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Monday, November 19, 2018

A History of Thanksgiving (Taken from The Miracle and Magnificence of America)

Sir Walter Raleigh’s first attempts at settling the New World were disastrous. The English, who were now trying to gain a foothold in the New World, were succumbing to the same greed that had earlier blinded the Spaniards. Starvation, disease, hostile Indians, and other hardships, including a whole colony lost (the Lost Colony of Roanoke), led to dampened enthusiasm for New World expeditions.

It would be nearly 20 years after Raleigh’s initial ventures before enough English interest could again be sparked for more New World adventure. Despite recruiting “sermons” that contained messages of evangelical outreach, and the preamble of the Company’s charter, written by King James I, which contained the words, “…propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in these parts, to human civility and to a settled and quiet government,” the lust for gold was, again, what drove European men across the Atlantic.

On May 14, 1607, headed by a seven-man council, which included John Smith, 144 men settled Jamestown. Because of their misguided efforts it was a disaster from the beginning. These men battled the elements, disease, Indians, starvation, and one another. The lone minister on the adventure, Robert Hunt, did his best to keep the others focused on God. His sermons went mostly unheeded; however, he persevered. By February of 1608 only 38 of the 144 remained alive.

The death rate did not abate with time. As Peter Marshall and David Manuel note,

For example, of the 1,200 people who went out to Virginia in 1619, only 200 were left alive by 1620. Why this horrible continuing death rate? There is no logical explanation, except one: year after year they steadfastly refused to trust God—or indeed to include Him in any of their deliberations.

The next settlers to cross the Atlantic would not make the same mistakes. They were not seeking wealth and prosperity, but a new home. They believed that America was their spiritual destiny. The Pilgrims (dubbed “Separatists” by the Church of England), and the Puritans who followed them, knew better than to undertake anything without God.

Aboard the Mayflower were 102 passengers, less than half of whom were of Pastor John Robinson’s Separatist flock. After a grueling two-month voyage, on November 11, 1620, they dropped anchor in Cape Cod, and heeding the advice and wisdom of their pastor, the Pilgrims drafted a compact that would embody the same principles of government upon which American democracy would rest. It read,

In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under-written…Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic…constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony…the 11th of November…Anno Domini 1620.

John Carver, who had chartered the Mayflower, was chosen as the first governor of the colony. His was the first signature on the Mayflower Compact, which is considered by many to be the world’s first written constitution. William Bradford would soon replace Carver as governor and would serve in that capacity for 31 years. On December 21, 1620, the Pilgrims settled at what would become known as Plymouth.

A replica model of the Mayflower. Created by Norbert Schnitzler.


Though their efforts were “for the glory of God,” the Pilgrims were not immune to the many hardships of an untamed America. Before long, many started dying. William Bradford’s wife Dorothy was among the casualties as she fell overboard and drowned. (Initially, while dwellings were being built, the Pilgrims lived mostly aboard the Mayflower.) Due in part to a brutal winter, dozens would die in those first few months, including 13 of 18 wives. In spite of hardships, the Pilgrims were undeterred and drew ever closer to God.

The months turned into years and saw the Pilgrims develop good relations with the local natives including Massasoit, a wise and welcoming chief of the local tribes, Samoset, and especially Tisquantum, or Squanto.

In the middle of March 1621, just as the Pilgrims were coming out of the devastatingly harsh winter, a guard alerted his comrades with the cry of “Indian coming!” Wearing only a loincloth as he walked into the Pilgrims’ camp, Samoset astonished the English onlookers with a hearty “Welcome!” Then speaking surprisingly clear English, he followed his friendly greeting with a request, “Have you got any beer?”

The Pilgrims informed their friendly guest that they were out of beer, and offered him brandy instead. After a hearty snack of brandy, biscuit, butter, cheese, pudding, and roast duck, Samoset was ready to answer questions. In spite of their difficult and deadly plight, Samoset’s words gave the Pilgrims great cause to thank God.

On March 22, 1621, Samoset returned to the Pilgrims with Squanto, who spoke even better English. Squanto’s life is an amazing tale of God’s provision that very closely resembles the account of Joseph from Genesis, chapter 37. Soon after Samoset introduced Squanto to the Pilgrims, a meeting with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag people, was arranged. Massasoit, Samoset, Squanto, and dozens of Wampanoag warriors traveled to Plymouth to meet the Pilgrims. With Samoset serving as the interpreter for Massasoit, the meeting was extremely fruitful. A peace treaty and a treaty of mutual aid were struck with Massasoit that would last for decades.

Massasoit and his party returned home, but Squanto remained with the Pilgrims. Being a man without a tribe, personally witnessing the desperation of the Pilgrims, and already having adopted their faith, Squanto took pity upon his new-found English friends and wanted to help them succeed in their New World. He taught them how to fish for eels and alewives, plant corn and pumpkins, refine maple syrup, trap beavers, hunt deer, and other skills essential to their survival.

Squanto was instrumental in the survival of the Pilgrims—so much so that, according to William Bradford, the Pilgrims considered Squanto “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” Massasoit also was an amazing example of God’s providential care for the Pilgrims. Like Powhatan had been at Jamestown, Massasoit was probably the only other native chief on the northeast coast of America who would have welcomed the white man as a friend.

In early April of 1621, with supplies running dangerously low, the Captain of the Mayflower, Christopher Jones, decided he could remain in America no longer. On April 5, 1621, the Mayflower returned to England. As the ship disappeared over the horizon, almost certainly a nervous uneasiness came upon more than a few Pilgrims who remained in the New World. Their last ties to their former home were gone. They, perhaps, felt more alone than at any point of their amazing journey.

The summer of 1621 was beautiful and, thanks in no small measure to the help of Squanto, bountiful. Governor Bradford declared a day of public Thanksgiving to be held in October. Massasoit was invited. Surprising the Pilgrims, he showed up a day early with 90 of his tribe. To feed such a crowd, the Pilgrims would have to go deep into their food supply. However, Massasoit did not show up empty handed. He had instructed his braves to hunt for the occasion, and they came with several dressed dear and fat turkeys. The Thanksgiving turned into a three-day celebration filled with feasting and games.

The First Thanksgiving, by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

A few weeks after the first Thanksgiving and about a year after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, the Fortune sailed into Plymouth on its way to Virginia. The main cargo was an additional 35 colonists and a charter granted from the New England Company. There was tremendous celebration over the new charter; however, unlike the Indians, the new colonists arrived virtually empty handed. They had no extra clothing, food, or tools. The Pilgrims would have to adjust their winter food rationing plan severely.

The winter of 1621-1622 was as difficult as feared. The Pilgrims entered what has been described as their “starving time.” Some reports reveal that at times, food rations for each person were a mere five kernels of corn per day. Miraculously, that winter not one Pilgrim died of starvation.

There was no Thanksgiving celebration in 1622. When the spring planting season of 1623 rolled around, the Pilgrims realized that to fend off further hunger and rationing, a corn harvest at least twice as large as last season was necessary. However, a lackluster work ethic prevailed among them. This was mainly because the contract entered into with their merchant sponsors in London required everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store and be shared. As Rush Limbaugh has often pointed out on his radio broadcast that celebrates Thanksgiving Day, the Pilgrims were languishing under socialism.

