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U.S. News’ Erbe Equates Conservative Christians with Radical Terrorists September 25, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in abortion, Christians, culture war, God, liberals, media bias, morality, news, politics, religion, secularism, terrorism.
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In her September 21 article, Colleen Raezler reported the following:

Bonnie Erbe, contributing editor to U.S. News and World report and host of PBS’ “To the Contrary” recently compared conservative Christians to terrorists.

A soon-to-be published study in the journal Reproductive Health that found states with a high level of residents who subscribe to conservative religious beliefs also have high teen birth rates sparked Erbe’s September 18 observation that Christianity and radical Islamic terrorism share distinct similarities.

Erbe did not find this conclusion “surprising,” and noted that “most of these ‘religious’ states are also so-called red states.” From there she bashed red states as uneducated and poor, and argued that those factors combined with “increased religiosity tend to intertwine and build on each other.” Erbe offered as proof the following example:

It’s been widely reported that Middle Eastern terrorists talk suicide bombers into committing murder by explaining to them that they will be heroes in heaven, their after-life reward will be that they are treated like kings and have all the advantages that elude them here on earth. These promises are believed by people with no money, no education, and nothing to hold onto but their religious beliefs.

So “red state” residents – poor, uneducated and with “nothing to hold onto but their religious beliefs” – are on a par with Islamist terrorists.

What’s not surprising is that Erbe, who has argued in the past that abortion is a “good decision” in a recession and that religiosity “clouds” common sense would look so poorly upon those who ultimately take responsibility for their actions.

I can understand Erbe’s financial need to make a living. Like many of her comrades in journalism, I can also understand why brain in liberally warped. What I cannot understand how she can make such baseless claims while assuming her liberal audience is uneducated and ignorant about terrorists and Christians. One would think a professional media communicator would at least do some research or be honest in her criticism of those groups.

The facts are most modern terrorist and many high-profile mass murderers have college degrees educated people. The father of international terrorism has a degree in engineering. This Egyptian-born murderer was none other than PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. So his protege, Atta, who led the 9-11 terrorist attacks again. America should not forget the teenage domestic terrorists who mass murdered many of their fellow student at Columbine High School were from home with educated parents of high middle class income. The the father of one was a government official.

Like terrorists waging war against the perceived evil empire that threatens their futures, Christians also fight against the corruption moral relativism promulgated by the secular institutions and those who dominate them.

Christians, however, do not have a religion mandate to do violence, Their weapons are truth, morality, and love. Christian hate the life devastating consequences of the commonplace deception in the service of corrupt special interest and life destroying evil.

Death is not a good thing. It is not good when innocent lives are destroyed by foreign terrorist in their fight against an evil government. It is not good when a nation sanctions the killing of unborn children often to save oneself from the inconvenience of having responsibility of raising a children. That is not to say some women have been confronted the decision to end the life of their unborn in order to live.

It is the secularists who are actually most like the terrorists who kill the innocent without just cause. Collectively, they have produced a culture of corruption and death. While they glory in death, so do Islamic terrorists. They are themselves willing to die for their cause. Secularist like Erbe are more willing for the innocent to die for their glorious cause.

When ignorant secular professionals like Erbe spew their venom against opponents of their standards of injustice, they only reveal how poor, blind, and hopeless they really are. They need to discover the liberty that only our nation’s God and Redeemer gives. Only the Creator could possibly repair such screwed up people. He is an expert in social, psychological, and genetic engineering.

Source: Culture Links

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Emulating the European Model: Prescription for Failure September 24, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Chrisitanity, culture war, liberals, multiculturalism, politics, religion, secularism, statism.
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To say the Obama administration is enamored of the European model would be an understatement—it positively adores it. That’s why the “Change You Can Believe In” crowd is in full gear trying to mimic their economic system, the most visible example of which is its health care program. If only the European model were worth emulating. Sadly, the record is not encouraging.

Every time there is a worldwide economic downturn, the Europeans lag the Americans in recovery. Quite simply, the more market-oriented the economy, the quicker the recovery; European-style socialism trails the U.S. is rebounding precisely because government is anything but nimble. So why the attraction?

What drives the Obama administration to mimic the European model is not its record of achievements; rather, it is the belief that private institutions are not to be trusted. From its opposition to school vouchers to its embrace of a public plan for its health care program, the administration prefers the public sector to the private sector, hands down. It does so in large part because it lusts to take command, whether it be in the form of social, sexual or economic engineering.

