VIDEO: Socially Distancing from Everyone but God

If God is trying to get people’s attention, a new Pew poll says He’s succeeding. Turns out, the coronavirus hasn’t just impacted people’s lives, it’s led to a growing outbreak of faith.

Almost everyone agrees that the pandemic is significantly changing how they act. They don’t feel comfortable in crowds, they avoid parties, and they’re trying to stay away from places like restaurants. But it’s what Americans are doing that’s getting a lot of attention. More than half — 55 percent — say they’ve prayed for the virus to end. Now, that shouldn’t surprise us in the faith community, but this new focus on the spiritual is broader than that. People who seldom or never pray (15 percent) are looking to God for answers.

Of course, the president’s coronavirus taskforce made this one of their first priorities — bowing their heads in a public photo that led to a media shellacking. Liberal fanatics like Bernie Sanders and others bashed the administration for trying to “pray the virus away.” But guess what? The majority of Americans agree, especially in times like this, we need to turn to the one true source of help — the Creator himself.

“I’m encouraged by it,” FRC’s David Closson said on “Washington Watch,” “but I’m also not surprised by it. Because what’s true on a national level is also true on a personal level. In our personal lives, when we go through a crisis — whether it’s the death of a loved one, an unexpected diagnosis, sudden loss of a job, whatever it is — it really causes us to reevaluate what matters in life. And I think that’s what a lot of Americans are doing right now. They have all this time on their hands that they didn’t expect to have as… they’re working from home and quarantining. And I think they have time now to wrestle with some of these big worldview questions that you and I talk about a lot, [like] who is God? What does it mean to have a relationship with him? What’s my purpose in life? What’s going to happen to me when I die? And my hope is that they’ll use this opportunity to read their Bibles like they have never done before [and] pray…”

Maybe, for more and more people, this social distancing is creating the extra time and space people need to draw closer to God. Including, as I shared with Fox News’s Shannon Bream, the church. So many congregations are taking this opportunity to think creatively and strategically about how they can spread the Good News — without spreading the virus along with it! Hear how in our conversation Wednesday night.

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


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The New York Times Blames Christians for Poor Coronavirus Response

The religious right is anti-science. The religious right supports Donald Trump, and he welcomes their support. Therefore, America is doing much worse in our fight with the coronavirus than we could be. If Trump had not chosen to ally himself with those anti-science Bible-thumpers, the whole world would be better off. So posits an op-ed by Katherine Stewart in the New York Times (3/27/20).

Stewart’s article is entitled, “The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science Is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response,” and the subtitle is “Trump’s response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of his ultraconservative religious allies.”

Stewart opines, “Donald Trump rose to power with the determined assistance of a movement that denies science, bashes government and prioritized loyalty over professional expertise. In the current crisis, we are all reaping what that movement has sown.”

I noticed one response to this NYT op-ed, where the author asked sarcastically, “[It must be] all those evangelical Christians running Communist China and lying to the global community, right?” And no one ever seems to notice the irony of those who claim Donald Trump is some sort of dictator yet want the federal government to have unlimited power in responding.

I will grant one point to Sullivan: It does not help that there are reports of a few mega-churches in the country that are defying the orders to not meet together in large groups lest we infect one another. But those irresponsible ministers are the exception, not the rule. Shame on those pastors who are disobeying the government’s commonsense orders during the pandemic. They are putting other people’s lives at risk.

But the vast majority of churches in the country are using the tools available to us to “meet” and “hold service” in virtual ways, through the internet.

What is the basis of Stewart’s claim that evangelicals are anti-science? In previous articles, I have demonstrated the indispensable role that Christianity played in the founding of modern science.

It seems that her biggest argument that Christians are supposedly anti-science has to do with climate change. Many Christians, and I am one of them, do not buy into the notion of man-made, catastrophic, global warming. Sullivan writes, “Today, the hard core of climate deniers is concentrated among people who identify as religiously conservative Republicans.”

And the problem is? “Climate change” is the left’s new religion. But it is fraught with all sorts of problems. Climategate, which has been so conveniently forgotten, provided ample evidence that some global warming alarmists were so convinced by their theory that they ignored evidence that was contrary to it—and, worse, they even fudged the raw data.

If Christians are accused of being anti-science because we don’t buy politicized science, then so be it.

Competitive Enterprise Institute compiled a number of different predictions by the expert scientists in the last few decades. They called this article: “Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions.”

For example, Al Gore once predicted that the polar ice cap may disappear by the summer of 2014. It’s still there. Despite one failed prophecy after the next, no one ever seems to hold these people accountable.

When I saw this blame-the-Christians article in the NYT, I turned to Volume II of Philip Schaff of Yale’s History of the Christian Church, written around the turn of the twentieth century.

The great historian describes the unwarranted suspicion and hostility toward Christianity on the part of the Caesars and the Roman people around 200 AD.

Schaff writes:

“The common people also, with their polytheistic ideas, abhorred the believers in the one God as atheists and enemies of the gods. They readily gave credit to the slanderous rumors of all sorts of abominations, even incest and cannibalism, practiced by the Christians at their religious assemblies and love-feasts, and regarded the frequent public calamities of that age as punishments justly inflicted by the angry gods for the disregard of their worship. In North Africa arose the proverb: ‘If God does not send rain, lay it to the Christians.’ At every inundation, or drought, or famine, or pestilence, the fanatical populace cried” ‘Away with the atheists! To the lions with the Christians!’” (p. 43).

The early Christians were called “atheists” because they did not believe in the pantheon of Roman gods. Whatever bad happened—including “pestilence” (and the coronavirus is a pestilence)—in their ignorance they scapegoated Christians.

President Trump has been working very hard to fight this pandemic and to cause private and public entities to partner together to fight the common enemy. If he welcomes divine help as well, what is wrong with that? So have virtually all our presidents.

Scapegoating the Christians because of this virus is an old and failed policy. Too bad the “newspaper of record” would resort to this old tactic.

© All rights reserved.

ISIS Discovers the Cure for Coronavirus: Jihad

Of course! What else could it possibly be? My latest in FrontPage:

Worried about the coronavirus? Don’t be. All you have to do to make sure you don’t contract the virus is blow yourself up in a crowd of infidels. Well, yes, but there’s always a catch, now, isn’t there?

This sage advice for a coronavirus cure comes from the thoughtful medical researchers of the Islamic State, aka ISIS. The latest edition of the jihad group’s al-Naba newsletter tells Muslims to wash their hands frequently and avoid traveling into Europe in order to avoid contracting the coronavirus, but somewhat contradicts itself in also noting that the best way to turn away “the torment and wrath” of Allah is to wage jihad.

The coronavirus, says ISIS, is a “plague” sent by Allah in order to give “painful torment” for non-believers. This is by no means a novel idea in Islam. The idea that Allah will punish the unrighteous in this world is in the Qur’an: “So if they repent, it is better for them; but if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And there will not be for them on earth any protector or helper.” (Qur’an 9:74) The obverse of the idea that Allah will punish the unrepentant in both this world and the next is that if one is righteous, one will prosper in this world as well as in the next.

With that idea likely in mind, ISIS states that “the Muslims should not pity the disbelievers and apostates, but should use the current opportunities to continue working to free Muslim prisoners from the camps in which they face subjugation and disease.” In doing this, they need not worry about the coronavirus: “They should also remember that obedience to God — the most beloved form of which is jihad — turns away the torment and wrath of God.”

The most righteous deed of all, the one that is most effective in turning away Allah’s “torment and wrath,” is jihad. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44)

So while ISIS tells Muslims that they should take sensible precautions against the coronavirus, it also tells them that committing acts of violence against unbelievers will protect them from the virus anyway. Meanwhile, the jihad group asks Allah to make the coronavirus even more lethal than it is already, so as to “increase their torment,” as well as to “save the believers from all that.”

Also, the Qur’an teaches that Allah will place a Muslim’s good deeds on one scale and bad deeds on the other, and send them to Paradise or hell depending on which scale weighs more. A Muslim who is worried about his eternal destiny can decisively tip the scales in his favor by waging jihad, the deed that is greater than all others. He can seize the Qur’an’s promise of Paradise for those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111).

Of course, if one is killed, the points about avoiding the coronavirus are rendered moot, especially in light of the fact that a hadith attributed to Muhammad accords martyr status to those who die in a plague: “There are seven types of martyrdom in addition to being killed in Allah’s cause: one who dies of plague is a martyr; one who is drowned is a martyr; one who dies of pleurisy is a martyr; one who dies of an internal complaint is a martyr; one who is burnt to death is a martyr; who one is killed by a building falling on him is a martyr; and a woman who dies while pregnant is a martyr. (Sunan Abi Dawud 3111)

Another hadith adds that Muslims should not flee an epidemic: “Narrated Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) I asked Allah’s Messenger about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3474)

The only difference, then, between dying in the midst of one’s own jihad massacre and dying from the coronavirus is that in the former, some infidels die as well. For ISIS, that is a big difference, and one worth telling Muslims to wash their hands before they set out to murder infidels.


