Truth in Journalism: Media Bias, the Demise of Journalistic Integrity, and Protecting Freedom of Speech

Truth in Journalism:

Media Bias, the Demise of Journalistic Integrity, and Protecting Freedom of Speech

Journalistic Integrity, Journalistic Standards, and How to Protect Truth in Journalism

Hillsdale Imprimis Part 2:

Michael Goodwin

The New York Post

Part 2: Sinking of the Flagship of American Journalism

As we know now, most of the media totally missed Trump’s appeal to millions upon millions of Americans. The prejudice against him blinded those news organizations to what was happening in the country. Even more incredibly, I believe the bias and hostility directed at Trump backfired. The feeling that the election was, in part, a referendum on the media, gave some voters an extra incentive to vote for Trump. A vote for him was a vote against the media and against Washington. Not incidentally, Trump used that sentiment to his advantage, often revving up his crowds with attacks on reporters. He still does.

If I haven’t made it clear, let me do so now. The behavior of much of the media, but especially The New York Times, was a disgrace. I don’t believe it ever will recover the public trust it squandered.

The Times’ previous reputation for having the highest standards was legitimate. Those standards were developed over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain public trust. The commitment to fairness made The New York Times the flagship of American journalism. But standards are like laws in the sense that they are designed to guide your behavior in good times and in bad. Consistent adherence to them was the source of the Times’ credibility. And eliminating them has made the paper less than ordinary. Its only standards now are double standards.

New York Times Once Had Integrity

Alas, it was a different newspaper then. Abe Rosenthal was the editor in those days, and long before we’d ever heard the phrase “zero tolerance,” that’s what Abe practiced toward conflicts of interest and reporters’ opinions. He set the rules and everybody knew it.

Here is a true story about how Abe Rosenthal resolved a conflict of interest. A young woman was hired by the Times from one of the Philadelphia newspapers. But soon after she arrived in New York, a story broke in Philly that she had had a romantic affair with a political figure she had covered, and that she had accepted a fur coat and other expensive gifts from him. When he saw the story, Abe called the woman into his office and asked her if it were true. When she said yes, he told her to clean out her desk—that she was finished at the Times and would never work there again. As word spread through the newsroom, some reporters took the woman’s side and rushed in to tell Abe that firing her was too harsh. He listened for about 30 seconds, raised his hand for silence, and said (this is slightly bowdlerized): “I don’t care if you have a romantic affair with an elephant on your personal time, but then you can’t cover the circus for the paper.” Case closed. The conflict of interest policy was clear, absolute, and unforgettable.

As for reporters’ opinions, Abe had a similar approach. He didn’t want them in the news pages. And if you put them in, he took them out. They belonged in the opinion pages only, which were managed separately. Abe said he knew reporters tended to lean left and would find ways to sneak their views into the stories. So he saw his job as steering the paper slightly to the right. “That way,” he said, “the paper would end up in the middle.” He was well known for this attitude, which he summed up as “keeping the paper straight.” He even said he wanted his epitaph to read, “He kept the paper straight.” Like most people, I thought this was a joke. But after I related all this in a column last year, his widow contacted me and said it wasn’t a joke—that, in fact, Abe’s tombstone reads, “He kept the paper straight.” She sent me a picture to prove it. I published that picture of his tombstone alongside a column where I excoriated the Times for its election coverage. Sadly, the Times’ high standards were buried with Abe Rosenthal.

Can Media Be fixed?

Which brings us to the crucial questions. Can the American media be fixed? And is there anything that we as individuals can do to make a difference? The short answer to the first question is, “No, it can’t be fixed.” The 2016 election was the media’s Humpty Dumpty moment. It fell off the wall, shattered into a million pieces, and can’t be put back together again. In case there is any doubt, 2017 is confirming that the standards are still dead. The orgy of visceral Trump-bashing continues unabated.

The mismatch between the mainstream media and the public’s sensibilities means there is a vast untapped market for news and views that are not now represented. To realize that potential, we only need three ingredients, and we already have them: first, free speech; second, capitalism and free markets; and the third ingredient is you, the consumers of news.

