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Do We Still Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident?

Most of America celebrated the Fourth of July this past weekend. Most, but not all. Some chose to denounce it in one way or another.

That date gets capitalization because of what it represents. A small group of intellectual men gathered and wrote down a set of principles that has no equal among political writings in human history. They said:





We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

A government based on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Who had ever heard of such a thing? In 1776, practically no one. Kings still ruled by their bloodline or “divine right” and czars — descendants of the Roman caesars who had destroyed that great republic — still walked the earth. In the context of the age, there was no more radical nor more important document published on the rights of humanity than the Declaration of Independence. It was born of its time but transcended it.





They adopted and published these grand thoughts under threat of death on July 4, 1776. This declaration of a new nation’s independence, the first of its kind in so many ways, changed their lives and ours forever, and they changed the world. Billions today are free all around the world right now because those men wrote down and acted on these principles and carried them through to the best of their ability.

Were they perfect about it? Did the nation they founded start off in perfection? The answer to both is no, because men aren’t perfect and neither is any institution they create. Even they needed a do-over from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. But understanding their own imperfections, they created a constitution that pitted ambitions against one another for the good of the people. This was also unheard of and radical, yet aimed for justice. It’s not always perfect, but it has served its people better than any other system of government over the centuries.

How many French republics have there been during America’s one? How many times has Germany changed forms, disastrously, and Russia, and China, and Korea, and Japan, all disastrously? How many dictatorships in how many forms have risen and fallen since 1776? You don’t have to believe in American exceptionalism if you don’t want to but the facts win: America is exceptional. America has stood as the exception to most of history’s arbitrary violence and will to power. Because the founders saw the natural rights of being human more clearly than most anyone else had before, and they had both the wisdom and the courage to explain the world as they saw it and then put their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor on the line to defend their beliefs.





That was 244 years ago.

On July 4, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered the greatest address of his life in Rochester, New York. At the time he spoke, slavery still existed in the United States as it had for thousands of years around the world. As he stood and addressed the nation, Douglass asked the question of the age: “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass had every right and reason to ask that question. Douglass himself had escaped the bonds of slavery just 14 years earlier. He knew what it felt like to be owned by another person. He also knew what it felt like to be a free man. He knew what it was like to be ignored as less than human. He knew what it was like to be respected and listened to.

Rather than denounce the nation that celebrated its birthday that day, he pointed directly back to its founding day and asked why any slave should celebrate the 4th of July. He answered:

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither.

He was right.

And:

Cling to this day. Cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight… At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed… It is not light that is needed, but fire. It is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake…





Douglass called upon the Fourth of July, therefore the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution’s preamble, which simply says:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Taking the words of the Declaration together with the preamble to Constitution and Douglass rightly saw the ideas that would inevitably end slavery, as long as the republic endured long enough to see it. In 1852, as now, this was not ironclad. So, to the free man, the Fourth of July represented his guarantee. To those still enslaved, the Fourth of July represented hope of freedom to come. Frederick Douglass’ experience led him to see this more clearly than anyone else of his age and probably anyone since or now.

The storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake Douglass spoke of came, in the form of a destructive civil war. America paid in blood and treasure as it never had before, and slavery was ended. Douglass lived through it as one of abolitionism’s most ardent, eloquent, passionate, and heard spokesman. He had risen from slavery to become a friend of presidents, as a citizen, though not yet in full. Few have the power of oration without experience, and Douglass had experienced it all. He had lived under unjust law. He had broken that law. And he also respected and served the higher law, the Constitution, which he respected as a means of reaching understanding and offering hope. He was a true American on July 4, 1852, more true than many others.





On July 4, 2020, people as yet unknown damaged and toppled the statue of Frederick Douglass in Rochester that marks his moment and his speech. The damage was so extensive that it will probably have to be replaced.

Douglass believed in the words of the founders, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” He called upon these truths to make America live up to them. Rather than reject America’s founding, he embraced it and wanted to see it fulfilled.

Is there any clearer rejection of these truths than toppling, one by one, the statues of George Washington, who fought for them on the battlefield, Thomas Jefferson, who wrote them down, and Frederick Douglass, who used them to point toward freedom that was yet to be obtained? Is there any clearer rejection of these truths than the wanton killing of innocent men, women, and children over these past weeks?

We hold these truths to be self-evident… But do we? As a nation?

We now know that many do not. The New York Times revealed in its dishonest 1619 Project that it does not. It has fully rejected America’s founding. Many others have evidently followed or have been led down that same path in education that either succeeded in indoctrinating them in lies—but failed them and the nation—or failed to educate them in facts, also thereby failing them and the nation.

I pray that a majority still do hold these truths to be self-evident. Until this past year or two, it was a given. Our future and our hope of freedom very much depend on it.





The 1776 Flag Isn’t the Problem. Anti-American Leftists Are.

 

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Tweeting From His Basement, Joe Biden Threatens to ‘Transform America’

One can say a lot with few words, and Democrat former veep and presidential nominee Joe Biden has in this tweet.





The next question any reporter, if there are any actual ones with access to Biden or any of his surrogates, should be “Into what?”