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

PODCAST: ‘You Cry at the Window Knowing There’s Nothing You Can Do’

Staying home can be tough, but it’s nothing like the nightmare our health care workers are experiencing. For thousands of brave men and women across country, their office is no longer a hospital or ER — it’s a combat zone. “You spend hours in your [patient’s] room,” nurse Claudia Griffith wrote in an emotional post to the outside world, “gowned up head-to-toe, sweating and not able to breathe. Then you realize… this is it. I can’t save this patient anymore. You sit there and say your goodbyes while they pass without family or loved ones, because nobody is allowed in the hospital for everyone’s safety. You are their only contact and hope.” Nothing, she says soberly, can describe it.Even when they have a chance to sleep, the exhausted staff can’t. “My mind won’t shut off,” one New York City nurse tried to explain. She lays in bed and cries, her mind filled with the faces of patients she lost. The helplessness is brutal, Claudia admits. “You don’t even know how this virus works, but you watch as it kills your patient.” To anyone who hasn’t seen the suffering, she insists, it’s real. And she’s pleading with the country to act like it is. Stay inside, Claudia begs, “as if your life depended on it.”

Theirs already do. And if Americans can’t bring themselves to isolate for their own sakes, then they should do it for the medical teams risking everything. “Take it seriously,” Johns Hopkins’s Dr. Martin Makary told listeners on “Washington Watch, “and take it seriously for the sake of our most vulnerable.” Right now, “our number one at-risk group,” he explained, “the number one profession who is mostly likely to get this infection is health care workers. And what you do in your day-to-day life will actually impact the health of [those] workers you’ve never met.”

“Folks may be going outside right now, saying, ‘It’s a beautiful day… My kids are in the backyard playing. What’s the big deal? I don’t know anyone who’s dying that I’m friends with.'” But the big deal, he said somberly, is that “we’re gearing up for a tsunami that’s going to hit with a massive impact…” With projections topping 200,000 casualties now, Dr. Makary thinks the government was right to limit people’s movements through at the least the end of April. “We want our leaders to… give us spirit and hope. But the reality is, they are all closely following these numbers — not only in the preview that we’re seeing in some countries overseas like Spain, but also locally in New York City…”

The administration is doing the best it can to prepare for the worst. That’s no easy task, Dr. Makary explained, even with all of the metrics and experts they have. Because “when that peak happens, talk to any doctor or nurse. It’s going to be ugly. We are basically at full capacity in some U.S. hospitals with very little room to take care of people that come in from this point forward… We are on track right now to have hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more cases.”

So when can we expect that peak? “New York is about two weeks away,” Martin believes. “The rest of the United States is probably three to five weeks away depending on where you live. Now, one of the big concerns that many of us have is that some parts of the country were sort of slow to recognize that this is a real threat. Some places immediately took dramatic steps and others [went about] life as usual… even up until recently.” Those are the areas, experts believe, that may be hit hardest. Of course, a lot of things factor into that — like public transit and congestion. But the cities that have been in denial will pay, Dr. Makary warns, “because this infection is seeded everywhere in the United States. We need to abandon the idea that it’s somehow contained.”

Fortunately, there are still things you and your church can do to help. First, take the stay-at-home orders seriously. If not for you, then for someone on the front lines of the coronavirus war. Then, check out the creative ways you can meet the needs of the people in your community. Take a page from Midland, Texas and organize a car prayer chain or fill a truck with food for the hungry. See how you can get involved (from a safe distance!) on our special webpage,

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


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Netflix Series ‘Messiah’ Canceled after Charges of ‘Subtextual Anti-Islamic Sentiment’

“After the first season debuted in January, there were complaints that the series contained subtextual anti-Islamic sentiment…”

“Subtextual.” That means you won’t notice them unless you’re a paranoid Leftist or Muslim authoritarian who wants to use claims of victimhood to gain total control over the public discourse.

Would Netflix cancel a series over charges of “subtextual anti-Christian sentiment”? Not on your life.

“Messiah: Netflix series cancelled after allegations of anti-Islamic sentiment,” by Louis Chilton, Independent, March 29, 2020:

TV thriller Messiah has been cancelled by Netflix after just one season.

The series starred Michelle Monaghan as a CIA agent investigating an enigmatic figure known as Al-Masih, who builds a legion of followers after claiming to be sent to Earth by a higher power. In Islamic eschatology, Al-Masih ad-Dajjal is an evil figure comparable to the Antichrist – whose name translates to “the false messiah, liar, the deceiver” in Arabic.

One of the series’ stars, Wil Traval, confirmed on Instagram that the series would not be returning to the streaming service….

After the first season debuted in January, there were complaints that the series contained subtextual anti-Islamic sentiment, with the Royal Film Commission of Jordan (where parts of the series were shot), even calling on Netflix to ban the series from its country….

While the allegations of religious insensitivity may have played a part in the series’ cancellation, it has also been suggested that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made international filming schedules much harder to co-ordinate – which may be the key factor in the streaming service’s decision not to renew .


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

15 Religious Leaders Share How to Hope During the Pandemic

The coronavirus has drastically changed our world. But the uniqueness of this situation is that we are all facing the same thing together, while being apart.

The physical distance we are experiencing can be a great challenge. Schools, business, and churches have closed their doors for an indefinite period of time. But faith leaders from across America have a message of hope for you.

The Daily Signal asked a number of pastors, priests, and Christian leaders to share their insight on how we can all use this time of uncertainty well and how we can keep hope alive.

We hope that you are encouraged as you read the words of these faith leaders.

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 >>

Jason Peaks, associate pastor, NewSong Church, Vienna, Virginia

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

What shall we as Christians say amidst such difficulty and troubling times? How can we find hope and encouragement? The diverse voices of news and media are loud and contradictory and confusion abounds. We are consumed by hearing anyone and everyone’s opinion of what to do and how to think in the COVID-19 crisis. And yet the Psalmist describes an uncommon posture, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” Silence is undoubtedly a forgotten practice in this generation.

For many of us, silence is merely the act of not speaking; but the Desert Fathers, a collection of 3rd century monks, indicated silence was about listening to God. In our prayers, are we speaking more or listening more? What can be found in listening prayer? The Psalmist indicates hope and rest! The word hope in this verse means “cord, rope.” As we listen to God, we find He is throwing us a rope of hope to pull us into the future. If we embrace slowing down and stepping into silence with God, we will grow in our confidence of tomorrow’s reality and take hold of hope. Furthermore it is not just hope we find; we find God, the source of all hope, in our silence.

Fr. Theodore Trinko, National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

How can you use this time wisely?

In a culture which is accustomed to running 100 mph all day every day, the very idea of staying indoors for weeks or even months on end with limited interaction with those around us can be daunting to say the least. However, in the Catholic tradition, there have been individuals who have willingly withdrawn from the world to the solitude of the cloister for their entire lives. We call them monks and nuns; and we call their way of life, contemplative life. Considering what they do to “pass the time” can help many of us as we go through this time of unwilling withdrawal.

One central down-to-earth aspect of contemplative life is the schedule. In varying degrees, it regulates the activities of the monks or nuns living in a particular community so that they are always aware of what activity they ought to be dedicating themselves to.

It would be helpful to make a schedule for oneself and or one’s family. It need not be an all encompassing affair with every last minute planned out. But perhaps some key undertakings which we should be doing on a daily basis. If you are working from home, plan out what time you will begin, take breaks, and end the day’s work. What time of the day is your recreational time? What days will you go out to exercise or get some fresh air at a park or other natural environment? When will you wake up (actually wake up, and not begin to hit the snooze button)? These will help bring some order to a life which, under other circumstances, might be a little chaotic.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

Remember that God is in control! He is the Lord of history and Creator of everything which exists. There is nothing which escapes Him. Not a drop of rain falls nor a blade of grass buds without Him knowing it. His power and knowledge know no limit; and He has promised to use that omnipotence for us.

The very nature of God is love. And love always seeks the good of the other. So God, who loves us, isn’t even capable of doing evil to us. It’s against His nature. All things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

He is the Good Shepherd, our rock of refuge, a stronghold for us. Although we walk in the valley of darkness, he is at our side; so what have we to fear?

Even in the worst case, if we were to catch this coronavirus and die, so what? Is not death just a return to the House of the Father? We did not come into this world to stay forever any more than a person goes to a skyscraper to ride the elevator. Sooner or later we will leave it and, by His grace, go back to Him who made us. So trust in Him and “do not fear him (or that) which can kill the body.” (Matthew 10:28)

Hannah King, associate rector, Village Church, Greenville, South Carolina:

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

We do not like to feel powerless. And yet, situations like this help us come to terms with our limitations. We do not ultimately control the health and wellbeing of our loved ones, and we cannot fully predict the future of this virus or its impact on society. From a Christian perspective, there is an opportunity in this. When we come to the end of ourselves and our power, we encounter the mercy of God. We find permission to be afraid, dependent, and uncertain, because He is infinite, dependable and sure.

The Christian story allows us to access our vulnerability in the face of the unknown, but it also provides us with a source of true courage. Because God dignified humanity by taking on flesh in the person of Jesus, we can be confident that our physical bodies are of utmost importance to Him. And because God raised Jesus from the dead, we can be sure that our own suffering will not be the final word. He is the Lord of History, and He has already given Himself for the life of the world. We are now called to follow His example in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado:

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

The COVID-19 global pandemic has understandably elicited anxiety and uncertainty. We’re sailing in unchartered waters but our ship is neither rudderless nor without a desired destination in mind. God remains in full and complete control. For perspective, I’m reminded of the dire predicament the early Christian Church found itself in. At the time, plagues and disease indiscriminately ravaged populations. One of the deadliest pandemics occurred between AD 249 and 262, where up to 5,000 people in Rome died – per day. While many non-Christians concentrated on saving only themselves, it was the Christians who remained and served those who were suffering. They made a tremendous impact. In fact, some believe their heroism was rewarded in the form of building up personal immunity to the disease. That story reminds us that strife and struggle need not slow us down – nor impede the mission to keep working towards a more perfect union. We must model the courageous and sacrificial attitude of those who have preceded us.

