To Sean Hannity: Please Do Not Make ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner into a Hero

I am not trying to demonize Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner or to portray him as some kind of moral monster. Obviously, I cannot relate to whatever internal struggles moved him to try to change his gender (which, for the record, cannot be done), and he may be a fine person and a decent human being in many other ways.

I am simply saying that, by no means should he be the latest poster boy/girl for conservative values, even if he is currently seeking to replace California’s radical governor, Gavin Newsom.

Yet last week, Jenner appeared in a very favorable exclusive interview with Sean Hannity, with Hannity (or the narrator) referring to Jenner as “she” or “her,” and with lines like, “California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner will join us for her first exclusive interview.”

So, in the name of ousting a very liberal governor and helping restore California, Hannity has embraced some of the foundational values of transgender activism, referring to a biological male as “she” and referring to Bruce Jenner as “Caitlyn.”

For many years, I have said that LGBT activism was the principal threat to freedom of religion, speech, and conscience in America.

Now, with the Equality Act looming, an act which would literally gut religious freedoms in America, and with states having to pass bills to protect female sports, the last thing we need is to normalize trans identity in our conservative circles.

Before the actual interview on “Hannity,” viewers saw a campaign video featuring lines like this: “I want to carry the torch for the parents who had to balance work and their child’s education, for business owners who are forced to shut down, for pastors who were not able to be with their congregation, or the family who lost their home in a fire, for an entire generation of students who lost a year of education.”

With all respect to Jenner’s intentions, pastors do not need a transgender icon to fight their battles. Please.

Someone might say, “But you don’t get it. This is a great strategy, using a transgender celebrity – and a famous athlete at that – to speak against biological boys competing against girls.”

To the contrary, this amounts to trying to win a battle by surrendering the war.

In reality, it is only because of societal acceptance of people like Bruce Jenner as a woman that we’re even talking about boys who identify as girls competing against them. And if, as Jenner recently said, a male-to-female transgender teen is actually a biological boy, then Jenner is a biological man. And you don’t refer to a biological man as “she.”

Just look at some of Jenner’s statements from the interview, put side by side: “I love this country. I’m a patriarch. . . . I can’t go to my hair salon.”

What? Caitlyn is a “patriarch”? And do patriarchs refer to the place where they get their hair done as a “hair salon”?

Jenner and Hannity agreed that “we’ve got bigger problems . . . than pronouns in the state of California.”

Yet if you accept the use of transgender pronouns than you have already lost the ideological war. 

You have also capitulated morally, the very thing Prof. Jordan Peterson refused to do in Canada, which then launched him to international fame. (His famous words were, “If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. I’m not doing this. And that’s that. I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left-wing ideologues.”)

Sadly, Hannity has already capitulated and without the least bit of coercion, at that. Caitlyn is “she” and “she” should be applauded for her stands. 

And just as gay “marriage” further dealt a blow to the meaning of marriage in America, capitulating on pronouns deals a further blow to gender distinctions and gender identity.

And who will pay the ultimate price? The children, the ones who are bombarded with radical ideologies that cause them to question their gender identity, often making terrible, life-impacting decisions that they quickly learn to regret.

I’m thinking of people like Keira Bell, a 24-year-old British woman who took legal action against a National Health Service gender clinic, saying “she should have been challenged more by medical staff over her decision to transition to a male as a teenager.”

Now, living again as a woman, Bell has this to say: “The consequences of what happened to me have been profound: possible infertility, loss of my breasts and inability to breastfeed, atrophied genitals, a permanently changed voice, facial hair.”

Yet, to repeat, we have only gotten to this point in America (and the world) because of the larger, cultural acceptance of (and even celebration) of transgender identity to the point of branding one of our fabled, Olympic, male athletes “Woman of the Year.”

In the Hannity interview, Jenner said, “And I have always been on the Republican side, just because I have conservative economic values. You know, the old saying, lower taxes, less regulations, you know, a more friendly business environment, and we don’t have that in California. 

“But socially, I’ve much — I’ve been much more progressive all my life.”

That is exactly the point that Ian Haworth was making in a recent Daily Wire op-ed about Jenner. Thus, for conservatives to celebrate Jenner for his comments about transgender sports would be similar to conservatives celebrating the head of Planned Parenthood if she spoke out against the sale of aborted baby parts.

My point, again, focuses on Jenner’s very identity, as he said during the interview: “But for me as a trans woman, I think role models are extremely important for young people. Trans issues people struggle with big time. Our suicide rate is nine times higher than the general public. 

