Monday Brief

The Bible, As Seen on TV

Mar. 18, 2013

The Foundation

“The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it.” –James Madison

Inspiration

“The History Channel’s broadcast of the second-part of its five-part miniseries based on the Bible, wasn’t just the top-rated show on cable television [on its first] night, it was the top-rated show in all of television: ‘The Bible commanded HISTORY as #1 in all of television from 8-10pm, with 10.8 million total viewers and in Adults 25-54 with 3.8 million. In addition, The Bible garnered 3.2 million Adults 18-49. Over 50 million cumulative viewers have seen at least a portion of the series since it began on March 3.’ 50 million cumulative viewers represents about fifty-times the viewers that new phenom, HBO’s ‘Girls,’ enjoys. … For two decades we Christians have been pushing the entertainment industry to produce respectful stories about our faith, and for decades we’ve been ridiculed and marginalized by a provincial Hollywood and media class that have no idea how the real world works. Finally, though, we are enjoying a slow-motion breakthrough and the ratings and box office continue to prove us right. Things are only going to get better. Christians are learning their trade and flexing their muscle in Hollywood. We’re in the midst of a wonderful revolution.” –Breitbart’s John Nolte

Government

“[T]he scariest news over the weekend came from the tiny country of Cyprus. … Individuals who have deposits of at least $130,000 (equivalent) in Cypriot banks will pay what the New York Times called a ‘one-time tax’ of 9.9 percent of their deposits. Smaller depositors will have their funds confiscated taxed to the tune of 6.75 percent. … Naturally the ATM networks were shut down to prevent the good people of Cyprus (or Russia) from getting to their money before the government could take it away. Chancellor Merkel said that making the depositors help pay for the bailout is the right thing to do. ‘That way,’ she said, ‘those responsible will contribute in it, not only the taxpayers of other countries.’ I have $12.75 in the bank in Alexandria, Virginia. How does that make me responsible for creating the national debt? … Think about what will happen when officials of the Obama Administration come to work this morning and read that the EU could force Cyprus to confiscate legally deposited funds. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, as of last Monday there was $6.8 trillion on deposit in U.S. banks. … I can certainly hear the clack-clack-clack of keyboards drawing up the talking points explaining why rich people with deposits of over, say $50,000 should be willing to do their fair share in paying down the national debt. … Sample Talking Point: If you can afford a 401(k) and $4/gallon gasoline, you’re making too much.” –columnist Rich Galen

Essential Liberty

“The bottom line of the Cyprus story is that politicians are forcing a new 10 billion euro bailout – to be paid directly from the bank accounts of ordinary people. … Cyprus is the fifth country to seek a bailout following Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain but the terms of the deal are a radical departure from previous schemes. No one will escape the bailout deal which will apply to everyone from pensions to Russian oligarchs, who are alleged to have billions stashed away in what officials claim is a bloated Cypriot banking sector. … What’s happening in Cyprus should send a chill over the entire world. Politicians working with complicit big banks need no rule of law; no parliament debates to close in on the bank accounts of average people.” –columnist Judi McLeod

Political Futures

“Deciding whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is surely one of the toughest challenges of Barack Obama’s presidency. He hasn’t made up his mind yet, of course. Or has he? Bloomberg reports that the Obama administration ‘is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects.’ Up to now, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federally approved projects had to consider potential impacts like dangerous spills or air pollution, but not global warming. Directing all federal agencies to take climate change into account under NEPA will transform environmental policy in this country, putting a huge new drag on the economy in the process. … NEPA allows citizens and environmental groups to file claims against projects even after they win government approval. … Obama can publicly ‘approve’ Keystone, while simultaneously handing the left the tool they need to put the project on semi-permanent hold. Environmentalists would take the political heat, while Obama would get off scot-free. Pretty clever. … Obama’s formal public decision may not matter. … The only remaining question would be how much credit or blame Obama wants to openly take for a block that’s already been thrown.” –National Review’s Stanley Kurtz

For the Record

“Canada and China have made it clear that if the U.S. doesn’t allow the pipeline to go south, they’ll make one that goes west to the Canadian coast. In other words, the oil is going to be pumped out no matter what. … If the idea is that America is somehow ‘leading by example’ when/if it kills projects like Keystone, or cracks down on oil drilling on federal lands, as Obama has done, then we’re not fooling anyone – not even the Canadians! All around the world, governments are expanding their oil and gas operations. … Meanwhile, thanks to technological advances, the International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will be the world’s largest oil producer by 2017 and a net exporter by 2030. … Whatever oil we’ve denied ourselves has been made up for by development in other countries. All that we’ve done is make oil prices higher than they needed to be and denied ourselves billions of dollars that would have stayed here rather than go to the Middle East. No country, save the U.S., seems at all interested in denying itself or the world much-needed economic growth by letting oil and gas sit in the ground. In other words, when you’ve lost Canada, you’ve lost the argument.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

