Commentary

Mohler: Politics As Religion

It should be clear to any conservative, and especially to any conservative on a prominent American academic campus—that many on the left have turned angry.

David Gelernter, a Jewish professor at Yale University says, “In many ways, the left has turned incredibly anti-democratic. It not only holds to its leftist positions, it wants to shut down any public debate.”

The question is why? Professor Gelernter has an answer.

Political, moral, and cultural conservatives, tend to identify as Christians or as Jews in America. The political left, on the other hand, is decidedly more secular.

If politics is all you have, then politics becomes your religion. Increasingly on the left, political ideas have taken the place of religious doctrines. They are simply not to be debated. Dissent is not to be tolerated, and discussion is shut down.

That’s what we’re seeing on America’s college and university campuses today, and it’s spreading from college campuses into other sectors of political and cultural life.

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Medved: “Tidal Wave of Anger” May Be a Mirage

Conventional wisdom claims that current campaigns reflect the seething anger of the electorate and the misery of the populace. Yet polling data actually shows an overwhelming majority expressing satisfaction with their personal lives, even if they do worry over the nation’s direction.

In 2015, Gallup showed 85% saying they felt “satisfied with the way things were going in their personal lives” – close to the all-time record of 88% in 2003. How, then, could the same poll show disapproval of America’s direction by a two-to-one margin?

The contradiction stems from the media’s bad news obsession: focusing on crimes, disasters, and scandals of all kinds; when things go well, it’s seldom newsworthy. People know the truth about their own lives, but they judge the nation’s welfare based on reports from TV, newspapers, radio and the internet.

The purported tidal wave of anger and indignation may be just another example of media looking for something extraordinary and menacing to report and discuss.

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Hewitt: Groundhog Day Redux

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces a showdown on February 1 when the Democratic Iowa caucuses pit her against Bernie Sanders—the Senator from Vermont. If the next morning brings a Clinton loss, Hillary will be facing her own version of the famous Bill Murray film “Groundhog Day.” She lost in an upset to Barack Obama in Iowa in 2008. She may have to relive that unfortunate experience again.

A panicked Clinton made all the Sunday shows in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging of her support but the Woodstock generation is having a last hurrah with Sanders and the issue is very much in doubt. The strong opening weekend for the movie “13 Hours” about the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012 rekindled memories of her collapse that night and her stiffness on the trail now is the stuff of political legend.

Most of the punditry has focused on the GOP race, but the prospect of another epic Hillary fail is starting to capture the country’s imagination.

Could it be Groundhog Day all over again?

Time will tell.

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Thornbury: Silencing Debate

Greg Thornbury

Across the nation, students are returning to college campuses for the Spring semester. For the rest of the country, people will likely not be looking at universities the same way again.

That’s because the campus protest events of last Fall removed all doubt that the vast majority of our universities are breeding grounds for leftism and political correctness.

Although the events at Yale are amongst the most memorable – with Professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis being hounded and silenced by an angry mob of students, ironically, all for the offense of standing up for their free speech rights—there are too many incidents of the degeneration of higher education to say that such acts are “isolated incidents.”

The truth is most campuses are now more interested in silencing debate than providing a good education.

Parents and students of conservative conviction: there are excellent college alternatives to the leftist campus orthodoxy. Educate yourselves. You’ll be glad you did.

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Medved: Public Responds to Clear-Cut Conflicts of Good vs. Evil

The phenomenal success of the new Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens,” highlights an awakening force among the American people: a hunger for stirring stories of good vs. evil. Two Oscar front-runners advanced similar themes: “The Revenant” and “Spotlight” focus on good people defying the odds to fight corruption and betrayal.  “American Sniper,” the top money-maker of 2014, also focused on a noble hero–real life sharpshooter Chris Kyle, who faced down terrorist enemies of his country and comrades.

Meanwhile, there’s scant market for muddled movies without admirable protagonists that show life as dark and pointless, like last year’s Oscar favorite “Birdman”; it earned less money at the box office than any other Best Picture winner in history. Politicians should take note: Americans respond well to narratives with recognizable heroes and villains, engaged in righteous struggle, but we respond not at all to moral confusion and to bleak, hopeless views of humanity.

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Thornbury: David Bowie’s Stand for Freedom

Greg Thornbury

This past Sunday night, breaking news interrupted the revelry of Hollywood stars just getting to their after parties after the Golden Globes had finished: rock, film, and art icon David Bowie was dead at age 69, from cancer.

Although Bowie is being celebrated for his artistic genius, and while much of his work was offensive to people of conservative conviction, few remember that he spoke out against totalitarianism.

In 1987, Bowie returned to West Berlin, where he once lived and recorded. With his back to the Wall, he sang his anthem of courage “Heroes,” crying out for liberty in German. Thousands of East Berliners pressed up against the other side of the wall, and began vigorously protesting against the Communist regime.

The riots got the attention of the West, and one week later Ronald Reagan stood near that same place, and said: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

David Bowie, for that, we salute you.

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Mohler: A Revealing Endorsement

For the first time in its 100-year history, Planned Parenthood has endorsed a presidential nominee candidate, in this case, former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

There’s no question that Planned Parenthood would endorse the eventual Democratic nominee. But why would Planned Parenthood step in now?

The New York Times explains, “The Clinton campaign has functioned almost as a marketing arm for Planned Parenthood, featuring a section on its official website titled ‘17 times Hillary Clinton stood with Planned Parenthood,’ Facebook messages and Instagram posts with the hashtag #StandwithPP.”

Explaining this unprecedented endorsement in the nomination process, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards said, “Everything Planned Parenthood has believed in and fought for over the past 100 years is on the ballot…”—speaking of course of the 2016 presidential race.

Those who believe in the sanctity of human life would agree with her on this point—everything is on the line in the 2016 presidential election when it comes to the sanctity of human life.

And this should make incredibly clear where Hillary Clinton stands.

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