Author: Ryan Santrella

Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Is a Cheat — Period

If you want one exemplar of the moral and intellectual chaos that characterizes the age in which we live, there are a number of candidates:
“Having fewer police leads to a decrease in violent crime” is one.
“Men give birth” is another.
But perhaps the most obvious moral and intellectual absurdity of all is the notion that Lia Thomas, a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swim team, won fairly in the team’s recent meet against the Cornell University women’s swim team.
You see, Lia Thomas was a man until two years ago, when he announced that she is really a woman.
Now, neither I nor most fair-minded people care if Lia Thomas considers herself a woman. Many of us are even prepared to refer to Lia as “she” — especially if she dresses, acts and looks like a woman. (For the record, most people who watch Lia’s interview online and did not know that Lia claims to be a woman would assume that they are watching a man.)
But no fair-minded person can accept that Lia should be allowed to join a women’s swim team and compete against female teammates and against other women’s swim teams.
That Lia wishes to be considered a woman is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether it is at all fair for this individual to compete against women. As far as sports are concerned, one’s biology, not one’s gender identity, is all that matters.
If Lia or any other biological male is allowed to compete against biological women, women’s sports are rendered pointless and therefore unnecessary. The entire reason women’s sports exist is to enable women to compete only against other women — because males have innate physical advantages in virtually every sport.
Needless to say, Lia Thomas has broken numerous University of Pennsylvania women’s swim records. In her 1650-meter freestyle win, Thomas beat second-place finisher and teammate Anna Kalandadze by more than 38 seconds.
That means that the women who had held those records no longer hold them. They have been stripped of their records because the University of Pennsylvania, like other universities, allows biological men to join women’s swim teams. That is the ruling of the woke cowards of the NCAA, who have decreed that all women’s teams, in all sports, must allow men to compete in women’s sports. All a man has to do to compete against women is announce that he is a woman and take testosterone suppressors for a year.
It is revolting that LGBTQ activists, virtually all sports writers (a band of sheep, if there ever was one) and just about the entire Left claim this is fair.
Headline in the left-wing Independent:
“Lia Thomas: LGBT-plus rights campaigners defend swimming champion amid transphobic abuse.”
The left-wing activists who run the Human Rights Campaign defended Thomas:
“Living your truth is an incredible and powerful feeling … We’re in solidarity with Lia and all athletes who compete in the sports they love and on teams consistent with their gender identity.”
Headline of an article by The Hill left-wing staff-writer, Brooke Migdon:
“College swimming champion Lia Thomas targeted by transphobic rhetoric.”
“The assumption that being born with a male body automatically gives transgender women a leg up when competing against cisgender women is not well founded,” Migdon writes, quoting the NCAA.
The ability of people to lie to themselves is a depressing fact of life.
The fact is this issue has nothing to do with trans acceptance or “transphobia.” It is purely a moral question: Is it fair?
As John Lohn, the rare honest editor of Swimming World magazine, wrote on Sunday:
“Despite the hormone suppressants she has taken, in accordance with NCAA guidelines, Thomas’ male-puberty advantage has not been rolled back an adequate amount…
“The fact is, for nearly 20 years, she built muscle and benefited from the testosterone naturally produced by her body. That strength does not disappear overnight, nor with a year’s worth of suppressants…
“What we are stating is this: The effects of being born a biological male, as they relate to the sport of swimming, offer Thomas a clear-cut edge over the biological females against whom she is competing. She is stronger. It is that simple. And this strength is beneficial to her stroke, on turns and to her endurance. Doping has the same effect.”
“Doping has the same effect.” Read that a few times and let the unfairness sink in.
Because of the Left, we are living — no, drowning — in an ocean of lies.
If you ever wonder why your kind, sweet friends on the Left differ with you, here is a big part of the answer: They do not know what we know. Google “Lia Thomas” and you will not find a single result in any mainstream media. For example, no reader of The New York Times or The Washington Post knows about this.
But those who know understand that Lia Thomas is a cheat.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Differences Between a Secular and a Religious — Jewish or Christian — Upbringing

Anyone who thinks about the current civil war in America comes to realize that it is, in large measure, a war between the religious and the anti-religious. The Left has contempt for evangelical Protestants, traditional Catholics and Orthodox Jews for good reason: They represent everything the Left loathes; and while there are, of course, secular conservatives who fight the Left, the largest and most effective opposition comes from conservative Christians and Jews.
The differences begin in childhood. Most religious kids — especially those who attend traditional Christian and Jewish schools — are raised with different values than most secular kids.