“And for me to be a role model to them, to be out there. I am running for governor of the state of California, who would have ever thunk that? We’ve never even had a woman governor.”

Is this really what Sean Hannity, one of the most-watched conservative broadcasters in the world, wants to highlight on his show, seeing Jenner as a role model? Have we really fallen so far?

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For The Good Of The Country, Donald Trump Should Pass The Torch

There’s not a lot of mystery here. At this point, every indication is that former President Donald Trump will announce his third presidential bid as soon as it makes sense from a campaign finance perspective to do so. When this happens, like it or not, most political analysts think he will win the 2024 GOP nomination similarly to how he won in 2016, not by having a majority from the get-go, but by consistently maintaining a larger and more dedicated base than his opponents.

Sure, some current polling indicates Trump’s support among the GOP dropping as increasingly more would like to see “someone other than Trump” be the nominee, but that won’t matter in a Republican primary. What WILL matter is that 30 percent – or whatever makes up Trump’s core GOP base come election time – is always going to be more than the 10-15 percent that could be garnered by any one of the 10-15 other possible candidates, and that’ll be more than enough to carry him across the finish line. In other words, get ready for another Donald J. Trump GOP nomination, a general election season of massive campaign rallies full of excitement and promise… followed by another devastating general election loss.

Now, even if you haven’t stopped reading in disgust at this point, many of you will probably still be angry with me, maybe even enough to call me a – gasp – *NeverTrumper* in the comments below. Fine, whatever. You’d be wrong about that though, just as you’d be wrong to think Donald Trump has a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating Weekend at Bernie’s, President Momala, or whatever other piece of Marxist/Leninist garbage the left trots out in 2024. I was among the staunchest anti-NeverTrumper conservative columnists writing in 2015 and 2016, and when Trump wins the nomination in 2024 I’ll support him, vote for him, and pray hard that he wins – knowing full well that nothing short of a divine miracle far surpassing 2016 would garner a victory.

Are miracles possible? Sure, but they’re also exceedingly rare. Whatever happened in 2020, I think we can all agree that a miracle for conservatives wasn’t among them. What did happen, as you’ll recall, was a combination of individual voter fraud abetted by massive unsolicited mail-in balloting and officials driven to count them all with few if any checks or questions (to what extent, we’ll never know) AND the then-president of the United States driving record turnout ON BOTH SIDES, all resulting in an overwhelmingly damaging general election defeat. 

Then, to make matters worse, instead of acting like a statesman and living to fight another day, like Nixon did in 1960, Donald Trump instead acted like a petulant child in an insane, two-month saga that ended with the January 6 Capitol riot, an unforced error and a dream-scenario for leftists looking for some false equivalence to ignore what they sanctioned all summer and paint conservatives as the ‘real insurrectionists.’ No, it wasn’t an insurrection, and yes, it’s been vastly overrated and overplayed by the left, but it also sealed off any chance of Trump avenging his loss in the minds of more than enough Americans to ensure the former president never sniffs elected office again. 

Want to relive January 6 on your TV screen every single day of a campaign season four years later? I’m telling you, they will beat us with that dead horse until every suburban soccer mom in the country begs for mercy and posts a BLM banner on their social media profiles on the off chance that someone might think they are a dreaded ‘Trump insurrectionist.’ In truth, Democratic strategists would like nothing better than for Trump to run again. They are hoping for it, begging for it, and if they prayed, they’d be praying for it.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t like any of the above any more than you do, but what we’d like doesn’t change reality. You can dispute the favorability polls all you want, but NONE of them are good. Face it, short of maybe the collapse of the dollar and a complete Mad Max-style apocalyptic breakdown of the country under Biden/Harris, this political reality isn’t likely to change. (God forbid, it COULD happen, I suppose, considering the breakneck pace at which they’re screwing things up so far – but it would have to be REALLY bad to make a difference, bad enough that none of us would want it to happen.)

Acknowledging all this isn’t being a NeverTrumper. It’s being a realist. Fairly or unfairly, Donald Trump would bring far more negatives than positives to a 2024 presidential campaign. Will he recognize this and bow out in favor of a candidate with fewer negatives, perhaps playing the much more apropos role of kingmaker? Probably not, but I hope he does. 

