‘Unbelievable’ Podcast Debates Faith and Politics With Cool Heads and Amazing Grace

I’m a podcast addict. Some people like to put on music while they drive or clean or perform other mundane tasks…I put on talking. I’m a voracious listener of anything that will make me laugh or teach me something. I particularly enjoy hearing thoughtful discussions on “third-rail” topics. Unfortunately those types of discussions too often devolve into shouting and name-calling. As someone who earns a living in an industry that thrives on outrage, I find myself avoiding any entertainment that might end in indignation. I just don’t have the tolerance for it anymore.

So I was thrilled to discover a podcast that broached all of my favorite topics – philosophy, theology, religion and history – without leaving me with a “rage hangover”.

Unbelievable bills itself as a place for Christians and non-Christians to meet to discuss and debate. The show began as a regular Saturday morning broadcast on the British Christian radio station “Premier Christian Radio”. Host Justin Brierley created the show as an opportunity for Christian listeners to hear their faith challenged and explore the case for a Creator.

Over the years the show has expanded into the podcast form and has boasted guests with huge (and sometimes controversial) names in the fields of philosophy and the sciences, such as (in)famous pastor Rob Bell, astrophysicist Hugh Ross and Jordan Peterson.

As a host, Brierley has a unique (and enviable) ability to quietly moderate passionate discussions on some of the most heated topics of the day. Rarely will a listener hear the debate between two diametrically opposed parties devolve into shouting and name-calling. With skilled professionalism and a healthy dose of British wit, the father of four keeps the dialogue on track and isn’t afraid to remind guests that the forum is about debating ideas and not personal merit. It all makes for an enjoyable listen.

Those very polite British accents don’t hurt either.

As an avid listener of the podcast I was thrilled to discover that Brierley and his colleagues at Premier Christian Radio host an annual one-day apologetics conference in London, aptly named Unbelievable: The Conference. Deciding there’s no time like the present I cashed in a travel credit and headed off to London with a friend. To my utter delight, Brierley responded to my post about the conference on social media and invited us to his studio to sit in on a recording.

Glen Scrivener of “Speak Life” hosts 5 Hard Questions at “Unbelievable: The Conference” in London, May 2018

 

We were riveted by the discussion on the origin of the universe between Dr. Hugh Ross and atheist biologist Peter Atkins. Afterwards, Brierley sat down with me for an interview in his studio.

Left to Right: Wendy, Kira and Justin Brierley

Brierley hosts a debate between Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Peter Atkins in the ‘Unbelievable’ studios in London

We spoke about the beginnings of the show and how, after three years with the network Brierley approached the CEO about creating a program that would invite non-Christians into the space and spark dialogue. Unbelievable would launch as a place for Christians to hear debates about core values and key points of their faith.

“In the process it could model for Christians how to have those kinds of dialogue,” says Brierly.

What he didn’t envision, however was how the show would take off as a podcast. Over the years it has gone from being a Saturday afternoon treat within English borders to a global platform capturing listeners from all over the world. With an impressive backlog of radio programming, the podcast was able to hit the ground running with dozens of shows already recorded that simply needed to be uploaded. As technology improved so did the platform, and with the older pre-podcast era episodes becoming available Unbelievable currently has an iTunes catalog of over 300 episodes dating as far back as 2010.

That’s a lot of food for thought.

Brierley says that while some people (atheists) in the social media sphere may tend to be antagonistic about Christianity and faith, he would still rather engage with a passionate, antagonistic atheist than someone who just didn’t care at all. In fact, the intellectual analysis of God and the origin of life can be important in giving people “permission” to believe. However, in the end the final decision is an issue of the heart.

“C.S.Lewis said when it comes to adult conversions there was some level at which some issues had to be resolved. Apologetics is that process by which people are given permission to have faith, because they may have come and they’ve got some issue with the problem of suffering, let’s say…It may be useful for removing some of the obstacles but you still have to want what’s at the end of the road. You have to still want Jesus Christ. If you don’t want to believe there’s always another objection to reach for…there has to be something going on in the heart in order for that person to want what’s on offer”.

