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It’s ‘The End of the World’ as Progressives Know It — We Hope

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 19:30

Trump has nominated a conservative judge to the Supreme Court. Speaking a few days in advance, Nina Totenberg of NPR called it "the end of the world as we know it."

Which world is that? Not the same one conservatives live in. Conservatives see this Supreme Court moment as a move toward restoring government as it's meant to be.

No one -- we need not worry about the fringe exceptions --  thinks we should return to a world where blacks are discriminated against. That's the big fear. No one thinks we should return to the world my generation grew up in, where a woman had five career paths to choose from: nurse, schoolteacher, secretary, retail clerk or homemaker. Injustice is not a conservative principle, despite the rhetoric you’ve been hearing.

The ‘Constitutional’ World Progressives Have Been Living In

But the world liberals have been "living in" is one where all injustice can be cured through government intervention. They've forgotten that our Bill of Rights was written to support justice and freedom by limiting government.

The world they’ve been living in is one where the Constitution contains a "right" to abortion and gay marriage.

It's a world where the Constitution gave the Federal government power to decide such things for all the states.

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It's a world that foolishly supposes these matters are for judges to decide, not legislatures. It’s a place where somehow this represents the rule of law rather than the rule of men -- even though it took but a simple majority of nine unelected persons to make these decisions into law.

It's a world where liberty means the freedom to disagree with progressive social norms, provided you confine your disagreement to private conversation. You may never allow it to influence public action.

The Religious World They’ve Been Living In

It's a world where belief in God should be contained and controlled; where faith is a gnat, an obstacle, an annoyance thrown up irrationally against them, on their way toward crafting a society of their own their liking.

It's a world in which their new religion has overtaken all the old ones. Faith in this world means belief in government. Ethics in this world are entirely relative … except for rules they decree unyieldingly absolute. Guilt in the religion of this Progressive World adheres only to people of "privilege," whose salvation is achieved only through shame.

It's a world in which even the courts -- and the Constitution itself -- are to be no hindrance.

It's a world where freedom of any other religion is allowed only the most private terms possible: "freedom of worship" and "freedom of belief." Freedom of public expression is not included, for that would be a hindrance to their Progessiveness.

It's also one in which even the courts -- and the Constitution itself -- are to be no hindrance.

The All-or-Nothing, Black-and-White World They’ve Been Living In

It's also -- most ironically, given their public penchant for diversity -- a black-and-white world, without gradations. Rick Moran's compilation of progressives' comments shows just how all-or-nothing their world is.

Rachel Maddow said the banning of birth control could be imminent. Where'd she get that from? Best I can tell, if abortion goes, everything goes, for she lives in an all-or-nothing world. Al Sharpton's warning was, "All human and civil rights are at stake." Not just some. All.

Their world is a world of exclusion, where only their ideas are allowed.

Meanwhile commentators at MSNBC called for "panic" and "freaking out," as if that were ever a good idea. But this, too, reflects the world they live in: one in which the give-and-take of winning and losing under Constitutional processes is acceptable only when they win and conservatives lose.

Which leads to the greatest progressive irony of all: Their world is a world of exclusion; a world where people of every color are valued -- albeit grudgingly and shamefully, in the case of whites -- but only their progressive ideas are allowed.

The Adult World They Haven’t Been Living In

And it's these last aspects of their world that reveal its true character. People who view themselves as adults living in a diverse world of other adults tend to respect one another accordingly. They know how to win and how to lose; they can accept either one graciously and move on. Conservatives generally did that in 2008. Progressives in 2016 and since? Not so much.

Am I implying something rude and judgmental here? How about this: I'll just leave it with those observations, and let you draw your own conclusions.

I don't mind if progressives disagree with conservatives. They're adults, they have that freedom, and we all ought to work through our differences together. But we can only do it if we live in a world of adults together.

Their world may indeed be coming to an end. Given the way that world looks, I sincerely hope so.

 

Tom Gilson is a senior editor with The Stream and the author of Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents' Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens (Kregel Publications, 2016). Follow him on Twitter: @TomGilsonAuthor.

Iranian Woman Who Protested Headscarf Gets 20-Year Sentence

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:57

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- An Iranian woman who removed her obligatory Islamic headscarf out of protest in December says she has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Shapark Shajarizadeh posted on her personal website that she had been jailed for “opposing the compulsory hijab” and “waving a white flag of peace in the street.”

There was no immediate comment from Iranian officials.

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Police in Iran arrested 29 people in February for removing their headscarves as part of a campaign known as “White Wednesdays.” Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer who represented Shajarizadeh and other women, was arrested last month.

Shajarizadeh, 42, was released on bail in late April. Her current whereabouts were unknown.

In Iran, women showing their hair in public face penalties ranging from a $25 fine to prison time.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Musings on the President, the Religious Right, Democrats, and the Supreme Court

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:49

Since there are many legal pundits far more qualified than I to debate the merits and demerits of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, I'll focus here on some larger, related issues.

1) This is the main reason many of us voted for Donald Trump.

We do well to remember that many of us who identify as evangelicals had grave reservations about candidate Trump. Many of us said that, out of the 17 Republican candidates, he was our last choice.

Some of us (including me) frequently spoke and wrote against him during the primaries. (See, for example, this video I posted on November 27, 2015, titled, "Why Evangelical Christians Should Have a Problem with Donald Trump." Because it was my position at the time, for the sake of integrity and honesty, we have kept it online even though I ultimately voted for Trump.)

Yet the major reason we voted for Trump in large numbers was because we hoped he would keep his word about Supreme Court nominees. We voted for him because we were voting against Hillary, which leads us to reflect on a stark reality. Had Hillary been elected, President Obama would probably have been able to get his pick for the Court: namely, Merrick Garland. And Hillary would be making her first pick now.

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So, you would have Garland instead of Neil Gorsuch, plus a presumably, far-left pick rather than Brett Kavanaugh. And maybe Justice Ginsburg would be more ready to step down, allowing for a young liberal to take her place. Then the Democrats would secure a third pick already.

The implications for America's future -- at least for the next 30-40 years -- are massive.

To date, Donald Trump has not disappointed us in his picks, both for Supreme Court as well as for the many other federal appointees. This is a major reason, if not the major reason, many of us voted for him.

2) President Trump is not the puppet of the religious right.

In the days leading up to the president's Supreme Court nominee, this was a common charge. Yet it is one that people easily dismiss.

Simply stated, if anything is clear about Trump it is that he is his own man. No one can bridle him or rein him in, to the consternation of many. And he has sometimes embarrassed conservative Christian leaders with his rhetoric and temperament. That is not the behavior of a puppet.

I'm close to faith leaders who got close to Donald Trump during his candidacy, and some of them are part of his faith advisory counsel. While he listens to them with respect, to a person they would tell you that he makes his decisions independently.

As one of the leaders told me face to face when I asked about him tempering his tweets, "It's unlikely that a 70-year-old man is going to change."

What is remarkable, though, is that he seems to have embraced the convictions of Christian conservatives. When it comes to crucial issues such as abortion, religious liberties, and the meaning of marriage, he has stood by the Christian viewpoint. It is a providential, quite unexpected, and apparently sovereign union that goes beyond Trump's formula for victory. (In other words, it's more than just good campaign strategy.)

Somehow, these issues became important to him, because of which he became close to many evangelical believers, who then earned his respect and loyalty. Again, this is a far cry from being a puppet.

3) President Obama nominated two far-left justices to the Supreme Court. What's so terrible about President Trump nominating two solid conservatives to the Court?

Comedian Dennis Miller tweeted two days ago, "Just to keep things in perspective, or not, Trump could nominate either Amy Coney Barrett or Vladimir Putin tomorrow and the headlines would be exactly the same. #DennisMillerOption." Exactly so.

The one thing that was certain was this: Whoever Trump nominated, there would be an outcry from the left. The sky is falling! This is the end of the world! We must go to the streets and protest!

Fox News even played video clips Monday night of college students weighing in on the Trump nominee. They were interviewed hours (if not days) before Trump's announcement was made, but already, they were denouncing the pick as racist. One student suggested the nominee wear white robes rather than black robes!

Yet President Obama was able to make his picks. And when it comes to their ideological base, you could easily argue that they are much farther to the left than Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are to the right.

For example, in September 2014, Justice Elena Kagan "officiated for the first time at a same-sex wedding, a Maryland ceremony for her former law clerk and his husband." Yet the Court did not rule to redefine marriage until one year later.

