Coincidence or a message — what do you think?

Aslan roaringBear with me, because I have a story to tell about something that was either an amazing coincidence or a sign.  And regardless of what it was, it makes for a fun little tale.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday, sorting mail and speaking with a friend.  The conversation got around to morality and the afterlife.  Neither my friend nor I are actively religious — that is, he doesn’t practice the Christian faith in which he was raised, and I don’t practice the Jewish faith in which I was raised.  Nevertheless, both of us believe there probably is a divine being.

I know that I’ve long since concluded that the Big Bang theory is not an answer, but just a big question, I remain neutral as to whether that divine being is the God of the Bible (either Old Testament or New, or both combined).

My theory of morality and the afterlife continues to be defined by what I think is the greatest religious parable in modern history:  C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle, a book that, to my mind, has gained even greater traction since 9/11. For those unfamiliar with the book, The Last Battle essentially tells of Armageddon, with the Western-style kingdom of Narnia attacked, and then destroyed, by the neighboring Calormenes, who are modeled on medieval Saracens (i.e., Muslims). Given that today’s radical Muslims, like Narnia’s Calormenes, are medievalists who want to destroy the West, the parallels seem pretty darn perfect. Indeed, the Calormenes are kind of like the Iranian Shias, who believe that they must bring around the end of days — which is what happens in The Last Battle.

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It’s okay to be judgmental — as long as you’re making the right judgments

Facebook intifadah“You’re so judgmental, Mom,” my teen told me yesterday.  The reason for this statement (and he totally missed the irony of his judging me for being too judgmental) was the distaste I expressed for Mark Zuckerberg.

I didn’t defend myself against my teen’s charge.

“You’re damn right I’m judgmental.  Zuckerberg deserves to be judged.”

When my teen expressed incredulity at my claim, I elaborated.  I told him that groups such as Hamas frequently use Facebook to disseminate incitement to kill Jews.  They put up cartoons, videos, instructional posters, and just about anything else that tells Hamas’ Facebook friends to slaughter Jews on Israel’s streets.

That’s bad.

What’s worse is that Facebook isn’t doing anything to stop this outpouring of genocidal antisemitic incitement.  It’s gotten so bad that thousands of Israelis have joined Shurat HaDin – The Israel Law Center in a lawsuit against Facebook demanding that it remove this material:

Shurat HaDin wants to force Facebook to not only remove the terrorists’ pages, but also to better monitor and block users who post videos glorifying and encouraging terrorist attacks, and publish messages with instructions on how to carry out an attack.

“The terrorists do not come on their own; they write posts and encourage their friends to kill Jews,” Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin, told Fox News. “Facebook has been transformed into an anti-Semitic incubator for murder.”


The lawsuit says that since Facebook uses algorithms that match users with personalized ads and connect them to potential “friends,” the company should have the ability to monitor and block such postings.

Facebook’s defense is that it can’t possibly do what is asked of it because there’s just too much going on.  Cry me a river. . . .

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Don’t blithely believe the study that allegedly “proves” that religious kids are not nice people

children sharingProgressives are tremendously excited about a study that purports to show that kids raised religiously are less nice than atheist children:

According to a new study published in the journal Current Biology, children that come from non-religious households behave significantly more altruistically than those from religious households, as measured by greater acts of generosity towards others.


Over 1,100 children, aged 5 to 12, from the United States, China, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, and South Africa were chosen to participate in the study. Most of the children came from Christian, Muslim, or non-religious households. To test whether children raised on religion would behave more morally than non-religious children, they were asked to play what’s called a “dictator game.” In this game, children were shown 30 stickers and told that they could pick their favorite 10 to keep for themselves. The children were then each told that the experimenter didn’t have enough time to play this game with everyone, so some of the children at their school wouldn’t get any stickers. What the results showed was that children from Christian and Muslim households were both significantly less generous than children from non-religious households when it came to sharing their stickers with anonymous peers.

The findings not only show that religious kids aren’t more altruistic than non-religious kids; it suggests that not being religious may actually increase moral behavior. To most this would seem counterintuitive. The authors of the study have an explanation that involves an interesting phenomenon called moral licensing. The term refers to a sort of mental glitch—whereby doing something that enhances one’s positive self-image makes them less worried about the consequences of immoral behavior. For instance, research has shown that men who report being very opposed to sexism later go on to hire men for what would traditionally be considered a man’s job. They do this because they feel that since they are not sexist—at least, in their own minds—a decision to choose a male over a female can’t be immoral.