Free Speech is Under Assault

Free speech is under assault, most obviously on many college campuses, but also in the news media, which presents a conformist view to its audience and gets a politically segregated audience in return. Look at the letters section in The New York Times—virtually every reader who writes in agrees with the opinions of the paper. This isn’t a miracle; it’s a bubble. Liberals used to love to say, “I don’t agree with your opinion, but I would fight to the death for your right to express it.” You don’t hear that anymore from the Left. Now they want to shut you up if you don’t agree. And they are having some success.

Truth a Powerful Weapon

But there is a countervailing force. Look at what happened this winter when the Left organized boycotts of department stores that carried Ivanka Trump’s clothing and jewelry. Nordstrom folded like a cheap suit, but Trump’s supporters rallied on social media and Ivanka’s company had its best month ever. This is the model I have in mind for the media. It is similar to how FOX News got started. Rupert Murdoch thought there was an untapped market for a more fair and balanced news channel, and he recruited Roger Ailes to start it more than 20 years ago. Ailes found a niche market alright—half the country!

Incredible advances in technology are also on the side of free speech. The explosion of choices makes it almost impossible to silence all dissent and gain a monopoly, though certainly Facebook and Google are trying.

Nations Without Capitalism Have Little Dissent

As for the necessity of preserving capitalism, look around the world. Nations without economic liberty usually have little or no dissent. That’s not a coincidence. In this, I’m reminded of an enduring image from the Occupy Wall Street movement. That movement was a pestilence, egged on by President Obama and others who view other people’s wealth as a crime against the common good. This attitude was on vivid display as the protesters held up their iPhones to demand the end of capitalism. As I wrote at the time, did they believe Steve Jobs made each and every Apple product one at a time in his garage? Did they not have a clue about how capital markets make life better for more people than any other system known to man? They had no clue. And neither do many government officials, who think they can kill the golden goose and still get golden eggs.

Support Media You Like and Trust

Which brings me to the third necessary ingredient in determining where we go from here. It’s you. I urge you to support the media you like. As the great writer and thinker Midge Decter once put it, “You have to join the side you’re on.” It’s no secret that newspapers and magazines are losing readers and money and shedding staff. Some of them are good newspapers. Some of them are good magazines. There are also many wonderful, thoughtful, small publications and websites that exist on a shoestring. Don’t let them die. Subscribe or contribute to those you enjoy. Give subscriptions to friends. Put your money where your heart and mind are. An expanded media landscape that better reflects the diversity of public preferences would, in time, help create a more level political and cultural arena.

Advertisements

Moral Support: Supreme Court Victory for Freedom of Speech; Coal Industry revival an Economic Boon

Moral Support

Science Facts

Coal Industry revival an Economic Boon

Salena Zito Reports from Coal Country

Jun 19, 2017

RUSH Limbaugh:

Coal country.

Well, it was announced last week that Trump had opened up essentially a new coal mine, for all intents and purposes. It was a new kind of coal mine. It was in coal country. It was gonna create new jobs that would pay 50 to a hundred thousand dollars a year.

It was ripped to shreds by the media and the climate change crowd. “This is living in the past. Coal is filthy, it’s dirty.” And it turns out that this coal plant is not even gonna be used for energy. This coal is gonna be used in the manufacture of steel, and you’d be amazed at the number of things in your daily life that have steel in them that you can’t do without. But it’s not the kind of coal that’s gonna be used for energy.

And she found that these people think that what’s been reported about their industry and this particular mine that’s going to be opened up, they’re misinformed, they’re missing the boat on this. And they think they are just as legitimately a part of America as journalists are or anybody else is. They resent being laughed at and made fun of. They resent their industry being portrayed as something archaic and dangerous and polluting and an instrument of climate change and global warming.

She goes out and finds these people. And some of the things about this plant that she uncovered are fascinating. The coal from this mine is not going to be used for energy, as I say. Instead, it’s gonna be used for the production of steel for the next 15 years. I don’t know if you knew this or not. Coal is used to make 70% of the steel in the world today. Here’s a list of places it’s found.

It’s found in cars, bicycles. Oh, my, the health crowd loves bicycles. Bicycles are saving the planet. Bicycles are reducing our carbon footprint. Bicycles are part of the quest for good health. Steel is used to make them, meaning coal is necessary. Steel is used in many different areas of public transportation, which the climate change crowd, they also love public transportation. It’s so cool, it’s so chic. It’s like Europe, trains and buses, and it’s really neato. It’s so cool. And of course it gets you out of your filthy, ugly car, and it eliminates planet destruction, and it also puts everybody together and makes them all behave accordingly. Leftists love that.

