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Equality act guts religious liberty and other commentary

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Equality act guts religious liberty and other commentary

Faith beat: Equality Act Guts Religious Liberty

If the Equality Act, passed by the House last week, becomes law, it would “cause incalculable damage to our society — with a particular ­assault on . . . religious believers,” warns Kenneth Craycraft at First Things. It imposes “a controversial sexual-ideological scheme on the American public” and forbids “any religiously based objections to that agenda.” Its radical redefinition of sex to mean subjective “gender identity” would extend to every realm of American public and even private life — including churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious institutions. Deviously, “the bill’s sponsors, recognizing that it is an infringement on the free exercise of religion, explicitly deny application of the most important statutory security of the free exercise of religion, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Orthodox believers, beware.

Pandemic journal: Red-State Triumph

While Gov. Cuomo was winning an Emmy for his pandemic news conferences, Michael Hendrix notes at City Journal, “a number of heartland governors paired efficient government with trust in their communities and people” to speed up vaccinations. West Virginia’s Gov. Jim Justice, for example, “has boasted one of the nation’s highest vaccination rates”; on Dec. 15, the state’s first COVID-19 shots were administered, “weeks before any other state could do the same.” Other states — “smaller, redder” ones — have also been successful. “Alaska, North and South Dakota and Utah” top the list of the states with the most shots administered. Fact is, while blue, coastal leaders get all the good press, leaders in heartland states “are vaccinating and educating like their residents’ lives depend on it, which they do.” 

From the right: The Left’s CPAC Lies

Expect “a slew of essays and think pieces from the corporate press” citing last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference as proof that “the Republican Party is in crisis, lost in the wilderness, ­imploding,” predicts The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson. They will ­argue that the party has become “insane and radical” under former President Donald Trump’s “stranglehold.” Such handwringing won’t achieve the desired effect, however, since “most Republican voters liked the direction of the party under Trump.” Pretending otherwise obscures “the reality that the party has managed to bring in new voters” and is “poised to take back the House and Senate in 2022.” The left’s worst nightmare is “a conservative populist movement that brings in new voters by actually listening to what they want and fighting for their interests in Washington.”

Neocon: Europe’s Anti-Woke Backlash

Censorious wokesters have launched “an utterly uncompromising ­assault on context, the study of history and the value of unfettered intellectual debate,” Commentary’s Noah Rothman observes — and “some people don’t take too kindly to the effort.” Witness the pushback from Emmanual Macron, who has denounced US-style critical race theory, which the French president says “gives comfort” to radical Islamism and “corrupts society.” In Britain, meanwhile, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson recently declared: “I am deeply worried about the chilling effect on campuses of unacceptable silencing and censoring.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government followed Williamson’s statement with a concrete commitment to combat woke censorship on campus. Those behind the ­divisive “activism” of identity politics, says Rothman, have only themselves to blame. 

Culture critic: The War on Aristotle and Homer

In the March 2021 issue of The New Criterion, the editors lament the wokesters’ war on Greco-Roman classics, whose appeal addresses “our ­humanity, not our tribal affiliation.” Yet Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a Princeton professor, “wants to save the classics from whiteness,” as a “fawning” New York Times profile said of him recently. “All classics scholars, he has insisted, have a ‘responsibility . . . to race the discipline.’ Martin Luther King Jr., taught that what matters is not the color of your skin but the content of your character. Padilla joins with the Black Lives Matter crowd in reversing that dictum.” — Compiled by The Post Editorial Board 

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Opinion

Supreme Court decisions expose Dems as half-baked hysterics

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Supreme Court decisions expose Dems as half-baked hysterics

When President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last fall, hysterical Democrats declared millions of Americans would lose health coverage with her vote against ObamaCare — and immediately started talking about packing a court they called hopelessly divided.

Two big Supreme Court decisions last week proved reality turned out to be nothing like Dems’ fever dreams.

In a 7-2 decision in California v. Texas, the high court rejected a Republican bid to invalidate ObamaCare — and Barrett was not one of the two dissenters. It ruled that Texas and 17 other GOP-led states didn’t have standing to challenge the law’s individual mandate. The Trump administration had taken their side, while 20 Democratic-run states including New York and California, along with the Dem-controlled House of Representatives, took the other. Only Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented to the majority opinion the liberal Stephen Breyer authored.

How could this be? Last year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared, “Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will be the end of the Affordable Care Act.” In her opening statement at Barrett’s confirmation hearing, then-Sen. Kamala Harris held up a picture of an 11-year-old constituent and accused Republicans of trying “to jam through a Supreme Court nominee who will take away health care from millions of people during a deadly pandemic.”

Democrats boycotted the final committee vote, filling their seats instead with posters of ObamaCare recipients, implying a vote for Barrett would put those lives at risk.

