Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 14 May 2021 03:03:36 -0700 Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate 562fb7f96b31373cffd9e46619054741 The Truth Behind the Cheney Story for 05/14/2021 Fri, 14 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is out as Republican conference chair in the House of Representatives. The story has dominated American news outlets over the past week. Most Americans are probably hard-pressed to care about the story, but to the political press in the United States, the story has mattered deeply.</p> <p>This past Tuesday night, as rockets rained down on Tel Aviv from Gaza, the press was focused on Cheney's pending ouster, which happened Wednesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, while President Joe Biden was holding a press conference about the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, MSNBC was holding a panel discussion about Cheney and the future of the Republican Party. Chris Cillizza, CNN's regurgitator of convention hot takes, wrote, "The maneuvering to get Cheney out on Wednesday bodes very poorly for House Republicans." One would think the House GOP conference chair was an important position. It is not. One would assume Americans care. They do not.<p>Updated: Fri May 14, 2021</p> 9cff3d15b829caa352748c956c04f5f4 Republicans Distracted for 05/07/2021 Fri, 07 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The House Republican Conference stood up for Rep. Liz Cheney just a few short months ago, and suddenly the relationship has gone south. It has gone south at about the same time census numbers have come out giving the GOP a real advantage to taking back the House of Representatives. It also comes as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has made several trips to Florida to engage with and sweet-talk former President Donald Trump. Now, suddenly, McCarthy has been caught on a hot mic at Fox News bashing Cheney.</p> <p>My educated hypothesis is that a great deal of the sudden antagonism toward Cheney has to do with placating Trump in the run-up to the 2022 election cycle. My guess is that it has less to do with Cheney in charge of the House GOP Conference &#8212; something the GOP was perfectly fine to defend, even after her impeachment vote. McCarthy is too savvy to talk with a hot mic. He most likely knew it would get circulated.</p> <p>By any measure not related to Trump, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney is a conservative. Her father was the man conservatives went to in the early 2000s to help scuttle scores of liberal initiatives coming out of squishy "big-government conservative" Bush White House employees. Her mother fought the precursor to the woke left for years on the cultural front. Liz Cheney has been pretty strong on defense, a reliable Republican team player and a conservative voter on both fiscal and social issues. She is just having none of the "stolen election" nonsense and has been forcefully, aggressively pushing back on it.<p>Updated: Fri May 07, 2021</p> 061368b7f91a88c68c3516b20afe9e75 The Media's Tucker Carlson Obsession for 04/30/2021 Fri, 30 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Tune into CNN or MSNBC on a daily basis and you will find someone venting about what Tucker Carlson said the night before. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., vent daily about Carlson.</p> <p>Back in the early days of blogging, bloggers would attack bigger names hoping for attention, link "love" and notoriety. It is much the same with the media, but there is more to it.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Increasingly, American media institutions are narrative-based, not fact-based. Narrative-based news requires short stories. Those short stories require plots. Those plots require protagonists and antagonists to move the story along.</span><p>Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021</p> a8944d2464ae7e023ab38bab2a2fe0f7 Failures to Distinguish for 04/23/2021 Fri, 23 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>How many people have died unjustly and unseen, out of mind and now forgotten by all but those who love them? It is a question we should ask in light of the Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd situations. It is a reminder that justice would have been denied to both men had there not been video.</p> <p>How many more are out there?<p>Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021</p> e65658525e9ef6ff06a27c30fdec9f12 Tribalism Breaks Our Bond With Truth for 04/16/2021 Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Daunte Wright should still be alive. The 20-year-old, killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, did not have to die. Officer Kim Potter confused her Taser and her gun, yelled, "Taser" at the young man and killed him. Watching the horrific and tragic body camera footage, she really thought she had her Taser. But she had grabbed her gun.</p> <p>The Taser and the gun were similarly shaped. It was a terrible tragedy. Those who call for defunding the police should be mindful that this officer made that mistake with training. We will not get rid of police. Reducing their funding will cause more training issues and lead to more problems.</p> <p>Wright was pulled over driving a car with expired tags and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest related to aggravated armed robbery. Wright would still be alive had Potter not confused her gun and her Taser. Wright would also still be alive had he not struggled with police.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> a44cab89b96e1af17294cfb82d2a1486 Where Is the Hope? for 04/09/2021 Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last week, I interviewed the Rev. Tim Keller about his new book, "Hope in Times of Fear." At the beginning of his book, he writes about the word "hope." In common parlance, we tend to use the word hope as a wish. I hope I get a promotion. I hope my kid does well in school. </p> <p>That is not what the Greek word "elpida" means in Scripture. When Paul writes about hope in Romans or the author of Hebrews writes about hope, they are writing about profound certainty. Our hope in the resurrection is our profound certainty in the resurrection, or a belief that gives us courage because we are certain of it.