Wind turbines. The wind turbines that are part of the wind industry, they’re all made with steel. You couldn’t make them without coal.

You think the climate change crowd knows this? Do you think they know that without coal, we wouldn’t have bicycles like we do? We wouldn’t have wind turbines. Medical devices are made with steel. Roads, bridges, appliances, even iPhones and computers all contain steel. This coal plant actually represents modernization. Not a wasteful step back into time.

Supreme Court  Victory for Freedom of Speech

Jun 19, 2017

Rockwell Freedom of Speech

RUSH: In a win for Asian-American rock band The Slants — and this has got possible ramifications, good ones, for the Washington Redskins. The Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive. The government cannot do that.

 

Betsy DeVos just gave the fight for campus free speech a powerful new ally

The Department of Education administers programs that broaden access to higher education, strengthens the capacity of colleges and universities, and coordinates a number of higher education-related activities with states, according to the department’s website.

 

Adam Kissel, DeVos’ pick, is a 5-year veteran of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization that focuses on free speech and due process on college campuses.

 

Truth Matters: Liberal Lies vs. Citizens United, Freedom of Speech

Truth Matters:

Liberal Lies vs. Citizens United, Freedom of Speech

The Left’s War on Freedom of  Speech

Part 1

Kimberley Strassel
Author, The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech

In the weeks following the Citizens United ruling, the Left settled on a new strategy. If it could no longer use speech laws against its opponents, it would do the next best thing—it would threaten, harass, and intimidate its opponents out of participation.

I like to introduce the topic of free speech with an anecdote about my children. I have three kids, ages twelve, nine, and five. They are your average, normal kids—which means they live to annoy the heck out of each other.

Last fall, sitting around the dinner table, the twelve-year-old was doing a particularly good job at this with his youngest sister. She finally grew so frustrated that she said, “Oliver, you need to stop talking—forever.” This inspired a volley of protests about free speech rights, and ended with them yelling “shut up” at each other. Desperate to stop the fighting and restore order, I asked each of them in turn to tell me what they thought “free speech” meant.

The twelve-year-old went first. A serious and academic child, he gave a textbook definition that included “Congress shall make no law,” an evocation of James Madison, a tutorial on the Bill of Rights, and warnings about “certain exceptions for public safety and libel.” I was happy to know the private-school fees were yielding something.

The nine-year-old went next. A rebel convinced that everyone ignores her, she said that she had no idea what “public safety” or “libel” were, but that “it doesn’t matter, because free speech means there should never be any restrictions on anything that anybody says, anytime or anywhere.” She added that we could all start by listening more to what she says.

Then it was the five-year-old’s turn. You could tell she’d been thinking hard about her answer. She fixed both her brother and sister with a ferocious stare and said: “Free speech is that you can say what you want—as long as I like it.”

It was at this moment that I had one of those sudden insights as a parent. I realized that my oldest was a constitutional conservative, my middle child a libertarian, and my youngest a socialist with totalitarian tendencies.

Citizens United

With that introduction, my main point today is that we’ve experienced over the past eight years a profound shift in our political culture, a shift that has resulted in a significant portion of our body politic holding a five-year-old’s view of free speech.

What makes this shift notable is that unlike most changes in politics, you can trace it back to one day: January 21, 2010, the day the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United ruling and restored free speech rights to millions of Americans.

For nearly 100 years up to that point, both sides of the political aisle had used campaign finance laws—I call them speech laws—to muzzle their political opponents. The Right used them to push unions out of elections. The Left used them to push corporations out of elections. These speech laws kept building and building until we got the mack daddy of them all—McCain-Feingold. It was at this point the Supreme Court said, “Enough.”

A five-judge majority ruled that Congress had gone way too far in violating the Constitution’s free speech protections.

The Citizens United ruling was viewed as a blow for freedom by most on the Right, which had in recent years gotten some free speech religion, but as an unmitigated disaster by the Left. Over the decades, the Left had found it harder and harder to win policy arguments, and had come to rely more and more on these laws to muzzle political opponents. And here was the Supreme Court knocking back those laws, reopening the floodgates for non-profits and corporations to speak freely again in the public arena.