During the whole childish circus, they insisted Trump had picked Barrett and sped up her confirmation just so she’d be seated in time to hear arguments in the case and dismantle the law. They didn’t bother to look at her record and examine her judicial philosophy — they assumed this well-qualified woman would be the president’s puppet.

In the second important decision, Fulton v. Philadelphia, the court ruled unanimously that the city violated the Constitution’s free exercise clause by suspending Catholic Social Services’ contract because the group wouldn’t certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

Yes, all nine justices ruled in favor of religious freedom — putting paid to Democratic complaints the court is out of balance with too many conservatives. It’s far from the only unanimous decision already this term, either. Every justice signed on to decisions written by Gorsuch, Breyer, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor, with two of the cases involving immigration issues.

That people of varying political stripes can agree on the law shouldn’t come as a surprise. Supreme Court justices take their jobs seriously — which is more than you can say for Democrats charged with helping choose them.

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Opinion

The undying myth of GOP ‘obstructionism’

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The undying myth of GOP ‘obstructionism’

The media have spent the Joe Biden presidency thus far pressuring moderate Democrats to join the left’s efforts to destroy the filibuster.

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Opinion

Big Labor’s gift to itself and other commentary

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Big Labor's gift to itself and other commentary

Libertarian: Unions’ Gift to Themselves

Big Labor spent millions getting President Biden elected — and now it’s seeking to enact a law “directing federal power and resources to boost flagging” union rolls, laments Reason’s Eric Boehm. The so-called PRO Act “is a grab bag of Big-Labor agenda items that would extend some of California’s awful independent contractor regulations nationwide” and “abolish so-called right-to-work laws in the 27 states that have passed them.” Biden and the unions insist this is about empowering workers, “but if workers were as eager to join unions as [they] seem to think, they wouldn’t need a powerful federal bureaucracy to encourage that outcome.”

Centrist: United Supremes

The most striking aspect of the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on ObamaCare and religious liberty was the “absence of ideological divisions” from a high court that “Democratic leaders have declared hopelessly divided along ideological lines,” observes Jonathan Turley at USA Today. The largely united decisions mark “the final collapse of the false narrative that has been endlessly repeated like a mantra in Congress and the media.” Critics may continue to insist that the court is “dysfunctional, divided and needs to be radically changed,” but the justices aren’t “cooperating,” issuing instead an “inconvenient line of unanimous decisions.” Yet even as the court “seems to be saying a lot in one voice not just about the law, but about its own institution,” the media will undoubtedly continue to denounce it, “because politics demands it.”

Crime beat: A Wake-Up Call in Atlanta

The “mind-numbing randomness, brazenness and, even worse, casualness of violence afflicting Atlanta” has the upscale Buckhead neighborhood “wanting to break away from Atlanta to form its own city” with “its own police force,” writes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bill Torpy. Atlanta shootings are up 40 percent this year, but police often see “the same ne’er-do-wells walking the streets the next day,” thanks to a “broken” criminal-justice system. “Buckhead is almost three-quarters white,” yet “in black neighborhoods across the city, victims are widespread, and residents there want police to protect them, too.” But Buckhead can get attention, because its departure would “take away 40 percent of the city’s income.” It should be “one loud wake-up call.”

Culture critic: RIP, Janet Malcolm

At First Things, Helen Andrews assesses the complex legacy of veteran New Yorker magazine scribe Janet Malcolm, who died last week — and whose “cold, precise, unsparing” journalistic style recalled that of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov. She was born to a psychiatrist father, and “psychoanalysis was a constant presence in Malcolm’s journalism.” The shrink’s couch formed her “eye for the telling detail” and “taught Malcolm a certain bleakness” about the world — and her own profession. Yet her “most famous line” — that “every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible” — helped spread cynicism about reporters. The result, Andrews laments, is that now “every trace of authenticity has been scrubbed from press interviews.” 

Media watch: Suppressing the Truth

“From the lab-leak theory to the Lafayette Square tear-gassing, anti-Trump bias blinded our news media,” declares Wilfred Reilly at Spiked Online. “Except perhaps for the Hunter Biden story,” there was no “potentially major and obviously newsworthy story more intensely suppressed than the lab-leak explanation for COVID’s origins,” but it was just “revealed quite possibly to be correct.” Pols and press called then-President Donald Trump “reckless” for touting hydroxychloroquine, yet “a major study” has found “it increases survival rates for COVID patients by almost 200 percent.” And the claim “Trump had ‘tear-gassed peaceful protesters’ ” to stage a photo-op turned out to be “complete nonsense.” Tellingly, all these facts only came out when Joe Biden became president. This “mainstream-media swiveling” causes “latent social distrust that has no imaginable upside.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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