The study also showed that children from religious households were more willing to give harsher punishments to people who committed acts that harmed others, like pushing or bumping into another. Although this could be interpreted as showing that religious children are more concerned with justice, it may also demonstrate that non-religious children are more tolerant of others’ behavior, and more willing to forgive.

Please, please let me count the ways in which I part ways with what I perceive as a ridiculous excuse for science.

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The Bookworm Beat 9-25-15 — the “bon voyage, Boehner” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”

I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.

Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.

I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.

And now to a few things that caught my eye:

If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill

I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.

Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.

But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people.  If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.

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It’s time for Christians to stand up against the Gay Mafia

Gays protesting El CoyoteMy super-smart sister-in-law wrote the following rant and gave me permission to share it with you:

Dear Christians,

I think you are taking this “turn the other cheek’ thing too far. Please don’t let yourself get thrown to the lions again while you clasp hands and pray. This is one problem that will not go away just by being moral and living right.

When Californians voted (against) gay marriage in 2008, “No H8” signs appeared everywhere. In a popular Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, El Coyote, a Mormon employee donated a mere $100 to support traditional marriage. For weeks shrieking gays harassed patrons in the parking lot, ultimately intimidating this woman out of her restaurant for many months.

It might seem a tad much for a mere $100 donation, but Gays said they took her donation personally because they had patronized her business and she had always been pleasant and nice to them. So, they felt betrayed by her. Her religious beliefs were merely manifestations of hate in their eyes and her pleasantness was interpreted as merely hypocritical betrayal.

The Gay Lobby has made it very clear they will ruin you professionally and financially if you stray from overt support of them. They have made it personal. The message is that religion, specifically Christianity, hates. Religious people, specifically Christians, are haters. Religious practitioners, specifically Christians, will be sued.

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The Humpty Dumpty remedy for the Church’s gay marriage problem

vintage-bride-and-groom-illustration-modern-design-7-on-cake-wedding-ideasThe fact that I’ve been too busy to blog does not mean I’ve been too busy to think.  My thoughts of late have turned to gay marriage.  I predicted a long time ago that turning gay marriage into a Constitutional right would open the way for a direct attack on religion — or, more accurately, on traditional Christian faiths — and I was entirely correct.  NRO’s David French has been busy tracking the immediate legal, political, and financial attacks aimed at the church in the wake of the execrable Supreme Court decision. It no longer matters that the Court could have reached a similar, constitutionally correct, outcome without destroying religious freedom. The reality is that the Court did what it did, and the Left is armed and ready to fire.

Another thing I observed back in 2008 or 2009 is that the gay “marriage” problem is, as much as anything, a question of semantics.  Although America long ago constitutionally separated church and state, our concept of marriage remained stuck in the British tradition, one in which church and state were the same thing.  Marriage was seamlessly a civil and a religious event.

In the past century, and with accelerating speed in the past two decades, Americans have turned to the word “marriage” to represent two entirely different events:  The first is the religious, or quasi-religious, coming together of a man and a woman before their friends, their God, or their New Age guru; the second is a bureaucratic process notifying the government that a couple wants the economic and contractual benefits and burdens the government bestows on those who live together with the presumptive intent of having children.  The word “marriage,” therefore, has two fundamentally unrelated meanings, one purely religious and one purely civil.

Because this semantic difference is causing real problems thanks to same-sex and polygamous “marriage” demands, I have been arguing since 2008 that America’s federal and state governments should get out of the marriage business entirely and, instead, sanction only “civil unions.”  Under this scheme, states can sanction whatever the heck “civil unions” they want — man/woman, man/man, woman/woman, cow/pig, man/women, etc..  Each state would be an experiment in determining what unions most benefit society as a whole, the state’s economic well-being, and, most especially, children’s ability to thrive.

But that’s not what Justice Kennedy did.  Instead, he looked at the U.S. Constitution and found hidden in it, hidden behind the unicorns and rainbows, a constitutional right holding that everybody’s dignity is such that they can marry whomever or whatever they want.  Most of the Founders would be horrified about this hitherto unsuspected “civil right,” although I suspect old Benjamin Franklin would have been amused.

Still, as the old saying goes, if the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, than Mohamed most go to the mountain.  Because Kennedy has insisted that government “owns” marriage, it’s time for the church to let go of marriage entirely and try something new.  Now, don’t get too upset.  Hear me out, because I think the Left has shown traditionalists the way to go. You need to think about the stories that have been dominating news headlines for weeks, even years, of late.

