Incoming New Jersey Governor Wants to Create an Entire Agency to Protect Illegal Immigrants

Newly inaugurated New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy plans to establish the Garden State as a bastion of far-left policies, including a first-of-its-kind government agency devoted exclusively to protecting the rights of legal and illegal immigrants alike.

Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs financier who was swept into office on the back of former Gov. Chris Christie’s historically low approval ratings, told The Washington Post he plans to operationalize the sentiment behind the “sanctuary” movement by establishing an Office of Immigrant Defensive Protection.

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While a number of Democratically controlled states have adopted an official policy of non-cooperation with federal immigration authorities, Murphy is seeking to outdo his progressive counterparts by devoting an entire agency to help immigrants navigate the federal immigration bureaucracy.

“It would be a place where everybody could call with questions about their status,” Murphy told The Washington Post. “Our guess is it’s going to be legal services-oriented. One remarkable thing, and you probably have seen this, the rumors that swirl around communities are extraordinary, and it’s literally hard to get, particularly if you’re undocumented, the right answer to your question. That’s when people go back into the shadows.”

Murphy believes he can capitalize on the backlash to Christie’s fiscally conservative approach, establishing New Jersey as a testing ground for a progressive movement that’s gained traction with young voters nationally.

In addition to transforming New Jersey into a “welcoming” state—a term he prefers to “sanctuary”—Murphy plans to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, mandate a $15 minimum wage, and institute a millionaire tax.

“This state, under the current leadership, has gotten into the belief that if I give something to you, it comes at my expense,” Murphy said. “That’s a myth. Raising the minimum wage does not take from growth, it adds to growth. Earned sick leave gives workers a lot more confidence and adds to their participation in the economy. Equal pay for equal work isn’t, ‘Here, I’ll give this to you.’ It’s confidence, it’s participation.”

He plans to accomplish all of that while wielding the power of the state to counter President Donald Trump’s agenda.

“We’re going to stand our ground on anything we find unacceptable, and unfortunately that list is long, whether it’s immigration policy, it’s offshore drilling, or it’s an awful tax plan,” Murphy said. “We’re not going to compromise on American values and our constitution over here just to get a deal over here. That won’t happen.”

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Below-Freezing Temperatures Don’t Stop Record Numbers of Pro-Lifers From Marching in Chicago

Despite frigid temperatures, record numbers of people came out to march against abortion Sunday at Chicago’s 2018 March for Life.

More than 6,000 people gathered at the march, marking the largest pro-life gathering in the Midwest to date.

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“This March for Life Chicago drew people of all ages, from across the Midwest,” said Dawn Fitzpatrick, president of March for Life Chicago’s board of directors, according to a TC Public Relations press release. “They are from all walks of life, but they have one thing in common, they know that love saves lives and that abortion is one of our culture’s gravest ills.”

Chicago Bears co-owner Pat McCaskey kicked off the march with music from the Carmel High School Marching Band from Mundelein, Illinois.

“The deadliest thing in the world is indifference,” Ramona Trevino, the keynote speaker and a former Planned Parenthood manager, told the onlooking crowd. Trevino added that pro-lifers must use love to counter the forces that make it possible for Planned Parenthood to perform more than 300,000 abortions a year. The march also featured remarks from Chicago’s archbishop, U.S. congressmen, and Illinois legislators.

“[Teens] are being groomed as future abortion patients because Planned Parenthood promotes a promiscuous lifestyle,” Trevino recently told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an exclusive interview.

“We’re not discouraging them from having sex at a young age. We have monthly quotas to meet. They’re just numbers,” she said.

Trevino worked as the manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion referral facility in Sherman, Texas, for three years before leaving in 2011.

Chicago will host a Women’s March focusing on women’s reproductive rights and abortion access Saturday, according to WGN9 News.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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We Hear You: DACA, Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, and Voter Fraud

Editor’s note:  It’s helpful to know to what’s on the minds of The Daily Signal’s audience. Here’s a sampling of recent emails to letters@dailysignal.com.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Peter Parisi’s commentary, “The ‘Dreamers’ Have No Right to Demand Anything.” Interesting to see this today, as just yesterday I emailed the following to President Trump:

Mr. President: Please do not give amnesty to the illegal immigrants.  My parents came from Mexico many decades ago. They learned English (and did not have a class for English as a second language), became citizens, and grew to love America.

They never went on welfare nor took advantage of our country. They worked hard and paid their own way even for medical. They were never dependent on the government for anything. They became part of the community.

Today’s illegal aliens are making demands on us and they have no right, just as we have no right to make demands when we go to other countries. Today’s illegal aliens wave the Mexican flag and do not respect our laws, nor do they love our country as immigrants from past decades did.

Remember, that for 40-plus years our country even shut down immigration so that people could assimilate and learn English. Why can that not be done again?

Please, Mr. President, do not give in to any form of amnesty, and please stay firm on getting a complete wall built.

These thoughts are shared by many, many of my conservative friends across the country. (I have an email list of over 500 names, plus a whole group of conservative friends on Facebook, so I know this is how they feel.)—Molly Schubert, Raleigh, N.C.

***

The problem of sanctuary cities and states is not complicated (“Acting ICE Director: Let’s Charge Sanctuary Cities for Violating Federal Law“). Neither is the solution. All we need to solve the problem is accountability by the politicians responsible for passing sanctuary laws.

