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BB&T and SunTrust are merging – make sure they support 2ndVote values

By the end of 2019, two of America’s leading banks are expected to create a new mega-bank: Truist, a merger of BB&T (2.1 – Leaning Liberal) and SunTrust (2.3 – Leaning Liberal). The new company will serve 10 million Americans and be worth $66 billion, making it the nation’s sixth-largest bank.

Truist is meant to convey “trust” and “true.” As the merger comes closer to reality, 2ndVote is urging you to make sure the new company can be trusted to be true to American values. Currently, SunTrust ranks a 2.3 (lean liberal) on the 2ndVote scale, and BB&T ranks a 2.1 (lean liberal).

Neither of these rankings is impressive – but there is great potential for Truist to be a bank instead of a funder of the left-wing agenda. SunTrust donates to many groups who support liberty, such as The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. Other donations are to groups which advocate for left-wing policies but have legitimate missions – such as Susan G. Komen and United Way.

Alas, SunTrust did recently pull the financial rug out from under two companies which partner with the federal government to house immigrants. That’s a policy which must not carry forward to Truist.

BB&T doesn’t engage in much corporate activism at all. Their greatest challenge is the total acquiescing to the LGBT agenda – BB&T ranks a 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. This means that while they don’t push LGBT priorities in their external donations, their corporate structure is set up to make LGBT activists happy.

2ndVote Americans can engage with the future Truist in several key ways to urge the new bank to serve all Americans instead of using your money to serve the liberal agenda.

First, contact BB&T CEO Kelly King and SunTrust CEO Bill Rogers. They will serve in top leadership roles at Truist for the next several years – they must know how their Middle America customers feel and what you believe.

Second, spread the word on social media and among your friends and family. Let everyone know that these companies lean left, but that with the right pressure they may get back on the path of serving customers instead of spending hard-earned money on political advocacy. It’ll take everyone working together, but it can be done if all 2ndVote Americans are working arm-in-arm.

Third, let the future Truist know that you need to see progress or you’ll have to take your business elsewhere. No bank is truly neutral on the 2ndVote scale, but Central Pacific Financial is close –  a 2.9. Its main issue is that it donates to the gun control-supporting YWCA. However, they balance that support with donations made to Catholic Charities and The Salvation Army.

Again, the name “Truist” is meant to convey trust and true. You can help make that a reality instead of simply a slogan.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Company Contrast – Marriott International

EDITORS NOTE: This 2nd Vote column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Science is Falsifiable. Take Climate Change As An Example.

The Clear Energy Alliance produced the below video on global warming stating:

In order to know if a theory could be true, there must be a way to prove it to be false. Unfortunately, many climate change scientists, the media and activists are ignoring this cornerstone of science. In this bizarre new world, all unwelcome climate events are caused by climate change. But as legendary scientific philosopher Karl Popper noted, “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing.” Guest host Marc Morano explains.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Global Warming Theory Scientific?

EDITORS NOTE: This video by Clear Energy Alliance is republished from their YouTube channel. The featured image is from Pixabay.

Restoring Civilization: We Can’t MAGA Unless We MAMA

They can sense it. They can feel it. Something is seriously wrong in our civilization, and many people know it. This is why despite the relatively good economic times, most Americans polled say our country is on the “wrong track.” Yet many are like a gravely ill man who knows he’s not well but can’t precisely identify his ailment. Most often, Americans have only a vague sense of cultural malaise, or they “self-diagnose” wrongly.

Years ago I had a brief “state of the nation” discussion with a very fine, older country gentleman. While no philosopher, he did offer the following diagnosis. Struggling for words and gesticulating a bit, he said, “There’s…there’s no morality.”

Most believe morality is important both personally and nationally. We generally agree that an immoral man treads a dangerous path; of course, it’s likewise for two immoral men, five, 53 or 1,053 — or a whole nation-full.

Echoing many Founders, George Washington noted that “morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” The famous apocryphal saying goes, “America is great because America is good, and if she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” For sure, we can’t MAGA unless we MAMA — Make America Moral Again.

