Category: Trevor Thomas

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May the Farce be With You: Han Solo Preaches Climate Doom


And you thought the Death Star was dangerous. Speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit recently, a frothy and furry Harrison Ford — resembling Chewbacca more than Han Solo — growled and cussed at a like-minded gathering of the anthropogenic climate change faithful. Like a fiery guru pitching a worn-out self-help scam, Ford reminded his congregation of something we’ve all heard countless times before: because of so-called man-made climate change, the “future of humanity is at stake!”

No doubt implying that America needs to elect more democrats, Ford passionately implored the crowd to “stop giving power to people who don’t believe in science.” I agree! Anyone who can’t tell the American public what is the definition of a male and a female, or denies the unmistakable — but, for liberals, “inconvenient” — science of life in the womb has no business holding elected office.

Though their meteorologists often get the five-day forecast wrong, the same fools who tell us that women are just as good in combat as men want us to take their 100-year climate forecasts as the gospel truth, because, you know, “SCIENCE!” With the same ignorant passion of Harrison Ford, for decades now the dogmatic adherents of “the [not-so] new religion of First World urban elites” have claimed that the burning of fossil fuels is destroying the planet.

Blind to what fuels their private jets and what has fueled the building of our comfortable modern world, including carbon-fiber bicycles, air-conditioned Starbucks, polyester clothes, smart-phones, laptops, plastic protest signs, “Coexist” bumper stickers, and everything else that makes a liberal lifestyle complete, hypocritical leftists scream that if we don’t get off of fossil fuels, the world will burn. And “we are sh*t out of time” according to Harrison Ford.

Actually, San Francisco — where the Global Climate Action Summit was held this year — has had to make plenty of time for sh*t. In order to navigate properly one of the most “progressive” cities in the world, where taking care of the environment is supposedly sacrosanct, one must consult a “poop map.” Who knew that poop in the streets was “progressive?”

Yes, the world is filled with crapholes, but they shouldn’t exist in the U.S. — at least not literally. Yet San Francisco has turned into a literal cesspool, and according to Steven Greenhut, everyone there is noticing.

 “Trash bags full of approximately 20 pounds of human poop were left on the sidewalk over the weekend in downtown San Francisco,” the Fresno Bee reported on Wednesday. “It’s the latest — and perhaps most alarming — sign of the increased filthiness of one of the most popular cities in the United States.” Those smelly, possibly leaking bags were left in the downscale Tenderloin, but large swaths of upscale areas now resemble an outdoor sewer with human feces, open-air drug use, and other signs of the breakdown of civic order.


…Even the grounds around the state Capitol in Sacramento aren’t immune. In fairness, I’ve seen similar situations throughout the country. But in San Francisco the disorder isn’t confined to alleys and bushes. The encampments are in plain view and spreading. The panhandlers can be frighteningly aggressive.


An NBC Bay Area investigation from February “reveals a dangerous concoction of drug needles, garbage, and feces lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed more than 150 blocks, including some of the city’s top tourist destinations, and discovered conditions that are now being compared to some of the worst slums in the world.” In some cases, the situation may be worse than in the Third World because in those countries the filth and needles tend to be confined to certain neighborhoods, whereas in San Francisco the problem is everywhere.

In other words, San Francisco can’t even figure out how to keep human feces from their streets, yet we’re supposed to trust such politicians when it comes to something as magnificently complex as the global climate. Maybe they should put their efforts towards building a better pooper-scooper. Perhaps they could get Bill Nye the “science” guy working on it.

Now that we’ve had a significant hurricane hit the U.S. coast, liberals want everyone to remember that all of the devastation that results from Hurricane Florence is the fault of man-made climate change deniers — especially President Trump. Just as Florence was bearing down on the Carolina coast, the Washington Post pointed the finger at the President:

Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.

Dan Rather — you know, the long-time “impartial” evening news anchor at CBS — said that future generations “will damn” those “complicit” in ignoring the earth’s pleas “for a restoration to health.” Of course, most liberals “will damn” President Trump no matter what.

CNN was happy to join the “damn Trump because of the hurricane” chorus. On this past Thursday, after stating that he agreed with the Post that Trump was “complicit” in the latest hurricane, CNN political analyst John Avlon declared, “This isn’t rocket science, it is climate science.” Actually John, it’s just weather, but “never let a crisis go to waste,” right? 

To bolster his case, Avlon did what media liberals so often do: he lied. Avlon presented his paltry audience with a graphic that claimed that there’s been a 40% increase in severe storms since 1950. Via Twitter, Ryan Maue provided a graphic that revealed the truth. As Roger Pielke put it:

For many years, those seeking to justify carbon restrictions argued that hurricanes had become more common and intense. That hasn’t happened. Scientific assessments, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government’s latest National Climate Assessment, indicate no long-term increases in the frequency or strength of hurricanes in the U.S. Neither has there been an increase in floods, droughts and tornadoes… Prior to Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm, the U.S. had gone a remarkable 12 years without being hit by a hurricane of Category 3 strength or stronger. Since 1970 the U.S. has only seen four hurricanes of Category 4 or 5 strength. In the previous 47 years, the country was struck by 14 such storms.

In 2016, even the New York Times was whining about the lack of hurricanes, though they did assure us that hurricanes will return, and stronger than ever. We’ve seen this song and dance too many times now. The script is too predictable. After this storm passes, Trump will be blamed for anything that goes wrong in the recovery, and then it’s on to the next natural disaster.

Those peddling man-made global warming are responsible for some of the biggest scandals in science, which has helped to prop up one of the greatest scientific frauds of all time. About the only thing more scandalous, more fraudulent would be to give political power to those who continue to preach or buy into to this scientific propaganda.

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

And you thought the Death Star was dangerous. Speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit recently, a frothy and furry Harrison Ford — resembling Chewbacca more than Han Solo — growled and cussed at a like-minded gathering of the anthropogenic climate change faithful. Like a fiery guru pitching a worn-out self-help scam, Ford reminded his congregation of something we’ve all heard countless times before: because of so-called man-made climate change, the “future of humanity is at stake!”

No doubt implying that America needs to elect more democrats, Ford passionately implored the crowd to “stop giving power to people who don’t believe in science.” I agree! Anyone who can’t tell the American public what is the definition of a male and a female, or denies the unmistakable — but, for liberals, “inconvenient” — science of life in the womb has no business holding elected office.

Though their meteorologists often get the five-day forecast wrong, the same fools who tell us that women are just as good in combat as men want us to take their 100-year climate forecasts as the gospel truth, because, you know, “SCIENCE!” With the same ignorant passion of Harrison Ford, for decades now the dogmatic adherents of “the [not-so] new religion of First World urban elites” have claimed that the burning of fossil fuels is destroying the planet.

Blind to what fuels their private jets and what has fueled the building of our comfortable modern world, including carbon-fiber bicycles, air-conditioned Starbucks, polyester clothes, smart-phones, laptops, plastic protest signs, “Coexist” bumper stickers, and everything else that makes a liberal lifestyle complete, hypocritical leftists scream that if we don’t get off of fossil fuels, the world will burn. And “we are sh*t out of time” according to Harrison Ford.

Actually, San Francisco — where the Global Climate Action Summit was held this year — has had to make plenty of time for sh*t. In order to navigate properly one of the most “progressive” cities in the world, where taking care of the environment is supposedly sacrosanct, one must consult a “poop map.” Who knew that poop in the streets was “progressive?”

Yes, the world is filled with crapholes, but they shouldn’t exist in the U.S. — at least not literally. Yet San Francisco has turned into a literal cesspool, and according to Steven Greenhut, everyone there is noticing.

 “Trash bags full of approximately 20 pounds of human poop were left on the sidewalk over the weekend in downtown San Francisco,” the Fresno Bee reported on Wednesday. “It’s the latest — and perhaps most alarming — sign of the increased filthiness of one of the most popular cities in the United States.” Those smelly, possibly leaking bags were left in the downscale Tenderloin, but large swaths of upscale areas now resemble an outdoor sewer with human feces, open-air drug use, and other signs of the breakdown of civic order.


…Even the grounds around the state Capitol in Sacramento aren’t immune. In fairness, I’ve seen similar situations throughout the country. But in San Francisco the disorder isn’t confined to alleys and bushes. The encampments are in plain view and spreading. The panhandlers can be frighteningly aggressive.


An NBC Bay Area investigation from February “reveals a dangerous concoction of drug needles, garbage, and feces lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed more than 150 blocks, including some of the city’s top tourist destinations, and discovered conditions that are now being compared to some of the worst slums in the world.” In some cases, the situation may be worse than in the Third World because in those countries the filth and needles tend to be confined to certain neighborhoods, whereas in San Francisco the problem is everywhere.

In other words, San Francisco can’t even figure out how to keep human feces from their streets, yet we’re supposed to trust such politicians when it comes to something as magnificently complex as the global climate. Maybe they should put their efforts towards building a better pooper-scooper. Perhaps they could get Bill Nye the “science” guy working on it.

Now that we’ve had a significant hurricane hit the U.S. coast, liberals want everyone to remember that all of the devastation that results from Hurricane Florence is the fault of man-made climate change deniers — especially President Trump. Just as Florence was bearing down on the Carolina coast, the Washington Post pointed the finger at the President:

Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.

Dan Rather — you know, the long-time “impartial” evening news anchor at CBS — said that future generations “will damn” those “complicit” in ignoring the earth’s pleas “for a restoration to health.” Of course, most liberals “will damn” President Trump no matter what.

CNN was happy to join the “damn Trump because of the hurricane” chorus. On this past Thursday, after stating that he agreed with the Post that Trump was “complicit” in the latest hurricane, CNN political analyst John Avlon declared, “This isn’t rocket science, it is climate science.” Actually John, it’s just weather, but “never let a crisis go to waste,” right? 

To bolster his case, Avlon did what media liberals so often do: he lied. Avlon presented his paltry audience with a graphic that claimed that there’s been a 40% increase in severe storms since 1950. Via Twitter, Ryan Maue provided a graphic that revealed the truth. As Roger Pielke put it:

For many years, those seeking to justify carbon restrictions argued that hurricanes had become more common and intense. That hasn’t happened. Scientific assessments, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government’s latest National Climate Assessment, indicate no long-term increases in the frequency or strength of hurricanes in the U.S. Neither has there been an increase in floods, droughts and tornadoes… Prior to Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm, the U.S. had gone a remarkable 12 years without being hit by a hurricane of Category 3 strength or stronger. Since 1970 the U.S. has only seen four hurricanes of Category 4 or 5 strength. In the previous 47 years, the country was struck by 14 such storms.

In 2016, even the New York Times was whining about the lack of hurricanes, though they did assure us that hurricanes will return, and stronger than ever. We’ve seen this song and dance too many times now. The script is too predictable. After this storm passes, Trump will be blamed for anything that goes wrong in the recovery, and then it’s on to the next natural disaster.

Those peddling man-made global warming are responsible for some of the biggest scandals in science, which has helped to prop up one of the greatest scientific frauds of all time. About the only thing more scandalous, more fraudulent would be to give political power to those who continue to preach or buy into to this scientific propaganda.

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



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Liberals Don't Care about Character


By all accounts, Brett Kavanaugh is not only an excellent jurist, but also a good man.  According to Msgr. John Enzler, CEO and president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.:

This is the guy next door, this is what he’s like.  He’s not like some intellectual powerhouse you’d never talk to.  This is a guy who’s very friendly, very outgoing, very nice, lot of laughter, big smile, wonderful father, wonderful husband, man of faith, lives his faith, goes to church every week.

