Author: Matt Miller

Someone Must Go to Prison for the Killing of Halyna Hutchins

If no one goes to prison for actor Alec Baldwin’s accidental killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, our society will have failed a crucial moral test.
We will be saying human life is not sacred; that it, in effect, is of little or no consequence.
The killing was, we presume, unintentional (though we do not know for sure, as the possibility remains that someone had motive to load the gun with real ammunition). But that does not mean that no one should be held culpable and punished. Society must regard the taking of human life — even when unintentional — as something terrible.
I learned this principle from the Bible, which was, until the last century, the source of America’s and the Western world’s moral values.
This principle is repeated over and over in the Bible’s first five books (the Torah), the source of all biblical laws. This repetition strongly indicates how seriously the Bible takes this issue.
Example one:
Exodus 21:28: “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned …”
The obvious question is: Why would the ox be put to death? It is surely not guilty of murder; oxen have no free will. The reason it is put to death is that the killing of a human being cannot go unpunished.
The Jewish Bible scholar, professor Nahum Sarna, wrote:
“The execution of the ox was carried out in the presence, and with the participation, of the entire community (the animal was stoned, not merely killed) — implying the killing of a human being is a source of mass pollution and the proceedings had an expiatory function. The killing of a homicidal beast is ordained in Genesis 9:5-6: ‘For your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast … Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in His image did God make man.’ The sanctity of human life is such as to make bloodshed the consummate offense, one viewed with unspeakable horror. Both man and beast that destroy human life are thereafter tainted by bloodguilt.”
Example two:
Deuteronomy 19:5: “(If) a man goes with his neighbor into a grove to cut wood; and as his hand swings the ax to cut down a tree, the ax-head flies off the handle and strikes the other so that he dies, that man shall flee to one of these cities and live.”
Again, the Bible describes a homicide that is entirely accidental. But the person who accidentally committed the homicide is not free to live a normal life. (SET ITAL) He cannot go on with life as if nothing happened. (END ITAL) While he is not to be executed, he must flee to one of three “cities of refuge” in ancient Israel. There he may not be killed or otherwise hurt by a member of the killed man’s family. But he is not a completely free man.
In my Bible commentary, “The Rational Bible,” I quote Leeor Gottlieb, a professor of Bible at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University: “The Torah is morally ahead of some modern societies, in which people’s lives go on nearly uninterrupted if they killed unintentionally.”
As the Bible explains five verses later:
“Thus blood of the innocent will not be shed, bringing bloodguilt upon you in the land that the Lord your God is allotting to you.”
Human bloodshed brings bloodguilt upon the land.
Example three:
Deuteronomy 21:1-4 and 7: “If, in the land that the Lord your God is assigning you to possess, someone slain is found lying in the open, the identity of the slayer not being known, your elders and magistrates shall go out and measure the distances from the corpse to the nearby towns … And they shall make this declaration: ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Absolve, O Lord, Your people Israel whom You redeemed, and do not let guilt for the blood of the innocent remain among Your people Israel.’ And they will be absolved of bloodguilt.”
Unlike the previous instance, in which the (unintentional) killer is known, the killer of the slain man found “in the open” is not known. Nevertheless, the community is still held accountable and must ask for forgiveness for not preventing a homicide.
Example four:
The final example is not biblical but from my radio show. Many years ago, a woman called to tell me about an ostrich raised on her family’s ostrich farm. One day, this ostrich kicked her father to death. I asked the woman what was done to the ostrich. “Nothing,” she replied.
Given my biblical background, I was taken aback.
“So you tell people who visit your farm, ‘This is the ostrich that killed my father’?”
“Yes,” she responded.
In my view, that cheapened her father’s life and death.
How much more so will Halyna Hutchins’ life and death be cheapened if no one pays a steep price — for a death that was entirely preventable had proper precautions been followed?
But given how little the Bible means to most Americans today, I would not be surprised if no one goes to prison.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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The Left is Evil — and Liberals Keep Voting for Them

