Democrats’ Dream Of Turning Florida Blue Is Fading To Red

There has been a considerable amount of gleeful, even hopeful, reporting nationally that Florida is about to become a blue state, shedding the status of the largest swing state and sliding into the blue column.

A few events were pointed to hungrily as evidence for this inevitability: the wave of Puerto Ricans moving to Florida after the devastation of Hurricane Maria was going to balloon the Democrat voter count by hundreds of thousands as they are American citizens and can vote; Amendment 4, the felon voting amendment passed by voters that automatically reinstates voting rights for those who served their time would also adds thousands to Democrats because everyone knows criminals vote for Democrats in much higher percentages; and of course President Trump’s unpopularity was tainting the GOP brand far into the future.

Well not so fast. It appears that, like clockwork, the media mistook their fondest hopes for actual reality.

The 2019 voter data is in, and it doesn’t look good for the Democrats or their media. More than 663,000 voters have registered since the 2018 midterms, and they broke evenly between Republicans and Democrats. That includes the felons and the Puerto Ricans. But, when you factor in voters who switched parties or who are no longer active on the rolls, Republicans actually gained a modest 22,000 voters on Democrats. In a state with such tight statewide elections regularly, it matters.

This actually continues a trend. After the 2014 midterms, Republicans gained 129,000 voters on the Democrats. And after the 2010 midterms, they gained 74,000 voters.

This is all the more significant in that Republicans vote in higher percentages than Democrats. This is why Florida is a swing state in presidential elections, but has a majority of Republicans in Congress and the state Legislature — despite the fact that about 37 percent of voters are registered as Democrats, while 35 percent as Republicans.

Republicans have been closing the gap for many years now. As the Jacksonville Times-Union reports: “Democrats’ voter registration advantage over Republicans is slimmer than it was in 2018 or 2016, when Republicans won the state, and it’s significantly slimmer than in 2012 and 2008.”

The only wild card in this data pool is that No-Party Affiliation candidates in Florida continue to grow the fastest, outpacing both Republicans and Democrats.

But again, because of voter turnout — highest among GOP voters — the trend is positive for 2020 and beyond at this point.

So while Democrats and the media dream of creating another giant blue state to go with California and New York, it looks more like Florida may be becoming a red state, or red-purple.

EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

100 Reasons to Homeschool Your Kids

From fostering creativity and freedom to providing impressive educational outcomes, homeschooling is an increasingly appealing option.


This is my 100th article at FEE.org, so here are 100 reasons to homeschool your kids!

  1. Homeschoolers perform well academically.
  2. Your kids may be happier.
  3. Issues like ADHD might disappear or become less problematic.
  4. It doesn’t matter if they fidget.
  5. YOU may be happier! All that time spent on your kids’ homework can now be used more productively for family learning and living.
  6. You can still work and homeschool.
  7. And even grow a successful business while homeschooling your kids.
  8. Your kids can also build successful businesses, as many grown unschoolers become entrepreneurs.
  9. You can be a single parent and homeschool your kids.
  10. Your kids can be little for longer. Early school enrollment has been linked by Harvard researchers with troubling rates of ADHD diagnosis. A year can make a big difference in early childhood development.
  11. Some of us are just late bloomers. We don’t all need to be on “America’s early-blooming conveyor belt.”
  12. Then again, homeschooling can help those kids who might be early bloomers and graduate from college at 16.
  13. Whether early, late, or somewhere in the middle, homeschooling allows all children to move at their own pace.
  14. You can choose from a panoply of curriculum options based on your children’s needs and your family’s educational philosophy.
  15. Or you can focus on unschooling, a self-directed education approach tied to a child’s interests.
  16. Homeschooling gives your kids plenty of time to play! In a culture where childhood free play is disappearing, preserving play is crucial to a child’s health and well-being.
  17. They can have more recess and less homework.
  18. You can take advantage of weekly homeschool park days, field trips, classes, and other gatherings offered through a homeschooling group near you.
  19. Homeschooling co-ops are growing, so you can find support and resources.
  20. Homeschooling learning centers are sprouting worldwide, prioritizing self-directed education and allowing more flexibility to more families who want to homeschool.
  21. Parks, beaches, libraries, and museums are often less crowded during school hours, and many offer programming specifically for homeschoolers.
  22. You’re not alone. Nearly two million US children are homeschooled, and the homeschooling population is increasingly reflective of America’s diversity. In fact, the number of black homeschoolers doubled between 2007 and 2011.
  23. One-quarter of today’s homeschoolers are Hispanic-Americans who want to preserve bilingualism and family culture.
  24. Some families of color are choosing homeschooling to escape what they see as poor academic outcomes in schools, a curriculum that ignores their cultural heritage, institutional racism, and disciplinary approaches that disproportionately target children of color.
  25. More military families are choosing homeschooling to provide stability and consistency through frequent relocations and deployments.
  26. While the majority of homeschoolers are Christians, many Muslim families are choosing to homeschool, as are atheists.
  27. Homeschooling has wide bipartisan appeal.
  28. More urban parents are choosing to homeschool, prioritizing family and individualized learning.
  29. Religious freedom may be important to many homeschooling families, but it is not the primary reason they choose to homeschool. “Concern about the school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure” is the top motivator according to federal data.
  30. Fear of school shootings and widespread bullying are other concerns that are prompting more families to consider the homeschooling option.
  31. Some parents choose homeschooling because they are frustrated by Common Core curriculum frameworks and frequent testing in public schools.
  32. Adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicide decline during the summer, but Vanderbilt University researchers found that suicidal tendencies spike at back-to-school time. (This is a pattern opposite to that of adults, who experience more suicidal thoughts and acts in the summertime.) Homeschooling your kids may reduce these school-induced mental health issues.
  33. It will also prevent schools from surreptitiously collecting and tracking data on your child’s mental health.
  34. Your kids’ summertime can be fully self-directed, as can the rest of their year.
  35. That’s because kids thrive under self-directed education.
  36. Some kids are asking to be homeschooled.
  37. And they may even thank you for it.
  38. Today’s teens aren’t working in part-time or summer jobs like they used to. Homeschooling can offer time for valuable teen work experience.
  39. It can also provide the opportunity to cultivate teen entrepreneurial skills.
  40. Your kids don’t have to wait for adulthood to pursue their passions.
  41. By forming authentic connections with community members, homeschoolers can take advantage of teen apprenticeship programs.
  42. Some apprenticeship programs have a great track record on helping homeschoolers build important career skills and get great jobs.
  43. Self-directed learning centers for teen homeschoolers can provide a launchpad for community college classes and jobs while offering peer connection and adult mentoring.
  44. With homeschooling, you can inspire your kids to love reading.
  45. Maybe that’s because they will actually read books, something one-quarter of Americans reported not doing in 2014.
  46. Your kids might even choose to voluntarily read financial statements or do worksheets.
  47. You can preserve their natural childhood creativity.
  48. Schools kill creativity, as Sir Ken Robinson proclaims in his TED Talk, the most-watched one ever.
  49. Homeschooling might even help your kids use their creativity in remarkable ways, as other well-known homeschoolers have done.
  50. With homeschooling, learning happens all the time, all year round. There are no arbitrary starts and stops.
  51. You can take vacations at any time of the year without needing permission from the principal.
  52. Or you can go world-schooling, spending extended periods of time traveling the world together as a family or letting your teens travel the world without you.
  53. Your kids can have healthier lunches than they would at school.
  54. And you can actually enjoy lunch with them rather than being banned from the school cafeteria.
  55. Your kids don’t have to walk through metal detectors, past armed police officers, and into locked classrooms in order to learn.
  56. You can avoid bathroom wars and let your kids go to the bathroom wherever and whenever they want—without raising their hand to ask for permission.
  57. Research shows that teen homeschoolers get more sleep than their schooled peers.
  58. Technological innovations make self-education through homeschooling not only possible but also preferable.
  59. Free, online learning programs like Khan AcademyDuolingoScratchProdigy Math, and MIT OpenCourseWare complement learning in an array of topics, while others, like Lynda.com and Mango, may be available for free through your local public library.
  60. Schooling was for the Industrial Age, but unschooling is for the future.
  61. With robots doing more of our work, we need to rely more on our distinctly human qualities, like curiosity and ingenuity, to thrive in the Innovation Era.
  62. Homeschooling could be the “smartest way to teach kids in the 21st century,” according to Business Insider.
  63. Teen homeschoolers can enroll in an online high school program to earn a high school diploma if they choose.
  64. But young people don’t need a high school diploma in order to go to college.
  65. Many teen homeschoolers take community college classes and transfer into four-year universities with significant credits and cost-savings. Research suggests that community college transfers also do better than their non-transfer peers.
  66. Homeschooling may be the new path to Harvard.
  67. Many colleges openly recruit and welcome homeschoolers because they tend to be “innovative thinkers.”
  68. But college doesn’t need to be the only pathway to a meaningful adult life and livelihood. Many lucrative jobs don’t require a college degree, and companies like Google and Apple have dropped their degree requirements.
  69. In fact, more homeschooling families from the tech community in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are choosing to homeschool their kids.
  70. Hybrid homeschooling models are popping up everywhere, allowing more families access to this educational option.
  71. Some of these hybrid homeschool programs are public charter schools that are free to attend and actually give families access to funds for homeschooling.
  72. Other education choice mechanisms, like Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and tax-credit scholarship programs, are expanding to include homeschoolers, offering financial assistance to those families who need and want it.
  73. Some states allow homeschoolers to fully participate in their local school sports teams and extracurricular activities.
  74. Homeschooling may be particularly helpful for children with disabilities, like dyslexia, as the personalized learning model allows for more flexibility and customization.
  75. Homeschooling is growing in popularity worldwide, especially in IndiaAustralia, the United KingdomIsrael, and even in China, where it’s illegal.
  76. Homeschooling grants children remarkable freedom and autonomy, particularly self-directed approaches like unschooling, but it’s definitely not the Lord of the Flies.
  77. Homeschooling allows for much more authentic, purposeful learning tied to interests and everyday interactions in the community rather than contrived assignments at school.
  78. Throughout the American colonial and revolutionary eras, homeschooling was the norm, educating leaders like George Washington and Abigail Adams.
  79. In fact, many famous people were homeschooled.
  80. And many famous people homeschool their own kids.
  81. Your homeschooled kids will probably be able to name at least one right protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, something 37 percent of adults who participated in a recent University of Pennsylvania survey couldn’t do.
  82. Homeschooling can be preferable to school because it’s a totally different learning environment. As homeschooling pioneer John Holt wrote in Teach Your Own: “What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth in the world is not that it is a better school than the schools but that it isn’t a school at all.”
  83. Immersed in their larger community and engaged in genuine, multi-generational activities, homeschoolers tend to be better socialized than their schooled peers. Newer studies suggest the same.
  84. Homeschoolers interact daily with an assortment of people in their community in pursuit of common interests, not in an age-segregated classroom with a handful of teachers.
  85. Research suggests that homeschoolers are more politically tolerant than others.
  86. They can dig deeper into emerging passions, becoming highly proficient.
  87. They also have the freedom to quit.
  88. They can spend abundant time outside and in nature.
  89. Homeschooling can create strong sibling relationships and tight family bonds.
  90. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 US states and has been since 1993, but regulations vary widely by state.
  91. In spite of ongoing efforts to regulate homeschoolers, US homeschooling is becoming less regulated.
  92. That’s because homeschooling parents are powerful defenders of education freedom.
  93. Parents can focus family learning around their own values, not someone else’s.
  94. Homeschooling is one way to get around regressive compulsory schooling laws and put parents back in charge of their child’s education.
  95. It can free children from coercive, test-driven schooling.
  96. It is one education option among many to consider as more parents opt-out of mass schooling.
  97. Homeschooling is the ultimate school choice.
  98. It is inspiring education entrepreneurship to disrupt the schooling status quo.
  99. And it’s encouraging frustrated educators to leave the classroom and launch their own alternatives to school.
  100. Homeschooling is all about having the liberty to learn.