Already in 2010, CBS News ran this headline: "EXCLUSIVE: Documents Show Kagan's Liberal Opinion on Social Issues." Her decisions to date have been consistently to the left, sometimes in extreme form.

As for Justice Sonia Sotomayor (to give just one example), when it came to the Hobby Lobby decision, she claimed that it compromised "hundreds of Wheaton [University's] employees and students of their legal entitlement to contraceptive coverage" (my emphasis).

Yet I don't recall the same level of outcry against Obama's nominees when compared to Trump's. Was there very strong concern about Obama's nominees from those of us on the right? Absolutely. Was there the same kind of hysteria? Not to my memory.

The Elephant in the Room

The real issue is that everyone knows that one of the greatest sacred cows of the left (and of the Democratic party) is now at risk: namely, Roe v. Wade. Even the possibility of this landmark ruling being threatened sends shock waves into the liberal world. The reaction will no doubt be intense, and it will go far beyond words. It will turn to acts of violence.

My hope is that the extreme, shrill, and over-the-top reaction of the left will turn moderates away.

For the moment, though, expect things to get ugly. Really ugly. May cooler heads prevail.

With Foster Homes Idle and Children Languishing, Catholic Agency Fights Back Against Philadelphia LGBT Policy Barring It

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 16:55

Although at least 250 children in Philadelphia are in need of foster homes, 35 homes willing to take them in are still waiting -- and the private religious charity that could bring them together is fighting back against a city that doesn't want its help.

After a 50-year relationship with Catholic Social Services, the city decided to end the latter's role in foster care referrals in March and is threatening to terminate its relationship with the leading provider of social services in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But the private social services agency has taken the city to court over it.

"[The city of Philadelphia made this decision] because of Catholic Social Services' religious beliefs regarding marriage," Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a recent conference call for the press. Becket is a nonprofit public interest law firm that defends the freedom of religion.

While Catholic Social Services does not require applicants to be Catholic, applicants do have to be married, although single parents are eligible if the birth parent of the child is OK with it. Its website does not specify sexual-orientation requirements for applicants.

"Although there is no evidence that any person has ever been harmed by those religious beliefs, the city has chosen some particularly punitive actions," said Windham. "Unless there is urgent court action to protect these plaintiffs' rights, then Catholic Social Services will have to begin the process of shutting down."

In response, three foster care families and Catholic Social Services filed a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, Sharonell Fulton, et al. v. City of Philadelphia, in May. On June 5, Becket filed for a temporary restraining order and a motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of Catholic Social Services to temporarily prevent Philadelphia from canceling the city's contract. The federal district court case then had a three-day hearing late last month.

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"This is direct and discriminatory targeting by the city. This is exactly the sort of thing that is not permitted under the [Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the Constitution] and the First Amendment," said Windham.

On June 28, on the third day of the hearing, new information emerged that makes Catholic Social Services' case stronger, she said.

One such detail was that the city's decision to sever its relationship with Catholic Social Services originated from a March press inquiry about foster care. As a result, Philadelphia Department of Human Services Commissioner Cynthia F. Figueroa and her first deputy called religious social services providers to ask them about their LGBT foster-parent policies, Windham said.

"They only called the religious foster care providers in the city," she said. "When they did not get the answer they wanted from Catholic Social Services, they summoned their leadership to City Hall, where -- after a conversation with the mayor -- the commissioner told Catholic Social Services that it's not 100 years ago, and that times have changed, and that they needed to be listening to Pope Francis." In 2013, Francis suggested that the Catholic Church should not condemn homosexuality and could accept civil unions.

Shortly after the conversation, Catholic Social Services was notified that the city had decided to discontinue working with it.

However, after looking into Catholic Social Services' policies and actions regarding LGBT foster care families, the information presented June 28 showed that the private agency had no history of turning away LGBT couples. Instead, children referred by the city, regardless of religion or sexual orientation, would be placed with Catholic Social Services client families.

It also showed that there was no evidence that an LGBT couple had been unable to complete a home study and certification process, a training program for certification to adopt or foster children, because of Catholic Social Services.

"After three days of evidence and testimony, the evidence showed that not a single [gay] couple approached Catholic Social Services and asked them to perform [the home study and certification] process for them," said Windham in the press call. "And so what we have here is an entirely hypothetical situation, and because of a hypothetical situation, the city has chosen to take action that can have very real harm."

The city claims to have a blanket referral policy for social service programs. Foster care agencies commonly make referrals for reasons such as geographic proximity and specialization in certain areas.

Windham contends that Philadelphia has not been following this rule. She said it only allows referrals for secular purposes, not religious ones, despite the fact that its blanket rule allows parents to choose what agency they want to work with.

"[Right now], there is at least one award-winning foster parent's home that is sitting empty: Cecilia Paul, who was formally named 'Foster Parent of the Year' by the city of Philadelphia," said Windham. "She has been fostering children for over 40 years [through Catholic Social Services], and today her home sits empty."

"We have not cut ties with Catholic Social Services," said Alicia Taylor, director of communications for Philadelphia's Department of Human Services in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.

The department wrote in an email to The Daily Signal that Catholic Social Services had not upheld part of its contract with the city by not allowing same-sex couples to become foster parents.

However, it said that Philadelphia continues to partner with Catholic Social Services in contracts with other government agencies, including the Department of Human Services, the Office of Homeless Services, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Planning and Development, and the Office of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services.

"While the city greatly appreciates the services that Catholic Social Services (CSS) provides, we must ensure those services are provided in a non-discriminatory manner, according to the City's Fair Practices Ordinance," the Department of Human Services said in its emailed statement. "Regrettably, by refusing to certify same-sex couples, CSS is ruling out qualified families who are willing to provide care for children in need, can be certified and who have roots in this community.

"... Even after intake to CSS foster care was suspended, DHS worked with CSS to approve a few children moving into CSS foster homes because it was in the best interest of those children. DHS has not ended current CSS' foster placements, nor canceled [its] contract."

Emilie Kao, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, thinks that Philadelphia made a bad decision, because it has the second-highest rate of drug overdoses in the country for a county of its size. As a result, it forces an "rapidly increasing number of children" into the foster care system, she said.

"The best thing Philadelphia could do for these kids is to rely on qualified agencies, like Catholic Charities, ranked second-highest-performing in the city, to train and equip the generous foster families who want to open their homes," said Kao.

Windham expects the court will rule any day now on whether to grant Catholic Social Services a temporary injunction, while the case is ongoing, that would require Philadelphia to continue to allow the charity to place children into available foster homes, she said.

If Philadelphia's action is allowed to stand, the city would join Washington, D.C., and the states of Massachusetts and Illinois, where Catholic Charities has been forced to end its provision of adoption and foster care services on similar grounds.

"Catholic Social Services is not attempting to stand in the way of any couple attempting to become foster parents," Windham said. "They are merely asking for the ability to refer gay couples to 29 other agencies that will address their needs."

 

Katherine Rohloff is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal 

Confronting ‘Pro-Choice’ Arguments With Truth

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 16:25

My heart goes out to the women who have responded with hostility to my recent piece about elective abortion. The anger shown by some of them is painful to read.

Here are two comments that capture the tone of some of what's been said:

"You completely minimize the complications of pregnancy for your convenience to make is sound like pregnancy and childbirth is a walk in the park. I am not fooled ..." "You want women to be brood mares for wealthy white people. Be honest. The only reason any kids who aren't white get adopted is because no other kids are available. Your side will leave the dark-skinned and disabled kids to rot in orphanages."

As to the content of their arguments, some of it very thoughtful. Here are some responses.

A Clear Comeback At conception, a unique person comes into being. A person, not in the fulness of form or mind or organic maturity, but a person. To claim otherwise is to be at war with science. In my article, I wrote, "Pregnancies can be difficult, inconvenient and painful. No one disputes this." Maybe some of my critics missed this. I never would suggest that pregnancy and childbirth are "walks in the park." My critics are right that serious medical conditions can affect women during pregnancy. I did not address this adequately and regret not doing so. However, doctors can almost always save the life of the woman along with that of her baby. Yet, in rare instances, there is a genuine danger to the life of the mother. That is why I agree with a statement found on the website of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It said: "There is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatments results in the loss of life of her unborn child. We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to a pregnant woman." One critic said that I have not presented the complexity of "bodily autonomy" but does not explain this. I say an abortion involves two lives. Two human beings, two persons. Each has equal value. While not separate during pregnancy -- one lives in the body of another -- they are distinct. Genetics, biology, and observation prove this. As the adoptive father of three multi-racial children, I am offended by the comment about "dark-skinned and disabled kids" and "brood mares for white people." Were the comments directed at persons of color, the public would send fast and furious charges of racism. And rightly so. If abortion policy is returned to the states, (a) there be will many states that retain legal access to abortion-on-demand. Additionally, (b) in the states where it is illegal, the vast majority of women who want to abort their unborn children will be able to travel to places where they legally can do so. (c) Some medical professionals will perform abortions illegally; there has yet to be a society in history where crime does not exist. But should they do so, prosecution should follow rapidly. And (d), abortion is a relatively simple if potentially dangerous procedure. Even criminal abortionists would likely be competent at their sordid practice. This is especially true given the commitment of some "heroic" medical professionals to performing abortions regardless of the law. The idea of coat hanger abortions happening in every other back alley is fearmongering. Stand Up for Humanity, Challenge Hypocrisy

My former colleague Cathy Ruse and I authored a booklet a few years ago titled, "The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Arguments." Cathy, formerly the senior counsel on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. I served there for more than seven years.