Yet if immorality is the diagnosis and restoring morality the cure, we must know what this thing called “morality” is. Ah, that’s where agreement can end.

Talk to most people today — especially the people who study people, sociologists and anthropologists — and they’ll “identify morality with social code,” as Sociology Guide puts it. They’ll essentially say what sociologists Durkheim and Sumner do, “that things are good or bad if they are so considered by society or public opinion,” the site continues. “Durkheim stated that we do not disapprove of an action because it is a crime but it is a crime because we disapprove of it.” Yet true or not, would the majority really view an action as a crime, in the all-important moral sense, if they came to believe it was true?

Consider a man I knew who once proclaimed, “Murder isn’t wrong; it’s just that society says it is.” Clearly, “public opinion” isn’t swaying him much.

Yet how do you argue with him? Barring reference to something outside of man (i.e., God) dictating murder’s “immorality,” you’re left with a striking reality:

Society is all there is to say anything.

Then “Man is the measure of all things,” as Greek philosopher Protagoras put it.

Yet acceptance of the “society says” thesis presents a problem: Now you must convince others to equate “public opinion” with credible, binding “morality.” This is mostly fruitless because, frankly, it’s stupid.

Man’s opinion is just that — opinion. If the term “morality” is essentially synonymous, it’s a risible redundancy. If we’re acting as slick marketers, trying to elevate “opinion” via assignment of an impressive-sounding title, it’s false advertising. So if that is all we’re really talking about — “opinion” or “societal considerations” — let’s drop the pretense and just say what we mean:

We sentient organic robots (soulless entities comprising chemicals and water) have preferences for how others should behave (subject to change with or without notice). No, we can’t call these tastes “morality” — but, hey, we can punish the heck out of you for defying our collective will (see North Korea et al.).

To cement the point, consider my patent explanation. Who or what determines what this thing we call morality is?

Only two possibilities exist: Either man or something outside of him does. If the latter, something vastly superior and inerrant (i.e., God), then we really can say morality exists, apart from man. It’s real. Yet what are the man-as-measure implications?

Well, imagine the vast majority of the world loved chocolate but hated vanilla. Would this make vanilla “wrong” or “evil”? It’s just a matter of preference, of whatever flavor works for you.

Okay, but is it any more logical saying murder is “bad” or “wrong” if we only do so because the vast majority of the world prefers we not kill others in a manner the vast majority considers “unjust”? If it’s all just consensus “opinion,” it then occupies the same category as flavors: preference.

This is the matter’s stark reality, boiled down. It’s why serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s darkness-enabling attitude was, as his father related in a 1996 interview (video below; relevant portion at 40:26), “If it [life] all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a God? Can’t I set my own rules?” It’s why occultist Aleister Crowley, branded “the wickedest man in the world,” succinctly stated, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” (Preference Über Alles 101).

[Please insert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgw0x0TxRO8]

This perspective engenders what’s often called “moral relativism,” the notion that “Truth” (absolute by definition) is illusion and what’s called “morality” changes with the time and people. But saying all is preference is actually moral nihilism, the belief that “morality” (properly understood) doesn’t actually exist — because, again, “opinion” isn’t morality.

Of course, few think matters through as thoroughly as a Dahmer or Crowley. (In fact, a possible reason sociopaths may possess above-average intelligence is that they’re smart enough to grasp the “morality” question’s two possibilities — either morality exists as something divinely-authored, something transcendent, or there is no morality — but draw the wrong conclusion.) Yet moral relativism/nihilism has swept Western civilization. And hell has followed with it.

How relativistic/nihilistic are we? A Barna Group study found that in 2002 already, most Americans did not believe in (absolute) Truth, in morality; in fact, only six percent of teens did. Thus are they most likely to base what once were called “moral decisions” on…wait for it…feelings. Surprise, surprise.

Such prevailing philosophical/moral rot collapses civilization. For anything can be justified. Rape, kill, steal, violate the Constitution as a judge, commit vote fraud? Why not? Who’s to say it’s wrong? Don’t impose values on me, dude.

