The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Yes, death to the Great Satan” – Ayatollah Khomeini leading crowds in anti-American chants just over a week ago.

“Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats.” – Benyamin Netanyahu

If he being Young And Unskillful seeks to gamble for silver and gold/ Take his money my son praising Allah! The fool was made to be sold! -Renowned Persian poet Hafiz, 14th century CE

I believe Herr Hitler is a man whose word can be relied on.” - Neville Chamberlain, 1938

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This week’s winning essay by a nose,Joshuapundit’s -Munich II examines President Obama’s so-called ‘framework’ of his nuclear agreement with Iran. As we nowknow, our president was not exactly being honest with the American people in that speech in the Rose Garden! So what’s the actual motivation behind his apparent desperation to achieve some kind of deal..something the Iranians are happily taking advantage of. Here’s a slice:

President Barack Hussein Obama announced yesterday that a deal – ooops, a ‘framework for a deal’ had been achieved with Iran on its illegal nuclear program.

Here’s what the president said the components of this unwritten, unsigned framework were.

First of all, he claimed that the reactor at Iran’s heavy water facility at Arak will be dismantled so the Iranians cannot produce plutonium, a second route to nuclear weapons.He also claimed that nuclear material from Arak would be shipped out of Iran, that Iran would not build a new heavy water reactor and that Iran will not reprocess fuel from its existing reactors ever.

Second, he claimed that the Iranians agreed that its centrifuges would be reduced by two thirds, and that Iran will not enrich uranium with its advanced centrifuges for at least the next 10 years. He also said that Iran would no longer enrich uranium at its top secret military facility at Fordow. and that there would be severe limits on Iran’s stockpiling of the materials needed to build a nuclear weapon.

He said there would be limits on Iran’s nuclear program, research and development for a decade and that Iran would never be allowed to build a nuclear weapon.

He also claimed that current sanctions would be gradually phased out in accordance with Iranian compliance, that Iran would face intense inspections and scrutiny, and that if if was found cheating, the UN would slap massive sanctions back on Iran.

There’s not a single statement in the above four paragraphs that’s true, and that comes from no less than Iran’s own Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who supposedly agreed to all this in the last minute negotiations at Lausanne:

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Zarif bragged in an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.

Zarif additionally said Iran would have all nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear installations. […]

Zarif, echoing previous comments, said the United States has promised an immediate termination of sanctions.

“Iran/5+1 Statement: ‘US will cease the application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.’ Is this gradual?” he wrote on Twitter.

He then suggested a correction: “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?”

On Thursday evening, Zarif told reporters the latest agreement allows Iran to keep operating its nuclear program.

“None of those measures” that will move to scale back Iran’s program “include closing any of our facilities,” Zarif said. “We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”
“Our heavy water reactor will be modernized and we will continue the Fordow facility,” Zarif said. “We will have centrifuges installed in Fordow, but not enriching.”

The move to allow Iran to keep centrifuges at Fordow, a controversial onetime military site, has elicited concern that Tehran could ramp up its nuclear work with ease.

The scrutiny and inspections, of course, can be relied on to tell us everything we need to know about Iran’s nuclear program, right? Because the Iranians would never try to hide that sort of thing from us, and can be relied on not to cheat

As for the president’s threat of renewed sanctions, just like his promises on ObamaCare he is knowingly lying to the American people. It took two years to put together the sanctions regimen in the UN. Now that Obama has essentially dismantled it, it isn’t going to happen again, certainly not in time to be of any use. Russia will see to that.

And here perhaps is the most chilling statement Zarif made:

Zarif also revealed that Iran will be allowed to sell “enriched uranium” in the international market place and will be “hopefully making some money” from it.

Can you imagine whom a regime that is the major supporter of Islamist terrorism like Iran is likely to sell nuclear materials and know how to? Iran itself obtained quite a bit from Pakistan’s notorious AQ Khan when he was running what amounted to a cash and carry supermarket for this sort of merchandise. What Iran is obviously planning will make what Khan did look minor.

President Obama claims that this ‘framework’ agreement is a good deal. In reality, all it does is give Iran another three which gives Iran another three months to work on its nuclear weapons technology in exchange for…absolutely nothing specific. Instead of leading to reduced nuclear proliferation, it will increase it, since countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are under no illusions as to what this means.

This goes beyond mere appeasement. President Obama and John Kerry are enabling a nuclear armed Iran.

All other things aside, this president and his team are allowing a murderous regime that has sworn to destroy Israel on numerous occasions the tools to attempt a second Holocaust. And there’s no question in my mind that this is deliberate.

The moron prog think tank response to this is that the Iranians are rational actors whom would never do this, because of the risk of retaliation by Israel. Let’s see what the founder of the regime, the Ayatollah Khomeini had to say about that:

“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

The Iranians have continued to promise to destroy Israel since 1978 when Khomeini took over. That goal has never changed.

Neither has their goal of destroying America.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, we had a tie between Mark Steyn Let Them Bake Cake submitted by The Noisy Room and Matt Continetti/ Free Beacon Benghazi, Bergdahl, and the Bomb submitted by The Watcher.

I loved both, but Steyn gets the nod this week.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion and The Independent Sentinel were unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Weasel Of The Week

Once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all disgusting,but the votes are in and we have our winner …the envelope please…

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Male Bashing Leftist Cadre and U of VA President Teresa Sullivan!!

  Don Surber : This Mustela academia arbitrarily suspended every fraternity and sorority at the University based solely on a music magazine’s ludicrous, unsourced story about a gang  rape. She did so without a hearing or even any modicum of a nod to jurisprudence, even though her husband is listed as a “legal scholar” by Wikipedia. She did so despite Duke University’s witch hunt against its lacrosse team in 2006. But Teresa Sullivan has a lengthy career in the Mustela family, beginning as a student at the University of Michigan when she sucked up to its then-president, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., as an intern. She climbed the ladder of college presidenting basically because she is a woman at a time when universities need women presidents because, hey, 60% of their students are. In 2012, the University of Virginia board tried to dump her, but then-Governor Bob McDonnell threatened to dump all the board members. He is now in prison for political corruption. Jann Wenner — our Mustela trustfund-hippietis  — deserves an honorable mention, of course, but give her the Golden Weasel.

Yes,male bashing is indeed in season, with special thanks to The Federal Department of education, Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department, who pressured colleges across the nation to restrict a male student’s right to due process by using ‘preponderance of the evidence’ as the new, lower standard of proof instead of the higher ‘clear and convincing’ standard.Ans seeing whom runs academia these days, getting them to declare open season on college age males wasn’t a struggle at all.

So when Rolling Stone began shopping for a made to order story to push their political agenda, the University of Virginia, with a president who was a veteran of the feminist culture wars was perfect. Rolling Stone found Jackie Coakley there, a long time radical feminist wannabe activist with her story of a fake gang rape and the next thing you know, the Leftist megaphone trumpeted it across America. Ms. Sullivan shut down all fraternity, innocent male students were publicly shamed and maligned, and their fraternity house was vandalized, all wile Ms. Sullivan preened and posed for the press.

