Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Americans saw plenty of Washington at its worst this year, with one party in Congress obsessed with a partisan impeachment stunt and obstructing progress at every turn. But despite getting no help from the far left, America today is soaring to new heights.
It’s tough to pick only 10 accomplishments from such an extraordinary year, but here are just a few of the biggest things President Donald J. Trump has gotten done for the American people in 2019:
1. The Trump Boom is going strong. The unemployment rate recently hit its lowest mark in 50 years. All told, since President Trump’s election, our economy has added more than 7 million jobs—over half a million in manufacturing alone.
2. The stock market keeps breaking records: The Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit record closes again on Friday.
3. The working class is thriving, as are previously forgotten communities. Wages are now rising the fastest for low-income workers, and poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans have reached all-time lows.
4. Accountable government is back. Since taking office, President Trump has rolled back nearly 8 regulations for every new one, saving American taxpayers more than $50 billion in the process—with bigger savings still to come.
5. Better trade deals are putting America back in the driver’s seat. Congress approved President Trump’s USMCA this month—a huge win for U.S. workers, farmers, and manufacturers that will create 176,000 new jobs.
6. Trade with China in particular is about to get a whole lot fairer. As part of a historic “phase 1” deal, Beijing has agreed to structural reforms in its trade practices and to make substantial purchases of American agricultural products.
7. Securing the border is paying off and making our country safer. President Trump struck new agreements with Mexico and Central American countries this year to help stop the flood of illegal immigration. Thanks to this swift action, border apprehensions fell by more than 70 percent from May to November.
8. On health care, President Trump is fighting to give our patients the best system on Earth. While Democrats try to take away choice, the President’s focus on affordability led to the largest year-over-year drop in drug prices ever recorded.
9. American interests are taking center stage abroad. In just one example: After years of not paying their fair share, NATO Allies will have increased defense spending by $130 billion by the end of next year.
10. Our great military took out the world’s top terrorist in October. (Meet Conan, the hero dog who helped them do it!) Our troops are now getting the support they deserve. President Trump recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2020 fiscal year, which includes the biggest pay raise for our military in a decade.
On behalf of President Trump and his entire Administration, have a blessed and wonderful New Year!
Monday, December 30, 2019
By The Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop at Tipton High School on December 28, 2019 in Tipton, Iowa. PHOTO: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES
“Former Vice President Joe Biden confirmed Friday he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in a Senate trial of President Donald Trump, ” the Iowa newspaper reported.
Donald Trump should keep a thank-you letter to Joe Biden on robo-write. In his latest favor to the President, the former Vice President told the Des Moines Register last week that he wouldn’t honor a subpoena to testify in a Senate impeachment trial.
“What are you going to cover?” Mr. Biden explained. “You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump’s) going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time. Not a joke . . . Think what it’s about. It’s all about what he does all the time, his entire career. Take the focus off. This guy violated the Constitution. He said it in the driveway of the White House. He acknowledged he asked for help.”
Mull that one over. The House has impeached Mr. Trump in one of its articles for going to court to fight its subpoenas. But at least the President is defending his constitutional authority under the separation of powers. Mr. Biden claims he can ignore a Senate subpoena on his own judgment because he says the press corps will report on his appearance and change the focus from Mr. Trump. But Mr. Trump’s defense against impeachment includes that he had the right to ask Ukraine, as a recipient of U.S. aid, to investigate alleged corruption by Mr. Biden and his son Hunter.
Mr. Biden tried to modify his comments a day later, but he only made it worse. “I want to clarify something I said yesterday. In my 40 years in public life, I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office—unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence —cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests,” Mr. Biden wrote on Twitter. “But I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial.”
Mr. Biden seems to be saying that any Senate subpoena would be illegal even if he chose to honor it, though he didn’t say clearly that he would honor it. We doubt Mr. Biden would have taken that view when he was running the Senate Judiciary Committee.
