Tag Archive for: Lawlessness

Eco-Extremists Choose Bizarre Targets

Fans at the 18th green of the PGA Travelers Championship got to see two sports for one on Sunday, when the sudden intrusion of climate hooligans — soon tackled by security — introduced a wrestling component, very nearly turning the world’s quietest sport into hockey.

Just as tournament leaders Scottie Scheffler and Tom Kim arrived to putt, protestors armed with traffic flares ran onto the green, spewing red and white powder on the close-cut grass. The emblems on their white t-shirts revealed that they were members of an American branch of “Extinction Rebellion,” a British eco-extremist group.

Extremists motivated by climate change are now disrupting or defacing high-profile cultural symbols at a rate of more than once per week. On June 19, climate activists associated with “Just Stop Oil” sprayed orange paint on Stonehenge, a World Heritage Site in the U.K. On June 13, “Climate Defiance” activists stormed the field at the Congressional Baseball Game.

The international campaign targeting culturally important symbols has made itself infamous since 2022. So far, climate activists have targeted Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” painting, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” the Magna Charta, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, cycling’s premier event the Tour de France, the Brooklyn Bridge, and (unsuccessfully) Taylor Swift’s private jet, among many other incidents.

In most of these incidents, whatever name the extremists claim that day, the tactics are the same. The activists call their behavior “direct action,” but a more accurate description would be “illegal behavior.” They spray paint, throw soup, glue themselves to, or otherwise seek to injure or deface an object of great cultural value, in the name of drawing attention to what they allege is an existential climate crisis poised to wipe out humanity.

But, from a “climate-conscious” perspective, nearly all of their targets are bizarre.

Take golf, for instance. Here is a sport that requires large swaths of land to be turned into literal parks. Players walk around — or, for longer distances, drive electric carts — enjoying the outdoors. For someone concerned about the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, golf seems like an ideal pastime. It doesn’t even necessarily induce heavy breathing!

Obviously, that perspective is not shared by the climate extremists who stormed the green on Sunday. Lest they be drowned out by the “boos” of the crowd, the attention-grasping delinquents bore their message printed on their outfits: “No golf on a dead planet.”

It’s hard to imagine a more facially absurd message. If the planet were really dead, golfers would putt on a “brown” or “gray,” not a “green.” Not that that would stop them — golfing on the moon might get dusty, but the first billionaire golfers to attempt it will probably manage.

More to the point, these activists decided to make a scene while surrounded by a crowd who assembled for the purpose of watching a fun, outdoor event on a beautiful summer day. After trotting around a golf course all day, these fans could easily tell that the planet was far from dead — in fact, that it is still enjoyable. As usual, spending time in the Great Outdoors is an effective antidote to crackpot theories.

The argument for baseball is much the same as for golf. The pre-electronic contest of skill takes place in a field, helping players enjoy nature without burning a single drop of fossil fuels.

Then there is Stonehenge. Older than the Pyramids, this still-standing stone structure is a striking example of what ancient architects were able to achieve without industrial machinery or modern construction equipment. One would think this relic from the pre-Arthurian era of druidic nature-worship would make it a symbol for the world modern environmentalists want to create, instead of a symbol for the civilization they seek to destroy.

And make no mistake. Destruction is exactly what these climate radicals are creating. Their intention is to wake people up, to draw attention to the alleged climate crisis, which might destroy human civilization, by targeting the icons and activities other people care about. But these cultural symbols are often the best products of our civilization, things that have stood the test of time and are themselves worth preserving.

The climate radicals’ nihilistic attempt to save humanity by wrecking everything humanity cares about was always doomed to fail. Even if their tactics were successful and assumptions were correct, human civilization would survive only as an exhausted, divided wreck of its former self. Fortunately, however, these extremists seem likely to fail simply because they annoy rather than persuade.

The conclusion to the Travelers Championship was nearly as exciting as the disruptive interlude. Underdog Tom Kim rallied from behind with a birdie on the final hole to tie Scottie Scheffler at 22-under-par and send the pair to a playoff. The dominant Scheffler eventually won the playoff, marking his sixth win this year. With this win, Scheffler became the first player since Arnold Palmer in 1962 to win six PGA tournaments before July. That is what golf fans really care about, not the preposterous activists who just tried to ruin the fun for everyone else.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden’s Latest Amnesty Plan Will ‘Normalize Lawlessness’: Senator

The Democratic Party took another step toward the goal of creating a permanent governing majority in the United States on Tuesday, as President Joe Biden announced a mass amnesty for more than half-a-million illegal immigrants — a move one U.S. senator said aims “to make certain that Democrats are in charge for the rest of our lifetimes.”

Biden’s executive action would grant any illegal immigrant married to a U.S. citizen and resident in the U.S. for at least 10 years the privilege of “Parole in Place” (PIP) — remaining in the United States rather than facing deportation, as required by federal law. It then puts them on a path to citizenship. They can also receive a green card during the three years in which they may apply for lawful permanent resident status, allowing them to take jobs in the U.S. economy legally. Current law already allows the spouses of American citizens to apply for citizenship, but they must return to their home country while completing the process. Tuesday’s action applies to an estimated 500,000 adults, as well as 50,000 stepchildren under the age of 21 living with American citizens.

It is not clear how many illegal immigrants who identify as homosexual and contracted a legal same-sex marriage with a U.S. citizen would benefit from the program.

The latest action proves that Biden “will defy the Supreme Court. He will defy Congress. He will defy the rule of law,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Monday. “He’s going to do it and wait for somebody to challenge him. … You cannot execute an immigration law change without coming to Congress.”

Experts say Biden has no constitutional authority to unilaterally confer citizenship, and the move also violates statutory law. Under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, “Parole in Place” has only been recognized for the immediate relatives of enlisted soldiers or veterans.

“Rather than stopping the worst border crisis in history, President Biden has overreached his executive authority to use an unconstitutional process, circumventing voters and their elected representatives in Congress, to send a message that amnesty is available to those who enter illegally into the United States,” said James Massa, CEO of the immigration watchdog group NumbersUSA, in a statement emailed to The Washington Stand. “The action is unconstitutional. The timing is unconscionable.”

Biden’s executive amnesty announcement came 12 years to the day that President Barack Obama instituted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. After Congress refused to pass the DREAM Act, which would have provided amnesty for those who came to the United States illegally as children, Obama took executive actions that treated the bill as if it were law.

Republicans have accused the Obama and Biden administrations of favoring illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens, from the subways of New York City to the railroads of East Palestine, Ohio.

“The story of Dreamers is a story of America,” asserted Vice President Kamala Harris this week. “Lawmakers must pass legislation that creates a path to citizenship.” For his part, Biden declared, “I am committed to providing Dreamers the support they need to succeed,” boasting that last month his administration “took the historic step of expanding access to affordable, quality health coverage to DACA recipients through the Affordable Care Act.”

“Joe Biden wants to be the president of illegal aliens, but I will be the president for law-abiding Americans — every race, religion, color and creed,” said President Donald Trump, who has promised to invalidate the agreement and initiate mass deportations. “When I am elected, Joe Biden’s illegal amnesty will be ripped up and thrown out on the very first day we are back in office,” he told a raucous crowd in Racine, Wisconsin, Tuesday evening.

The White House “fact sheet” on the law-evading action claims, “President Biden believes that securing the border is essential.” Yet his administration ushered in an era of unprecedented illegal immigration, with millions of unlawful crossings taking place each year.

Analysts say his plan incentivizes additional illegal immigration and opens the U.S. to massive fraud. “Any system in which illegal entrants are rewarded to the detriment of foreign nationals doing it ‘the right way’ is a bad one, and that is what the administration is setting up,” wrote Andrew Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). The scheme’s 10-year residency requirement “is an invitation to fraud as spouses of U.S. citizens who have been here for briefer periods will start scrambling to collect (and create) documents to show longer terms of presence — and to cover up subsequent departures.”

Many of the provisions seem unworkable, say its opponents. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) asked who is going to verify whether the stepchildren covered by the action lived in the United States during the period of eligibility on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch.”

Biden, who trails Trump in the polling, is “trying to put up barriers so it’ll make it harder” to carry out mass deportations and return the rule of law, said Norman. “But that’s what’s got to happen.” Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Americans now favor deporting every illegal immigrant in America, according to a CBS/YouGov poll taken earlier this month.

Biden and the Democratic Party have “tried to normalize lawlessness,” said Blackburn. “And what happens when you try to normalize this lawlessness? You end up with chaos.”

“All of this is part of their goal to begin to legalize illegal immigrants before we get to November, because they want their votes, and they want them to count in the census,” Blackburn told Perkins. Including non-citizens in the U.S. Census redistributes eight congressional seats, mostly from Republican-leaning states to Democratic ones, according to CIS. “This is how they’re planning to backfill the population that they’ve been losing from big blue states and big blue cities.”

“They’re doing anything they can to collect power and to centralize power within the federal government, with them in charge. They’re trying to make certain that Democrats are in charge for the rest of our lifetimes,” said Blackburn.

As if to prove Blackburn’s assessment, Democrats in swing states greeted Biden’s executive amnesty in starkly partisan terms. “The road to the White House runs through Nevada, and people in my state are paying attention,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

Although critics often conflate any discussion of changing demographics with a purportedly racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, far-left progressives long latched onto mass amnesty as their path to permanent political power. A Service Employees International Union leader and honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Eliseo Medina spelled out the plan during a left-wing conference:

“If we reform the immigration laws — it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters. Can you imagine if you had even the same ratio, two out of three [Hispanics voting for Democrats], if we get 8 million new voters that care about our issue and will be voting, we will create a governing coalition for the long-term, not just for an election cycle?”

Medina merely repeated an electoral theory going back at least to the 2002 book “The Emerging Democratic Majority” by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira. Salon magazine cited the “Latino realignment” in a 2008 article titled “A Permanent Democratic Majority?”

“Through this sweeping executive action, which has no grounding in federal law, the president is illegally claiming the power to bypass Congress’ plenary authority over immigration policy in pursuit of a political goal as the president faces reelection,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Norman said the issue goes far beyond Biden to the core of his administration. “The ones who rule him are pretty well set to control this country through illegals voting,” he told Perkins.

The Democratic administration’s simmering indifference to border security has led to numerous tragedies, including a string of violent and sadistic crimes against American citizens. New York City police Tuesday arrested Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, a 25-year-old illegal immigrant from Ecuador, for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl. That came just days after Oklahoma police apprehended 23-year-old illegal immigrant Victor Antonio Martinez-Hernandez for raping and murdering Rachel Morin, a mother of five. Police said the accused perpetrator fled his native El Salvador after committing another homicide.

Such incidents dot every corner of the United States. “South Carolina’s already been affected,” said Norman. “Every state in the country has.”

“But Biden doesn’t care about the American lives that will forever be destroyed by the illegal criminals he is importing; and Biden doesn’t care that law-abiding taxpayers, crushed by inflation, are forced to pay for free food, housing, and healthcare for illegals,” said the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt.

