Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 15 Jan 2021 21:06:59 -0800 Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate 6a0f9cc8791e618dc81ba4d681df99d3 The Pope Was Arrested? for 01/15/2021 Fri, 15 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Theologian John Calvin once noted men's hearts are "a perpetual factory of idols." As people across the political spectrum move away from religion and fill the void with politics, idol worship runs rampant.</p> <p>All of us have a voice within us that whispers there is more to life. Many people go in search of it. Atheists spent an inordinate amount of energy turning the voice off, often turning science into the religion of scientism. Others, on the left and right, turn from, "Love your neighbor" and, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and embrace, "Save the culture, and win at all costs." This voice pulls them away from the Creator and toward creation.</p> <p>Once a person has turned from Creator to creation and begins manufacturing idols, it is also necessary to turn from theology to mythology. The new mythology requires a new cosmogony, which is a theory of how the universe began.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021</p> 38d25d19881c78d12506ca53dd15cca7 The Logical Consequence of Lies for 01/08/2021 Fri, 08 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Not since the British stormed the United States Capitol has it been invaded by those out to end the American constitutional system. But it happened this week at the hands of American citizens. Encouraged by President Donald Trump &#8212; and let's not mince words here; he told them to march on the Capitol &#8212; a mixed group of rabid, malcontented supporters stormed through barricades, smashed windows and took up residence in the chair belonging to the President of the Senate, who is also the Vice President of the United States.</p> <p>The insurrectionists, having constructed the gallows and hung a noose, entered the Capitol calling for Vice President Mike Pence to show himself. They did so after the President tweeted Pence had lacked the courage to throw out the Electoral College. Then the protestors, various members of Congress, television hosts and others lied and said it was probably antifa. The man with the painted face and horned hat calling for the Vice President to show himself, a key organizer of the insurrection, was a well-known Trump supporter. He had his picture taken standing next to a few neo-Nazis. Surely there were some left-wing anarchists there, too. But this was organized by Trump supporters and egged on by the President.</p> <p>Why were they there? For two months, the President, various talking heads, news networks, pundits, grifters, charlatans and conmen perpetuated a lie. They claimed, with no credible evidence, that the presidential election had been stolen. They have not yet offered the names of anyone who actually voted fraudulently. The President's legal team went to court in multiple states and denied any fraud under oath. Trump-appointed judges threw out the frivolous claims. Now some of the loudest voices are being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation. One might hope Dominion bankrupts some of these fledgling propaganda networks that fanned the flames of conspiracy and lies.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 08, 2021</p> 549ef0dd2995123b88de966409bc8a38 The Authenticity of the Virgin Birth for 12/25/2020 Fri, 25 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>F. F. Bruce is one of those scholars I have had to spend a lot of time reading in seminary. He researched and wrote some of the best material on the history of the Bible and its accuracy. In studying the ancient texts that we have, Bruce has noted that there are only around nine or 10 manuscripts of Caesar's Gallic War, which was composed between 58 and 50 B.C. The oldest manuscript we have originates from 900 years later.</p> <p>Bruce writes: "The History of Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) is known to us from eight (manuscripts), the earliest belonging to circa A.D. 900, and a few papyrus scraps, belonging to about the beginning of the Christian era. The same is true of the History of Herodotus (c. 488-428 BC). Yet no classical scholar would listen to an argument that the authenticity of Herodotus or Thucydides is in doubt because the earliest (manuscripts) of their works which are of any use to us are over 1,300 years later than the originals."</p> <p>Take, as well, something like Homer's Iliad, which people passed to one other over the centuries by oration, until it was finally written down. Until the 19th century, most people presumed Troy a myth. Then, archeologists found it. The "rage of Achilles" was probably true. In the centuries before the printing press &#8212; even before monks and script &#8212; people preserved their histories through accurate recitation over generations. Apply this all to scripture.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 25, 2020</p> 6abee8dfd7bc05c132b601672d64d870 Struggle of Wills for 12/18/2020 Fri, 18 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A lot of Christians who were fine with the idea that President Donald Trump came to power via divine will are now having trouble accepting the same about President-elect Joe Biden.</p> <p>In God's moral will, he wills us to do certain things and avoid other things. God wills us to avoid sin. We have free volition of action, and our wills are bent against God, toward sin. God knows all of this. He contemplates it in His sovereign will.</p> <p>God's sovereign will means He is ultimately in charge of all things. He has planned out the history of the world in order to glorify Him.