The leaders of the colony then decreed that for the additional planting, individual plots of land would be split, and the yield could be used at the planters’ discretion. Thus, as the concept of private property was introduced, the Pilgrims seemed infused and invigorated with new hope and purpose. As Marshall and Manuel point out, “The yield that year was so abundant that the Pilgrims ended up with a surplus of corn, which they were able to use in trading that winter with northern Indians, who had not had a good growing season.”

On November 29, 1623, two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation for a second day of Thanksgiving. In it Governor Bradford thanked God for their abundant harvest, bountiful game, protection from “the ravages of savages…and disease,” and for the “freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.” Well over a hundred Natives attended, bringing plenty of turkey and venison along with them.

The Pilgrims, and the Puritans who followed them, had the proper perspective. As Bradford would so discernibly note, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light kindled here has shown unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation…We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.”

May the light of those first Thanksgivings never be extinguished.

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, October 18, 2018

We’re Not Battling “Craziness.” We're Battling Evil.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the American left has been—as my mother likes to put it—in “rare form.” Such “form” these last two years has resulted in obscene fits by individual leftists and, yes, liberal mobs. Someone should ask these petulant, angry leftists—as did my mother when she encountered a tantrum (usually from a child): Do you get a fever with those fits?

The answer is, of course, no, because—in spite of what many have implied as they’ve witnessed the rage, violence, and vulgarities so often employed by today’s liberals—we’re not dealing with sickness, or mere lunacy, craziness, stupidity, or even the deranged. These characterizations are tempting—I’ve used them myself—and often quite accurate, but they fail to describe best what we are dealing with.

As Selwyn Duke alluded to recently, and others noted more directly years ago, modern liberalism—aided and abetted by the democrat party—is a dastardly tool of the enemy of all mankind. It’s like a modern-day Mephistopheles luring hordes of Faustian fools with promises of worldly pleasure—especially sex—and perpetual provision from a paternal godless nanny state. Such dark pursuits consume their personal lives, and thus, their politics as well. This is what results when one makes a god of government.

Speaking of “dark pursuits,” it seems that witches now outnumber Presbyterians in the U.S. Speaking of witches, it seems the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation brought them even more into the mainstream of modern liberalism. So much so that, now that we’ve entered the Kavanaugh-era of the Supreme Court, Vox saw fit to report on how modern-day witches are helping the “faithful” to cope.

Part of this coping involves placing hexes on Justice Kavanaugh. New York City witches have an event scheduled this coming Saturday (10/20/2018) for devoted occultists. A $10 donation is suggested for those attending. Half of the proceeds will be split between—of course—Planned Parenthood and an LGBT organization. Justice Kavanaugh is just the latest target of those invoking witchcraft in order to “magically bind” President Trump and his administration.

As Rod Dreher implies, it’s no surprise that witchcraft attracts feminazis who wish to rebel against age-old family norms and anything remotely resembling Christianity. Thus, it’s also little surprise that witchcraft fits so nicely under the tent of modern liberalism.

It seems Arizona democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who’s battling Colonel Martha McSally—a former fighter pilot and combat veteran—for Jeff Flake’s seat in the U.S. Senate, has long been impressed with those who invoke the “dark arts.” As the Washington Examiner notes,
It was during the height of the Iraq War when Sinema, then a far-left protest organizer, summoned supernatural help to stop the Iraq War.

Emails obtained by the Washington Examiner show Sinema inviting a prominent coven of feminist witches in Arizona called Pagan Cluster to celebrate International Women’s Day and to protest the war in March of 2003. Code Pink protesters wore pink, obviously enough, and the Women in Black wore black. But Sinema encouraged the witches to wear “colorful clothing and come ready to dance, twirl, and stay in touch with your inner creativity and with the Earth.”
Today’s liberalism isn’t merely “intrinsically uncivil,” but rather inherently evil. What else would you call a cause so devoted to killing the most innocent and helpless among us? What else would you call a cause so devoted to keeping legal the gruesome act of killing the most innocent and helpless among us that they would stoop to the disgraceful display (including witchcraft) witnessed during the Kavanaugh confirmation?

What else would you call a cause that is so devoted to the perverse LGBT agenda? What else would you call a cause that deliberately seeks to ruin Christian business owners because they refuse to bow to the perverse LGBT agenda? What else would you call a cause that refuses to acknowledge who is a male and who is a female—and makes expensive and oppressive public policy based on such absurdities?

Whether a baker, a florist, a coach, a campus speaker, an insurance company, a fast food chain, a Supreme Court justice, or the president of the United States, anyone or anything who stands in the way of the wicked efforts of American liberals to remake our nation into a pagan utopia has become a target of the angry, vengeful left. Ugly mob tactics (which are encouraged by elected democrats) and witchcraft (which, as noted above, was embraced by wannabe-elected democrats) are just two of the despicable means employed by those corrupted by liberalism.

We should be somewhat thankful for the mobs and the witches operating so openly. With such clear “nastiness,” the mask further slips from what the modern democrat party really represents. As Sun-Tzu reveals, “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.”

The more subtle strategies employed by liberals are more dangerous, because they’re more effective. The devil’s more deadly when he operates ignored and unseen for what he really is. “Healthcare is a right.” “Love is love.” “Women have the right to choose.” “Save the earth!” All of these are much more effective than hexes, ignorant chanting and clawing at heavy locked doors like mindless zombies, shouting at your political opponents in restaurants, or physically assaulting those with whom you disagree.

The recent political victories of Donald Trump and republicans have done more than improve our economy and discourage our enemies. By taking power from the left, they’ve helped bring darkness into the light. As Verbal Kint put it, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” With today’s liberals fighting so desperately to hold on to, or regain political power, that trick is getting harder to pull off.

(See this column at American Thinker and Life Site News.)

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Conservative Supreme Court Must Deliver

After the confirmation of now Justice Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, Susan Collins was widely lauded by republicans and conservatives alike for her speech before the U.S. Senate. As she announced her support for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, I, like many others, was also very grateful to hear her condemn the hideous tactics employed by democrats to keep him off the highest court in America.

While I agree with and like much of what Senator Collins said in her Friday afternoon speech, I did not enjoy or appreciate her emphasis on “precedent” as she tried to persuade her audience that a Justice Kavanaugh would be no real threat to Roe.

I’m under no illusions when it comes to Senator Collins’ sad position on the supposed “right” to kill children in the womb. It is possible that, in spite of her speech, she’s under no illusions about the very real threat Justice Kavanaugh poses to Roe. Perhaps Senator Collins just heard what she wanted to hear in her talks with Judge Kavanaugh.

Perhaps she was just providing herself political cover if the current court indeed reverses the tragedy that is Roe v. Wade. Or, perhaps Justice Kavanaugh was just careful enough with his language that he was able to provide Senator Collins answers that would comfort her without revealing anything about how he might actually vote on any issue. (Per the “Ginsburg Rule,”—or, more accurately, the “Biden Rule”—and the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, U.S. Senators well know that nominees to the Supreme Court are under no obligation to reveal how they would vote in matters that might come before them.)

Whatever Senator Collins’ real thoughts on Justice Kavanaugh, many of us who voted for Mr. Trump were very pleased with the confirmation of another conservative federal judge, especially one that should play a significant role in decidedly putting a stop to the left’s misguided use of the courts as some sort of “unelected super-legislature,” and thus return the Supreme Court to its proper role in our government. In other words, in spite of what Senator Collins implied, Justice Kavanaugh cannot be a clone of Anthony Kennedy.

