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The Key to a Woman’s Sexual Power

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Editor’s Note: See the first two parts in Susan L.M. Goldberg’s series exploring ABC’s Scandal through the lens of Biblical feminism: “What’s Evil Got to Do with It?,” ”Women and the Scandal of Doing It All Alone.” Also check out an introduction to her work and collection of 194 articles and blog posts here.

The husband/wife relationship is central to feminism. Historical, first-wave feminism studied matrimony in terms of legal rights. Contemporary, second-wave feminism approaches marriage in terms of sexual and economic power. Biblical feminism seeks to understand the spiritual relationship between a husband and wife, and how that spiritual relationship manifests into physical action. To do so, we must begin at the beginning, with Genesis 3:16:

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

“Rule over you” is a phrase that sends chills down any feminist’s spine. But, what does it truly mean? A study of the original Hebrew text provides radical insight into one of the most abused verses of Torah:

This brings us to perhaps the most difficult verse in the Hebrew Bible for people concerned with human equality. Gen 3:16 seems to give men the right to dominate women. Feminists have grappled with this text in a variety of ways. One possibility is to recognize that the traditional translations have distorted its meaning and that it is best read against its social background of agrarian life. Instead of the familiar “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing,” the verse should begin “I will greatly increase your work and your pregnancies.” The word for “work,” izavon, is the same word used in God’s statement to the man; the usual translation (“pangs” or “pain”) is far less accurate. In addition, the woman will experience more pregnancies; the Hebrew word is pregnancy, not childbearing, as the NRSV and other versions have it. Women, in other words, must have large families and also work hard, which is what the next clause also proclaims. The verse is a mandate for intense productive and reproductive roles for women; it sanctions what life meant for Israelite women.

In light of this, the notion of general male dominance in the second half of the verse is a distortion. More likely, the idea of male “rule” is related to the multiple pregnancies mentioned in the first half of the verse. Women might resist repeated pregnancies because of the dangers of death in childbirth, but because of their sexual passion (“desire,” 3:16) they accede to their husbands’ sexuality. Male rule in this verse is narrowly drawn, relating only to sexuality; male interpretive traditions have extended that idea by claiming that it means general male dominance.

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The South’s Church Culture and Its Dangerous Problems

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 - by Chris Queen

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One of my favorite things about being on staff at a church is that I get to engage in discussions about faith and spiritual life with other men and women who are passionate not just about their relationship with God but also about helping others to deepen their relationship with Him.

Last week, I was brainstorming with our creative arts director and the student pastor at one of our campuses about improving one particular element of our services, when the student pastor remarked about how he knew people who thought of our church as light on doctrine and substance, largely because we don’t engage in activities like “altar calls.” Near the end of that part of the conversation, I remarked that Christianity in the South is more of a culture than a relationship with God.

In a now-famous quote, Flannery O’Connor once said, “I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” She may have been more right that she realized, because the dominant Southern Christian culture concerns itself largely with seeing and being seen, with church attendance as an end to the spiritual journey rather than a beginning, and with safely sheltering families from an increasingly messy world.

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Louie Gohmert Blasts Obama for Cherry-Picking Bible Verses

Friday, November 21st, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert joined Sean Hannity on Thursday to discuss President Obama’s speech announcing his executive action on immigration. Rep. Gohmert took issue with Obama’s use of a verse from Exodus to defend his actions:

“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too,” Obama read in his prime time speech, quoting Exodus 22:21.

Gohmert said that people here illegally are not legally allowed to work. He said the president is flaunting the law, which is an offense to the Constitution and to African Americans and Hispanic Americans who have an enormously high unemployment rate. Gohmert said Obama is “going to leave five million people out in the cold” when their jobs are taken by illegal aliens who now have the ability to work here.

Gohmert then pulled out his own well-worn Bible. “But I also want to point out he quoted Exodus 22:1 here. But if you just go over to the next column,” Gohmert pointed to a page heavily highlighted in in yellow, “maybe he hasn’t seen these verses, Sean.”

You must not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked to be a malicious witness. You must not follow a crowd in wrongdoing. Do not testify in a lawsuit or go along with the crowd to pervert justice. Do not show favoritism to a poor person in his lawsuit. (Exodus 23:1-3)

“This man is showing favoritism and he is lying about Congress,” Gohmert said. “And I’ve seen this in another politician that I went up against who would call you everything in the book and would say, ‘Now we’re going to be gentlemen. We’re not going to talk bad about each other.’ Try to keep you from defending yourself. But we’re going to defend ourselves.”

Now, obviously Gohmert engaged in the same kind of cherry-picking that Obama did when he cited a verse that he liked from that same passage of Exodus. I suspect that Gohmert was trying to point out the absurdity of taking one verse out of context (though I wish he had taken a few seconds to explain that).

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Save ‘The Duggars’ from Transsexual Bullies

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

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The invaluable LifeSiteNews has launched a petition drive to counter yet another example of transsexual activist bullying:

In the past few days, liberal extremists have launched a full-scale attack on the Duggars, demanding that The Learning Channel cancel the Duggars’ popular reality TV show.

Their reason? Michelle Duggar openly opposed an extreme ‘transgender’ bill in Fayetteville. The bill would have given biological males who say they are women the right to use women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other female-only facilities!

As of this writing, that petition has over 80,000 signatures, and is growing fast, with media like the Huffington Post leading the charge! We need to launch a counter-attack, letting TLC know that the American people stand by the Duggars and their defense of traditional family values.

Rather than being extreme, the Duggars represent the majority of people in state after state who have stood up for the traditional family.

The real extremists are those who are demanding that a TV network penalize America’s beloved family because they support the truth about family, which they have always expressed in a loving, compassionate fashion.

I haven’t watched 19 Kids and Counting in years. It just fell out of my usual television viewing rotation. That doesn’t mean I want to see it become the next victim of toxic progressive pitchforking.

The next target may be your favorite show.

LifeSiteNews’ counter-petition has just under 20,000 signatures as I write this.

You can read it here and sign it if you agree.

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Women and the Scandal of Doing It All Alone

Sunday, November 16th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Editor’s Note: See Part 1 of Susan’s ongoing series analyzing the connections between ABC’s Scandal, current events, and Western values: “What’s Evil Got to Do with It?

Women are fixers. It should come as no surprise to anyone with an understanding of the sexes that the leading female figure on primetime television is none other than a fixer named Olivia Pope. Fifty years ago women primarily played the role of mother on screen and, in doing so, they fixed things and life was pretty darn perfect. But perfect doesn’t fly on network television any longer. Today it’s all about drama, and drama is conflict. So, we get Olivia Pope: beautiful, intelligent, who fantasizes about marrying an already married man, having his children and fixing a nice little life in the Vermont countryside for them, but is too embroiled in fixing her own life and the lives of those she loves to ever quite reach her American nirvana.