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COLUMN BY

The Senate Impeachment Trial: 8 Things You Need to Know

The House of Representatives has chosen members to participate in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and they have presented the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

This is only the third impeachment trial of a president in our nation’s history, with the others occurring in 1868 for Andrew Johnson and 1999 for Bill Clinton.

Here are eight things you need to know as the Senate prepares to begin Trump’s impeachment trial.

1. When Will the Trial Begin, and How Long Will It Last?

Senate President Pro Tempore Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, administered the oath Thursday to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Roberts, in turn, administered the oath to all senators. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that the trial itself will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The Clinton impeachment took five weeks, and Johnson’s lasted 11 weeks. The Senate’s impeachment trial rules, adopted in 1986, mandate that the trial should begin at noon and last until the Senate decides to adjourn, Monday through Saturday, “until final judgment shall be rendered.”

2. What Happens at the Trial?

An impeachment trial is not like a run-of-the-mill trial, but it does have some similarities. House managers will act as the prosecution, presenting the case for impeachment to the senators, whose role is a combination of judge and jury.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the seven members of the House who will serve as the managers, including Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

A team of lawyers will put on the president’s defense, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone; Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow; and former independent counsel Ken Starr, whose investigation into the Whitewater controversy led to Clinton’s impeachment.

Roberts will preside over the trial, consistent with Article 3, Section 6 of the Constitution, although it is mostly a ceremonial role.

After presiding over Clinton’s impeachment trial, then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist said, “I took a leaf out of [Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera] ‘Iolanthe’ … ‘I did nothing in particular, and did it very well.’”

When the trial begins, the Senate will adopt a resolution establishing the specific timetable, including the time allotted for each side to present its case, senators to ask questions, and the Senate to consider motions.

At that point, if the Senate follows the general pattern of the Clinton trial, the Senate will vote on a motion to dismiss the impeachment and, if that motion fails, on whether additional witnesses or evidence should be considered.

During Johnson’s impeachment trial, the prosecution and defense called a total of 41 witnesses. During the Clinton trial, three witnesses provided videotaped testimony.

McConnell and several other Senate Republicans have indicated they think the Senate should rely on transcripts of the testimony of witnesses who appeared before the House, while Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and several other Democrats have demanded that witnesses be called to testify.

3. Does the President Have to Appear Before the Senate?

No. While the Senate does issue a summons to the individual being tried, its impeachment trial rules allow for an appearance by the defendant or by his attorney.

The Senate tried, unsuccessfully, to force Johnson to appear for his impeachment trial. The New York Times published an account of how Chief Justice Salmon Chase asked the Senate sergeant-at-arms to summon the president.

“In a loud voice, and amid the stillness of the whole chamber, he called three times, ‘Andrew Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Andrew Johnson!’” but instead the president’s legal team, including Attorney General Henry Stanbery (who resigned the day before) and former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis, arrived.

Clinton likewise did not appear before the Senate during his trial.

Trump previously indicated he would “strongly consider” testifying or providing a written statement to the House during its impeachment inquiry, but that didn’t happen. Odds are, Trump won’t be present at the Senate trial.

4. What Are the Rules the Senators Will Follow?

Senators are not required to employ a specific standard of proof. During the 1986 impeachment trial of U.S. District Judge Harry E. Claiborne, he made a motion to designate “beyond a reasonable doubt”—the standard in criminal trials—as the standard for his trial.

After the presiding officer ruled that “the question of standard of evidence is for each senator to decide individually,” the Senate voted 75 to 17 against establishing a mandatory standard.

Similarly, the rules of evidence used in criminal trials do not apply in an impeachment trial. The Senate’s impeachment trial rules state that the Senate’s presiding officer has the authority to rule on questions of evidence.

Any senator, however, may ask that the full Senate vote on such matters. That reflects the Constitution’s assignment to the Senate of “the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

5. Can Senators Be Disqualified for Showing Bias?

Senators have taken an oath to “do impartial justice, according to the Constitution and laws” in all things pertaining to the impeachment trial.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the minority whip, argued that some senators have already failed to meet the “independent and dignified” standard the Constitution envisioned.

There have already been calls for the House managers to move to disqualify senators whose impartiality is in question. There is no basis in the Constitution, Senate rules, or history for such an attempt.

The only qualification for participating in a Senate impeachment trial is to be a senator.

6. What Happens After the Trial?

While the trial itself will be open to the public, the Senate’s deliberations after its conclusion will not be.

The Senate will then come back into public session to vote on each article of impeachment. Senate impeachment trial rules say that the Senate must vote on each article in its entirety, and the Constitution requires the vote of “two-thirds of the [senators] present” for conviction.

Removal from office is automatic upon conviction, and the Senate may vote separately whether to disqualify the defendant from serving in any other federal office.

The Constitution explicitly provides, however, that these consequences by the Senate do not, if the defendant’s conduct is also criminal, prevent “Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

7. If the Vote Fails in the Senate, Can the President Be Retried?

In theory, he likely could be retried in the future. Although neither the Constitution nor Senate rules address this issue, and no precedent exists for it, a few legal scholars, such as former Obama administration official Neal Katyal, have pointed out that the Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy Clause does not apply to impeachment proceedings.

A retrial on the same charges, however, would seem highly unlikely, and such a retrial would certainly run counter to the general principle of double jeopardy that someone cannot be tried twice for the same offense.