The seasoned podcast host said that although the debate format is set up to be confrontational, he makes a concerted effort to center his discussions around personal experience.

“I’m not going to pretend that the kind of conversations we’re having in a studio are the same conversations people are going to have in a pub or a bar. [But it] moves beyond simply about being a debate about ideas to actually engaging with people as they are, the issues they’re going through and the experience they’re living because that’s when I think you really touch the core of who someone is and what really matters to them. As long as it’s just intellectual ideas it’s just a game of ping-pong. There can be value in that but at the end of the day the point at which people really experience a change and have come face-to-face with God is somehow when they’ve gone beyond that”.

Brierley says that when he first started broadcasting the program he knew very little about the subjects being broached. It was sort a learn-as-you-go situation, which has had the very pleasant effect of making him a “translator” for some of the more complicated, academic subjects. It has become one the hallmarks of his podcast and an oft-praised quality by new listeners.

Unbelievable listeners also tend to appreciate his effort to give his guests equal, uninterrupted time to peacefully make their points. In the beginning, some Premier Christian Radio patrons didn’t exactly approve of all the air time he was making available to atheist guests in particular.

“One of the earliest problems that we had was some listeners saying, ‘Why are you letting atheists on a Christian radio station? We’ve got enough of them on the BBC!’”

But Brierley was undeterred, believing firmly that there was a way to hear out both sides of the conversation that would lead to a better understanding between people of diametrically opposed ideologies.

“In the long course of doing the shows it would be hard for an atheist to listen and come away thinking, ‘Oh, christians are just a lot of deluded, brainless people’, because you will have heard a lot of intelligent, thinking Christians making their case for faith. Likewise, Christians will have heard a lot of cogent arguments against God and faith and realize atheists are not all draconian, humorless baby-eaters. The show serves as a way to move away from stereotypes”.

That doesn’t mean the show hasn’t had it’s fair share of intense confrontations. Brierley recalls one particular discussion between a Muslim and a Christian that quickly degenerated into ” a lot of heat and not much light”. He had to stop the recording and implore the men to keep the personal attacks to themselves. Another tense debate came when he had two Christians to debate same-sex marriage and sexuality. The subject soon devolved into both parties attacking the person rather than the argument.

So has Justin Brierley’s faith or point of view changed after interviewing atheists for a decade?

He says no, that he’s ended up feeling more confident in his faith as he’s become more aware of the complex issues of life. That is actually what drove him to write a book based on his time as a broadcaster, Unbelievable: Why After 10 Years of Talking With Atheists I’m Still a Christian.

“I’ve come across more things that point toward God rather than away from God”.

While he’s come to appreciate many of the salient, intellectual arguments from his non-Christian guests, Brierley maintains that the real irony is that they are all arguing from the comfort of living in a society which rests on the foundations of Judeo-Christian ethics and values.

“The whole of Western thought and culture is based on Christianity. It’s just crazy to dismiss it as intellectually lazy. Every atheist I meet…the irony is that everything they hold dear is based on the Jude0-Christian foundation and that for me is one of the great ironies.”

While his podcast popularity continues to soar, Brierley is reaching beyond the platform to engage even more minds. There are rumors that “Unbelievable: The Conference” may be expanding to the United States very soon, and his video series “The Big Conversation” launched in June as a sort of off-shoot of the podcast. His first guest was sudden intellectual superstar Jordan Peterson, who debated atheist scholar Susan Blackmore on the question, “Do we need God to make sense of life?”. The video has already racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube and Brierley is already preparing for a recording in front of a live audience.

One of Brierley’s favorite questions of his guests is, “Is there any kind of evidence, anything that you could see or hear that would change your mind?”, so I took the opportunity to turn the question on him. Without hesitation he replied that most certainly he felt Christianity is a “falsifiable” religion that rests completely on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. Were there to be some incontrovertible evidence that the resurrection didn’t happen, the Unbelievable author admitted he would be forced to reconsider his faith. However, he sees that as simply a risk involved in taking on any kind of belief with intellectual honesty.