What many of us liked about Trump, after all, wasn’t so much the man himself, but the fact that despite his flaws he tried to keep his campaign promises and actually governed as a conservative. Instead of the former president marching to certain defeat and splitting the party in the process, causing a whole other wave of disaffected voters to abandon national elections altogether, imagine an energized Donald Trump on the campaign trail uniting conservatives and pitching for someone like Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Donald Trump won, and was by and large a successful president, because of his policies. In order to win in 2024, we not only need a candidate who believes in and will implement the policies brought forth so successfully by the former president, but also someone who can win a general election. Who might that be? So far, it’s looking like DeSantis fits the bill on all counts, but a lot can happen in two years. 

Regardless, I’d have zero problem being wrong here, but the way I see it, Republicans have absolutely no chance at winning the presidency back in 2024 unless their nominee is someone not named Donald Trump. Which, in many ways, leaves the future of America up to the decision of one man. For the good of the country, the former president should do the right thing and pass the torch.

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Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and The Disuniting of America

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was a noted historian, educator, and social critic who served as Special Assistant to President Kennedy. A Harvard graduate, after serving in World War II, he returned to Harvard as a history professor, from 1946 until 1961. His book, The Age of Jackson was a critical success and earned him a Pulitzer Prize. He then wrote a three-volume set titled, The Age of Roosevelt.

In Touch at the Top

Schlesinger, forever active in liberal politics, became an adviser to Adlai Stevenson, before serving in the Kennedy administration. He had assisted both men during their presidential campaigns. Schlesinger’s 1965 book on the Kennedy administration, titled A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (1965), earned him a second Pulitzer Prize. 

He continued to teach and to write, and to rack up more awards. His subsequent books include The Bitter Heritage (1967), The Imperial Presidency (1973), Robert Kennedy and His Times (1978), and War and the American Presidency (2004). His slimmest of books, The Disuniting of America, first published in 1991, with an updated version in 1998, speaks to our current political and socioeconomic landscape.

Schlesinger keenly observed the American condition. He noted the advantage to everyone if whites were more sensitive about the situations that blacks encounter, and if blacks would be less sensitive about the situations they encounter. He argued that when either group sees everything through a racial lens, contorted views result. Not every slight is based on race and not all acquiescence is benevolent.

Historical Realities vs Distortions of the Truth

Presumed historical realities, Schlesinger observed, are often subtle if not outright distortions of the truth. Predictably, the volume of contradictory information and the associated historical discrepancies it spawns is rising. Of late, consider “The 1619 Project” concocted by the New York Times.

In the ‘politically correct’ era in which Schlesinger wrote The Disuniting of America, and much more so today, pseudo-historians dispense misinformation in the form of “feel-good history.” Feel-good history actually is the antithesis of history. It is a narrative designed to accent or embellish the nature or accomplishments of select groups, Schlesinger noted, for purposes other than conveying what historical records objectively reveal.

To Schlesinger’s chagrin, American history, in particular, has become one of the most maligned of the historical disciplines. Do misinformed or overzealous teachers and professors have the right to overturn decades of research and analysis in the quest to present their version of “the untold, untaught side of American history?” 

Multi-religious vs. Multicultural Societies

At length, Schlesinger discussed the important distinction between multi-religious and multicultural societies. Multi-religious societies have existed throughout history and have succeeded for long stretches. People who share common goals and national objectives might have different religious views, but still feel and be united.

Multicultural societies, however, are problematic. A society that consists of complete and distinct cultures risks disintegration. 

In America today, 30 years after the first edition of The Disuniting of America, often immigrants arrive who do not assimilate, learn English, or know American history, and otherwise stay apart from the rest of the populace. Does society benefit in the long run? Generally, it does not.

The waves of immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1890s, then again in the 1910s, had a common objective: to become American citizens. Yes, they would still be Romanian, or Lithuanian, or Greek, etc. but they sought to be Americans, and that is crucial. They didn’t leave their homelands to recreate in America the conditions of their homelands. They arrived here to be part of the American mainstream. 

Groups Who Succeed

Today, legal immigrants from Nigeria, Ghana, Haiti, and the West Indies, all black Americans, have successfully assimilated. Within a generation, or less, these groups often out-earn the average American and out-earn African Americans who have long resided here.

Why are recent black immigrants able to succeed? Many sociologists and scholars maintain that these recent arrivals are free from self-imposed limitations which those residing here for eons have cast upon themselves. Dr. Thomas Sowell, the late Professor Walter Williams, General Colin Powell, and author Shelby Steele, among many others, have noted this in their speeches and books.

