Commentary: Mask Mandates Promote Servitude, Not Safety

Man on escalator with mask on

The other day, for the first time since March 2020, I embarked on a journey outside of the slave state of California. My wife and I drove to Montana. While I had heard tales of the existence of freedom in other states, I had yet to experience the thing firsthand.

My experience in Montana confirmed what I have long suspected and known, but not witnessed or experienced for myself—that there are two Americas and two very different types of Americans. There are free states and slave states. There are fearful, obedient slaves, and fearless, free Americans.

I didn’t wear a mask for an entire weekend in Montana—not entering my hotel, not walking down the street, not entering a grocery store or gas station convenience store, not getting a coffee, and not entering numerous restaurants and bars. At no point did I put on that filthy face diaper. Nor did anyone else.

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Conservative Hispanic Leaders Explain Why Texas Voters Are Shifting Republican

The Republican party in Texas is drawing Hispanic voters disillusioned by the Democratic party’s extreme values, two female Hispanic Republican leaders with Democratic backgrounds told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

South Texas saw both a liberal decline and a conservative surge during the 2020 election, the New York Times reported, a surge that has emboldened Republicans hoping to win in Latino communities throughout the United States. Hispanic female Republicans are stepping up to the plate, the publication reported.

“I am starting to see this need to connect with the Hispanic community and let them know nationwide that it’s the Republican party that offers opportunities,” Adrienne Pena-Garza, chair of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, told the DCNF.

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Commentary: Democrats’ False Middle East Mythology

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

What a disaster! And it’s only just begun — if we cannot do something to stop it.

Iran is up off the floor, regaining confidence in the strength of its bargaining position, restored to it as a free gift by the Biden team. Rockets from Gaza are again falling by their scores on Israeli civilians. The northern border of Israel is on highest alert. The last remaining Jews in Yemen have left as Iran’s proxies, the Houthis, consolidate their control over large areas of the country. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is appealing to the Democrats in control to take it off the U.S. terror list even as its leadership publicly encourages the wave of violence against Jewish civilians sweeping through Jerusalem.

It was only a few months ago that we were marveling at how peace was swiftly gaining momentum, and Iran, choked by powerful and effective sanctions, was being held to account for its actions and as a consequence had ever fewer resources to support its terrorist proxies. Most amazing, many Arab states began at last to see that Israel is no threat to them or their people and that they had common cause with Israel against Iranian imperialism. As if in a dream, we saw this trend begin as rumors, then peek into the light with a few gestures, and then finally, incredibly, burst into the limelight with the Abraham Accords. One Muslim state after another stepped forward to sign a real peace treaty with Israel and immediately open doors closed ever since Israel’s founding.

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Commentary: The Vatican Museums and Persevering Through a Pandemic

Vatican Saint Peter's Basilica at dusk

On Monday, May 3, the Vatican Museums will reopen to the public.  The Vatican Museums were founded in 1506, when Pope Julius II discovered and acquired the sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons.  Today, the Vatican Museums house one of the oldest and most important art collections in the world.

The Vatican’s impressive collection consists of over 200,000 works spanning five millennia.  The collection includes remarkable 15th and 16th century frescoes by Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, and Raphael, as well as stunning masterpieces by Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci.  Reflecting upon her work, Vatican Museums Director Dr. Barbara Jatta said, “It’s a cultural duty undertaken with a conviction that beauty can lead to faith.” 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican Museums were the 3rd most visited museum in the world, hosting an average of 6 million visitors per year and generating essential funding for the Vatican. 

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Commentary: The Rise of the New State Church

Saint Marys Cathedral, Natchez, United States

The United States is historically a Christian country, that is, it was founded by Christians and its population remains largely Christian to this day. The speeches and statements of our presidents, our official holidays, the prayers that are said before the opening of Congress and the Supreme Court, the imagery we see on official buildings all attest to the religious, indeed Christian, foundation of our nation. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court in an 1892 decision declared explicitly that “we are a Christian nation.”

Nevertheless, at least until recent days, Americans have understood that we live in a pluralistic society where Protestants, Catholics, Jews, even atheists, were equal before each other and equal before the law. There was no official church at the federal level that would require belief, assent, or obedience. This is not to say that there have not been dark times in our history when we failed to live up to our ideals. Catholics may recall times when our churches were burned and there were riots against us. But the highest American aspiration has always been that all should be treated equally, that a Jew should get the same treatment in a court of law as a Methodist or a Muslim.