Here are some examples:
No. 1: Religious upbringing: Fight yourself. Secular upbringing: Fight society.
I studied in yeshiva (Orthodox Jewish school, where half the day I studied Bible and other religious subjects in Hebrew, and half the day I studied secular subjects in English) from kindergarten to 12th grade. I learned early on that the biggest problem in Dennis Prager’s life was Dennis Prager. In nearly all secular schools and in liberal religious schools, kids learn that the biggest problem in their lives is American society — in fact, everything other than themselves.
Which do you think produces a more self-critical, more self-controlled and overall better human being?
Which do you think produces an angrier and less happy human being?
No. 2: Religious Upbringing: Learn wisdom. Secular Upbringing: Nobody of wisdom conveyed.

No. 3: Religious Upbringing: People are not basically good. Secular Upbringing: People are basically good.
“Wisdom begins,” both Psalms and Proverbs teach, “with fear of God.” In other words, no God, no wisdom. But there is another way of asserting how and where wisdom begins. Wisdom begins with acknowledging how flawed human nature is. Or, to put it as succinctly as possible, you cannot be wise if you think people are basically good. You can be a sweet, kind and well-intentioned person if you believe people are basically good, but you cannot be wise. Indeed, you are more likely to be a naive fool.
The belief that people are basically good, a belief that neither Judaism nor Christianity has ever held, is a major obstacle to making a good society. For one thing, parents who believe this will not discipline their children as much as they need to. They will assume, as three generations of American parents now have, that all a child needs is love. And for another, people who believe human nature is good are much less inclined to punish criminals because they will blame murder, theft, rape and other evils on economic circumstances, parents and society — on anything but the criminal’s failure to control his flawed nature.
No. 4: Religious Upbringing: Holy days. Secular Upbringing: No holy days.
Religious children celebrate holy days — the Sabbath each week and other holy days in their respective religious calendars. Regular times devoted to the Transcendent have a major impact on the development of a child. The secular child has secular holidays, but they mean little to most American young people. July Fourth is a day off with a barbecue. Meaningless Halloween has come to have more significance than meaningful Christmas. Presidents’ Day means nothing. And Thanksgiving is increasingly declared Indigenous Peoples’ Genocide Day.
No. 5: Religious Upbringing: Friends plus community. Secular Upbringing: Friends, but no community.
Loneliness is a greater pandemic in the modern world than COVID-19, so much so that the U.K. now has a Minister of Loneliness to try to combat the problem.
This is, in large measure, another consequence of secularism. Religious Jewish and Christian (including Mormon) kids grow up with an abundance of friends and a whole religious community thanks to religious school and thanks to their synagogue or church. What is the communal secular equivalent of the church, synagogue and religious school? Other than sports (which, in any event, is available to only the handful of young people who play on a team), there isn’t any.

No. 6: Religious Upbringing: The obligation to honor parents. Secular Upbringing: No such obligation.

Religious Jewish and Christian children are taught the Ten Commandments, one of which is “Honor your father and mother.” It goes without saying that many secular children honor their parents, but they do so only if they want to. Religious children are told to honor parents whether they feel like it or not — which is important because very few children always feel like honoring their mother and father.
There is another pandemic in America — that of adult children who have decided never to talk to one or both of their parents. I would wager a serious sum of money that few of those adult children are religious Jews or Christians.
There’s a lot more that distinguishes religious and secular upbringings. But one stands out: Religious kids are generally happier.
Is one upbringing better than the other? You decide.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Why You Should Come Out of the Closet With Your Conservative Values

I received a phone call on my radio show from a man who said, “Dennis, I’m a gay conservative actor in Hollywood, and it is far easier to come out of the closet as gay than as a conservative.”
That call was in the 1980s.
While the current cancel culture — the firing, humiliation, disparagement and smearing — of conservatives is exponentially worse today than 30 years ago, it is not new.
As a result, the great majority of Americans who are conservative — that is, about half the country — hide their true beliefs. They fear saying anything that differs with the Left. This would include such reprehensible sentiments as:
With all its flaws, America is the finest country ever made.
Men do not give birth.
There are only two sexes.
A person’s color is the least important thing about them.
The greatest problem in black life is not whites but a lack of fathers.
A man who becomes a woman and then competes in women’s sports is cheating.
Posting to social media a video by a renowned epidemiologist, virologist or medical doctor who asserts that ivermectin and/or hydroxychloroquine with zinc, when used early enough, almost always prevents hospitalization for COVID-19.
The list is far longer than this. But if you think even this list overstates the problem, put any of these statements on any mainstream social media platform and see what happens. See if any relatives drop you from Facebook or even from their lives. See what your employer says or does. See what Twitter or Facebook does to your account.