After the bogus narrative collapsed and went down in flames, Ms. Sullivan never once apologized to the fraternity or students involved, nor was there any disciplinary action against Jackie Coakly. In fact, many of the usual suspects are going out of their way to call the fake UVA gang rape story ‘fake but accurate’ ala’ Dan Rather, and to portray Jackie Coakley as the ultimate victim of this sordid affair.

So Ms. Sullivan, please step up and get your richly deserved Weasel. The real payoff, of course will be in about a decade. Most savvy young men these days know better than to date a young woman who works with them or goes to the same college they do…the risks of being falsely labeled guilty of rape or sexual assault are simply too great. So they’ll look elsewhere, and two places where many young women used to meet suitable mates are largely disappearing. Scores of women between their late twenties and thirties who simply couldn’t find a man worth marrying will face single lives of loneliness and depression because because of people like you and your agenda….now that’s Weaselness.

Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Watcher’s Council Nominations: Bake And Submit Or Else Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Jawa Report, The Pirate’s Cove, Maggie’s Notebook and Doug Ross earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!!

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It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ nominees….

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Alix Bryan, TV  ‘Journalist’ And Member Of The Thought Police!

The Noisy Room : I nominate Alix Bryan, “1/3 of a kick-ass web and social media team @CBS6” in Richmond, VA for being an epic weasel and announcing on Twitter that she had reported the wildly successful GoFundMe campaign for Memories Pizza for fraud — “just in case.” I join Twitchy in asking, just in case what? That they were successful? Which they were and we can’t have that, now can we? Last time I looked, people had donated almost $1 million to Memories Pizzeria in Indiana, who felt they had to close their doors after receiving death threats when they declined to supply pizza to a gay wedding because of their Christian beliefs. Donations, I might add, that came in from gay and straight alike and from both sides of the political aisle.

Hmmm… who to believe… a Progressive Marxist working for lying scum at CBS OR a Christian family? Think I’ll go with the Christians.

In an “apology” tweeted Friday night, Bryan claims that she “searched for the name of the person associated with the GoFundMe account and reached out via social media,” but received no response. Now that’s odd, since that account was set up by Dana Loesch’s contributor Lawrence B. Jones. They made no secret of their support for the pizzeria or that they were raising money to help this family out. Bryan owes Dana Loesch, Lawrence B. Jones and Memories Pizzeria an apology. Man up, Alix… that should be easy for you.

Sounds like you’ve got this weaselly lying thing down pat, Alix. Actually, apologizing won’t cut it. The damage has been done. You put out a blatant lie that went everywhere and you just let it wreak havoc. That’s so very Alinsky of you. Then you gave a meh apology that means nothing. Maybe you should work for Barack Obama.

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Male Bashing Leftist Cadre and U of VA President Teresa Sullivan!!

 Don Surber : This Mustela academia arbitrarily suspended every fraternity and sorority at the University based solely on a music magazine’s ludicrous, unsourced story about a gang  rape. She did so without a hearing or even any modicum of a nod to jurisprudence, even though her husband is listed as a “legal scholar” by Wikipedia. She did so despite Duke University’s witch hunt against its lacrosse team in 2006. But Teresa Sullivan has a lengthy career in the Mustela family, beginning as a student at the University of Michigan when she sucked up to its then-president, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., as an intern. She climbed the ladder of college presidenting basically because she is a woman at a time when universities need women presidents because, hey, 60% of their students are. In 2012, the University of Virginia board tried to dump her, but then-Governor Bob McDonnell threatened to dump all the board members. He is now in prison for political corruption. Jann Wenner — our Mustela trustfund-hippietis  — deserves an honorable mention, of course, but give her the Golden Weasel.

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Rolling Stone’s Investigative Reporter Fiction Writer And Rape Fantasist Sabrina Erderly!

 Nice Deb : I’m gonna nominate the Rolling Stone’s hack reporter Sabrina Erdely who has issued an apology to an extensive list of people, but somehow managed to leave out the injured parties.

Via Twitchy:

“The past few months, since my Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” was first called into question, have been among the most painful of my life. Reading the Columbia account of the mistakes and misjudgments in my reporting was a brutal and humbling experience. I want to offer my deepest apologies: to Rolling Stone’s readers, to my Rolling Stone editors and colleagues, to the U.V.A. community, and to any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.

“Over my 20 years of working as an investigative journalist — including at Rolling Stone, a magazine I grew up loving and am honored to work for — I have often dealt with sensitive topics and sources. In writing each of these stories I must weigh my compassion against my journalistic duty to find the truth. However, in the case of Jackie and her account of her traumatic rape, I did not go far enough to verify her story. I allowed my concern for Jackie’s well-being, my fear of re-traumatizing her, and my confidence in her credibility to take the place of more questioning and more facts. These are mistakes I will not make again.

“Reporting on rape has unique challenges, but the journalist still has the responsibility to get it right. I hope that my mistakes in reporting this story do not silence the voices of victims that need to be heard.”

Erdely neglected to include Phi Kappa Psi – the fraternity she defamed in her apology.

 The Right Planet :Rolling Stone magazine’s leading whole cloth weaver (a.k.a. “reporter”), Sabrina Rubin Erdely, decided she needed to write an article (see “narrative”) detailing the alleged rape of a University of Virginia (UVA) student, allegedly named “Jackie,” that highlighted the alleged “rape culture” so allegedly prevalent on today’s alleged college campuses. Erdely’s article titled ‘A Rape on Campus’ alleges Jackie somehow was lured into a dark room at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity where she was allegedly gang-raped by the mysterious bad boy lifeguard “Drew.”

There’s just one problem … it was all fabricated. Yep. It was all just one big Harlequin rape fetish fantasy. We’ll just overlook that little pesky fact that “Jackie” smeared an entire fraternity and wasted four months of police time and effort. Unsurprisingly, lefty rags like WashPo are claiming it is “Jackie” who’s the true victim.

Apparently Rolling Stone is just fine with Erdely’s style of “confirmation bias journalism.” Sabrina Rubin Erdely is still employed at Rolling Stone magazine; and her editor reportedly has no plans of making any policy changes. According to Rolling Stone’s publisher, Jann Wenner, no one’s really at fault here. Besides, like George Costanza of the Seinfeld show once counseled, “It is not a lie if you believe it is true.” They were just trying to “raise awareness,” don’t ya know. Yep, folks, you just can’t make this stuff up. D’oh! My bad … yes you can! Back out quiet (allegedly).

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Rolling Stone Publisher Jann Wenner!!

The Independent Sentinel : Jann Wenner is an exceptionally fine candidate for weasel of the week.

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner finally took the fabricated UVA rape story off the Internet, long after everyone knew it was false. He has decided not to take any disciplinary action against the editors or fact-checkers because they simply made a mistake. It wasn’t intentional. This is a man who has had no problem firing anyone in the past.

The University was discredited, the three friends were humiliated and insulted in the article, and the fraternity members were ostracized, but it’s not worth firing anyone over that according to Wenner.

Wenner blamed the victim who he described as “a really expert fabulist storyteller” who manipulated the magazine’s journalistic process (which obviously doesn’t exist). He blamed the author who was “willing to go too far in her effort to try and protect a victim of apparently a horrible crime. She dropped her journalistic training, scruples,and rules, and convinced Sean (editor Sean Woods) to do the same.”

