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Monday, May 28, 2018

Again: They Kneel for a LIE!

I remember when taking a knee in football was one of the most satisfying things in this life. It used to mean one of two things: a well-deserved respite from the grueling grind of sweltering practices during the hot and humid late summer weather of the pre-season or the final magnificent moments before a looming victory in America’s most popular sport.

I was privileged to play organized football only from 7th grade through 12th grade. (I’ve always said that I had NFL hands, but my place-kicker size, and tackle—or maybe tight-end—speed kept me out of “The League.”) My middle school coach was “Rolling Thunder” Roger Thurmond. He was dubbed such because he was a Vietnam veteran who lost both of his legs and thus (usually) coached from his wheel chair, and because he was perfectly fiery and fierce as he coached us to near-perfection—at least in my 8th grade year when we went 4-1.

Interesting anecdote: I’ve had a broken bone only twice in my life. It was the same bone both times: my right collar bone. The second time it happened was during tackling drills when I was in 10th grade. The first time it happened was when I was wrestling on the playground in first grade. The best part of the story: the same guy broke it both times! Even his name—Bart Black—rings of villainy! And the perfect conclusion to this anecdote: when we slinked off the playground in first grade to let our teachers know something was amiss, we were immediately sent indoors. In addition to robbing us of our playground privileges—and unaware of my broken bone (she thought I was trying to get out of trouble)—our teacher paddled both of us! How I miss those days!

There are more than a few men in the NFL these days who could use a good paddling and more than a few leftist talking-heads who could use a good lesson in the limits of “free speech.” As we must continue to endure the ongoing debate about NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem, the commentary from sports pundits—who notoriously lean left, especially sports writers—is the most telling.

Of all people observing and commenting on this debate, sports journalists should understand better than most what are the boundaries of their First Amendment rights. This is especially true of sports talk-show commentators on TV and radio. Their ownership won’t allow them to say anything they want on any topic—especially when it comes to things deemed politically sensitive. Otherwise, viewers and listeners may tune out and there might be harm to the “infamous” bottom line. More than one such host has been let go from his or her job, suspended, demoted, or otherwise punished because he or she crossed a line on speech that ownership did not support.

In other words, anyone working for a private company has limits placed on his or her “free speech rights.” Yet as the debate over NFL players kneeling just won’t end, many pundits, NFL players themselves, and even ignorant and hypocritical (the NBA already has a ban on Anthem protests) NBA coaches have made this an issue about free speech. Just another sad consequence of the government’s virtual monopoly on education, I suppose.

No, this isn’t really about “free speech.” If a group of NFL players used the field to protest against same-sex “marriage,” abortion, or some other wicked perversion held dear by the left, I’m almost certain that many of those now yammering about “free speech” would quickly revert to “shut up and play.” Also, where are these First Amendment champions when it comes to real speech infringement—such as what we are witnessing all across America’s college campuses?

What this is really about is why a group of attention-seeking, privileged multi-millionaires have decided to use company time to disrespect their fans and their country. In other words, why do they kneel? If these kneelers decided to heed sound advice and use their own time to make their political and “social” points, would it make their cause any more honest? In short, no. It would make their league more profitable, but their cause would still be foolish and misguided.