What’s more, a conservative court—one that is dedicated to “conserving” an originalist (read: “proper”) view of the Constitution—should indeed reverse much of what the left has achieved via rogue federal courts. This certainly includes, but is by no means limited to, nationwide abortion on demand and a perverse legal redefinition of marriage.

Note that, while defending the legal right to kill children in the womb, those like Senator Collins often refer to Roe as “long-established precedent,” but while defending the legal right to same-sex “marriage,” they declare 2015’s Obergefell—a recent and precarious 5-4 ruling—as an “important landmark precedent.” Thus, either way, “precedent” rules the day.

Speaking of “precedent,” there is nothing with as much precedent as marriage being the union of one man and one woman for life. As I’ve often noted, marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity—older than God’s covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. As the first three chapters of Genesis reveal, before we were even aware of the preciousness of life—because there was no death—humans were made aware of what is marriage.

In spite of what Susan Collins would have us believe, when it came to legally redefining the oldest legal “precedent” in the history of humanity, liberals on the Supreme Court found it perfectly sufficient to overturn a long-established precedent because “five current justices believed” they were right, and history, the Bible, and long-established overwhelmingly popular human law was wrong.

One gets the feeling that those on the left view as “precedent” any opinion that sits well with a liberal worldview. This is because much of what modern liberalism holds dear was not achieved via the ballot box or through the legislatures, but through judicial tyranny. Winning elections and actually achieving law the way our founders intended has proven far too difficult for liberals and the party they own. Thus, the courts have long been a favorite tool of the modern left. It’s time for leftists to learn: what the courts giveth, the courts can taketh away.

No doubt this is why the behavior of those opposed to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation was so abhorrently evil. Not “crazy,” as so many have been quick to say, but evil. If you thought it was bad during the Kavanaugh confirmation, just wait until a 5-4 decision overturns Roe or Obergefell.

Nevertheless, the courts should be above such intimidation and fear. Jurists dedicated to a constitutional view of our laws cannot allow erroneous views of precedent, the courts, law, and the Constitution to prevail because of how those on the unhinged left might react.

It is sometimes said that “politics is downstream from culture.” Others insist that such a view is “profoundly mistaken,” because “politics is a part of culture.” Whatever the case, our courts should be as free as possible (because judges are human beings, the courts will never be completely blind to politics or culture) from influence by political or cultural forces. Otherwise we end up with such absurd notions as a “living Constitution” and the law is whatever a five-vote majority on the highest court in the land says it is.

As the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia—who repeatedly stood against such nonsense—said, “the Constitution is not an organism, it is a legal document…(it) is an enduring document but not a ‘living’ one, and its meaning must be protected and not repeatedly altered to suit the whims of society.”

Conservatives like myself have long waited for this to be the prevailing view of the highest court in our land. With the confirmation and swearing in of Justice Kavanaugh, it is time for the conservatives on the Supreme Court to deliver.

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, September 30, 2018

On Kavanaugh, for Democrats It’s Always Been Delay and Destroy

Counting today (Sunday, September 30) it’s been 84 days since Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Of those on the current Supreme Court, the average time for Senate confirmation was 67 days. From 1967 to 2010, the median time for confirmation was 69 days. Going all the back to the beginning of our nation, the average time for confirmation is 23 days. In spite of what some have implied—hoping to encourage even further investigation of a 36+ year-old supposed assault involving teenagers—there’s been no “rush” to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

All along the name of the game for democrats in this whole fiasco has been DELAY and DESTROY! Lindsey Graham was exactly right, the democrats want to destroy Judge Kavanaugh, hold the seat open, and hope they can fill it in 2020. The democrats didn’t really want an FBI investigation. If they did, it would’ve happened weeks ago, prior to Judge Kavanaugh’s first appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. They didn’t really want one, because almost certainly they knew where it would lead: nowhere.

Again, democrats want further delays so they can hurl more lies. And an evil and eager media will almost certainly aid and abet. With this extra time that the latest investigation (that makes seven) into his life allows, if liberals continue to assault Judge Kavanaugh and his family with their ugly lies, Senator Jeff Flake will be an accomplice.

Flake—after a confrontation in an elevator with those who have no qualms about assaulting the unborn, and after a conversation with those bent on destroying a good man in the name of assaulting girls in the womb—decided that we needed to drag the ugly circus that is Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation out even longer.

The elevator confrontation preceded Flake’s conversation with Democrat Senator Chris Coons, which led to this new “investigation” of Ford’s uncorroborated accusation of a 36+ year-old assault. In the elevator, two women—Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher—screamed at Flake:
Archila screamed, “What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children. I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?”

Gallagher added, “I was sexually assaulted and nobody believed me. I didn't tell anyone and you’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them. That’s what happened to me, and that’s what you are telling all women in America, that they don’t matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth you’re just going to help that man to power anyway.”
Flake appeared totally surprised and scared to death, and had no words for the two women whose whole verbal assault was premised on a lie. (Thus, why should we assume either woman was telling the truth about their own lives—falsus in uno, falsus in omnibusright Senator Blumenthal?) Any conservative politician of Flake’s experience who has no sound answer for such “nasty” attacks should get out of the game (as Flake is doing).

Of course, there’s absolutely no evidence Brett Kavanaugh “violated” or “assaulted” anyone! Thus support of Judge Kavanaugh in no way implies anything untoward about women and sexual assault or any other such wickedness.

Again, this confrontation was little more than a miniature version of a “nasty” woman’s protest. Yet Senator Flake couldn’t or wouldn’t see it for what is was. Just after Trump’s inauguration, I told the GOP to gird themselves for this fight. It seems Senator Flake was not ready for what many of us knew was coming.

After President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, in early 2017, Bloomberg reported that there were over 200 liberal groups across the U.S. who were organizing and mobilizing opposition to Gorsuch. Marge Baker, executive vice president of People for the American Way, said, “We’ll make sure the narrative makes clear he is out of the mainstream, is extreme and in many ways is to the right of Scalia.”

Ahh, again with “the narrative.” As I noted a few years ago, for liberals, it seems it’s always about the narrative. As has been demonstrated for decades now, liberalism is quite adept at creating “narratives,” i.e. making its own “truth,” which can easily change as soon as it’s advantageous. Such skill and flexibility is very necessary when one needs political power to make sure the preferred notion of “truth” rules the day.

This notion of ones’ own “truth” was trumpeted proudly by liberals who hailed Christine Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A smug Corey Booker told Judge Kavanaugh, “She came forward. She sat here. She told her truth.” A “hyper-partisan” Kirsten Gillibrand told MSNBC,
Well, I think Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony was incredible. I thought she was so heartfelt. She spoke her truth so passionately, with such candor; with such emotion, I was really inspired by what she did today.
There is no “her truth” or “his truth” or “your truth” or “my truth.” There is only the truth. Sadly, most liberals today long ago abandoned such a notion, which is why we’ve had to endure this evil circus that is the Senate confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Suspicions Abound in Ford's Accusations Against Judge Kavanaugh (Update: New Accusations)

Four supposed witnesses identified by Christine Blasey Ford in her accusations against Brett Kavanaugh have ALL refused to corroborate her account of the events from 36+ years ago. In letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mark Judge, Patrick Smyth, and now Leland Ingham Keyser have all denied any memory of the party Ford describes, much less any sort-of assault. It’s important to note that, under 18 U.S.C § 1001, letters to the Judiciary Committee are subject to criminal penalty if false.