As I have noted repeatedly, liberalism and leftism have virtually nothing in common. In fact, leftism is the enemy of liberalism — as a handful of liberals such as former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, former Young Turk Dave Rubin, and others have come to recognize.
The left has never believed in free speech and has suppressed dissent wherever it has assumed power. Free speech is a pillar of liberalism, and it has always embraced dissent.
The left rejects the anti-racist ideal of color-blindness. Colorblind is the liberal racial ideal.
The left supports racial segregation — such as all-black dorms and separate black graduations. Liberals have always advocated racial integration.
The left has always loathed capitalism. Liberals were always major advocates of capitalism — recognizing that only capitalism has lifted billions of people out of poverty.
The left has always been anti-Israel. Liberals have always been fervent supporters of Israel.
The left has always held America in contempt. Liberals loved this country. A liberal wrote, “God bless America.” No leftist would write such a song.
Leftists want to defund the police. No liberal does.
The list of liberal-left differences is as long as the list of left-wing positions.
Yet, it is liberals who keep the left in power. Were it not for the liberal vote, the left would have no power.
Why do liberals vote left? Why do liberals vote for those who have contempt for virtually everything they, the liberals, hold dear?
The question is all the more apt given that it is conservatives who protect virtually every liberal value. It is conservatives who seek to preserve free speech, racial integration, love of America, a strong Israel, and capitalism.
So why do liberals vote for the left, for the very people who hold liberals and their values in contempt?
There are two primary reasons.
One is brainwash. Liberals are brainwashed from childhood into believing that the right is their enemy and that pas d’ennemis a gauche (there are “no enemies on the left”). That is why there is no left-wing position, no matter how destructive or vile, that could move a liberal to vote Republican or identify with conservatives.
The second reason is fear. Liberals fear they will lose friends and even family if they do not vote Democrat or if they publicly criticize the left. And this is not an irrational fear.
America and the West are being destroyed by the left. But this destruction of the universities, the high schools, art and music, journalism, and of freedom itself could not take place were it not for liberals.
The fate of America and the West lies largely in the hands of liberals. There are simply not enough leftists to destroy our most revered institutions. They need liberals to serve as fellow travelers to accomplish their ends.
Should the American experiment fail — and it may — that profile in lack of courage, the liberal, will have made it possible.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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And Jews Will Still Vote Democrat

There is almost nothing Democrats can do to damage America, or Israel, that would change most American Jews’ political leanings.
The latest example took place just last week. A college student speaking to the vice president of the United States, a Democrat, condemned America for supporting Israel, and charged Israel with committing “ethnic genocide” against Palestinians.
Harris’s response?
“Your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard.”
It was indeed the student’s truth — which means it was a lie. “Your truth” always means “a lie.” When a person says something that is true, people don’t say, “that is your truth.” They say, “that’s true.”
And indeed, what the girl said to the vice president was a complete lie. Not a partial lie, a complete lie. As a rule — except on the Left with regard to Israel — groups that are victims of genocide decrease in number. Yet the Palestinians have had one of the highest population growth rates in the world. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 1991, there were 2,783,084 Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. In 2021, there were 5,227,193. This number does not include another 2 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel. How many other national or ethnic groups have doubled in size in the last 30 years?
Yet, despite this revealing incident, it is hard to imagine that one American Jew will in any way rethink his or her commitment to Biden-Harris.
One reason is that few Jewish Democrats even know it occurred. I Googled “new york times kamala harris george mason university” and the following results came up (in this order): New York Post, Politico, Times of Israel, JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency). Next came the New York Times — an article from 2020: “Kamala Harris Makes History as First Woman and Woman of Color as Vice President.”
I could find nothing about the incident in the news sections of the Washington Post or Los Angeles Times either.
Some of the most powerful forces in the Democratic Party (the reason for the $3.5 trillion spending bill) are indistinguishable in their hatred for Israel from Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime. Does this disturb American Jewish Democrats?
Not nearly as much as Donald Trump disturbed them. Most American Jews loathed Trump despite the facts that he was the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman; that his daughter and grandchildren are religious Jews; and that he engineered the Abraham Accords, a peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and Israel, which was followed by normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and between Morocco and Israel.
Most American Jews believe the Democratic Party is a good and moral party and that the Republican Party is immoral and perhaps even evil.
This view is entirely emotional, which is why it is difficult to imagine it changing.
Most American Jews identify Republicans with the right and they assume “the right” means “fascist” or even “Nazi.”
Most American Jews identify Republicans with the rich and powerful and the Democratic Party with the poor and downtrodden, even though the rich and powerful are overwhelmingly Democrats.
Most American Jews identify the Democratic Party with secularism and the Republican Party with religion (religious Christians and Orthodox Jews). And they are as committed to secularism as Christians are to Christ.
Most American Jews have signed on to just about every secular substitute for Judeo-Christian religions: feminism, environmentalism, “anti-racism,” humanism, socialism. Jews, I have often noted, may well be the most religious people in the world — but for the great majority of them, Judaism is not their religion. And the Democratic Party is the party of all these secular religions.
This is all a great tragedy — not just for America but especially for American Jews.
America has always been the best country Jews have ever lived in outside of Israel. That is why a Jew wrote “God Bless America” (and did so at a time when antisemitism was much more prevalent and accepted in American society than it is today). That is why the most influential religious Jew of the 20th century, the Chabad leader, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, described America as a (SET ITAL) medina shel chesed (END ITAL), a “country of kindness.” Coming from Europe, he did not compare America to Utopia but to all the other countries Jews lived in.
Yet, something happened to American Jews after World War II. They veered more and more left — becoming able to support America-hating movements (like the Black Panthers, for whom Leonard Bernstein and other prominent Jews in music and Broadway threw an infamous fundraiser).
And why did that happen? Because Jews became less and less committed to Judaism, substituted the New York Times for the Torah and went to college in greater proportions than any other ethnic or religious group in America. Colleges corrupt most students’ values. Jews are no exception.
That helps explain why a Democratic vice president could praise a student who just told her that Israel commits ethnic genocide — and have it mean nothing to most American Jews.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Who Would Hide a Jew if Nazis Took Over America?

