“Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty?” —Patrick Henry, 1788
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
Roughly 99.99% of Americans missed the fact that there was a Democrat presidential debate Saturday night. It’s painfully obvious that the Democratic National Committee is protecting Hillary Clinton by scheduling debates when no one will be watching because they’re out last-chance Christmas shopping and at the movies for opening weekend of Star Wars. So Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley can be forgiven for complaining. The party, which was once a raucous bunch that reveled in the old Will Rogers line — “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” — is now bending over backwards to make sure Hillary’s path to coronation is not blocked again. Even if she’s late back to the stage after a bathroom break.
Naturally, there weren’t many highlights. Whereas Republicans are engaged in a spirited debate about immigration, foreign policy and NSA surveillance, the three Democrats on stage Saturday offered nothing but leftist platitudes primarily on national security. They seek to gently criticize the atrocious state of affairs (under Barack Obama’s leadership, they’d rather you didn’t notice) while reminding viewers that Republicans are just plain terrible people.
Since Clinton will be the nominee, we’ll focus on her with three lowlights. An example of the lightly treading around Obama’s failures was Clinton’s reference to “glitches” in ObamaCare — like skyrocketing premiums and deductibles. She’s fix that, though, she promises. On Syria and the Islamic State, she said, “We now finally are where we need to be.” Famous last words that will show up in many a Republican campaign ad. And on Republicans and the Islamic State, she insisted that the GOP frontrunner “is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter.” She explained, “They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.” Then again, Clinton doesn’t have a great track record blaming videos for trouble in the Middle East.
All in all, you were better to finish that Christmas shopping than to sit through the Democrat drivel.
It was a vignette that the Obama administration didn’t want The New York Times to publish. Barack Obama held an off-the-record meeting with journalists last week to explain his antiterrorism strategy and the ground rule was that anything Obama said could not be attributed to him. It was a way for Obama to mold the media into a more forceful propaganda arm for his agenda. Initially, the Times wasn’t going to play the commander in chief’s political game. In an article originally published Thursday evening, the Times wrote, “In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments. Republicans were telling Americans that he is not doing anything when he is doing a lot, he said.” You don’t hear Obama complaining how the media has distorted gun culture in this nation, but he defended his antiterrorism policies by blaming criticism of his strategies on the media and stupid Americans.
Later that night, as The Federalist reported, the editors did not stand up to the executive branch like the time it published the Pentagon Papers. Instead, it deleted the telling paragraph and inserted a paragraph of administration catch phrases. Commentator Charles Krauthammer said of Obama’s statement, “This is his usual professorial condescension.” Over the weekend, Obama doubled down on his assertion, telling NPR the media has been hyping the Islamic State: “All you have been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you.” As for the citizens of this nation worried about security, let them eat cake.
A judge in Massachusetts severely restricted the ability of religious organizations to fulfill their missions when he ruled that a Catholic school was guilty of discrimination for rescinding its job offer to a man later discovered to be homosexual. Matthew Barrett interviewed for the position of director of food services at Fontbonne Academy, an all-girls Catholic school, in 2013 and he was offered the job. But when he listed his husband as his emergency contact, the school rescinded his offer.
Judge Douglas H. Wilkins ruled the academy was guilty of discrimination, despite the school arguing that Barrett’s lifestyle was inconsistent with its teachings. As the school’s lawyer told Boston’s ABC affiliate WCVB, teaching doesn’t occur just outside the classroom, and Barrett’s employment would conflict with what is taught in the theology classroom. “As an educational institution, Fontbonne retains control over its mission and message,” Wilkins wrote. “It is not forced to allow Barrett to dilute that message, where he will not be a teacher, minister or spokesperson for Fontbonne and has not engaged in public advocacy of same-sex marriage.”