In the end, Wenner feels they should have been “tougher”.

Maybe he should take some personal responsibility for having absolutely no journalistic standards.

Fortunately, most people know not to go to Rolling Stone for their news though there is no question they cause harm.

On Twitter, the left is blaming the right, saying that where Rolling Stone went wrong was they used right-wing standards to tell a left-wing story. The left is still painting the liar ‘Jackie’ as a victim and claiming that this unsubstantiated story was beneficial because it brought a real story to light. Men raping women on campuses is a favorite of the left-wing.

The fraternity is going to sue Rolling Stone and I don’t mind if they put them out of business. It would be a service to the country.

 Well, there it is. What a despicable group of  Weasels…ANY OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Forum: Is Religious Freedom Seriously Threatened In America?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Is Religious Freedom Seriously Threatened In America?

The Razor : A year ago everyone was dumping buckets of ice water on their heads. Now they are making everyone cakes. I think this is a mass freakout by both sides – by the religious who believe that our culture is spiraling into the abyss, and by the liberals who want to punish people for their beliefs, but in a subtle way that makes headlines but poor case law. I consider myself an ally of the LGBTQWERTY or whatever acronym people use these days to identify their non-standard sexual preferences, but honestly, what is happening in Indian is not Selma, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence is not Bull Connor. Liberals love to wage Total Culture War, and Conservatives just can‘t seem to fight back. As Penn Jellett said in a recent CNN Crossfire on the topic, Indiana restaurant owners are not being forced to have gay sex. Likewise the Catholic Church is not being compelled to marry a pair of women, so I don’t see religion seriously threatened.

What I do see are religious people getting tired of a gay obsessed mass media. As an ally I’m sick of it too. Things would be much better for everyone’s sakes if people stopped talking about their sexuality all the time. But it took several months for the ice bucket thing to die down and I think the same thing will happen here.

Don Surber : Religious freedom died long ago along with free speech. Socialists killed it when they extended it to Wiccans and other weird religions. God does not like to be mocked. We had better step carefully.

Wolf Howling :If one defines religious freedom as the right to be left alone to live according to the dictates of one’s religion and the freedom to impart one’s religious values and morality to one’s children, than yes, religious freedom is today under mortal threat in America. The attack on religious freedom is a component of the left’s larger effort to do away with the Judeo-Christian religions in this country. To understand the threat to religious freedom, one needs to understand how the threat manifests within the context of this larger effort.

When socialism was born in the crucible of the French Revolution, its founders immediately began a brutal war on the Catholic Church and its clergy with the goal of eliminating the Judeo-Christian religion from their country. Denis Diderot, a hero of the Revolution, proposed to his fellow revolutionaries that they strangle the last priest with the “guts of the last king.” The left’s war on the Judeo-Christian religions had begun, and it has never ended since.

Simply put, the socialist left needs to eliminate the Judeo-Christian religions so that they can replace God with government as the final source of morality, laws and, indeed, approved thought.

In whatever nation they take root and at whatever historical period, the left’s playbook for attacking religion has always been the same, at least in those places where they could not simply ban the Judeo-Christian religions. Step one is to marginalize religion in society. Step two is to intercede in between the family and the child, to take over children’s education and impart left wing values. The third and final step is to use the police powers of the state to establish the primacy over religious conscience, in essence delegitimizing religious values and putting the final nail in its coffin.

In America, step one for the left began near a century ago, when the ACLU, an organization explicitly founded to advance socialism, began to bring cases before left leaning courts arguing that the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause – That Congress shall make no laws respecting the establishment of religion – meant that there must be complete separation between church and state.

Even the most superficial look to our history will show that such was never the intent of our Founders. The sole purpose of the Establishment Clause was to prevent our government from giving preferential treatment to any Judeo-Christian religious sect, as was the custom in Europe. None-the-less, the ACLU argued, on the basis of a single phrase in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, that the Establishment Clause in the modern era should be read to create a “wall of separation between Church and State.” Our Courts, the most dangerous branch of our government, reinterpreted the Establishment Clause and, ever since the 1947 decision in Everson, have been engaged in systematically removing all of the symbols, trappings and influence of the Judeo Christian religions from our schools and public institutions. This line of cases was taken to the radical extreme in the 2002 Lawrence v. Texas case, when the Supreme Court majority held that religion can no longer be viewed as providing a “rational basis” for our nation’s laws.

A second component to this initial step, to marginalize religion, has been to muzzle political speech by religious organizations through restrictions in the tax code. Throughout our history, our religious institutions were free to speak without limit in the political realm. And indeed, in 1776, the Congregationalist and Presbyterian sects in large measure drove our American Revolution on religious grounds, equating the concept of British liberty with biblical scripture. When Benjamin Franklin proposed a design for the Great Seal of the United States in 1776, he suggested that the motto adorning the seal be “Resistance To Tyrants Is Obedience To God.” That was a very pithy and accurate summation of religious thought in the colonies at the time of our Founding. And yet in 1954, the left, led by then Senator Lyndon Johnson, made changes to the tax code that allowed the IRS to strip any religious organization of its tax exempt status for overt political speech, thus circumscribing what church leaders could say from the pulpit and effectively dampening concerted action by congregations.

The second step in the war on religion in America could be termed a war on families. It has been an effort to put the state in place of the family, with the goal being to impart socialist values in place of the family’s own religious, moral and ethical values. When Hillary Clinton said many years ago that it “takes a village to raise a child,” that was a very pithy summation of the left’s mindset. An even clearer example came a few years ago from Prof. Melissa Harris Perry.

Once the left claims the children, what they teach them begins with sex. The social justice values that the left seeks to teach come later. It is sex that provides the bedrock foundation for the left’s efforts at supplanting the family and establishing the primacy of socialist values. It is not hard to see why.

Sex is a basic human instinct. Untamed, it is an animalistic instinct, devoid of emotional content or commitment and, while resulting in the greatest of physical pleasures, it is also an act that can have the most profound physical and emotional consequences. A major concern of the Judeo-Christian religions has always been to make sex only acceptable in relationships between a married couple, man and woman. This significantly eliminates the potential negative consequences of sex and places a greatest value on the basic building block of society, the family. So it has been since time immemorial, and that is why the left long ago opted to use sex as its primary tool in its effort to have the state stand in loco parentis. As Bookworm Room wrote a few years ago, “The state has driven a wedge into the family unit, using the most potent endorphin driver available to motivate and reorient young people.”

At law, the left has been successful in supplanting the family when it comes to sex. As a result of recent court decisions, a girl today of any age can walk into a pharmacy and purchase birth control and even abortifacients without parental knowledge. In NYC and in many other locales, birth control and abortifacients are made freely available through public school systems and a child or teenager may access them without any parental notification or approval. In California and many other states, a sixteen year old girl can “get birth control, get abortions, and get treated for sexually transmitted diseases, all without a parents’ knowledge.”