When introduced as President Trump’s nominee to replace the retiring Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh spoke adoringly of his parents, wife, and two daughters.  “I thank God every day for my family,” he told the audience gathered at the White House.  He also spoke of his commitment to serve others through his D.C. Catholic church.

From all indications, Brett Kavanaugh loves his wife; loves his children; loves his parents; loves his fellow man; and, most importantly of all, loves his Lord.  As is the case with all of those who possess such character, Kavanaugh’s love is revealed not only through words.  Those who know him well confirm that he lives out his faith.  In other words, through his deeds, Judge Kavanaugh is known and admired.  And liberals just don’t care.

In spite of all that we’ve heard about President Trump’s character – or lack thereof – as I noted last year, there’s nothing in President Trump’s personal past that runs afoul of the perverse “standards” of modern liberalism.  As the Kavanaugh hearings again remind us, for modern liberals, it’s never really about the character of the individual.  Virtually all that matters is furthering the liberal agenda.

As Ron Ross at the American Spectator recently pointed out, President Trump’s real crime – seemingly now “the most unforgivable hate crime” – is “obstruction of liberalism.”  No doubt, liberals fear that Brett Kavanaugh is part of the same “criminal” cabal.  What’s more, given that the office of U.S. president is decided every four years, and Supreme Court judges receive lifetime appointments, Judge Kavanaugh – and those in the judiciary who are like-minded – are on liberals’ “most wanted” list.

Hence the absurd and clownish display we witnessed last week when Kavanaugh went before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.  After the opening day hearings, David French well summed up the sad spectacle:

[F]rom the top down, from senators to protesters to online trolls, the Democrats offered a preview of how they’d react to any Republican nominee, and it was a shining example of how and why conservatives don’t believe for one moment that Donald Trump is the sole source of American dysfunction.

In other words, it was as if Kramer and Newman had taken over the hearings.  After enduring a couple of days of ugly liberal antics, David Catron piled on:

During the first two days of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee demonstrated why their party lost control of Congress, and that they still can’t be trusted with a majority in either house.  In addition to interrupting the proceedings countless times on hopelessly frivolous grounds and engaging in outrageous demagoguery, they openly encouraged demonstrators to disrupt the hearings with such disgusting behavior that Judge Kavanaugh’s wife was forced to lead his children out of the room on the first day.  These are the very Democrats, remember, who routinely lecture President Trump on matters of decorum.

As the caption above Catron’s piece notes, “Kavanaugh hearings reveal why their symbol is the jackass.”

Again, things will only get worse if President Trump has the opportunity to replace Ruth Ginsburg or one of her constitutionally ignorant left-wing colleagues.  Along with the rise of fake news and fake Christianity, lovers of the truth have had to contend with fake law.  Much of what is precious to modern liberals has become entrenched in U.S. law, not because of constitutionally legislative efforts, but through a rogue unconstitutional judiciary.

Whether abortion, same-sex “marriage,” immigration, climate change, speech, property rights, or the rest, left-wing jurists on the highest courts in our land have conducted themselves not as “umpires” – as Judge Kavanaugh put it – but as “super-legislators.”  Because the U.S. federal courts have been a reliable resource for liberal causes and left-wing law, anything or anyone – no matter their character – seen as a threat to the left’s hold on the courts must be “taken out.”

Because liberals have made a god of government, almost any politician or judge – no matter his character – with his sights set on Washington, D.C. must be ready to deal with the vile, crazy left.  In their lust to be rid of Trump, many liberals have forgotten how much they hate Mike Pence.  This past July, Frank Bruni of the New York Times reminded them:

There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump.  A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.


That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize.  He’s also self-infatuated.  Also a bigot.  Also a liar.  Also cruel.


To that brimming potpourri he adds two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity.  Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.

Or, to put it another way, because he follows a version of the “Billy Graham rule,” the left sees Mike Pence as part of the “American Taliban.”  Last year, the Atlantic reported on “How Mike Pence’s Marriage Became Fodder for the Culture Wars.”  The author references a 2002 The Hill piece:

The Hill article gives more context on how the Pences were thinking about this, at least back in 2002.  Pence told the paper he often refused dinner or cocktail invitations from male colleagues, too: “It’s about building a zone around your marriage,” he said.  “I don’t think it’s a predatory town, but I think you can inadvertently send the wrong message by being in [certain] situations.”


The 2002 article notes that Pence arrived in Congress a half decade after the 1994 “Republican revolution,” when Newt Gingrich was the speaker of the House.  Several congressional marriages, including Gingrich’s, encountered difficulty that year.  Pence seemed wary of this.  “I’ve lost more elections than I’ve won,” he said.  “I’ve seen friends lose their families.  I’d rather lose an election.”  He even said he gets fingers wagged in his face by concerned Indianans.  “Little old ladies come and say, ‘Honey, whatever you need to do, keep your family together,'” he told The Hill.

Mike Pence puts his family and his marriage ahead of politics, and the left thinks this is lunacy.  As the Apostle Paul told Titus, “to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”

A defiled heart and mind distorts everything.  The left hates Trump supposedly because he’s vile, vulgar, “trashy,” undignified, unpresidential, and piggish.  Mike Pence and Brett Kavanaugh can be accused of nothing similar, and the left hates them also.  For those corrupted by a liberal worldview, it’s never really about character.  It’s always about politics…and sex.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

By all accounts, Brett Kavanaugh is not only an excellent jurist, but also a good man.  According to Msgr. John Enzler, CEO and president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.:

This is the guy next door, this is what he’s like.  He’s not like some intellectual powerhouse you’d never talk to.  This is a guy who’s very friendly, very outgoing, very nice, lot of laughter, big smile, wonderful father, wonderful husband, man of faith, lives his faith, goes to church every week.

When introduced as President Trump’s nominee to replace the retiring Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh spoke adoringly of his parents, wife, and two daughters.  “I thank God every day for my family,” he told the audience gathered at the White House.  He also spoke of his commitment to serve others through his D.C. Catholic church.

From all indications, Brett Kavanaugh loves his wife; loves his children; loves his parents; loves his fellow man; and, most importantly of all, loves his Lord.  As is the case with all of those who possess such character, Kavanaugh’s love is revealed not only through words.  Those who know him well confirm that he lives out his faith.  In other words, through his deeds, Judge Kavanaugh is known and admired.  And liberals just don’t care.

In spite of all that we’ve heard about President Trump’s character – or lack thereof – as I noted last year, there’s nothing in President Trump’s personal past that runs afoul of the perverse “standards” of modern liberalism.  As the Kavanaugh hearings again remind us, for modern liberals, it’s never really about the character of the individual.  Virtually all that matters is furthering the liberal agenda.

As Ron Ross at the American Spectator recently pointed out, President Trump’s real crime – seemingly now “the most unforgivable hate crime” – is “obstruction of liberalism.”  No doubt, liberals fear that Brett Kavanaugh is part of the same “criminal” cabal.  What’s more, given that the office of U.S. president is decided every four years, and Supreme Court judges receive lifetime appointments, Judge Kavanaugh – and those in the judiciary who are like-minded – are on liberals’ “most wanted” list.

Hence the absurd and clownish display we witnessed last week when Kavanaugh went before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.  After the opening day hearings, David French well summed up the sad spectacle:

[F]rom the top down, from senators to protesters to online trolls, the Democrats offered a preview of how they’d react to any Republican nominee, and it was a shining example of how and why conservatives don’t believe for one moment that Donald Trump is the sole source of American dysfunction.

In other words, it was as if Kramer and Newman had taken over the hearings.  After enduring a couple of days of ugly liberal antics, David Catron piled on:

During the first two days of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee demonstrated why their party lost control of Congress, and that they still can’t be trusted with a majority in either house.  In addition to interrupting the proceedings countless times on hopelessly frivolous grounds and engaging in outrageous demagoguery, they openly encouraged demonstrators to disrupt the hearings with such disgusting behavior that Judge Kavanaugh’s wife was forced to lead his children out of the room on the first day.  These are the very Democrats, remember, who routinely lecture President Trump on matters of decorum.

As the caption above Catron’s piece notes, “Kavanaugh hearings reveal why their symbol is the jackass.”

Again, things will only get worse if President Trump has the opportunity to replace Ruth Ginsburg or one of her constitutionally ignorant left-wing colleagues.  Along with the rise of fake news and fake Christianity, lovers of the truth have had to contend with fake law.  Much of what is precious to modern liberals has become entrenched in U.S. law, not because of constitutionally legislative efforts, but through a rogue unconstitutional judiciary.

Whether abortion, same-sex “marriage,” immigration, climate change, speech, property rights, or the rest, left-wing jurists on the highest courts in our land have conducted themselves not as “umpires” – as Judge Kavanaugh put it – but as “super-legislators.”  Because the U.S. federal courts have been a reliable resource for liberal causes and left-wing law, anything or anyone – no matter their character – seen as a threat to the left’s hold on the courts must be “taken out.”

Because liberals have made a god of government, almost any politician or judge – no matter his character – with his sights set on Washington, D.C. must be ready to deal with the vile, crazy left.  In their lust to be rid of Trump, many liberals have forgotten how much they hate Mike Pence.  This past July, Frank Bruni of the New York Times reminded them:

There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump.  A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.


That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize.  He’s also self-infatuated.  Also a bigot.  Also a liar.  Also cruel.


To that brimming potpourri he adds two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity.  Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.

Or, to put it another way, because he follows a version of the “Billy Graham rule,” the left sees Mike Pence as part of the “American Taliban.”  Last year, the Atlantic reported on “How Mike Pence’s Marriage Became Fodder for the Culture Wars.”  The author references a 2002 The Hill piece:

The Hill article gives more context on how the Pences were thinking about this, at least back in 2002.  Pence told the paper he often refused dinner or cocktail invitations from male colleagues, too: “It’s about building a zone around your marriage,” he said.  “I don’t think it’s a predatory town, but I think you can inadvertently send the wrong message by being in [certain] situations.”


The 2002 article notes that Pence arrived in Congress a half decade after the 1994 “Republican revolution,” when Newt Gingrich was the speaker of the House.  Several congressional marriages, including Gingrich’s, encountered difficulty that year.  Pence seemed wary of this.  “I’ve lost more elections than I’ve won,” he said.  “I’ve seen friends lose their families.  I’d rather lose an election.”  He even said he gets fingers wagged in his face by concerned Indianans.  “Little old ladies come and say, ‘Honey, whatever you need to do, keep your family together,'” he told The Hill.

Mike Pence puts his family and his marriage ahead of politics, and the left thinks this is lunacy.  As the Apostle Paul told Titus, “to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”

A defiled heart and mind distorts everything.  The left hates Trump supposedly because he’s vile, vulgar, “trashy,” undignified, unpresidential, and piggish.  Mike Pence and Brett Kavanaugh can be accused of nothing similar, and the left hates them also.  For those corrupted by a liberal worldview, it’s never really about character.  It’s always about politics…and sex.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



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Dems and the 2nd Amendment: Why Repeal What You Already Ignore?


Make no mistake about it: in the hands of the American left, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not safe.  For that matter, virtually nothing wise or precious or sacred or holy or otherwise good is safe with those corrupted by a liberal worldview.  Whether marriage, the family, the church, life in the womb, education, small businesses, fossil fuels, law enforcement, the military, or the Constitution, time and again, liberals have proven themselves to be on the wrong side of the truth.