Father Knows Best has given way to Government Knows Best. And by creating economic public policies that make men and women more and more dependent on government, the engineers control their destiny, as well as their vote. It does so, unfortunately, at the expense of self-reliance and self-government. As Dennis Prager wisely observes, “the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.” Regrettably, government now dwarfs the individual, the result of which is a diminution in our ability to hold the state at bay.

Statist policies naturally incline toward expansion. Make no mistake about it, the encroachment of the state on civil society is real, the result of which is the creation of a precarious situation for all private institutions. That would include, certainly, religious entities. European observers of all political leanings are quick to point out how genuinely secular those societies have become. The pace of this deracination has quickened, the effect of which has been a movement away from religious indifference toward genuine hostility. Atheism hasn’t been so fashionable since the Enlightenment.

Every statist regime in history has been anti-religious. The church, of course, is rightly seen as a bulwark to the reach of the state. This explains the animus: secularists of this hyper-politicized sort cannot settle for neutrality—they are out to sunder religious traditions and institutions. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that these secular saboteurs are busy flexing their muscles in the U.S., as well as in Europe.

I wrote Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America as a wake-up call. The open assault on our Judeo-Christian ethos has been operative for decades, but never before have we approached a tipping point: we have now reached that stage. The stakes are high as our cultural future hangs in the balance.

From the politically correct programs that mark multiculturalism—a love fest for every civilization save our own—to the sexual libertines who see in Christian sexual ethics a roadblock to genital liberation, we are up against it. Scatological art exhibits are bad enough, but when paired with expressions of Christian bashing, they cross the line many times over. It’s been a long time, of course, since Hollywood found itself capable of portraying Christianity in a positive light, and the fury unleashed against Mel Gibson for making “The Passion of the Christ” underscores the politics involved.

Secular saboteurs show a particular fondness for using the law as a club to stamp out Christianity, torturing out of all recognition the original intent of the Framers; the First Amendment provisions regarding religious liberty have been hit the hardest. Secular elements within the Democratic Party have become bolder and bolder in their disdain for people of faith, driving Catholics out of the party in droves. Perhaps most distressing, the radical secular agenda has penetrated Catholicism, as well as the mainline Protestant denominations, disfiguring them in ways not previously thought imaginable.

In short, Christian bashing is in vogue. That this is happening in a nation which is approximately 80 percent Christian shows the power of a loosely organized, but totally determined, secular minority, and a collapse of will on the part of a sizeable segment of the Christian population. Only a coalition of religious conservatives, across faith lines, can reverse course. Fortunately, as evidenced by the coalition that rallied around Proposition 8 in California, there is reason for optimism.

By Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Faith Healing Government Miracles September 4, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Constitution, corporations, culture war, Declaration of Independence, faith, God, health care, Jesus Christ, liberals, living wage, morality, news, politics, poverty, truth, wages, welfare.
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Sojourner’s Jim Wallis is America’s leading preacher of faith healing. Unlike his charismatic brethren, Wallis is preaching faith in government. In praise of the benevolent overlords of health care, Wallis calls on us to believe in the liberal’s health care plan for miraculous healing. Like the healing ministry of Jesus, Wallis proclaims the federal government will save the poor from a woeful lack health care and poverty as well.

Actually, his latest sermon didn’t include deliverance from poverty by government or anyone else. The likely reason is that neither government bureaucrats nor big business has any plans of raising the poor out of the dependency on their big government savior. I doubt that Obama does either.

I know my comments seem to border on the edge of intolerant blasphemy, but consider Wallis’ words:

We are calling on people of faith to carry on the healing ministry of Jesus by making sure your political representatives understand that the faith community will be satisfied with nothing less than accessible, affordable health care for all Americans, built on a solid financial foundation. (emphasis added)

People of faith need to be the steady, moral drumbeat driving the debate and keeping our politicians accountable. This is a critical and long-overdue opportunity to fix a broken and inequitable system, which must not be derailed either by powerful special interests or by those, on any side, who just want to score political points. It is up to all of us to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Like Wallis, the United Methodist Church believes it is the government’s responsibility to provide all citizens with adequate health care. I have to ask; where in the Bible does it say that? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it give liberal politicians in Washington the legal authority? Maybe they read the general welfare clause as being non-restrictive in such matters.

