Women for Trump are on the ground in Alabama to support Roy Moore!

Women for Trump in Alabama to support Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate. Photo: Women for Trump.

In an email Women for Trump showed support for Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. The email reads in part:

The Swamp Monsters in DC want to put in a liberal progressive in the senate to replace Jeff Sessions.

They are making up stories to discredit Judge Roy Moore.

They want to stop anyone who supports President Trump’s “America First” agenda.

Here is where we need your help. The latest polls have Judge Moore down by just 1 percentage point but we can fix that.  Women are the ones that are going to decide this race just like we did for President Trump and that is why we are in Alabama with boots on the ground.

It is crunch time and we need you!

We need your support to turn out the vote for Judge Roy Moore. The election is December 12th so we need your SUPPORT NOW

You may have seen the large rally that was held on the steps of the Alabama capitol? We were there and that was just our warning shot. You may have seen us on national television supporting Roy Moore. We are not backing down.

The below video is a group of women supporters of Judge Moore at a rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Birmingham, Alabama:

The Women for Trump conclude with:

We are on the ground in Alabama and are running ads, knocking on doors, doing sign wavings, hosting meet & greets and most importantly convincing people that they must vote for Judge Moore!

President Donald Trump needs Judge Moore’s help in the Senate and the Judge needs our help to get to the Senate.  He is ready to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, to build the wall, to reform our tax code for the middle class and to rebuild America’s infrastructure.

The mainstream media will not cover this support for Judge Moore, but we do.

RELATED ARTICLE:

No One Ever Drowned in Roy Moore’s Car

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Handwriting Expert Touted by Washington Post Turns on Gloria Allred: Calls for Activist Attorney to Release Yearbook

Roy Moore accuser admits altering yearbook entry

Roy Moore accuser admits she added ‘notes’ to his yearbook signature – Washington Examiner

PODCAST: The Left’s Double Standard on Sexual Misconduct

Are the Democrats hypocrites when it comes to politicians accused of sexual misconduct? We discuss that, as well as the Palestinian uproar over President Trump announcing move of the U.S. Embassy to Israel, and the universities trying to ban Christmas.

COMMENTARY BY:

Portrait of Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Daily Signal and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. Send an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

Portrait of Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis is the commentary editor of The Daily Signal. Twitter: @JDaniel_Davis.

Portrait of Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

Welcome Back to Israel, Elana Lipkin

On Wednesday  December 6, 2017  U.S. President  Donald  Trump made a momentous  announcement, from the White House  keeping a 2016 campaign promise.  He acknowledged Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish nation of Israel expressing the possibility of an ultimate movement of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This despite the President signing a waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 delaying such a move.

The Arab and even Western world and media reacted with scorn about abandoning a 70 year US policy of seeking peace between Arabs and Jews and fixing boundaries of Palestine and Israel.    Protests by Palestinians arose in Ramallah and Bethlehem, sirens wailed in Southern Israel a portent of threatened rocket attacks and intifada from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Was this the time for a young American Jewish woman and college student to arrive in Israel? Meet my second oldest of four granddaughters, Elana Lipkin.  Her cousin Amanda Gordon had a similar experience when she was in Israel during the 2014 50 day IDF Operation Protective Edge. Older sister Arielle Gordon, a Northwestern University graduate in the Class of 2017 had returned from a Tagblit Birth Right Trip this past July.

Elana Lipkin is scheduled to leave for Israel from Amsterdam tomorrow where she has been spending her junior year semester abroad. She is a Presidential Scholarship holder at American University in Washington, D.C. She had spent time in Israel during the summer of her junior year in high school in the Mid Hudson Community of Highland Mills when she entered and won an essay contest sponsored by  a local Jewish Federation.   She was raised in a committed Jewish family by her parents, my elder daughter Illisa and son-in-law Rob Lipkin. They are active members of a  local Reform Synagogue in nearby Monroe, New York  where  Elana  was Bat Mitzvah, becoming an accomplished torah reader and assistant to the cantor.  Her younger sister Lindsay is equally accomplished in her own efforts.

The Federation Scholarship enabled Elana to go on a National Federation of Temple Youth group tour to Europe to visit the Theresienstadt concentration camp in the Czech Republic, the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland and the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. That was followed by her spending a month in Israel that included  time at a GADNA pre-military training camp becoming familiarized with pre-T’zahal training.  She had written a poem about the experience of climbing up the snake path to the top of Masada wearing her mother’s work boots used in a similar visit three decades earlier.  See: “Kolot – Passing the Torch”, Connecticut Jewish Ledger, August 6, 2013.

A year later in 2014 during T’zahal Operation Protective Edge, Elana wrote me of her concerns about Israel’s survival and portrayal in the media.  Her email and my response were published in “A Saba answers his granddaughter’s concerns about the threats to Israel.”  See: Dr. Rich Swier Magazine, July 11, 2014.

Elana wrote:

Hi Saba!

I know it’s fairly early there, but I’m sure you’re up already. The situation in Israel these past few days has really been worrying me. I care about Israel so deeply and it pains me to see it in danger. I am also bothered by the lies the media spreads and the ignorance of those around me regarding what’s actually occurring. I was wondering if you could do two things for me, first of all, I’d love any information you could give to me on the Operation going on right now. Second of all, do you know of anything I could possibly do to help Israel right now?
Thank you so much!

I love you very much and miss you lots, I hope you’re doing well.

Lana

In my conclusion I wrote her:

Your commitment to Israel as a young Zionist is both heartfelt and refreshing among your generation of young American Jews.  You can act as a spokesperson in your community to provide the EMET- the truth about what Israel is facing.  Tonight at Kabbalat Shabbat services pray for the safety of Israel and its  young men and women of the IDF on the frontlines defending this Jewish nation. You met them during your GADNA training last summer in Israel.

Months before Elana’s departure for her Junior seminar abroad in Amsterdam she had booked air travel to include a side trip to Israel before returning to the US. She has aspirations of spending a gap year following graduation in 2019 in Israel before going on to law school.  We put her in contact with a Jewish Agency Shaliah who had spent a similar gap year here in a Pensacola Federation sponsored program following T’zahal service. She is now matriculating at Tel Aviv University Law School. We also reached out to a daughter of fellow congregants at B’nai Israel Synagogue who is living and working in Jerusalem.