Again—as shockingly few are willing to point out—they kneel for a lie! As I’ve noted before, the lie is this:
There’s widespread and institutionalized racism inside America’s law enforcement agencies, and black Americans are especially targeted. This racism has led to the deaths of a disproportionate number of innocent black Americans. In order to stop this heinous activity, we need more gun control legislation, more wealth redistribution, more job and education programs, [and the like] and thus Americans need to elect more Democrats.
The unpopular fact is that black Americans are much safer in the presence of law enforcement than they are in black communities, especially when such communities—because of things like the “Ferguson Effect”—have little or no police presence. The statistics makes this clear.
  • According to the CDC, the leading cause of death among black males ages 15-34 is homicide. 
  • According to the FBI, the vast majority (over 90%) of black homicide victims were killed by other blacks. 
  • For decades, black Americans have been more likely to be victims of violent crime (almost always at the hands of other black Americans) than are white Americans. 
  • Time and again it is revealed: when police stop policing, crime increases, and black citizens suffer disproportionately. 
  • The most dangerous neighborhoods in America—all with large (usually majority) black populations—are dominated by Democrats and liberal politics. 
What’s more, according to Heather MacDonald, a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black perpetrator than an unarmed black person is to be killed by a cop. In other words, it’s much more dangerous to be a police officer staring down a black perpetrator than it is to be an unarmed black suspect encountering a cop. And perhaps the most shocking statistic of all: Black men in the U.S. are half as likely to die if they are in prison than if they are not. As Yahoo News noted,
Less than one percent of men (more than half of whom were black) in total died while in prison, and there was no difference between black and white inmates in that regard.
As Yahoo also points out,
If prisoners are better off in prison, then what does that say about the conditions plaguing low-income communities and the services being offered to people of color?
What it says—and what many have long been saying, including some wise members of the NFL— is that, when it comes to violence and crime in our communities we don’t have a skin problem—as in the case with our schools—we have a sin problem.

Specifically, we have a breakdown of the family problem. The fatherlessness that plagues our urban areas—especially black families—has led to a myriad of problems, not the least of which is criminal activity. This is the real problem we should all be on our knees about, and to which high-profile athletes should devote their attention.

(See this column at The Black Sphere.)

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Another School Shooting: Why and What Should We Do?

Two days before the recent mass murder of students at a Santa Fe high school in Texas, very near my home, a 13-year-old girl was killed when the car her father was driving hydroplaned and collided with a school bus. The girl’s father—who was also seriously injured—may face vehicular homicide charges because his tires were too slick.

Two weeks ago we endured the third anniversary of the death of my beloved pastor and father-in-law, David Fitzpatrick. David was killed by an impaired (alcohol and drugs), hit-and-run motorist. David’s killer pleaded guilty to first degree vehicular homicide, among other charges, and is now spending (hopefully) many years in prison.

Last month, just minutes from our home, a man with a history of domestic violence murdered his ex-wife and her sister, shot and wounded a 16-year old, and then killed himself. Thirteen-year-old and two-year-old children also in the home were spared serious injury.

On average, there are about 50 homicides a day in the U.S. Whether through criminal neglect or murderous intent, upon the sudden and tragic death of a loved one—among a myriad of other questions—each day in the U.S., thousands of Americans are left to ask “Why?”

I recall vividly the gut-wrenching moments on May 4, 2015 when we knew there was a bicyclist down in the area where my father-in-law used to ride. The calls to David’s cell phone that would never be answered; the rushed and lonely drive from my job to the crash site, still not knowing for sure whether David was alive; the moment I encountered the Georgia State Patrol officer who confirmed our worst fears; pulling into my mother-in-law’s driveway and watching her, my wife, and my wife’s sister awash in grief; attempting to comfort our four children; making the phone calls to David’s and Margie’s siblings, my parents, et al, telling them of the terrible news—like so many others who deal with such a loss, all of this sent me to an awful place I had never before been and never want to return.

What’s more, the investigation into David’s death led us to discover that his killer had a decades-long criminal past (including multiple drug-related crimes) that was ignored—due to a lack of proper inquiry—by our local law enforcement when he was on trial for other charges in 2010. If the judge then had been aware of these past convictions, David’s killer almost certainly would have then faced serious jail time instead of mere probation. We will always wonder if David might still be alive if the district attorney’s office had done its job in 2010 and presented the evidence needed to put his killer behind bars. As is often the case in these tragedies, we sometimes wonder: would this have changed things? And: how do we prevent this from happening again?

Thus, after once again witnessing students slaughtered at the hands of a lone gunman bent on evil, I understand—though I typically strongly disagree with—those who want “action” from their government on “gun control.” I also understand those asking, “Why did this happen to us?”

