Rick William Elkin was born in Pasadena, California,
The most discussed event of the past century, the stunning upset victory of Donald Trump, sparks interesting discussions almost every day. Liberals want to know, "How did this happen?"
Recently, while in the company of some dear friends who couldn't disagree with me more about politics, we were discussing the election, the outcome, and some reasons for it. While debating the abundance of game changing court decisions and executive orders that seem to be counter to settled law, the 2012 gay marriage incident in upstate New York came up.
A Christian couple became embroiled in a legal war over their refusal to host a gay wedding on their farm where they regularly hosted special events of all kinds. The Giffords responded to a request by a gay couple to host their unorthodox wedding ceremony at their farm facility, by explaining that they had no problem hosting a reception party, but because of their 'closely held Christian beliefs', they would respectfully decline the request to host the actual wedding ceremony. They were promptly sued.
Later, a Judge ruled that the farm owners had illegally discriminated against the gay couple. The Giffords were subsequently fined $13,000, and ordered to undergo psychological reprogramming.
Does this sound like a scene from A Clockwork Orange? How is it in America, a restaurant owner can refuse service to a barefoot customer, but the Giffords cannot refuse to host a wedding, that in their Christian belief system, is a violation of their conscience?
By responding to the couple's request in an honest, forthright and respectful manner, the Giffords inadvertently brought the wrath of an activist judiciary down on their lives. I am sure upon reflection, it would have made more sense to lie and just say, "Sorry, we are booked that day."
My friends continued to challenge me, claiming Trump, and the Alt Right, are a clear and present danger to freedom, that their Christian religious zealotry was discriminatory, racist and xenophobic. I responded that the Giffords case is an example of why many Americans do not trust the courts, do not trust the establishment, or politicians or polls or newspapers or the media…..In fact, they feel that the very basis of their constitutional rights, their belief in God, is under constant and intensifying attack.
Incidents like the Gifford case go a long way to explaining why so many otherwise quiet, unassuming voters across America showed up at the polls to elect Trump. They are tired of the political correctness movement undermining the very foundations of our uniquely American system of jurisprudence and justice under a God-centric set of constitutional laws. They see many of the basic Judeo-Christian moral foundations on which the United States Bill of Rights and the Constitution were established being devalued and disrespected by liberal judges issuing edicts from the bench.
So a lot of mainstream Americans are wondering, what is happening to our country? Is there nothing sacred anymore? In my view, the Gifford case illustrates how the courts have overreached and are legislating social justice from the bench. The courts must feel threatened by God, because they take every opportunity to banish any reference to God from the workplace, from political or educational discussions, and from civil actions.
My liberal friends disparage and impugn believers as uneducated or delusional. The judiciary, for progressives, is their God. So, just as there is conflict between liberals and conservatives, there is a war between their Statist God and the God that Christians must answer to.
I told my liberal friends that the Trump Movement views the expanding use of courtroom legislation to force Americans to violate their sacred religious beliefs to be a serious threat to freedom, second only to terrorism. The Jihadi terrorist are themselves, trying to force their belief system (Sharia Law), their God, if you will, onto everyone on the planet. They insist that they are the only ones who have all the answers, and those that disagree must convert or die!
Thank God American's aren't at that point yet, but the war between conservatives and progressives is headed in that direction. And in my view, it is the politically correct crowd, the liberals and the courts that are threatening everyone to comply or else!
They insist on legislating what and where we can eat, drink, smoke, go to the bathroom, how we run our businesses, how much we pay for workers, who we can hire or fire, that we must support actions that are contrary to our religious vows with tax money, that we cannot speak when what we say offends someone, and on and on and on….
The separation of church and state was originally set up to protect the people from rule by theocracy. But in our modern era, there is a growing threat by the progressive left to revoke our God-given rights, and replace them with State-issued privileges, to pick and choose who gets what and which group deserves government protections and which do not, mirroring the abuses that inspired British rebels to fight a revolution and form the United States of America in the first place.
Liberals always react to charges of religious intolerance by proclaiming that nearly every war in history was caused by religious conflict. But I pointed out that in this instance, it is not Muslims versus Christians or Christians versus Jews or Houthis versus Tuttis, but rather people who have faith in a higher authority than Man versus those that have faith that certain men, those who are deemed to be more educated or enlightened, are better suited to manage the human condition. It is the progressives that claim to have all the answers to what is 'fair' and 'just' and who are the winners and who are the losers.
Christians look to God for guidance. Statists look to the courts for decisions.
I think it reasonable to suggest that many of the Trump supporters simply wanted our country to look to a more faith-based leader, someone who was more inclined to respect the heritage of our Founders and less inclined to put its future in the hands of political hacks and their appointed courtroom lackeys.
Conservatives cling to traditions and established cultural norms and expect people to be self sufficient and hearty, while progressives want to reinvent everything in response to changing cultural trends, and to protect everyone from passive aggressions and offensive speech, and especially from holier than thou preaching, so they dismiss age old religions and tribal traditions. Liberals consider the Constitution a 'Living Document' meaning that it should 'evolve' with the times. Many would drop the first amendment because mobile computer devices make it too easy to say things that offend too many people with hate speech.
This cultural battle is as old as mankind. America has been uniquely effective in coping with the cultural divide for nearly three decades precisely because up until now, we have respected the Bill of Rights, and afforded great latitude towards all religions and tribal cultural tendencies. America is great because we have a stew of every human family on earth, and we show all of them, and all of their Gods, respect.
But the one group that is emerging as a threat to that amazing achievement is the atheist progressive movement, the Statists. They are a powerful coalition of unions, government workers, academics, protected cultural anomalies and over-indulged snowflakes, and some scientists, who see their gravy train under scrutiny. They view the religious as a threat to their power and welfare, and of course, their 'concerns' for the poor and the disenfranchised, as justification for their autocratic rule by the judiciary. What they can't win at the polls, they dictate from the bench.