Like Israel’s matriarchs, Olivia Pope has a vision of justice, of order, of the way things should be. The wearer of the “white hat,” she wrestles between good and evil in her many attempts to manifest this divine sense that has been humanized as her “gut” instinct. Watch her and you’ll see the woman in white when she pursues truth, the woman in black when she has given over to evil, and the woman in gray when she questions everything she knows. Being a fixer is a woman’s inherent power and inevitable struggle. It isn’t that we want to “do it all” because doing it isn’t as hard as taking responsibility for it, for the lives under our care. Olivia Pope cares for everyone, wants to save everyone, wants to repair everyone and make everything all better. Her struggle, like that of the matriarchs, is in placing the sole burden of responsibility on her own shoulders. But, the greatest lesson of God-given responsibility is that you are not expected to carry it all alone.

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5 Reasons You Should Leave Your Church

Sunday, November 16th, 2014 - by Paul Cooper

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There are many really bad reasons to leave a church. Some common but silly excuses for leaving a church are the following: somebody hurt your feelings, the church is getting too big, and you aren’t getting your way on some issue. There are some reasons one should prayerfully consider leaving a church. But how does somebody know when he should definitely leave a church?

Church membership and attendance should not be taken lightly. We enter into a family relationship when we join a church. It is the body of Christ. We should take joining and leaving a church very seriously, but sometimes circumstances leave no doubt that it’s time to go.

As a regular church attendee my entire life, and as a pastor who has been in some form of ministry leadership for over 15 years, I have some experience with church-attendance issues. I offer 5 reasons that a church member most likely should exit his place of worship and find another one.

5. Members (especially leaders) in the church are in grave sin but no one is holding them accountable.

All of us sin; that includes leaders in the church. We all mess up. We all fall short. But the Bible makes it clear that the immediate response to sin is repentance.  And if we do not repent then we need discipline. So if church members are living in blatant sin, and especially if its leaders are involved (who are held to a higher standard), there needs to be quick repentance — or discipline if there isn’t.

Let me be clear: I’m not telling you to only attend perfect churches where no one sins. If you join that church then you will immediately mess it up. But the name of Jesus is destroyed by churches that refuse to deal with rampant sin. Simply read the news to hear about church after church that ignored or covered up sin and are now facing lawsuits. Church members and leaders should be quick to admit wrongdoing and quick to try to make things right.

The Bible is filled with teachings on holiness and repentance when we mess up.  And the Bible takes sin in the church seriously. It’s so serious that if people refuse to repent then the worst-case scenario is to remove them from the church (1 Corinthians 5:9-12). However, if your church is refusing to deal with sin in the camp, then you must leave the camp. You cannot associate with a church that refuses to repent and seek Christ.

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What Happened to East Germany’s Brutally Effective Secret Police After the Wall Fell?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 - by Robert Wargas
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On November 9, 2006, as the free world celebrated the seventeenth anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s demise, an 83-year-old man died in a peaceful slumber at his home in the German capital city. The man was Markus Wolf, who during the Cold War led the foreign-intelligence section of East Germany’s secret-police apparatus: the Ministry for State Security (Ministerium fuer Staatssicherheit), known colloquially as “the Stasi.” The Stasi’s most renowned spymaster, he controlled thousands of agents, whose purpose was to infiltrate important Western institutions and government positions. Often mistaken as the inspiration for John le Carre’s shadowy Karla character, Wolf for years remained a mystery to Western intelligence services, who didn’t even have a picture of him until the late 1970s—several decades into his career. Historians have marveled at his success in leading the Stasi’s foreign wing, known as the HVA, or Hauptverwaltung Aufklaerung. Perhaps his most well known accomplishment is having one of his agents, Gunter Guillaume, become a trusted aide to Willy Brandt, the West German chancellor.

Seven years after Wolf’s death and twenty-five years after the Wall’s, the West still doesn’t appreciate the breadth and depth of the Stasi’s brutality. (The KGB still reigns in the popular imagination as the ultimate secret-police force.) Formed after the Second World War in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, the Stasi grew to become the most potently effective Eastern bloc intelligence organization. They possessed a more impressive informant network than even the KGB. When East Germany crumbled, the Stasi employed upwards of 190,000 unofficial informants. By 1989, approximately one out of every 90 East German citizens was a Stasi informant. Referred to as inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (“unofficial collaborators”), most were simply ordinary German citizens, tasked with reporting everything they could about possible (real or imagined) anti-regime activity, as well as details about family and friends. Even children were involved in spying on their parents.

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Under What Circumstances Should We Go to War?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

An excerpt from page 251 of an extraordinary new book illuminating one of the most important Jewish philosophers and why he positioned an explanation of the Noahide laws in the section of Mishneh Torah titled “Laws Concerning Kings”:

Page 251 of #Maimonides Life and Thought by Moshe Halbertal on when it's necessary to go to #war

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Who Is the World’s Most Persecuted Religious Minority?

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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Why We Worship Celebrities

Sunday, November 9th, 2014 - by Spencer Klavan

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The lights went out on Mount Olympus a long time ago, but they’re burning bright on the red carpet. There’s a connection there – it’s not a coincidence that a world without Greek gods is a world that wants to know what Brad Pitt eats for breakfast.  We can’t worship the ancient pantheon anymore – it would be ridiculous, and, God be praised, we know better. But like it or not, there’s a space in the human heart shaped like the pagan deities. That’s the space we’ve filled with T-Swift and J-Biebz, with Miley Cyrus and Will Smith. Absurd but true: with the old temples empty, we’ve built new altars to matinée idols.

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What’s Evil Got to Do with It?

Sunday, November 9th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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My editor, David Swindle, has a penchant for assigning me to review what I’d consider some pretty nasty stuff. It started with HBO, Girls in particular. He tried getting me into Game of Thrones, but after the whole Red Wedding thing I just couldn’t take it. Now, David has me watching Scandal. It’s more palatable in the network sense (nowhere near the gratuitous nudity and graphic sex levels of HBO), but it’s still as dark. Nothing beats watching a show about a team of lawyers who don’t care a whit about the law. In fact, they go to great lengths to break the law in order to serve the gods of public opinion.

Only four episodes in, I consulted with my PJ colleague April Bey, a big fan of the show, for her opinion. “Everyone is evil, but that’s okay because we’re all evil,” she explained. Her observation was ironic, disturbing, and thought-provoking. Despite an apparent thread of cynicism regarding religion and morality, the struggle between good and evil remains the stuff of blockbuster hits like Scandal. Because our stories reflect our cultural psyche, it should come as no surprise that the word “evil” is beginning to carry serious weight in intellectual circles. Ascribed with more power than a petty adjective (i.e. early 2000′s “evil” George W. Bush), evil is now being discussed as a theory and a reason for contemporary political, legal, military and indeed cultural failings.

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The Lesson of All Saints’ Day

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis
Stripped, sent to a brothel, and then burned

Stripped, sent to a brothel, and then burned

A Catholic friend attended her church’s All Saints’ service on Saturday. She came over afterward to visit and help me with some stuff and told me about the lovely service. She mentioned something she still finds odd. The saints are often depicted with the instruments of their torture. St. Lawrence of “Turn me over, I’m done on this side” fame carries a grill, St. Catherine carries a wheel. Here are 10 of the more brutal martyrdoms.