If so, why don’t they interpret it in a way that gives themselves the power to ensure that every working American earns a wage they can live on? It would be equitable for every working American to earn enough for a minimally independent life without welfare assistance. Isn’t it more important for individuals to earn enough to pay banks for a mortgage, pay GM for a new car every 3-5 years, to maintain clothing and housewares, to purchase government mandated new television and communication technologies, to buy healthy food, as well as adequate health care insurance?

The answer given by federal and state politicians as well as Wall Street funded corporations is NO unless you are fully dependent on Almighty Gov or on one of its Union bosses, AFL-CIO or NEA for example. One exception is if you have been blessed by fate with the right global market skills developed at the right university with a more marketable degree such science, computer technology, medicine, law, or business investment and marketing. Having been born or raised in the right family or have gained the right social connections helps too.

Wallis’ liberal propaganda jazzed up with religious hype makes right-wing theocrats look like Saint Theresa. At least she actually helped the poor, diseased, and the orphan. If as I suspect, Wallis is sincere in his effort to help the poor and needy; it appears he has wondered to far from the fold and has enter the den of wolves.

Jesus said, “The wolf comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy.” The gospel of government salvation has the serpent imprint. The glorious health care reform being evangelized to America will not only help those kept in poverty with paying for government’s health care insurance but it will insure the killing of the unborn and the useless elderly. The miracle healing promised by faith in government will also continue robbing many of an equitable income as well the freedom from the tyranny of dependency on government or quasi-governments such as Wall Street funded corporations. Many financial experts, economists, and even brave health professionals are claiming that the current government is destroying our economy, our better than all other national health care systems, and our future.

Jesus also said, “The truth will set you free.” The truth is Obama, liberals, and wayward Christians are not telling the truth. Read the dag-gone health bills and committee amendments. Then consider this: medical science can only assist the human body to heal itself. That is how God designed it. Only the Creator can actually heal the human body. He alone can reprogram the DNA or other aspects of mutated organisms that destroy normal human cells. Maybe one day, medical science will actually discover all of the Designer’s secrets, but until then, only faith in God for healing is warranted.

Sources: Sojourner, August 20, 2009; United Methodist Church News, August 19, 2009; John 10: 10; and John 8:32.

A New Victim of Gay Sexual Politics, Evangelical Lutheran Church August 22, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Bible, church, culture war, faith, gay politics, immorality, Jesus Christ, moral law, news, politics, religion, secularism, sex, tolerance.
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The Washington Times recently reported that a majority of leaders in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently voted to change church law to permit non-celibate gays into the sacred office of the clergy. At the same time, a majority of church leaders changed denominational law to recognize same-sex common law marriage (but by other terminology).

According to the report, “The resolution on clergy, easily the most controversial, passed by 559 ‘yes’ votes (55.3 percent) to 451 ‘no’ votes (44.6 percent). It committed the ELCA to open its clergy ranks to people in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”

The vote allowing congregations to ‘”recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships,” passed by 619 ‘yes’ (60.6 percent) to 402 ‘no’ votes (39.3 percent) was less controversial than allowing non-celibate gays to represent the church and Christ.

The report noted two responses these developments: Those who believe it will result in many people leaving the church and those who believe it will result in significant church growth. One member of the Metropolitan New York Synod said her gays were the reason her congregation was growing. Leaders of representing most American and foreign synods voiced strong disapproval of these decisions because of their opposition to the teaching of the church.

As with other mainline denominations, the democratic politics and secularly defined social relevance appears to be the most important factors in these decisions.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in American cannot be charge with religious fundamentalism. They have tossed the fundamentals out. The most important fundamental is abiding under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As recorded in the book of Revelation, the risen Christ told the churches in Asia Minor that he hated the sexually immoral politics and practices that were being spread by the Nicolaitans and Jezebel, who was likely one of their leaders in Thyatira. Like the Laodiceans, they can only be charged with being faithful secular fundamentalists.

The still popular song lyric sung by Jackie DeShannon expresses the religious sentiment of modern sexual politics, “all we need now is love … sweet [tolerant] love” not holiness and truth.