Furthermore, the judge ruled that the school could have been exempt from the state’s discrimination laws if the school only taught girls who believed the same things as the school. In making this ruling, the judge from the first state to legalize same-sex marriage is standing directly against Christian institutions charged with going into all the world to heal the sick, visit those in prison and feed the hungry. Using this same thinking, it’s not much of a stretch for the state to force Christian hospitals to perform gender-reassignment surgery, or perform abortions.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Arnold Ahlert
It’s been a slow year for the Christmas bashing that’s become rather routine at the Capitol rotunda in Tallahassee, Florida. Pam Olsen, president of the Florida Prayer Network, the group that has provided a Nativity scene there for the last two years, is taking a pass. “After much prayer, I truly want the message of Christ, The Son of God, born in a manger so long ago in Bethlehem, to be heard very clearly at this difficult time, instead of the dissension in the Capitol rotunda — this is not the year for that kind of debate in our rotunda,” Olsen said in an open letter.
The “debate” to which Olsen refers has been the recent effort to turn the rotunda into a citadel of competing displays, that mostly illuminate the determination of those who can’t stand to see Christians enjoying themselves during the holidays. It is coupled with the timidity of public officials cowed by political correctness. Political correctness that demands equal respect for the sacred and the profane.
Thus in 2014, for the sake of “balance,” the rotunda sported a protest display from the Satanic Temple. It featured an angel falling into a pit of fire. “There’s no significance to it; it’s just a display that we put up to counteract the Nativity scene,” explained Satanic Temple member John Porgal at the time. “It’s all or none, and this represents the other side of the manger scene.”
All or none also included a six-foot pole comprised of beer cans celebrating “Festivus,” a fictitious holiday spawned by the sitcom “Seinfeld.” Other atheist banners, including a display from the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” whose followers are known as “Pastafarians,” were also part of the mix.
This year, because the FPN is taking a pass, the Satanic Temple is too. But they warn that could change if another group decides to put up a Christmas display. “As the assertion of plurality is always primary in our holiday displays, and many of our activities, we feel that our Satanic Holiday displays work best in a forum where a Nativity is present,” the Satanic Temple stated in an email.
Plurality? One suspects a willful dilution of the Christmas message is more accurate.
As of Dec. 7, the only applications for a display were submitted by the Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle-Tallahassee, a group that wished to display a menorah, and Chaz Stevens, a political blogger from Deerfield Beach, who wants his Festivus pole.
Make no mistake: All of this is perfectly legal. Any doubt of that was removed last year, when the state caved following the Satanic Temple’s enlistment of legal counsel from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which threatened to sue lawmakers to get its display into the rotunda. Comically, the same lawmakers that countenanced Festivus and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster had somehow determined that a display by the Satanist group was “grossly offensive.” “Free speech is for everyone and all groups,” said Americans United executive director Barry Lynn. “State officials simply can’t get into the business of deciding that some unpopular messages are ‘offensive’ and must be banned.”
That is certainly correct, but it provokes an essential question: When did Americans become so petty and self-righteous that every display of genuine religious conviction had to be offset with absurdities designed to offend? And not just in Florida. A Satanist in Oklahoma plans to pour fake blood, along with sulfur powder and ash, over a statue of the Virgin Mary outside of St. Joseph Old Cathedral on Christmas Eve. “The purpose of the blood is to add another layer of corruption to Mary, which is an emblem of the Catholic Church,” contends Adam Daniels, whose display is entitled “Virgin Birth is a Lie.”
Such insults are only possible in a country that has embraced a culturally suicidal proposition: All ideas have equal merit. Thus a religion with more than a billion followers over thousands of years is “no better or worse” than one created by TV sitcom writers in the 1990s, or one whose adherents call themselves Pastafarians.
This is the essence of “nonjudgmentalism,” a progressive-based theory that asserts any discrimination of thought constitutes some type of bigotry. This nonsense has been pounded into the heads of public school children over the better part of two decades, and the results are both predictable and tragic: for millions of Americans, freedom and license are now interchangeable terms.
Yet conferring equal amounts of legitimacy on solid and dubious concepts is hardly limited to religious displays. Bums, drug addicts, alcoholics and mentally disturbed people are now homeless, and illegal aliens are undocumented immigrants. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. There is no right and wrong, only shades of gray. Everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. And despite one’s genitalia and chromosomal makeup, one is a woman trapped in a man’s body — or black person trapped in a Caucasian one.
Blowback against such perniciousness was inevitable. Yet in perhaps the greatest irony of the ages, the most indoctrinated generations of Americans have not only rejected the notion that all ideas have equal merit, but that any idea with which they disagree has no merit whatsoever, and must be labeled with trigger warnings at best, or stricken altogether from the national conversation at worst.