We found this disconcerting for two reasons: one, the memory of what happened to those people. These were not quick deaths. Two, such tortures are still happening to Christians today. (Warning for graphic links, although the Daily Mail has pixelated them.) Beheadings and crucifixions still plague us. As does sexual slavery. According to the videos there, the blue and green eyed girls fetch a higher price.

When I went to church the next day (I’m Anglican and we do All Saints on the Sunday closest to November 1st) this is exactly what one of our reverends gave his sermon on. Our tormenters don’t let up. That’s what we are supposed to remember on All Saints’ Day, perseverance in the face of anything.

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Blondie’s Chris Stein Shrugs Off Iran’s Violent Treatment of Women

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

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Debbie Harry’s ex-boyfriend and Blondie co-founder Chris Stein has just released a photography collection, featuring his lifelong muse.

And why not? No less an authority than rock photography guru Bob Gruen famously said, “You can’t take a bad picture of Debbie Harry.”

Unfortunately, Stein marrs the collection with a stunningly multi-level-stupid comment, regarding his famous picture, above.

Stein quips to who else but The Guardian:

UK tabloids don’t push the limits of credibility any more than their American counterparts, but in a way they got there first. Here, Debbie is reading about sexism under the ayatollah.

Get it? Decades of well-documented, sharia-inspired violence against women in Iran was probably exaggerated, according to Stein, because it was reported by a lower class “red top” English tabloid back in the 1970s.

Stein further ingratiates himself with his British host by slagging stupid, hysterical American “yellow journalists,” too, for no apparent reason.

Factor in the word “sexism” as his mealy-mouthed synonym for “rape, torture and murder,” and it’s quite breathtaking how much smug “enlightened” ignorance Stein managed to squeeze into two just sentences.

Especially the same week that Iranian authorities executed a woman for killing her rapist.

All this from a man I feel safe in presuming voted for Obama twice, and whose views on every subject are reliably, predictably “progressive.”

But of course!

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Should Psychological Identity Trump Physical Identity for Transgender Persons?

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, recently addressed the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on the subject of transgender.

Saying that the gay marriage battle is all but over, Burk believes “sexual revolutionaries are turning their attention to the ‘T’ in LGBT” which will lead to significant cultural changes.

Burk, author of What Is the Meaning of Sex?, said,

At the heart of the transgender revolution is the notion that psychological identity trumps bodily identity. In this way of thinking, a person is whatever they think themselves to be. If a girl perceives herself to be a boy, then she is one even if her biology says otherwise. If a boy perceives himself to be a girl, then he is one even if his biology says otherwise. Gender is self-determined, not determined by the sexual differences that the Creator has embedded into every cell in our bodies.

He doubts that most Americans have thought through the implications of accepting without question that psychological identity should trump biological identity when there is a conflict.

Burk gave the example of a man named John who was featured on Fox News a few years ago. He felt like he was a one-legged man trapped in the body of a man with two legs. “When I see an amputee — when I imagine the amputee — there is this inner pull that says ‘why can’t I be like that?’” the man asked. It wasn’t until after 42 years of marriage that he revealed this “secret” to his wife. He suffers from what psychiatrists call “body integrity identity disorder.” The only known cure is amputation of the offending body part.

“The primary ethical question is whether a man in John’s position would be right to amputate an otherwise healthy limb,” Burk said. “Would it be right for a doctor to remove his leg so that John can feel whole? If John feels himself to be a one-legged man inside a two-legged man’s body, why not encourage him to have his leg amputated? At a gut level, most people recoil at the suggestion. Nevertheless, this is the implication of the view that psychological identity trumps bodily identity,” he said.

Typically, individuals who suffer from such a disorder cannot find physicians to accommodate their requests for amputations, and they are not encouraged to amputate otherwise healthy limbs. Most people would say the individual’s thinking needs to be altered rather than taking drastic steps to alter the body.

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Cat Stevens: Why He Still (Sort Of) Matters

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

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In his 1970s prime, Cat Stevens looked like Russell Brand just thinks he does.

Neither fellow is quite forlorn or angular enough to be my type, but I can certainly understand the appeal of the former, if definitely not the latter. (Ugh.)

As Dennis Miller still likes to muse sometimes on his radio show:

Can you imagine how many women were throwing themselves at Stevens back in the day?

(Except not in those words.)

Stevens has been Miller’s bete noir for a while now.

Here’s Miller circa 1989, back when he anchored “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live:

And former folk singer Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, came out this week and said he advocated the assassination of Salman Rushdie. So much for that “Peace Train” crap, huh, Cat? … Yeah, I could see this comin’ years ago on his old album, Tea for the Killerman. You, uh, you remember the big hit:

I’m being followed by a big Muslim
Big Muslim, big Muslim

Big Muslim, big Muslim
Big Muslim, big Muslim

How can I try to explain
When he do I turn away again
It’s hard
But it’s harder to ignore it
If they were right, I’d agree
But it’s them they know, not me now
There’s a way and I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go

Yeah.

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world!

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8 Reasons Why Jews & Christians Should Re-Think Celebrating Halloween

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Halloween was always a point of contention in our house growing up. Naturally theatrical, I loved dressing up and relished in making my own costumes. And what kid turns down free candy? Sure, Jewish kids have Purim for these things and more, but when you’re in a mainly gentile neck of the woods, it’s a struggle not to be allowed to join in the party. As I grew into adulthood and took a deeper look at Halloween, however, I began to understand my parents’ objections quite clearly. There are definite reasons why Jews and Christians who base their faith in the Bible should re-think introducing and encouraging their child’s participation in this, the most pagan of American holidays.

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Halle Berry Says Women Should ‘Be Prepared’ with Fabulous Lingerie

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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According to Halle Berry, who is hawking a new lingerie line at Target, women need to be prepared “in that area” because you never know who’s going to see it.

Style.com reports that Berry told reporters at a preview of her new Scandale lingerie line,

I have some friends—who will remain nameless—that wear the same janky bras for, like, five years straight. As Americans, we can go there, but what I learned about the Frenchwomen is that they’re always updating their lingerie. … They’re not going to get caught in the emergency room not prepared. If they have to cut their clothes off, they’re going to be fabulous under there.

Lingerie marketing schemes aside, Halle (I can call her by her first name because we went to high school together and I put shaving cream in her hair during band camp hazing initiation) does have a really good point. While I wish that I could have the freedom that men enjoy — I guarantee you that my husband has spent zero time in the last decade thinking about how ER personnel might be judging him on his undergarment choices — the truth is that because of science (having something to do with the Y chromosome, I think) I am forced to think about what would happen if someone had to cut my clothes off in the emergency room. (In fact, that did happen to me when I broke my leg skiing in the 9th grade and it is every bit as mortifying as you might imagine.)