To analogize it, imagine we fell victim to “dietary relativism/nihilism” and fancied the rules of nutrition nonexistent. With only taste left to govern dietary choices, most would indulge junk food; nutritional disorder would reign and health deteriorate. Moreover, considering one man’s poison another’s pleasure, we might sample those pretty red berries the birds gobble down. Hey, if it tastes good, eat it.

This reflects what’s befalling our “If it feels good, do it” Western civilization. Considering the rules of any system non-existent or irrelevant brings movement toward disorder — and a point where those who can impose their preferences restore order, a tyrannical one.

Having said this, discussing “Truth” and God evokes complaints, as the morally relativistic/nihilistic world view influences even many conservatives, and secularists find faith-oriented talk unsettling.

So let’s focus here on not faith but fact. As to this and the world’s Dahmers, Crowleys and the murder-skeptic man I knew, call them names, but don’t call them illogical. Within their universe of “data”— that “God doesn’t exist” and thus only organic robots can be the measure — they’re right: Murder’s status isn’t “wrong,” just “unpreferred.”

Note that moral principles cannot be proven scientifically any more than God’s existence; you can’t see a moral under a microscope or a principle in a Petri dish. Science only tells us what we can do, not what we should. Finding guidance on “should” necessitates transcending the physical and venturing into the metaphysical. It requires, pure logic informs, taking a leap of faith.

Something else not a matter of faith but fact is man’s psychology: People operate by certain principles. Like it or not, believing as Dahmer did (when young) about God leads to believing as he did about morality. “If man is all there is to make up rules, why can’t I just make up my own?”

As I put it in 2013, “Just as people wouldn’t abide by the ‘laws’ of physics if they didn’t believe they existed (the idea of jumping off a building and flying sounds like fun), and there weren’t obvious and immediate consequences for their violation (splat!), they won’t be likely to abide by morality if they believe its laws don’t exist.”

Of course, this rarely leads to serial killing. But it always — at population level — leads to serial immorality. This is an immutable rule of man.

So how should we combat our time’s moral relativism/nihilism? First, realize that from the Greek philosophers to the early/medieval Christians to the Founding Fathers, Western civilization was not forged by relativists/nihilists. It won’t be maintained by them, either. “If it feels good, do it” yields a healthy society even less than “If it tastes good, eat it” does a healthy body.

Thus, one needn’t have faith to understand that belief in Truth is utilitarian. As George Washington warned, “[R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Second, know that moral relativism/nihilism’s appeal is that it’s the ultimate get-out-of-sin free card. After all, my sins can’t be sins if there are no such things as sins, only “lifestyle choices.” Yet also know that we can have this seemingly eternal but illusory absolution — or we can have civilization. We can’t have both.

So act as if Truth exists; seek it, speak it, love it, for it will set you free. Realize also that relativism is juvenile pseudo-philosophy. For if everything were relative, what you believed would be relative, too, and thus meaningless. So let’s talk about what’s meaningful.

The alternative? Well, it was expressed nicely by an old New Yorker cartoon. It featured the Devil addressing a large group of arrivals in Hell and saying, reassuringly, “You’ll find there’s no right or wrong here. Just what works for you.”

It’s an alluring idea — and a powerful one. It creates Hell on Earth, too.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Gab (preferably) or Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

RELATED VIDEOS:

America’s Anti God Rebellion

The Make America Great Formula.

EDITORS NOTE: This article is the second in a series on exposing modern (liberal) lies, explaining the disordered leftist mind and restoring civilization. The first is here. The “American’t” essay, which illustrates our problems, is here. The edited featured photo by Jonny Swales on Unsplash.

Would Muhammad Have Been a Good Rotarian?

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:

“Of the things we think, say or do”

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

In the 1988 Hamas Covenant Article 17, 22, 28, Rotary Clubs are singled out along with Lions and Freemasons clubs as mere puppets of the Zionists who are running American media, wealth institutions and the source of all evils placed upon Muslims.

