Commentary

Medved: The Superhero Substitution

Comic book superheroes have come to dominate popular culture as never before: of the ten top opening weekends in Hollywood history, seven of them featured superheroes from Marvel or DC comics. Most recently, “Iron Man” and other luminaries from the Marvel galaxy co-starred with Captain America in “Civil War,” which earned nearly $200,000,000 in its first three days of release. These familiar figures, each with distinctive powers, personalities and back stories, function as Olympians for the ancient Greeks, or Norse gods for the Vikings.

Is it a coincidence that the power of these comic book gods has increased just as the perceived authority of the Biblical God seems to have dissipated—with an unprecedented 20 percent of Americans now describing themselves as disconnected from organized religion?

Batman and Superman may be beloved figures, but they offer a feeble substitute for the more significant, more richly human figures in Scripture.
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Medved: Student Loans Amount to a Disastrous Investment

Student loan debt has quadrupled since 2000 and stands at a staggering $1.2 trillion today. Already, 7 million student-borrowers are in default—with millions more likely to follow suit. Most of these troubled loans involve young people who started college but never finished.

A full half of students who enroll at four-year public universities fail to graduate within six years, yet they are saddled with debt averaging at least $15,000. The worst part: all this borrowing provides no benefit since college dropouts show earning power no better than those who never attended college. Runaway spending on student loans pushes too many young people toward university who don’t belong there.

Admitting schools and federal loan officials should evaluate students based on their likelihood of graduating on time. Otherwise, Washington’s policies will continue encouraging students to make misguided educational investments that never pay off.

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Mohler: Normalizing Physician Assisted Suicide

California’s recently-passed assisted suicide law officially has now gone in effect. The Golden State is the fourth state to have such a law and now 16 percent of the United States’ population has access to assisted suicide, up from four percent. It’s a huge moral shift for the country.

One of the most important articles about the event came from Cathy Lee Grossman in the Religion News Service. She writes that one of the main goals of assisted suicide advocates is to normalize what they call “aid in dying.”

What does normalizing mean? It means establishing a new norm, in this case a new moral norm. In the past, the Judeo-Christian world view informed the norms of Western civilization. Now we’re living in a secular age and it is human autonomy that is at the very top of the norming influences in our society.

We are, sadly, normalizing physician-assisted suicide.

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Davenport: No To 16-Year-Old Voting

Ever on the bleeding edge of change, San Francisco is placing a measure on the November ballot to allow 16-year olds to vote.  Two cities in Maryland have already done this, and an effort to lower the voting age nationally is underway.

The last time the voting age was lowered, it was done by constitutional amendment when young men were fighting in Vietnam at 18 and it didn’t seem right that they couldn’t vote on their national leaders until they were 21.

But the case this time is weak.  Proponents argue it will help get kids more engaged, or even “trickle up” to their parents.

In every other area—the drinking age at 21, driving without conditions up to 17 or 18 in most states, the law is requiring more maturity ahead of greater responsibility.

It’s another bad idea that should be stopped.

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Hewitt: Clarity On ISIS

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

In his speech on Monday, Donald Trump had two overarching messages. First, we have to be about the business of destroying radical Islam. We have to name it, number its members and destroy it. Second, he said, we cannot allow political correctness to hinder the debate we are about to have about how best to do that destroying.

Trump’s relentless focus on the threat from ISIS and his call for a ban on new immigrants to the U.S. from regions where ISIS flourishes (and from the refugee camps where they have surely penetrated) resonates with Americans fed up with the President’s inability to use the term “radical Islam.”

Already, Trump has broken through this soundproof chamber and obliged former Secretary of State Clinton to name the evil.

Let the debate ahead be clear about the country’s number one enemies: ISIS and Iran. Radical Islam, whatever its variant. We cannot be timid. We cannot be constrained by political correctness. The country must take on ISIS.

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Hewitt: Take the Fight to Them

The horrific massacre in Orlando Sunday night and the double murder of two French police the next day drive home the global reach of the radical Islamist ideology and the violence it breeds. There is no geographical limit to where jihadis will reach. And there is no limit to the killing that they will embark upon.

Perhaps the West has grown used to the depraved executions in the new ISIS land of Iraq and Syria, but we should make no mistake of the ambitions of the group: to kill gays and lesbians and straight people, to kill Christians and Jews, to kill police and soldiers, to kill, kill, kill. All in the name of their diseased theology.

The response of the West has to be simple: to kill them first, beginning with the caliphate.

As our military and the militaries of NATO and our Arab allies take the fight to them, our intelligence community must battle the killers online, where they are seen and where they are not.

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Mohler: A Time To Weep

The horrific events that unfolded this past weekend in Orlando remind us that history often turns, and turns horrifyingly, on hinges. With a death toll at 49 as I speak—a number that I’m well aware may increase as you hear this—there are a number of immediate questions that come to mind:

Why?

Why now?

Why there?

And: What is our responsibility?

I’ll address only that last point for now: Our responsibility today is to “weep with those who weep.”

It is absolutely right, proper and necessary for us to mourn with those who are mourning right now in Orland and far beyond. The heated policy debates will come. That’s not only inevitable, it’s essential; it’s right.

But most immediately, in a time of overwhelming sorrow and grief it is our responsibility to participate in that grief and to share in that sorrow.

Today, we weep.

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