The problem with all of this is not whether the church will grow, or split, or gain social relevance. After this testing of faithfulness, the problem will be when and how the Lord will come and fight against the immoral and their supporters. As Christ promised the Pergamum church, he will come and fight against them with the sword of His mouth. If that means anything like his warning to the unrepenting Jezebel, they and their loving supporters will receive the same judgment that the members of the tolerantly immoral cities of Sodom and Gomorrah received.

Those who do not like a God who actually judges and punishes moral crime (sin, immortality) hate the rule of law and especially moral law.

Source:

They Really Do Believe We Are Idiots August 14, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in children, culture war, Democrats, economy, health care, Left, life, media, Medicare/Medicaid, news, politics, religion, right to life, senior citizens, welfare.
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Liberal religious groups announced on Monday they are teaming up with President Barack Obama in a national campaign to counter the surprisingly vehement conservative opposition to his plan for overhaul of the U.S. healthcare industry this year. Organized by liberal-leaning evangelicals, some mainline Protestant clergy, and some Catholic groups, it will include Obama participating in a call-in program with religious leaders streamed on the Internet on August 19, prayer meetings and nationwide television ads.”

From “U.S. religious left wades into healthcare fight,” which appeared yesterday in Reuters.

When a reporter and/or media outlet is behind you, your vocal support for something or another is “passionate,” “caring,” even “prophetic.” When they don’t, that same intensity is “vehement,” “fueled by anger,” even (to quote Democratic congressional leaders) “unAmerican.”
Some of the same religious leadership that helped Obama navigate the political shoals last year are putting the band back together again, this time in an attempt to blunt massive grassroots resistance to health care “reform.” Let me talk about a few of the particulars.

If you believe a lot of the “mainstream” press, resistance is either synthetic, bought and paid for by those “opposed to health care reform,” ill-informed, and/or stoked in part (as Reuters put it yesterday) by “Christian and conservative radio,” and/or leaders of the “religious right.”

As you undoubtedly know from watching television or reading accounts, President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress are fighting back.

The two-fold strategy appears to be (yet AGAIN) to marginalized anyone who wants an explanation of how they are going to square various circles, and to (yet AGAIN) stop talking about specifics (which always gets them into loads of trouble) and return to the kind of sparkling generalities that Obama specializes in.

That’s where the Religious Left comes in the form of something called “People of Faith for Health Reform and its “40 Days for Health Reform.” One of the usual suspects is Jim Wallis, who told Reuters that “his group’s mission is to keep universal health-care coverage alive as a ‘moral issue.'”

According to NPR, the division of labor goes like this. The Obama Administration has rolled out a website to contest “wild rumors” about its health care initiative and to “call out misinformation.” (Gulp!) So what is the role of this “coalition of progressive religious leaders”?
“Argue morality,” or, according to Liz Halloran, “more specifically, what members characterize as the moral and religious imperative of providing ‘inclusive, accessible’ health care coverage and the need for a civil discourse about the issue, says Jim Wallis of the progressive Christian group Sojourners, one of the coalition sponsors.” (Keep that “civil discourse” comment in mind.)

So, let’s look at the ad. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaBq0QeM3-8) True, there is one statement that is unobjectionable. A pastor looks in the camera and says, “God’s given us a spirit not of fear but of love and action.” But the rest of the ad is the usual us v. the “special interests” drivel that is the hallmark of those who insist you either accept the thrust of the Democrats health care “reform” sight unseen, or you want nothing.

The first statement in the 30-second ad tells you all you need to know: “Special interests in Washington are spending millions to block health insurance reform,” followed by “Killing reform will boost their profits.” In case anyone misses the point a moment later a woman opines, “The special interests are strong.”

However, thanks to NPR, there can be little doubt of the campaign’s real motivation. “According to Gordon Whitman of the PICO National Network, a faith-based community organizing group that is also one of the coalition’s sponsors, the group’s effort will focus on moderate, swing districts where ‘religion is significant to public life.'”

They really do believe we are idiots, don’t they?

Switching gears but to a related subject, there’s been an enormous amount written about “Section 1233 of the health-care bill drafted in the Democratic-led House, which would pay doctors to give Medicare patients end-of-life counseling every five years,” as the Washington Post described it. How much should we be worrying about this?

Let me offer the concluding paragraphs of “Facing the Challenge of Health Care Rationing,” a page one story in the July/August issue of NRL News, written by NRLC’s Burke Balch, JD. Mr. Balch, director of NRLC’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics wrote the following.