What is more plausible and likely is that the House would introduce new articles of impeachment, which it could do.

8. Will the Senate Conduct Other Business During the Trial, and Will It Interfere With the Supreme Court’s Work?

Senate committees may hold hearings in the morning of each trial day, but doing any business such as sending bills, nominations, or other matters to the full Senate would require the consent of all senators.

The Senate impeachment rules provide that the chamber must suspend its legislative and executive business while the trial is under way.

The trial should not affect the Supreme Court’s oral argument schedule. The court has arguments scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, but those will conclude by 11 a.m.

The court won’t meet again for arguments until Feb. 24. Aside from taking up some of Roberts’ time in the afternoon, the trial is unlikely to otherwise affect the court.

COLUMN BY

Thomas Jipping

Thomas Jipping is deputy director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: @TomJipping,

Elizabeth Slattery

Elizabeth Slattery writes about the proper role of the courts, judicial nominations, and the Constitution as a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. She hosts SCOTUS101, a podcast about everything that’s happening at the Supreme Court. Twitter: @EHSlattery.

RELATED ARTICLES:

House’s Prosecutors Supported Impeachment Well Before Trump’s Ukraine Call

Impeachment Diary Day 1: Battle Lines Drawn

Republicans Vote Down Chuck Schumer’s Amendment Requesting White House Documents

RELATED VIDEO: Marsha Blackburn: Senate can only review, not expand Impeachment


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Dalia Al-Aqidi Challenges Ilhan Omar for House Seat

American Muslim Dalia Al-Aqidi has formally launched her campaign to oust Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota’s 5th district. Her campaign, Dalia for Congress, is rooted in her life experience as an Iraqi refugee, a veteran journalist with a distinguished track record and in her desire to protect America from becoming another country to escape from.

“I’ve seen up close the consequences of what radical Ilhan Omar is doing. Conflict. Division. Oppression. I escaped that world once, and I won’t let it happen here. I’m running for Congress because we’re not as divided as Ilhan Omar and the far-left would have us believe. I’m running to bring us closer together.” – Dalia Al-Aqidi

Born in Iraq, Dalia  and her family fled the country in 1988 due to harsh persecution by Saddam Hussein, leaving almost every possession behind. Her family created a new life for themselves and became U.S. citizens.

Prior to Dalia and her family’s immigration to the U.S., with the help of late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, she was politically active against Hussein’s brutality and oppression of the Iraq people.

Dalia has seen the consequences of Omar’s version of an ideal government—she’s seen the kind of hatred it inspires and what it has done to the Middle East. That’s why Dalia felt that it was her responsibility to stop her—to stop the widening rift among Americans and instead unite our country under the values that she immigrated here for.

Immediately, her campaign received tremendous support, including from distinguished anti-Islamists like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, also of Somali heritage.

After formerly living in Washington, D.C. Dalia Al-Aqidi moved to Minnesota’s 5th district a few months ago during which time she worked to better understand the community. Speaking with the New York Post, Dalia shared,

“I’ve done my homework for months and months before I decided to move here. On Thanksgiving, I helped feed more than 250 homeless people in Minneapolis, which [Ilhan Omar] doesn’t remember. She doesn’t even talk about homeless situation in Minneapolis, which is extremely cold and there are not enough places of shelters for them to sleep in. It’s a very, very important problem in Minneapolis, and it’s getting very cold.”

Some in the Somali community are quietly supporting Dalia. Speaking with a Post reporter, one member of the Somali community confided,

“It’s just one crisis after another. She [Ilhan Omar] could have done so much more for our community with immigration and education, but she’s not. She’s picking fights.”

The fights spoken of are a barrage of anti-Semitic comments and targeted attacks against progressive Muslim women serving the broader global community as human rights activists, including Muslim for Progressive Values founder, Ani Zonnvelde.

Omar most recently smeared the leading Iranian women’s rights activist, Masih Alinejad, after Soleimani’s killing.

In July 2017, Clarion’s National Correspondent Shireen Qudosi called Ilhan Omar a failed American experiment. At the launch of Dalia for Congress, Qudosi said,

“Dalia Al-Aqidi vs. Ilhan Omar is the most important race second to the presidency. But we’ve also already seen Trump win once. The entire nation will be locked in on this congressional race. This is a battle between American Muslims vs. Islamist Muslims.

“As an American Muslim, this is the most defining and historic confrontation of our generation. Dalia defeating Ilhan represents Americans striking a blow against Islamism. If you don’t love America, if you can’t defend it, you have no business representing Americans. Being American means something; it’s a philosophy that transcends a piece of paper.”

On the same day that Dalia for Congress launched, news also broke that at least three federal departments are reviewing Ilhan Omar for what is being described as the worst-ever crime spree by an elected U.S. official.

RELATED STORIES:

Dalia Al-Aqidi: The Interview Ilhan Omar Refused to Accept

Ilhan Omar vs. Miss Iraq: The Feud

Ilhan Omar Bashes Progressive Muslim Leader 

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Why Do Christians Believe in Hell?

Michael Pakaluk: Hell is a truth that Jesus teaches and indirectly affirms on many occasions. It exists because we have freedom to reject God and the good.


Why Do Christians Believe in Hell?   Because Christendom has affirmed it, Jesus clearly teaches the reality of Hell in the Bible, and Hell’s reality resonates with an honest account of our own experience.

That’s not the answer theologian David Bentley Hart gave earlier this month, when the New York Times offered him a perch to discuss the misguided beliefs of his fellow Christians.  The Bible is so unclear about Hell, he wrote, while it is clear about universal salvation, that the doctrine of Hell must be purely an expression of the ill will of Christians.  They hate their fellow human beings so much that they want them to spend eternity in torment.

When the Roman Empire embraced Christianity, Hart writes, the doctrine of Hell was a form of “spiritual terror,” which served as an “indispensable instrument of social stability.”  But the enduring motives, Hart insists, have always been deeply personal – and demented.  Christians derive a “secret pleasure,” he says, from hoping that, when they are saved, they will be envied by the damned: “What heaven can there be. . .without an eternity in which to relish the impotent envy of those outside its walls?”

Indeed, the malice of these Christians knows no bounds, according to Hart. They cannot accept any “concept of God that gives inadequate license to the cruelty of which [their] own imaginations are capable. . . .The idea of Hell is the treasury of their most secret, most cherished hopes.”

That’s a pretty gross slander of Christians, which naturally the New York Times is eager to promote.  Hasn’t it always been clear that those “enemies of the human race,” who oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, and other good things, harbor hatred within their hearts?  Now even one of their own comes clean about that!  And if you want to become fully convinced of the inveterate malice of Christians in this matter, you can follow the link, which Hart kindly provides, to his new book about it.

Of course, a theologian like Hart who accuses billions of Christians of malice, and who opines that Christians take a morbid delight in setting themselves above others, puts himself in a rather exposed position.  Didn’t Jesus say something about splinters and logs?  So Hart has to package his attack as self-defense.  His book, he says, has provoked a frenzy of criticisms (“if only,” you might say), which he variously describes as indignant, hysterical, truculent, uninhibited, and demented.  He’s forced to account for these attacks against him, in the pages of the New York Times.

If someone were to ask me why Christians believe in Hell, my starting point wouldn’t be angry emails to Hart about his new book, but the Catena Aurea, on Matthew 25:46, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

The Catena Aurea, or “golden chain,” is St. Thomas Aquinas’ remarkable stitching together of commentaries by the Fathers on the Gospels, to produce a single running commentary. It provides a balanced view of authoritative teaching by the Fathers on Scripture.  I would start with Mt. 25:46, because that is a proof text for the existence Hell: if anything ever counts as a proof-text, it must be those words from one of Jesus’ own parables.

There’s symmetry here between the fate of the righteous and the unrighteous.  The righteous are said to “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (v. 34) But to inherit something is to be given it as one’s own possession, and the phrase “foundation of the world” points to an ultimate, not a conditional, reality.  The unrighteous similarly are consigned to “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” which must, therefore, be as fixed and unalterable as is Satan’s will against God.

The word rendered “everlasting” here (aiōnios, which draws upon the meaning of “endlessness” inherent in its Indo-European root, *aiw-, just like our word, “ever”) is always used in that sense in the New Testament, mainly for “everlasting life.”

But more importantly, Jesus uses the same term for the duration of the punishment, as for the duration of the life.  What holds for the one, then, must hold for the other. If the life is everlasting, the punishment is everlasting.

The term for punishment, too, has connotations of torment, as indeed the word “fire” suggests.  “Some deceive themselves,” St. Augustine says, quoted in the Catena, “that the fire indeed is called everlasting, but not the punishment. This the Lord foreseeing, sums up His sentence in these words.”

