Category Archives: Christianity

Thoughts On Flash Forgiveness

Christianity, Judaism & Jews, Justice, Morality, Pop-Culture, Religion, The Zeitgeist

“Thoughts on Flash Forgiveness” is the current column, now on WND. In it I find myself in some agreement with New York Times columnist David Brooks. An excerpt:

… Brooks’ trouble is the breakneck speed in which he shifted into a discussion of forgiveness [for NBC’s Brian Williams]. Is this not premature? Brooks, moreover, is also plain wrong in claiming that transgressors are treated “barbarically” when they “violate a public trust.” In a culture steeped in moral relativism, this is simply untrue. Paris Hilton debuted her public life with a self-adoring pornographic video. It only increased her profile. Likewise Kim Kardashian, who has been bottoms-up ever since her maiden performance. Her sibling, as vulgar, has visited the White House. Barack Obama lied intentionally when he vowed, “You can keep your healthcare if you want to,” but all was forgiven and forgotten. The president’s latest lies are that ISIS is un-Islamic and that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.” These fables are cut out of whole cloth. The same goes for the web of lies “W” wove on the matter of WMD in Iraq. On and on.

Still, boilerplate Brooks is tempered by some solid points about the need to perform penitence before being granted clemency …

Read the rest. “Thoughts on Flash Forgiveness” is now on WND.


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What Faith Sanctions Instant, No-Effort Forgiveness? Only Pop Religion

Christianity, Ethics, Journalism, Judaism & Jews, Morality

Of the banal New York Times columnist David Brooks it has been said that he is “the sort of conservative pundit that liberals like.” Not being a conservative (or a left-liberal), I find him consistently wishy–washy and inane. There is not a controversial or interesting thought in that head of his.

True to type, Brooks gushes banalities about NBC’s Brian Williams. Suspended for six months, the iconic managing editor and anchor of NBC Nightly News, it would appear, lied a lot about the events he covered during his limelight-seeking career.

Although it comes close, Brooks’ latest, “Act of Rigorous Forgiving,” is not a complete dog’s breakfast of a column. The aspect of the Brooks column that piqued this scribe’s curiosity is that of forgiveness.

But first, “Williams’ troubles,” as chronicled by The Daily Beast, “began with his false account of a March 2003 helicopter ride during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which he told, with dramatic variations, on David Letterman’s late-night talk show and Alec Baldwin’s radio show in March 2013, and repeated on his own Jan. 30 newscast—only to recant it and apologize five days later after Stars and Stripes blew it out of the sky. Now he’s also facing scrutiny for stories of possibly untrue exploits during his 2005 coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and even whether, as a volunteer teenage firefighter in Middletown, New Jersey, he saved one (or maybe it was two) puppies from a burning house.”

Brooks’ trouble is that the public has not even received a full account of Williams’ transgressions. Yet Brooks has shifted to a discussion of forgiveness. Is this not premature? Brooks, moreover, is preachy and sanctimonious—almost as though writing with himself in mind (along the lines of, “What if the Williams fate befalls me?”). Brooks is also plain wrong. He claims that transgressors are treated barbarically when they “violate a public trust.” Nonsense on stilts. In a culture steeped in moral relativism, this is simply untrue. Paris Hilton debuted her public life with a self-adoring pornographic video. It only increased her profile. Likewise Kim Kardashian, who has been bottoms-up ever since that maiden performance. Her sister, almost as bad, has visited the White House. Barack Obama lied intentionally when he vowed, “You can keep your healthcare if you want to,” but all was forgiven and forgotten. Ditto Genghis Bush on the matter of WMD. On and on.

In any event, boilerplate Brooks is tempered by some good points about the necessity to perform penitence before being granted clemency:

… the offender has to get out in front of the process, being more self-critical than anyone else around him. He has to probe down to the root of his error, offer a confession more complete than expected. He has to put public reputation and career on the back burner and come up with a course that will move him toward his own emotional and spiritual recovery, to become strongest in the weakest places.