This law states that,
[W]hoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States knowingly and willfully...makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years...
It seems that somehow, Ms. Ford may have been made aware of such potential penalties, because we now find out that Ford didn't send her accusing letter to Feinstein but to Rep. Anna G. Eshoo. According to CBS News today,
Eshoo said she met with Ford at her district office "for about an hour and a half" over the summer while Ford described her alleged encounter with Kavanaugh in the early 1980s. She alleges Kavanaugh pinned her down and groped her on a bed at a party while the two were in high school. Kavanaugh has strenuously denied ever doing so and has said he is willing to testify publicly and defend himself.

"My impression of her was she was intelligent. She spoke softly. It was wrenching for her, I think, to tell the story because there's a re-experience when the story is told," Eshoo said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "She went into many details and at the end of our conversation I told her that I believed her and that it was important she tell me if, what she wished me to do with information, if in fact she chose another path. And she did. She wanted me to take it down a different pathway, and of course with anonymity and privacy, that's paramount in sexual abuse allegations or cases because the individuals are terrified."

Ford later sent Eshoo a letter detailing the allegations, which was also received by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. The committee is considering Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
It is interesting that Eshoo got the letter first. As a member of the U.S. House, she has zero jurisdiction over or authority to investigate presidential nominations. So why would Eshoo not make Ms. Ford aware of this and have her send the letter to a democrat member of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Perhaps it was because anyone providing false information to a member of the U.S. House would not be covered by 18 U.S.C § 1001, and thus not subject to the legal penalties it prescribes.

Thus Ford may have been trying to avoid the legal consequences of making false statements. Of course, almost certainly she would have not have been aware of such legalese on her own. This raises several questions. For example: Did Rep. Eshoo make Ms. Ford aware of where her information against Judge Kavanaugh must be sent? Did Rep. Eshoo make Ms. Ford aware of 18 U.S.C § 1001? Were any other democrats involved with informing Ms. Ford of how to proceed with her accusations?

If Ms. Ford is falsely accusing Mr. Kavanaugh—again, no one has corroborated her accusations, and dozens of women have provided contradictory information on Judge Kavanaugh’s treatment of women—all these questions carry even more weight. In other words, if democrats knowingly conspired with a woman making false accusations, there should be severe legal consequences for all involved.

In other words, it seems there may need to be an FBI investigation into this unsavory affair after all. However, as in the case with the Presidential election and the Russians, the real crimes to be concerned with are not with republicans, but democrats.

UPDATE: Given the delays democrats have achieved, did ANYONE not see this coming?! The New Yorker is now reporting on a second accusation against Judge Kavanaugh. (He supposedly exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez.) This time its a year later, when he was 18 and a freshman at Yale. And again, there's no corroboration. Also, as Paul Mirengoff at Powerline notes, Ramirez told The New Yorker she wasn’t certain what happened until "after six days of talking with her attorney" a former elected Democrat. As Mirengoff points out, "one can do plenty of brain washing in six days."

From the article:
The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. The magazine contacted several dozen classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh regarding the incident. Many did not respond to interview requests; others declined to comment, or said they did not attend or remember the party.
A friend of Ramirez, who of course refuses to be identified, claims that Ramirez told him of the incident and he is “one hundred per cent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the student who exposed himself to Ramirez. Other Yale students Ramirez identifies as being present when Kavanaugh exposed himself to her refuse to support her account.
In a statement, two of those male classmates who Ramirez alleged were involved the incident, the wife of a third male student she said was involved, and three other classmates, Dino Ewing, Louisa Garry, and Dan Murphy, disputed Ramirez’s account of events: "We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place. Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not. The behavior she describes would be completely out of character for Brett. In addition, some of us knew Debbie long after Yale, and she never described this incident until Brett’s Supreme Court nomination was pending. Editors from the New Yorker contacted some of us because we are the people who would know the truth, and we told them that we never saw or heard about this."
The New Yorker continues,
The former friend who was married to the male classmate alleged to be involved, and who signed the statement said of Ramirez, "This is a woman I was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening." She said she hadn’t spoken with Ramirez for about ten years, but that the two women had been close all through college, and Kavanaugh had remained part of what she called their "larger social circle." In an initial conversation with The New Yorker, she suggested that Ramirez may have been politically motivated. Later, she said that she did not know if this was the case.
Interesting question: Was the statement made by Ramirez's classmates made to the Senate Judiciary Committee? If not, will such a statement be made? Again, the interesting scenario of the legal penalties against false statements would carry weight. Also, according to Guy Benson at Townhall, The New York Times states that they interviewed dozens of people over the past week in, what I'm sure was a desperate attempt to corroborate Ramirez’s story. No one could be found.

The Times also states that, "Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself." Again, it was only after six days of "carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney" (remember, a former elected democrat) that she remembered it was Kavanaugh.

Yeah, this reeks as well. This is politics at its worst folks, and remember, it's ALL about keeping legal across the U.S. the right to kill children in the womb. It takes someone pretty deceived or vicious to stand for such a thing. We should not be surprised at their tactics to defend something so morally indefensible. We need to pray for the truth for all of those involved in these grave matters, and for strength and peace for those standing for the truth, and vote for conservatives (or at least, against liberals) in November!

(See a version of this at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Monday, September 17, 2018

May the Farce be With You: Han Solo Preaches Climate Doom

And you thought the Death Star was dangerous. Speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit recently, a frothy and furry Harrison Ford—resembling Chewbacca more than Han Solo—growled and cussed at a like-minded gathering of the anthropogenic climate change faithful. Like a fiery guru pitching a worn out self-help scam, Ford reminded his congregation of something we’ve all heard countless times before: because of so-called man-made climate change, the “future of humanity is at stake!”

No doubt implying that America needs to elect more democrats, Ford passionately implored the crowd to “stop giving power to people who don’t believe in science.” I agree! Anyone who can’t tell the American public what is the definition of a male and a female, or denies the unmistakable—but, for liberals, “inconvenient”—science of life in the womb has no business holding elected office.

Though their meteorologists often get the 5-day forecast wrong, the same fools who tell us that women are just as good in combat as men want us to take their 100-year climate forecasts as the gospel truth, because, you know, “SCIENCE!” With the same ignorant passion of Harrison Ford, for decades now the dogmatic adherents of “the [not-so] new religion of First World urban elites” have claimed that the burning of fossil fuels is destroying the planet.

Blind to what fuels their private jets and what has fueled the building of our comfortable modern world, including carbon fiber bicycles, air conditioned Starbucks, polyester clothes, smart-phones, laptops, plastic protest signs, “Coexist” bumper stickers, and everything else that makes a liberal lifestyle complete, hypocritical leftists scream that if we don’t get off of fossil fuels, the world will burn. And “we are sh*t out of time” according to Harrison Ford.

Actually, San Francisco—where the Global Climate Action Summit was held this year—has had to make plenty of time for sh*t. In order to navigate properly one of the most “progressive” cities in the world, where taking care of the environment is supposedly sacrosanct, one must consult a “poop map.” Who knew that poop in the streets was “progressive?”