There are valid reasons to fear publicly differing with the Left.
So, then, what arguments can be offered on behalf of coming out of the closet?
The first is this: For every person you alienate, you will likely bring at least one new, wonderful person into your life.
Putting aside issues of courage, of standing for what is right, of saving America from those working to destroy it, there is a great selfish reason to come out of the closet: kindred spirits, i.e., good people, will discover you.
In 2020, I received an email from a young woman in her second year at Harvard who told me that my book that explains the Left and America, “Still the Best Hope,” had changed her from liberal to conservative. Needless to say, I was intrigued to learn more about her and, as it happened, she lives — as I do — in Los Angeles. So, I invited her to sit in on my radio show.
While speaking to her during commercial breaks, I was impressed enough to ask if she would be willing to describe her political and moral metamorphosis on the radio. I warned her that appearing on “The Dennis Prager Show” and talking about her conservative views would likely lead to some lost friends, angry, if not alienated, relatives, and attacks back at Harvard. I made that case persuasively enough to give her pause and ask, “May I call my mother?”
She stepped out to make the call. When she returned to the studio, she announced, “I’m coming on.”
About half a year later, she made another appearance on my show, and I asked her what happened after her initial appearance.
“I went through two weeks of hell,” she responded.
As predicted, she lost friends she had had since elementary school, some relatives limited their contact with her, and some students back at Harvard regarded her as an indecipherable sellout.
“Then what happened?” I asked.
“Then I entered heaven,” she responded.
She offered two big reasons.
One was that she began to sleep better than she had in years. The other was the number of kindred spirits, all quality people, who reached out to her, some of whom became friends.
Regarding reason one — sleeping better — staying in the closet exacts a serious mental price on a person. One should not think only coming out of the closet exacts a price.
As for the second reason, virtually no price paid for coming out of the closet is comparable to the rewards of doing so. There is little as happiness-inducing as having kindred spirits in your life.
Now, is that worth losing one’s job? If you are sure you will lose your job and no other job paying a comparable salary will be available, only you can answer that question. Similarly, if one of your children will stop talking to you because you are not “woke,” it is not for me to advise you what to do. But there are no other compelling arguments not to come out of the closet.
And there are at least two other arguments for coming out.
One is that you will respect yourself more. And so will others — including, quite possibly, one or more of your children (and your grandchildren, if you have any).
And two: You will help save this country from tyranny. For some, that should suffice.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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A Brief Guide to Leftist Destruction

To understand the modern world, perhaps the most important rule one needs to know is this: Everything the Left touches it ruins.
This first became clear to me years ago during my radio show. I was talking about the Left’s war on the Boy Scouts (for not accepting announced gay people). It was becoming clear that this would ultimately lead to the decline of the Boy Scouts, which led me to ask: “Will the left replace the Boy Scouts with a left-wing Boy Scouts?”
Then I answered my own question: Of course not. Because the Left only destroys; it doesn’t build anything (other than government).
In support of that observation, here is a list of many of the things the Left ruins and often destroys.
No. 1: Art.
The Left long ago conquered the art world. Consequently, since the 20th century, most modern art has been ugly, meaningless and nihilistic — the opposite of what Western art had always been.
No. 2: Music.
What the Left did to the eyes in art, it did to the ears in music. As a part-time conductor, I can say with some knowledge that since the invention of atonal music (an oxymoron if there ever was one), most contemporary classical music is also ugly, meaningless and uninspiring. The people who like such music are almost all music critics and, of course, music professors. Most lovers of classical music never listen to the stuff.
No. 3: Journalism.
Journalists were once highly respected. Unless a piece was listed as “opinion,” people generally believed they were getting, to the best of a journalist’s ability, as truthful a report as possible — “just the facts.” Today, on virtually any controversial issue, they are getting opinion, not truth. The purpose of nearly every major newspaper and other “news” outlet is the same purpose Pravda had in the Soviet Union: to transmit the party line.
No. 4: Colleges and universities.
The Left has destroyed universities as places of learning devoted to seeking truth and therefore welcoming, even cultivating, diverse opinions. Virtually every left-wing idea was born at a university.
No. 5: High schools and elementary schools.
Most schools in America — private as much as public — teach children that America is systemically racist and that they are not born male or female, but at a later age will choose whether to be one or the other — or neither. And increasingly, American educational institutions deny objective truth exists, even in mathematics.
No. 6: Happiness.
