VIDEO: The Korean War on Faith

President Trump’s speech in South Korea was remarkable for several things, but it was his mention of religious persecution that got our attention. In a message of warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the president took the opportunity on one of the world’s largest stages to chastise the horrible conditions for Christians in places like China and North Korea. While the world watched, the president tackled one of the greatest human rights abuses taking place in the Asian part of the globe.

“In the part of Korea that was a stronghold for Christianity before the war, Christians and other people of faith who are found praying or holding a religious book of any kind are now detained, tortured, and, in many cases, even executed.”

“North Korean women are forced to abort babies that are considered ethnically inferior. And if these babies are born, the newborns are murdered. One woman’s baby born to a Chinese father was taken away in a bucket. The guard said it did not deserve to live because it was impure. So why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?”

For many North Koreans, just the act of worship is a life-threatening proposition. Hunted down and terrorized for their faith, the underground church has lost countless members to prison camps (or worse) simply for sharing the gospel — a freedom most of us take for granted every day. From the very beginning of his administration, Donald Trump has been intentional about his desire to pick up the torch for religious liberty, first trying to secure it for Americans here at home through executive order and other directives. But with his nomination of Sam Brownback to Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, the administration has shown its sincerity on restoring the United States’ reputation as a voice for the voiceless.

As we know from our friends at Open Doors USA, North Korea is ranked as the most oppressive place in the world for Christians — #1 on the World Watch List. So it’s no small thing that President Trump included the persecuted church in his admonishment of Kim Jung Un. As Open Doors explains, the situation is so dire that Christians are forced to hide their faith even from their own spouses. “Simply owning a Bible is enough to be considered an enemy of the state, and many North Korean Christians are spending the rest of their lives malnourished, mistreated, and dying in prison.” As quickly as things have deteriorated for Americans of faith under Barack Obama, the culture here is nothing like the nightmare our brothers and sisters face overseas.

When so many other priorities hang in the balance, we’re extremely grateful that President Trump made a point of highlighting the plight of North Korean Christians. Now, it’s time for the U.S. Senate to act on Governor Brownback’s confirmation, so that Americans can start giving the world’s persecuted new hope – first, that they aren’t alone, and secondly, that help is on the way.

For more on North Korea, specifically the nuclear threat, don’t miss FRC’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin on Fox News’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”


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


Also in the November 8 Washington Update:

Silver Linings in Blue Victories

Delaware, Beware, of Kids Choosing Their own Race

Silver Linings in Blue Victories

It’s been called a “rejection,” “rebuke,” and “disaster” for Republicans, but are last night’s election results really as significant as the media’s making them out to be? Some experts say no. After a string of special election beatings, the victories for Democrats Ralph Northam (Va.) and Phil Murphy (N.J.) are a huge relief to an embattled Left. Watching blue states like Virginia and New Jersey deal a death blow to the GOP’s hopes of recapturing the governor’s mansion was gratifying to liberals, but not incredibly surprising. As CNBC warns its overly exuberant counterparts, these are states that have been “swinging for Democrats for almost two decades.”

“The consensus take on the sweeping wins for the Democrats in the Old Dominion is that this is a repudiation of President Donald Trump, his policies, and his political tone. Not exactly,” warns Jake Novak.

“What the election results really prove without a doubt is that Virginia is now undeniably blue. The Democrats have won the state three straight times in presidential elections, four of the last five governor’s elections, and the once solid red state even has two Democrats representing it in the U.S. Senate. The reasons this has happened are a series of demographic and political factors that were in motion long before Donald Trump became a candidate.”

While the Left is exchanging morning-after high fives, all is hardly lost.

The media’s narrative is that this is a repudiation of President Trump’s agenda. But that doesn’t necessarily jive with other races in Virginia, which, with the exception of Gillespie, were much tighter. In fact, the more conservative down-ticket candidates (like those vying for attorney general and lieutenant governor) won more votes than Gillespie. Liberal donors managed to capture a significant number of statehouse seats, whose campaigns they’d been targeting with significant contributions for months. Republicans couldn’t compete financially — or, it turns out, emotionally.

President Trump, Novak points out, “needn’t worry so much about Virginia, but he should be concerned about Democratic organizing and get-out-the-vote efforts.” The enthusiasm gap definitely favored Democrats, who flooded the polls, turning out eight percent more voters — 28 percent — than 2013. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t a lack of participation on evangelicals’ part that cost Gillespie and others (turnout was only down a single point — to 27 percent — from 2013). Conservatives just couldn’t seem to match the fervor on the other side. Even so, Gillespie still raked in 79 percent of the white evangelical vote compared to 81 percent for Cuccinelli and 80 percent for Trump.

Meanwhile, not all of the news for Democrats was good. They may have won the biggest prizes in New Jersey and the extension of the swamp in Virginia, but they certainly aren’t winning any popularity contests. Analysts were stunned by favorability ratings for the party, which spell disaster once the broader electorate is engaged. As Ryan Struyk tweeted, a lot of Americans seem to have held their noses to vote. “Some frightening splits in new @CNN poll for Dems. Only 48 percent of nonwhites and 33 percent of people under 35 (!) have favorable view of Dem party.” That’s a big picture problem for the democrats, who are facing record highs in disapproval. CNN reports, “Only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Democrats, down from 44 percent in March of this year. A majority, 54 percent have an unfavorable view, matching their highest mark in polls from CNN and SSRS, CNN/ORC and CNN/USA Today/Gallup stretching back to 1992.”

Of course, the news isn’t exactly rosy for Republicans either, who are feeling the heat of a series of congressional missteps. With Trump’s agenda hampered at almost every turn (in a GOP-controlled Congress), you can’t blame voters for venting their frustration. When Democrats overstep on social issues (as many blame Hillary Clinton for doing in 2016), Americans turn to Republicans — who often fail to act, despite the mandate they’ve been given. Obviously, if the GOP has any hope of preserving its majority, the Senate will have to pull itself together on the big ticket-items before voters have a chance to reconsider.

The takeaway from Tuesday’s results is this: these two states are an extremely small sample size of mainly blue voters. The real test will come in Alabama, the heart of Trump country, where the special election for Jeff Session’s old Senate seat will give us a much better indication of what Americans are thinking. Even now, though, in swing states like Pennsylvania, the support for the president runs deep. Virtually unscathed by the congressional drama, the president still polls well in purple states. In a fascinating article, Politico tries to explain why Trump’s base is still rallying around the president, supplying the bulk of his rocky approval ratings.

“Over the course of three rainy, dreary days last week,” Michael Kruse writes, “I revisited and shook hands with the president’s base — that thirty-something percent of the electorate who resolutely approve of the job he is doing, the segment of voters who share his view that the Russia investigation is a ‘witch hunt’ that ‘has nothing to do with him,’ and who applaud his judicial nominees and his determination to gut the federal regulatory apparatus… In spite of unprecedented unpopularity — nearly all people who voted for Trump would do it again.”

As we saw with Clinton, who was abandoned by blue collar voters for her extreme social stance (“the Democratic Party cared more about where someone else went to the restroom than whether they had a good-paying job”), Middle America still embraces Trump’s agenda. But they also understand his limitations without a cooperative Congress. “I asked [voter Pam] Schilling what would happen if the next three years go the way the last one has,” Kruse shares. “‘I’m not going to blame him,'” Schilling said. “‘Absolutely not.'”

“Next to [another person I was interviewing] was a gray-haired man who told me he voted for Trump and was happy so far because ‘he’s kept his promises.'”

“I asked which ones.”

“‘Border security.’ But there’s no wall yet. “‘No fault of his,’ the man said.”

“What else? ‘Getting rid of Obamacare.’ But he hasn’t. ‘Well, he’s tried to.'”

“What else? ‘Defunding Planned Parenthood.’ But he didn’t. ‘Not his fault again,’ the man said.”

As for Tuesday’s results, liberals have the momentum — that much is clear. But it’s nothing a determined the GOP House and Senate can’t wrestle back with big wins on tax reform and health care. It’s not an impossible task for conservatives, but it’s certainly an urgent one.


