“I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?” —Benjamin Franklin (1787)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Why is a prayer for the president controversial?
- Biden plagiarizes his “green” homework.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Since its founding, the United States has prized the freedom of religion and explicitly protected it from government interference. However, that freedom was never intended to mean that government was to be free from religious influence or people of faith. This reality is seen in the fact that all of America’s presidents have claimed a religious faith and have been members of a Christian church. That also goes for the vast majority of members of Congress throughout our history. To put it bluntly, our nation has had a long history of religiously minded individuals being involved in government at all levels.
Yet quite a stir was created after President Donald Trump unexpectedly turned up at a large nondenominational Christian church in the DC suburb of McLean, Virginia, and asked for prayer on Sunday. The pastor, David Platt, a relatively well-known Christian leader in Evangelical circles, was caught off guard but quickly obliged. He offered an appropriate nonpartisan prayer — the kind of prayer Christians have been praying for political leaders since it was first commanded in Scripture some 2,000 years ago.
Much of the controversy may be blamed on the current hyper-partisan American culture. With Trump vilified daily by the Leftmedia to the point of being seen even by some Evangelicals as “the problem in the world today,” it’s not surprising that a pastoral prayer over the president would be considered “the wrong thing to do.”
Platt, evidently feeling negative blowback over his decision to pray over Trump, sought to explain and defend his decision in an open letter. Platt rightly pointed to 1 Timothy 2, noting that Christians are commanded to pray for political leaders, irrespective of how righteous or unrighteous these leaders may be. (Many scholars believe Nero, a major persecutor of Christians, was emperor of Rome when the Apostle Paul wrote 1 Timothy.)
Platt then writes, “I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision. This weighs heavy on my heart.” Here’s where we see the problem. Platt gives a pass to those Christians who harbor an attitude of such self-righteousness that it would “hurt” them to see their pastor publicly pray for a sinner like Trump.
Leave it to an atheist to get this more correct than Platt. Hot Air’s Allahpundit writes, “I’m just a simple unfrozen atheist caveman, unqualified to tell Christians how to practice their faith, but I can tell you this: In 12 years of Catholic schooling, not once was it intimated to me that it might be wrong to pray for someone. The very idea of it shocks me even now, decades later. Prayer is never wrong. If anything, it’s more righteous when offered for the wicked, that God might turn their hearts and redeem them. … What are the anti-Trump congregants of this church learning about their faith to make them feel ‘hurt’ that the pastor would pray for someone whom they deem wicked? And what is the pastor of this church teaching to make them believe it’s ‘valid’ to feel that way?”
Clearly, Democrats and the Left would love nothing more than to divide the Evangelical world over politics. Christian leaders hoping to avoid catering to one political party over another are finding it increasingly difficult, as seemingly everything has become a political issue. This is what happens when God is diminished and the state begins to take the place of God in people’s lives.
Maybe you really can’t teach an old dog news tricks, but you would think that after aborting his 1988 presidential campaign over accusations of plagiarism, Joe Biden would be exceedingly cautious about repeating history. But no.
National Review reports:
Former vice president Joe Biden, who currently enjoys a hefty lead over his opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination, released his plan to combat climate change on Tuesday and was promptly accused of plagiarizing parts of the proposal.
The sections in question appeared to lift language from documents published by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and the Blue Green Alliance. The vice president of the progressive group CREDO, Josh Nelson, noted the double language Tuesday morning, pointing out that passages from Biden’s plan nearly mirror sentences from a 2017 letter the Blue Green Alliance sent to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The Biden campaign responded to the controversy by insisting the drafters had simply forgotten to include citations.
This goof was profoundly foolish. It may have been a lowly staffer to blame, but Biden is way out in front of the field of 482 Democrat presidential candidates, and he’s weighing in on one of the Left’s most sacred issues. At age 76, Biden should know better, and he should hire better people. Either way, it does not recommend him for the top office in the land.
As for the proposal itself, the video rollout is titled “Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice,” which tells you about all you need to know — this is leftist tyranny packaged as the way to save the planet. Not surprisingly, Biden’s plan is still not radical enough for climate alarmists, who slam his reliance on nuclear power and a “too late” 2050 deadline for reducing net carbon emissions to zero. Plagiarism is really the least of Biden’s sins. The root problem with the entire ecofascist movement was aptly summed up by Reason’s Christian Britschgi: These leftists have “a near limitless faith in the ability of government to reorganize the economy.” That’s red, not green.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Dems Desperate to Block Census Citizenship Question — It’s a full-court press to sway Chief Justice John Roberts against Donald Trump.
- BSA Leaders and Demos Ignore Homosexual Predators — In returning abusers to leadership positions, BSA failed boys and their families.
- Surprise — China Is a Big Polluter — Scientists discover China is the major source of banned CFC emissions.