Yes, the world is filled with crap-holes, but they shouldn’t exist in the U.S.—at least not literally. Yet San Francisco has turned into a literal cesspool, and according to Steven Greenhut, everyone there is noticing.
“Trash bags full of approximately 20 pounds of human poop were left on the sidewalk over the weekend in downtown San Francisco,” the Fresno Bee reported on Wednesday. “It’s the latest — and perhaps most alarming — sign of the increased filthiness of one of the most popular cities in the United States.” Those smelly, possibly leaking bags were left in the downscale Tenderloin, but large swaths of upscale areas now resemble an outdoor sewer with human feces, open-air drug use, and other signs of the breakdown of civic order.

…Even the grounds around the state Capitol in Sacramento aren’t immune. In fairness, I’ve seen similar situations throughout the country. But in San Francisco the disorder isn’t confined to alleys and bushes. The encampments are in plain view and spreading. The panhandlers can be frighteningly aggressive.

An NBC Bay Area investigation from February “reveals a dangerous concoction of drug needles, garbage, and feces lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed more than 150 blocks, including some of the city’s top tourist destinations, and discovered conditions that are now being compared to some of the worst slums in the world.” In some cases, the situation may be worse than in the Third World because in those countries the filth and needles tend to be confined to certain neighborhoods, whereas in San Francisco the problem is everywhere.
In other words, San Francisco can’t even figure out how to keep human feces from their streets, yet we’re supposed to trust such politicians when it comes to something as magnificently complex as the global climate. Maybe they should put their efforts towards building a better pooper-scooper. Perhaps they could get Bill Nye the “science” guy working on it.

Now that we’ve had a significant hurricane hit the U.S. Coast, liberals want everyone to remember that all of the devastation that results from Hurricane Florence is the fault of man-made climate change deniers—especially President Trump. Just as Florence was bearing down on the Carolina coast, The Washington Post pointed the finger at the President:
Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.
Dan Rather—you know, the long-time “impartial” evening news anchor at CBS—said that future generations “will damn” those “complicit” in ignoring the earth’s pleas “for a restoration to health.” Of course, most liberals “will damn” President Trump no matter what.

CNN was happy to join the “damn Trump because of the hurricane” chorus. On this past Thursday, after stating that he agreed with The Post that Trump was “complicit” in the latest hurricane, CNN political analyst John Avlon declared, “This isn’t rocket science, it is climate science.” Actually John, it’s just weather, but “never let a crisis go to waste,” right?

To bolster his case, Avlon did what media liberals so often do: he lied. Avlon presented his paltry audience with a graphic that claimed that there’s been a 40% increase in severe storms since 1950. Via Twitter, Ryan Maue provided a graphic that revealed the truth. As Roger Pielke put it,
For many years, those seeking to justify carbon restrictions argued that hurricanes had become more common and intense. That hasn’t happened. Scientific assessments, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government’s latest National Climate Assessment, indicate no long-term increases in the frequency or strength of hurricanes in the U.S. Neither has there been an increase in floods, droughts and tornadoes… Prior to Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm, the U.S. had gone a remarkable 12 years without being hit by a hurricane of Category 3 strength or stronger. Since 1970 the U.S. has only seen four hurricanes of Category 4 or 5 strength. In the previous 47 years, the country was struck by 14 such storms.
In 2016, even The New York Times was whining about the lack of hurricanes, though they did assure us that hurricanes will return, and stronger than ever. We’ve seen this song and dance too many times now. The script is too predictable. After this storm passes, Trump will be blamed for anything that goes wrong in the recovery, and then it’s on to the next natural disaster.

Those peddling man-made global warming are responsible for some of the biggest scandals in science, which has helped to prop up one of the greatest scientific frauds of all time. About the only thing more scandalous, more fraudulent would be to give political power to those who continue to preach or buy into to this scientific propaganda. 

(See the column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, September 16, 2018

GOP: Do Your Job and CONFIRM KAVANAUGH!

Again we see one of the big reasons why Donald Trump was elected U.S. President: unlike so many in the GOP, he fights. So we now know the name of Brett Kavanaugh's accuser: Christine Blasey Ford. She's a democrat-donating Bernie Sanders supporter who teaches clinical psychology at Palo Alto University in California.

Even more telling, the lawyer she's hired is D.C. swamp-dweller Debra Katz. As Townhall notes,
Katz...has a long history of dismissing sexual assault allegations against liberal politicians, donating to left-wing causes, and even publicly demonizing all Trump advisors as "miscreants" who are worse than deplorables...readers should remember that Katz treated Paula Jones' accusations of sexual harassment against President Bill Clinton very differently in the 1990s...Katz dismissed Jones' assertions on March 30th,1998 on CNN's "Talkback Live" saying that, "Paula Jones' suit is very, very, very weak. She's alleged one incident that took place in a hotel room that, by her own testimony, lasted 10 to 12 minutes. She suffered no repercussions in the workplace."

Likewise, Katz again said on CBS' Evening News on April 2nd, 1998 that Jones' allegation could not hold up in court because, "Clearly a one-time incident that took place in 10 to 12 minutes, she was not forced to have sex, she left on her own volition, the courts increasingly are finding that that is not enough to create a sexually hostile work environment claim."
Katz continued to argue throughout the 90s that because Jones could not show that the harassment was "severe and pervasive," she did not have a case. In 1998, Katz told the media that, "If a woman came to me with a similar fact pattern, that is someone in the company above her propositioned her but only once and she suffered no tangible job detriment. I would probably tell her that I'm sorry, it's unfair, but you don't have a case.’
But, of course, not in this case. This is because, as I noted on Twitter, Judge Kavanaugh is a good man, an excellent judge, and a reliable conservative, and liberals hate him for it all. These accusations by Ford are nothing but last ditch Clarence Thomas-like theater that reeks of political desperation. As Erick Erickson puts it,
Here we have one Bernie Sanders supporter who waited about 30 years before telling anyone and did so during a therapy session, which itself raises questions about whether this is real or a therapist contrived "recovered memory." At the time, Brett Kavanaugh was on the United States Court of Appeals. Kavanaugh's accuser did nothing publicly until 2018, thirty-five years after the accusation.

The accusation itself is that Kavanaugh, then a teenager, tried to force himself on to her at a party while drunk. Kavanaugh and his accused friend both vehemently deny the accusation. While I suspect the accuser will bring forward some friends who claim she told them at the time, because that is just how convenient this story is, thus far none have come forward.

What we do have, however, are 65 women who have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school who have vouched for his character since high school. We have a herd of reporters who accused the GOP of clearly knowing about the accusation because they could not conceive of 65 women working through the night to defend their friend's character. That not only speaks to the poor character of the reporters, but also to the fact that most political reporters in DC are already pre-disposed to oppose Kavanaugh.
We have dozens of female colleagues who have come forward to defend Brett Kavanaugh's character. We have moms of basketball players and those same female players defending him.

We have no pattern of conduct. We have no multiple accusers. We have no evidence. We have one Bernie Sanders donor against close to 100 women and girls who say this is outside the character of Brett Kavanaugh.

If the GOP decides to entertain this, we will start seeing this pattern repeatedly where one accusation from decades ago is given more weight than a lifetime of work and character witnesses that span a nominee's lifetime. Democrats want to weaponize the #MeToo movement to sabotage Brett Kavanaugh. The irony is that they are doing it to protect an abortion industry that preys mostly on innocent girls in the womb.
It seems that retiring GOP Senator Jeff Flake has decided to "entertain this." After Ford's identity became known today, Senator Flake said, "We said before that these allegations were anonymous and uncorroborated. That is no longer true." He then went on to say, "We can't vote until we hear more." As I noted in a Tweet to Arizona's new "maverick": What "corroboration?! There's no "corroboration" with Kavanaugh's accuser. It's still just her word. The only thing different is that we now know her name.