When concern was expressed about Elana’s safety while she is in Israel given the reaction to President Trump’s announcement, we reached out to Seth J. Frantzman, opinion editor at the Jerusalem Post for his assessment. Frantzman responded,”Everything will be fine here, safer here than in most major urban areas in the world.”

Elena’s reaction to what has occurred in the last 24 hours:  “I’m a little nervous, but I don’t want to miss the chance to go.”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Elana Lipkin was taken at American University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands in December 2017.

4 Highlights From Christian Baker’s Wedding Cake Case at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday [November 5, 2017] in a closely watched case dealing with free speech, religious liberty, and same-sex marriage.

Specifically, the justices considered whether the state of Colorado can force Jack Phillips, a Christian baker, to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding against his deeply held religious beliefs.

Attorneys for Phillips clearly explained that he seeks to exercise his freedom only to speak messages that he agrees with, while still welcoming all customers into his store. The First Amendment’s free speech and religious liberty clauses protect his freedoms to do just that.

In a lengthy and charged oral argument, the nine justices wrestled with how Americans who hold different views on marriage in our post-Obergefell society can continue to live with each other in mutual respect.

Here are some highlights of the argument.

1. Mutual Tolerance Is Essential in a Free Society

In one of the most charged exchanges of the day, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy questioned Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger about whether a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission who compared Phillips to a racist and a Nazi demonstrated anti-religious bias—and that, if he did so, whether the judgment against Masterpiece should stand.

After disavowing the commissioner’s comments, Yarger argued that the ruling should still stand. But Kennedy returned to the issue again, telling Yarger that “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”

Kennedy also pointed out there were other cake shops that would have accommodated Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the same-sex couple who requested a cake for their wedding.

In a similar line of questioning, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out that the state of Colorado had failed to demonstrate mutual tolerance when it only protected the freedom of cake artists who landed on one side of the gay marriage debate—namely, the state’s side.

When three religious customers went to cake artists to request cakes that were critical of same-sex marriage, those cake artists declined—yet Colorado did not apply its anti-discrimination statute to punish the artists. But when Phillips declined to create a cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage, Colorado imposed a three-pronged penalty that drove him out of the wedding cake business, causing him to lose 40 percent of his business.

2. Compelled Speech for Everyone

The irony of the comparison of Phillips to a Nazi is that both the ACLU lawyer representing the gay couple (David Cole) and the Colorado solicitor general admitted the state could rightfully force cake artists to celebrate the racist ideals of white supremacy, or one of the most infamous events in world history, the Holocaust.

At one point, Justice Stephen Breyer followed up on a question from Justice Neil Gorsuch about whether a cake artist could be forced to create a cross-shaped cake for a religious group that shared the beliefs of the KKK. Cole responded that if the cake artist did so for the Red Cross, then yes, the artist would have to do so for the religious group as well.

Similarly, Justice Samuel Alito asked Colorado if a cake artist who created a cake with words celebrating Nov. 9 for someone’s anniversary could also be forced to create the same cake to celebrate Nov. 9, 1938.

On that infamous night, known as “Kristallnacht,” the Nazis launched their pogrom against Jews by burning over 1,000 synagogues and damaging more than 7,000 Jewish businesses.

In the exchange with Alito, the Colorado solicitor general said that cake artists could not discriminate on the basis of identity, but could discriminate on the basis of messages. Gorsuch later responded, saying that’s exactly what Phillips has argued.

Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom argued Jack Phillips’ case before the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jeff Malet/The Heritage Foundation)

3. Disagreement Does Not Equal Discrimination

Kennedy also challenged Colorado and the ACLU on their argument that Phillips discriminates on the basis of identity, rather than his idea of what constitutes a marriage. In an exchange with the ACLU attorney, Kennedy called the repeated attempts to characterize Phillips as discriminating on the basis of identity “too facile.”

During the oral arguments, the court appeared to recognize what is patently obvious from the facts. Phillips welcomes all people into his store, encourages them to buy off-the-shelf items, and will make custom-designed cakes for them provided they don’t ask for items that violate his beliefs.

He has served gays for the 24 years his store has been in operation and welcomes their business to this day. He does not discriminate against anybody because of their identity.

So comparisons to shopkeepers in the Jim Crow South who sought to keep the races “separate but equal” are a smear that divert attention from the real issue: Phillips simply disagrees with the state on the issue of marriage.

Roberts appeared to recognize this when chiding the ACLU for lumping in supporters of traditional marriage with racists, noting that in Obergefell, the court had said support for traditional marriage is rooted in “decent and honorable” premises.

Jennifer Marshall of The Heritage Foundation holds a sign outside the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jeff Malet/The Heritage Foundation)

4. Orthodoxy Determined by the State

Finally, the oral arguments revealed the scope of how far the state of Colorado is willing to go to impose its views of marriage on citizens. In one line of questioning from Roberts, Colorado admitted that it would force Catholic Legal Services to provide a same-sex couple with legal services related to their wedding even if it violates Catholic teachings on marriage.

And in questioning from Alito, the ACLU answered that the state could force a Christian college whose creed opposes same-sex marriage to perform a same-sex wedding in its chapel.

Like many Americans, Phillips seeks to work in a manner consistent with his deeply held religious beliefs, including on marriage. In order to follow his conscience, he has turned down requests for cakes that contain messages expressing certain ideas: Halloween and divorce, anti-American themes, and even anti-gay messages.

What he has never done is turn away anyone because of who they are.

The Supreme Court should uphold the rights of all Americans to work according to their religious beliefs and to be free from government intrusion that would force them to speak messages in violation of their deeply held beliefs.

After its decision in Roe v. Wade, the court respected the freedoms of Americans on both sides of the abortion debate. It rejected the argument that opposition to abortion is rooted in animus toward women because it recognized that there are many other rational reasons why people oppose abortion.