In the Left’s view, the ruling couldn’t have come at a worse time. Remember the political environment in 2010. Democrats were experiencing an enormous backlash against the policies and agenda of the Obama administration. There were revolts over auto bailouts, stimulus spending, and Obamacare. The Tea Party movement was in full swing and vowing to use the midterm elections to effect dramatic change. Democrats feared an electoral tidal wave would sweep them out of Congress.

Unable to Win in the Arena of Ideas, the Left Decides on Strategy of Smear Campaign, Character Assassination

In the weeks following the Citizens United ruling, the Left settled on a new strategy. If it could no longer use speech laws against its opponents,  it would do the next best thing—it would threaten, harass, and intimidate its opponents out of participation. It would send a message: conservatives choosing to exercise their constitutional rights will pay a political and personal price.

Culture Wars: Political Correctness stifles Freedom of Speech of Grade School Graduate, College Campus

Culture Wars:

Political Correctness stifles Freedom of Speech of Grade School Graduate, College Campus

Seth Clark was not allowed to deliver this graduation speech because it referenced God.

 

8th-grader barred from giving graduation speech over Bible verses. So he does the next best thing.

Dave Urbanski

The tiny rural town of Akin in southern Illinois might not have a post office, but it can now count itself among the players on the national stage after an eighth-grade boy was barred from giving a graduation speech over its religious content.

Akin Community Grade School salutatorian Seth Clark submitted his speech for approval, the Benton Evening News said,  but a local citizen complained about the content of the address, which included references to God and the Bible. So school officials told the 13-year-old he couldn’t deliver the speech, the paper reported.

“As a public school, it is our duty to educate students, regardless of how different they or their beliefs may be,” a statement from Akin Superintendent and Principal Kelly Clark to the paper reads. “While students are welcome to pray or pursue their faith without disrupting school or infringing upon the rights of others, the United States Constitution prohibits the school district from incorporating such activities as part of school-sponsored events, and when the context causes a captive audience to listen or compels other students to participate.”

Enter Rickey Karroll — a friend of Seth’s family — who told WSIL-TV he offered his property across the street from the school so Seth could give his speech.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Right after the May 16 ceremony, Seth — still dressed in his cap and gown — marched across the road along with classmates and dozens of supporters, the station said.

He then stood on the front porch of the house on Karroll’s property and read his speech.

Academic Freedom denied in Arena of Ideas on College Campuses

‘We’ve taught these kids this intellectual mush and this ideological narcissism’

Greg Corombos

Across the country, loud and sometime violent campus protesters are often met by administrators who ultimately give in to demands related to perceived slights on issues ranging from race to gender and sexuality to alleged hate speech. But one college president is fighting back, and he says the pursuit of truth – not unanimous political ideology – ought to be the goal of higher education.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper burst on to the scene in late 2015 when he wrote an open letter to his students and famously explained their campus was not a day care but a university. He is also the author of the forthcoming book “Not A Day Care: A Coddled Nation is a Crippled Nation.”

“The liberal arts institution was founded some 1,000 years ago, let’s say at Oxford, for what? To educate a free man and a free woman, to educate culture and what it means to enjoy liberty, and liberation, thus the word liberal,” said Piper, in a follow-up interview to his column.

He told WND and Radio America the original purpose of a liberal arts education is now almost unrecognizable at most schools.

“The classical liberal is someone who stands for freedom, for liberty and for liberation. What we see today within the American academy is the shutting down of ideas. We see ideological fascism rather than academic freedom,” Piper said.

“The conservative voice is actually more classically liberal because we’re arguing for an open, robust exchange of ideas. Why? Because we can trust truth to judge the debate rather than politics or power.”

http://www.wnd.com/2017/05/meet-college-president-who-wont-tolerate-snowflake-rebellions/

 

Culture Wars: Hollywood Actor Richard Dreyfuss Defends Freedom of Speech, Judeo-Christian Values

Culture Wars:

Hollywood Actor Richard Dreyfuss defends Judeo-Christian Values

See the astonishing reason actor Richard Dreyfuss left Tucker Carlson absolutely speechless

Chris Enloe

Actor Richard Dreyfuss, known for roles in “Jaws,” “The Goodbye Girl” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” left Fox News host Tucker Carlson utterly speechless on his show Friday night.

Dreyfuss, according to Carlson, emailed the Fox host a few days prior asking to appear on Carlson’s show to talk about a recent issue that Carlson and another guess sparred over: the federal judge’s recent ruling which said that it’s unconstitutional for President Donald Trump to unilaterally withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities” for not complying with his demands.