If Congress were to pass a law making political entities and individual legislators and administrators personally and financially liable for damages stemming from actions of illegal aliens in sanctuary areas, lawyers would carry the ball from there. They would engage in massive financial damage suits and put an end to all sanctuary entities in a matter of months at no cost to the general public, except to the taxpayers in the political entities promulgating “sanctuary.”

States could also enact statewide laws creating financial liability for all legislators and administrators within their authority. Who would vote to pass or keep sanctuary laws knowing that the Steinle family or other victims could bring suit against them for financial damages and win and collect?—Harold Knowles, North Royalton, Ohio

I was speaking with a former student who began dating a young man from Brazil. After a while, they decided that she would get a visa and travel to Brazil and stay with his family for six months. She shared with me that the Brazilian government knew where she was at all times. She had to make periodic visits to government offices to verify her whereabouts and the continued purpose for her visit.

So Brazil can keep tabs on people traveling there on visas, but liberals in our country think that is against people’s rights, and that our government has no right to do ao as a sovereign nation. It’s as if they do not understand what the purpose of government is.

I think it would be interesting to have a story that shows how other governments around the world track people visiting on temporary visas, and how they handle immigration rather than focusing solely on what we do here. People who have never traveled have narrow perspectives that reflect only their experiences and exposures.

I also think it would be interesting to speak with legal immigrants and publish their stories to include why they immigrated to this country, when they immigrated, how they immigrated, how their lives changed afterward, and what their perspective is on illegal immigration.

I’d like to see a poll of legal immigrants and how they feel about illegal immigration. That information should in turn be shared with the government, so they understand that people who immigrate legally do not take kindly to others cutting in line rather than going through legal channels. The legal immigrants I know do not support illegal immigration.—Robin Greer

***

Consider this: The very first thing that must be accomplished to keep this country free is to standardize all voting laws, requirements to be a candidate in any governmental election (city, county, state, and federal), and term limits.

Illegal immigrants and noncitizens should never be permitted to be a candidate for any government position. Our laws need to require having a photo ID and proof of U.S. citizenship for any legal citizen to vote or hold office in any election.

Everyone must be required to have these documents to get Social Security, welfare, and other benefits, and to have their water, lights, and gas turned on at their residence. The only individuals who cannot provide these documents are those who are dead, decide to vote more than once, are convicted felons: fraudulent voters.

Without just and fair voting, there will never be a government without the corruption of foreign control.—P. Panehal

***

The other day in Brentwood, Long Island, police arrested five teens, two of whom were covered by the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. They were part of the MS-13 gang, trying to abduct a 16-year-old boy just outside Brentwood High School.

Several months earlier, four boys were brutally murdered in Central Islip, again by MS-13 using teens to lure the boys into the woods where they were beaten and hacked to death.

Do we need DACA? No. Do we need illegal aliens? No.

My grandparents and others came here legally and received no food stamps, no welfare. It was all right for them, but not for these people.—Jack Norris, Bayshore, N.Y.

***

Let President Trump know that Americans do not want anything short of deporting every DACA recipient and other illegal immigrant. They broke our sovereign law. No amnesty, no cutting deals, no ands, ifs, or buts. And make Mexico pay for building the wall.

Think of how much taxpayers’ money will not be used to support illegal immigrants. The amount saved can be the advance payment used to build the wall, instead of having to ask the House and Senate to authorize the money.—J. Kin Ng

***

No DACA, period. My vote is no DACA at any cost. Where is this going to stop?

When President Reagan gave the first (and only) amnesty, this was to be fixed.—Kevin Sanders Sr.

Really Reforming Health Care 

Dear Daily Signal: I read the commentary on proposals to fix government (taxpayers)-funded health care by moving to state block grants, and I’ve got some questions (“Americans Need Health Reform to Be a Priority Issue in 2018“). Why must these taxes go through the federal system where Congress and the executive branch reduce the potential impact to those citizens targeted?

What are the administrative costs of federal and state bureaucracies for Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.? What are the administrative costs for businesses and health care providers? How many programs are there, and who are the targets? What are the sources of funding for these programs? How effective are they, and by what measures?

I recently went on Medicaid and was surprised how small a percentage of care providers’ bills were paid. It looks to me that if these costs aren’t inflated, that a provider would be forced to take measures that will not benefit patient care. What are those changes in care we have seen or likely will see?

It doesn’t seem to make economic sense the way things work. Higher demand, price controls, additional patients, increasing costs, and fewer contributors would seem a prescription for disaster.

Are there efforts to look at the way we deliver health care instead of how we pay for it? Will the moves by Aetna and others to provide health care via storefronts lower costs or raise demand? Do restrictions on who can legally provide health care limit supply?—Bob Taylor

Saying No to Assisted Suicide

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for your article and video on J.J. Hanson and his rejection of physician-assisted suicide (“This Marine Veteran Just Died of Cancer at 36. Here’s Why He Fought Assisted Suicide“). He was right to do what he did.

Doctors who provide physician-assisted suicide, I believe, are compromising the Hippocratic oath they took when they became a doctor in the first place. How can patients trust their doctors if they cannot, first and foremost, trust their doctors to save their lives?

Does physician-assisted suicide destroy the physician-patient relationship? I believe it does.