- Grassroots Perspective: The Motive of Margaret Sanger — A broken home full of tragedy and atheism led her toward eugenics and abortion.
- Video: Facebook Helped Journalists Dox a Trump Supporter — All for a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi. But she already sounds drunk without any help.
- Video: The Paid Leave Fairy Tale — Why mandated paid family leave is bad for business and bad for most women.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- D-DAY COMMEMORATION: “President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump joined Queen Elizabeth II and more than 300 D-Day veterans in Portsmouth on Wednesday for a national ceremony of remembrance on the 75th anniversary of the allied military invasion remembered as a turning point of World War II.” (ABC News)
- POLITICAL COVER: “Republican senators are declaring deep opposition to President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs on all goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico. But it’s unclear they have the votes to stop him, and Trump said they’d be ‘foolish’ to try.” (The Associated Press)
- IMMIGRATION POLITICKING: “Despite a veto threat from President Trump, House Democrats on Tuesday passed a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 2 million undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them to the United States as children.” (Fox News)
- REFUGEE ADMISSIONS: “From October 1 last year until the end of May, a total of 18,051 refugees have been resettled in the United States, and almost eight in ten self-identify as Christians.” (CNS News)
- PARKLAND OFFICER CHARGED: “A former Parkland, Florida, school safety officer who failed to confront the gunman when 17 people were fatally shot at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year, was arrested Tuesday on multiple charges, including child neglect and perjury.” (NBC News)
- CONTEMPT-VOTE ABOUT-FACE: “House Democrats plan to move forward next week with a vote to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress, despite signaling two weeks ago that they were moving away from such a vote.” (The Daily Wire)
- DEMONSTRATING ITS PERPETUAL TOTALITARIAN REGIME: “China’s government lashed out Tuesday at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for commemorating the ‘heroic’ protests leading to the violent crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, warning that its critics would ‘end up in the ash heap of history.’” (The Wall Street Journal)
- CUBA EMBARGO: “The Trump administration on Tuesday ended the most popular forms of U.S. travel to Cuba, banning cruise ships and a heavily used category of educational travel in an attempt to cut off cash to the island’s communist government.” (The Associated Press)
- FOREIGN QUIETUS: “A 17-year-old Dutch girl who sought to be euthanized after she said the pain of being raped and molested as a child had become ‘unbearable’ was reportedly allowed to die at home this weekend.” (The Daily Beast)
- DOMESTIC QUIETUS: The Maine Legislature voted Tuesday to legalize assisted suicide… The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to act on the bill and has not indicated whether she will let it become law. Her office said she has not yet taken a position.“ (The Associated Press)
- HUMOR: Major corporations bravely come out in support of incredibly popular, socially acceptable movement (The Babylon Bee)
- POLICY: Legacies of "The Longest Day” (American Enterprise Institute)
- POLICY: The 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square reminds us of how far China has to go (The Federalist)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Marc A. Thiessen: “Imposing tariffs on Mexico would help China maximize pain for U.S. businesses and consumers. Why? China and Mexico provide us with many of the same kinds of products. Right now, many American families and businesses that buy those products can avoid the 25% tax on Chinese products by buying the same kinds of items from Mexico. But, as my American Enterprise Institute colleague Derek Scissors points out, if Trump opens a second front in his trade war, they will now get hit by the same tax on Mexican products. And there are no alternatives because our other major trading partners — Canada, Japan, Germany and Britain — do not make the same products China and Mexico do. … A two-front trade war would be devastating to the U.S. economy. China is our real adversary. Mexico is not.”
Insight: “Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change. … The progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face if its constant and bitter opposition.” —H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Upright: “People who will get very upset if someone said all blacks look alike are really comfortable saying all blacks ought to think alike. If you said that blacks should not be allowed to go to a library, you’d be against that. If you said that blacks couldn’t read certain books in the library, you would say that’s wrong. But now we are so comfortable saying that blacks can’t hold some of the ideas in some of the books in the library. That’s absurd.” —Justice Clarence Thomas on Democrat identity politics
Alpha Jackass: “I [would have] such a great answer if it [sic] wasn’t living.” —Mayor Pete Buttigieg when prodded by Chris Matthews to “name some of your public figures — Republicans — who you respect. Living Republicans.”
Non compos mentis: “We have not called [the anti-abortion movement in the U.S.] out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate, but this is gender-based violence against women, no question. It’s clear it’s torture — it’s a deprivation of a right to health.” —UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore
Twisted logic: “[Republicans] conflate a heartbeat with a soul or with personhood.” —Rep. Kim Schrier (She has a point only insofar as children have a soul at conception.)
And last… “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says, ‘I think the NRA is the worst organization in this country.’ Planned Parenthood terminates more than 300,000 babies in utero every single year. The NRA is responsible for zero deaths. Which of these organizations should legitimately be considered ‘the worst in this country’?” —Jordan Candler
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher