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Enough is Enough what? Freedom? Liberty?

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The #EnoughisEnough hashtag belies a Leftist control fixation against the cause of Liberty.

There is a certain dictatorial twang with that little ditty of a hashtag. It’s use belies an underlying false idea of unearned authority over others. That kind of talk is usually heard from parents or teachers in disciplining a child for bad behaviour. In this case that ‘bad behaviour was that we have asserted the right of self-preservation by the means we choose. Perhaps they should realise before it’s too late that we are not the subjects of their false moral authority.

It takes a stunning measure of arrogance to arbitrarily decree the limits of a fellow citizen’s common sense human Rights, but the nation’s socialist-Left was out marching last weekend to do just that. Unlike the enumerated rights in the founding documents that protect the citizens from government tyranny. The Left’s new idea of freedom entails freshly minted “Rights” that allow certain groups to autocratically restrain the Liberty of their fellow citizens. These are “Rights” based more on feelings and intent and not anything of substance.

It would seem that mere laws aren’t ‘good enough’ any more. Apparently there is a new “Right” in town that decrees that just the act of possessing an inanimate object that could be a danger to others is now verboten. Not to mention that being free from being scared is also a new “Right” never contemplated in the annals of civilization.

Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news to those who think that feelings are “Rights” or that Liberty is subservient to potential danger. But that isn’t how a representative republic works. For starters, they should look at how the Oxford English Dictionary defines the word inalienable.

Not subject to being taken away from or given away by the possessor.

One may have the certain inalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness endowed by their Creator, but that doesn’t mean that others don’t have them as well. The sword of equality cuts both ways. Merely possessing an object capable of causing death or destruction cannot be a standard by which Liberty is parcelled out. Neither is the false standard of fear to be the mode by which freedom is measured.

 

Culture and Religion

When will people be forced to apologize for anti-Christian Tweets?

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When will people be forced to apologize for anti-Christian Tweets

There’s a trend that has been growing for some time that is reaching a tipping point now. The trend is this: when someone becomes a big story in the news, their Twitter accounts are scoured from beginning to end in order to find Tweets that offend a particular group or protected class. In many cases, this offended group has been the LGBTQ comunity, such as the recent cases of Kevin Hart and Kyler Murray.

Hart was set to host the upcoming Academy Awards when it was “discovered” the comedian used anti-LGBTQ slurs in the past. He deleted the Tweets and apologized, but still felt it necessary to pull out of the Oscars after so much backlash.

Murray, the Heisman trophy winner, was forced to apologize after reports of his Tweets used the same slurs when he was 14- and 15-years-old.

Bigotry in all its forms is contemptible. But where do we draw the line between actual bigotry and unfortunate uses of words or opinions in the past that have been deemed unacceptable today?

Should President Obama (and for that matter, Hillary Clinton) be demonized by the LGBTQ community, mainstream media, and leftists for their perspectives a decade ago? Lest we forget, both announced sharp opposition to gay marriage when they were running for president in 2008. Which is worse, a potential head of state calling for marriage to be defined as being between a man and woman or a teenager in high school referring to someone as a “fag”?

Democratic politicians are apparently allowed to evolve in their beliefs, but comedians and college football players are not.

Anti-Christian Tweets

Sadly, some of the very people who demonize others on Twitter for using unacceptable terms in the past are the same people who also demonize Christians today. I’ve been combing through Tweets of many of the most outspoken proponents of LGBTQ rights, accusers of Islamophopia, and other anti-bigotry leaders. In many cases, these people who are against bigotry demonstrate their own bigotry towards the Judeo-Christian faiths without being big news stories.

I’m not posting the Tweets here. I will not participate in whataboutism, nor do I condone using someone’s past Tweets to highlight their alleged bigotry. There’s a difference between the militant and inexcusable posts by people like Louis Farrakhan and the posts be people like Murray, Hart, or the anti-Christian posts of their detractors. They might see it as okay to demonize people like Hart and Murray for their Tweets, but I will not participate in Twitter witch hunts on the opposite end of the spectrum. Both practices are wrong.

So the question really isn’t about when we start calling out anti-Christian Tweets. It’s about why we should openly debate each other’s perspectives without being condemned for our own perspectives. If someone Tweets something against the Judeo-Christian faith, I wouldn’t expect the Oscars to ban them from being their host. I would see it as an opportunity to share my own perspectives and hopefully show some who are against my faith that there’s something worth exploring.

