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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chicago Prof Defends Paris Terror, Blames "Hate Speech"

By Rick Pearcey • January 8, 2015, 10:20 AM

Kaitlyn Schallhorn reports at Campus Reform:

Twelve people were left dead after two gunmen shot several staff members of Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine, but according to a humanities professor, the attack was warranted as the journalists belonged to "a newspaper devoted to hate speech."

Adam Kotsko, an assistant professor at Shimer College, a private liberal arts school in Chicago, tweeted that the terrorist attack was not surprising due to the magazine's satirical and oftentimes controversial content.

"It's no more surprising that someone would attack a newspaper devoted to hate speech than someone would beat up Westboro pastors," Kotsko said in a tweet which has since been deleted.

The professor later apologized on Twitter, "saying he chose 'the wrong example to make a general point'," according to Campus Reform.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Georgia Town to Atheists: Stop Bullying Our Kids

By Rick Pearcey • August 14, 2014, 10:45 AM

Todd Starnes writes:

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is about to learn a very important lesson -- folks around Gainesville, Georgia, don’t take kindly to out-of-town atheists trying to bully their children.

More than 200 people turned out in defiance of the self-described atheist group early Wednesday morning for an impromptu prayer rally in the middle of the Chestatee High School football field.

The previous day, the atheists (acting on behalf of a single, unnamed citizen) sent a letter to school officials demanding that the football coaching staff stop participating in team prayers and that they remove all biblical references and religious messages from team documents.

"The American Humanist Association said the coaches are using their positions to promote Christianity and they said it appears that such religious activity is not an isolated incident," Starnes writes.

"Guilty as charged, said Congressman Doug Collins," according to Starnes. "He represents Georgia’s ninth congressional district."

"The liberal atheist interest groups trying to bully Chestatee High School kids say they have a reason to believe that expressions of religious freedom are 'not an isolated event' in Northeast Georgia," Starnes quotes Collins as writing in a statement.

"They’re right," the congressman is quoted as stating. "In Hall County and throughout Georgia’s 9th district, we understand and respect the Constitution and cherish our right to worship in our own way."



Monday, May 26, 2014

The Benham Brothers and "Truly Being Persecuted" in America Now

By Rick Pearcey • May 26, 2014, 11:02 AM

Ken McIntyre writes at The Foundry

The twin brothers who lost their reality TV show when a website attacked their Christian beliefs say they’ll not only "stand up" to bullying intolerance but also keep a commitment to six families by selling their properties without taking a cent.

David and Jason Benham, who recently met and prayed with the six families scheduled to be on their canceled show, told Dana Loesch on her online show on TheBlaze TV that Christians in other countries face far worse than losing television deals.

"We are really not being persecuted in this country yet. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for," David Benham said. "So we just remember those folks that are truly being persecuted. And it really strengthens our resolve in this nation to really stand up to this bully, this agenda to silence, and say: 'OK, enough is enough.'"

The Benham brothers are correct to stand up to bullies, but the evidence suggests that they miss the mark when they say they are not "truly being persecuted."

True enough, the brothers are not being physically attacked, but physical assault is a later indicator, not an early indicator, of persecution.

I address this topic in "Easter and Other Four-Letter Words":

The "systematic efforts by those who seek to eradicate Christian principles from our schools and the public square should be seen for what it is -- persecution," said Rena Lindevaldsen, an attorney with Liberty Counsel. "Any avid observer of First Amendment issues will recognize that the efforts made by certain groups to 'maintain the separation of church and state' are blatantly discriminatory." For "only Christian teachings and beliefs are targeted for removal," and yet "secular humanism runs rampant in the schools" and "students are regularly taught Buddhist principles and Muslim beliefs."

But haven’t we been told that real persecution happens in other countries? Besides, how can Christians possibly be persecuted here in America, where they are in the majority? A brief look at the Biblical information on the word "persecution" may help clarify what we are talking about, and help us avoid overstating, or understating, what confronts us here in the States.

Biblically speaking, "persecution" can be understood to include a range of hostile actions against Christians. Consider the activities of Saul. In Acts 8, we learn that there "arose a great persecution against the church" and that "Saul was ravaging the church." Here the persecution was "great" but did not include killing or maiming, for Saul limited himself to dragging off "men and women" and committing "them to prison."

In Acts 9:1, Saul was "still breathing threats and murder against the disciples." Here, the persecution includes "threats" and a strong desire to kill Christians, as well as Saul’s attempt to acquire the authority to carry out the threats. Later, the great persecutor would be on hand to witness the stoning of Stephen, but Saul’s own action as a persecutor demonstrates that persecution is an activity that includes but is not limited to killing or maiming.