Carlson’s point was there was no outcry from Democrats when former President Barack Obama threatened to withhold federal funds from North Carolina last year over the state’s controversial “transgender bathroom law.”

Dreyfuss explained to Carlson that the president and the executive branch, constitutionally speaking, don’t have the right to withhold funds from states. That job, Dreyfuss explained, belongs to Congress.

But Dreyfuss didn’t want his conversation with Carlson to end there.

“I want to mention one thing,” the actor told Carlson. “You were talking about the speakers on university campuses. And I am totally, incontrovertibly on your side about this.”

Rockwell Freedom of Speech

“I think any intrusion into freedom of speech is an intrusion into freedom of speech. And when one of the presidents of one of the colleges said, ‘this is a school, not a battlefield,’ I said, no, it is a battlefield of ideas and we must have dissonant, dissenting opinions on campuses and I think it’s political correctness taken to a nightmarish point of view,” Dreyfuss explained.

The star actor continued:

I have withdrawn from partisan politics. I am a constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be central and the parties must be peripheral. What’s most important for me is what you just mentioned haphazardly, we are over 30. Civics has not been taught in the American public school system since 1970. And that means everyone in Congress never studied the constitution and the bill of rights as you and I might have.

And that is a critical flaw because it’s why we were admired and respected for so long, it gives us our national identity, it tells the world who we are and why we are who we are, and without a frame that gives us values that stand behind the bill of rights, we’re just floating in the air and our sectors of society are not connected.

Right Purposes of Education

What’s really important is that the assumptions of the left and the right are all skewed wrong. We have to find areas of agreement and areas that we share. And we do share the notion that education accomplishes certain things. One, it turns students into citizens. And, two, it teaches students how to run the country before it’s their turn to run the country. And, three, it teaches the values of this nation.

People come from all over the world or are born into this nation without the values that we have here. That’s why they came here, to get them. And what are they? You can put them in opportunity, rise by merit, mobility, and freedom. That’s what we sell.

Children Must Be Taught Our Values

And if you don’t want that, you’ve chosen the wrong place. And you don’t get a pass by being born here, you have to learn it. Even the Ten Commandments are not known at birth. You must learn them. And we must learn our values and if we don’t, we are fatally, fatally wounding ourselves. We will not have any way to really combat the ideas behind ISIS because we won’t know our own. And we have to.

Carlson, who is known for grilling his guests and engaging in combative debates with liberals, was left speechless.

“So I—typically I interrupt our guests and I expected to debate you, but—I agree with every single word of that and I just want to say thank you very much,” Carlson said. “I think it’s important.”

Pass on Judeo-Christian values to your family with this engaging and wholesome classic

Culture Wars: Political Correctness vs. Freedom of Speech

Culture Wars:

Political Correctness vs. Freedom of Speech

Rush Limbaugh: Who Gets to Tell Us What We Can Say?

And what kind of speech is protected? What kind of speech? I mean, because people that work for the XYZ company get fired every day for saying things the company doesn’t like, so what kind of speech are we talking about here that’s protected? And what did they mean, the Founders wrote the Constitution; no abridgement against free speech. What’s the purpose? Why is it so important?

No, there’s a reason for it. There’s a reason why freedom of speech has constitutional protection, and it’s why there are prohibitions against anybody in government telling you you can’t, or anybody in a political environment telling you you can’t say anything. There’s a reason for it. There are many reasons for it.

How are you expected to counter propaganda, for example, without freedom of speech? How are you able to combat lies and distortions and misrepresentations without freedom of speech? If only certain speech is sanctioned by government, well, then you will not have a free nation for long. And that is precisely what is happening on college campus.

There’s something much more hideous going on, and it is a direct assault on the First Amendment.

No, there’s an all-out assault on free speech. Political correctness is part of it. That’s censorship. And now this effort to behave in felonious criminal behavior to start riots and fires and destroy property to prevent a speaker showing up on your campus with whom you disagree, and to have the university coddle that? To have the left say we must understand the very sensitive and delicate nature of these young students. We must understand that they’re so easily shocked, so easily depressed, so easily rendered helpless. We must accommodate them. No, it’s all a giant scam that’s being run here.