There is something about most Jews that few non-Jews know: We Jews often ask ourselves if a non-Jew in our lives would hide us in the event of a Nazi-like outbreak.
I don’t know if young Jews think about this, but nearly all Jews who grew up in the decades following the Holocaust often wondered: Would this non-Jew hide me?
I have thought about this all my life because the question, “Who hid Jews?” is one of the most important questions anyone — Jew or non-Jew — needs to think about. That question is far more important than “Who didn’t hide Jews?” because great goodness is rarer than great evil and even rarer than simple moral cowardice. Yet, a vast number of books have been written attempting to understand evil, while relatively few have been written attempting to explain good.
The reason for this is simple: Since the Enlightenment, i.e., since the decline of Judeo-Christian thought, most secular people have believed, and nearly all secular thought has been predicated on, the reality-denying idea that human nature is essentially good. As a result, scholars regard good as the norm and evil as the aberration. So, they study evil far more than good.
That is why the question, “Who rescued Jews?” should be of overwhelming importance to humanity as a whole. If people are interested in increasing good and in decreasing evil, what question could be more important?

A lifetime of study of this question has led me to the following answers:

No. 1: Sam and Pearl Oliner, two professors of sociology at California State University at Humboldt, were the authors of one of the most highly regarded works on altruism, “The Altruistic Personality.” The book was the product of the Oliners’ lifetime of study of non-Jewish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. They themselves had been hidden by non-Jews in Poland, and I had the privilege of interviewing them.
I asked Sam Oliner, “Knowing all you now know about who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, if you had to return as a Jew to Poland and you could knock on the door of only one person in the hope that they would rescue you, would you knock on the door of a Polish lawyer, a Polish doctor, a Polish artist or a Polish priest?”
Without hesitation, he responded, “Polish priest.” And his wife immediately added, “I would prefer a Polish nun.”
I should note that neither had a religious agenda, as both were secular Jews.
Of course, most Christians in Europe failed the moral test of the Holocaust, but so did nearly all secular intellectuals. And few Christians today deny this. But any honest person would still bet on a priest before a doctor, artist, lawyer or professor. It is one reason I believe that the decline of Judeo-Christian religions is a calamity: We will produce fewer people who will do great good.
No. 2: Another study of rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust offered four characteristics of rescuers. I read this book about 40 years ago and I do not remember the name of the book or three of the four characteristics. But I remember one of them because it struck me as an original insight and because it made so much sense. According to this study, individuals who were considered “eccentric” prior to the war were disproportionately represented among those who hid Jews.
Now, why would that be? Why would people regarded as eccentric be more likely to risk torture and death to hide a member of a persecuted group they weren’t part of?
The answer is obvious: Eccentrics are, by definition, people who march to the beat of their own drummer, who are nonconformists, and who don’t seek social approval.
That should give us some major insights into who would save Jews — or any other group targeted for death (such as landowners in communist countries) — if our society were taken over by Nazis or communists.
If this theory about eccentrics is correct, it should give us pause.
When I observe Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and, for that matter, the citizens of most countries at this time, this observation about who would risk their lives to hide a Jew leaves me pessimistic with regard to how any of these groups would act under a Nazi or communist regime.
We have seen herdlike behavior and an unquestioning obedience to authority that few expected to witness in previously free countries such as the English-speaking ones. Worse, we have seen unquestioning obedience to irrational authority.
Wearing masks outdoors is irrational. Yet a vast number of Americans have, sheeplike, obeyed irrational government demands to wear them. Telling people who have had COVID-19 to take a vaccine against COVID-19, when natural antibodies are longer lasting and more effective, not to mention safer, than a vaccine is irrational. Telling people who have been vaccinated or had COVID-19 to wear masks is irrational. Prolonged lockdowns of healthy people are irrational.
Yet tens of millions of Americans are unquestioningly obeying irrational orders and castigating those resisting or even questioning them.
It was “eccentric” Christian pastors who kept their churches open and an “eccentric” Catholic priest who sued the state of California for denying him his constitutional right to minister to his flock — and who prevailed against the state. Except for these clergymen and a handful of eccentric restaurant owners, almost all other Americans obeyed the state’s irrational orders.
That is frightening because people who obey irrational orders and despise those who do not are precisely the type of people who didn’t hide Jews.
So, then, here are two questions for American Jews to ponder:
If a Nazi-like doctrine took over America, and you could knock on the door of someone who obeyed all government orders regarding masks, regardless of their rationality, or someone who questioned government authority and obeyed few or none of its mask orders — on whose door would you knock? If you were given the choice between knocking on the door of an atheist professor and the door of an Evangelical pastor or a Catholic priest — on whose door would knock?
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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As America Has Become More Secular, It Has Become Less Free