As unpopular as this is likely to be, I’m going to say it anyway. The answer to “why” these dreadful things happen is nearly as old as creation itself: sin. As my late father-in-law would sometimes point out in his sermons, if you are hurting, if you are suffering, it is almost always due to one of two things: your sin or the sin of another. Just prior to the first murder in the history of humanity, God warned Cain,
If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.
The very next verse describes Cain murdering his brother Abel. Cain—like the rest of us—should have learned from the failure of his father and mother: walk with God and live in peace, or go your own way, do your own thing—i.e., rule your own world—and live in fear and suffering. Whether we like to admit it or not, operating out of our own selfish desires, each of us is capable of terrible things.

Most of us do not think ourselves capable of murder, but Jesus warned us that anger in our hearts makes us “subject to judgment.” On countless moral matters we have ignored the Word of God and gone our own way. This is the ultimate problem facing the world, and there’s only one solution.

This has always been the case. From very near the beginning of time, human beings have been killing one another, stealing from one another, enslaving one another, sexually abusing one another, and so on. God gave a perfect Law—upon which all other human laws should be based—to reveal to us what is right and what is wrong. Knowing that none of us is capable of perfectly keeping His Law, and thus were (and are) “guilty” of breaking all of it, God made a Way that we all might be “saved.”

Another unpopular sentiment: in the eyes of God, your sin and my sin make us just as guilty as a mass murderer. What’s more, because of our desire to elevate human “wisdom” and determine truth for ourselves while at the same time ignoring God’s wisdom and His eternal truths, we have become blind to what is sin, or “evil.”

For example, large swaths of our culture think that hunting for sport is morally unacceptable but killing an unborn child is okay. Additionally, many Americans—especially so-called “millennials”—believe the “right” to do whatever one wishes in the sexual realm is more important than freedom of speech or freedom of religion.

In other words, and as most in their right-minds well know, many in our culture have stooped to calling what is good evil and what is evil good. To say that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman—in other words, agreeing with God on the matter—will quickly get one labeled a “bigot.” To oppose the radically perverse gender agenda of the modern left—e.g., simply pointing out the biological differences between a male and a female—can draw protests and threats of physical or financial harm.

Since Columbine (1999), using a very liberal definition of a “school shooting,” there have been 287 deaths as the result of someone wielding a gun at or near a school. In that same period, millions of children have been slaughtered in the womb. Countless children and adults alike have suffered—many to the point of death—as the result of divorce, “shacking up,” sexual promiscuity, and the like.

To stem the tide of evil, we must encourage a culture—in our personal lives, as well as our homes, businesses, schools, and government—that embraces the eternal truths of our Almighty God. We will never completely eliminate, or solve the problems of, evil in this world. We will not make any real progress—something that can be achieved—towards defeating evil in this world unless we recognize truly what is evil and what is to be done about it.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Liberals’ Lust for Their Own “Infinity Stones”

I recently took my children and one of their friends to see Avengers: Infinity War. (WARNING: movie spoilers ahead!) As a kid I was a fan of the superhero universe—Marvel and DC (remember these guys?)—and I’ve passed that interest on to my children. We’ve seen most of the Marvel and DC films. (Note to the studios: we will never attend the R-rated crap!) In spite of a wide array of characters with varying story lines, Marvel Studios has done a good job of weaving a common thread throughout multiple films in order to bring most of their characters together in Avengers: Infinity War.

This effort has proven to be wildly successful as Infinity War just had the biggest opening weekend of all-time. When we got to the point in the film where the plot—and the motives for the plot—were made clear, the thought occurred to me that those watching who are corrupted by a liberal worldview had to be conflicted, or at least confused.

Thanos—the chief antagonist of the film—is, of course, a murderous thug (who looks like the love-child of Barney the Dinosaur and King Kong). He has tremendous power and is bent on having things his way. And “his way” means killing off half of the universe. As the film makes clear, he is motivated to do such in order to bring “balance” to what he sees as an over-populated universe.

Sounding much like a member of the modern left and declaring that a planet’s—and the universe’s—resources are “finite,” Thanos sees himself not as a warrior or a conqueror, but as an agent of mercy—even a “savior.” He merely seeks “balance” so that we can all live happily ever after. So what if he has to murder billions in the process?