What’s more, in the hands of today’s leftists, the Second Amendment – and anything else in the U.S. Constitution with which modern liberals are unhappy – is in jeopardy whether or not it is “repealed.”  As most now well know, John Paul Stevens – a retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – recently gave his direct endorsement to the shockingly foolish – but increasingly popular among Democrats – idea that the Second Amendment should be repealed.

Few should be surprised by Stevens’s position in this matter.  With the way too close Heller decision a decade ago, he almost got his wish.  In 2008, liberals were a mere one vote short of effectively killing the Second Amendment.  In a republic that properly respected and understood its Constitution, Heller wouldn’t have been necessary, and under the absurd circumstances that such a case should make it to the highest court in the land, the vote to uphold the Second Amendment wouldn’t be close.

As Charles Cooke put it:

Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it.  A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller “interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all.  It would be a dead letter.  It would be an effective repeal.  It would be the end of the right itself.

In their efforts to remake America into their image of a leftist utopia, rarely have liberals let the Constitution stand in their way.  For decades now – whether as public executives, legislators, or judges – liberals have conveniently ignored the Constitution or “interpreted” it beyond recognition.

For two centuries, the “right” to health care, housing, a “living wage,” marriage, education, and the like escaped the vast majority of Americans – including our politicians and jurists.  In the late 19th century, President Grover Cleveland explained well the prevailing thought on government and a citizen’s “right” to public funds.  While taking a stand against government aid involving a deserving orphanage in New York City during a severe economic crisis, Cleveland – a Democrat – said:

I will not be a party to stealing money from one group of citizens to give to another group of citizens. No matter what the need or apparent justification, once the coffers of the federal government are opened to the public, there will be no shutting them again[.]

In 1887, after vetoing a bill that appropriated $10,000 to buy grain for several drought-stricken Texas counties, Cleveland declared:

Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

Nevertheless, in recent decades, as they increasingly made a god of government and sought to build a massive welfare state (through which votes could be purchased), Democrats and those like-minded have fully embraced the notion of “paternal care on the part of the government.”

Today’s liberalism stands upon two duplicitous notions that both require a modern “interpretation” of our Constitution: 1) the godless pagan principle of “Do What Thou Wilt” and 2) the presence of an “omnicompetent” government that is all too eager to mother us.  And as C.S. Lewis put it, “[i]f we are to be mothered, mother must know best.”

Of course, and in spite of the claims of modern liberals, such a political philosophy does not bring justice, and it certainly does not promote liberty.  On the contrary, as Lewis also noted, such a modern State exists “not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good – anyway, to do something to us or to make us something.”  Something, indeed.  Lewis depressingly concludes that under such a regime, “[t]here is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’  Our whole lives are their business.”

One of the primary functions of the U.S. Constitution, as the Preamble expressly declares, is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”  One of the chief means through which such Blessings are “secured” is by ensuring the right of the people to arm themselves.  Of course, a government that increasingly makes our “whole lives … [its] business” is in direct conflict with the idea of securing “the Blessings of Liberty.”  Thus, we get “interpretation” of a “living Constitution” – especially when it comes to things like guns.

To repeal a Constitutional amendment is an arduous effort.  Thanks to Barack Obama, Democrats today are in no shape to pursue repeal of anything, but thanks in large part to men and women like John Paul Stevens, they don’t have to.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Image: mike via Flickr.

Make no mistake about it: in the hands of the American left, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not safe.  For that matter, virtually nothing wise or precious or sacred or holy or otherwise good is safe with those corrupted by a liberal worldview.  Whether marriage, the family, the church, life in the womb, education, small businesses, fossil fuels, law enforcement, the military, or the Constitution, time and again, liberals have proven themselves to be on the wrong side of the truth.

What’s more, in the hands of today’s leftists, the Second Amendment – and anything else in the U.S. Constitution with which modern liberals are unhappy – is in jeopardy whether or not it is “repealed.”  As most now well know, John Paul Stevens – a retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – recently gave his direct endorsement to the shockingly foolish – but increasingly popular among Democrats – idea that the Second Amendment should be repealed.

Few should be surprised by Stevens’s position in this matter.  With the way too close Heller decision a decade ago, he almost got his wish.  In 2008, liberals were a mere one vote short of effectively killing the Second Amendment.  In a republic that properly respected and understood its Constitution, Heller wouldn’t have been necessary, and under the absurd circumstances that such a case should make it to the highest court in the land, the vote to uphold the Second Amendment wouldn’t be close.

As Charles Cooke put it:

Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it.  A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller “interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all.  It would be a dead letter.  It would be an effective repeal.  It would be the end of the right itself.

In their efforts to remake America into their image of a leftist utopia, rarely have liberals let the Constitution stand in their way.  For decades now – whether as public executives, legislators, or judges – liberals have conveniently ignored the Constitution or “interpreted” it beyond recognition.

For two centuries, the “right” to health care, housing, a “living wage,” marriage, education, and the like escaped the vast majority of Americans – including our politicians and jurists.  In the late 19th century, President Grover Cleveland explained well the prevailing thought on government and a citizen’s “right” to public funds.  While taking a stand against government aid involving a deserving orphanage in New York City during a severe economic crisis, Cleveland – a Democrat – said:

I will not be a party to stealing money from one group of citizens to give to another group of citizens. No matter what the need or apparent justification, once the coffers of the federal government are opened to the public, there will be no shutting them again[.]

In 1887, after vetoing a bill that appropriated $10,000 to buy grain for several drought-stricken Texas counties, Cleveland declared:

Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

Nevertheless, in recent decades, as they increasingly made a god of government and sought to build a massive welfare state (through which votes could be purchased), Democrats and those like-minded have fully embraced the notion of “paternal care on the part of the government.”

Today’s liberalism stands upon two duplicitous notions that both require a modern “interpretation” of our Constitution: 1) the godless pagan principle of “Do What Thou Wilt” and 2) the presence of an “omnicompetent” government that is all too eager to mother us.  And as C.S. Lewis put it, “[i]f we are to be mothered, mother must know best.”

Of course, and in spite of the claims of modern liberals, such a political philosophy does not bring justice, and it certainly does not promote liberty.  On the contrary, as Lewis also noted, such a modern State exists “not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good – anyway, to do something to us or to make us something.”  Something, indeed.  Lewis depressingly concludes that under such a regime, “[t]here is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’  Our whole lives are their business.”

One of the primary functions of the U.S. Constitution, as the Preamble expressly declares, is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”  One of the chief means through which such Blessings are “secured” is by ensuring the right of the people to arm themselves.  Of course, a government that increasingly makes our “whole lives … [its] business” is in direct conflict with the idea of securing “the Blessings of Liberty.”  Thus, we get “interpretation” of a “living Constitution” – especially when it comes to things like guns.

To repeal a Constitutional amendment is an arduous effort.  Thanks to Barack Obama, Democrats today are in no shape to pursue repeal of anything, but thanks in large part to men and women like John Paul Stevens, they don’t have to.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Image: mike via Flickr.



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To Students: A Lesson on the Modern Left


As a teacher of public school (17 years), private school (7.5 years), and homeschool (11 years), I have a unique perspective on education.  I’ve experienced K-12 education from just about every angle imaginable.  I’ve taught at day schools and evening schools, and I’ve privately tutored many students.  I’ve taught on sprawling 200-plus-acre campuses in buildings costing hundreds of millions of dollars, and I’ve taught in trailers that would barely keep out a strong gust of wind.

Likewise, I’ve experienced students from almost every background imaginable.  I’ve taught students who were homeless and those whose parents who could afford $25,000-plus tuition for a year of high school.  I’ve taught students who have never traveled more than 100 miles from their northeast Georgia homes and those who traveled hundreds and even thousands of miles – from Mexico, Guatemala, China, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Nigeria, Egypt, and so on – to sit in my classroom.  Safe to say, I’ve just about seen it all in K-12 education.

In my quarter-century of teaching mathematics, there’s almost nothing in education I can say all teachers, students, administrators, parents, and politicians agree upon, save this: we want our schools to be safe.  One of the great tragedies of our time has been the wanton slaughter of helpless students, faculty, and staff in what could – and should – be one of the safest places in the world.  Sadly, as we are in the shadows of another horrific school slaughter, most of what we are hearing would do virtually nothing to make our schools safer.

As about 100 of the 1,700-plus students at my high school walked out in protest on March 14 (for a moment, I thought it was merely an overzealous Pi Day party), I mentioned to a colleague that the whole episode was little more than a ploy to elect more Democrats.  I found out a short while later that others thought exactly the same.

As most of us watching well knew, several reports have revealed that the student walkouts across the U.S. last Wednesday were far from “organic.”  Sadly, liberal organizations across the U.S. have seized on the wicked act that took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. in order to push the agenda of the modern left.  Note that what we are currently witnessing with the left’s co-opting of American K-12 students is about much more than mere “gun control.”

As they push, prod, propagandize, and otherwise take advantage of youthful students across the U.S., taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding Americans is only part of the end game for American leftists.  Make no mistake about it, young folks: though you are often hailed as our nation’s “greatest resource,” your safety is far from the primary concern when it comes to the American left.

If the left is so concerned with students’ safety, why for decades have they ignored or lied about science and sound morality and refused to stand up for the most innocent and defenseless among us?  For all of their lives, these kids have been deceived about the humanity of the unborn.  Could they recall in their science classes where the humanity of the unborn has been a point of emphasis?  If they take any form of sex education in a government school, are they told that once sperm fertilizes egg, the life of a human being is at stake?

When it comes to violence in our culture, abortion is something that must be honestly discussed.  No one should be surprised that a nation that has killed over 50 million of its children in the womb is a violent nation in other ways as well.  As Mother Teresa taught us:

I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself.  And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

If today’s left is so concerned with students’ safety, why have they waged a decades-long war on the oldest, most foundational institution in the history of humanity?  As is the case with life in the womb, all of their lives, these kids have been lied to about family and marriage.  Tragically, many – if not most – of them are daily experiencing the dismal consequences of these lies.  Because of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, through no fault of their own, tens of millions of American schoolchildren today are growing up in a home without a mother or a father.  It was not supposed to be this way!  They deserve better!

As has been pointed out ad nauseam, children who grow up in broken homes are much more likely to suffer a whole host of negative outcomes.  One of the most common traits of the worst murderers in the history of the United States is a broken home.  What’s more, American students are far more likely to suffer – even to the point of death – from violence and abuse in a broken home than they are from gun violence anywhere.  Again, one of the most dangerous places for a child in America is at home with his mother and her live-in boyfriend.  Many kids today know this all too well.

If modern liberals are so concerned with students’ safety, why do they continue to lie about the dangers of a hedonistic, promiscuous sexual lifestyle?  One of the most shocking statistics of the modern era is that 110 million Americans – over one third of our population – are now saddled with a sexually transmitted disease.  Tragically, many kids today know this firsthand.

Sexual promiscuity is killing far more Americans than are guns, but you almost never hear such from those who operate from a liberal worldview.  What’s more, recent studies have shown – as if we needed more studies to reveal what sound morality has always taught – that teenagers who engage in risky sexual behaviors, especially homosexuality, are much more likely to put their health and lives in danger (along with the health and lives of others) than are those who follow the moral precepts of their Creator.