Here is something any honest person must acknowledge: As America has become more secular, it has become less free.
Individuals can differ as to whether these two facts are correlated, but no honest person can deny they are facts.
It seems to me indisputable that they are correlated. To deny this, one would have to argue that it is merely coincidental that free speech, the greatest of all freedoms, is more seriously threatened than at any time in American history while a smaller-than-ever percentage of Americans believe in God or regularly attend church.
The United States became the freest country in the world, the sweet land of liberty, the recipient of the Statue of Liberty, the country whose flag freedom fighters around the world have often waved. This freedom was rooted in the deeply religious nature of its founding ideals. America was founded by God-centered individuals to be a God-centered country. The claims that America’s founders were mostly deists and that America was founded to be a godless secular society are not true.
Some of the Founders were not orthodox Christians, i.e., they did not believe in the Christian Trinity or in the divinity of Christ. But none of them were deists (with the possible exception of Jefferson). Deists believed in a creator God who was not only uninvolved with his creations, but he also did not even know them, let alone care about them. After creating the world, the deists’ God abandoned it. The deists’ God was Aristotle’s “unmoved mover.”
Every major Founder (again, with the possible exception of Jefferson) believed in the God of the Bible who heard prayer, acted in history, judged people in the hereafter, demanded ethical behavior, and without Whom morality did not objectively exist. Most importantly, they all believed that in order for a functioning democratic republic not to descend into tyranny, it was necessary to link freedom with God.
Whatever Jefferson’s view of God was, he was as influenced by the Bible as every other Founder. He and Benjamin Franklin proposed that the great seal of the United States depict Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt: Moses raising his rod to divide the sea; Pharaoh, in his chariot, overwhelmed by the waters; and the divine pillar of fire that led the Israelites by night. The seal’s proposed motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Jefferson and Franklin believed that freedom and obedience to God were synonymous. No God, no freedom.
The Founders linked freedom inextricably to God. That is why the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from the Bible: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.” The verse comes from Leviticus, the third book of the Bible. The Founders knew their Bible. The present adult generation of Americans is more ignorant of the Bible than any in American history. And most young people know even less. I suspect that most students at Harvard could not identify Leviticus, let alone cite any of its verses.
The bell was named “the Liberty Bell” by the abolitionists. Their opposition to slavery was based entirely on the Bible. Their motivating principle, “All men are created equal,” came from the Bible. They did not get it from the ancient Greeks, who would have scoffed at such a notion.
Freedom permeates the Old Testament: The Bible begins with the story of Adam and Eve, a story about man’s assertion of his God-given freedom … freedom even to disobey God. The primary story of the Old Testament is the Exodus, a story about God liberating slaves.
For the Founders, the most obvious reason freedom was dependent on faith in God was that only if God is regarded as the source of freedom could men not rightfully take it away. If men are the source of the freedom, men can rightfully retract it. This is precisely what is happening today. Freedom is being destroyed primarily by those who scorn the idea that freedom comes from God.
The rule that the end of religion means the end of freedom does not mean that secularism would not be a welcome replacement for totalitarian theocracies such as Iran. But eventually that, too — a secular Iran — would lead to tyranny. Wherever God is delinked from freedom, freedom ultimately withers. When Christianity died in Europe, it was replaced by fascism, Nazism and communism.
Freedom is central to the Bible. This is especially apparent in America, which until now has linked its unparalleled commitment to freedom to God and the Bible. But freedom is peripheral to leftism. That is why freedom in America is threatened as never before: The foundations upon which freedom rests — God, the Bible, Judeo-Christian values — are threatened as never before.
Every American coin bears two inscriptions: “In God We Trust” and “Liberty.” Every generation of Americans prior to the 1960s understood why. Most Americans today, including secular conservatives, do not.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Why Freedom Is in Serious Jeopardy

