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Kaepernick_Takes a Knee

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the pre-game singing of the national anthem. 

It all began quietly enough. The photo that started it all, one tweeted out by Jennifer Lee Chan of Niners Nation, wasn’t even originally about Colin Kaepernick. In fact, you have to look pretty closely at the photo even to see the then San Francisco 49ers quarterback sitting by himself on the bench during the pre-game ceremonies on August, 26, 2016.

After the game in an interview with NFL.com’s Steve Wyche, Kaepernick explained the reasoning behind his protest. He said,

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL network, this was not the first time Kaepernick had protested during the national anthem, it’s just that no one had noticed it before.

On August 28, Kaepernick stated that he would continue his protest until he felt that the flag represented what it was supposed to represent and the country represented people the way it’s supposed to represent them.

From there, it became almost a commonplace to see football players, not just in the NFL but even those on the high school and college level, take a knee during the pre-game singing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The protest movement, having simmered for over a year, was given new life with Donald Trump’s comments at a rally in Alabama last week, saying players who knelt during the national anthem should be fired.

This prompted angry reactions from many NFL players as well as from players in other sports. Remarkably, the uproar this past week following Trump’s comments has been so loud that it even managed to drive North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s threats of nuclear war from the headlines.

Such an explosive story deserves at least some commentary. So here are a few thoughts of my own.

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FNN-Fake-News-Network-900While reflecting on the big story this past week, the name Mike Tyson came to mind. Now that’s a name you probably didn’t expect to see, but go with me on this one.

From those under the age of 40 or so, I suppose the name Mike Tyson evokes more snickers than anything else. But trust me, it wasn’t always so.

Tyson took the boxing world by storm back in 1985. Tyson didn’t just win fights, he didn’t just knock guys down. He didn’t settle for mere knockouts either. No, Tyson devastated his opponents. Quite simply, I’ve never seen anyone hit harder or attack more ferociously than Tyson in his prime.

By the age of twenty, Tyson was the heavy weight champion of the world.

So why do I bring up Iron Mike? Because this week James O’Keefe of Project Veritas delivered what amounted to a journalistic version of a Tyson uppercut to CNN.

In the segments released so far, O’Keefe’s exposé has caught a CNN producer admitting that the whole Trump-Russian collusion meme is a bunch of hooey (the producer used a different word) and that the only reason CNN spent so much time on it is that it’s good for ratings. CNN anchor Van Jones was caught on tape admitting the much the same thing, that the Russian collusion story is nonsense (he used a different word, too).

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Hodgkinson Shooting

The baseball field where James T. Hodgkinson carried out Wednesday’s attack.

Shots fired! Whither America? I refer, of course, to the latest violent outrage committed by a representative of the political left and what it means for America’s future.

By now, you’ve doubtless heard about how the former Illinois home inspector James T. Hodgkinson walked up to a Washington D.C. baseball diamond, asked if it was the Republicans out there, and upon being told yes, opened fire, wounding four and dying in a shootout with the D.C. police.

While liberals sought to deflect blame, putting the onus for the shooting on conservative support for Second Amendment gun rights, a more likely cause can be found in the violent rhetoric and actions of the left itself.

For more than a year, liberals and progressives have engaged in a hate campaign against Donald Trump and his supporters that brings to mind the sort of violence committed at the hands of the Nazi Brownshirts of yesteryear.

And the violence has come, not just from fringe elements of the left such as Antifa, but remarkably enough from the DNC itself.

In fact, given the shrill, over-the-top, non-stop, anti-Trump, anti-Republican vituperation from the left lo these many months, Wednesday’s attack seems less a surprise and more an unavoidable consequence.

Just days before the shooting, reports were circulated about Free Shakespeare in the Park’s staging of Julius Caesar, in which an actor playing the part of Caesar, dressed as Donald Trump, was stabbed to death.

It’s hard to view an outrage such as this as anything other than the expression of the heartfelt wish of many progressives. Whether it’s Snoop Dog taking a .38 to the head of a Trump-like clown, Madonna openly admitting she often thinks about blowing up the White House, or the profanity laced rants of washed up actor Robert De Niro, the entertainment community has done much to incite the sort of violence seen Wednesday.

One might even say these individuals have blood on their hands.

And in case anyone has doubts about just how far beyond the pale the left’s rhetoric has become, just substitute Barack Obama for Donald Trump in any of the above examples. Said one attendee at the staging of Julius Caesar, “To be honest I thought it was shocking and distasteful. If this had happened to any other president – even as recently as Barack Obama or George W. Bush – it would not have flown. People would have been horrified.”

Indeed.

Whither America? I wish I knew. Progressives love to boast about their tolerance, lover and compassion. But those who are on the receiving end of their vitriol may not be so convinced of their goodwill.