Into what, would lifelong political hack Joe Biden transform the world’s oldest and most stable liberal republic, which by the way is also the strongest and most prosperous nation the world has ever seen?

He tweeted the tweet, so it should be simple enough to answer: Into what?

And what should Americans read into the fact that he tweeted this the day after America’s 244th birthday? Has he fully rejected the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the American experiment?

If we have to read tea leaves to figure this out, it won’t go well for Ol’ Joe.

He’s brought radical socialist Rep. AOC onto his campaign as his climate adviser, and she’s the face of the Green New Deal. That packet of far far left wishcasts would destroy what’s left of the economy and, among other crazy things, end air travel, end the consumption of meat, and force literally every building in the nation to undergo a government-run energy use overhaul.

Joe himself has pledged to end the use of fossil fuels, which would throw millions of Americans out of work, wreak havoc on several state economies and the national economy, and have us all depending on wind turbines, solar cells and the kind thoughts of unicorns to power our lives.





And Joe Biden has been wrong on just about every foreign policy issue of the past forty years.

If we must read more kinetic tea leaves, since no reporter will ask Joe those two words, let’s look at what’s happening in Democrat-run cities around the country. About 26 years of patient law enforcement work to bring violent crime down from its historic high in the early 1990s has been undone in a month. As Kevin McCollough put it over the weekend, Six Weeks, Six Cities, 600 Murders. Kevin’s piece is a must-read.

Joe hasn’t said word one against the rioting, looting, or general mayhem that is engulfing so many cities — all run by Democrats — around the country. He hasn’t said anything about the fact that Atlanta has gotten so bad the state of Georgia is resorting to the National Guard. If Joe has anything like what’s happening in Democrat-run cities in mind for the rest of the country, then he should say so. Or say he has something else in mind and thereby at least implicitly criticize all those Democrat mayors and city councils.

You’ll transform America into what, Joe?

A left-run college campus, where speech codes have gutted the Constitution?





You’ll transform America into what, Joe?

An America that demolishes its history?

You’ll transform America into what, Joe?

Take your time. Collect your thoughts.

And do tell us what transformations you failed to enact when you were vice president for 8 years and a senator since the Jurassic before that, but you would by God certainly get done this time around.

h/t Instapundit

San Francisco Allows Protesters to Topple U.S. Grant, Francis Scott Key Statues

MoveOn Blows Up the Myth That Joe Biden Is a Moderate

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Senior Citizens Will Be the ‘Deciding Factor’ in 2020 Election

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pennsylvania — The ad shows a drive-by of a rural, post-industrial unnamed town in this western Pennsylvania county. The woman in the ad says her name is Janie. She is a fisher who caught two legal Northern pike the day her daughter was born, voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and now believes the choice was wrong because of his attempt to try to cut Medicaid.





The most important bit of information in the ad is her age. She is 82 years old, and strategists and experts agree she and her peers may be the most important voting bloc in November’s election.

Not the suburban soccer mom, not the suburban security mom, not the NASCAR dad and not the people showing up to protest in the streets.
“Senior citizens will decide the next president of the United States,” asserts Jeff Brauer, political science professor at Keystone College in Factoryville, Pennsylvania.

While those 65 and older have long been a powerful voting bloc, this year, Brauer says, given the context of the election, their vote will make the difference.

“Senior citizens vote in presidential elections at the rate of 70% or more,” he says. “They consistently show up to vote more than any other age group, and the current senior population is growing as baby boomers continue to enter this age group.”

In critical swing states such as here in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and North Carolina, seniors voted in even higher percentages than the national average, Brauer says. Four years after winning all of those states marginally, Trump cannot afford any softening in their support.

With the potential of the coronavirus resurging in the fall and the continuation of civil unrest, Brauer stresses that no matter how trying the times are, seniors will vote in November in their typical numbers when other groups may not.





Washington, D.C.-based Democratic strategist John Lapp agrees.

“I do think that seniors are the key demographic; the key swing group who will decide this question,” he said. “Right now, Donald Trump’s numbers with them are cratering, and they’re moving away from him. People that he used to be able to count on are not there for him.”
Four years ago, Trump won these voters by 7 percentage points. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, Joe Biden has a 10-point edge among registered voters nationally.

The poll was taken at the end of May during the height of the pandemic shutdown, and before the riots and protests that followed George Floyd’s death in police custody.

It was also taken before the surge of Democrats who support defunding police swept the nation.

Jamie Roe, a Michigan-based Republican strategist, agrees that it all rests on the senior vote. How Biden, his party and whoever he picks for his running mate all handle the social unrest is key to whether seniors flee the president, Roe says. “And I will tell you one thing right now that’s going to auger against that of Biden or the Democrats getting the senior vote is this ‘Defund the Police’ movement that they’ve got going,” he said. “That seniors need a stable system of law and order to keep them protected. They believe in law and order. And things like ‘Defund the Police’ is not going to sit well with American seniors.”





Brauer said, “As the panic over the pandemic slows down, and the economy begins to recover, there are indications that seniors’ support of Trump will bounce back, as well.”