In a brilliant piece of analysis, Bookworm Room, in an article Sex and State Power, examines the relationship between sex, individuality and the goals of the left and other statists. Therein she gives numerous examples of how the left, often through our schools and under the ostensible guise of teaching tolerance, is seeking to normalize and promote values and mores concerning sexuality that are decoupled from and antithetical to religious morality. This is, she argues convincingly, a necessary step in moving the child towards socialism. Indeed, as Bookworm sums up:

[I]f you’re getting an itchy feeling between your shoulder blades when you contemplate your child’s hyper-sexualized reading list and gender-bending sex education curriculum, you need not fear that you have turned into a repressed, homophobic Victorian. Instead, there’s an excellent chance that you are someone with a deep respect for individual freedom who resents the Leftists’ efforts to co-opt your child’s body as a necessary sacrifice to the State.

And that brings us to the third and final stage of the assault on religion, using the police power of the state to establish the primacy of state approved thought and values, and to use that same police power to punish those who would stand by their religious values and conscience.

If you wonder how the “gay rights” movement has exploded so quickly onto our national stage, you need look no further than our Courts. Left wing judges have stood primed for the last century to move our nation ever father to the left. Laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman are being struck down left and right by judges using an utterly laughable interpretation of the Equal Rights clause of our 14th Amendment. No one can argue, with a straight face, that gay rights were in the contemplation of the people who drafted and passed the 14th Amendment in 1868. And yet our Courts have wholly at their whim reinterpreted that provision and now use this novel legal theory to uphold a newly found Constitutional right to gay marriage. That has set the stage for the “gay rights” movement to begin the final push, targeting Christians and Jews who refuse to violate their religious conscience by taking any action to validate “gay marriage.”

This war on religious freedom is also at the heart of the Obamacare HHS mandate,discussed at length here, that all Americans purchase insurance policies that include, and that all employers provide coverage that includes, free birth control and abortifacients. This is a gross intrusion on the rights of religious conscience, and yet the Obama administration provided only a very narrow category of people and institutions who would be allowed to object. This could not be more of a fundamental attack on the freedom of religion. The final decision on whether this HHS mandate will stand and in what contexts still, in many ways, remains up in the air, though the Supreme Court, in a bare majority 5-4 decision, did rule in favor of one religious employer, Hobby Lobby, in their opposition to the mandate. The Beckett Fund is handling a significant number of these cases.

One would think that rights of religious conscience would be a final and effective bulwark against these attacks from the left on religious freedom. After all, immediately after the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Free Exercise clause states that “Congress shall make no laws . . . prohibiting the free exercise [of religion.]” But whether our leftward bending Courts will uphold rights of religious conscience from attacks by the left looks doubtful. It was just last year that the Supreme Court refused to review a New Mexico decision punishing a wedding photographer for refusing to service a gay wedding. If that stands, then there is no longer any right to religious freedom in this country and the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause is a nullity.

So, is religious freedom under attack in America? Not only yes, but it’s been under continuous, sustained attack for the past century on multiple fronts, and now is fighting a rear guard action, perhaps on the final battlefield. This is a zero sum game for the left, and they will not stop their attacks until the Judeo-Christian religions have been delegitimized in this nation. It is quite literally a battle for the heart and soul of this nation, and if religion loses, the left will become permanently ascendent. Those who value religion need to understand the many battlefields on which the left is attacking religion in this nation and figure out ways to effectively fight back in each of them. Clearly though, one of those ways must be to demand reforms to our out of control Court system, where unelected judges make of themselves petty tyrants, taking questions of social policy with profound implications for our nation out of the hands of the people.

JoshuaPundit :  Every year  since I started paying attention, I’ve seen freedom in general attacked   and reduced by government. I live in California you know, the trendsetter for this sort of thing. Part of it is simply economic, the New Feudalism as I call it, enriching our newly enthroned Ruling Class on the backs of the rest of us.

And remember Proposition 8? It was California’s own elected officials refusal to honor their oaths of office and defend the state’s laws that led to one openly homosexual judge cancelling out the votes of over 60% of California’s voters. And the subsequent cowardly decision by the US Supreme Court to punt on the matter because they claimed the state’s residents ‘had no standing’ is what led to the avalanche of lawfare and the current situation.

In my examination of the gay marriage issue, I set out a number of big picture reasons why I felt thatsame sex marriage was bad for the country that had nothing to do with my or anyone else’s religious beliefs, and the effects are gradually being felt.

The attack on religious rights is prog fascism 101, because after all, we can’t have people answering to a higher authority than the state, can we? Every totalitarian regime in modern times from Hitler to Stalin to Mao to the Kims has done this, proof that they’re really the same folks wearing slightly different hats at the same party. But the use of homosexuals as a wedge has certain subtexts that I think many people miss.

First, there is the massive amount of fundraising for the Democrat Party involved. As no less an informed political animal named Rahm Emanuel put it, “This is huge, Gays are going to be the new Jews when it comes to fundraising for Democrats.” He’s right, and creating a new, well to do victim class is a goldmine for the Democrats. It also potentially gives them a particularly vicious and unprincipled thug class to use. It’s not much remembered nowadays, but Ernst Röhm, Edmund Heines, Karl Ernst and a large contingent of Hitler’s most brutal SA men were all active homosexuals. So was Baldur von Schirach, leader of the Hitler Youth.

Second, aside from diminishing the moral authority of religion, the current campaign also severely weakens the family, another source of authority government doesn’t want people paying attention to. And the Left is already using the public schools to indoctrinate the coming generation. After all, if your pastor or your mom and dad can be portrayed as bigots and anti-American, why pay attention to them? In fact, why not turn ‘em in for that shiny new medal?

This is much more pervasive and serious than many people realize. It’s a battering ram being used to break down the gates to the fortress of rights we’ve enshrined for our entire national history and allow tyranny to storm in a destroy them.

We had better pay attention and be prepared to fight back. If America becomes a nation under the New Order rather then One Nation Under G-d as our Founders envisioned it, our decline will be swift and merciless.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: At the federal level, the Department of Health and Human Services recently decided that Catholic schools, charities, and hospitals are not “religious employers” that deserve religious freedom protection. As a result, these ministries will be forced to provide and pay for things that violate their moral and religious beliefs, as a part of the health insurance coverage they offer their employees.

At the state level, Alabama has passed legislation that would prevent Catholics from serving undocumented immigrants, even with basics like food, shelter, and medical services. And in Connecticut, legislators proposed a bill that would have forced the Catholic Church to change how it is structured and governed—allowing the State to remake the Church in its own image.

For all these serious threats and ominous trends here in the United States, the attacks on religious liberty around the world are far more severe—and also growing. Assassinations, the bombing of houses of worship, and the torching of orphanages out of hostility to religion are unfortunately still common in many countries. One recent study describes a “rising tide” of threats to religious liberty, with three quarters of the world’s population living in countries with high or Current Threats to Religious Liberty

 The Glittering Eye : It’s a difficult and troubling question. Although I don’t think that religious freedom is being threatened now, I think there’s a very slippery slope ahead.

I presume this question was motivated by the overheated discussion of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act-style law that was contemplated and which has now, I believe, been enacted into law and signed by the governor. It’s actually much more lenient than similar laws in more progressive states so it’s hard to justify all of the hyperventilating.

