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Jesus said …what?
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to alienate a man from his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." (Matt. 10:34-35; also see Micah 7: 5-6)
Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice LAWLESSNESS!' (Matt. 7: 21-23)
"Well did Isaiah prophecy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For LAYING ASIDE THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, you hold the tradition of men. (Mark 7: 6-8)
Then His Disciples asked Him, saying, "What does this parable mean?" And He (Jesus) said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that, seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand."
Likewise the soldiers asked him (Jesus), saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."
"Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you." (Jesus) Matt. 7: 6
But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me. (Jesus; Parable of the Minas, Luke 19:27)
I saw pro-life women as misinformed ultra-conservatives who groveled at the feet of their husbands and couldn’t think for themselves. Until I met some.
The 4th annual Pro-life Women’s Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, ended this past weekend. Hosted by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, the conference was sold out with 800 attendees and dozens of sponsors in attendance. I was blessed to share my story on a panel with five other post-abortive women.
Before my abortion, I had a warped preconception about the character of pro-life women. Convinced they were all judgmental, self-righteous, and filled with little concern for my wellbeing, I preferred not to associate with them. I saw them as women who were misinformed, ultra-conservative, groveling at the feet of their husbands, women who had picket signs attached to their uteruses, carried fetal models in their purses at all times, and had no sense of style, including big, Texan hair.
I wanted nothing to do with them. The stereotype in my mind was a huge reason I chose to call myself pro-choice and eventually chose abortion. I didn’t want to talk like these women or dress like them. I certainly didn’t want their lifestyle. I didn’t want to ally with women who didn’t care about other women; I thought they were only concerned with indoctrinating women and echoing restrictive narratives given to them by men.
I became pro-life about five minutes after my baby was painfully sucked out of my body. That was over 20 years ago. I could’ve cared less at that point what the pro-life women looked like, smelled like, or talked like. I just knew that the pro-choice women who looked all cool in their bra-less halters and flat hair ruined my life with their bait-and-switch rhetoric. They baited me into a lie in minimizing the after-effects of the abortion experience, and then when I said, “Hey, what was that?” they grew silent and didn’t look so cool anymore.
I didn’t tell anyone about my abortion, and I didn’t find healing until ten years ago. When it came time to pick up the pieces and reconcile over my abortion, I found that the big-haired pro-life women were the ones who came running to my side to pick me up off the floor. Pro-life women are not what I expected.
Pro-life women break the old stereotype. For example, did you know this about pro-life women?
- A considerable percentage have had abortions.
- Many have worked for Planned Parenthood.
- Pro-life women come from all different religions and races.
- Some are vegetarians or gluten-free.
- Some have lots of kids, others a few, and some none.
- Some have tattoos and purple hair.
- There are pro-life women from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and even, gasp, New York.
- There are pro-life atheists, lesbians, Jews, and even Democrats!
- Some pro-life women have Louis Vuitton purses, and others throw their stuff in diaper bags or Target shopping bags.
- Pro-life nuns can demonstrate how to eat crawfish then later preach on the sanctity of life.
- Pro-life women have a sense of humor and will take selfies wearing crowns.
- Pro-life women love profoundly and are intensely passionate about all women—especially those who need to be healed from abortion.
Johnson is a strong pro-life advocate. She is unwavering in her advocacy, bold in her presentation, and relentless in her pursuit of revealing the atrocity that is abortion. Her voice will continue to be heard and amplified.
While Planned Parenthood may be threatened and concerned by her advocacy, they are about to be even more dumbfounded when the strong and articulate women who congregated this weekend speak out even more boldly than Abby has. Johnson’s friends are just getting started.
She has inspired a courageous force of women. There are books being written, new nonprofits being formed, movies coming out, and thousands of post-abortive women speaking out. The weird thing about pro-life women is that they are more powerful than all of the armies of pro-choice marches because they carry the weapons of truth: abortion does not empower women.
Pro-life women don’t live up to the stereotype. They come from everywhere. Some do have big Texan hair, and some have hair that sticks to the side of our faces from the New Orleans humidity (present company guilty). This year alone they have successfully fought to close abortion facilities, change policy, open pregnancy clinics, make pro-life movies, heal women after abortion, find new jobs for abortion workers, cry and pray with women, meet with the U.S. president, educate abortion-minded women, and save the lives of babies.
The weird thing about pro-life women is that, contrary to what the media would have you think, their numbers are growing. They aren’t backing down. No matter how they look or where they come from, they are passionately winning the fight against abortion, and Planned Parenthood knows it.
I, for one, am now so proud to call myself a pro-life woman.
Deanna Falchook is the author of “To Be a Mother” and the soon-to-be released “The Cinderella Mindset.” Deanna’s work has been featured in Charisma, Breitbart, 700Club, EWTN, and Faithwire. Deanna is the mom of 7 children (5 internationally adopted) and lives near Disneyworld in Orlando. You can contact Deanna on facebook.com/deannafalchook or Twitter @deannafalchook.