You can meet happy and unhappy liberals and happy and unhappy conservatives, but you are unlikely to ever meet a happy leftist. The only question is whether the unhappy gravitate to leftism or whether leftism makes people unhappy. Both are probably true.
No. 7: The family.
People on the Left increasingly choose not to get married and not to have children — in other words, not to make families. And their welfare policies serve to disincentivize the creation of families.
No. 8: Women.
The rates of depression among young people, especially young women, are higher than ever recorded in American history. One reason is that for half a century, women have been told, as one famous feminist saw put it, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” But the fact is that the vast majority of (heterosexual) women need a man to be fulfilled, just as the vast majority of (heterosexual) men need a woman to be fulfilled.
No. 9: Childhood.
One reason young people on the Left don’t want children is that the Left doesn’t particularly like children. The teachers unions’ adamant refusal to open schools for over a year has opened many Americans’ eyes to this fact. So has the war on children’s innocence – like prematurely talking to them about sex and having schools introduce them to drag queens from the age of five.
No. 10: Black life.
Like the Democratic Party historically, the left is racist. And it is so in precisely the way the word was always used — the Left believes in black inferiority. That is why leftists advocate lowering standards for blacks. That is why they advocate policies that always result in more blacks dying at the hands of other blacks. That is why they believe the state must take care of blacks more than any other group. That is why left-wing policies, from the Great Society to today, have destroyed so much of black life, especially its family life — and they don’t care.
No. 11: Black-white relations.
According to polls and according to just about every American who remembers life from about a decade ago, black-white relations were far superior then and both groups were optimistic about relations other continuing to improve. The Left shattered that with its anti-white, “America is systemically racist” propaganda shouted from almost every major media and relentlessly pushed in almost every school and big business. The Left knows that when blacks and whites feel good about one another, the Left loses its appeal and loses elections.
No. 12: The military.
As the military gets more and more woke– recall the testimony of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testifying before Congress about the need to teach the military about white racism — soldier morale declines. Add to this the utterly gratuitous and cruel mandate that every member of the military get vaccinated or be discharged and you understand why military morale is in steep decline.
No. 13: Late-night television.
Americans who remember the titans of late-night comedy — Johnny Carson and Jay Leno — remember how their sole aim was to bring some smiles and laughter to Americans before they went to sleep. Few people had any inkling of the political views of either host. That is now history. The Left has destroyed late night comedy. It now consists of little more than angry rants against conservatives.
No. 14: Superman.
Superman was an iconic American hero. Thanks to the Left, he is no more. About a decade ago, Superman stood in front of the United Nations to announce he was renouncing his American citizenship to become a “citizen of the world.” And the Left has now changed his motto from “Truth, Justice, and the American way” to “Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow.”
No. 15: Free speech.
Never before has freedom of speech been threatened as it is today. As has been true since the communist revolution in Russia, everywhere the Left has gained power — from Russia in 1917 to the university and social media today — it has suppressed free speech. There is no exception.
No. 16: Sports.
Until last year, sports was a great American unifier. It was one place Americans could go and, leaving politics behind, Left and Right, Democrat and Republican could root for the same team. No longer. The Left has ruined it by radically politicizing baseball, football and basketball.
The great American tragedy is just about every liberal knows the above is true, but nearly everyone will still vote for the Left.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses

The most famous words of Franklin Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving president, were, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
One wonders if any world leader would or could say that today. We live in the Age of Fear.
All of my life, I thought love and hate were the two most powerful human emotions.
But owing to recent events, I have changed my mind.
I now understand that for most people, fear is the strongest emotion.
In fact, I’ve come to realize that it is possible to get people to do anything if you instill enough fear in them. Specifically, irrational fear.
Fear of COVID-19, for example, is rational. But media and governments induced irrational fears. That’s why millions of healthy people stayed indoors for a year or more, why a vast number of people wore masks while walking or sitting alone outdoors, and why so many parents did not allow their young children to play with other children for a year or more, even though the COVID-19 mortality rate among children was considerably less than the flu’s mortality rate among children.
All of this was caused by irrational fear. It turns out that fear is not only more powerful than love and hate; in most people it is more powerful than reason. And when it is, it is far more destructive — to the individual and to society — than rational fear.
What is rational fear? When a soldier fears going into battle, that is rational. Soldiers cannot allow fear to control their behavior, but their fear is not irrational. If a mugger points a gun at you, it is rational to feel fear. If you are diagnosed with cancer, it is rational to experience fear.
Rational fear is not necessarily a bad thing. It is irrational fear that does the most harm — to yourself, to others and to all of society.
