The War on Christmas

War on Christmas by Mark D. Tooley –
The multiculturalist Left wants to dilute Christmas into a vacuous, stern celebration of Winter, divorced from culture and religion. Not content with banning crèches, trees and carols, anti-Christmas zealots are often even threatened by Santa Claus. The transcendent authority behind Christmas, even in its commercialized form, is an unwanted challenge to the Left’s preference for all authority vested in the state and its secular clerisy.

Fox News has delighted in lampooning the ongoing absurdities of the “War on Christmas,” which sometimes even include banning green and red from classrooms. The American Family Association, a para-church group, has also challenged the anti-Christmas campaign by affirming companies that affirm Christmas.

Naturally the Religious Left is troubled by this defense of Christmas, especially by Fox News or conservative Christians, both of whom it despises. So the Religious Left has decided that the cultural defenders of Christmas are instead betraying Christmas by actually promoting commercialism. [Read more…]

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Let’s Keep Christmas Commercialized

Merry Christmas Defend Christ in Christmas by David Chilton –
Every year about this time, there rises a hue and cry about the “commercialization” of Christmas, accompanied by impassioned pleas to get back to the “real meaning” of the celebration. Too much time and money, we hear, are spent on the public side of the holiday — the hustle and bustle of shopping, the lavish decorations, and the often insincere displays of seasonal piety. Meanwhile, the true spirit of Christmas gets left behind. Some even argue that all public displays of Christmas are inappropriate.

Every Christmas season seems to spawn a new series of lawsuits charging that the First Amendment is imperiled by the appearance of manger scenes on civic property, or by the singing of carols by the local high school choir. I recall hearing a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union claim that the very message of Christmas itself was being violated by any public recognition of its existence. What we need, he said, is to remove Christmas from public life completely, and allow it to become once again a private, personal expression of religious sentiment and family values. [Read more…]

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Even Christians taking Christ out of Christmas

War on Christmas, Christmas and Christ Censored by Mark Steyn –
Christmas in America is a season of time-honored traditions – the sacred performance of the annual ACLU lawsuit over the presence of an insufficiently secular “holiday” tree; the ritual provocations of the atheist displays licensed by pitifully appeasing municipalities to sit between the menorah and the giant Frosty the Snowman; the familiar strains of every hack columnist’s “war on Christmas” column rolling off the keyboard as easily as Richard Clayderman playing “Winter Wonderland”…

This year has been a choice year. A crucified skeleton Santa Claus was erected as part of the “holiday” display outside the Loudoun County courthouse in Virginia – because, let’s face it, nothing cheers the hearts of moppets in the Old Dominion like telling them, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and he’s hanging lifeless in the town square.” Alas, a week ago, some local burghers failed to get into the ecumenical spirit and decapitated him. Who are these killjoys? [Read more…]

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Immortals: An Epic Tale of Good vs. Evil

Immortals An Epic Tale of Good vs. Evil by Mark Tapson –
More and more, Hollywood has alienated audiences with its messages of moral equivalence and its clichéd insistence on casting corporate capitalists, the CIA, and Christian hypocrites as the bad guys in thrillers, action movies, and even horror flicks. It seems that the only genres in which fed-up moviegoers can still find old-fashioned faceoffs of good versus evil are some comic book adaptations like Captain America: The First Avenger and sword-and-sandal epics like Gladiator and 300.

That timeless confrontation of light and darkness is the explicit theme of the recent stylish, spectacular 3-D action adventure Immortals, from the unique dreamscape imagination of Tarsem Singh. Singh is a former director of music videos, best-known for his video of the REM song “Losing My Religion” and the nightmarishly surreal Jennifer Lopez film The Cell .

Immortals is set more than a thousand years before Christ in a mythic Greece overseen by Zeus and the other gods from their perch on Mt. Olympus. On earth below, the power-mad butcher King Hyperion, played by Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) leads his dark army on a rampage across the land in search of the Virgin Oracle (Freida Pinto of Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire). [Read more…]

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They Mean Well. Really?

Road to Hell Good Intentions Liberals Leftists by Victor Volsky –
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why conservative pundits, even such stalwarts as Rush Limbaugh, when discussing the virtually inexhaustible supply of liberal follies and blunders, hasten to express their confidence that the perpetrators are “well-intentioned.” Why do conservatives hew mindlessly to the conventional line that far-left radicals are necessarily high-minded and motivated by the best of intentions? Why aren’t liberals challenged when they generously absolve themselves of any wrongdoing on the grounds of their good intentions?