“I open myself up to the possibility of being wrong every time I open my microphone.”

After all these years of moderating heated topics, Brierley firmly believes we should be a “1Peter 3:15 people”:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Imagine how the world – and discourse in our own country – might change if we all decided to follow suit. Of course, adopting an adorably polite British accent couldn’t hurt either.

 

 

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The TIME Magazine Cover Meant to Describe Trump’s Treatment of Immigrant Children is, SHOCKER, a Lie

There’s a reason there’s a massive breakdown of trust in the mainstream media, and TIME magazine has demonstrated why with gusto.

As you’ve likely seen, since the cover has been spread to the four corners of the Earth for everyone to outrage over, TIME released a photoshopped image of a crying girl from the border staring at Trump, who is looking down at her seemingly uncaring.

But as it turns out, TIME’s super-duper thought provoking cover is based off a complete lie. Greg Pollowitz dissects it best in one tweet.

That’s right. The girl in the photo was not at all separated from her mother, and never was. According to the Daily Mail, they’re still together and doing fine.

The mother, Sandra Hernandez, 31, and their two-year-old daughter Yanela Denise are from Honduras. According to the Daily Mail, the duo attempted to cross into America against the father’s wishes, and apparently Sandra told few she was leaving. She left behind two other daughters, and reportedly, the family didn’t even get to say goodbye.

The way the media portrays it, Trump and the Republicans are callously separating children from their parents, and putting them in Auschwitz like conditions. This is not true. The children who are separated are actually well taken care of, and are not separated indefinitely. In fact, the conditions have improved since Obama took over, and they resembled more of a prison-like atmosphere during his time.

This is not to say that the separation of children and parents is horrible, but America’s policies were very well defined. If you go to prison, you can’t take your children with you, and that even goes for American citizens.

As National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera, the parents who attempt to make the illegal trek put their children in all sorts of danger. Some of the children that come to the border aren’t even accompanied by their own parents. Sometimes they’re people paid to get others across the border. Sometimes, they’re sex traffickers.

As Cabrera noted, while the detention of the children isn’t at all ideal, sometimes it’s necessary. If the press would report like it should, then America would have a much better idea of the problems we’re dealing with, and act accordingly. Instead, we get things like the TIME magazine cover, which tells an incomplete story in order to generate a biased narrative.

This solves nothing, and this is why we don’t trust the press.

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‘Rape’ is Better Than ‘Ape’ — Major Networks Fail to Give Peter Fonda the Roseanne Treatment, or Even Mention Him

 

On Wednesday night as well as Thursday morning, after left-winger Peter Fonda’s disgusting (early Wednesday morning) championing of child rape (which you must see, here), all three major networks went dark over the incident.

Of nine and a half hours of news air time, not a second was devoted to the truly despicable touting of torment and rape of the President’s family and child.

Only CNN addressed Fonda’s repulsive acts, with Newsroom’s Poppy Harlow asking why he wasn’t being Roseanned:

“Fonda has a movie due to be released tomorrow by Sony Pictures, and it has many asking why is he not being treated the same way Rosanne Barr was after her racist rant (despite the ubiquitous term, her tweet was not a ‘rant’ — read more here and here)?”

On Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter theorized Fonda’s has-been status factored heavily into the lack of coverage:

“I think the answer has to do with the differences between these two people and their two platforms. Rosanne Barr had almost a million followers on Twitter, one of the biggest stars at the time she posted that racist tweet. This actor, frankly, a washed up actor, best known for films decades ago, he has about 50,000. His movie is due out in five theaters.”

Stelter also claimed the occurence was a reminder to watch your mouth:

“Yet another reminder that people mouthing off on Twitter, expressing their most private emotions, their most disgusting emotions, can have real world consequences.”

