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Culture and Religion

Nation divided: Why unity is becoming a pipe dream

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Initial Context

The massacre in Las Vegas perpetrated by Stephen Paddock was the worst mass shooting in American history and the second worst terrorist attack on our soil. Yet it is more troubling that this event emerges as a sign of irreparable damage done to America. As the death toll rose from 50 to 60, so did tensions. Immediately, this tragedy was politicized by those on the left.

Failed Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton didn’t hesitate to politicize this tragedy in the same tweet where she says “politics aside.” But the troubling thing is not only her relevance but also the fact that liberals are all parroting the same calls for gun control. The left is uniting around their cause for gun control and the right is rallying to resist. All this before all the victims have been identified. All this before we have all the facts. And all this while people are still dying.

In our unique history, no matter how divided we are, we come together in times of hurt and suffering. After Pearl Harbor, America united to defeat the Japanese and Germans. On September 11th, 2001, the United States was attacked and shattered by Islamic terrorists. But on that night, we collected ourselves and came together as a country. We have a history of coming together for natural disasters both domestic and foreign. America is most powerful when united. However, recent events suggest that this same level of unity is a mere pipedream of what once was in the current and worsening political climate.

Mass shootings have been politicized for years. The vicious calls for gun control after the Las Vegas attack is nothing surprising, unfortunately. But let’s take into account some other recent events.

Natural Disasters

While in retrospect, Bush is criticized for his response to Katrina, America was united in trying to help. We were fortunate to go twelve years before the next major hurricane to make landfall in the US, yet Hurricane Harvey was politicized by those seeking global warming based policies. To the credit of both sides however, it could have been worse… like Puerto Rico. Donald Trump acted inappropriately as did the San Juan Mayor in an ultimate Twitter/Media war that America would have done better off without. You’d think or hope we’d come together in times of natural disaster but even the ability to unify in this area is fading.

Foreign Threats

Perhaps the other area where Americans historically come together is when we are attacked. Americans couldn’t unite over the Benghazi Terrorist Attack, because some people blamed a video(free speech) and not the actual terrorists(or their ideology). It is amazing how politicized Trump’s handling of North Korea is. Trump is shifting tactics because North Korea is upping the ante. Yet suddenly North Korea is responding to America’s aggression. Suddenly, this is Trump’s fault for addressing an issue that has long been kicked down the road by the inaction of his predecessors. When North Korea threatened Guam, liberals blamed Trump. And now they fancy calling Trump a dotard because Rocketman made it cool for them. It’s disgraceful that we can’t even appear united against a common enemy. We don’t have to all agree on the correct course of action, but we should all be able to agree that Trump isn’t the villain in this scenario.

Presidents

Both Trump and Obama are not going to unite this country. Obama didn’t care to because he had power in Congress and Federal Courts. And when he lost Congress he had executive orders. Under Obama’s leadership, America became more divided. Enter Donald Trump, who capitalizes off the division he creates. Trump did in fact campaign to all Americans, unlike Clinton. But Trump does not have the capability of exercising the self control needed to stay focused on priorities. No doubt the division will worsen under him. We have three or seven more years of Trump, in theory… But will 46 reverse the trend? Hard to say, but smart money is on “No”.

Perhaps a more dangerous threat is people’s inability to accept the election. Trump won fair and square, and Russia isn’t the reason. Democrats ran the one candidate who couldn’t win. Accept the results, blame the candidate, and run someone better next time around like Republicans did after Mitt Romney lost. But the resistance movement was immediately spawned and lingers to this day. This movement prevents us from uniting as a country to tackle key issues, and has facilitated a whole list of issues such as Antifa…

Problem and Solution

The true problem lies in our decreased reliance on our Creator. This core American value is being shelved. Why? Because people don’t want to acknowledge a higher power. If they acknowledge a higher power, then they are accountable to that higher power for their actions. Americans have an accountability problem which is why so many are blaming inanimate objects for the death of thousands of people every year. We prefer to seek scapegoat solutions as opposed to addressing the serious evil that can take place in human hearts. We prefer to blame mental illness rather than believe a person can be so evil. We blame an entire race for the actions of one or few.

In keeping with that theme, instead of identifying as children of God, all equal in His eyes, we identify in our own natural communities. We take pride in our race, as if being born with a set of genes is an accomplishment. Identity politics stems from pride in one’s own identity. But we aren’t identifying as one nation under God, we are identifying as white, black, gay, hispanic, etc.  Identity politics is deepening the divide in our nation. Both the left and the alt-right are guilty of this.

In continuing to rely on ourselves, some have replaced God with government. In one sense, it means people are relying on the government to take care of all their needs. Food, education, healthcare, abortion, birth control, the list goes on. On the other hand, people worship political champions as if they were anything other than sinful people. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, and Rand Paul all had/have a devoted following that replaces God in their lives.

This division and trend is sure to continue, unless we can unite. It may seem grim but there’s always hope. Failure to unite will further send America down a path of ugly politics and division. We can either unite as one nation under God, keep the division, or unite in complete rebellion of God. The former has the best results.

“and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB

“that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Culture and Religion

Don’t Ever Let Anyone Mock You For Praying

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Yesterday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, was a tragedy beyond words. As a parent myself, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose a child. It almost sounds trite and overused to express our sympathy and express that the victims and their families remain in our thoughts.