Article from The Federalist: https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/28/learned-pro-life-women-abortion/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=90116c23cc-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-90116c23cc-84065231
by Gary DeMar
Michael Brown has published a good article on abortion and the Bible: “Are There Really Verses in the Bible That Support Abortion?” It’s worthwhile reading. It’s a relatively short article and covers a lot of ground.
Brown writes the following about a critical text about abortion:
The question, then, is simple: Does the Torah consider the unborn baby to be a human life, in which case any harm done to the baby will be repaid in kind (as in eye for eye, etc.)? Or does the Torah consider the unborn baby to be more like a possession (say, like a cow or a lamb), in which case a miscarriage is not equivalent to murder?
There is serious debate among Hebrew scholars concerning this, and while I personally lean strongly towards the translation found in the ESV (compare the NET’s “and her child is born prematurely”), we can’t be absolutely dogmatic.
I also prefer the English Standard Version’s translation because it’s a literal translation: “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman so that her children come out…” Not all translations translate the passage literally.
Jacob Shelton, writing for Weird History, claims that the translation of Exodus 21:22-25 was altered to support the GOP and the Christian Right because of its anti-abortion stance. Here’s his line of argument:
In the 1975 version of the New American Standard Bible, the verse read: “And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is not further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide.”
In 1995, the verse was changed to read: “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury…“
The words were changed in the 1995 version in order to make it so the fetus doesn’t die in the verse, thus supporting the Christian Right’s pro-life message that killing a fetus is the same as killing a human, and the Bible says so.
Shelton may be “a know it all when it comes to horror movies, serial killers, government conspiracies, comic books, and movies about comic books,” as he describes himself, but he does not know much about the Bible and Bible translations.
The goal of translating the Bible into another language is to make it as accurate, readable, and as assessable as possible for people who can’t read the original languages. Every translation has gone through revisions, even the KJV. In fact, every new translation that is published is an attempt to make the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek a better translation. Some translations try to do this by smoothing out the original language to get the essence of the meaning while others try to be as literal as possible without being wooden. That’s why you will see in some translations (e.g., KJV and NASB) words in italic to indicate that they are not in the original language. They are added to make a passage more understandable.
Let’s put Mr. Shelton’s claim that the NASB editors changed its translation of Exodus 21:22 for political reasons to the test:
First, Exodus 21:22–25 deals with a judicial case where two men struggle (fight) with each other. We are not told why they are fighting. A pregnant woman is standing near enough that she is affected by the altercation. She goes into premature labor. This case law covers all the “cases,” everything from no harm to the mother and her prematurely born children (plural) to harm resulting in death to the mother and one or more of her unborn children.
Second, the woman is not deciding to have an abortion. At one level, it’s an accident that she goes into labor. At another level, however, the men should not have been fighting, so there is some liability. The woman could be the wife of one of the men.
Third, the text is clear, she is pregnant with at least one child: “And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child. . .” (Ex. 21:22). The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon defines hareh as a pregnant woman with child. It’s clear that she is not carrying around a mass of undefined tissue that becomes a human being when “it” exits the sanctuary of the womb.
Fourth, the Bible attributes self-consciousness to unborn babies, something that modern medicine has studied and acknowledged. Jacob and Esau “struggled together within” their mother’s womb (Gen. 25:22). The New Testament offers a similar glimpse into prenatal consciousness: “And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). “Struggling” and “leaping” are the result of consciousness. Jacob and Esau fighting inside the womb is indicative of their continued fighting outside the womb. John leaps in reaction to Mary’s pregnancy.
Fifth, some commentators claim that in Exodus 21:22 the death of a “fetus,” either accidentally or on purpose, is nothing more than a property crime rather than the killing of a human being. The Bible teaches otherwise. The original Hebrew reads: “And if men struggle with each other and strike a pregnant woman so that her children [yeled] come out….” Notice that the text uses the word “children,” not “products of conception.” The Hebrew word for “children” in this verse is used in other contexts to designate a child already born. For example, in Exodus 2:6 we read: “When Pharaoh’s daughter opened [the basket], she saw the child [yeled], and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children [yeled].’” Since in the Exodus case these are “children that come out,” they are persons, not body parts like an appendix or a kidney.
Sixth, if there is no injury to these individuals—the mother and her prematurely delivered child or children—then there is no penalty. If there is injury, then the judges must decide on an appropriate penalty based on the extent of the injury either to the mother and/or her children because both are persons in terms of biblical law.
Seventh, some translations have “so that she has a miscarriage.” As Shelton points out, the translators of 1977 edition of the New American Standard Bible used “miscarriage.” The 1995 translation is better (“she gives birth prematurely”), but it still does not capture the literal rendering of the Hebrew. In a marginal note, the NASB translators recognize that the literal meaning of the text is “her children come out.”
It’s frustrating to read translations that include marginal notes telling us what it really says literally. Translate it literally, and then use the margin to offer an explanation if needed. Other translations have a more word-for-word translation, for example, the ESV. Here’s another example:
When men get in a fight and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born [prematurely] but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment (Holman Christian Standard Bible).
