Monday, June 28, 2010

Kupelian's "How Evil Works" Shines Bright (Book Review)

By: Matt Barber

I’m a tremendous fan of author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis. Rarely does one find a writer who can elucidate so profoundly, as could he, the stark contrast between secular humanism – “materialism” as Lewis called it – and the Judeo-Christian worldview. Seldom does one come across a wordsmith capable of so effectively, objectively and concisely distinguishing between good and evil.

I’ve found that wordsmith.

My wife Sarah and I were listening to the radio a few months back as Sean Hannity interviewed an author about his latest publication. The book was “How Evil Works,” but we were unable to ascertain, for some time, its author’s identity. We were immediately drawn into the discussion as this mystery guest waxed wise about what he called man’s “millennia-old blind spot” – namely, the existence of evil, how it works and why it destroys us.

I was amazed by the speaker’s insights into this “radioactive topic.” “Wow, this guy really get’s it,” I told Sarah. She nodded in agreement either unwilling or unable to take her attention away from the show long enough to answer. Finally – and for the benefit of us late arrivals – Sean divulged the identity of his guest: It was best-selling author and award-winning journalist David Kupelian.

I was no longer surprised.

David continued. He spoke of how America – once the moral guidepost to the world – had, “over time…abandoned its original principles,” only to now suffer from great “moral confusion.”

He spoke of a president, “wearing a mask,” who is “deceptive from morning ‘till night.” A president who, “taking us where we don’t want to go – has to lie about where he’s taking us.”

“Those in power talk an awful lot like those we used to fight,” he said.

That was it. “We’ve got to get this book,” I insisted. Sarah agreed.

I don’t often do book reviews (this is my first in fact), but after reading “How Evil Works,” I felt compelled to put pen to paper. Whereas Kupelian’s conversation with Hannity stopped me in my tracks, his book took it to the next level. It was simply outstanding.

I guess the best way to describe it is to say that “How Evil Works” has the same effect on your brain that yawning has on your ears at high altitude. Things just suddenly pop with crystal clarity.

Throughout “Evil’s” pages David meticulously unpacks today’s most pressing issues providing unassailable answers to some of our most critical questions. For instance:

• Where have all the statesmen gone and why do politicians lie?

• Why are so many Americans abandoning their Christian roots and embracing atheism and the occult?

• What drives terrorists to kill?

• How are psychological and spiritual problems linked, and why do we medicate ourselves into zombies?

• Why do people who seem to have everything so often self destruct and end up with nothing?

• How can we turn it all around and return this great nation to her God fearing ways?

And many more...

In recent days I was on a flight to Oklahoma City, OK. As I read the last page of “Evil” and placed it in the seat flap in front of me, a 15 year-old girl sitting to my side asked: “So how does evil work?” What an opening! “Well, this book explains it a lot better than I can,” I replied.

For several minutes we discussed worldview and our horribly failing culture. Turns out she was on her way to a missions trip in Jamaica. She mentioned that, like me, C.S. Lewis was one of her favorite authors. I chuckled and asked: “You’re homeschooled, aren’t you?”

Indeed she was, but explained that in the fall she was attending public school for the first time. “I want to get in there and be salt and light,” she said.

“Well then,” I replied, “take this with you. If you love C.S. Lewis, you won’t be able to put it down.” I handed her “How Evil Works.” She smiled ear-to-ear, thanked me and we went our separate ways. I’m quite certain that for it, her salt will be that much saltier and her light just a bit brighter.

J. Matt Barber is Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel and also serves as Associate Dean with Liberty University School of Law.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kagan a lesbian? Why it matters.

By: J. Matt Barber

I don't see how liberal media-types can write, what with those uncalloused, milky-soft little digits all bundled in bulky kid gloves and all. Oh, when the target of their "reporting" is a conservative politico, or even Tea Party Joe, off come the gloves. But when it's one of their own — when circumstances require that a fellow liberal undergo a modicum of journalistic scrutiny — its simpatico most sublime. Out with the inquiry; in with the Huggies and tushie powder.

Media, here's your question: "Solicitor Kagan, do you identify as a lesbian?" Ms. Kagan, your answer is simpler still: "Yes" or "no."

Pipe down, lefties. Yes, it is relevant. Most liberals would disagree, but despite "progressive" protestations to the contrary, character does, in fact, matter. A majority of Americans still consider sexual morality — or a lack thereof — a pertinent factor in contemplating one's fitness for any public service — chiefly, perhaps, a lifetime appointment to our most supreme earthly court.