The Salem witch trials of the 17th century exemplified irrational fear leading to evil: the killing of women who were believed to be witches.
You would think that the Enlightenment of the 18th century, with its focus on reason and science, would have led to a great lessening of irrational fear.
It hasn’t.
To cite a number of examples, an unknowable (but not small) number of Americans — usually among the best educated — prohibited their parents from seeing their grandchildren, either because the grandparents or the grandchildren were not vaccinated. They did this despite the fact that the number of young people infected with COVID-19 was close to zero and despite the fact that there were extremely few cases of children infecting adults. Sweden kept its schools open for all students under the age of 16 throughout the pandemic, and studies have since confirmed that the risk to Swedish teachers of infection by students was extremely low. Such is the power of irrational fear.
To take another contemporary example, many people have decided not to have children because they fear that a warming planet represents an “existential threat” to life. Now, it is rational to be concerned about climate change, but it is irrational not to have children because of it. And it gets even more irrational. Their parents often support this decision, despite their deep yearning to be grandparents.
Irrational fear is also a major source of hatred. People hate what they fear. It was Germans’ irrational fear of Jews — people who made up under 1% of the German population — that led to the unique evil known as the Holocaust.
Given the awful power of fear, what can you do to be less fearful?
The first thing you must do is determine whether your fears are rational or irrational.
And that can only be accomplished by thoroughly studying the issue — whatever it happens to be: global warming, a pandemic, racism or any other divisive subject.
For example, black people are told to fear white police because white police are racist and want to do them harm. This is largely an irrational fear. It is well-documented that in any given recent year, the number of unarmed black Americans killed by police is under 20 — nearly all of whom posed serious threats to the lives of the policemen who killed them.
Another example: Credible scientists and other experts who acknowledge that global warming is taking place, but contend that it is not an existential threat to life, are dismissed as “anti-science” and their views suppressed. Read them, and many of your fears will be allayed. (You might even decide to have children.)
Most fears are stoked by governments and their allies in mass media and in Big Tech, who in turn suppress contrary opinions. Therefore, please understand that when you hear only one opinion, and that opinion is designed to make you afraid, there is a good chance that your fears are irrational.
Determining whether your fears are rational or irrational is one of the most important things you will ever do. The quality of your life and the life of your society depend on your making that distinction.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Gay Pariahs, Unvaccinated Pariahs, the Left, and the Truth

Last week in an interview on Newsmax, I said:
“During the AIDS crisis, can you imagine if gay men and intravenous drug users, who were the vast majority of the people with AIDS, had they been pariahs the way the non-vaccinated are? But it would have been inconceivable. And it should have been inconceivable; they should not have been made pariahs. But this (banning those not vaccinated from bars, restaurants, salons, etc.) is kosher, this is OK.” The reason I raised the comparison of gay men and IV drug users as pariahs to the current-day unvaccinated is that I took for granted that those two groups, were, in fact, made pariahs at that time. My whole point was they were not made pariahs in the same way the unvaccinated are today. No AIDS-infected people were the subject of government-issue edicts to bar them from private businesses such as restaurants, bars and hair salons.
Had gay men and IV drug users never been made pariahs in the beginning of the AIDS crisis, there would have been no point in raising them as a point of comparison. To any honest person hearing or reading that statement, it is therefore clear that I did not say gays were not pariahs during the AIDS crisis. I said the opposite: I said that they should not have been made pariahs and that it should have been inconceivable to make them pariahs. I compared gays as pariahs then to the unvaccinated as pariahs today. I said they were not pariahs “like the unvaccinated are today.” There’s a reason people use qualifiers.
The Left went into its standard mode of operation — lie, smear, get hysterical and incite the mob.
Some examples:
MSNBC devoted a segment to what I said. They played the Newsmax video of me — but, tellingly, they played only part of what I said. They dropped, “And it should have been inconceivable; they (gays) should not have been made pariahs.” If you watch the video of me speaking as played on MSNBC, you actually see me mouthing those words, but MSNBC made sure you can’t hear me say them. Dropping those words changes the entire meaning of what I said.
And change the meaning of what I said is precisely what The Independent, Slate, Politifact, the Advocate, Media Matters, The Bulwark writers and every other left-wing individual and organization that covered this story did.
Gays with AIDS were indeed pariahs, and some awful things were done to and said about them. This was especially true in the first years of the AIDS outbreak, and especially after Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that AIDS may be transmittable through casual household contact (rather than solely by the exchange of body fluids), and most especially after the media hyped the myth that AIDS was as easily transmitted and common among heterosexuals as it was among gay men and intravenous drug users. As a result, many Americans panicked.