This portion of Article 17, entitled the “Role of Women” tells Muslim women in particular to be wary of joining Rotary Clubs;

The Moslem woman has a role no less important than that of the moslem man in the battle of liberation….they consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up the way they wish, far from Islam, they would have won the battle. That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through… lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs…these organizations operate in the absence of Islam and its estrangement among its people. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.

In order to be a “true” Muslim, one must repeat the Shahada that says “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”  This simple phrase said by all Muslims (five times a day, every day)  means that to be a true Muslim one must behave as Muhammad to include his treatment of Muslims and Kafirs, i.e. non-Muslim Rotarians.

Applying the Four-Way Test, how does a “true” Muslim Rotarian answer these questions?

Is it the truth?

A Kafir Rotarian and “secular Muslim Rotarian” would answer yes, unequivocally.

A true Muslim would say, “it depends”.  Why?

There are 99 terms to describe Allah. One of those comes from the Quran Sura 3:54 where it says in part, “for Allah is the best of deceivers.”

Thus, the Quran unashamedly calls Muhammad’s god the best liar and deceiver of them all! It even dares to say that ALL deception belongs completely to Allah:

And verily, those before them did deceive/scheme (makara), but all deception/scheming is Allah’s (falillahi al-makru). He knows what every person earns, and the disbelievers will know who gets the good end. Quran Sura. 13:42

Muhammad promoted the concept of “taqiyya”, which under Islamic ideology allows for deception or outright lying.  Any statement, which if the truth were told would harm Islam, can become a “lie” in order to do no harm to “Islam”. Sahih al-Muslim (one of the most respected sources by a consensus of past and current Islamic scholars) where Muhammad is granting his approval to have a critic, like the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, killed even if lying is required:

“Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). “The Prophet said, “You may say it.” 

It is these “stories” or “hadith” that are taken as examples of behavior other Muslims should emulate,. http://www.alim.org/library/hadith/SHB/369/5

Is it Fair to all concerned?

The west Judeo-Christian heritage has as one of its underlying tenets the “Golden Rule”. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This concept is absent in the Islam that Muhammad preached. The Quran says 91 times to follow the example of the best Muslim who has ever lived and if he didn’t practice this, Muslims are not to practice it either.

Islam has no place for “fairness”. Islam translates to “submission”. The relationship is a “master/slave” relationship as described by Muhammad and Muslim scholars.

A “master” does whatever he wishes with no regard to the “slave” and in Islam/the Quran the same applies to any follower of Allah. Nothing the Muslim can say, do or believe in their heart can garner any since of fairness in how they are chosen on who goes to Paradise, except through Jihad martyrdom. Good deeds outweighing bad deeds is the goal for non-martyrs but even that is no guarantee as Allah determines what is “fair”.

Additionally, men are subservient to Allah, women are subservient to men, and non-Muslims are subservient to Muslims, hardly fair to all concerned.

Under Shariah law, sanctioned by the Islamic scripture, a non-Muslim is never to be put in a superior position over a Muslim.

Rotarians would never support promoting a more qualified individual into a position solely based upon their religious beliefs. Does that occur in the west where Shariah law is not applied?  No.

The West has laws against that. But in countries where Shariah law is applied, such discrimination occurs and is sanctioned by Islam.  So once again a truly “good” Muslim could never agree in principle to the second statement in the Four Way Test.

Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

For an orthodox Muslim the Quran Sura 3:28 determines his response to this statement:

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying. S. 3:28

Orthodox Muslims are directed by Muhammad to not befriend Christians, Jews and unbelievers. Based upon what has been laid out by Muhammad in the Quran (not some talking head or another Muslim), any Muslim Rotarian who is treating a Kafir Rotarian nicely and with respect is either (1) a “secular Muslim” and not being a “good” Muslim as defined by Muhammad or (2) is practicing deceit and taqiyya.  Fortunately most Rotary Muslims fall into the former category versus the latter. The greatest abuser of Muslims are other Muslims and to speak out against the tyranny found in Islam against women, children and non-Muslims as well as Muslims who don’t follow the “true path”, Shariah law, comes at such a cost that most Muslims are silenced out of fear.