Notice that it’s “so that her children are born.” Here’s another from Young’s Literal Translation (1898):
And when men strive, and have smitten a pregnant woman, and her children have come out, and there is no mischief, he is certainly fined, as the husband of the woman doth lay upon him, and he hath given through the judges.
Note the date (1898), long before there was a Christian Right, long before abortion became a national moral tragedy when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973.
Eighth, there are two Hebrew words that fit the circumstances of miscarriage or premature birth: “There shall be no one miscarrying [shakal] or barren in your land” (Ex. 23:26; also, Hosea 9:14). The Hebrew word for “miscarriage” was available to Moses since it appears just two chapters later.
Another example is found in Job: “Or like a miscarriage [nefel] which is discarded, I would not be” (Job 3:16). Meredith G. Kline offers a helpful summary of the passage:
This law found in Exodus 21:22–25 turns out to be perhaps the most decisive positive evidence in scripture that the fetus is to be regarded as a living person…. No matter whether one interprets the first or second penalty to have reference to a miscarriage, there is no difference in the treatments according to the fetus and the woman. Either way the fetus is regarded as a living person, so that to be criminally responsible for the destruction of the fetus is to forfeit one’s life…. The fetus, at any stage of development, is, in the eyes of this law, a living being, for life (nephesh) is attributed to it…. Consistently in the relevant data of Scripture a continuum of identity is evident between the fetus and the person subsequently born and Exodus 21:22–25 makes it clear that this prenatal human being is to be regarded as a separate and distinct human life.1
Umberto Cassuto, also known as Moshe David Cassuto (1883–1951), was a Jewish rabbi and biblical scholar born in Florence, Italy. In his commentary on Exodus, he presents an accurate translation of the passage based on the nuances of the Hebrew:
When men strive together and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child, and her children come forth but no mischief happens—that is, the woman and the children do not die—the one who hurts her shall surely be punished by a fine. But if any mischief happens, that is, if the woman dies or the children, then you shall give life for life.2
Note the date – 1967. Before Roe v. Wade and before the rise of the so-called Christian Right. Cassuto was a Jew and not a Christian.
Ninth, the King James Version takes a different translation approach, but it is consistent with the text that “children” are “coming out.” The KJV reads, “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine” (Ex. 21:22). The use of the word “fruit” is a descriptive euphemism for a child in the Old Testament (Gen. 30:2) and the New Testament (Luke 1:42). Elizabeth responded to Mary this way when she learned of Mary’s pregnancy:
And she spake out with a loud voice, and said,
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Mr. Shelton needs to do a bit more investigative digging before he publishes fake history as real history and fake exegesis as real exegesis.
Modern legal theory is schizophrenic. While a woman can choose to kill her unborn child, if a woman loses her child in the commission of a crime, the perpetrator can be charged with manslaughter if the unborn baby dies. This law has been changed in the very pro-abortion state of New York where cats have more rights than unborn babies.
“New York prides itself on being first,” said the bill’s sponsor in the state Assembly, Manhattan Democrat Linda Rosenthal, who said she expects other states to follow suit. “This will have a domino effect.”
Rosenthal also proposed a bill “to bar schools from conducting lessons that involve the hatching of animals.”
Here’s how the folks at Albany Update described Rosenthal’s inconsistency by protecting unhatched chickens but not unborn babies:
However, we find it bewildering that the Assembly-member is a co-sponsor of the abortion expansion bill known as the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). How can a person be so concerned about the plight of baby chicks (including chicks that have not yet hatched) and so unconcerned about the plight of baby humans?
Does it not seem abnormal and barbaric for women to be granted a special-right to kill their own child when there are so many other options that do not require the taking of a human life, for one’s own convenience? (GospelBBQ)
The famed economist and social theorist sat down to talk about race, discrimination, crime rates, and cultural attitude shifts.
By David Hogberg
A newly updated version of Thomas Sowell’s book, “Discrimination and Disparities,” came out this spring. The author and famed economist sat down with writer David Hogberg to talk about it and his life’s work.
David Hogberg: I want to read to you something that a currently very popular actress by the name of Brie Larson said at a recent awards show. She stated that, “USC Annenberg’s Inclusiveness Initiative released findings that 67 percent of the top critics reviewing the 100 highest grossing movies in 2017 were white males. Less than a quarter were white women and less than 10 percent were unrepresented men. Only 2.5 percent of those top critics were women of color. Now you’re probably thinking right now that … doesn’t represent the country I live in. And that’s true. This is a huge disconnect from the U.S. population breakdown of 30 percent white men, 30 percent white women, 20 percent men of color, and 20 percent women of color. So, why does that matter? … If you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will be able to see your movie and review your movie … We need to be conscious of our bias and do our part to make sure that everyone is in the room.”
That’s an example of the main fallacy that you expose in your book, correct?
