Refuting lies about the “strong families” language

In a shamefully dishonest post on Twitter, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed that delegates to the Indiana Republican Party state convention voted “against marriage equality.” This is a lie, of course. The platform does no such thing, and Buttigieg knows it. The platform does not propose that same-sex marriages be “broken up” or “stripped of legal protection.” This sort of shameful dishonesty should not be practiced by the mayor of a city. Can the citizens of South Bend ever trust their dishonest mayor?

Here is the truth: The platform as approved by the delegates says that a family based on a marriage of a man and a woman is the foundation for a healthy society – a statement that is self-evidently true. The Republican platform also explicitly expresses support for blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents and loving adults who are raising children. I think we all know what “loving adults” means: It is a way to support same-sex couples. There is not even a single punctuation mark in that plank that opposes same-sex marriage.

Conservatives did not by any means win the day on June 9. We managed to avoid an attempt by country club Republicans to further water down the platform, which is already wishy-washy and weak in its support of traditional marriage. As a delegate, I would have preferred stronger language but I did not get my wish.

If anything, the lies spread by the likes of Buttigieg demonstrate that the Republican Party will never be good enough for hyperpartisan deceivers. Even when Republicans support extremely inclusive language that supports all Hoosier families, we will be attacked, demonized and lied about. Bipartisanship is a fraud and a hoax, and Republicans must reject it.

Fighting terrorism is not a violation of “free speech”

The headline of the New York Times’ June 14 article, “states crack down on campus protests,” was shockingly dishonest. No one is seeking to silence protests against conservative speakers. Cracking down on violence does not restrict anyone’s free speech rights. Violence is not and will never be “free speech.”

This is not new. Leftist students pulled the fire alarm several times when a sitting Congressman was speaking on the Indiana University campus in the 1990’s. This creates a dangerous situation and drains resources from the city fire department.

It is worse now. What happened at Berkeley in 2017 was not a protest; it was a full-scale riot by Leftist terrorists. They were burning cars and smashing windows. The same year in Berkeley, Leftist terrorists were violently attacking and beating people perceived to be Donald Trump supporters, including some who were not but were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Neo-Communist terrorist groups like Antifa must not be allowed to violently suppress free speech with riots, beatings, and other violent criminal behavior. The state legislatures are absolutely right to be cracking down on this nonsense and disciplining the so-called “students” who are so terrified of hearing an opinion they disagree with that they engage in terrorism to stop it. Neo-Communist terrorists are not much different than Muslim terrorists rioting over cartoons they dislike.

“AmyMek” and irresponsible vendettas

I’ve often been critical of anonymity, but the vicious deranged vendetta by the Huffington Post against Twitter user @AmyMek is disturbing. (I say “semi-anonymous” because her username is includes part of her name, and she posted a photo of herself.) The collateral damage HuffPo inflicted is inexcusable. This is not “journalism.” This is an open attempt to destroy someone’s life, and the life of her family. If Fox News did this to a prominent semi-anonymous Leftist on Twitter, everyone on the Left would be shrieking bloody murder. (Note: This isn’t an endorsement of Mek’s tweets. I don’t follow her and I haven’t combed through her feed.)

First, HuffPo outed Mek’s real name, but that was not enough. They ambushed a deli owned by Mek’s relatives, who barely have any contact with her and do not agree with her Twitter posts. The deli has been flooded with harassment and fraudulent negative “reviews” on Yelp by people who have never stepped foot in the place. An innocent person’s livelihood has been irreparably damaged because of a psychotic so-called “journalist” acting more like a Mafia enforcer than a reporter.

That was not enough. HuffPo went after Mek’s husband, who works for World Wrestling Entertainment. A company with a long history of racist and misogynistic characters and storylines immediately fired Mek’s husband without so much as asking if he even agreed with her tweets. Mek claims on Twitter that many of his views are actually different from hers, so was he fired because his wife said something that he does not agree with. This is corporate cowardice and hypocrisy in the extreme.

This is wrong. Worse, it has set off a round of retaliation. I have no sympathy for the so-called “journalist” at HuffPo who is now being doxxed and threatened, but the ones doxxing him are themselves being doxxed. And around and around we go, with a needless escalation of the culture war and a vendetta over – let’s be brutally honest – something that does not matter. Who cares what a semi-anonymous Twitter user is posting? So she may have said some offensive things. Lots of people say offensive things – On Twitter, on Facebook, and in private conversation. Do her posts really merit an all-out effort to ruin her life and the lives of her family members who rarely see her and disagree with her?