And yes. They remain in our prayers.

One may ask, what can prayers do? Many on the Left question the benefits of prayer and even stoop to mocking it. After all, prayer is just a bunch of words, and represent a fig leaf for us creating real solutions to overcome gun violence.

But condemning prayer and assuming it means nothing misses its value entirely. The concept of prayer, particularly in Jewish philosophy, is recognition of our impotence and lack of control of the world. And that control or power rests, as I and others believe, with God.

Only He can regulate evil.

The great Jewish sage and philosopher Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) states it this way:

“We are told to offer up prayers to G‑d, in order to establish firmly the true principle that G‑d takes notice of our ways, that He can make them successful if we serve Him, or disastrous if we disobey Him; that success and failure are not the result of chance or accident.”

In more banal terms, God does not need our prayers. Prayer is for our own benefit, to acknowledge that we depend on God for everything, from wealth to the food we eat every day.

How much more so for our lives as a whole.

However, it is also true that we do have free will. And the age-old question arrives, how can we exact free will if God controls the world and all its outcomes?

Countless commentaries tackle this question, but I believe that the answer is that we merely possess free will to control ourselves and our own actions. We cannot control the actions of others, because that would impede on their free will. It ultimately lies with each of us to be the most righteous or most evil people we can, or want to, be.

And sadly, but understandably, this is why we cannot control evil, and only God can.

But our power rests in connecting with our Father in Heaven, and beseeching Him for guidance in dealing with life situations and the pervasive evil that exists in our world. And that is through prayer.

Prayer is the closest thing we can do to regulate evil. And by reaching out to God, evil may be eradicated one day. We don’t know, precisely because we cannot control this. But at least, in our darkest hours like those our nation faced yesterday, we can depend on prayer to be the way we shape our outlook on the world. And that is indeed something worth praying for.


Follow Jeremy Frankel on Twitter @frankeljeremy.

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Culture and Religion

The Progressives and the Race Card

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The “race card” has been the left’s longtime weapon against conservatives. It must stop now, or America will be lost forever. Just as with other fallen nations and empires of ancient past.

For many years the left has accused the Republican party, conservatives and moreover, Bible-believing Christians of being racist and wanting to keep America purely Anglo white. Just recently Univision’s equivalent to Walter Cronkite, Jorge Ramos; just made a reviling statement during his appearance on CNN only proving the conservative right about the news media bias in favor of the Democratic Party and their agenda of supporting chain migration.

“They are not proposing immigration reform, they are proposing immigration revenge,” Ramos said. “Because they not only want to help the DACA students but also they want to have a wall, they want more border security, they want to end the so-called chain migration which is family reunification and then the visa lottery.”

However, as the truth gets out about the real history of the American progressives especially those involved in the Democrat party, the true racists proved to be the Democrats themselves. Before Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party which won Dinesh D’Souza four Golden Razzies (which he accepted with honors), the respected Steven Spielberg stayed true to history and showed the open display of racism and the advocacy of slavery that the Democrat party was supporting back in the days of Abraham Lincoln in his namesake 2012 film that Spielberg produced and directed.

In spite of these two films, the race card has been the best weapon that the Democrat progressive leftist to use against people who want to see a cap put on this chain immigration crisis in America. Those who want that cap are so afraid to be seen as bigots and people that hate blacks, Asians, Latinos, etc, etc. If we are going to preserve America and its founding principles we can no longer play defense on this issue. We must play offense, and the above movies I mentioned are a good start to use against the Democrat pravda machine.

I am convinced more than ever that the white progressives are not suffering from “white liberal guilt” nor do they really want to pay penance for own past sins nor the sins of what their movement and political party (the Democrats) has done in the past.

No, they show their true colors when they accuse us of doing what they have done and/or what the Democrats and other progressives of the past have done. History has shown to all of us that they are the racists, xenophobes or what other names they can throw at us hoping that it sticks. The biggest of this bunch at least in the 20th century are Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Wilson abandoned Biblical truth in favor of Darwinism and ushered that into Princeton University when he became president of that respected educational institution. LBJ was always a racist but like smoking the honeybees he knew to give the African-Americans enough money from the taxpayers to keep them quiet and have them vote Democrat for the next 200 years or so when he lost the civil rights fight in the 1960’s. Both were big-time racists and hated the negro citizen with a passion. Lest we forget that Wilson screened the pro-Ku Klux Klan movie “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House when he was POTUS.

As Christians we need to continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the one and true single race…that being the “Human Race.”

God wants all humans to be saved by his son Jesus regardless of skin color or heritage (Mark 16:15). Yeshua did not just die for the Jews (his own people) and the white gentiles. He died for the black, the yellow, the red, the brown etc. etc. The Gospel is the one and only true melting pot while America’s version is a secondary one but based on the principles of the first one. The progressive’s gospel of diversity celebration and co-existence only creates a ‘salad bowl’ which only leads to more division among the citizenry and power-hungry tyrants ready to take control. That control is why they are currying favor among the minorities, and that will not end well for them or any of us who is not a politician or bureaucrat.


This piece was originally published in The Christian Post

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