Hart bites the bullet. To make the everlastingness of Hell look doubtful, he makes that of Heaven doubtful.  Here’s how he renders Mt 25:46 in his recent translation of the New Testament: “And these will go to the chastening of the Age, but the just to the life of that Age.”

What? “The frightening language used by Jesus in the Gospels,” Hart assures us in his New York Times column, “when read in the original Greek, fails to deliver the infernal dogmas we casually assume to be there.” At least, his translation makes sure that it fails to deliver.   But, similarly, it fails to deliver the dogma of Heaven.  Every promise Jesus makes about eternal life becomes, in Hart’s rendering, a promise about “life in the Age.”

But Hell is not simply a truth that Jesus teaches and indirectly affirms on many occasions (e.g., as when he says that it would have been better for his betrayer not to be born, Mt 26:24).  As the Fathers point out, it resonates in our hearts, not because it is “there” already, but because we are aware that we have freedom to reject God and the good.  And we sense that chances eventually come to an end. We can set ourselves on evil, and a true attitude of penance recognizes no claim on God to bail us out. (Ps. 51:4)

Hart and other recent writers make strenuous efforts to deny the truth, but the words stand.

Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is a professor in the Busch School of Business 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. His latest book, on the Gospel of Mark, The Memoirs of St Peter, is now available from Regnery Gateway. He is currently at work on a new book on Mary’s voice in the gospel of John.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

As an incorporated provision of the United States Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the supreme law of the land, applying to all U.S. jurisdictions and to the actions of federal, state, and local officials. The U.S. Supreme Court provides the final and authoritative interpretation of that provision, as well as other provisions of the U.S. Constitution. All of this is elementary civics.

But the State of California believes it knows better, requiring publisher McGraw-Hill to annotate a discussion of the Bill of Rights in a popular social studies textbook with the state’s own peculiar view of the Second Amendment’s meaning.

According to pictures from the California edition in the New York Times, the annotation states:

Right to Bear Arms This amendment is often debated. Originally it was intended to prevent the national government from repeating the actions of the British, who tried to take weapons away from the colonial militia, or armed forces of the citizens. This amendment seems to support the right of citizens to own firearms, but the Supreme Court has ruled it does not prevent Congress from regulating the interstate sale of weapons.

The Times article goes on to state that the publisher “said it had created the additional wording on the Second Amendment and gun control for the California textbook.” The same language, however, does not appear in a national version of the same section, according to the Times report.

The point of the New York Times article is to suggest that different states emphasize different aspects of U.S. history in otherwise similar textbooks, depending on the prevailing political outlook among the state’s education officials.

Whatever might be said of that approach, the problem with California’s account of the Second Amendment isn’t just one of emphasis but of accuracy. California, which prides itself on being one of the most anti-gun states in the nation, simply gets it wrong, using language that falsely portrays the Second Amendment as a “debated” provision that has changed meaning over time and that only “seems” to protect an individual right.

Any “debate” about the Second Amendment’s protection of an individual right have been authoritatively settled by the U.S. Supreme Court: The Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” independent of service in an organized militia. That fact was unambiguously articulated in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008.

That decision, moreover, was based on the public understanding of the Second Amendment at the time it was ratified. In other words, not only was the Second Amendment an individual right as of 2008, it has always been an individual right. As the Supreme Court noted, “virtually all interpreters of the Second Amendment in the century after its enactment interpreted the Amendment as we do.” It is false to suggest, as the California textbook does, that it originally meant something different and then somehow changed meaning in 2008.

Regarding the prefatory militia clause, the Supreme Court took pains to explain the difference between the justification for including the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights and the scope and substance of that right.

“The debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution,” the court wrote. What justified its codification was “the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms … .” But, the court noted, the prefatory militia clause announcing the reason for the right’s codification “does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause.”

That scope, meanwhile, included using arms for “self-defense and hunting,” with self-defense being “the central component of the right itself,” according to the Supreme Court.

The California textbook also misconstrues what the term “militia” meant to the founding generation at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment. It wasn’t just a discrete, organized military force, the court explained, but members of the population “physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,” whether they were mustered in that capacity or not. Thus, the terms “militia” and “the people” are not at odds with each other in the Second Amendment. The people, with their own arms, are the basis of the militia. To protect the peoples’ private right to arms is therefore to protect the militia’s ability to muster with arms and to preserve its viability.

As for Congress’ ability to regulate the interstate sale of weapons, the Supreme Court indicated in Heller that “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” are part of the “longstanding” history and tradition of the Second Amendment, and are thus “presumptively lawful.” That does not mean, however, that every such law trumps the amendment’s protections, especially if there is no longstanding precedent for it.

In any event, the Supreme Court has yet to hear a case that pits the Second Amendment against the Commerce Clause, and it explicitly reserved that and other questions for later consideration. “[S]ince this case represents this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment, one should not expect it to clarify the entire field,” the court wrote. “[T]here will be time enough to expound upon the historical justifications for the exceptions we have mentioned if and when those exceptions come before us.”

California likes to emphasize how it sees things differently than the rest of the United States. That’s why common consumer products come with warnings that they include substances “known to the State of California” to pose various hazards, including cancer or birth defects. So numerous are these warnings that people at this point are most likely to ignore them as sensational and unreliable.

The state’s students would be wise to take the same approach to official state pronouncements about firearms and the Second Amendment.

California, as the saying goes, is entitled to its opinions. But it’s not entitled to its own facts.

And when it comes to the Second Amendment, the facts are different than the opinions expressed in the California-specific version of McGraw-Hill’s social studies textbook.

Activist Wilma Mankiller is quoted as saying, “Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.”

Year after year California chips away at the Second Amendment with its ever-expanding gun control regime.

If this continues unabated, the right to keep and bear arms will effectively be nullified for future generations of Californians.

What’s worse – if California’s educational bureaucrats have their way – is that those generations will be too ignorant of their liberties to even understand what has been taken from them.

Our advice to these students is to exercise their First Amendment rights to learn and speak the truth, and as soon as they are able, exercise the right to vote in favor of those who respect their fundamental liberties, rather than those who try to write them out of history.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

Another One Bites the Dust

Virginia Senate Passes Three Gun Control Bills – Committee Advances a Fourth

Sen. Daines Introduces Bill to Update Federal Protections for Lawful Transport of Unloaded Guns

Crime Data is Readily Available

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

We were well aware that after New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a cool $2.5 million on his latest acquisition, majority control of the Virginia General Assembly, law-abiding gun owners in The Old Dominion would see an onslaught of legislation designed to infringe on their right to keep and bear arms. As the legislature prepared to convene, NRA-ILA scheduled a day for legislative action to show our opposition to the anti-gun agenda of Bloomberg and Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam, and we asked our members to show up at the capitol in Richmond.

Boy did they!

Thousands of NRA members and supporters of the Second Amendment came to Virginia’s capital, and NRA handed out t-shirts and 1,000 30-round magazines, kindly donated by Magpul Industries, as thanks to freedom’s most dedicated advocates.

Even the usually anti-gun Northam praised NRA’s “peaceful event,” although it would be nice if his respect for NRA members included not infringing our fundamental rights.

But Bloomberg’s most prominent anti-gun shill, Shannon Watts, seemed to be overcome by the thought of law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment advocates gathering to present their unified political voice in opposition to legislative assaults on their cherished liberty. Watts, of course, heads the anti-gun advocacy group Moms Demand Action, a Bloomberg subsidiary that he acquired in 2013.

As you can probably guess, Watts had a problem with the magazines.

When she was told about what happened in Richmond, she tweeted her faux outrage over the idea that “NRA gave away dangerous high-capacity magazines…to random civilians at the Virginia statehouse today.”

Where to even begin with that mess?

First, Shannon, magazines are not dangerous. The particular components donated by Magpul are comprised predominantly of plastic, and weigh mere ounces. Forgetting the fact that it is preposterous to try to designate an inanimate object of being capable of behaving dangerously.

Second, those “random civilians” were NRA members, and were invited to come to Richmond to exercise their First Amendment rights in defense of the Second. As we said, even Governor Northam stated, “I thank the NRA for hosting a peaceful event.”

Of course, it should come as no surprise that Watts was confused. Her organization has no actual membership, although she claims to have millions of supporters and hundreds-of-thousands of “donors.” While both claims are suspect, the reference to “donors” seems particularly implausible. The bulk of her group’s funding, under the umbrella of Bloomberg’s parent company, Everytown, seems to originate from Bloomberg himself.

In contrast, NRA is an actual organization of members; more than five million of them. We are dedicated to freedom, as well as safe, responsible, and, as even one of the most anti-gun governors in the nation recently said, peaceful.