The House legislation, as reported from the Energy and Commerce Committee, contains provisions to promote advance directives like “living wills,” including:

1) Medicare reimbursement for consultations about “advance care planning” between health care providers and their patients when they enter Medicare, every five years thereafter, and if they become seriously ill;

2) requiring private and public health care plans to give potential enrollees the option to establish advance directives; and

3) a public education campaign, toll-free telephone hotline, and clearinghouse to promote advance directives and other advance care planning.

Advocates of such measures frequently cite the cost savings if, as they expect, this promotion results in more directives rejecting lifesaving treatment. “We refer to the end-of-life discussion as the multimillion-dollar conversation because it is associated with shifting costs away from expensive … care like being on a ventilator in an ICU, to less costly comfort care …,” said Holly Prigerson of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. National Right to Life strongly encourages the execution of a pro-life advance directive, the Will to Live (see http://www.nrlc.org/MedEthics/WilltoLiveProject.html). However, the pro-life fear is that efforts to push patients and prospective patients to prepare advance directives may in practice become a means of persuading or pressuring them to agree to less treatment as a means of saving money. Moreover, governmental promotion of advance care planning must not include the “option” of assisted suicide. Especially in the Senate, NRLC is working to address these concerns through negotiations and, if necessary, by preparing amendments to be offered in the Senate Finance Committee and on the Senate floor.

It is critically important that pro-life citizens make their voices heard while senators and representatives are at home during August, and after they return to Washington in September. The contemplated restructuring of America’s health care system will affect the life–and death–of every American.

So here’s the scoop: The above critique of the Democrats’ health care agenda is that they want to save us all a lot of money by reducing our health care coverage, eliminating as many worthless people on Medicaid so that they can reduce the amount of money made by private health care insurers to increase the pay of cooperating physicians in their scheme.

I almost forgot an implied one: they will kill two or more birds with one stone–they will save us all money by making us wait for health care by putting us on long waiting lists to reduce our health care. The add bonus is costs will be further reduced because while some of us while waiting for health care will die. And, the double bonus will be that those of us who don’t die will develop the moral virtues of patience and endurance or long suffering.

By accomplishing all of that, they will be able to further justify giving themselves more raises in the future and maybe even helping pay for the billions in give-a-way money for keeping poorly managed financial companies and auto companies as well as foreign investors making more profits at all of our expense.

Yes, the logic of the Left is if you abort all of the worthless babies, worthless welfare poor, and worthless elderly folk–of course, according to their own preplanned consent–everyone can have a better, more profitable, and a good secular life. In the process, they may be able to save some of their prized socialist programs like social security and medicaid from going bankrupt.

What a wonderful utopia we will all live in now that the Left rules our world. We are commanded to now go and spend to support the cause for tomorrow we will surely die; they are planning on it. Oh, what joy it is to live in a planned society.

Source: National Right to Life, August 11, 2009 except for the scoopish commentary.

Chronicles on Christmas December 25, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Chrisitanity, Christmas, conservative, culture war, Jesus Christ, news, politics, religion, secularism.
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While Tom Flemings was musing about his Christmas nightmares, Tom Piatak was rehashing some of his earlier commentary on the culture war against Christmas. Both intellectuals were sharing their complaints and insights in the December edition of Chronicles : A Magazine of American culture, which is a publication of the Rockford Institute.

Uh, that is not an institute of Hollywood’s private detective series The Rockford Files starred by James Garner as Jim Rockford. No, the Rockford Institute is a conservative think-tank seeking to honor the founder’s view of American life and politics.

Fleming’s takes his readers on a dark journey from the blessings of Halloween to the paganization of Christmas. This trip began with childhood perceptions to the more matured and educated perspective of that critical period known as adulthood. The contrasts between the developments of Halloween and Christmas, especially between various movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol are astounding. That is not as astounding as the general trend of among Christians who have adapted a pagan version of Christmas. After all Christmas is about baby Jesus being born not to escape infanticide or poverty but to die so that all humanity could have eternal life.

It cannot be said that Chronicles is not balanced. As mentioned earlier, the other Tom offers more than dark trends of modern culture that should give all conservatives nightmares about our materialistic Christmas season; he offers solutions under the banner of “How to Win the War Against Christmas.”