America’s porous border increasingly threatens national security. Officials recently nabbed eight illegal immigrants from Tajikistan who had ties to ISIS. Officers had originally caught them at the border, but then released them in accordance with Biden administration norms before the FBI eventually tracked them down.

The possibility of a serious terrorist attack on U.S. soil is “no longer speculative,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) told “Face the Nation” Sunday, “no longer hypothetical.”

Conservatives say if the open border policies continue, Americans risk losing their liberties, as well as their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

“If we lose this election, then our freedom, our sovereignty, our democracy will go down the tubes,” said Norman. “Another four years of this administration, and we will have lost every freedom we’ve had.”


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

University Protests Are Evidence of a Failed Education System

There is irony in the fact that all of the demonstrations in solidarity with terrorist organizations are taking place on university campuses. Aristotle was one of the first to believe the purpose of education was wisdom and virtue. He believed students were educated when they could appropriately apply knowledge to their context.

This means education is not a neutral endeavor. We want students to learn to think for themselves, but the goal is to equip them to get the right answer without assistance.

These protests are evidence that the education system has failed many students at the most basic level. In moral terms, these protestors cannot correctly compute 2+2=4. They sincerely believe it is impossible to do wrong if the group you’re part of is perceived to have a power deficit.

Their critical theory worldview has trained them not to judge the morality of an action based on what a person did but based on the group identity of the person involved. As a result, acts that would be evil if committed by one person (destruction of property, arson, rape, or murder) are virtuous acts of “resistance” when carried out by another person.

So, parents have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to have their children turned into apologists for the worst people in the world. This is an educational failure of epic proportions that warrants a refund but also exposes the futility of seeing the world through a lens of the powerful and the powerless. A far better lens is to think about things in terms of right and wrong, or good and evil.

The reality is, power will always exist — and that’s not a bad thing. After all, the only alternative to that framework is anarchy. Furthermore, because both power and evil exist, it is the job of good people to ensure bad people never have power. As the old adage reminds us, the only things necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. But the products of today’s “education” system have been convinced the bad people (terrorists) are the good people, not because they do good things, but because they’re not in charge. The rest of us look at the situation where bad people lack power and say, “Thank God.”

Robert Frost wrote about the importance of not tearing down fences before you understand why they were put up in the first place. In this case, we’re talking about literal fences. Why have Gaza’s neighbors in Egypt and Israel — with significant cultural and religious differences — both built fences to keep people from Gaza from going into their countries? It’s because a disproportionate number of those people are trying to kill their neighbors. Gazans elected Hamas, and polling since October 7 has shown most people in Gaza believe Hamas did the right thing on October 7. One can be clear-eyed about this fact without being indifferent to the suffering of innocent people caught in the wake.

Decent people should want those who seek to kill their neighbors to be powerless. Their powerlessness is not a cause for protest, it’s something to be grateful for. Of course, there’s always the risk of exploitation by those who have power, but before you decide to light yourself on fire or go on a hunger strike on behalf of people that TikTok has identified as powerless, you should ask, “Is their lack of power a good thing or a bad thing?” Unless your moral compass is broken, the answer to that question in Gaza’s case is obvious.

But for months we’ve seen the evidence that university campuses have a significant population of people with broken moral compasses. Yes, these kids deserve to get their money back, but that doesn’t solve the problem. At this point, they have become a threat to the rest of us, in large part, because the education system failed to deliver anything Aristotle would recognize as an education.


Joseph Backholm

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

D.C. Finally Clears Pro-Hamas Encampment in President’s Backyard

General George Washington nearly lost the Revolutionary War because local political leaders refused to supply him with needed reinforcements. This past week, his namesake’s university nearly lost the Battle of Gaza Plaza for the same reason. Pro-Hamas demonstrators erected an encampment four blocks from the White House complex at George Washington University (GWU), where it remained for two weeks until Wednesday morning.

On Thursday, April 25, activists descended on GWU’s University Yard (U-Yard) to erect a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” or “Popular University for Gaza,” where stands a statue of George Washington.

“That encampment of these pro-Hamas anti-Semites was using the George Washington Statue as ground zero,” Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who witnessed the encampment firsthand on Tuesday, said on “Washington Watch.” “The statue of George Washington [was] covered in stickers that say, ‘Free Palestine. … A Palestinian flag replac[ed] the American flag” in Washington’s hand. “His head was covered in a keffiyeh. … A large whiteboard at the base of that statue … laid out the encampment rules.”

Of course, the American flag stands for freedom, limited government, and the rule of law, while the terrorist-controlled, autonomous regions of Palestine stand for religious extremism and anti-Semitism. Muslim Arabs enjoy freedom and rights in Israel, while the only Jews left alive in Gaza are Hamas’s hostages.

The activists further demonstrated their historical illiteracy by vandalizing the Washington statue’s base with “Genocidal Warmonger University” (for GWU) in red spray paint. Washington only ever fought defensive wars, usually against people of the same skin color — just like the modern nation of Israel.

In a refreshing contrast to the spinelessness of university administrators elsewhere, the GWU administration showed little tolerance for this unlawful form of activism. On April 25, they ordered the activists to disperse by 7 p.m. When the protestors refused to do so, the administration asked the D.C. Metro Police Department (MPD) to clear the encampment early Friday morning.

Then top city officials ordered MPD to stand down. MPD had assembled to clear then encampment at 3 a.m. on Friday when the police chief’s and mayor’s offices countermanded the operation. According to anonymous insiders contacted by The Washington Post, city leaders were “worried about the optics of moving against a small number of peaceful protesters.”

Without law enforcement reinforcements, GWU president Ellen Granberg did what she could with her own authority and suspended seven students who organized the protest.

Foresight could have predicted what hindsight proved — that GWU was right to want the protest shut down as soon as possible. The activist encampment — which included non-students from the beginning — quickly grew rowdier. On Day Two (April 26), it spilled out of U-Yard and took over the adjacent H Street NW. On Day Four (April 28), hundreds of activists stormed a police barricade and tore it down. On Day Eight, the protestors lowered the university flag and raised the Palestinian flag in its place.

While at the campus, Daines spoke with “a group of Jewish students who told me they were afraid to walk on campus. They’re scared just being in classes.”

Granberg skewered the MPD excuses days later:

“When protesters overrun barriers established to protect the community, vandalize a university statue and flag, surround and intimidate GW students with anti-Semitic images and hateful rhetoric, chase people out of a public yard based on their perceived beliefs, and ignore, degrade, and push GW Police Officers and university maintenance staff, the protest ceases to be peaceful or productive. All of these things have happened at GW in the last five days.”

Then Congress got involved. After seven days of tepid law enforcement, the House Oversight Committee summoned D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and MPD commissioner Pamela Smith to explain themselves at a hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, MPD surrounded U-Yard, delivered three more warnings for activists to leave, and then moved in. More than a dozen activists refused to leave and were arrested. About a block away, a group of protestors rushed a barricade of police bikes, pushing against it and attempting to break through. The police responded to this physical aggression on the part of activists by deploying tear gas. All told, MPD arrested 33 activists.

After MPD cleared the encampment Wednesday morning, the hearing scheduled for that afternoon was canceled, Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) announced. “It was unfortunate the situation at GW forced the Oversight Committee to act; however it was apparent that the DC police force was not going to do their job,” he said. “I am pleased that the potential Oversight hearing led to swift action by Mayor Bowser and MPD Chief Smith.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) made a similar argument. “It should not require threatening to haul D.C.’s mayor before Congress to keep Jewish students at George Washington University safe.”

Obviously, city officials were never going to agree with this embarrassing interpretation of events. Bowser and Smith claimed they decided to clear the encampment because “the protest was becoming more volatile and less stable,” citing evidence that protestors were “casing” university buildings for a break-in and had “gathered improvised weapons” to accomplish a more resilient occupation.

This interpretation of events relies on the audience’s selective memory loss. The encampment was never legal; GWU suspended organizers for violating the student code of conduct in no less than nine different ways. As soon as the activists refused the first order to leave, they could rightfully be arrested for trespassing. Activists then escalated their lawbreaking on numerous occasions, including unlawfully occupying a city street, tearing down a police barricade, and intimidating Jewish students.

If these escalations did not precipitate a police response, it’s difficult to see what did trigger city officials to green-light clearing out the encampment, besides congressional action. The pro-Hamas activists were undoubtedly planning further escalations, as they have done elsewhere, but they hadn’t actually carried out their plans. If, as reported, city officials fretted over the “optics” of arresting “peaceful” protestors, nothing had happened that would change their calculus.

The only significant event that corresponds to the Wednesday morning clear-out is the Oversight Committee hearing scheduled for that afternoon. This changed the calculus for city officials by introducing a completely different set of “optics.” D.C.’s far-left electorate and media are far more skeptical of legitimate uses of police powers than ordinary Americans and their congressional representatives are.

The racially-tinged lenses of Marxism distort the circumstances. In reality, police are just doing their jobs to enforce laws passed by the popularly elected representatives of the people, while a small but stubborn group of activists seeks to defy those laws in increasingly disruptive ways. But Marxism makes the aggressive activists illegally camping on a university lawn and city street seem like courageous heroes fighting for revolutionary, generational change. Marxism also makes law enforcement officers who necessarily have to wear riot gear look like brutal agents of a reactionary, oppressive state. Actions that seem sensible within the parameters of this distorted reality look just as silly in real life as someone wearing a VR headset.

Many members of Congress do not wear the reality-defying glasses of Marxism. So city officials, whose job it is to govern in the real world, not an imaginary one, were embarrassed to defend their silly indulgence of Marxist fantasies from the skeptical questioning of the Oversight Committee’s skilled interrogators. Rather than face this eye-opening experience, they chose instead to order the encampment cleared.

Further indicating that the Wednesday morning clear-out was a policy change, rather than a consistent response to changing circumstances, is the criticism it drew from those still viewing the world through the lens of Marxism. “Less than 10 hours ago, I was pepper sprayed and assaulted by police,” who “destroyed a beautiful community space that was all about love,” complained one Palestinian GWU student. He insisted they were punished “because we decided to pitch some tents, hold community activities and learn from each other. We built something incredible. We built something game-changing.”

No, the United States of America is something incredible. The U.S. Constitution — which replaced the unworkable articles that so hampered General Washington — was game-changing. American civil society is virtuous not because it is “all about love” but because it creates an even playing field with fair and just rules — unlike this supposedly loving community united by hatred of Jews. Those who built this country risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor; those who want to tear it down insist they should risk nothing. Fortunately, we live in the real world, not Marxism’s optical illusion.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘A Post-Religious America’ Helped Spark Anti-Semitism in Schools, Experts Say

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

More Than 1,600 Pro-Hamas Activists at 33 Schools Arrested Since Gaza Encampments Began

College campuses escalated their efforts to root out pro-Hamas occupations on Tuesday, with police arresting more than 430 people on nine different college campuses. Police have made more than 1,600 arrests in connection with the disruptive, illegal campus occupations since the first one began at Columbia University on April 19, according to an investigation by The Washington Stand. Disturbingly, some universities are beginning to cave to protestors’ demands to restore order to campus, even as campus protests become increasingly dominated by non-students.

