Tony Perkins / Nov. 24, 2015

GOP Hopefuls Hope to Break the ISIS

While the rest of the West hunkers down to shore up their security plans, President Obama has been jet-setting to Asia to talk climate change. Well, the world is heating up all right — but it has nothing to do with greenhouse gas. Regardless, the president seems intent on minimizing the crisis that even his own party seems to recognize. On the hot seat over his plan to flood the U.S. with at least 10,000 Syrians (and who knows how many terrorists hiding among the refugees), the White House’s latest approach seems to be ignoring ISIS into submission.

While the rest of the West hunkers down to shore up their security plans, President Obama has been jet-setting to Asia to talk climate change. Well, the world is heating up all right — but it has nothing to do with greenhouse gas. Regardless, the president seems intent on minimizing the crisis that even his own party seems to recognize. On the hot seat over his plan to flood the U.S. with at least 10,000 Syrians (and who knows how many terrorists hiding among the refugees), the White House’s latest approach seems to be ignoring ISIS into submission.

More than once, reporters have pushed Obama on his almost passive attitude after the Paris attacks. Now, anxious to deflect the criticism, the president is insisting his plan for defeating ISIS is working. (He’ll have a tougher time convincing Americans of that — 83 percent of whom believe a “large-scale terrorist attack” in the U.S. is likely.) Still, the president insisted, “We cannot respond from fear.” We can, however, respond from wisdom and common sense, two things conspicuously absent from the White House’s open-door approach.

And while the Republicans are anxious to succeed this president may not agree on specifics, they do agree the president’s strategy is nothing short of a disaster. “Importing terrorism” is how Governor Mike Huckabee put it, a nod to the news that several radicals are trying to game the refugee system in places like Turkey and France. “I think when you see the left-wing, socialist president of France — a very politically correct country — saying, "It’s time to close our borders,‘ and he does so immediately, I think it might be a clue to America that this idea of wholesale having people from the Middle East come, and we have no idea who they are, when in fact one of the Paris attackers was one of those refugees, then it’s time to wake up…”

Elsewhere on the Sunday talk show circuit, Republican candidates vied to get their points across on the urgency of these times, which former CIA director Jack Devine called “the most dangerous” yet. “I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today,” he said. “When you have a group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we’re all vulnerable… You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there. If there’s blame to be put, it’s on our failure to have done that by this point.”

Now, Governor Chris Christie (N.J.) blasted, “[Obama] wants the American people to absorb this crisis that he’s created,” referring to the resettling of Syrian refugees. “The FBI director himself said they cannot vet these folks,” the governor reminded CNN viewers. While Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) charges fellow Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for changing his position on immigration, Cruz directed his fire at the administration. “Let’s have a debate on your refugee policy, and if you’re so certain that allowing tens of thousands of refugees, including potentially ISIS terrorists, is a good idea, if you’re so certain the American people are with you, then I would encourage you to come.” Dr. Ben Carson called for “enhancing” America’s intelligence program and monitoring systems, while fellow doctor and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) countered that citizens have already surrendered too much privacy. “You can keep giving up liberties, but in the end,” he warned, “I don’t think we’ll end up safer.”

For his part, Donald Trump continued to take a hard line, arguing more bombings, waterboarding (“They don’t use waterboarding over there. They use chopping off people’s heads”), and increased surveillance on U.S. Muslims. For all of their differences, the GOP field is at least trying to solve the problem — not exacerbate it, as this administration seems determined to do.

And if the White House expected cover from his far-Left friends, you won’t find much of it. Even Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is criticizing the administration for not doing enough to contain ISIS. “I don’t think the approach is sufficient to the job…” Feinstein said bluntly. “We need to be aggressive now. We need a specific, larger special operations plan.”

Our Father Who Aren’t in Cinemas…

If you want to pray for Paris — or anything really — stay away from parts of the U.K. There, the British Digital Cinema Media (DCM) is threatening to sue the Church of England for daring to include the Lord’s Prayer in a Christmas ad. Produced by JustPray.uk, the Church planned to have the spot shown the week of December 18 before the new Star Wars movie. Claiming the commercial violated a DCM policy that could “offend,” Church officials later learned that there was no such policy.

That changed this week, when the group posted a formal rule of religious censorship: “To be approved, an advertisement must … not in the reasonable opinion of DCM constitute political or religious advertising.” The Archbishop of Canterbury could only shake his head in disbelief. “This advert is about as 'offensive’ as a carol service on Christmas Day. I find it extraordinary that Cinemas rule that is inappropriate for an advert on prayer to be shown in the week before Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”

If the Lord’s Prayer is controversial, what is art but the embrace and expression of controversial ideas? Modern cinema is supposed to be above censorship and political correctness. But apparently, when it comes to envelope-pushing, only crude, profane, and violent themes need apply.

Meanwhile, the most disturbing aspect of this story may be the basis for which the ad was rejected. According to the Church’s legal counsel, the agency banned the commercial on the grounds of the country’s Equality Act, which blocks organizations (including faith-based ones) from refusing service for religious reasons. If the law sounds familiar, it should. President Obama just threw his support behind an American version of the policy, which would all but end religious liberty as we know it. Just two weeks ago, the White House said it “strongly supports” the legislation that would dramatically alter the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to force Americans conformity on homosexuality and transgenderism. And how do you force conformity? By taking away freedom — just as the British are doing.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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