Rachel Dolezal has shown us that all people, no matter their genetic racial make-up, can be whatever race they prefer. Of course, this can be a bit of a double-edged sword as the media showed with George Zimmerman.  Race becomes a fluid concept depending on whether you’re the right kind of victim or not. If you’ve been beaten up by a white guy, you’re undoubtedly black or Hispanic (or gay, or all of the above), but if you’re a light-skinned Hispanic who killed a murderous black man in self-defense, you’re first white and, when that fails, you’re that new breed of race called “white Hispanic.”

Of course, successful racial re-identification isn’t limited to blacks and Hispanics. In academia, the favored racial “borrowing” is Native American. Andrea Smith, Elizabeth Warren, and Ward Churchill have shown us that, no matter the absence of a single drop of Native American blood in your body, if you think you’re an Indian, then you’re an Indian.  (Actually, Irving Berlin had already figured this one out a long time ago.)

The most exciting type of re-identification, of course, has to do with sex.  Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner has shown us that anyone, no matter his or her X and Y chromosomes, or the conspicuously present or absent dangly bits in a person’s crotch, can be whatever sex he or she prefers.

This ability to define reality to suit oneself isn’t limited to ones own body.  It can also apply to events.  For example, despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, poor deluded Emma Sulkowicz is a rape victim.  Lena Dunham’s drunken, consensual hook-up?  Rape and she’s a victim too.

The important thing to remember with all these re-imaginings of ones self is that, no matter how ludicrous they are, everyone else is honor bound to accept them as truth. Despite Caitlyn’s massive upper body, missing waist, present penis and testes, and absent (but not surgically removed) ovaries, uterus, and milk ducts, Caitlyn is henceforth a man.  That’s reality.  You’re not allowed a gracious, polite accommodation of her delusions.  Instead, when you use those feminine pronouns to describe Caitlyn, you’d better mean them.  Anything else, any doubt about reality, is grotesque cisgender heteronormative sexism. Oh, and while you’re at it, we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

What’s scary is that this kind of delusional thinking (of the “we have always been at war with Eastasia” stripe) is not limited to lay people.  A doctor I know insists that Caitlyn Jenner, having undergone breast augmentation and hormone treatment (although the dangly bits apparently remain intact), has actually “changed” from one sex to another.  The fact that the changes are superficial or transient, and that they do nothing to alter Bruce/Caitlyn’s gender-based bone structure, internal organs, and DNA is irrelevant.  To the doctor, the magic is real:  Caitlyn and others similarly situated are truly changed, rather than merely having undergone procedures bringing their physical shape into greater conformity with their personal desires and sense of self.

I’ll add here, as I often do, that I have no particular beef with Caitlyn Jenner, although I find distasteful her relentless exhibitionism. If you want to have me pretend you’re a woman, and are not insisting that I abandon reality and my society’s stable social structure to do so, I will happily refer to you as “Miss.” Heck, I’ll call you Loretta or perhaps I’ll call you a cab — anything you like as long as your delusion isn’t foisted on me.

What the Left has done is put its imprimatur on the Humpty Dumpty school of defining words. As H-D famously said to Alice in Through the Looking Glass,

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

It seems to me that, now that the Church faces the threat extinction at the hands of Leftists with the Obergefell bit in their teeth, it’s time to go Humpty and turn the Left’s tactics back upon it.

I once said that the state should get out of the marriage business. Since that’s not going to happen, traditional religions need to get out of the marriage business. The big announcement should go out: In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell, it’s become too financially risky for traditional religious institutions to conduct marriage ceremonies any longer. To the extent Obergefell governs a constitutional right to “marriage,” the traditionalists are taking their marbles and going home.  They simply won’t play the marriage game any more.

That’s not as draconian as it sounds.

Just as Columbo always turned away, only to turn back again with that one last question, religious organizations might have a tag end to that “end of marriage” announcement:

“Oh, by the way . . . . One more thing. Having searched through our religious texts, we’ve discovered that what God actually requires of the faithful isn’t ‘marriage’ at all, but a “covenanting ceremony.”  And in case you’re wondering, it’s just a coincidence that this covenanting ceremony looks precisely like the weddings of old, right down to the one man/one woman aspect, the prayers and blessings, the officiating priest, minister, rabbi or imam, or anything else. No matter what you, the Leftist might think, these are no longer marriage ceremonies, any more than Caitlyn is still a man, George Zimmerman is Hispanic, or Emma Sulkowicz is a delusional girl rather than a rape victim. They have been transformed.”