This is no different. There are many Americans who support traditional marriage for reasons that have nothing to do with animus toward gays. All Americans will benefit when free speech and religious liberty are robustly protected.

The court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop can help foster more civil dialogue on marriage so that we can all live according to our consciences and in peace with one another.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Wedding Cake Baker’s Backers Say Fight Is for Everyone’s First Amendment Rights, Not Just His

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

Does William Wilberforce Make the Case for Roy Moore?

William Wilberforce was a 19th Century English political leader, devout Christian and the driving force behind Great Britain’s ban on slavery. He employed a principled Biblical understanding of the inherent value of every person and a practical willingness to compromise and take very small steps at times.

He is revered — by those who know his story. He was as morally upright as they come, although he would have decried such a description. His Christian life was the central focus of his life and he was a relentless fighter for what he believed was right — despite being barely five feet tall and sickly his entire life.

So for the voters of Alabama, including many Christians who are unsure if they can vote for Roy Moore, perhaps Wilberforce provides a way of measuring the decision by a man who more than understood the dilemma. It’s not as simple as maintaining total purity in whom one will support, or the end justifies the means.

Wilberforce was at once both a moral immediatist in abolishing slavery — he believed it must be 100 percent dismantled immediately — and a strategic incrementalist with a long-term view to take each necessary step to reach abolishment. His style and exhortations could in a sense be used to argue against a vote for Moore. But his actions tended more towards a vote for Moore.

Clarke Forsythe, M.A. in Bioethics from Trinity International University, wrote of Wilberforce in Politics for the Greatest Good:

“Although Wilberforce sponsored a motion for general and immediate abolition annually for several years, abolition came not immediately and totally, but in intent and in effect, incrementally. The slave trade was incrementally reduced by regulations and partial prohibitions, and those incremental reductions were tied, in public debate, to issues of national interest rather than strong arguments of morality – “justice” and “humanity” – which were reserved until the final stroke. The incremental reductions served to eliminate the fears raised by the claims of the slave traders. Though Wilberforce and his allies had the strongest moral motivations, they exhibited strategic, tactical and rhetorical flexibility in their actions and arguments in large part because they stayed focused on the end result and did not confuse the goal with their motivations.”

Compromise and sacrifice

Wilberforce’s choice to introduce a bill every year for the immediate abolition of slavery was a decision that politically eliminated him from ever becoming Prime Minister, which many thought he could probably obtain. But after going nowhere a few rounds, he began a more long-term approach that some refer to as incrementalism.

He was able to pass a bill banning the slave trade in certain parts of Africa and to certain parts of the colonies. It was a tiny step to slow the trade. He passed a bill limiting the number of slaves that can be shipped on British ships and a series of proposals called “amelioration bills” for better living conditions for slaves. This was argued on the basis of creating “humane” conditions on slave ships. Clanging words to our ears, but another step in reigning in some of the suffering by reducing the total trade.

These and other bills acted to reduce the profit and value of slavery. That, in turn, reduced the political support for the slave trade until it finally reached the point that Wilberforce and his allies in Parliament could bring the hammer to the cracking institution and finally destroy slavery in Great Britain and throughout the British Empire.

To accomplish this, Wilberforce not only compromised on immediate abolition, but he worked consistently on the incremental bills with members of Parliament who supported the slave trade and even participated profitably in it. He could be criticized for cooperating with slaver interests and not fighting to get full abolition sooner. And it was surely distasteful at times. But historians generally agree that without the incrementalism that reduced the political support, there was too much power in the slave trade to get full abolition passed.

The Wilberforce model has served as a bit of a guide — although not unanimously — for those who believe abortion is as morally abhorrent as slavery. Laws such as banning abortions once a baby in the womb is pain capable, waiting periods and requirement on mothers to see an ultrasound are in line with incrementalism even though the two issues are not completely analogous.

Tying these together a bit, the difference between Roy Moore and his opponent, Doug Jones, on the issue of abortion could not be more stark. Moore is pro sanctity of life from conception while Jones favors a woman’s right to kill her baby until the moment of birth.

Where would Wilberforce stand on this option, when Moore has a more questionable moral past than what is known about Doug Jones?

If Wilberforce had maintained a personal purity on who he would work with and what he would compromise — and stuck with total immediacy regarding the end of slavery rather than taking some bad to get more good — it seems unlikely he would have led the abolishment of slavery and that wicked institution would have continued to destroy lives for years or decades.

Can the same argument be made for Moore regarding abortion and federal judges who would rule more strongly in favor of personal freedoms — and possibly overturn Roe v. Wade and expand religious freedom? Is that an acceptable trade? Alabama voters will have to decide that one.

RELATED ARTICLE: Roy Moore’s lead over Doug Jones increases in new poll

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

DACA Is Not What the Democrats Say It Is. Here Are the Facts.

Some members of Congress are threatening to block government funding unless Congress provides amnesty to so-called Dreamers—the illegal aliens included in President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Donald Trump is ending.

Responsible members of Congress should not give in.

Such an effort would be fundamentally flawed and would only encourage even more illegal immigration—just as the 1986 amnesty in the Immigration Reform and Control Act did.

Democrats portray the DACA program as only benefiting those who were a few years old when they came to the U.S. illegally, leaving them unable to speak their native language and ignorant of their countries’ cultural norms. Therefore, the reasoning goes, it would be a hardship to return them to the countries where they were born.

Obama himself gave this rationale when he said DACA beneficiaries were “brought to this country by their parents” as infants and face “deportation to a country that [they] know nothing about, with a language” they don’t even speak.

While this may be true of a small portion of the DACA population, it certainly is not true of all of the aliens who received administrative amnesty. In fact, illegal aliens were eligible as long as they came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday and were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

DACA also required that beneficiaries enroll in school, graduate from high school, obtain a GED certificate, or receive an honorable discharge from the military; have no conviction for a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; and not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

However, the Obama administration appeared to routinely waive the education (or its equivalent) requirement as long as the illegal alien was enrolled in some kind of program. Only 49 percent of DACA beneficiaries have a high school education—despite the fact that a majority of them are adults.