The scenarios painted by opponents of the law are mostly silly–practically perfect examples of strawmen. It would not be possible to start your own religion with tenets of racial superiority for the express purpose of evading the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Such notions have already been fully litigated (particularly in the area of conscientious objectorship) and if presented with such a case the courts would recognize that for what it transparently was.

I think the entire discussion suggests a complete lack of understanding about what the free exercise clause of the First Amendment means, something that was fully explored in The Federalist before the Constitution was adopted. It was not a license for people to do whatever they wanted. It was a means of allowing people to do what they must, what they were obligated to do.

Having been a church musician for 30 years this is something of a sensitive subject for me. A Catholic surgeon may not in good conscience perform abortions, at least not without abandoning Catholicism. A Catholic priest may not officiate at the “marriage” of two men or two women. If it were demanded of me that I sing at such a “marriage” service, I guess I’d have to go to jail. That’s a very fine example of religious persecution. Given a choice between abandoning the teachings of my faith to honor someone else’s beliefs I would be obliged to honor the teachings of my own faith whatever the consequences to me.

Portraying the Catholic church as anti-gay is foolishness. It is neither anti-gay nor homophobic. It does not teach that homosexuality is evil. It teaches that homosexual inclinations are to be resisted, prescribing chastity for those who struggle with such inclinations. I can only speculate that’s too fine a distinction for a radical activist to appreciate. There are many worse fates than chastity but apparently that violates the beliefs of some of my fellow citizens. I can tolerate their religious beliefs why can’t they tolerate mine?

In a remarkably short time we have been asked to go from tolerating open homosexuality, which, since I’ve had homosexual friends and acquaintances since I was a young teenager, I have no problem with, to transforming the fundamental structures of our society in ways that will have implications for which no one can predict the effects. What was the position of the most progressive president of the United States in almost a century just a few years ago is now being lambasted as intolerant, homophobic, and primitive.

What I think we’re seeing right now are some very intolerant and totalitarian impulses being expressed by what I hope is a fairly small segment of the population. If they are granted free rein, religious freedom will in fact be threatened. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: While these manufactured “equal rights” and “discrimination” battles continue to hit the news cycle, the left gleefully calls for boycotts and incites its base in a campaign to vilify those who merely ask to be permitted to exercise their God given and constitutionally protected right to live their lives in accordance with their faith. Many of our ancestors came to this country because they could enjoy this most basic of freedoms.

Possibly at no other time in America’s history has religious freedom been more in peril. We have a generation of young adults indoctrinated by the left that faith and religion are ancient superstitions and those who profess a belief in God or a Creator are to be mocked and ridiculed. As the left pushes its agenda they continue to attack the core precepts of our country’s founding.

The reason the faithful are being attacked so vociferously is because it is difficult to control a people who believe their rights are inherent and do not come from government. Therefore the faithful must be destroyed… or at the very least marginalized and humiliated.

Those being attacked by the left generally possess the most tolerant of attitudes towards others. Their faith is predicated on tolerance and love. If these attacks continue they will become less willing to speak out and defend others being targeted. And with no one willing to stand and defend our religious freedom the outcome looks increasingly bleak.

The Independent Sentinel : I’m not sure we have religious freedom at this point. The government can make us buy things, sell things, provide services that violate our rights to conscience. We’re still in transition but there’s almost no pushback and the future for our First Amendment is bleak.

Bill O’Reilly talks about the secular progressives war against religion in this country and I agree with him.

On Fox & Friends Thursday, he said ”the totalitarian left is pretty much out of control in America” and we have a media which “sympathizes with the Fascists.”

“The totalitarian left is pretty much out of control in America and that’s because the media, generally speaking, sympathizes with the Fascists, so if you’re against abortion, you’re not a person of conscience sticking up for the unborn, no, you’re against women, you’re declaring war on women’s reproductive rights. This is how the media spins it. If you’re against gay marriage because you believe in Scripture, it’s not that you’re a religious person, whose belief system should be respected, no, you’re a homophobe, you’re a bigot”.


“Now, this is put out there, distributed by the mainstream media so that the fanatics in the secular progressive community, and that includes a lot of entertainment figures, they know they can get their attacks unchallenged in the media. Unchallenged. And that puts a lot of pressure on the person being attacked…”

The really sad thing is it’s a minority of people abusing the majority.

Traditional America and our Constitution are based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The Fascists want it destroyed.

They hate the founders and the Europeans who settled the land. They see them as evil.

Once religious values are relegated to theirs, there will be peace and safety in their view.

The Fascists are on the march. They’re in our colleges, in our government, in our media, in churches. They’re instilling their values in our youth but religion is an impediment. It’s in the way of their Utopia.

Rhymes With Right : This week’s Watcher’s Council Forum question asks if religious freedom is seriously threatened in America. Sadly, I believe it is, despite the clear promise of the Bill of Rights that free exercise of religion is a right guaranteed to every American. The reality is that this particular liberty has been under assault for some time, and that it will only get worse.

Who is leading the assault? Secular leftists and those ostensibly a part of religious communities (often in leadership positions) who have been co-opted by the siren call of progressive ideology. The Secular Left has long been contemptuous of people of faith. Want an example? Just look at the “bitter clinger” rhetoric of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Listen to entertainers like Bill Maher, John Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. Consider the manner in which our elite institutions treat religious believers, especially Christians.

Sadly, though, the weapon they wield is one placed in their hands by a conservative man of faith — Justice Antonin Scalia. His opinion in Employment Division v. Smith overturned several decades of Free Exercise jurisprudence that had shown deference to freedom of conscience and required that government show a compelling interest before it burdens the free exercise of religion. The long history of both legislative and judicial accommodation of religious belief and conduct was therefore jettisoned in the name of what was deemed to be an originalist interpretation not particularly supported by either the text of the Constitution nor the writings of the Framers. Indeed, it is not unreasonable to speculate that Scalia’s decision was based more on an antipathy to drug use than fidelity to the text of the First Amendment or longstanding precedents.

Initially, religious believers of all stripes united to see that the customary religious protections were written into statutory law. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and later the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), were efforts designed to see that the law respected religious freedom. But when the principles of religious freedom the two sides agreed upon ran into the liberal desire to see gay marriage and government mandated health insurance become a part of America’s social landscape, the demand that traditional religious believers be free to opt out of participation in elements of both that offended their faith led the Left to reject Free Exercise outside of the confines of church buildings and the privacy of one’s home.

This past week we saw this matter come to fruition, as activists in two states forced changes into state RFRAs that will guarantee that Christian (and Muslim and even some Jewish) businesspeople choose between honoring their faith and honoring the law. Nobody is talking about banning members of any protected class from their businesses — they are simply seeking to opt out of participation in specific events that offend their religion. But in the name of non-discrimination, those who believe as a matter of faith that homosexual marriage is an abomination before God will be forced to participate despite the fact that they view doing so as endangering their immortal soul — and failure to do so could cost them their businesses and their life savings, and perhaps even result in their incarceration.

Unfortunately, the same “civil rights” laws that require these people of faith to accommodate sin are not reciprocal. Just last week, in the midst of the dispute over RFRAs in Indiana and Arkansas, the state of Colorado ruled that it was not an act of unlawful discrimination for a baker to refuse to provide a cake expressing traditional Christian beliefs on marriage.