In our booklet, we argue that "the more abortion is understood, the more one realizes it is anti-human, anti-life, and anti-woman." We cannot fail to stand by that deduction, if science and logic count for anything in today's political and cultural climate.

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As you watch TV, start looking for all the ads that talk about babies in the context of pregnancy. That show photos of unborn children using ultrasounds. That encourage women to get good prenatal care. With all the "women's right to choose" talk, it's impossible not to deal with the fact we're talking about a baby. A small, developing life. A person.

To those women who have made comments about my earlier piece: You have every right to disagree, even though I believe you are wrong in every way. Please know that there is a loving God Who cares for you and offers you hope, healing, and forgiveness through His Son, Jesus. As someone who has received these eternal blessings, I can tell you they are real.

To those readers frustrated by the women mentioned above, show them kindness and respect when you respond. Cover them with prayer. Remember: "You were once darkness," writes Paul to the Christians in Ephesus (5:8), "but now you are light in the Lord." He opens eyes, and He alone.

Joy Break: Girl With Cerebral Palsy Saves 1-Year-Old Brother From Drowning

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 15:39

When we turn on our television or smart phones we are bombarded with news that brings us down. Where are all the good stories? Those stories are still there. Here’s one that we hope will bless you.

Nine-year-old Lexie Comeau-Jackson from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a hero. The little girl, who has cerebral palsy, saved the life of her one-year-old brother when he fell into the family pool. 

A Little Hero

Lexie was getting ready to celebrate her birthday. Her grandmother and mom lost track of her little brother Leeland. He decided to jump in the pool. Lexie, who can’t talk or walk, began to scream loudly. 

“I was upstairs changing for the party, her dad was picking up her older brother, and my mom was in the kitchen, when suddenly I just heard Lexie screaming,” said Kelly Jackson, Lexie’s mom. “I panicked and immediately thought, ‘Oh no, she must have fallen off her chair.'”

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Lexie’s grandma ran toward her, but Lexie was pointing toward the pool. She realized that Leeland was gone. 

Kelly looked out the window “and there, at the edge of the pool, I saw his little head. I began to panic, and my mom quickly ran towards him and pulled him out.”

If it wasn’t for Lexie’s quick thinking, things might have turned out differently. “At that moment, it was so scary,” said Kelly. “We thought it was not going to end well, we hugged him a million times. In two seconds a life can change and we are just thankful that Lexie was so quick to alert us.”

“Heroes come in all sizes,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage tweeted. “It was a real pleasure to recognize young Lexi for alerting her mom when her toddler brother made a dash for the pool.”

Heroes come in all sizes. It was a real pleasure to recognize young Lexi for alerting her mom when her toddler brother made a dash for the pool. @TonyMancini_NS pic.twitter.com/EFaIbBo3Wv

— Office of the Mayor (@MikeSavageHFX) July 4, 2018

Explaining American Leftists: Part I

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 15:19

As I watch a great number of my fellow Americans and virtually all of the mainstream media descend further and further into irrational and immoral hysteria -- regularly calling the president of the United States and all of his supporters Nazis, white supremacists and the like; harassing Republicans where they eat, shop and live; ending family ties and lifelong friendships with people who support the president; declaring their opposition to Trump and the Republican Party the “Resistance,” as if they were American reincarnations of the French who fought real Nazis in World War II; and so on -- I ask myself: What is going on? How does one explain them?

Here are some answers:

Naivete

Many Americans are naive, about life, about good and evil, and about America. They don’t realize how rare America is and how good they have it. This mass naivete was vividly expressed by the reaction of tens of thousands of mostly white middle-class Americans to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, when he was campaigning in Columbia, Missouri. Obama announced, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

I frequently play the recording of Obama’s statement on my radio show not only to explain a basic difference between right and left -- the left believes America needs to be fundamentally transformed, while the right thinks America needs to be incrementally improved -- but also for people to hear the crowd’s reaction.

Very few contemporary American recordings are as depressing as the ecstatic and prolonged cheering the crowd gave that terrible promise from Obama. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that had he announced a cure for cancer, the cheering could not have been louder and probably would not have been longer.

Why would middle-class Americans -- people who have more affluence, more opportunity, better health, better health care and more liberty than almost anyone alive in the world today, and certainly than anyone who ever lived -- thunderously applaud a call to fundamentally transform their decent country?

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One answer -- one of many, as we will see -- is naivete.

Earlier this year, I had a debate/dialogue with two left-wing students at the University of California, Berkeley. I thought debating left-wing students, rather than giving a speech, would accomplish two objectives: deter left-wing protesters from disrupting my appearance and enable young people at Berkeley and around the world (via the internet) to hear differences between right and left clearly spelled out. Both aims were achieved.

My final question to them was “Do you believe people are basically good?” Without a moment’s pause, both students said yes.

I told them they think that way because they live in such a decent country. It is easy to remain naive in America, where most are insulated from the suffering inflicted on so much of humanity in deeply corrupt, poverty-stricken and war-torn societies. Nevertheless, given the way humans have treated one another throughout history, and only two generations after Auschwitz, only the naive can believe people are basically good. And since no Western religion (i.e., any religion based on the Bible) has ever posited that people are basically good, this naivete is abetted by secularism, which allows for the pursuit of knowledge but destroys wisdom.

Only the naive -- or willfully ignorant -- could equate support for Donald Trump with Nazism. Are most Israeli Jews Nazis? Are a third of America’s Jews Nazis? (Many on the left would probably answer yes, which gives you an idea how mean and sick many on the left are.)

Boredom

Boredom, at least in our time, is the most overlooked source of evil. In the past, before people went to college and abandoned religion -- the two greatest reasons there is so much moral idiocy in our time -- people knew how dangerous boredom was. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” was a commonly used aphorism that wouldn’t even make sense to most young people today.

By bored I am not referring to a lack of things to do. There is more opportunity to do and experience things today than ever before. By bored I mean a deep boredom of the soul, what the French call “ennui.” This is the boredom that emanates from lack of purpose and a yearning for excitement.

The combination of affluence and secularism produces boredom as surely as the combination of hydrogen and oxygen produces water. Without affluence, people have a built-in purpose: obtaining food and shelter, supporting oneself and one’s family, etc. And religion, with or without affluence, likewise has always provided people with meaning. Without religion, therefore, purpose is often lost. Add to that the number of people who are not married and do not have children (also a result of the combination of affluence and secularism) and you remove another universal source of meaning.

A disproportionate percentage of those on the left (not traditional liberals) do not lack for material needs, have no religion and are single and/or childless. Those left-wing screamers you see in restaurants, the left-wing mobs on campus, the left-wing “antifa” thugs and the left-wing Black Lives Matter demonstrators who close down bridges and highways do not generally consist of married people with children who attended church the previous Sunday.

These people find this lack of purpose assuaged by leftism. It provides meaning and excitement, a very heady combination.

These are a few explanations. In Part II I will offer others.

 

Dennis Prager’s latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Peter Carington, Last Survivor of Churchill Govt, Dies at 99

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 12:28

LONDON (AP) -- Peter Carington, a long-serving British politician who was the last survivor of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s government, has died. He was 99.

Cabinet office Minister David Lidington tweeted Tuesday that he was “sorry to learn of the death of my constituent Lord Carrington.” The House of Lords website says he died Monday.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said his death was “very sad news.”

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A hereditary peer, Carington served as an agriculture minister in Churchill’s post-World War II government. He went on to hold several of the top jobs in British government, including defense secretary and foreign secretary.