Devon Earle, associate pastor at Fairlington United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia:

One Wednesday, a group of people from Fairlington United Methodist Church where I serve as the associate pastor, gathered together virtually for a short worship service, a time to check-in with each other, and for prayer. We began by each answering the question, “How is it with your spirit?” a Christian way of asking how each person is doing. Expected words like anxious and uncertain were shared, along with words and phrases like hopeful and “Reclaiming Hallelujah.”

As Christians, we are in a 40-day season called Lent, which spans from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lent invites us to focus on other periods of 40 days or years that appear in the Christian Bible. The 40 days and 40 nights that rain fell, flooding the earth, while Noah, his family, and many animals took refuge on the ark. The 40 years that the Israelites spent in the wilderness after fleeing from Egypt. The 40 days, Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by Satan. All periods of uncertainty which we can relate to during this year’s season of Lent that is plagued with fear and anxiety around COVID-19.

In each of these accounts, those floating with no sight of solid ground or wandering through barren land, persisted by trusting in God. These stories also give us people who we can relate to during this time of physical distancing; Noah, crammed into a small space with his family, the Israelites wandering through the unknown, Jesus all alone.

These stories also give me hope. Hope, in the way that each group made it through. Hope, in the way that the Israelites leaned on each other as a community, something that we have been invited to do as we learn to love each other well from a distance. Hope in Jesus whose beginning of ministry was marked by this time of trial and isolation.

This season of physical distancing and self-quarantine offers challenges that differ depending on our situations; teleworking and homeschooling children; loneliness from not physically being with others, practicing patience while spending more time than usual in small spaces with family.

This season also offers new opportunities. The common response, “sorry, I am too busy,” is taking a hiatus from most of our lives. Instead, we are invited to embrace slowing down.

My advice is to embrace this gift of time many of us have been given. Find ways to embrace community. I have been amazed by the opportunities via zoom to come together with members of our congregation I don’t normally get to spend this much time with because we are too busy with the tasks of our jobs, extracurricular activities, and to-do lists. I’ve enjoyed learning about the creative ways people are using this virtual gathering space for podcast studies, art lessons, storytimes, and coffee hours.

In scripture, it is often in the silence when we encounter God, so I also hope that during this stillness, people will find spiritual solace and ways to connect with something greater than themselves.

I have seen more people taking long walks, embracing new hobbies that involve creativity, calling and writing letters to loved ones, all ways to connect with something greater. I have also been encouraged by the way those in my faith community are sharing hope, using chalk to write encouraging messages on the sidewalk, taking time to clean streams, and finding ways to continue to volunteer and give to those who are most vulnerable, especially during this time.

Rev. Monsignor Charles Pope, Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Parish, Washington, D.C.:

How can you use this time wisely?

People often ask if this is a punishment from God. We cannot really know this or if it is just one of the aspects of living in a fallen world; in paradise lost. However, the people of biblical times always used these sorts of moments as a time to repent, reflect on the passing qualities of worldly glories and refocus on God as the true source of our blessings. Thus, for all of us we should humbly ponder that this life is filled with vicissitudes, with unpredictable things. It is not our foundation or ultimate hope, only God is.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

Go to God and say, “I am not in control.  Give me the humility to realize this and the paradoxical freedom and peace that comes from realizing that I am not in control, but you O Lord are in control.” I would also encourage them to pray, as St. Paul directs, to pray especially for those in authority that we may live in a peaceable and godly way.” (see 1 Tim 2:2)

Paul D. Wolfe, senior pastor, New Hope Presbyterian Church, Fairfax, Virginia:

How can you use this time wisely?

The old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In a variation on that theme, we might say, “One man’s wisdom is another man’s folly.” By that I mean, not that fundamental principles of right and wrong vary from one person to the next, but that the precise application of those principles in one person’s life and another’s will vary (to some degree, at least) depending upon their different circumstances, skills, responsibilities, needs, etc. (Which is what wisdom amounts to, after all.) For example, one person might spend time in the kitchen, preparing meals for those in need. Whereas, if I were to do that, with my, uh, dearth of kitchen acumen (ask my family), well, that wouldn’t be quite so much of a service. What that means is that we shouldn’t be judging ourselves in the mirror of everyone else’s Instagram and Facebook posts about how they’re spending this time. (Including the fact that they’re posting on Instagram and Facebook.)

Still, there are certain common principles that we can all come back to, and be guided by. Like, take care of yourself. Body and soul. And open your eyes to the needs of those around you. And keep in touch with those who are important to you. And don’t obsess over the current crisis, whichever your cable news network of preference happens to be. And look over the list you’ve been keeping (whether mental or written) of “things I’d do if I had more time”—because now it could be that you’ve got it.

Here’s one suggestion you might consider in the midst of COVID-19 in 2020: pick up an old book, or a book about something old, and start reading, and find your gaze lifted from our current moment. Yes, I’m reading the news these days (in print and online), and I’m looking over friends’ Facebook posts. But I’m also reading the Bible, and I’m also reading David Howarth’s brilliant little history of the Battle of Hastings (1066: The Year of the Conquest). Why? Because it’s a great book, that’s why. (I mean, Viking warships and Norman knights. What’s not to love?) And even a brief glimpse each day of the eleventh century helps me to put this century, this year, this day—and yes, even this virus—in perspective. And as for the Bible, well, that gives me more than perspective. It gives me Truth.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

This one turns, it seems to me, on that million-dollar word “hope.” If hope is just a pious-sounding word for future-oriented desires—I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow; I hope the economy rebounds quickly; I hope [Univeristy of Virginia] wins the men’s basketball championship again next year (which desire is the height of true piety, by the way)—then people have hope in uncertain times by merely clinging to the possibility that tomorrow will be better than today. Or at least, not so bad. And that possibility might be realized. But, alas, it might not be. (Let’s face it: every time, and not just our current time, is a time of uncertainty. We’re just acutely aware of it now.)

From a biblical perspective, however, hope is more than the thought that our earthly fortunes might improve. Instead, hope is the rock-solid conviction that the God who is Maker and Redeemer will certainly hold on to his children throughout this life, and then welcome them into his presence at the end of this life, and then usher in a new world when this present age draws to a close. That’s the stuff of real hope and hopefulness. Not maybe-s and might-be-s and possibly-s, but certainly-s and definitely-s and bank-your whole-life-on-it-s. The Bible calls that hope “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” And the Christian can say that he has that hope by faith in Jesus Christ.

Now, it’s perfectly natural to desire for brighter tomorrows (no rain, better economy, UVa wins again, and again, and again, etc.). And it’s right to work toward those ends. Which is why it’s right for us, right now, as a nation, made up of communities, made up of families, made up of individuals, to work and work hard, and think and think hard, about how to navigate this current fearful crisis. And not only that, but we ought to be grateful for the wisdom and determination and compassion (those most precious national resources) that we can draw upon to do just that. But if we’re going to talk about real hope, then we’ve got to have something deep and steadfast that underlies all of our skills and successes—and which comforts us in our flaws and failures too. And in the gospel of Jesus Christ, that something is there to be had.

Dr. Wayne Braudrick, lead pastor, Frisco Bible Church, Frisco, Texas  and teacher, All The Difference

How can you use this time wisely?

Made in the image of the caring Creator, humans are fulfilled when caring creatively. Nearly every note from a Christian embodies this reality. For example, one young married couple wrote, ‘We have time and want to help with the body’s needs. We also have saved some money, so let us know if that is needed.’ To focus this creative caring, we chose three main avenues where our congregation can be most effective. These are based on existing ministry relationships and address real needs in our community. Every church and community are different, but the concept is universal. In our case, we are channeling our members to serve lunches for displaced school students, run errands for those shut in, and drive for our county’s Meals on Wheels. Of course, we also encourage prayer for our efforts to bring light to darkness. Last week we saw three people trust Jesus as Savior during our livestream worship, and many others of our neighbors turned to our church for encouragement.

Jesse Johnson, pastor of Immanuel Bible Church, Springfield, Virginia

How can you use this time wisely?

Church may be closed, but the work of the church has never been in the building though professionals—it has always been Christians loving the Lord above all else, and their neighbors above themselves.  Jesus commands believers to make the most of their time, because the days are fleeting. We make the most of our time by working with integrity at our jobs (even when our boss can’t see us), and using our increased free time to love our neighbors. Be intentional about emailing or messaging friends. Start a prayer group through Zoom. Take five or six friends, and read a book like Ephesians every day for two weeks. Talk every day about what you are learning and how it affects your worship. While churches are closed, encourage one another to godliness as much as you are able.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

People are by nature anxious. The Bible refers to us as sheep—we are skittish and easily frightened under the best of circumstances, to say nothing of the natural response of fear in the face of a global pandemic. But the analogy of sheep goes beyond our own frailty and points us to the nature of our shepherd. Sheep are calmed by the strong presence of a shepherd, whom they assume is in control, leading them to food, and warding off danger. For people, the only true source of hope comes from looking to our true shepherd. Christians understand that God is sovereign and in control of all things, and that all things includes disease and death. We also understand that God is not detached and ruling from a distance, but rather is immanent, at hand. He is near to the broken hearted, he comforts the afflicted through his word, and he leads us through a dark world for our good and his glory. We find hope during this time by remembering that God is in control, and that he is a shepherd who loves us and cares for us.