Last week I was telling a friend about my son’s wedding in September, sharing the events of the morning of The Big Day as we all got ready for the afternoon ceremony. I didn’t realize how early we were going to get our hair done in the morning and as a result, I didn’t end up getting a shower before we all headed out to the beauty shop. So I had to settle for schlepping together a sponge bath and shaving my legs in the bathroom sink before slipping into my formal gown, a memory which, as I’m sitting here more than a month later, still horrifies me.

And it’s no better when it’s not a formal occasion. Last night, my husband had a late meeting, so I decided to run out and grab some carry-out food. Before heading out, I changed my clothes, put on some eyeliner and put lipstick on –as if the fast food workers were going to notice!

Honestly, I wish I could be free from this vanity and narcissism. I have friends who don’t give a hoot about how they look when they leave the house and they own it. Beauty is on the inside, they say, daring people to reject them for the way they look. They seem happy.

The problem is, of course, that our culture screams at women constantly that we must look a certain way, dress a certain way, wear this makeup, weigh this much.

People judge us, we judge others, we judge ourselves. Are we doing it mostly for ourselves — because we’re narcissists — or to impress others? I wrestle with that sometimes.

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The Feminist Lesson in Mom’s Night Out

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Twenty-four percent of married couple families with children under 15 have a stay-at-home mom. Ninety-nine percent of stay-at-home moms in the movies get a really bad rap. Search “Best Movie Moms” and you’ll get lists that include Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment, Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, Shelly Duvall in The Shining, and more than a few mentions of Psycho. The majority of movie mothers are either widowed or divorced, careerists or working class, alcoholics or impregnated by UFOs. The closest you’ll get to a stay-at-home mom in post-1940s cinema is Kathleen Turner playing the psychotic Serial Mom or Michael Keaton taking on the role so his wife can pursue her career in Mr. Mom.

In fact, outside of Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side there hasn’t been a truly admirable middle-class, white, stay-at-home mother on the silver screen in over 50 years. Which is probably why Mom’s Night Out received such a negative critical reception when it premiered last spring. We have been acculturated out of believing in the power and purpose of stay-at-home moms. Yet, the criticisms leveled at Mom’s Night Out for its “depressingly regressive” spirit and “archaic notions of gender roles” were not applied to a similar film about a stay-at-home mom released only two years prior. This Is 40 received mixed reviews, but praise for yielding “…some of [Judd] Apatow’s most personal observations yet on the feelings for husbands, wives, parents, and children that we categorize as love.”

So, what made This Is 40 palatable in a way that Mom’s Night Out wasn’t? Is there, perhaps, a culturally acceptable way to be a stay-at-home mom?

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Like a Serial Killer, Mao Zedong Manipulated Everyone

Sunday, October 26th, 2014 - by Robert Wargas
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Editor’s note: this is part 3 in an ongoing series exploring the history of dictators and their evil ideologies. See the previous installments: Part 1:”Why It’s OK to Be Intrigued by Evil Dictators“ and Part 2: “Does Everybody Want Freedom?” Have ideas for who you’d like to see Robert explore next? Get in touch on Twitter: @RobertWargas and @DaveSwindle

Celebrating its centennial, The New Republic recently mined its archive and republished an intriguing piece from its February 27, 1965, issue: an exclusive interview with Mao Zedong by the American journalist Edgar Snow. As TNR correctly notes, as far as interviews go this would be analogous to a Western journalist today being granted exclusive access to Kim Jong Un. The sit-down took place almost seven years before Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger arrived in Peking to re-establish relations with China.

Though the interview has value as a journalistic artifact, it isn’t the most satisfying piece of reportage when it comes to Mao the man. Snow, who was not exactly Red China’s greatest critic, wasn’t allowed to quote the Great Helmsman directly, and most of the discussion concerns issues of policy and military strategy. These are big subjects, and big subjects always make for big answers laden with propaganda.

Mao comes across as intensely theoretical; he seems genuinely infatuated with Marxist theory and its rigorous application to world affairs. When asked about the Vietnam War, for instance, Snow writes that Mao “repeatedly thanked foreign invaders for speeding up the Chinese revolution and for bestowing similar favors in Southeast Asia today.” He ”observed that the more American weapons and troops brought into Saigon, the faster the South Vietnamese liberation forces would become armed and educated to win victory.”

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4 Reasons Jews Shouldn’t Fear Moving to Israel

Sunday, October 26th, 2014 - by P. David Hornik

Israel is becoming a more and more popular place for Jews to live. When I made aliyah (a word that means “ascent” or “Jewish immigration to Israel”) from the U.S. in 1984, the Jewish population stood at around three million; today it has doubled to over six million and is the largest Jewish community in the world. The huge rise comes from both natural growth and immigration. Jews who are already here vote “yes” by having the Western world’s highest fertility rates; many Jews who were living elsewhere have been coming here.

And now it turns out that the rate of yerida (a word that means “descent” or “Jewish emigration from Israel”) is at an all-time low—yes, even in this era of globalization, and with some Israelis loudly complaining about high prices here. The Jerusalem Post reports:

In 2012…the number of émigrés—people who left Israel and stayed abroad for over a year—went down to 15,900, the lowest since the establishment of the state….

Nearly a quarter of them had returned to the country or reported a planned return date as of April 2014.

Most of those who left the country were not born in Israel, and 25 percent of them are not Jewish. Many had moved to Israel from the former Soviet Union since 1990.

 And the New York Times adds that

Sergio DellaPergola, a leading [Israeli] demographer, said emigration was actually lower now than at any time in Israel’s 66-year history, and also lower than in comparably developed countries. Far more people left Israel in the 1970s and 1980s, when inflation skyrocketed….

Even so, if you’re considering making aliyah, it’s natural to have fears about taking such a big plunge. I had some of them too; but by now they’re a thing of the distant past.

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100 Visions Of the Sacred and Secular in Israel From P. David Hornik

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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Israel and Islam. What is it that really divides the the two, keeping the children of Jacob and Ishmael in perpetual war?

It turns out the difference stares us in the face, at the root of the words themselves. Clarity in understanding the wars of the Middle East comes when grasping the words in the original languages, Hebrew and Arabic, a point Dennis Prager explains in his book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

In Hebrew the word “Israel” means to “wrestle with God” or “to struggle with God.” Jacob was renamed Israel after spending a night wrestling with God’s angels. Struggling and arguing with the idea of God is what characterizes man’s relationship with Him in the Torah. Abraham talks back to God, arguing humanity’s case. This perpetual shifting and negotiating, new reaching out to the Divine is mirrored in the way the Bible is put together and how Jews and Christians learn to study it. We wrestle with God by wrestling with the text, trying to assemble the pieces in new and better configurations, building on the sages who have come before us. In Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchk’s The Lonely Man of Faith he shows how this movement back and forth is built into man’s nature as reflected in the two creation stories in Genesis. Both describe man’s orientation to God and it is our challenge to shift back and forth between them.

In Islam the idea of man arguing with Allah or debating the proper interpretations of the holy text is blasphemous. In Arabic the word “Islam” means to submit to Allah.