There’s a full-fledged, all-out assault on the First Amendment, without having a constitutional convention, without having an amendment, without having to erase it or write it out. It’s a fear and intimidation campaign. And it was joined and supported in an op-ed in the New York Times yesterday by somebody named Ulrich Baer. Ulrich Baer is vice provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity, and professor of comparative literature at New York University.

That is specifically what the free speech clause in the First Amendment means. It is permission to say anything anybody thinks, and it has a political realm that was attached. Saying “fire” in a crowded theater is not something you think. That excuse is often given as a legitimate limit on free speech. You can’t incite riots. But we’re not talking about that and everybody knows it.

Ulrich Baer:“The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks.”

RUSH:Yes, it is. That’s its power. And because it exists, free speech is how such speech is dealt with and answered. At any rate, listen to what comes next. This is just one excerpt. I’m not gonna read the whole piece. I wouldn’t do that to you. I couldn’t handle it myself.

RUSH: Here’s the upshot of what this guy, Ulrich Baer, is saying. Free speech means balancing the inherent value of a given opinion with the obligation to make sure it doesn’t offend anybody else in the community. That’s what he’s saying. Okay, now, you might think, “Rush, we ought not be offending people.”

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection for another great cartoon

Sorry, folks. It’s irrelevant, when we’re talking about political speech as a means of shutting it down. But that’s not the point here. Do you realize the real danger here are the words “balancing the inherent value of a given opinion.” Well, now, tell me, who gets to do that? Who gets to decide the value of what anybody is saying and then who gets to proclaim, “You can’t say that anymore, and because you did say it, we’re gonna punish you”?

Who gets to say that? Who has this power to determine the inherent value of something anybody says? Well, I’ll give you one clue: as big an authority as they can come up with, preferably run by them. Ideally, the federal government would determine the value of what you say and be able to shut you down if they determine that you are violating the inherent values that are important to them.

And that’s exactly what these people want. And that’s what the free speech movement on campus really is. It is a blooming, burgeoning effort at creating a central authority that will be able to eliminate and punish any speech that modern leftists don’t want to hear.

Teach your Family the Truth not found in Public Schools.

Culture Wars: College Campus Free Speech Assault evoking Fascism in America

Culture Wars: 

College Campus Free Speech Assault evoking Fascism in America

Judge Jeanine: Shutting Down Free Speech on College Campuses Pushing America Toward Fascism

Trent Baker

Saturday during her Fox News Channel “Justice” opening statement, Judge Jeanine Pirro reacted to University of California at Berkeley disinviting author Ann Coulter from speaking on campus, saying the shutting down of free speech on college campuses is pushing the country to a fascist and totalitarian society.

“America is in trouble,” Pirro began. “They are trying to silence you. A monstrous and pervasive movement is putting the First Amendment and your free speech, the most basic and fundamental tenets of our nation at risk and in danger of extinction. And whether you are on the left or right, free speech is essential to our democracy, the reason the country was found, the reason people risk so much, even die to come here. Yet, as you sit there, you are watching a silencing in real-time. Where people are not allowed to express their opinion if it does not align with the thinking of others.”

“It’s putting us on the course where we are in danger of becoming a fascist totalitarian society where there is only one accepted point of view; no other will be tolerated, and it’s time to fight back,” she added.

Push back against Fascist stifling of Free Speech

 

Critical Thinking: Liberal Intolerance vs. Christianity, Freedom of Speech

Critical Thinking:

Liberal Intolerance vs. Christianity, Freedom of Speech

The Verse the Culture Misquotes Most Regularly in an Effort to Quiet Christians

As a Christian, I’m often at odds with the culture around me. As our society embraces a growing number of unbiblical behaviors and attitudes, I find myself becoming more and more vocal in my opposition. I’m not alone; many other conservative Christians are also taking a stand for what the Bible teaches, particularly when it comes to moral behavior.

Liberal Intolerance and Judgment vs. Discernment

Maybe that’s why I seem to hear Matthew 7:1 tossed around so frequently by those who want Christians to quiet down:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”

discernment-christianWhenever we, as Christians, speak out against something in the culture, one of two labels is immediately employed in an effort to silence us: we are either branded “intolerant” or “judgmental”. To make matters worse, the second label is often attached to the teaching of Jesus Himself. Are we Christians defying the words of our Master when we speak against the behaviors, attitudes or worldviews affirmed by others? Did Jesus command us to be silently non-judgmental?