It’s no coincidence that in his incarnation, the Son of God comes to us as a shepherd. He describes himself as a good shepherd, who lays his life down for his sheep. By God coming to us in the person of Jesus, who was crucified and resurrected, we too can have hope through trials because we know that our shepherd is with us, and he has already died for us, and he still lives to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.

Stephen Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College, Orlando, Florida and chief academic officer,  Ligonier Ministries:

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

Jerome was a brilliant scholar, but he spent the last year of his life living in a cave outside Bethlehem, convinced the world was coming to an end. That was in A.D. 420. The Visigoths had sacked Rome. Jerome despaired, “The World sinks into ruin!” Then he retreated to his cave and he died. When things felt out of control to him, he lost control, hid out, and gave up.

Augustine responded rather differently. He realized that God is in control of all things, and that realization gave Augustine confidence to stand strong, to love God and to love [his] neighbor. He put his trust in God. It must be noted, however, that it was an active faith. Augustine orchestrated the last defense of Hippo, his city, as he lay dying and as the barbarians were at the gates. This tale of two ancient Christians can offer much instruction to us facing uncertainty and upheaval in this moment. Even as we practice appropriate social distancing—which is perhaps a way we can love our neighbor—we need not despair, not give up, not declare that all is in ruins. Instead, we can face this uncertainty with confidence and action.

This is adapted from Nichols’ book, “A Time for Confidence.

Larry Taylor, president and CEO of the Association of Christian Schools International, Colorado Springs, Colorado:

You know as we heed the sound wisdom and advice of our local health and medical officials to distance ourselves and take all the other precautions, sometimes even to quarantine ourselves, may we never quarantine our faith.

What an opportunity we have to let our light shine at this time. You know there are many children in our local public schools, private and Christian, who rely heavily on this time for the school to provide food. We can help with this. There are many local food pantries that are being stretched at this time and are having a hard time keeping up with demand. We can help with this. There are so many other ways that we can let our light shine and to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ. … let’s look beyond ourselves. What an opportunity we have to be the aroma of Christ. As it says in 2 Corinthians 2:15.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Florida:

o   “We do not fear because we serve the Creator and our Redeemer. “Fear not, little flock.”

o   We will not add to the panic.

o   We will speak peace to all we encounter.

o   We will minister to the world the Light of the world.

o   We will be the church that Jesus called us to be and run to, not from, danger to save souls.

o   We will remember that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church.

o   We will pray that this virus is crushed.

o   We will pray for our elected leaders for wisdom.

o   We will spend more time in the Word of God than we spend chasing media stories.”

Louis Brown Jr., executive director, Christ Medicus Foundation, Troy, Michigan:

How can you use this time wisely?

Above all, I believe folks should use this time to be more centered on Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him. Where the suffering from this pandemic can cause despair, anxiety or panic, it is vital to pray especially for others who are sick and suffering, to take time to meditate and contemplate God, to do spiritual reading, and to regularly connect with our spiritual community by phone, video call, or social media. On a case-by-case basis and being sure to obey federal, state, and local laws and guidance, such as taking appropriate precautions like social/physical distancing, it could be appropriate to spend time alone with God in church to receive His light and wisdom and love during this time of crisis. In doing these things, we become grounded in the one foundation that is eternal. Being spiritually centered in God is not something that should be thrown out in times of challenge. Right now, being centered in God is the one thing we absolutely must do because it is the only true anchor we have. I have personally benefited greatly from watching live the celebration of the Holy Mass the last few days, viewing a brief talk on the spiritual realities of this moment from renowned theologian Dr. Ralph Martin of Renewal Ministries, and listening to the podcast of Father Mike Schmitz of Ascension Presents. We should all take advantage of these kinds of opportunities online for spiritual growth.

From this place of spiritual strength, we should then use this time to support our families, friends, and work colleagues (past or present).  Many of us are effectively sheltering in place or self-quarantining at home consistent with the guidance of our government and public health officials. However, we can still give the gift of a kind of ‘virtual’ accompaniment to family and friends through phone calls, text messages, facetime, and video chat etc. The gift of life is a glorious gift of God and simultaneously includes incredible joys and incredible suffering. During this time many of us are reminded, often painfully, that this side of life will indeed end and that one day we will stand before God. This reality can drive us to turn our hearts more fully toward God who is ultimately the fulfillment of all our desires as Dr. Ralph Martin says. While we have an opportunity to renew and deepen our relationship with God, we also have an opportunity to call friends and family to ask forgiveness from those we have hurt and who have hurt us.

Finally, I think it is vital that we ask God prayerfully how we can combat this virus and aid our local community, the state we live in, and even the country in our professional work.  If we previously worked as caregivers or health care professionals, is there some way we can contribute? If we are business entrepreneurs or executives, is there a service or resource we can provide to directly or indirectly combat this pandemic and serve those suffering either because of their medical condition or because of unemployment? If we work as teachers, social workers, or counselors, is there some way we can support parents in our community who may be working as first responders or medical professionals and are struggling to meet the demands of their job and of their family?

I believe we must all ask how we can use our prayer life, our personal lives, and our professional lives to serve God and our neighbor. And then, after listening, we must decisively act.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

This pandemic reminds us that on this side of heaven, all is passing away and only God remains. And yet, God is love, beauty, truth and freedom itself. God is the one power that gives us the courage to be signs of hope and love for those around us. Even in this time of uncertainty, as many of us are stripped of great gifts in our lives, we suffer greatly but we also realize there is only one thing we truly need: the love of God. In this realization, we discover a new freedom and a liberation that cannot be taken away. We discover that the deepest desire of our hearts is to love God and neighbor. As so many individuals across the country are risking their lives, especially first responders and medical professionals, we see the truth of the human heart’s overwhelming desire to love and give oneself over for the good of the other. During this time, as we realize that love is really all we need, we find our hope and we find our peace. If we keep faith, we know that whatever may happen, love Himself awaits us on the other side.

David Stevens, CEO – emeritus of Christian Medical & Dental Associations

I wish coronavirus was my first epidemic. As a medical missionary and a relief team leader in war zones around the world I’ve risked my life trying to save lives in more epidemics than I can count. There is nothing special about that. It has been the normal Christian life throughout history. Christians don’t run from a crisis. They run to them.

My anchor when there were two or three patients to a bed, little personal protective equipment, inadequate treatment options and not enough trained staff has been 2 Timothy 1:6, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I prayed God would give me as sound mind with wisdom to protect those not ill and to treat those that are knowing that I could only treat, Jesus heals. I would pray that God’s love and compassion would be evident in me. Patients need to know I cared even when I might not be able to cure. As Jesus demonstrated, compassion is the best medicine. Most importantly, I didn’t need to fear because God was with me. I had given myself completely to Him and because of that He provided a “peace that passed all understanding.”

I learned that God does his best work in and through me the midst of crisis. He can do the same for you. Remember, faith is a spiritual muscle. It only gets stronger when you exercise it.

Gavin Brand, assistant pastor, City Church Presbyterian, Baltimore, Maryland:

How can we use this time wisely?

Perhaps the best use of time right now is, as Jesus said, to love one another. In times like these, words like his come alive to us. Love requires more of us than we are want to give. Love often takes more from us than we expect. Love also heals something in us we often didn’t know was broken. For these reasons, we should practice love right now so that when there comes a time when it requires of us more than we want to give, we are ready to give more than is required and, at the same time, are ready to be healed in a place we didn’t know we needed. The best thing we can do right now is practice giving and receiving love.

How do we have hope in times of uncertainty?

In times of uncertainty we need a hope that is unshakeable. All the things we have been putting our hope in, be it a growing economy, longer life expectancy, or increasing personal freedom and self-understanding, are suddenly revealed as a glass castle. What we need is an unshakable hope.

Surprisingly for some, this hope is offered to us in the person of Jesus. Even if one does not believe in Jesus, the message that God loves the world enough to send his only Son to conquer death and offer us eternal bodily existence in a world of love called Heaven, suggests that, despite the worst of circumstances, our future is incredibly bright. If we believe this message to be true, we have a hope greater than death. Jesus’ own hopeless life (he came to earth to die) offers us a death conquering hope. That is exactly what we need right now.


Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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!


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

ISRAEL: Back from the brink!

The false façade of Blue & White was even more friable and fragile than anyone imagined; under the assault of recalcitrant reality, even the fast-drying Bibiphobic glue proved unable to hold things together.

Just over a year ago, immediately after the announcement of the union between Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, and the establishment of the Blue & White party (Feb. 21, 2019), I published a column, entitled: Gantz-Lapid’s directionless ad hoc political concoction (Feb. 22, 2019).

Perverse political entity

In it, I predicted that “… it is not easy to envisage great cohesion and sense of purpose in the party ranks regarding multiple issues that are bound to arise after the elections–whether in the security, diplomatic or socio-economic spheres—and whether the Blue & Whites find themselves in government or opposition.” 