While the Bible is a document made of numerous texts across the centuries depicting many mysterious and often conflicting understandings of God and competing schools of interpretation, the Koran purports to be the revelation of one prophet who supersedes all the others. And his book has an easy cheat system for how to make sense of conflicting passages: when two parts conflict, just go with the later prophecy. Abrogation! The practical result of this is that the violent, later prophecies are still in effect for Islam. And where did its doctrine of “struggle” manifest? In its call to wage Jihad. The struggle is not primarily with a transcendent deity, but to impose Shariah law — a Caliphate — onto the entire planet. There’s no mystery between man and Allah in the Koran, the relationship is clear: we are his slaves.

The more one studies the history, culture, and contemporary conflicts between Israel and Islamic states and Jihadists the more evidence one finds for this root breakdown between a free people and an enslaved people. Two of my most important guides in coming to grasp these issues have been P. David Hornik and Robert Spencer who I’ve had the pleasure of of editing each week for years. Today I present collections of their work together, Hornik based in Israel and providing analysis of the news in the Middle East and the cultures influencing it; and Spencer connecting the Koran with the actions of its modern day adherents today.

If there are themes you’d like to see David or Robert explore then please get in touch with your ideas: daveswindlepjm @ gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter.

Click here to read “Begin to Understand Islam With These 118 Robert Spencer Articles

One of the understandings of Israel I’ve drawn from David’s writings is the paradox of the culture: that Israel is both very religious and very secular and that the range of religious expression varies widely within the country. David rightfully posits that this tendency lies in the Torah itself. I start this collection of David’s work with his “Abraham Ancient and Modern” series. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

Last year a study of Israeli Jews found that 84 percent of them believe in God. It came as a surprise to many. Israeli Jewry is commonly divided into “religious” and “secular” sectors, with the former making up only about 20 percent. It turns out, though, that a large majority of the “secular” are theists.

The “religious-secular” division of Israeli Jewry has roots in the Book of Exodus, which introduces laws about Sabbath observance, kosher eating, personal and ritual purity, and so on. “Religious” Jews in Israel are those who follow these laws — as further elaborated in subsequent books of the Bible, and interpreted and codified by the rabbinical tradition. “Secular” Jews in Israel usually follow some of the laws but are not committed to them as a whole.

For instance, and maybe most prototypically, “religious” Israelis stay home on the Sabbath, observing both the injunctions to “do no work” and “kindle no fire” on this day. Secular Israelis kindle their car engines and go for family outings, their Sabbath in some ways more similar to Sunday (the Jewish Sabbath falls on Saturday) in majority-Christian countries.

“Secular” Israelis, though, are mostly theists; they live in the Land of Israel and are usually committed to doing so, not infrequently to the point of life-threatening forms of army service; and they are generally responsive to the holiness of Jerusalem and other aspects of Jewish tradition. A “secular Israeli” myself for almost three decades, I’ve long thought that the “secular” or “nonreligious” tag fails to do justice to a more complex, interesting reality.

Looking beyond the Book of Exodus to the book that precedes it — Genesis, and especially one of its central characters, Abraham — may offer richer and more affirmative ways to think about the issue.

Click here to continue reading “Abraham, Part 1: Are ‘Secular Israelis’ Really Secular?.” In David’s own approach and body of work he embodies this approach too. This collection contains both the secular in his news articles and political polemics and series on the world’s worst purveyors of antisemitism, to the religious with his series on Jewish holidays, to the territory in between with his skeptical but sympathetic series on the emerging science of near death experiences.

I hope that through this collection more can come to appreciate David’s inspiring worldview and see how they can apply his insights about life in Israel to their own journey through the sacred and secular.

Abraham Ancient And Modern Series

  1. Abraham, Part 1: Are ‘Secular Israelis’ Really Secular?
  2. Abraham, Part 2: God’s Gadfly or Meek Servant?
  3. Abraham, Part 3: Do You Have to Marry a Jewish Girl?
  4. Abraham, Part 4: Does Holiness Get Lost in the Fog of War?
  5. Abraham, Part 5: Can The ‘Wild Man’ Ishmael Be Tamed?

Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations?

  1. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 1: The Whole World Against Us
  2. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 2: That Bird Could Be a Mossad Agent!
  3. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 3: From Woodstock to the Promised Land
  4. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 4: Why Is Israel So Lousy at Making Its Case?
  5. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 5: Whichever It Is, I’ve Married It
  6. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 6: Europe Loves Jews, Just Hates Judaism and Israel
  7. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 7: Syrians in Israeli Hospitals Fear ‘Monster-Jews’
  8. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 8: Jerusalem Dig Strikes Rare Gold

Near Death Experiences

  1. What Near-Death Experiences Tell Us
  2. Near-Death Experiences: Two Books Provide More Compelling Evidence
  3. Near-Death Experiences—A New Take on Life, Part 1: Sam Parnia Explains Where the Field Is Leading
  4. What if They Gave a Review of Your Life and You Had to Come?
  5. Introducing: A Deity Who Makes Sense
  6. Near-Death Experiences—A New Take on Life, Part 4: Brian Miller’s Case Challenges the Skeptics
  7. Near-Death Experiences, a New Take on Life, Part 5: Can God and Evil Be Reconciled?
  8. 4 Amazing Facts Suggesting the Mind Can Exist Independent of the Brain
  9. ‘I’-Sight: When the Blind-from-Birth Can Fully See During Near-Death Experiences

 

Israel

  1. 4 Amazing Archaeological Finds in Israel This Past Year
  2. 4 Reasons Israel’s Future Looks Bright as the New Jewish Year Begins
  3. Farewell to a Fighter: Meir Har-Zion, Larger-than-Life Israeli Legend, Dies at 80
  4. Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day
  5. Israeli Independence Day, 2014
  6. Israel’s Embattled Pro-Israel Priest
  7. Israel’s First Astronaut: A Tale of Tragedy and Miracle
  8. ‘Nakba’ Concentrates Israeli Minds
  9. Obama’s Full-Court Press on Israel
  10. 5 Reasons Why Liberal Jews Will Never Support Israel
  11. A Review of David Solway’s The Boxthorn Tree
  12. 5 Ways Israel Keeps the Peace in the Middle East
  13. 5 of the Latest, Dumbest Statements About Israel by Jewish Liberals
  14. Why Is Washington Enraged Over More Homes for Jews in Jerusalem?

 

War in the Middle East

  1. Goldstone’s Mea Culpa and Israel’s Wars
  2. 3 Kidnapped Boys, But the Usual Cold Shoulder
  3. Israel Buries Sons, Mulls Response
  4. The 10 Most Disturbing Palestinian Propaganda Videos
  5. The Insane Hamas War
  6. 6 Videos That Show the Truth About the War in Gaza
  7. Why Israel Defeated—But Didn’t Crush—Hamas
  8. Next Round—Islamic State Vs. Israel?