In 1982, he resigned as foreign secretary in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government after Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands. Britain won the islands back after a brief war.

___

A previous version of this story has been corrected to show that Carington’s surname has one r. His title, Lord Carrington, has two.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

All 12 Boys, Coach Rescued From Flooded Thai Cave

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 12:18

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) -- All 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, the Thai navy SEALs said Tuesday, ending an 18-day ordeal that riveted people around the world.

The SEALs said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely Tuesday.

They said they were waiting for a medic and three SEALs who stayed with the boys in their dark refuge deep inside the cave complex to come out.

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Eight of the trapped boys had been brought out of the cave by divers on Sunday and Monday.

The plight of the boys and their coach has riveted Thailand and much of the world -- from the heart-sinking news that they were missing to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers. They were trapped in the cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

The eight boys brought out by divers over the previous two days were doing well and were in good spirits, a senior health official said.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

8 Things to Know About Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 12:17

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a prime-time announcement Monday night. If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy to give the court a likely solid 5-4 conservative majority.

"Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers," Trump said in announcing his choice at the East Room of the White House.

President George W. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003, but he wasn't confirmed until 2006, by a Senate vote of 57-36. The D.C. Circuit is considered a stepping stone to the high court.

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward," Kavanaugh, 53, said after Trump introduced him at the White House event. "A judge must be independent and must interpret the law and not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent."

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Here are eight things to know about the likely next Supreme Court justice.

1. Clerk for the Man He Could Replace

Kavanagh, a graduate of Yale University Law School, once clerked for the man he hopes to replace on the high court, Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In introducing the judge, Trump said: "Just like Justice [Neil] Gorsuch, he excelled as a clerk for Justice Kennedy."

"Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty," Kavanaugh said. "I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court."

Kavanaugh also clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and for Judge Walter Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

2. The First Judge Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh talked about his mother, who was a teacher in two predominantly black D.C. schools before becoming a prosecutor.

"My introduction to law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing argument," Kavanaugh said. "Her trademark line was, 'Use your common sense. What rings true, what rings false?'" he said at the White House.

"That's good advice for a juror and a son. One of the few women prosecutors at that time, she overcame barriers and became a trial judge. The president introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh. But, to me, that title will always belong to my mom."

His father also went to law school at night while working full time.

3. A Majority of Female Clerks

Kavanaugh, who praised his wife Ashley and two young daughters, Margaret and Liza, also talked about being proud to have hired more female law clerks than male clerks.

"As a judge, I hire four law clerks each year. I look for the best," Kavanaugh said.

"My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view. I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women."

4. They Call Him Coach K

When he's not judging cases, Kavanaugh coaches his "spirited" daughters' basketball teams.

"For the past seven years, I've coached my daughters' basketball teams. The girls on the team call me Coach K," he told the East Room crowd, to laughter.

"I am proud of our Blessed Sacrament team that just won the city championship," he said. "My daughters and I also go to a lot of games. A favorite memory was going to the historic Notre Dame-UConn women's basketball game at this year's Final Four."

As the president grinned, Kavanaugh low-fived daughter Liza after saying she "loves sports, and she loves to talk."

5. Prosecuting and Serving Presidents

Kavanaugh has investigated one president and provided legal counsel to another. He also has written about investigating presidents, which could be relevant during a special counsel probe of Trump.

Before serving on the D.C. appeals court, Kavanaugh was a senior associate White House counsel and assistant to the president for more than five years during the Bush years.

From 1994 to 1997, and then again in 1998, Kavanaugh worked as associate counsel for Independent Counsel Ken Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton's involvement in the Whitewater land deal, the Monica Lewinsky affair, and other legal matters.

In 1992 and 1993, Kavanaugh was an attorney for the Office of the Solicitor General.

He was a principal author of the Starr Report to Congress that made the case that Clinton committed perjury and obstructed justice regarding the Lewinsky matter. The House impeached Clinton, but the Senate acquitted him in a trial.

A 2012 Minnesota Law Review article written by Kavanaugh could gain scrutiny during his confirmation hearing, at a time when a special counsel investigation probes Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the role of Trump associates.

From the perspective of a lawyer on Starr's team, and later a White House lawyer, Kavanaugh argued that Congress should pass legislation shielding a sitting president from criminal investigation, indictment, or prosecution while in office. Justice Department opinions assert that a president cannot be indicted, but no law prevents it.

"The indictment and trial of a sitting president ...would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas," Kavanaugh wrote. "Such an outcome would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis."

6. Separation of Powers

Kavanaugh has written in great detail about the separation of powers and statutory interpretation. He co-authored a book on judicial precedent (with Bryan Garner and 11 appeals court judges, including then-appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch).

He teaches at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown.

"I teach that the Constitution's separation of powers protects individual liberty, and I remain grateful to the [Harvard] dean who hired me, Justice Elena Kagan," Kavanaugh said, in a nod to the woman who is arguably the Supreme Court's most liberal member.

Kavanaugh delivered the 2017 Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture at The Heritage Foundation. The address is reserved for renowned federal judges, who have included Justice Clarence Thomas. Kavanaugh spoke about the judiciary's role in maintaining the separation of powers.

"Judge Kavanaugh has a star-studded resume and one of the best minds on the federal bench," Carrie Severino, chief counsel for Judicial Crisis Network, told The Daily Signal. "He will make a brilliant addition to the Supreme Court."

7. Judicial Record

Going into the confirmation battle, Kavanaugh has a clear record of decisions on high-profile matters:

--Regarding campaign finance law, he ruled in Emily's List v. FEC in 2009 that the Federal Election Commission's regulation restricting how nonprofits raise and spend money violates the First Amendment. His ruling came before the Citizens United decisions.

--In one of his more controversial opinions, in a 2011 case involving Obamacare known as Seven-Sky v. Holder, Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion asserting that federal courts shouldn't hear constitutional challenges to Obamacare.

He argued: "There is a natural and understandable inclination to decide these weighty and historic constitutional questions. But in my respectful judgment, deciding the constitutional issues in this case at this time would contravene an important and long-standing federal statute, the Anti-Injunction Act, which carefully limits the jurisdiction of federal courts over tax-related matters."

--In 2012, Kavanaugh dissented from the majority in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, a case that determined the Environmental Protection Agency could disregard cost-benefit analysis when considering a regulation. The Supreme Court reversed the D.C. Circuit, and cited Kavanaugh's dissenting opinion.

--In 2013, Kavanaugh ruled in the case of Loving v. IRS that the Internal Revenue Service exceeded its legal authority when it attempted to regulate tax preparers.

--In 2015, in the case of al-Bahlul v. U.S., Kavanaugh joined the majority upholding Yemini citizen Ali Hamza al-Bahlul's conviction by a military commission on charges of conspiracy to commit war crimes.

--In 2016, Kavanaugh wrote the opinion in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, finding that the agency's structure is unconstitutional. The ruling, however, was reversed by the full D.C. Circuit.

--In 2017, he dissented in Garza v. Hargan, in which the majority on the D.C. Circuit determined that an illegal immigrant minor had the right to obtain an abortion while in federal custody.

8. Some Conservative Reaction

Before introducing Kavanaugh, Trump recognized Edwin Meese, who was President Ronald Reagan's longtime counselor and second attorney general, and praised Meese for his role in preserving America's "constitutional heritage."

"With the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, President Trump has chosen a man who will be another great justice," Meese, the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow emeritus at The Heritage Foundation, said in his own formal statement, adding:

Judge Kavanaugh follows the same pattern as Justice Neil Gorsuch, a fair and independent jurist who will faithfully apply the law as written and honor the Constitution. The American people deserve a swift confirmation by the U.S. Senate so Judge Kavanaugh can take his seat on the high court when it reconvenes for the fall term in early October.

Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James also released a prepared statement on the Kavanaugh nomination, saying:

I applaud President Donald Trump for nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. The president understands that his appointments to the high court may very well be his longest-lasting legacy, and he has selected yet another highly qualified individual who, like Neil Gorsuch, will be impartial, fair, and principled. It's more important than ever that we have justices who are faithful to the Constitution and interpret the laws and Constitution according to their text and original meaning.

As Ronald Reagan once remarked, '[U]nless judges are bound by the text of the Constitution, we will, in fact, no longer have a government of laws, but of men and women who are judges.' With the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the American people have an opportunity to learn about the limited, but important, role the judiciary was designed to play in our system of government.

 

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

Moving Mountains and Receiving Grace

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:00

“You are categorizing your depression,” my husband said. “There’s depression you can handle, depression God can handle, and depression medicine can handle.” 