I’d like to add one other point while I’ve got your attention.  Straight people, when they marry, proclaim their love and commitment to each other in the presence of God, their family, and their friends.  The civil aspect is simply a pragmatic step to obtain the benefits of civil marriage, irrespective of some of the corresponding civil burdens.  The Left, with its “#LoveWins” battle cry has made clear that, when it marries, it wants Big Brother to proclaim its love for them. That’s really kind of sad when you think about it, isn’t it?

The Bookworm Beat 5-26-15 — the “mad, mad, mad, mad world” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265No time for chit-chat. I’ve got stuff to share:

America’s values have turned upside down

It’s a time-honored custom for older people to look at changes in the world since their youth and to bemoan those changes. I’d like to think I’m neither that rigid nor that old. There are so many things in the modern world to love, especially when it comes to technology.

What does seem extremely unlovable, though, is that we are living through a time in which moral values aren’t merely being loosened (a la the rising hems of the flappers) but are being turned completely upside down. In one of the best articles I’ve seen in forever at National Review, Quin Hillyer focuses on the sea change in our moral and political values. If you’ve already read it, read it again and share it with your friends; if you haven’t read it, by all means do . . . and then share it with your friends:

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The Book of Mormon: The smug laughter of people who don’t recognize their own irrational beliefs

book-of-mormonI saw the musical The Book of Mormon yesterday. I was disappointed. I knew it would be anti-Mormon and filled with prepubescent potty and sexual humor, so that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was that it wasn’t clever, that it didn’t attack genuine societal ills at home or in Africa, that it was too gay camp, and that the actors all appeared to have learned their trade from those irritating kids on the Disney channel — they overacted, mugged, and telegraphed their (obvious) punch lines. Simply put, watching puerile pokes at Mormons, who are an easy target because they’re not going to kill you, was boring.

What really irritated me was the audience. I thought it a little pathetic that they laughed so uproariously over every poop joke (I stopped doing that when I was 12), but I kind of expected that. After all, I saw the show in San Francisco, which is one of the most densely populated Progressive bastions in America. Progressives, of course, are the Party of Poop, so that humor will inevitably appeal to them.

Where the audience really let itself go, though, was with the song “I Believe,” which is something of a patter song about some of the core Mormon beliefs. I should say here that I too find the Book of Mormon unbelievable. But you know what? Viewed objectively, all faith stories are unbelievable.

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The Bookworm Beat 5-8-15 — the “packing it up” edition and open thread

Woman writingThis weekend there’s a wedding that I’m very happy I’ll be able to attend. There are only two downsides: (1) The dogs have to go to the kennel and (2) I have to pack. Both those things make me sad. The posts to which I link are an equally mixed bag: They’re all wonderfully written but, considering that we live in Obama’s America, they’re depressing too.

Mike Huckabee is a moron

I don’t like Mike Huckabee. He’s got charisma and is quick with the quip, but his “conservativism” stops with social issues. In all other ways, he seems to be just another garden-variety southern demagogue with a penchant for big government. A Power Line reader caught Huckabee in a big lie about Medicare and Social Security:

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The Bookworm Beat 5-7-15 — the “Damn it, I’m a lawyer” edition and open thread

Woman writingI spent way too much time today wearing my lawyer, daughter, and mother hats, with no time for my blogger hat. Well, the blogging time is now, and I’ve got lots of stuff to share. As is often the case when I’m tired, these are not in any particular order, so you should read the whole thing, rather than assuming “substance at the top and fluff at the bottom.”

Leftists and math

The Chicago teachers’ union is at it again, trying to suck blood out of a rock, the blood being pension funding and the rock being the virtually bankrupt city of Chicago. The friend who sent me this link had a pungent comment about the fact that, for people like Communist and labor leader Karen Lewis, math is hard:

“Once again, the board has created a fiscal crisis in order to justify its continued attack on our classrooms and communities,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “By citing its so-called $1.5 billion deficit, the mayor is proposing a reduction in teaching staff which will result in larger class sizes and the loss of teaching positions.”

At the center of the complaint is the Chicago Board of Education, which wants teachers, social workers and other union members to take a 7 percent pay cut by paying their own pension contributions in order to address some of the city’s economic problems. The union, which has rejected the pension reform proposal, has accused the board of bad-faith bargaining for refusing to reach an agreement of substance in talks which began in November.