The Huffington Post, if it had any integrity or basic human decency, would terminate the employment of the so-called “reporter” who doxxed AmyMek and will apologize to her. The damage is already done, so the only thing left to do is learn a simple lesson: Stop being a vindictive, hate-filled troll and stop trying to ruin people’s lives over stupid, meaningless Twitter flame wars. Grow up and get a life.

A real lack of maturity

Whatever you think of the President posting on Twitter, it is sad to see the replies under every single post he makes just filled with obscenity and vulgarity.

F this, F that, MF this, F you, Go F yourself, F-ing MF the other thing.

This is the President of these United States. You may not like President Trump personally, you need to respect the office of the President, and the authority he holds. Plus, it is just low-class and displays a real lack of maturity.

And yes, it was just as wrong when conservatives reacted the same way to President Obama.

Pardon power as a liberty preserving safety valve

Back in 2006, an exotic dancer and convicted murderer fabricated an allegation of “rape” against the lacrosse team at Duke “university.” The rape never happened, but had the accused been poor and black, they most likely would have went to prison. Because they were wealthy, they had the resources to fight a corrupt system and exposed the criminal behavior of the prosecutor.

On his podcast, Ben Shapiro has been criticizing the power of the President to pardon people. Among other things, Shapiro said “Either you believe the criminal justice system works or you believe it doesn’t.” That is a false choice. It is possible to have a good system that occasionally fails, especially in a nation of 350 million flawed human beings. Sometimes people make innocent mistakes. Sometimes people are overzealous. And, yes, sometimes law enforcement will outright frame an innocent person for a crime that never even happened.

(Obviously, the President does not have the authority to pardon state level crimes. governors do, so the arguments here apply to them.)

Pardon power is a safety valve against these abuses and errors. Sometimes, mercy is warranted and sometimes the punishment is excessive compared to the crime. Over the last few generations, pardon power has become even more important. As government grows bigger and legislatures pass more laws, the pardon power becomes more important. In fact, it is estimated that most people have committed a felony at some point without realizing it – and that can include unintentionally making a false statement to a federal official.

Yes, pardon power has its roots in the tradition of monarchy. That does not mean we should abandon a power that can serve as a check on an overzealous state persecuting innocents or punishing lawbreakers far out of proportion to their crimes. Given how often prosecutorial power is weaponized for political grudges, it is critical that this authority be maintained.

Post tags

With eight years of this version of the blog, I have done a terrible job of adding tags to my posts… meaning I haven’t done it at all. It would be very time consuming to add post tags, which is why I have been reluctant to even start the process. But the more I put it off the more work it will be. The search functionality is pretty good though.

A Biblical case against racism

I am seeing an increasing pull for racism, and it concerns me. Thanks to social media, openly racist people are more open than they have been in generations. Some of them even claim to be “christians,” but they need to read their Bible and submit themselves to the authority of a Bible believing church.

First, let’s define terms: Racism is bigotry or hatred against someone for specific inborn genetic traits. Criticizing certain cultures or religions is not racist. Culture is not race, and neither is religion. We need to be very careful when we talk about racism that we actually are criticizing racism. We do not want to be “the boy who cried wolf,” nor should we want to bear false witness by crying “racism” where it does not exist.

Moving to the topic, let’s start with Genesis 1:27. Man is made in the image of Almighty God. When we demean others because of their race, we demean the very image of our Creator. Part of loving God means loving those made in His image, and racism denies the image of God in the pinnacle of His creation. We cannot fulfill the second greatest commandment if we harbor racist sentiment.

This teaching is expanded in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 and Romans 10:12 that we are all equal in Jesus Christ. We have all sinned, and God sent His son to shed His blood that we might be saved. We are all equal at the foot of the cross – sinners condemned to eternal damnation in Hell Fire for our rebellion against the only true God who created us. We granted grace and mercy that we do not deserve through His blood, shed to atone for our sin.

Racism is a wicked sin against God. All races can be racist, because we are all equally vulnerable to sin. Race-baiting (trading on society’s general dislike for racism for personal gain) is also wicked and shameful. We need to move beyond this sin. If we do not love our neighbors of all races, we cannot love God. If we say we love God and hate our neighbor, we are liars and we will face His wrath. Repent!