Thomas Sowell: It’s one of the many fallacies. My God! We could play the same game with basketball and get even greater skewed representation. Blacks are the vast majority of basketball players in the NBA. That quote is downright silly.
What’s become so frustrating to me over the years is people who assume that if people or events are not evenly represented, then that’s some deviation from the norm. But you can read through reams of what scholars have written and find that nowhere is this norm to be found. You can read people like Gradell and others who have studied internationally various cultural events, and they say again and again that nowhere do they find a distribution of people who is representative of the population of the larger society.
Hogberg: What is the “Invincible Fallacy”?
Sowell: It’s what been illustrated by the example you mentioned. It’s the belief that people would be, in the normal course of events, proportionally represented in various endeavors in the way they are represented in the general population. And if that doesn’t happen it must be some kind of negative factor like either genetics or discrimination that is causing the deviation.
What’s frustrating is that I can come up with 100 examples to the contrary, but the people who believe in the fallacy do not have to produce even one example—not one speck of evidence from anywhere in the world over thousands of years of human history that what they are asserting is the norm has ever, in fact, happened.
For example, there is a book called “Why Nations Fail” that asks, why are there such economic disparities among nations? It compared the U.S. to Egypt and asked, why has Egypt failed? The authors wrote as though what happens in the U.S. is the norm. When, if anything, what happens in Egypt is closer to a norm. In any case, they are assuming that there is this natural tendency among nations that has somehow been thwarted in Egypt and therefore we must do something about that.
Hogberg: If you were to make a list of the causes of disparities with the most important causes being at the top of the list and the least important toward the bottom, where would discrimination be?
Sowell: I wouldn’t even attempt to rank them since there are so many causes. Just one that I mention in the first chapter of the book is being the first-born child in a family. First-born children tend to have higher IQs than their siblings. They are generally more successful in all sorts of endeavors, they tend to have higher incomes—you can run through the list. There are so many reasons for disparities that to single out one reason a priori is almost madness.
Hogberg: So what impact does discrimination have?
Sowell: It can have some negative effect. But that is the whole point. When you say A has a certain effect on B, it does not mean that every time you see B you can infer A. One example wholly away from economics or politics is that some children are years late, later than most children, in beginning to talk. Some of them have very severe mental retardation. Because there are many reasons that some children begin talking late does not mean that we can say that mental retardation has nothing to do with it. But there are other children who talked late and grew up to be intelligent and in some cases geniuses like Albert Einstein.
I didn’t write a book that says discrimination has no effect. There’d be no point in my writing a whole chapter on discrimination in the book if discrimination had no effect. I did write this book to say that disparities arise from all kinds of factors.
Sowell: Yes. The Jews are a classic example. So are the overseas Chinese. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. You could run through a long list of them.
Hogberg: How important is geography in affecting outcomes?
Sowell: Huge. Just one of the reasons it is important is the enormous difference in the cost of land transport versus water transport. One example I note in the book is that in the days of the Roman Empire you could ship cargo the length of the Mediterranean Sea, more than 2,000 miles, at a cost less than the cost of carting that same cargo 75 miles inland. So, if you lived 75 miles inland, you had nothing like the prosperity that you had on the coast.
And while modern transportation has eased some of that cost, it has by no means eliminated it. So even now, if you are born up in the mountains and someone else is born in the river valley, then the odds are huge against you of ever being as prosperous as that person born near the river.
Hogberg: Before I move on from our discussion the Invincible Fallacy, I want to briefly talk about genetic determinism. Today, the idea that difference between races is due solely to genetics is pretty much limited to the political fringes in the U.S. But 100 years ago it was huge among the intelligentsia, correct?
Sowell: Absolutely. For example, John Maynard Keynes set up the first eugenics society at Cambridge. And there were many others—Madison Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Harold Laski, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells. In fact, I just recently I was looking back over R.H. Tawney’s 1931 book “Equality.” He’s this great egalitarian who says in passing that there is proof of the genetic inferiority of certain peoples.
Hogberg: Now, regarding the practice of discrimination, in your book you note that even if, say, employers are racist and they want to discriminate in their hiring practices, there are often powerful forces that may prevent them from doing so. Can you explain?
Sowell: It depends on the context. If, for example, it is an industry operating in a labor market in which there is a chronic surplus of qualified job applicants, then it costs the employer nothing to turn away qualified applicants from groups he doesn’t like and instead hire people from groups he does like that are still qualified.
But you seldom have that in a free market because wages adjust over time. You may have temporary surpluses or shortages, but those things tend to self-correct. It is when you have something like the minimum wage law, where you raise the wage rate above where it would be in a free market. Therefore, you increase the amount of workers available to the industry but you reduce the quantity of workers that employers demand because labor is now more expensive. And so you create a chronic surplus of labor.
I go into detail about the minimum wage in the book. And what is fascinating to me is to look back to 1948, when, for all practical purposes, the minimum wage law didn’t apply because inflation had made all wages above what was specified in the law. At that time not only was unemployment as a whole a fraction of what it is today, there was no difference between the unemployment rate of black teenagers and white teenagers. Today that seems almost impossible to believe.