Lewis accused the school system of being “broke on purpose” and for retaliating against the union simply because it opposed Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the recent reelection.

I love that phrase: “Broke on purpose.” I’m going to have to try to work it into my own day-to-day life.

A cri de couer re the suddenly ubiquitous trigger warnings

As is true for many of us, Michael Rubin didn’t see trigger warnings coming. It’s just that suddenly there they were, censoring people left and right — although really mostly to the Right, leaving the field open to the only group sensitive enough to avoid all trigger warnigs: Hard core Leftists. Rubin understands what’s really going on and has a suggestion of his own:

All trigger warnings should have a trigger warning so that no one who has experienced or fled from a repressive society might suffer post-traumatic stress reminding them of the authoritarian, Orwellian oppression from which they fled. Millions of people in the countries which comprised the Soviet Union, as well as in China, Cambodia, and Eastern Europe, not to mention tens of thousands of people in Iran, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Eritrea have lost loved ones or spent time in prison/re-education camps for not abiding by the state’s determination of what they should think and believe. Trigger warnings, even if well intentioned, might remind them of this oppressive and sometimes lethal political correctness and cause undue stress. Accordingly, in order to protect the mental well-being of those who value liberty, intellectual freedom, and oppose censorship, perhaps it’s time to agree to put trigger warnings ahead of trigger warnings to ensure that no one is inadvertently stressed out by the decline in mental and intellectual maturity and the infantilization of society which trigger warnings represent.

The person who brings a gun to a free speech fight is ALWAYS wrong

The practically moribund, but still breathing, Time Magazine, to its credit, gave Pamela Geller space in which to make her case. Her case is the correct one. I urge all of you to read this and, if you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or email round-Robin, to send it along.

The attack in Garland showed that everything my colleagues and I have been warning about regarding the threat of jihad, and the ways in which it threatens our liberties, is true. Islamic law, Sharia, with its death penalty for blasphemy, today constitutes a unique threat to the freedom of speech and liberty in general.

Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced.

Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not stand for being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed, while everyone else lives in fear.


Many in the media and academic elite assign no blame to an ideology that calls for death to blasphemers — i.e., those who criticize or offend Islam. Instead, they target and blame those who expose this fanaticism. If the cultural elites directed their barbs and attacks at the extremist doctrine of jihad, the world would be a vastly safer place.

Read the whole thing and try to get everyone else you know to do so too.

That’s the redoubtable, inimitable, absolutely necessary Pamela Geller in her own words. For other good words about free speech, I recommend David French’s “Pamela Geller’s Critics Are Proving Her Point,” and Rich Lowry’s “Why Won’t Pamela Geller Shut Up?” Both these articles are must-reads.

Also, if you want a perfect Kodak moment of Leftist hypocrisy, check out John Nolte’s post about the New York Times, which condemns Geller from bashing one religion while it bashes another.

Oh, and one more thing: our craven government security forces — that would be the FBI and Homeland Security — haven’t even bothered to talk to Geller about the threats against her life from Islamists.

James Franco in praise of McDonald’s

I love McDonald’s Chicken Selects and believe that they serve the best french fries around. Wherever you are, it’s a reliable, cheap meal. McDonald’s is also a great entry level job, teaching youngsters such virtues as punctuality, reliability, and hard work. So even though I find him distasteful, I have to applaud James Franco for writing a WaPo opinion piece praising McDonald’s.

Shy Tories strike again

In 1992, in England, polls indicated that many fewer Brits would vote Conservative than would vote for Labour. In fact, Conservatives won by a substantial margin. And thus was born the “shy Tory factor” which said that, in a climate in which Leftists humiliate, berate, and otherwise attack conservatives, people lie to pollsters about their voting preferences. That seems to have happened again in England, where David Cameron took an unexpected lead — unexpected, that is, to all of those who forgot the shy Tory factor.

Tom Cotton takes a principled stand against a Constitution-weakening Trojan Horse

Tom Cotton was the only Senator to vote against the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. He did so for all the right reasons. In his own words:

“A nuclear-arms agreement with any adversary—especially the terror-sponsoring, Islamist Iranian regime—should be submitted as a treaty and obtain a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate as required by the Constitution. President Obama wants to reverse this rule, requiring opponents to get a two-thirds vote to stop his dangerous deal. But Congress should not accept this usurpation, nor allow the president any grounds to claim that Congress blessed his nuclear deal. I will work with Republicans and Democrats to stop a dangerous deal that would put Iran on the path to obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

I like that young man.