… It’s also an occasion to investigate each unique circumstance, the nature of each sin that was committed and the implied remedy to that sin. Some sins, like anger and lust, are like wild beasts. They have to be fought through habits of restraint. Some sins like bigotry are like stains. They can only be expunged by apology and cleansing. Some like stealing are like a debt. They can only be rectified by repaying. Some, like adultery, are more like treason than like crime; they can only be rectified by slowly reweaving relationships. Some sins like vanity — Williams’s sin — can only be treated by extreme self-abasement.

Indeed penitence, especially in the case of a sustained pattern of abuse, can “only be [achieved] by slowly reweaving relationships.”

To simply demand forgiveness because one has said sorry without convincingly and consistently acting sorry, and to proceed further to conduct one’s self like a victim because the victim has failed to extend an instant pardon: This is despicable. To shift the guilt onto the injured party for not granting that minute-made (or is it “minute-maid”?) clemency: That too is beyond the pale.

Jews too, it would appear, have moved into the realm of pop religion. “According to the Talmud,” I was recently instructed, “a person who repents is forgiven his past and stands in a place of righteousness.”

No mention was made of the hard, lengthy work of “slowly reweaving relationships.” The demand was for forgiveness in a New York minute.

My guess is that instant expiation flows more from the values of the 1960s than from any doctrinal Christian or Jewish values. Whichever is the case, the corollary of the current practice of no-effort forgiveness is that “it not only abolishes the necessity of repentance; it abolishes sin itself,” to quote Ted and Virginia Byfield.


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Breaking: Inadvertently, BHO Inferred Something True

Barack Obama, Christianity, English, Islam

Inadvertently, Barack Hussein Obama suggested a correct inference today. I didn’t say he spoke the truth (other than “the” and “a”); that would be too much to ask. Listen:

The first Crusade was proclaimed almost 1000 years ago; the inquisition a little after that. Indirectly—and in his attempt to draw “moral equivalency between the brutality of ISIS and Christianity”—Barack Obama situated the ISIS phenomenon in the Middle Ages.

From a man whose relationship with truth is at best tentative—that’s the best one can hope for. So what did President Pinocchio say at the National Prayer Breakfast?

Unless [LEST] we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was [WERE???] justified in the name of Christ.

It’s “LEST we get on our high, etc. …”

LEST you doubt that the man’s grammar even with teleprompter—the Millennials write this drivel—is as bad as all that, here’s the tape, sound included.

Obama’s easily as stupid as W. Bush, except that the media cover for him.


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UPDATED: A Sad Christmas Story (Letter From Assistant Director Of ACS)

Christianity, Crime, Family, Film, Ilana Mercer, IMMIGRATION

“A Sad Christmas Story” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Described by a critic as “one of those rare movies you can say is perfect in every way,” “A Christmas Story,” directed by Bob Clark, debuted in 1983.

Set in the 1940s, the film depicts a series of family vignettes through the eyes of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who yearns for that gift of all gifts: the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.

This was boyhood before “bang-bang you’re dead” was banned; family life prior to “One Dad Two Dads Brown Dad Blue Dads,” and Christmas before Saint Nicholas was denounced for his whiteness and “merry Christmas” condemned for its exclusiveness.

If children could choose the family into which they were born, most would opt for the kind depicted in “A Christmas Story,” where mom is a happy homemaker, dad a devoted working stiff, and between them, they have zero repertoire of progressive psychobabble to rub together.

Although clearly adored, Ralphie is not encouraged to share his feelings at every turn. Nor is he, in the spirit of gender-neutral parenting, circa 2014, urged to act out like a girl if he’s feeling … girlie. Instead, Ralphie is taught restraint and self-control. And horrors: The little boy even has his mouth washed out with soap and water for uttering the “F” expletive. “My personal preference was for Lux,” reveals Ralphie, “but I found Palmolive had a nice piquant after-dinner flavor—heady but with just a touch of mellow smoothness.” Ralphie is, of course, guilt-tripped with stories about starving Biafrans when he refuses to finish his food.