He added: “As the country continues to experience social unrest, and some Democrats speak of defunding police departments, many seniors will migrate back toward Trump as they tend to be pro-police and pro-law and order. In addition, Biden has to be especially careful in choosing his running mate if he does not want to scare away large segments of senior support.”

Over the past several decades, Republican presidential candidates have been able to win the senior vote, with only a couple of exceptions: Bill Clinton and Al Gore slightly won the senior vote.

“In 2016, seniors were not particularly fond of Hillary Clinton as a candidate, and many in her own party even cast protest votes,” said Brauer. “Biden is much more appealing to seniors. They embrace that Biden is unpolished like Trump but is less harsh in his demeanor.”

Brauer says seniors will have a keen eye on Biden’s vice president selection: “They are more apt to want a moderate choice and one that is ready to lead. If Biden goes too far left or too inexperienced with his running mate, many seniors, even those who voted for him in the primary, will think twice before giving him their votes in November.”

The race in 2016 came down to close finishes in three important swing states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump was able to pull off a victory over the much-favored Clinton largely due to his strong support from senior citizens. Trump needs that same support in 2020. Even slight Trump erosions and/or Biden inroads with seniors will make the difference in the election.





Brauer warns if you want to know who is going to win in November, just keep watching what seniors are saying and doing, because “they will be the deciding factor in 2020.”

Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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If America Is So Racist, Why Are There So Many Race Hoaxes?

As I wrote nearly three years ago: “Perhaps the second greatest libel — and certainly the most widespread — is that America is a racist country that oppresses its minorities and women. We can call it the American Libel.” (The greatest libel was the infamous blood libel, the fabricated charge spread in Europe for hundreds of years by Christian anti-Semites that Jews kill Christian children to use their blood to bake matzos — unleavened bread — for Passover.)





But if America is so racist, why are there so many race hoaxes? Virtually every time we read about a swastika painted on a door, or a noose hanging from a tree to taunt blacks, it turns out to be either a false alarm or, more frequently, a hoax.

Here are a dozen examples:

No. 1: The Duke lacrosse team (2006): Three white members of the Duke University lacrosse team were falsely accused by Crystal Mangum, a black student at North Carolina Central University, with having raped her. The charges were all fabricated, but the American media and Duke University faculty rushed to judgment and devoted months to smearing the three lacrosse players and Duke University itself as racist.

No. 2: UC San Diego library noose (2010): “Student apologizes for noose in UC San Diego library” (Los Angeles Times). A “minority student” was responsible for placing the noose in the university library. Previously, the Associated Press had reported, “Anger boiled over on the University of California San Diego campus today, where students took over the chancellor’s office to protest the hanging of a noose in a campus library.”

No. 3: Truck at Oakland’s Corporation Yard (2014): “A reported ‘noose’ tied to the back of a city truck in August, which stirred already simmering racial tensions at Oakland’s Corporation Yard, was not an intended act of racial harassment, a city-commissioned report has found” (Mercury News).





No. 4: University of Delaware (2015): “‘Nooses’ Found Hanging on University of Delaware Campus Were Lanterns” (NBC).

University President Nancy Targett had earlier announced, “We are both saddened and disturbed that this deplorable act has taken place on our campus.”

No. 5: The LSU noose (2015): It was widely reported that a noose was sighted at Louisiana State University leading to protests against racism there. It was later reported, “LSU said a picture of what appeared to be a noose hanging from a campus tree Thursday was not what it appeared to be” (WBRZ).

No. 6: University at Albany (2016): “A state appeals court has upheld the University at Albany’s expulsion of a woman who along with two friends falsely claimed to be the victim of a racially motivated attack on a CDTA bus in January 2016” (Times-Union). The three black women had attacked a white woman and then claimed they had been racially attacked.

No. 7: Bowling Green State University (2016): “Bowling Green police say student lied about politically driven attack” (ABC).

“The day after the 2016 election, Eleesha Long, a student at Bowling Green State University — about 90 miles west of Oberlin — said that she was attacked by white Trump supporters, who threw rocks at her. Police concluded that she had fabricated the story” (City Journal).





No. 8: Dreadlock cutting hoax (2019): “A black student at a Christian school in Virginia who accused three white sixth grade boys of cutting her dreadlocks and calling her ugly now says she was lying about the attack” (NBC).

No. 9: Jussie Smollett (2019): In one of the most notorious hoaxes, actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was attacked by white racists in Chicago on a freezing night. The story was a hoax. The “noose” was a rope his two co-conspirators had purchased for staging the “attack.”

No. 10: Oakland’s Lake Merritt (2020): After the city of Oakland launched a hate crime investigation regarding a noose hanging from park trees, Victor Anari Sengbe, a black man, tweeted: “It’s not a noose, this guy climbed the tree and put up the rope for a swing months ago, folks used it to exercise… ITS NOT A NOOSE.”

Nevertheless, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf then tweeted, “Intentions do not matter. We will not tolerate symbols of hate in our city. The nooses found at Lake Merritt will be investigated as hate crimes.”

No. 11: NASCAR (2020): A “noose” was found in the Talladega, Alabama, racetrack garage assigned to black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. FBI investigators determined it to be one of several such ropes placed sometime the year before in Talladega garages as door pulls, long before that garage was ever assigned to Wallace. But Wallace continued to maintain it was, in fact, a noose.