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


Also in the November 8 Washington Update:

The Korean War on Faith

Delaware, Beware, of Kids Choosing Their own Race

President Trump: Your Sworn Duty Includes Investigating Hillary Clinton

Dear President Trump,

With all respect and humility, I would like to remind you that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice work under you in the executive branch. Of course, any investigation involving you deserves the utmost respect and distance on your part. Morality and decency demands that. It is unfortunate that this same morality and decency is all but an extinct trait within the entire federal judicial system, to include the DOJ and the Supreme Court.

Although your separation in any matter described above is absolutely necessary, separation in other matters of the DOJ would equate to a travesty of justice and a failing of responsibility and duty bestowed upon the executive branch by the States and the people. I speak specifically in regards to the criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

The DOJ has a constitutional and, I will say, a moral obligation to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton for her innumerable criminal acts. As the head of the executive branch, you must ensure this happens so justice is found for all Americans, and specifically the many victims of Hillary Clinton.

Sir, you met the Haitian people in Florida and across America. You have been informed of the crimes Hillary Clinton has perpetrated and continues to perpetrate upon the Haitian people. I can tell you it is likely the same offenses are being perpetrated on other peoples and their countries, i.e. the Congo. Her actions not only create national security problems, they present a perception of the American people to foreign countries that is completely unacceptable.

Hillary Clinton must finally be brought to justice for her role in the murder of Americans in Benghazi. She must be held accountable for her role in the murder of Americans as a result of the Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scheme to Mexican cartels. She must be investigated for her collusion in the theft of land belonging to the American people to be sold to foreign governments for her profit. Her well established cooperation and associations with the Muslim Brotherhood must be brought to light. And, sir, if you begin in these investigations, I am confident a floodgate of evidence of other criminality will open.

I also realize that these investigations will be difficult and you will meet with many obstacles.  First and foremost, the obstacles will come from many political accomplices that will be exposed in this light. You, sir, did promise to “drain the swamp.” These investigations will not only drain the swamp, but will dry it out completely. This will fulfill your promise to the American people.

Another difficulty you may encounter will be the overwhelming taxing of the federal witness protection program. You will have to go to great measures to ensure the safety and lives of any witnesses willing to testify. After all, there is some indication, through past experience, that those who speak against the Clintons come to mysterious ends.

I suspect there are many trying to tell you that any investigation of Hillary Clinton would be politically motivated and therefore inappropriate. Morality and decency say the opposite. To not investigate Hillary Clinton because of her political affiliations is absolutely inappropriate, as we can allow no one can be above investigation and still maintain a just society. Hillary Clinton can no longer be permitted to hide her guilt through her political aspirations. A just society demands your attention to these matters.

President Trump, you may be the only person who is willing to bring justice back to America.  The American people are losing faith in their government and they need to know that people like Hillary Clinton can be brought to justice.

Thank you for your time. I pray you will take this solemn obligation with great sincerity. Many are looking for you to prove that American government can, once again, be dedicated to Liberty, Justice, and Morality.

May God, in his divine providence, give you strength and boldness in these troubling times.

Sincerely,

KrisAnne Hall, JD
Founder of Liberty First University

ABOUT KRISANNE HALL, JD

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Two Steps to Drain the Swamp: Prosecute Aggressively, Slash Government

Manafort Indictment: Nothing New. Not A Big Deal. Yet.

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Rights are Inherent for All, Benefits are Granted to Some

IN-DEPTH: Disproving the 7 Accusations that Trump is Racist

EDITORS NOTE: For further reading on Hillary Clinton’s actions, click here and here. This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Why I Pray, Even After the Texas Shooting

When I was growing up, my parents almost daily rounded up my four siblings and I for family prayer, the seven of us—albeit with differing degrees of attention—reciting out loud the Catholic prayers of the rosary, while meditating on different events in Jesus Christ’s life.

At the end of the rosary, after my dad had rattled off the oh, roughly 785 intentions he wanted the Lord to take some action on, it was the kids’ turn to announce to God what we’d like to see happen.

And so when one of my brothers was 2, he began to pray for a specific intention. At the time, he was a toddler who lost his mind and shrieked “Bu! Bu! BU!” (the “s” seemed to be beyond his ability to enunciate) every time we passed a school bus (and perhaps not coincidentally was very enthused about wearing the color yellow at all times).

My brother as a toddler. (Photo: The Trinko family)

When it was his turn, he took to asking quite ardently for a white car. He had spotted this glistening white model of a car at Toys R Us, one of those cars that kids could ride, and he evidently quite liked the thought of himself zipping through our backyard in this sporty car. Every night, he would pray with real fervor that he would get this white car.

After many, many, many days of praying for this white car (and not having it show up in his life), my brother approached my parents and inquired whether he would ever get this white car. My parents, who were supporting five children and saw Toys R Us kid-size cars as the kind of luxuries reserved for another class of people, gently informed him that no, he wouldn’t be getting the white car.

He, devastated, went on to inquire, I believe, whether he would get the white car in heaven and was told that yes, if he needed the white car to be happy, it would be there in heaven. But no, it would be not showing up in his life here at any point.

Welcome to life as a believer.

The terrible shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 dead (including eight members of one family, and an 18-month-old) has launched another round of incredulity about prayer from non-believers.

Actor Wil Wheaton tweeted at House Speaker Paul Ryan, “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of s—.” (He later tweeted, “Hey, real and actual people of faith: I hear you. I apologise for insulting you, in my rage at Paul Ryan’s refusal to address gun violence.”)

Wheaton wasn’t the only liberal rolling his eyes over prayers post-Texas: “Speaker Ryan, bluntly: shove your prayers up you’re ass AND DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE BESIDES PLATITUDES AND POWER GRABS,” tweeted good old Keith Olbermann. Liberal writer Lauren Duca, like Wheaton, took aim at Ryan, tweeting, “There were plenty of prayers in the church where 27 people were gunned down today. What we need is gun control, you spineless sack of s—.”

An MSNBC reporter, speaking to Paul Buford, a pastor of a church near where the shooting occurred, asked, “Anytime something like this happens in this country, we all feel so powerless. All we can really offer are thoughts and prayers. Are prayers enough?”

“I think, absolutely they are,” responded Buford, pastor of River Oaks Church. “It’s only our faith in God that’s going to get us through this.”

Of course, there’s no contradiction between praying and taking action. In this particular case, current laws already should have prevented the shooter, Devin Kelley, from obtaining a gun—and it certainly makes sense for Americans to demand the Air Force take action to ensure anyone else with a record like the shooter’s is entered in the correct databases so this doesn’t happen again.

But you can do that—and keep praying.

So if you’re slack-jawed with amazement that the massacre in Sutherland Springs hasn’t shaken people’s faith, hasn’t stopped them from praying, let me ‘splain.

For most people of faith, we don’t pray to God because we expect He’s the ultimate Santa Claus, or as my colleague Daniel Davis suggested in our podcast Monday, because we think He’s some dope genie who’s going to grant us everything we wish for.

As a person of faith, I’ve spent plenty of time silently praying and asking God why the heck He allowed one thing or another. I’ve watched a grandpa I dearly loved, and who I had fervently prayed would survive his heart problem, be lowered into a grave.

I’ve seen friends and families grapple with their own tragedies, and thinking of the Texas shooting, of all those people peacefully sitting in church and then being surrounded by the corpses of those who they loved, I’ve prayed—without understanding.

There is so, so, so much I don’t understand why God allows.

I’m hardly alone. While I’m mainly familiar with Christianity (and my own Catholic faith), there is no faith tradition that has expelled suffering. It’s part and parcel of the human condition, and for those of us who believe in a loving God, it is admittedly a hard thing to understand at times.

I think of Pope John Paul II, whose father, brother, and mother were all dead by the time he was 20, and who had to watch as his beloved Poland was taken over by Nazis, and then communists.

I think of the Catholic saint Gianna Molla, a doctor who died after she didn’t want to put her unborn baby at risk by having a certain medical treatment when she was pregnant (and whose death in 1962 left her four small children motherless).

And I recall Mother Teresa, who lived a long life, but who—as was revealed after her death—spent decades in an acute spiritual darkness that was no doubt psychological torture.

St. Teresa of Avila, a feisty woman who started an order of nuns in Spain in the 1500s, once said, after falling into a mud puddle while traveling, “God, if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few.”

It’s a sentiment that I’m sure many a person of faith could wryly relate to.