The America of today is more disunited than it has been in at least a century, but Arthur Schlesinger’s book was prescient and contains countless bits of wisdom: Independent of skin color, ethnicity, or other so-called dividing factors, America is the land of opportunity.

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Shame: This Woman Gave Life To A Beautiful Child, Completely Missing Out On Soul-Crushing Corporate Career

DETROIT, MI—According to a tragic report, local mother Lyn Smith has given birth to a precious brand-new human life, completely missing out on having her soul crushed every day in her corporate career. Mr. Smith has picked up extra hours at his job so she can stay home with her baby. 

The post Shame: This Woman Gave Life To A Beautiful Child, Completely Missing Out On Soul-Crushing Corporate Career appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

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There Are Simple Reasons Liz Cheney Has To Go

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Posted: May 09, 2021 12:01 AM

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Imagine General Dwight Eisenhower on June 6, 1944, speaking to the troops and after saying, “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you,” he tosses in a, “But not Italians, or Irish, and certainly not any of you from California because Californians suck. I hope they get shot. When the bullets start flying, use those people as human shields.” How would that go over? Not well.

Would you follow that guy into battle? Hell no. Even if you weren’t Irish, Italian, or from California, how could anyone trust him?

Now imagine if you’d found out that Eisenhower, as a side gig, was selling surplus ammunition and weapons to the Germans. “Hey, it’s just sitting around not being used, and they asked if I’d sell it to them,” or some such thing. Would anyone have faith in him?

Absolutely not. Yet, that’s what Liz Cheney has done as House Republican Conference Chair. And that’s why she has to go.

Her failure is not because she doesn’t like Donald Trump, that is the least important part of this whole drama, but because she can’t do the job. Her job is to hold the caucus together and advance the Republican agenda. She can’t do it, and it’s all her fault.

Cheney’s raging case of Trump Derangement Syndrome aside, she has fired down her own trench too many times. Leaders, effective leaders, don’t attack their own troops. They can have differences with individuals, but when the chips are down, everyone has to be pulling in the same direction.

Imagine taking part in a tug-of-war and the person behind you, one of your own team members, is expending some of their energy kicking you in the back and cursing your existence. That’s what Liz Cheney has been doing when attacking other Republicans in Congress.

Feeling contempt for someone is one thing, being unable to contain it is another. Leaders need to contain it.

More than the contempt she can’t contain, Liz Cheney continues to make a mistake that shows a trait no Republican leader should ever have – she takes the bait from the media.

It’s clear she despises former President Trump. She voted with his agenda more than 90 percent of the time, but on a personal level she simply cannot stand him. And when asked by an eager media drooling for someone to play the John McCain role in the Congress, she answered the call.

Whether she did so willingly or out of some Pavlovian inability to control herself doesn’t matter, she did it. That’s all that matters. Every time asked, she can’t stop herself from going after the former President.

That she can’t stand him, or believes he incited a riot January 6th doesn’t matter, a leader has to bite their tongue every once in a while. Whenever a reporter wants a quote or to stir the pot with Republicans, she’s all too happy to oblige. We get it, now shut up already.

But it’s too late for that. Just as it’s too late for her to stop publicly criticizing some of her fellow Republicans in Congress. She’s done it, repeatedly. And that’s why she can’t be in leadership.

Whether she stays in Congress is up to her and the people of Wyoming, but she can’t be in leadership.

The vote this week should be a formality, Republicans can’t have a leader who can’t control themselves. More than that, she should recognize the problems she created for herself and resign her leadership position before a vote his held. If she cares at all about the Republican Party or the cause of conservatism, she should publicly admit she lost her head and realizes she can no longer be the caucus chair. A little bit of publicly eaten crow would do what she hasn’t been able to do so far in 2021: help the party.

Short of that, she’s continuing to aid Democrats. A vote to remove her would once again rehash all the bad publicity and damage that led her to this point. So the real question isn’t whether or not she should go, it’s whether or not she’ll do as much damage as possible on her way out the door. Before the vote is the last chance she has to be the person she should have been the whole time. Let’s hope she takes it, but it’s unlikely. If she had doing the right thing in her she wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

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There Are Simple Reasons Liz Cheney Has To Go

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Posted: May 09, 2021 12:01 AM

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Imagine General Dwight Eisenhower on June 6, 1944, speaking to the troops and after saying, “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you,” he tosses in a, “But not Italians, or Irish, and certainly not any of you from California because Californians suck. I hope they get shot. When the bullets start flying, use those people as human shields.” How would that go over? Not well.