Harrison Bergeron comes to life

I’ve often mentioned Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron,” which is set in a dystopian future where everyone is equal. Vonnegut, in the days before he turned into a brain-dead Leftist, realized a core problem with the whole “everyone must be perfectly equal” movement: You cannot make dumb people smart, or slow people fast, or ugly people beautiful; however, you can make smart people dumb, fast people slow, and beautiful people ugly. In other words, the only way to level society is to lower society — that is, to bring everyone in it to the lowest common denominator.

Kevin Williamson points out that, decades after Vonnegut wrote his timeless story, the Left is still busily trying to bring America down to the lowest common denominator.

Vandalism just cheapens our cause

I did a post about the attack on Christianity, and used as one of my discussion points a stupid church sign in Mill Valley that likened God and Joseph to gay men who parented Jesus. I used speech to attack speech, which epitomizes the marketplace of ideas.

Unfortunately, someone vandalized the sign, which is not an argument; it’s just tantamount to a heckler’s veto and makes us no better than the Left. It would have been so much better to have emailed my post to everyone in Mill Valley….

There won’t always be an England

When I lived in England more than 30 years ago, the North was much more British than the more cosmopolitan South. There were many fewer foreigners living there, and the old towns had people whose families had lived in the region for hundreds of years.

I therefore always find it particularly appalling when I read articles describing the Islamisization of Yorkshire — a trend that carries with it anti-British sentiment, antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia, and a whole host of other disgusting social pathologies that Islam invariably trails in its wake.

The Leftist revolution continues to eat its own

All I can offer you is the lede to this Daily Caller story. You have to read the whole thing yourself to appreciate it fully:

Students at Dartmouth College launched a petition drive demanding the newly-elected student body president resign after they say he was disrespectful to the plight of American blacks and other marginalized groups.

The twist: The president is a gay black man.

Wolf Howling sent me this story. I wrote him back to say that the phrase about revolutions eating their own was the right idea for what I wanted to say, but it just had too brawny and masculine a feel for what’s going on. Seeing a fight like the one at Dartmouth is kind of like watching Lord of the Flies, only with a cast of feral two-year olds.

Is Hillary too sick to be president?

If this D.C. gossip story about Hillary’s seriously fragile health, centered around brain damage issues, is true, Hillary is committing a fraud against the American people. Of course, there’s nothing new about that, so why am I even getting excited about it?

Even when Leftists get close to the truth, they veer away before touching it

My friend Patrick O’Hannigan caught something interesting in Vanity Fair when Leftist pundit James Woolcott tried to write an even-handed critique about dishonesty in the American media: with the best will in the world, he couldn’t do it.  His bias just kept oozing out.

Which reminds me of a Scientific American article by Piercarlo Valdesolo that’s been making the rounds. In it, Valdesolo acknowledges that strong Leftist bias in social psychology and acknowledges that it perverts study outcomes and analyses. He notes that conservatives say that the answer is to allow more conservatives into these liberal only enclaves, both to get studies with other viewpoints, and to get necessary push back on the Leftists’ own work.

One would think that, have admitted that it’s a problem that there are no conservatives in the field, Valdesolo would agree that the field needs more conservatives. If one thought that, one would think wrong. Instead, Valdesolo says that liberals simply have to be more vigilant about their biases. James Woolcott’s failure pretty much illustrates everything that’s wrong with Valdesolo’s inability to contemplate doing away with Leftist academic monopolies.

God’s approach to Mary would have passed the UVa sexual assault test *UPDATED*

2.1-12_MARY_The_Annunciation_Jan_van_EyckWith feminist inspired neo-puritanism infecting American college campuses, it’s no surprise that at the University of Virginia, where a gang rape did not happen, the administration has put into effect draconian rules prohibiting all non-consensual contact of any kind — including hugging:

U.Va. adopted its new “Interim Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment” to appease the Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work.

Under its policy, if you hug your boyfriend, and as an inevitable result your “clothed” “body parts” (such as “breasts”) touch him, you could be accused of “sexual assault” that “consists of” “sexual contact.” That’s because U.Va. now defines such touching, “however slight,” as sexual assault, lumping together both touching and intercourse as “sexual assault” when they are deemed “sexual” and occur without “affirmative consent.”