The group that made the video of Mr. Hanson should reach out to medical allies in the pro-life community such as the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Catholic Medical Association, and the American College of Pediatricians.

Doctors can do their best to give patients their best advice.  But they can’t accurately predict the future. Further, patients who have a strong faith can live productive lives and can be healed. There are no guarantees.

But, why give up?  As Mr. Hanson pointed out, these families would suffer greatly with the loss of their loved one.

Thanks for your great reporting. Blessings for a great 2018.—Kathleen Goryl

A Danger After Tax Reform

Dear Daily Signal: I am writing to warn of a danger that I don’t think President Trump has noticed regarding the new tax law (“Taxpayers Could See Benefits of GOP Tax Bill as Early as February“). I heard one speaker say after passage of tax reform that taxpayers would see the difference in their filing in 2019.  But even the president is talking as if it will happen in our April 2018 tax filing.

Why is this bad? Republicans have put out so much hype about taxpayers saving money, and I can assure you that most Americans will have not heard, not paid attention, not understood that all this tax-savings hype will not make any difference to them until 2019.

When April rolls around and we process our taxes, what the taxpayer will realize is that nothing has changed.Taxpayers will be teed off.  You had better believe that the Democrats will take full advantage and proclaim that the president lied. Well, there go the 2018 midterm elections to the Democrats.

What the president needs to do is to explain it better and to keep the left from taking total control. He need to act immediately. And to jump-start the new law, he needs to provide a tax rebate or other stimulus that will be received by Americans in 2018, to hold taxpayers over until the 2019 filing. Otherwise voters will run away.—Don P., Richmond, Va.

I’ve been getting into it with some of my liberal friends about AT&T and Comcast {“Companies Announce Bonuses, Raises Following Passage of Tax Reform“). They’re basically saying the new tax law has nothing to do with the companies’ recent announcements of wage increases and business investments. Plus they point out the recent AT&T layoffs as evidence tax reform didn’t save jobs.

I know the layoffs were announced last year, so it had nothing to do with the tax reform bill. But if you could point me anywhere that would debunk their claims, that would be great.—Andy Schatner

***

Americans are worried about our growing budget deficit (“Congress Could Soon Face a Budget Fight. Here’s How Lawmakers Can Rein in Spending“).  The national debt will continue to rise as long as Congress doesn’t control spending.  It can take two actions–stop unauthorized appropriations and stop pork from being added to bills.

Our congressmen waive or disregard their own rules against unauthorized appropriations.  The rules of “paygo” don’t preclude them from enacting legislation to increase direct spending. In other words, our congressmen spend taxpayers’ money at will.

Almost every bill that Congress passes has pork added at the last minute. Congress must prohibit any addition to any bill that is unrelated to the topic or adds pork or other spending. This would cut a lot of wasteful spending.

America is becoming enslaved by debt.—Persistent Professor

Fake News and Classified Information

Dear Daily Signal: A review of the code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists indicates to me that fake news including contrived reports or sloppy checkingis unethical (“The History of Fake News in the U.S.“).  I am not interested in hampering a free press or freedom of speech. However, I would like to put a stop to unnamed sources. I believe that is unethical.

Also, when published information is proved to be wrong, I would like to see the correction given the same prominence, frequency, and distribution as the original error.  I would be happy to have a law to that effect.

Likewise, release of classified information ought to require some restraint. The government ought to appear before an appropriate judicial panel before release of such information. The Constitution included the idea of providing for the common defense, and classified information that puts us at risk ought to have appropriate review (whatever that is) before it gets released by anyone.

Those who steal information for the purpose of exposing something should have to show cause why it should be released.  Failing that, we ought to have loss of employment and pension, fines, and prison as deterrents.  It is a criminal offense and without special circumstances, there should be some justice meted out after due process that currently does not exist.

Both the former FBI director, James Comey, and his law professor friend ought to come to grief from application of current law. We should not play favorites with the law.  Let us not be stupid about providing for the common defense.—Frank Steinle

***

Dear Daily Signal: It is refreshing to see the leftist agenda of the New York Times pointed out, as in Jarrett Stepman’s commentary (“The New York Times Left Socialism Out of Its Report on Venezuela’s Devastation“). There are many other newspapers like the Times, and I wonder how can that happen in the “free” USA built on free enterprise and capitalism. (See PragerU.)

Most mainstream newspapers and universities have become leftist. I think it is simply because of the enormous amount of money pouring in. And people, being weak and greedy, accept the payment, live well, and do not care about the future the leftist agenda has in store. It really is a shame.

One just has to follow the United Nations’ Agenda 21 disguised as “sustainable development,” “clean environment,” etc.  The whole global-warming scare and climate change are just tools to the leftist goals: one world government and suppression of the people.

Once we all drive electric cars, all they have to do is cut electricity and we all become immobile. It is total control of the public and elimination of the middle class. The public has to wake up and see what is behind this movement. President Obama was a champion of it and he did a lot of damage in his eight years, including raising the debt level from $10 trillion to roughly $20 trillion.

Cutting coal and giving away control of the internet was designed to cut freedom, and the people do not know it. Germany’s Angela Merkel complied with an Agenda 21 point to allow free movement of African and Middle Eastern young men  to Europe. France’s Emmanuel Macron is also part of the game.