Would you follow that guy into battle? Hell no. Even if you weren’t Irish, Italian, or from California, how could anyone trust him?

Now imagine if you’d found out that Eisenhower, as a side gig, was selling surplus ammunition and weapons to the Germans. “Hey, it’s just sitting around not being used, and they asked if I’d sell it to them,” or some such thing. Would anyone have faith in him?

Absolutely not. Yet, that’s what Liz Cheney has done as House Republican Conference Chair. And that’s why she has to go.

Her failure is not because she doesn’t like Donald Trump, that is the least important part of this whole drama, but because she can’t do the job. Her job is to hold the caucus together and advance the Republican agenda. She can’t do it, and it’s all her fault.

Cheney’s raging case of Trump Derangement Syndrome aside, she has fired down her own trench too many times. Leaders, effective leaders, don’t attack their own troops. They can have differences with individuals, but when the chips are down, everyone has to be pulling in the same direction.

Imagine taking part in a tug-of-war and the person behind you, one of your own team members, is expending some of their energy kicking you in the back and cursing your existence. That’s what Liz Cheney has been doing when attacking other Republicans in Congress.

Feeling contempt for someone is one thing, being unable to contain it is another. Leaders need to contain it.

More than the contempt she can’t contain, Liz Cheney continues to make a mistake that shows a trait no Republican leader should ever have – she takes the bait from the media.

It’s clear she despises former President Trump. She voted with his agenda more than 90 percent of the time, but on a personal level she simply cannot stand him. And when asked by an eager media drooling for someone to play the John McCain role in the Congress, she answered the call.

Whether she did so willingly or out of some Pavlovian inability to control herself doesn’t matter, she did it. That’s all that matters. Every time asked, she can’t stop herself from going after the former President.

That she can’t stand him, or believes he incited a riot January 6th doesn’t matter, a leader has to bite their tongue every once in a while. Whenever a reporter wants a quote or to stir the pot with Republicans, she’s all too happy to oblige. We get it, now shut up already.

But it’s too late for that. Just as it’s too late for her to stop publicly criticizing some of her fellow Republicans in Congress. She’s done it, repeatedly. And that’s why she can’t be in leadership.

Whether she stays in Congress is up to her and the people of Wyoming, but she can’t be in leadership.

The vote this week should be a formality, Republicans can’t have a leader who can’t control themselves. More than that, she should recognize the problems she created for herself and resign her leadership position before a vote his held. If she cares at all about the Republican Party or the cause of conservatism, she should publicly admit she lost her head and realizes she can no longer be the caucus chair. A little bit of publicly eaten crow would do what she hasn’t been able to do so far in 2021: help the party.

Short of that, she’s continuing to aid Democrats. A vote to remove her would once again rehash all the bad publicity and damage that led her to this point. So the real question isn’t whether or not she should go, it’s whether or not she’ll do as much damage as possible on her way out the door. Before the vote is the last chance she has to be the person she should have been the whole time. Let’s hope she takes it, but it’s unlikely. If she had doing the right thing in her she wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

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From Peaceniks of 1960s to the Social Justice Warriors of 2020s: Some Cultural and Spiritual Insights

Are there parallels between the anti-war, hippies of the 1960s and today’s social justice warriors? Are there valuable lessons we can learn from the past, both cultural and spiritual, that will give us insight for today?

Growing up in the 60s (I was born in 1955), I lived through the anti-war movement. But for me, being a few years younger than the activists, that era was all about rock music and drugs. Giving the “peace” sign was just something we hippies did. 

“Peace, man,” we would say while holding up two fingers. Our mantra was, “Make love not war.”

As for being anti-war, that was hardly a philosophical issue for me. It was simply pragmatic: I was getting high and playing drums in a rock band. Why on earth would I want to go to Vietnam to be killed in battle?

But for others, there really were serious philosophical issues, and deep questions were being asked. 

Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life? Is the American dream our dream too – to have a better job and a nicer house than our parents, so our kids, in turn, can have a better job and nicer house than us? And what is the purpose of this war on the other side of the world? What are we actually fighting for?

Of course, even in my world, as we sit around and got high, we would also talk about spiritual things, endlessly, by the hour. There was a search for meaning and truth, and we knew there was something more than just going to work and having a family.

As for the naïve attempts to find a perfect world in hippie communes, there was sincerity in the dream. Let’s get away from the rat race and from the pollution and violence of the big city, and let’s live naturally as one big, happy family.