The sheer number of campus protests and arrests can be a bit bewildering to keep track of them all. As of Wednesday, there were at least 1,641 arrests and counting at 33 colleges and universities in 23 states, with at least three more schools threatening to make arrests and more pro-Hamas encampments cropping up daily.

Since so much media coverage obscures this point, it bears repeating that universities have not called in police to arrest protestors simply for exercising their right to free speech, or even for the vile, anti-Semitic content of that speech. After asking law enforcement to intervene on two separate occasions, the University of Texas at Austin on Monday issued this representative statement: “Protests are allowed at the University of Texas. Since October and prior to April 24, no fewer than 13 pro-Palestinian free speech events were held on the UT campus, and four more demonstrations have been held since Thursday, largely without incident.”

No, protestors were arrested for deliberately breaking the rules: flouting curfews, setting up tents where no tents were allowed, intimidating other students and impeding their free access and education on campus, and defying orders from law enforcement. In some instances, protestors broke into campus buildings and then barricaded them against campus authorities, declaring that the buildings had been “liberated.” Thus, when protestors were arrested for trespassing, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, they had no one to blame but themselves.

If anything, universities have been reluctant to arrest demonstrators, often waiting days before calling in police, repeatedly pleading with the lawless mob before authorizing arrests, and only arresting a fraction of those involved in the illegal encampments. Thus, the 40 incidents in which campus demonstrators have been arrested represent only the small fraction of anti-Semitic activity on college campuses that has been met by a law enforcement response. With that said, here is a timeline of campus arrests since April 19:

Friday, April 19:

  • 108 activists were arrested at Columbia University after erecting a pre-dawn tent encampment. Several were suspended. Several student organizers were briefly suspended, including Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) daughter. However, the encampment returned on April 21.

Monday, April 22:

  • 133 activists were arrested at New York University after a large group, including non-students, illegally crossed police barricades.
  • 48 activists were arrested at Yale University, where pro-Hamas demonstrators intimidated Jewish students and struck one in the eye. The activists resisted a lawful order to disperse.
  • Three activists were arrested at California State Polytechnic University at Humboldt (Cal Poly Humboldt) in a scuffle with police after protestors illegally occupied a campus academic building and barricaded it against police.

Tuesday, April 23:

  • Nine activists were arrested at the University of Minnesota when police cleared another encampment at the Minneapolis campus.
  • Two activists were arrested at the University of South Carolina for creating a disturbance after hours and then refusing a lawful order to disperse.

Wednesday, April 24:

  • 93 activists were arrested at the University of Southern California as police cleared an encampment there. Activists, including many who were not students, struggled against police, at one point surrounding a police vehicle until the police let someone they had arrested go free.
  • 57 activists were arrested at the University of Texas at Austin after they refused to disperse and attempted to unlawfully erect an encampment there. Nearly half (26) of those arrested were not affiliated with the university. The progressive local prosecutor subsequently dropped all charges against those arrested.

Thursday, April 25:

  • 108 activists were arrested at Emerson College in Boston when police cleared an illegal encampment.
  • 36 activists were arrested at Ohio State University when police cleared an illegal encampment. Only 16 of those arrested were students, while 20 were not affiliated with the university.
  • 33 activists were arrested at Indiana University at Bloomington when police cleared an illegal encampment.
  • 28 activists were arrested at Emory University in Atlanta when police cleared an illegal encampment.
  • Two activists were arrested at Princeton University when police arrived to clear an illegal encampment. After the police began making arrests, the rest of the occupiers voluntarily packed up their tents to avoid arrest.
  • One activist, a grad student, was arrested at the University of Connecticut for assaulting an officer who was attempting to detain another student.

Friday, April 26:

  • 44 activists were arrested at the Auraria Higher Education Center, where activists had illegally occupied campus buildings and damaged campus property. Auraria serves as a campus for the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver.
  • Three activists were arrested at Arizona State University in connection with an illegal encampment that would not be cleared until the next day.
  • Two activists were arrested at the University of Illinois when police cleared an illegal encampment. The two men, who were not students, were charged with “mob action” along with obstructing a peace officer for one aggravated battery to a peace officer for the other.

Saturday, April 27:

  • 100 activists were arrested at the University of Washington, St. Louis when police cleared an illegal encampment. (This number seems suspiciously round, but efforts to obtain a more precise total bore no fruit; therefore, I will proceed as if this was the total.) Among those arrested were 23 students and four school employees, leaving approximately 73 people not affiliated with the school. Jill Stein, 2024 presidential candidate for the Green Party, was one of those arrested.
  • 98 activists were arrested at Northeastern University in Boston at a demonstration that evidently crossed some lines. The demonstration was “infiltrated by professional organizers,” according to a school spokeswoman, which led the school to shut it down. Anyone who could produce a valid school ID card was not arrested. Among the 98 protestors who could not, 29 were students, and six were school employees, leaving 63 people not affiliated with the school.
  • 69 activists were arrested at Arizona State University when police cleared an illegal encampment. Of the 72 total people arrested at ASU between Friday and Saturday, only 15 were students, meaning that 57 were unaffiliated with the school.
  • 12 activists were arrested at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. when police cleared an illegal encampment and they refused to leave. The university expressed safety concerns over unaffiliated individuals joining the demonstration. Of those arrested, nine were students, and three were unaffiliated with the school.

Sunday, April 28:

  • Two activists were arrested at the University of Pittsburgh for illegally trespassing on a lawn.

Monday, April 29:

  • 82 activists were arrested at Virginia Tech University after students illegally occupied a lawn. Fifty-three of those arrested were students, leaving 29 who were not affiliated with the school.
  • 79 activists were arrested at the University of Texas at Austin after they again attempted to erect an illegal encampment. Only 34 of those arrested were students, while 45 were not affiliated with the school.
  • 20 activists were arrested at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland after students illegally erected tents during a protest.
  • 19 activists were arrested at the University of Utah when police cleared an illegal encampment. Four students, one school employee, and 14 unaffiliated individuals were among those arrested.
  • 16 activists were arrested at the University of Georgia when police cleared an illegal encampment. Those arrested included 11 students and five unaffiliated individuals. The university subsequently suspended some of those arrested. “Personally, I did not expect to be suspended,” complained one suspended student, Zeena Mohamed. College is supposed to be a place where students learn new things, after all.
  • 13 activists were arrested at Princeton after protestors illegally occupied a campus building.
  • 13 activists were arrested at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond when police cleared an illegal encampment. While six were students, seven were not affiliated with the school.
  • Six students were arrested at Tulane University in connection with an illegal encampment. Only one was a student; the other five were not affiliated with the university.
  • Three activists were arrested at the University of South Florida when the Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held an unauthorized rally. The school’s SDS chapter had been suspended for causing a disruption on campus at a previous event.

Tuesday, April 30:

  • 173 activists were arrested at the City College in New York (CCNY) when police were called due to “specific and repeated acts of violence and vandalism.” Both students and “un-affiliated external individuals” refused to leave. The New York Police Department cleared CCNY around the same time that they cleared protestors at Columbia University for the second time.
  • 119 activists were arrested at Columbia University. Activists had illegally occupied the campus for more than a week, causing the campus to be closed. They recently broke into and barricaded a campus building, which they renamed and declared to be “liberated.” Police used a large truck to enter the building through a second-floor window.
  • 36 activists were arrested at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after they refused to obey a lawful order to disperse. The demonstrators had taken down an American flag and replaced it with a Palestinian flag. Of those arrested, 13 were students, and 23 were not affiliated with the university.
  • 32 activists were arrested at Cal Poly Humboldt after they had illegally occupied a campus building for more than a week. Those arrested included 13 students, one faculty member, and 18 unaffiliated individuals.
  • 25 activists were arrested at the University of Connecticut when police cleared an illegal encampment.
  • 16 activists were arrested at the University of New Mexico after they illegally occupied a campus building. Five of those arrested were students, while 11 of them were not affiliated with the university.
  • 14 activists were arrested at Tulane University when police cleared an illegal encampment. Two of those arrested were students, while 12 of them were not affiliated with the university.
  • 10 activists were arrested at the University of South Florida after the SDS, a suspended student group, tried to stage another illegal encampment. Seventy-five to 100 protestors came equipped with wooden shields and umbrellas in an attempt to counter law enforcement’s anti-riot tactics, but they were ultimately unsuccessful.
  • Nine activists were arrested at the University of Florida when police cleared an illegal encampment. One person was charged with battery to a police officer.

Wednesday, May 1:

  • 34 activists were arrested at the University of Wisconsin at Madison when police cleared an illegal encampment. Four of the demonstrators were charged with resisting arrest and/or battery to a police officer.
  • Activists were arrested overnight at the University of Arizona when police cleared an illegal encampment. At publishing time, it was not known how many activists were arrested.

There are several noteworthy trends in this progression: 1) universities are acting more quickly to disperse illegal encampments; 2) more universities are calling in police to make arrests; 3) the numbers of those arrested is dwindling; and 4) increasing attention is being drawn to the presence of outside agitators.

These trends suggest a number of developments. First, university administrators are watching what is happening at other universities. They are witnessing the recalcitrance of pro-Hamas activists, as well as the headaches and monetary damages they have caused at places like Columbia or Cal Poly Humboldt where they were not dealt with quickly. They have also witnessed the example of the University of Texas at Austin and other schools that have successfully prevented a campus occupation through vigilant policing. These factors motivate university administrators to put an end to the illegal occupation tactics.

Second, the force of the pro-Hamas wave has dwindled as it has expanded. Protests at elite, radically progressive schools had high energy and significant student involvement. But protests at smaller or less elite schools have seen less student enthusiasm. Arrests have been in higher numbers, and there has been a larger proportion of unaffiliated agitators.

Third, even the most radical protestors can behave rationally. Essentially, they would rather not face consequences for their actions — to the point that they are now begging for amnesty from the same administrators they just poked in the eye. It seems that students are making a risk calculation based upon how they believe law enforcement will respond. Police have made the most arrests in progressive (that is, anti-law-enforcement) jurisdictions such as New York, Massachusetts, and California. But protests have been smaller across the South and Midwest, suggesting that fewer students are willing to risk arrest and prosecution for the thrill of camping on the university lawn. This suggests that government officials should consider the incentives they create in how they respond to protests.

Fourth, outside agitators have become involved to an alarming extent. Police made arrests at 22 universities from Saturday to Tuesday; and, in 11 out of 12 instances where the numbers are known, they arrested more outsiders than students. In multiple instances, these outside agitators even participated in illegally occupying campus buildings. It is unacceptable that a handful of activists, with no connection to a university, can seize its property and hold it hostage to absurd demands.

Circumstances on many universities are developing rapidly, and more arrests could follow at any time. Johns Hopkins University has threatened police action against an illegal encampment on its Baltimore campus. Purdue University has threatened ringleaders of an illegal encampment there with disciplinary action. Portland State University in Oregon has closed its campus due to protestors illegally occupying the campus library for two straight days.