There are many ways in which to divide humanity — the decent and the indecent, the happy and the unhappy, the cowardly and the courageous, those who lead and those who follow, etc.
Two major divisions that are less often noted but highly consequential are between those who want to control others and those who have little interest in controlling others, and between the related categories of those who are comfortable with being controlled by others and those who detest being controlled by others.
Those who seek to control others and those who seek to be controlled by others would seem to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum. But they are not. Both groups are overwhelmingly populated by individuals on the Left.
They currently dominate four of the five English-speaking countries (the United Kingdom may be the one exception). The ease with which Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders have accepted the loss of liberty in their respective countries has been the saddest and most frightening development since the rise of totalitarianism in the early 20th century.
Even sadder and more frightening has been the acceptance of authoritarianism by half of the American people. America has been the beacon of liberty in the world. America was the country to which France gave the Statue of Liberty. America has been, as President Abraham Lincoln characterized it, “the last best hope of Earth.” America’s self-image has been that of a “sweet land of liberty” and of “the land of the free and home of the brave.”
Then came a new virus (one with a survival rate in the 99% range for nearly all age groups except older adults who are also very sick), and suddenly, in the name of “public health,” no amount of suppression of liberty, no matter how irrational, has been resisted by the majority of Americans or almost any citizens of the other English-speaking countries.
The citizens of Australia’s biggest states are not allowed to leave their homes for more than a few hours a day, not allowed to congregate with other citizens even outdoors, not allowed even to speak with one another outdoors. For more than a year and a half, Australians have not been allowed to leave their country without the express permission of their government, which will decide whether they have a good enough reason. And, of course, church services are forbidden. Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders, most of whom are thoroughly secular, have only contempt for their compatriots who wish to attend religious services.
In many arenas of life, most Australians have fewer rights than most Soviet citizens did. Like Australians, Soviet citizens could not leave their country without permission, but they were allowed to leave their homes, to speak with people in the street and to visit dying relatives in hospitals.
Meanwhile, a large percentage of Americans support a president of the United States who offers government and an enormous number of private-entity workers a choice between getting vaccinated — no matter how young they are, and whether they already had COVID-19 — or losing their job. In other words, many Americans support firing any unvaccinated fellow citizens who work for the government, the medical professions or privately owned companies with 100 or more employees.
Half of America supports a president who portrays the other half of America as an enemy, their fellow Americans as people for whom they should have hatred. No American president has ever given as divisive a speech as the one in which President Joe Biden announced his vaccine mandates (something he denied wanting to impose only nine months ago, in December of 2020). Lincoln, despite the Civil War, a war in which more Americans were killed than in all other American wars combined, called on Americans to have “malice toward none.” Biden, as mean-spirited a president as this country has ever had, has called for malice toward 100 million Americans, declaring, “our patience is wearing thin.”
There is a three-pronged left-wing assault on liberty: in the name of public health (COVID-19); in the name of “anti-racism”; and in the name of saving the planet (climate change). By ratcheting up fear and hysteria, the Left is using each to end individual liberty, including freedom of speech, for the first time in American history.
Will the Left succeed?
Unless Americans fight the Left as hard as the Union fought the slave states, the answer is yes.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Colorblind Is the Moral Ideal