This of course, was not really a difficult conclusion to draw. Indeed, any mediocre political scientist, with a minimal grasp of the fundamentals of his professional discipline, should not have had any problem arriving at it. After all, as I pointed out, even a cursory “glance at the composition of the Blue & White list reveals it to be a highly anomalous—the less charitable might say “perverse”— political entity”.

Indeed, rather than being a body that “coalesced around some ideo-intellectual credo or consensus—however remote—on some socio-political or strategic agenda, there is now little doubt that the centripetal forces that brought Blue & White’s disparate components together, comprised little more than an anti-Netanyahu sentiment: Some bear him a grudge because of a past affront they felt he had inflicted on them; others appear to harbor an aversion to him, on a personal basis rather than due to any substantive disagreement over policy.

Thus, within the “same political framework, we find a Labor Union leader alongside a champion of free market competition; hardline hawks as well as left-leaning doves….”

Zionism poised on a knife edge.

As it turns out, the false façade of Blue & White was even more friable and fragile than I thought it to be. For it cracked and crumbled even before any substantive decisions on security or socio-economic policy were called for. Indeed, under the assault of recalcitrant reality, even the fast-drying Bibiphobic glue proved unable to hold things together.

Thus, on Thursday (March 27, 2020), barely thirteen months after its inception, and the great fanfare and Bibiphobic hope that accompanied it, Blue & White ceased to exist as a serious competitor to the Likud. Benny Gantz threw his political lot in with a Netanyahu-led Right-wing coalition.

But until that dramatic and unexpected moment, it would be little exaggeration to say that the entire Zionist endeavor was poised on a knife edge. Indeed, it appeared increasingly likely that the Blue & White leadership was prepared to undertake precisely what it solemnly undertook not to—in repeated pledges to the electorate.

For, there seemed little doubt that the party had crossed the psychological and ideological Rubicon and was prepared to provide the anti-Zionist, dominantly Arab Joint List unprecedented access to positions of governmental power and influence in charting the future of the Jewish nation-state—in ways hitherto unimaginable.

“Disgraceful decision”

Thus, last Tuesday (March 24, 2020), the Joint List was assigned chairmanship of the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, the  responsibilities of which include a number of security-related matters pertaining to the handling of wounded IDF veterans and victims of terrorism.

The decision to establish the committee was made by the Knesset Arrangements Committee, which was chaired by Blue & White.

In recent years, the committee has overseen the regulation of compensation for wounded Israeli soldiers and veterans, as well as medical and income benefits for soldiers, members of the Israel Police and the Israel Prison Service. The committee also oversees pension funds and savings plans for government institutions, into which the pension funds of everyone who serves in the IDF and Israel’s other security branches are deposited.

The committee also has the authority to revoke the National Insurance benefits and other stipends of convicted terrorists and their families.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision to entrust the work of the committee to representatives of the Joint List, which opposes Israel being defined as a Jewish state and whose members openly identify with its most vehement enemies, a “disgrace.”

“…female soldiers not my issue.”

Making the appointment even more outlandish was the fact that the person selected to head the committee was Joint List MK Aida Touma Suleiman, who not only publicly called for the “Law of Return” to be revoked, but prescribed that the way to reduce Jewish victims of Arab terror would be for Jews to leave their ancient home land—apparently unmindful of how “splendidly” that formula worked in Gaza…Indeed, Suleiman even had the gall to accuse the late Ari Fuld of “executing” his Arab assailant–who fatally stabbed him in the back—when, despite his wounds, managed to shoot his attacker preventing any further victims.

Just what might be expected from Suleiman as the newly appointed chair, can be inferred from her past conduct as chair of the less influential Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Gender Equality, where she refused to allow a debate on the issues facing female IDF soldiers.

Her “reasoning” for this was, according to Suleiman: “I didn’t serve in the military, there’s no one in my vicinity who is serving in the military, I don’t know what the problems are there and it’s not on my agenda…The issue of female soldiers is not my issue.

Of course, none of this was unknown to the folks at Blue & White. However, undeterred, they proceeded to appoint Suleiman to the Chair of the influential committee.

Near metamorphosis: From Blue & White to Red & Green

But it is not only the radical views of some of the Joint List MKs that makes Blue & White’s near affiliation with the Red & Green (Leftist-Islamist) alliance of Joint List so puzzling and perverse.

Indeed, as a collective political faction, the official party platform of the Joint List not only blatantly violates the conditions for participation in Knesset elections, as set out in Clause 7A of the Basic Law: The Knesset; but if anything it violates—to an even greater degree—Blue & White’s professed Zionist credentials.

Thus, in Article 1 in the platform, under “Fundamental Principles”, we learn that the Joint List supports (among other things) (a) Israel relinquishing the Golan Heights, (b)  the Right of Return; (c) uprooting all the Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria; and (d) the division of Jerusalem. It reads: “The Joint List will fight for a just peace in the region, based on the United Nations’ resolutions, and calling for: an end the occupation of all territories conquered in 1967; the dismantling of all Israeli settlements and the racist separation fence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; the release of all political prisoners; the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem; and finding a just solution for the problem of the Palestinian refugees which assures the right of return in accordance with [the] UN General Assembly Resolution 194.”

From Blue & White to Red & Green (cont.)

In Article 2, The Joint List clearly rejects Israel as the nation state of the Jews:

“The Joint List will fight for full national and civic equality for the Arab-Palestinian public in Israel as a native minority with collective and individual rights. The list will demand recognition of the Arab public as a national minority with the right to self-administration in the fields of culture, education, and religion, as part of the Arab-Palestinian people and the Arab nation. [emphasis added – MS.]”But the Joint List not only rejects the Jewish character of Israel, it also opposes any effort on the part of the Arab sector to contribute to it defense. Thus, Article 2 continues: “[The Joint List] will fight to annul compulsory military service for the Arab-Druze community, and against all programs of military recruitment and national service for young Arab people…”

Yet, astonishingly, despite all this, Blue & White MK Moshe (Bogey) Ya’alon, former IDF Chief-of-Staff, and ostensibly the leader of the hawkish faction in the party, came out with the staggering post-election declaration:

The election results put us in the position of choosing which election promise to break. In this situation, removing Netanyahu is the main goal. We have no choice but to rely on the Joint List.”

Strange political bedfellows

Indeed, arguably, one of the saddest spectacles in Israel’s political theater today is the unravelling of Yaalon’s public image.

Driven by a sense of personal affront at the hands of Benjamin Netanyahu, who due to coalition exigencies, replaced him as Defense Minister with Avigdor Liberman, offering him the Foreign Affairs portfolio (which he refused), Yaalon has descended into mire of petulant pique and pettiness, coupled with a vicious vindictiveness–that has lost him the esteem of many who once held him in highest regard.

Indeed, today Ya’alon is so infused with a desire to inflict vengeance on Netanyahu that he would rather to collaborate with the anti-Zionist “Red-Green” Joint List, than support a unity government headed by Netanyahu—including a rotation arrangement with his hitherto colleague, Benny Gantz.

Thus, although Netanyahu has guided Israel for over a decade through stormy seas, notching up numerous noteworthy (even remarkable) achievements, Ya’alon apparently sees his continued incumbency as a greater danger to the Jewish state than the Joint List, a faction openly committed to dismantling Israel as a Jewish state.  Moreover, some of the Joint List members, such as Mansour Abbas, publicly call for introducing Sharia law in Israel, permitting polygamy for its Muslim citizens and lifting the quarantine on the Hamas ruled Gaza—see also here.

They and Ya’alon certainly make strange—indeed, bizarre—political bedfellows.

The perils—and curse—of “baseless hatred”

Watching the emergence of these astounding political developments, one is inexorably drawn to the words of the Babylonian Talmud, (Yoma 9:B) on the gravity of the perils—and the curse—of baseless hatred among the Jewish people:

Why was the First Temple destroyed? Because of three things which prevailed there: idolatry, illicit sexual relations, bloodshed… But why was the Second Temple destroyed, seeing that in its time they occupied themselves with Torah, mitzvot [religious observance] and acts of charity? Because baseless hatred prevailed. This teaches you that baseless hatred is equal to the three sins of idolatry, illicit sexual relations and murder.

There seems little more to add.

© All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Coronavirus and Anti-Semitism

While the world is dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, some see it as an opportunity to attack Israel with lies and anti-Semitic slurs.

Watch BDS activists and white supremacists share shockingly similar conspiracy theories about the global crisis, including that Israel and Jews are behind or are exploiting the virus. Meanwhile, Israel is working hand-in-hand with Palestinians to combat the virus!


Have you seen any other examples of this? Share your answers in a comment on Twitter

Watch the video on Twitter 

Watch the video on Facebook  

Watch the video on Youtube


Coronavirus Delivers Another Devastating Blow to the Iranian Regime

Coronavirus, God, and Science

EDITORS NOTE: This Canary  Mission video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

New York Imam Finds the Key: Coronavirus Comes from Women Showing Too Much Ankle

My latest in PJ Media:

Amid all the controversy over where the coronavirus comes from (don’t you dare call it the “Chinese Virus,” a la “Spanish Flu,” that would be racist, and to be racist is worse than the virus itself) and what should be done about it, a Muslim cleric in Syracuse, NY., has found the key; thousands of people are being infected, many are dying, and America is teetering on the edge of economic collapse because American women are showing too much ankle.