Today, if we can look past the craziness (and violence) of groups like Antifa or the absurdity of the woke mentality (see here for a recent example) or the dangers of intersectional thinking, there is something similar going on.

Even when young people come down on the wrong side of social issues, becoming advocates for the most radical elements of LGBTQ ideologies or accusing Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians, there is often a cry for justice behind their zeal.

In other words, they are convinced that gays (or Palestinians or others) are victims of gross injustice, and they want to side with the underdog and make things right. When it comes to racial inequality, they don’t only want equal opportunities for all, they want equal outcomes. 

Put another way, what they long for and what they want to bring about (even by force) is a Marxist utopia, similar to what the hippies were looking for on their communes. It will be paradise on earth.

Unfortunately, since human nature remains the same, the dream goes up in smoke, with the 60s ultimately building the platform for the sexual revolution, radical feminism, gay liberation, Roe v. Wade, and more. So much for finding a better way of life.

And today, we see the terribly destructive direction of cancel culture and oppressive wokeness. It is anything but a passive call to “make love, not war.” Today’s activism breathes the spirit of the Weathermen and Black Panthers of the 60s. Today’s activism is armed and angry.

Writing in the important new book Cancel Culture: And the Left’s Long March, Kristian Jenkins observed, “What we invariably discover is that the excitable young rabble rousers have gotten a little bit ahead of themselves. They fondly imagine, in their unseasoned youth, that they are the first dauntless adventurers to discover the principle of justice, and its inevitable foil, injustice. Incandescent, they set out pumped full of righteous indignation determined to overturn oppression and inequality. But in their exuberance they overlook vital facts. Yes, a fallen and imperfect world made up of fallen and imperfect people is bound to be subject to injustice in places. But the thing is, wiser heads than theirs have spotted this already and have over time written into the laws, constitutions and institutions safeguards like the separation of powers, democratic principles, the rule of law, free speech and so on, precisely to guard against the overreach of power by those that hold it.”

He continued, “In essence this is the root cause of all the incessant leftist overreach. The radicals and the revolutionaries of the left identify genuine injustice and determine to fix it. All well and good so far, but from the outset their objectives are built on faulty foundations. Unlike liberals and conservatives—who also want to address injustice but recognize the necessity to do so gradually, sometimes, and sensitively, always, careful to keep what works and cautious of unintended consequences—leftists see injustice as evidence that the whole edifice is rotten and oppressive and must be pulled down in entirety, beams, bricks, buttresses, the lot. Out goes the bath water, along with the baby, the bath and the rubber ducky. And if pig-headed reactionaries don’t get it they deserve to suffer the consequences. The Great Terror, the Great Purge, the Cultural Revolution.”

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Jenkins has truly nailed it here.

What, then, can we learn from the past? You could say that the flesh and the world answered the cry of the 60s seekers while the church, by and large, failed to answer that cry. That’s because the church primarily saw the rebellion and the sin of the younger generation – the sex, drugs, rock-n-roll and Eastern religion – while missing the spiritual search and the cry for a better world that was behind it.

Today, we can easily lose sight of the cry for a better world and the longing for justice and purpose in the midst of the craziness of the autonomous zones and the oppressive madness of cancel culture. 

We who are followers of Jesus should seize this moment, not only praying fervently for these young activists and their allies, but also telling them (and demonstrating!) that: 1) the teaching and example of Jesus are the ultimate path for social transformation; 2) true reconciliation can only come when hearts are changed; 3) in ourselves, we will only make a bad world even worse. We need to be saved ourselves!

So, while we must continue to critique and expose the dangerous agenda of the left, let us also reach out redemptively to those who, like many hippies more than 50 years ago, are on a real search for the meaning of life. Let’s show them the way.

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Climate Change and the Gospel: Resisting Popular Appeal and Embracing a Biblical Approach

My attention has been drawn to a report produced by the Youthscape Centre for Research and Tearfund entitled ‘Burning Down the House: How the Church Could Lose Young People Over Climate Inaction’. The message of this 20-page publication is there in the title: the church’s failure to address climate change threatens to alienate young people.

I’m afraid I found it a disappointing publication, but before I explain my objections let me say two things. The first is that I believe climate change is a serious threat and that something needs to be done urgently. Let no denier of climate change enlist me in their support. 

The second is that although I’m delighted to see Christians getting involved with the environment and climate change issues, let me remind you this is no novelty for Christians. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Stott who encouraged a biblically based response to environmental issues and, amongst many other things, was involved in the setting up of the Christian environmental organization A Rocha. Further, the Church of England is struggling with the practicalities of reaching the target of net zero carbon by 2030. So this is not new for Christians to engage on the issue of climate change. 