More thoughts on the “strong families” plank

I am convinced that “moderate” malcontents (country club Republicans) will not be satisfied until they push social conservatism out of the Republican Party. We saw evidence of this in the floor debate over the proposed changes to the “strong families” language in the Indiana Republican Party platform.

We are already seeing people bitterly complain about “divisive” and “antiquated” language in the party platform. But how is it divisive? The 2016 language explicitly states the Republican Party supports “blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day,” and also added language supporting single parents.

The delegate who spoke in favor of the 2018 language said that unless the Republican party moves forward and recognizes the reality on the ground, we will have this floor fight over and over. In other words, the country club Republicans will continue to attempt to erase explicit support for marriage from the party platform and have promised to continue to provoke floor fights at the convention. It is not the social conservatives who are being divisive. It is the “moderate” country club Republicans who are being divisive.

The delegate also dishonestly claimed that the original proposed 2018 platform supported traditional marriage between one man and one woman. But if that is the case, why erase language that explicitly names a marriage between a man and a woman from the Indiana Republican Party platform? The social conservatives were right to be concerned that this language was removed and what that means for the future of the party.

The platform does not even call for the government to roll back recognition of same sex marriage. In fact, the platform implies support for same-sex couples. I think we all know what “loving adults” means. So what exactly are the “moderate” country club Republicans whining about?

Let’s be honest here. Approving the amended 2016 language over the 2018 language was in no way a win for social conservatives. Nothing was gained here. We avoided further watering down a plank that was already wishy-washy and weak. It would be better to not have a “strong families” plank at all than keep the wimpy language we have now. We should strengthen the platform, and hopefully that will happen in 2020.

More on social media lynch mobs

If your first reaction to a viral offensive tweet by someone who is not a public figure is to try to ruin the person’s life, you need to get some perspective.

I saw an article recently that said after Roseanne Barr’s racist post on Twitter got her fired is that any of us could be next. Well, no. Most people know better than to say – much less post publicly – that a black person is a gorilla. But it does bring up an important issue regarding social media lynch mobs.

For celebrities – movie stars, political pundits, journalists, and high-level politicians – they are getting what they signed up for. But for the average person, engagement in social media is something they to for fun, to stay connected with friends and family, or maybe just spout some opinions here and there. The speed at which an average person can have his or her life ruined by saying something stupid online is a little unnerving.

Let’s say a private citizen posts an offensive “joke” – one that is undeniably racist. Does she deserve to be heavily criticized and mocked for it on Twitter? Sure. Should she lose her job? No. That is a disproportionate reaction to the offense. Should she be deluged with death threats and rape threats? Absolutely not! Does the pitchfork mob have any sense of perspective when hurling this kind of abuse?

Finally, we need to be honest here. It is undeniable that if you went through every idle word we have uttered – in email, in a text message, or in person – that you could find something that we would be horrified to have other people know we said. This is the case for every single person who has ever lived, without exception. The difference between our stupid and offensive utterances and the people targeted by social media lynch mobs is our stupidity and/or wickedness is not seen by millions of people. If you honestly look in the mirror and examine yourself, you cannot sustain this level of outrage.

A slow motion suicide by bitterness

The more I watch Hillary Clinton complain about losing the 2016 presidential election, the more I am sad for her. This is what a slow motion suicide by bitterness looks like. If the people closest to Mrs. Clinton cared about her, they would stage and intervention and do everything they could to get her to move on with her life. She will never be President and her continued obsession with the prize that eluded her is unhealthy.

This is not about a vanquished candidate going away. I am legitimately concerned for her mental and physical health. She is clearly very bitter about the loss, to the point of an unhealthy obsession.

The reason this resonates with me is because watching Mrs. Clinton over the last year and a half is like looking in the mirror. I have been where she is now. It’s a terrible place to be and a terrible way to live. There comes a point that whether your complaint is legitimate or not, you have to let it go, accept it and move on. You have to make peace with it for the sake of your sanity, your health and your relationships.

Obsessing about the loss is not healthy. She will never be President and there is nothing she can do about that. She has had a historic career that not even one tenth of one percent of the population can hope to have. She has been arguably the most influential First Lady on policy, she was a U.S. Senator and the Secretary of State. At her age, Mrs. Clinton needs to be happy with what she has done and move on.

As Douglas Wilson put it: “Bitterness is like eating rat poison and waiting for the other person to die.”