As these will not be the last campus arrests related to pro-Hamas protests, neither were they the first. At Brown University, 41 students were arrested in December when they refused to leave a campus building. In March, four students at Vanderbilt University and 22 students and two faculty at Cornell University were also arrested for refusing to leave campus buildings.

But pro-Hamas, anti-Semitic protests on campus exploded in mid-April around Passover. The illegal occupation at Columbia gained the most attention, and campus occupations have expanded ever since. But the activists have gone too far, and universities are fighting back with mass arrests, which have now reached more than 1,600 and counting.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Left-Wing Donors Gave More than $3.3 Million to Pro-Hamas Activities since 2016

With tent cities springing up across American campuses, filled with anti-Semitic activists who are openly supporting U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, you could be forgiven for suspecting that this activism was not wholly organic. And you would be right.

Fingerprints of Further Funding

Take the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” at Columbia University, where “students sleep in tents apparently ordered from Amazon and enjoy delivery pizza, coffee from Dunkin’, free sandwiches worth $12.50 from Pret a Manger, organic tortilla chips and $10 rotisserie chickens,” according to the New York Post. That is not the sort of event a campus student association organizes on its semesterly stipend — certainly not the sort of event a student association could sustain for now more than a week.

It’s not just Columbia University. These tent encampments — with an odd near-uniformity to their pup tents — have popped up at dozens of campuses all across the country. Dozens, scores, and hundreds of students have walked out of classes only weeks before finals, and they are glamping on the lawn instead of cramming in the library. Who is behind all this?

Paid Activists

The Post discovered that at least some encampments appear to be coordinated by paid activists. A left-wing activist coalition called the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) sponsors a “Youth Organizing Fellowship” that offers college students an unheard-of $24-$28/hour wage to organize supposedly “local campaigns,” which are really backed by the training, mentorship, and ongoing support of this extremely well-funded activist network. In 2023, USCPR hired eight youth fellows, three of which have recently appeared at pro-Hamas encampments at UC Berkeley, Yale, and UT Austin, according to photographs sleuthed out by the Post.

Those who visit the USCPR website today will not find any youth fellows listed. The activist group “has just begun a new class of 2024 youth fellows,” they conveniently claim. Instead, they suggest repeatedly, “Check back for more information,” which innocently suggests to viewers they haven’t had time to update their website yet. However, according to their advertisement, applications for the position closed on April 3, just over two weeks before the recent mayhem on university campuses began.

On one hand, this could be mere coincidence. On the other hand, it could be that USCPR youth fellows (nothing said they had to only hire eight this year) have played a major role in organizing these campus encampments, at least the more influential ones. If that is the case, then USCPR deliberately timed its hiring so that its website would reveal no information about its youth fellows until after their encampment campaign — perhaps even after the semester. Given the presence of former USCPR youth fellows — who, presumably, are no longer on their payroll — at these protests, it seems likely that their current youth fellows would also be involved, simply due to running in the same circles of protest culture.

The USCPR Network

The USCPR coalition includes Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), CODEPINK, National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and the Westchester Peace Action Committee (WESPAC), among many other groups. In 2021, USCPR had a total income of $1.5 million total expenses of $1 million.

USCPR’s official name is Education for Just Peace in the Middle East. Under that name, USCPR received $355,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund between 2018-2023, and it received $700,000 from the Soros family’s Open Society Foundation between 2018-2022 (the most recent years for which data is available).

In 2018, Tablet Magazine reported that USCPR was “the fiscal sponsor of a group called the Palestinian BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] National Committee (BNC),” which in turn was linked to Palestinian terrorist groups. One of BNC’s members, listed on its website, is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine (PNIF). Five members of PNIF are U.S.-designated terrorist organizations: Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad the Palestine Liberation Front, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Popular Front — General Command (PFLP-GC).

For those like me who have never run across the term before, fiscal sponsorship is where one nonprofit receives and administers donations intended for another organization that lacks nonprofit status. (The National Council of Nonprofits argues that the practice does have a place in helping new charities get started, but to the uninitiated outsider this arrangement also looks like a legal way to launder money.) Remember this term, because it will reoccur below.

Local chapters of USCPR affiliate SJP organized many of the Gaza encampments, including those at Columbia, Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, Ohio State, and Emory. Also involved in the Columbia occupation is JVP, another USCPR affiliate that co-organized an October 2023 protest in which demonstrators illegally entered a House office building and were arrested.

However, USCPR is not the only source of funding for organizations within its orbit organizing campus occupations. From 2017-2022, Soros’s Open Society contributed $775,000 directly to JVP, while the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave the group $490,000 from 2019-2023.

Financial information on SJP is harder to obtain because the organization is not registered as a nonprofit. Another USCPR member, WESPAC, serves as SJP’s fiscal sponsor. It makes sense that SJP, which declared Hamas’s October 7 terror attack to be “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance,” would wish to conceal its funding streams. It also makes sense that SJP would not wish to register as a nonprofit organization, since that designation might be justly removed based on its activities and statements. Hence, it’s secretive funding mechanisms.

Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y. in Westchester County, the Westchester Peace Action Committee seems like a small, local nonprofit — at first. Nevertheless, WESPAC plays an inconspicuous but important role in supporting the national anti-Israel movement. It does this by allowing itself to be used as a fiscal sponsor to fringe extremist groups that might otherwise lose their tax-exempt status. According to the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League, WESPAC has fiscally sponsored 22 organizations since 2000, but 15 of those organizations were anti-Israel or pro-Palestine, with no more than one organization in any other category

Due to the lack of reporting requirements, it is unknown how much money WESPAC has funneled to SJP. What is known is that the organization’s revenue nearly quadrupled over four years, from $636,000 in 2021 to nearly $2.4 million in 2023. The sources of most of that revenue are not known.

Tip of the Iceberg

The organization of pro-Hamas campus encampments suggest they are being bankrolled by someone with deep pockets. The lavish supplies expended on the encampments suggest they are being bankrolled by someone with deep pockets. The high compensation paid activists receive to coordinate these encampments suggest they are being bankrolled by someone with deep pockets.

According to open-source data gathering, at least two left-wing grant-making organizations with deep pockets — the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and George Soros’s Open Society Foundations — are known to have made significant past donations to several of the groups involved in these protests.

However, the activist groups already mentioned are not the only members of the left-wing coalition organizing anti-Semitic direct action on and off university campuses, nor are they the only ones rolling in left-wing donations. Other radical groups have cooperated in staging anti-Semitic demonstrations:

  • If Not Now (INN) received $400,000 from Open Society in 2019-2021;
  • Adalah Justice Project received $550,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (passed through the left-wing Tides Center) in 2020-2023;
  • The Arab American Association of New York received $60,000 from Open Society in 2018;
  • Desis Rising Up and Moving received $30,000 from Open Society in 2020.

All these groups have participated in anti-Israel, pro-Hamas protests.

For those keeping track, the organizations sponsoring campus encampments and other anti-Semitic protests have received at least $3.36 million since 2016 from just two left-wing organizations. Meanwhile, the funding sources for other groups, such as the hyper-active SJP and Within Our Lifetime, are not known. This is based upon previously reported data that does not even account for funding these organizations may have received since Hamas’s October 7 terror attack — when the lawlessness began in earnest.

Campus protestors like to romanticize their misbehavior by comparing it to the protests of the late-1960s. But today’s protestors have access to more funding than their comrades of another era — perhaps “professors” would be a more efficient word — could have dreamed of. There are likely many deluded campuses today who deeply believe in their confused and perverted vision of the world.

Yet the amount of money involved suggests the campus occupation movement may not be as widespread a grassroots-uprising as the left-wing media is laboring to make it appear. Millions, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, can buy significant cooperation from one of the most notoriously penniless segments of society. This is perhaps especially true when the money enables agitators to utter college students’ two favorite words: “free food.”

The Left seems to believe rowdy, disruptive chanting can drive any policy change — so long as the rioters yell loud enough and long enough — and powerful progressive organizations have pulled out their pocketbooks to put that theory to the most rigorous test.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Campus Encampments Only a Warm-Up for Summer of Protests

Illegal campus occupations have entered their second week while hapless administrators at supposedly elite universities squirm like four-year-olds trying to gain control of a runaway tractor. The protests “don’t appear to be dying down at all,” Family Research Council Action President Jody Hice noted on “Washington Watch” Friday. As finals and then elections loom, “many people are asking and wondering if the violence is going to spill over into the summer months.”

“These protests are going to continue into the summer,” answered Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) in the same interview. “And, as it gets hotter, and tempers flare, the potential for more disruption is evident. And it’s going to be very unsettling as the summer goes on.” The campus encampments are “just uncovering the truth,” he added, “which is that the radical Left — supported by and endorsed by terrorist groups around the world — are doing what they can to stoke unrest across the country.”

The cause doesn’t matter to left-wing direct action. Sometimes, the activists don’t even know what the cause is. “I’ve seen interviews with students chanting, ‘From the river to the sea,’ and [they] don’t even know what river or what sea they’re talking about,” said Cline. A viral video clip showed two college students at an NYU protest last week who admitted they didn’t know what they were protesting. “Any student in late April is generally looking for any pretext to get out of class,” suggested Owen Strachan, senior fellow for Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, on “Washington Watch.”

Whatever the cause, the Left has cultivated a culture of protest, where students and others gather simply for the excitement, the thrill of sticking it to the man, the rush of power from inhibiting other people’s lives, or the feeling of invincibility reinforced by the inexplicable reluctance of law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws these protestors break.

The protest counter-culture has been growing for some time. As early as 2011, protestors cut their teeth at illegal encampments during Occupy Wall Street. From April 2016 to February 2017, protestors camped out in the Dakotas to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In 2020, left-wing activists inflated a single incident of bad policing into a nationwide summer of racial division. The BLM movement perpetrated more than 500 violent riots, causing $1 to $2 billion in damages. The well-organized and relentless rioters staged nearly-nightly standoffs with law enforcement at the Portland, Ore. federal courthouse, the White House, and in New York City — not to mention other cities.

Since late 2021, left-wing activists participating in “Stop Cop City” have camped out near Atlanta, seeking to prevent the construction of a police training facility. In March 2023, Atlanta police detained dozens of activists, including a lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after more than 100 masked individuals in black clothing “entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers,” ultimately vandalizing and destroying construction equipment. Later that year, local officials indicted 61 individuals on racketeering charges.

The violence continued in 2022, when left-wing activists resorted to violence and intimidation in support of abortion-on-demand. The militant leftists not only targeted the homes of Supreme Court justices but even churches, academic appearances by constitutional lawyers, and everything in between.

This lifestyle of protest has created a need to protest, which in turn creates a demand for overhyped controversies. “Whether it’s environmental rhetoric or whether it’s international support for Hamas,” Cline pointed out, “we’ve seen a liberal indoctrination of college students and young people.” The education system is “being abused by the Left to infiltrate and indoctrinate young minds.”