The question remains are those “good Rotary” Muslims then practicing some other form of Islam, “moderate” for example, that allows them to pick and choose those Suras that are found in the Quran as well as other tenets of orthodox Islam?  Pure Islamic ideology has no room for that variance (see below).

Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Treaties, constitutions and other formal agreements would be examples of how two parties settle a dispute and are “beneficial to all concerned”.  Do we have examples of Muhammad signing agreements or treaties with others?  How did he treat those agreements?

The first type of “agreement” that Muhammad promoted as “fair to all concern” was the concept of the “dhimmi” contract. In Arabic, dhimmi means “protection”. It was during Islam’s history and is today the legal and social rules Christians or Jews who live under Muslim control must operate under.

They are “allowed” by agreement to practice their religion under very strict guidelines; no repairing of non-Muslim religious shrines without approval, they must walk on the other side of the street if approached by a Muslim, they must provide housing to a Muslim who is traveling and most pay a “jizya” tax per person in the family to the local community for the privilege of living in the Islamic community.

This was practiced during Muhammad’s day and is practiced still today where Muslims are the majority and Christians and Jews are in the minority.

A current example of an agreement that could be “beneficial to all concerned” would be between Israel and the Palestinians.  If the Palestinians stopped shooting rockets tomorrow,  building tunnels in order to kill Israeli civilians and agreed to the right of Israel to exist as a state, some mutually beneficial agreement could be reached.  However, if Israel laid down their arms, no one doubts a second Holocaust would occur overnight.  In 1948, 1967 and in 1973 whenever mutually beneficial agreement negotiations occurred, the Palestinian leadership, i.e. Hamas, PLO, Muslims, reiterated its position that is found in the Hamas 1988 Covenant , Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

How do you negotiate with a party that wishes to kill you?  How is that mutually beneficial? Muhammad did this in his time with the Constitution of Medina eventually breaking that treaty and either enslaving, killing or making all Jews and Christians refugees from their homes in and around Medina.

These past and current examples are hardly “beneficial to all concern”.

No one is claiming all Muslims are going to lie, deceive, take advantage of others or not apply the ‘golden rule” when conducting their daily affairs. It would be ludicrous to say so.

The Muslims I encounter in my daily life are nice, kind and thoughtful, all traits that would make them on the surface a good Rotarian candidate for membership. A recent picnic with Afghan students, all Muslims,  proved that point clearly.

Separating the ideology that expressly preaches against the “golden rule” and is the antithesis to the Four Way Test code should be an issue of honest debate among orthodox, secular Muslims and non-Muslims. Since 60% of the Quran describes relations for Muslims toward non-Muslims, the topic is relevant to non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

Back to the dilemma; can you be a “good Muslim” and believe all the statements below are true?

  • “The entire life (not parts of it) of Muhammad represents the example I should follow”
  • “I praise his example and declare, like the Quran does 91 times, that Muhammad is the role model for me and all Muslims to follow”
  • “I can be a good Rotarian and answer truthfully “yes” to the Rotary Four Way Test!”

As President Erdogan of Turkey said in 2007 when asked about “moderate Islam” during a television interview he replied with the following: “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

One shouldn’t ask a talking head, another Muslim or even an Imam what a “good Muslim” is or is not.  The only basis this judgment can be made upon is Muhammad and it’s all there in black and white to read in the Quran, the Hadiths and the stories of Muhammad.   Muslims may answer differently but in the end, their opinions don’t matter, only Muhammad’s example stands as the example they will be judged by.

I’ll ask the question of Rotarians or any service club member;

Rotarians conduct “fireside chats” with prospective new members before voting on them.  Who is most likely not to be accepted intoyour service club, Jesus, Gandhi, the Pope or Muhammad based upon the example they set?