No. 12: University of La Verne (2020): “Racist Threats and Attacks that Rattled a California University Campus Were Faked, Police Say” (Newsweek).

There is not enough space in a column to cite all the hoaxes and mistaken charges of racism in recent decades. Interested readers can also look up: a hoax perpetrated by Fynn Arthur, a black student at Goucher College in 2018; Samantha Wells, a black student activist, who was responsible for a racist threat she left on her own car at St. Olaf College in 2017; and the hoax perpetrated by three black Oberlin students, Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence, and Cecelia Whettstone, who claimed racial profiling at Gibson’s Bakery, which, after serving Oberlin for over 100 years, was nearly put out of business by the false claims.

Here’s why this is so important. If there were a lot of racism, there would be no need for hoaxes. No Jew in Germany in the 1930s made up an anti-Semitic hoax. No Jewish shop owner ever made up a charge that a Nazi hurled a rock through his store window. The reason? None was needed. Nazi hatred against Jews was real. It didn’t have to be faked. To convince people that America is racist, you have to fake it.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” came to theaters fall 2019. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.





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NYC’s De Blasio Blames Coronavirus For City’s Violence, But His Own Top Cop Blames De Blasio And His ‘Reforms’

NYC Bill De Blasio, Seattle Jenny Durkan and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey seem to be locked in a perpetual contest to decide who is the nation’s worst mayor. Just when it looks like one has the edge, one of the others steps up and delivers more incompetence.





Frey allowed the rioting to start. Result: Mayhem and murder.

Durkan let the rioters create Durkanstan by taking over and squatting in downtown Seattle. Result: Mayhem and murder.

Now Bill De Blasio is blaming the surge in New York’s violence on coronavirus. Seriously.

“I want to talk about what happened this weekend. Many were out there celebrating, but we saw too much violence, and we have a lot of work to do to address it,” de Blasio said, while adding that “there is not one cause for something like this.”

“This is directly related to coronavirus,” de Blasio said according to Fox News. “This is a very serious situation… As we’re getting into warmer and warmer weather, we’re feeling the effects of people being cooped up for months, the economy hasn’t restarted – we have a real problem here.”

Celebrating America is bad. Protesting America is good. That’s not subtext, it’s just De Blasio’s thinking. Hizzoner hit the streets and marched with the protesters, ignoring the probability that the protests could spread the virus. But if you went to the park for a family cookout to celebrate the Fourth of July, you’re bad. And if you’re a Jewish kid who wanted to play at the playground, De Blasio locked the gates.

New York’s murder surge predates the Fourth of July holiday, tracking pretty well with De Blasio’s bail reform and again with defunding New York’s finest.





New York’s top cop is having none of it. After diplomatically agreeing that the city’s surge in violence has several causes, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan offered different, and more direct, causes for the increasing violence including De Blasio’s bail reform.

“A lot of different individuals are on the street that should not be on the street,” Monahan said Monday, noting that inmate releases from Rikers Island due to COVID-19, bail reform and the newly imposed ban on chokeholds contributed as well.

“It has our cops hesitating to enforce some of those quality-of-life issues,” he said, noting that police do not have a problem with the ban on chokeholds, but that other language in the new legislation makes it difficult for officers to make arrests, including using their knees on a suspect’s back.

“The animosity toward police out there is tremendous,” Monahan said. “Just about everyone we deal with is looking to fight a police officer when we make an arrest, so it is vital that we get communities together supporting and speaking up for police.”

That animosity is dominating New York and dozens of other Democrat-run cities across the country.

De Blasio and the city council authorized cutting $1 billion from the city’s police budget. That move was so wrong-headed even Gov. Cuomo mocked him for it. Cuomo has no leg to stand on after his COVID nursing home policy did so much damage.





We’re going through a great unlearning right now, which is manifest in this great unraveling in our largest cities. We learned across about 30 years that more police, smarter tactics, yes more prison capacity, and tougher sentencing all tend to work in concert to reduce violent crime. We learned that looking after broken windows and keeping the streets orderly leads to reductions in violent crime. We learned that community policing can work, and we learned that supporting the police against criminals sends the right message. Violent crime dropped year after year from 1994 to the early part of this year.

We learned those lessons the hard way. Now we’re giving all that progress against crime back, not in years but in days and weeks. It will take years to put the lid back on this Pandora’s Box, if we ever do re-learn what too many have un-learned.

New York’s Murder Rate Is Up. Way Up.

 

 

 

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China Forces Churches to Sing National Anthem to Reopen

The first thing Chinese state-run churches sing after reopening from coronavirus lockdown won’t be “Amazing Grace.” According to reports from the Middle Kingdom, the Chinese Communist Party will only allow churches to reopen if they preach “patriotism” to President Xi Jinping, spread propaganda (sorry, stories of CCP valor in fighting the virus) and sing the National Anthem.





The Gangxi Christian Church in the city of Kaifeng reopened on June 14 after a five-month lockdown. “The church finally reopened after five months, 147 days, or 21 Sundays, but instead of singing hymns to praise God, the government required us to raise the national flag and sing the national anthem, praising Xi Jinping’s ‘victory in fighting the epidemic,’” a congregation member told the religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter. “This is completely contrary to our belief.”