</p> <p>That brings me to an essay in the Claremont Institute's publication The American Mind entitled "'Conservatism' is no Longer Enough." Writer Glenn Ellmers expresses pessimism about the future of the United States. He writes, "Practically speaking, there is almost nothing left to conserve," and, "The U.S. Constitution no longer works." He considers roughly half the country as not American, even though they are citizens, because they are no longer committed to his version of America.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 09, 2021</p> 0a1214f333e69638e8c84f7bf4e7dc08 A Profound, Unique Event for 04/02/2021 Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Two thousand years ago on planet Earth, there were no civilizations, religions or mythologies that had anything akin to an account of Jesus's resurrection.</p> <p>When atheists and skeptics argue it would have been easy to pull the wool over people's eyes 2,000 years ago, they take a narrow and bigoted view of culture at the time. They believe something for which there is ample evidence to the contrary.</p> <p>N.T. Wright showed in "The Resurrection of the Son of God" that, contrary to claims of today, literally no civilization had anything like what the early Christians claimed. It has all the hallmarks of recorded history, i.e. a recounted real event.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> 5902463de174c182f7c4b8e127a43ae1 Fear Not for 03/26/2021 Fri, 26 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The world seems to have gone nuts. People are seeing unidentified flying objects. The government confirms it. Sen. Marco Rubio claims UFOs are flying over our military installations. Pilots have videos of mysterious objects flying rapidly and making 90 degree turns &#8212; something physically impossible for humans at the speed those objects are flying. They seem to defy the known laws of physics.</p> <p>Over the past summer, Americans watched other Americans burn down cities while reporters stood in front of the burning rubble claiming the protests were peaceful, but your eyes might be racist. In January, supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol with some of them having erected a gallows and noose to hang the Vice President. Most of the President's supporters, to this day, blame progressives.</p> <p>The actress Ellen Page has become Elliot Page, and Time magazine tells us Elliot always was. Anyone who points out men cannot become women is considered a bigot. The left demands we believe the mass shootings at Asian-themed spas in Atlanta were part of a pattern of anti-Asian hate, though they were not. Concurrently, the left wants us to believe the shootings were because of Christian sexual ethics.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 26, 2021</p> e1f90563c123b4a1f1fe6b118f5609d3 Secular Indulgences for 03/12/2021 Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In the fall of 1517, theologian Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation in part based on his critique of indulgences offered by the Catholic Church. At the time, a friar named Johann Tetzel had been encouraging the faithful to buy indulgences, which entitled the purchaser to forgiveness for sins. Tetzel had been selling the indulgences to raise money to build St. Peter's Basilica. </p> <p>On Oct. 31, 1517, in the formal tradition of proposing a debate, Luther nailed to the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany, his now-famous 95 theses. The act slowly began the Reformation. "Why does not the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?" Luther asked in the 86th thesis.</p> <p>The Catholic Church continued the practice, and Luther oversaw the rise of Protestantism and a clear division in faith teachings and practices. Fast-forward to the 20th century and the newest religion on the scene has picked up the practice of offering indulgences.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 12, 2021</p> 3e35b4d0986fc39086a5cb9180e64839 American Evangelicalism's Critical Theory Problem for 03/05/2021 Fri, 05 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Critical theory is a Marxist idea developed in postmodernity in which absolutes, objectivity and absolute truth are no longer accepted. Critical theory purports to explain the world in terms of power, and its proponents believe those with the least power have the most moral authority to speak. Power is, therefore, mapped through intersectionality &#8212; race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. The white male heterosexual Christian has the most power and therefore has the least moral authority to speak in society.</p> <p>Critical theorists also believe reality is constructed by language. Change the language and reality changes. Power is exerted through language &#8212; including the power to shape reality through "dominant discourses." The way to reshape reality is to reshape language. So, critical theorists oppose free speech, free enterprise, academic freedom, etc. The freedom of the privileged to engage in dominant discourses must be reduced for the nonprivileged and oppressed to rise.</p> <p>Undoubtedly, some critical theorists will take issue with my descriptions, but therein lies part of the problem. The proponents of critical theory are hard to pin down on language and definitions because those shape power, and who am I, a white man, to tell them about their theory? It is, in their minds, no more appropriate for a critical theory critic to describe critical theory than it is for a capitalist to describe Marxism.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 05, 2021</p> 63167446d28535860020a0824a77f7c8 Love Your Neighbor Still for 02/26/2021 Fri, 26 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' ... 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these." Mark 12:30 - 31, English Standard Version.</p> <p>I have studied this passage in multiple English translations. I have read it in the original Greek from the Alexandrian-type codex, the Byzantine Textus Receptus and others. I cannot find footnotes, caveats, provisos, carve-outs or exceptions to the rule. We are supposed to love our neighbors whether they are Black, white, gay, straight, transgendered, conservative or progressive.