Don’t laugh. Laughing would be “Islamophobic,” and Khadar Bin Muhammad, the imam of the Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah in Syracuse, is not making a joke. In a video [below] posted on YouTube last week and reposted by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the learned imam explains it all for us. Offering us a revelation that the Center for Disease Control and everyone else who is working on the coronavirus crisis have overlooked, the imam explained that “safety comes through tauhid,” that is, Islam’s concept of monotheism. So if you don’t want to contract the coronavirus, turn to Allah. Khadar Bin Muhammad says: “Every destruction and every harm comes through shirk” – that is, having other gods besides Allah – “and through worshipping other than Allah, believing in other than Allah, and thinking that [anything] other than Allah can harm you or have an effect on you. All harm comes through that. That is why you see the kuffar [infidels] are the scaredest people.”

The infidels aren’t just scared when they should be trusting in Allah. They are also the cause of all the trouble in the first place – specifically infidel women. According to Khadar Bin Muhammad, the coronavirus is a manifestation of Allah’s wrath against their outrageous immodesty. “How many women do we see,” he asked, “may Allah guide them and protect them, who walk around and show their ankles? Is this not part of her awra [private parts]?”

Yes, that’s right. Khadar Bin Muhammad said that women’s ankles were part of her private parts. As strange as it may seem, this is not an eccentric view in Islam. A hadith depicts Muhammad saying to a woman, “‘O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this,’ and he pointed to her face and hands” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4092).

Many Muslims believe that by saying this, Muhammad proclaimed every part of a woman except her face and hands to be her private parts, never to be seen in public.

There is much more. Read the rest here.


Former UK PM Accused of Letting Muslim Rape Gangs Roam Free in Exchange for Saudi Money

Yemen: Amid coronavirus crisis, Islamic court sentences Baha’i to death for being Baha’i

Muslim cleric in Gaza says coronavirus is soldier of Allah, “Muslims are the people who are least infected”

Israel: Muslims throw firebombs at minibus carrying Jews

India: 12 Muslims found hiding in mosques to avoid coronavirus restrictions

Afghanistan: Taliban shoot and kill woman who was accused of adultery

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

Apocalyptic Fear and Authentic Faith

Just four days after going under coronavirus shutdown, Magna, Utah, was at the epicenter of a 5.7 earthquake on March 18. Greg Schulz, a Magna municipal administrator quipped, “I have a standing order: if we have another Horseman of the Apocalypse ride over the hill, I’m shooting him.”

A sense of humor can be a potent antidote to what ails us. A sense of the sacred can also help.

Heightened uncertainty, anxiety, and fear abound during this global pandemic. There is only so much comfort that can be obtained from an ample supply of food, water, toilet paper, and online entertainment.

With all due respect to Netflix and Disney+, creature comforts fail to fill all the holes in our souls.

Religious gatherings often bring a sense of peace and safety, but in this case religious gatherings can spread the very virus everyone hopes they and their loved ones will avoid. Whether you believe that houses of worship should remain open during this trying time, or that they should close, our research has found that meaningful religious practice at home is both possible and beautiful.

Those for whom regular attendance at religious gatherings is a meaningful part of life may find that the peace, joy, and fellowship typically obtained at religious services is an especially acute vacancy or loss. Many find that gathering with fellow adherents to sing, pray, worship, and celebrate is a meaningful contribution to mental and social health—that also serves as a source for help regarding problems and concerns, including COVID-19.

During COVID spring, we all are facing a powerful invisible enemy that strikes without regard, except that it seems that it preys on some of our most vulnerable.

One counter to this invisible enemy is faith. Indeed, there now exists a large and growing body of empirical evidence that has demonstrated that faith in God and meaningful engagement in a faith community both provide tangible, measurable benefits to mental, relational, and physical health—including years of longevity.

For nearly 20 years, as part of the American Families of Faith project, we have been fortunate to hear the stories of more than 600 Americans who take their faith seriously. Those we have interviewed are from 33 states, and more than 20 denominations of Abrahamic faiths (Christian, Jewish, Muslim). About half are from racial or ethnic minorities and nearly 20 percent are first generation Americans. Many described home-based religious practices that were profoundly meaningful to them during very difficult times.

A large body of research has shown that meaningful rituals help individuals and families cope with stress, change, and anxiety. Recent studies show that a healthy combination of regular religious practice and functional family relationships may be ideal.

The diverse families of faith we have interviewed practiced a wide range of religious rituals and activities at home. These practices reportedly deepened their faith in God and strengthened their sense of connection with their family members. Such patterns of home-based worship take on pointed relevance in our current COVID-19 context where houses of worship have been closed.

Some practices reported by the families we have interviewed may provide inspiration or spark ideas for home-based worship. We have been inspired by many specific examples including Catholic families praying the Rosary, Novenas, or other prayers; or Evangelical Christian families holding Bible study (sometimes combined with Christian rock jam sessions).

We think of observant Jewish families who reverently welcome in the Shabbat (Sabbath) together each Friday evening—and share a familial experience one Jewish mother described as helping you “feel a connection across generations.”

We think of a Muslim father who calls his family for salat (prayer), telling them that it is time to “turn off the TV” in order to turn to the sacred.

We think of a teenage Latter-day Saint daughter who told us that her family’s ritual of doing weekly Family Home Evenings “brings you away from all of the stuff of the world” and “gives you a chance to realize that they’re your family.”

Prayer, studying scripture, singing hymns, lighting candles, discussing spiritual topics, storytelling, a shared meal—all of these can be elements of family worship. And service to others in the human family comprises yet another form of family worship.

One of the more memorable accounts shared with us during our interviews was from a Mainline Protestant who explained that her husband and son go each Saturday morning to serve together at a local soup kitchen.

Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique service opportunity for many of us, regardless of faith, to similarly reach out to provide shopping assistance and food provision for the elderly and needy within our circle of influence. (See and “Meals on Wheels” for local opportunities).

Further, a number of parents that we interviewed mentioned the importance of being authentic in their faith. This includes building authentically warm relationships with family members and acting in authentic ways while engaging in family religious practices such as family prayer that reportedly builds feelings of unity and love.

In the fight against the coronavirus, small actions such as wisely washing hands and surfaces well and often can make a big difference. Likewise, in bringing the benefits of a faithful family home, small means can bring about great things. Significant blessings and benefits can occur from small but sincere actions such as gathering regularly for prayer; spending just a few minutes reading from and discussing sacred texts each day; listening to each other’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns with an open mind and a compassionate heart; and serving others.

In the present extremities, we have an unprecedented opportunity to draw closer and to literally come home to faith and family.

And, if you happen to see another Horseman of the Apocalypse, fear not, he is probably just looking for some toilet paper.


David Dollahite and Loren Marks

David C. Dollahite, PhD, is Camilla Eyring Kimball Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University and co-director of the American Families of Faith project. Loren D. Marks, PhD, is Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University and co-director of the American Families of Faith project.

Their views are their own.


Coronavirus reading: ‘The Demon in Democracy’

Give credit where credit’s due: the Christian background to China’s best hospitals

Coronavirus reading: A fresh look at World War II

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

Doing Nothing is Doing Something

Helen Freeh on COVID-19 and us: Genesis has a beautiful line in which Joseph says to his brothers, “you meant it for evil but God has turned it to good.”

In the face of an assault, natural disaster, or act of war, humans have an overwhelming desire to do something.  Here in Nebraska, we suffered historic floods last year and our citizens united to work hard in sandbagging, cleaning, donating food and water.  There was something for us to do in response to the catastrophe.  Tornadoes recently struck Nashville, Tennessee, and killed twenty-five people and devastated parts of their downtown.  Thousands of people came out to assist in the rescue and clean up of Nashville. So many, in fact, that the FEMA authorities had to turn people away.

We are hardwired to do something in response to suffering, loss, attacks, and threats to our community.

Yet now in the greatest disruption to global life since World War II, the very thing we are called to do is – nothing. We cannot mobilize to confront the global assault of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  We cannot sign up at the local recruiting office.  We cannot donate our steel and rubber products to the war effort.  We cannot even march in protest to or solidarity with government policy.

Our mobilization is the mobilization of isolation.

To do something now is to stay home, not go to work, school, parties, sporting events, concerts, or – most sadly for many of us – Mass.  Our civic and even moral duty is to do nothing.  Here in the middle of Lent, three weeks before the great Triduum and Easter celebration of the Church, we have been called by our government to enter a cloistered, monastic life within our individual homes. The spiritual significance of this cannot be overlooked.

In his book, God or Nothing, Cardinal Sarah warns against the “heresy of activism” in which we have forgotten that the heart of our life lies only in God.  The activity of contemporary life creates blindness or deafness to the reality of our reliance upon God.  We are wayfarers in this world and most of our life is outside of our control.

The coronavirus situation reveals a reality that always has been.  This virus, like other natural disasters, is beyond our control. But, we are able to control our reactions to the situation.  Our false sense of control has been stripped from us and we are laid bare.  This stripping of power reveals beautiful life hidden beneath our outward trappings.  Our response must be docility, trust, abandonment to Divine Providence, and most of all charity. As Colossians 3:14 and 1 Peter 4:8 declare, charity binds all the other virtues and rules as queen over them.