Is this Flake's "NeverTrump" hatred spewing forth? John Hinderaker at Powerline thinks so:
Kavanaugh unequivocally denies Ford’s allegation, and the only witness to the event (per Ford), Mark Judge, says “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.” I think Ms. Ford is pretty obviously lying (don’t get me started on the friendly “lie detector test” that the Washington Post says she passed), or, on the most charitable explanation, possibly has Brett Kavanaugh confused with someone else. 
In any event, the idea that a 30 to 40 year old story of this sort–He tried to kiss me! He lay on top of me!–that has never been heard before, can derail the nomination of a man who by all accounts, including those of political adversaries, is of the most sterling possible character, is ridiculous. 
Despite the feebleness of Ford’s complaint, it is easy to understand why the Democrats are clinging to it like a life raft. But what could possibly prompt Jeff Flake, who ran for office and was elected as a Republican, to join in their attempt to block one of the most superbly qualified jurists ever appointed to the Court? There is only one answer: his insane hatred for President Trump.
As any sound-minded conservative, or even devoted republican, should well know: The democrats and their stooges in the media are going to seek to destroy WHOMEVER is a conservative nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those who would've gladly cast their vote for Kavanaugh last week should also note, THIS is the best they can do with Kavanaugh: uncorroborated accusations from HIGH SCHOOL!

I warned the GOP during the Gorsuch hearings, "Gird Your Loins and be ready for Battle over the Supreme Court." Now is the time for republicans to do what they were elected to do! The wall's not being built, Obamacare's not been repealed. Among other things, republicans were elected to nominate and approve judges like Kavanaugh! Take your cue from President Trump and FIGHT! Now do your job GOP and seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court!

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Friday, September 14, 2018

Kavanaugh and Pence Prove: Liberals Don’t Care About Character

By all accounts, Brett Kavanaugh is not only an excellent jurist, but also a good man. According to Msgr. John Enzler, CEO and president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.,
This is the guy next door, this is what he's like. He’s not like some intellectual powerhouse you’d never talk to. This is a guy who’s very friendly, very outgoing, very nice, lot of laughter, big smile, wonderful father, wonderful husband, man of faith, lives his faith, goes to church every week.
When introduced as President Trump’s nominee to replace the retiring Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh—a former altar boy—spoke adoringly of his parents, wife, and two daughters. “I thank God every day for my family,” he told the audience gathered at the White House. He also spoke of his commitment to serve others through his D.C. Catholic Church.

From all indications, Brett Kavanaugh loves his wife, loves his children, loves his parents, loves his fellow man, and, most importantly of all, loves his Lord. As is the case with all of those who possess such character, Kavanaugh’s love is not revealed only through words. Those who know him well confirm that he lives out his faith. In other words, through his deeds Mr. Kavanaugh is known and admired. And liberals just don’t care.

In spite of all that we’ve heard about President Trump’s character—or lack thereof—as I noted last year, there’s nothing in President Trump’s personal past that runs afoul of the perverse “standards” of modern liberalism. As the Kavanaugh hearings again remind us, for modern liberals, it’s never really about the character of the individual. Virtually all that matters is furthering the liberal agenda.

As Ron Ross at American Spectator recently pointed out, President Trump’s real crime—seemingly now “the most unforgivable hate crime”—is “obstruction of liberalism.” No doubt liberals fear that Brett Kavanaugh is part of the same “criminal” cabal. What’s more, given that the office of U.S. President is decided every four years, and Supreme Court judges receive lifetime appointments, Justice Kavanaugh—and those in the judiciary who are like minded—are on liberals’ “most wanted” list.

Hence the absurd and clownish display we witnessed last week when Mr. Kavanaugh went before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. After the opening day hearings, David French well summed up the sad spectacle:
[F]rom the top down, from senators to protesters to online trolls, the Democrats offered a preview of how they’d react to any Republican nominee, and it was a shining example of how and why conservatives don’t believe for one moment that Donald Trump is the sole source of American dysfunction.
In other words, it was as if Kramer and Newman had taken over the hearings. After enduring a couple of days of ugly liberal antics, David Catron soundly piled on:
During the first two days of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee demonstrated why their party lost control of Congress, and that they still can’t be trusted with a majority in either house. In addition to interrupting the proceedings countless times on hopelessly frivolous grounds and engaging in outrageous demagoguery, they openly encouraged demonstrators to disrupt the hearings with such disgusting behavior that Judge Kavanaugh’s wife was forced to lead his children out of the room on the first day. These are the very Democrats, remember, who routinely lecture President Trump on matters of decorum.
As the caption above Catron’s piece notes, “Kavanaugh hearings reveal why their symbol is the jackass.” Indeed! A braying looney jackass:

 

Again, things will only get worse if President Trump has the opportunity to replace Ruth Ginsburg or one of her constitutionally-ignorant left-wing colleagues. Along with the rise of fake news and fake Christianity, lovers of the truth have had to contend with fake law. Much of what is precious to modern liberals has become entrenched in U.S. law, not because of constitutionally legislative efforts, but through a rogue unconstitutional judiciary.

Whether abortion, same-sex “marriage,” immigration, climate change, speech, property rights, and so on, left-wing jurists on the highest courts in our land have conducted themselves, not as “umpires”—as Judge Kavanaugh put it—but as “super legislators.” Because the U.S. federal courts have been a reliable resource for liberal causes and left-wing law, anything or anyone—no matter their character—seen as a threat to the left’s hold on the courts must be “taken out.”

Because liberals have made a god of government, almost any politician or judge—no matter their character—with their sights set on Washington D.C. must be ready to deal with the vile, crazy left. In their lust to be rid of Trump, many liberals have forgotten how much they hate Mike Pence. This past July, Frank Brunni of The New York Times reminded them:
There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.

That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.

To that brimming potpourri he adds two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity. Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.
Or, to put it another way, because he follows a version of the “Billy Graham rule,” the left sees Mike Pence as part of the “American Taliban.” Last year, The Atlantic reported on “How Mike Pence’s Marriage Became Fodder for the Culture Wars.” The author references a 2002 The Hill piece:
The Hill article gives more context on how the Pences were thinking about this, at least back in 2002. Pence told the paper he often refused dinner or cocktail invitations from male colleagues, too: “It’s about building a zone around your marriage,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a predatory town, but I think you can inadvertently send the wrong message by being in [certain] situations.”

The 2002 article notes that Pence arrived in Congress a half decade after the 1994 “Republican revolution,” when Newt Gingrich was the speaker of the House. Several congressional marriages, including Gingrich’s, encountered difficulty that year. Pence seemed wary of this. “I’ve lost more elections than I’ve won,” he said. “I’ve seen friends lose their families. I’d rather lose an election.” He even said he gets fingers wagged in his face by concerned Indianans. “Little old ladies come and say, ‘Honey, whatever you need to do, keep your family together,’” he told The Hill.
Mike Pence puts his family and his marriage ahead of politics, and the left thinks this is lunacy. As the Apostle Paul told Titus, “to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”

A defiled heart and mind distorts everything. The left hates Trump supposedly because he’s vile, vulgar, “trashy,” undignified, un-presidential, piggish. Mike Pence and Brett Kavanaugh can be accused of nothing similar, and the left hates them also. For those corrupted by a liberal worldview, it’s never really about character, it’s always about politics…and sex. 