As our friends at the New York Sun note, Mr. Biden’s answer exposes this impeachment as a nakedly political exercise even more than the House Democrats already have. House Democrats raced to impeach Mr. Trump by an artificial end-of-year deadline, but now Speaker Nancy Pelosi withholds the articles of impeachment from the Senate in order to dictate the terms of a trial.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backs up Mrs. Pelosi’s usurpation of the Senate’s power and demands witnesses whom the House, in its haste and partisanship, refused to call. But if the Senate subpoenas Mr. Biden, he doesn’t have to appear.
And Democrats wonder why they can’t persuade independents and Republicans to take their impeachment seriously?
The House vote means Mr. Trump has been impeached. The Senate now has a constitutional duty to hold a trial, and it should do so whether Mrs. Pelosi delivers the articles or keeps them in a vault at the San Francisco Presidio surrounded by armed guards. Call Mr. Biden and other witnesses or don’t, but examine the evidence and vote.
EXCERPTS FROM OTHER NEWS
U.S. Hits Iranian Targets
From the story: US forces conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against five facilities the Pentagon says are tied to an Iranian-backed militia blamed for a series of attacks on joint US-Iraq military facilities housing American forces (CNN).
Another story explains “Kataib Hezbollah is a proxy arm of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani’s Quds Force and would not have acted against U.S. forces without his approval. The group is responsible for 11 rocket attacks in two months on bases where American soldiers were present. A Kataib Hezbollah attack on Friday on an Iraqi base near Kirkuk killed a U.S. contractor and wounded four American troops” (WSJ).
From Senator Tom Cotton: “Today’s strikes against Iranian-backed groups in Iraq and Syria are a justified response to the killing of an American and the wounding of several American service members and Iraqis. Tehran must stop attacking Americans or else face even graver consequences” (Fox News).
Man Opens Fire in Texas Church, Is Immediately Shot
He lasted six seconds (CNN). While the CNN story notes “two members of the security team” took out the shooter, in this video, you see several parishioners pull out weapons (BitChute). Welcome to Texas.
From the Daily Wire: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attacked Texas Governor Greg Abbott earlier this year for signing a bill into law that allowed lawful gun owners to carry firearms in places of worship, repeatedly calling Abbott’s decision “irrational” (Daily Wire).
Man Attacks Jewish Home During Hanukkah Celebration
Injuring five with a machete (NY Times). Governor Cuomo called it “an act of domestic terrorism” (Washington Examiner).
Meanwhile, a New York woman who assaulted three Jewish women was released without bail. She quickly struck again (NY Post).
Williamson: Celebs Don’t Buy Their Own Climate Hysteria Hype
In typically entertaining Kevin Williamson’ style, he explains “nobody really believes in the apocalyptic story that celebrity activists such as Emma Thompson and Greta Thunberg tell. Emma Thompson does not have to travel. Greta Thunberg does not have to sail in a boat made from petroleum to perform a publicity stunt and then fly crew around the world on a big-ass jet to fetch the silly thing. We have the Internet. We have TikTok. Got something to say? Twitter is ready when you are.”
Sunday, December 29, 2019
Atlanta entrepreneur Bruce LeVell was one of the original supporters to join the Trump campaign back in 2015 and is a founder of the Trump campaign’s Diversity Coalition. He sat down with One America’s John Hines to discuss how the president’s support is faring among African Americans.
As 2019 comes to an end, we look back at the last fifteen years since the establishment of the National Black Republican Association and thank our visitors and supporters for your help with promoting our educational campaign designed to enlighten our fellow citizens about the true history of civil rights and current events that impact the lives of all Americans in general and black Americans in particular.
Thank you for your support and we hope all of you will have a happy and prosperous New Year!
Saturday, December 28, 2019
By Eric Morath and Jeffrey Sparshott | The Wall Street Journal
At Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes, the company president says wages increased 8% in 2019. PHOTO: MOOYAH
Short supply of labor, minimum-wage rises and increased poaching have helped lift wages for lower-income workers
Rank-and-file workers are getting bigger raises this year—at least in percentage terms—than bosses.
