Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Free Brigitte Bardot!

In America we are accustomed to celebrities publicly virtue-signaling their conformist Progressive contempt for flyover Americans and spewing their profane hatred of President Trump in interviews and social media. They have every right to do this, and without fear of government suppression, because the United States is (for now) blessed with a degree of freedom of speech found nowhere else in the world. Meanwhile in Europe, one of the most celebrated entertainment icons in France’s history has been criminalized and fined repeatedly for speaking her mind.
Breitbart News reports that Brigitte Bardot, former sizzling sex symbol and current fierce animal rights activist, is being charged – yet again – with hate speech and incitement to racial hatred, this time after condemning the religious practices of some inhabitants of the French-ruled island of Réunion near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
Réunion is largely Christian, but a Hindu minority still carries on certain rituals involving the gruesome sacrifice of goats, dogs, and cats. Animal rights groups have long condemned abuses there. The 84-year-old Bardot, who in 1986 created an organization dedicated to animal protection called The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, bluntly expressed her displeasure in a letter to the authorities of the island, in which she declared the practices to be “demonic” and sadistic, and labeled those responsible as “aboriginals who have kept the genes of savages.”

Unsurprisingly, the prefect of Réunion did not take this criticism kindly and called on the courts to indict Bardot for inciting racial hatred. Equally unsurprisingly, Bardot was unapologetic and declared that she fully intended to keep speaking out against the abuse of animals everywhere.

Scholar Blames Christchurch Massacre on – What Else? – Western Civilization

In the wake of the recent mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Nick Riemer, a senior lecturer in English and linguistics at the University of Sydney, offered up a suggestion for preventing more such atrocities by presumed white supremacists: stop universities from promoting Western civilization.

In a Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece titled, “After Christchurch universities have a responsibility: abandon Ramsay,” Riemer argues that if “Australian universities really want to combat Islamophobia after Christchurch, only one course is possible: abandon Ramsay immediately.” He’s referring to the controversial Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation located in the University of Sydney. The Centre, funded by Australian philanthropist Paul Ramsey with the biggest education bequest in the country’s history, is controversial because it dares “to foster and promote an interest in and awareness of Western civilization,” according to its mission statement. As former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a board member at the Centre, put it in an article at Quadrant, “The key to understanding the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is that it’s not merely about Western civilisation but in favour of it.”

And for Riemer and the left in general, that, of course, is the problem with the Ramsey Centre. There is no community in the First World less in favor of Western civilization than leftist academics, the vast majority of whom are cultural and/or economic Marxists, multiculturalists, radical feminists, identity politics ideologues, or any combination thereof. All are committed to the deconstruction of the incomparable values, traditions, institutions, and unrivaled achievements of the West. For decades they have worked tirelessly to subvert our civilizational pride by equating the capitalist West with colonialist exploitation, the oppressive “othering” of nonwhite peoples, and the environmental degradation of the planet, among other evils. Any perspective that runs counter to their perverse viewpoint is simply demonized as white supremacism.

Riemer is alarmed that “despite all its claims of non-partisanship, Ramsay’s 2019 public lecture series overwhelmingly showcases the right.” Among his examples of right-leaning speakers are The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher – hardly an alt-right firebrand – and medievalist Rachel Fulton Brown, whom he decries as “notorious for her celebration of ‘white’ culture.” (The provocative article Riemer specifically references is one in which Brown sought “to push back against the negative image of the Western tradition that has become so prevalent in our national culture, particularly the way in which people have been talking for decades about ‘white men’ as if they were the source of everything repressive and intolerant.” For this, Riemer implies that she is a white supremacist.) It doesn’t seem to occur to Riemer that the reason a pro-West academic program might be showcasing right-leaning thinkers is that left-leaning thinkers like himself are almost uniformly anti-West, often rabidly so. Riemer himself, a member of a social justice pro-refugee organization which seeks permanent residency and full rights for refugees, has written that political neutrality in the classroom is “a fiction” and that teachers should not be “pressure[d] into hiding their convictions” – unless they are conservative, that is; that kind of thinking must be delegitimized, as he says of the Ramsay Centre. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The War to Destroy Christian America