So where does my disappointment lie? Well, on reading this document I can’t escape the feeling that we as churches are being asked to leap on a bandwagon. Yet bandwagons are the most dangerous form of transport known to the human race and it’s wise to ask questions before jumping on board. I have concerns in several areas.

First, I find that this report lacks clarity. The church, we are told, is supposed to be involved in ‘climate activism’. But what exactly does activism mean? In what way are we to be active? The evidence from the photos seems to be that Christians are to protest. I don’t have a problem with that. But it seems unclear what we are protesting against or for. Are we to march? Write placards? Spray slogans on walls? Drive electric cars? Is it a sin to eat meat? If the devil is in the details, he is also in their absence and there is an unhelpful vagueness here. 

Second, I find this document lacks foundations. Bizarrely, in a 20-page report that manages to find space to explain ‘intersectionality’ there is only a hint of any Christian framework for our involvement in climate matters. This is particularly disturbing since for several decades there has been a great deal of informed Christian thinking on environmental involvement and climate change in particular. 

To take one example, one of the topmost American climate scientists, Professor Katharine Hayhoe, is a Christian and has done a great deal of writing and speaking on how, as biblically informed Christians, we should approach climate change issues. But such is the advocacy of activism in this report that there are virtually no Bible references and not even a recommended reading list. 

The result is a shallow report that bears more than a passing resemblance to the placards it displays. The fact is that there is a profound and rich Christian rationale for caring for the natural world. We believe that our wonderful planet is made and sustained by God, that it is his handiwork and that ultimately, we are accountable to him for our management of it. We are stewards not owners of this world, and cherishing not perishing should be our watchword. 

Our response to the climate crisis should be deeply rooted in a theology that runs from creation to new creation. We need to submit all of the why and the how of our engagement with creation under the authority of Scripture; this report feels like we need to take young people’s word as gospel. Reading this report I feel we need more of Saint Peter and less of “Saint” Greta! 

Third, it lacks discernment. A perennial problem in Christianity has been the misidentification of moral fruit for spiritual roots. Throughout history people have observed the good deeds undertaken by the church, whether with the poor, the marginalized or the enslaved, and have assumed that social action is the ultimate priority of the church. 

Here, however – and forgive me but I am an evangelist – lies a deep and dangerous misunderstanding. Fundamentally, Christianity is not about social action; it is about lives changed through encountering Jesus. The cover of the report shows a young woman holding a placard saying ‘WE ARE THE CHANGE,’ but the truth is that only Jesus brings change.  

The report implores us to not ‘let [young people] down by refusing to acknowledge the biggest crisis we have ever faced,’ but the reality is that the biggest crisis we have ever faced is sin, and only Christ can redeem us. We will drown in despair if we think climate activism, or any form of social action, will bring us redemption. Good works do not make a Christian but Christians do good works. At the heart of any Christian approach to the care of the planet is that it is the right and proper response by God’s people to God’s grace shown to us in Christ. This report seems to me to put the cart before the horse.

Finally, let me return to the title of this document: ‘How the Church Could Lose Young People Over Climate Inaction’. Let me make two observations. Unless I have misread my Bible, motives for action should always be based on morality, not on popularity. Sadly, it’s not hard to find occasions when the church has put its Bible aside and chosen to listen to the voice of the people. It’s rarely ended well for anybody. Actually, the church that decides to follow the world rather than lead it gains little respect. 

This leads me to a second thought. The report’s enthusiastic suggestion is that churches which teach more about climate change will keep young people. Is it possible that this suggestion may be counter-productive? The fact is, most youngsters I know have been overloaded with information on climate change since they came out of diapers. What they are looking for in the church is not more of what they get everywhere else. They are seeking for a radically new way of seeing themselves and the world that includes responding to climate change. 

The view in this report that Christians should enthusiastically endorse climate activism seems radical: ironically, it is not radical enough. This report lacks truth and hope. Without Christ we have a hopeless end, but with Christ we have an endless hope.

Canon J.John has been an evangelist for 40 years. He has spoken at conferences, universities and in towns and cities across 69 countries on 6 continents. In 2017 he launched JustOne at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium in London, and JustOne events are being conducted throughout the UK. Evangelist, minister, speaker, broadcaster and writer, J.John communicates the Christian faith in a practical way. He has written several books across a range of subjects including the ‘Theology For Little People’ series to help children understand biblical truth. J.John lives near London in England.