Wages for the typical worker—nonsupervisory employees who account for 82% of the workforce—are rising at the fastest rate in more than a decade, a sign that the labor market has tightened sufficiently to convey bigger pay increases to lower-paid employees. Gains for those workers have accelerated much of this year, a time when the unemployment rate fell to a half-century low. A short supply of workers, increased poaching and minimum-wage increases have helped those nearer to the bottom of the pay scale.
Pay for the bottom 25% of wage earners rose 4.5% in November from a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Wages for the top 25% of earners rose 2.9%. Similarly, the Atlanta Fed found wages for low-skilled workers have accelerated since early 2018, and last month matched the pace of high-skill workers for the first time since 2010.
“A strong labor market makes the bargaining power of lower-paid workers more like the labor market higher-wage workers experience during good times and bad,” Nick Bunker, economist with job search site Indeed.com, said.
Labor Department data paint a similar picture. Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers in the private sector were up 3.7% in November from a year earlier—stronger than the 3.1% advance for all employees—Implying managers and other nonproduction workers saw a 1.6% wage increase in the past year. The department doesn’t produce separate management pay figures.
Nonsupervisory workers earned an average of $23.83 an hour in November according to the Labor Department; managers earned about twice that rate.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a restaurant chain based in Plano, Texas, with 75 U.S. locations, is among the places that has lifted starting wages to fill positions.
“The effective labor pool is smaller than what it has been in the past,” said Tony Darden, Mooyah’s president. “As you look to bring on folks, ultimately higher wages are used to attract them.”
Mooyah is competing for workers with other restaurants, grocery stores, and service providers such as salons. He said the company increased wages 8% in 2019, with much of that flowing to entry-level workers. As a result managers, such as shift supervisors, are seeing less of a premium over their subordinates, Mr. Darden added.
Low-skilled workers are typically the easiest to replace, and thus struggle to command higher wages at most points in the economic cycle. When workers are in short supply, they can benefit more because there may be dozens of nearby opportunities offering slightly more money.
“There’s been more job hopping and firms are having a hard time finding employees,” said Michael Horrigan, president of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. He was previously associate commissioner with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While hourly pay for nonmanagers is growing, average hours worked a week have declined this year. Employers may offer higher wages to attract workers but keep hours in check to control labor costs, Mr. Horrigan said.
The labor market for skilled workers is always tighter, but it hasn’t improved as substantially in recent years. The unemployment rate for high school dropouts fell to 5.3% last month from 7.8% three years earlier. The rate for college grads is down to 2% from 2.4% in November 2016, and is slightly elevated relative to the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Higher-paid workers are more likely to have access to perks, including retirement contributions, vacation leave and subsidized child care—benefits in addition to pay that can keep workers from changing jobs. Many lower-paying jobs at retailers and restaurants don’t offer such perks, and workers may jump between those jobs for a few quarters an hour.
Managerial pay appeared to be held back by smaller production bonuses—such as continuing incentives to reach sales targets or deliver on output goals at a factory—said Bank of America economist Alex Lin. The wage figure excluded most benefits and one-time bonuses and stock options.
“Management pay is more sensitive to microcycles in the economy,” he said. “Other workers are more tied to the labor market, which has remained healthy.”
Another factor supporting the lowest-paid workers is a wave of minimum-wage increases. Twenty-nine states have increased minimum wages above the federal level, and 21 of those will lift the level again in 2020. For example, the minimum wage will increase 12.5% in Washington state, to $13.50 an hour.
“When I heard about that extra $1.50 an hour, I was excited,” said Brian Hoorn of Bellingham, Wash., who earns the minimum wage at Ross Dress for Less. The 28-year-old runs the cash register, aids in fitting rooms and arranges merchandise. He received several pay raises at retail jobs in recent years as the minimum wage rose.