Don’t be mislead, I didn’t say Muslims shouldn’t be Rotarians or members of any service group. As for Muslims or non-Muslims, the standard should be the same, one’s character, reputation, one’s trustworthiness, contributions to society, willingness to put service over self and ability to work with others.

Muslims are fine people who operate under the yoke of a “master/slave” relationship that most were born into.  Many Muslims do not even know of the facts presented above so it is understandable they maybe offended.

However, not being given the facts doesn’t disqualify those same facts from being true. If one merely discards these new facts or make a less than serious gesture at finding a new truth, the cloak of ignorance can no longer be worn. Two options remain for any Muslim who discovers the truth; complicity in the lie, i.e. a “deceiver” like Allah, or encompassing these new facts toward a different life choice.

The Rotarian Four Way Test encompasses the values I’ve tried to teach my children, that I took an oath to uphold as a commissioned officer in the Air Force and one that my Christian faith holds dear.  I suspect that many of the Muslim Rotarians around the world feel the same way as I do. They reject in their heart the violence of Muhammad and Islam.  As non-Muslims our best option is to continue to practice the Four Way Test in all the things we think, do or say, particularly toward Muslims.

My statements are not opinions but fact backed upon the Quran, Hadiths and the four major schools of Islamic thought.

For anyone who feels my statements constitute “hate-speech” I pose this question, “Can telling the truth ever be construed as being hate-speech?”  If you are looking for an answer, reference the First Amendment.

P.S. For any Rotarian who thinks relating Islam to Rotary violates the Third and Fourth Test, “Does it Build Good Will and Better Friendships” and “Will it be Beneficial to All Concerned” just recall what the Hamas Covenant said, “…The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated”. 

When I visited the Rotary Club in Prague, Czech Republic and asked how long one of the members there had been in Rotary, he answered, “since 1989, when the wall came down. It was the first time we were permitted to have Rotary Clubs”.

Defending our freedoms in advance is far less bloody than doing it too late. All Americans, Rotarians included, around the world need to realize that fact. Just ask the Czechs.

Why Does the Media Lie About National Disasters?

When I was a young child I enjoyed reading comic books. It served as an easy escape from the chaos of city life in Queens, New York. Marvel comics had a series at the time that was titled “What if” where they would alter comic book history and ask questions like “what if Spiderman’s Uncle Ben had lived?” I recently read this piece by Sean Davis at the Federalist about the Washington Posts’ mis-reporting on Amtrak funding and, with the Marvel comic series in mind, thought “what if the dinosaur media told America the truth?”

To be fair, many in the traditional media do an excellent job of objectively reporting facts and data. But a number of others abuse their privilege and do not. The horrible Amtrak tragedy last week and some of the disingenuous reporting that has followed, illuminated this abuse of journalistic privilege as biased reporters jumped on the “more funding for Amtrak” bandwagon despite evidence that a deficiency in taxpayer money isn’t the problem.

What if the media told the truth about Social Security, taxes?

What if the dinosaur media told the truth about Amtrak and other important policy issues? I am 100 percent convinced that the country would be in a far different – and far better – place right now. Let’s engage in this thought exercise for a moment:

What if the media told the truth about Social Security? A recent Harvard/Dartmouth study (no bastion of conservativism), which received scant media coverage, was damning with regard to the future of Social Security. It revealed what many conservatives have been saying for years: that the program is “going bankrupt.” The government has been using your Social Security money as its personal piggy bank for decades. How is this not a major scandal worth an ounce of honesty from the dinosaur media and shouldn’t conservatives be credited, not maligned, for sounding the alarm?

What if the media told the truth about tax rates? When Kansas Governor Sam Brownback dramatically cut the tax rates in his state to spur job growth, and a SHORT TERM budget shortfall resulted, many biased media types leaped at the opportunity to declare, “tax cuts don’t work.” This outrageous premise is so easily refuted by Googling the words “Texas” and “job growth,” and “Florida” and “taxes,” that wasting space here to chop this faulty premise down would be a complete waste of time. Also, now that Kansas is becoming a regional leader for job growth and has dramatically lowered its unemployment rate, many in the dinosaur media are conveniently silent. Again, shouldn’t the facts speak for themselves?