And yet, on Monday, when I went to mass and the priest asked us to spend a few silent moments in prayer for those hurt and killed in Texas, and for all those who harbored evil in their hearts and were tempted to do horrible things like this, I bowed my head and prayed.

Why?

At a mass this summer in London, a priest told a story that’s lingered with me. Once, the priest said, there was a king who went hunting, and in the process, injured one of his fingers. His doctor, who always attended him on hunts, did his best to save the finger, but it was to no avail: In the end, it had to be cut off to prevent infection from spreading.

The king was furious at the doctor, who had simply and casually said, “Good? Bad? Who knows?” regarding the loss of the king’s finger. So the king threw the doctor into a dungeon, and in response, the doctor said simply, “Good? Bad? Who knows?”

A little while later, the king was hunting again, and this time he was captured by some bandits or what not, who decided they would offer him as a human sacrifice to whatever gods they worshipped.

The bandits prepared the king to be killed, but then realized he had only nine fingers. They decided they needed to offer a “perfect” human sacrifice to their gods, and so they let the nine-fingered king go free.

When the king returned to his castle, he summoned the doctor, and told him that the loss of his finger had saved his life, and apologized to the doctor for throwing him in the dungeon.

But the doctor noted that if he had been out of the dungeon, he would have accompanied the king hunting, as was his habit—and as someone with 10 fingers, he would have been an acceptable human sacrifice.

The point, as I’m sure you get, is that our limited perspective sometimes makes things that will ultimately work for the greater good appear bad at the time.

And yet, of course, it is one thing to know that and an entirely different matter to feel it.

So when I pray after Texas, or after a personal tragedy, or after seeing another loved one be hurt, I don’t do so with an expectation that this prayer will finally break the cycle of evil and suffering, that never again will I or someone I love be devastated by suffering.

Instead, I try to trust. I remember that Jesus Himself, on the eve of his crucifixion, prayed that “may this cup be taken from me”—and yet He went on to be crucified.

I pray for faith, and for trust, and for understanding and for, if there must be more suffering in my life, that I be able to bear it well—but with a swift caveat that please, God, maybe just don’t make me suffer.

Pope John Paul II with Mother Teresa after visiting the Casa del Cuore Puro, Mother Teresa’s home for the destitute and dying, in the Indian city of Calcutta Feb. 3, 1986. (Photo: Luciano Mellace/Reuters/Newscom)

“There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us,” said John Paul II in 1995, speaking at the Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. “There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us.”

“And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection,” he added. “This is our faith. This is our witness before the world.”

Before God, I remember, too, that some prayers have been answered the way I wanted—that my mom’s heart condition was caught in time, and that she has made it through a series of surgeries; that I live in a time in which my rare eye condition can be treated, and I’m not blind as a bat; that so very many of my loved ones are doing well.

Prayer, at the end of the day, isn’t about trying to do that one simple trick to end human suffering. For me, it’s so often simply to be in the presence of God, to allow my own petty heart to be changed by being in His presence.

And my brother? Well, his prayer came true as well—in a way. When he was a teen, my parents bought a white Dodge Charger, and he got to zip around in it. And this May, 24 years after he prayed so hard for that white car, he was ordained a Catholic priest. (The photo above this article is from his ordination.)

The car he and another priest share today isn’t white, and it sure isn’t sporty, but he seems OK with it all.

So today, and tomorrow, and for many days after, I’m going to keep praying for the people in that church in Texas. I’ll pray for those who were gunned down, and for all their families and friends.

I’m going to pray for all those who are tempted to do evil, that they resist, and that we never again have a horrible mass shooting, whether in church or elsewhere. I’ll pray for the soul of the shooter, and for his loved ones. And sometimes I’ll just sit and ask: Why?

“The days ahead will be awful for the grieving community of Sutherland Springs,” wrote Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in The Washington Post.

“But one thing is certain: Come Sunday, they will be gathered again, singing and praying and opening the Word. That church will bear witness to the truth that shaped them: Eternal life cannot be overcome by death.”

Amen.

Portrait of 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: .

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

RELATED ARTICLE: After Texas Shooting, the Secular Left’s Gospel of Condescension Continues

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a priest being ordained is by Tom Trinko.

Trump White House Recognizes 100 Years of Victims of Communism [+Podcast]

The White House issued a statement Tuesday commemorating the National Day for the Victims of Communism, on the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution that led to decades of a murderous totalitarian regime in the Soviet Union.

The statement came the same day that President Donald Trump visited South Korea, which is facing a nuclear threat from its communist neighbor North Korea.

The statement says “oppressive communism” is “incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life.” The statement continues:

Over the past century, communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation. These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights we hold sacrosanct. Citizens yearning for freedom were subjugated by the state through the use of coercion, violence, and fear. … Today, we remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism.

Recognizing the current victims of communism was an important step, said Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

“What’s particularly important about the [White House] statement is that it mentions all who die and continue to suffer under communism,” Smith told The Daily Signal.

Podcast: Half of Millennials Would Prefer to Live in Socialist or Communist Country.

“Typically the last few presidents have shied away from acknowledging North Korea, China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam are communist,” Smith continued. “That’s something we haven’t really heard since President [Ronald] Reagan in connecting the ideas of communism with the consequences.”

Smith noted that President George W. Bush was the last president to recognize the victims of communism, as he was the honorary chairman of the memorial in 2007.

Communism once consumed much of Europe, but now only exists in five countries. That’s largely because the system was such a failure, said Lee Edwards, a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“It’s important to have an acknowledgement from the White House the Bolshevik Revolution was the god that failed,” Edwards told The Daily Signal.

“Communism promised peace, land, and freedom and failed to deliver. Instead of peace, there were decades of communist wars. It took land from people and put them in communes, which resulted in famines.”

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES:

New House Caucus Stands Against Communism and for Its Victims

Why Won’t The Nightmare Dream Of Communism Die?

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

FULL TEXT: National Day for the Victims of Communism

Today, the National Day for the Victims of Communism, marks 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution gave rise to the Soviet Union and its dark decades of oppressive communism, a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life.

Over the past century, communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation. These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights we hold sacrosanct. Citizens yearning for freedom were subjugated by the state through the use of coercion, violence, and fear.

Today, we remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism. In their memory and in honor of the indomitable spirit of those who have fought courageously to spread freedom and opportunity around the world, our Nation reaffirms its steadfast resolve to shine the light of liberty for all who yearn for a brighter, freer future.

Tales from the Crypt of Catholic Education

A Note from Robert Royal: Before we turn to Professor Smith’s valuable insights about our current need for truly independent institutions – and his plea that we support them generously – I have to appeal to your generosity for support of The Catholic Thing. We only ask our readers for donations twice a year, during the Easter season and then again towards the end of the year. But reader support is what makes TCT possible. Literally: Without your support we would cease to exist. Some readers see me or Fr. Murray on EWTN, or follow Brad Miner in his own media appearances, and assume we must be getting paid handsomely. The truth is that we never receive anything for these appearances and, in fact, we often spend days of our own time preparing for them. The same is true of the coverage we’ve offered here of everything from the 2013 conclave to the synods and other events at the Vatican. Our main focus is always TCT itself – which is to say: we labor to bring you the very best material we can every morning, every day of the year. As do our very gifted writers who could be getting much greater compensation doing other things, but like the TCT staff stay at this work because we know how crucial it is for the Church, and through the Church for the world. You must think that too. Our business manager Hannah Russo predicted there would be 30,000 email subscribers to TCT by the end of the year. For the first time, she was wrong: we passed that number early, two weeks ago. We already have 1,000,000 more hits this year than last year (with almost two months left to go), and from what people tell me as I travel around America and other parts of the world, we’re quite far from reaching our limit. Given the challenges inside and outside the Church, we believe TCT is more needed now than ever. If you are one of our TCT regulars, or are one of the many who have only just come to know us lately, we need you to do your part. There are few sites where you will find as steadily Catholic news and analysis as you see here every day. So can you give: $50, $75, $100, $500, $1000 to Our Thing? I always like to remind people that you can also set up smaller, painless monthly donations that make a big difference to our program planning. It’s easy too: Just click on the Donate button or, if you prefer, you can mail your donation to the Faith & Reason Institute office. (All donations are fully tax-deductible.) With your help, TCT will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018. Please, if you’ve appreciated what we’ve done in the past and see what desperately needs to be done for the future, don’t delay. Support TCT today. – RR


I was out the other night and saw little ones dressed as witches and monsters, which put me in mind of a television show from years ago called Tales from the Crypt, a spin-off of a comic book series I had seen years before. Not being a fan of the “horror” genre, I didn’t watch the show much. But whenever I did, it usually involved a grisly story of some poor unfortunate, unsuspectingly getting caught up in some macabre affair. A couple adopts a boy, plotting something horrible, but the boy turns out to be something even more horrible. The blood or gore did not make the show terrifying; it was the macabre and the unexpected.