It’s only later on, when politicians started increasing the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and so on, that’s when the total unemployment of teenagers in general became some multiple of what it was in 1948. And that’s when a gap opened up between the unemployment rate of black teenagers and white teenagers.
So, the increase in unemployment among black teenagers was not due to racism, which was at least as great in 1948 as it is today. Rather, the cost of discrimination to the discriminator had changed. You lowered the cost of discrimination. As you would expect, you lower the cost and more is demanded.
Hogberg: There were even costs to discrimination in South Africa, correct?
Sowell: Even in South Africa. That was the classic case. And I use that example in the book instead of getting bogged down in these questions about how much racism exists and so forth. I deliberately picked the country where there is no question at all about the racism of the people in control of the country. Which is to say that the whites had openly proclaimed white supremacy. And yet in South Africa, there were occupations where the black workers outnumbered the white workers even though it was illegal to hire any black workers in that occupation. And this was not due to the white employers having different social views. Rather, the cost to them of not hiring blacks was just too high.
If I may, just the other day I came across an article about how employers setting up new factories in the United States have been deliberately locating those factories away from concentrations of black populations because they find it costlier to hire blacks than to hire whites with the same qualifications. The reason is that the way civil rights laws are interpreted, it is so easy to start a discrimination lawsuit which can go on for years and cost millions of dollars regardless of the outcome.
It makes no sense from a business standpoint to hire a black worker if a white worker can be hired with the same qualifications who can’t start a lawsuit. So what this suggests is that when you give some people special rights, those special rights have special costs, not only to other people but to the people with special rights.
Hogberg: Related to discrimination, you have a section where you note that Harlem, which was predominately white in the early 20th century, was less hostile toward blacks when it came to providing housing that blacks could afford than San Francisco is today. Please explain.
Sowell: The landlords of Harlem weren’t less hostile toward blacks, they were more hostile. The realtors and building owners were assuring the white tenants that they were not going to let any blacks move into Harlem and, thus, there was no reason for their tenants to leave. Well, as it turned out that was a bad prediction. And my point is the reason it failed was the cost to the discriminators.
Now, if every single realtor in Harlem had stood firm on not letting blacks into Harlem, then Harlem might not be black today. But even racists, who prefer one race to another by definition, tend to prefer themselves most of all. So if a landlord has a building where he is having trouble finding tenants at the prices he wants to charge, but he can find blacks willing to pay those prices, then he is not going to pass up that money. Most people would not. And once that process starts, it becomes costlier and costlier for the holdouts among landlords and realtors to continue holding out.
Now, in San Francisco, they have restricted the supply of housing by restricting the building of housing. And there is no cost—people who already own houses or apartment buildings can easily vote to restrict the building of more housing. That causes the price of existing housing to go up. So, by 2005, the number of blacks living in San Francisco was less than half of what it had been in 1970 even though the total population of the city had increased. And that’s because more and more blacks were priced out of the housing market and forced economically to leave San Francisco.
So I doubt there was anywhere near the amount of hostility toward blacks in San Francisco in the late 20th century as there was toward blacks in Harlem one hundred years earlier. But where the cost of discrimination was low, people discriminated and where it was high they had to give it up.
Hogberg: Let’s talk about crime. You write, “Statistics cited in support of claims that the police target blacks usually go no farther than showing that the proportion of black people arrested greatly exceeds the roughly 13 percent of the American population who are black.” Why is that charge misleading?
Sowell: It’s misleading because what is relevant is not the percentage of people in a population but the percentage of people who are doing a given thing, in this case committing crimes. As long as there has been data collected, the homicide rate among blacks has been some multiple of the homicide rate among whites. Among blacks and whites, murderers tend to kill people among their own race. It’s the one area where segregation still reigns. And so, therefore, the relevant comparisons are the number of black homicide victims as compared to white victims and the number of blacks arrested for homicide as compared to whites.
The media have this thing where they do not mention the race of people who commit a crime but they do mention the race of people who are punished for committing a crime. Well, just from that one inconsistency you can generate a whole range of outrageous rhetoric about how the cops are targeting blacks.
There have been studies, for example, of people who are speeding on the highway, and they show that blacks speed more than whites. Therefore, it is not at all surprising if the cops pull over more black motorists than white motorists. So the whole argument that cops are discriminating against blacks falls apart when you put facts into the equation. Unfortunately, there are lots of people who have great incentive to avoid putting facts into the equation.
Hogberg: In other books you talk about what you call the “cracker culture” among blacks. What is that, and how much does that have to do with the higher crime rates in black areas in the U.S.?
Sowell: It’s many things. It’s a culture that is far more violent. It is far less oriented around education or entrepreneurship. It puts far less emphasis on human capital. Andrew Carnegie once went down to Birmingham and saw iron ore and coal located very close to each other. He wondered why someone hadn’t thought to build a steel mill there. The transportation costs of bringing the coal and iron ore together would be relatively cheap.