One of the key words there is “young.” Left-wing radicals have even created summer camps to indoctrinate 4th through 8th graders into their activist lifestyle, teaching them the sort of escalatory tactics that necessitates instruction about how to deal with tear gas.

Now, as other causes apparently lose their luster, college activists with far more zeal than knowledge have happily adopted the cause of anti-Semitism as their reason to get out of bed in the morning — or perhaps I should say, get out of their pup tents.

Commentators on both sides of the political aisle have drawn comparisons between the student protests taking place today and anti-war protests from the late-1960s. At Columbia University, students appear to be consciously reenacting a university occupation that took place there in 1968. Establishment Democrats, having selected Chicago for their 2024 convention, have expressed concerns that this summer could see a repeat of the Democratic National Convention in 1968, when young radicals clashed violently with police. The summer riots of 1968 prompted disturbed Americans to elect Republican Richard Nixon that fall on a platform of restoring law and order.

Conservatives have also drawn the connection. “This reminds us of 1968 and the anti-war protesters. They were violent, violent extremists. They called for the violent overthrow of the United States government,” Regent University Dean of Government Michele Bachmann said on “Washington Watch.” Once again, she said, “We’re seeing calls for the overthrow of the United States government when they call for ‘death to America,’ ‘death to Israel.’”

The parallels to riots of the 1960s are more than superficial, suggested Rabbi Yaakov Menken on “Washington Watch.” “These folks who were students with … the long haircuts and the bandanas are now professors, tenured professors, in some cases even deans of students.” In other words, the student rioters of the 1960s are now the ones teaching university students today. Is it any wonder that they taught their proteges to follow in their footsteps?

“Hopefully they go back to class,” Cline said about the protestors, “and then go get jobs for the summer because … it would avoid the kind of summer unrest that we saw across the country in 2020.” Cline added that he hopes “cooler heads prevail.” If they don’t, Americans could be in for a “long, hot summer” of protesting and riots.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Where Is the Safe Space for Jews?

A recent trend on college campuses is to install “safe spaces,” places where students — or certain identity-group subsets of students — can go to feel safe. These safe spaces are exclusionary by design; they protect students by insulating them. In extreme cases, safe spaces have been deemed to cover entire campuses, leading to the exclusion or disinvitation of undesirable visitors.

This “safe space” trend has been rightly ridiculed for its tendency to protect college students’ feelings from exposure to opposing viewpoints. Such exposure serves to sharpen the mind and used to be college’s main virtue. Thus, protecting students from “harm” by sequestering them from intellectual diversity undermines the whole point of college education.

But the silly “safe space” trend adopted the language of harm and safety because those are important considerations. Sticking with the collegiate context, students can’t devote themselves to their studies if they take their life in their hands every time they walk across campus. Fertilizing their mental acreage is orders of magnitude more difficult when outside sounds like a warzone, or a rock concert, or both at the same time.

The safety of college campuses — most of whom have a department devoted to preserving it — is often taken for granted, else loving parents would think twice before sending sweet Suzy off to a dormitory. Basic physical safety should be a guarantee on which all students can rely, regardless of their background. Unfortunately, that guarantee is no longer universal.

Where is the safe space for Jews?

On Sunday, Rabbi Elie Buechler of Columbia University’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) strongly recommended that Jewish students “return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.”

“The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear the Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme anti-Semitism and anarchy,” wrote Buechler. “It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus. No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school.”

Last Thursday, anti-Semitic activists took over Columbia University’s central quad, turning it into a tent city overnight. The activists, many of whom are students, have praised Hamas’s military arm Al-Qassam, called for the destruction of Israel, and openly invited the killing of counter-protestors. Despite more than 100 arrests on Thursday, the rabble have only grown bolder.

Now, university administrators appear to have given up any hope of reasserting control of their campus property. The rabbi’s counsel to Jewish students was “the reason why classes went virtual at Columbia today,” Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, said Monday on “Washington Watch.” By Tuesday, Columbia University announced it was switching to hybrid classes for the remainder of the semester.

“There was one professor, Shai Davidai, who was having none of it,” Menken continued. “He said, ‘I am bringing 10 students and alumni with me Monday morning. We’re going to go on to the campus. We’re going to go right into the middle of that anti-Semitic demonstration, and we insist you keep us safe.’”

Rather than keep him safe, “Columbia deactivated the access card of their professor,” Menken related in disbelief. “Professor Shai Davidai of Columbia University had his access card deactivated by the university to prevent him from interfering with the anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas demonstration at that campus.” Columbia University COO Cas Holloway personally appeared at the campus gate to prevent Davidai from entering the.

Davidai is an assistant professor in Columbia Business School’s Management Division, and he also leads Columbia’s anti-Semitism task force. Columbia administrators had to know that barring the head of the anti-Semitism task force from campus would provoke outrage, yet they chose to confront the backlash rather than confront the unruly mob that has taken over their campus. “Columbia was confronted with a clear choice either the anti-Semitic barbarians or the Jews. They expressly chose the anti-Semitic barbarians,” exclaimed Menken. “The entire administration of Columbia is utterly compromised by Jew hatred.”

Where is the safe space for Jews?

Certainly not at Columbia University, nor at Yale. Sahar Tartak, a Jewish student at Yale who is also a conservative reporter, was physically assaulted and blocked by protestors while attempting to film the pro-Hamas demonstration — which included taking down an American flag on a university flagpole — at that university. After demonstrators surrounded and blockaded her, a keffiyeh-garbed man stabbed Tartak in the eye with a Palestinian flag he carried.

At this point, the terrorist groupies aren’t even pretending to be motivated by non-violent, humanitarian concern for Palestinian civilians. “Anti-Semitism is always about finding a façade, a pretense, and then moving on to their end goal, which has always been ethnic cleansing and genocide,” argued Menken. “They were never anti-Israel protests. They were always anti-Semitic protests that glorify terrorism, that glorify atrocities, actual beheading of babies and rapes and holding hostages. These are not decent human beings.”

Where is the safe space for Jews?

You won’t find one at MITNYUUniversity of MichiganOhio State UniversityUC Berkeley, or Boston University. I’m sure that’s only the tip of the iceberg, since the anti-Semitic protests have reached even smaller, lesser known schools like Cal Poly Humbolt or UNC Charlotte.

At this point, it seems like American Jews are safest anywhere that isn’t a college campus. But that’s obviously not a workable solution in the long run. Today’s students are tomorrow’s lawyers, bankers, and politicians — not to mention professors. Are American Jews simply supposed to accept a second-class status, where they don’t get to go to college and are governed by those who hate them? How well did that work in 1930s Germany? If Jews aren’t safe on American college campuses, then ultimately they won’t be safe anywhere else in America.

Where is the safe space for Jews?

Jews could perhaps find a safe haven on other shores. But a cursory glance around the world shows the same violent anti-Semitism on shameful display in American universities. Judging by U.N. voting records, America sits near the top of the list of pro-Jewish countries. If Jews can find few countries friendlier than the U.S., and they are hated here, where can they go?

Where is the safe space for Jews?

The obvious exception is the world’s only Jewish-majority nation-state (although two million Arabs also live there peacefully), the postage stamp-sized parcel of seacoast known as Israel. Established in 1948 in response to the Holocaust, the modern state of Israel has provided a safe haven for persecuted Jews of every nationality.

Yet Israel’s Jews are not safe even within their own paper-snowflake borders. Hamas proved that on October 7, 2023, when they launched an unprovoked invasion on a Jewish holy day, slaughtering more than 1,200 Jews, kidnapping more than 200 prisoners, burning, raping, and pillaging wherever they could. Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group supported by America’s geopolitical adversary Iran, openly calls for Israel’s “annihilation” and has broadcast its intention to repeat its October 7 attack as often as it is capable.

Hamas is not Israel’s only threat. Hezbollah, another Iran-backed terror group, operates out of Israel’s northern neighbor Lebanon, and it has kept up frequent rocket barrages against Israel to divide its attention. “There are, I believe, about 80,000 Israelis who can’t go home every night because the rockets being shot in by Hezbollah out of Lebanon,” Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.) remarked on “Washington Watch.” “Obviously Israel cannot permanently tell 70 or 80,000 of their citizens, ‘you can’t go home at night.’”

Behind these groups lies Iran, a global terror sponsor, which is close to developing a nuclear weapon and is avowedly committed to Israel’s destruction.

Where is the safe space for Jews?

But perhaps the campus mobs openly supporting Hamas are ignorant of Hamas’s goal and merely want American Jews to return to Israel. If that were true, they would also have to be ignorant of the words coming out of their own mouth.

“From the river to the sea, Palestine is almost free,” they chanted. That’s a strange twist on their classic, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” By “free,” they mean free of Jews. By “from the river to the sea,” the chant invokes (and confuses) the boundaries of the land God promised to give to Israel in Deuteronomy 11:24, “from the River, the River Euphrates, to the western sea.” The technical term for seeking to drive all people of a given ethnic group out of a given territory is “ethnic cleansing.”

Again, they chanted, “There is only one solution: intifada, revolution.” “One solution” echoes the Nazis’ “Final Solution to the Jewish problem”: extermination camps. Intifada and revolution — both terms for riots or armed uprisings — are the means by which this chant proposes to achieve its end: the annihilation of all Jews everywhere.

No, the protestors know very well what unthinkable barbarity these chants call for. They share the end of Hamas.

Where is the safe space for Jews?

The utmost irony is that these disgraceful displays of anti-Semitism were sparked by the attack on Israel. When most sovereign nations suffer an unprovoked attack by an international terrorist outfit, they receive universal acknowledgements of sympathy, solidarity, and solace, even from parties who usually maintain a frosty distance. But when Israel was attacked, that outrage provoked not only sympathy for Israel but also expressions of solidarity with those who attacked her — even before Israel had mounted any military response.

This has led some Jews, even non-Zionists, to the inevitable conclusion that Israel’s demise would only result in further attacks on Jews everywhere. “The idea that Jews can be safe anywhere if they’re not secure in Israel has just been shattered,” said foreign policy expert Caroline Glick. “It’s very clear that the security of all Jews everywhere is contingent on Israel defeating our enemies in Israel.”

Under the Biden administration, Israel’s closest and most powerful friend is working overtime to snatch that rightful victory away from them. If that happens, it will lead right back to the question we’ve been asking all along.

Where is the safe space for Jews?


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Leftist Immigration Policies Waste Billions of Dollars and Undermine Election Integrity

Several U.S. states and cities have embraced the president’s policy of a wide-open southern border, which has allowed millions of illegal immigrants to flood in. Not only are they treated better than U.S. citizens in many cases, receiving taxpayer funded housing, food, education, and health care, they have also contributed to an increase of violent crimes including harassment, rape, theft, and murder — not to mention the escalation in threats from people on the terror watchlist. But these harsh realities didn’t stop Denver Mayor Mike Johnston (D) from addressing them as “newcomers” in a recent announcement.