He’d put a mirror to my face. I didn’t like what I saw. But he was right. If the depression I endure is not too bad, I think I can handle it. If it’s a bit worse, I pray and trust God to handle it. When it gets really bad, I go to the doctor. 

C. S. Lewis said, “For most of us the prayer in Gethsemane is the only model. Removing mountains can wait.” His words speak to me as if he knew me. I have been praying prayers of Gethsemane. I haven’t prayed to move mountains. Have I even tried?

Nothing is Too Little or Too Big

I was clearly thinking depression is something either too small for God to handle or too large for God to handle. But that can’t be right. 

God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He can handle the little stuff. Besides, He said we are much more valuable than a sparrow (Matthew 10:29-31). He healed countless people -- the hurting, sick, blind and lame. Jesus even raised some from the dead (Matthew 11:4-6, 38-44).

What do I do now? I pray to move the mountains in my way. My first prayer went something like this, “God, please move the mountain.” I then realized that’s still a Gethsemane prayer! A prayer to move mountains is based on faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). I have to pray from a point of strength -- God’s strength in me. My next prayer was this: “I reject depression in the name of Jesus.”

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The Apostle Paul says to take every thought captive. I like how the King James Version puts it: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Every thought. Captive. In obedience to Christ.

Receiving His Grace

God can handle whatever ails me. The trouble is on my end. "It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you,” Oswald Chambers wrote. “It is taking the grace of God now."

How do I receive that grace? I pray, “Father, I receive the grace that you have for me today.” I walk in the faith that God’s grace is enough. "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Walking Out My Faith

When I realized this weekend that I was having depressive thoughts, I prayed. I recognized that the thought wasn’t from God and I “took it captive,” in the sense that I changed my thoughts through prayer. My prayer went something like this: “That thought isn’t from you, God, and I reject it.” I then replaced those thoughts with those that line up with God’s truth: God loves me. I am valuable. My family loves me. And so forth. Honestly, this a daily kind of prayer.

I also draw on His grace as I need it, and try not to worry about tomorrow. "Each day has enough troubles of its own." (Matthew 6:34) And it certainly does. Each day, although I struggle, is also a new opportunity to walk out my faith. This morning on my patio, I sipped my coffee and prayed. “Thank you for this day, Father.” Another day to be thankful. Another day to move mountains. Another day to receive grace.

I walk in my faith as each day comes, leaning into His strength. Though I am weak, He has made me strong.

At the Moment, Kavanaugh is Probably Best Confirmable Judge for the Supreme Court

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 05:33

Tonight, President Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee. I was a little disappointed. Not by the choice, but by the lack of Trumpian theater. I'd hoped that Trump, as former owner of the Miss Universe Pageant, would have gone for a little more drama. You know, had all the leading contestants present, waiting in suspense. Then he'd announce the Second and the First Runner-Ups, giving each of them a crown. Let them cry and hug it out as he congratulated the winner with a tiara and a big bouquet.

Oh well, maybe next time.

A Double Yalie

Brett Kavanaugh, the president's choice, has more than ample professional qualifications. As the Daily Caller reported:

A double Yalie with some two decades experience as a government lawyer and appeals judge, Kavanaugh is an archetypal Supreme Court nominee. He was notes editor of the Yale Law Review, clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, and practiced at an elite firm before entering the George W. Bush administration. …

Since joining the appeals court, he has developed a reputation as a text-focused judge who cares deeply about the separation of powers. Some of his best known opinions on the court have involved constitutional challenges to the structure of administrative agencies.

That kind of stellar record in the legal establishment used to be enough. That was before the Democrats decided to out themselves and admit the truth. They expect the Supreme Court to be a sitting, leftist Constitutional convention. It's there not to read legislation, but to overturn laws they dislike. And to pluck key issues out of voters' grubby, "deplorable" hands.

There are things about Kavanaugh that worry me, and others more reassuring.

Judges Who Want to Play God

The key to what conservatives should be looking for on the court is right there in the Daily Caller's report. The "text" of the law, in the words that were used to write it, and the con-text when the law was passed. Not the "penumbras" and possible implications, which amount in the end to loopholes for judges who want to play God. If someone argues that a clause of the Constitution implies outcomes that would have appalled the Founders who wrote the document (or the voters who approved an Amendment) then he is wrong. Abortion and same-sex "marriage" are obvious examples.

But those are now terrible precedents. It will take a prolonged fight (and probably two or three more SCOTUS appointments) to be sure of overturning them. Let's look ahead, instead.

So far, the Democrats haven't tried to make homosexuals, transsexuals, furries or polygamists a "protected class" under federal anti-discrimination law. They don't have the votes. Instead, President Obama told the Justice Department to pretend that such a law already existed. Which one? Why the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- which was passed when sodomy laws still existed in 49 states. That's a clear example where the context anchors the meaning of the text. A textualist like Kavanaugh, we can be sure, wouldn't rape the Civil Rights Act by ignoring the fact that its text and context both clearly said "No." That might be a good definition of an "originalist" or textualist judge. He applies the "Me Too" movement's insights to our Constitution, too.

We Need a Redder Senate

As a textualist, Kavanaugh almost certainly holds both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in deep contempt. Legal expert Andrew McCarthy explains the Constitutional reasons for that better than I could. Kavanaugh has wisely nowhere committed himself to overturning either of these embarrassing pieces of amateur jurisprudence. If he had, he might be impossible to squeeze through the Senate. No, I'm not happy about that either. Time to elect more Republican senators, people! Let's flip enough seats until Trump could appoint Steve Bannon if he wanted to. Or Don, Jr.

Kavanaugh has wisely nowhere committed himself to overturning amateur jurisprudence like Roe v. Wade. If he had, he might be impossible to squeeze through the Senate. No, I'm not happy about that either.

In the meantime, however, we face a very narrow margin in the Senate. Trump surely took this into account. Who knows? Maybe Anthony Kennedy did as well, deciding to retire before the Senate turned even redder.

Pros and Cons

There are things about Kavanaugh that worry me, and others more reassuring. A recent column at The Federalist warned that the judge has been less solicitous of religious liberty than he might be. That isn't good. But then again, one of the worst opinions for religious liberty in recent years came from Antonin Scalia. We can't read all the tea leaves in the tiny cup of previous decisions. The judge might simply have been trying to follow the law, regardless of his policy preferences.

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On the positive side, those fighting to enforce our country's immigration laws are expressing relief and delight. Both Mickey Kaus and Ann Coulter lobbied hard for Kavanaugh, citing the endless "lawfare" waged by open borders attorneys -- and his firm opinions on that subject in the past. Given that four members of our nation's highest court were willing to ignore the Constitution on Trump's travel ban, this issue is clearly critical.

 

Trump Nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 01:28

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After days of frenzied lobbying and speculation, President Donald Trump decided on federal appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh for his second nominee to the Supreme Court, setting up a ferocious confirmation battle.

Trump chose Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Top contenders had included federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman, as well as Kavanaugh, who is currently a federal appellate judge in the District of Columbia.

Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh -- a longtime judge and a former clerk for Kennedy -- questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W. Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice. But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions.

Ahead of his announcement, Trump tweeted about the stakes: “I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice – Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M.”

With Democrats determined to vigorously oppose Trump’s choice, the Senate confirmation battle is expected to dominate the months leading up to November’s midterm elections. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. Democratic senators running for re-election in states Trump carried in 2016 will face pressure to back his nominee.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on abortion. Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will get the first chance to question the nominee, predicted a “rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight.”

Trump’s success in confirming conservative judges, as well as a Supreme Court justice, has cheered Republicans amid concerns about his limited policy achievements and chaotic management style. Of the court’s liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month, so Trump may well get another opportunity to cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.

While the president has been pondering his choice, his aides have been preparing for what is expected to be a tough confirmation fight. The White House said Monday that former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl would guide Trump’s nominee through the grueling Senate process.

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring in 2013. He works for the Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. The White House hopes Kyl’s close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for confirmation.

Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year. The president has spent the days leading up to his announcement discussing the pros and cons of various contenders with aides and allies. In addition to Kavanaugh, in recent days he expressed renewed interest in Hardiman, the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking.

The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee member Kennedy.

Democrats who were invited but declined included Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Dianne Feinstein of California. Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. The others are Republican targets for the confirmation vote who come from Trump-won states where they face re-election this fall.

Kavanaugh is expected to meet in coming days with senators at their offices, going door-to-door in get-to-know-you sessions ahead of confirmation hearings.

Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens Roe v. Wade. The two have supported access to abortion services.

One Democrat up for re-election, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, announced Monday he would oppose any nominee from Trump’s list of 25 possible candidates, drafted by conservative groups. He called it the “fruit of a corrupt process straight from the D.C. swamp.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said opponents were using “40-year-old scare tactics” over abortion and other issues but they “will not stop us from doing the right thing.”

 

___

Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Three Major Films With Pro-Life Themes Set to Release in Coming Months

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 22:30

One’s already controversial and it isn’t even out yet. Few seemed to have noticed the other two. Three teams of filmmakers have been working to tell true stories that reveal the humanity of lives in the womb. All three are on track to release in the next seven months.

Unplanned is based on the memoir of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson. Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer is a crime drama set in urban Philadelphia. Linked closely to pro-life leaders, these films appear to be a step up from past efforts Bella, Voiceless and October Baby.

Those are the two the mainstream, and pro-choice, media hasn’t yet noticed. The media have noticed Nick Loeb’s Roe v. Wade. And they don’t like it.

Unplanned Journey of Planned Parenthood Whistleblower

In October 2009, one Texas woman caused a national uproar when she quit her job. Abby Johnson had worked at the local Planned Parenthood near College Station, Texas, for eight years. She started as a volunteer and worked up to clinic director.

Heart-Connecting Stories

"Stories have a way of disarming people and connecting with them on a heart level," says Christina Marie Bennett. A Connecticut activist, she starred in the short film Pro-Life Feminist.

"They go past defense mechanisms and straight into their hearts. Films allow us to empathize and relate on a human level with another person,” she says. “You can't argue with someone's testimony.”

She thinks having three very different films release can be a good thing. "There’s all this variety in the pro-life movement. We're a diverse group -- there are secular and Christian pro-lifers, people of every ethnicity. Oftentimes our stories are not being told on CNN and MSNBC."

Long involved in pregnancy care outreach, Bennett thinks the best stories are born from personal experiences. "We don't have to doctor anything up or try to make an appealing story. What we do is beautiful. It brings hope to peoples' lives. All we have to do is just tell it."

"The more we do that, the more people's eyes will be opened," she concludes. "It will counter the lies that are out there.”

As told in her memoir Unplanned, the women's rights advocate found the work "wonderfully rich and satisfying" at first. Johnson took pride in how their team efficiently distributed forms of contraception to avoid more costly clinical abortions. For years, she never saw an abortion procedure firsthand. Then a visiting doctor asked Johnson to assist him in the exam room.

A remarkable series of events followed, including a clandestine meeting with pregnancy help leaders next door, a shocking local TV interview and a legal gag order from Planned Parenthood. The abortion rights group lost their statewide spokesperson, while the pro-life movement gained a new perspective.

She made public in 2014 that Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, writers of the $60 million independent blockbuster God's Not Dead, had inked a deal to produce her story as a major motion picture. Unplanned is slated to release February 22, 2019.

Details have been scarce, though the producers of this spring's surprise hit I Can Only Imagine are reportedly involved. 

'Superman' Brings Serial Killer Gosnell to Justice

In early 2010, disturbing reports of an abortion center in west Philadelphia became too numerous for authorities to ignore.

When the FBI and Philadelphia investigators raided the offices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, what they found shocked them. Unsanitary exam rooms reeked of blood. Baby body parts were kept in jars.

Gosnell was convicted of three murders and more than 200 counts of violating state abortion laws. He is serving three life sentences in a state prison. After being partially told in the documentary 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, a scripted version of the story will finally hit theaters this fall.

The crime drama Gosnell has faced more barriers to release than perhaps any recent film. In 2014 Kickstarter snubbed producers from using its crowdfunding platform. They raised over $2 million on Indiegogo. Last year, the Philadelphia judge on the case feared he was portrayed in an unflattering light. He blocked the movie from distribution, in a lawsuit only recently resolved.

Filmmakers persisted and have now secured an October 12, 2018 release for their film. Directed by veteran actor Nick Searcy (The Fugitive, Cast Away), Gosnell stars Dean Cain as the lead detective who stumbles onto the case. Cain portrayed "Superman" on the hit 1990's TV show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The crime drama also features Sarah Jane Morris (Coyote Ugly) as a district attorney for the state and Earl Billings (Con Air) as Kermit Gosnell.

Roe v. Wade

A third movie with a recent rising profile comes from producer Nick Loeb, who only recently "converted" to being pro-life. It will recount events leading up the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide.

"We take a factual look at the case and show both sides of the arguments," he tells The Stream. The movie’s website describes it as "the real untold story of how people lied; how the media lied; and how the courts were manipulated to pass a law that has since killed over 60 million Americans.” Speaking to Vanity Fair, he called his movie “a social war movie where we take both sides of the argument and hopefully let the audience decide."

Roe v. Wade will be the first script for Nick Loeb and his production partner Cathy Allyn. For two years, they researched the case using 40 sources including court transcripts and several books. Loeb himself co-stars as prominent abortion provider Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who became pro-life. His 1996 book The Hand of God is a primary source of scenes and quotes.

After a crowdfunding campaign that began in January, the film was rushed into production this summer. Some people may feel there is a pro-life bias, he says, “But we took a black-and-white view of this and laid it all out there." The film reportedly costs $6.5 million to make.

Despite Concerns…

A report last week claimed several cast and crew members quit Roe v. Wade, which Loeb disputes in part. "None of our key people on the crew quit," he says. "It's a crew of 125 people, a cast of 74 and a thousand extras. We've both worked on several films, and it's normal for people to quit."

His partner Cathy Allyn states they have to abide by high standards. "We're a union show," she says, noting their SAG-AFTRA agreements in place. "So claiming that we're doing anything substandard is preposterous."

Despite compelling source material, some have raised concerns about the script. In January, pro-life leader Robert George shared an exchange with Loeb. "I had some objections to certain characterizations of facts presented in a pitch video for the movie that Mr. Loeb shared with me," George wrote online. "I will endorse [the film] if, but only if, it is strictly historically accurate. I do not believe in taking liberties with the truth, even in the very best of causes."

Aspects of the film's casting have also raised questions. “Half the cast is pro-choice,” said Loeb in a recent interview. Two controversial figures, Milo Yiannopoulos and Tomi Lahren, will reportedly have cameos. Lahren proclaimed herself pro-choice last year on the television The View. Yiannopoulos has long been linked with the troubling alt-right movement. 

A Very Complicated Script

Reportedly, their take on the case starts in 1969. It features Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. Co-founder of National Right to Life Committee, she will be portrayed by actress and former Fox News personality Stacey Dash (View from the Top). 

Newcomer Ellery Sprayberry will portray Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. "Jane Roe," who came to regret her role in the case. McCorvey, who died in 2017, never had an abortion and fought to overturn the case over the last two decades. Lucy Davenport (Dinner for Schmucks) will play feminist leader Betty Friedan.

"It's a very complicated script," Loeb tells The Stream. "There are a lot of story lines and over a hundred locations. It's not easy to understand when you read it for the first time. Once it's visual, it makes sense. You remember The Big Short? It had five different story lines all going on at the same time. This will be similar."

Academy Award winner Jon Voight stars as Warren Burger, the chief justice who presided over the case. Corbin Bernsen (Psych) plays Justice Harry Blackmun and John Schneider (Smallville) portrays Justice Byron White.

 

Visit GosnellMovie.com to find out where the crime drama is playing this fall. Learn more about the film Roe v. Wade. Watch for full interviews with these filmmakers coming soon to The Stream. Explore our complete Film coverage.

Amid Jubilation, 4 More Boys Rescued From Flooded Thai Cave

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 20:52

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) -- The generals and other officials overseeing the desperate operation to rescue 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave labyrinth in Thailand's sweltering far north were only half joking when they quipped Monday that success was in the hands of the rain god Phra Pirun.

They were celebrating a second day of stunning triumph after divers guided four more boys Monday through tight passages and dank flooded caverns to safety. "Two days, eight Boars," read a Facebook post by the Thai Navy SEALS of the dramatic rescue that began Sunday, more than two weeks after the members of the Wild Boars soccer team were trapped. Another five still await rescue, including the team's 25-year old coach.

The eight rescued boys were recuperating in a hospital from their ordeal huddled together on a tiny patch of higher ground where they had sought refuge after a rainstorm flooded the massive Tham Luan Nang Non cave complex as they were exploring it after soccer practice on June 23. Their families were being kept at a distance because of fears of infection and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and international divers who, in pairs of two, executed the dangerous rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern. Highlighting the extreme dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the oxygen canisters laid along the route to the boys' damp refuge.