Sorry if that confuses you, Shannon.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Another One Bites the Dust

Virginia Senate Passes Three Gun Control Bills – Committee Advances a Fourth

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

Sen. Daines Introduces Bill to Update Federal Protections for Lawful Transport of Unloaded Guns

Crime Data is Readily Available

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

PODCAST: ‘Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman’ — What to Expect From 2020 March for Life

“Life Empowers: Pro-life Is Pro-Woman” is the theme of this year’s March for Life, set to take place Friday in the nation’s capital. Since 1974, the March for Life has gathered to remember the lives lost since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, and to remind America that each life has value.

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, joins The Daily Signal Podcast to discuss what to expect at this year’s march and where the pro-life movement as a whole is headed in 2020. Listen to the podcast or read the lightly edited transcript below.

Virginia Allen: I am joined by the president of March for Life, Jeanne Mancini. Jeanne, thank you so much for being with me today.

Jeanne Mancini: Thanks so much for having me, Virginia.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Allen: Now, March for Life began in January of 1974, one year after the passage of Roe v. Wade. March for Life really started out just as a small, peaceful demonstration, but it quickly grew into the world’s largest pro-life event. The 2020 march is taking place on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C. Can you share with us what the theme is that you all chose for this year’s march?

Mancini: I’d love to and if it’s OK, I’ll just give a little bit of backdrop that every year we do a lot of thinking and discerning about the appropriate theme because with the March for Life being the only place where all of the different pro-life groups come together annually, it’s an awesome springboard to message, essentially, about what we think are the most cutting edge, most pressing issues in building a culture of life.

Themes in past years have included adoption and nubile decision. Another year, in fact, last year, we had pro-life as pro-science and really delved into the science behind embryology and some of the wonderful neonatal surgeries available, etc.

This year our theme is “Life Empowers: Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman.” And, of course, this is the year where we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which created a woman’s right to vote.

So it’s a great opportunity to go back and look at the suffragist, the early feminist, the early female leaders who recognize the inherent dignity of women and the inherent dignity of the unborn. We’re not at odds with each other and they had a really good understanding about that.

We’re having a lot of fun with this theme and we’re excited to be able to talk about that more next week.

Allen: Absolutely. Now, who is speaking at this year’s march?

Mancini: We’ve got a great, great, great lineup and stay tuned because there are more announcements to be made even tomorrow.

Legislatively, we will welcome to the stage Representative Chris Smith, as well as state Representative, state Senator, as of yesterday, Katrina Jackson.

Chris Smith is very well-known. He’s from New Jersey and just a stalwart on our issues.

Katrina Jackson as well is very interesting because she’s one of the few pro-life Democrats and, in particular, we’re so interested to have her this year because she was the author of the bill in Louisiana related to abortion clinic regulations that then became a law. And now will go before the Supreme Court in March. And so it’ll be very interesting to hear from Senator Jackson.

So those are some of our legislative speakers and there’s a few more to be there.

We have Claire Culwell and Melissa Ohden. They both have these incredibly inspiring stories. They both survived abortion, essentially. And their lives are such witnesses and so they’re going to share their stories. And, of course, we’ll link that very much to the born-alive discharge petition in the House.

Right now we’ve got Jim Daly from Focus on the Family, Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of Susan B. Anthony List—a good year for Marjorie to speak with the theme. Another wonderful woman, she’s a pro-life leader in New Mexico, Lisa Martinez.

We also have a local pastor, David Platt from McLean Bible Church, a very well-known church here in the D.C. area. He will be doing our closing prayer.

And, like I said, we’ve got a few more announcements. And I should say our favorite speaker, at least when we do our surveys after the March for Life, is almost always the young person that speaks because, of course, by and large the participants in the March for Life are young people.

Our one specific designated young person who’s speaking this year is Catalina Scheider Galiñanes. And she is from Oakcrest, a school in Vienna, Virginia. She’s going to speak about why she’s pro-life.

Allen: Wow. So many amazing speakers. I really look forward myself to hearing many of them at the event on the 24th.

People come to March for Life in Washington, D.C., from states all across America. What is that message or motivation that you are really hoping that marchers will take with them back to their home states and their communities?

Mancini: The March for Life is very interesting in that it’s a place to come and witness and testify to the beautiful inherent dignity of the unborn person. And yet, ironically, for those of us who participate in the march every year, it’s an opportunity for our own hearts and minds to be changed even more about this issue.

I’ll just give you a quick example of that … I know I’m kind of backing my way into the answer here, but I had a family member come and participate from out West last year and it was the first time he had come and he’s always been pro-life, but it was quite a sacrifice to come.

He and his wife and one of his children came and had a really beautiful time. I think … his eyes were opened to the significance of the issue and perhaps his heart was changed even more in the direction of life.

And while he had a very busy schedule last year with having kind of a … I guess you could say a break from work for a few months as he was changing to a new job. This year, he’s again coming because he realized how important it is and it’s like, again, his own experience was changed and he wants to do more in his local community.

So what I would say is that the March for Life, again, while it’s a moment to testify and to give witness in the public square about the unborn, it also changes our own hearts.

Our deepest hope as those of us who pull this event together is that marchers go back home and make a difference in their local community. Because if it’s just one day that we’re coming together and are really [having a] motivating and exciting day, then we’re not doing our job. The job is really recognizing that we each have a role to play in building a culture of life and to do that in the area where we are planted.

Allen: Speaking of working in that area where you’re planted, you all have also launched a number of marches across America in different cities. Why did you feel that it was important to not just have the national march but also to have marches in states across America?

Mancini: Well, a few years ago as a pro-life organization in D.C,. we found that we were being tapped to do all things and there was a bit of … mission creep even within the organization, not terribly so, but it allowed for some reflection.

After some time I think we were all a little bit burned out and it gave us an opportunity to really look interiorly as well as look up to God and really think about why was the March created and what do we bring to the pro-life movement and to building a culture of life that no other pro-life group brings.

So, what can we do better and more of to end abortion, to change hearts and minds so that abortion is unthinkable in our country? And simultaneously, if you were to ask us, “What is the single thing that you get the most calls about or the most questions about?” It was to help groups start marches in their states and in their local areas.

We didn’t really have the bandwidth to do that well. I mean, we had sort of a very informal toolkit and we take calls and try to give technical assistance, but for the most part, we weren’t really staffed up to be able to help groups do that in a powerful way. So all of that led to a lot of soul-searching and deep discernment with the board.

We decided to try as a beta test, a state march program. So our first state march was in Virginia last year and it was in April and we brought out over 7,000 people for it. And we’re the lead story on the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which is the local Richmond paper. And for so many reasons, it was a huge success and we didn’t quite anticipate that it would be as big of a success as it was.

So this year we’ll have a second march in Virginia on Feb. 13. We’ll also have a march in Pennsylvania. That’s on May 18. And a march in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 15. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Allen: That’s so exciting. I do want to take just a moment to ask you to share a little bit about your own pro-life journey and how you got connected with March for Life.

Mancini: Oh, well, thank you for asking that. Well, let’s see. I grew up in a Catholic family and social justice and just understanding human dignity was something that was ingrained in my understanding of life and the most important things of life. …

I was 1 of 5. So we loved life, my family, and definitely lived in a way that was very respectful of life. …

After college, I did a volunteer corps, I did something called the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I worked with young people that were in a crisis setting. They were in a youth crisis shelter.

They were being moved either from a situation that wasn’t safe for them to be in or they’d been found on the streets. And there was a long-term search for more of a permanent home, whether that was going to be foster care or a residential treatment center or what have you.

So my time working with those young people was very informative and I grappled a lot with the deeper questions about would it be better if some of these lives hadn’t been born? Is it unfair to bring some lives into the world when there’s such a difficult scenario and such heavy crosses that these people carry that nobody’s ever really meant to carry?

Anyways, I did a lot of sort of introspection and I came out on the other side really recognizing that every life is a gift. And I guess realizing with humility, who am I to judge the value of someone’s life because they’ve had some hard things happen to them?

And then along the way I’ve had different experiences, obviously, in life. For certain one experience [that] weighs heavily on my heart is two people very close to me when I was in college decided to have an abortion and they didn’t tell me before, they told me after. And then in some cases it was a long time after.

Just hearing the pain that they underwent was so sad and even this terrible guilt that they were experiencing. Of course, there’s always hope and healing.

And I should say that to anyone listening to your podcast, anyone who’s been involved in abortion, there’s so many wonderful groups and people to speak with to find hope and healing after having been involved in abortion.

But I just realized personally through these people who were close to me that women deserve so much better than abortion.

It was just a lived experience of what I’d always believed but I thought in a very sad reality in these situations. So, along the way there have been many different I guess you could say epiphanies throughout my life.

