

I’m Cal Thomas.