There is little that reveals the immorality and dishonesty of the left more than its labeling the term “colorblind” racist.
Here are just a few of countless examples:
The University of California publishes a list of “microaggressions” — terms and ideas it considers racist — that white people should avoid using. The list includes the term “colorblindness” as well as statements such as “there is only one race, the human race.”
The left’s racist war on colorblindness is everywhere.
Psychology Today published an article by a psychology professor titled, “Colorblind Ideology Is a Form of Racism.”
HuffPost published a piece titled, “How Colorblindness Is Actually Racist,” in which the author gives three examples of statements white people make that are racist:
“I am colorblind.”
“I see people, not color.”
“We are all the same.”
The Walt Disney Co. recommends that its white employees atone for their racism by “challeng(ing) colorblind ideologies and rhetoric” such as … “I don’t see color.”
Even the U.S. Army got into the act. It sent an email to all personnel saying that the word “colorblind” is “evidence of white supremacy.” (The Army later withdrew the email after a congressman threatened a federal investigation.)
I could give dozens of other examples of the left’s Orwellian labelling of “colorblind” as “racist.”
Why Orwellian?
Because becoming colorblind is precisely what people opposed to racism should aspire to.
That is why Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous quote, from his most famous speech, is: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
The left’s position is that Martin Luther King Jr. was wrong.
But it’s the left that’s wrong. The colorblind person is the very definition of a non-racist person.
Here’s one obvious proof: The worst racists — defenders of slavery, supporters of Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan, just to cite American examples — were the least colorblind people. Color is the one thing they and all racists see in people. Precisely because they defined people by their color, they justified their subjugation of black people.
Colorblind means one does not believe a person’s color is in any way significant.
Isn’t that the ideal? Shouldn’t we define a person by their heart, mind, personality and, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, above all, character? When people, of any color, look into a mirror, do they see color? No, they don’t. They see a human being. When a white person looks into a mirror, does he or she think, “Look, a white person!”? When a black person looks into a mirror, does he or she think, “Look, a black person!”?
Of course not. When we look at ourselves, we see John, or Jessica, or Tameka, or Jose. We see ourselves — not color. Why isn’t that how we would want everyone else to see us?
The left’s insistence that color is important is one of the most racist and anti-human doctrines of our time. It was precisely when America was most racist that people’s color was deemed most important. Why would we want to return to that time?
Why is your skin color any more important than your hair color or, for that matter, the color of your shoes?
Name one important thing your color tells others about you. You can’t.
Does your color tell us if you’re kind, or smart, or what foods or music you like, or what you do for a living? Does it tell us anything about the most important thing about you — your values?
No. Your color tells us nothing about you.
So, why should anyone not be colorblind? To be colorblind means one ignores the least important thing about you. Isn’t that a good thing? And isn’t the opposite position — that your race is important — racist?
Those of us who regard the Bible as the greatest book ever written, as the greatest repository of wisdom, must be colorblind. The only thing the Bible tells us about the first human being, Adam, from whom we are all descended, is that he was created in God’s image. If the Bible placed any significance on race, wouldn’t it have told us Adam’s color?
That there were Christians who defended slavery on race grounds only proves that there were Christians who didn’t take the Bible seriously. Conversely, some Christians who did take the Bible seriously organized the first large-scale effort in world history to abolish slavery.
One final thought: Imagine that tomorrow every human being became blind. Would the world be more — or less — racist?

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Cui Bono? Who Benefits From the Afghanistan Withdrawal?

How does a leader decide what to do?
The most logical response is: “Cui bono?” — “Who benefits?” — from the decision.
If some policy benefits your country most, you should, within moral bounds, pursue it.
If your enemies benefit most, you should avoid it.
I’d be curious to learn what answer proponents of America leaving Afghanistan — conservative or liberal — would give to the question, “Cui bono?”
I can say that until this moment, I have not read or heard a single cogent argument from proponents of American withdrawal as to how exactly it benefits America.
“Twenty years is too long,” or its variant, “we have to end these endless wars,” the most commonly offered argument for withdrawal, has nothing to do with benefiting America.
It is an emotional sentiment, not a rational argument.
The withdrawal has already cost us in a single day more service members’ lives than we lost on any one day in Afghanistan since June 2014, seven years ago.
The number of American servicemen killed in Afghanistan per year from 2015 to 2020 is respectively 22, 9, 14, 14, 21 and 11. No one can seriously argue that we are leaving Afghanistan because of high American casualties.
So, while America doesn’t benefit at all from leaving Afghanistan, it does get hurt.
The damage to the reputation of America — as an ally and as a strong country — is not easily overstated.
The damage done to NATO, whose members President Joe Biden didn’t bother to consult, is greater than any damage former President Donald Trump — whom the left-wing mainstream media constantly attacked for damaging NATO — was alleged to have done.
On the other hand, “Cui bono?” has some very clear answers: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, every Islamic terror group in the world and every other anti-American regime and movement.
In the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro compiled a list of recent Western weakness in the face of tyrants and the commensurate strengthening of those tyrants:
“The West’s abandonment of Hong Kong in the face of Chinese aggression last year.
“The West’s continuing desire for a rapprochement with the Iranian mullahcracy.
“The West’s routine appeasement of Russia.
“All speak to the unwillingness of the West — and the West’s leader, the United States — to stand up for allies anywhere on earth.
“Afghanistan is simply the latest, and by far the most stunning, example of abandonment of an American ally …
“China’s Global Times, a Communist Party mouthpiece, chortled, ‘From what happened in Afghanistan, those in Taiwan should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and U.S. military won’t come to help. As a result (Taiwan) will quickly surrender.’
“Indeed, given the window presented by the Biden administration, it would be somewhat of a surprise if China didn’t attempt some sort of action against Taiwan in the next few years …
“Foreign policy abhors vacuums, and the United States has now created one. That means that erstwhile American allies will begin to play footsie with countries like Russia and China, believing that American commitments mean little. They have reason for such suspicions, obviously.”
The effects on Americans’ perceptions of the military constitute another terrible price paid by leaving Afghanistan. More and more Americans see the military as more concerned with fighting white supremacy in America and transphobia in the military than with fighting for the supremacy of freedom on earth. This is new. And it will have a devastating effect on both America and the military. One obvious consequence: Who will want to enlist in a woke military? (Perhaps that’s the goal.)
It seems that every generation has to relearn the basic laws of life, such as this one: There are many bad people and many bad countries in the world, and only a fear of good countries prevents them from conquering other countries.
There is less fear of good countries in the world today than at any time since World War II. And that is especially so because the good countries are preoccupied with their own alleged evils rather than with the world’s real evils.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Imagine No Big Cities