Consider also the career of Saul-turned-Paul, for he who once persecuted Christians later embraced Christianity. In 2 Tim. 3:11,12, Paul talks about the "persecutions and sufferings that happened" to him at "Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra." When we turn to Acts 13 and 14, we discover that "persecutions" include several elements. In Antioch, Paul’s teaching was opposed by people who drove Paul and Barnabas out of the district. In Iconium, unbelievers "poisoned [Gentiles’] minds" against Christianity and intended to "mistreat" and "stone" Paul and Barnabas, but the two of them left -- thus, Paul and Barnabas suffered persecution even though they had the good sense to leave before experiencing ill-treatment in a physically intense form.

In Lystra, the opposition pursued Paul and turned the crowds against him. He was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead. Here we see persecution in many of its elements: Pursuit of the Christian, stirring up anti-Christian animus, and then decisive physical action based on that anti-Christian animus. It is this range of Biblical data that led one of my former professors in New Testament Greek to conclude that there are different kinds of persecutions: "physical, social, mental, and spiritual" (see W. Harold Mare, "Persecution," in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology).

It seems clear that what we see in contemporary America is a form of persecution. This is simply to state a fact, a fact that should always be kept in balance even as it is acknowledged. "As a boy," Os Guinness of Trinity Forum told me, "I lived through the Chinese revolution and its wave of savage persecution against Christians, so we must always keep a sense of perspective. And of course, we must always respond, not with victim-playing, but in the way Jesus taught his followers to face hatred and opposition. But there's no doubt that prejudice and discrimination against the 'old faith' are mounting and that extreme persecution may be in the wings." . . .

"Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems," wrote John R.W. Stott in Christian Counterculture: The Message of the Sermon on the Mount. This is not to say that the clash of irreconcilable systems necessarily always results in physical or legal violence -- and Christians especially should take care not to persecute those with whom they have theological differences, as for example occurred when pre-Reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake in July 1415 at the Council of Constance.

And yet, Stott’s comment about the clash of irreconcilable systems offers insight into much of what we have today: A smaller, but more organized and culturally powerful secular elite gripped by an anti-Christian worldview has successfully targeted the larger but less-organized and culturally less-powerful Christian community in America.

The two groups represent mutually irreconcilable worldviews, with the secularists declaring that Christianity is at best a subjective crutch that belongs in the closet and that, at worst, is responsible for just about all the ills of the modern world. A smaller group with a vision, plan, and the will to execute the plan, often has the advantage over a larger group, even a majority, if that larger group lacks these strengths and instead fears its loss of privilege, influence, or its "personal peace and affluence," as Francis Schaeffer once put it.

The Christian community as a whole has yet to mount an effective answer to the challenge of today’s low-intensity persecution in America. What is needed is an answer that says (and demonstrates, observably) that Christianity is a total way of life based on verifiable truth about God, humanity, and the universe, and that the Judeo-Christian worldview alone gives an adequate intellectual and livable basis for the dignity of man and human creativity, the fight against evil and injustice, and the possibility of substantial healing across the whole of private and public life, including government, law, and education. We have to ask ourselves: If we have yet to sufficiently challenge the milder opposition we now face in America, what makes us think we will be ready if we have to face forms of "extreme persecution” that "may be in the wings"? 

Thankfully, we in America have not yet faced the kind of systematic persecution that Guinness lived through as a boy in China and that others even now face in North Korea, China, in Islamic nations, and so on, around the globe. We should be thankful not just because friends and families are not being harmed, but also because the relative freedom we still enjoy in this land can be used to better provide aid to our brothers and sisters afflicted elsewhere around the globe.

Having said this, let us not forget that Christians in America have been subjected to a measure of lethal anti-Christian violence. We can think of the three students in Paducah, Ky., who in December 1997 were gunned down at Heath High School, where they had gathered in the lobby to pray. Five other members of the group were wounded. Then in April 1999, among the many casualties of Columbine High School in Colorado were one wounded and two murdered Christian students (the killers reportedly asked students, "Do you believe in God?").

Then in September 1999, seven people died and seven were wounded at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth after a gunman fired into a congregation gathered for a Wednesday night prayer meeting. Those who think that severe, organized persecution could never happen here may want to consider the implications of abortion in America: that secularists are willing to spill human blood, even that of the innocent unborn, if they have the power and the law behind them. Is there anything more fascist than abortion?

"Social ostracism," wrote E.M. Blaiklock in The Christian in Pagan Society, "in the early history of the church preceded official persecution." There is a pattern in the move from milder to more extreme forms of persecution: First ostracize and demonize, then destroy. How many more years of the demonization of Christians will it take before the power-centers of society feel sufficiently emboldened to act against those who refuse to bend the knee to a modern Nero-class of government elites protected by activist supporters in the press, Hollywood, and on campus?