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 18, 2020</p> 57a67020d338fec65555865a6aa073c7 An Evidence-Based Faith for 12/11/2020 Fri, 11 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Let's take a break from the election. "Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong," said Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, in A.D. 156 before climbing onto a pyre where Roman authorities would burn him to death. Eyewitnesses reported the local authorities respected Polycarp and begged him to recant his faith in Christ. He would not. The Romans did not even tie Polycarp to a post because they knew he would not flee the fire. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Polycarp fed his captors, prayed over them and then climbed the pyre to die.</span></p> <p>Authorities carted off Polycarp's friend Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, and fed him to wild beasts in the Circus Maximus on July 6, 108. Ignatius had refused to renounce Christ. Histories of the time, their personal writings and the writings of others tell us Polycarp and Ignatius were students of the Apostle John. They vouched for him as the author of his gospel. John installed Polycarp as bishop of Smyrna, and the Apostle Peter placed Ignatius in charge of Antioch. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 11, 2020</p> 7bd0d241470133e570dbbe9b8ae26089 Where Does the Buck Stop? for 12/04/2020 Fri, 04 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>According to President Donald Trump's supporters, the President was failed by multiple chiefs of staff, his first attorney general and now his second. He is, even now, being failed by his lawyers. </p> <p>The Trump-controlled Department of Justice and Trump-controlled FBI are both in on stealing the election from their boss, possibly along with the CIA, and now Fox News, which made an accurate call of Arizona that hurt feelings by coming too soon. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 04, 2020</p> b4cc2cc2d47522d11f2ab2b520a7c9d7 The Puritan Work Ethic for 11/27/2020 Fri, 27 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Four hundred years ago, the religious dissidents we know as the Pilgrims began arriving in New England. Just as The New York Times has decided to engage in revisionist history of our nation's founding with its "1619 Project," this past week, USA Today tried the same with Thanksgiving. </p> <p>In all the revisionist readings of American history, what the progressive reeducators of our history downplay is that great marvel carried into the New World in New England after the brutal winter of 1620 into 1621. </p> <p>William Bradford, the second governor of the Plymouth Colony, wrote his history of the period called "Of Plymouth Plantation." Bradford claimed the Pilgrims intended to share "the gospel of the kingdom of Christ" with the people who resided in America.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 27, 2020</p> dfceeea758e2a0986e17491b46b3518c Hope in Dark Times for 11/20/2020 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Last week, on my syndicated radio program, I told my listeners that even though there was probably fraud in the election, it would not be enough to overcome the margin of Joe Biden's victory. Joe Biden is President-elect.</p> <p>I think there probably were some acts of fraud. In Pennsylvania, however, President Donald Trump's legal team has abandoned their fraud claims. In Georgia, while new votes have been discovered, it is not enough to overcome the margin of Joe Biden's victory. In Michigan, Biden's victory is over 147,000 votes, and the fraud claims as alleged amounted to only around 1000 votes cast.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 20, 2020</p> 3caa8f6debdb85e4398664536453c42a Evil Is Watching for 11/13/2020 Fri, 13 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"On November 7, 2000, American voters went to the polls in what turned out to be one of the closest presidential contests in U.S. history &#8212; an election campaign during which there was a notable absence of serious discussion of the al Qaeda threat or terrorism. Election night became a 36-day legal fight. Until the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling on December 12 and Vice President Al Gore's concession, no one knew whether Gore or his Republican opponent, Texas Governor George W. Bush, would become president in 2001.</p> <p>"The dispute over the election and the 36-day delay cut in half the normal transition period. Given that a presidential election in the United States brings wholesale change in personnel, this loss of time hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing, and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees," according to section 6.4 in the 9/11 Commission Report.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 13, 2020</p> 067fc9c8d8d15b80ca775a1d9433cb48 The Message Versus the Messenger for 11/06/2020 Fri, 06 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. Contrary to some highly irresponsible claims, Biden will not win by theft but by people actually voting for him. It frustrates me to see my own party demanding lawfully cast ballots not be counted.