No wonder in Germany and Austria right-wing politicians gain votes. The European Union and the U.N. need to be dismantled. I am glad Brexit exists, and pray it will go through.—Rolf Pfeiffer

This and That

Dear Daily Signal: I’m a retired, 91-year-old man who worked for the telephone company from 1952 till 1989, and I’m responding to Elizabeth Slattery’s commentary, “This Test Claims to Show Whether You’re Unconsciously Racist.”

I spent about 17 years in the South Bronx as a walking repairman and installer of new telephones. The work was in the tenements and projects. The large majority of jobs was for blacks, Hispanics, and new immigrants from below our borders and Europe.

My opinion of most people must be considered by individual experiences encountered in daily jobs. How can a test designed by people, perhaps never exposed to the real world, be relevant? The answers of those taking the test would necessarily be influenced by encounters in the real world. I intend to take the test for my own interest.—George Fischer

***

Net neutrality assumes everyone using the internet generally are good people, like all internet service providers and businesses are, and that they never would think of doing anything wrong to people for profits or agendas to control information.

Like Twitter counted the freedom of expression of the pro-life congresswoman as worth nothing, and protected the world from ideas different from their outlook of cultural colonization for the good of everyone else?—Mike Kelley

***

Motivational reform is a great way to reverse decades of throwing taxpayer money at social issues, expanded by government, that would not be tolerated in the private sector (“Trump Administration’s 2 Priorities for Welfare Reform Executive Order“).  The old adage “a hand up, not a handout” is still a great rule.

There should be work-related guidelines for any taxpayer assistance, and they should be very strict. The most important lesson is discipline, and that means we don’t need federal bureaucrats defining rules of engagement.—Brannen Edwards

***

I know that many of your readers enjoy the video reports you produce, and on occasion I find them informative. However, I find it more stimulating and thought provoking if the videos would include a transcript. Including the transcript allows me to think about what is being said and review the actual words more thoughtfully.

The audio text takes too much effort to review.  I also believe our society is getting lazy by watching the news rather than reading the text and getting more engaged with the content rather than watching the images.  The images have a way of skewing your thoughts away from perhaps what is truly being said.

Keep up the good work and continue pursuing journalistic excellence.—Joe Christ

Editor’s note: Hopefully you’ve noticed that we’ve begun including transcripts for many of our videos, Joe.

***

Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s recent commentaries: I think that perhaps Charlottesville, Virginia, can be compared to Ferguson, Missouri, and the University of Missouri.  Outside troublemakers intended to bring chaos into the community and bring down whatever they could.

The cost to the city of Ferguson? Monies taken away from the University of Missouri by benefactors, and enrollment has fallen to where they have closed dorms and new facility. Divide and conquer. America is in sad shape and could already be lost. Those who can bring the cause to the forefront are silent.

History is not being taught in schools, but I am a firm believer that America needs to know exactly how Ellis Island worked. I think it would benefit many.—Connie Harris

***

Walter Williams’ commentary about teachers’ academic qualifications (“The Low Academic Quality of Too Many Teachers“) omits two critical issues: teachers’ pay and the willingness to tax sufficiently to pay enough to make teaching at least competitive with comparable professions.—Jacob T. Chachkes

Appreciation and Feedback

Dear Daily Signal: The Daily Signal is basically the only political or worldview source I monitor daily. I always read through the article titles and occasionally read articles. I value this source immensely. This is saying a lot, since when Barack Obama was elected to a second term it marked a healthy change in my perspective from being a bit of a news junkie.

While I’ve been a committed Christian for many years, I finally very much took to heart the words of Psalm 2, which concludes with the words: Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (I actually teach grades 1-4 at a small Lutheran school in Yakima, Washington, with a 60-year history.)

I’ve just finished reading the excellent commentary on Kay Coles James by Paris Dennard (“What I Learned From The Heritage Foundation’s New Leader”). But what got me to finally send a note is my curiosity about the three ads with links under the heading “Trending,” followed by three links to Daily Signal articles.

I haven’t followed these first three links because they seem like they are sensationalism designed to be provocative. But I’m curious as to whether these are something The Heritage Foundation is endorsing, or if they are just paying the bills.

The important takeaway from this note is my appreciation for the work Heritage is doing. On the side is a bit of feedback.—Marilee Nolte

How Are We Doing?

We recently started to read The Daily Signal and love it. Thank you so much for giving us information on what is happening in our world without a progressive (i.e. left wing, liberal) bias. It is so very refreshing. We look forward to each day’s installment. May God richly bless you.—Steve and Sandy McCuen

Great job by your White House correspondent, Fred Lucas. Finally, people are standing up to the liberal bully press. Glad you are doing just that!—Bob Arthurs

You’re doing great.  We need a bulldog over there at The Daily Signal.  God bless your efforts.—Phil Reich

Thank you all. I look forward to seeing The Daily Signal’s Morning Bell every morning. Very good information from someone who can be trusted. Thanks again. Great job done.—Keith Spiers

I truly enjoy your daily briefings.  Thank you.—Winnie Payne

Let me say it again. Why do conservatives keep pointing out how the left is hurting themselvespointing out their faults and telling them how to improve? Say nothing! In the words of the great philosopher W.C. Fields, “Never smarten up a chump.”—Robert Albanese

Every article in Morning Bell Jan. 4 attracted my attention. I receive many, many email posts, and none has the influence on me that yours does.—Joanie Brown, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

I am a new subscriber, and I have to say I love the article and the contributors. Keep up the good work.—Barb Orcutt

The post We Hear You: DACA, Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, and Voter Fraud appeared first on The Daily Signal.