I mention this policy because, in connection with my earlier post about Leftist attacks on Christianity, using gay marriage as their most powerful weapon yet, I mentioned the Leftist theory that God “raped” Mary when he fathered Jesus.

Color me biblically literate, but when it comes to Jesus’s birth, the immaculate conception, I happen to think that it was , in fact, immaculate, rather than not a physical penetration. Or, as MacG so beautifully wrote in a comment:

maybe that the God of the old testament who made the universe out of nothing and humans out of the earth’s dust is Spirit as Jesus affirmed does not need a penis to blend a unique spirit with the flesh of humanity.

So what does this theological argument have to do with the University of Virginia anti-sexual assault policy?  Well, if a Leftist actually reads the New Testament, rather than just opining about what she thinks the New Testament maybe says, she’ll discover something interesting:  God, did in fact, politely ask Mary’s permission before initiating the conception and that Mary gave her consent (emphasis mine):

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

No sexual assault there.  Instead, pure informed consent all the way.  Thank God that God would pass muster at UVa.

UPDATE:  Thanks to those who pointed out my error about the immaculate conception, which refers to Mary’s being born without Original Sin.  As you can see, I’ve corrected the post.  Sometimes I reveal my essential Jewishness, don’t I?

Muslims aren’t the only ones engaged in an all-out War against Christianity

Weyden_DepositionReligion is in the news a lot lately. All around the world, in what I’m sure is just a bizarre coincidence, masses of people who just happen to be Muslim (and proudly say so) are busily decapitating people, shooting people, raping people, burning people, and stoning people — all of whom, I’m sure coincidentally, happen to be Christian. In the same way, I’m sure we shouldn’t make anything of the fact that these same Muslim co-religionists have developed a nasty habit of throwing men who are allegedly gay off the tops of buildings and then, should these men survive the fall, stomping them to death. In the Venn diagram of faith and behaviors, are intellectual masters in the media repeatedly warn us that we shouldn’t read too much into the fact that Islam has a near perfect overlap with psycho-sexual murder and sadism.

In yet another bizarre coincidence, America’s Progressives have also engaged in a religious war and they too have targeted Christians. You see, Christians have this freaky idea, rooted in who knows how many totally useless and forgettable tens-of-thousands of years of biology, that men and women somehow complement each other, and that faith and society thrive when they support that complementary quality.

Clearly, this pathetic Christian attempt to tie together science and faith is a bad idea. These Christians should leave the science to Progressives, who understand complicated things like Climate Change — and silly skeptics have to understand that it requires superior mental skills to engage with a scientific principle that has as a defining characteristic the fact that none of the data supports any of the predictions. It takes a real scientist to make sense of this mess and to elevate the predictions over the data. (Shhhh! Don’t tell the Progressives, but that belief system sounds remarkably like . . . faith, and a pretty shoddy faith at that.)

Anyway, the Progressive war against Christians in America thankfully hasn’t yet reached the level of beheadings, rapes, and crucifixions. It seems stuck on a remarkably powerful form of stupid. Normally, stupidity shouldn’t be that powerful, but the Progressives have an arrow in their quiver that doesn’t exist in the massacred Middle East, not to mention large swaths of Africa. The secret weapon here is the Christians themselves, many of whom have obsequiously load pulled the rope to raise the blade in the guillotine in the hope that, when that blade finally falls, their necks aren’t the ones in its path.

I have the perfect exhibit today to illustrate that Christian appeasement principle. It’s a sign on a church in Mill Valley. The picture quality is poor, but I think you get the drift:

Marin Church supports gay marriage

“Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine!”

You really have to think that through a couple of times in order to appreciate it: In one of the most affluent, educated communities in America, the argument for gay marriage is that “Jesus had two fathers.” Really? This is the best that America’s Leftist theologians can do? They reduce the entire Old Testament to a statement that Jesus is the product of a same sex marriage — and wow! He was the Son of God. Who knows what’s going to happen once gay marriage is legal? Obama had better start worrying about having competition for his messiah status.

But why stop at attacking the church just because it has this old-fashioned idea about the sanctity of the biologically complementary male-female relationship, and its role in the perpetuation of humankind?  In an article that passed under my radar when it first came out in December 2014, Salon’s resident anti-religion writer, Valerie Tarico, explains what really powers Christianity —   rape.

Powerful gods and demi-gods impregnating human women—it’s a common theme in the history of religion, and it’s more than a little rapey.