I’m not so sure he’s right about that. Doubtlessly, millions are unaware of Fonda’s endorsement of child rape. His Twitter account remains active, while others have had theirs suspended for far lesser offenses.

There is at play a double standard. Peter Fonda called for the torturous rape of a child (as well as other things). Yet the news stays silent, and the world turns, and many remain none the wiser.

 

Please check out my other articles on entertainers Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer, and Alyssa Milano, as well as all my RedState work here.

Sound off in the Comments section below.

And follow Alex Parker on Twitter.

 

 

 

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CBS Praises Pistol-Packing Pastor, Spotlights the Best Hero Story You’ll Hear All Week

 

Prepare for a shock: on CBS This Morning Thursday, a good guy with a gun was hailed as a hero.

After a Father’s Day sermon Sunday, David George, the concealed-carrying pastor of an Assembly of God Church in Oakville, Washington, went to Walmart with his family.

While he was standing near the store’s customer service desk, gunshots rang out from the back of the building. He watched his daughter and granddaughter run through the exit, but his wife was nowhere in view.

Unbeknownst to George, local resident Tim O. Day, 44 — a man with a criminal record which included felony assault, death threats, and a domestic violence restraining order — had shot at vehicles, crashed his own car into another, and attempted multiple carjackings until he commandeered the vehicle which had brought him to Walmart.

The gunfire was Day shooting open a display case filled with ammunition.

Soon thereafter, according to George in a press conference Wednesday, Day made his way out:

“The gunman came past me, waving and pointing his gun, and exited the building.”

As Day attempted more carjackings in the parking lot — shooting a man twice, in the shoulder and the side — George and another armed man partnered and followed him. Day moved toward an area where George thought his family might be; the pastor took position, shooting and killing Day.

George told his partner to stay with the criminal while he retrieved his medical kit and aided the man who’d been shot.

You know why? As it turns out, George was built for heroism:  in addition to being a pastor saving souls, he’s also a gun-range safety officer trained in active shooter situations (to save the defenseless), a fireman (to save the helpless), and a trained EMT (to save the injured).

On CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King had this to say:

“The pastor who is being called a hero for killing a carjacker at a Walmart near Seattle is speaking out. David George says he heard gunshots inside the store on Sunday, and then he saw the suspect run out pointing a gun. He says the gunman tried to break into two cars and shot and critically wounded one person. George, who legally carries a gun, fired to stop the shooter.”

In a clip of the conference played on the morning show, George described why he carries a gun:

“I am grieved that the shooter’s reckless actions endangered and hurt numerous individuals and demanded that he be stopped before doing more harm. I carry a firearm for the same reason I carry a first aid bag, hoping to never have to use them but always being prepared nonetheless.”

The news has been full of insanity and hate as of late. The story of David George and his heroic deed is a breath of fresh air, as is CBS This Morning’s positive portrayal of a good guy with a gun.

Thankfully, support for gun control is waning, as covered here:

Poll: Gun Control Support Changing in the Aftermath of Parkland — Here’s How

For more of my coverage on guns, go here, as well as to my articles on the war against guns by California and Bank of America.

For something entirely different, here’s my take on diversity.

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter.

 

 

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(No) SURPRISE! Post-Executive Order, the Left Rages Against Family Togetherness at the Border

 

Okay, this one’s a doozy.

Over the last few weeks, here’s what has happened:

A photograph went viral, spawning a great left-wing outcry over the fact that children were being put in cages (see the photo here).

The Left’s immediate response was to:

  • Blame Donald Trump — This was wrong, since the practices at the border are in response to law, not merely “policy.” The law in question began with the Clinton administration (its history is explained here).
  • Ask how Trump could let something like that which was pictured actually happen — This was wrong, because the photo was from 2014 — the Obama era. Oops!
  • Demand that children never be separated from their parents — This was wrong, because the only alternative is for children to be in jail, given that they were separated from their imprisoned, criminal parents.