 

Jewish Holidays

  1. The Shavuot Holiday in Israel: Joy in the Law, Joy in the Land
  2. Purim: A Wacky Tribute to Life
  3. 4 Things to Get Liberated From This Passover
  4. Tu Bishvat, Israel’s Holiday of Trees
  5. Chanukah: The Triumph of Light
  6. Simchat Torah: Dancing and Singing with the Law
  7. Sukkot, the Autumn Harvest Festival
  8. Israel on Yom Kippur: Renewing Life Amid Traumas of the Past
  9. In Israel, a Rosh Hashanah of Apples and Gas Masks

 

Israeli Women

  1. Israeli Women, Part 1: Ace Pilots Reporting for Duty
  2. Israeli Women, Part 2: Island of Progress in a Dark Sea
  3. Israeli Women, Part 3: The Jews’ Iron Lady, Golda Meir
  4. Israeli Women, Part 4: Great Ladies of Hebrew Song

Relationships

  1. Simone by Starlight: How to Lose a ‘Date’ But Gain the World
  2. Simone by Sunlight: Can People-Pleasing Save a Romance?
  3. 4 Things You Should Never Do to Find Lasting Love
  4. 4 Signs That You’re on the Way to Lasting Love

 

Life Reflections and Advice

  1. Memories and Mysteries of a Friend Dead at 40
  2. Sacred Places: Real, or Do We Make Them Up?
  3. What I See at the Secret Hour
  4. Why the Beasts Fail to Understand Israeli Happiness
  5. American? Israeli? Who Am I?
  6. How I Became a Conservative
  7. 3 Tips for Falling Asleep at Night
  8. 10 Ways My Life Improved Since I Moved to Israel
  9. 5 Realizations as My 60th Birthday Draws Near
  10. My Murdered Friend
  11. The 12-Step Guide for the Recovering Obama Voter

 

Music, Art and Culture

  1. Goodbye, Literature
  2. 4 Old, Dreamy Songs
  3. 3 Unwritten Short Stories Still Haunting This Ex-Fiction Writer
  4. The Wonder and Beauty of Israel’s Old, Old Mosaics
  5. How Great Jazz Artists Express a Peculiar Kind of Hebrew Happiness
  6. Master of Music, Bungler of Life
  7. David Solway’s Musical Debut: Blood Guitar and Other Tales
  8. Habibi: A Moroccan Poet Sings to His Love

 

The Ten Worst U.S, Purveyors of Antisemitism

 

The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide

 

Check out these previous compilations of PJ Lifestyle’s best writers:

  1. 100 Compelling Health and Medicine Questions Answered by Theodore Dalrymple

  2. 125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson

  3. These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

  4. 136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.

  5. 116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen

  6. 194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

  7. Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture

  8. 15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois

 

Read bullet |

Begin to Understand Islam With These 118 Robert Spencer Articles

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

spencer1

Israel and Islam. What is it that really divides the the two, keeping the children of Jacob and Ishmael in perpetual war?

It turns out the difference stares us in the face, at the root of the words themselves. Clarity in understanding the wars of the Middle East comes when grasping the words in the original languages, Hebrew and Arabic, a point Dennis Prager explains in his book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

In Hebrew the word “Israel” means to “wrestle with God” or “to struggle with God.” Jacob was renamed Israel after spending a night wrestling with God’s angels. Struggling and arguing with the idea of God is what characterizes man’s relationship with Him in the Torah. Abraham talks back to God, arguing humanity’s case. This perpetual shifting and negotiating, new reaching out to the Divine is mirrored in the way the Bible is put together and how Jews and Christians learn to study it. We wrestle with God by wrestling with the text, trying to assemble the pieces in new and better configurations, building on the sages who have come before us. In Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchk’s The Lonely Man of Faith he shows how this movement back and forth is built into man’s nature as reflected in the two creation stories that start Genesis. Both describe man’s orientation to God and it is our challenge to shift back and forth between them.

In Islam the idea of man arguing with Allah or debating the proper interpretations of the holy text is blasphemous. In Arabic the word “Islam” means to submit to Allah.

While the Bible is a document made of numerous texts across the centuries depicting many mysterious and often conflicting understandings of God and competing schools of interpretation, the Koran purports to be the revelation of one prophet who supersedes all the others. And his book has an easy cheat system for how to make sense of conflicting passages: when two parts conflict, just go with the later prophecy. Abrogation! The practical result of this is that the violent, later prophecies are still in effect for Islam. And where did its doctrine of “struggle” manifest? In its call to wage Jihad. The struggle is not primarily with a transcendent deity, but to impose Shariah law — a Caliphate — onto the entire planet. There’s no mystery between man and Allah in the Koran, the relationship is clear: we are his slaves.

The more one studies the history, culture, and contemporary conflicts between Israel and Islamic states and Jihadists the more evidence one finds for this root breakdown between a free people and an enslaved people. Two of my most important guides in coming to grasp these issues have been P. David Hornik and Robert Spencer who I’ve had the pleasure of of editing each week for the past few years. Today I present collections of their work together, Hornik based in Israel and providing analysis of the news in the Middle East and the cultures influencing it; and Spencer connecting the Koran with the actions of its most zealous modern day adherents.

If there are themes you’d like to see David or Robert explore then please get in touch with your ideas: daveswindlepjm @ gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter.

Click here to read “100 Visions Of the Sacred and Secular in Israel From P. David Hornik”

Last year, inspired by James C. Bennett and Michael Lotus’s America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century—Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, I argued that the history of the conservative movement could be understood in terms of three phases, each defined by the most serious threat to the country, and one writer-activist in particular provided an intellectual foundation: “Robert Spencer’s Vital Role in Creating Conservatism 3.0

The 1.0/2.0/3.0 Bennett-Lotus model is applicable beyond the broad scope of their book. As America itself goes through the shifts from one era to the next so too do the cultures and institutions within it. So I will apply it to one of my preoccupations, political ideology. How does this sound?

Conservatism 1.0 = The Old Right, those who fought against the expansion of the federal government and US entry into World War II, often referred to as isolationists. This ideology was soundly refuted by US victory over the Axis. It turns out that foreign policy ideologies that assume muskets and months to sail across the Atlantic have limited utility in post-Hiroshima worlds. The heirs of this tradition today are the so-called paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan) and paleo-libertarians (Ron Paul) and their stealth advocate who has duped Republicans and infiltrated the Tea Party, Rand Paul. (My ax-grinding against all three will continue for the foreseeable future. These people should have been cast out of polite society long ago so they’d have more time to spend with their Holocaust-denying buddies.)

Conservatism 2.0 = The New Right, built by William F. Buckley Jr. and Barry Goldwater and institutionalized at the presidential level by Ronald Reagan. While adapting the Old Right’s traditionalism and opposition to the New Deal, the big shift came in reacting to the new foreign policy reality threatening human freedom: Soviet imperialism. The battle against murderous Marxism was what really animated Buckley, Goldwater, and Reagan more than anything else. (It was in reading the extraordinary Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America that this started to become more apparent.)