Today, if you Tweet something deemed unacceptable by the LGBTQ community, you’re in jeopardy of losing much. If you Tweet something against the Judeo-Christian faiths, the left sees it as acceptable. Social media is the most hypocritical medium around.

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Culture and Religion

9 discoveries that confirm the Bible

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9 discoveries that confirm the Bible

In this extremely interesting short video detailing archaeological discoveries that confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible, the folks at World Video Bible School highlight some amazing evidence. I don’t know much about WVBS, but I can endorse this video itself.

Here’s the first of the 9 discoveries:

The Pilate Inscriptions

In 1961 in an Italian sponsored dig in Caesarea, archaeologists uncovered a stone that had a Latin inscription on it that said “Pontius Pilatus… prefect of Judea.” That Pilate is mentioned in the Gospel accounts on several occasions. You read in John 18:29:

Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?

The find verifying the New Testament statement that Pilate was the prefect of Judea.

8 more

All of these discoveries are proper, indisputable archaeological finds. It’s one thing to contest the Bible’s authenticity as the Word of God, though its very presence and the takeaways we can draw from it point the faithful to the truth. However, claiming it as being historically wrong is being debunked regularly.

The authenticity of the Bible as a historical document is no longer a valid argument against it. As more archaeological evidence points to its physical truths, so too should its words and lessons be completely trustworthy to those seeking the truth.

 

 

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Culture and Religion

Amid rising anti-Semitism in Europe, are Jews now safer in the East than the West?

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Amid rising anti-Semitism in Europe are Jews now safer in the East than the West

A comprehensive survey conducted by CNN found alarming levels of anti-Semitic attitudes among Europeans, with statistics on anti-Semitic acts across Europe “mind-boggling.”

 The October attack on the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh has put a renewed spotlight on anti-Semitism in the United States, which has seen an uptick in recent years. However, deadly attacks on Jewish people and institutions are far from a new occurrence in Europe, where Jewish communities across the continent have faced threats from radical Islam and other homegrown extremist groups for years.

Recently, a comprehensive survey conducted by CNN found alarminglevels of anti-Semitic attitudes among Europeans. Polling 7,000 respondents in seven European countries, the survey revealed that one in 10 Europeans has an “unfavorable” attitude towards Jews, while nearly 30 percent believe that “Jewish people have too much influence in finance and business across the world, compared with other people.”

“The CNN survey does not surprise me,” Benjamin Weinthal, a German resident and a fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “In fact, the results underplay the widespread hatred of Jews and Israel across Europe.”

Simon Rodan, the European director of the American Jewish Committee, expressed similar concern over the survey’s results.

“Those results are indeed very alarming, and I am unfortunately not surprised. Anti-Semitism has been a contemporary problem for a while in Europe. It re-emerged quite virulently in the early 2000s, particularly in France, where the largest Jewish community in Europe lives, but also in other European countries,” she said.

According to Rodan, the statistics on anti-Semitic acts across Europe are “mind-boggling.”

She quoted some of them, noting that “in the first nine months of 2018 alone, more than 500 anti-Semitic acts have been registered in France. Fifty percent of all racist hate crimes are of an anti-Semitic nature, despite the fact that Jews represent less than 1 percent of the entire population.

“And let’s not forget that over the past decade, Jews have been killed on this continent for the simple reason that they were Jewish: 12 in France, one in Denmark, four in Belgium, and five in Bulgaria. Other planned attacks were thankfully thwarted,” she added.

Marchers honor the memory of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll

Marchers honor the memory of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, 85, who was murdered in March 2018 in a brutal anti-Semitic attack. Credit: European Jewish Press.

While the scale of anti-Semitism in Europe has many experts troubled, certain key factors and differences paint a complicated picture for those looking to address the issue head-on. This is especially true in Europe, where Jewish communities in the Western Europe face different threats than their brethren in Eastern Europe.

“Contemporary anti-Semitism has several sources, and not only in Europe,” said Rodan. “The situations are, of course, different from one country’s culture and history to another, but the sources are often the same.”

‘Two sides of the same coin’

While the root causes of anti-Semitism are complex and deeply entwined with European history dating back centuries—and specific to each country or region—the modern manifestation of anti-Semitism can be broadly categorized into three main subgroups across the continent, according to Rodan.