Fast forward to a whole lot of pressure from the media, Democrats, and even Republicans (see more about that here). The result was an executive order, constituting — in my estimation — a bad strategic play by Trump, losing any substantial leverage in the fight for immigration reform (see here).

Now where are we? Is the Left satisfied that children are back with their parents (in jail)?

Let’s review a bit: against the protest of civil rights groups, the Obama administration believed children of (law-breaking) illegal immigrants should be with their parents; however, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, mandating that children not be kept in jail. Hence, family separation. Trump undid that Wednesday, putting us back to the place which caused the appeals court to rule in the first place.

And, therefore, now this tweet — an exemplification of the Left following their policy: always, in all things, go against Donald Trump.

THAT IS THEIR POLICY.

Right.

Wait — safe?? What is she talking about? This was not about “safe;” it was about law.

Regardless, Senator Bernie Sanders had this to say:

“We have a situation where the Trump administration now, their solution is to provide indefinite detention…the Trump administration wants to undo the Flores settlement, which focuses on the needs of children and limits to 20 days, the number of days that children can be in jail.”

HOLY FREAKING __________.

He invokes the Flores settlement, which no Democrat or media member would admit existed — it was a policy, remember? According to Democrats, the media, and even some Republicans, family separation was not a product of law. Now, Sanders is referencing the law which Trump’s executive order (due to pressure from the Left) undid.

House Democrat Eric Swalwell warned CNN that the executive action “could lead to family internment camps.”

Samantha Bee (who I previously profiled here and here), announced on her show Wednesday, “Yay! No more baby internment camps, just regular internment camps…Cool! That’s what we call a win in 2018. To be clear, I am happy that at least these kids are theoretically (?) gonna stay with their parents, but Mommy & Me Jails are not a solution.”

Well, there ya go.

The Left, in truth, has only two positions in this situation:

  • As for illegal immigrants, let them all go (cha-CHING at the voting booth)
  • As for Trump, whichever thing he did, that thing was the worst thing a President could ever do (cha-CHING at the voting booth).

Politics is a game of money and power — one that is played, as of late, especially dirty.

“Dirty” only works if people are ill-informed. Knowledge makes “dirty” look stupid.

That’s why we’re here — not just the writers of RedState, but you, the readers. Hopefully, we can spread a little truth, and expose the rising hypocrisy in a high-stakes game being played with “progressively” fewer scruples. In the meantime, I’m sure things are going to continue to get really, really stupid.

 

Did you enjoy this article? Just curious. Either way, please read more of my RedState stuff. It’s all here.

And for something completely different, here’s my article on a man who gave birth.

Please follow Alex Parker on Twitter.

 

 

 

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After Being KO’d by the Rocky Three — Media, Democrats, & Other Republicans — Donald Trump Fights FiliBuster Douglas

 

Flustered by the Capitol Hill stall on an immigration bill, President Trump enacted his own political Throwback Thursday by again calling for an end to Senate filibustering.

Trump has been blaming Democrats over quite a stretch (as in, since he received the Republican nomination) for immigration problems, including family separation (see here), while the media has, of course, blamed Trump (illustrated here).

The President had stood firm regarding family separation (illustrated here and here), but he caved yesterday (RIP resolve here).

Now, to quote various old people — and to the delight of Democrats — he’s in a pickle.

Say “adios” to the leverage family separation provided. Say hello to catch and release, and the sagging of a once-flexed muscle which worried the Left.

In signing Wednesday’s executive order, Trump completely ended pressure on the Democrats to give him anything he might want. Now, they’re likely content to cruise for the next few months, shipping through calm waters leading to November elections.

Thanks to the media, the Democrats, and — significantly — many Republicans (like this one), Trump is now trying to win a battle no one cares to fight.

Hence, his return to punching at the Clubber Lang to his Balboa: filibuster.

Wednesday, a different Clubber clobbered him.

If only he’d held out a little longer…

He could’ve done this:

Now, the road to his immigration goals is…well…rocky.

Hence, the following tweet:

“What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms). Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!”