</p> <p>I am opposed to counting ballots that show up after Election Day. I think ballots need to be in by Election Day. Those that arrive by Election Day need to be counted, and those votes will hand Biden the presidency. There are issues for which the GOP should force accountability in the vote, including the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wanting to accept all ballots, including those that show up after Election Day. But the GOP should not be so willfully trying to claim a stolen election. Democrats are not out manufacturing tens of thousands of votes, and Republicans who think that need psychotherapy. </p> <p>Hanging on to that grievance and playing the victim also will cause the Republicans to lose sight of just how well they did. President Donald Trump may have lost, but Republicans held the United States Senate, added seats to the House of Representatives, gained a state legislative chamber while holding all their others and picked up a gubernatorial seat. Republicans will control redistricting for congressional and state legislative races in most states for the next decade, despite losing the White House. That is a very good thing. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 06, 2020</p> f6553637a882b3c48c792808584c3fb2 Calm Down for 10/30/2020 Fri, 30 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This election is almost over. Its end cannot arrive soon enough. Americans are exhausted. Many of them have already voted. Some states are reaching or exceeding their 2016 presidential turnout. If the polls are correct &#8212; and there is reason to think they are, given the fixes employed in 2018 that produced mostly accurate polling &#8212; Joe Biden is going to win the presidency. However, that does not mean President Donald Trump will not win reelection. It just means Trump is running a defense play from a position of weakened incumbency, even if that weakening is due to a virus from China.</p> <p>At this point, tensions are remarkably high on both sides, as is the stress of the situation. The reality, however, is that people should calm down and remember not a lot will fundamentally change, even as many people tell themselves and everyone around them that doom is coming if their side does not win.</p> <p>No matter what happens, God is sovereign. The God who gave us Barack Obama and Donald Trump could choose Biden or Trump. God's will be done. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The God who brought bread from Heaven and water from rocks and raised you from the dust of the Earth and stitched you together in your mother's womb is going to still be on His throne ruling the universe the day after the election.</span><p>Updated: Fri Oct 30, 2020</p> 09739e5250b8c6abc3428519d7384e53 The Final Full Week for 10/23/2020 Fri, 23 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In the RealClearPolitics polling average, Joe Biden has a 4.2% lead in the battleground states at the time of this writing. That is more relevant than the national polls. Had 2016 not happened, we'd all be writing the obituary of the Trump campaign right now.</p> <p>By any normal metric, President Donald Trump is toast, and the GOP is losing the Senate.</p> <p>But these are not normal times, and 2016 showed that there is an undercounting of Trump voters out there. There are also some pollsters who just excel at really poor polling that skews polling averages. For example, I don't know any pollster this year on either side of the aisle who is putting any stock in Quinnipiac's polling, but that poll skews the polling averages. It is, however, offset with Rasmussen, another bad pollster who tends to go toward the GOP. That is why the polling averages matter. <p>Updated: Fri Oct 23, 2020</p> ff673a6503e0be9229bc190bce4bfcaf Orwell Rears His Head for 10/16/2020 Fri, 16 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Monday of last week, to use the phrase "sexual preference" was completely acceptable. As recently as last month, multiple gay rights publications used the phrase. Leon Panetta had used the phrase in the past couple of years. Joe Biden has used the phrase this year.</p> <p>Merriam-Webster considered "sexual preference" to be just another version of "sexual orientation." But then Tuesday happened.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the village idiot from Hawaii masquerading as a senator, Mazie Hirono, attacked Amy Coney Barrett for using "sexual preference" instead of "sexual orientation."<p>Updated: Fri Oct 16, 2020</p> f3076bc348e243db5b3c1f78e2e27317 Less Than a Month To Go for 10/09/2020 Fri, 09 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 2016, I was convinced Hillary Clinton would win. Her losing forced on some needed humility about my perspective on politics. Now I'm routinely accused of saying Donald Trump will lose or of betraying my values by saying I'd vote for the guy. There's not really any winning, or even fun to be had, by doing what I perceive as calling balls and strikes. But I want to do that anyway and give you my honest take on all of this.</p> <p>In 2016, I relied mostly on myself to get a sense of things. Over the past few years, I've spent a lot more time talking to other people actively involved in campaigns, from the presidential level to state races, to help shape my view of the race and where things stand.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Based on these conversations, I think there is a lot of muddiness and there are a lot of unknowns but we can also paint a bit of a picture of the race to get a sense of it.</span><p>Updated: Fri Oct 09, 2020</p> 4a5edcae517eac32c08c54bdb5206df2 Helping the Persecuted for 09/25/2020 Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>America has a long tradition of being open to those fleeing oppression. That tradition has been slowed by the Trump administration, and this issue has been absorbed into the big-picture battle on immigration issues as a whole.</p> <p>It makes sense to crack down on fraud, but not at the expense of those fleeing communism and religious oppression.</p> <p>The people of the world experiencing oppression for being Christian and those in the last remaining communist countries who are oppressed for merely having a religion are in need of the United States to resume its traditional role of being the country that will take them in.