Though the earliest Christians had a competing story, in the Gospel of Luke, the Virgin Mary gets pregnant when the spirit of the Lord comes upon her and the power of the Most High overshadows her.


The impregnation process may be a “ravishing” or seduction or some kind of titillating but nonsexual procreative penetration. The story may come from an Eastern or Western religious tradition, pagan or Christian. But these encounters between beautiful young women and gods have one thing in common. None of them has freely given female consent as a part of the narrative. (Luke’s Mary assents after being not asked but told by a powerful supernatural being what is going to happen to her, “Behold the bond slave of the Lord: be it done to me . . .”)

Although Tarico is careful to prove her intellectual bona fides by talking about all sorts of rapes in Greek, Roman, and Hindu mythology, Salon’s editors provided the appropriate illustration so that readers would fully understand that the article is meant to be an attack on that most rapey of all modern religions — Christianity:

Salon article illustration of Virgin Mary

Salon article illustration of Virgin Mary

(Keep in mind that, even as Salon made sure Americans knew that Christianity is the rapey religion, the real rapes, the ones involving actual violent sexual penetration against children and women, were taking place everywhere that ISIS and Boko Haram and other misbegotten fundamentalist Christians sects were on the move.)

One can’t help wonder whether that Marin church boasting about Jesus’s two dads fully understood that one of them — the divine one — was a wild-eyed rapist, probably indistinguishable from that wild-eyed, and of course totally imaginary, group of rapists at UVa a couple of months ago.

Jews and Christians are in the cross hairs good and proper.  The Muslim war against Jews is reaching peak ferocity in its battle against Israel, which has spilled into virulent anti-Semitism around the world, of the type not seen since the years before WWII.  Meanwhile, the companion Leftist war against Christians seems to be concentrating itself on the gay marriage issue, because the Left obviously feels that it has leverage on this issue.

I’ve quoted myself before on this subject and I’ll quote myself again.  This battle is not about whether, as a matter of civil law, states can decide what type of individuals can join together to get the benefit of various laws encouraging people to pair up.  If that were the case, the agitators would be working to do away with state issued “marriage” licenses and, instead, to have all state-sanctioned partnerships became “civil unions,” leaving marriage solely to the faithful.  I could live with that.

The various states could becoming laboratories, testing which unions best benefit society as a whole and, more specifically, the children raised within these many and varied unions.  (American black’s dire economic plight, combined with their propensity for violence, would seem to indicate that the current approach — 73% of black children are born out of wedlock — is not a good one.)  But that’s not the war the Left is fighting.  Its war is intended to bring down religion in America.

Back in March 2009, long before gay marriage got to the Supreme Court, I wrote:

As you know, one of my main reasons for supporting Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, was because I believe that move to redefine marriage has the potential to put the State and religion organizations — especially the Catholic church — into a head-on collision.

Liberals, when confronted with this notion, will often argue that, while the Catholic Church objects to abortion, that’s never created a constitutional crisis.  What they ignore is the fact that, while the church is not in the business of providing abortions, it is in the business of providing marriages.  It also ignores the fact that abortion is a legal right, not a constitutional one, while gay marriage proponents have been framing it in the opposite way:  they say gay marriage as a constitutional, rather than a mere legal right.

Keep in mind that, for Catholics, marriage isn’t just a white dress, cake and Mendelssohn’s wedding march.  Instead, it’s a sacrament.  A basic tenet of the religion is the joining of man and woman before God.

So imagine this scenario:  Two men go to the local Catholic parish and demand that it marry them.  The priest, sympathetic to their love for each other, nevertheless states that he cannot, at a purely religious level marry them.  The men turn around and sue the Church for violating their Constitutional rights.  Suddenly, the judicial system is called upon to examine doctrinal issues to determine whether they mesh with Constitutional issues.  It’s a scary scenario for anyone who takes seriously the principle that government may not interfere with religious doctrine.

Let me throw in one more recent Leftie poster to drive home the point that this is an all-out war against Christianity, and it’s one that too many so-called Christian churches in America are unable or unwilling to fight. Keep in mind as you look at the poster below that we already know from the IRS’s battle against conservative and pro-Israel groups, that the power to tax is the power to destroy — which is precisely why our Founders and previous American generations understood that the state cannot get its greedy financial talons into America’s churches, synagogues, temples, and, provided that they don’t abuse their First Amendment freedoms by preaching mass murder and treason, her mosques too:

Taxing churches