Several writers have already tackled the irony of a bunch of Hollywood leftists casting as a villain a Hulk-like being obsessed with fixing the “problem” of over-population. Whether championing the “right” to kill children in the womb, promoting the ever-imminent—but never realized—threat from “climate change,” and so on, the modern left has long used the myth of overpopulation to further their efforts at getting what they really want: power. If only they had the “Infinity Stones.”

The so-called “Infinity Stones” are the common thread skillfully woven throughout many of the previous Marvel films. There are six of these stones, with each giving its owner a unique and tremendous power. As explained in Guardians of the Galaxy, “[B]efore the universe first began, there were six singularities. These six singularities were then condensed into concentrated ingots. Whoever controls all six stones and wields them using the Infinity Gauntlet has the power to reshape reality.”

In other words, if one possesses all of the stones—Thanos’ goal in Infinity War—then one gains “omnipotence and omniscience.” At the end of Infinity War Thanos has all of the stones. He merely snaps his fingers and his plan for population control takes effect. Viewers watch as close to half of the Avengers heroes—along with half of the rest of humanity—are dissolved into ash (think of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt).

Whether big government liberalism, socialism, communism, and the like, modern leftists have long lusted for the power to “reshape” the world into their perverse version of “reality,” and a mere snap of their fingers would suit them just fine. We have seen a taste of this in the real world. The electoral process has often proven too slow or unreliable for today’s liberals, thus the judicial or executive equivalent of a finger snap has often given American liberals exactly what they wanted.

Everything from abortion to same-sex “marriage,” immigration policy (DACA), environmental policy (e.g., Obama’s war on coal, war on oil, etc.—thanks to his “pen and phone”), perverse gender edicts, dangerous military edicts (based on an ignorant and perverse view of gender), and the like, have been achieved via some political “snap of a finger.” Whatever the excuse—overpopulation, global warming, sexual “rights,” gun control, health care, “hate” speech, “income inequality,” and so on—liberals look for most any opportunity to gain the power necessary to usher in “utopia.” If only they had the Infinity Stones.

Of course, the real-world equivalent of the Infinity Stones is totalitarianism, and far too many of today’s American left are far too comfortable with an all-powerful state led by those who are “wise in their own eyes” and devoted to the “theology of self.” Of course, those liberals seeking to win an election in the U.S. will never (yet) admit this, but if you watch and listen closely enough, you will hear the little totalitarians reveal themselves. Leftist politicians, pundits, and sheeple alike have given strong clues that oftentimes, they would just rather not bother with democracy, much less our Constitution. If only they had the Infinity Stones.

This is particularly true when devoted leftists in the media and on campuses feel threatened by information and ideas (read: the truth)—from the likes of the “thought outlaws” who operate in the “Intellectual Dark Web”—that they don’t like. It has become commonplace for these agitprop provocateurs of the American left to encourage and actually employ violence, threaten careers, and otherwise advocate for censorship when it comes to anything that threatens the tenets of modern liberalism. If only they had the Infinity Stones.

Whether to silence man-made climate change skeptics or pro-lifers, punish Christians, grab guns, or even reverse a presidential election, democrat politicians—where they still have power in the U.S.—have displayed a stunning penchant for totalitarianism. Remember when a cadre of democrat Attorneys General—including the now infamous Eric Schneiderman—stood with Al Gore and threatened—via “investigations”—“climate skeptics?”

Remember when California passed a law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion? (The case challenging this “law” was just heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.) In addition, California wants to outlaw leaving the homosexual lifestyle (via the infamous “You Must Stay Gay” bill) and thus criminalize the Bible. So that their attempts at implementing their totalitarian dreams is much easier, liberals want to criminalize guns, thus the 2nd Amendment has got to go. If only they had the Infinity Stones.

Ironically, few things make a modern liberal squeal louder than the notion that there is an Absolute Power to which we all will eventually have to give an account. Almost certainly—if possible—they would snap their fingers and make Him disappear as well. Thank God there’s no such thing as Infinity Stones.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

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