Our twin understanding of our country’s deep religious roots coupled with an ideal of religious freedom grew out of the English tradition of religious toleration. The English had an official state church, but the English also recognized the importance of providing dissenters with some measure of freedom. The Act of Toleration of 1689 provided this freedom.

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‘God Loves Me’: 10-Year-Old Trans Child Quotes Bible to Tell TX Legislators Why They Shouldn’t Ban Trans Surgeries, Procedures for Minors

Kai Shappley

A 10-year-old transgender child quoted the Bible testifying before Texas lawmakers on bills banning transgender procedures and surgeries for minors.

Kai Shappley spoke to lawmakers Monday regarding Texas Senate Bill 1646, legislation that classifies it as child abuse for anyone to administer puberty suppression drugs, hormone replacement therapy, transgender surgeries or medical procedures to minors.

Video footage posted by the American Civil Liberties Union shows the 10-year-old child reading remarks from an iPhone, criticizing legislators for “attacking me since pre-K” and explaining, “I’ve been having to explain myself since I was three or four years old.”

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Supreme Court Sides with Student Whose Christian Beliefs Were Suppressed by Georgia College Campus

In a rare nearly-unanimous decision, the Supreme Court sided with a Christian college student whose right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion were initially silenced by his college campus in Georgia, as reported by ABC News.

The 8-1 decision was led by Justice Clarence Thomas, with Chief Justice John Roberts being the sole dissenting vote. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas said that Chike Uzuegbunam, an African-American Evangelical Christian, can seek nominal damages from Georgia Gwinnett College, after officials at the school told him he was not allowed to hand out Christian literature on the campus’s “free speech zone.” This comes even after the school reversed course from its initial restrictions, and after Uzuegbunam ultimately graduated.

“It is undisputed that he experienced a complete violation of his constitutional rights when respondents enforced their speech policies against him,” Thomas wrote. “Because ‘every violation [of a right] imports damage,’ nominal damages can redress Uzuegbunam’s injury even if he cannot or chooses not to qualify that harm in economic terms.”

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U.S. House Passes ‘Equality Act’ Which Religious Conservatives Say Is ‘Conscience-Crushing’

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Equality Act” — a piece of legislation that critics say poses a threat to Christian universities.

The Equality Act seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation” by providing the “full range of remedies available under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

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Federal Court Blocks California Church’s Bid for in-Person Worship On Christmas

A federal appeals court has denied a California church’s bid to hold in-person services for Christmas.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declined to lift California’s coronavirus restrictions for the Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California in the Wednesday ruling. Under the restrictions issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, churches in the state are not allowed to hold in-person services amid the pandemic.

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Trump Promises Navy, DOD Will ‘Not be Cancelling’ Contract with Catholic Priests

President Donald Trump promised Wednesday that neither the Navy nor the Department of Defense will cancel contracts with Catholic priests allowing serving military members.

“The United States Navy, or the Department of Defense, will NOT be cancelling its contract with Catholic Priests who serve our men and women in the Armed Forces so well, and with such great compassion & skill,” the president tweeted Wednesday morning, tagging the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “This will no longer be even a point of discussion!”

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Where Does Joe Biden Actually Stand with the Catholic Church?

CNN and reporters called 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden a “devout Catholic” Thursday after President Donald Trump said the former vice president would “hurt the Bible, hurt God.”

Biden has frequently referenced his Catholic faith throughout his political career, describing his faith as “the bedrock foundation” of his life. The former vice president also supports policies that are explicitly opposed to Catholic teaching, such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

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Commentary: Secular Education Is Contributing to America’s Decline in Religion

In his observations about 19th-century America, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed to religion as the first of the country’s political institutions—sweeping in its influence on our customs and powerful in its propensity to preempt and prevent tyranny.

Yet today, American religiosity is in decline. Weekly church attendance is trending downward, as is self-identification with a formal religion, denomination or belief system. The rise of the “nones” is increasing in speed and expanding in influence, replacing religious-cultural paradigms of old with a modern menu of personalized, à la carte “spiritualities.” Even where religiosity remains, it is often resistant or opposed to public expression, never mind institutional or cultural prominence.

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Trump Threatens to Override Governors If They Do Not Open Churches

President Donald Trump called on governors Friday to open houses of worship “right now,” warning he will override governors’ orders if they do not allow Americans to attend religious services.