North Korea, Afghanistan Top List of Dangerous Places to Be Christian

As if North Korea weren’t taking up enough headlines, Open Doors USA just added another one: Kim Jong Un’s country is topping the list of the world’s “Most Dangerous Places to Be a Christian.”

Of course, the distinction is nothing new for the regime, which has owned the No. 1 spot for the last 15 years. “Nearly one of every 12 Christians in the world today lives in an area, or in a culture, in which Christianity is illegal, forbidden, or punished,” Open Doors President David Curry explained. In North Korea, where 50,000 people are suffering in prison or labor camps for their faith, few are surprised.

What is surprising, experts say, is the alarming new trend in places like Afghanistan. The struggling country, which is a routine offender on the list, climbed into the second worst spot—a frustrating development for nations like America that continue to pour resources and troops into the area. Even in the Bush years, religious liberty was a problem in the area.

As Open Doors points out, Islamic extremism is the biggest driver of persecution, “initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list.” Now, with reports that Pakistan has been aiding Muslim radicals in Afghanistan, we’re starting to see the effects. President Donald Trump, to his credit, cut off aid to Pakistan, one of our supposed “allies” in the region, hoping he could persuade it to stop giving “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”

Amazingly, “Afghanistan and North Korea are nearly tied. Never before,” Curry told reporters, “have the top two countries been so close in incidents. Both countries are extreme in intolerance and outright persecution of Christians in every area Open Doors monitors. Afghanistan now meets the same level of persecution as North Korea in five out of six areas. This is a tragedy considering the efforts being made by the international community to help rebuild Afghanistan are failing to ensure freedom of religion.”

Radical Islamists continue their march of savagery through most of the Middle East and Africa, burning schools and villages to the ground in their war against non-Muslims.

Pakistan, meanwhile, the accomplice to Afghanistan’s rise to infamy, scored the highest in “churches or church building attacks, abductions, and forced marriages.”

The Trump administration, which has done an admirable job cleaning up Iraq and driving the Islamic State out of the country, has another hill to climb in the surrounding nations. The problems of violence and extremism, which have mushroomed in the last decade, point back to President Barack Obama’s failures as an international leader—not only on terrorism, but religious liberty.

As we’ve said before, America’s silence under the last administration led to a rise in the global threat that Trump is now working furiously to control. Conservative leaders like former Rep. Frank Wolf spent the better part of Obama’s two terms begging him to get off the sidelines and defend the persecuted church. But if the president wouldn’t recognize the First Freedom of Americans here at home, how could he fight for the world’s? Fortunately, the new White House has no interest in tip-toeing around the issue of persecution.

Trump has been a staunch advocate for freedom, even going so far as to nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to take over as ambassador-at-large for religious liberty. In the coming weeks, Vice President Mike Pence will build on the new administration’s agenda, visiting the Middle East and asking for other leaders’ cooperation in the fight.

For now, Family Research Council’s Travis Weber says, the Open Doors watch list should serve as “a reminder to all of us in the United States to never take our freedom for granted. Indeed, we must use our freedom to advocate for freedom of religion for all around the world, even as we guard against its infringement here at home.”

This was originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.

The post North Korea, Afghanistan Top List of Dangerous Places to Be Christian appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Ben Carson: Martin Luther King’s Message Is ‘Urgently Needed to Heal the Divisions’ Now

Ben Carson praised Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy Friday at the White House, where a proclamation was  signed by President Donald Trump honoring the civil rights leader.

“I thank you for signing legislation to designate the birthplace, church, and tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King as a national historic park,” Carson said at the White House ceremony. “His monumental struggle for civil rights earned these places in his life, faith, and death, the same honor as Mount Vernon and that famous, humble log cabin in Illinois.”

Carson, now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development,  said King’s life and death impacted him as a young person.

“This April, we will observe the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination,” Carson said, adding:

I remember so vividly that day, as a high school student in Detroit. Far from silencing his dream, death wrought him immortal in the American heart. His message of equality, justice, and the common dignity of man resounds today, urgently needed to heal the divisions of our age.

The legacy of the civil rights leader should shape the character of society today, Carson said.

“Today we honor the legacy of the man who marched on Washington, for jobs and freedom, achieving both for millions of Americans of all races and backgrounds,” Carson said. “But his legacy also calls us to remember, where these ideas, equality, freedom liberty, get their power. Our good efforts alone are not enough to lend them meaning.”

Carson reinforced King’s stance of the importance of character for equality in humanity.

For what shall I be called equal to another man? It cannot be by wealth, for there will always be one richer than me, it cannot be by strength, for there will always be one stronger than me, it cannot be by success or happiness or beauty, or any other pieces of the human condition which are distributed through providence. So perhaps providence alone is the answer.

He quoted the Declaration of Independence to illustrate the importance of providence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

The post Ben Carson: Martin Luther King’s Message Is ‘Urgently Needed to Heal the Divisions’ Now appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Why Kaepernick’s NFL Protests Fall Short of MLK’s Movement

The New Yorker caused a stir when it portrayed civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. kneeling alongside NFL protesters Colin Kaepernick and Michael Bennett on the cover of the most recent edition of its magazine.