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Church, Sexual Immorality, and Fake Christianity

Pleased with the efforts of his demonic protégé, Screwtape nevertheless cautioned Wormwood not to waken his waffling churchgoing “patient” to “a sense of his real position.” In chapter XII of C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, Screwtape further warns Wormwood that his patient “must not be allowed to suspect that he is now, however slowly, heading right away from the sun on a line which will carry him into the cold and dark of utmost space.”

Screwtape goes on to contend that the man’s church attendance could even be used as an advantage in their demonic schemes. He explains,
As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a few new friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago [before he became a Christian]. And while he thinks that, we do not have to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognized, sin, but only with his vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn’t been doing very well lately.
After all, Screwtape concludes,
It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing…Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
Fewer and fewer Americans these days seem willing “to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognized, sin.” Of course, to a great extent, this is because fewer and fewer Americans are able to recognize what is sin—or, many Americans are simply becoming comfortable with their sin and are eagerly strolling along the “gentle slope” to hell.

In a foolish desire to be “relevant” or “tolerant,” churches across the world—especially mainline Protestant churches and the Catholic Church—have abandoned long-heeded truths for heresy. This is especially the case when it comes to matters in the sexual realm.

At this point in the moral wars, if you are a Christian, you almost certainly should well know where your church stands on the issues of homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” and any other manifestation of sexual immorality. If your church’s position on such grave matters is unclear, you should be asking yourself and your church leadership why this is the case.

If your church is refusing to confront these grave matters bravely and truthfully, you should seek to change that. If they refuse, you should find another body of fellowship. Likewise, if you are a lover of the truth, any church you’ve attended that has already gone the way of the world on homosexuality, marriage, and the like should now be your former church.

In other words, there is a war raging within the church, and it is long past time to choose sides and get in the fight. Decades of fake Christians peddling fake Christianity—along with lazy, ignorant, lukewarm, and sometimes hypocritical congregations—have allowed the moral lines for what was and was not sin in the sexual realm to be blurred or altogether redrawn.

As a result, the battles over sex and sexuality in our culture have largely been lost. A wide array of sexually immoral behaviors is now deemed acceptable by significant portions of our culture. At least sixty percent of Americans view same-sex “marriage,” homosexuality, and fornication (sex outside of marriage) as morally acceptable. Our courts, corporations, schools, legislatures, and the like have taken notice. Most every significant institution in the U.S. now widely embraces evil. The church doesn’t seem far behind.

It should come as little surprise that so many who call themselves Christians want to go the way of the world on sexual matters. This is especially true of those under 30. Their teachers, professors, bosses, TV shows, movies, et al fully embrace the perverse LGBT agenda, so why shouldn’t their church? Some church leaders—those unequipped, misled, or with a corporate (as opposed to a biblical) mindset who hope that surrender on sex will grow their numbers—have agreed.

The sexual morality presented by Christianity stands in stark contrast to the sexual immorality proffered by the perverse LGBT agenda. In spite of the clear and unmistakable message of Scripture and centuries of church teachings on sex, family, and marriage, there is a growing movement among Christians to ignore or flat out deny what God has long said on these grave matters. As the body of Christ is supposed to be the first and last line of defense with such spiritual darkness, this capitulation has led to increased battle grounds in this war.

As many of us well know, these battles are all around us: in bakeries, flower shops, adoption agencies, track meets, libraries, the military, schools (see here for a shocking list of the perversions occurring in k-12 government schools), and yes, tragically, even in the church (Catholic, Protestant, and “born-again” former Presidents who teach Sunday school). Thus, whether we desire it or not, whether we are engaged or not, almost every single American has already been touched by this war.

Though many of us are now witnessing things we formerly thought sheer nonsense or impossible—and horrific—as with most things in the human condition, what we Christians are facing today in the sexual realm is not as new as it may seem. The scourge of sexual immorality that is so pervasive in the “City of Man” has long plagued God’s people.

Since very near the beginning of time human beings have sought to shed the tenets of our Creator and go our own way. This is especially true when it comes to our sexuality. Much of the history of ancient Israel, as described by the Old Testament, included the struggle of the Jewish people with idolatry, false gods, and sexual immorality. Whether Baal, Ashtoreth, Molech, or any other such demons, the people of God were often led into obscene sexual activities, along with other vile wickedness such as human—including infant—sacrifice (which some of today’s liberals defend).

In spite of the widespread embrace of the left’s lies on sex, as was the case with Israel, a remnant of truth-tellers will remain. The size of that remnant will, to a great extent, be determined by the willingness of the church to fight for the truth. Those who’ve made a god of sex already own the Democrat Party, Hollywood, social media, the drive-by media, the government schools, and so on. We can’t afford to give away any more ground, certainly not within the church.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, September 1, 2018

♪If You Believe We Put a Man on the Moon♪…Don’t Go See First Man

When it comes to the American flag on the moon, Hollywood takes a knee. With its soon-to-be released film, First Man, it seems Universal Pictures doesn’t want the world to remember that it was Americans who first landed on the moon. On the contrary, Hollywood again reminds us why Trump was elected and why liberals should never be in any position of power. Remember such come this November.

The absurdity of a film about the first manned mission to the moon—an exclusively American accomplishment—that doesn’t show the moment when Neil Armstrong planted the U.S. flag on the moon makes me wonder: would such a move by Universal and the producers and directors of First Man have taken place had Donald Trump not been elected President of the United States? If this is the case, President Trump is not only living inside the heads of the Hollywood elite, he’s built a HUUUGE skyscraper there and has taken up permanent residence in the top floor penthouse.

Or perhaps Hollywood—like Google—wants to appease the Chinese. As Chinese money pours into Hollywood, its influence over what is produced in the American entertainment industry is growing. Canadian actor Ryan Gosling—who plays Armstrong in First Man—describes the first moon landing as a “human achievement” that “transcended countries and borders.” Almost certainly the Chinese agree.

Communists have a long history of attempting to rewrite history in order to further their agenda. The U.S. entertainment industry is a powerful tool in such propaganda efforts. As John Hinderaker of Powerline put it,
Hollywood’s lies are forever. As time goes by, and fewer people remember the truthful version of events, their capacity to deceive probably grows rather than diminishing. “First Man” represents a more subtle deceit than “JFK” or “Truth,” but it is deceit nonetheless.
Regardless of whether this was Hollywood again displaying its ugly Trump Derangement Syndrome, or Chinese appeasement, or whether it was just the latest lame attempt by the left to rewrite history and put America and Americans “in our place,” this was a truly stupid act. Take note, kids, these hate-filled political syndromes can make you do dumb things.

Did the left really think that such an omission would go unnoticed or be ignored? Whether by commission (kneeling during the National Anthem), or omission (editing out the American flag), the left continues to dishonor and disrespect this nation. Do they really think such deceit—both the anthem protests in the NFL and the flag omission by Universal are rooted in lies—is going to win over the American electorate?

I know well the truth of the moon missions, what went into placing American men on the moon, and the importance of such achievements in the telling of America’s history. One of the chapters in The Miracle and Magnificence of America details how scientific, political, and flight pioneers in the United States turned science fiction into science fact. Prior to the amazing Apollo missions, Americans spent decades pioneering the science, technology, and grit necessary to placing men in space and on the moon.