The parenting practiced so successfully by Mr. and Mrs. Parker fails every progressive commandment. By today’s standards, the delightful, un-precocious protagonist of “A Christmas Story” would be doomed to a lifetime on the therapist’s chaise lounge—and certainly to daily doses of Ritalin, as punishment for unbridled boyishness and day-dreaming in class. Yet despite his therapeutically challenged upbringing, Ralphie is a happy little boy. For “Progressives”—for whom it has long been axiomatic that the traditional family is the source of oppression for women and children—this is inexplicable.

Perhaps the first to have conflated the values of the bourgeois family with pathological authoritarianism was philosopher Theodor Adorno. …

… Read the complete column. “A Sad Christmas Story” is the current column, now on WND.

UPDATE (12/28): A Treasured Letter From Assistant Director of “A Christmas Story.”

Hi Ms. Mercer,

I want to thank you for the article you wrote on “A Christmas Story”. Bob would have really loved your opening paragraph.

My name is … I was a friend of Bob’s in addition to being his 1st Assistant Director on most of his movies, including “A Christmas Story” and “Porky’s.

Both Bob and Jean Shepard had “Jewish” sensibilities and there were plenty of the tribe working on the set and in the executive substructure.

In fact, the sign of the Chinese restaurant that the Parker’s went to was called Bo Ling. I mention this because the name of that restaurant was Bob’s recognition of my MOTHER’s contribution to his career.

The story of Bo ling occurred when my family was driving from NY to south Florida in 1961. It was getting late and we were all hungry when my mother shouted that there was a Chinese Restaurant at the next exit. Dad pulled off and as we drove up to the building we all realized that there was no restaurant but a bowling alley with the neon light of the “L” was not lit, hence Bo ling was later immortalized in the movie.

The only critical point that I would make is I think you should have mentioned that Bob and Arial were killed by a drunk driver, who happened to be an illegal alien. [

Again, I really enjoyed reading your article. Even after all these years it is still in the public consciousness and Bob would have loved that too.

REPLY:

Dear KG,

This note means a great deal; it’s of historic significance.

Thanks for the pointer against my point on illegality. Here is my counter to it, excerpted from an older article:

Bob Clark, director of one of the most delightful films ever made, “A Christmas Story,” and his 24-year-old son were both killed by a drunk, unlicensed, allegedly illegal alien. Geraldo and Jacoby, the teletwits of amnesty, both asserted that the illegality of the perp is irrelevant to the crime. “It’s not an illegal alien story; it’s a drunk driving story,” Geraldo noodled on “The Factor.”
Geraldo was serious, although he should not be taken seriously. So here’s my next question: For the Geraldo/Jacoby crushingly stupid claim to stick, they would have to demonstrate that had this drunk, illegal alien been stopped at the border or been deported, his victims would have nevertheless suffered the same fate.

Thus illegality matters to this story of lives lost. Had the Overlords in DC not facilitated the unleashing of this illegal individual, Bob and his son would be alive, at least on that day.

Warm regards,
I.


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UPDATED: ISIS Is Islam

Barack Obama, Bush, Christianity, Europe, IMMIGRATION, Iraq, Islam, Judaism & Jews

“ISIS Is Islam” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“ISIL” is how President Barack Obama refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He pronounces it as one would the last syllable in “Moishel,” giving it the ring of a Yiddish diminutive. Yiddish adds an “-l or –ele” suffix to signify affection. “ISIL,” the more expansive appellation preferred by the president, stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Obama was set to tee off on the golf course, when the outfit released footage of its latest bloodletting in Iraq: a video clip depicting the handsome head of American photojournalist James Foley being sawed off by a masked man with a British accent—yes, the West either admits these Muhammadans through mass immigration, or grows them at home in hothouses of multiculturalism.

The life of another journalist, Steven Sotloff, now hangs by a thread.