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A Quick, Compelling Bible Study Vol. 60: From New Testament Miracle to Common Phrase

Author’s Note: Interested readers can find all previous volumes of this series here.

Thanks for joining our Bible study. The headline teases a miraculous occurrence on the “road to Damascus” that changed the world. Later, the phrase was incorporated into our language. Here is the background.

A Jewish scholar named Saul was persecuting Jewish followers of Jesus Christ. But Jesus intervened (as only He can). He unleashed His heavenly power on Saul, who converted to believing that Jesus was Lord. Saul, who was renamed “Paul,” traveled extensively in the name of Jesus, enduring suffering, hardship, and martyrdom.

Paul’s prolific writings formed much of the New Testament. His impact on Christianity evolving into the world’s largest and most influential religion is unmatched (except by Christ himself). 

Over time, Paul’s supernatural conversion took on greater significance with the “road to Damascus” morphing into a secular term referring to any transformative event or life-changing moment that facilitates a permanent course correction.  

With that said, let’s turn to Acts 9:1-19 and learn (or refresh your knowledge) about all the details and lasting significance of this seminal event. I will paraphrase for space considerations. 

Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee, a select group of learned Jewish men. He studied under Gamaliel, the most revered teacher of Hebrew law. (See Vol. 58.

Saul developed a zeal for persecuting Jews who believed that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. He authorized and was present during the stoning of Stephen — the first martyr for Christ. (See Vol. 57.

Then Paul began a new mission to visit the “synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any [worshippers] who belonged to the Way, [name for the early church] whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2). 

What happens next on the “road to Damascus” is the basis for the secular phrase:  

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do’ ” (Acts 9: 3-6).

Saul’s fellow travelers did not see Jesus, only “heard the sound,” but Saul was suddenly blind. (The root of another secular phrase, “blinded by the light.”) His companions “led him by the hand into Damascus,” and for “three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything” (Acts 9: 8-9).

Meanwhile, “In Damascus, there was a disciple named Ananias.” In a vision, the Lord directed Ananias to a specific house to ‘ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he [Saul] has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight’” (Acts 9:10-12).

That is what I call “vision to vision” Divine communication!

However, in Ananias’s vision, he questioned the Lord’s orders because of Saul’s violent reputation saying:

“‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’”(Acts 9: 13-16).

What the Lord said to Ananias is of paramount importance to the enduring power of Christianity. To proclaim His name, Jesus selected Saul as His “chosen instrument” and “must suffer for my name.” Is that Jesus’s version of tough love?

Then Ananias’s vision is over, and the story continues in real-time:

“Ananias, as directed by Jesus found Saul and placed his hands on him saying, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus” (Acts 9:17-19).

Saul is not renamed Paul until four chapters later in Acts 13:9, where it reads, “Then Saul who was also called Paul..” The change occurred without any fanfare, and here are the prevailing reasons: Saul was entering the Gentile phase of his ministry, and as a Roman citizen, he switched to Paul — the Roman name for Saul. 

After Acts 13:9, Saul is always referred to as Paul, who went on to write at least 13 of the 27 New Testament “books” (chapters). His writings are deeply embedded into our culture, hearts, minds, and souls. For example, imagine a wedding ceremony without someone reading, “Love is patient, love is kind…” (1-Corinthians 13:4-8).

So what are you supposed to take away from this famous conversion story?

First, Saul struck down on the road to Damascus is an extreme but glorious example of submission and obedience to the power of Jesus. Pray about how you can glorify the Lord in your life through submission and obedience to Him.

Second, Paul’s conversion is also about forgiveness of sin. Although Saul was a murderer – most prominently of Stephen – Jesus forgave him so He could use Saul as his “chosen instrument.” But Jesus also famously said, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” confirming consequences for our sin. 

Finally, if you are not a believer in Jesus, what is holding you back? If you feel “called,” consider that a blessing and a positive sign not to be ignored. Personally speaking, as someone who was born Jewish, but at age 20 converted to Christianity – if He wants you to serve His earthy kingdom, He will give you signs and make his presence known. There is no need for you to be “blinded by the light.” See the light! Jesus told us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Amen!

Myra Kahn Adams is a media producer and conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. She is also Executive Director of www.SignFromGod.org, a ministry dedicated to educating people about the Shroud of Turin. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com or Twitter @MyraKAdams.

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