Finally, if liberals are so concerned for students’ safety, why do they continue to lie about the presence of guns and the frequency of gun violence?  The data on guns and violence is clear: some of the safest places in America are littered with guns, while some of the most dangerous places in America have the lowest rates of gun ownership and our strictest gun control laws.

In addition to these dangerous lies, in order to push their godless, big-government agenda, today’s leftists – led by Hollywood; the establishment media; the Democratic Party; and yes, most of modern academia – has misled you about the role of good government, the value and purpose of education, the importance of hard work, the state of the Earth’s climate, and even what it means to be a male and to be a female.  Thus, for the sake of students’ spiritual, mental, and physical health, for the rest of their lives, I encourage them to “walk out” on the modern left.  Don’t cast a vote for them; don’t purchase their entertainment; don’t engage their news and information; don’t heed their teaching; and most of all, don’t live out their lies.

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Image: Tcodl via Wikimedia Commons.

As a teacher of public school (17 years), private school (7.5 years), and homeschool (11 years), I have a unique perspective on education.  I’ve experienced K-12 education from just about every angle imaginable.  I’ve taught at day schools and evening schools, and I’ve privately tutored many students.  I’ve taught on sprawling 200-plus-acre campuses in buildings costing hundreds of millions of dollars, and I’ve taught in trailers that would barely keep out a strong gust of wind.

Likewise, I’ve experienced students from almost every background imaginable.  I’ve taught students who were homeless and those whose parents who could afford $25,000-plus tuition for a year of high school.  I’ve taught students who have never traveled more than 100 miles from their northeast Georgia homes and those who traveled hundreds and even thousands of miles – from Mexico, Guatemala, China, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Nigeria, Egypt, and so on – to sit in my classroom.  Safe to say, I’ve just about seen it all in K-12 education.

In my quarter-century of teaching mathematics, there’s almost nothing in education I can say all teachers, students, administrators, parents, and politicians agree upon, save this: we want our schools to be safe.  One of the great tragedies of our time has been the wanton slaughter of helpless students, faculty, and staff in what could – and should – be one of the safest places in the world.  Sadly, as we are in the shadows of another horrific school slaughter, most of what we are hearing would do virtually nothing to make our schools safer.

As about 100 of the 1,700-plus students at my high school walked out in protest on March 14 (for a moment, I thought it was merely an overzealous Pi Day party), I mentioned to a colleague that the whole episode was little more than a ploy to elect more Democrats.  I found out a short while later that others thought exactly the same.

As most of us watching well knew, several reports have revealed that the student walkouts across the U.S. last Wednesday were far from “organic.”  Sadly, liberal organizations across the U.S. have seized on the wicked act that took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. in order to push the agenda of the modern left.  Note that what we are currently witnessing with the left’s co-opting of American K-12 students is about much more than mere “gun control.”

As they push, prod, propagandize, and otherwise take advantage of youthful students across the U.S., taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding Americans is only part of the end game for American leftists.  Make no mistake about it, young folks: though you are often hailed as our nation’s “greatest resource,” your safety is far from the primary concern when it comes to the American left.

If the left is so concerned with students’ safety, why for decades have they ignored or lied about science and sound morality and refused to stand up for the most innocent and defenseless among us?  For all of their lives, these kids have been deceived about the humanity of the unborn.  Could they recall in their science classes where the humanity of the unborn has been a point of emphasis?  If they take any form of sex education in a government school, are they told that once sperm fertilizes egg, the life of a human being is at stake?

When it comes to violence in our culture, abortion is something that must be honestly discussed.  No one should be surprised that a nation that has killed over 50 million of its children in the womb is a violent nation in other ways as well.  As Mother Teresa taught us:

I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself.  And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

If today’s left is so concerned with students’ safety, why have they waged a decades-long war on the oldest, most foundational institution in the history of humanity?  As is the case with life in the womb, all of their lives, these kids have been lied to about family and marriage.  Tragically, many – if not most – of them are daily experiencing the dismal consequences of these lies.  Because of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, through no fault of their own, tens of millions of American schoolchildren today are growing up in a home without a mother or a father.  It was not supposed to be this way!  They deserve better!

As has been pointed out ad nauseam, children who grow up in broken homes are much more likely to suffer a whole host of negative outcomes.  One of the most common traits of the worst murderers in the history of the United States is a broken home.  What’s more, American students are far more likely to suffer – even to the point of death – from violence and abuse in a broken home than they are from gun violence anywhere.  Again, one of the most dangerous places for a child in America is at home with his mother and her live-in boyfriend.  Many kids today know this all too well.

If modern liberals are so concerned with students’ safety, why do they continue to lie about the dangers of a hedonistic, promiscuous sexual lifestyle?  One of the most shocking statistics of the modern era is that 110 million Americans – over one third of our population – are now saddled with a sexually transmitted disease.  Tragically, many kids today know this firsthand.

Sexual promiscuity is killing far more Americans than are guns, but you almost never hear such from those who operate from a liberal worldview.  What’s more, recent studies have shown – as if we needed more studies to reveal what sound morality has always taught – that teenagers who engage in risky sexual behaviors, especially homosexuality, are much more likely to put their health and lives in danger (along with the health and lives of others) than are those who follow the moral precepts of their Creator.

Finally, if liberals are so concerned for students’ safety, why do they continue to lie about the presence of guns and the frequency of gun violence?  The data on guns and violence is clear: some of the safest places in America are littered with guns, while some of the most dangerous places in America have the lowest rates of gun ownership and our strictest gun control laws.

In addition to these dangerous lies, in order to push their godless, big-government agenda, today’s leftists – led by Hollywood; the establishment media; the Democratic Party; and yes, most of modern academia – has misled you about the role of good government, the value and purpose of education, the importance of hard work, the state of the Earth’s climate, and even what it means to be a male and to be a female.  Thus, for the sake of students’ spiritual, mental, and physical health, for the rest of their lives, I encourage them to “walk out” on the modern left.  Don’t cast a vote for them; don’t purchase their entertainment; don’t engage their news and information; don’t heed their teaching; and most of all, don’t live out their lies.

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Image: Tcodl via Wikimedia Commons.



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Guns, Men, and Murder: The Data


I love guns.  I’ve been around them all of my life, and I currently own several – for hunting and self-defense.  One of my most memorable gifts growing up was a single-shot 410 shotgun (that I got for Christmas when I was 12).  Before I was old enough to own a real gun, my friends and I were quite skilled in using all sorts of scrap wood, duct tape, nails, and so on to manufacture the most magnificent replicas.  Back then, if I was not playing with some sort of ball, I was in some sort of battle.

Not all of my experiences with guns have been pleasant.  One of the toughest moments in the life of my family happened when I was 17.  At the time, my 13-year-old brother was hunting turkeys near our home.  A tragic accident with a faulty double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun cost him his right arm.

Nevertheless, soon after he had healed from having his arm amputated, my brother was learning to shoot – even long guns and compound bows…


My brother shooting a compound bow – with one arm.

…with one arm.  (He also played high school baseball and football with one arm.)  Now in his mid-forties, he still hunts (and fishes).  In other words, even enduring a traumatic and tragic accident involving a gun as a young teenager, neither he nor the rest of us close to him ever let a fear or a hatred of guns creep into our psyche.

After another horrific shooting at a “gun-free” government school, those corrupted by a liberal worldview would have all of us share their fear and hatred (warning: language) of guns, or at least their hatred of guns in the hands of those who stand opposed to a liberal, big-government agenda.

Thus, instead of more good guys with guns, time and again, liberals insist that the answer to stopping those bent on doing evil with powerful weapons is to take guns from the good guys.  The infamous Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, Fla. again made this foolish argument – tragically, to “thunderous applause” – when debating the NRA’s Dana Loesch.

Pushing Democratic talking points to a (mostly) like-minded audience, Israel told the Parkland crowd, “You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them.  You’re not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less [sic] weapons.'”  Of course, fewer weapons means fewer guns, and “fewer guns” means elect more Democrats so we can have – among many other terrible outcomes – a bigger government with more “gun control” laws.  As the data reveal, in the United States, fewer guns or more gun control laws do not equal less murder.

Last year, it was widely reported that the vast majority of murders in the U.S. occur within a very small portion of the country.  More than half of all murders in the U.S. occurred within just two percent of the counties.  Over two thirds (68 percent) of the murders in America occurred within only five percent of the counties.  (There are 3,141 counties, or county equivalents, in the U.S.)

This table shows the worst three percent of counties, in which almost 60 percent of the murders occur.  Almost all of these counties are in large urban areas, where Democrats rule.  Of course, large populations will typically have more murders.  What we should consider in this debate is the murder rate in these counties.

Of the ten worst counties for the number of murders, five of them are also among the worst when it comes to murder rate.  Of the 30 counties with the highest murder rate, 19 of them are in the worst three percent for total number of murders.  Whether one considers the sheer number of murders or the murder rate, the other telling and significant piece of data in our debate is the presence of guns in these areas.

City-Data lists the top 101 counties when it comes to “lowest percentage of residents that keep firearms around their homes” and “highest percentage of residents that keep firearms around their homes.”  As the table linked above also reveals, of the three percent of counties – 95 total counties – with the highest number of murders, 43 of these counties are in the top 101 when it comes to lowest rates of gun ownership.

Only 19 of these counties are in the top 101 when it comes to highest rates of gun ownership.  Of the ten counties in the U.S. with the most murders, all are in the top 101 when it comes to lowest rates of gun ownership.

Additionally, as this table reveals, the overall murder rate for the top 101 of highest and lowest rates of gun ownership is virtually identical.  The murder rate for the top 101 counties with the highest rates of gun ownership is 6.28 per 100,000.  The murder rate for the top 101 counties with the lowest rates of gun ownership is 6.15 per 100,000.  Also, of the 30 counties with the highest murder rate, nine of them are in the top 101 of lowest rates of gun ownership, while five of them are in the top 101 of highest rates of gun ownership.

At the state level – where data is more readily available – the numbers reveal the same: there’s no correlation between the presence of guns and the rate of murder.  The average murder rate for the first 25 states (lowest half of gun ownership rates) is 5.0.  The average murder rate ranking for the last 25 states (upper half of gun ownership rates) is 4.9.  For the bottom ten and top ten, the average is 4.2 and 4.3, respectively.

The average murder rate ranking for the first 25 states is 24.4.  The average murder rate ranking for the last 25 states is 27.6.  For the bottom ten and top ten, the average is 22.8 and 23.7, respectively.  Put simply, more guns does not mean more murder.  And inversely, fewer guns does not mean fewer murders.  Put another way, more laws against gun ownership has done almost nothing to reduce the rate of murder in America.

The only way to reduce murder is to recognize that it is an act of evil that must be dealt with from a proper political and spiritual perspective.  Men murder because their hearts are dark.  To stop them, we must meet force with force.  To change men, we must get to their hearts.  Sound legislation can work to protect us, but focusing on the weapon of murder and attempting to legislate away evil by targeting a tool is the height of folly.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

I love guns.  I’ve been around them all of my life, and I currently own several – for hunting and self-defense.  One of my most memorable gifts growing up was a single-shot 410 shotgun (that I got for Christmas when I was 12).  Before I was old enough to own a real gun, my friends and I were quite skilled in using all sorts of scrap wood, duct tape, nails, and so on to manufacture the most magnificent replicas.  Back then, if I was not playing with some sort of ball, I was in some sort of battle.