Unlike our Israeli and European allies, the U.S. government does not haggle for the lives of its countrymen. In fairness, Obama had at least made attempts to rescue poor Mr. Foley. His predecessor, Genghis Bush, sat bone idle, never lifting a bloodstained finger to spare Paul Johnson, Nick Berg, Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, of blessed memory, who also met the most ghastly fate imaginable: beheading.

Even before these men were headless, they were faceless to Bush and his followers.

From Martha’s Vineyard, Obama addressed the media. His response to the beheading of Mr. Foley exhilarated the groupies at CNN. “The entire world is appalled,” the president intoned solemnly. It shocks the conscience of the world. Foley was a good man who stood for “hope and civility.” The killers are craven cowards. They have no ideology, only an “empty vision.” They offer their neighbors nothing but “nihilistic” horror.

“ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim. No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day,” asserted Obama, before scampering back to his game.

Don’t be too harsh on the White House’s current occupant for symbolically severing the ISIS snake head from its Islamic body and tail. His predecessor was as devoted to promoting the Religion of Peace pie-in-the-sky. When it comes to anodyne assurances about Islam’s compatibility with diversity and democracy, Bush was every bit the delusional dhimmi that Obama is. …

… The complete column is “ISIS Is Islam,” now on WND.

UPDATE 8/22: At last, a fun Jewish response to the intro of “ISIS Is Islam.” It comes from music man Ira Newborn (http://barelyablog.com/isis-is-islam/), who writes:

Dear Ketseleh,
You are so right to correct Hussein about his pronunciation of ISIL and
you should certainly let him know that to properly show fatherly or avuncular affection for what is just a tiny little caliphate, he should refer to it as “ISILeh” or “mine shaneh isileh.”
XXXXXXXX
Iraleh

I guess not many people get our humor.


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‘Humanitarian Corridor’ Requires Heroic Efforts

Christianity, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Religion

They are “cultural anomalies,” wrote Washington Monthly correspondent Laura Rozen, with respect to Qubad Talabani and Kurdistan, the region he represents. “His most distinctive attribute may be that he represents perhaps the sole triumph to emerge from postwar Iraq: a relatively peaceful region free of foreign troops, eager for American protection and open for business.”

Similar information was imparted in “Bush Betrays The Kurds,” back in 2007:

The Kurds are the only sect in Iraq that has been consistently loyal to America—the Peshmergas assisted American forces in the north during the invasion. Not one American soldier has been killed in that region. Kurds are also the only group to have made good on their newly found freedom. Monocultural Iraqi Kurdistan is an oasis in the democratic desert that is Iraq, “where business is booming and Americans are beloved.
“When visiting Kurdistan,” … “one can see nation-building wherever one looks—Kurds are building their country day by day. There are more cranes here than minarets and there’s a run on cement.” No wonder the constructive Kurds want nothing to do with the destructive Iraqi Arabs, who’ve persecuted them in years past and have now turned on one another.

Talabani, a most affable and intelligent Kurdish statesman, spoke to CNN simpleton Wolf Blitzer. Refusing to harp on legalistic definitions of genocide, Talabani stressed that absent assistance, the Yazidis, who’ve “maintained pre-Christian beliefs and practices from Nineveh and Babylon,” would be doomed (as has been the fate of the Christians of Iraq).

It would be essential to fashion a humanitarian corridor through which to facilitate a safe passage for the besieged on Mount Sinjar, advised Talabani.

Where are the Europeans in all this? The Israelis? The head of the Vatican? (Another simpleton, the new Holy See is no match to his predecessors. In fact, Jorge Bergoglio is more of a bumpkin than expected. Still, people love a populist, socialist fool.) Can’t the Vatican afford to cobble together a private army of crusader-mercenaries to pave the way out—and off the mountain—for these Iraqi innocents?

Fabricating a “humanitarian corridor” to allow the Yazidi safe passage will require the heroic efforts of other human beings.


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