This, as the House was gearing up for a vote later in the day on stricter immigration policies, plus funding for the much-hyped wall.

So far, the biggest wall in America is the Democrats’ opposition to Donald Trump.

Also included in the vote is a permanent congressional “No” on family separation.

Despite the impression of Trump’s tweet, filibustering isn’t the only challenge to reform; the current immigration package has other enemies, including many in the House.

Furthermore, not all Republicans want to end filibustering — the requirement of 60 votes to pass most substantial legislation — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

So where does Trump go, if the legislation doesn’t pass? He’s already indicated a willingness to accept its failure, and he’s lost the push the media’s family separation outcry provided.

As the news cycle resets, so does the White House. But this time, the Democrats know something they didn’t before: the heavyweight champion in the Oval Office isn’t beyond getting knocked out.

 

Have you seen the Rocky movies? If not, I command you to, at once. Rocky 1-4. I never saw Rocky 5, but it’s reportedly disappointing. Its follow-up, Rocky Balboa, is good.

Oh, yeah — politics and culture: please check out my other RedState articles here.

And follow Alex Parker on Twitter.

 

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RIP Charles Krauthammer

Conservative author Charles Krauthammer has passed away at the age of 68. The Fox News commentator had been battling cancer for some time and announced recently that he had only weeks to live.

Krauthammer was born on March 13, 1950 in New York City. During his first year at Harvard Medical School, a diving accident left him permanently paralyzed. After a 14-month long recovery, he returned to Harvard to finish his medical degree. He would later earn his board certification in psychiatry and would contribute to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

In the 1980s, Krauthammer began writing political columns for a variety of media outlets, including Time Magazine, The New Republic, and the Washington Post. Within a few years, he was a nationally syndicated columnist, a well-known political commentator, and a regular Fox News contributor. He is remembered for both his brilliantly insightful writing and his political independence, willing to hold a critical spotlight on issues across the partisan divide.

Krauthammer’s Fox News colleagues clearly held the highest degree of admiration for both the man and his work, offering moving tributes on Twitter and on air today.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend, Charles Krauthammer,” said Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott in a statement provided to RedState. “A gifted doctor and brilliant political commentator, Charles was a guiding voice throughout his time with FOX News and we were incredibly fortunate to showcase his extraordinary talent on our programs. He was an inspiration to all of us and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife Robyn and his son Daniel.”

Brit HumeTucker Carlson, Dana Perino, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace also shared their memories of their brilliant friend and colleague.

Krauthammer is survived by his wife, Robyn, and their son, Daniel. May his memory be a blessing.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker

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Disney Puts Star Wars Spinoffs On Hold After Solo Tanks, but the True Blame Lies with the Main Films

I’m going to start by saying that if you haven’t if you haven’t seen the Star Wars “Solo” film yet, then I feel you should. It wasn’t at all awful, and the story was a pretty solid one. I have my complaints, but they didn’t necessarily ruin my overall enjoyment of the film.

But regardless of the fact that the film was not at all bad, it still under-performed in the markets. As the Daily Wire has reported, the film is yet to make half of its $375 million budget back. The shock of Solo’s lackluster return has caused Disney to put the “Star Wars Stories” on hold in the mean time.

While I was hopeful for the announced Boba Fett movie, my reaction to the announcement that they wouldn’t keep going was oddly one of relief. Understand that I love Star Wars, but I’d rather love it for it was, not what it is.

But what is it’s problem? What did Solo do wrong?

Nothing major. I have some nitpicks as to the character choice for Han Solo, and the politicization of the droids, but otherwise, the movie was relatively solid. Same can be said for Rogue One before that. A solid movie that had a very “Magnificent 7,” doomed hero feel to it.

The problem isn’t necessarily with Solo or Rogue One, but with the main story. At this time, the Star Wars films currently being made with Kathleen Kennedy at the helm are a despicable mess laced with political messaging and nods to the cause du jour. The galaxy far, far away feels too close to home, and it contains all the most annoying parts of it.