I had that same “What-macabre-alternate-dimension-am-I-in?” reaction of many of the show’s characters when I heard a story from my friend about his son and his troubles at a diocesan Catholic high school. The young man graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappafrom college, spent over a year teaching junior high kids in Iraq and English to Iraqi Christian women, and then distinguished himself as a top student at Oxford where he co-authored several publications with an Oxford professor.

As his stint teaching Catholics in Iraq suggests, this is a young man dedicated to his faith, to learning, and to service in the Church. So when he finally got back home to the States, he naturally (and oh-so-naively) decided he wanted to dedicate himself to teaching at a diocesan Catholic high school.

And so, off he goes to interview at a diocesan Catholic high school in his town, which just happened to have several openings. Four people interview him; they all love him; this looks like a no-brainer. But just as in Tales from the Crypt, where seemingly joyous moments were always followed by a macabre “twist” (revealing an underlying malevolence), so too with our poor, unsuspecting young Oxford scholar.

The topic suddenly turned to whether he has a teaching certificate. (Don’t these people read resumes?) “Oh, so sorry. That might be a problem.” The interviewers exchange meaningful glances. They clear their throats. They mumble something about having to ask the diocesan education office for a waiver to hire him. And the interview is at an end.

The next day, the geniuses devoted to Catholic educational excellence at the diocesan bureaucracy nix the hire. Why hire a guy who risked his life to teach Catholic women in Iraq, has high honors and a degree from Oxford when you get someone with a bachelor’s degree in education from Southwestern Community College, Springfield Village Mall Branch, who has – praise be to God! – a teaching certificate.

I mean, sure the Oxford kid may be smart, but how do you know he can teach unless he has a teaching certificate? It would be like thinking someone could be a great artist or a great poet without having one of those Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Joseph Ratzinger: brilliant guy, sure, but would you put him in front of a classroom full of diocesan high school students? Do you have any idea how much reading that guy assigns?

The Oxford kid who was undeterred by Al-Qaeda in Iraq couldn’t quite make it past the Catholic diocesan educational bureaucracy in his own hometown. Institutions so devoted to shooting themselves in the foot in order to please the town bully should not be puzzled why they have so much trouble walking – and why running is a mere memory from the distant past.

As I said, I never really liked Tales from the Crypt. I prefer happy endings. So perhaps I should mention that, two days later, another Catholic school in the area, one not micro-managed by the diocese, got the young man’s resume, called him instantly, and hired him after a fifteen-minute phone interview.

Horror stories leave you wondering whether there is a monster hiding in your closet, waiting until no one is looking to jump out at you. Certainly, this particular horror story is unique, not a monster stalking your children. How I wish it were not so.

One more tale: A gifted young woman I know was consistently being undermined by the administration at the local Catholic high school where she taught theology. “The main task of the theology teacher is to attend the student’s football games and activities, to show them that the Church is there for them.” “With all this reading, you are destroying our child’s faith.” She left that school and now teaches at one of the finest Catholic classical schools in the country, one much less expensive than the mediocre diocesan high school where she taught before.

The teachers at her current school are told to make students responsible for their own work. They expect excellence, and they get it. And when she asks for help, she gets it. Last year, an older, award-winning teacher had taken her under her wing and they were having frequent conversations about teaching. The principal put a stop to that, announcing: “She has to sink or swim on her own.”

Interesting thought; but as long as he was on the subject of “sinking,” this gentleman might want to remember Christ’s warning about “anyone who causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

I call these “Tales from the Crypt” because it suggests a dead, moribund institution. The good news is that these “crypt keepers” are part of a larger entity that specializes in resurrection from the dead. Signs of new life and growth are springing up all over; usually not on the stone-hard crypt, but around them, in the fertile, loamy soil where the seed of the sower can take root, grow, and flourish.

Please look for these signs of life and support them – generously.

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall B. Smith is the Scanlan Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. His most recent book, Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, is now available at Amazon and from Emmaus Academic Press.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is titled The Sower by Vincent van Gogh, 1888 [Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands]. © 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.

AI Can Never Be Made ‘Unbiased’

Translating identity politics doublethink into software is a programming impossibility.

Bill Frezza

by  Bill Frezza

This month’s issue of MIT Technology Review, my alma mater’s flagship magazine of technology fashion, is entirely devoted to Artificial Intelligence (AI), making the rounds for at least the third time in my career as both panacea and bogeyman. Sprinkled among the long form articles are colorful little one-page warnings with titles like “The Dangers of Tech-Bro AI” and “How to Root Out Hidden Biases in AI.” In addition to the timeless fear of losing our jobs to machines, these pieces argue that right-thinking people must be on the lookout for algorithms that generate unfairness, demanding instead that our AI behave ethically.

Grab the popcorn, this should be fun to watch.

Ethics Are Not, and Never Have Been, Absolute

History shows that people can be made to believe that all sorts of things are ethical, recoiling in horror over things that other people consider ethical. Our tribal nature renders us vulnerable to the will of the leader, or the mob, doing things in groups that we would never consider doing individually. We also have a proven track record of embracing logical contradictions, using post hoc rationalization to justify decisions as it suits us.Nowhere is this more evident than in the contemporary identity politics movement. Here concepts like privilege and intersectionality collide with murky definitions of race and gender to create a moral morass so thick that only the brave or foolhardy dare wade in. Not that there is anything new about this. Philosophers, clerics, ethicists, legislators, jurors, and everyday people have spent eons arguing about right and wrong. A rich body of literature documents society’s ever-changing ethical consensus, or lack thereof.

So next time you hear an expert demand that we develop ethical AI, ask who will be the arbiter of what constitutes correct and incorrect ethics? And once they solve the ancient problem of who watches the watchmen (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?), exactly how do they plan to translate their demands for “fairness” into code? Sure, software is capable of dealing with uncertainty, incomplete knowledge, and complex conditional circumstances. It can even use fuzzy logic to solve certain classes of problems. But be careful what you ask for when you feed murky definitions into a computer while expecting it to embrace blatant contradictions.

Ambiguity Abounds

Let me give an example of a murky definition. Define race, ethnicity, and, these days, gender in a manner that a computer can use as the basis for making ethical decisions. How many races are there? How do we classify mixed-race people? What are the unambiguous determinants of ethnicity? Which are the privileged ones and which are the underprivileged ones? And while I used to believe there were only two genders and that these were biologically determined, I am now assured that I am wrong.

Most people skate by with Justice Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it” answers to vexing questions like these. And that may be fine for humans with wetware brains, imprecise use of language, and a practiced ability to duck hard problems. But that’s not so fine for software running on digital machines that literally can only do what they are told. In this particular example, solving the murky definition problem by declaring that computers accept whatever boxes people check on forms is not only a total cop out but surely invites unethical people to game the system seeking unfair advantage, as some infamous cases revealed.Then there is the problem of embracing contradictions; that is, simultaneously believing that something can be A and not-A at the same time, and in all respects. Admit it: we do it all the time. It makes us human. Even doctrinaire Aristotelians like Ayn Rand fall into this trap. The dynamic tension generated by the contradictions swirling in our heads provides rich fodder for religion, humor, art, drama, and macroeconomics.

Imagining an “ethical” AI trying to please its human masters operating under these conditions brings up images of Captain Kirk outsmarting evil computers by forcing them to perseverate on some glaring contradiction at the root of their programming. The computers ended up smoking until they blew themselves up. Unlike the guy who tried to outsmart his fellow citizens by rubbing their noses in their contradictions. They made him drink hemlock.