How thorough was Homeland Security vetting? In February 2017, after the arrest of a DACA beneficiary for gang membership, the Department of Homeland Security admitted that at least 1,500 DACA beneficiaries had their eligibility terminated “due to a criminal conviction, gang affiliation, or a criminal conviction related to gang affiliation.”

By August 2017, that number had surged to 2,139.

In fact, based on documents obtained by Judicial Watch, it is apparent that the Obama administration used a “lean and light” system of background checks in which only a few, randomly selected DACA applicants were ever actually vetted.

Additionally, DACA only excluded individuals for convictions. Thus, even if a Homeland Security background investigation—which apparently was almost never done—produced substantial evidence that an illegal alien might have committed multiple crimes, the alien would still be eligible for DACA unless Homeland Security referred the violation to state or federal prosecutors and the alien was convicted.

DACA had no requirement of English fluency either. In fact, the original application requested applicants to answer whether the form had been “read” to the alien by a translator “in a language in which [the applicant is] fluent.”

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that “perhaps 24 percent of the DACA-eligible population fall into the functionally illiterate category and another 46 percent have only ‘basic’ English ability.”

This is a far cry from the image of DACA beneficiaries as all children who don’t speak the language of—and know nothing about the culture of—their native countries.

In fact, it seems rather that a significant percentage of DACA beneficiaries may have serious limitations in their education, experience, and English fluency that negatively affected their ability to function in American society.

Providing amnesty to low-skilled, low-educated aliens with marginal English language ability would impose large fiscal costs on American taxpayers resulting from increased government payouts and benefits, and would be unfair to legal immigrants who obeyed the law to come here.

Any congressional amnesty bill providing citizenship for DACA beneficiaries could significantly increase the number of illegal aliens who will benefit unless Congress amends the sponsorship rules under federal immigration law. Providing lawful status to millions of so-called “Dreamers” will allow the extended families of those aliens to profit from illegal conduct.

The U.S. accepts about a million legal immigrants every year. According to a recent study, of the 33 million legal immigrants admitted over the last 35 years, about 61 percent were chain migration immigrants.

The average immigrant has sponsored 3.45 additional immigrants, but for DACA beneficiaries, that number is likely to be much higher. This is because, according to an analysis by the Department of Homeland Security, 76 percent of the DACA beneficiaries were from Mexico. Mexican immigrants sponsor an average of 6.38 additional legal immigrants—the highest rate of any nationality for chain migration.

Providing amnesty would simply attract even more illegal immigration and would not solve the myriad of enforcement problems we have along our borders and in the interior of the country. Congress should concentrate on giving the federal government (with the assistance and help of state and local governments) the resources to enforce existing immigration laws to reduce the illegal alien population in the U.S. and stem entry into the country.

Until those goals are accomplished, it is premature to even consider any DACA-type bill.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES:

Why Congress Should Not Legalize DACA: The Myths Surrounding the Program

Podcast: Liberal Rhetoric on DACA vs. Reality

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of New Mexico Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham who is a prominent Democrat pushing for a DACA-style amnesty deal. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom)

“The Dictator Pope”

Note: This is an all too brief account of a remarkable new book on the pope, which is causing waves in Rome and around the world. Fr. Gerald Murray, Raymond Arroyo, and I will discuss this and other matters in greater detail tomorrow evening on EWTN’s “The World Over,” 8 PM East Coast time (Check local listings for rebroadcasts and postings on YouTube). We began our year-end funding drive on November 8, and I’d like to end it this Friday, December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. You’ve already heard more than enough on this from me. There’s still time to click the button. Just do it and do your bit for The Catholic Thing– Robert Royal

The title above is the name of a book that appeared Monday in English (after earlier publication in Italian) by a writer who has assumed a grand Renaissance pseudonym: Marcantonio Colonna (an admiral at Lepanto). He evidently could not publish under his real name, for fear of reprisals. But the case he lays out is largely convincing: that Pope Francis has carefully cultivated an image in public as the apostle of mercy, kindness, and openness; in private, he’s authoritarian, given to profanity-laced outbursts of anger, and manipulative in pursuing his agenda.

This is hardly news, least of all in Rome. This volume, however, is far more probing and detailed than anything that has previously appeared. It sometimes stretches evidence, but the sheer amount of evidence it provides is stunning. About 90 percent of it is simply incontrovertible, and cannot help but clarify who Francis is and what he’s about.

The parts of this story I know best – the Synods on the family that I reported on daily from Rome for TCT – are absolutely reliable. We know, for example, that Pope Francis was quite willing to openly manipulate the Synods by personally appointing supporters of the Kasper Proposal and that he even intervened personally at key points, changing procedures and instructing the bishops about where their deliberations should start – and end.

When Francis cares about something – as Colonna shows – he makes it happen, whatever the opposition (at the Synods, it was considerable). There’s a clear pattern of behavior, whatever uncertainties remain. On the divorced and remarried, the environment, immigrants, “Islamophobia,” the poor, the pope is relentless. But he was not elected to revolutionize marital doctrine or “discipline.” Nor was he chosen to be a player in international politics. He was elected to be a “reformer” who would mainly clean up Vatican finances and deal with the gay lobby, two things that played a role in Benedict’s resignation.

On the financial front, there was a strong start: The council of cardinals, Cardinal Pell’s effort to inject Anglo-Saxon transparency, a new special secretariat on the economy, hiring PriceWaterhouseCoopers to do an external audit. The momentum stalled as the old guard slowly regained control over Vatican finances – and oversight. A series of Vatican Bank presidents, officials, accountants, etc. – probably getting too close to the truth – have been fired without good explanations. (Something similar played out in the Knights of Malta controversy.) Pell had to return to Australia to deal with sexual abuse charges from forty years ago that, suspiciously, resurfaced after being earlier examined and dismissed.

And where was the pope during all of this? He didn’t seem very interested. If he had been, he’d be at least as dogged in dealing with financial reform as he is, say, about global warming. Austen Ivereigh, a British writer and papal fan, entitled his biography The Great Reformer, in part because of Jorge Bergoglio’s alleged role in curbing abuses in Buenos Aires. Colonna doubts the truth of that account, and not only because of Francis’s lack of action in Rome. He thinks the Argentinian stories should be re-examined.

