Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Confronting Communist China
For decades, the American political class and the corporate chieftains have embraced a myth that is now disappearing before their eyes. They believed that capitalism would tame communist China, that trade with China would change China.
Once hundreds of millions of Chinese started reading the financial pages to see how their stocks were doing, they would put down Mao's Little Red Book. Or so they thought. History may eventually conclude that this was one of the biggest mistakes ever made by free people in the history of free people making mistakes.
Communist China is a rising power. Ironically, its growing strength has been fueled in large part by our economic decisions. And while American youth are tearing down statues of our founding fathers, the communist mass murderer Mao Zedong is enjoying renewed adoration among Chinese youth.
How bad is the threat from China? FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a shocking presentation yesterday describing what he is seeing. Here's a brief overview of Wray's warning:
- The FBI currently has about 2,500 counterintelligence operations focused on communist China. Nearly half of all its cases involve China.
- China's cyberattacks, predatory trade practices and economic espionage have resulted in "one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history," and "the potential economic harm to American businesses and the economy almost defies calculation."
- China is collecting or stealing personal data on virtually every American . This is one reason why the Trump Administration may ban the popular social media app Tik Tok.
- The communist regime is also threatening Chinese nationals in the United States.
Two Big Wins
The Supreme Court today issued two important victories for religious liberty.
In the first case, the justices ruled that religious schools were generally exempt from employment discrimination lawsuits, ensuring they can continue to employ teachers based on the values of that faith. Writing for the court's 7-to-2 majority, Justice Samuel Alito declared:
"The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission. . .
"[The ruling] does protect their autonomy with respect to internal management decisions that are essential to the institution's central mission. And a component of this autonomy is the selection of the individuals who play certain key roles."
Today's decision in an important firewall for religious liberty given the court's recent reinterpretation of sex and gender under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Just how strong that firewall is remains to be seen, as it will undoubtedly be tested many times in the years ahead.
In the second case, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration's authority to greatly expand the religious exemption to Obamacare's contraception mandate.
In spite of previous rulings that exempted religious organizations and some private businesses, left-wing states continued to press the issue. The Little Sisters of the Poor were once again forced to defend their religious convictions against progressive bureaucrats determined to impose their values on Catholic nuns and other faith-based groups.
I would like to think that today's 7-to-2 decision, authored by my good friend Justice Clarence Thomas, would end the left's hostility to faith. But I know it won't. The culture war is very real.
By the way, Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly fell last month and was hospitalized with a head injury. Unfortunately for Roberts, he has a history of similar episodes.
The news only underscores the tenuous balance on the high court today, as well as the importance of the November election given that two members of the court's liberal bloc are 81 and 87 years old.
Make no mistake about it, my friends: In spite of today's victories, the fate of religious liberty in America is at stake. Men and women of faith cannot be bystanders in the culture wars. Please make sure all your friends and family members are registered to vote.