Now we all know that the state would not have accepted the argument that a baker would not serve anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, who sought a cake for a same sex wedding. The reality is that the agency is allowing someone a way out of complying with non-discrimination law that they would allow in no other situation. Thus there is no longer equal protection of the law when it comes to matter of non-discrimination law, and the deck is stacked against believers.

We know what is coming next. Ross Douhat asked a series of questions about how far conformity should be enforced on matters of gay marriage. Should people be denied employment or lose employment for holding the wrong view? Should religious institutions that reject gay marriage be legally disadvantaged for that belief? Should attempting to pass on traditional views on sexual morality be deemed child abuse and result in the loss of parental rights? In other words, should the holding of religious beliefs that were mainstream and consistent with the law a mere two decades ago become an offense under the law? Sadly, many of the commenters on his piece were supportive of undercutting religious freedom.

The more I’ve looked at this matter over the last week, the more I have come to realize that for Christians the future may come to look very much like the situation that faced the first followers of Christ in the decades following the crucifixion until the time of Constantine.

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And sadly, the same will be true of our Torah-believing Jewish brethren — the days of Antiochus Epiphanes will be revisited upon them by the Progressives, cheered on by the their secular Jewish cousins. But this will not, I would suspect, be the case for the followers of Islam, which has come under the special protection progressives due their shared value of anti-Americanism.

The Right Planet :I think freedom itself is seriously threatened in America. When the term “political correctness” entered the lexicon, it signaled a move away from the freedom of expression toward censorship; lest one find themselves at odds with the capricious will of the mob. The First Amendment couldn’t be any clearer when it comes to the right of the individual to freely worship and practice their faith as they see fit: “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

As far as the recent controversy over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is concerned, I think there is more at play here than meet’s the eye. What I see is the forced acceptance of a certain “lifestyle.” One must accept, and even embrace, gay marriage, for example. If one does not embrace gay marriage, and the gay “lifestyle” in general, it is called “hate” and “discrimination” by the militant forces who are attempting to ram their “morals” down the throats of those may not agree with them. Funny, coming from those who constantly rail against anybody ramming their morals down their throats. To me, it is all about the freedom of association; and whether or not I, as an individual, have the right to associate with those I choose to associate with.

What really angers me about the recent controversy over religious freedom are the methods being deployed against those of faith. Take the case of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, for example. Following a reporter asking one of the owners of the small pizza shop whether they would cater a gay wedding, and the owner responding that it violated their religious convictions (despite the fact the owners did not refuse to serve gay customers), all hell broke loose. They were deluged with death threats and a torrent of hate that was just off the charts.

The First Amendment grants Americans the right to peacefully protest; but it does not grant the right to violently protest, or harass people, or create a public nuisance, or file false charges, or threaten arson, and so on. Perhaps it’s people of faith who should be given “protected class” status. But that’s a whole ‘nuther can of worms.

 


Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have our winners for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“In justice, too, to our excellent Constitution, it ought to be observed, that it has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The life of West, Nietzsche said, is based on Christianity. The values of the West are based on Christianity. Some of these values seem to have taken a life of their own, and this gives us the illusion that we can get rid of Christianity and keep the values. This, Nietzsche says, is an illusion…Remove the Christian foundation, and the values must go too” – Dinesh D’Souza

“Those who want the government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide.”
- Harry S. Truman

“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.” - James Witherspoon, 1775

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This week’s winning essay,Bookworm Room’s Jesus would have supported RFRA is a superb look at the current assault on religious freedom in America by goverenment diktat. Here’s a slice:
The useful thing about the Left’s willingness to expose its ignorance is that analyzing its errors often leads one to greater truths. For me, the greater truth flowing from a poster highlighting Leftist stupidity is that Jesus almost certainly would have approved of Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as well as similar acts in other states and under federal law.

Being Jewish, I have to admit that I don’t usually run things through a “What Would Jesus Do” filter. However, I started thinking along those lines when a large number of my Leftist Facebook friends got very excited about this Easter poster:

Flog a banker

My first thought was that, in general principle, the man who preached the Sermon on the Mount would not have approved of that poster. Jesus was not generally a fan of flogging:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

***

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Still, there’s a grain of truth in that anti-Christian poster. Upon his entry into Jerusalem, Jesus did yell at the money changers and tip over their tables. What enraged him, though, wasn’t their profession, even though he did castigate their enclave as a “den of thieves.” Instead, he was upset because they were profaning the holy area of the Temple. Matthew describes an angry man:

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

John describes a man willing to use the lash to clean God’s house:

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

What Lefties, who are “instruction” learners, rather than “principle” learners, take away from John is very specific: Flog people who handle money. In fact, that’s completely wrong. I’ve already noted that, as a general. matter, Jesus did not believe in using violence against his fellow man, even if said fellow man was doing something mean or sinful. There was a bigger principle at stake here. What drove Jesus to a violent frenzy was the desecration of the Temple. Jesus had a clear hierarchy: Treat your fellow man with love and kindness; but treat God, his house, and his words, with absolute reverence, untainted by government or commerce.

Jesus’s clear delineation between religious and secular matters appears again when he was called upon to talk about taxes. When hostile questioners tried to get Jesus to reject as a matter of faith the taxes that Rome imposed on Jews, he instead drew a bright line in the sand: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

The Founders, all of whom were steeped in the Bible even if they were not practicing Christians, knew about Jesus’s efforts to keep commerce and government away from the purity of faith. They were also aware of their own history: For more than 100 years, Christians and Jews had come to America to escape the stifling, and often deadly, restrictions imposed upon them by European governments because of their faith. It was in this context that the First Amendment came into being:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Ace of Spades HQ The New Intolerance: We Are Now Required To Embrace Just About Everything, Except the Gutter Religion Christianitysubmitted by Rhymes with Right. A must read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vite this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all disgusting,but the votes are in and we have our winner winner…the envelope please…

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America’s Favorite Closet Islamist, Grover Norquist!!

 The Noisy Room : My nomination this week is Grover Norquist. Glenn Beck should be commended for taking on Grover Norquist. He should have been outed years and years ago. Beck devoted two shows to Norquist this week. The first laid out his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the second show, he had Grover on to defend himself. The weasel did a very bad job of defending his record. His demeanor and posturing screamed that he was lying. He only went on Beck’s show after he petulantly emailed Beck that he was backing out and then reversed himself because he realized how bad it made him look.

The best line of the whole interview by Beck to Norquist: “If I take you at face value, you’re the most unlucky person … I’ve ever met in my life,” Beck said. “Only Barack Obama is this unlucky with a string of friends who are radicals.” I think that pretty much says it all.

Ah, unlucky perhaps from the infidel point of view, but very lucky in terms of inserting Islamism and the Ikhwan deep into the American body politic saddiqh! Why it was Grover, a good friend of Karl Rove who started an Islamic lobbying group, the Islamic Institute with  the help of thousands of dollars from Hamas and Hezbollah supporter Abdulrahman Alamoudi. Alamoudi was later revealed as a top Brotherhood leader in the U.S. involved in massive terrorism fundraising operations and is now imprisoned for his part in trying to assassinate Saudi head of State Prince Abdullah.