</p> <p>Essentially, this means that the way some on the right want to fight the left these days is incompatible with Christianity. I have lost count of the conservatives screaming, "No more Mr. Nice Guy." "Nice guys finish last" has rapidly become the conventional wisdom of a Republican base that just saw its mean-tweeter-in-chief lose along with a bunch of angry progressives. The GOP very nearly took back the House of Representatives unexpectedly because Americans rejected the politicians who defended burning down America and defunding the police and also rejected the guy whose constant nastiness wore them out.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 26, 2021</p> 84b183b475b7c9b6027a31ffdab1a25e My Friend, Rush for 02/19/2021 Fri, 19 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In December, I was sitting on my front porch when my phone lit up with a message from Rush Limbaugh.</p> <p>He and my wife have variants of the same type of lung cancer, though hers was caught very early, and her treatment has thus far contained it. Rush knew she had an older iPhone with touch-ID, and he had been chiding me to upgrade her phone. He didn't quite understand my wife's resistance to technology and insisted I was neglecting my wife by failing to give her a state-of-the-art phone.</p> <p>Undeterred, he now wanted me to know he was sending her a new iPhone 12 Pro Max because he was convinced her chemo would screw up her fingerprints and make unlocking her phone difficult, which it already had been. My wife now has a better iPhone than me, thanks to Rush.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 19, 2021</p> 4e6f3ed1fb8057a07d2cfee4d0e6aed4 Shame and Sham for 02/12/2021 Fri, 12 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>If Republicans found out President Joe Biden pardoned someone and his son Hunter concurrently received $1 million from that person in the last week of Biden's presidency, we should not kid ourselves. The Republicans would move to impeach Biden and gladly conclude a trial even after Biden had departed the presidency.</p> <p>Senate Republicans are currently, shamefully, hiding behind a constitutional argument to avoid having to deal with the fallout of former President Donald Trump's two months of lies about the election. Those lies inspired a mob that he unquestionably egged on, urging a march on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Their constitutional argument is that a president cannot be convicted of an impeachment after he has departed his office.</p> <p>Up until a month ago, it really was not a controversial or minority opinion that a sitting president, if impeached, could be tried after his term expired. There is precedent for impeaching others out of office who were impeached while in office. Many of the Republicans who are now very loudly saying this is unconstitutional have held the opposite position in the past.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 12, 2021</p> e3e6b90e901180ecc6b24c76e4b6b6cc A Moment for Jim DeMint for 02/05/2021 Fri, 05 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Sixty-one Republicans in the House voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as Chair of the House Republican Conference this past Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said that those opposed to Cheney had the votes to oust her. Earlier in the week, some House conservatives claimed they had over 107 votes and possibly 120 committed votes.</p> <p>In public, the House GOP engages in performance art for former President Donald Trump and Trump voters. In private, they're still more the Bush-Cheney party than the Trump party.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The problem for the GOP is they can't govern behind closed doors. One thing they have going for them though is that the Trump wing of the party spends so much time performing for cameras that they don't seem to be able to count votes.</span><p>Updated: Fri Feb 05, 2021</p> efd33fd22f61a11f6d4624b6e23bb50e Let David Slay Goliath for 01/29/2021 Fri, 29 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>One of the attributes of the American dream is that the little guy can become the big guy. Or rather, through the creative destruction of the free-enterprise system, a small entrepreneur may destabilize and replace a larger competitor through innovation, cost savings and better ideas.</p> <p>American history is full of stories of small entrepreneurs with good ideas displacing preexisting giants in the marketplace. Over time, however, that has become less the case. Now Goliath hires an army of lobbyists who help shape the regulatory code and the tax code and draft legislation to provide competitive advantages for themselves or disadvantages for would-be competitors.</p> <p>The little guy cannot become the big guy, because the big guy has lobbyists. It is no coincidence that Democrats are decrying the wealth gap and the inability of the little guy to become the big guy at a time the big guy is engaged in shaping federal policy and funding the Democrats. The Democrats' solution is to make the little guy more comfortable but also punish him if he dares to get too successful. The Republican solution has largely been to prop up the big guys and bail them out when they falter, equally ensuring there can be no competition.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 29, 2021</p> 1feac6f96d947a06f91946d9c14350b3 A Conservative Accounting for 01/22/2021 Fri, 22 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Everyone keeps telling me I need to move on. But I don't think I can, nor do I think the conservative movement can.</p> <p>For the past four years, a largely anonymous group on the internet has been seeding a global conspiracy that claimed an international group of child sex traffickers was scheming with the American political deep state and former President Donald Trump intended to destroy it as God's chosen.</p> <p>When the Capitol was stormed on Jan. 6, 2021, people were carrying signs about saving the children. People went looking not just for members of Congress they thought were complicit in stealing election but also for those they thought were complicit in a globally coordinated human trafficking ring.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 22, 2021</p> 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>