Commentary

Mohler: Party Platforms Shifting?

In recent years, it has been impossible to imagine a Republican Party platform that would not be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, and a Democratic platform that would not be pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

Although this divide is likely to continue, there are questions now being raised on the Republican side because of the popularity of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Donald Trump recently announced his opposition to North Carolina’s “bathroom law” which requires its citizens to use the public bathroom that corresponds with their gender at birth.

In 2000, Trump flirted with the Republican bid for the presidency and said he supported traditional marriage. However, five years later, he enthusiastically expressed his approval for the gay marriage of Elton John and his partner.

Donald Trump may hold to traditional Republican positions, but if he does, when it comes to issues like abortion and LGBT questions, he doesn’t hold them in a way that even finds a place on his website and he doesn’t want to talk about them either.

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Mohler: A Person Without Constitutional Rights

Hillary Clinton recently made a very revealing statement on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd.

Mr. Todd asked Secretary Clinton, “When or if does an unborn child have Constitutional rights?” A very important question we note, and we should credit Mr. Todd with having the fortitude as a journalist to ask that question.

The former Secretary of State said this: “Under our laws currently, that is not something that exists.” And she went on to say this: “The unborn person doesn’t have Constitutional rights.”

Clinton revealed the moral insanity and the abhorrent immorality of the pro-abortion position. She went off the reservation of the pro-abortionists in using two words they never want to use of the unborn child. Those two words are “person” and “child.” She unintentionally acknowledges the personhood of the baby, and simultaneously denies the person any right to life.

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Religious Liberty Is the Problem?

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently published a “Statement Condemning Recent State Laws and Pending Proposals Targeting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community.” It was motivated by new Mississippi laws protecting religious freedom and by North Carolina’s much-discussed “bathroom law.”

The statement includes these words, “Civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination, as embodied in the Constitution, laws, and policies, are of preeminent importance in American jurisprudence.” Well, so good, so far. Where does this go?

Point two, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”

For the first time, a statement that comes on the letterhead of the United States Federal Government explicitly states that religious liberty is the problem.

 

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Towards An Opportunity Culture

“Victimhood culture” has now been identified as a widening phenomenon by mainstream sociologists. On campuses, activists interpret ordinary interactions as so-called “microaggressions” and set up “safe spaces” to protect students from certain forms of speech.

 

The problem is that the line is fuzzy between fighting for victimized people and promoting a victimhood culture.

 

Look at the role of free speech and debates: Victims and their advocates always rely on free speech and open dialogue to articulate unpopular truths. Victimhood culture, by contrast, generally seeks to restrict speech in order to protect the sensibilities of its advocates.

 

The organizations and people who ascend in a victimhood culture treat people less as individuals and more as aggrieved masses.

 

It is still in our hands to cultivate a nation of strong individuals motivated by hope and opportunity, not one dominated by victimhood. But we have a long way to go.

 

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Davenport: Year of the Disruptors

If we made a movie about campaign 2016, it would be “Year of the Disruptors.” On the Republican side, we are down to Donald Trump, a complete disruptor of the political process, and Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator but a disruptor in style. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is a socialist who wants to disrupt the system, leaving only Hillary Clinton as an establishment candidate.

If we made a movie about campaign 2016, it would be “Year of the Disruptors.” On the Republican side, we are down to Donald Trump, a complete disruptor of the political process, and Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator but a disruptor in style. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is a socialist who wants to disrupt the system, leaving only Hillary Clinton as an establishment candidate.

Disruptors are great for making statements, and frustrated voters clearly want to do that. But they may not be the best at governing, and it’s not clear voters will elect one as their president. And, as companies like Amazon and Uber have learned, it takes a long time for disruptors to capture and change a market.

Unless Republicans have a disrupted convention in Cleveland this summer, which is still possible, the fall election will be a Republican disruptor versus the Democratic establishment candidate. The result, of course, remains unknown … as Hollywood would prefer.

 

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Davenport: Judge Erases History

College students, seeking to remove the names of campus founders who don’t live up to contemporary standards, aren’t the only ones erasing history.  A federal judge in Los Angeles has done some erasing of her own, saying the little tiny cross on top of a mission depicted on the county seal must go.

The Los Angeles County seal is a patchwork of history—a ship, a fish, the Hollywood Bowl, a mission church, and so forth.  But a lawsuit sought to remove the cross from the top of the mission, and a federal judge agreed that it violated the First Amendment establishment clause.

Apparently it’s more important these days to be politically correct than historically correct, because the missions (and crosses) are very much a part of California history. Reflecting that heritage on the seal hardly rates as an endorsement of the Catholic Church, much less an establishment of religion.

I can understand naïve college students endorsing this silliness, but not a federal judge.

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Mohler: Young and Transgender: A Response

Sometimes a major cultural moment can be traced to just one headline. That appears to be the case with the recent edition of Scientific American Mind, “Young and Transgender: How Best to Help Them Thrive.”

At least three medical avenues are suggested: hormone suppression, hormone replacement, and gender reassignment surgery. And not for teenagers. For children, even at ages seven or eight-years-old.

Nonetheless, the article admits, “Among children under the age of about 12 who cross-identify”—in terms of how they dress and behave—“only a minority will continue to see themselves as transgender after puberty.” That’s an astounding statement.

The American College of Pediatricians has provided some much-needed and refreshing clarity. They announce, “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.”

Here you have moral sanity that has been so lacking among so many.

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