Bitter Winter shared a video of the choir singing the National Anthem as church members raised the Chinese Communist flag.

 

The Lishiting Catholic Church also reopened on June 14. “We solemnly raise the national flag here today after the epidemic, witnessing the fruits of all people working together under the leadership of Xi Jinping who directs the government and the Party,” a priest told a gathering of about 20 people, supervised by Chinese Communist Party officials.

A video of the church’s reopening shows the raising of the flag while the National Anthem plays in the background.

Trump’s Latest Religious Freedom Move Is a Warning to China

Other public venues in China had long returned to normal before state-run places of worship were finally allowed to reopen in June. Even then, only churches that committed to endorsing “patriotism” have been allowed to reopen. The Two Chinese Christian Councils in Henan, Zhejiang, and other provinces demanded that on the day of reopening, churches must promote patriotism, raise the flag, sing the National Anthem, and tell believers propaganda “moving stories about China’s battle with the pandemic.”





A preacher from Zhumadian City told Bitter Winter that before his church reopened, he had to attend a conference organized by the local Two Chinese Christian Councils. Participants had to study President Xi’s speeches on preventing and controlling the coronavirus outbreak and they had to listen to “heroic stories of fighting the pandemic.”

“The government demands to promote these things to congregations after churches reopen,” the preacher recalled. “These texts are published in a booklet, over 100 pages long. Preachers must mainly talk about the state’s policies. Those who disobey will be arrested.”

A Seventh-day Adventist pastor told Bitter Winter that these requirements are aimed at “disturbing the minds of believers to transform their ideologies and change the essence of their beliefs.” Xi has ordered that religion in China should be “Chinese in orientation.” The Communist Party has attempted to rewrite the Bible in order to “update” it for socialism and “create a new version of Christianity.”

The Adventist pastor predicted that the Chinese Communist Party will force more indoctrination on people of faith. “Its ultimate goal is to make all people believe in communism only, to ‘sinicize’ Christianity,” he insisted. The pastor urged Christians to “stand guard against the CCP’s vicious intentions, not to become prisoners of communism.”





He suggested that it would be better for churches to go underground than to embrace CCP propaganda. “Three-Self churches should follow the path of house churches and hold meetings in secret, to avoid being controlled by the CCP and save their pure faith,” he said.

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) reported similar restrictions for reopening.

The Chinese Communist Party has directed priests to “preach on patriotism” as a condition for reopening from lockdowns, UCA News reported.

Father Liu of Hebei celebrated the end of the lockdown, but he opposed the requirement to spread propaganda. “The first requirement in the notice is to teach a good lesson on patriotism. It is wrong,” he told UCA News. “As members of the universal Catholic Church, we cannot accept and glorify what communists consider patriotic education.”

Jacob Chung, a Wenzhou parishioner, said the government’s move “has seriously interfered in the internal affairs of religion.”

An anonymous church observer told UCA News that the government’s move to require propaganda in churches is an attempt to prevent a counter-revolution.

Citing the ongoing trade war and the economic slowdown from the coronavirus, the anonymous observer said the CCP “is afraid of a counter-revolution. So they want to people to hold on to patriotism.” He said the CCP wants to “suppress and transform” the church, requiring Catholics to sing the communist National Anthem to prevent Christians from criticizing the regime.





Xi Lian, a professor at Duke University Divinity School, has reported that the Chinese Communist Party sees Christianity as a threat, so the CCP is attempting to co-opt Christianity for its own purposes.

According to sociologist Rodney Stark and co-author Xiuhua Wang in A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China, there has been a 7 percent increase in Christians every year in China. In 1980, there were approximately 10 million Christians there. In 2007, that number had climbed to 61.1 million. By 2030, they estimated, there will be 294.6 million Christians — nearly the entire population of the United States.

As a Christian who enjoys the company of Chinese-Americans in my Bible study group, I personally appreciate the international nature of the Jesus movement. I also believe Christianity introduced a new concern for the poor and a new way of living into the world — a way of life that transformed the West and helped form the foundation of modern freedom and prosperity.

The Holy Spirit and the way Christianity changes the hearts of believers represents a powerful threat to oppressive totalitarian governments like the Chinese Communist Party. I pray that Christians are savvy enough to resist these nefarious efforts to bend Christianity to communism.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.





China’s Communist Party Forces Christians to Replace Jesus With Xi Jinping Posters
China’s Communists Aim to Rewrite the Bible to ‘Create a New Version of Christianity’
China’s Attempt to Ban Handel’s ‘Messiah’ Underscores the Growth of Christianity in the Middle Kingdom

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California Bans Singing in Churches to Fight COVID

Last Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health banned “singing and chanting” in houses of worship, including churches, mosques, and synagogues. While the department had previously advised against singing in houses of worship, it made the ban mandatory last week.





“Even with adherence to physical distancing, convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, especially among more vulnerable populations. In particular, activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk- reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing,” the order states.

“Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower,” the health department adds.