So I’ve come to conclude that what we call “the conservative movement” was really just the political/cultural wing of what began as anti-communism. Thus, the reason for the degradation of Conservatism 2.0 is that with anti-communism as the primary base the ideological tent could widen to bring in people who do not actually believe in American values. Opposing the Soviets for one reason or another does not require one to be an advocate of America’s founding principles. Thus with the removal of the Soviet threat — only for a time really, of course… — the Reagan coalition has collapsed as each faction now squabbles for power and attention.

Conservatism 3.0 = As anti-communism created Conservatism 2.0, Robert Spencer’s counter-jihad movement will provide a foundational justification for the shift to Conservatism 3.0. As previous generations were fueled by reports of the horrors within Marxist slave states, today the truth about Shariah slave states will gradually bring together people across cultures, borders, and ideologies. And I say Robert Spencer’s counter-jihad movement because he has been a leader in this war for over a decade, documenting not just what is happening but explaining why.

In my years knowing Robert and editing his work, I’ve gradually come to see that the depth of this war is actually deeper than any America has ever experienced. The Nazis and Communists were the 20th century’s institutionalization of 19th century European ideologies based in class and race. But this is a conflict that predates the colonization of the North American continent. I’ve come to see that it’s vital not just to understand the history of Islam and what the Koran teaches, but the central role that they’ve had in provoking the creation of our nation centuries before we existed. What initially inspired Westward exploration? Islam shutting off the trade routes to the East. We exist today because our ancestors would rather try and go around the Jihadists than to defeat them militarily.

In starting this collection of Robert’s PJ Media and PJ Lifestyle articles we begin with his all-time most popular article, one that received over 100,000 pageviews, “5 Ways Muslims Have Contributed to ‘Building the Very Fabric of Our Nation’“:

Last Sunday, in his message congratulating Muslims on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Barack Obama wrote: “Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.” That’s right: he said “manyachievements and contributions.” I could only think of five. Maybe you will be able to think of some more.

5. Getting us here in the first place

This one predates the United States as a nation, but without it, the United States would not exist. Every schoolchild knows, or used to know, that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America while searching for a new, westward sea route to Asia. But why was he searching for a new route to Asia? Because the fall of Constantinople to the Muslims in 1453 closed the trade routes to the East. This was devastating for European tradesmen, who had until then traveled to Asia for spices and other goods by land. Columbus’s voyage was trying to ease the plight of these merchants by bypassing the Muslims altogether and making it possible for Europeans to reach India by sea.

So the bellicosity and intransigence of Islam ultimately opened the Americas for Europe – and made the United States possible.

Continue page 2 of the article here. To further grasp the chasm of differences between Western and Koranic values, consider the first of several series in this collection, a group of 13 articles in which Robert focused on how Islam molds men and women differently in its family structure. Also see Robert’s “Jazz and Islam” series which I’ve included next — these fights go well beyond the religious, political, and military realms, manifesting in how the competing civilizations regard art and the most intimate aspects of human life. Over the years Robert has consistently shined a light on these difficult truths, being banned from Great Britain and vilified even by self-proclaimed conservatives for his refusal to shut up as humans suffer. I hope with this collection if you may have shrugged off Robert’s interpretation of Islam in the past you’ll give him another chance.

How Islam Affects the Family and Male/Female Relationships

  1. Straight-Arrow Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Mama’s Boy
  2. How Mothers from Hell Raise Their Boys to Do Evil
  3. Why The Sword of Islam Cuts Apart Families
  4. Will Islam Make a Man Out of You?
  5. The Muslim Family: An Empire of Fear
  6. Can Parents’ Divorce Push a Teen to Join Al-Qaeda?
  7. Would You Strangle a Cop for Giving Your Wife a Ticket?
  8. Proving Their Manhood in Syria
  9. My Son Jihad: Glorifying Evil in France
  10. ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children
  11. Teaching Children Jihad in Dagestan
  12. How 10-Year-Old Boys Learn to Slaughter Infidels in Syria
  13. The 7 Ways Islam Kills Romance

The Real War on Women

  1. The Silent Tragedy of Child Marriage
  2. What Would It Take for You to Kill Someone You Love?
  3. Why It May Be Easy for Huma Abedin to Stand by Her Man
  4. Could the Rape Jihad Come to America?
  5. Canada (and the U.S.) Welcome Polygamy
  6. Child Marriage Comes to Australia
  7. Burned Alive for $47
  8. Daughters of the Jihad Death Cult
  9. 5 New Hashtags for Michelle Obama
  10. 7 Reasons Why the Oklahoma Beheading Has Everything to Do with Islam

The Jazz and Islam Series

  1. Why Did Lenin and Muhammad Hate Music?
  2. 5 Exhilarating Jazz Improvisations to Unshackle Your Spirit
  3. Blues for Sayyid Qutb
  4. 5 Jazz Women We Love
  5. John Coltrane and Bilal Philips: Two Converts’ Paths
  6. The Questions Nobody Wants to Ask About ‘Moderate Islam’
  7. James Holmes: It Serves Him Right to Suffer
  8. Innovators: 6 Unique Jazz Performances That Will Blow Your Mind
  9. How Miles Davis and John Coltrane Ruined Jazz
  10. Why So Many Jazz Musicians Converted to a Heretical Form of Islam
  11. No More Music for Muslims: The Spiritual Journey of Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Terrorism and Jihad

  1. See No Jihad: U.S. Still Treating Fort Hood Jihadis as Criminals
  2. The Real Lesson of Benghazi
  3. ‘Islamophobia’ and the Latest New York Jihad Plot
  4. 8 Reasons You Aren’t Safer than You Were 4 Years Ago
  5. Obama’s Dangerous Fantasy of Al-Qaeda Defeated
  6. Pork No, Killing Infidels Sí
  7. The National Guardsman’s Jihad
  8. 5 Things the National Guard Jihadist Wants You to Know About Islam
  9. 5 Things You Should Know About the Latest Military Jihadist
  10. 5 Truths the 9/11 Museum Should Tell About 9/11
  11. 8 Signs That ISIS Will Strike in the U.S. Soon
  12. 5 New Signs of the West’s Myopia About the Jihad Threat
  13. 4 Freedoms at Stake in Our Defense Against Jihad
  14. 10 Things We Should Have Done Since 9/11 to Defeat the Jihad
  15. 10 Acts of Jihad in America That Americans Haven’t Heard About
  16. 6 Reasons Why the U.S. Should Not Arm the Syrian ‘Moderates’

What Is Stealth Jihad?