Pay is also increasing for low-skilled work in states such as Georgia, where the minimum wage remains at the federal level of $7.25 an hour.
Eric Watson, owner of an Express Employment Professionals office in Atlanta, said he has advised clients to offer higher wages for warehouse and entry-level manufacturing jobs. The going rate for a warehouse worker in Atlanta is close to $15 an hour, up from $12 two years ago, he said. Some clients raised pay twice in the past year.
“They realize they’re losing their talent to their neighbors,” Mr. Watson said. “Another company will call and offer the worker 50 cents more an hour—and they’ll leave immediately.”
Friday, December 27, 2019
Rep. Ilhan Omar, right, (D-Minn) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
Jim Mone / AP
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King
Today, the term social justice is freely bandied about by far left Democrats to court identity groups. They preach this ostentatiously pious gospel to our youth and the under classes; “if you don’t like a law you can break it in the name of social justice. If you don’t want to work, pay for your education, buy health insurance or food, support your family, enter America legally, or do anything responsible people do in a democratic society, it is OK. The government will provide it for you.” These heretics are clueless about what true "social justice" means. And much worse, they are insulting those of us that do.
For generations, concerned citizens became organizers and activists to improve American society for everyone. They joined with writers, thinkers, artists, musicians, judges and politicians who saw flaws in our laws and social mores and led reform movements to instigate changes in our legal and social system. They brought meaningful improvements to the lives of every American.
The radical ideas of one generation became common sense of the next because they were not orchestrated in the name of identity politics for political gain. They postulated naturally to address social evolution.
America was founded to obtain social justice. We’d not be a nation today if political activist, author and enlightenment thinker Thomas Paine had not engaged the colonies to revolt with his inspiring pamphlets, "The American Crisis" and "Common Sense." He read passages to the patriots during the Revolution to encourage disenchanted soldiers to keep fighting. John Locke was a physician and a thinker who cultivated our political philosophy. Jefferson used Locke’s Treatises on Government when he fashioned our own Declaration of Independence: “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
On Election Day in 1920, millions of U.S. women voted for the first time, thanks to the endeavors of Susan B. Anthony. She believed all men and women had the right to vote. After the Civil War, she refused to support any Constitution suffrage amendments that did not grant full voting rights to all Americans. The Civil War might not have taken place if Frederick Douglass had a national forum to educate our nation about every man’s natural right to unbiased social and legal justice. A brilliant orator, writer and constitutional academic, he blazed the legal and moral path for abolition.
“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”
– Frederick Douglass
Harper Lee's 1960 novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" about an innocent black man convicted unjustly shed light on injustice in the cloistered and subjugated parts of America. Historians claim her epic classic fanned the flames for Americans to engage in national social reform campaigns. It opened doors for Civil Rights leaders Rosa Parks, Dr. Marin Luther King, Leslie Dunbar, the 13 Freedom Riders, and countless others who helped pass of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts. Lee brought awareness to America that led to the ADA, the EOA and countless other modern legal and social reformations.
A hundred years ago, any soapbox orator who called for women’s suffrage, an end to segregation, equal opportunity in the workplace, outlawing discrimination against the aged and disabled, more government transparency, sunshine laws, voting rights protections, a citizens’ ballot initiative and other social and judicial reforms was considered a threat to republicanism. Now these are part of our legal system and vital protections for us because of the arduous efforts of our past dedicated social justice seekers.
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
– Thomas Paine
Unlike past heroes who stepped forward in the name of social justice, new age socialists working to force their brand of social justice on us are hypocrites! They disgrace the words "social justice" and dishonor the real American heroes and reformers who confronted unjust sociopolitical issues that needed correcting for all Americans in our nation. As nations age, so does the need to address new challenges that develop with its growing pains.
Contrarily, today’s socialists rely on identity politics to survive. They must continually invent non-problems to solve under the banner of “social justice.”