Grover also  introduced Sami-al-Arian in GOP circles, including  presidential candidate George W. Bush. Al-Arian was Islamic Jihad’s man in America, later imprisoned for laundering money raised in America for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

As a matter of fact, Grover Norquist as been one of the most influential ‘borers from within’ around when it comes to Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood. You don’t get more weasel than that.

So step up and get your weasel effendi.. Mahbrouk!

Well, there it is!

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and  remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Watcher’s Council Nominations – April Fool’s Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The People’s Cube, Seraphic Secret, Maggie’s Notebook and The Independent’s Howard Jacobson earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!!

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It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ nominees….

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America’s Favorite Closet Islamist, Grover Norquist!!

 The Noisy Room : My nomination this week is Grover Norquist. Glenn Beck should be commended for taking on Grover Norquist. He should have been outed years and years ago. Beck devoted two shows to Norquist this week. The first laid out his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the second show, he had Grover on to defend himself. The weasel did a very bad job of defending his record. His demeanor and posturing screamed that he was lying. He only went on Beck’s show after he petulantly emailed Beck that he was backing out and then reversed himself because he realized how bad it made him look.

The best line of the whole interview by Beck to Norquist: “If I take you at face value, you’re the most unlucky person … I’ve ever met in my life,” Beck said. “Only Barack Obama is this unlucky with a string of friends who are radicals.” I think that pretty much says it all.

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 The Leadership of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ

 Rhymes With Right :In 1993, this mainline denomination offered its enthusiastic support for the passage and signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  In 1997, the denomination filed an amicus brief supporting the law when it was challenged before the Supreme Court.  Last week, the leaders of the Indianapolis-based denomination voiced their strong objection to the passage of a RFRA by the state of Indiana, and threatened to remove its 2017 biennial General Convention from Indianapolis declaring the following:

Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find RFRA contrary to the values of our faith – as well as to our national and Hoosier values. Our nation and state are strong when we welcome people of many backgrounds and points of view. The free and robust exchange of ideas is part of what makes our democracy great.

As a Christian church, we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow – one who sat at table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table. Our members and assembly-goers are of different races and ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. They have in common that they love Jesus and seek to follow him.

We are particularly distressed at the thought that, should RFRA be signed into law, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses – might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.

This is a particularly weaselly declaration from these denominational leaders.  After all, the denomination itself permits its congregations to decide to whether or not to permit gay weddings in their sanctuaries, and allows its clergy the same freedom regarding whether or not to officiate gay weddings.  This is in stark contrast to the demand that the state of Indiana require all of its citizens, regardless of religion, to conform to a very different standard with regard to participating in gay weddings.

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Christian Bashin’ Bureaucrat Elizabeth Ashack

The Right Planet: An economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Elizabeth Ashack, decided to jump aboard the hate wagon against my own state of Indiana in protest to the recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Ashack sent out the following Tweet:

“[P]eople in the red states vote for nazis to govern, and then call themselves Christian, it will not end well for them. #BoycottIndiana”

Ashack then quickly deleted her Tweet, but not before a few people managed to get screenshots of her original Tweet. She then removed any mention of her connection to the Department of Labor in her Twitter profile. Now, Ashack claims her Twitter account was hacked:

“On Friday, March 24 both my work and home computer were hacked. An investigation is underway. Twitter and LinkedIn accounts were compromised.”

If that were true, why did she delete that Tweet as well? Now, that’s what I call a weasel!

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Tax Cheat, Race Pimp And Undying Opponent Of The English Language Al Sharpton

The Independent Sentinel :Al Sharpton is my choice for weasel of the week. In response to the Indiana Religious Freedom Act, he said this:

“This is a key moment for the country. Too often in our history, we’ve seen religion used to justify attacks on other people’s rights, from slavery, to Jim Crow, to women’s right to vote. That same fight is with us today, and we can’t let it stand.”

Similar laws to the Indiana law exist in 19 other states. The Indiana law is essentially the same as the federal law. The law in liberal Connecticut is much stricter than the one in Indiana.

Sharpton was not the lone hyperbolic fool these past few days. There was the NCAA shooting their mouths off, Cher saying it was the same as ‘slavery’, there was that great sage Miley Cyrus calling Gov. Pence an @$$hole, and economist Elizabeth Ashack calling people in the red states Nazis. Still, the whole Jim Crow thing had a special touch coming from the greatest race-baiter of this century.

Well, there it is. What a despicable group of  Weasels…ANY OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know

Forum: What’s Your Take on The Bowe Bergdahl Situation? What Will The Outcome Be?



Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question
: What’s Your Take on The Bowe Bergdahl Situation? What Will The Outcome Be?

The Glittering Eye : As Lord Sankey said in 1935, the presumption of innocence is the golden thread that runs through the criminal law. That is as true of our code of military justice as it is of our civil code. I’m concerned that too many are forgetting that in the case of Bowe Berdahl. Let the case work its way through the courts. That’s what hearings and trials are for.

I do find it interesting that the editors of the New York Times a) assume that Berdahl is guilty and b) think he should be absolved from that for political reasons. There is another ancient legal dictum that covers that: fiat justitia ruat caelum or let justice be done though the heavens fall.

Wolf Howling : On the night of June 30, 2009, Army Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, then stationed in Afghanistan at Outpost Keating, left a note in his tent stating “he was leaving to start a new life.” Bergdahl left his post and made his way into the surrounding countryside, committing a textbook act of desertion per the UCMJ. The Taliban soon made Bergdahl their prisoner.

In the immediate aftermath of his desertion, Bergdahl’s battalion engaged in repeated efforts to find him in operations that claimed the lives of six soldiers. Moreover, Army Command made a decision that Outpost Keating, then slated for closure, should remain open as a base from which to search for Bergdahl. On October 3, 2009, the base was subjected to the one of the largest and bloodiest attacks of the Afghan War, in what has become known as the Battle of Kamdesh. The battle resulted in eight more American soldiers killed and twenty-seven wounded.

The Obama administration, at some point, began secret negotiations with the Taliban for the return of Bergdahl. In violation of U.S. law, the Obama administration agreed to a prisoner exchange with the Taliban without timely notifying Congress. Despite that, the Obama administration claiming general power to act under the Constitution, unilaterally authorized the deal. On May 31, 2014, Bergdahl was exchanged for five top Taliban commanders who, until then, were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility.

In the wake of criticism, the Obama administration defended their deal, laughably claiming that Bergdahl was a soldier with a distinguished record of service. At least three of the five members of the Taliban Five seem poised to resume their efforts against American and Afghanistan interests. The U.S. military recently charged Bergdahl with desertion.

My take is that Bergdahl should be tried for desertion and, if found guilty, be jailed for life. I also believe that Obama’s decision to trade for Bergdahl was part of a larger plan to close Gitmo, but that pushback in the wake of this trade will stop that. Obama, who has made an industry out of violating the Constitution and the laws of our nation, will suffer no penalty for this trade because Congress is too supine to force the issue. Most if not all of the Taliban Five will return to their positions in the Taliban to again plan the death and destruction of Americans.