This selective use of scripture by the opposition is perhaps the finest example of what we at Stand to Reason are addressing when we caution people to “never read a Bible verse.” Matthew 7:1, when read in isolation from the larger context of the Sermon on the Mount, may seem to command a form of silent acceptance and tolerance advocated by the culture, but a closer examination of the verse reveals Jesus’ true intent. If Jesus was advocating some form of quiet tolerance, how do we explain the following statements?

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (verse 6)

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (verses 13 and 14)

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (verse 15)

war-on-christianity-free-speech“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (verses 21, 22 and 23)

Wow, Jesus seems vocally judgmental in these passages. Some people are dogs and swine, unworthy of our efforts. Some people are wrong about the path they choose. Some people are false prophets. Some people are true disciples and some are not. Jesus sure seems comfortable making judgmental statements about people in these passages. How could Jesus say such things when he began this part of the sermon by saying, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged”? Maybe we should revisit the first verses of Matthew 7:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

Liberal Hypocrisy

hypocrisyIt turns out that Jesus is not prohibiting vocal discernment in these passages, but is cautioning against a certain kind of unbecoming behavior: hypocritical judgmentalism.  We are called to live differently so that we can effectively identify and address unbiblical behavior in our culture. I cannot be a practicing thief and effectively caution against thievery. I cannot be an active adulterer and effectively advocate monogamy. I’m going to have to “first” stop and assess my own behavior (take out my own “log”) before I can “then” caution others about their behavior (help them take the “speck” out of their eye). This is a “first / then” commandment. Both sides of the directive are important; Jesus is commanding two equally critical actions.

First, we must change our behavior; become people of God who are above reproach. Second, we must actively engage others about their behavior. Some ideas are good and some are bad. Some prophets are true and some are false. Some people are right, some people are wrong. We are called to make statements about such things after we eliminate hypocrisy in these areas of our own lives. We, as Christians, are called to (1) live righteously, and (2) speak out about unrighteousness. We are less likely to do this, however, if we allow folks misquote Jesus in an effort to silence us.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, and God’s Crime Scene.

Comment or Subscribe to J. Warner’s Daily Email

 

Resources for Greater Impact

Cold Case Christianity (Paperback)

Read More

Patriotism: Reagan Quotes

Patriotism:

Reagan Quotes

Faith, Moral Character, and Liberty

culture-war3-reaganAs long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours.

 

If we ever forget that we are “One Nation under God,” then we will be a nation gone under.

 

Reagan-Quote-BThere are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what is morally right.

 

We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile, it needs protection.

 

reagannosurvive-without-GodWe must realize that no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

 

In a world wracked by hatred, economic crisis, and political tension, America remains mankind’s best hope.

 

My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.

reagan-isischurch-state2-reaganreagan-peace-strengthreagan-quote-govt-is-problem

Reagan-nancy-quote

reagan-quote-abortion

reagan-quote-power

reagan-quote-appeasement

Reagan-quote-accountability

Truth Matters: Fake News Definition is the Left-Wing War on Freedom of Speech

Truth Matters:

Fake News Definition is the Left-Wing War on Freedom of Speech

Pamela Geller

keyFreedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed while his opponents are silenced. We must fight all the harder now to defend and preserve this fundamental freedom. ~Pamela Geller

It’s always games, games, games . . . from the people who brought you Soros’ rent-a-mob risking a few deaths, and rioting, theft and destruction in cities, etc. But I didn’t see coming what is their ultimate goal: the shutting down of free speech. They want to crush free speech, which has been in their cross-hairs for some time now.

DisinformationMedia spreading  ‘disinformation and deception’. The left-wing elites and their running dogs in the enemedia are in one of their fictional publicity campaigns that they masquerade as urgent news.

I always understood that the objective was to taint the conservative news-sphere. Sites were created by them to attack themselves and shame the right-wingers who jumped on it. This is classic disinformation.

It’s always games, games, games . . . from the people who brought you Soros’ rent-a-mob risking a few deaths, and rioting, theft and destruction in cities, etc. But I didn’t see coming what is their ultimate goal: the shutting down of free speech. They want to crush free speech, which has been in their cross-hairs for some time now.

