Liberal Scrooge Drivers Turn on Gorsuch
When Democrats get done impeaching Donald Trump, maybe they’ll move on to Neil Gorsuch. After all, the Supreme Court justice probably met their definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” just by saying “Merry Christmas!” Judging by the hysterical reaction to his transcript this week, it won’t be long until the subpoenas start flowing. How dare a public official invoke the real reason schools, governments, and businesses close their doors on December 25. Doesn’t he know it’s supposed to be a merry non-religious specific day off in winter?
Of all the things that people could be irate about, a Christmas greeting never crossed Neil Gorsuch’s mind. But I guess it wouldn’t be winter without a few liberal snowflakes. When the justice dropped by Fox News to talk about his new release, A Republic, If You Can Keep It, he only made it 15 seconds into his interview before managing to prove the book’s point. The freedoms he talks about came under attack almost the instant he wished host Ainsley Earhardt “Merry Christmas!” “I love that you say that!” she responded, hinting at how political correctness has made an ordinary greeting taboo.
The interview ended, but the controversy on social media had just begun. Irate leftists were foaming at their keyboards, insisting that Gorsuch was somehow “furthering the GOP narrative.” Since when did a holiday that 95 percent of Americans observe become Republican? Jesus didn’t come to earth to save one party. He came to save everyone who believes.
Still, Playboy writer and BBC commentator Amee Vanderpool fumed, “Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch just appeared on Fox and Friends this morning, making a point to parrot the ‘Merry Christmas’ talking point of the GOP… [W]hat else is he willing to do?” she seethes, like mentioning Christmas is on par with espionage. Other smart-alecky critics piled on, accusing Gorsuch’s holiday hello of somehow “validating the ‘War on Christmas’ conspiracy.” “Gorsuch appeared to dive into the narrative about an alleged ‘War on Christmas,’” Salon argues, “when he pointedly smiled and wished Earhardt a "Merry Christmas” at the top of the segment on the president’s favorite morning show.“
If anyone’s validating the War on Christmas, it’s the people waging it! A congenial greeting wouldn’t be headline news if the Left weren’t triggered by the subtlest reference to faith. Because in the end, this isn’t a war over Christmas. It’s a war over Christ. Every time the nine letters of Christmas are used, people come face to face with the first six that secularists are trying to drive out. So while liberals say the holiday hubbub is a silly little controversy invented by hypersensitive Christians, they know as well as we do: it’s the epitome of the fight for faith in America. If it weren’t, people like Amee Vanderpool wouldn’t be sitting at their laptops losing their minds.
Unlike the Grinch who stole Christmas, they know Christmas is not about the trees and the toys. It’s about who we are as a nation. And the Christian foundation of this country hits them square in the face every December we hang our stockings. They’re out to steal that foundation, just like they’re out to steal the freedoms it’s built on.
Donald Trump gets it. He’s been leading the free exercise parade since he moved into the office, making "protecting religious liberty” one of the biggest priorities of his term. For reasons the liberal media will never understand, his crusade to save Christmas in 2016 is a success for the same reason the real estate mogul is president: because it taps into a deep frustration that America’s common values are being mocked and marginalized.
“Something I said so much during the last two years, but I’ll say it again, as we approach the end of the year, you know we’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore,” he said at 2017’s Values Voter Summit. “They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct. You go to department stores, and they’ll say ‘Happy New Year,’ and they’ll say other things. It’ll be red. They’ll have it painted. Well, guess what? We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”
The crowd erupted in cheers — completely baffling the media. Like other liberals, they couldn’t understand why the issue resonated so much with Americans. Other reporters almost mocked the line, latching on to it as another silly soundbite on an issue they consider so trivial. Maybe they didn’t notice how stifled Christians were under Barack Obama’s government — how everything they said or wore or posted was scrutinized (or worse, punished). After two terms of the most hostile administration to faith the country has ever seen, I guarantee no one takes the expression — “Merry Christmas” — for granted. Least of all, under one term of this president, the American Left. To them, to us, and to everyone in between, the meaning is no longer lost. This isn’t just about putting Christ in a day. It’s about putting faith in American life. Something this administration has welcomed back in with gusto.
Originally published here.