Last week, Congress passed a massive “bipartisan” spending package that will add billions of additional dollars to the national debt. Donald Trump remains on top in the GOP presidential polls. The spending package testifies to the reality that any judgment regarding the mathematical certainty of national bankruptcy has no more value than the “spirit of compromise” used to sell this monstrosity. Trump’s continuing popularity testifies to the reality that millions of Americans have had quite enough of the notion all ideas have equal merit — especially those that could get us killed by religious extremists.
If not? Perhaps there will be an Islamic State flag hanging in the Capitol rotunda in Tallahassee next Christmas.
MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE
- ANALYSIS: Hagel’s Case for Obama’s Failure
- Court Upholds Christian Views of Former Fire Chief
- Climate Summit Chef Punished for Environmental Damage
- Obama Exerts Too Little Effort Against ISIL
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Peggy Noonan: Primary Preview: The Brawl vs. the Blob
- L. John Van Til: Question of Semantics: What Do ‘Radical Islam’ and ‘Terrorism’ Really Mean?
- Gary Bauer: A Tale of Two Elementary Schools
For more, visit Right Opinion.
- Sen. Graham Drops Out of GOP Race
- Judge Says No Evidence of Crimes in Planned Parenthood Videos
- Obama Grants 95 Pardons and Commutations
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report
OPINION IN BRIEF
Peggy Noonan: “[A]bout 18 million people watched the fifth Republican debate on CNN. It was the third-most-watched primary debate of all time. The first debate, on Fox News in August, broke all records with about 25 million viewers. All the debates in between were heavily watched. All featured fisticuffs, argument, real to-and-fro. The Democrats in that time had two debates, with little fanfare, with a vibe of ‘please don’t watch.’ It was less like public officials running for president than people in the witness protection program accidentally strolling onto a stage. … The Republicans are out there on every show and get cuffed about. They expose themselves to the scrum every day and take all comers. Mrs. Clinton considering interview requests is like a queen pointing at necklaces arrayed on a jeweler’s pillow: ‘I’ll take that one, not that one. I’ll think about that one.’ The Republicans are finally, fitfully fighting out real issues — ISIS, privacy. Mrs. Clinton is forced to fight no one, makes pronouncements and glides on. The Republicans draw censure with their big, bodacious brawl. The Democrats should draw it for not struggling, grappling. … The Republicans are all chaos and incoherence, it’s true. But at least they’re alive. At least they’re fighting as if it matters.”
The Gipper: “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”
Upright: “At the current pace, Obama’s hometown of Chicago will have had nearly 4,000 murders … while he was president. … Since Obama has been in office he has devoted no energy to and shown no interest in the many and manifest social problems afflicting America’s cities. … What Obama has done, though, is drive race relations to a twenty-year low and has set those communities most in need of effective policing at war with their police departments. … And that will be his legacy.” —RedState’s streiff
Village idiots: “Guns, in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 people a year already to gun violence. Arming more people … is not the appropriate response to terrorism.” —Hillary Clinton
Non Compos Mentis: “That’s kind of a no-brainer. If somebody is loading guns and ammunition into a house, I think it’s a good idea to call 911. Do it.” —Bernie Sanders
For the record: “Republicans … were willing to concede so much.” —Nancy Pelosi on Congress’s trillion-dollar tax-and-spend boondoggle
Demo-gogues: “If you’ve been watching television for the last month, all you have been seeing, all you have been hearing about is [Islamic State] guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you. So I understand why people are concerned about it. Look, the media is pursuing ratings. This is a legitimate news story. I think that, you know, it’s up to the media to make a determination about how they want to cover things.” —Barack Obama (Funny how media sensationalism is suddenly relevant when it exposes Obama’s reckless policies.)
Braying jackass: “The Republican Party in the United States is perhaps literally the only major party in the developed world that is still engaging in climate denial.” —Barack Obama
Late-night humor: “There will be a full moon on Christmas this year. The last time that happened was in 1977, which is also the year the first ‘Star Wars’ movie came out.” —Jimmy Kimmel (That’s no moon…)
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Read more excellent articles at The Patriot Post