“The first sector can be found on the far-right. Half of the supporters of the French National Front Party, for example, believe that Jews have too much economic power, and 51 percent say Jews have too much power in the media,” Rodan said, citing a 2015 survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee and Fondapol, a French think tank. “This is more than double the rest of society.”

Anti-Semitism on the far-right is hardly a new phenomenon; it was one of the primary drivers of fascism and Nazism. Some groups on the far-right today continue to draw inspiration from these trains of thought—the roots of which go back before World War II and the Holocaust.

Nevertheless, the issue of anti-Semitism and right-wing leaders in Europe has emerged as a source of great debate in recent years. While some far-right groups may have latent sympathy with Nazism, such as the Austrian Freedom Party, other more moderate right-wing leaders in Europe who may have ties with far-right groups or even govern with them see Israel as an important ally both in terms of fighting radical Islam and for economic development.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has a governing coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, has been an outspoken supporter of Israel and has strongly condemned anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are getting blurred, but they are two sides of the same coin,” Kurz said recently at a dinner hosted by the European Jewish Congress, where he was presented with an award. “We can’t undo history, but we can do justice to our history.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz addressing the EJC executive dinner in Vienna on Nov. 20, 2018. Credit: EJC.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz addressing the EJC executive dinner in Vienna on Nov. 20, 2018. Credit: EJC.

“I think Kurz is a promising political leader because he wants to shift Austria’s foreign policy in direction that is more sympathetic to Israel,” said Weinthal.

However, he noted that Kurz has so far not matched his rhetoric with actions, like other European leaders such as Angela Merkel, with his country still supporting anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations and forging ties with Iran, a notorious fomenter of hatred against Israel and the Jews.

“Kurz also, like Merkel, has refused to join U.S. sanctions against Iran—the leading international state-sponsor of terrorism, Holocaust denial and lethal anti-Semitism,” said Weinthal.

Nonetheless, Kurz did recently sponsor a European Union resolutionapproved by all 28-member countries that calls for combating anti-Semitism across the continent.

Similarly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warm ties with Hungarian right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has also drawn scrutiny over Orbán’s domestic political agenda, where he has been accused of eroding the country’s democratic institutions, strong nationalist agenda, as well as his attacks on Hungarian-American Jewish billionaire and left-cause philanthropist George Soros, which many see as having anti-Semitic undertones.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu has praised both Orbán and Kurz for their stance against anti-Semitism and friendly posture towards Israel.

“I noticed that Viktor Orbán opened a center to battle anti-Semitism, which I think is important. I noticed a similar event in Austria by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who convened a conference against anti-Semitism which included right-wing and anti-Zionism because anti-Zionism is the modern form of anti-Semitism. I think that these two leaders are doing a very important job in understanding what is anti-Semitism.”

The Israeli prime minister added: “When I was in Hungary, Prime Minister Orbán openly condemned the practices of the fascist leaders in Hungary, saying that this was a terrible mistake in the country’s history. I look at what they do, at what they say also on the European level.”

Indeed, many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece and Romania have become strong alliesof Israel, defending the country against anti-Israel resolutions in the European Union, such as the labeling of goods from Israeli settlements or condemning the U.S. decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference with Czech President Miloš Zeman (left) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference with Czech President Miloš Zeman (left) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90.

While there has been an ongoing focus and debate on anti-Semitism on the far-right in Europe, the threat posed by the far-left has also been a source of contention, especially within Western Europe.

“The old reasoning behind this is the hatred of capitalism and globalization,” said Rodan. “Israel and Zionism, which in many of the far-left’s minds is associated with imperialism, neo-liberalism and capitalism, has become the ‘Feindbild’ [the image of the enemy] No. 1, and the major backbone of many far-left groups’ ideology.”

One of the most prominent examples of anti-Semitism on the far-left in recent years has been within the United Kingdom’s Labour Party under leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism, in addition to support for Palestinian terror groups like Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. As such, if Corbyn were to become the United Kingdom’s next leader, a good number of British Jews are considering leaving the country. At the same time, anti-Semitic incidents have risen to record levels in Britain.

“The United Kingdom is a danger, and the next British prime minister might very well be the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn,” said Weinthal. “As has been well-documented, Corbyn is a highly dangerous mixture of radical Islamic anti-Semitism combined with the ‘Socialism of Fools’—left-wing hatred of Jews and Israel.”