Specifically, the order demands that churches “discontinue singing (in rehearsals, services, etc.), chanting, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets. Consider practicing these activities through alternative methods (such as internet streaming) that ensure individual congregation members perform these activities separately in their own homes.”

The state allowed churches and other houses of worship to reopen at the end of May, but urged them to “strongly consider discontinuing singing.”





Coronavirus cases have increased in California in recent weeks.

R. James King, a Minnesota pastor, took to The Resurgent to condemn the ban. “The critical issue is this: the state of California is trying to dictate what kind of worship may or may not take place within a religious assembly. This is a flagrant and appalling transgression of essential American rights,” he wrote.

King noted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D-Calif.) support for the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the horrific police killing of George Floyd. Last Monday — two days before the singing ban — Newsom addressed the protesters. “For those of you out there protesting, I want you to know that you matter,” the governor said. “To those who want to express themselves… God bless you. Keep doing it. Your rage is real.”

The pastor contrasted that support for protesters with the new ban on singing.

“Peaceful protests are, like worship, protected by the First Amendment. Like worship, they include large gatherings of people. Like worship, they include periods of singing and chanting. However, unlike worship, they remain untroubled by intrusive state interference,” the pastor wrote. “Governor Gavin Newsom supported the protests, and there is no doubt that, were they to erupt again, he would continue to excuse activities that are now banned by his administration in church buildings. So they dictate how people worship, and they target only religious worship.”





Yet the singing ban is not without precedent. In April, Mendocino County, Calif., banned singing and playing wind instruments even for livestream events involving four or more people.

Before Newsom allowed churches to finally meet in person, 1,200 California clergy wrote a powerful letter declaring in-person worship essential. “Facing the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Christian church and other faiths have been relegated to ‘nonessential’ status by governing agencies throughout the United States. But we, the signers of this declaration, believe and contend that gathering together in fellowship and worship is ‘essential.’”

The lockdown took a psychological toll on Californians and the churches noted studies showing that “religious service attendance is associated with a lower risk of death from despair among registered nurses and health care professionals. These results may be important in understanding trends in deaths from despair in the general population.”

The clergy sent a legal demand letter, warning Newsom that if he were to crack down on their religious freedom, they would take the issue to court. This new ban on signing may face legal challenges, especially if churches find videos of Black Lives Matter chanting or singing at protests Newsom has approved.





Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

Editor’s Note: Want to support PJ Media so we can keep telling the truth about China and the virus they unleashed on the world? Join PJ Media VIP and use the promo code WUHAN to get 25% off your VIP membership.

REVOLT: 1,200 Calif. Clergy Tell Newsom They’re Meeting in Person, With or Without Permission
You Might Go to Prison for Singing in a Livestream Church Service in This California County
How Early Christians Saved Lives and Spread the Gospel During Roman Plagues

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President Trump Is Making the Case About Fundamental Ideas, Not Statues

Leave it the Daily Beast to take the most myopic view of the president’s commentary about the desecration of monuments. According to their assessment, he is making an argument about the statues. And people in his inner circle are worried. Following Maggie Haberman’s “two individuals close to the president” model, they breathlessly reported:





Two individuals close to the president told The Daily Beast last week that they believe devoting so much time and energy to defending lifeless statues—a kick that started with sticking up for ones honoring racist dead Confederates—will likely fail to help rejuvenate his sagging 2020 campaign and close the wide polling deficits that former Vice President Biden has opened up.

Both sources independently said they intended to gently implore Trump to take a different approach. One of the sources said they had already told Trump in recent days that making statue fetishization a cornerstone of the re-election pitch amounted to a “distraction” that wouldn’t help move the necessary votes into the president’s column by the election in November.

“The question now is: Is the statue sh** going to work?” said a senior Trump campaign adviser, adding that current polling was “inconclusive” at best.

Statues are symbols of much larger ideas. Most often, they depict people who have made exceptional contributions to our founding ideals or the continual progress of living up to them. Sometimes they represent individuals who make unique contributions to science or industry. Some make a significant contribution to a state or location.

In other words, we are attracted to what they thought, created, or changed. When President Trump defends depictions of our past and memorials, he is defending the ideas, ingenuity, and progress we have made as a nation. The sum total is the history of our country. To insinuate the majority of Americans don’t see this distinction is not just insulting. It is the sum total of what the elites in Washington D.C. and the media think of most Americans.





This disdain wasn’t lost in the debate over kneeling to the flag in the NFL. It turns out the President was correct. It was not about police brutality. It was about hatred for our country, its symbols, and traditions. Chief kneeler and mediocre quarterback Colin Kaepernick proved that himself this weekend:

This oppressed multi-millionaire just inked a deal with Disney. The first project is a docuseries about his life. One has to wonder if it will include anything about the adoptive family that raised him or the biological mother that gave birth to him. It would seem his tweet raised a defiant middle finger at all of them.

It turns out President Trump was correct about our other national symbols as well. When confederate statues were being removed, he wondered how long until it was Washington and Jefferson that the left was trying to remove. The Daily Beast, of course, calls this a defense of them. Instead, it was musing about the slippery slope that would ensue.