In addition to giving readers a brief history of the problem such as schools who forbid the Christmas classic Handel’s Messiah or the bigger war against Western culture, Piatak presents some ideas how collectively we can win the war against Christmas.

Before doing so, we should back up a little to explain the above. In Columbus Ohio, school officials refused to allow the school’s music departments to perform the Christmas classic Handel’s Messiah. The reason was to appease an anti-religious policy engendered by the ACLU, who resemble Russia’s KGB and the thought police in Orwell’s book 1984. They are among the warriors fighting against the traditions of Western culture that is largely the product of Christianity, which is to say of Jesus Christ and his followers’ biblical theological and political views. Multiculturalism, moral relativism, political correctness, and cultural Marxism are a few of arsenal employed by the ACLU, public education, and others in this war.

While quoting Thomas Cahill, he reveals something I never knew or at least didn’t remember. The familiar manger scene of Christ at his birth originated when Francis of Assisi created the first live crèche celebrating the lowly beginnings of the world’s only true savior. Another unknown historical fact is much the renowned artists and musical composers like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Caravaggio as well as Bach, Mozart, and the grand master Handel.
The great artistic traditions that have inspired generations of Americans are the result of Christianity and its Jewish Messiah.

If the secular gulag is allowed to sanitize Christmas, as Piatak says, we will also lose all of our historical heritage and the inspiration for much of the great art, music, and yes, even science– not to mention the legal, political, and economic principles that guided our ancestors to our Constituted federal and republican form of governments. The development of those principles go back to the Protestant Reformation and ultimately to the biblical Exodus.

What then is Piatak’s solution to the secularist war against western culture and its tradition of celebrating the birth of the Messiah? He says we could start saying to one another Merry Christmas. That’s should be pretty easy. We could also stop patronizing politically correct retailers. We could only buy cards that mention Christmas. We could use only USPS Christmas stamp in December. By telling why we are doing so, those retailers and our local postal service would get the message and change their views and practices.

The good news is that the numbers are on our side, according to Piatak. He reports that polls show 96 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas.

My personal opinionated conclusion to Tom and Tom’s opinionated Christmas musings is just this: Join the pursuit for a Merry Christmas every day of the year and forever.

NY Times, The Grinch That Trashed a Christmas Classic December 25, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Christmas, culture war, media bias.
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Don Feder commentary of the New York Time’s view of Christmas is worth reading. It was first published on his activist website called Boycott The New York Times, which something everyone who loves America and Christmas should consider doing. (Why? Go to Feder’s website and find out). For now, please read the following:

The headline on a critique in today’s New York Times says it all: “Wonderful? Sorry, George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life.” Nothing more clearly illustrates the paper’s hatred of normalcy than its revisionist perspective on “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

The moral of the 1946 Capra classic — life has meaning. Even if we don’t achieve our dreams, even if our existence is seemingly hum-drum, those who lead good lives will never know how much good they’ve done.

George Bailey does, by glimpsing what his world would look like if he’d never been born. He discovers (to paraphrase the film) that every life touches so many other lives — and, if it’s not there, it leaves a terrible void. This hopeful message is why the film has charmed audiences for over 60 years.

Wendell Jamieson, author of The Times’ diatribe, hates nearly everything about the film. George Bailey is pathetic for sacrificing his dreams for the greater good of his family, friends and the depositors of the Bailey Savings and Loan. Jamieson finds the film’s nostalgic vision of small town life embodied in Bedford Falls boring and stultifying.

He much prefers Pottersville in the alternate reality. “The women are hot, the music swings, and the fun times go on all night.”

Yes, and George’s wife is a mousey, spinster librarian; his mother is a bitter, dried-up hag who runs a dilapidated boarding house; brother Harry died as a child because George wasn’t there to save him (consequently, all the men on Harry’s ship died because he wasn’t there to save them); Uncle Billy loses his marbles when the Saving and Loan closes its doors, and so on.

Jamieson’s piece reflects The Times’ worldview — individuals should live primarily for themselves; self-sacrifice is stupid; fast women, gambling and loud music are fun; and life is ultimately meaningless.

People who are world-wise are attracted to one type of cinema; those who are world-weary are drawn to the opposite. One is tempted to describe The New York Times as the Grinch who trashed a Christmas classic. But it probably likes the Grinch too.

And now, it’s back to playing with my toys as if that had ever ceased.