Our situation is full of ironies with deep symbolic spiritual significance.  To do something against this contagion, we must do nothing.  To strengthen our global alliance, each nation must close its borders to others.  We have never been so globally connected in spirit by physically disconnecting ourselves from each other. Out of love for our neighbors, we must not visit them.  To keep our communities strong, we must break them.  Our very society is now made out of isolated households.  And spiritually, we are drawn closer to God and his body by being kept away from his sacramental presence.  Our greatest offerings at this time are our sacrifices.

The cloistered life has challenges and benefits.  A benefit is we can all be discalced!  Yet we’ve been thrust into our cells unwillingly and without proper preparation.  Even within our cells, however, we are still able to “do” something.   How we mobilize, the ways we can “do” something now are to help our own family and friends be holy monks.  This includes through the encouragement of others, known and unknown, through social media channels.  Build up the body of Christ now, don’t continue to rip it apart.  Our first thoughts towards others should stem from charity and be seen first through charity.

One of the truths this virus emphasizes is the isolation of our older population.  There are practical solutions that we can implement in response. One I am urging my own parish to begin:  Healthy, young parishioners and families should be matched with older or vulnerable ones.  The healthy would contact their adoptees daily to see if they need anything, even if what they need is simply the daily contact with another.

Isolation is difficult enough for a family; consider how more difficult it is for those already alone.  Our parishes can help with this now by beginning “adopt-a-parishioner” programs to reach out to those most likely to be at risk, and thus most afraid right now.  Such charity would itself save lives.

We are all required to experience severe fasting.  Recall, we don’t fast from sinful things but good in order to draw closer to God, the source of all our life.  We must fast from the good of communal life.  Fasts do not last forever, though.  Consider how much we will rejoice as a global community when we can end this fast?

We take our communion with our fellow human beings for granted and we take our spiritual Communion at the Mass for granted.  How much this daily communion meant has been shown to us through this evil of separation.  Genesis has a beautiful line in which Joseph says to his brothers, “you meant it for evil but God has turned it to good.”  The coronavirus and its effects are an evil and our own response can further and worsen its effects, or we can cooperate in God’s turning evil to good.

Social isolation is everyone’s cross to take up now.  But if we embrace our cross, it will lead to a fullness of life we never could have known.

We have been given a great gift within this historic experience of communal suffering – the gift of time to pray, reflect, and – if we can live it as such – leisure.  Let us embrace what we cannot escape and accept that our “doing nothing” is the very something all of us must do.


Helen Freeh

Dr. Helen Freeh received her B.A. and M. A. from the University of Dallas and her Ph.D. from Baylor University. She has taught at Hillsdale College, where she met her husband, John. She is now in temporary early retirement, raising and homeschooling their children in Lincoln, Nebraska.

RELATED ARTICLE: Staying Free and Faithful in a Pandemic

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

New York: Muslim Brotherhood activist, ‘If you have contracted coronavirus, you should exact revenge!’ [Video]

Is Bahgat Saber’s activity in New York under investigation? Why not? Would that be “Islamophobic”?

In any case, his call is completely Islamic: “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are ruthless to unbelievers, merciful to one another.” (Qur’an 48:29)

“NY-Based Muslim Brotherhood Activist Bahgat Saber Urges Egyptians to Deliberately Infect Government Officials and Employees at Egypt’s Consulates and Embassies with Coronavirus, MEMRI, March 1, 2020:

Bahgat Saber, a New York-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activist, said in a video he uploaded to his Facebook page on March 1, 2020 that any Egyptian who has flu-like symptoms or coronavirus should deliberately go to Egyptian police stations, public prosecution offices, courthouses, embassies, and consulates and shake hands with government officials in order to exact revenge against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government, which he said is deeply corrupt, and avenge the people Sisi has oppressed. He added that if he gets coronavirus, he plans to go to the Egyptian consulate in New York and infect the people working there.

Bahgat Saber: “Whoever has flu-like symptoms – cold, fever, sneezing – should pay a visit to his ‘friends’ who work for Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government. The moment you get flu-like symptoms like a cold or a fever, go to the public prosecution office that is closest to your house. Go to any building where they might illegally incarcerate people. If you can, go to a building of the Security Investigations Service, and if you can’t, just wait for them and sneeze on their cars when they pass by.


“If you want the state to care about coronavirus and start dealing with this disease, whoever among you suffers from influenza, fever, or cold, should just casually walk into a police station, or go to an office of the public prosecution, or to a courthouse. If you are a soldier, you can go into the defense ministry, and shake hands with all the generals of the military and the police. The same is true with the justice system. [People should target] the businessmen and actors who support Sisi. He should go to Media Production City. If there are people who oppose the military coup and work in Media Production City, and who have contracted anything – cold, fever, anything… They should go there and shake hands with everybody.


“If you have contracted coronavirus, you should exact revenge! Avenge yourself, avenge the honor of your women, avenge the people who are in prison, and avenge the oppressed people. Go there. Why die alone? When you die, why die alone?


“Perhaps coronavirus will topple Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Our Lord is capable of doing anything. But you have to make proper use of this.


“People who are outside of Egypt should go to any consulate or embassy. They are all licentious villains and sons of bitches.


“Exact revenge! This is legal and constitutional revenge. No law or constitution prohibits you from paying them a visit. If you know someone [sick], send him on a visit. You’ll be doing him a favor.


“When you talk to people, they say to you: ‘We don’t have machine guns, we don’t have F-16 plans, we don’t have this and that…’ But now you have the coronavirus culture.


“If I am infected, I will go to the Egyptian consulate here. They are all corrupt sons of bitches. I’ve been dealing with them for years.”


Anti-Israel Fanatic Would Rather Be Infected By Coronavirus Than Be Protected By Israeli Vaccine

India: Muslim protester refuses to disperse, says “corona means Qur’an” and won’t harm Muslims

Turkey: Refah political party leader says coronavirus “serves Zionism’s goals of decreasing the number of people”

UK: New film has non-Muslims drag Muslim family from home and murder them as non-Muslim neighbors watch approvingly

Israel: Police called on to arrest Muslim cleric who declared “we’ll conquer the world and rule it through Islam”

Nigeria: Islamic scholar says group prayer should continue, Muslims have “potent immune system against coronavirus”

Sudan’s transitional government abolishes Islamic committees that confiscated church properties

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

MINNESOTA: Muslim migrant, former Mayo Clinic researcher, pledged allegiance to ISIS, plotted jihad massacres in U.S.

What’s that? A doctor? Why, how can that be? Everyone knows that poverty causes terrorism, right?

In reality, the idea that poverty causes terrorism, and that showering Muslim countries with money will end it, has been shown to be false again and again — although it is still a core assumption of U.S. foreign policy.

The New York Times reported in March 2016 that “not long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001…Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton economist, tested the widespread assumption that poverty was a key factor in the making of a terrorist. Mr. Krueger’s analysis of economic figures, polls, and data on suicide bombers and hate groups found no link between economic distress and terrorism.”

CNS News noted in September 2013 that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

“Pakistani doctor arrested in Minnesota on terrorism charge,” by Amy Forliti, Associated Press, March 19, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

MINNEAPOLIS — A Pakistani doctor and former Mayo Clinic research coordinator was arrested Thursday in Minnesota on a terrorism charge, after prosecutors say he told paid FBI informants that he had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State group and wanted to carry out lone wolf attacks in the United States.

Muhammad Masood, 28, was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday by FBI agents and was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say Masood was in the U.S. on a work visa. They allege that starting in January, Masood made several statements to paid informants — whom he believed were members of the Islamic State group — pledging his allegiance to the group and its leader. He also allegedly expressed his desire to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS and a desire to carry out lone wolf attacks in the U.S.

At one point, Masood messaged an informant “there is so much I wanted to do here .. .lon wulf stuff you know … but I realized I should be on the ground helping brothers sisters kids,” according to an FBI affidavit.

Prosecutors say Masood bought a plane ticket on Feb. 21 to travel from Chicago to Amman, Jordan, and then planned to go to Syria from there. He had planned to leave at the end of March. But on March 16, he had to change his travel plans because Jordan closed its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Masood and one of the informants then developed a plan for him to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet with that informant, whom Masood believed would help him travel in a cargo ship into Islamic State territory….

Court documents do not name the clinic where Masood worked, but a LinkedIn page for a man with the same name and work history says Masood has worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, since February of 2018, first as a research trainee, but has been a clinical research coordinator since May. A profile on says he has done research in cardiology; he was scheduled to present his research for the Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development in October 2018, according to an online calendar of the event.

Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said Masood formerly worked at the medical center, but “was not employed by Mayo Clinic at the time of his arrest.”…

On Jan. 24, Masood contacted one of the informants on the encrypted platform and said he was a medical doctor with a Pakistani passport and wanted to travel to Syria, Iraq or the northern region of Iran stretching to Afghanistan “to fight on the frontline as well as help the wounded brothers,” the affidavit said.

He explained that he wanted to make the trip because he “hates smiling at the passing kuffar just to not make them suspicios.” The affidavit said kuffar is an Arabic term meaning nonbeliever or non-Muslim. Masood also allegedly told the informant he wanted help getting to the front lines. When the informant said Masood might have to kill people, Masood replied, “i want to kill and get killed … and kill and get killed.”…

Roughly three dozen Minnesotans — mostly men from the state’s large Somali community — have left Minnesota since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia or militant groups in Syria, including the Islamic State group….