In order to justify spending $45.9 million on illegal immigrants, he used the “newcomers” to help excuse the complete irrationality of the circumstances. As Denver is overwhelmed by immigrants, the multi-million package is meant to “fully fund programs … for 2024 and avoid worst-case scenarios projected by the city,” Fox News reported. But notably, the $45.9 million comes “in addition to $44 million in spending already secured for the program through previous budget moves,” which means illegals in this city are now receiving just shy of $90 million.

In a literal sense, taxpayers are a major source of this money. But in a metaphorical sense, American citizens are also paying through programs and services they have not willingly sacrificed. Johnston’s package, for instance, resulted in an $8.4 million cut from the city’s police department, which hurts public safety. The immense spending on illegal immigrants, which went from $2 million to $15 million in Denver between August and December of last year alone, requires budget cuts. And what do budget cuts often result in? People losing their jobs.

Johnston’s office said “it will avoid layoffs or furloughs of employees,” but that doesn’t seem like a promise worth banking on — especially considering the skyrocketing demands of the illegal immigrants. Countless stories have emerged from the border, proving that once the migrants get an inch, they take a mile. And if previous headlines of immigrants murdering young college students, squatting in occupied homes, and overrunning public facilities doesn’t labor the point of their persistence, then perhaps current headlines will.

On Tuesday, “Hundreds of illegal immigrants swarmed New York City’s City Hall … to demand more aid from the city as well as work permits,” The Post Millennial wrote. They also objected to being moved out of luxury hotels, where they were staying for free, to local shelters. Now they want more money? According to Bloomberg, the Big Apple has already “spent $1.45 billion in fiscal 2023 on migrant costs,” and they “expect to spend a combined $9.1 billion housing migrants in fiscal years 2024 and 2025.” But evidently, that’s not enough.

America needs to take the reins. Imagine an illegal immigrant claiming to live in your home, but when you report it to the police, you are the one arrested. Well, we don’t have to imagine, since that’s what happened to a 47-year-old woman in Queens. The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh explained the woman was “dragged away from her own home — in handcuffs — because someone claims to have a lease for her property.” Walsh said the squatter couldn’t “show the lease to anyone, including the police and the media. But because he claimed he had “been living there for around a month, they arrest the woman.”

These stories are prompting some lawmakers to act, as evidenced by a new bill proposed by Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) to “stop illegal aliens from squatting in U.S. homes.” The Safeguarding Homes from Illegal Entry, Living, and Dwelling Act (SHIELD Act) comes in response to Leonel Moreno, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, who posted a video on social media “explaining how to take advantage of squatting laws in the U.S.” And according to The Daily Signal, Moreno’s videos led to an uptick in illegals squatting in New York and Pennsylvania homes.

As Meuser explained, the SHIELD Act would ensure that “if an illegal were to claim squatter rights and enter an individual’s home illegally without any rental paperwork or legitimate lease, they can be arrested and deported and prohibited from ever entering the United States again.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project also warned how election integrity efforts have been compromised by the border crisis. On Monday, they highlighted a flyer found posted throughout Mexico “encouraging illegal immigrants to vote for President Joe Biden in the 2024 election.” The page read, “Reminder to vote for President Biden when you are in the United States. We need another four years of his term to stay open.” And even though federal law prohibits non-U.S. citizens from voting in federal elections, organizations are desperately trying to take advantage of the millions of new crossers.

As the Oversight Project emphasized on X, “Election integrity is under assault.” Now, they continued, “You do not need documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote. You can vote if you simply swear you are eligible,” and the flyer in question “obviously seeks to prey on unsophisticated illegals and encourages them to illegally vote.” This is all pretty frustrating information. But as overwhelming as this issue has grown to be, it’s not where we give up.

Instead, when reading of all the horrible things happening, we have to understand that this is not a matter of getting frustrated and walking away, but of standing for truth and for what’s right. And every Christian can stand for what is right, even within this messy, hostile, divisive arena. Indeed, we are called to take our voices into the public square. Ephesians 5:11 states, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” And so, that is what we will do, even now. Especially now.


Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Illegal Immigrants Continue to Commit Violent Crimes as Sanctuary Cities Reassess Policies

Violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants continue to rise throughout the country, resulting in American citizens being attacked, raped, and murdered. Experts are noting that these are the same migrants who receive taxpayer-funded health care, housing, education, food, and more.

The most high-profile story making news is last week’s murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley. She was a young nursing student at Augusta University who never returned from her jog Thursday morning because she was brutally murdered by who police believe to be a man named Jose Antonio Ibarra, who is also an illegal immigrant.

Not only does Ibarra have a criminal record in the U.S. since arriving illegally, but his brother does as well. Ibarra has been charged with theft, child endangerment, and murder, among other crimes. And his brother, Diego Ibarra, along with stealing, was recently caught giving police a fake green card with two different birth dates on it. This happened after he was stopped by police for driving while drinking beer — which the migrant told the officer was his seventh since he’d been behind the wheel.

On Monday, police in Maryland charged Nilson Trejo-Granados, one of five suspects, for the first and second-degree murder of two-year-old Jeremy Poou Caceres. Before being arrested for murder, Trejo-Granados was charged with theft in March 2023.

On February 20, Angel Matias Castellanos-Orellana allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint, and on February 25, he repeatedly stabbed a man in the face and back, demanding the man give him his property. According to The Post Millennial, “He was arrested and booked on armed robbery, aggravated battery, first-degree rape, and aggravated assault and a federal ‘ICE’ detainer was also issued for him.”

In addition, last month a group of alleged illegal immigrants viciously attacked New York City police officers in Times Square. As crimes committed by illegal immigrants skyrocket, some sanctuary cities are starting to reassess their policies. In fact, it was this beating in NYC that caused Mayor Eric Adams (D) to say during a townhall meeting, “Those who are committing crimes, we need to modify the sanctuary city law. If you commit a felony, a violent act, we should be able to turn you over to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] ICE and have you deported.”

And the Big Apple isn’t the only city backtracking. According to The Daily Wire, “The city council of Aurora, which sits just east of Denver, approved a resolution in a 7-3 vote on Monday demanding that large groups of migrants not be transported there since it is unable to fund new services for migrants or homeless people.”

In addition to a call to “secure our nation’s border,” the resolution said: “The City Council affirms remaining a Non-Sanctuary City and asserts the City does not currently have the financial capacity to fund new services related to this crisis and demands that other municipalities and entities do not systematically transport migrants or people experiencing homelessness to the City.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said on “Washington Watch” Wednesday that these harsh and dangerous circumstances only highlight “the damage inflicted by the Left’s public policy decisions [and] their open borders.” Congressman Rich McCormick (R-Ga.), who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, agreed, noting that these policies have allowed “some nefarious people … across the border.”

McCormick pointed out that Venezuela currently has a record low crime rate. “Why do you think it is?” he asked. It’s because Venezuela is “getting rid of their criminals” by sending them to the U.S. through the open border, he said. “Bad people are crossing the border. … We have record numbers of deaths from fentanyl. We have record amount of child trafficking, rape, [and] murder. … I’ve been talking about it for years. This is a significant problem.”

He added, “If you’re coming to this country and committing crimes, and then you continue to commit crimes and have been released, what are we doing?” A major issue facing America, McCormick shared, is that these illegal immigrants and violent criminals are being released as if they’re “regular citizens.” But “they’re not,” he said. “They’re here illegally. … This should be an ICE issue,” because when an illegal immigrant gets arrested, “they get sent back to their country. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the law. Imagine following the law.”

Perkins noted that the Left is notorious for also making claims that we shouldn’t “politicize the murder of a 22-year-old student” like Laken Riley by connecting it to illegal immigration. But, he wondered, “How else do we look at this? This is their policies. This is the outcome that we’re seeing from their open border policies. How else can you look at it?”

“There’s so many ramifications for lawlessness that we’ve allowed to take place at our southern border,” Perkins stated. And that will only end, McCormick concluded, if we continue to “fight the good fight.”


Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Expert: Biden Admin Using Federal Agencies and Left-Wing NGOs to Illegally Amass Votes

Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration is utilizing at least one federal agency to collude with left-wing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in an effort to conduct get out the vote campaigns. Experts say the administration’s actions violate federal law.

On February 20, news broke that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) worked directly with an NGO known as Demos to increase voter turnout. Demos’s website states that it is “committed to racial justice” through “research, litigation, [and] strategic communications” in order to “build power with and for Black and brown communities.”

Demos’s stated policy positions include “climate equity,” defined as “[c]limate change solutions” that “must address racial and economic inequity/inequality” and “debt-free college,” among other left-wing causes. But as described by Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, perhaps most troubling is Demos’s activism against election integrity.

“They’ve been around for quite a while,” he explained on “Washington Watch” last week. “In fact, I dealt with them 20 years ago when I was working at [DOJ] during the Bush administration. Demos is one of these organizations that’s against any and all kinds of election reforms. They’re against voter ID — they don’t want voter registration lists cleaned up. They believe that aliens should be given the right to vote. I mean, you, you name it. And they’re on the wrong position on every issue entirely involved in election integrity. So having them involved in [get out the vote efforts] is … a good move for [the Biden administration] politically, but a bad move for anyone who believes in honest elections.”

Observers have noted that in March 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order (EO) stating that federal agencies “shall consider ways to expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process.” In January 2022, House Republicans sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget pointing out that Biden’s EO “is nearly identical to a federal election takeover plan crafted by the radical left-leaning group known as Demos.”

As von Spakovsky underscored, the EO “reaches all levels and every single department of the executive branch [telling] every single department to come up with a strategic plan … to engage in voter registration with any and all individuals that you deal with and to help them with their voting process, obtaining absentee ballots, etc. And of course, one, [Biden] doesn’t have the authority to do this. Two, he’s never been authorized [to] provide any funding with this.”

But the “biggest problem,” von Spakovsky contended, is how Biden is leveraging government benefits for political gain. “Assume that you are, for example, applying for Social Security disability benefits. And the clerk you are dealing with says, ‘Oh, by the way, we may want to be sure that you get registered to vote. Oh, and here, I want to help you with your absentee ballot.’ Well, the people that apply for benefits for the federal government are often elderly, disabled, very vulnerable. What’s their thought going to be? ‘Boy, I better vote the way. The White House would like me to vote. I better vote to support Democrats who control the government, otherwise I might not get my benefits.’”

Von Spakovsky further noted that despite The Heritage Foundation and other organizations’ attempts to gather information about the administration’s actions through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the administration has not been forthcoming.

“[T]he White House and the [DOJ] have been fighting all attempts to turn over any of this information,” he explained. “In fact, lots of litigation lawsuits have been filed to try to force them to provide it because they don’t want to do it. And by the way, part of the order … was that they should contract with third-party organizations to help them with this voter registration. Well, they certainly aren’t going to contract with any conservative organizations. All they’re doing is going to their political allies, left-wing advocacy groups, to help them do that. In essence, what they are doing is moving the get out the vote campaign — that normally political parties and campaigns have to pay for — into the federal government and having the federal government get out the vote for Joe Biden and his political party and his candidates.”