The recent election turned up the heat on their contradictions and corruption and has brought the war between our Gods from a simmer to a boil.
One of the most disturbing trends in the American experience is the strain politics is putting on the relationships between our family and friends.
The fact is that since the beginning, Americans have been divided. Every four years we confront those feelings by conducting a national election. It is something that forces us, as a union of fifty states, to reconcile our differences in a peaceful manner. President Lincoln was hated by the opposition party because he wanted to disrupt a tradition of holding slaves. Democrats threatened to use violence if necessary to undo his attack on their way of life.
We all know how that ended up.
So here we are hundreds of years later and some angry progressives are also threatening impeachment and even assassination to stop what they consider the hijacking of their politically correct social construct of equanimity and social justice, as personified by Barack Obama.
I see daily pleas to not let politics come between our personal relationships. Isn't it funny that only now that a conservative coalition has assumed power that some people are suddenly concerned about micro aggressions? I don't remember anyone showing empathy for conservatives when Obama policies attacked Christians for refusing to participate or condone practices they deemed antithetical to their beliefs. I don't remember anyone coming forward to protect the rights of ranchland owners whose property was being invaded by illegal immigrants streaming across the Mexican border. I don't remember anyone coming to the rescue when the institution of marriage was redefined by judicial fiat.
I know for a fact that for the past eight years, myself and many of my conservative friends have had to bite our tongue and remain silent under the threat of being called bigots because we had policy differences with the administration. For the past few years, we have had to endear slanderous assaults over virtually anything we said: we were constantly being characterized as racists, homophobes, misogynists and haters.
This is a new form of fascism. Instead of using a super nationalist fervor to dominate the opposition, the leftists have rallied around their own social justice agenda. They have their own 'God' to crusade for, and it is 'Group Think' about sexism, environmentalism, racism and innumerable other 'isms'.
I hate the idea that we can't sit around the dinner table and have a rational, adult discussion of social issues! But I think the idea that we have to suppress our patriotism, our faith, our self identity, our male or female instincts, our family structure, our compassion or empathies, our success and our wealth or lack of it is in and of itself is destructive and un-American.
The anger over the threat to our relationships is, in my view, misplaced. The stress that we Americans are feeling has manifested it's irrational intensity since the Vietnam War.
The national anger was on display at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It was the beginning of the street demonstrations, the violence and demonization of the opposition, the overt anti-Americanism. It has since been institutionalized by college curricula, by the liberal press, by the liberal film and television industry, and by a coalition of leftist world organizations who embrace the anti-semitism of the Third Reich.
Now we have the attack on Western values by extremist Islamic Jihadists groups. The asymmetrical war has changed our way of life. We have lost many of the fundamental freedoms we took for granted; casual international travel, fearless congregations of large groups in public assemblies, loss of privacy and nearly invisible community law enforcement. We should be focusing our anger on the forces of terror for driving a wedge between our family differences. The terrorists are purposely shredding our libertarian bonds. The painful strains we feel within our national family are not accidental. Instead of blaming each other, we should be outraged by how terrorism is screwing up the world!
Recently we have witnessed outright pleas for violence, murder and ethnic (aka, conservatives) cleansing by extremist groups rampaging through the streets, sacking businnesses, starting fires, and attacking innocent bystanders. They claim they are resisting nationalist right-wingers from stealing their freedoms. But ironically, it is their actions that are restricting the freedoms of Americans, not the other way around. Their actions are actually micro terrorism. Whether intentional or not, they are encouraging chaos and suppression.
So what should we traditionalist Americans do? Should we suppress our nationalism, our patriotism, our love of God, just so we don't hurt someone's feelings? Why are people that don't share our love of Americanism so special? Why should we go out of our way to avoid any conversation that might offend them?
When they were in power, they showed no such empathy towards us! In fact, there is evidence that some government agencies were politicized and used to intimidate opposition groups (the IRS was caught auditing Tea Party activists).
This idea that we should all just cautiously dance around subjects that might offend reminds me of Orwell's Animal Farm; the Farmers were demonized, and the animals mounted a revolution. But in the end, the revolution crashed because some animals decided that other animals just weren't smart enough to govern themselves. That theme exemplifies the narcissism and nihilism of the leftist cabal.
Every country, or family, has a structure, or it isn't really a family or an autonomous country. There has to be some sort of hierarchy, or you have anarchy. The question is, can that structure operate in a fair and equitable way?
The difference in successful family units is the acceptance by each person in the unit that they hold the outcome in their individual hands by accepting their roles, operating out of an unconditional love for each other, and recognizing that without the support of the unit, the Team, if you will, each individual cannot have the same level of success in life.
Leftists will call that idea a biblical nuclear family. Fair enough. History shows that is is the most successful strategy for of maintaining social stability. The same principles should apply to government. The representative form of democracy that America invented has proven to be just the formula for building a national family unit. It means that every four years we elect our 'father'. Then we decide how we, as the family tree, can support him or her, so that each of us can contribute to the success of the whole.
One of those roles is to be able to sit down with our brothers and sisters, and respectfully disagree with each other. In the end, when a decision has to be made, 'dad' makes the choice and the family supports that decision. When one of the family kicks and screams that it didn't go their way, the family suffers. And as much as it may hurt to do, 'dad' must reign in the rebel. If he doesn't, the family will ultimately implode.
Of course there are proper settings for these discussions; and the dinner table may not be appropriate. But sitting around and avoiding the elephant in the room is in my view, un-American. We can learn a lot from elephants. They have survived longer than we have as a species, and they operate in a strict family hierarchy.