Not all of my experiences with guns have been pleasant.  One of the toughest moments in the life of my family happened when I was 17.  At the time, my 13-year-old brother was hunting turkeys near our home.  A tragic accident with a faulty double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun cost him his right arm.

Nevertheless, soon after he had healed from having his arm amputated, my brother was learning to shoot – even long guns and compound bows…


My brother shooting a compound bow – with one arm.

…with one arm.  (He also played high school baseball and football with one arm.)  Now in his mid-forties, he still hunts (and fishes).  In other words, even enduring a traumatic and tragic accident involving a gun as a young teenager, neither he nor the rest of us close to him ever let a fear or a hatred of guns creep into our psyche.

After another horrific shooting at a “gun-free” government school, those corrupted by a liberal worldview would have all of us share their fear and hatred (warning: language) of guns, or at least their hatred of guns in the hands of those who stand opposed to a liberal, big-government agenda.

Thus, instead of more good guys with guns, time and again, liberals insist that the answer to stopping those bent on doing evil with powerful weapons is to take guns from the good guys.  The infamous Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, Fla. again made this foolish argument – tragically, to “thunderous applause” – when debating the NRA’s Dana Loesch.

Pushing Democratic talking points to a (mostly) like-minded audience, Israel told the Parkland crowd, “You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them.  You’re not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less [sic] weapons.'”  Of course, fewer weapons means fewer guns, and “fewer guns” means elect more Democrats so we can have – among many other terrible outcomes – a bigger government with more “gun control” laws.  As the data reveal, in the United States, fewer guns or more gun control laws do not equal less murder.

Last year, it was widely reported that the vast majority of murders in the U.S. occur within a very small portion of the country.  More than half of all murders in the U.S. occurred within just two percent of the counties.  Over two thirds (68 percent) of the murders in America occurred within only five percent of the counties.  (There are 3,141 counties, or county equivalents, in the U.S.)

This table shows the worst three percent of counties, in which almost 60 percent of the murders occur.  Almost all of these counties are in large urban areas, where Democrats rule.  Of course, large populations will typically have more murders.  What we should consider in this debate is the murder rate in these counties.

Of the ten worst counties for the number of murders, five of them are also among the worst when it comes to murder rate.  Of the 30 counties with the highest murder rate, 19 of them are in the worst three percent for total number of murders.  Whether one considers the sheer number of murders or the murder rate, the other telling and significant piece of data in our debate is the presence of guns in these areas.

City-Data lists the top 101 counties when it comes to “lowest percentage of residents that keep firearms around their homes” and “highest percentage of residents that keep firearms around their homes.”  As the table linked above also reveals, of the three percent of counties – 95 total counties – with the highest number of murders, 43 of these counties are in the top 101 when it comes to lowest rates of gun ownership.

Only 19 of these counties are in the top 101 when it comes to highest rates of gun ownership.  Of the ten counties in the U.S. with the most murders, all are in the top 101 when it comes to lowest rates of gun ownership.

Additionally, as this table reveals, the overall murder rate for the top 101 of highest and lowest rates of gun ownership is virtually identical.  The murder rate for the top 101 counties with the highest rates of gun ownership is 6.28 per 100,000.  The murder rate for the top 101 counties with the lowest rates of gun ownership is 6.15 per 100,000.  Also, of the 30 counties with the highest murder rate, nine of them are in the top 101 of lowest rates of gun ownership, while five of them are in the top 101 of highest rates of gun ownership.

At the state level – where data is more readily available – the numbers reveal the same: there’s no correlation between the presence of guns and the rate of murder.  The average murder rate for the first 25 states (lowest half of gun ownership rates) is 5.0.  The average murder rate ranking for the last 25 states (upper half of gun ownership rates) is 4.9.  For the bottom ten and top ten, the average is 4.2 and 4.3, respectively.

The average murder rate ranking for the first 25 states is 24.4.  The average murder rate ranking for the last 25 states is 27.6.  For the bottom ten and top ten, the average is 22.8 and 23.7, respectively.  Put simply, more guns does not mean more murder.  And inversely, fewer guns does not mean fewer murders.  Put another way, more laws against gun ownership has done almost nothing to reduce the rate of murder in America.

The only way to reduce murder is to recognize that it is an act of evil that must be dealt with from a proper political and spiritual perspective.  Men murder because their hearts are dark.  To stop them, we must meet force with force.  To change men, we must get to their hearts.  Sound legislation can work to protect us, but focusing on the weapon of murder and attempting to legislate away evil by targeting a tool is the height of folly.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



Source link

Stop Mistaking Evil for Mental Illness


I know almost nothing of the mental condition of confessed mass murderer Nikolas Cruz, and almost certainly, neither do you.  There are few, if any, who can give a reliable opinion of the young man’s psychiatric state as he walked into Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17.  Nevertheless, after his killing spree on Ash Wednesday, many in the media, along with the public at large, were willing at least to indirectly portray, if not directly describe, Mr. Cruz as someone who was “mentally disturbed,” “mentally ill,” “crazy,” a “nut-job,” a “psycho,” someone dealing with “mental health issues,” and so on.

In his tweet about the shooting, even President Trump noted that there were “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed…”  In his official statement the day after the horrific incident, the president declared that he wanted to work with state and local officials to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

As our culture grows more and more secularized, it has become a common practice to describe those who commit widespread acts of violence – especially if such violence involves the death of multiple human beings – as “crazy.”  Some of this is tongue-in-cheek, but much of it is sincere.  I believe that this is the direct result of the psychiatric community attempting to redefine what is moral.

For decades, we have witnessed the psychiatric community taking acts long considered evil, or at least immoral and illegal, and deeming them a “psychological disorder” that needs to be cured.  It’s good for business, I suppose.

However, it’s a disaster for the culture.  As C.S. Lewis lamented in his essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” when it comes to crime and punishment, we too often are facing off with those who believe “that all crime is more or less pathological.”  Thus, instead of the criminal “getting what he deserves” – what used to be called “justice” – we must heal or cure him, and, as Lewis puts it, “punishment becomes therapeutic.”

This “humanitarian” approach removes from punishment the concept of “desert” (pronounced d’ZERT).  As Lewis puts it:

[The] concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust…Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case’.

When a wicked government has in its hands such a view of crime and punishment, it will possess a “finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before.  For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as crime; and compulsory cured.”  As Lewis adds:

We know that one school of psychology already regards religion as a neurosis.  When this particular neurosis becomes inconvenient to government, what is to hinder government from proceeding to ‘cure’ it?

Joy Behar – and a host of others, I imagine – would not be disappointed with such a government.

What’s more, when certain behaviors go from crimes to be punished to diseases to be cured, we remove the power of sentencing from jurists and place it in the hands of “doctors,” who often know little of truth and justice.  Lacking in such critical knowledge, left to their own “wisdom,” it would not be far-fetched to see these “doctors” decide that some diseases – that were once considered crimes – are no longer crimes or diseases.  Are we not now witnessing this, especially when it comes to things in the sexual realm?

For example, in spite of the long history of treating “transsexuality” as a disorder to be cured, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM 5) that was released in early 2013 removed “gender identity disorder” from its list of disorders.  It was removed because, as the Associated Press recently put it, “a growing faction of medical experts … no longer see this as something to be fixed.”

In other words, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) – who owns and publishes the DSM – decided that “gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder.”  In other words, our so-called best psychological experts have now decided that there’s nothing wrong with men who wish to pretend they are women and vice-versa.

As time moves on and such perversion prevails, the list of disastrous consequences grows.  Recent reports reveal that Juvenile Court judge Sylvia Hendonhas permanently removed an Ohio teenager from her parents’ home because of the parents’ refusal to support their daughter’s decision to identify as a boy.  In particular, they refused to permit their daughter to receive dangerous hormone therapy to aid in her gender “transition.”

Tony Perkins notes:

What’s especially alarming is that a lawyer representing the child – as well as Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office – cited the parents’ religious beliefs as an argument for robbing them of their rights! The mom and dad are being criticized for seeking out a Christian therapist for their daughter and for daring to send her to Catholic school. 

Thus, the wicked cycle is complete: what was once considered evil or criminal, or at least bad behavior, is now considered sickness; what once was considered sickness is now considered normal and healthy; and what was once considered normal, wise, or moral behavior is now punished by our “enlightened” law.

We were warned of such folly by no less than those within the psychiatric community.  Doctor Allen Frances, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University, who chaired the task force that produced the DSM 4, called the release of the “deeply flawed” DSM 5 “the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry.”

In addition to other concerns, Dr. Frances lamented the addition of such “disorders” as Disruptive Mood Dysregulation, which, according to Frances, “will turn temper tantrums into a mental disorder.”  Also, “Normal grief will become Major Depressive Disorder” and the DSM 5 “will likely trigger a fad of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder [you’ve probably seen the commercials] leading to widespread misuse of stimulant drugs for performance enhancement and recreation.”

Frances should not be surprised.  Practicing psychotherapist Gary Greenburg says not one of the disorders in the DSM is real.  Greenburg claims that the DSM is nothing more than an exercise in rhetoric, an attempt to legitimize the practice of psychiatry.  “Can you define mental illness?” The Atlantic asked Greenburg.  “No.  Nobody can,” he replied.

In a culture that is increasingly more hesitant to use the word “evil,” Greenburg concludes that having the APA classify certain behaviors as “disorders” is a way to remove the moral aspect behind certain behaviors.

After all, if someone is sick, then he is not responsible for his behavior.  (What’s more, he can then be treated with expensive drugs and therapy.)  And if someone’s “sickness” is suddenly no longer a sickness, and if it is no longer immoral, then we can celebrate and welcome him into our ever more tolerant society.

Such thinking has had a devastating effect on parenting.  Instead of dealing with their children’s bad behavior as requiring good moral discipline, many parents – who have become increasingly ignorant of what is moral behavior – are simply looking to provide their misbehaving children with medication or therapy.  Thus, millions of U.S. children are now on powerful psychotic drugs.

One of the least reported aspects of these mass murderers like Nikolas Cruz is how many of them were on psychiatric medications.  This isn’t to imply that drugs or mental illness are to blame for their horrific behavior, but rather to note that likely, instead of a proper moral upbringing, these killers were given drugs and therapy.

A culture that confuses evil with sickness and refuses to see evil for what it is and deal with it accordingly does no favors for those guilty of evil, their victims, the culture at large, or those who are truly mentally ill.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

I know almost nothing of the mental condition of confessed mass murderer Nikolas Cruz, and almost certainly, neither do you.  There are few, if any, who can give a reliable opinion of the young man’s psychiatric state as he walked into Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17.  Nevertheless, after his killing spree on Ash Wednesday, many in the media, along with the public at large, were willing at least to indirectly portray, if not directly describe, Mr. Cruz as someone who was “mentally disturbed,” “mentally ill,” “crazy,” a “nut-job,” a “psycho,” someone dealing with “mental health issues,” and so on.

In his tweet about the shooting, even President Trump noted that there were “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed…”  In his official statement the day after the horrific incident, the president declared that he wanted to work with state and local officials to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

As our culture grows more and more secularized, it has become a common practice to describe those who commit widespread acts of violence – especially if such violence involves the death of multiple human beings – as “crazy.”  Some of this is tongue-in-cheek, but much of it is sincere.  I believe that this is the direct result of the psychiatric community attempting to redefine what is moral.

For decades, we have witnessed the psychiatric community taking acts long considered evil, or at least immoral and illegal, and deeming them a “psychological disorder” that needs to be cured.  It’s good for business, I suppose.