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 25, 2020</p> 7dce2a1503d11885952a15bfe1637247 Peace in the Middle East for 09/18/2020 Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I have noted before that I grew up in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. From 1980-1990, my family lived in an ungated community in the middle of the city down the street from the Iranian Hospital with the Jumeirah American School just one long block up the road. We walked to school every day.</p> <p>The school changed its name to the American School of Dubai the year after I graduated. It moved locations. The current school at the old location is the Jumeirah Baccalaureate School. My old house is all that remains of my neighborhood. The whole place got leveled and rebuilt, except my house on the corner at 27 Sheikh Rashid Villas, which is now No. 39 on 32b Street, Dubai, UAE. The only reason my house remained is because it became a doctor's office some time after we moved home in the run up to the first Gulf War.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Growing up, our history and geography textbooks all had pages missing or redacted. Anything that referenced Israel got taken out by censors. Maps of the Eastern Mediterranean had Israel either relabeled as Palestine or simply scribbled out with black Sharpie.</span><p>Updated: Fri Sep 18, 2020</p> 81f93e0535f39a7a7a3947a926d9eda3 A Complicated Virus for 09/11/2020 Fri, 11 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The President purportedly withheld bad news about the coronavirus to avoid a panic and, in so doing, allegedly cost American lives. That is what the American media and the Democrats claim. Meanwhile, a reporter had all of this on tape and withheld this very newsworthy item, even as bodies were piling up in freezer trucks parked by overrun morgues, just so he could make a buck.</p> <p>My outrage is exhausted over all angles of the virus story except this one: A self-aware and self-reflective media would be absolutely crucifying Bob Woodward for withholding these audio records as American bodies piled up, but like carrion-eating animals, they will continue picking at the corpse of virus coverage instead of ever turning on their own.</p> <p>The American news media is less trusted and less popular than either the President of the United States or poop in a pool, and this is why: Bob Woodward could have released the tapes after concluding his interviews with the President. He chose instead to hold on to them for money.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 11, 2020</p> 5d09476048e54ef6bc7186123f625e0d The Violence Is Not New for 09/04/2020 Fri, 04 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 2008, around the time of the Republican National Convention, a white 20-something male approached the Texas Governor's Mansion and threw a Molotov cocktail at it. The mansion burned down. The case remains unsolved, though federal and state authorities have long presumed it was a left-leaning anarchist. In fact, around the same time, left-wing anarchists were fighting police in the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota, during the GOP's convention, and some plotted to go back to Texas to commit acts of violence.</p> <p>In 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack crashed a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Members of the media immediately concluded he must have been a deranged tea party activist. In fact, Stack was both a nut and a Marxist whose suicide note attacked corporations and the Catholic Church.</p> <p>Also in 2010, John Patrick Bedell opened fire at the Pentagon. Some in the media jumped to the conclusion the shooter was of the tea party. But the Christian Science Monitor noted Bedell was an "anti-Bush registered Democrat who believed 9/11 was planned and carried out by the US government."<p>Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020</p> 6a29c54edae389c33635889cfa7e4351 The Bounce and the Aftermath for 08/28/2020 Fri, 28 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If the election were held today, Joe Biden would most likely win. Democrats could probably capture the Senate. The problem for Democrats is that the election is not today and the Republicans have had a good convention.</p> <p>After the Democrats' convention, President Donald Trump went up five points with independent voters in a CBS News poll. I am hard-pressed to find previous conventions where one candidate got a bump from the other candidate's convention. Trump has drawn close to Biden in swing state polls. Polling averages in several key states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, have Trump closer to Biden right now than Trump was against Clinton.</p> <p>That has Democrats concerned, and rightly so. Republicans orchestrated a convention that left much of the media and Democrats screaming, but the convention was never for them, anyway. The convention was not really even for the Republican base. It was for voters who may not like Trump but do like a lot of his policies. It was for voters who like Biden but harbor concerns about progressivism.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 28, 2020</p> 6ca3bdfa3d5b9eeaa83528928079f607 The Abraham Accords for 08/21/2020 Fri, 21 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Israel-United Arab Emirates news is actually much bigger than the American press is reporting. President Donald Trump actually does deserve a great deal of credit, and if the deal were reported accurately, he would get that credit.</p> <p>But the issue is larger than even that, and the American media has totally missed the bigger story.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 21, 2020</p>