Plato wrote, “The humble are confident and productive; braggarts insecure and lacking.” Our past activists and reformers did not have a label. Society recognized them for the work they did. Today’s self-anointed leftist justice seekers claim every traditional American institution has failed and they have concocted an apocryphal way to remake America into a neo-socialist Promised Land. This will be a place where nobody has to plant anything to reap the harvest of this land’s many benefits.
“Yes, a lot of people when they hear the word 'socialist,' get very, very nervous.”
– Bernie Sanders
The greatest tragedy of the left’s social justice group is, none have any knowledge of constitutional law, politics, economic theory, capitalism or American history. They have concocted hybrid Marxist-Leninist revisionist theories to justify their bogus dogmas. They’re convinced they’ve been elected to deliver us from the countless evils of America's republican institutions, constitutional order of law, and concepts of our founding. They condemn America as an imperfect union that is not the envy of any country in the world. To the new left, capitalism is oppressive and socialism is complete freedom.
This motley crew of would-be lawmakers focuses on engineering oppressive reversals of fortune to define social justice. In an ABC TV interview, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, who had vowed to take her oath on Thomas Jefferson’s translation of the Qur’an, used her own instead. She retorted, “Why uplift Thomas Jefferson in our era of social justice.” She claimed, “My main goal is to stigmatize all talks to legitimize the state of Israel.”
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, shares her same proclivities: “I’ll work on white Jewish supremacy issues and international human-rights violations. I’ve always had a social justice bent approach to everything in my life.” (Is this real social justice?)
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, claims eliminating the use of fossil fuels will establish “economic, social and racial justice.” She insists her plan will create jobs and equalize our wealth. But economists say her proposal would cause massive unemployment.
Since President Donald Trump took office, the number of Americans living below the poverty line declined to 50 percent fewer than a decade ago. The greatest economic improvement came in black and Hispanic communities.
Yet Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, contends we need an economic policy that delivers “economic social-justice”?
President Barack Obama proved, “Elections have consequences.” Political scientist Larry Bartels said, “People make political decisions based on social identities and partisan loyalties, not honest reality.” Since voters lack knowledge about candidates and issues, they vote for people who make them feel good.
That is how we got a house full of Leninist ”wanna-bes” whose heroes are Marx, Lenin and Fidel Castro. Social change does not start in Congress; it starts in the homes, streets and schools of America. If people desire help with a social or a political enigma, they’ll contact Congress if they can’t resolve it.
Today's "social justice" seekers are not a solution; they’re a problem and a threat to our freedom. Their socialist motives are dividing and conquering in the name of justice. We were asleep at the wheel last election and look what we got. It’s our republic; if we choose to keep it.
“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
– Alexis de Tocqueville
Contributing Columnist William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.
Thursday, December 26, 2019
By Dave Boyer | The Washington Times
Former NFL player Jack Brewer once raised campaign money for President Barack Obama, but now he’s among the increasing number of black voters who support President Trump.
“There is an awakening going on right now in the country,” Mr. Brewer said of black voters who traditionally support Democrats. “I’m going to take the guy who’s actually putting in the policies that are going to make life better for my young black son and my young black daughter, versus somebody who gives me lip service — like, unfortunately, the Democrats have done for our community for years.”
Mr. Trump and his reelection team are aggressively courting black voters amid a strong economy that has reduced black unemployment to 5.5%, lowest in history. The Trump campaign launched its “Black Voices for Trump” coalition in Atlanta last month.
“The Democrats have let you down,” Mr. Trump told black supporters at the time. “They’ve dismissed you. They’ve hurt you. They’ve sabotaged you for far too long.”
The campaign also has paid for full-page, full-color advertisements promoting Mr. Trump in 11 local black newspapers across the nation, and radio spots on urban radio stations nationwide.