Do I have an answer to how we can make AI unbiased? Of course not. And neither do the self-appointed experts demanding that we do. Long-haul truck drivers may well be at risk of losing their jobs to AI, but tendentious pundits and class-action lawyers will never be short of work.

Bill Frezza

Bill Frezza

Bill Frezza is a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

EXCLUSIVE: Texas Massacre Hero, Stephen Willeford, Describes Stopping Gunman | Louder With Crowder

An exclusive interview with Stephen Willeford, the hero who ended the killing spree in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Stephen recounts the actions that lead him to confronting Devin Patrick Kelley outside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

The Conservative Review’s Jordan Schachtel reports:

plumber by trade, the 55-year-old Willeford shot and struck Kelley, who then dropped his rifle proceeded to flee the scene. But Willeford and a local driver pursued and, during the car chase, Kelley’s truck flipped and went into a ditch, Willeford said. Kelley was pronounced dead at the scene.

In the aftermath of the mass carnage, many on the Left predictably took to blaming the NRA and all gun-rights advocates.

But now we know that it was an NRA-affiliated man who heroically answered the call and took action before even more pain and suffering could be inflicted on innocent lives.

RELATED ARTICLE: Why I Pray, Even After the Texas Shooting

When the NFL’s Saints Go Marching out…

The NFL owners are desperately trying to put the anthem controversy behind them after weeks of slumping ratings, sales, and horrible PR. But the damage, say most Americans, has already been done. Some fans are more determined than ever to stick it to the league that dishonored our flag, country, and millions of U.S. troops.

It’s all translated into a huge black eye for one of America’s biggest industries. That image isn’t improving any time soon, say experts. A Forbes analyst explains that the players’ protests are tanking their own sport. “Wall Street analysts have been trimming their earnings forecasts for CBS and Fox due to lower NFL ratings. In September, the Hollywood Reporter reported Jefferies analyst John Janedis figures CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC will generate about $2.5 billion in NFL advertising revenue this season, but a 10 percent shortfall could translate to a $200 million cut in earnings… While the overall stock market is up since the start of the football season, shares of the league’s broadcasters — CBS, Twenty-First Century Fox, Walt Disney (ESPN) are down.”

And while some League officials have tried to explain away the plunging ratings by suggesting that people are watching online, the reality is that viewership like Amazon’s is down too. Another public spat — this time between the NFL and Papa John’s — shows how the NFL’s unpopularity is affecting other businesses. Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter argues that the NFL’s stance is affecting a lot more than the League. “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said on a conference call. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

Then, there are the stories like John Wells’s. A disabled Navy veteran and longtime attorney for military religious freedom cases, the New Orleans Saints had planned to honor Wells with the People’s Health Champion Award at Sunday’s game. Wells declined, infuriating Saints management.

“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players’ disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation,” Wells wrote in a letter to the team. “I am unable, in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium while this discourtesy prevails. Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it.”

The Saints’ response? Accusing John of divisiveness! “We will not allow Mr. Wells’s decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans,” the team statement read. “We, as an organization, have decided to move on from this sad and divisive discourse and focus our attention on supporting our military and veterans.”

Like most people, we agree that the Saints should support our military and veterans. But the best way to do that is asking players to show America the respect it deserves!


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


Also in the November 6 Washington Update:

“We Know the Ending, and It’s Good”

ACLU, Trump Duke it out on Death’s Doe

VIDEO: ‘We Know the Ending, and It’s Good’

It was supposed to be a day of prayer for the world’s persecuted church. No one in a sleepy Texas town could have ever dreamed the persecuted would be them. But that’s the harrowing reality for everyone in Sutherland Springs, who never saw yesterday’s shooting coming.

Like most of the tiny community that morning, they were in church — a place 26 of them will never visit again. For reasons law enforcement is still trying to piece together, a young gunman, firing before he even walked through the door, stepped into the church and changed the lives of almost everyone in Sutherland Springs forever. Just as the associate pastor was getting up to lead worship, people there to seek God began crying out to Him as their loved ones fell — one right after another. It was a horrific scene, one that no one — least of all a peaceful group of Sunday faithful — should have to endure.

More than two dozen people lost their lives that morning, from an unborn baby in the womb to a 77 year-old grandparent. By the grace of God, a nearby neighbor and local Sutherland Springs man chased down the gunman, Devon Patrick Kelley, and pinned him down until police arrived. But for the people inside that small sanctuary, nothing — not even the killer’s death — can bring back the families they loved. The church’s regular pastor, Frank Pomeroy, who was out of town, rushed home to find their 14-year-old daughter among the victims.

Few can comprehend the horror of the Holcombe family, who are mourning eight loved ones spanning three generations. Their heartbreaking story has stirred deep sympathy across the country as Americans try to imagine losing children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren in a single morning. For Joe and Claryce Holcombe, it was an unspeakable tragedy. Their son, pregnant daughter-in-law, three of that couple’s five children and their unborn baby, another infant granddaughter, and another son all lost at the hands of an evil man.

But, like so many of the grieving people of that small town in Texas, the Holcombes are drawing on the same faith that brought the family to church on Sunday morning. With absolute conviction, Joe reflected soberly, “It’s of course going to be difficult.” But, he said, “We are Christians; we have read the book. We know the ending, and it’s good.” Leaning on the Lord’s strength, he said — as much to the families of Sutherland Springs as to the Washington Post — “God will see us through.”

What a powerful testimony to everyone in our nation who’s hurting. Just a month removed from Las Vegas and even closer to the tragedy in New York, the heartbroken town from the fifth worst shooting in America have a message for the rest of the world: evil never triumphs. With most of their church family gone and their sanctuary beyond repair, the people of Sutherland Springs are not shaken. Led by the families suffering most, the world is not seeing violence, but a picture of the One who overcame it. “This is a small, Christian town, a very small community,” said one of the women at yesterday’s vigil. “Everybody’s united. Everybody’s so close to everybody.”

The evidence of our brokenness is everywhere — on a bike path, at a concert, in church. But God is still on His throne. Joe and Claryce Holcombe, in an agony no parents should have to face, said resolutely, “We’ll all be together soon.” Until then, we join so many millions of Americans in the prayer that God will bring comfort to this church and community. As 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 tells us, it’s who He is.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”


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


RELATED ARTICLES:

Why I Pray, Even After the Texas Shooting

ACLU, Trump Duke it out on Death’s Doe

When the NFL’s Saints Go Marching out…

Church Leaders Highlight Hope in Wake of Texas Massacre

Good vs. Evil: The Moral Compass Lost

All people are evil. You are, as am I. It’s in our human DNA. Every one of us has had an evil thought. While not gender specific, men, I believe, have a far greater propensity for this because of testosterone. Now here’s the good news and the bad news.

First the good news.

While we are all evil by nature, we all have a moral compass. This moral compass prevents us from acting on urges or thoughts of violence. So, how do we come by this moral compass. Well, think, “It Takes A Village.” Your compass and mine are calibrated by the environment and stimuli of the world in which we live. This is all inclusive and includes parents, friends, teachers, clergy, relatives, television, video games, and just about anything and everything that we come into contact with during the course of our existence.

My grandmother had a saying when I was growing up, “Water seeks its own level.” The message that she was delivering to me was that our moral compass can be just as easily be compromised, which allows us to unleash and act on the evil thoughts and ideas that lurk deep within us. Turning off the moral compass is accomplished the same way as turning it on…..It Takes A Village!

Our Village has become corrupt and immoral.

The Village now celebrates homosexuality, Transgenderism, gender neutral and even Pedophilia in some corners as “diversity,” and scorns and shames those who disagree with them. To even suggest that you are a person of white skin immediately makes you a racist. The mention of the name, “Jesus” on television today will likely result in the word being “beeped” out so as not to offend anyone. This Village is full of rage. The NFL falls to its collective knees at the playing of our National Anthem in a clear show of defiance and disrespect.

There is no longer News either on television or print. What we have today is a competition for your mind to set your beliefs, your way of thinking to the right, or to the left. Everything is spin. Everything is either a half truth or an outright lie. You cannot trust anything that you hear or read. It’s a part of the war.

There is a war on boys!