Well, here’s my (much shorter) version.Imagine if some of the biggest cities in America seceded from their states. Imagine Illinois without Chicago, Pennsylvania without Philadelphia, California without Los Angeles or San Francisco, New York state without New York City, or Texas without Houston, Dallas or San Antonio.
Those states would lose a major tax base and some of their best orchestras and other artistic institutions. But the gains in quality of life would completely offset any financial or artistic losses.Big cities have been and continue to be centers of destructive ideas, and the people living in them are generally coarser and often just plain meaner. Of course, there are decent individuals in big cities and obnoxious people outside of big cities. But having a greater proportion of nice to obnoxious is more likely in smaller cities and other non-urban areas. Everyone reading this knows that one is more likely to be treated warmly when entering a store or dining in a restaurant in Cooperstown, New York, than in Brooklyn, New York; in Laramie, Wyoming, than in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
As regards bad and destructive ideas, big cities almost hold a monopoly.
What bad modern idea did not originate in a big city? And what bad idea is more likely to be believed in Laramie than in Philadelphia? Between city-dwellers and residents of small towns and rural communities, which group is more likely to embrace the belief that men give birth? Which group is more likely to believe the lie that America was “founded” in 1619 in order to perpetuate slavery? Which population is more likely to strongly advocate that people marry before having children? Which group is more likely to produce pampered, spoiled children? Which group is more likely to cherish liberty?
The list of differences between the Laramies of America and the big cities of America is long indeed. A study by the University of Indiana Center on Philanthropy concluded, “Rural donors donated a statistically significant higher percentage of their income to charity than urban donors did.”
It is not surprising that so many of Israel’s great prophets were shepherds, the most rural of folk. Moses, the man who brought the world the Ten Commandments, the most influential moral code in history, was a shepherd. Rutgers University professor Leonardo Vazquez wrote that the American founder, Thomas Jefferson, “was of one mind about cities: he hated them … “Though Jefferson partied in Paris and had a hand in shaping Washington, D.C., he thought cities were dens of corruption and iniquity that would spoil the young American republic.”
Hitler learned his antisemitism in Vienna; Marx spent his adult life in London, writing his totalitarian tomes at the London Library; Pol Pot, the genocidal butcher of Cambodia, became a committed communist in Paris; Lenin engaged in his Marxist activities in St. Petersburg, Munich, London and Geneva; Stalin, born in Georgia, rose to prominence in Georgia’s largest city, its capital, Tbilisi, and spent the rest of his life in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The idea that the city is a source of evil is ancient. The first city ever built is attributed to Cain, the first murderer in the Bible (Genesis 4:17). The Book of Genesis contains the famous story of the Tower of Babel, a tower built to reach as high as the heavens in order, Genesis tells us, “to make the builders famous.” What is less well known is that every time the Bible mentions the Tower, it mentions “the city” built alongside it: “And they said, ‘Come let us build a city and a tower with its top in the sky.’” (Genesis 11:4).
The biblical scholar Patrick D. Miller, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, wrote that the story should more properly be captioned “The City of Babel,” not “The Tower of Babel.” Another scholar, professor Robert Alter of the University of California, Berkeley, wrote: “The polemic thrust of the story is against urbanism … ”
And the paradigmatic biblical places of evil are cities: Sodom and Gomorrah.
Why are cities dens of iniquity and incubators of destructive ideas?
One answer to the first question is anonymity: the bigger the city, the more anonymous the individual. People behave much better when they are known to their neighbors. Just think how much better people act when they wear an ID, as they do, for example, when attending a convention.
And just as we are more anonymous in a city, so is everyone else. People feel responsible to treat those they know better than they do anonymous strangers.
As for moronic ideas, rural people get meaning out of working with their hands and interacting with nature, which grounds them in reality and imposes pragmatism, while urban people are far more likely to get meaning, along with no consequences, from working with abstract ideas. Hence, the urban intellectual is so often a fool. Had Karl Marx been a farmer, the world might have been spared the unprecedented mass persecution and murder brought about by Marxist ideas. But Marx was the classic urban intellectual, never doing a day’s worth of labor while writing about the proletariat.
It makes perfect sense, then, that our states would be far better without their biggest cities. I didn’t say it was practical. But it’s worth imagining.