Opinion in Brief

“[F]or all of us, even the non-Catholics, it will be a tonic, and possibly even a little inspiring, if Pope Francis turns out to be just what he seems – a truly Godly man who lives out his faith. … While secular liberals tend to frame questions about the church in terms of ‘moderate’ or ‘conservative’ views on abortion, homosexuality and contraception, the new Pope’s humility and piety may breathe new life into matters that require moral leadership. Of course he will have to deal with the scandals and institutional problems of the church itself, but a man who has lived up to his own vows of chastity and poverty may be able to break through the ideological rigidity of listeners when he speaks, for example, of the rights of the unborn. By taking the name Francis, the new Pope reminds the world that the mighty, globe-spanning church was founded on humble ideas and has been best represented by humble people, like St. Francis of Assisi. Not everyone can be a saint. But particularly at this historical moment, it would be so good just to witness a good man being what he claims to be.” –columnist Mona Charen

The Gipper

“Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness. I don’t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, ‘We must broaden the base of our party’ – when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.” –Ronald Reagan

Faith and Family

“[I]f marriage has no form and serves no social purpose, how will society protect the needs of children – the prime victim of our non-marital sexual culture – without government growing more intrusive and more expensive? Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage benefits everyone because separating the bearing and rearing of children from marriage burdens innocent bystanders: not just children, but the whole community. … Government recognizes traditional marriage because it benefits society in a way that no other relationship or institution does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. Promoting marriage does not ban any type of relationship: Adults are free to make choices about their relationships, and they do not need government sanction or license to do so. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to redefine marriage for everyone else. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage, and the future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine, true marriage.” –Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson

Reader Comments

“I have a new found grasp on the ‘drive-by’ media. A short story in a local paper about my deployment to Afghanistan was picked up by the National Review, and under a misleading headline, turned into a national firestorm. I, along with the chaplaincy and military, was misrepresented by journalists unwilling to do the hard work of fact checking and talking to primary sources. Save one. A single person, Mark Alexander, from The Patriot Post. He took the time to call me and others, and get the whole story for his column, ”Bronze Star Power Point?.“ –LTC Jon Trainer, Ohio

"Far too often our 24/7 media gets the story wrong in their rush to publish and, in our ‘echo chamber’ world of instantaneous communication, those inaccurate stories circle the globe in a matter of minutes. My hat’s off to Mark Alexander for doing due diligence. LTC Trainer, I know that you can’t ‘put the toothpaste back into the tube,’ but stay strong and know that you are in our prayers. Thank you for the totality of your selfless service (to include the PowerPoint brief) to our nation and to God.” –Semper Fidelis, USMC (retired)

“Once again, Mark Alexander took the high road in this Internet sea that frequently contains garbage of all types. Your response to the Bronze Star story is yet another reason I financially support The Patriot Post as much as I can. Thanks so much for keeping a bit of sanity in the mix!” –Phil in Sherwood, Oregon

“Even though Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction, it is far short of what we should be doing. The Democrat’s proposal is so ludicrous it does not deserve comment. We need to put spending at the 2008 level, which is higher than needed but reasonable to ask. Then recognize that without entitlement reform, including getting rid of ObamaCare, everything else is a waste of time. Anyone who understands simple arithmetic knows that this is the right course for this country.” –Doug in Louisville, Kentucky

Gun ‘control’ has nothing to do with guns, violence or murderous rampages. It’s all about control. Step 1) You can’t have this type of rifle, ammo, magazine. Step 2) all firearms must be registered with the government. Step 3) Turn all firearms over to the government. Step 4) Place your hands behind your head and lie down; you’re under arrest. Step 5) Please get onto the boxcar. We are taking you to a ’re-education/work camp.‘” –Tom in Rock Island, Illinois

The Last Word

“[L]iberals regard themselves as the salt of the earth and view conservatives as a bunch of cold-hearted rotters. And, yet, research has shown that not only do conservatives donate far more to the needy, but they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. On the other hand, it always seems as if the only way that liberals can be persuaded to cough up anything for charity is through the purchase of concert tickets. Remove Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, from the mix and liberals would forget that Africa even exists. Liberals insist that no nation is better than any other nation and no culture is superior to any other. In both cases, they have America in mind. They even go so far as to state that rock, rap and hip hop, isn’t inferior to the music created by Beethoven, Bach, Copland, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Debussy, Porter and Kern. The clodhoppers insist that if the kids like it, that’s really all that counts. It seems to me that if the only standard that matters is if the lowest common denominator likes something, a strong case could be made for cannibalism. After all, if it all comes down to personal taste, who’s to say that those who prefer chicken and fish or fruits and vegetables are any higher up the food chain than those who hanker after parboiled people?” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team