The artist, Mark Ulriksen, wrote of the controversial image, “I asked myself, what would King be doing if he were around today?”

“I’m sure that if King were around today, he’d be disappointed at the slow pace of progress: two steps forward, 20 steps back,” Ulrikson continued. “Or 10 yards back, as the metaphor may be.”

It is, of course, difficult to divine what King would have thought about the NFL protests and whether he would have seen them as a valuable contribution to his aims.

King’s daughter, Bernice King, supports the protests, and said, “People didn’t approve of the way my father protested injustice either—said he was causing trouble, called him an ‘outside agitator.’”

But King’s niece, Alveda King, who had generally disapproved of the protests, said of the New Yorker cover on Fox News: “My Uncle MLK and father A.D. King were men of God who often ‘took the knee’ in prayer to God for repentance and reconciliation during their Christian ministry. Prayer is stronger even than protest.”

“We do have to have respect for our flag, for our anthem, and we really have to care about each other. Now the things that they want to protest for, I agree,” she continued.

While it may be difficult to assess what King really would have thought about this modern protest, it is worth noting that there have nevertheless been critical differences between his movement and the one Kaepernick launched.

>>> Disrespect for National Anthem Damages NFL as Unifying American Passion

Certainly, many have found the specific protest against the flag to be insulting and off-putting, a bad attempt to place a wedge between Americans over a universal value of loving one’s country despite policy or personal differences.

The Weekly Standard’s Mark Hemingway wrote of how the kneeling demonstration has been particularly galling to many who simply see it as an act of disrespect to the United States and how the NFL protests have failed to match the civil rights movement.

Hemingway wrote in The Federalist:

People unavoidably see [kneeling for the national anthem] as disrespectful. Drawing attention to yourself and your cause at the one time we come together to collectively express our patriotism and shared American values is going to be unavoidably be seen as unpatriotic. That actively repels people instead of appealing to commonly held political values.

King’s success came from shining the spotlight on injustice, yet also celebrating and espousing the United States’ deepest values expressed in our founding documents.

This is not to say that King didn’t have misjudgments or make mistakes, but his movement was created with clear goals, and with the inevitable end game of inclusion rather than division.

While certainly controversial in his own day, King aimed his demonstrations at bringing about the end goal of reconciling the races—a fulfillment of the original promise of our nation’s founding, which placed our republic upon the rock of natural human equality: the concept that all are created equal in the eyes of God.

As Professor Peter C. Myers wrote for The Heritage Foundation:

King extolled the promise that inhered in Lincoln’s momentous Proclamation and prior to that in “the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” He confronted the nation with its failure to honor its promise of equal liberty for all, even as he implored his fellow protesters and all of his fellow citizens to understand that their destinies as Americans were indissolubly bound together.

In cases where King clashed with police, he accepted the penalty of unjust laws while decrying their aims, thereby respecting the ultimate rule of law and bringing attention to his cause at the same time.

It was an important step in changing American hearts and minds that ultimately led to the expansion of basic rights and protections to include groups that had traditionally been deprived of them.

In this, Kaepernick’s protest missed the mark.

Unfortunately, Kaepernick hasn’t just attacked American policing policies, he insulted law enforcement by wearing socks portraying police as pigs. He also wore a shirt with pictures of Malcolm X and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at a press conference.

The Castro regime, under which racism is rampant, operates a virtual police state that violently represses its citizens. Protests are cracked down on ruthlessly and dissent isn’t tolerated.

Malcolm X was, of course, a very different civil rights leader than MLK. He criticized non-violent protests as an ineffective tool and rejected the idea that unity and racial reconciliation were possible or desirable.

Some of King’s best ideas, over time, have become mainstream. While his legacy is often fiercely debated between the political left and the right, his appeal has become nearly universal.

Many on the left complain that King’s more egalitarian economic views are rejected on the right, while it’s fair to say that the “colorblind” views of his famed “I Have a Dream” speech might be considered offensive and triggering on a modern college campus, where the idea of racial colorblindness is problematic.

Nevertheless, King’s movement created a positive, lasting legacy for the United States as a whole.

Kaepernick’s movement, by contrast, has done little more than alienate football fans in droves and add to the perception that America is more divided than ever.

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Martin Luther King on the Limits of Civil Disobedience

More than most years, 2018 will be a year filled with remembrances of Martin Luther King, Jr., because in it falls the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

It will also be a year filled with remembrances of 1968 itself as the culminating year of the 1960s, a year in which the country seemed divided even to the breaking point.

In many such remembrances those two facts will be conjoined, and amid our present climate of political division and radicalized opposition, there will be much admiring discussion of King and the radicalism of that era, along with much lamentation that King’s late-1960s vision of an America thoroughly revolutionized in its core values passed, at least for a time, from the scene with him.

Unfortunately absent from this discussion will be any significant appreciation of King’s moderation—a virtue that he himself, in the more sober expressions of his thinking, regarded as indispensable to his and his movement’s success.

In fact, the single best representation of King’s mind during the most successful portion of his career, the famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” is in large measure a reflection on the virtue of moderation and a justification of King’s claim to it.

