Connecting the Dots
In case you haven’t connected the dots, let me remind you of something we reported on recently. I believe it is directly connected to the latest broadside against Justice Kavanaugh.
Last month, Democrat senators filed a brief at the Supreme Court in a gun-control case. In the brief, these senators issued a not-so-veiled threat, telling the justices that the Supreme Court was sick, and they urged the court to “heal itself before the public demands it be restructured.”
Translated: We can no longer count on the court to force radical left-wing social change, so unless you produce results we like, we will “restructure” the court.
A couple weeks go by and suddenly The New York Times makes an incredible editing mistake that triggers demands for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
I don’t believe the editing “error” was an innocent mistake. It is inconceivable that such a crucial detail would be left out. Plus it seems that every mistake The New York Times makes is to the detriment of only conservatives.
So liberal senators threaten the court in a brief and a few weeks later, left-wing operatives and their media allies remind the conservatives on the court that they have a target on their backs.
Victory for Religious Liberty
Earlier this week, Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 that Christian business owners cannot be compelled to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies. It was a close but crucial win for religious liberty and genuine tolerance.
According to a Fox Business report, Christian artists Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who run an art studio and make wedding invitations, “faced $2,500 in fines and six months in jail for violating Phoenix’s 2013 ordinance that prohibited discrimination based on ‘sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.’”
Hard to believe that the “tolerant” left wants to put these Christian women in jail, but that’s the end result of progressive intolerance.
Thankfully, the court’s majority ruled that government cannot compel speech, and that the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion were not limited to the confines of one’s home or place of worship. Consider these excerpts:
The rights of free speech and free exercise, so precious to this nation since its founding, are not limited to soft murmurings behind the doors of a person’s home or church, or private conversations with like-minded friends and family. These guarantees protect the right of every American to express their beliefs in public…
Duka and Koski’s beliefs about same-sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some. But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone. After all, while our own ideas may be popular today, they may not be tomorrow.
It is worth noting that the four justices in the majority were appointed by Republican governors. Arizona has had Republican governors for the past 10 years and their appointments are clearly making an impact.
So it is not only your vote for president (and the Senate) that determines the federal Supreme Court, it is also who you elect as governor that, in many cases, determines your state supreme court.
Fighting Christian Persecution
As a commissioner on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, I was happy to see my friend and colleague Sam Brownback, ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, say what is all too often ignored.
Ambassador Brownback pointed out that persecution against all faiths is increasing, but Christian persecution in particular is at an all-time high. Brownback warned his audience:
There is more persecution of Christians now, arguably than any time in the history of the world, and the Christian faith is the most persecuted faith in the world, by far…
If we’re not successful, there will not be a multi-religious Middle East; it will no longer exist. Most of the Christians have been driven out of the Middle East already, and we’re [working] to keep them there, but … the time is short.
A recent report by the British government confirms Brownback’s warning, stating, “The inconvenient truth is that the overwhelming majority (80%) of persecuted religious believers are Christians.”
I promise you, my friends, so long as God grants me breath I will continue to speak out on this important issue and advocate for policies that promote religious freedom here and around the world, especially for persecuted Christians.
Preliminary results from Tuesday’s elections in Israel indicate that the Blue and White Party, led by former IDF General Benny Gantz, leads Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party by just one vote — 33 Knesset seats to 32 seats.
The results suggest that the center-left coalition controls a bloc of 52 votes in the Knesset, while the right controls 56 votes, leaving both short of the 61-vote majority.
Again, these are only preliminary results based on 95% of the ballots cast. There may be some minor adjustments, but the results are unlikely to change significantly.
There will be intense negotiations in the days ahead between various factions to see which coalition may be able to produce a government. Prime Minister Netanyahu has canceled his scheduled appearance before the UN General Assembly later this month so he can remain in Jerusalem.
Of course, there has been a lot of speculation in the American media about how this election might impact the peace process, as well as the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East. While it is impossible to predict with any certainty, I doubt it significantly changes either dynamic.
Consider these excerpts from the latest column by Jonathan Tobin:
What most Americans … still fail to understand is the broad consensus among Israelis on security issues and the peace process. That consensus holds that the Palestinians have no real interest in peace and that in the absence of a peace partner, the kind of territorial concessions Israel’s liberal friends demand it make wouldn’t be so much unwise as insane.
That’s why all the talk about Israel’s latest election deciding the future of the peace process isn’t just wrong but ignores the fact that this question was actually determined in an election held 14 years ago…
By that I refer to the vote that took place on Jan. 9, 2005 when Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority… Abbas is currently serving in the 15th year of the four-year term to which he had been elected.
Had the Palestinians elected a person willing or capable of making peace, they would have grabbed Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer… Instead, as Arafat did in 2000 and 2001, Abbas said ‘no.’ … And he continues, to this day, to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders are drawn…
For now, Israelis understand that the Palestinians have already decided against peace — no matter what Netanyahu, Gantz or any other potential prime minister will or won’t do.
Saudi officials yesterday held a press conference displaying parts of the recovered drones and cruise missiles that struck key oil facilities this weekend. Col. Turki al-Malki blamed Iran for the attack, saying that the missiles “came from the north,” adding, “The attack could not have originated from Yemen.”
The United States is clearly backing Saudi Arabia’s position. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday. He told reporters that the attack was “an act of war” bearing “the fingerprints of the ayatollah” that “put at risk the global energy supply.” Pompeo added:
This was an Iranian attack. It’s not the case that you can subcontract out the devastation of 5% of the world’s global energy supply and think that you can absolve yourself from responsibility.
And Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted, “I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran!”