Murder At The Mosques
Like millions of Americans, I woke up this morning to the shocking news that dozens of people -- at least 49 -- had been killed in attacks on two New Zealand mosques.
Any attack against a place of worship -- a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple -- is an act of horrific evil. People should be able to pray and seek God in the way their heart tells them without fear.
Sadly, in recent years we have seen too many of these attacks -- the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and today's atrocity in New Zealand.
What many people are sadly not aware of is that in many parts of the world, violent attacks on people of faith, as well as other forms of systematic persecution, are common occurrences.
Over the last decade, Christians in the birthplace of Christianity have been the victims of systematic attacks. The have been driven out of their homes, raped and murdered at such an extreme level that world governments eventually declared a genocide.
And there are attacks taking place today that get virtually no press coverage. The communist regime in China is forcing hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians into concentration camps reminiscent of the 1930s.
At every meeting I attend of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the reports we review and the victims we hear from are a regular reminder of how precious religious freedom is.
Given the age we live in, I urge every house of worship in America to take steps to ensure the safety of its worshippers. We have done so at my church in northern Virginia.
ISIS, which is on the verge of being defeated on the battlefield, was already calling for renewed attacks overseas. Today's atrocity in New Zealand is certain to inspire Islamists who have never needed an excuse to wage jihad.
Predictably, elements of the American left were quick to blame the attack on conservatives and President Trump. These are the same people who never blame attacks by radical Islamists on Islam. But they are certain that any attack on a mosque was carried out by a conservative Christian.
It must be pointed out here that radical Islamists are responsible for the vast majority of Muslim deaths.
Sadly, the first reaction of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was to mock people of faith for their prayers.
As of now, we don't know much about the man who attacked the New Zealand mosques, Brenton Tarrant. He left behind a lengthy manifesto, which is being analyzed.
But we know this much:
- He was not a conservative. Tarrant wrote, "Conservatism is dead. Thank god. Now let us bury it and move on to something of worth."
- Nor was he a fan of Donald Trump, writing, "As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no."
- According to one report, Tarrant labeled himself an "eco-fascist" after having "previously identified as a communist, an anarchist and a libertarian." Would it be fair to blame someone who wants a clean environment for the attack? Of course not.
- Tarrant was clearly a racist, and claimed to be inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.
Reacting to the attack this morning, President Trump tweeted:
"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"
Left-wing Hypocrisy On Life
California is certainly one of the nation's most pro-abortion states, right up there with New York. Ironically, Governor Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week that he will no longer enforce the Golden State's death penalty law because in his view the death penalty is immoral.
Here's some of what Newsom has said in various written statements and public remarks in recent days:
"The intentional killing of another person is wrong. And as Governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual."
"This is about who I am as a human being. . . To me this is the right thing to do."
"I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people. In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian."
Clearly, the governor has no clue about what it means to be a Californian, and he doesn't care.
Californians have voted twice in the past seven years to uphold the death penalty. And in 2016, as Hillary Clinton was carrying the state in a landslide, Californians approved a ballot measure to speed up the appeals process for death sentences.
Newsom's arrogance shouldn't surprise anyone. As you may recall, it was then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom who decided to unilaterally ignore the state's marriage laws in 2004.
Today he won't agree to capital punishment for convicted murderers. Yet he has no qualms about the "premeditated and discriminatory execution" of thousands of completely innocent unborn children every year. The hypocrisy is breathtaking!
Newsom's order spares people like Richard Allen Davis, who kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered 12 year-old Polly Klass. The governor thinks Davis deserves compassion but little babies who have never harmed anyone can be torn apart? Or dissolved by salt?
Needless to say, many Californians, such as Tami and Kermit Alexander, are outraged by Newsom's callousness. The Alexanders have been leading advocates for victims' rights in California. Gang members murdered four members of Kermit's family in 1984. He sued the state in 2015 to force the execution of the thug who executed his mother, sister and two nephews.
"California just became a dictatorship today," Tami lamented.
Whether it is the meaning of marriage, the sanctity of life, securing the border or seeing to it that justice is served, it shouldn't be so hard to find politicians who are true public servants and who respect the will of the people.