“Good intentions cannot compensate for evil works,” advises the Torah (Hebrew Matthew 3:1); “[b]y their fruits ye shall know them,” avers Scripture (Matt. 7:16). St. Francis de Sales warned that “Hell is full of good intentions or desires.” Shakespeare wrote, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of Great Britain, in his writings discusses “the tragedy of good intentions.” [Read more…]

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Fields: When Manly Virtue Died

Manly Virtue in Danger by Suzanne Fields –
Cultural forces are driving men away from traditional responsibilities

These are difficult and perilous times for boys. A distorted culture has robbed them of virtue against which to measure themselves. The good once associated with masculinity in a patriarchal society has been tossed out with the bad. This, alas, is the era of feminist ascendency.

Manhood is more easily mocked, satirized and derided, or exposed for its villainy, exploitation and criminality than held up as an ideal for boys to aspire to. We’ve always had rogues, rascals and villains, but until now, we’ve also had a base line, a common denominator, of what it means to be a man. Male-female cultural distinctions, once blurred, are disappearing. [Read more…]

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The Emperor’s New Clothes, Breaking the Spiral of Silence

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson
by Chuck Colson –
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” researchers Rob Willer, Ko Kuwabara and Michael Macy devised a set of ingenious experiments that showed how distressingly easy it is to make people go against what they believe to be true.

One of the experiments involved wine-tasting, in which participants evaluate both the wine and one another’s wine-tasting skills. The participants were given three samples of wine. In reality, all three samples were from the same bottle. One had even been tainted with vinegar!

Before they delivered their evaluation, they listened to other participants, who were plants, who praised the vinegar-laced wine as the best. Half of the participants went against their own taste buds and joined in praising the vinegary concoction.

Even more interesting is what happened next. Another participant, who was also a plant, told the truth about the wines. But when it came time for the participants to evaluate each other, some of them were permitted to do so confidentially, and the others had to do so publicly.[Read more…]

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No Representation without Taxation

No Representation without Taxation by Bruce Walker –
The recent Occupy Wall Street ruckus and the drumbeat rhetoric of Democrats in Washington that the rich pay too little shows the dangers of placing power in the hands of those who have no real interest beyond self-interest in the governance of the nation. One rallying cry of our forefathers when the British Crown sought to impose taxes — really, very modest taxes — on the colonies without the consent of us colonials was “No taxation without representation!”

The logic of that slogan ran something like this: if I have no say in who passes taxes that I must pay, then what prevents the officials from imposing unfair taxes on me? On the other hand, if both the burden of taxation and the voice in tax-making are roughly equal, then taxes passed will be just and sensible. [Read more…]

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Don’t drink the Kool-Aid

Marcia Segelstein
Marcia Segelstein
by Marcia Segelstein –
In the not too distant past, traditionalists theorized that when it came to raising children, the answer was to retreat from the world. Use private or parochial schools. Or even better, homeschool. Raise up a generation of kids who would change the world by trying to raise them outside the world.

To some degree, I concur. Homeschooling and using Christian and other private schools are great options for those who have the time and resources.

I’ve spoken to many parents of young children who are absolutely convinced — even if using public schools — that their kids will be immune to un-Christian and anti-Christian influences. They’ll be able to infuse such strong values in their kids that they won’t be infected by the culture.

I know it works for some, and more power to them. But it doesn’t work for everybody. Not by a long shot. Like it or not, parents can’t control every aspect of their children’s lives: what they’ll overhear at baseball practice, what they’ll see on TV at a neighbor’s house, or on a computer screen while on a playdate. Peer pressure isn’t a fanciful concept: it’s real. [Read more…]

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Wall Street Occupiers Urged to Target Churches

Frank Schaeffer leftist by Mark Tooley –
Franky Schaeffer is the son of the late, highly influential evangelical thinker Francis Schaeffer​ , who helped shape the modern conservative evangelical movement. The son boasts he was himself a co-founder of the Religious Right. But he since has denounced Christianity as “stupid,” writes bitter tell-all books about his parents, and ferociously attacks conservative religionists as the virtual root cause of all American evils.

A blogger for The Huffington Post, young Schaeffer is now faulting religious conservatives for facilitating Wall Street greed. He’s imploring the Wall Street Occupiers to “protest the root source of America’s tilt to the far unregulated corporate right.” For Schaeffer, the next logical step is to demonstrate “outside mega churches, Evangelical publishing houses, [and] religious organizations that lead the ‘moral’ crusades against women and gays and all the rest.”

Will the Wall Street Occupiers heed Schaeffer’s frenzied call and next park their tents, blankets and anti-capitalist placards in the parking lots of suburban mega churches? It seems unlikely. But Schaeffer’s demand fits with the crazy Left’s sometime fixation on demonizing opponents based on class and religion. [Read more…]

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Why Is Class Hatred Morally Superior to Race Hatred?

Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager
by Dennis Prager –

The major difference between Hitler and the Communist genocidal murderers — Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot — was what groups they chose for extermination.

For Hitler, first Jews and ultimately Slavs and other “non-Aryans” were declared the enemy and unworthy of life. For the Communists, the rich — the bourgeoisie, land owners, and capitalists — were labeled the enemy and regarded as unworthy of life.

Hitler mass-murdered on the basis of race, the Communists on the basis of class.

Because the Holocaust was unique in its industrialization of death and in its targeting of every Jew, including babies, for death, the post-World War II world has been rightly obsessed with eradicating racism (but not anti-Semitism!), i.e., the hatred of another solely because of race. But the world has not been obsessed with eradicating the other source of genocide: classism, or the hatred of others based on class. [Read more…]

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New York’s Marxist Epicenter

Occupy Wall Street communists socialists marxists by Charles Gasparino –
The standard portrayal of the Wall Street protesters goes something like this: Ragtag group of unemployed young adults, venting often incoherent but overall legitimate populist outrage about economic inequality. But go down to the movement’s headquarters, as I did this past weekend, and you see something far different.

It’s not just that knowledge of their “oppressors” — the evil bankers — is pretty thin, or that many of them are clearly college kids with nothing better to do than embrace the radical chic of “a cause.” I found a unifying and increasingly coherent ideology emerging among the protesters, which at its core has less to do with the evils of the banking business and more about the evils of capitalism — and the need for a socialist revolution.

It’s not an overstatement to describe Zuccotti Park as New York’s Marxist epicenter. Flags with the iconic face of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara are everywhere; the only American flag I saw was hanging upside down. The “occupiers” openly refer to each other as “comrade,” and just about every piece of literature on offer (free or for sale) advocated socialism in the Marxist tradition as a cure-all for the inequalities of the American economic system. [Read more…]

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Christians Need Not Apply?

Christian persecution discrimination by George J. Marlin –
Christians who spar in the political arena have grown accustomed to being pounded by secular ideologists who deny the spiritual and look askance at most traditional moral constraints. Though we have taken punches, we are still standing. But the secularists’ latest offensive to eradicate all traces of our Judeo-Christian heritage from American society is, in my judgment, most disconcerting and may be the knockout blow.

Secularists have moved beyond dismissing Christians as anti-intellectual and anti-rational. They are now publicly ridiculing them and questioning their fitness to participate in public life. They portray religious beliefs as nothing more than superstitions, old wives’ tales, or legends, and claim anyone who believes such drivel is balmy. Is it any wonder, then, that agencies like HHS now think they can ride roughshod over the conscience rights of individuals and religious institutions? [Read more…]

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Obama’s Contempt Bordering on Treachery

Obama radical marxist hates America by Steve McCann –
The United States, faced with its worst crisis in 65 years, has at the helm a radical political class, as personified by Barack Obama, who have chosen a path trod by so many despots in mankind’s recent history. Barack Obama and his fellow-travelers are exploiting the fear and desperation of a growing number of citizens amid gaping fissures in American society in order to retain and expand their control over the populace.

Human societies are held together by the most fragile of cords. Whenever unrelenting internal or external challenges abound, thereby placing excessive stress on the foundation of any society, the key determination as to whether chaos ensues is most often in the hands of the society’s leaders. They can choose to exploit the circumstances in order to satisfy their lust for power, or they can embrace a course of action and policies to rally the citizenry into collectively overcoming the crisis at hand, regardless of the fractures in that society.

American society is no longer the cohesive and determined entity that accomplished so much over the past centuries; it is extraordinarily susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous ideologues. [Read more…]

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Half Baked: UC Berkeley’s Diversity Machine Loses Its Mind

Cupcakes diversity half-baked by Heather Mac Donald –

Tuesday’s now infamous affirmative-action bake sale at the University of California at Berkeley is unlikely to dissuade Governor Jerry Brown from signing a bill that would reintroduce race and gender preferences into the state’s public universities. It has nevertheless served one useful function: it has clarified just what Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and diversity does for his whopping $194,000 annual salary.

Berkeley’s College Republicans wanted their “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” to serve as a counterweight to a phone bank erected on the campus’s main thoroughfare, where students could call Brown and urge him to sign the preference-reinstating legislation, Senate Bill 185. Like other anti-affirmative-action bake sales on college campuses over the last decade, the College Republicans’ sale priced items according to the race and gender of the customer: whites paid $2 for a pastry, with Latinos paying $1 and blacks 75 cents, while women got a 25-cent discount on all items. [Read more…]

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