Then there’s the gay mafia. People forget that the occasion for Francis’ famous remark “Who am I to judge?” was not a general comment about homosexuality. It was in response to a question about Msgr. Battista Ricca, who was involved in several notorious homosexual scandals, some right across the river from Buenos Aires in Uruguay. Nonetheless, right after the 2013 papal election, he became the pope’s “eyes and ears” at the Vatican Bank and director of the Casa Santa Marta, where Francis resides.

And then there’s the troubling, casual resurrection of figures like Cardinal Gottfried Daneels, once thoroughly discredited for his support for contraception, divorce, gay marriage, even euthanasia and abortion – and outrageous mishandling of priestly abuse. But he stood with Francis on the balcony of St. Peter’s right after the conclave and read the prayer for the new pope at his inauguration. He was also one of the ringers Francis personally invited to bolster his case at the Synods.

Then there’s the appointment of another radical, Archbishop Paglia, to head the “reformed” John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family. In a remarkably naked authoritarian move, the pope substituted himself for Cardinal Sarah for the institute’s opening academic address in 2016, and spoke of “a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage.” You have to believe that Cardinal Marx was expressing the truth when he said, at the end of the synods, that it was just the beginning.

The least satisfactory part of this book for me is the account of how the “St. Gallen Group” – one of its own members called it a “mafia” – which met to plan opposition to St. JPII and Joseph Ratzinger, identified Jorge Bergoglio as a future papal candidate. He had no global visibility until he gave the concluding address at the 2001 Synod on the role of bishops. NYC’s Cardinal Edward Egan was supposed to do that but stayed home because 9/11 had just happened. The address impressed the synod fathers for its fairness to both sides. Colonna reveals, however, that it was entirely the work of a Synod secretary/speechwriter, Msgr. Daniel Emilio Estivill. We need to know more about how things went, from then to now.

Colonna also weakens his credibility somewhat by repeating rumors that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin convinced Francis to use money from Peter’s Pence to support Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. No footnotes appear to support this claim, nor does Colonna offer a plausible account of how and why Rome would think Mrs. Clinton – Hilary Clinton? – worth such a risky bet and potential scandal.

Despite a few lapses, the most disturbing element remains: the abundant evidence – confirmed by many particular instances now over years of this papacy – that the pope has little use for established procedures, precedents, even legal structures within the Church. These are not mere trivial rules, Pharisaic legalism, resistance to the Holy Spirit, etc. They are the means by which the Church seeks to be clear, fair, and orderly – and to address unjust actions or abuses by those in power.

When the head of the Church himself does not much feel bound by the tradition or impartial laws he has inherited, what then? That the question even has to be asked is disturbing. Any answer will have to reckon with the eye-opening material in this compelling book.

Robert Royal

Robert Royal

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

EDITORS NOTE: © 2017 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Collapse of the Liberal House Of Cards — Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Have you noticed how out of touch politicians, Hollywood actors and actresses, NFL athletes and certain TV commentators are with the American people? Are you noticing that the rhetoric coming out of their mouths is more and more desperate and just plain untrue?

Tom Hanks, In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, used the phrase “stupid is as stupid does.” Wiktionary defines the proverb as, “A person’s lack of intelligence may be judged by the lack of wisdom of their actions.”

It seems we are seeing a lot of “stupid is as stupid does” these days.

From Hollywood making politically correct films, to comedians making politically incorrect gestures, to NFL players taking a knee, to Hollywood actors and actresses saying stupid things, to politicians using taxpayer money to pay off those they have abused in what is now known as “The Swamp.”

HOLLYWOOD

During a recent interview English actress Daisy Ridley, when asked if she will continue to play the role of Rey in future Star Wars episodes, said, “I honestly feel like the world may end in the next 30 years, so, if in 30 years we are not living underground in a series of interconnected cells …”

In 2016 American actress, writer, producer and two time Golden Globe Award winner Lena Dunham said, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

Perhaps the quote that best makes our point is from American rapper Kanye West.

In a Harper’s Bazaar interview West said, “I actually don’t like thinking. I think people think I like to think a lot. And I don’t. I don’t like to think.”

Honesty is sometimes the best policy?

POLITICIANS

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) expressing concern during a congressional hearing that the presence of a large number of American soldiers might upend the island of Guam stated, ”My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”

Or perhaps former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy saying, ‘They don’t call me Tyrannosaurus Sex for nothing.” If alive today Ted would be welcome bookend to Senator Al Franken?

Remember then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talking about President Obama’s healthcare law saying, ”But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” Of course now Minority Leader Pelosi is concerned about Congress not reading the Senate Republican Tax Cut and Jobs bill.

Or former Vice President and climate expert Al Gore noting that, “A zebra does not change its spots.”

TV COMMENTATORS

In the below video former Republican Congressman now MSNBC show host and TV commentator Joe Scarborough went on a rant about President Trump being mentally unfit.

John Michael Chambers wrote, “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s fear.” All of those listed above and many more are fearful. They fear that their world is collapsing because fly over Americans elected a President who speaks truth to the swamp. A President who keeps his campaign promises and does what he says. They fear the truth.

RELATED ARTICLE: Fewer now have mix of liberal, conservative views in U.S. | Pew Research Center

VIDEO: Demographic Winter — the decline of the human family [Full Movie]

In the Spring 2008 edition of The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Kathryn Joyce did a review of the film Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family. Joyce wrote:

Settling in to watch the counterintuitive “depopulation threat” documentary, Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family, feels disorientingly like life imitating art, or more specifically, social science imitating apocalypse cinema. Above an ominous, skeletal piano score, telegraphing a claustrophobic sense of impending doom, an assembly of prominent conservative researchers and pundits, including Nobel laureate Gary Becker and academics from conservative think-tanks, ruefully predicts a new end-of-days. Everywhere throughout the film, there is a plague of disappearing bodies, particularly children’s bodies, literally vanishing from the screen.  The children, classrooms full of them, become translucent and fade from dens, swing sets, teeter-totters, bikes and shady suburban walkways as flurries of snowflakes start to fly.  Over it all a voiceover, read by a female narrator, lends the film an eerily automated calm, recalling a familiar science fiction juxtaposition: humanity rendered impotent beside an unflappable computerized countdown. The effect is a clear arrow pointing to mankind’s culpability in its downfall, having tampered with the established order to the point of self-destruction: a timeworn morality tale science fiction lifted from religion.