And you asked how I ended up getting to the March for Life. So this is a very long-winded way of answering that. But I guess about 10 or 11 years ago, I was working with Family Research Council and I was their pro-life spokesperson and just loved that job. It was so fun and I got to do a lot of policy analysis, which is really what I love to do.

So, a few years into that job, I was asked to join the board of the March for Life. And I did expecting just to be a board member for a period of time. But I never really made it to my first board meeting without a major happening. And that was that the founder of the March for Life, Nellie Gray, passed away before I went to my first board meeting.

So my first board meeting was an emergency board meeting where we were coming up with a plan for how we were going to continue the march.

In a short-term capacity, I and another board member, Patrick Kelly, took on the leadership and we thought we’d we had our plans for how that was going to happen and here I am seven and a half years later, still working with the March for Life. And lots has changed over that time. But it’s just been a big blessing.

Allen: Certainly. That’s so neat just to hear that background and your story and kind of see how all those pieces came together. It’s really, really neat.

Mancini: Thank you.

Allen: Increasingly, unfortunately, we are seeing an attitude among the pro-choice movement. It is really not only pro-abortion but advocates flaunting abortion. And you know, we see this through the Shout Your Abortion movement, examples like actress Michelle Williams during her award acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. We could go on and on, but what should the response of pro-lifers be to this really blatantly pro-abortion rhetoric?

Mancini: I think a couple things. One is to just have great confidence in what we believe. So, to remember that reality is not arbitrary and that calling something a certain name or saying that something shouldn’t have stigma or shame or what have you doesn’t make it so.

Abortion—whatever you’re going to call it, if you’re going to shout it, if you’re going to tell your story about it, etc.—always takes the life of one and most frequently wounds the life of another. So calling it something different doesn’t change that reality.

So I think just to A, recognize that. And then B—this might sound a little counterintuitive based on what I just said—to take a very merciful approach.

I mean, look, we are in a culture of what I would describe as the walking wounded because so many women and men have been involved in abortion and that very much impacts their response to these kinds of things. There’s so much woundedness around it. And so I think approaching any conversations about this topic with a lot of mercy and love and tenderness is critical.

And … I feel that we don’t ever have to twist someone’s arm behind their back to agree with us because we should have so much confidence.

Life is inherently beautiful and the pro-life message is so positive and attractive. So we really just need to show it for what it is instead of twisting someone’s arm behind their back if they don’t agree with us.

Conversely, the more that we understand about the abortion industry and even abortion procedures, it’s dark. I mean, it’s really, really dark. So to the extent that we can show that reality for what it is as well, and certainly try to prevent people from any kind of pain and loss of life. I think that’s important too.

Allen: President [Donald] Trump is often referred to as the most pro-life president in history. Looking back at his first three years in office, what, to you, are some of the most notable pro-life victories of his administration?

Mancini: Oh, that’s a great question. In terms of really creating pro-life policy, I would agree he has done more for the pro-life movement than any president when it comes to enacting policy.

Because of my job, I have to just start by talking about the March for Life. Prior to the Trump administration, we never had a president or vice president of the United States come to the march. In fact, a speech writer once told me, and this was a former speech writer, that presidents were counseled to go to Camp David around the time of the March for Life because they didn’t want to be photoed with some graphic images or something like that.

So … there’s almost been a real fear at top levels to associate with something this important. And we’ve seen the opposite from this White House. And it’s been incredible.

I will never, ever, ever forget one week after being inaugurated, there was the vice president in person at the March for Life and Kellyanne Conway, who ran a successful campaign. And that was, again, the first time.

It was a historic moment because it was the first time ever in the history of a March [for Life] that a standing vice president had come and spoken in person.

Then the following year, President Trump addressed the marchers about a mile away from the rally. So he was in the Rose Garden and there were a couple hundred young people there in the Rose Garden with him on big jumbotrons at the rally’s site. We broadcast that live and that was very exciting.

Last year, again, we had Mrs. [Karen] Pence and the vice president. So it’s just been incredible to have that level of support from the administration.

But in terms of amazing policies that they’ve enacted—gosh, there’s been so much. One of my personal favorites is the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy that had been formerly called the Mexico City policy, but that’s been reinstated and broadened.

Another favorite, of course, would be Supreme Court appointments, nominations and confirmations of both Justice [Neil] Gorsuch and [Justice Brett] Kavanaugh.

And then all of the excellent judicial nominations that are going to be at the appeals court and the district court, I think there have been over 218 of those. I don’t have the number right in front of me, but it’s high.

Returning Title 10 funding decisions to the state, launching an investigation into Planned Parenthood. I mean, again and again, there have been so many really, really great things.

Allen: Yeah. And just earlier this month, over 200 members of Congress signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade.

Of course, like you mentioned, we’ve seen all of these great new policies and legislation come out of the Trump administration. Also … 2019 did see some really devastating pro-choice legislation pushed forward. So what do you think we can expect in 2020?

Mancini: That’s a great question. Well, I think that some of the things that we need to think about are, first of all, the election. And the March for Life doesn’t endorse candidates, but we do educate. And I think that elections matter.

I know having worked in the Office of the Secretary at HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] and seeing all of the policies change—I was there during the Bush administration and then in the beginning of the Obama administration—I just have to say the pro-life vote makes such a difference.

So, elections matter and to prepare well for the election ahead because it’s going to be a big year. That’s one thing.

I know that something that we are very much focusing on at the March for Life this year is the born-alive discharge petition and just the born-alive troops.

You mentioned that there have been so many extreme laws enacted at the state, though. Of course, Illinois now passed the Reproductive Act, which makes it sort of the most pro-abortion state in our country. New York, of course, did last year. Vermont passed another similar law.

Essentially, it’s just so critical that we’re aware of these kinds of things and that we do as much as we possibly can to message on the truth about things like the born-alive discharge petition or born-alive bills at the level of the state by the ERA, etc., etc. …

You asked the question and it’s a little hard to know [what to expect this year]. The elections are in front of us. We have a mixed Senate and House, so it’s hard to pass the federal legislation right now. And then in the states there’s all sorts of different things happening.

So to fight the extreme stuff, especially in places like Virginia, my own home state, and we’re seeing the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] is going to get voted on soon there, but to continue as much as we possibly can to pass good pro-life legislation, for example, the Born-Alive [Abortion Survivors Protection] Act, which any person with common sense would agree with.

Allen: And you recently co-authored a commentary for The Daily Signal titled “Early Feminists Were Right About Unborn Human Life.” Can you tell us a little bit more about these American suffragists?

Mancini: I would love to. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think that there is even one suffragist who was pro-abortion.

So we’ve got some fantastic quotes from, for example, Alice Paul, who called abortion the ultimate exploitation of women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was very strong in her views on this. Of course, Susan B. Anthony, etc.

But these early female pioneers, again, knew that a woman’s capacity for fertility and motherhood wasn’t a liability, but that it was a beautiful thing. I think they saw men and women as being equal in dignity but different not having to do away with the part of them that can make them mothers.

So it’s wonderful to look back and to see sort of this first wave of feminists and where they were coming from and their understanding of these kinds of issues. And then to see sort of where things are today and how far we’ve gotten from that.

For any of your listeners who have an interest in that, I cannot highly recommend enough coming to our conference the day before the March for Life.

Our keynote is one of my favorite speakers, especially on this topic. Erika Bachiochi—she’s a pro-life feminist and a legal scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. And she’s got so much to say about this and herself has a tremendous testimony and story of coming from a more pro-abortion feminist perspective to where she is today.

And then we have a stellar lineup of panelists, very much speaking to different nuances about this. Sue Ellen Browder will be speaking, she’s an author, she wrote a wonderful book called “Subverted.” Now she’s got a book coming out called “Sex and the Catholic Feminist.” She’s essentially going to go into this question that you just asked me, what the early suffragettes said and a history of that. She’ll read quotes and papers, etc.

We also have Christina Francis, OB-GYN, who’s the chairman of the board of AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-life OB-GYNs, and she’s going to talk about the consequences of abortion and especially the physiological consequences.

We also have Mary McCluskey, who works with Project Rachel Ministry on helping women and men who regret having been involved in abortion. And then Brandi Swindell, who’s the founder and CEO of Stanton Healthcare—named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of course, an early suffragist.

So I highly recommend coming in and hearing about our theme.

Allen: And how can our listeners find out more about the march that’s happening in D.C. and then the state marches that are going to be taking place throughout this year?

Mancini: Well, follow us on all of our different mediums on social media, and check us out particularly on our website at marchforlife.org, and you can count down the hours, like you mentioned, Virginia, right at the beginning.

Allen: Yeah. Thank you so much, Jeanne. We just really appreciate your time.