But, of course, the people in Alabama were not the same as Andrew Carnegie. And even years later when they did develop a steel industry in the South, the more complicated things that had to been done with steel were still being done Pittsburgh and Gary, Indiana and other places in the North because they did not have the same skills in the South.
Now, the white population in the American South has had a higher violent crime rate than the white population of the rest of the country. Nor is this unusual. The murder rates in Eastern Europe have for centuries been some multiple of the murder rates in Western Europe. Like so many things that should theoretically be equal, they’re not, and they never have been.
Now, of course, over 90 percent of blacks in the U.S. came out of the South at some point in history. And so it’s not surprising that they bring many of the same cultural attitudes of Southern Whites to the North, East and wherever else they settle.
There is a whole history behind these things. But whatever the history, these groups were culturally different whether they were black or white or whatever.
Hogberg: You have a section on merit versus productivity, and you discuss the difficulties in judging merit in the sense of moral worth. Can you talk about that?
Sowell: Merit is the extent to which outcomes are due to the virtues of the particular individual compared to those circumstances the individual was born into or encountered in the larger world. I find it hard to believe that anyone specifically thinks that he can separate those things out in order to tell who is meritorious. Perhaps a mass murderer would have turned out to be a humanitarian under some other conditions, but we don’t know what those other conditions would be, and we certainly don’t know how to change him from a mass murderer into a humanitarian. And so we have to deal with things as they are.
What we can judge is productivity. We do know that someone will, say, produce a certain amount of a product per hour, while someone else will produce a lot more and someone else will produce a lot less. One of the problems of the political left is that they come up with things that they want to do, but pay very little attention to the key question of can you actually do those things? For example, wealth redistribution.
Those on the political left have no question in their minds that they can determine which rich people are unworthy and thus it is justifiable to confiscate wealth from them, and which poor people are worthy and should be given that wealth. One of the key problems for such schemes is that the source of wealth is human capital—the skills and knowledge about how to generate wealth.
Human capital is inside people’s heads and it can’t be confiscated. You can confiscate money and wealth and all the tangible things that you want to, but those things wear out over time. And unless you have someone there who can generate some more, you are worse off than before.
There are countries that have gone through that process and I mention some of them in the book. Some group in a country is prospering wonderfully and then a political leader says, well they have too much, we’ll take it from them. In some cases, they expel that group and in other cases, those people flee to a different country because they are tired of people taking their wealth.
Hogberg: Let me pose a related question. In Washington, D.C., there is the Trump International Hotel, owned by Donald Trump. People who stay there are certainly lining Donald Trump’s pockets. Now, Trump is certainly not a paragon of virtue. He has not been faithful to his wives for example, and he has at one time or another associated himself with vile people like Roy Cohn. What would you say to people who say it is immoral to book a room at Trump International Hotel?
Sowell: Is it immoral to buy a Volkswagen because Hitler was one of those promoting the Volkswagen? I mean, the Trump Hotel notion is silly beyond words. Perhaps there should be a moral surcharge based on the background of Hilton or some other hotel founder before we book a room at any of them? Again, that is asking people to do something we are not equipped to do.
Hogberg: Toward the end of the book you talk about what we can learn by examining the causes of disparities among different groups, and you write, “We can learn how dangerous it is, to a whole society, to incessantly depict outcome differences as evidence or proof of malevolent actions that need to be counter-attacked or avenged.” Why is that dangerous?
Sowell: I think we’ve seen a good illustration of why it is dangerous based on what has happened in the U.S. and Britain since the 1960s. Back then, one of the big preoccupations was with countering the fact that some people had more than other people. What the political left sets out to do is one thing; what they’ve actually done is quite another.
The left has polarized whole societies. They have set the sexes against each other, the races against each other, the classes against each other. They have delegitimized moral principles, they have delegitimized law and order, and the consequences can be seen almost daily. For example, the homicide rate among black males fell by 18 percent in the 1940s and by 22 percent in the 1950s. In the 1960s, it rose by dozens of percentage points—I don’t recall the exact number. [The homicide rate among black males per 100,000 population rose about 83 percent from 1960 to 1970—Ed.]
Steven Pinker’s book on violence internationally shows that this trend in homicide rates is something that happened across the Western world at the same time. There were declines in homicide rates until 1960, and then in the 1960s homicide rates did a U-turn. They shot up to levels that hadn’t been seen since the 19th century. It was quite a coincidence. Indeed, there were many such “coincidences” of trends that were getting better and then suddenly turned around and started getting worse in the 1960s.
Now the academics who study the history of that era aren’t likely to see it since they are often too busy celebrating the 1960s. Thus, the bad ideas and their consequence are not the sorts of things academics are going to put into their books.
Hogberg: What changed in the 1960s that caused all of that?
Sowell: It is what I call the “Social Justice” vision. That is, if there are disparities, it proves that somebody was wronged by somebody else. It’s one of those things that you don’t need one speck of evidence for. It sounds so good that many people will easily buy into it.
