A deplorable saint 155

Agnese Gonxha Bojaxhiu, known as “Mother Teresa of Calcutta”, is now a Catholic saint, having been canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday September 4, 2016.

Here is Christopher Hitchens on the woman and her work.

Although we disagree with his passing criticism of President Reagan, and with his use of the word “conservative” as a pejorative (revealing a political bias which changed as he grew older), we think Hitchens makes a solid case against the saint.

Posted under Charity, Christianity, Commentary, India, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 12, 2016

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Raising the red flag 126

An Investor’s Business Daily editorial lists some of Obama’s far left appointees, and asks: “Does he have any friends who aren’t crackpots?”

But the question that arises from the list is: Has Obama any friends – has he ever had any friends – who aren’t communists?

America is a country of 320 million people, most of them holding to traditional values. Yet President Obama keeps mining the fringes for his hires. Does he have any friends who aren’t crackpots?

Seriously. The president keeps saying he champions the middle class and its values. But his choices of people to help him run the country are the most extreme in U.S. history, and his second-term nominations are more radical than the first.

No sooner had even some Senate Democrats joined Republicans in voting down a cop killer-coddler for civil rights chief, Debo Adegbile, than Obama sent up a 2nd Amendment-basher for U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Vivek Murthy advocates doctors asking patients if they keep guns in the home, a shocking invasion of privacy.

Murthy may also have a rocky path ahead of him, but other extreme-left nominees are getting confirmed.

Last year, Obama tapped former Congressional Black Caucus chief Mel Watt as, of all things, head of the federal agency regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together underwrite 90% of all new-home loans. Republicans blocked his confirmation. But thanks to Democrats invoking the “nuclear option” and ending the filibuster, one of the most radical lawmakers in Congress is now effectively running America’s mortgage industry.

Meanwhile, radical racialist Tom Perez runs the Labor Department, where he’s threatening to sue employers who don’t hire minority felons, just like he sued bankers who didn’t make prime loans to un-creditworthy minority borrowers when he was civil rights chief.

You have to be a Kremlinologist to keep track of all the communist-sympathizing cronies orbiting this White House.

Obama’s previous appointees include:

Valerie Jarrett, his closest White House adviser, whose father-in-law worked closely with Obama mentor and Communist Party leader Frank Marshall Davis in a number of front groups during the Cold War.

David Axelrod, Obama’s political aide, whose mother worked for a communist organ in New York and whose mentor was Soviet agent David Canter.

Van Jones, an admitted communist hired by Jarrett as Obama’s green jobs czar.

Anita Dunn, former White House communications director and Obama’s 2012 foreign policy debate coach, who listed communist dictator and mass murderer Mao Zedong as one of her two favorite philosophers whom “I turn to most” when questions arise.

The other was Mother Teresa. The message: Torture, kill, pray.

• Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulatory czar who wrote a socialist “bill of rights” and who advocates redistributing wealth through climate-change policy.

• Samantha Power, ambassador to the United Nations, a 9/11 apologist who advised the president to follow a “doctrine of mea culpa” and literally bow down to foreign leaders as atonement for America’s “sins.”

• Anne-Marie Slaughter, former State Department policy chief, who advised the president to apologize for the War on Terror.

Rashad Hussein, Obama’s Mideast envoy, who once defended a convicted terrorist (then got caught lying about it), and drafted the president’s Cairo speech apologizing for the War on Terror.

Rose Gottemoeller, Obama’s Soviet-sympathizing chief nuclear arms negotiator, who thinks America is a global “bully” and must unilaterally disarm for the sake of world peace.

• John Trasvina, assistant HUD secretary for fair housing who once headed the radical Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, whose co-founder made racist statements about whites.

• Cecilia Munoz, head of White House domestic policy who used to work for La Raza, the militant Latino group that advocates illegal immigrant rights.

Erica Groshen, Bureau of Labor Statistics chief who sends her children to Camp Kinderland, aka “Commie Camp,” a communist-founded institution where kids during the Cold War sang Soviet anthems.

John Holdren, Obama’s science czar, who’s advised surrendering U.S. sovereignty to a “Planetary Regime” that will redistribute the West’s wealth to underdeveloped countries and who once advocated “adding a sterilant to drinking water” to control population.