Muslim Priorities in a Dangerous Pandemic

UK: Chinese student treated poorly when wearing mask in public, donned niqab and got treated with respect

Spain: Muslims screaming “Islamist slogans” drive car into airport terminal, cops not treating it as terror attack

Indonesia: Islamic revival assembly halted over coronavirus, 9000 quarantined

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, the coronavirus, and Muslim defiance

Iran torn between calls for social distancing, Khamenei’s lack of concern, and calls by mullahs to keep shrines open

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

Who Defines Fundamental Human Rights?

David Carlin wonders if fundamental human rights really can be “discovered” by a majority vote of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

People who (like me and, I suppose, most readers of The Catholic Thing) object to the Roe v. Wade ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 – the ruling that declared that the U.S. Constitution contains a right to abortion – often point out that despite reading the Constitution very carefully, often with a magnifying glass, we can find no mention in it of a right to abortion.

We find rights to freedom of speech and freedom of press and freedom of religion; we find a right to bear arms; we find a right to trial by jury; we find a right to vote; we find a right not to be a slave; we find a right to purchase alcoholic beverages; and so on.  But we find no right to abortion.

Therefore, we conclude that there is no such Constitutional right.  We conclude that the Court invented this “right.”  The Court, by a 7-2 margin, made it up.  It didn’t make it up exactly out of thin air.  No, it made it up out of the very thick air of sexual revolution that was characteristic of the cultural atmosphere of the sixties and seventies.

The younger generation had discovered sexual freedom, which to be complete required freedom of abortion; and so seven of the nine old men of the Court (no women in those days) decided to show that they too, despite their advanced corporeal age, were young in spirit.

We conclude also that once the Court decided it has the authority to make up a right to abortion, thereby amending the Constitution in a manner that bypasses the amendment process spelled out in the Constitution itself (Article V), it could make further illicit amendments by “finding” other nonexistent rights.  For instance, it could find a right to homosexual practice (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003; a 6-3 ruling).  And it could find a right to same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015; a 5-4 ruling).

Unless the Court changes its ways (which it might if it has a stable conservative or “originalist” majority), we expect that in the not-too-distant future it will “find” in the Constitution a “right” to polygamy, a right to be euthanized, and a right to be transgender.

Those on the other side, the liberal side, however, who deplore our literal and narrow-minded reading of the Constitution, those who hold that we have a “living” Constitution – enthusiasts for abortion and homosexuality and transgenderism and euthanasia – can argue that un-Constitutional “rights” we object to actually are alluded to in the Constitution.

Where?  In the Ninth Amendment, which says: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  Without question, this sentence implies that there are at least a few other rights, perhaps many, besides those enumerated.

So there you have it.  All human rights (or “fundamental human rights” as we are now in the habit of calling them) are protected by the Ninth Amendment.  If abortion or same-sex “marriage,” or euthanasia is a human right, then these rights are implicitly contained in the U.S. Constitution.

Now, I agree that all human rights are protected by the Ninth Amendment.  For example, if there is a fundamental human right to ride a horse down Main Street while totally naked, then this right (let us call it the Lady Godiva rrght) is protected by the Ninth Amendment.

But who decides what is, and what is not, a fundamental human right?  Judicial liberals seem to believe that this decision should be made by the Supreme Court – or more exactly by five or more members of the Court.

In 2015 the Court decided by a 5-4 margin that same-sex marriage is a fundamental human right.  This seems awfully odd.  I would have supposed that X would count as a fundamental human right only if mankind generally had so decided, or at least the American portion of mankind.  And it would not be enough for all Americans to decide that X is a fundamental right by a narrow margin; an overwhelming margin would be required.

And not merely an overwhelming margin on this or that particular day or year, but an overwhelming margin for a long, long time, perhaps for centuries.  Or so it seems to me.

But judicial liberals tell me I’m wrong.  They think a 5-4 Supreme Court majority is sufficient to establish X or Y or Z as a fundamental human right.  And then they appeal to the principle of stare decisis to argue that, once X or Y or Z has been established as a fundamental human right, it can never be dis-established.

This gives liberals a great tool for enacting whatever may be their public policy agenda – not through legislatures but through courts.  Would you like America to have a $100 per hour minimum wage?  Well, if you can get a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court to declare that workers have a fundamental human right to be paid $100 per hour, then everybody will have to be paid at least $100 per hour.

This is a far-fetched example, I admit.  But there are many other potential examples that are not at all far-fetched.  In fact they are waiting just around the corner.  Like polygamy.  Like euthanasia.  Like transgenderism.

I’m an old man, and I’ve been living in the USA for a long, long time.  I should feel at home here by now.  But I feel on some days that I’m a stranger in a strange land.  On those days, I find it hard to believe that a majority, probably a large majority, of my compatriots seem to agree that fundamental human rights can be discovered by a 5 to 4 vote of a panel of judges – something that seems to me to be an utter absurdity.

Ah well.  This is perhaps one more bit of evidence that I have lived past my expiration date.  Take me off the shelf.


David Carlin

David Carlin is a professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

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

VIDEO: The Vortex — The Last Chance


No one in America who really, deeply cares about the future of the United States misses the point that what people on both sides are actually voting on is the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For decades, and largely while political conservatives — including a hefty number of Catholics — were asleep at the switch, the Marxist Left was implementing a takeover of the country through judicial fiat. The Left resorted to the courts because they could not get done what they wanted through state legislatures. So, in an effort to usurp the will of the people, they populated the nation’s elite law schools with social radicals, some of whom, after decades, were able to rise high in positions within the federal judiciary.

By the time political conservatives caught on to the plan, it was too late. The Left sufficiently controlled the courts, including the Supreme Court, to force its will on the people. Once something becomes legal, in people’s minds, it tends to be more readily viewed as acceptable, even moral. Even formerly controversial issues take on an air of respectability, and opposition to them now becomes seen as narrow-mindedness.

But the composition of the High Court — the ages of various justices — brought the issue to a head in the 2016 presidential election. It was almost a certainty that the court could shift to the right, even marginally, if Trump was elected. So while the Left was alarmed, the Right was ecstatic at the possibility. After decades and decades of hard, grinding, thankless work, the possibility was coming into focus that Donald Trump in the White House might finally hand the brass ring to the cause of political conservatism.

And the issue was abortion. If Hillary were to win, it would be game over, potentially forever. And recall, during the 2016 race, there was already one vacancy on the court — the seat of Antonin Scalia — a conservative seat. Securing that seat with a liberal, as Obama had nominated in the person of Merrick Garland, would have been the death-knell.

Fast forward to 2020 and a rapidly aging, in-poor-health Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. As one expert told Church Militant, “The old gal will last one year. She isn’t going to last five.” If Trump wins re-election it is virtually guaranteed that he will replace Ginsburg, one of the most Marxist-minded, pro-abortion, anti-God justices ever to sit on the bench.

But here’s a question — something to consider: If the court tips from its current 5–4 to 6–3 conservative bent — or even possibly 7–2 — before Trump’s second term is over, and then would overturn Roe v. Wade, what would happen?

Pondering that possibility, and even planning for it to some degree, the Left is arming itself and speaking openly of rebellion. It seems not that far-fetched that the same crowd that starts fires on college campuses when conservative speakers arrive and violently riots in the streets under the banner of Antifa would have little compunction about making blood run in those same streets if the Court toppled abortion. Current whispers of civil war might become louder than just whispers.

If that happens, if something like that — even on a somewhat limited scale — were to occur, it would, by definition, become a noble cause: the defense of innocent life.

There is not an honest man or woman walking who does not know that the Left supports child-murder. That is the central motivating issue around which all of American politics have evolved since the days of Ronald Reagan. That has been the central issue of the attempt to unseat Donald Trump for going on three years now, even up to the relative Marxist-media hype surrounding the coronavirus scare.

This is relative to what, you may ask? It’s relative to the swine flu epidemic that went on for more than a year under Obama and killed thousands of Americans. Nothing was done by the media giants in that case like is being done now. They have seized on a serious issue and are perfectly happy to use it to try and destabilize Trump — they’ll try anything to destabilize him — and it’s all because abortion is always playing in the background.

Abortion is and has been the topic that has been responsible for shaping the national debate for more than 40 years. It caused the bedlam surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh hearings — even the pounding on the doors of the High Court once he was confirmed. It was the admitted issue when New York Sen. Chuck Schumer hurled his invective and threats against both Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch — actually threatening them —for which he never apologized. The case he was talking about? Abortion.

But this is what pro-lifers need to note, and note hard: Given the rapidly changing demographics of the country — an essentially morally rudderless young population, opposed to religion and unfamiliar with natural law, this election is the last chance to secure and lock down a pro-life court. Pro-life voters will simply be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of the socialist-loving lefties by 2024.

In the midst of all this — with everything on the table — do not look to the U.S. bishops to make this point. Too many of them are registered Democrats themselves and do not possess supernatural faith. They are enamored with the Party of Death — even child-killers who are baptized Catholics they love schmoozing with.

The marriage between political conservatives and theologically orthodox Catholics has brought this moment to reality. It has been a gigantic, uphill struggle — a fight for the ages — and is now the last great clash over the future direction of the nation we will see in our lifetime. The Right has arrived at a point of equal footing, or at least as equal as it’s ever going to get. The victory must be secured and it must be secured now, because the moment will never arrive again as long as any of us are breathing.

In 233 days, we will know our future.

Pray, fast and act like you’ve never done before.

It is your solemn duty before the Lord of Life.

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