Mancini: Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Dershowitz lays out a defense of Trump and more . . .

GUESTS AND TOPICS

ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI

Adam Andrzejewski CEO & Founder of OpenTheBooks.com the world’s largest private database of government spending. Adam is a senior contributor at Forbes Opinion and frequent radio and tv opinion commenter.

Topic: California’s High Tech Debacle

REAGAN MCCARTHY

Reagan McCarthy is the Web Editor at Townhall.com and an alumna of The Pennsylvania State University where she studied Political Science and Broadcast Journalism. While at Penn State Reagan served as the President of the Penn State College Republicans and the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans. Raegan’s articles have also been published by the Washington Examiner.

TOPIC: Court Throws Out Climate Change Lawsuit

ANN STONE

Ann Stone has worked in over 500 campaigns as everything from precinct worker to campaign manager. Most of her work has been in political organizing, public advocacy, communications, strategy and fundraising. In 1992 she was chosen as one of the Women Who Changed Politics in America by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. In 2012 she was named as one of the 21 Leaders for the Twenty First Century by Women’s eNews. Ann has appeared on numerous television programs ranging from Good Morning America, the Today Show, Nightline, Larry King, PBS News Hour, To The Contrary, a variety of shows on CNN to shows like Comedy Central, MTV and Politically Incorrect.

TOPIC: Alan Dershowitz lays out a defense of Trump

120 Members of Congress Send Letters of Support to Hamas-Linked Group

My latest in PJ Media:

You’d think that a group with multiple ties to the jihad terror group Hamas would be shunned by elected American representatives, and even more by law enforcement officials, except insofar as it was under investigation. You’d think wrong. The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday that despite the “more than 120 members of Congress privately issued letters of support to a controversial Islamic-American advocacy group known for its involvement in one of America’s most prominent terrorism financing cases.” And on Friday, the Daily Wire added that “in October, the Trump administration handed out $100,000 of taxpayer dollars to the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).”

You’d almost think that CAIR was a patriotic organization fighting against jihad terror. But of course virtually all members of Congress and federal bureaucrats in DHS wouldn’t be caught dead having anything to do with such a group. CAIR, on the other hand, “touted its support among congressional leaders during its 2019 gala conference in November in Washington, D.C.,” where the headliners included the notable flag-wavers Linda Sarsour and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Its agenda included “well over 100 letters from Democratic and Republican members of Congress, all of whom expressed their support for the controversial organization. Democrats issued the majority of the letters, with only two coming from Republican members of Congress.”

Those sending their good wishes to this sinister and unsavory organization included three presidential hopefuls, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Cherokee Nation) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Flying Binders), as well as Tom Steyer (D-Rich Guy with No Chance), along with stalwart Democratic pillars including Adam Schiff (D-Impeachment Railroad) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Hizballah).

There is much more. Read the rest here.

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RELATED VIDEO: Muslim cleric: “By means of caliphate…your conquest, oh Rome, is a matter of certainty. Allahu akbar!”

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Vortex — McCarrick Dead? An ‘anonymous’ source says so.

TRANSCRIPT

Is Theodore McCarrick dead? Church Militant yesterday received an anonymous letter with a New Jersey postmark on it stating just that.

First, here is the letter, in its entirety:

Church Militant
2840 Hilton Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220

Here is a tip of the day for you. You have been played for fools by the bishops of Florida and elsewhere. Theodore McCarrick died on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. You are trying to locate him! He is in a cemetery in Hays, KS. He is buried under a modified name.

All this happened with little or no notice from the media. This is news known to a few. Break it. Or disregard it altogether. You are wasting your time in Florida. Who did the funeral prayers? The most liberal bishop in the far southwest of the US, known for its fine weather… October 18. Some of us were there.

An involved reader

First, Church Militant receives all sorts of tips on all sorts of stories. Until we can verify them, we would never report them. And for the record, we are not reporting that McCarrick is dead and has been secretly buried in Hays, Kansas.

After thoroughly checking every possible angle and source on this we can report, it appears to be not true, even in the slightest. Some of the timeline in the letter doesn’t seem to correspond with on-the-record information.

For example, the Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas where McCarrick was last known to have lived reported to media that he had left around Christmas time on his own and that they are not responsible for tracking his whereabouts. Obviously he couldn’t have left at Christmas if he was already in a grave two months prior.

So the letter is wrong, or the friary is lying — but we’re not sure why the friary would lie.

Likewise, again after thorough vetting with various officials and funeral homes and cemeteries, and police and public records, and medical examiners, etc., nothing has been discovered by us that would suggest this letter has a shred of truth to it.

So why are we telling you about it?

A couple of reasons. First, to show how someone or someones might be trying to steer the McCarrick story from behind the scenes and influence coverage. Interest in this story is intense and intensifies every day that passes that the Vatican does not release its investigation.

McCarrick remains — to this day — an enigma, and no one in the hierarchy has come forward publicly to reveal what they know about his lifelong evils, in which many of them were participants.

It would be unthinkable that various members of the McCarrick inner circle would not want to know where he is in case he would come forward and spill the beans on them.

It’s safe to say that some would, in fact, prefer that he be dead and take his secrets to the grave. Others might even assist him to an early grave.

McCarrick was at the center of decades of crimes and cover-ups on a gigantic scale, and not a few prelates know that McCarrick knows.

The second reason we are telling you about this anonymous letter is the damage that this kind of news — if and when it begins to circulate — could inflict on McCarrick’s surviving victims.

Imagine for a moment that this homopredator had entrapped you in his snare for months or years. You are suffering the silent agony of his predation and are reminded of it even more pointedly now as news of his whereabouts and the Vatican’s delay keep making headlines.

There’s something a bit twisted about not feeling any sympathy for the survivors of this former cardinal who molested and abused countless boys and young men.

And there’s something further twisted about wanting to deliberately spread disinformation about one of the most closely followed stories in the Church — where loads of people have an intense interest in wanting the full truth to come out, and many others have an equally intense interest in keeping that truth from ever being revealed.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

New SF DA, Son of Terrorists, Fires Anti-Gang Prosecutors

Newly-installed San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin fired seven key felony prosecutors last Friday despite campaign promises to clean up violent crime in the city, according to Breitbart News.

“It should not come as a surprise to anybody that a newly-elected official would want to make staff changes,” said Boudin, who had run specifically against adding “gang enhancements” to prosecutions, arguing that they disproportionately affected minority defendants. He had also campaigned against prosecuting “quality-of-life” crimes such as public urination, and said he would “decriminalize” homelessness.

One of the fired attorneys said, “I think the impact on morale is going to be devastating.”

Boudin, the son of two Weather Underground terrorists, is a proud socialist who wants to imprison ICE agents and who claims that the American criminal justice system is utterly racist. In San Francisco, that makes you a shoo-in for public office.


Chesa Boudin

17 Known Connections

Boudin’s campaign for DA was vigorously endorsed by such notables as Angela DavisLinda SarsourBlack Lives Matter activist Shaun King, the radical Chicago District Attorney Kim Foxx, and Senator Bernie Sanders. When Boudin was elected in November 2019, Sanders tweeted: “Now is the moment to fundamentally transform our racist and broken criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration, the failed war on drugs and the criminalization of poverty. Congratulations @chesaboudin on your historic victory!”

Boudin says he is “proud” to identify openly as a socialist: “When we were kids, socialism was a bad word associated with dictatorships. What we’ve seen over the last five or so years, in large part thanks to Bernie Sanders and all the grassroots organizing that’s gone into making him a national political leader, is that socialism has become something that even mainstream progressives identify with. It means things like universal health care, quality public education for everyone, great housing for everyone.”

To learn more, click on the profile link here.


Search our constantly growing database of the left and its Agendas.


RELATED ARTICLE: San Francisco DA Touts Progressive Ambitions for Already Troubled City

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill

On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again.  Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  It is well known — even by the media — that in 2018 Bill Galvano orchestrated the creation and passage of the “Parkland Gun Control Bill.”  And, of course, it didn’t stop gun crime or criminals.  It only took away rights of law-abiding people.

So now, he’s back for more gun control and it appears likely that Bloomberg’s $500,000.00 “donation” to Senate President Bill Galvano is behind yet another Galvano gun control bill — SB-7028 – an admitted priority of Galvano.

All but one of the Republican Senators on the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee put Galvano’s wishes ahead of principle, the Constitution, their Oath of Office and YOU, their constituents, and voted for a gun control bill.

FORGET that some of them were not truthful with NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida about supporting the Second Amendment.  REMEMBER, they KNOW gun control doesn’t work.  They know that only law-abiding people obey the law and criminals don’t care what the law says.