But the chances of monsoon rains sending torrents of water into the caves and making the rescue effort too risky is never far from the minds of everyone involved in the operation.

Alluding to that worry, the regional army commander offered his thanks Monday to the rain god Phra Pirun, imploring him to "keep showing us mercy."

"Give us three more days and the Boars will come out to see the world, every one of them," Maj-Gen. Bancha Duriyapan told a news conference punctuated by applause from the dozens of Thai and foreign journalists and others in attendance.

"I beg Phra Pirun because the Meteorological Department said that from Monday on there will be continuous rain," Bancha said. "If I ask too much, he might not provide it. So I've been asking for three days."

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The plight of the boys, aged 11-16, and their coach, has riveted Thailand and much of the world -- from the heart-sinking news they were trapped to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys brought back by the pair of British divers who found them after penetrating deep into the sprawling cave.

Then came the letters carried out by the teams of divers who took oxygen, food and medicine to the boys' refuge as experts pondered whether to dive them out or provision them for months while the monsoon season continues until at least late October.

Writing in elegant Thai script, the boys urged their parents not to worry, adding that they hoped they wouldn't get too much homework after being rescued and couldn't wait to eat their favorite foods again.

Their friends were full of optimism -- and worry.

Phuwadech Kamnguen, a 14-year-old best friend of one of the trapped boys, said he's looking forward to eating KFC with the team again.

"Even when my friends have left the cave, I'm worried about their physical well-being. From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny," he said.

The boys' nightmare experience -- trapped in claustrophobic darkness by rising waters -- resonated across the globe, riveting people both in Thailand and internationally who anxiously watched the news coming from this town along the border with Myanmar. After Monday's rescues, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the eight freed boys in the hospital where they had been taken by helicopter.

Chiang Rai province's acting governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue, voiced confidence Monday in the ongoing operation, provided the weather doesn't take a turn for the worse.

Workers have been laboring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and officials said Monday that despite heavy downpours overnight, water levels inside the cave did not rise. More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the chamber where the boys sought refuge were falling.

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues on Sunday.

"We have more expertise than yesterday," he said.

That sense of accomplishment was also reflected in the message posted Monday night on the Thai Navy SEALS's Facebook page announcing the latest rescues. It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!"

But bringing out the remaining four boys and their coach could take more than one operation, Narongsak warned.

All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said. The safety of the divers, who have meticulously planned the mission, is also paramount.

"If Phra Pirun helps us, we might be able to do it very quickly," Narongsak said, again invoking the god of rain, who is widely revered in Thailand. "But if Phra Pirun doesn't help, then it might be a little late."

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Imran Awan Story, or How to Bury a Scandal

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 20:47

Question: how do you make a political scandal go away?

Well, first you work out a sweetheart plea agreement that doesn't even touch on the scandalous part of what took place. Then you announce it in conjunction with a major holiday, preferably one in which most people are outdoors grilling hot dogs and not paying much attention to the news. The Fourth of July is ideal for such a plan, as patriotic Americans who normally would be paying attention to politics are, ironically, the ones most caught up in celebrating with their families.

If you are the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, you sneak out a press release with a generic, blah-vanilla headline such as "Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements on Application for Home Equity Loan."

That took some skill -- one can't even tell that this headline refers to the resolution of the Imran Awan case.

You Remember Awan

Recall that Awan was the IT aide to Florida Congresswoman and former DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz and about 45 other Democratic members of Congress, including members of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees. Though he'd never been officially vetted for a security clearance, he'd been given essentially unrestricted access to their email and other electronic files. Numerous members of his family were mysteriously on the government payroll, too, also without security clearances or degrees in IT, some pulling down highly questionable salaries. When allegations were raised, his wife went home to Pakistan; he wasn't quite fast enough and was intercepted while trying to flee the country as well.

Astoundingly, the press release announcing Awan's plea deal made no mention of Wasserman Schultz or of his IT work for the Democrats.

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President Trump must have been consulting his crystal ball about a month ago when he tweeted, "Our Justice Department must not let Awan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democratic I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today. They want to make a 'plea deal' to hide what is on their server. Where is Server? Really bad!"

Trump was downright psychic with his reference to a plea -- they gave Awan one heckuva deal, even announcing that they had "uncovered no evidence" that he had "violated federal law with respect to the House computer systems. The deal also specifies that he won't be charged with any nonviolent crimes he might have committed in Washington prior to the agreement. (I am not kidding.) According to Luke Rosiak at the Daily Caller -- who has really been on top of this story -- this benign conclusion is at odds with that of the findings of an IG appointed by Nancy Pelosi, the House's top law enforcement official, its sergeant-at-arms, and the statements of multiple Democratic aides. But that doesn't matter; the allegations have been effectively buried.

Claiming Bigotry, Avoiding Reality

Oh, and another thing you do to make a scandal go away is accuse the other side of bigotry. In this case, Awan's attorney, Christopher G. Gowan -- who happens to be a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton -- described the charge against Awan as "clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney's Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim." Wasserman Schultz used the same strategy, keeping Awan on the payroll for six months after he'd been banned from the congressional computer system by Capitol police because, as she said, he was "put under scrutiny because of his religious faith."

It also helps to have a sympathetic judge. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, appointed to the DC District Court by President Obama in 2014, was once a partner in the same firm that represented Huma Abedin in the investigation of Hillary's email server. She's been a vocal opponent of Trump's travel ban and ordered the Trump administration to provide abortions to two illegal immigrants. She postponed Awan's hearing in U.S. District Court six times.

Well, if you ever wanted to know how to bury a political scandal, now you know how it is done. In case you were one of those patriotic Americans out grilling hot dogs last week and you happened to miss the Awan story, here's Luke Rosiak's detailed wrap-up. If you're like me, it'll make you steamier than one of those dogs.

 

Originally published at MikeHuckabee.com and is reprinted with kind permission.

Exclusive: Persecuted Florist ‘Elated’ After SCOTUS Gives ‘New Life’ to Religious Liberty Case

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 20:25

Colorado baker Jack Phillips won his religious liberty at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 4. Twenty-one days later, America's highest court vacated a state Supreme Court decision against Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman. Stutzman's refusal to serve a same-sex "marriage" ceremony was to be reconsidered in light of Phillips' case.

In an interview earlier this month, Stutzman told The Stream that she is "elated" that the U.S. Supreme Court "breathed new life into our case." The case, however, "was not on my bucket list." Stutzman and her husband "could possibly lose our home, our life savings, our retirement, and everything we've saved for our kids and grandkids simply because of our religious beliefs about marriage."

I think the hardest part about all this has been the way the State of Washington has distorted my beliefs and my actions in this case. My faith inspires me to treat everyone with respect and love, and I have done my best to live out those beliefs. I have never turned anyone away because of who they are. And I never will. The only thing that I did was to decline to participate in and create art celebrating an event that violates my faith.

What Happened 

"When Rob asked me to create arrangements for his wedding, the first thing my husband and I did was to pray and ask God for wisdom and grace," Stutzman told The Stream. "The next day, I invited Rob to talk in private, where I took his hand in mine and told him that I could not in good conscience participate in his ceremony because of my relationship with Jesus and my desire to follow Him. Rob said he understood; then we talked all about his wedding and who would walk him down the aisle. We hugged before he left."

"I gladly served Rob. All I did was choose not to participate in and create art celebrating one event. Instead, I gave Rob a list of other nearby florists who I knew would make his wedding beautiful. Yet, even that was not enough in the eyes of the state of Washington, which has tried to crush me and my family to make an example of us."

"We should all be free to live out our beliefs about important moral issues like marriage. Rob has the freedom to act on his beliefs about marriage. I am only asking for the same thing."

Rob and his male partner sued Stutzman only for the cost of gas to get to another florist. It is the state which is continuing to prosecute Stutzman for alleged violation of the state's non-discrimination law.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Stutzman argued at the Washington Supreme Court that Stutzman hadn't discriminated on the basis of Rob's sexuality. The state court rejected the argument.

Government 'Hostile' Against Stutzman, Says Attorney

ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner told The Stream that her client was treated in a "hostile" and "openly antagonistic" fashion by Washington's Attorney General. "Rather than respecting Barronelle's right to peacefully live out her faith, the government targeted her because of her beliefs."

Waggoner said that Washington "failed" to "extend" tolerance to Stutzman. "Tolerance is a two-way street," she said. Waggoner said the U.S. Supreme Court "called for" tolerance in its Phillips decision.