Netflix Adds Phony Jesus to Your Watchlist
We’ve seen stranger things during the Christmas season, but Netflix’s latest stunt isn’t turning out to be a blockbuster with Christians. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but most Brazilians — where the show originated — aren’t laughing. “The First Temptation of Christ” is about a Jesus who identifies as gay, “has relations,” and refuses to preach the Bible — a not-so-side-splitting plot to a predominately Catholic nation. In fact, the idea is so controversial that more than 1.8 million people have signed a Portuguese petition calling on Netflix to pull this “clear attack on Christianity” and issue an apology.
Frankly, the site’s decision to air such an offensive show isn’t surprising. This is what the world does. We can’t expect a business that’s not based in the truths of the Bible to give a fair representation of Jesus. But what Netflix has done has gone far beyond giving an alternate explanation. The choice to put this on their platform is a deliberate choice to make a mockery not only of Christians, but of the Christ they follow.
The wisdom of offering a show that would trample underfoot the object of worship of millions of people — not just in America but worldwide — shows that the decision to run the show isn’t one based in business principles. There’s no way that the monetary value of a show like this will outweigh what they’ll lose in terms of their viewers’ trust. It’s been said before, you don’t see Netflix offering a similar scenario featuring Muhammad, or Buddha, or any other religious figure. They’ll attack Jesus because they think it won’t cause them any problems with Christians.
Christians need to see this for what it really is: Netflix is pushing the boundaries hoping to normalize the notion that God is created in our own image, instead of the other way around. This is an age-old lie that’s been around since the beginning of time. It’s time Christians wake up to the fact that corporations like Netflix will keep moving in this direction (after all, it’s their natural inclination.) Our voices will be trampled along with everything that’s holy if we don’t speak up and when necessary turnover a few tables.
No one is saying that Netflix doesn’t have the right to feature this show. As far as offering the film in the United States is concerned, the First Amendment applies. Government censorship only transfers the burden of responsibility to someone else. They have the right, but that doesn’t mean it is right. As consumers the world over, we have a stewardship responsibility to speak up and take a stand. It’s good to see so many people in Brazil calling on Netflix to reconsider. I hope they’ll listen to their viewers (or at least, former viewers).
Will American Christians continue to keep Netflix in their watchlist? I pray we don’t have to wait until next season to find out.
Originally published here.
School District Called for Unnecessary Roughness against FCA
No matter how many times the Supreme Court says “no,” the Left keeps targeting Christians. The latest act of blatant hostility comes from Bozeman, Montana, where the high school revoked the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA) status as an official student club. What did the club do to lose its official status after five years? Absolutely nothing. But the FCA does require its adult leaders — not students — to affirm biblical standards of sexuality. When four high school girls complained, the school board demanded the FCA club abandon its biblical principles or lose its official status.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Jonathan Larcomb explained on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch” the FCA “can no longer do the same thing that other clubs do,” he said. They may not announce meetings over the P.A. system, and their flyers must bear a yellow sticker notifying everyone they are not a school-sponsored club.
Last week, ADF wrote the school district, notifying them that this action violated the First Amendment and the Federal Equal Access Act, and that they had until December 18 to reverse course or face legal action. Larcomb said the Supreme Court set forth a clear precedent for “this specific exact scenario” 30 years ago. “High school is not a place where the school or the government should be able to pick and choose who gets to speak.”
However, Larcomb added, school districts can “feel pressured” to make everyone affirm the LGBT agenda because they are “very vocal people in the community.” “Maybe what the school districts are relying on, said Larcomb, "is the fact that Christians won’t stand up for their rights, and they won’t speak out and essentially ask the schools to preserve their rights under the Constitution.” It’s not just in Bozeman; a school district in New York state tried to deny a Christian club just last week. This kind of animosity toward people of faith is only growing more common.
Sometimes Christians can be tempted to roll over and take body blows rather than stand up for our rights. Christians are called to “live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18), if possible, but we are also called to evangelize. Evangelism invites controversy, because Paul promised the gospel would be offensive to unregenerate ears (Galatians 5:11). When God tells you to deliver a message, you cannot stay silent. Even if God doesn’t overwhelm you with a storm and feed you to a fish (Jonah 1), the words will be “a burning fire” shut up inside you (Jeremiah 20:9). Even Jesus, who would not break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick (Matthew 12:20), turned over the tables of the moneychangers (Matthew 21:12) and pronounced woe upon the Pharisees (Matthew 23).
In general, we Christians should pray for wisdom and discernment. But when censorship threatens our very gospel witness, then we have no choice but to stand for the truth (Ephesians 6:13).
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.