Harold Koh, former State Department general counsel who believes in “trans-nationalism” and sees nothing wrong with Shariah law in U.S. courts.

• Tony West, associate attorney general who oversees Gitmo policy, even though he defended al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists including John Walker Lindh, who pleaded guilty to aiding the enemy and fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

So what? In Washington, personnel are policy. These people make the rules we have to live by, from health care to home loans to homeland security.

And these radical political appointees hire other radicals at the bureaucratic levels, where they’ll become entrenched as career federal employees.

In 2008, before Obama was nominated, we warned about his radical associations, including his ties to Davis — a hardened communist with a thick FBI file — at his Honolulu home. His defenders wrote off this Marxist indoctrination as youthful experimentation.

When we pointed out Obama spent 20 years in the pews of an America-bashing preacher, his apologists argued he was merely attending Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church to burnish his urban bona fides.

When we noted Obama launched his political career in the living room of an unrepentant communist terrorist, his defenders argued Bill Ayers had blossomed into a respected professor, that his days of cheering on the Vietcong and bombing the Pentagon were behind him.

We were told the parade of anti-American subversives Obama came in contact with throughout his life amounted to ancient history. But now we have this roster of radical appointments, a current record that’s harder to explain away and which raises the indefeasible question of whether they’re a reflection of himself.

Only there can be no question about it. He and they are birds of a feather.

The enemy has gained the commanding heights of power.

Demonstrations of compassion for a cult of death and suffering 89

In memory of Christopher Hitchens, who died two days ago, here is a video from October 2007 in which he talks about the “profane marriage between media-hype and medieval  superstition and the icon it gave birth to” – Mother Teresa.

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Commentary, Health, India by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 17, 2011

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Freedom and religion 71

Among free people there will always be many who hold absurd beliefs, such as those of Christianity. Some will hold beliefs that are not only absurd but cruel, such as those of Islam. The beliefs should be argued against. The people who hold them should not be persecuted, though they must be stopped from harming others. That remains in any case the most important function of law.

From an article by Luke Goodrich, Director of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in the Wall Street Journal:

The view of religion as a threat is, of course, common. “New atheists,” such as Richard Dawkins, are one manifestation of that view; he dubs the Catholic Church a “disgusting institution,” one of the “greatest force[s] for evil in the world.” But new atheists are not the only ones. Others cite a history of religious wars, Muslim oppression of women, or Christian skepticism of science as proving the dangers of religion. Backward, superstitious, and bigoted, a threat to science and progress: religion is a divisive, intolerant force that governments should tame.

There are two possible responses to this view. One is to attack the premise, arguing that, no, religion really is a force for social good. Religion motivated 19th century abolitionists; religion gave us Mother Teresa; religion permeates the Louvre.

But might there be reasons to protect religious freedom even assuming religion is harmful? I offer three.

First, a practical one: suppressing religion may exacerbate the very problems it is designed to solve. History shows that religion does not disappear when governments try to suppress it. It goes underground, sometimes erupting more violently than if it were not suppressed.

Second, empowering governments to deem religion harmful, and therefore suppress it, opens the door to tyranny. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are inextricably linked. If the government can deem religion harmful and suppress it in the name of public order, it can do the same to other ideas. It is no coincidence that many of the 20th century’s most tyrannical governments—Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia—made suppression of religion a centerpiece of their administration.

[Third] Finally, suppressing religion—even when done in the name of freedom and equality—strikes at the heart of human dignity, which is the foundation of all human rights. Every human being is born with a “religious” impulse—the urge to seek truth, to embrace the truth as one finds it, and to order one’s life accordingly. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “All human beings are born free” and are “endowed with reason and conscience.” Absent a serious threat of violence or imminent harm, suppressing religion interferes with people’s ability to be fully human, to seek and embrace the truth as they understand it. A serious commitment to human rights requires governments to respect the religious impulse—even if much of society thinks religious beliefs are wrong, silly, or even harmful. If the European Court of Human Rights cannot get past its fear of religion, its jurisprudence will only become more incoherent, and all human rights more fragile.

On the second and third points we agree. They are in defense of freedom.

To the first point – that persecution can strengthen an undesirable movement – we would add this maxim from our own Articles of Reason:

Many a belief can survive persecution but not critical examination.