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“This Is Manifestly Not Saigon” and Our Society of Lies

Commenting on the American helicopters picking up Americans from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Blinken said, “This is manifestly not Saigon.”
That statement sums up the state of the United States of America. We have become a Society of Lies. As I have known since I studied the Soviet Union and communism at the Russian Institute of Columbia University, truth has never been a left-wing value. There are honest and dishonest liberals; there are honest and dishonest conservatives. But truth is both a liberal value and a conservative value. It is not a left-wing value. People on the left are committed to saying whatever furthers their agenda, true or false.
I have debated the question of whether leftists believe the lies they utter for much of my lifetime. And I have concluded that they generally do — in part because they just don’t ask themselves the question: “Is what I am saying true or false?”
The fact is that Kabul 2021 (SET ITAL) is (END ITAL) Saigon 1975 — and everyone with eyes to see knows this. Yet, the secretary of state of the United States, representing a left-wing administration and party that is therefore committed to saying whatever is deemed beneficial to its interests regardless of whether it’s true, shamelessly announces that Kabul “is manifestly not Saigon.”
Does Blinken believe what he said? Perhaps. Did he ask himself if that was a true statement before he made it? Not likely.
Now you can see how this statement about Kabul is related to “men give birth.”
Do people who say that believe it? Probably. Yet no rational truth-seeking individual can come up with a more obvious falsehood.
Do people who deny that the 70% out-of-wedlock birthrate among black people is a major contributor to the disproportionate rate of black male criminality know they are lying? Probably not. Their “anti-racism” agenda has compelled them to believe it.
Did all the leftist mayors and commentators who demanded that police departments be defunded believe that doing so will decrease violent crime? The idea is so manifestly absurd that it is hard to believe they believed it. But then, again, most of those mayors and commentators probably believe men give birth.
As the Wall Street Journal reported on May 12, 2020, about Rep. Adam Schiff, a man who lies often and with breathtaking ease, “Newly released documents show he (Schiff) knew all along that there was no proof of Russia-Trump collusion.”
In that regard, did The New York Times and all the other mainstream media believe their two-year lie that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia? Again, it is doubtful they asked themselves if what they wrote and broadcasted was true. The only question the left asks is whether what they say is effective in furthering their goals.
Virtually the entire educational establishment — from elementary school to graduate school — is a world of lies. Indeed, education in America has nothing to do with education as Americans and the rest of the West have always understood the term. The concept of objective truth — the basis of education — is now denounced as white supremacy. According to the Oregon Education Department, even the understanding that math has correct answers is a function of white supremacy. And, of course, the assessment that Shakespeare wrote the finest plays or Beethoven the greatest symphonies is likewise dismissed as a form of white supremacy.
Virtually no major institution in the United States is committed to truth. The American Medical Association just announced that birth certificates should no longer list “sex” because we do not know the sex of a baby. We know the sex of every mammal on the planet, but not of human beings. And medical schools — yes, medical schools — are no longer to refer to those who give birth as women, but as “birthing persons”; “breastfeeding” is referred to as “chest-feeding.”
Slate, to its credit, published a piece titled, “The Noble Lies of COVID-19,” citing four lies told by Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose commitment to truth is only a notch above that of Adam Schiff. One of the four Fauci lies cited is that cloth masks work. Yet, as the article noted, a Freedom of Information Act email revealed that Fauci’s original, March 2020, position that masks were unnecessary remained his position even when he later advocated that the country be masked.

The tech giants have no commitment to truth. They label any positions with which they differ “misinformation” and take them down even when those positions are espoused by world-renowned scientists and other experts. No one is more responsible for our Society of Lies than Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

The president of the United States says whatever works for him and his left-wing party. One example rarely noted was his decision to turn the Pulse nightclub, an LGBT gathering place in Orlando, Florida, and the scene of a 2016 mass murder of 49 people, into a national memorial.
“Five years ago today in Orlando in the middle of Pride Month,” Biden announced, “our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQ+ community in American history, and at the time, the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman.”
The problem is the mass murder had nothing to do with Pulse being an LGBTQ club. The murder was committed by a radical Muslim, Omar Mateen, looking for any crowded place to kill a large number of Americans. As prosecutors noted during Mateen’s trial, Mateen had wanted to avenge U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Syria.
That’s why Blinken’s lie is like water off a duck’s back. The left has made truth a nonissue in America.
It has made us a Society of Lies.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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