Commentary

Medved: Housing Construction vs. Human Destruction

Marijuana

The worst part of the new Obama-Kerry Middle Eastern initiative isn’t that it punishes the Israelis—it’s that it rewards the Palestinians by endorsing their false narrative, identifying Israeli communities in disputed territories as the chief obstacle to peace.

What have the Palestinians done to deserve this support? Their corrupt, aging leadership hasn’t conducted national elections for ten years, and continues to encourage terrorist murders while blocking new negotiations. The worst part of John Kerry’s fatuous Paris speech was the moral equivalence he drew between Israeli support for housing construction and Palestinian support for human destruction. In a single sentence, he listed “settlement building” as comparable to “terrorism, violence and incitement” as obstacles to peace. This is not only politically blind, it’s morally blind—confusing conduct that’s deadly and evil with a policy which is, at worst, ill-advised.

This position marks a suitably shameful conclusion to Obama’s disastrous eight years of blunders and retreat in the Middle East.

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Mohler: A Prayer For The New Year

Headlines

Every New Year brings incalculable promise, and immense challenges. Let us pray that 2017 will bring great blessings to this nation and to the world. We dare to pray for peace on earth and good will to all peoples everywhere. We pray for those who even now are fighting forces of terrorism and mayhem in the world. We pray for a year that promises healing in the United States and around the world.

We pray for a newly elected president, Donald J. Trump, who will take office within days of the New Year, and will need the prayers of all Americans as he takes on the mantle of our Chief Executive.

We pray for those who serve in our military and those who put their lives at risk to serve and to protect here at home. We pray for God’s blessings to every family and to every community. May 2017 be a great year for you and yours.

I’m Albert Mohler, wishing you a happy New Year from the Salem Media Group.

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Mohler: Hoping For Better Headlines in 2016

2015 comes to a close as most years do, with barely enough time to look back even as we look ahead.

2015 was, in so many evil ways, the year of terrorism, with murderous strikes by the Islamic State in Paris and by friends of ISIS in San Bernardino. These were but a few among the many sites of terror this past year in a war that seems to be without end.

A massive migrant and refugee crisis presented Europe with one of its greatest challenges since World War II.

The presidential campaign is well underway, with virtually no surprise in the Democratic race and nothing but surprise in the Republican race.

The Supreme Court redefined marriage by decree, Americans were spellbound by a prison break in New York, and Bruce Jenner made news in a whole new way—and not on a Wheaties box.

May 2016 be a year of better headlines, especially for you and your family.

Happy New Year from the Salem Media Group.

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Medved: Terrorists, Like Other Criminals, Defy the Rules

Donald Trump supports the idea that immigration and customs officials should ask any migrants or visitors to our shores whether they’re Muslim, and if they are Muslims, they should be denied entry.

Why would this make us safer against potential terrorists?

If an extremist plans to perpetrate violence against America and Americans, he (or she) would certainly be willing to lie about his religious affiliation. As former anti-terror prosecutor Andrew McCarthy makes clear, the only people who’d be hurt by asking Muslims to identify themselves, or to register with the government based on their religious faith, would be law-abiding Muslims.

On gun control, conservatives understand that new regulations would only interfere with responsible gun-owners who choose to follow them. We should appreciate the same principle regarding Muslim-Americans: those committed to violence will get their guns illegally, and they would think nothing of defying or evading Trump’s meaningless new rules.

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Davenport: Gay Marriage: Can’t Have It Both Ways

A Bermuda hotel recently cancelled talks by a scholar defending traditional marriage on the ground that the hotel “is not a venue for anti-diversity discussions.”  So many interesting questions are raised:

Since Bermuda has not legalized gay marriage, is it not even a proper topic for discussion?  Is there no free speech, and in that sense no real diversity, in Bermuda?

Since under civil rights laws, hotels are places of public accommodation and are not to discriminate on religious and other grounds, is this not illegal?

Although Bermuda is not the United States, there will still be difficult questions like these here where the Supreme Court extended equal dignity under the law—a term not found in the Constitution by the way—to same sex marriages.

When others are prosecuted for refusing to serve same sex marriages in public accommodations, is it right to allow a public hotel to ban a talk from the other side?  You can’t have it both ways.

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Medved: The Advantage Of Impractical Ideas

Raging controversy over Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States ignores the most obvious fact about his suggestion: there’s no chance it would ever take effect. Even in the unlikely event of a Trump presidency, courts or congress would promptly block any “Muslim ban.”  That’s also true of Trump’s proposed new “Deportation Force” to expel 11 million illegal immigrants and their families: whether or not it’s a good idea, it’s obvious it won’t happen, due to legal and political objections, as well as a trillion dollar price tag.

Trump and most of his supporters have to know his grand schemes won’t become reality—no, Mexico won’t pay for a “big, beautiful” border wall. But he uses outrageous, simplistic and totally impractical suggestions to gain attention and build support, with no real expectation that he’d ever actually implement his vague ideas. Trump’s campaign won’t change policy, but it could change politics and do profound damage to Republican prospects.

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Davenport: There Is No Freedom From Religion

Tis the season—not to be jolly, unfortunately, but to debate whether the First Amendment allows Americans to publicly celebrate Christmas.

In Indiana, a federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against a nativity scene in the public high school’s Christmas Spectacular, saying it endorses or prefers a particular religion. That is debatable, but the statement of the co-President of Freedom From Religion Foundation is dead wrong when she says “there can be no freedom of religious belief without freedom from religion.”

Is she celebrating what we used to call in my family “opposite day?”  Saying the exact opposite of what the Constitution says? The First Amendment very clearly assures freedom of religion, not freedom from it. In fact, the founders understood that religion had a paramount presence in America and the point of the First Amendment was to protect religion from government, not vice versa.

In our efforts to protect diversity, we are doing the opposite:  we are trying to cleanse the public square of every form of diversity, including Christmas.

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