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) before the grave of Atef Bseiso, the mastermind behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, as published in the British press.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) before the grave of Atef Bseiso, the mastermind behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, as published in the British press.

At the same time, far-left groups across Europe are also fueling the BDS movement that targets Israel. This movement is particularly forceful in Ireland, which is one of Europe’s fiercest critics of Israel and has become the first E.U. country to vote to boycott goods from Israeli settlements. Similarly, many towns and cities across Spain have moved to boycottIsrael and Israelis.

Muslim communities and ‘the new form of anti-Semitism’

In addition to the anti-Semitic threat posed by the far-left and right in Europe, the continent’s growing Muslim community is also taking its own deep-seated brand of anti-Semitism and hate for Israel to the region.

“What many observers are calling ‘the new form of anti-Semitism’ is the hatred against Jews, coming from parts of the Muslim community, often going hand in hand with Islamism. This is particularly true in countries like France, Belgium and Sweden, but also in the U.K.,” said Rodan.

Over the last decade, there have been several high-profile Islamic terror attacks in Western Europe against Jewish targets, including the 2012 Toulouse attack on a Jewish school, 2014 attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels, the 2015 attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris and other targeted murders, such as Sarah Halimi in 2017 and the death of Holocaust survivor Mareille Knoll in 2018, both carried out by Muslims.

The wreath left outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris by U.S. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

The wreath left outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris by U.S. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

While the threat of Islamic terrorism is very real for Jews in Western Europe, the opposite is the case for Jews in Eastern Europe.

Unlike countries in Western Europe—the United Kingdom, France and Germany, which have growing Muslim communities—Eastern European countries have largely closed their borders to outsiders, and have refused to take in the waves of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary have refused E.U.-mandate deals for the allocation of refugees, and opinion polls show the vast majority oppose accepting refugees. As a result, Eastern Europe remains largely homogenous as compared to Western Europe.

Weinthal said that Jews are safer in Eastern Europe primarily due to the absence of Muslim communities in the region.

“In contrast to Western Europe, many Eastern Europeans are afflicted with Christian-based anti-Semitism and classic Nazi depictions of Jews,” said Weinthal.

At the same time, Weinthal also noted that European anti-Semitism is goes even deeper than the threat posed by the far-left, far-right and radical Islam.

“Most European anti-Semites will not tell an interviewer that they are anti-Semites,” said Weinthal, alluding to the CNN survey. “And the survey did not focus in any systematic way on the ubiquitous expressions of anti-Semitism in response to the Holocaust—namely, guilt-defensiveness anti-Semitism, where mainly Western European blame Jews and the State of Israel for their feelings of pathological guilt associated with the crimes of National Socialism.

“In short, to purge their guilt, they turn Israel into a human punching bag,” stated Weinthal.

According to Rodan, the issue of anti-Semitism—whether it’s emanating from the far-right, far-left or Islam—is that “the issue needs to be depoliticized, and all forms need to be fought in order for it to be addressed properly.”

She said “we should also address the root causes of each one of the sources of anti-Semitism—be it on the far-right by combating conspiracy theories, for example, on the far-left by addressing the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, notably by getting the working definition of anti-Semitism adopted [a definition of anti-Semitism that defines amongst other things when legitimate criticism of Israel becomes anti-Semitism] or amongst Muslim communities by addressing the issue of Islamism and radicalization.”

Nevertheless, Rodan admitted that the issue of anti-Semitism remains a bigger concern in Western Europe as a result of the rise of radical Islam, which is more violent than the threat posed by the far-left or right at this time.

“Today, there is no doubt that manifestations of anti-Semitism are far more violent in Western Europe than they are in Central Europe,” said Rodan. “There is a direct link between the physical insecurity of Jews with the rise of radical Islam in countries like France, Sweden and Belgium. All of the Jews killed on this continent since 2006 were indeed killed by Islamists.”

Regardless of the source, Weinthal believes that Europe remains a hostile environment, and he encourages Jews to emigrate as soon as possible.

“The situation for Jews in Europe is dire. The only real escape hatch is aliyah or to immigrate to the United States,” she said. “Europe attempts to manage its anti-Semitism. That is recipe for political and societal disintegration.”

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