For one, many Star Wars fans find it odd that Daisy Ridley’s character “Rey” is somehow so powerful with the force that she can defeat everyone she comes across, be they a highly trained Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) or the most powerful Jedi living, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamilton) in single combat. Rey’s character is the ultimate Mary Sue who, if not for her supporting cast, would be a boring character. She can do all and defeat all. Her character arch is relatively shallow, and too often anticlimactic.

And while J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” was essentially a predictable rehash of “A New Hope,” it was Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” that really had fans heading for the exists. Horrible plot direction, shoe-horned in characters, and the heinous misuse of established characters had fans in a virtual riot. Luke Skywalker was nothing like the character we had grown up with, Rey was far more powerful than she had any right to be given her single day of training, and Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) may be a ridiculous character I wish never existed on par with Jar Jar Binks.

Even Hamill couldn’t hold back his disdain for Johnson and the direction of the movie during the filming, and consistently expressed it in interviews. One such interview was during SXSW, where Hamill makes it a point to highlight how Johnson’s philosophy for the movie was to kill the past, and even going so far as to write that into Kylo Ren’s lines, to which Johnson agrees and says “I’m trying.”

The problem is, the past is where the answer lies for the franchise’s success, and yet the people continuing on the legacy have no respect for the place Star Wars came from. They would rather treat the old characters as disposable, and push forward with the new cast, half of which is comprised of dismissible characters.

Also, as Ben Shapiro wrote accurately, much of the blame for the failure of the modern Star Wars films lies in its social justice adherent producer Kathleen Kennedy, who is so focused on creating strong female characters that she forgot to create good ones.

The reception for TLJ was so horrid that now producer Abrams came to the films defense and blamed the hatred for it on — and I’m not kidding — misogyny. Abrams kicked a hornets nest here, and ended up making it even worse, and confirming far too many fears surrounding the film moving into a social justice political realm. He just made it so much worse.

(If you’d like to read my response to Abrams, as well as some further critiques to TLJ, please follow the link here.)

All of this has left an overwhelmingly bitter taste in the mouths of Star Wars fans. As I’ve covered ad nauseum, introducing politics into the realm of escapism results in people turning away and finding something better to do. This applies to anything from sports, to shopping. Star Wars fans don’t want social justice in the movies, and the results of them forcing it down our throats is that many have turned away.

Solo — not a bad movie for all intents and purposes — went largely ignored likely due to the fact that many don’t want to reward Disney for turning a beloved franchise into a sad pile of bad stories, bad characters, and political messages. On top of that, they’re afraid that if they go to another Star Wars movie they’ll just have their heart broken again, and the fandom has had that happen one too many times, ever since the prequels.

If you ask me, it sounds like Disney execs put the wrong films on hold. Rogue One and Solo were just fine. What they need to do is reexamine what they’re doing with the main films, fire those who are poisoning it (Kennedy and Abrams) and push forward with a fresh, clean slate that will deserve the respect of fans both new and old.

If they don’t, then Star Wars will die a tragic but well deserved death within the American film legacy.

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The Left’s War on Language: ‘Illegal’ and What it Means

People rally outside the Statehouse, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Boston, to protest how immigrants are being treated both on the border with Mexico and in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

 

As a writer, I depend on other writers. So do…other writers.

I’m not out on the street, with a notepad in my pocket and a pencil in my ear. Neither are the vast majority of people writing these days.

We glean from one another. We research. We find information on the web, in newspapers, in reports, in books, in magazines, or other places.

And lately, getting clear facts has become more difficult than ever, thanks to the left-wing bent of even supposedly right-wing journalists (please see this).

What is a migrant?

What is an immigrant?

What is an asylum seeker?

These are confusing terms, when used to mean something at best more specific and at worst wholly different.

When euphemisms are employed for those breaking the law, not only is the notion of law diminished, but the clarity of the story suffers significantly.