Today, the free exercise of religion has ceased to be a guaranteed right in America. Instead, it has become a battlefield. – David Horowitz
For years, Morris County in New Jersey had been giving historic churches money to make repairs under an historic preservation program. In 2015, the State Supreme Court ruled that taxpayer funds should not be used to repair places of worship. A challenge to this ruling recently went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case, but Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out that “[b]arring religious organizations because they are religious from a general historic-preservation grants program is pure discrimination against religion.” This “would raise serious questions under this Court’s precedents and the Constitution’s fundamental guarantee of equality.”
This seems like a relatively minor, local issue but it is yet another instance of the fierce conflict referred to in Horowitz’s quote above. As the Freedom Center’s founder notes in his brand new book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America, we are engaged in “a war against this nation and its founding principles: the equality of individuals and individual freedom. For these principles are indisputably Christian in origin. They are under siege because they are insurmountable obstacles to radicals’ totalitarian ambition to create a new world in their image.”
Those totalitarian radicals are today’s progressives. “Since its birth in the fires of the French Revolution,” Horowitz writes, “the political left has been at war with religion, and with the Christian religion in particular.” He knows this from personal experience. As a “red-diaper baby,” he learned early on that his parents and their leftist friends were true believers in a faith, but not one concerned with the fate of souls. The label “progressivism” masked their true religion, which was Communism, and their “cause was the salvation of mankind” – but “they thought of themselves as the redeemers, not God.”
As Horowitz demonstrates in his slim but compelling and disturbing new volume, the left’s ruthless antagonism toward Christianity stems from its own arrogant determination to shape the world according to atheist Karl Marx’s utopian vision of perfect equality and social justice (with Edenic environmental harmony thrown in for good measure). “Those who believe they are changing the world, or saving the planet, or transforming the human race,” Horowitz writes, “are intoxicated with self-aggrandizing pride.” Those afflicted with this arrogance, such as the so-called New Atheists like political comedian Bill Maher, condemn the violence and bigotry spread in the name of religion (especially Christianity; Islam is usually off-limits to condemnation partly because it shares an anti-Western animosity with the left, and partly because open criticism of Islam tends to get the critic targeted for death). But they “are blind to all the positive influences religion has had on human behavior, and they ignore all the atheist-inspired genocides of the last 250 years,” Horowitz writes. He rightly points out that the danger lies not in religion but in human nature; it is our flawed humanity that sometimes poisons religion, not the other way around.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Jussie Smollett’s Hate Crime

On October 25, 1994, a frantic young South Carolina mother named Susan Smith told police that her car had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her two boys, aged three years old and 14 months. For nine days, with a nationwide search underway, she made tearful pleas on television for their safe return. “I wanna say to my babies,” she sobbed with her distraught husband by her side, “your mama loves you so much.” Finally her story unraveled and she confessed to intentionally sending her Mazda into a nearby lake with her two young sons strapped inside.
Apart from the unconscionable drowning of her own helpless children, Susan Smith’s story contained a racial dimension that tore at the nation’s social fabric: her false accusation that a black man had victimized a young white mother and murdered her innocent babies. It was an ugly but shrewd lie that exploited bigotry for sympathy in order to conceal her own evil.
On January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett, a 36-year-old, gay black actor on the Fox drama series Empire, told police he had been assaulted outside his apartment building at 2 a.m. on a snowy Chicago night by two men in ski masks who identified him as the Empire actor, hurled racial and anti-gay slurs at him, draped a makeshift noose around his neck, and tossed some bleach on him before disappearing. TMZ reported that sources claimed the attackers had boasted to Smollett, “This is MAGA country”; he confirmed this in a follow-up interview with the police.
The story instantly made big news, but anyone not consumed by hatred for President Trump and his supporters immediately suspected a hoax because Smollett’s narrative lacked any credibility whatsoever. A pair of Trump supporters were walking the icy streets of Chicago at 2 a.m. with a noose and bleach (which inexplicably did not freeze in the literally sub-zero weather) when they recognized a little-known (to anyone but Empire fans) actor from a cable show that no white supremacist would watch, assaulted him without causing any more physical damage than a scratch on his cheek but managed to get a noose around his neck, and then made sure to announce that “This is MAGA country”? Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago is “Make America Great Again” country? Who knew?