Consequently, almost everyone with AIDS — not only gay men — were rendered pariahs. One of the most famous examples was Ryan White, a 10-year-old boy who was not gay (to anyone’s knowledge), who was kicked out of school in 1986 because he had contracted AIDS from a tainted blood transfusion.
Now let’s compare that pariah status to that of the unvaccinated today.
Were there government mandates to fire every gay man with AIDS, as there are today for every company in America with 100-plus employees?
Did government edicts deprive AIDS patients of their incomes and pensions? Were gay policemen, nurses and firefighters fired?
Was there a ban on gay men (with or without AIDS) entering movie theaters, restaurants, hair salons, etc., unless they could prove they did not have AIDS? Such bans exist at this moment on the unvaccinated.
Was there any talk about banning anyone with AIDS from using all public transportation? Such a ban on the unvaccinated exists in Canada and is being seriously discussed by the Biden administration. Last week, Austria barred unvaccinated people who do not have natural immunity from restaurants, hotels, hair salons and large public events.
Here’s more on the treatment of the unvaccinated:
The former premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, has called on the Australian government to follow Singapore’s decision to discontinue free COVID-19 treatment for unvaccinated patients. He said it was time unvaccinated Australians should be forced to “pay for your willful stupidity.”
Howard Stern said: “I’m really of mind to say, ‘Look, if you didn’t get vaccinated and you got Covid, you don’t get into a hospital.’”
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan supports segregating the unvaccinated and denying them access to basic goods and services.
Noam Chomsky said that the unvaccinated should be pushed into isolation. When asked how the unvaccinated would then be able to get food, Chomsky responded, “How can we get food to them? Well, that’s actually their problem.”
“Noam Chomsky is trending because he wants to get tough on people who choose to stay unvaccinated,” Mehdi Hasan said on MSNBC. “Good for him.”
Leana Wen, a visiting professor of health policy at George Washington University, Washington Post columnist, and medical analyst for CNN, told Chris Cuomo on CNN:
“We need to start looking at the choice to remain unvaccinated the same as we look at driving while intoxicated. You have the option to not get vaccinated if you want, but then you can’t go out in public.”
Jimmy Kimmel said this:
“Dr. Fauci said that if hospitals get any more overcrowded, they’re going to have to make some very tough choices about who gets an ICU bed. That choice doesn’t seem so tough to me. Vaccinated person having a heart attack? Yes, come right on in, we’ll take care of you. Unvaccinated guy who gobbled horse goo? Rest in peace, wheezy.”
My comments were about the government-imposed pariah status of the unvaccinated today; they in no way denied the social pariah status of gays with AIDS in the 1980s. But facts do not matter to the angry and the hate-filled.
Tim Miller, writer-at-large for the Bulwark, said on the MSNBC program that featured my Newsmax interview:
“His (Prager’s) revisionist history is a central tenet of right-wing victimhood. They love the victim status … and to pretend like the suffering of people didn’t exist.”
Miller simply lied about what I said. I never pretended the suffering of people didn’t exist. I compared the pariah status of the unvaccinated today to the pariah status of gays during the AIDS epidemic and said the former is worse. That is demonstrably true: Not one of these commentators cited an example of government or commentators calling for banning AIDS victims from working, from eating out, from getting a haircut or a plane ticket or from receiving medical care.
As noted above, every left-wing outlet that covered the issue lied:
The Independent: “Right-wing radio host claims gay men weren’t ‘pariahs’ during Aids crisis — but unvaccinated are now.”
Poynter Institute for Media Studies: “Dennis Prager’s claim that it was ‘inconceivable’ that gay men were seen as ‘pariahs’ in the 1980s is extraordinarily inaccurate.”
Politifact (a so-called fact-checker): “To suggest that gay men and intravenous drug users were not considered pariahs during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s is entirely inaccurate … We rate the statement Pants on Fire.”
The Advocate (perhaps the most long-standing and prominent gay site): Like MSNBC, it dropped the last two sentences when it quoted me.
Tampa Bay Times headline: “The Pants on Fire claim that it was ‘inconceivable’ gay men were seen as ‘pariahs.’”
Another writer at The Bulwark, Jonathan V. Last, asked: “Is Dennis Prager Stupid or Evil?” To support this, he printed the truncated quote of what I said, just like MSNBC and the others.
Why did the Left lie about what I said?
For two reasons.
The first is something I have known and written about since I studied communism in graduate school: Neither liberty nor truth is, or has ever been, a left-wing value. Both are liberal values, and both are conservative values. But neither is a left-wing value.