If a blogger or news writer gets a story wrong, does that designate him or her, or his or her site, as “fake news”? If that’s the case, they’ll have to shut down the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, etc. They get things wrong all the time.  Everything they wrote and didn’t write about the Orlando mass slaughter at the gay nightclub was disinformation and deception.

free-speech-ben-franklinIf you issue a correction, does that somehow remove the fake news scarlet letter? This is all a big fat lie. It is an end-run around the First Amendment, and it’s disastrous. It is indeed true that Facebook has too much power, but banning “fake news” sites is hardly the solution. The site should be broken up like Ma Bell was. Facebook doesn’t decide what’s good and what’s forbidden. Left-wing fascists do not and must not decide what news people can and cannot see. But that’s exactly what we are seeing on Facebook.

free-speech-washingtonIn September 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel strong-armed Zuckerberg to censor posts critical of the migrant invasion. CNBC reported that Merkel was “overheard confronting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over incendiary posts on the social network.” What kind of incendiary posts? Pro-jihad terror posts? No: Merkel was angry about posts criticizing her policy of inundating Germany with Muslim migrants.

The CNBC report continued: “On the sidelines of a United Nations luncheon on Saturday, Merkel was caught on a hot mic pressing Zuckerberg about social media posts about the wave of Syrian refugees entering Germany, the publication reported. The Facebook CEO was overheard responding that ‘we need to do some work’ on curtailing anti-immigrant posts about the refugee crisis. ‘Are you working on this?’ Merkel  asked in English, to which Zuckerberg replied in the affirmative.

This is so typical of the elites. They control policy, they control media, they control the culture—but they can’t control the people. And this makes them crazy. If they could, they would change the people.

But they can’t.

Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed while his opponents are silenced. We must fight all the harder now to defend and preserve this fundamental freedom.

Fake News Definition:

False Assumptions of Fake News vs. the Truth

David Kupelian

Anti-American Book

Anti-American Book

 Fake news, when codified over time, becomes fake history—which is what we find, for example, in the ubiquitous but irredeemably dark, America-hating “history” textbook by Howard Zinn, “A People’s History of the United States.” This  book is routinely assigned as required reading for our children throughout America’s public high schools and colleges.  According to Zinn’s “fake history,” America is at core an evil, racist, predatory nation.

False Assumption #1

ObamaIslamGOPHeadinSandIslam

Islam is a religion of peace.

Truth:

Islam has been an imperialistic, warlike religion for 14 centuries and show no signs of changing now—indeed, using intimidation and terror, it is engaged in an aggressive expansion campaign through the world.

False Assumption #2

  • Homosexuality, as a sexual preference, is genetically hardwired into people from birth and cannot be changed.
  • However, actual gender identity—whether one is physically a male or a female—is fluid and can change.

Truth:

  • There is no evidence of a “gay gene,” but overwhelming evidence that early childhood influences, especially abuse, play a major role in later self-identification as homosexual.
  • This is literally impossible since, for example, all 37.2 trillion cells in a grown man’s body are permanently branded with male “Y” chromosomes.

impeach16characterFalse Assumption #3

America is still a deeply racist nation.

Truth:

The U.S. is unquestionably the least racist nation on earth, twice electing a black man as president after, decades earlier, having widely embraced Martin Luther King’s “dream” of a color-blind America.

False Assumption #4

capitalismCapitalism is inherently predatory and is failing as an economic system in America.

Truth:

Free-market capitalism is hands-down the most successful economic system in world history, delivering a far higher standard of living to far more people than any other system.

church-state3-first-amendmtFalse Assumption #5

America’s highest law demands a “constitutional separation of church and state.”

Truth:

No such phrase exists in the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment says nothing of the sort.

False Assumption #6

“Man-caused global warming” is settled science.

hoaxglobalwarmingTruth:

At least one petition has signatures of more than 31,000 American scientists, including over 9,000 with Ph.D.s, specifically refuting that position.

The news media’s overall dishonesty and delusion today is in large part a reflection of the all-encompassing deceit of the Democratic Party itself—and particularly, in recent years, the Obama administration—of which the establishment press has become little more than a cheerleading squad.

Bottom line: The left-wing news media, like the increasingly unhinged political party it serves as a propaganda ministry, is a creature of fake news and fake history rooted in profoundly misbegotten core beliefs.

Excerpts from World Net Daily: Whistleblower magazine, January 2017, pp.6-7; 20-21