What if the media told the truth about what’s really destroying our inner cities?

Decades of government interference in inner city economies, decades of public education monopolies, decades of government-run healthcare programs, decades of government bureaucrats and politicians pouring tax payer’s hard-earned money into these areas with little to nothing to show for, and decades of social programs that have decimated the family structure have accumulated to create the severe crisis of opportunity in our inner cities happening today. These policies have disconnected the people living in these inner cities from any sense of independence and ownership and the media’s refusal to tell the story of this man-made opportunity crisis is a genuine American tragedy.

Is the media even interested in getting to the root of the problem? 

Finally, what if the media told the truth about the artificial divisions being created in this country simply for personal political gains? Can you fathom how much more unified we would be as a country if the media had called out the hard left and President Obama on their fraudulent “war on women” meme early in the election cycle before it had the chance to artificially divide us?

What if the media dumped ideology in favor of honest reporting? With the privilege of being a voice in the media with a platform comes great responsibility. A responsibility to report the facts and all facets of the story, not editorialize based on one opinion.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured image of an Amtrak train is by Michael R. Sisak | AP Photo.

The Deadly Paris Terror Attack and the Myth of Religion

“Another attack in the name of religion,” I heard someone say after the vicious and vile Wednesday assault on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo. And there is a huge problem with “religion.” But it’s not what you think.

Question: When the Nazis, Stalinists, Khmer Rouge, the Shining Path or the Weathermen committed violence, did we lament, “Another attack in the name of ideology”? Did we hear “Ideology is the problem”? That would be about as helpful as going to a doctor with a dreadful illness and, upon asking him what the problem is, his responding “Your state of health.”

Like ideology, religion is a category, not a creed. As with states of health, which occupy a continuum from excellent to awful, they both contain the good, the bad and the ugly. But modern man, not wanting to place an onus on a faith or seem a “religious” chauvinist, is a bad physician who refuses to name the disease or the cure. So depending on how he is emotionally disposed, we may hear utterances such as “Children need some religion” or “Religion breeds violence.” Ancient Aztec children had “religion,” and they learned well how to sacrifice thousands of innocents a year to Quetzalcoatl on bloody altars. And Amish children have “religion,” and peace and charity define them.

Conservatives exhibit this problem as well. So many will say “Islam is not a religion; it’s a destructive all-encompassing ideology,” or some variation thereof. They treat “religion,” that broad category, as if it’s good by definition. Not that this isn’t understandable. Raised in a relativistic and pluralistic (and these two qualities have a bearing on one another) society, they want to get along with their neighbors; so they tacitly accept an unwritten agreement stating “I won’t say my religion is better than yours if you don’t say yours is better than mine. We’ll just be even-steven!” The trouble is that this solves nothing — and its implications are more dangerous than jihad.

Starting out simply, note that most of the “religions” man has known were more in the nature of the Aztecs’ bloody faith than what we generally embrace today. But many will assert that this is the point: can’t we say all our mainstream faiths are “good,” practically speaking? Can’t we just omit from their category any “religion” not considered good? Well, we can say and do many things, but ideas have consequences. And a civilization with a corrupted philosophical foundation will not long stand.

Consider another question: what makes some ideologies better than others? It’s that they espouse different values. But what of “religions”?

They also espouse different values.

(And not all values are virtues.)

Thus, not all “religions” can be morally equal unless all values are so. This is important to understand. Every time we treat “religions” as if they are all morally equal, every time we spread that idea explicitly or implicitly — no matter how good our intentions — we’re transmitting the notion that all values are equal. And consider what follows from this: if all values are equal, how can peace be better than jihad?

How could respect for life be better than disdain for it?

How could Western law be better than Sharia law?

How could the Sisters of Charity be better than ISIS?

Of course, this means all ideologies would have to be equal as well, from Nazism to Marxism to conservatism to liberalism to libertarianism. Upon embracing relativism, you have no sound intellectual foundation from which to critique or combat anything (though you can certainly fake one without blinking, as relativism deems deception no worse than sincerity).