And many people around the world have paid with their lives for that vision. Especially in communist countries where communists came to power to supposedly correct such disparities. And once the communists are in power they create problems that make the problems that came before seem like nothing.
But that’s true of the left in general. They judge their actions by the wonderful things they are trying to do and are often oblivious to the actual harm they visibly doing to society.
Hogberg: Related to that, did you follow the controversy surrounding the actor Jussie Smollett? And what impact do hate-crime hoaxes have on fomenting racial evidence?
Sowell: I’ve tried not to, but it is hard to escape. The impact certainly isn’t good. What’s amazing is how impervious some people are to evidence that the charges are hoaxes. I think back to the Duke-Lacrosse case, where people were just hell-bent on believing that this terrible crime had been committed. And counter evidence didn’t stop the prosecution or the public. Some people, activists especially, are primed to believe certain things and when they see an opportunity they run with it, facts be damned.
Hogberg: We have an epidemic of hate crime hoaxes in the nation, going back at least ten years. Do you think that has a lot to do with the social justice vision?
Sowell: Yes. Especially given that these claims are so readily believed and rewarded. You can turn in the grievances for benefits just like they were airline miles.
Hogberg: And what makes it even worse is that Smollett got off with a slap on the wrist, apparently because he is connected to someone close to former President Obama.
Sowell: Yes. And that’s one of the deadly costs of all this stuff. You eventually erode the faith people have in the law. And once people no longer have faith in the law, you cannot hire enough police officers to maintain law. When the lawbreakers are a small group, the cops can keep that under control. But once the idea that the law is just a racket become pervasive then society is in a very dangerous situation.
Hogberg: You write that our society has a taboo “against discussing anything that might be considered negative in the individual behavior or social culture of lagging groups” and that is “counterproductive.” Why is that taboo counter-productive?
Sowell: It is counterproductive because human beings of every conceivable background are so imperfect that to exempt anybody from criticism is not a benefit but a curse. Think of the proverbial mother who dotes on her child and makes excuses for everything he does wrong. That child is going to have some hard time in our society. The reason is that not everybody is going to be making up excuses for him. And he could even end up behind bars for a long time because he didn’t realize that people other than his mother wouldn’t make excuses for him.
Hogberg: Finally, you’ve now released a revised edition of “Discrimination and Disparities,” a book that challenges this widely held notion that most if not all disparities are due to discrimination such as racism and sexism. And yet, outside of conservative media, this book doesn’t seem to be getting any attention. Why is that?
Sowell: I think back to a time when my books were reviewed not only by The New York Times but also the New York Review of Books. These days that doesn’t happen. I can’t say definitively, but I think people find that their best strategy is to pretend my books don’t exist if they can’t answer the arguments in them. And it’s not just with my writing but also other writers who challenge the prevailing vision. Their books are not going to get reviewed because the reviewers who believe in the prevailing vision don’t have a very effective answer to that challenge.
David Hogberg is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He is author of Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Programs Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.
Article from thefederalist.com;
Conversion stories are usually beautiful and poignant where someone embraces liberating truth. Sometimes, sadly, the story of transformation is because of capitulation to a blatant lie. Unfortunately, for “Reverend” Rob Schenck, his change is the latter. The former pro-life activist penned a poorly written defense of abortion on the pages of the nation’s leader of fake news, The New York Times.
In his piece, “I Was an Anti-Abortion Crusader. Now I Support Roe v. Wade,” he says that overturning Roe “should not be anybody’s idea of victory.”
Killing over 60 million innocent human beings since 1973 and harming countless mothers and fathers, via abortion, shouldn’t be anybody’s idea of victory, “Reverend” Schenck.
This is the most ignorant promotion of evil I’ve seen from someone who clearly knows what he’s peddling is poison. Imagine the equally incoherent Op-Ed title: “I Was Once an Anti-Slavery Crusader. Now I Support Dred Scott v. Sanford.”
His pro-abortion rhetoric is nothing new; it’s just rehashed “pro-choice” activism that never remedies what it decries. I noticed he put “baby killing” in quotes and fails to explain why he says “abortion is a tragedy.” I’ve actually worked in impoverished neighborhoods ravaged by violence, poverty, crime and hopelessness. I can guarantee you the solution is never more death.
Child abuse is a tragedy. Several of my siblings experienced horrific abuse at the hands of their biological parents. But they were not better off dead. They were better off loved.
In Schenck’s pro-abortion screed, he wrote: “I can no longer pretend that telling poor pregnant women they have just one option — give birth and try your luck raising a child, even though the odds are stacked against you — is ‘pro-life’ in any meaningful sense.” With these words, he completely negates the work of thousands of pregnancy centers that provide compassionate care, material resources and invaluable life-skills training for mothers, for years, after the child’s birth.
He says he worked to fight Roe for 30 years, yet adoption never made its way into his lexicon?