The same moral is intended in Demographic Winter, but the original sin isn’t the creation of tyrannical artificial intelligence, or the destruction of the environment, but rather the failure of people worldwide to have enough children to replace their old and dying, a cultural shift in family planning and size that has led to falling birthrates globally, but particularly in the affluent, developed nations of the West. The sin that preoccupies the entire documentary – though such morally-infused terms are assiduously avoided throughout the film – is birth control and the sexual revolution, and the widespread cultural decision of women to limit their fertility. But you have to listen hard to identify that agenda, because instead of laying that argument out, the movie is a projection of social conservative fears about what changes to traditional family structures will bring, a vivid dystopia illustrated with both futuristic doomsday imagery and a catalogue of historical horrors: the disappearing bodies a gentle rendition of nuclear flash incineration; the snow that replaces them at once evoking atomic and crematorium ashes, as well as emblemizing the frostier demographic death the filmmakers envision. Either way, it signals massive dying, and in case the rhetorical stakes for the demographic winter theory aren’t high enough, the filmmakers declared, in a banner at their Heritage Foundation premiere in mid-February, that the film’s topic is, “the single most powerful force directing the fate and future of society.”

The argument put forth in Demographic Winter is a familiar one to those who have been watching conservative strategy develop over the past several years: that with birthrates falling globally over the last half-century, and in most developed nations falling below the “replacement rate” of 2.1 children per woman, the ratio of young to old will shift dramatically and wreak havoc upon existing social security and healthcare systems. The economy at large may also suffer, as the elderly cease spending and a smaller generation of workers is crippled by the taxes needed to support their parents. And the reasons why it’s occurring is a litany of culture-war complaints: women working, the “divorce revolution,” the sexual revolution (including cohabitation and the pill), worries, or what the filmmakers call “inaccurate presumptions,” about overpopulation and limited resources, and an affluence that leads to fewer children. It’s a massive failure to be fruitful and multiply, writ large, but again, such religious cues are kept off-screen.

The world this will bring about, according to the filmmakers, is bleak: grandparents left untended and alone in the streets of Europe as intergenerational bonds are shattered; the potential desolation of small countries such as Latvia, and a worldwide depression that will touch even those countries that don’t disappear under the sheath of snow that the film shows blanketing the entire globe. So argues Harry S. Dent, Jr., an economist who specializes in “demographic-based economic forecasting,” and who predicts that the West will follow Japan’s aging population bust.

Read more.

Perhaps it is time to re-look at what was said in this film.

One of the most ominous events of modern history is quietly unfolding. Social scientists and economists agree — we are headed toward a demographic winter which threatens to have catastrophic social and economic consequences. The effects will be severe and long lasting and are already becoming manifest in much of Europe.

This ground breaking film draws upon experts from many different disciplines and reveals in chilling soberness the dangers facing society and the world’s economies, dangers far more imminent than global warming and at least as severe.

MUSIC VIDEO: If you don’t see ‘Merry Christmas’ in the window, don’t go in that store …

Say Merry Christmas – Vocal Carrie Rinderer and the American Christian Life United (ACLU) choir…

Rebuilding Faith in Egypt

If terrorists hoped to intimidate Egyptian leaders with their deadly mosque attack, it didn’t work. After the brutal murder of 235 worshippers – first with explosions, then gunfire – Cairo isn’t about back down from its promises to protect religious minorities like the ones mowed down late last month.

The grisly scene has become all too familiar here in the U.S., where Sutherland Springs is still trying to piece together their lives from a similar rampage. Now, a half a world away, in a land without the same freedoms, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is doing his best to reassure his people that Egypt won’t back down from its promise to come to the aid of faith communities.

The latest proof? Egypt’s sudden approval of 21 churches’ applications to “restore, expand, and rebuild.” The Christian Post’s Anugrah Kumar reports that the el Sisi government is giving the green light to area pastors and clerics after a 20-year hold on some permits. “A local source was quoted as saying that Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is keen to “show the U.S. that Egypt is standing with the Christians and that there is no persecution in Minya governorate.” The decision is an about-face in some areas, where churches had been closed to help “ease tensions” with Muslims. In other places, it’s an act of defiance in the face of ISIS’s growing threats.

No one who met President el-Sisi in our delegation to Cairo last month would doubt his commitment to greater religious freedom in his land. And while our conversations continue with his administration on behalf of Christians and others, it’s encouraging to see Egypt take bold steps like this one. The U.S. needs to do all it can to help support these transformation religious freedom reforms in the Egypt and the Middle East. The first step would be for the Senate to confirm President Trump’s nominee for Ambassador at Large for Religious Liberty, Governor Sam Brownback. We have a window of opportunity with governments like President Sisi’s. Now is the time to move.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Pro-Life Students Sue Miami University Because It Won’t Let Them Erect a Cross

Students at the Miami University in Ohio are suing the school after it wouldn’t let them erect a cross on its campus to express their pro-life message.

Filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Miami University’s Students for Life, the lawsuit alleges that the university violated their rights to free speech and expression because it wouldn’t let them erect a cross on it’s Hamilton campus, which recently hosted an event on the “Perspectives of Free Speech,” according to WLWT5. The suit also asks the university to change its policies regarding campus postage and seeks monetary damages.

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Miami University’s Students for Life has displayed its cross every year in an appeal to Christians and pro-lifers to protect the life of the unborn for both religious and moral reasons, but campus officials said the students couldn’t erect their symbol this year, according to WLWT5. They added that the cross would only be permitted if the students included “warning” signs around campus explaining why they had erected the cross.

