Commentary

Mohler: “The New Culture War” 5-22-15

One of the world’s most influential magazines, The Economist, recently published an editorial entitled “The New Culture War”; the subtitle: “if gay marriage triumphs, liberals should take care not to rub it in.” In the editorial, The Economist makes the judgment that the Supreme Court is likely to declare that gay marriage is to be legal in all 50 states. The big question is: what comes after for religious liberty? The magazine acknowledges that there are legitimate religious liberty concerns, especially when it comes to Christian colleges and similar institutions, and it calls upon the victorious side in this new moral revolution to be [their words] “magnanimous in victory.”

And yet, day after day, we’re having warnings that what we’ll see will very likely be exactly the opposite. The interesting thing is that those who had insisted for so long that same-sex marriage would not come with infringement of religious liberty are beginning to say, “Well maybe it will, maybe that is inevitable.” Maybe that’s a problem.

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Hewitt: President Obama’s Legacy 5-21-15

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The growing likelihood of President Obama signing a deal with Iran that provides the mullahs with a pathway to nuclearization makes this the single most pressing issue of the day. A nuclear Iran will spawn a new sort of nuclear arms race that makes the cold war look like a simple game of “Pong” by comparison. All of this was summed up brilliantly by Charles Krauthammer when he joined my program last week:

KRAUTHAMMER: “I think we are assured of a truly catastrophic arms race in the Middle East, where the Saudis are going to go nuclear, the UAE, probably, Egypt, probably Turkey, and if we thought that two-sided deterrence, we and the Soviets for 50 years was difficult, risky and we came within an inch of nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis, imagine what five-sided deterrence is like in a region that’s the most unstable in the world. That’s what Obama has bequeathed us.”

President Obama is pushing the world to the brink very big war in the Middle East. That will be Obama’s legacy.

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Medved: Insecure Parents And Ivy League Degrees 5-20-15

In this season of grads and dads, I’ll admit that if any of my three children had followed their father’s example and chosen to study at Yale, I would have somehow scraped together the money to pay for it. As it happens, they made other plans: graduating from a distinguished state university (University of Washington) or an excellent religious institution (Yeshiva University). The cost, less than one-fourth the burden of Ivy League tuition, raises questions of why so many families pay big money for that extra layer of prestige. In a new book, the New York Times’ Frank Bruni argues that $60,000 a year to attend institutions like Yale doesn’t pay off in educational or career terms.

But parenting is such a worrisome challenge that blue-chip degrees for your children can offer reassurance that you’ve done something right. Ultimately, character and goodness are far better indicators of success in life and parenting than Ivy League bragging rights.

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Mohler: Ascendant Secularization 5-19-15

The secularization of America is one of the great facts of our time. A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows just how fast this secularization is taking place. Pew reports that, “Seventy-one percent of American adults were Christian in 2014.” Now that is clearly a majority, but it’s a much smaller majority than what was true just a matter of a few years ago. There is an absolute decline in numbers here of about 5 million but there’s a larger decline when we consider those who self-identify as Christian as a percentage of the total population: We’ve seen a fall of about 8 percent since 2007.

According to the study, the share of Americans who are “religiously unaffiliated” by their own self designation has risen from just over 16 percent in 2007 to nearly 23 percent in 2014. In terms of a massive social change, this is something like warp speed. This massive study from Pew reveals a massive shift in worldview taking place around us.

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Medved: Israel And “White Privilege” 5-18-15

In college campuses across the country, student activists for the “BDS” campaign demand that universities “boycott, divest, and sanction” to punish Israel. When defenders of the Jewish state resist this pressure, leftists often respond with the slogan “Check Your Privilege!”—insisting that Israel’s existence relies on discrimination by wealthy white people against the downtrodden with darker skin.

In fact, when the UN finally recognized Israel in 1948, the Jewish people had just experienced the “privilege” of seeing a third of their world population murdered, and another third displaced and homeless. Even in the United States, Jews were disproportionately impoverished and subject to intense discrimination. Moreover, before the Russian influx of the 1990’s, the majority of Israel’s Jewish population wasn’t “white”—consisting largely of darker-skinned, destitute Jewish refugees from Islamic and African countries. Most recently, Israel alone enjoyed the “privilege” of being targeted by 10,000 Palestinian rockets, with the world expecting the nation would never respond.

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Hewitt: Our Fragile World 5-15-15

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The rising 20-somethings graduating this month look forward to a future of American national wealth and prosperity. Why should they not be optimistic? All around them are the astonishing complexes built by their grandparents and parents in the 70 years since Hitler’s defeat. It is hard, from where they stand, to imagine national failure. But their parents at least worry about the implications of the rise of the Islamic State, the prospect of a nuclear Iran, and the nuclear dominoes falling immediately thereafter in Sunni Arab countries and Japan. They are even more fearful of the almost certain eventual transfer by some gangster state to some fanatic of a device. Well, it chills.

I don’t mean to rain on the commencement parades, but serious people have to step up: All this wealth, all this sophistication and technology, all this promise—it is very fragile. Without serious people doing serious things to defend it, it could all be gone in the blink of an eye. We ought not take our way of life for granted.

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Medved: Despite Cameron’s Win, No Need For Brit Envy 5-14-15

Some Americans watched recent elections in Britain with envy because so many parties competed for power. Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, UK Independence Party and Greens all contested seats in Parliament.

The results brought victory to David Cameron’s Conservatives, but a split electorate only gave him 36 percent of total votes. Critics insist this means a shaky government and dubious mandate. A similar result afflicted Israel in recent elections; with votes split among six parties, Prime Minister Netanyahu struggled to put together a viable government, despite the fact that he received far more votes than his principal challenger.

Those who seek new American “Third Parties” should ponder these results. Our two-party system remains vital, offering voters a clear choice between increasingly liberal Democrats and more conservative Republicans. Emergence of additional factions on the fringe would only muddy voter decisions, producing the badly fragmented electorate that now characterizes two of our closest allies.

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