Pretty sure when they are topping abolitionists like Frederick Douglass and lighting elk statues on fire, we are getting to the steep side of that slide. It is also clear this has nothing to do with systemic racism. As if to prove the President correct, they also came for Washington.

Add the calls for the removal of literature which is following the censoring of television programming:

Then this starts to sound like something that rhymes with what you see going on with your own two eyes and hearing with your ears:

Now recall people, police officers, and our military kneeling in front of fellow citizens. Some are chanting in response to prompts. We all watched the birth of a bizarre secular religion absent a power outside itself and absent forgiveness. Say the wrong thing, the not quite right thing or nothing at all, and they will come for you.





Just ask Drew Brees, the top editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, or Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda. They have had to take a figurative knee to the deities in this new religion and will never be able to stand with their head fully upright again. If they do, it will be knocked down. This list is a small sample of those who have had to confront the retribution of the mob.

It’s not about statues. If there are really two people in President Trump’s inner circle who think it is, they should be replaced immediately.

This election is about a fundamental choice about the future of America. You can choose an imperfect vessel that loves this country with all its flawed history and imperfect founding, who wants to make it better for every American. He did just that for three years and can absolutely do it again.

Or you can choose the party that is afraid of people toppling statues because that is their radical base. They will not criticize, admonish, or even caution. They are being pulled to voice the same criticisms of this country and are saying erasing our founding fathers should be considered. Just ask Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

And make no mistake. There is no appeasing the mob. Democrats and some Republicans who have bent the knee will be forced to do it again and again. And the mob will happily extort them with the false promise of ending the destruction and chaos. Again.





Joe Biden’s Race-Baiting Fourth of July Message

 

 

 

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Colin Kaepernick and the Irrationality of Leftist Rage

Former NFL quarterback and far-Left activist Colin Kaepernick is now well on his way in our hyper-politicized era to becoming the first man inducted into the football Hall of Fame for being woke. He further cemented this lofty status when he fired off a 4th of July broadside that underscored yet again what far too few reasonable people understand about the current Leftist rage that has engulfed the nation: It is irrational and impervious to evidence. And there are disquieting historical precedents for movements that are driven by hysterical, unreasoned rage and hate.

During Saturday’s Independence Day festivities, Kaepernick tweeted: “Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence’, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all.”

Like all Big Lies, this one contains a kernel of truth that gives it plausibility. Yes, there was slavery in America. And yes, after it was abolished, black people were victims of grave injustices. It is also true, however, that among the Founding Fathers were strong believers in the equal dignity of all human beings and the need to abolish slavery. America fought a bloody Civil War over slavery, and hundreds of thousands of men died to make the slaves free.

During the Jim Crow era, a series of Republican Presidents tried to secure civil rights for black Americans, with Democrats resisting and thwarting their efforts at every turn. More than any other nation on the face of the earth, the United States has labored to rid itself of racial injustice and clear away obstacles to equal opportunity for all of its citizens.

But in the unlikely event that Colin Kaepernick himself happens to read this, he will brush it all aside. Howard Zinn or someone like him has already told him it isn’t so, and he isn’t likely to take the time to research the matter himself. Ultimately, Kaepernick, as well as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, are fueled by a rage that is not grounded in facts, but in feelings that are whipped up by rousing slogans and expressed in histrionic gestures of the destruction of the monuments of the old order.

This has happened before. In November 1918, when the German Empire surrendered to bring World War I to a close, many Germans, including a young Corporal named Adolf Hitler, received the shock of their lives. The German press had for four years painted an unflaggingly rosy picture of Germany’s military situation. The surrender was not based on battlefield reversals, but on a careful assessment by the German High Command of the likelihood that such reversals were in the offing.

But in the absence of tangible and readily available evidence that Germany was indeed losing the war, millions – Hitler among them – embraced the idea that Germany had been stabbed in the back, its war effort sabotaged by a shadowy Jewish cabal. It was amid this ferment that Hitler became a national figure. There was no reasoning with him and his followers: anyone who produced evidence that there was no sabotage, and that the surrender was based on a legitimate appraisal of the situation, was dismissed as naïve or worse, in league with the Jewish saboteurs.

The entire National Socialist (Nazi) movement was based on a hatred that had nothing to do with reality, but which offered a convenient semblance of analysis and rational thought for those who were swept away by their rage as a defeated Germany’s economy collapsed.

So it is today with the Left in America. No, Colin Kaepernick is not another Hitler. But his rage is just as irrational. Neither he nor any Leftist who is out looting businesses and pulling down statues is going to sit still for a reasoned, evidence-based presentation on how their picture of America as a monstrous oppressor state is false. And the Left today is as shocked by defeat as Germany was after World War I.

Leftists have so many unexpected reversals, with Trump and Brexit foremost among them. As far as they’re concerned, the possibility of people rejecting their failed ideas is inconceivable. No, they must be falling victim to something more sinister and shadowy than that – and so the concept of “systemic racism” was born.

What can be done? Above all, the propaganda these Leftists have swallowed whole has to be removed completely from our educational system, and replaced with accurate history from a patriotic perspective. No nation can survive training generations of its young people to hate it. But once this has been done, it’s too late for most of those who have been indoctrinated.