Trump spoke Friday at the White House where he said governors should allow churches and places of worship to open, saying that if governors have any questions on this, “they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call.”

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Commentary: Political Ideology Is Pushing Religion Out of Religious Studies

Many academic disciplines have gotten “woke” in recent years, especially in the humanities and social sciences. For the most part, this transformation has occurred in plain view as colleges created departments for (and offered degrees in) “Women’s and Gender Studies,” “Black Studies,” “LGBTQ Studies,” “Latino Studies,” and the rest of the intersectionality parade.

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Commentary: How Socialism Causes Atheism

George Orwell’s 1984 defines the booming genre of dystopian literature, but Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World provided a more accurate prophecy of the future. In another of his works, Ends and Means, Huxley offered deep insights into why people choose to become atheists. In a time when 26 percent of Americans are unaffiliated with any religion, and the number of atheists and agnostics in the U.S. has doubled in the last 10 years, people of faith must pay heed to his observations. Huxley wrote that he and “most of [his] contemporaries” saw atheism’s moral vacuum as their “instrument of liberation,” because it allowed them to embrace sexual hedonism and socialism:

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Report: Toledo Ranks as Most ‘Post-Christian’ City in Ohio

  A new study released this month found that the Northeast region of America is the most “post-Christian” area of the country. The study, conducted by Barna research, is part of an ongoing survey of Americans based on a random sample of 21,378 adults conducted over a ten-year period. To…

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Commentary: Embarrassing Gaffes Continue to Show Media’s Ignorance of Religion

by Jarret Stepman   It’s become increasingly clear that many in our nation’s elite media know little to nothing about religion—Christianity in particular. This is a disturbing trend for the future of our country. A long list of theological gaffes by The New York Times over the years was recently…

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Half of Americans Back Stronger Role of Religion in Society

Around half of Americans favor religion playing a greater role in U.S. society, while 18 percent oppose that idea, according to a Pew Research Center study published Monday. Despite there being a separation of church and state, religion plays a significant part in daily U.S. life: the president traditionally is…

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Ohio Catholic School Sues City for Violating First Amendment Rights

A private Ohio Catholic School filed suit Wednesday against the city of South Euclid over a recent anti-discrimination ordinance that, they allege, discriminates against the school’s religious freedom. On April 9, 2018, the City Council of the City of South Euclid passed Ordinance No. 12-17, found in South Euclid, Ohio Code…

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Battleground State Report Discusses Midwest Christian Voters and How Their Attackers Could Weaken Democrats in Swing States

On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy, and Doug Kellett – a one hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of a national weekend syndication rollout – the three hosts discussed how the current narrative against the Catholic Covington students could…

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Commentary: Former Atheist Explains How Rationality, Not Emotion, Encourages Religious Belief

by Annie Holmquist   I recently ran across an interview with author Stephen Asma in The Irish Times. Although an atheist, Asma is a rather unique atheist because he believes religion is necessary, a fact evidenced in his recent book Why We Need Religion. According to Asma, a philosophy professor,…

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The Humble Origins of Silent Night

by Sarah Eyerly   One of the world’s most famous Christmas carols, “Silent Night,” celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. Over the centuries, hundreds of Christmas carols have been composed. Many fall quickly into obscurity. Not “Silent Night.” Translated into at least 300 languages, designated by UNESCO as a treasured…

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Commentary: The Breakdown of Family and Religion Explains France’s Social Unrest

by Star Parker   As France is gripped by civil disorder, many commentators identify, quite correctly, as the culprit the outsized burden that France’s bloated welfare state places on its citizens. According a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the highest tax burden in the industrialized…

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Chinese Pastor Could Reportedly Face 15 Years in Prison for ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’

by Joshua Gill   Chinese authorities reportedly charged an evangelical pastor and his wife with “inciting subversion of state power” Wednesday, for which they face potentially 15 years in prison. Chinese police in the town of Chengdu arrested Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church, his wife Jiang Rong and…

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Commentary: Enlightenment Thinkers Understood the Need for Religion

by Jeff Minick   In January I resolved to read Will and Ariel Durant’s magnum opus The Story Of Civilization before the end of the year. It is now early November, and I have finished Volume X of this series, Rousseau and Revolution, meaning I should fulfill my self-imposed obligation…

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