Every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology have established that homosexual conduct is among other volitional behaviors rightly filed under "sexual immorality." Indeed, the majority of folks around the world — billions, actually — count this a timeless truth.

But the controversial nature of homosexuality is but one point of concern. Another involves potential conflicts of interest, "real or perceived." If we had a judicial nominee — widely believed a compulsive gambler — tapped to preside over gambling cases, would it not matter? If we had a nominee credibly rumored to use medical marijuana who might someday rule on the legality of medical marijuana, wouldn't such information be germane?

And before you liberals throw out that favorite red herring: "By this logic, Clarence Thomas shouldn't rule on cases involving race or sexuality because he's a black heterosexual male" — remember: skin color is a neutral, immutable characteristic. Being black is what someone is.

On the other hand, being "gay" is what someone does. It involves feelings and changeable behaviors. Homosexual conduct is more akin to the aforementioned gambling or pot smoking behaviors than it is to skin color (and for those in the lifestyle, especially men, sodomy most definitely involves rolling the dice). To compare "black" or "heterosexual" to "gay" is to compare apples to oranges. Understandably, many African Americans find this disingenuous comparison tremendously offensive.

Moreover, "heterosexual" is the state of sexual normalcy. It's our God-given design. There remains no credible or replicated scientific evidence to the contrary. Homosexual conduct is but one of many sexually deviant behaviors. Even Darwin's theory of evolution, which imagines "survival of the fittest," would seem to bolster this self-evident truth. You can choose political correctness. I choose moral and biological correctness.

Still, Kagan's "sexual orientation" remains the pink elephant in the room: Can a sitting justice, potentially engaged in the homosexual lifestyle, be trusted to rule on cases that might well grant special preferred government status to some — including that very justice — while, at the same time, eliminating certain free-speech and religious-liberties rights enjoyed by others? (i.e., hate-crimes laws; the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act; constitutionality of "don't ask don't tell," etc.)

In April, CBS News published an online column identifying Kagan — should she be confirmed — as the "first openly gay justice." The White House pounced, demanded CBS remove the article and called the assertion "false charges." CBS dutifully complied, tail twixt legs, whimpered away and curled-up behind the rest of Obama's slobbering media lapdogs.

Whereas every liberal hack on the planet tripped over one another to demand Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard and, most recently, George Rekers divulge the most intimate details of their own bizarre (allegedly) sexual appetites, with Kagan, they've suddenly lost interest.

Although the mainstream media refuse to do their job, some in the homosexual-activist press are stepping-up to fill the vacuum.

Homosexual blogger Andrew Sullivan, for instance, writing in The Atlantic, opined: "In a free society in the 21st century, it is not illegitimate to ask [whether Kagan is gay]. And it's cowardly not to tell."

But Kagan ain't tellin', and the media ain't askin'. Of course, even if they were inclined to ask, they'd have a difficult time doing so. The White House has Kagan wrapped-up tighter than Barney Frank in a bustier.

The question is important for context. The answer, for instance, might explain why Kagan drop-kicked our brave men and women of the armed services in the solar plexus, during a time of war, by banning military recruiters from Harvard while dean of the law school. She did so in protest of the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy, calling it "a profound wrong" and "a moral injustice of the first order."

As it turned out, Kagan's actions were illegal, and the very Supreme Court upon which she hopes to serve slapped her down with its 8-0 decision upholding the Solomon Amendment, which would have allowed the Department of Defense to withhold federal funding to Harvard if it failed to reverse its discriminatory policy.

Ed Whelan, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said of Kagan's activism: "At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses, Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists."

Newt Gingrich took his criticism a step further. While addressing the controversy, he bluntly said of Kagan's nomination: "That is an act so unbecoming of an American that she should be disqualified from the very beginning."

I agree.

Indeed, whether or not Elena Kagan self-identifies as a lesbian, she has proven herself a radical anti-military, pro-homosexual ideologue and activist. There's little doubt that she would take this activism with her to the high court.

So, Ms. Solicitor General, if in fact you are "totally not gay," as some of your friends and your president claim, then it's my hope that a few Republican U.S. senators might take the time to introduce you to a nice fellow by the name of Phil A. Buster. Believe me, it's a match made in heaven.

© J. Matt Barber