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The only solution to the hatred engulfing America rests in the hands of the people

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Any white nationalists who compelled James Alex Fields in any way to commit the act of terrorism he perpetrated in Charlottesville should be condemned. That’s not just people in direct contact with him. Leaders of the various groups who influenced him from Neo-Nazis to the KKK to the alt-right that directly or indirectly filled this man with hate should be condemned, as should those who have allegiance to these groups.

Any members of the “Anti-Fascists” group, better known as Antifa, who are active in harassing or committing acts of violence against Americans should be condemned. The same goes for members of Black Lives Matters and any other left wing groups who are involved with encouraging or perpetrating acts of violence or harassment.

I could go down a list of groups on both sides of the political aisle, but most readers are already well aware of who they are and how they operate. This has become too commonplace in America over the last decade. It’s time for it to cease, though I have no illusions about that happening. America is different than it was not too long ago. It’s going to be nearly impossible to turn it around quickly because the common theme that has emerged in modern society is this: Hate spreads.

Two things to note about my pessimistic view of the situation. First, by no means would I ever recommend giving up on the fight. Just because I think it won’t work doesn’t mean I won’t continue to push for sensibility and respect for fellow Americans. Second, I am not underestimating the power of the American people to rise up and quash the hatred. I’m speculating that complacency and helplessness will prevent enough Americans from realizing we have the power to stop it. We rely too much on our political “leaders” to handle these types of situations when in reality we’re the only ones who can actually fix it.

We live in a world of constant connectivity. While the rise of information velocity, social media, and mobile access has been beneficial in many ways, these factors have also contributed to amplifying the problems caused by hate. We’re a mobilized people, now. That means that protests such as the one in Charlottesville can draw more supporters. It also means that opposition groups can bring counter-demonstrations together rapidly and in great numbers.

Perhaps more importantly is that this digital age has allowed these groups to stoke the flames in real-time and to huge audiences. Again, modern technology can be a great benefit; we’re using it to launch the Federalist Party with much greater velocity than what was even remotely possible two decades ago. What groups like the Neo-Nazis and Antifa have demonstrated is that it’s much easier to rally people through negativity to be AGAINST an action or group rather than FOR something that may be important to them.

Hatred spreads faster and it’s much more potent, at least in the short term.

I don’t agree with the President or anyone else drawing direct comparisons between white nationalists and Antifa (or any other allegedly right vs left comparison) in an effort to deflect blame. The various groups do things differently, are motivated based upon prejudices unique to them, and have diverse methods for achieving their goals. With that said, I also do not agree with those who believe there are no comparisons at all.

As Scott Greer noted on Daily Caller, the unwillingness to call out ALL hate groups isn’t an act relegated to leftist talking heads. Many Republicans have joined the chorus:

What was most surprising, however, was seeing prominent Republicans stand up for Antifa.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney argued violent leftists were morally righteous. “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes,” Romney tweeted Tuesday night.

Romney is not alone. Other Republicans from Marco Rubio to John McCain are singling out white supremacists while pretending that the violent actions of Antifa and other organizations are somehow more righteous.

https://twitter.com/NolteNC/status/897810866204266497

The only binding force between these groups is hatred. They all have deep levels of hatred and are willing to express this hatred in wholly unacceptable ways. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the KKK attacking minorities, BLM attacking police, or jihadists attacking non-Muslims. Their actions are driven by hatred and result in harm to anyone in their way.

When we isolate our denouncements to one or a few of these groups, we fail to address the root cause. How the President has handled Charlottesville is ludicrous. How his predecessor handled riots in Ferguson and elsewhere was just as ludicrous. We need bold leadership at times like these to properly denounce ALL who act upon the hatred in their hearts, but we have no reason to expect such leadership to manifest itself in DC.

Americans must rise up to condemn the hateful among us. This includes those who orchestrate precarious situations that lead to violent actions. It also includes those who indoctrinate others into their hateful ideologies. Lastly, it includes members who may not directly involve themselves in violence or harassment but who support it in other ways.

Let me be clear: Those who justify the ideology of any hate group, whether it’s white nationalists or Antifa, are part of the problem.

President Trump’s attempt to draw attention away from alt-right groups was as wrong as President Obama’s attempts to justify the actions of violent leftist groups when he was in office. Both participated in deteriorating the fabric of American society. We’ve made great strides in recent decades, but this last decade has been a reversal on progress. The hatred that seemed to have dissipated from the 70s to the turn of the century has reared up intensely over the last two-and-a-half presidential terms. Anyone who argues against his either hasn’t been paying attention or has an agenda to defend.

We cannot sit around and hope the President fixes it. We also cannot rely on the majority of our representatives in DC because they love turmoil. Hatred spawns opportunity for those who can benefit from it with their rhetoric. It gives politicians a cause for which they can make themselves appear to be needed. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel represented a general yet unacknowledged consensus among politicians:

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

We are in the midst of a serious crisis. There will be no leadership to address it coming from DC or state capitals. It’s up to the American people to prevail on our own to draw down the hatred before it consumes us. The question isn’t whether we can. The question is whether we will act in time.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Doug Olson

    August 17, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Excellently put, as always, JD. This matches my thoughts this morning when I was entertaining writing a post entitled American “nationalism”: You reap what you sew. Over the last decade we have seen our political leaders sew discontent as a way to advance their agenda under the guise of “nationalism”. Unfortunately, there are too many diehards in each camp that are unwilling to open their minds to the bigger picture.