Today, boys are being emasculated. it is no longer appropriate for a boy to act like a boy, it is offensive. Every day we read about a little boy on the school grounds at recess who kissed a little girl on the cheek and then is suspended for “inappropriate” behavior. A little boy draws a picture of a gun and is immediately sent to the school counselor for evaluation. Department stores are doing away with “boys departments” in favor of “unisex” departments. Five and six year old boys are being pushed by parents to be girls because they wear their mothers high heels around the house and the parent is certain that this is a cry for help from the child that they want to be a girl. Contact sports are being eliminated from schools because they are “hurtful.”

In 1971 I referred to a female gym teacher as a “bitch.” I was smacked and literally dragged to the Principal’s Office where I was suspended for three days. When I got home I was asked to recount the events that lead up to my suspension whereupon I was smacked again and given another three days at home doing chores. Today there would be a lawsuit against the school. In fact, students today act and say what they please in the classroom and teachers are helpless to do anything about it. They cannot force a student who is being unruly to leave their classroom. They must call for a Police Officer to remove the student.

Subliminal advertising is a brief flash on a television screen with a message.

It is so quick and so brief, you will not consciously see or recognize it, but subconsciously you certainly will. For instance, during the course of your favorite program, if the word, “Coca Cola” was allowed to subliminally appear 50 times, it is very likely that you would suddenly have an urge to “Have a Coke and a Smile.” It is interesting to note that in the world of television advertising, subliminal advertising is not legal.

It is a form of mind control and still, we are being subject to millions of these types of messages every single day. What’s more, I am not the demographic being targeted. Our young people are. The most impressionable among us are. Before their moral compass can be set. Today there is a war raging for the hearts and minds of our youth and those who wish to set the moral compass have been losing this war, badly.

It’s time we stood up to the facts.

The most recent and awful tragic shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas was the result of the loss of a moral compass. You can call it mental illness if you wish, but where did it start, and how was it propagated. Do not look to Washington, D.C. and politicians to fix this problem. When they start beating their collective chests about gun control, tell yourself this irrevocable truth; it’s only because they refuse to talk about the loss of a moral compass in our country, and so we will only continue down this path, unleashing the demons that have been strengthened and encouraged by an ever growing society that there are no vices or virtues, or borders, or rules. Only hate.

What do Sociopaths and Leftists Have in Common?

Sociopaths and Leftists share a common behavior trait – projection – accusing someone else of doing exactly what you are doing yourself. The crucial difference between sociopaths and Leftists is that Leftist projection is conscious and sociopathic projection is unconscious. The sociopath has a personality disorder that manifests itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience. Let’s compare and contrast the nature of psychological projection with political projection.

Sigmund Freud described psychological projection as the defensive mechanism of denying in oneself the existence of unpleasant behavior while attributing that exact behavior to others. (“Case Histories II, PFL 9, p.32) Accusing someone else of lying when in fact you are the liar is a prime example of projection. Projection is a characteristic blame-shifting defense mechanism for sociopaths – it keeps them from acknowledging and taking responsibility for their own behavior. The work of the sociopath’s therapist is to help the sociopath get in touch with the objective reality of his behavior so that he can change it.

Interacting with a sociopath is very confusing and creates cognitive dissonance in those unfamiliar with psychological projection. Cognitive dissonance is the psychological stress of holding two or more contradictory beliefs at the same time. Consider sociopath Bill who accuses his honest business partner Joe of embezzling money from their company. At first Joe is confused – he cannot reconcile being accused of stealing when he knows for a fact he did not steal anything. Joe is immediately put on the defensive by the accusation. Joe examines the accounts and sees that money is indeed missing – he is determined to discover who the thief is so he can be reimbursed and clear his name. It never occurs to Joe that it is Bill who is stealing because Bill is the accuser!

In a political context psychological projection is a deceitful conscious strategy to put your political opponent on the defensive. There are fair fights and there are dirty fights in politics. Fair fights are honest debates about the merits of opposing policies and ideas – dirty fights are deliberate, personal, and deceitful tricks designed to discredit your opponent and put him on the defensive. Political projection is a very dirty fight.

The following is an excerpt from a fascinating article written on the subject by Bill Federer. It exposes the staggering dishonesty of political projection and its source:

Karl Marx is attributed with saying, “Accuse the victim of what you do.” In the political context, be the first to accuse your opponent of what you are guilty of:

  • If you are lying, accuse your opponent of it.
  • If you are racist, accuse your opponent of it.
  • If you are intolerant, accuse your opponent of it.
  • If you have something to hide, accuse your opponent of it.
  • If you or your spouse have been sexually immoral, accuse your opponent of it.
  • If you are receiving millions from globalist and Hollywood elites, accuse your opponent of it.

Democrat political advisor David Axelrod verbalized this Machiavellian tactic in an NPR interview, April 19, 2010: “In Chicago there was an old tradition of throwing a brick through your own campaign office window, and then calling a press conference to say that you’ve been attacked.” Naive individuals who join these disruptive groups were referred to by Lenin as “useful idiots.”

Hillary Clinton and the DNC honed political projection to an art form during the 2016 pre and post election. They commissioned and financed a fake dossier on candidate Trump to discredit him by accusing him of colluding with the Russians to influence the presidential election. Thanks to Tom Fitton, the courageous Judicial Watch truth warrior, we now know that Hillary and the DNC accused candidate Trump of doing exactly what they were doing themselves. Karl Marx would be proud.

Like honest businessman Joe, Donald Trump knew he hadn’t colluded with the Russians, but the American people did not so President Trump was immediately put on the defensive. A kangaroo court still in session headed by compromised Robert Mueller and corrupt Rod Rosenstein began investigating the matter. What a surprise! Hillary and the DNC were exposed as actually colluding with the Russians!

Projection is a very familiar behavior trait for Hillary – she is a repeat offender. In the now infamous Uranium One deal Hillary still brazenly accusing Donald Trump of colluding with the Russians has been exposed as having sold 20% of our American uranium assets to Russia through a secret deal she made while serving as secretary of state under Obama. Hillary illegally sold influence and made millions of dollars for herself and the equally corrupt Clinton Foundation.

Next up are Hillary’s infamous “missing” emails. Again, Tom Fitton and his multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, have exposed the staggering dishonesty and duplicity of crooked Hillary. It is too bad that Tom Fitton is not the attorney general instead of disappointingly ineffectual Jeff Sessions.

The only good news here is that the Leftist Democrat Party in the United States is easy to figure out. Just examine what they are accusing President Trump of doing and you will know exactly what they are doing themselves. Their formula is childishly easy to decipher. The problem for President Trump is that the Obama leftovers in his administration continue to sabotage his America-first agenda. It is time for President Donald Trump to do what citizen Donald Trump did so effortlessly – say YOU’RE FIRED!! It is time to clean house. Americans are sick of the Left consciously projecting their own deceit onto others and they are sick of the sociopaths among those politicians on both side of the aisle who actually believe their own projections. America no longer cares if they are sociopaths or just plain dirty politicians – we want honesty and accountability and representatives who will do what is good for America not what is good for themselves. Enough is enough!

RELATED ARTICLE: CUNY Prof: ‘The White-Nuclear Family Is One Of The Most Powerful Forces Supporting White Supremacy

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity.

Christian center fires man for helping stage ‘Exposing Sharia’ event

On October 21, Jihad Watch brought you the news of an event in Minnesota called “Exposing Sharia and the Deception of Islam,” that had been canceled by the venue where it was supposed to be held. I just received this email from one of the organizers, explaining what happened next. Please contact the Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch and politely and courteously register disapproval of their Sharia compliance and persecution of Gary Froiland for calling attention to unwelcome and unpopular truths.

I wrote to Bob Bardwell and Tracy Bashore and asked them these questions:

  1. Can you confirm that Gary Froiland was a Board member of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch?
  2. Can you confirm that he was fired for his role in the “Exposing Sharia” event?
  3. Do you believe that criticism of jihad terror and the oppression that is justified under Islamic law (Sharia) ought to be off-limits? If so, do you believe the same thing about criticism of Christianity? If not, why did you consider it necessary to fire Mr. Froiland?

Bardwell did not answer. Bashore confirmed that Gary Froiland had been on the Ironwood Springs Board but declined comment on anything else.

Thank you for your article sharing the dilemma about our event in Rochester, Minnesota to have Usama Dakdok speak. I am Gary Froiland, one of the guys helping with this event, and I am the one who designed the poster.