I was conceived in rape yet adopted and loved. I’m an adoptive father. I was not better off dead. My children were not better off dead. Did Schenck ever extend his family and his resources to a vulnerable child in foster care or to an expectant mother who wanted a better life for her child?
Churches are the biggest funders of pregnancy centers and outreaches to the poor. He ignores this and the work of the Salvation Army, Operation Blessing, Catholic Charities, and Samaritan’s Purse. Apparently, he’s never visited phenomenal anti-poverty, pro-family, pro-life ministries like People for People in Philly, Bartow Family Resources in Cartersville, Georgia, or the Jericho Partnership in Danbury, Connecticut. The incredible people in these places do the work he claims pro-lifers don’t do.
But it’s easy to pretend that hope and help don’t exist. It somehow assuages his unjustifiable conversion.
I’m sorry, too, he thinks less of his “status” of being a white man. I thank God for white male legislators (and everyone else) who fight injustice. I thank God for those “upper class white men” who abolished the “tragedy” of slavery so that I’m not on some auction block here in northern Virginia today. Many women work legislatively, like African-American Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Louisiana), to end abortion. The majority of those leading America’s pro-life organizations are women, but they don’t fit into Schenck’s tragic and tired narrative.
Fighting for what’s right, though, knows no gender, socio-economic status, or “race.” Frederick Douglass started his own newspaper, the North Star, because mainstream media advocated for slavery, refusing to tell the truth about the dehumanizing institution. The same situation exists today, as the majority of mainstream media “journalists” have chosen advocacy over accuracy, opinion over objectivity, and feelings over facts. The motto of Douglass’ liberating paper was: “Right is of no Sex—Truth is of no Color—God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.”
Brethren shouldn’t lie to each other or advocate for the destruction of one another.
Schenck has decided to try to snuff out Truth and millions of lives along with it.
His Op-Ed concludes: “Passing extreme anti-abortion laws and overturning Roe will leave poor women desperate and the children they bear bereft of what they need to flourish.”
I flourished because of those people he calls “fools”—prolife parents who believe that every human life has purpose. They put their faith in action like millions of other prolifers do every single day.
Roe doesn’t eliminate poverty. It doesn’t erase desperation. And you can’t flourish if you’re never born.
Roe never empowered women; it empowered men to have sex and run. Men are encouraged to abandon the situation. Fatherless families create vulnerable communities which are, in turn, devastated by the consequences of father absence: higher poverty rates, higher crime rates, higher drug usage, higher abortion rates, higher school drop-outs, higher incarceration rates.
I noticed he also never mention the hundreds of women killed, since Roe, by botched abortions and the millions physically, emotionally, and psychologically harmed by the rampant daily violence. Abortion is fake health that significantly increases risk of preterm births (one of the leading causes of infant mortality), triple-negative breast cancer and negative mental health outcomes.
Schenck claims he’s talking about “reality” while dismissing so much of it.
It’s not his former allies he needs to worry about. We’ll keep on doing the hard work of loving people (regardless of what decision they make) and sacrificially providing what those in crisis need to rise above. We’ll keep defending every human life made in the image of God, born and unborn. We’ll keep proving, in a Philippians 4:13 way, that we’re all stronger than our circumstances. It’s the God of Justice that the “Reverend” will have to explain his broken view of humanity to one day.
Ryan Bomberger is the Co-Founder of The Radiance Foundation and is an adoptee and adoptive father.
Article from Townhall.com
By Shane Trejo
The Catholic Church is growing tired of their Marxist, globalist pontiff.
Many of the top clergymen and scholars have signed a letter to Pope Francis accusing him of heresy and urge Bishops to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation.”
“We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church,” the signatories wrote.
“We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied,” the letter continued.
The letter was signed by some of the most influential Catholic minds in the world, including Fr. Aidan Nichols, a renowned theologian. The signatories wanted to make it clear that they did not take these measures lightly.
“We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied,” the authors wrote.
“We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit,” they continued. They pointed to the following Pope Francis quote as an egregious example of heresy:
“A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.”
“Despite the evidence that we have put forward in this letter, we recognize that it does not belong to us to declare the pope guilty of the delict of heresy in a way that would have canonical consequences for Catholics,” the letter stated.
Nevertheless, they feel the matter is rather cut and dried.
“It is beyond a doubt that he promotes and spreads heretical views on these points. Promoting and spreading heresy provides sufficient grounds in itself for an accusation of the delict of heresy. There is, therefore, superabundant reason for the bishops to take the accusation of heresy seriously and to try to remedy the situation,” the signatories wrote.
“If – which God forbid! – Pope Francis does not bear the fruit of true repentance in response to these admonitions, we request that you carry out your duty of office to declare that he has committed the canonical delict of heresy and that he must suffer the canonical consequences of this crime,” they added.
As Pope Francis tries to remedy a pedophilia crisis in his church that he helped enable, he is encountering significant push-back from some of the most respected Catholics in the world. He may want to consider stepping down before further scandal can emerge.