King felt compelled to justify his claim to moderation, because it was on precisely this ground that eight of his fellow clergymen had challenged him, in a public letter to King that appeared in Birmingham’s major newspaper.

These eight clergymen, all white, made their own claim to moderation. It was plausible enough, as they were all opponents of racial segregation and had written a public letter a few months earlier in which they called for Alabama Gov. George Wallace to abide by the Supreme Court’s anti-segregation rulings.

In their letter to King, they expressed a concern over his methods of street demonstration and civil disobedience, which they characterized as “extreme measures” likely to incite violence and sharpen divisions.

>>> Read Peter Meyers’ essay, “The Limits and Dangers of Civil Disobedience: The Case of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King began his response by noting that he seldom replied to critical letters due to the huge volume that he received. The letter from these eight clergymen was a special case, he wrote, because its authors were “men of good will”—men of faith, anti-segregationists, and moderates whose challenge to his own moderation he took very seriously.

In his response, King did not altogether reject the imputation of extremism.“Was not Jesus an extremist for love?” he asked, and were not the prophet Amos, and our own Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, extremists for justice?

Nonetheless, he indicated that the charge stung him, and he defended his own extremism by explaining how it was consistent with and governed by the virtue of moderation, rightly understood.

In his book, “Stride Toward Freedom” (1958), King recalled how he had framed his task, as he prepared his initial speech to participants in the Montgomery bus boycott. “How could I make a speech that would be militant enough to keep my people aroused to positive action and yet moderate enough to keep this fervor within controllable and Christian bounds?”

Moderation can in some circumstances require militancy, but militancy can and must be moderate. The same idea informed King’s argument in the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

Within the eight clergymen’s frame of reference, the moderate position was to support gradual desegregation—in contrast to both Wallace’s extreme “segregation forever!” position and the protesters’ demand for immediate desegregation.

Within King’s frame of reference, however, the moderate position was to conduct nonviolent, direct-action protests against segregation. This approach contrasted with what King called the “two opposing forces in the Negro community”: the extremes of demoralized complacency and of the “bitterness and hatred” propagated by those advocating violence and separatism.

King believed his own frame of reference was the proper one, because he held the gradual approach, judged in historical context, was in fact not a moderate position: “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights.”

King’s commitment to moderation in the “Letter” is actually broader and deeper than this rejection of gradualism. Two general points are of primary importance.

First, King’s militancy was moderate in that it incorporated a respect for tradition. He justified his activism by appealing to principles grounded in venerable Western and American traditions of natural law and natural rights philosophy.

Second, he defended his direct-action methods—including the practice of civil disobedience—as consistent with and even, in the proper circumstances, required by the rule of law. In King’s explanation, an  appeal to higher-law principles of justice must not reflect a disdain for man-made law, but to the contrary, must preserve and exemplify “the highest respect for law.”

The “right to protest for right,” King maintained, is both a natural human right and a precious American inheritance. The spirit of righteous resistance is among the virtues of the American character—yet like other such qualities, it loses its virtuous character when it is carried into extremism.

Those in our own day who feel themselves moved by this spirit would do well to learn this lesson from King’s “Letter”: Resistance loses its righteousness when it ceases to be governed by the virtues of moderation and prudence.

The post Martin Luther King on the Limits of Civil Disobedience appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Must-See Moments: Is the Media Making Much Ado About Nothing?

The Daily Signal’s Facebook Live show “Top 10” features the top news stories of the week—many of which go misreported by the mainstream media and some aren’t reported at all.

This week, the media fixated over President Donald Trump’s comments about Haiti—but are they making much ado about nothing?

And a story that went largely underreported: Activists are protesting Gov. Greg Abbott’s presence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Arlington, Texas. Watch the full video above.

The post Must-See Moments: Is the Media Making Much Ado About Nothing? appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Martin Luther King Jr’s Niece: ‘My Uncle Would Have Been Very Pro-Life’

Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece says her uncle’s legacy as a civil rights leader has a strong impact on the pro-life movement today.

“As the niece of the Rev.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I emphasize the Reverend because history has not always recorded his spiritual aspects…I have been mostly impacted by his messages of unity, of racial reconciliation, of course non-violence, and the strongest has always been and will always be for me the agape love message,” Alveda King told The Daily Signal in an interview Friday. “One of the things that we would say [is], ‘We must learn to live together as brothers,’ and I’ll add, as sisters, ‘or perish together as fools.’”

King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life,  said her uncle’s words show his commitment to respect for life.

“He said the negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety,” Alveda King said. “Abortion, of course, forces us to do exactly that.”

Alveda King, who formerly served in the Georgia State House of Representatives and was a college professor, said that she had two abortions herself.

“I actually had a miscarriage that was related to those abortions during my younger life, and so of course through the years I have become a born-again Christian, repented, and been healed and delivered, but I always think about those words from my uncle,” King said.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, Coretta Scott King, received an award from Planned Parenthood in 1996 on behalf of her husband, but Alveda King says she knows her uncle would not have believed in the mission of Planned Parenthood:

His wife accepted that in his stead, because she was like me, she had accepted that agenda without understanding, I believe, but my uncle would have been very pro-life today.

The 31st annual March For Life in Washington, D.C., will be on Jan. 19, and Alveda King said her uncle’s crusade for civil rights applies to the pro-life movement today.