The university plans to “address any potential mistake,” said school spokeswoman Claire Wagner, who indicated the lawsuit may have resulted from a miscommunication or misunderstanding between the students and campus officials.

Other universities have also faced run-ins with events regarding free speech, including Ryerson University, which canceled a panel dedicated to discussing the silencing of free speech on college campuses, citing “campus safety.”

Not long ago, the Berkeley mayor also advised the University of California, Berkeley to cancel conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ planned September Free Speech Week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Grace Carr

Grace Carr is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @gbcarr24.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a cross is by Wagner Santos/Photoshot/Newscom. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

As Christian Baker Heads to Court, Hundreds of Artists Speak Out to Defend Free Expression

The Supreme Court is gearing up to hear one of the most important cases of the 2017 term.

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the court will consider whether the state of Colorado may compel cake artist Jack Phillips to create custom wedding cakes for same-sex weddings in violation of his religious beliefs.

The court’s decision in this case won’t just affect Phillips. It will affect other artists who may want to decline to use their creative talents on projects that violate their own consciences.

To highlight just how broadly this decision will be felt, 11 cake artists and 479 other creative professionals filed amicus briefs at the Supreme Court. Here’s what these groups said in the briefs.

Cake Artists

The 11 cake artists who came together for this amicus brief note that cake design is a form of art. They explained to the court that they “create images of beauty that evoke ideas and emotions in deliciously edible form.” And if you don’t believe them, they included plenty of pictures in the brief.

While these artists did not write for or against any party in their brief, they explain that the creative process involved in making cakes is just as intricate and expressive as songwriting, painting, or web design.

Cake artists must use visual-art skills such as painting, drawing, and sculpting, and they must be able to create a unified whole from a series of individual artistic elements, such as textures, photographs, three-dimensional objects, and color.

In fact, custom cake design is so artistic that artists’ designs can be protected under federal intellectual property law. As the brief points out, the Library of Congress has thousands of custom cake designs in its copyright record.


The cake artists also explain why wedding cakes are unique and are often “the most iconic examples of the artists’ craft.” Unlike birthday cakes or “get well soon” cakes, wedding cakes often incorporate elements that reflect the couple’s personality.

These cakes are often themed, matching the pattern of the invitations or the couple’s fine china. Or they can feature hand-drawn characters from “Alice in Wonderland,” paying tribute to the bride’s favorite childhood story.

Wedding cakes can also reflect the ethnic heritage of the couple, incorporating colors and shapes from a shared cultural background.

The cake artists also point out that same-sex wedding cakes “can be especially artistic.” They often utilize rainbows both on the exterior and interior of a cake, and the cake artists have “found that cakes for same-sex weddings are frequently far more open to displays of personality and vivid expression, allowing the cake artist a decidedly freer hand in creation.”

The cake artists emphasize that they “merit as much protection for their expressive work as artists using other mediums,” and they note that the court’s existing free speech framework already includes symbolic nonverbal expression.

In two famous cases, Texas v. Johnson (which recognized burning of the American flag as expressive conduct) and West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (which recognized the right not to salute the American flag), the court recognized that the First Amendment protects symbolic expression, not just verbal or written communication.

Wedding cakes, these artists say, should qualify, too.

Other Creative Professionals

In another amicus brief specifically supporting Phillips, 479 creative professionals from all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico highlight their concern that a ruling against Phillips will threaten their expressive freedom in the workplace.

These cake designers, musicians, florists, photographers, journalists, videographers, poets, songwriters, calligraphers, graphic designers, cartoonists, bloggers, website designers, authors, actors, writers, sculptors, and painters have differing views on gay marriage. But they come together here for one purpose: “They do not want the state forcing them to convey objectionable messages through their art.”

They tell the stories of creative professionals in the wedding industry—other cake-makers, filmmakers, custom website designers, creators of printing and marketing material, and photographers—who “face crippling fines, loss of business, government re-education, and even jail time” for declining to participate in a same-sex wedding.

They highlight this dangerous trend in state court and urge the Supreme Court to reverse course and protect each of their rights to “create freely.”

“It is difficult to imagine,” they write, “a more onerous and effectual compulsion to speak.”

Finally, the creative professionals propose that while this case is limited to the same-sex wedding context, “creative professionals of all stripes stand to suffer from undue compulsion” in other areas, should the court rule against Phillips.

They ask:

Should an African-American supporter of ‘Black Lives Matter’ be required to make and design a cake for white nationalist function? Must a graphic designer who supports gun control create advocacy literature for the National Rifle Association? Is an atheist photographer obliged to take and publish pictures of a Christian baptism?

These creative professionals believe that under the First Amendment, the answer clearly is no. They hope the government will not compel them or anyone else “to utter messages—through art of their own making—that betrays their values, wills, and consciences, as well as their tongues.”

COMMENTARY BY

Zachary Jones is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Larry Brett is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Portrait of Tiffany Bates

VIDEO: President Trump endorses Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate

In an email to supporters Judge Roy Moore wrote:

This afternoon I had a great conversation with President Trump.

He called from Air Force One to offer his full support for me and my campaign in our all-out battle against Doug Jones and the forces of evil on December 12.

And earlier this morning, President Trump officially endorsed my campaign for U.S. Senate — slamming my opponent as just another “Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet” who flat-out hates our conservative values.

If elected as the next U.S. Senator from Alabama, I pledge to fight with everything I’ve got to help President Trump Drain the Swamp in Washington — including repealing ObamaCare and building the wall!

I’m honored to have President Trump’s support.

And I’d be honored to know I’ve earned your support, too.

President Trump tweeted the following:

One America News published an exclusive two part interview by OANN journalist Emerald Robertson with Judge Moore.

One America Exclusive Interview with Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore: Part One

One America Exclusive Interview with Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore: Part Two

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60 Thousand Imaginary Fascists in Warsaw

The annual ‘Independence March’ held on Polish Independence Day – November 11 – is the embodiment of the Polish spirit – independent, strong-minded, individualistic, unpredictable. The spirit that drove the Poles to wage a hopeless fight against the Nazis and Soviets in 1939. The same spirit that will not politely yield to whatever EU decision is made in Brussels or Berlin. For which – as usual – they may finally be severely punished. Unfair labeling, distortion, and disinformation in the international media do not bode well for Poland.