After a pastor who promised us his church backed out the night before the event to have Usama Dakdok speak this past spring in Rochester, we planned to attempt it again in the fall with the American Legion. That should be a patriotic place to have an educational speaker explain why Sharia is not compatible with our constitution. But they too backed out of the contract and gave us our money back after they received pressure from the Sheriff’s department. So we tried the Stewartville Sportsman’s Club.

That’s where your article picked up. We had just covered the town of Stewartville putting door hanging sleeves on nearly every house in town, containing the brochure “Islam in a Nutshell, Peaceful or Violent?” which includes the “Growth of Islam” chart by Bill Warner (Center for the Study of Political Islam). That’s when the Rochester Post Bulletin discovered the door hangings, and the Stewartville Sportsman Club backed out of their contract. Our team met with their board, but without convincing them to let us use their facility.

But we were not about to give up. Next I took my turn to rent a facility. The Cascade Town Hall just north of Rochester was suggested. I rented it as a “Pre-Halloween Family Event”, and added that I would be playing music. (you can type in Gary Froiland in YouTube and see some of my One-Man-Band videos). So we were able to rent the facility. We emailed people three hours before the event to give them the location, hoping that would keep protesters away. About 80 people came!

Late afternoon before the event, after Usama had arrived, he called the Rochester Post Bulletin and invited them to interview him. They jumped at that opportunity for a good story, but didn’t stay long enough to hear the heart of the message, but interviewed him, took some pictures and left. That was Sunday night, October 29th.

The next day the article came out with the front page news. Overall, it was a quite honest article. My name, Gary Froiland, is mentioned in the article, since I was the one who had rented the hall. They made it sound like I deceived them when renting, because I never mentioned we’d have a speaker, but that it was a “Pre-Halloween Family Event (the paper called it a “party”). The event was to start at 6 pm, and those invited were told that I would play music at 5:30 pm for those who came early. That I did, and then closed my half hour by leading everyone in the pledge of allegiance, and had a prayer. Then Usama did his nearly 3-hour presentation.

Now the story continues: Monday the article came out in the Post Bulletin, and my boss read it. My name was in the article, and when I got to work the next morning (at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, www.ironwoodsprings.com), the boss (Tracy Bashore) met me first thing and fired me for my involvement in an exposing Islam event. So I was out of a job because of our attempt at Freedom of Speech.

I was on the board of that Christian Ranch for 20 years, and the last four years have been a full-time employee. A job opening came up at Ironwood and they hired me for that position in June of 2013. As an employee, I cannot be a board member, so I went off the board at that time. So since June of 2013 I have worked full time at Ironwood.

Bob Bardwell (bob@ironwoodsprings.com) had founded the Ranch in 1976, and even though he’s very involved every day there, he gave the job of Director to Tracy Bashore (tracy@ironwoodsprings.com). It was Tracy and other liberal employees at the Ranch who had a problem with my involvement with exposing Islam, and now that I was more public with it, he made sure it cost me my job. So I guess I don’t have any freedom of speech either.

A week before that, it was my turn to lead in devotions at the Ironwood Staff meeting (we have one on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings). I had my devotions on Ephesians 6:12 and focused my talk and PowerPoint on Islam and how many of our brothers and sisters are being beheaded for their faith, and some of them praying “Oh Lord, let us be shot”, because they are awaiting execution by beheading, and are praying to die by gunshot instead. The devotions exposed Islam for those on staff who were ignorant. However, there are several liberals working there, and they were very vocal after my devotions about my “Hate” speech.

Tracy related how the Ranch has a good reputation in the community and some Muslims visit the Ranch from time to time, and he doesn’t want to insult them. So with my controversial devotions, and then a week later, my name in the paper having helped make the Usama Dakdok event happen, that was the last straw and cost me my job.

I thought you might be interested in hearing “The Rest of the Story”, so there you have it. I certainly lost my freedom of speech besides losing my job, but I would do it again. My desire is to be a patriot, and cleanse the path that our children will take from evil that lurks. If you want to talk personally to Bob Bardwell or Tracy Bashore, I included their emails above, and the main office phone number of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch is 507-533-4315.

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The Democratic Party’s Intersectional Path to Destruction

The psychosis of intersectional theory creates a terribly destructive pathway, and one that is duty-bound to ensnare those who participate in it and those who try to politically benefit from it. This will lead us directly to what may be a tributary in the river that could actually drown the Democratic Party as we know it today.

Intersectionality is the delusion positing that in the daily operation of life, there are only the innocent oppressed and the evil oppressor. The always-oppressor is white males. All other categories are varying degrees of oppressed, and derive grievance authority depending on the intensity of the oppression according to intersectionality.

In Part I on intersectionality, we explained the myth that endures that America is crammed full of oppressed groups — from gays to women to blacks and Hispanics — and pointed out how that simply is not true.

For gays and women, they are demonstrably thriving like no time in history and like almost nowhere else in the world. The data is irrefutable and the conclusion means, by definition, they are not oppressed. Thriving people are not oppressed people. Blacks and Hispanics in the middle and top of the socioeconomic scale are also doing better than anywhere. Those suffering at the bottom are simply succumbing to the reality of three choices: not graduating high school, not waiting to have children until marriage and/or not getting a job. Those choices impact the same across races.

So in conclusion, among the Big Three on the intersectionality chart (there are many smaller ones) there is definitively no oppression by the only group deemed to be oppressors: white males. In fact, white males as a group, are doing relatively poorer than 50 years ago. Not very good at oppressing.

However, the intersectionalists persist. And they resist. And…etc.

This has taken hold more deeply in academia than most Americans may realize. Traditionally, the cause célèbre on college campuses today, becomes the policies of tomorrow. However, there have generally been truths to those in the past. During the anti-War protests in the 60s that led to the military dismantling of the 90s, the underlying truth was that war is indeed terrible. What the protests missed was that sometimes it is necessary in pursuit of good. War is horrible but war to defeat Nazism is necessary.

Democrats try to ride the intersectionality beast as it is the ultimate outcome of the identity politics the party has disingenuously cultivated for decades to win votes, pitting “aggrieved” Americans against each other. Democrats have been setting blacks against whites, Hispanics against whites, women against men, the poor against the rich, gays against straights, for a long time as a way to get the support of the aggrieved groups.

That the radicals have expanded it to include disabled against abled-bodied, fat against slim, Muslims against Christians and so many other categories, should hardly be a surprise. And that they want to fortify it as some sort of natural law is also not surprising. Radicals — particularly those surrounded in an insulated environment with other radicals, such as college campuses — don’t always think straight.

This is the thinking behind “white privilege.” Not choices, skin color. In fact, if intersectionality were honest — and it is just about as opposite of that as possible — the real oppressors would be Asians and “Asian privilege” would be a thing. But it’s not — nor should it be!

The impossible allies

Intersectionality grew out of Marxist-feminist critical theory concepts — both of which have comfortable homes in the identity politics-driven Democratic Party. But it ends up clumping together some of the most impossibly opposed views as though they should be allies.

This theory requires LGBT activists to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Muslim advocates of Sharia Law — the very law that would have them executed for being gay — in opposition to white males, who (in America anyway) are largely in favor of live and let live towards gays.

Blacks must stand in solidarity with African Muslims who openly promote and practice slavery today — demanding that whites who did not ever own a slave apologize and pay reparations to blacks who never were slaves.

Low-income working class Hispanic women stand with President Obama’s daughters against the white patriarchy — even though the Obama’s girls represent the very opposite of oppressed with opportunities few one-percenters could even dream of, and really have nothing systemically in common with the working class Hispanic women.

It gets a little head-spinning at times.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a renowned liberal, sees intersectionality as a platform for the growing anti-semitism of the Left. It makes sense as Jews in this country (for this purpose, usually considered white by intersectionalists) do exceptionally well. That cannot be because of personal choices, only oppression can account for it, therefore they are oppressors. Dershowitz also calls intersectionality the “phoniest academic doctrine I’ve encountered in 53 years.” That covers a lot of specious academic doctrine.

But, you see, he has no standing — even no right — to voice such opinions to the aggrieved group of intersectionality because Dershowitz is Jewish.

Intersectional death of a party?