“I really believe that if my uncle were here today, he would encourage us to find solutions to the problems, even women’s problems and all problems without having to do violence to babies in the womb. I am just convinced that he would agree with that,” Alveda King said.

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The Role Faith Must Play in America’s Future

Does faith matter anymore in America? Should it?

That probably depends on who you ask, but what is becoming increasingly evident is a growing hostility among some segments of society and culture.

Last month, much of our nation celebrated the birth of Christ—called Christmas, short for Christ’s Mass—yet, the idea of any public display for a clearly religious holiday is somehow considered insensitive, discriminating, or criminal.

One begins to wonder if even saying “God Bless you” after a sneeze might somehow generate formal complaints and a lawsuit to stop such egregious behavior. Sounds like nonsense doesn’t it?

Sadly, it’s not.

Religious expression in the marketplace of ideas is not an automatic religious endorsement by the government, though this remains a loud, but hollow cry among many who would deny those rights if given the power to do so.

When our nation was established, the idea of “self-government under God” was a prevailing theme. Today, it feels more like an increasingly intrusive government without God.

Teachers, football coaches, counselors, city and county officials, our men and women in uniform, chaplains, students, and even government officials, are being reprimanded for acknowledging God or Jesus Christ in almost any public forum.

Business owners—photographers, bakers, florists, and others—are being sued, some even closing their doors, for simply adhering to their values, beliefs, and their rights of conscience in an honorable fashion.

Millions of citizens are rising up to say “Enough” and declare that they still want to “keep faith in America.”

Millions of people in this country continue to pray and place a heartfelt trust in God. This simple act of humble faith has given America strength in wartime, dignity and compassion toward those less fortunate, and confidence in the face of unprecedented challenges.

For so many, faith matters, faith makes a difference, faith brings with it a renewed sense of hope for a better future. Thankfully, this certainty is finding its way back into the hearts, conversations, and actions of everyday Americans.

Throughout U.S. history, prayers of petition and thanksgiving have been lifted up by state and national leaders—to embrace our grief and sorrow, for our troops and first responders in harm’s way, in times of uncertainty and chaos, during global crises, for protection, provision, guidance, and the acknowledgement that in and of ourselves, we are wholly insufficient.

These cherished values are derived from principles deeply woven into the very fabric of our founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—and through the legacy and dedication of the men and women who helped build and shape this country.

The only way to preserve their sacrifice is to boldly move forward with courage and determination, and to walk out what we know to be true.

This legacy also speaks to why millions more have immigrated to our shores over the past three centuries and why countless others have risked everything to preserve our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Are these realities only because the United States is viewed as a “land of opportunity,” a global superpower, a place where dreams can come true? Or is it as the Pledge of Allegiance acknowledges, that we are “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?”

Americans have long viewed freedom as a core longing given by the Creator in His design of man and a primary reason that religious liberty was established as a leading principle in our nation’s founding.

The freedom to choose what and who you believe in, as well as matters of conscience, is among the most basic and fundamental rights afforded to every citizen. Faith and freedom may not have been born together, but their marriage built America, and divorcing the two would ultimately lead to its demise.

Unfortunately, the fabric of this wonderful tapestry is fraying, and in many places is now being torn apart. Religious leaders across America have been concerned about the moral and spiritual decline we are seeing in the country, including the lack of respect and civility that exists in our national discourse.

Polarized and entrenched positions, angry rhetoric, and other signs of acrimony reveal the growing loss of decency and tolerance on all sides. And yet, faith still matters. It still has a role to play in the days ahead. We must keep faith in America.

On Jan. 16, National Religious Freedom Day, thousands of people from all walks of life will join together in a powerful show of unity to raise their voices and launch the “Keep Faith in America” movement.

They will be joined by numerous federal and state legislators, governors, celebrities, and faith leaders who are uniting to help ensure that prayer, God, faith, and the Bible continue to represent an important guiding influence in America’s future—a movement dedicated to promoting freedom and civility, and to reduce the bitter animosity infecting nearly every part of our national psyche.

Things will kick off on the 16th at events across the United States and in 30 state capitols nationwide. Interested individuals can be part of the initial launch through a first-of-its-kind nationally broadcasted Facebook Live event that could potentially reach millions of people throughout the world.

In the following months, there will be a focus on other critically important segments of society, including churches and clergy members, colleges and universities, local governments, and school boards. Some of the most recognized and respected faith leaders in America are uniting to make a difference and reach into every sphere of influence in today’s culture.

Now, more than ever, there is a need to affirm that faith and trust in the Creator remain vital to our national wellbeing. He was understood as the God of the Bible, which was given to help guide our decision-making, our governance as a people, to protect religious liberty, and to live before others with humility and Christian love.

Believers should be leading the way when it comes to engaging society and culture with greater civility, focusing their efforts to reduce harmful divisions. Faith is the key in the days ahead, and it must move beyond a well-crafted sermon and become faith in action.

The Keep Faith in America movement is a renewal of hope. People can register to attend the Facebook Live Event on Jan. 16 by visiting either of the following links: Keep Faith in America Facebook or www.KeepFaithInAmerica.com.

The goal is to first stand together, then pray together, and finally, to move forward together.

Stand. Pray. Move. This is about a renewed hope, a strengthened resolve, a sharpened focus, a bold declaration, and an energized movement.

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