The second is that on the Left, victim status is everything. Only left-wing approved groups can be deemed victims, and gays are, of course, one of those groups. Whatever the price — including truth — the Left must maintain its monopoly on victimhood.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Natural Immunity Versus Vaccine Immunity

You never know when something you say will go viral. It has happened a number of times in my career, the latest being comments I made on my national radio talk show a few weeks ago when I had COVID-19. I said that I had hoped I would attain natural immunity, since science — evidenced, for example, in a major study from Israel, one of the most pro-vaccine and highly vaccinated societies in the world — strongly suggests that natural immunity provides more robust and durable protection against COVID-19 than the current COVID-19 vaccines have proven to provide.
Specifically, I said that I had hugged and taken photos with thousands of people from the beginning of the pandemic. I had two reasons for doing this: 1) I decided very early on that I would not live my life in fear, but instead live normally; and 2) if I did get the virus I had confidence that the prophylactic therapeutics and nutrients I had been taking for more than a year — ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc, megadoses of vitamin D, vitamin C and selenium (and a monoclonal antibody infusion once I tested positive for COVID-19) — would protect me from serious consequences. Most importantly, I repeatedly said from the beginning of 2020 that I chose to live normally, not hide in my house. As much as I want to live a long life, I have always believed that the purpose of life is to live fully, not necessarily long (though, of course, I want that too — just not at the expense of normal living).
My COVID-19 symptoms consisted of chills for three days, a cough and fatigue for about a week and loss of taste for a day. I missed three days of radio but did not miss a speech (I flew from California to Florida to deliver a speech five days after testing negative).
From CNN to the Washington Post, I was mocked by much of the national mainstream media. Needless to say, not one of them bothered to interview me or invite me to respond either in writing or in person. That is how things now work in America: the media attack and mock those with whom they differ but offer no opportunity for the attacked party to respond. On the basis of a few sentences provided by a lie-based attack site (Media Matters), the Washington Post, for example, wrote an entire article on me and those comments. More on that in the next column.
Let’s begin with my premise — that natural immunity is more robust than a vaccine (or at least the vaccines we currently have). That is what a large study out of Israel — one of the most pro-vaccine and highly vaccinated countries in the world — reported.
On August 25, 2021, medRxiv published a “preprint” study by ten Israeli scientists, all associated with an Israeli research institute, Maccabitech, in Tel Aviv. Among the 10 are three MDs, three professors of epidemiology, two professors at the Tel Aviv University School of Public Health and an adjunct researcher at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Institutes of Health in the United States. The study’s conclusion: “This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity …”
On August 26, 2021, Science, one of the world’s most widely cited science magazines, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, published an article on the Israeli study. Its opening sentence reads: “The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study …”
Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, confirmed the Israel study: “In Israel, vaccinated individuals had 27 times higher risk of symptomatic COVID infection compared to those with natural immunity from prior COVID disease … ”
A Cleveland clinic study came to the same conclusion. Published on June 5, 2021, also on medRxiv, it concluded that “Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination … ”
Even before the Israeli and Cleveland Clinic studies, a New York University study comparing vaccine immunity to natural immunity concluded that people who had had COVID-19 were better protected against the virus: “In COVID-19 patients, immune responses were characterized by a highly augmented interferon response which was largely absent in vaccine recipients.”
A Rockefeller University study published on August 24, 2021, concluded, as the Israel study did, that “a natural infection may induce maturation of antibodies with broader activity than a vaccine does.” The study immediately added that getting natural immunity entails contracting COVID-19, and “a natural infection can also kill you.” But that valid warning does not negate its conclusion in favor of natural immunity. Nor does the study warn that getting the vaccine may also induce harmful consequences. To its everlasting shame, that is a taboo subject in America’s medical community despite the fact that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists over 700,000 cases of suspected injury and more than 17,000 otherwise unexpected deaths temporally associated with COVID-19 vaccines.
Last week, the media reported that the CDC announced that vaccines provided greater immunity than natural immunity. But the way in which the CDC came to this conclusion is all but indecipherable, if not simply dishonest.
Here’s how Dr. Peter Hotez, a pro-vaccine spokesman and co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, summarized the Kentucky study:
“The Centers for Disease Control in their ‘MMWR’ (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) published a very interesting study out of Kentucky comparing individuals who were infected and recovered and chose not to get vaccinated versus those who are infected and recovered and then got vaccinated in addition. And clearly, those who chose not to get vaccinated were reinfected at much higher rates, several times higher, than those who were infected and recovered and vaccinated.”