Called “The father of the Space Age,” Robert Goddard was the first scientist to give serious scientific treatment to the idea that space travel was possible. U.S. newspapers widely reported on Goddard’s work, and for the first time, Americans began to believe that men really could travel to the moon.

Goddard—an American physicist, engineer, and inventor—was already famous worldwide for his contributions to rocketry. In 1920, less than two decades after the Wright brothers astounded the world by flying for 12 seconds at an altitude of 10 feet, the Smithsonian Institution published Goddard’s groundbreaking paper, “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes.”

Prior to 1920, Goddard was successfully building rockets, rocket engines, and making rocket fuel. A staunch patriot, and with the goal of producing rockets that would assist in the war effort, in 1917 Goddard went to work for the U.S. Army. He was able to develop rockets with launchers that could be fired from trenches. He also developed hand-held launchers similar to what would later be known as the bazooka.

Goddard was the first to build a rocket engine that used liquid fuel. Fifteen years later the Nazis would use the same type of engine in their V-2 rocket weapons. In 1935 Goddard became the first to launch a liquid-fueled rocket faster than the speed of sound. In addition to fuels and engines, in his pursuit of getting rockets into space, Goddard also invented many of the components necessary for space travel. Thus, again, America was leading the world into new frontiers. Prior to Goddard, the rocket was simply a toy, as historian Frank H. Winter put it, a small “pasteboard amusement device. Now, astonishingly and suddenly, it was transformed into a revolutionary way to penetrate space.”

In the spring of 1945, after his inspection of a German V-2 rocket, Goddard was convinced that the Nazis had stolen his work. In 1963, Wernher von Braun admitted that Goddard’s rockets “... may have been rather crude by present-day standards, but they blazed the trail and incorporated many features used in our most modern rockets and space vehicles.” He also concluded that “Goddard's experiments in liquid fuel saved us years of work, and enabled us to perfect the V-2 years before it would have been possible.”

By 1946, V-2s were being launched from American soil. As a result of these efforts, the United States achieved many of the world’s firsts in space travel. On October 24, 1946, a 35-mm motion picture camera placed aboard a V-2 took the first ever photo from space. It was a simple and quite grainy black-and-white image of a small portion of the earth.

View of Earth from a camera on V-2 #13, launched October 24, 1946. (White Sands Missile Range/Applied Physics Laboratory
The U.S. was the first to put animals into space. On February 20, 1947, in order to study radiation exposure at high altitudes, fruit flies were launched aboard a V-2 and reached an altitude of 68 miles, just over the “Karman line,” the imaginary line where the earth’s atmosphere meets outer space. On June 14, 1949, the U.S. put the first mammal in space. Also, multiple V-2 rockets flew “experiment packages” in the nose cones. Such packages performed various measurements in the upper regions of the earth’s atmosphere as well as in the lower regions of space.

Given the limited supply and the expense of the relatively large V-2, U.S. rocket scientists developed the sleeker and much less expensive Aerobee rocket. The Aerobee was a two-stage rocket. It greatly reduced the cost of rocket research missions.

As the U.S. was sending more and more rockets and live animals into space, the idea of manned space flight drew closer and closer to a reality. In addition to the effects of high altitudes and low gravity on the human body, the impact of extremely high speed was another necessary and significant area of research by rocket scientists.

The earliest significant speed challenge for man and machine was the sound barrier. On October 14, 1947, in the rocket-powered Bell Aircraft X-1, at an altitude of about 45,000 feet, traveling at Mach 1.07, Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager became the first human to travel faster than the speed of sound. Supersonic flight soon became a regular occurrence. By the 1950s, Edwards Air Force Base was the destination for pilots thought to have “the right stuff.”

Edwards Air Force Base, along with the United States Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, soon became the home of legendary American pilots. “On their way to the stars, the first generation of Americans who would fly into space passed first through Edwards or Pax River.”

Nevertheless, with the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik (Russian for “satellite”) 1, on October 4, 1957, the Russians, not the Americans, ushered in the space age. When Sputnik 2, with the dog Laika aboard, was launched on November 3, 1957, Americans were demanding answers. A media riot ensued. Legendary science editor John Campbell declared, “There is nothing like a good, hard kick in the pants to wake up somebody who’s going to sleep on the job.”

In order to assure Americans that there had been a significant American effort to get into space, four days after the launch of Sputnik 2, President Eisenhower began a series of televised speeches from the Oval Office on the subject of “Science and National Security.”

On July 29, 1955, White House press secretary, James C. Hagerty, announced official U.S. plans for launching satellites into space. By September of that year, the U.S. Navy’s Vanguard satellite program became the official satellite program of the United States. Feeling pressure as the result of the successful launch of Sputnik, on December 6, 1957, Vanguard TV3 was the first attempt by the U.S. to put a satellite into space. The picture below reveals the sad result of the launch:


With millions of Americans anxiously watching on TV, two seconds after launch, and a mere four feet in the air, Vanguard TV3 lost thrust, fell back to the earth, and exploded. It was a sweeping humiliation for the U.S. Newspapers ran headlines using words like “Flopnik,” “Kaputnik,” “Stayputnik,” and “Dudnik” to describe the launch failure. Vanguard soon became a byword for failure.

However, only a few weeks later, on January 31, 1958, America joined the Soviets in space. Launched aboard the Juno I rocket, the Explorer 1 was the first satellite of the United States. 1958 saw multiple efforts by both the Soviets and the Americans to put additional satellites into orbit. There were successes and failures on both sides.

With the Soviets having exploded their first thermonuclear bomb in 1953, when Sputnik 1 was launched into space, military leaders in America rightly feared the idea that the Russians now had a significant first-strike nuclear advantage. Thus, the space race was also quite literally a “rocket race.” Though the U.S. had been working on an intercontinental ballistic missile since just after the end of WWII, the first successful launch of an American ICBM, the Atlas, did not occur until November 28, 1958, more than a year after the first successful launch of the Russian R-7.

However, the Soviets failed to build on their lead in ICBM technology, and by the early 1960s the United States took and maintained an advantage in strategic missile technology. The U.S. missile advantage was due in part to the creation of NASA. On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act. It would be NASA that would take America to the moon.

In addition to improving American rocket technology, by 1961 NASA planners had firmly set their resolve on the goal of placing a man on the moon. On May 5, 1961, aboard the space capsule Freedom 7, Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space. About three weeks later on May 25, President Kennedy announced the goal of a lunar landing by the end of the decade. Toward the end of 1961, the Soviets announced the moon as a target as well.

The failing health of the leader of the Soviet space program, the brilliant Sergei Korolev, and his eventual untimely death in 1966, kept the Russians behind the Americans in the race to the moon. On July 20, 1969, American Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon. About 19 minutes after Armstrong first set foot on the Moon, fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin joined him.

Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 all sent American men to the surface of the Moon. Twelve men, all Americans, have walked on the surface of the moon. Chronologically, they are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Eugene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt.

I thought the moon missions so unique and important in American history that I included a photo of an Apollo astronaut on the surface of the moon on the cover of The Miracle and Magnificence of America. And not just any photo, but the photo of Apollo 15 Commander Dave Scott saluting the American flag at the Hadley-Apennine landing site on July 30, 1971. The story of men walking on the moon is a uniquely American achievement. History plainly reveals this, and no amount of Hollywood editing is going to change that.

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com