When RINOs (Republican In Name Only) vote like Anti-gun Democrats, one has to wonder how many real Republicans are left in the Florida Senate.

If Senate Republicans, who vote for gun control, don’t care about compromising their own integrity, you have to wonder if they care about what they are doing to the character the Republican Party?

Michael Bloomberg is no friend to Republicans!  He’s running in the Democratic Primary for President of the US on an anti-gun platform. Why are Senate Republicans doing his bidding?

You can ask them:

Tom Lee            850-487-5020    Lee.Tom@flsenate.gov
Keith Perry        850-487-5008    Perry.Keith@flsenate.gov
Ed Hooper         850-487-5016    Hooper.Ed@flsenate.gov
Travis Hutson    850-487-5007    Hutson.Travis@flsente.gov

***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT***

The media is now reporting that House Speaker Jose Oliva and Governor Ron DeSantis are pushing back against this massive gun control bill.   Speaker Oliva and Governor DeSantis are to be commended for working to protect Second Amendment rights.  They KNOW gun control doesn’t stop crime or criminals.

BACKGROUND:

SB-7028 by the Committee on Infrastructure & Security is a gun control bill. Among other things, it contains a massive two-pronged “Universal” Background Check system that is the worst I have ever seen.

It is clearly meant to simply ban all private sales of firearms through red tape and fear.

This bill contains so much red tape and nonsense that there is almost no way a law-abiding person could comply.

The only thing we know for sure is that this bill will only stop law-abiding people from exercising a constitutional right and it will be completely ignored by criminals.

Voting in favor of this bill is like a doctor giving a patient an antibiotic for a virus.  The doctor knows an antibiotic won’t cure the illness but at least he can make people think he’s “doing something.”

Supporting a bill so you can say you’re doing something is “political eyewash.”

This bill is nothing less than GUN CONTROL ON STEROIDS.

Any person of SOUND MIND knows that only law-abiding people obey the law and that criminals don’t care what the law says.

Make no mistake, 4 Senators who claim to be Republicans voted for massive gun control:  Not to uphold their oath of office; not to protect and defend the Constitution; not to represent the rights of law-abiding gun owners in their districts.

The article below is reprinted with permission.

SENATE PANEL BACKS GUN CONTROL MEASURE

January 13, 2020
Dara Kam

TALLAHASSEE — Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, a Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.”

The proposal (SB 7028) is a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, as evidenced by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee’s consideration and passage of the measure the day before the 2020 legislative session begins.

The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” such as “a flea market, a gun show, or a firearm exhibit.”

The measure would also mandate that guns be securely stored in households and other places where minors under age 18 — up from the current threshold of 16 — could have access to the weapons.

The bill also would create a new section of law that would require guns to be stored to prevent access “by a person of unsound mind.”

And the proposal would impose new requirements for private gun sales. Under the measure, individuals who sell guns to other people would be required to fill out a form that would include the name, date of birth and identification information of the purchaser. The affidavit, which would include background questions aimed at ensuring the purchaser is eligible to buy a gun, would have to be notarized.

The measure contains “the worst universal background check language I have ever seen,” Marion Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist and a former president of the national gun-rights organization, told the Senate panel.

“It appears to be an actual attempt to ban private sales through red tape and fear,” she said.  “Asking average citizens to create what amounts to a government form and get it notarized is ridiculous.”

The legislation is “nothing less than gun control on steroids,” Hammer said.

But committee Chairman Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, said the legislation “just makes sense.”

The Senate’s proposal comes as mass shootings in Florida and throughout the nation continue to rise. At least 81 people have died in mass shootings scattered throughout Florida over the past three years.

In 2018, the Legislature for the first time in decades passed a handful of gun-control measures after a massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 students and faculty members and injured 17 others.

Lee, a former Senate president, said he empathized with gun owners who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.

“I know that you don’t see NRA members in the headlines of these mass shootings,” he told reporters following Monday’s meeting.  “But we have a job to do. We can’t just sit by idly while our children are killing children and pretend this isn’t happening.”

While the Senate measure is a Galvano priority, it lacks a companion measure in the House. Lee said House leaders are “well aware we’re working on this.”

“Frankly, a lot of this is going to happen president-to-speaker and work down from there. But they’re very well aware that this is a priority for the president,” he said.

PROMISE KEPT: President Trump signs landmark phase 1 deal with China

In a historic moment, President Donald J. Trump was joined today by the Vice Premier of China in the East Room of the White House. Together, they signed a new, fully enforceable trade agreement that rebalances this vital trade partnership while boosting American businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and innovators.

“From day one, my Administration has fought tirelessly to achieve a level playing field for the American worker,” President Trump said. Before he took office, Washington had long tolerated unfair trade practices that buoyed special interests while hurting U.S. working- and middle-class families.

President Trump: I’m putting the American people first!

“For years, politicians ran for office promising action to remedy these practices, only to do nothing but allow them to continue,” the President said this morning. “Unlike those who came before me, I kept my promise . . . Now, our efforts have yielded a transformative deal that will bring tremendous benefits to both countries.”

The new agreement makes good on a number of key promises to fix trade with China:

  • American-made products: To help rebalance the relationship, China has pledged to increase imports of American goods and services by at least $200 billion.
  • Agriculture purchases: As part of that commitment, China will be stocking up on goods from U.S. farmers—between $40 and $50 billion worth.
  • No more forced technology transfers: For the first time ever, China agreed to end its practice of forcing American companies to transfer their technology to Chinese companies as a condition for doing business there.
  • Fair currency practices: Beijing has agreed to stronger commitments on its practices regarding currency devaluations and exchange rates.

And that’s just phase one. The work on a phase-two deal is already underway.

“With this signing, we mark more than just an agreement. We mark a sea change in international trade. At long last, Americans have a government that puts them first at the negotiating table,” President Trump said.

A stronger America, of course, doesn’t come at the rest of the globe’s expense. On the contrary, when the United States is thriving, it makes the world a safer, more stable place. A better and fairer trade partnership with China will do much of the same.

Starting today, a new era of harmony, prosperity, and commerce officially begins.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds explains what this deal means for rural America

President Trump: China will be buying A LOT of these American goods

The Perpetual Intersectional Revolution Eats Its Own

In 2008, Democrats nominated for president a first-term U.S. senator with no serious legislative experience, Barack Obama. They nominated him over the long-championed, long-celebrated presumptive heir apparent to the Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton. Obama was, of course, the first black Democratic nominee, and he would be the first black president.

Yet in 2020, 12 years later, we have been informed by the media that Democrats are ensconced in racism anew. Why? First, because Democrats refused to activate in support of awkwardly robotic Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is black; second, because Democrats refused to activate in support of wild-eyed former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, who is Latino; and now because Democrats refused to activate in support of scenery-chewing Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who is black.

Democrats have been accused by the media of having ignored their initially diverse field in favor of old, white candidates (amusingly, the media only noticed that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was, indeed, an old white person when actual people of color were booted from the race).

It appears that the memory of Obama—not yet four years old—is not enough to insulate Democrats from charges of discrimination.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Then there’s Hollywood.

In 2014, African actress Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for her supporting role in “12 Years a Slave.” In 2018, director Greta Gerwig was nominated for a best director Oscar for “Lady Bird.” Yet this week, we found out that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had neglected—horror of horrors!— to nominate both Nyong’o, for her role in the extraordinarily overrated horror flick “Us,” and Gerwig, for her direction of “Little Women.”

These oversights, we were solemnly informed, evidenced the Academy’s deep-seated bias in favor of white men. Never mind that Cynthia Erivo was nominated for best actress for her role as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet.” Discrimination was alive and well in Hollywood.

It must be difficult to live in an environment in which every day is a perpetual test of one’s submission to the Woke Police. It must be difficult to know that no past act stands in favor of the accused—that each day must be lived fresh—and that all past omissions stand against the accused. But the intersectional revolution requires continual struggle, and continual sacrifice.

In Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” communist lackey Rubashov is jailed and charged—of what crime, it does not matter. The Soviet Union is purging members of the older generation, and Rubashov is told that he must confess in order to uphold the sanctity of his own cause. Eventually, Rubashov does exactly that.

“There is nothing for which one could die, if one died without having repented and unreconciled with the Party and the Movement,” Rubashov says in his confession. “Therefore, on the threshold of my last hour, I bend my knees to the country, to the masses and to the whole people.”

The choice between dying honestly, in repudiation of his own cause, was simply too much.

In the end, all revolutionaries will have to determine whether they, too, will bow before the cause—even if they go unjustly to the guillotine. Because there is one basic rule of radical revolutions: Those who are first to launch them are often just slightly delayed in feeling their wrath.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Ben Shapiro is host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of “Bullies.” He is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, and lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. Twitter: .

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.