Furthermore, von Spakovsky argued that Biden’s action constitutes a violation of the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in specific forms of political activity.

“[W]ho is supposed to enforce violations of the Hatch Act? Why the U.S. Department of Justice under the control of Merrick Garland,” von Spakovsky emphasized. “And you and I both know that they are not going to in any way. In fact, they haven’t objected to this executive order [or] put up any opposition to it. And they certainly aren’t going to go after any of the bureaucrats or political appointees within different departments, like the Department of Agriculture, who are engaging in partisan political activities to carry out this executive order. That’s just not going to happen.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Break It Down’: No Consequences for Pro-Terrorism Protestors Assaulting White House

Ten weeks ago, I wrote of a November 4 protest at the White House in which a pro-Hamas mob “cursed the U.S. president, waved the flag of a foreign adversary, and endeavored to breach the White House compound.” No one was held accountable for that vile display of hate and anti-Semitism, even from the president ostensibly committed to the extermination of these evils. So, in the least surprising development ever, the pro-terrorism protest happened again this Saturday, only bigger and bolder — and again with no consequences.

This weekend’s protest imitated the earlier one in many respects: a large crowd assembled in Freedom Plaza before moving over to the White House and attempting to scale the fence. Again, rallygoers — including not only Arabs, but white college students, black race activists, and red communists — donned the black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarf. Again, they left behind a mess of trash and graffiti in Lafayette Park. Again, they chanted curses at an absent president, as well as subtle endorsements of genocide, such as “Free Palestine.” Again, they flew the flags of foreign powers inside the White House’s protective fence.

And again, all who committed lawlessness at the protest got away with it. “During the demonstration near the White House complex Jan. 13, a portion of the anti-scale fencing that was erected for the event sustained temporary damage. The issues were promptly repaired on site by U.S. Secret Service support teams,” said the Secret Service, adding that they made no arrests.

D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith told reporters, “a majority of today’s demonstration remained peaceful,” but “there were instances of illegal and destructive behavior in Lafayette Park, including items being thrown at our officers.” Her statement did not indicate that D.C. police had made any arrests. Conservative reporter Julio Rosas, who was on the scene, posted on X/Twitter, “I did not personally see anyone get arrested outside the White House tonight.”

The sizable crowd — reported at anywhere from “tens of thousands” to “400,000” — overflowed Freedom Plaza, east of the White House, as buses arrived from 20 states to swell the crowd for the post-lunch rally. Organizers pompously dubbed the gathering, “The March on Washington for Gaza,” a nod to the famous Civil Rights-era event during which — unlike Saturday’s protest — the attendees actually marched to Washington on their own two legs. At around 2 p.m., an Islamic call to prayer, in Arabic, was played over loudspeakers at the park, which sits on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol.

Attendees smothered the event in hundreds of Palestinian flags, including one apparently larger than my house. Other flags spotted at the event include the Islamic Jihadist flag, used by U.S.-designated foreign terrorists organizations, and the national flags of Egypt (the Gaza Strip’s other neighbor), Yemen (where the Iran-backed Houthis are based), South Africa (which, despite its own history of apartheid, accused Israel of genocide before the International Court of Justice), and Tunisia (which recently considered a bill to criminalize normalizing relations with Israel).

Of course, the Progress Pride flag flew there, too, right under the flag of Palestine, where the powers that be would likely kill and torture anyone who identified as any sort of LGBTQ identity. Meanwhile, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (a communist party) sponsored a banner that read, “End all U.S. funding for Israeli apartheid.”

Just before 3 p.m., the crowd began to assemble for a march on 14th Street NW, exiting Freedom Plaza from its northwest corner. At 4 p.m., the protestors began a half-circuit of the White House complex, heading north on 14th Street NW, then west on K Street NW, then south on 17th Street NW, before finally arriving at the northeast corner of the White House complex around 4:50 p.m. A large number of protestors eventually filled Pennsylvania Avenue and the adjacent Lafayette Square.

The only known arrest associated with Saturday’s demonstration occurred along the march route. On 14th Street NW, between H Street and I Street, a man brandished a knife at the head of the march. One protestor quickly disarmed him, and police took him into custody. It seems implausible that the knife-wielding man was present to attend the protest. The man’s attire (bright orange jacket and dayglow-yellow hat and gloves) and his behavior are more consistent with a mentally unstable member of D.C.’s population, many of whom congregate in Franklin Park, a block from the incident. If so, then his arrest was a sad, bizarre intrusion of D.C.’s ordinary affairs into this national protest.

Ironically, the protestors had no problem with D.C. police closing the route of their march to vehicular traffic. Thousands of protestors walked right past scores of uniformed officers without so much as an insult. Yet after hours of such peaceful cooperation — or at least co-existence — within 15 minutes of arriving at the White House, the protestors were attempting to break through barricades.

By 5:02 p.m., conservative journalist Wid Lyman reported, “Protestors are shaking the outer fence at the White House.” At 5:16 — when it was still not quite dark — Rosas concurred, “Palestinian protesters aggressively shake and hit the security fence outside the White House.”

During the next half hour, the number of protestors swelled as more marchers completed their trek. Protestors lit flares in the colors of the Palestinian flag, draped Palestinian flags and keffiyehs on the statues of Lafayette Square, graffitied public property, and threw “bloody baby dolls” over the White House fence. They began throwing other items, too: water bottles, rocks, even staves broken off from the flags they carried.

As protestors continued to hit and rattle the security fence, they took to chanting, “Break it down!” Now, both their actions and their words declared their desire to breach the White House’s perimeter. Rosas reported at 6:13, “Palestinian protesters have shaken the fence so hard that they have moved portions of it back.” In an improvement upon the previous protest, this time the Secret Service had installed a second, temporary fence, comprised of heavy metal screens that locked together. Unlike the permanent fence, this one was not anchored to the ground.

The tensest moment came around 6:45 p.m., when protestors shook the fence so violently that they managed to partially dis-attach one section of the temporary fence at the top. As the crowd chanted, “Free Palestine” and rattled the fence in a terrible clanging, another conservative journalist, Mark Naughton, captured the moment on video in real-time, from the thick of the fray.

Secret Service agents — who had already donned riot gear — rushed to repair the fence. Protestors predicted they were about to be pepper-sprayed as officers shook up cans in preparation. At least one officer had to climb a ladder by the wildly swinging fence to secure it. “Police were not able to fix the broken fence and had to attach makeshift clamps,” reported Lyman. As officers reattached the fence, the crowd booed and began shouting, “Shame on you!”

Although the situation was quickly resolved, it did alarm the Secret Service, prompting them to order a partial evacuation of the White House. “As a precaution, some members of the media and staff in proximity to Pennsylvania Avenue were temporarily relocated while the issue was being addressed,” said the Secret Service.

The near-breach in the security perimeter might have prompted Secret Service to call in reinforcements. About 15 minutes later, more police officers appeared and dispersed the crowd. By 7:43, all that was left were the items thrown from the crowd.

The massive protest received strikingly light media attention. “I saw no obvious MSM yesterday in DC covering the massive protest,” wrote Naughton. “Some well equipped media maybe MSM (no affiliation hats or jackets) at the literal start line of the March but by the second block, all were gone. When some protesters became aggressive at the White House, only @Julio_Rosas11 and @Wid_Lyman and a few unknown media remained.”

Rosas echoed the sentiment, describing the media’s response as “passive coverage, instead of an outrage cycle.”

There were a couple stories, such as this one by PBS, but they contain little firsthand reporting of the actual riot. This, despite the fact that White House reporters were evacuated when the fence was breached; the mainstream media was situated inside the barricades, not in the crowd.

Two conversations captured during the fracas demonstrate that the protestors themselves knew that their actions were 1) not peaceful and 2) not going to change anyone’s mind. Unfortunately, some of the exchange was inaudible, but the rest is a profound denunciation of the protestors’ tactics and motivations.

In one exchange, a protestor standing by the fence asked the one standing next to him, who was shaking it with all his might, “What is the point of this [rattling fence]? [inaudible] for our point to get across?” “Yes, yes,” the other replied. “Honestly, how old are you? What’s going to happen? Do you think now he’s [Biden] going to change his mind, because you’ve proved to him that Palestine is [inaudible]?”

Afterward, another protestor exhorted those shaking the fence, “Why are we doing this? Let’s do this s*** right, bro.” Someone asked him, “Okay, what is ‘right’?” He replied, “‘Right’ is doing it peacefully, singing our songs, and doing our dances.” Those around him called him a crude name and then ignored his advice.

The fringe-left street activists aren’t alone. Employees of as many as 22 federal agencies, including the Executive Office of the President, the National Security Agency, the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Naval Research Laboratory, planned to participate in an illegal strike on Tuesday, organized by an anonymous group calling itself “Feds United for Peace.” They planned to observe a “Day of Mourning,” as Tuesday is the 100th day since Hamas’s terror attack. However, their plans came to nothing, as all federal offices in the D.C. area were closed anyway due to a winter storm.

Somehow — does it have to do with the dissidents within the system? — the Left’s constant pressure on Biden is having an effect on his foreign policy. Although the majority of Americans supports Israel and is disgusted by the Left’s uncivilized street demonstrations, the Biden administration is heeding its warnings, ratcheting up pressure on Israel as the radical Left turns up the heat on the White House. “The president’s patience is running out” on Israel’s war in Gaza, an anonymous official told Axios on Sunday. Several weeks ago, Biden abruptly hung up on Netanyahu after a tense exchange.

After his administration has done everything possible to slow down Israel’s war and making its task harder, Biden is now annoyed with Israel that it hasn’t won yet. Or, perhaps more correctly, Biden is channeling the anger of those who are annoyed that Israel fought back at all after Hamas’s October 7 terror attack. Meanwhile, Israel’s surrounding enemies have no desire for peace and continue to attack, with a Hezbollah rocket attack killing more Israelis on Tuesday.

In addition, the U.S. military’s passive response to provocations have emboldened other Iranian proxies in the Middle East to conduct bolder attacks. As of Thursday, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen had launched 27 attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, in addition to a number of missiles aimed at Israel. On January 9, they escalated the situation even further by directly attacking U.S. military ships. “These attacks have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation,” complained Biden. “More than 2,000 ships have been forced to divert thousands of miles to avoid the Red Sea — which can cause weeks of delays in product shipping times.”

In response, the U.S. finally launched retaliatory strikes against the Houthis on Thursday and Friday.

The pro-terrorism protestors outside the White House had this message for American forces trying to keep the world’s most important shipping lane open for business: “Hands off Yemen.” Wouldn’t that be nice, if we could do so?

On Sunday, the Houthis launched an anti-ship cruise missile towards a U.S. Navy ship it was capable of sinking. Fortunately, the ship survived, but the terrorist group has now made its intentions to kill U.S. servicemembers plain. The U.S. responded with a third strike against Yemeni targets on Tuesday. Meanwhile, on Thursday U.S. Navy SEALs captured a small boat that was smuggling missile parts from Iran to Yemen. Two men went missing during that mission, possibly drowned.