However, it’s a disaster for the culture.  As C.S. Lewis lamented in his essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” when it comes to crime and punishment, we too often are facing off with those who believe “that all crime is more or less pathological.”  Thus, instead of the criminal “getting what he deserves” – what used to be called “justice” – we must heal or cure him, and, as Lewis puts it, “punishment becomes therapeutic.”

This “humanitarian” approach removes from punishment the concept of “desert” (pronounced d’ZERT).  As Lewis puts it:

[The] concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust…Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case’.

When a wicked government has in its hands such a view of crime and punishment, it will possess a “finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before.  For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as crime; and compulsory cured.”  As Lewis adds:

We know that one school of psychology already regards religion as a neurosis.  When this particular neurosis becomes inconvenient to government, what is to hinder government from proceeding to ‘cure’ it?

Joy Behar – and a host of others, I imagine – would not be disappointed with such a government.

What’s more, when certain behaviors go from crimes to be punished to diseases to be cured, we remove the power of sentencing from jurists and place it in the hands of “doctors,” who often know little of truth and justice.  Lacking in such critical knowledge, left to their own “wisdom,” it would not be far-fetched to see these “doctors” decide that some diseases – that were once considered crimes – are no longer crimes or diseases.  Are we not now witnessing this, especially when it comes to things in the sexual realm?

For example, in spite of the long history of treating “transsexuality” as a disorder to be cured, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM 5) that was released in early 2013 removed “gender identity disorder” from its list of disorders.  It was removed because, as the Associated Press recently put it, “a growing faction of medical experts … no longer see this as something to be fixed.”

In other words, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) – who owns and publishes the DSM – decided that “gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder.”  In other words, our so-called best psychological experts have now decided that there’s nothing wrong with men who wish to pretend they are women and vice-versa.

As time moves on and such perversion prevails, the list of disastrous consequences grows.  Recent reports reveal that Juvenile Court judge Sylvia Hendonhas permanently removed an Ohio teenager from her parents’ home because of the parents’ refusal to support their daughter’s decision to identify as a boy.  In particular, they refused to permit their daughter to receive dangerous hormone therapy to aid in her gender “transition.”

Tony Perkins notes:

What’s especially alarming is that a lawyer representing the child – as well as Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office – cited the parents’ religious beliefs as an argument for robbing them of their rights! The mom and dad are being criticized for seeking out a Christian therapist for their daughter and for daring to send her to Catholic school. 

Thus, the wicked cycle is complete: what was once considered evil or criminal, or at least bad behavior, is now considered sickness; what once was considered sickness is now considered normal and healthy; and what was once considered normal, wise, or moral behavior is now punished by our “enlightened” law.

We were warned of such folly by no less than those within the psychiatric community.  Doctor Allen Frances, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University, who chaired the task force that produced the DSM 4, called the release of the “deeply flawed” DSM 5 “the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry.”

In addition to other concerns, Dr. Frances lamented the addition of such “disorders” as Disruptive Mood Dysregulation, which, according to Frances, “will turn temper tantrums into a mental disorder.”  Also, “Normal grief will become Major Depressive Disorder” and the DSM 5 “will likely trigger a fad of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder [you’ve probably seen the commercials] leading to widespread misuse of stimulant drugs for performance enhancement and recreation.”

Frances should not be surprised.  Practicing psychotherapist Gary Greenburg says not one of the disorders in the DSM is real.  Greenburg claims that the DSM is nothing more than an exercise in rhetoric, an attempt to legitimize the practice of psychiatry.  “Can you define mental illness?” The Atlantic asked Greenburg.  “No.  Nobody can,” he replied.

In a culture that is increasingly more hesitant to use the word “evil,” Greenburg concludes that having the APA classify certain behaviors as “disorders” is a way to remove the moral aspect behind certain behaviors.

After all, if someone is sick, then he is not responsible for his behavior.  (What’s more, he can then be treated with expensive drugs and therapy.)  And if someone’s “sickness” is suddenly no longer a sickness, and if it is no longer immoral, then we can celebrate and welcome him into our ever more tolerant society.

Such thinking has had a devastating effect on parenting.  Instead of dealing with their children’s bad behavior as requiring good moral discipline, many parents – who have become increasingly ignorant of what is moral behavior – are simply looking to provide their misbehaving children with medication or therapy.  Thus, millions of U.S. children are now on powerful psychotic drugs.

One of the least reported aspects of these mass murderers like Nikolas Cruz is how many of them were on psychiatric medications.  This isn’t to imply that drugs or mental illness are to blame for their horrific behavior, but rather to note that likely, instead of a proper moral upbringing, these killers were given drugs and therapy.

A culture that confuses evil with sickness and refuses to see evil for what it is and deal with it accordingly does no favors for those guilty of evil, their victims, the culture at large, or those who are truly mentally ill.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



Source link

Godlessness, Leftism, and the World's Holes


One of the least known but most influential characters of early American history is the industrialist Samuel Slater.  One of my significant resources in documenting Slater’s life and work came from author George S. White, who, in 1836, published his book, Memoir of Samuel Slater: The Father of American Manufactures.  I found White’s book a fascinating account of early industrial America.

In the introduction to Slater’s memoir, while singing the praises of the industrious Slater – he’s known today as the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution,” – Mr. White also speaks against the “Occupy” fools of the early 19th century:

We envy not those self-styled patriots, whose thirst for office and distinction allows them to deceive and cajole their fellow citizens, by prejudicing them against the talented and enterprising part of society[ – t]hus teaching them discontent, and prejudicing them against the necessary arrangements to promote the general welfare, making them the tools of their sordid selfish policy[.]

Likewise, and no doubt aware of the “bickering caudillos” (military dictators) who plagued 19th-century South America, White contrasts life in the United States with that of South America:


A state of society, not founded the principles of honest industry, must be degraded and low; and like the inhabitants of South America must be wretched miserable.  Mankind must be usefully and hono[]rably employed, in order to be virtuous and happy. In proof of this position, compare the condition of South America with the United States, and more especially with that part of the United States manufacturing establishments have come into being and risen eminence. … South America, particularly that part in the neighbo[]rhood of the La Plata, in the hands of New Englanders, would at once become the paradise of world, did they retain their moral and intellectual habits[.] …


[In South America, t]he finest fields in the world for agriculture are suffered to remain barren and desolate, or to be traveled by wandering herds. Indolence … enfeeble[s] the hands and put[s] out the eyes of the inhabitants. Roaming in poverty, filth, and pollution, they are totally blind to their advantages and privileges: they are tossed about by wind of prejudice and passion. Trained to view labour as a degradation, while trampling the most prolific fields and possessing everything requisite, and of the first qualities, for food and clothing, they would be obliged to go naked and starve, were it not for the industry of other nations.  As it now is, robbers and assassins fill their streets, and thousands are disappearing by the only species of industry for which they have an adaptation, that of destroying each other.


Sounds like much of South America today – or, if you prefer, and as President Trump allegedly put it, an “s-hole” (or “s-house”).  In other words, what makes a society a literal you-know-what-hole hasn’t changed much in nearly two centuries.  If you want to find these holes of the world, you need look no farther than where godlessness or leftism – often found together – dominate.


Of course, the world’s holes are often riddled with poverty.  According to Business Insider – and as I alluded to years ago – most of the world’s poorest nations are “under authoritarian regimes where corruption is rampant.”  Few things are more synonymous with modern leftism than corruption and authoritarianism.


Note as well how many of the poorest and most authoritarian nations are run by Islamists.  The godless false religion of Islam is an enforced religion with a violent founder, a violent founding, and a violent past and present.  Islam is generally repressive to women and to those of other faiths.  Islam is typically financially devastating and technologically backward and thus has produced many of the world’s holes.


Naturally, the world’s holes are filled with filth.  Along with garbage, human waste, and nasty water, and no matter what list you use, the world’s dirtiest cities are typically also filled with some form of leftism and spiritual darkness.  The same goes for the world’s most dangerous countries.  Note again that those plagued by Islam dominate the list.


Often accompanying danger and filth is death.  Unsurprisingly, the nations with the lowest life expectancy are the same ones showing up on the other s-hole lists.


Two hole-producing products of leftist ideology that, in spite of numerous and horrific failures, still plague the world today are socialism and communism.  No matter the specifics of the “ism” or the frequency or the scale of the devastation, modern leftists continue to seek to put so much power in the hands of so few.


If you think I’m being unfair to the rest of the world, fret not.  Tragically amazing – given our vast amount of rich natural and human resources – the United States has more than its fair share of s-holes.  Almost always, these are municipalities where democrats have ruled for decades and where godlessness – typically accompanied by a good dose of hedonism – and leftism – usually called “liberalism” in America – dominate the landscape.


It’s not the skin color of the people, but rather rotten political and religious ideologies that produce toilet-like living conditions.  Also, the vast majority of people living in the holes of the world are there through little to no fault of their own (except for those who continue to elect Democrats) and, in most cases, need the help of others to escape or improve their conditions.  The United States can’t import all of those suffering in the world’s holes, but we can certainly play a role in exporting what they really need.


The surest way to keep people from living in an s-hole is to provide them with liberty, but not liberty alone.  As the great Edmund Burke put it when observing the French revolution, “[t]he effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please: [w]e ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations.”


Liberty should always be accompanied by the “moral chains” provided by Christianity.  Otherwise, you end up with Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, and Baltimore.


Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

One of the least known but most influential characters of early American history is the industrialist Samuel Slater.  One of my significant resources in documenting Slater’s life and work came from author George S. White, who, in 1836, published his book, Memoir of Samuel Slater: The Father of American Manufactures.  I found White’s book a fascinating account of early industrial America.

In the introduction to Slater’s memoir, while singing the praises of the industrious Slater – he’s known today as the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution,” – Mr. White also speaks against the “Occupy” fools of the early 19th century:

We envy not those self-styled patriots, whose thirst for office and distinction allows them to deceive and cajole their fellow citizens, by prejudicing them against the talented and enterprising part of society[ – t]hus teaching them discontent, and prejudicing them against the necessary arrangements to promote the general welfare, making them the tools of their sordid selfish policy[.]

Likewise, and no doubt aware of the “bickering caudillos” (military dictators) who plagued 19th-century South America, White contrasts life in the United States with that of South America:

A state of society, not founded the principles of honest industry, must be degraded and low; and like the inhabitants of South America must be wretched miserable.  Mankind must be usefully and hono[]rably employed, in order to be virtuous and happy. In proof of this position, compare the condition of South America with the United States, and more especially with that part of the United States manufacturing establishments have come into being and risen eminence. … South America, particularly that part in the neighbo[]rhood of the La Plata, in the hands of New Englanders, would at once become the paradise of world, did they retain their moral and intellectual habits[.] …


[In South America, t]he finest fields in the world for agriculture are suffered to remain barren and desolate, or to be traveled by wandering herds. Indolence … enfeeble[s] the hands and put[s] out the eyes of the inhabitants. Roaming in poverty, filth, and pollution, they are totally blind to their advantages and privileges: they are tossed about by wind of prejudice and passion. Trained to view labour as a degradation, while trampling the most prolific fields and possessing everything requisite, and of the first qualities, for food and clothing, they would be obliged to go naked and starve, were it not for the industry of other nations.  As it now is, robbers and assassins fill their streets, and thousands are disappearing by the only species of industry for which they have an adaptation, that of destroying each other.