But phony doesn’t mean harmless. What it means practically is that individuals in aggrieved groups need take no responsibility for poor decisions in life. The resulting consequences are always blamed on the oppressors.

However, before this cancer runs its course, intersectionality could turn out to be a fatally destructive force to those trying to harness it. It is a cancer in the country, but more specifically in the body politic of the Left, encompassed most formally in the Democratic Party, because it is an insatiable beast, eating away at its host.

Although intersectionality is built upon, and aggressively uses identity politics, the ultimate practical problem is that society, culture and relationships have never been improved through identity divisions. In fact, they are all generally made worse. Consider that under intersectionality, a white person and a black person cannot truly be friends, because the theory itself assumes at bedrock that the white person is an oppressor and the black person is oppressed. And that is true without exceptions because it is based on unchangeable genetic skin color. Oppressor and oppressed cannot be true friends.

Further, there is no way to ever fix this dynamic of the powerful oppressor crushing the weak, under the theory. It is genetic. White. Males. Genetics. So the prescribed course of action is to “be aware” of it — whatever that may mean, and whatever “it” is — and then the oppressor must censor himself in the presence of an oppressed.

So a white male must shut up at all times, supposedly unless it is with only other white males. If a woman or a black or a gay or a Latino — or definitely a black lesbian — is present, by dint of genetics she holds the high moral ground and cannot be disagreed with. But even the black lesbian may need to shut up in the presence of a disabled, overweight Native American lesbian. That person scores higher on the oppression scale.

Seriously, this is exactly what is taught on more and more campuses.

Do you wonder sometimes why certain people tell others to shut up during actual discourse on an issue? Just shut up! What kind of debate is that? Well in intersectionality there is no debate, just right based on genetics. They simply make no pretense of an argument. So the infamous gay coffee shop owner in Seattle that made the pro-life Christians leave continually told them to shut up when they were asking questions. Non-stop shut up. Antifa tells everyone to shut up — verbally and physically.

The longer this poisonous theory persists, the more a certain type of college-educated American will believe they have a natural right to shut up people who disagree with them — the exact opposite of the First Amendment and the founding concept that all men are created equal. Everyone not a white male, who has imbibed this theory (which is a minority but growing) feels entitled to shut down anyone lower in the hierarchy, particularly if they use wrong-speak.

Given this, the political party that embraces intersectionality (as it has identity politics for decades) is almost destined to ruination. The longer the Democratic Party has insisted on splitting and pitting Americans against ourselves, the overall worse they have done at the ballot box. It reached a critical point in 2008 and the Democrats have since been decimated in Congress, in the White House, in state legislatures and in governorships across the land. It wasn’t just that Obama was a bad president, but that he was the first totally identity-driven president. Americans liked electing a black man. They didn’t like what he stood for in office.

Intersectionality makes their fall in elected officials problem even worse. In fact, impossible. Because it involves Democrat against Democrat in the intersectional hierarchy. Democrat demographics dominate in these aggrieved groups. Meaning there becomes a genetic hierarchy within the Democratic Party.

The more popular intersectionality has become, elevating identity politics to an ever uglier level, the more race-baiting and bigotry we see. And, the natural ugly responsive rise of white supremacy. Seems obvious that the natural result of that original ugliness of telling all whites they are bad because they are white would lead to an ugly backlash?

In this situation, Republicans can own the mantle of Martin Luther King and his vision for a colorblind society where people are judged on their character and not the color of their skin. That would send the identitarians into shrieking apoplectic fits of rage. But it would be true, it would be powerful and it would be American.

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

Capital Punishment: Eppur non si muove

Capital punishment is analogous to killing in self-defense, we are told. Some have resisted that analogy, because they misunderstand it. The analogy says, not that society can use capital punishment only when necessary to protect individuals in society, but rather, only when necessary to protect society – including justice in a society, the order in society, or any fundamental constituent of the common good of society.

(Note that I did not say, “as St. Thomas taught,” even though his discussion is so lucid. The truth of what I am saying has nothing to do with the fact that St. Thomas taught it. He taught it because it is true. I won’t even say “true by natural law” as if “natural law” were a separate authority, beyond what well-formed reason and conscience say, yours and mine.)

The reason why I can resort to killing in self-defense, is that I can rightly prefer my own good over that of another. Not that I need to prefer it. If I am a Capuchin friar, I might prefer not to defend myself, out of a free choice to represent Christ in my defenselessness.

But suppose I am a father supporting ten children – then I might be morally obliged to keep myself alive by killing that aggressor. I wouldn’t have the luxury of representing Christ through defenselessness. If self-sacrifice is what I seek, as I should, then God has already set down a path for me, the path that I chose when I said my vows: to love my wife as Christ loved the Church.

What is left up to reasonable preference for me, may be mandated for a public official. It’s not up to the police officer whether to use lethal force when necessary to protect an innocent against an attack. He must do so. God, conscience, and his duty as a Christian all say this.

Not that it will be pretty. The ruthless bandit is poised to kill. Next moment he lies in the gutter in a pool of blood. What would Christ have done? Capuchin friars and others like that will advisably not assume positions as police officers.

But if killing in self-defense and capital punishment are analogous, then they rise or fall together, on the same grounds. If the one can be abolished, then so can the other. If the one is unavoidable in reason and conscience, then so is the other.

It is not difficult to see that there are circumstances in which a public official may actually be obliged, in reason and conscience, to execute an offender. You are on the front lines, and deserters will be punished. A law without a punishment is not a law. A punishment that cannot be applied is not a punishment.

“If bloodless means suffice, they must be used instead.” But what if bloodless means do not suffice? Then bloody means must be used. The man already in solitary confinement who finds his chance to murder the visiting physician or pastor. The revolutionary who remains a rallying point. Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Hermann Goering, Arthur Seyss-Inquart – you think bloodless means suffice to uphold justice? You are entitled to that minority opinion, but you cannot say that it is against reason, against conscience, to hold otherwise.

I say bloody means must be used, just as the police officer must protect the innocent. Capuchin friars will advisably not wish to serve as executioners. They have been forbidden to do so by Church law. But the lay executioner does what is right and good, although necessitated.

That great servant of the public good, Thomas More, kissed his executioner, as if to bless the role: “Pluck up thy spirits, man, and be not afraid to do thy office.” It seems that this executioner, too, had not the luxury of avoiding his work: “See, my neck is very short. Take heed therefore thou strike not awry for having thine honesty” – the saint’s very last words.

Capital punishment, though, adds this over self-defense: it is necessitated morallyrather than naturally or physically. Once the aggressor goes to attack you, you are on the runaway trolley, and you can’t but go right, to destroy him in saving yourself, or left, which lets him survive in destroying you. Always, not to choose is to choose, of necessity, from the nature of the thing.

But crimes once done merely “cry out to heaven” for retribution. They deserve rather than necessitate punishment. Thus, if someone were to say that killing in self-defense were excluded, he would be saying only that preferring oneself to others (when one must be preferred) is excluded.

But if someone says capital punishment is excluded, then any number of things might be implied – that private trumps public good; that public authority is null; that lawfulness survives without punishment; or even – and this is the point – that punishment does not presuppose retribution.

Indeed some people argue against capital punishment on grounds that would exclude imprisonment as well, and even the very concept of punishment.

“What is just by nature is not moveable and everywhere has the same force,” Aristotle remarked long ago. Cicero compared the immovability of natural law with the eternal, changeless motion of the heavens. Galileo, to the contrary, proved the changeability of the one with a telescope.

But in our day, when even the heavens apparently do move, we need a different sort of telescope for seeing the changelessness of the other – one that has the clear lens of reason, and the long extension of history, and which is situated in a calm and still observatory.

This exactly is what Edward Feser and Joseph Bessette provide in their recent book, By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed, the most comprehensive case ever assembled it. Yes, one can avoid becoming persuaded by not looking into that telescope. But if you do, you may see so clearly the unchanging nature of the question that you will quip, Eppur non si muove, “Nevertheless it does not move.”

Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is professor at the Busch School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America. He lives in Hyattsville, MD, with his wife Catherine, also a professor at the Busch School, and their eight children.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Catholic Thing. © 2017 The Catholic Thing. The featured image is Justice with a sword [the Old Bailey, London]. 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.