In light of these tense and dangerous developments in the Middle East, why would President Biden listen to the opinions of a fringe element that embraces anti-Semitism, alienates the public, and obviously hates America? Perhaps it’s because he needs their votes in November. Biden’s approval rating sank to an all-time low of 33%, while 58% disapprove in a recent ABC News/IPSOS poll. Biden now has the lowest approval rating of any president since George W. Bush in 2006-2008. So, the radical Left can continue their pro-terrorism protests, rattling Biden’s cage in the most literal sense, and expect no consequences.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand. All rights reserved.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Memo to Democrats — Lawlessness Started Long Before January 6

With nothing but three years of failure to campaign on, President Biden has made it clear that he intends to use January 6 as the theme of his reelection bid. The first evidence of that was his speech in Charleston on Monday, when he told the audience, “Let me say what others cannot: We must reject political violence in America. Always. Not sometimes — always.” Conservatives agree — we just didn’t wait until January 6 to say so.

Like most Americans, I thought the chaos created in the Capitol was foolish, and in some cases, criminal. But it was a riot, not an insurrection. You don’t stage an insurrection with signs, placards, and flags. The difference between many Republicans and President Biden is that we’ve been talking about the destructive nature of lawlessness for the last several years. But apparently, the burning down of major cities, the lobbing of Molotov cocktails, and destruction of federal property all went down the memory hole for the Left.

Now, suddenly, the legacy media has decided to care about these things, running headlines like The Washington Post’s, “Violent Political Threats Surge as 2024 Begins Haunting American Democracy.” The article starts with the story of Rusty Bowers, former speaker of the Arizona House and the latest victim of “swatting” that we’ve seen across America. “It was one of many violent threats and acts of intimidation that have defined the lives of various government officials since the 2020 election,” they claimed.

According to them, these political attacks just started. That’s interesting, since it was eight years earlier when, inspired by the radical Southern Poverty Law Center, a gunman followed SPLC’s “hate map” to Family Research Council and shot one of our employees. Armed with 100 rounds of ammunition, Floyd Corkins said his goal was to “kill as many people as possible.”

Despite that and so many other horrifying incidents, Steven Levitsky, a Harvard professor, suggested in the article that “while violent threats span the political spectrum, the ‘vast majority’ come from activists on and others on the far right.”

Does the entire Left suffer from clinical amnesia? When then-House Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot at a congressional baseball practice in 2017, it wasn’t a threat from the “far right.” It was a politically-motivated attack that almost took my good friend’s life. And after it happened, what did Democrats do? They fanned the flames.

High-ranking officials like former Attorney General Eric Holder seconded Hillary Clinton’s call for incivility, telling a rowdy crowd to start roughing up conservatives in 2018 — two years before the supposed genesis of all political violence. “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high,’” Holder told the audience. “No. No. When they go low, we kick them!”

This is the same party who told Americans to get up in people’s faces. “You have to be ready to throw a punch,” former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said. “Push back on them,” Democrat Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) coached the crowd. “Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” “[We’ll] fight Trump… in the streets,” Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) vowed. “Get up in their face,” Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) demanded. Even the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, encouraged the Left to loot, burn, and torment their opponents. “I support them,” she said.

And what about the hostility toward the newest members of the Supreme Court? Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) openly declared that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh “will pay a price” for not supporting abortion. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” he fumed, escalating tensions that were already evident outside the justices’ homes. But sure, it’s Trump supporters who “embrace political violence.”

Over at Reuters, reporters claims this all started with Biden’s predecessor. “Incidents of political violence began rising in 2016,” Gary LaFree argued, “around the time of Trump’s first run for the presidency.”

But let’s consider the context. In the summer of 2020, 140 American cities were torched in the most expensive explosion of civil disobedience, rioting, and looting that’s ever taken place in the country. As many as two dozen people died as a result of the mayhem unleashed after George Floyd’s death, causing $2 billion dollars worth of damage. But the media doesn’t factor in any of this. Nor do they take into account the hostility against pro-lifers since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which has yet to earn a footnote in their distorted reporting.

In The Washington Times, experts on violence called for bipartisan solutions. Here’s a solution. This one goes back to the very first president of the United States, George Washington. In his farewell address, he says, “Of all of the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” He continues, “And let us with caution, indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion …”

In other words, the very thing our country needs is being driven out, and that is a recognition of God and religion — allowing people to live out their faith in such a way that it affects the world around them. That, my friends, is the answer to incivility, lawlessness, and division.


Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

BLM Arsonists Receive No Jail Time, Only $500 Fine

A pair of arsonists who burned down a fast-food restaurant during the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots are only being given a $500 fine and no jail time. Chisom Kingston and Natalie Hanna White pleaded guilty last week to two counts of first-degree arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson related to an Atlanta-area Wendy’s they torched in June of 2020. The pair were sentenced to five years on probation, 150 hours of community service, and a $500 fine.

Fulton County’s far-left District Attorney Fanni Willis previously said, “It is unacceptable to burn down a building in our community even in the name of a protest,” just a few months before offering the arsonists a plea deal with no jail time. She added, “We certainly know it’s one of your constitutional rights but what we do not tolerate is violent protest.”

On June 12, 2020, police attempted to arrest Rayshard Brooks for exceeding the legal limit on a breathalyzer test, outside the Wendy’s. Brooks then assaulted Atlanta Police Department officer Devan Brosnan, stole his taser, ran, and shot the taser at officer Garrett Rolfe, prompting a defensive reaction from the officer. In August last year, a Georgia special prosecutor determined that Brosnan and Rolfe “acted in accordance with well-established law and were justified in the use of force regarding the situation.”

However, media outlets reported that police had shot an “unarmed black man,” prompting riots from Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors. The night after Brooks was shot, protestors stormed the Wendy’s and began setting fire to the restaurant and nearby cars. One of the rioters explained, “We burned this one specifically because of what happened here … This goes back to what our mission is, making sure that there is justice served for the person that died over here at this Wendy’s.” White, who was Brooks’s girlfriend, and Kingston were identified by police in video footage of the riot. A third arsonist, John Wesley Wade, was also identified and has pleaded guilty to federal arson charges, having also burned several postal trucks after setting fire to the Wendy’s.

Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “Laws must not be enforced based on ideological trends, and prosecutions must never be determined by what is politically palatable for the Left.” She added, “Some have suggested that by selectively enforcing laws like the FACE Act, the Biden administration is signaling what kind of politically motivated protests will and will not be tolerated. Under Biden, the Department of Justice has brought more than a dozen FACE Act cases, most of them against peaceful pro-life protesters.”

For example, several pro-life protestors were convicted of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in August and were immediately remanded into custody. A total of nine pro-life activists affiliated with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) group had blockaded a Washington, D.C. abortion facility in 2020, distributing pro-life pamphlets and advocating against the slaughter of the unborn. The PAAU members face up to 11 years in prison. Del Turco noted, “We need to think about what it means for our society when pro-lifers trying to save babies are dealt harsh punishments while leftist rioters face almost no consequences.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

An America with God on the Outskirts

Our nation is in crisis. It isn’t a gun crisis. Or fentanyl crisis. It’s not a border crisis — or even a government funding crisis.

It is a moral and spiritual crisis.

A sickening video that went viral last weekend fully displays it. The video was of two 17-year-old males, who were apparently identifying as heartless, demon-possessed thugs, recording their joyride in a stolen car. The video shows the two cheering as they ram and force one car off the road.

Then they spotted 64-year-old Andreas Probst, a retired police officer, taking his morning bike ride. The driver asked his passenger if he was ready to capture their feat on camera.

Swerving into the bike lane behind Probst, they blew the horn and then plowed into the back of him, throwing him onto the windshield, over the car, and onto the pavement as they accelerated. The punk in the passenger seat turned to catch on camera Probst bounce onto the road, who died of his injuries that day.

The driver was arrested shortly after and taken to the juvenile detention center. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has announced it will try the teenagers as adults.

Don’t expect the White House or others, who see violent crime as little more than justification to grab more power over law-abiding citizens, to pay any attention to a drive-over killing. However, this crime is so shocking some are asking how we arrived at such a place where cold-blooded murder is callously carried out like a virtual video game.

But should we really be surprised? As a nation, we’ve pushed God to the outskirts of society. Instead of teaching our children that they are created in the image of God and therefore have value, we are telling them they come from animals, and then we are shocked when they act like animals.

This is a moral and spiritual crisis. But don’t expect political leaders, especially on the Left, to acknowledge that fact because they refuse to look beyond the symptoms.

Take the Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, who is calling for city-owned grocery stores to be placed in neighborhoods that have become what he calls “food deserts” after Walmart and Whole Foods shuttered their stores because of unsustainable losses.

Retailers nationwide are going under and shutting their doors because of a $100 billion-dollar shoplifting epidemic. It’s gotten so bad here in Washington, D.C. that almost everything is behind locked plexiglass.

Commentators and conservatives point to lax policies like California’s Prop 47, which reduced theft from a potential felony to a misdemeanor. These lenient policies only compound the lawlessness fostered by depleted and demoralized police departments in the wake of the Left’s Defund the Police movement.

But it’s not just civil government that has facilitated this moral and spiritual crisis that threatens the future of our country. I’ve often been asked this question while in conversation with political leaders. “Tony, why do pastors want us to vote on and speak about issues they won’t preach about from the pulpit?”

To be sure, many pastors are preaching on these issues; some were at Family Research Council’s recent Pray Vote Stand Summit: Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Cornerstone Chapel’s Gary Hamrick, Bishop Vincent Mathews, and others. But far too many fail to see their God-given role to not just preach the truth but challenge people to live by the truth in every area of life. In the church, pastors must rediscover their prophetic voice to address this moral and spiritual crisis.

Yes, the lawless, anti-God policies of government have fostered this violent and deadly environment, and the church has, for the most part, only whispered its objections. But where are the parents?

I know the government has usurped the role of moms and dads in many ways, hiding critical information from them about their children’s mental and spiritual well-being at school. In some cases, they’ve refused to allow parents to get counseling for their children if it is not in lockstep with leftist ideology.

But a recent report from King’s College London suggests parents in the United States are not concerned with their children being civil or even obedient. Coming in nearly dead last in the two dozen surveyed countries, only 21% of American adults said obedience was a priority for children. What did rank near the top of priorities? Tolerance.

There was little tolerance for Mr. Probst.

To 21st century ears, it is archaic to quote a Founding Father. But considering that they did craft what has become the longest-surviving written charter of government in the world, maybe we can learn from them how to keep this experiment in liberty going.

John Adams, America’s second president, warned, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In other words, if we don’t go beyond the litany of crises facing our nation, which are just symptoms — whether it be the border, fentanyl, guns, or stolen cars used to run over innocent people — to see what is truly at the heart of this crisis, we will lose this country as we have known it, because we will miss the moral and spiritual crisis confronting us.

We must return to God and to His word.


Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.