  1. Investigate Radical Christianity!
  2. McCarthyism and Mohamed Elibiary
  3. Why Is the Pentagon Listening to Hamas-Linked CAIR?
  4. DC Comics Mainstreaming ‘Islamophobia’
  5. Obama’s Islamic Supremacist Human Rights Rep
  6. How Muslims Celebrated Islamophobia Awareness Month
  7. The Ground Zero Mosque and Media Sleight of Hand
  8. #MyJihad: CAIR’s New Twitter Campaign to Whitewash Islam
  9. The Jihad Against Christmas
  10. A Subway Murder and the ‘Islamophobia’ Industry
  11. Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger…
  12. What Is the Difference Between ‘Extremist’ and ‘Moderate’ Muslim Brothers?
  13. 4 Muslims Who Deserve to Be Under Surveillance
  14. 6 Elements of ‘Extremist’ Islam That ‘Moderate’ Muslims Endorsed as They Condemned the Islamic State

Antisemitism

  1. Islamic Antisemitism Enters American Electoral Politics
  2. The Worldwide Rise of Islamic Antisemitism
  3. Would a Palestinian State Bring Peace?
  4. Obama Throws Israel to the Wolves
  5. 7 Reasons Why the Palestinians Don’t Occupy the Moral High Ground
  6. 5 New Muslim Calls for Genocide of the Jews
  7. 6 Ugly Signs of Resurgent Worldwide Antisemitism

Europe

  1. Yes, You Can Tell the Truth About Jihad Violence in Britain (As Long As You’re For It)
  2. 5 Books That Will Get You Banned From Britain
  3. The 5 Latest Signs of Britain’s Imminent Demise
  4. Who Lost Britain? 14 Culprits

Censorship

  1. Is It Still Possible to Question Islam?
  2. Suicide of the Western Media
  3. The Muhammad Movie Riots
  4. U.S. Imams Call for Restricting Free Speech
  5. 2013: The Death of Free Speech
  6. Too Cowardly To Print Muhammad Cartoons?
  7. Building Bridges Between Christians and Muslims: A Case Study
  8. Conan O’Brien Discovers: Muslim Polygamy Is No Joke
  9. 5 Ways the Islamic War on Free Speech Advanced Last Week
  10. 5 Muslim Movie Reviews
  11. 5 New Victories for Muslim Enemies of Free Speech
  12. 5 Things the Media and Government Won’t Tell You About Boko Haram

Reza Aslan

  1. Why Reza Aslan’s Christian Relatives and Friends Aren’t Trying to Kill Him
  2. 5 Falsehoods in Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
  3. The Hypocrisy of the Left’s Commitment to ‘Peacemaking’
  4. 3 Times I Was Framed for Murder – And How You Can Be, Too
  5. 5 Ways Bill Maher Is Right and Reza Aslan Wrong About Islam

Hypocrisy

  1. The Media’s Double Standard for Muslims
  2. The New Left Fascists
  3. The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam
  4. The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism
  5. The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women
  6. The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians
  7. The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death
  8. The Hypocrisy of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR’s ‘Islamophobic List’
  9. The Hypocrisy of the Huffington Post’s Praise of Muhammad
  10. The Hypocrisy of the Media Whitewash of Islamic Blasphemy Charges
  11. 5 Islamic Scholars Who Say They’d Demolish Me in Debate – But Don’t Dare Try

Shariah

  1. Muslim Journalist Challenges Sharia, Gets Accused of ‘Hate’
  2. Is Michael Bloomberg Secretly a Muslim?
  3. Muslims vs. Archaeology
  4. U.S. Army Solution to Afghan Attacks: ‘Avoid Arrogance,’ ‘Respect Islam’
  5. Now that the U.S. Is an Islamic State…
  6. Algerian Jihadists Wanted to ‘Teach the Americans What Islam Is’
  7. When Slaves Choose Their Slavery
  8. The Persecution No One Dares Name
  9. ‘It Never Occurred to Us that Muslim Neighbors Would Betray Us…’
  10. Behead First, Ask Questions Later
  11. 5 Sharia Atrocities for Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres to Protest
  12. 5 Stories from Last Week Revealing Sharia’s Spread in the West
  13. 5 Ways the Quran Explains Today’s Headlines
  14. 5 Non-Muslims Who Know More About Islam than the Caliph of the Islamic State

An excerpt from the appendix of Not Peace But a Sword summarizes the difference between Islamic and Biblical values:

 

****

Check out these previous compilations of PJ Lifestyle’s best writers:

  1. 100 Compelling Health and Medicine Questions Answered by Theodore Dalrymple

  2. 125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson

  3. These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

  4. 136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.

  5. 116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen

  6. 194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

  7. Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture

  8. 15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois

Read bullet |

10 Ways to Avoid Regretting Your Wedding

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The average wedding in America costs roughly $30,000. Egged on by countless wedding TV shows, magazines, and websites, people throw what appear to be pseudo star-studded events that aim to rival the kind of blow-out parties you only see in movies. In the end you wind up with one night of clouded memories, a ton of photos, and a group of hungover people hovering over breakfast in the hotel lobby the next day. The bills may last you months, even upwards of a year. And for what? To make your grandmother happy? Because you really liked that episode of My Fair WeddingYou can have a great, regret-free wedding without sacrificing yourself to the Wedding Idol. Here’s how.

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Atlas Shrugged in 7 minutes: Saving You 47 Hours, 21 Minutes, and Perhaps Your Very Soul

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn RandI just read Atlas Shrugged. It was my third attempt in 20 years. It took me five weeks of fierce determination. If you’ve mulled reading the book, I may be able to add precious days to your span on this mortal coil. (WARNING: The rest of this little essay is pure, unalloyed spoiler.)

Dagny Taggart runs a transcontinental railroad company. Dagny is slim, elegant, bold. In her spare time, she’s writing a 1,168-page novel in which she has sex with three different slim, elegant, bold men. She’s not a slut, mind you, nor horny as a rabbit during the rut.

No, she has sex with each man because she agrees with his philosophy, best summarized thus: I am the most important being in the universe, and my pleasure is the goal of the universe, so leave me alone.

Dagny has sex in her youth with Francisco D’Anconia, heir to an historic copper fortune and the richest man on earth, who’s also writing a 1,168-page novel.

Dagny has sex repeatedly with Hank Rearden, a rich (unhappily married) steel magnate, who, in his spare time, is writing a 1,168-page novel.

And finally, Dagny has sex with John Galt, the most interesting man in the world (who’s not pushing Dos Equis), but  who IS writing an 1,168-page novel which, like the others’, contains a mix of economics, philosophy, daily news and sex. It’s basically the Huffington Post, in book form.

Galt has worked as a laborer for Dagny’s company for 12 years, in the same building as she, though Dagny doesn’t know it. In his spare time, Galt works to shut down the economy of the entire world by getting a handful of effective producers to abandon their life’s work and to defect to Galt’s Gulch, an idyllic hideaway in the mountains.

Is it just coincidence that each svelte, ingenious, wealthy member of this foursome has all of this amazing perfect sex while running his or her massive business, and writing a 1,168-page novel?

No, not coincidence: It’s Ayn Rand.

Miss Rand (whose first name is pronounced any way you please) is the author of a 1,168-page novel called Atlas Shrugged. She’s her own inspiration for each of these characters. So, in a very real sense, Atlas Shrugged is about a svelte genius who wants to be left alone, to fantasize about an industrial Utopia while having sex with herself.

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