Why does this matter? Because this relativism has robbed us of an intellectual argument for defending Western civilization (“How could it be better than any other?” asks Professor Larebil). It is the philosophical fifth column that has opened the door to destructive, unassimilable foreign elements via multiculturalism. As to this, multiculturalism states that all cultures are morally equal. But it’s as with “religion” and ideology: since different cultures espouse different values, not all cultures could be morally equal unless all values were so. It is pure and utter nonsense, a phenomenon of modern times, but, of course, moderns in the main believe it. In fact, the Barna Group research company reported in 2002 in “Americans Are Most Likely to Base Truth on Feelings” that only six percent of teenagers believe “moral truth is absolute.” But it’s an apple that has fallen not far from the burning tree and just a little closer to Perdition — only 22 percent of adults believe in moral absolutes, Barna found, and I think that figure is generous. And this baby philosophy of relativism, my friends, as I’ve been telling you for years and years and years, is why we’re collapsing.

Now let’s return to something mentioned earlier: the criticism of Islam for not being a “religion” but a whole system for living. This misses the point that your “religion,” if true, is supposed to be a whole system for living. And this also brings me to why I have religiously placed “religion” in quotation marks.

This distinction between “religious” and “secular” is largely a false one.

There is only one distinction that truly matters: the true and the untrue.

“Secular” and “religious,” especially in the sense we use them, are relatively modern terms. There was a time when beliefs were not “secular” or “religious” — or even liberal or conservative, or right or left — but simply true or untrue.

And this is the only perspective that makes sense. Think about it: if God exists, is it significant that we call recognition of this reality “religious” or that it’s true? If communism is essentially false, is it significant that we call recognition of that reality “secular” or that it’s untrue? There is only Truth and everything else — and everything else, no matter how you dress it up linguistically, is nothing at all.

In a way, pusillanimous moderns are much like pious Muslims. Muslim theology entertains the curious notion of “dual truth,” the idea that what may be true “religiously” may not be true in nature. This silliness was rejected by Western thinkers in the Middle Ages; now, however, something smacking of it has been embraced by their descendants, who may say things such as “A little ‘religion’ is okay, as long as you don’t go overboard.” Or they may compartmentalize faith, thinking it must be left outside the government-building door or even relegate it to one hour a week of “worship services,” as if it’s mere recreation or an unhealthful indulgence only to be taken in moderation. But if your faith is the Truth — if it reflects the will of the Creator of the Universe — you have an obligation to govern yourself, and infuse your every institution, with it. And if it be a lie, it belongs nowhere but the bowels of Hell.

Of course, if, like most Americans, we believe everything is relative, then none of this matters. Then tolerance and intolerance, multiculturalism and cultural chauvinism, charity and barbarity, the “religious” and the “secular” are all equal. And then those darkly clad men with AK-47s in Paris on Wednesday couldn’t really have been “wrong.” They just had a different perspective.

If we don’t really believe this, then it’s time to grow up. It’s time to understand that if everything is relative, then what we say is relative, too, and thus meaningless. So let’s talk about what is meaningful. We can start by accepting that culture isn’t bad, but there are better and worse cultures. “Religion” isn’t bad, but there is bad “religion.” And tolerance, correctly defined as the abiding of perceived negatives, isn’t bad — except when those perceived negatives are objectively negative and, instead of just being tolerated, could actually be wiped out. Willful tolerance of evil is evil itself.

The Muslims have bad “religion.” We have bad philosophy. Both our civilizations believe in things that are untrue. It’s the “tolerant” meeting the intolerable, a match made in Hell — and poised to create exactly that on Earth.

EDITORS NOTE: Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Am Yisrael Chai: Lighting the light of a single candle

Summer 2014: The world looks like it’s at the brink of WW III. With all the darkness pushing fear and terror upon the world, what positive way can WE do something to ensure the safety of Israel?

Answer: Light the light of a single candle of truth.