Sounds like much of South America today – or, if you prefer, and as President Trump allegedly put it, an “s-hole” (or “s-house”).  In other words, what makes a society a literal you-know-what-hole hasn’t changed much in nearly two centuries.  If you want to find these holes of the world, you need look no farther than where godlessness or leftism – often found together – dominate.

Of course, the world’s holes are often riddled with poverty.  According to Business Insider – and as I alluded to years ago – most of the world’s poorest nations are “under authoritarian regimes where corruption is rampant.”  Few things are more synonymous with modern leftism than corruption and authoritarianism.

Note as well how many of the poorest and most authoritarian nations are run by Islamists.  The godless false religion of Islam is an enforced religion with a violent founder, a violent founding, and a violent past and present.  Islam is generally repressive to women and to those of other faiths.  Islam is typically financially devastating and technologically backward and thus has produced many of the world’s holes.

Naturally, the world’s holes are filled with filth.  Along with garbage, human waste, and nasty water, and no matter what list you use, the world’s dirtiest cities are typically also filled with some form of leftism and spiritual darkness.  The same goes for the world’s most dangerous countries.  Note again that those plagued by Islam dominate the list.

Often accompanying danger and filth is death.  Unsurprisingly, the nations with the lowest life expectancy are the same ones showing up on the other s-hole lists.

Two hole-producing products of leftist ideology that, in spite of numerous and horrific failures, still plague the world today are socialism and communism.  No matter the specifics of the “ism” or the frequency or the scale of the devastation, modern leftists continue to seek to put so much power in the hands of so few.

If you think I’m being unfair to the rest of the world, fret not.  Tragically amazing – given our vast amount of rich natural and human resources – the United States has more than its fair share of s-holes.  Almost always, these are municipalities where democrats have ruled for decades and where godlessness – typically accompanied by a good dose of hedonism – and leftism – usually called “liberalism” in America – dominate the landscape.

It’s not the skin color of the people, but rather rotten political and religious ideologies that produce toilet-like living conditions.  Also, the vast majority of people living in the holes of the world are there through little to no fault of their own (except for those who continue to elect Democrats) and, in most cases, need the help of others to escape or improve their conditions.  The United States can’t import all of those suffering in the world’s holes, but we can certainly play a role in exporting what they really need.

The surest way to keep people from living in an s-hole is to provide them with liberty, but not liberty alone.  As the great Edmund Burke put it when observing the French revolution, “[t]he effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please: [w]e ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations.”

Liberty should always be accompanied by the “moral chains” provided by Christianity.  Otherwise, you end up with Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, and Baltimore.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



Source link

How Do Liberals Flunk Science? Let Us Count the Ways.


With most of the U.S. recently in the grip of significant cold, and given the proper goading from President Trump, liberals again felt led to lecture us on the difference between weather and climate.  It’s lost on most leftists how they so often fail to apply the same standards to themselves.  Whether blizzards, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, record heat, record cold, and so on, with religious devotion, liberals almost never fail to link dramatic weather events to their apocalyptic climate narrative.

One of the easiest jobs in the world has to be that of climate doomsayer.  No matter the weather, the climate kooks can scream, “Man-made global warming!,” and the faithful will follow with a hearty “Amen!”  In spite of the folly and the pseudo-science behind the man-made global warming movement, time and again, the modern left insists that it is conservatives – especially Christian conservatives – who have abandoned science and reason.

Last year, The New York Times went as far as to blame evangelicals for our “post-truth society.”  The New York Times lamenting a “post-truth society” is like Satan complaining about sin.  Few organizations or individuals in the history of humanity have waged a more enthusiastic war on the truth than has “the newspaper of record.”

Because all sound science – yes, there are plenty of scientific charlatans – always points one to the truth, it is little surprise that those so often opposed to the truth frequently find themselves at odds with what sound science reveals.  For those unsure of where they stand on the spectrum of understanding what real science and scientists have revealed, let me take a moment to chronicle some actual “settled science.”

First of all, back when Adam took his first home-school anatomy course, science long ago revealed that there are only two sexes: male and female.  There is no such thing as a “gender spectrum.”  Any sentient adult telling you that such nonsense exists should have his grown-up card revoked and be required to repeat kindergarten at an approved location.  What’s more, contrary to LGBT propaganda, basic biology is not “transphobic.”

Unlike the modern left’s practice of using a fake problem – man-made climate change – to explain real weather-related catastrophes, tolerating the very real transgender madness of the modern left has led to all sorts of very real human-related catastrophes.  Men using women’s restrooms and locker rooms, men competing against (and taking trophies from) women, women occupying the front lines of our military, and so on are all the direct result of the fake science preached and produced by liberalism.

Just as settled as is the science of who is a male and who is a female is the science of life in the womb.  Life in the womb for a child is as well documented as anything in science.  With ultrasound and Doppler machines, as well as other technology, one can monitor the life of a baby in the womb from very near the beginning until birth.

Moments after conception (hardly a serious biologist in the world would argue that life does not begin at conception), the resulting single cell contains all 46 chromosomes necessary to grow into an adult human being.  Within 48 hours of conception, the mother’s body starts producing a hormone to let her know she is pregnant.  In the beginning of the third week, the baby’s heart begins to beat, with a blood type that is often different from his mother’s.

During week five, eyes, legs, and hands have begun to develop.  By week six, brain waves are detectable.  Week eight has every organ in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and the baby can begin to hear.  By week twelve, the baby is nearing the end of the first trimester.  He has all the necessary parts to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus.  He can grasp objects placed in his hand and has fingerprints, a skeletal structure, and circulation.

By week fifteen, he has an adult’s taste buds.  At week twenty, the earliest stage at which liberals used to conduct partial-birth abortions, the child can recognize his mother’s voice.  He is within one or two weeks of the stage where babies can routinely be saved outside the womb.

In spite of all this, to justify the slaughter of tens of millions of unborn children, abortion apologists have regularly ignored the indisputable science of life in the womb.

Recently, liberals have gone so far as to launch a massive billboard campaign that refers to abortion as “sacred,” “a blessing,” and even “life-saving.”  Abortion is so far from the concept of “life-saving” that it’s not too difficult – especially among the government-educated – to find individuals who advocate infanticide.  We shouldn’t be surprised by this when the last U.S. president – elected twice – basically advocated the same.

And why the devotion to killing the most innocent and defenseless among us?  The will to do whatever one wants sexually without the consequences is a powerful force, and those corrupted by liberalism will go to almost any length – including fake science – in order to keep abortion popular and legal.

Speaking of a liberal’s libido, real science does no favors for the homosexual agenda, either.  As Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, learned in 2010, even well established liberals can draw the ire of the homosexual community by simply implying that homosexuality is not innate (meaning genetic), but is rather a “lifestyle choice.”  (Jarrett quickly backtracked and apologized.)  We’ve been told for decades now that homosexuality is a genetic and unchangeable behavior – that people are “born gay.”

In 1993, when the journal Science published a study by Dean Hamer (et al.) that strongly suggested the existence of a gene for homosexuality, an eager and complicit media celebrated.  National Public Radio trumpeted the findings.  Newsweek’s cover asked, “Gay Gene?”  The Wall Street Journal announced, “Research Points toward a Gay Gene…”  The New York Times noted, “Report Suggests Homosexuality Is Linked to Genes.”

However, noted psychiatrist, physicist, and author (Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth) Jeffrey Satinover concluded that “the Hamer study is seriously flawed.”  Many genetic researchers also quickly took issue with Hamer’s study.  Yet the myth grew.  Today, it is commonplace for liberals in the media, Hollywood, and like-minded politicians again to ignore the real science and perpetuate the falsehood that homosexuality is strictly genetic.

Dr. Satinover notes, “The notion that ‘homosexuals’ are in effect a ‘different species’ (different genes) is ludicrous beyond belief.  There is not the slightest evidence for that[,] as anyone who actually reads the studies (not reports on the studies) knows.”  What science does reveal is that homosexuality is a rather unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle.

And much to the dismay of many on the modern left, sodomy doesn’t produce babies – because, you know, science.  Thus, we now have fools declaring same-sex couples “infertile” and demanding that health insurance companies foot the bill to remedy this.  So along with paying for abortions and “gender reassignment” surgery, liberals want us to foot the bill so that two men can have a baby.

As they foolishly declare their “belief in science,” liberals such as Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren remind us that what liberals are devoted to is not science, but scientism.  Because of this, their policies will always, ultimately, fail.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

With most of the U.S. recently in the grip of significant cold, and given the proper goading from President Trump, liberals again felt led to lecture us on the difference between weather and climate.  It’s lost on most leftists how they so often fail to apply the same standards to themselves.  Whether blizzards, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, record heat, record cold, and so on, with religious devotion, liberals almost never fail to link dramatic weather events to their apocalyptic climate narrative.

One of the easiest jobs in the world has to be that of climate doomsayer.  No matter the weather, the climate kooks can scream, “Man-made global warming!,” and the faithful will follow with a hearty “Amen!”  In spite of the folly and the pseudo-science behind the man-made global warming movement, time and again, the modern left insists that it is conservatives – especially Christian conservatives – who have abandoned science and reason.

Last year, The New York Times went as far as to blame evangelicals for our “post-truth society.”  The New York Times lamenting a “post-truth society” is like Satan complaining about sin.  Few organizations or individuals in the history of humanity have waged a more enthusiastic war on the truth than has “the newspaper of record.”

Because all sound science – yes, there are plenty of scientific charlatans – always points one to the truth, it is little surprise that those so often opposed to the truth frequently find themselves at odds with what sound science reveals.  For those unsure of where they stand on the spectrum of understanding what real science and scientists have revealed, let me take a moment to chronicle some actual “settled science.”

First of all, back when Adam took his first home-school anatomy course, science long ago revealed that there are only two sexes: male and female.  There is no such thing as a “gender spectrum.”  Any sentient adult telling you that such nonsense exists should have his grown-up card revoked and be required to repeat kindergarten at an approved location.  What’s more, contrary to LGBT propaganda, basic biology is not “transphobic.”

Unlike the modern left’s practice of using a fake problem – man-made climate change – to explain real weather-related catastrophes, tolerating the very real transgender madness of the modern left has led to all sorts of very real human-related catastrophes.  Men using women’s restrooms and locker rooms, men competing against (and taking trophies from) women, women occupying the front lines of our military, and so on are all the direct result of the fake science preached and produced by liberalism.

Just as settled as is the science of who is a male and who is a female is the science of life in the womb.  Life in the womb for a child is as well documented as anything in science.  With ultrasound and Doppler machines, as well as other technology, one can monitor the life of a baby in the womb from very near the beginning until birth.

Moments after conception (hardly a serious biologist in the world would argue that life does not begin at conception), the resulting single cell contains all 46 chromosomes necessary to grow into an adult human being.  Within 48 hours of conception, the mother’s body starts producing a hormone to let her know she is pregnant.  In the beginning of the third week, the baby’s heart begins to beat, with a blood type that is often different from his mother’s.

During week five, eyes, legs, and hands have begun to develop.  By week six, brain waves are detectable.  Week eight has every organ in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and the baby can begin to hear.  By week twelve, the baby is nearing the end of the first trimester.  He has all the necessary parts to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus.  He can grasp objects placed in his hand and has fingerprints, a skeletal structure, and circulation.

By week fifteen, he has an adult’s taste buds.  At week twenty, the earliest stage at which liberals used to conduct partial-birth abortions, the child can recognize his mother’s voice.  He is within one or two weeks of the stage where babies can routinely be saved outside the womb.