Go on social media right now: I guarantee you can find someone who believes those seeking asylum have to sneak across the border and be put in a cage. Why do they think that? Partly due to the media’s unwillingness to use proper terms even when it obstructs the facts.

People seeking asylum can do so at a port of entry.

But not according to the stories I read.

If the numerous articles regarding family separation are to be believed, “migrants” are being captured and put in cages.

If someone breaks into your house, are they a domestic “migrant?” Is that a fair description?

At times, I find myself exerting ridiculous effort to get to the reality of a story, so I can relay it. What is this person? Someone running from execution in their home country, someone just wandering the plains, someone immigrating to America, or somebody breaking the law? It’s hard to tell. Of course, anymore, virtually zero stories are told about actual immigrants. “Immigrants” are those who come here legally; however, in an effort to skew the truth, the media have taken that word and used it to refer to ILLEGAL immigrants so much that it has almost ceased to be utilized any other way. The impression, therefore, is twofold:

  • There is no way to enter the country legally.
  • The only (read: correct) way to enter America is to sneak in.

The result is a very confused public. Not a day goes by that I don’t see regular people online, raving about what Donald Trump is doing to “migrants.” “Asylum seekers.” “Immigrants.”

I know those are not the proper terms, but I don’t believe they do.

And I hear songs and see talking heads and typing radicals telling us we’re a nation of immigrants.

To that, I say:

NO, WE ARE NOT.

We are NOT a “nation of immigrants.” Not when the word “immigrants” means, instead, “illegal immigrants.”

Words mean something, and the Left is poaching the language (illustrated here).

As in so many other cases, sadly, the Right seems to be following suit.

How about this: how about, everyone say what they’re actually talking about? So I don’t have to waste time consulting my Baloney-to-English dictionary, and social media isn’t filled with the rants of fools commenting on something that doesn’t exist, because the media was too weak to describe what does.

We can’t have a healthy debate in this country, if the terms being used in the discussion have no direct relation to the ideas behind them. In that event, everyone is talking about something different. And very few know what they are talking about at all.

At the very least, let us say what we mean. Me, you…this American conservative base. Let us not kowtow to the demands of those who want nothing more than to mislead the ignorant into the hypnotically comforting belief they are informed. That is what is happening: “migrant” is the new “illegal immigrant,” and stupid is the new smart. Let’s put a moratorium on stupid. Let’s build a wall against it. Keep it out of ports of entry. Protect the borders of our nation’s understanding of truth.

And in doing so, may we have a conversation in that light, in that mutual acceptance and agreement. Because without the clarity of reality, “nothing” is the new anything.

 

For more on the culture, please go here and here.

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter.

 

 

The post The Left’s War on Language: ‘Illegal’ and What it Means appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


POLL: Most Voters Blame Parents, Not U.S. Government, For Border Crisis

According to a Rasmussen poll released Thursday in the wake of several days of media hysterics over the separation of children from their families at the U.S. Southern border, more voters blame parents of migrant children for the border crisis than they do the federal government.

When families are arrested and separated after attempting to enter the United States illegally, 54% of Likely U.S. Voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 35% believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.

The poll questions are below:

Perhaps even more notable (emphasis mine), 82% of Republicans and 56% of voters not affiliated with either major political party feel the parents are more to blame for breaking the law. But 60% of Democrats say the government is more to blame for enforcing the law.

There has been a great deal of chatter that the border situation — and it got about as ugly as these things can get just short of actual violence — was going to be a very bad look  for Republicans in the 2018 midterms. If these numbers are accurate, and especially if the GOP manages to get some kind of immigration reform passed in Congress, the damage to Republican members, and to President Trump himself, may not be as dramatic as people assumed at the beginning of the week.

For what it’s worth, the poll also found that “voters are strongly critical of Mexico’s efforts to keep illegal drugs and illegal immigrants out of the United States, and just over half agree with the president that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a good weapon to use to make our southern neighbor clean up its act.”

The poll was conducted on June 19-20, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports, and surveyed 1000 likely voters.

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Source: Red State