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It’s the “Optics,” Stupid

Commentators from both sides of the political aisle have discussed the “optics” of President Obama’s absence from the massive, anti-terrorism march in Paris on January 11. Sadly, they’ve all missed the point.

It would have represented a glaring hypocrisy for Mr. Obama, or any highly-ranked official from his administration, to attend the rally.

A sad fact about our pundit class, conservative or progressive, is that they too often miss the obvious. That condition infects both critics and supporters of the Obama administration. They simply cannot connect the dots with this leader. After all, he is an unusual president.

So let me draw a line between the unconnected dots.

Just two years ago, the administration blamed the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, and three security personnel, on a video that negatively depicted the prophet Muhammad. Remember that?

You see, it was an unknown, bigoted Christian man from California who single-handedly caused the death of our ambassador. According to the administration, the film by Nakoula Basseley Nakoulahad sparked spontaneous riots to defend Muhammad’s honor, and our ambassador got caught up in the mayhem.

Mr. Obama called the filmmaker a “shadowy character,” and in front of the United Nations and the world, blamed the attack on the “disgusting” movie. At that podium, he declared that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Congressional hearings later proved that the violence in Benghazi was due to a coordinated terrorist attack, and had nothing to do with a protest over the movie. But administration officials stuck to the lie.

Just a few weeks after the attack, the filmmaker was arrested on parole charges by federal authorities, probably taking orders from Attorney General Holder.           

Now fast-forward to the rally in Paris—the one that Holder would not deem worthy to attend, even though he was in Paris at the time. The one that President Obama, nor Vice President Biden, nor Secretary of State Kerry would attend either, even though other major world leaders rushed to Paris to demonstrate their solidarity.

Let me draw the line between the dots a little darker:

Q: Who did the terrorists attack in Paris on January 7?

A: A satirist magazine that had mocked Christians for years.

Q: Why did the terrorists kill those specific journalists and cartoonists?

A: For a mocking portrayal of Muhammad.

Q: Isn’t that the same issue that had enraged the White House after the Benghazi attack?

A: You betcha.

The “bad optics” that so many pundits are complaining about actually fit perfectly into the philosophical mindset of this White House. They do not want us to insult their Islamist friends.

In the eyes of the Obama administration, the jihadists in Libya and France committed the same savagery for the same reason.

Give the administration credit for consistency. They’re not about to appear sympathetic to a French cartoonist when they had condemned the filmmaker from California. Having persecuted the latter, they weren’t about to march to defend the former.

What represents bad optics to most civilized people’s worldview represents good optics to the Obama administration’s worldview.

It’s all too clear that America and the world have no hope of stopping these never-ending barbaric acts until a Reagan-like figure steps up. A leader who will honestly and courageously define such terrorism as it really is: An Islamist’s interpretation of the Qur’an.

That’s the definition recently used by President el-Sisi of Egypt, a man of far greater honesty and courage than America’s current counterpart.

Only with an American leader of Reagan-like strength will we be able to develop a plan and the determination to defeat the dark ideology of Islamism, just like Reagan managed to defeat the Soviet Union and its evil ideology. 


Mayor of Atlanta has the Founding Fathers Turning in their Graves

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran (Fox 5 Atlanta)If our Founding Fathers came back today, they wouldn’t recognize the liberty-loving country for which they once sacrificed their lives and fortunes. Instead, they would find a country that is rapidly giving way to the control of the thought police.

Had the freedoms of speech and religion not been enshrined in our Constitution, we might excuse government officials for imitating third-world dictators with demands that subordinates self-censor their “unapproved” personal beliefs.

I lived under a dictatorship, and I witnessed how everyone—from press to churches to government employees—had to be obey the whims of the dictator, or else. I escaped and came to the land of the free and home of the brave. Or, at least, I thought I had. But I’m not so sure now.

Not long ago, the mayor of Houston subpoenaed the sermons of local preachers who had spoken biblical truths that conflicted with the mayor’s morality. She eventually retracted her subpoenas, but now we have the mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, firing his fire chief for similar thought “offenses.” Chief Cochran made the fatal offense of writing a book and speaking about biblical morality.

Like Chief Cochran, other Bible-believing Christians such as myself hold no hatred toward homosexuals, or toward all people who choose to live their lives their way. And yet, if you believe in biblical truth, the thought police will brandish you as a “hater.”

For the sake of America’s future, please do not try to marginalize or destroy those whose only crime is following the clear commands of God. By all means, you should be free to disagree, even vehemently. In fact, I will defend your right to disagree with God’s Word.

But to terminate someone’s employment and deprive them of their livelihood? That is something worthy of ISIS. Members of ISIS may chop off the heads of Christians, but to chop off someone’s voice or identity originates from the same desire for control through cruelty.

Far from calling Mayor Reed names, countless people like myself are praying for him. We pray that he will no longer get swept up in the wave of prejudice dictated by those who hate God’s word. And we pray that he will return Chief Cochran to his job with an apology.

Mayor Reed claims that he didn’t fire Cochran for his faith, but for his judgment. But what was the evil intent of his judgment? That he would not reject his faith under the threat of job loss? That should make us all admire him, not destroy him.

Mayor Reed, and all elected officials, must remember that every one of us will one day stand at the judgment seat of Christ. I plead with Mr. Reed to stand like me, a repentant sinner—a sinner saved by grace. And I plead with him to repent of seeking to please the ideological whims of the few who reject God’s moral laws.


Turmoil, Terrorism, Racism . . . and an Inconvenient Christmas Message

Perhaps it was Al Gore who popularized the term “inconvenient truth.” Although his truth is disputable at best, it is a fact that real truth is often poorly received by the populous.

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Why Do Leftist Liberals Love to Mislead?

Whether it’s church liberals or political liberals, they have at least one thing in common—they often speak one way, but walk in the opposite direction.

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