At the Daily Caller, W. James Antle III opines on one other possible fallout:

The charges against Bowe Bergdahl are not merely embarrassing to the White House. They will further undermine the already shaky confidence in the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran.

I don’t see that. The Iran negotiations are orders of magnitude more important than the Bergdahl situation, which is little more than a flash in the pan in the grander scheme of things. Obama has already given the nation countless grounds to mistrust his judgment and veracity as regards the Iran negotiations. The administration’s prevarications and poor judgment as regards Bergdahl are merely more straws on a camels back that is already broken. In the very near future, no one will remember this but as one more sad footnote in the history of the Obama administration. At least, that is, until new American deaths can be traced to the recently released members of the Taliban Five, as seems a certainty. Then the impotent howling will commence yet again.

JoshuaPundit : I pretty much said what I had to say here. The Army had to be dragged kicking and screaming into prosecuting this human detritus because the top brass have all seen what happens to generals whom don’t toe the party line…they get booted out. The Army knew as far back as 2010 when the Pentagon originally investigated this that Bergdahl willfully deserted his post, but they’ve kept stalling. The Army even postponed charging Bergdahl until after the 2014 midterms.

So our our commander-in-chief paid a nice ransom and freed 5 top Taliban commanders from Club Gitmo who have undoubtedly been responsible for more attacks on our troops in AfPak now that they’re free. It also doesn’t surprise me that the Obama regime knew Bergdahl was a deserter but lied to the American people about him ‘serving with honor and distinction.’ They simply don’t care anymore, having gotten away with this kind of thing so many times at this point.

The Army does surprise me though, just a bit. Considering that Bergdahl put his unit in danger and that Bergdahl was directly  responsible for the deaths of at least 5 other soldiers whom died trying to find him. I’m convinced the only reason they finally charged him was because this was so blatant it would have resulted in a major morale and discipline issue if they had just swept it under the rug, as they were obviously told to. At  that, what we’ve actually got here is not the prelude to a court martial
but the military equivalent of a ‘grand jury’, to stretch this out for months so the end result can be more or less buried.

The end result? They’ll obviously have to try him, whether they want to or not. There’s just too much evidence, including a little love note he wrote before he left. I’m assuming they will not consider AfPak as actual wartime, so a violation of Article 28 of the UCMJ calls for 2-5 years imprisonment, a dishonorable discharge and loss of all pay and benefits.

By time he’s actually sentenced, at worst he’ll probably get two years , and it will be close enough to January 2017 that he’ll merit a presidential pardon or commutation of sentence after serving a few months. when you compare this with how the Pendleton 8 were treated,(all of them were acquitted after going through sheer hell) it makes you wonder…

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Bergdahl is charged with one count of Article 85 and one count of Article 99.

Article 85 is “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty.” It carries a maximum potential punishment of a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of private, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and five years in prison.

Article 99 is “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.” It carries a maximum potential penalty of dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of private, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and life in prison.

The UCMJ defines desertion as intent to leave a unit “permanently.”

Army officials associated with Bergdahl’s legal case cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the 2014 investigation while legal actions are pending “out of respect to the judicial process, the rights of the accused and to ensure the proceeding’s fairness and impartiality.”

The date of the hearing has not been announced.

An Article 32 preliminary hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury inquiry. It is designed to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to merit a court-martial.

Based on the outcome of the hearing, a general court-martial convening authority will decide whether to refer charges to a general court-martial, refer the charges to a special court-martial, dismiss the charges, or take any other action deemed appropriate.

One important difference in the military process is that the defendant and defense counsel are present for the hearing and can cross-examine witnesses.

Without a confession from Bergdahl, military lawyers would need to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove his intent, including statements from members of his unit and Afghan villagers who may have come in contact with him after he left the U.S. base.

Depending on the outcome of the Article 32 hearing, Bergdahl’s attorney, could request an administrative solution to his client’s case by requesting that the military discharge Bergdahl in lieu of a court-martial.

Most likely, that is what will happen – a less than honorable discharge.

Personally, “Death To Traitors” may be apropos.

Also, tons of speculation that the Taliban 5 swap for Bergdahl may be the 1st step to shutting down enemy detentions at Guantanamo Bay.

 Bookworm Room: In June 2009, when Bowe Bergdahl vanished, those who were paying attention already knew that he was a deserter at best or a collaborator at worst. His reputation amongst his fellow troops was terrible and, as his email correspondence with his father was being made public, it was obvious that Bergdahl wasn’t simply a lost sheep.

By the time of his release from Taliban hands, in May 2014, the military had, not only lost six good men searching for him, it had also had ample time to study everything about Bergdahl’s life until the point of his captivity — and to get to know his family. His father is quite manifestly a Muslim convert, with his beard and headdress and Pashtun and Arabic prayers. Or he has a really, really, bizarre variation of Stockholm Syndrome, to the point at which he’s identifying with his son’s hosts or captors, depending on which story one believes.

Obama knew all of this, and yet he took Bergdahl back in exchange for five men who undoubtedly have killed many Americans and who, know free, will undoubtedly kill many more. Not only that, but he had his mouthpieces fan out and knowingly tell Americans the lie that Bergdahl served honorably and vanished bravely.

Summed up: At all times relevant to Bergdahl’s release, it was manifestly obvious based upon the widely available evidence — almost all of it from Bergdahl’s and his father’s own keyboards — that this was an act of desertion, pure and simple.

So why the “desertion” charge now? This is going to be a show trial. Bergdahl’s lawyers are already claiming (a) that it’s the military’s fault for allowing him to enlist in the first place; and/or (b) that he was trying to be a good soldier by departing in the dark of night, without any of his equipment, to report to another base about infractions on his base. The military tribunal, assuming it’s been properly staffed with “good soldiers,” will accept one or the other of these defenses, and Bergdahl will vanish into obscurity.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Since the Bowe Bergdahl trade last May with the Taliban for five high value enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay, many of us were under the impression an Article 32 investigation was underway. The announcement on March 25th reveals that what the Army was conducting all this time was an Article 15-6 investigation, which is a non-judicial investigation utilized for lesser crimes committed while in the military.

We now know Bergdahl has been charged with “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” as well as “misbehavior before the enemy.” These charges mean now Bergdahl might receive an Article 32 hearing, essentially like a civilian grand jury hearing, to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial.

Many who have been following the case heard statements from his platoon members, who all appear to agree Bergdahl deserted his post and should be court-martialed. Possibly half a dozen of his platoon mates lost their lives looking for Bergdahl.

After all the fanfare with President Obama and Bergdahl’s family in the White House Rose Garden, and with Susan Rice stating on national television that “he served the United States with honor and distinction”, the political pressure on the military must be intense to make this case go away.

I suspect the outcome of this will be Bergdahl’s attorney will ask for, and the Army will grant, an administrative discharge, avoiding an Article 32 hearing altogether. This means he will receive an “other than honorable” discharge and will not serve any jail time.

What is most disturbing is that our military, caving under the political pressure of this administration, delayed and continues to delay bringing the Bergdahl desertion case to court martial.

Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?