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By Maria Juczewska

According to the international media, 60 thousand fascists appeared in the streets of Warsaw on Polish Independence Day in the ‘Independence March’ on November 11th. This date, marking the armistice ending the First World War, is commemorated in the UK as Remembrance Day, with the iconic poppy; in the USA as Veterans Day, (previously Armistice Day); and concurrently celebrated as the anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s national sovereignty.

It is impossible to understand Poland if one tries to apply the clichés from his own country formed by his own historical experience. The Polish experience is not the one of the Anglo-Saxon world. No ideology that expects people to become uniform, manageable, disciplined, and obedient could appeal to the feisty Polish spirit. Poland had no Oswald Mosley, no Mitford sisters, no fascist union. Thus, the characterization of the annual ‘Independence March’ in Warsaw as ‘fascist’ is as gross a distortion of reality as calling America’s Veterans Day parades ‘fascist’ marches.

In celebrating national sovereignty, Polish Independence Day marks the end of 123 years of partitions. The partitions ended the existence of a multi-ethnic polity that lasted between 1385 and 1795. Known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for the majority of that time period, the polity was a unique political entity widely known for its system of noble democracy, inclusiveness and religious tolerance for all denominations. It achieved the zenith of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries. Finally, the Commonwealth was undermined by internal weaknesses and subversion of the surrounding powers and partitioned between Austria, Prussia, and Russia at the end of the 18th century.

With Poland no longer appearing on the map of Europe, nationalism became a tool that allowed the Poles to preserve their national identity and eventually regain independence in the 20th century.

Long centuries of coexistence in a multi-ethnic federal state shaped the identity of people inhabiting the areas of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Poland has always been inclusive and directed towards co-existence and multiculturalism. The main criterion for being Polish thus became the willingness to serve Poland, understood as a community of people accepting the spiritual heritage of the Polish nation (literature, art, customs, politics) as their own. Anybody could become Polish, if they chose to serve the honorable cause.

As a result, nationalism in Poland of the 1920s and the 1930s was never based on the criterion of bloodline put forward by Nazism or social class proposed by communism. The majority of nationalist Polish organizations had a strong Christian element, which prevented them from becoming totalitarian. Although anti-Semitism was present in the political life of Poland in the interwar period, it was related not to race, as such, but to socio-economic factors and the dominance of Jews in certain professions. The fact that many leftist Jews supported Communism did not improve internal relations in Poland either. After all, the Soviet Union was a lethal threat to the existence of the reborn Poland.

However, all those concerns did not matter anymore when the Second World War broke out. Seeing that Jews were facing planned biological extinction under the Nazi German occupation, Poles of all political views, also the nationalists, came to their rescue.

Members of the Polish nationalist organizations were not only providing false identity documents, food stamps or hide outs to their Jewish acquaintances but also organizing larger rescue operations.

For instance, one that allowed for placement of children smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto into orphanages managed by Catholic nuns. It was supervised by Jan Dobraczynski, a writer and a supporter of the Christian nationalist movement in the interwar period.

Another example is Jan Mosdorf, one of the founders of the radically Polish nationalist ONR and a confirmed anti-Semite before the Second World War. Yet, in 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. While in the camp, he became involved in the creation of an underground support organization, providing additional food rations and other kinds of help to Jewish prisoners. Denounced by a “kapo,” he was executed at the camp for helping Jews in 1943. During the war, in occupied Poland, many “former anti-Semites” sacrificed their lives to help the Jews.

Today in Poland, the youth harken back to the ideals of Polish interwar organizations.

However, it needs to be made absolutely clear that the Polish nationalism of the interwar period had nothing to do with fascism, as the National Socialism of Nazi Germany is presently known.

Poland was the first country that fell prey to the joint aggression of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia in 1939, precisely because it rejected the acceptance of Nazism or Communism. Occupied by two totalitarian powers propelled by socialist ideologies, one national and one international, Poles paid a high price for their refusal to yield to one or the other.

Half of the territory lost, one third of the population killed, and the remaining two thirds trapped behind the Iron Curtain for fifty years. Concentration camps used to exterminate Jews and other minorities, as well as the Poles during the war, were used after the war by the Communists to murder the remaining Polish independence fighters.

For 50 years, every decade, Poles would stand up against the Communist regime in Poland calling for basic civil rights and liberties. The Solidarity movement that greatly contributed to the fall of USSR was partly based on the ideas of the nation and civil duties formed by the Polish nationalists of the interwar period. This is the tradition to which the ‘Independence March’ held on Independence Day refers.

As a result, there is no fascist tradition in Poland that could inspire the young Poles of today.

Nazi German occupation of Poland was such a societal trauma that no ordinary Pole would willingly associate with the ideals of national socialism or venture into the Polish streets in a brown uniform. What Poles celebrate by marching in the streets of Warsaw on Independence Day is their political freedom. Their right to live in liberty in their own country. They commemorate the independence fighters who lost their lives in the first years of Soviet rule involving the planned extermination of the Polish underground. They also contest the political situation in the present-day European Union. A considerable majority of them are regular Polish patriots. Some may have more nationalist leanings. A fraction of them may be radical – but they would comprise a drop in the proverbial bucket among the vast sea of people.

The annual ‘Independence March’ held on Polish Independence Day – November 11 – is the embodiment of the Polish spirit – independent, strong-minded, individualistic, unpredictable. The spirit that drove the Poles to wage a hopeless fight against the Nazis and Soviets in 1939. The same spirit that will not politely yield to whatever EU decision is made in Brussels or Berlin. For which – as usual – they may finally be severely punished. Unfair labeling, distortion, and disinformation in the international media do not bode well for Poland.


ABOUT MARIA JUCZEWSKA

Maria Juczewska is an MA candidate in International Affairs at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC where she works for the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies. Ms. Juczewska is a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

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