"Barronelle stands to lose everything she's earned over a lifetime," continued Waggoner. "The state of Washington not only went after Barronelle's business, but sued her in her personal capacity as well." Stutzman's attorney said "that blatant attempt to ruin Baronelle financially - to crush her - because of her religious beliefs shows the government's hostility to her faith."

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Waggoner said ADF is working with a number of "creative professional clients" in several states. The Phillips decision affects those clients. "Our plan in those cases is to build on the victory in Masterpiece and establish even clearer protections for creative professionals who are just trying to live out their faith."

'God Has Protected My Husband and Me'

It is that faith which guided Stutzman and her husband throughout the years-long case.

From the start of this very difficult season, God has protected my husband and me, and He's given us the courage, wisdom, and knowledge to stand firm. He's also taught us what obedience is and what it means to follow Christ. One of the biggest lessons He's taught us is that you can't sit on the fence. You have to follow Him no matter what.

The Stream asked Stutzman how her Christian beliefs helped her distinguish between the sexual attractions and the relationship choices of her former customer.

"My faith guides me to treat everyone with respect and love, and I have done my best to live out those beliefs in my business," explained Stutzman. "I have never turned anyone away because of who they are. All that I've ever done is decline particular requests because of the message that I'm asked to express through my art or the event that I'm asked to celebrate."

"I served Rob, and had been his friend, for nearly a decade. I created dozens of unique, custom arrangements for him. I would gladly welcome Rob back into my shop today," she said.

Stutzman said that her florist shop is still open. "People have supported us in our area, so we're very grateful for that."

Here’s the Inspector General Report on Imran Awan

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 19:57

The Department of Justice found "no evidence" that former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan violated cybersecurity laws, prosecutors said Thursday, but the House of Representatives' internal watchdog reported that the Pakistani native made "unauthorized access" to congressional servers.

Prosecutors said police interviewed approximately 40 witnesses, reviewed relevant communications and examined a number of related devices, but couldn't find anything they could charge Imran with regarding cybersecurity. Details of the investigation were included in a plea deal with Imran surrounding unrelated bank fraud.

But a pair of presentations by House Inspector General Theresa Grafenstine detail a number of rules Imran and his family allegedly broke surrounding cybersecurity rules. The watchdog is a past chair of ISACA, an international IT association.

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Grafenstine found that Imran made "unauthorized access" to congressional servers in a way that suggested he was trying to "conceal" his activity and that his unusual activity suggested a server could be used for "nefarious purposes."

A source allowed The Daily Caller News Foundation to review and transcribe the Inspector General’s PowerPoint presentation, but was not given a copy for fear that metadata could reveal the source's identity.

The full transcription can be found here.

 

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Boris Johnson Speaks Out About ‘Semi-Brexit’ After Calling It Quits as UK Foreign Secretary

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 18:58

Former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson sent his resignation letter to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May after one of her spokesmen announced that Johnson was stepping down on Monday.

"It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy," he wrote in the letter. "We appear to be headed for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system."

“I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary,” he tweeted. “It is with sadness that I step down: here is my letter explaining why.”

I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary. It is with sadness that I step down: here is my letter explaining why. pic.twitter.com/NZXzUZCjdF

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 9, 2018

There is speculation that Johnson might attempt to gain May's powerful position by getting enough members of Parliament to give votes of no confidence in her leadership, reported The Guardian.

Brexit Secretary David Davis had also resigned hours earlier because he said the U.K. is "giving away too much and too easily," as did Brexit under-secretary Steve Baker, reported BBC.

A proposed deal constructed by May and her cabinet on Friday spurred the wave of resignations, reported The Guardian. Johnson reportedly called promoting the weak deal "polishing a turd."

Johnson's "replacement will be announced shortly," said a spokesman for the prime minister.

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May had already replaced the other hard Brexiters who quit. Member of Parliament (MP) and housing minister Dominic Raab will replace Davis as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, reported BBC.

Davis, Raab and Johnson supported a hard Brexit during the 2016 referendum.

The U.K. envisions leaving the EU on March 29, 2019, after over 45 years in the bloc. But negotiating the terms of Brexit is proving challenging, especially when it comes to trade. Hardline Brexiters fear May will backtrack on exiting the Customs Union, which forces it to set external tariffs, and the Single Market, which heavily regulates goods that can move freely within the EU.

However, while speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, May maintained that the U.K. will leave the Customs Union and Single Market. She released a statement laying out the four steps of her Brexit model that she says will ensure a healthy economy on Friday. The government will release a "white paper" with more detail on Thursday, reported The Guardian.

 

Send an email to Evie at evie@dailycallernewsfoundation.org and follow her on Twitter @eviefordham

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A British Doctor Is Fired for Affirming Biological Reality

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 17:45

A British doctor has committed the unpardonable sin. He is guilty of medical heresy. He has transgressed the sacred lines of revisionist science. Surely a man like this must be punished.  And punished he shall be.

What exactly was the crime of Dr. David Mackereth, who had worked for the National Health Services for 26 years? He dared to affirm that sex is biologically determined. Yes, that was his terrible transgression.

As the headline in the Daily Mail states, "Christian doctor is SACKED by the Government for refusing to identify patients by their preferred gender because he believes sex is established at birth."

What in the world was he thinking? How could be so foolish as to believe that a biological male is different than a biological female? How could he not realize that if a man perceives himself to be a woman, then for all medical purposes, "he" is now "she"?

Not only is this doctor a bigot. He is also scientifically ignorant. (I trust you will forgive my sarcasm.)

Dealing With Biological Reality

Ironically, I read this article one day after speaking with a British medical professional. She is responsible for interviewing patients when they come in for treatment, which includes people with life-threatening illnesses.

She told me that some biological males insist on being registered as females, and vice versa. What is she to do?

The doctors are not concerned with how the patient identifies. They're not interested in knowing if the patient feels at home in his or her body. That is not their concern.

Instead, they must deal with biological realities. Males are different than females, which means that in some cases, males must be treated differently than females. To fail to recognize this is to be unscientific, irrational, and liable to medical malpractice.

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So what does this caregiver do? She fills out the form according to biological realities, not internal perceptions. And in doing so, she might just be saving the patient's life.

The sad thing, though, is that she does this without the patient's knowledge or approval. Sadder still is the fact that she could be fired for trying to ensure the proper treatment of her patient.

As I have asked in similar contexts many times before, has the whole world gone mad?

Perception Does Not Matter

What if you truly believed you were blood type A when you were really blood type B? You've been in an accident and you're being rushed to the hospital, needing a transfusion. Thankfully, you're still conscious, and when the medic asks if you know your own blood type, you say, "Yes, I'm type A."

As a result, you die on the operating table. You were given the wrong blood. Biology is biology. Perception does not matter.

Israel's prestigious Weizmann Institute reported last year that, "Researchers Identify 6,500 Genes That Are Expressed Differently in Men and Women."

Yes, "Men and women differ in obvious and less obvious ways - for example, in the prevalence of certain diseases or reactions to drugs. How are these connected to one's sex? Weizmann Institute of Science researchers recently uncovered thousands of human genes that are expressed - copied out to make proteins - differently in the two sexes."

This alone would tell you that, for medical purposes, it's important to identify men as men and women as women. Yet when a doctor in England determined to do this very thing, he was sacked. This is beyond illogical. This is criminal.

Medical Integrity, Scientific Honesty? Not Anymore

Dr. Mackereth's new job "would have involved compiling independent reports about the health of those he interviewed who were claiming disability benefits. But matters began to sour when his instructor said reports must only refer to the patient or client by the gender that person selfidentifies [sic] as."

For him, this was a matter of medical integrity. Of scientific honesty. It was also a matter of his religious beliefs. As he explained, "’I said that I had a problem with this. I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics and that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female. I could have kept my mouth shut but it was the right time to raise it."

And for raising his voice, he was fired. This is political correctness gone totally mad.

As he warned, "I don’t think I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun. I am not setting out to upset anyone. But if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked then, as a society, we have to examine where we are going."

We are facing similar issues here in the States, while in Canada, Prof. Jordan Peterson has sounded the alarm about the dangers of government compelled speech.

Now, the UK has taken things one step farther. And it is a dangerous step indeed. Will there be a pushback from the society, including others within the medical profession? Will Christian leaders raise their voices in protest? Or will the madness continue?

To be candid, at the moment, given the climate of things in the UK, I fear for the worst. Nothing less than a national awakening will turn the tide.

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