Those comments are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. The comparison I and others make is between natural immunity and vaccine immunity. The CDC-Kentucky study is not a comparison between natural immunity and vaccine immunity; it is a comparison between those who received a vaccine after natural immunity and those who did not receive a vaccine after attaining natural immunity.
NIH director Francis Collins also used the Kentucky study to avoid the question of COVID-recovered immunity versus vaccine immunity. On August 12, 2021, he said on Fox News: “There was a study published by CDC just ten days ago in Kentucky … So, what was the protection level? It was more than two-fold better for the people who had had the vaccine in terms of protection than people who had had natural infection. That’s very clear in that Kentucky study. You know that surprises people. Kind of surprised me that the vaccine would actually be better than natural infection …”
This CDC report and deliberate conflation by Dr. Peter Hotez and NIH director Collins of two completely different groups — COVID-recovered (with or without vaccine) and vaccinated who never had COVID-19 — are among the many reasons so many Americans no longer trust the American medical establishment.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Is Stealing Wrong? Not on the Left

To most readers of this column, the question is absurd. The reason is not because the question is, in fact, absurd; it is because most readers of this column are conservative, and many are religious.
Am I implying that most leftists do not believe stealing is wrong?
Yes, I am.
As incredible as this assertion is to just about all religious people and virtually all conservatives, most leftists do not believe stealing is wrong. Since I always draw a distinction between those on the Left and liberals, let me add that I suspect most liberals think stealing is wrong. But it almost doesn’t matter because they vote for people who do not think it is.
One proof is the passage of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed in 2014, under which theft of less than $950 in goods is treated as a nonviolent misdemeanor and rarely prosecuted. As a result, in Democrat-run California cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, retail theft has soared.
Walgreens stores in San Francisco are racking up four times the average amount of theft in Walgreens stores across the country; spending on security guards in San Francisco is 35 times more than the chain’s average in other cities. Walgreens has been forced to close 22 stores in the city since 2016.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle: “The Safeway located in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood … was a longstanding, 24-hour fixture in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood. But as of last week, the store’s hours have been cut back to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m … A Safeway spokesperson (said) that the cutbacks are ‘due to an increasing amount of theft at the store.’”

Further proof that the Left doesn’t consider theft wrong — at least when committed by a person of color — was an interview broadcast on NPR last year with the author of a book titled “In Defense of Looting.” The NPR interviewer threw only softball questions to the author.

In the last election, Los Angeles voters elected San Francisco’s previous district attorney, George Gascon, as Los Angeles’s district attorney. It was Los Angeles’s way of declaring that stealing is not wrong. And it is worth noting that it is not only racial minorities and the poor who make these elections possible; it is also prosperous whites. The Los Angeles DA is a wealthy white, and he was supported by a white billionaire, George Soros.
It is hard to believe that millions of Americans do not deem stealing from stores morally wrong, so let’s try to explain how this has come about.
Reason No. 1 is moral relativism. For as long as there has been a Left, it has rejected moral absolutes. As the great British historian, Paul Johnson, pointed out a half-century ago in his magnum opus, “Modern Times,” the secular world applied the relativism of the natural sciences to morality.
Reason No. 2 is the reason for reason number one: the collapse of the Judeo-Christian value system and the accompanying abandonment of, and often disdain for, biblical ethics. Biblical morality posits moral absolutes — meaning that stealing is wrong for everyone, certainly people of every color. Yes, one can offer a biblical defense of a starving man stealing food for his starving family. But that is hardly what is happening in San Francisco and other American cities.
Reason No. 3 is Marxist morality. From Marx to the present, Marxism has divided the world not between right and wrong, but between economic classes. Therefore, it is morally acceptable for members of the poorer classes to steal from members of the more affluent classes. This notion has made its way into young people’s minds for decades. About 30 years ago, I spoke to students from four Cleveland high schools. I asked them to raise their hand if they would steal something they really wanted from a department store if they were certain they would not get caught. Nearly all the students raised their hands. When I asked some of them to justify their reasoning, they all said the same thing: they wouldn’t steal from a mom-and-pop store, but they would steal from a department store. It is OK to steal from “the rich.”
Reason No. 4 is leftists’ view of nonwhites, especially blacks, a view that conservatives have never shared. Leftists truly believe that blacks are intellectually and morally inferior to whites. The evidence? They do not believe blacks should be held to the same intellectual and moral standards to which leftists hold whites. Leftists do not defend whites who steal, and they hold whites to higher intellectual standards. Leftists do not argue for lowering math standards for whites, only for blacks.
The bottom line is the Left is immoral. That is why it defends stealing.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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