America’s educational system needs a thoroughgoing reform to make sure that doesn’t happen, teaching our children to love their country and its history while those lessons can still be heard. If this is done, and done quickly, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has a good chance to survive into the latter half of the twenty-first century as still the freest nation on earth. But if not, not.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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Do We Still Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident?

Most of America celebrated the Fourth of July this past weekend. Most, but not all. Some chose to denounce it in one way or another.

That date gets capitalization because of what it represents. A small group of intellectual men gathered and wrote down a set of principles that has no equal among political writings in human history. They said:





“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

A government based on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Who had ever heard of such a thing? In 1776, practically no one. Kings still ruled by their bloodline or “divine right” and czars — descendants of the Roman caesars who had destroyed that great republic — still walked the earth. In the context of the age, there was no more radical nor no more important document published on the rights of humanity than the Declaration of Independence. It was born of its time but transcended it.





They adopted and published these grand thoughts under threat of death on July 4, 1776. This declaration of a new nation’s independence, the first of its kind in so many ways, changed their lives and ours forever, and they changed the world. Billions today are free all around the world right now because those men wrote down and acted on these principles and carried them through to the best of their ability.

Were they perfect about it? Did the nation they founded start off in perfection? The answer to both is no, because men aren’t perfect and neither is any institution they create. Even they needed a do-over from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. But understanding their own imperfections, they created a constitution that pitted ambitions against one another for the good of the people. This was also unheard of and radical, yet aimed for justice. It’s not always perfect, but it has served its people better than any other system of government over the centuries.

How many French republics have there been during America’s one? How many times has Germany changed forms, disastrously, and Russia, and China, and Korea, and Japan, all disastrously? How many dictatorships in how many forms have risen and fallen since 1776? You don’t have to believe in American exceptionalism if you don’t want to but the facts win: America is exceptional. America has stood as the exception to most of history’s arbitrary violence and will to power. Because the founders saw the natural rights of being human more clearly than most anyone else had before, and they had both the wisdom and the courage to explain the world as they saw it and then put their lives, the fortunes, and their sacred honor on the line to defend their beliefs.





That was 244 years ago.

On July 4, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered the greatest address of his life in Rochester, NY. At the time he spoke, slavery still existed in the United States as it had for thousands of years around the world. As he stood and addressed the nation, Douglass asked the question of the age: What to the slave is the Fourth of July? Douglass had every right and reason to ask that question. Douglass himself had escaped the bonds of slavery just 14 years earlier. He knew what it felt like to be owned by another person. He also knew what it felt like to be a free man. He knew what it was like to be ignored as less than human. He knew what it was like to be respected and listened to.

Rather than denounce the nation that celebrated its birthday that day, he pointed directly back to its founding day and asked why any slave should celebrate the 4th of July. He answered:

“Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither.”

He was right.

And:

“Cling to this day. Cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight… At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed… It is not light that is needed, but fire. It is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake…”





Douglass called upon the Fourth of July, therefore the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution’s preamble, which simply says:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Taking the words of the Declaration together with the preamble to Constitution and Douglass rightly saw the ideas that would inevitably end slavery, as long as the republic endured long enough to see it. In 1852, as now, this was not iron clad. So, to the free man, the Fourth of July represented his guarantee. To those still enslaved, the Fourth of July represented hope of freedom to come. Frederick Douglass’ experience led him to see this more clearly than anyone else of his age and probably anyone since or now.

The storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake Douglass spoke of came, in the form of a destructive civil war. America paid in blood and treasure as it never had before, and slavery was ended. Douglass lived through it as one of abolitionism’s most ardent, eloquent, passionate, and heard spokesman. He had risen from slavery to become a friend of presidents. As a citizen, though not yet in full. Few have the power of oration without experience, and Douglass had experienced it all. He had lived under unjust law. He had broken that law. And he also respected and served the higher law, the Constitution, which he respected as a means of reaching understanding and offering hope. He was a true American on July 4, 1852, more true than many others.





Only July 4, 2020, people as yet unknown damaged and toppled the statue of Frederick Douglass in Rochester, NY that marks his moment and his speech. The damage was so extensive that it will probably have to be replaced.

Douglass believed in the words of the founders, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” He called upon these truths to make America live up to them. Rather than reject America’s founding, he embraced it and wanted to see it fulfilled.

Is there any clearer rejection of these truths than toppling, one by one, the statues of George Washington, who fought for them on the battlefield, Thomas Jefferson, who wrote them down, and Frederick Douglass, who used them to point toward freedom that was yet to be obtained? Is there any clearer rejection of these truths than the wanton killing of innocent men, women, and children over these past weeks?

We hold these truths to be self-evident… But do we? As a nation?

We now know that many do not. The New York Times revealed in its dishonest 1619 Project that it does not. It has fully rejected America’s founding. Many others have evidently followed or have been led down that same path in education that either succeeded in indoctrinating them in lies, but failed them and the nation, or failed to educate them in facts, also thereby failing them and the nation.

I pray that a majority still do hold these truths to be self-evident. Until this past year or two, it was a given. Our future and our hope of freedom very much depend on it.





The 1776 Flag Isn’t the Problem. Anti-American Leftists Are.