In spite of all this, to justify the slaughter of tens of millions of unborn children, abortion apologists have regularly ignored the indisputable science of life in the womb.

Recently, liberals have gone so far as to launch a massive billboard campaign that refers to abortion as “sacred,” “a blessing,” and even “life-saving.”  Abortion is so far from the concept of “life-saving” that it’s not too difficult – especially among the government-educated – to find individuals who advocate infanticide.  We shouldn’t be surprised by this when the last U.S. president – elected twice – basically advocated the same.

And why the devotion to killing the most innocent and defenseless among us?  The will to do whatever one wants sexually without the consequences is a powerful force, and those corrupted by liberalism will go to almost any length – including fake science – in order to keep abortion popular and legal.

Speaking of a liberal’s libido, real science does no favors for the homosexual agenda, either.  As Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, learned in 2010, even well established liberals can draw the ire of the homosexual community by simply implying that homosexuality is not innate (meaning genetic), but is rather a “lifestyle choice.”  (Jarrett quickly backtracked and apologized.)  We’ve been told for decades now that homosexuality is a genetic and unchangeable behavior – that people are “born gay.”

In 1993, when the journal Science published a study by Dean Hamer (et al.) that strongly suggested the existence of a gene for homosexuality, an eager and complicit media celebrated.  National Public Radio trumpeted the findings.  Newsweek’s cover asked, “Gay Gene?”  The Wall Street Journal announced, “Research Points toward a Gay Gene…”  The New York Times noted, “Report Suggests Homosexuality Is Linked to Genes.”

However, noted psychiatrist, physicist, and author (Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth) Jeffrey Satinover concluded that “the Hamer study is seriously flawed.”  Many genetic researchers also quickly took issue with Hamer’s study.  Yet the myth grew.  Today, it is commonplace for liberals in the media, Hollywood, and like-minded politicians again to ignore the real science and perpetuate the falsehood that homosexuality is strictly genetic.

Dr. Satinover notes, “The notion that ‘homosexuals’ are in effect a ‘different species’ (different genes) is ludicrous beyond belief.  There is not the slightest evidence for that[,] as anyone who actually reads the studies (not reports on the studies) knows.”  What science does reveal is that homosexuality is a rather unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle.

And much to the dismay of many on the modern left, sodomy doesn’t produce babies – because, you know, science.  Thus, we now have fools declaring same-sex couples “infertile” and demanding that health insurance companies foot the bill to remedy this.  So along with paying for abortions and “gender reassignment” surgery, liberals want us to foot the bill so that two men can have a baby.

As they foolishly declare their “belief in science,” liberals such as Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren remind us that what liberals are devoted to is not science, but scientism.  Because of this, their policies will always, ultimately, fail.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America.

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



Source link

‘The Rightful King Has Landed’


We must never forget that at this time of year, we celebrate much more than a birthday. As the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how “the rightful King has landed.” When Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pilate, just prior to going to His execution, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him, saying, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

Of course, Jesus was not just any king; He was a king with a holy mission. He was a king who was born to die. “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me.” Jesus was, and is, our Savior King. As author Charles Sell put it,

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

The “good news of great joy” that no less than the angel of the Lord reported to the shepherds was that, “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” The late, great Charles Schulz was right. The heart and soul of the Christmas story is, as Linus perfectly recited, “[B]ehold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Of course, as did the CBS executives during Schulz’s time, those fearful of the true meaning of Christmas go to great lengths to hide the truth. Today children (and adults) are bombarded with deceptive (but alluring) messages about “Christmas Spirit” and how Christmas is about “spreading joy throughout the world” and “a time for warmth and brotherly love” (as a recent TV cartoon declared). Even Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol is bereft of the complete message of Christmas.

One author I encountered a few years ago foolishly described the “hidden meaning” of Christmas as a:

festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing.

Peace, brotherly love, and spreading joy are not bad things, but they are far from the “heart and soul” of Christmas. “Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!” So Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior King. This is the reason for the conflict and contention that we sometimes encounter at Christmas time. This is why so many fear a Nativity scene, a Christmas tree, or even a meek “Merry Christmas.”

Who wants to be confronted with the idea that maybe they are ignoring the most significant event in human history? Who wants to be reminded that perhaps Jesus Christ really was (and is) our Savior King? Of course, God sending His Son as a Savior implies that we need “saving.” The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Less well known, but just as important, is the very next verse. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This begs the question, “From what or whom do we need to be saved?”

In John chapter 8, Jesus says, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” What does it mean to “die in your sins?” Romans chapter 6 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, we need to be “saved” from the eternal consequences of our sin. There is eternal life with Jesus, and apart from Him, death and eternal separation from God.

This is why so many Christians are so celebratory at Christmas time. Yes, there are presents and parties and time off from work, but for Christians who truly understand what was done for them on that first Christmas day, nothing compares to the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Christmas is a celebration of God’s greatest gift meeting humanity’s most desperate need. Those who reject the need for salvation, or reject the miracle of Jesus, or reject their sin for what it really is, are “offended” by Christmas.

Such people don’t want to hear that Jesus came to die for their sins. They don’t want to hear of the many miracles that surround the birth of the Savior. They don’t want to hear that their greed, lust, or pride is sin. They want to go their own way; thus, they display perverse “Festivus Poles.” And again, we’ve all been there. May God empower those of us who see Christmas for what it truly is, who see Jesus for who He really is, to spread His message of hope, love, peace, and salvation to all we encounter, all year round. Merry Christmas!

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

We must never forget that at this time of year, we celebrate much more than a birthday. As the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how “the rightful King has landed.” When Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pilate, just prior to going to His execution, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him, saying, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

Of course, Jesus was not just any king; He was a king with a holy mission. He was a king who was born to die. “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me.” Jesus was, and is, our Savior King. As author Charles Sell put it,

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

The “good news of great joy” that no less than the angel of the Lord reported to the shepherds was that, “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” The late, great Charles Schulz was right. The heart and soul of the Christmas story is, as Linus perfectly recited, “[B]ehold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Of course, as did the CBS executives during Schulz’s time, those fearful of the true meaning of Christmas go to great lengths to hide the truth. Today children (and adults) are bombarded with deceptive (but alluring) messages about “Christmas Spirit” and how Christmas is about “spreading joy throughout the world” and “a time for warmth and brotherly love” (as a recent TV cartoon declared). Even Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol is bereft of the complete message of Christmas.

One author I encountered a few years ago foolishly described the “hidden meaning” of Christmas as a:

festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing.

Peace, brotherly love, and spreading joy are not bad things, but they are far from the “heart and soul” of Christmas. “Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!” So Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior King. This is the reason for the conflict and contention that we sometimes encounter at Christmas time. This is why so many fear a Nativity scene, a Christmas tree, or even a meek “Merry Christmas.”

Who wants to be confronted with the idea that maybe they are ignoring the most significant event in human history? Who wants to be reminded that perhaps Jesus Christ really was (and is) our Savior King? Of course, God sending His Son as a Savior implies that we need “saving.” The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Less well known, but just as important, is the very next verse. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This begs the question, “From what or whom do we need to be saved?”

In John chapter 8, Jesus says, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” What does it mean to “die in your sins?” Romans chapter 6 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, we need to be “saved” from the eternal consequences of our sin. There is eternal life with Jesus, and apart from Him, death and eternal separation from God.

This is why so many Christians are so celebratory at Christmas time. Yes, there are presents and parties and time off from work, but for Christians who truly understand what was done for them on that first Christmas day, nothing compares to the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Christmas is a celebration of God’s greatest gift meeting humanity’s most desperate need. Those who reject the need for salvation, or reject the miracle of Jesus, or reject their sin for what it really is, are “offended” by Christmas.

Such people don’t want to hear that Jesus came to die for their sins. They don’t want to hear of the many miracles that surround the birth of the Savior. They don’t want to hear that their greed, lust, or pride is sin. They want to go their own way; thus, they display perverse “Festivus Poles.” And again, we’ve all been there. May God empower those of us who see Christmas for what it truly is, who see Jesus for who He really is, to spread His message of hope, love, peace, and salvation to all we encounter, all year round. Merry Christmas!

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



Source link

Why the God-Haters Hate Israel


One of the greatest evidences that there is a God — to whom we owe our very lives, and whose Word we are to follow — is the mere existence of a nation called Israel. Thus the rampant hatred for the children of Abraham. Nevertheless, science again makes clear what Scripture long ago revealed.

A 60 Minutes episode from the year 2000 — for which I have a transcript — reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.”

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron — the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood — lived.

Likewise, in the year 2000, a study widely reported on revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome — which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son — of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows — and believes — Scripture. The first two sons of Abraham were Ishmael — the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs — and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob — later named Israel — fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” and would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham — initially named “Abram,” a descendent of Noah’s son, Shem — in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there are Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God — in multiple ways — will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak — Israel was in slavery when it became a nation — so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity — especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century, England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

A significant manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew… Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually, the written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, Christianity teaches that the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly… No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

As I noted in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, long before the Pilgrims departed Europe for a new home, the spiritual heritage of America has been linked with Jerusalem and Israel. Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Christopher Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse.

As life in Europe became increasingly difficult for the Pilgrims, in spite of what they were hearing concerning the death and destruction at Jamestown, more and more, God’s plan seemed to point to America as their home. The pastor of young William Bradford’s congregation at the time was John Robinson. During this time, Pastor Robinson revealed that he believed God was calling them to a New Jerusalem — in America. Robinson wrote,

Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple… so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem… and build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in… for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.

The God who spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same God who inspired the Pilgrims and the Puritans — the people who are most responsible for the founding of the United States. Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Thus any move that further legitimizes Israel — such as official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and placing our embassy there — will be strongly opposed by those who hate the Truth.

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

One of the greatest evidences that there is a God — to whom we owe our very lives, and whose Word we are to follow — is the mere existence of a nation called Israel. Thus the rampant hatred for the children of Abraham. Nevertheless, science again makes clear what Scripture long ago revealed.

A 60 Minutes episode from the year 2000 — for which I have a transcript — reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.”

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron — the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood — lived.

Likewise, in the year 2000, a study widely reported on revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome — which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son — of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows — and believes — Scripture. The first two sons of Abraham were Ishmael — the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs — and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob — later named Israel — fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” and would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham — initially named “Abram,” a descendent of Noah’s son, Shem — in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there are Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God — in multiple ways — will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak — Israel was in slavery when it became a nation — so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity — especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century, England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

A significant manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew… Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually, the written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, Christianity teaches that the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly… No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

As I noted in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, long before the Pilgrims departed Europe for a new home, the spiritual heritage of America has been linked with Jerusalem and Israel. Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Christopher Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse.

As life in Europe became increasingly difficult for the Pilgrims, in spite of what they were hearing concerning the death and destruction at Jamestown, more and more, God’s plan seemed to point to America as their home. The pastor of young William Bradford’s congregation at the time was John Robinson. During this time, Pastor Robinson revealed that he believed God was calling them to a New Jerusalem — in America. Robinson wrote,

Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple… so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem… and build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in… for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.

The God who spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same God who inspired the Pilgrims and the Puritans — the people who are most responsible for the founding of the United States. Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Thus any move that further legitimizes Israel — such as official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and placing our embassy there — will be strongly opposed by those who hate the Truth.

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



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