As Christians, let us seek the peace of the city, let us pray for our country, and let us not be afraid to condemn those who seek to achieve by violence and threats of violence what they could not at the ballot box.

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Sanders and Vought

Bernie Sanders questions Russell Vought in Senate confirmation hearing, 6/7/2017.

Tolerance. It may be the single dominate buzzword or out time. Everyone has heard of it. Progressives claim to have it. Conservatives are berated for lacking it. All must bow down to it. Yet rarely does anyone attempt to define it.

There is a Christian sense to the term “tolerance,” one to which any believer in Jesus Christ would readily affirm, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” As Christians, we are to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated, “for this is the law and the prophets.”

Negatively, tolerance in the Christian sense does not mean agreeing with everybody, saying that all ideas about God, ethics, politics or economics are equally true. There is truth, and there is falsehood. There is darkness and there is light. The prophet Isaiah condemned those who put darkness for light and light for darkness. As Christians, we are called to proclaim the truth and expose the lie.

Aye, and there’s the rub, at least as far as 21st century progressives are concerned. These folks have infinite patience for every idea under the sun, no matter how irrational or destructive it may be, just so long as they can use it as a weapon to smash what little is left of Western civilization.

For the cultural Marxists, if an idea or action doesn’t shock and offend the Protestant bourgeoisie and serve to tear down their civilization, it is by definition intolerable.

Barak Obama gave voice to this notion a few years ago with his “bitter clingers” remark.

Hillary Clinton showed her contempt for ordinary Americans last fall, labeling a large swath of the American population as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic…they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Not only does Mrs. Clinton think Americans, her present company excepted, are a bunch of bigots, but she adds that they are irredeemably so. And by stating “they are not America,” it appears that the thinks of these individuals, not as fellow Americans who deserve her respect, but as animals who must be controlled.

And she wonders why she lost the election.

All of which brings me to Bernie Sanders and his remarks in a Senate confirmation hearings this past week. If you haven’t seen the video yet, please take a couple minutes to review it.


The terse exchange between potential deputy White House budget director Russ Vought and Senator Bernie Sanders is packed with theological, legal and political implications. Let’s look at a few of them.

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Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Congress. 

I’m sick unto death of hearing about James Comey. But no more than I’m sick of hearing about Russian collusion, FISA warrants, special prosecutors and impeachment. Enough already! Anybody with me on this?

 

After watching Democrats and the mainstream media – I know, they’re substantially one and the same thing – work themselves into a tizzy about supposed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, I just can’t take it anymore.  They had high hopes that their new found fair-haired by James Comey would deliver a death blow to the Trump presidency, but that appears not to have happened. 

Even liberal commentator Chris Matthews (no relative) admitted as much.  Said Matthews, “But the big story has always been the assumption of the critics of the president…that somewhere along the line in the last year, the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians…And yet what came apart this morning was that theory.” So for you Democrats, take it from one of your own and just stop it with the Russia, Russia, Russia thing, ‘k?

Here’s the deal: you guys lost the election, not because of the Russkies, but because you had an epically horrible candidate. And you had an epically horrible candidate because the epically corrupt DNC epically rigged the primaries to ensure Hillary was your nominee, paving the way for the Trump administration, the very thing you hate the most in all the world.

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Trump_Paris Accord Speech“We’ll always have Paris.” Those words, uttered by Humphrey Bogart, are among the most iconic in film history.

Fast forward seventy-five years and Donald Trump flips the script, saying Thursday in so many words “We’ll never have the Paris Accord!”

Well, praise the Lord and amen!

The Paris Accord was a disaster for this nation, and Trump was absolutely right to reject it.

Let’s take a closer look

Trump’s Thursday Speech

Running about 27 minutes, Trump’s speech was music to the ears of his supporters and a trigger to his foes.

Said Trump, “Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord…As President, I can put no other consideration before the wellbeing of American citizens. The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers – who I love – and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production…Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million jobs by 2025…I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States – which it does – …while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters…In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries…This agreement is less about climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States…The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries…The fact that the Paris deal hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries..the real reason why foreign lobbyists wish to keep our..country ties up and bound down by this agreement: It’s to give their country an economic edge over the United States. That’s not going to happen while I’m President…The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy…I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris…Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia, and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the U.S. economy than our own citizens and their elected representatives. Thus, our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America’s sovereignty..AS President, I have one obligation, and that obligation is to the American people.

Not only were Trump’s words a stinging rejection of the globalist Paris Climate Accord, but conversely they represented the single strongest statement of American sovereignty by a president in my lifetime.

Well done, Mr. President. Well, done.

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