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Culture and Religion

Daniel Greenfield discusses Jamie Glazov’s book “Jihadist Psychopath”

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Daniel Greenfield discusses Jamie Glazovs book Jihadist Psychopath

Jamie Glazov, managing editor of FrontPage Magazine and host of The Glazov Gang, has written a book that political commentator Dennis Prager says is “one of the most important books of the present time.” That book is “Jihadist Psychopath” and I just ordered a copy for myself.

Daniel Greenfield, Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, made a video about the book that prompted me to order it. Both men are respected defenders of freedom and watchmen over the threat of jihad in America, Israel, and around the world.

As he is wont to do, Greenfield points to leftist politicians as enablers of the jihadists by turning a blind eye to the rise of sharia law across America.

“These servants of the people, public servants, they’re actually masters of the people. They prefer to dictate than to be dictated to. Now, of course, Islamic terrorists will, in their own time, dictate to them. They will dictate to them using Islamic sharia law, but as far as the left is concerned for the moment, these are the people who need them, who are badly, desperately in need of being defended and protected and of course will happily trade their votes in exchange for getting a few benefits on the side.”

He continues on, examining the book’s sober pronouncements of intolerance of anything and anyone who does not bow to sharia law. To jihadists, there is only one acceptable way to live and all other perspectives must be subjugated or eliminated.

“Islamic terrorists have no attraction for anything really positive in life,” Greenfield continues. “They’re drawn to destruction. They’re drawn to emptiness because they themselves are empty. They’re hollow, and that is a central principle of Jamie Glazov’s excellent book.”

Patriots ranging from Steven Emerson to John Bolton are publicly recommending this book. I ordered my copy after watching Greenfield’s video. Freedom-loving Americans should watch it and consider reading “Jihadist Psychopath” by Jamie Glazov.


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Culture and Religion

Matt Walsh speaks out on #CovingtonCatholic students and the fake controversy surrounding them

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Matt Walsh speaks out on CovingtonCatholic students and the fake controversy surrounding them

When white Catholic students wearing MAGA hats are caught on video face-to-face with Native Americans on one side and Black Hebrew Israelites on the other, they’re definitely bigoted white supremacist hatemongers who went out looking for minorities to persecute. At least that’s how mainstream media and a good chunk of social media reacted when they saw the initial videos and images of smirking MAGA children.

But that’s not how it went down. It was the exact opposite of how it went down.

When the story first broke, I saw many of my fellow conservatives on Twitter scolding the kids while the progressive gangs attacked them. I held my tongue. It’s not because I don’t speak out against bigotry regardless of which side of the political, religious, or cultural aisle it comes from, but something seemed fishy. Other than having a disconcerting smirk, I didn’t see anything in the kids that resembled the type of bigoted outbursts we’ve seen in the past from actual white supremacists, Antifa, or other hate groups.

It seemed staged. As it turned out, it wasn’t quite staged, per se, but it was manufactured by the two “victim” groups who went after the MAGA kids, not the other way around. As political and religious commentator Matt Walsh asked, were they supposed to drop down to the fetal position when approached by the two groups?

Hot takes on social and legacy media are often based on incomplete pictures. Before people get outraged and attack others over perceptions based on partial evidence, perhaps we should wait until the whole story comes to light. Just a thought.


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Culture and Religion

Does Matthew 22:29-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch?

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Does Matthew 2229-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch

Extra-Biblical texts such as the Book of Enoch are often frowned upon by churches. Some see 1 Enoch as fake. Others say it’s a good historical reference but not inspired. The Ethiopian Bible includes it as scripture. Should we read it?

To understand the answer to this question, we need to consider three things. First, it was referenced as holy by many of the early church fathers, but was excluded from official canon. Second, Enoch is referenced multiple times in the Bible: Genesis 4 and 5, Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5, and Jude 1:14. Third, Jesus makes a statement in Matthew 22:29-30 that references “scripture” but what he is saying is only found in 1 Enoch.

Many who oppose the validity of Enoch say that it was written after the Book of Jude because the it includes the quote that Jude references, but fragments of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which most scholars date to before Jude was born.

The scripture in question is Matthew 22:29-30:

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Nowhere in the 66 Books of the Bible does it say angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. What did Jesus mean when he said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” in reference to the angels not marrying?

Here is 1 Enoch 15:5-7:

5. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. 6. But you were ⌈formerly⌉ spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. 7. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling.

Hmm.

As with anything regarding extra-Biblical texts, I must urge caution. Many who believe 1 Enoch is authentic refute the authenticity of 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch. Then, there’s the question of inspiration and protection of the text. Many Christians believe the Bible has been able to survive and flourish despite so many attempts to disrupt it is because it has been protected over the millennia. If that’s the case, why was Enoch not included the whole time?

The answer to this question, to those who believe in its authenticity, may be found in the first two verses of the manuscript.

1 The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be 2 living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said -Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is 3 for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:

If Enoch is real, it’s meant for a later generation living in the day of tribulation. If it’s a fake, then it’s intended to deceive those in the end times. Either way, it’s understandable that it would not be included in most Bibles.

I tend to believe 1 Enoch is legitimate, but not to the point that I would teach on it. Not yet. Much more prayer and study is required before I would ever risk misleading anyone.

Nevertheless, the reference in Matthew 22 is compelling.

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