If the church, for example, can be demonized as a kind of cancer (which happened to a local congregation in Castle Hills, Texas, as Limbaugh’s Persecution reports), do we really think that anti-Christian hate groups will not employ this kind of sentiment to justify the attempt to remove the church and other "cancerous" groups from the body of society for the health of society? Christians are being persecuted in America, admitted one critic of the Limbaugh book, and they should be, according to this person -- because we live in a multicultural society.

"If Christians do not fight for the right to express their faith, they will soon find themselves living in an America where the more severe forms of persecution become mainstream," cautioned Lindevaldsen. Clearly, resisting the spirit of Herod and Pilate is not nearly as difficult as it some day may be, should the opposition actually enjoy the support of most Americans.

I concluded at that time, in days before Easter 2004: "There’s no need to wait for the arena and the full blast of evil against good. We can act now by waging love in small ways. Easter is at the door. Let the Easter eggs roll. Enjoy the colors of the day and the rising of the sun as it breaks over the horizon and casts the darkness away.

"But we might also remember to tell a friend what it’s all about. That there was in space and time and history circa A.D. 33 a huge stone that you could touch with your hands. The rock was set in front of a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, guarded by flesh-and-blood Roman guards whose lives depended upon making sure the body of Jesus of Nazareth remained undisturbed by friend or foe. Everything went according to plan, according to fate, the laws of life and death, the gods of Rome, and according to the wishes of the political and religious elites. Until the stone moved."

FYI -- For more on persecution in America, please see Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity, by David Limbaugh. I was honored to serve as primary editor of this book.



Monday, April 28, 2014

"That's So 'Gay'": Duke Students vs. Free Speech

By Rick Pearcey • April 28, 2014, 10:29 AM

Claire Healey writes at The College Fix:

A new word-discouragement campaign at Duke University has labeled phrases such as "Man Up," "That’s So Gay," and "Don’t Be a Pussy" offensive language that "delegitimizes" homosexuality and oppresses and insults people.

But as the campaign has gained national popularity, its detractors have bristled at the effort, calling it a politically correct war on words that will stifle free speech and suggesting its true aim is to redefine terms to control public opinion and -- ultimately -- public policy.

I am a proud user of the phrase "man up," but other words and phrases these students at Duke University wish to control are not part of my thinking or verbalizing.

Having said that, I wonder whether these students have thought through their position, for it seems rather easy to defend the uses of such language these days. 

As I have shown elsewhere, the "tools with which to" defend such language "are available on the nightly news, college campus, and in the elite neighborhoods of secular America."

Related
Coulter on "Faggot" Easy to Defend 
Memo to Conservatives: Accepting Homosex "Marriage" Opens Door to "Unlimited Statism" 
Memo to Supreme Court: Who Respects the Human Body? Not Homosexuals 
Rosie O'Donnell's Oppressive Coat 
O'Reilly, Letterman, and the Culture War



Friday, August 2, 2013

Seattle Bans Word "Citizen"

By Rick Pearcey • August 2, 2013, 02:19 PM

Because "citizen" might offend non-citizens, you free-thinking pervert. 



Friday, May 3, 2013

Free Speech in Canada Under Fire

By Rick Pearcey • May 3, 2013, 09:51 AM

Pamela Geller writes at American Thinker:

Here is yet another instance of the Islamic supremacist/leftist war on free speech -- particularly egregious in the wake of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings. The message is all the more crucial now. For years, my colleagues and I labored under the most heinous circumstances. Anyone who opposes the jihad and the Sharia must endure a constant withering attack on one's name, reputation, integrity, and even spirit.

I was scheduled to speak at the Chabad Flamingo Synagogue in Thornhill, right outside of Toronto's city limits, on May 13. But now Islamic supremacist groups in Canada, with willing aid from the Canadian police, have succeeded in getting the event canceled under police pressure, and the organizers are looking for a new location.

According to Geller, "Insp. Ricky Veerappan, of the York Regional Police force's diversity, equity and inclusion bureau," said this: "Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities."

To which Geller replies: "Let me understand this. The 'stuff' that I speak about -- gender apartheid, creed apartheid, Islamic Jew-hatred, honor killing -- runs contrary to their values? What exactly are their values? Imposing Sharia? Because that's exactly what they're doing. My value is life. What's theirs?"

Related
Bill Maher: Comparing Violence of Islam to Christianity "Liberal Bull----" 
Middle East: "Where Hitler Failed, We Must Succeed"