There’s some evidence that the president’s policies and campaign outreach are making inroads with black voters. Three polls in November showed Mr. Trump’s job-approval rating among black voters in the 30% to 35% range, a significant increase over other surveys that have generally shown black voter support of less than 10%.
“I’ll remind you, the president received 8% of the black vote in 2016,” said a senior Trump campaign official.
The president and his campaign advisers know that poll numbers and approval ratings don’t always translate into votes, but they think Mr. Trump has a good chance to significantly increase the level of support he receives from black voters in 2020.
“If you look at how they attacked him for being a racist during the  campaign, I think his policies have [produced] results for the black community that have been extraordinary,” the campaign official said during a recent briefing.
Said another Trump adviser, “One thing the president’s done is to try to govern for everybody. Even those who didn’t vote for him in the last election are now seeing a lot of results in their communities, and we’re seeing the poll numbers amongst all those groups grow in a way that creates a lot of opportunities.”
You can bet on it: Bookmakers say Trump will win in 2020
By Jennifer Harper | The Washington Times
In this Dec. 20, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump arrives with first lady Melania Trump to sign the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Political discord and the impeachment vote have not marred President Trump’s odds of reelection. They have actually improved, according to betting aggregators US-Bookies.com, an industry source that tracks the trends of the nation’s betting, as well as the consumer aspects.
“Over the past week, Mr. Trump went from 1/1 to 10/11 to win the 2020 Presidential election,” the organization said.
“Despite all the fanfare about the president’s impeachment, the reality is that this is highly unlikely to materialize into a conviction,” says the group’s betting industry analyst Alex Donohue.
“The betting markets now suggest the upshot of this entire process is that Trump is more likely to win 2020,” he said.
The organization’s “live election tracker’ currently gives Mr. Trump a 47.6% chance of winning the 2020 presidential election, up from 40% at the beginning of December.
“His nearest competitor, Joe Biden, sits at 13.9%, with Bernie Sanders following at 10%. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are just behind Sanders at 9%,” Mr. Donohue said.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
The first couple recorded the message at the White House.
President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump sent Christmas greetings with a video message. They offer gratitude to Christians, care givers and service members in their holiday video message.
“On behalf of the entire Trump family we wish everyone a very joyous and Merry Christmas.”
The video featured images of the first couple's work, including President Trump visiting American troops
In the video the first lady expressed gratitude for those in uniform, including U.S. troops overseas and members of law enforcement
The video also featured Christmas themes, such the White House decorations and the first couple lighting the national Christmas tree
President Trump and Melania Trump had Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-Lago
'The president and I want to wish each and every American a very Merry Christmas,' the first lady, wearing a bright red dress, said.
The president then turned to a religious theme.
'At this sacred time of year Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and rejoice in his love for every person. We give thanks to the millions of Americans who come together to care for others with compassion and bring the warmth and bliss of this holiday season to our family, our friends, our neighbors and to those in need,' President Trump noted.
And Melania Trump chimed in: 'As we gather with loved ones this holiday, Americans across this land are grateful for all the men and women in uniform who keep us safe: our military, our police and everyone in law enforcement.'
President Trump offered a final holiday greeting: 'We say a special prayer those for military service members stationed far from home and we renew our hope for peace among nations and joy to the world. On behalf of the entire Trump family we wish everyone a very joyous and Merry Christmas and a very happy happy New Year.'
The Trumps are spending the holiday season at their home in Mar-a-Lago, dining with friends and family at the Winter White House Tuesday night.
Senator McConnell speaks about the impeachment impasse with Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate, then wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
In Hoc Anno Domini
Editorial: The Wall Street Journal
PHOTO: PRINT COLLECTOR/GETTY IMAGES
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.
And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.
So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.
But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.
Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter’s star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
One Christmas Eve during the Cold War
This Oct. 26, 1966 file photo shows Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in his office at the Propagation of Faith in New York. Eddie Adams
“This Christmas let us all remember, America has been a shining star like the one that guided Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem our first Christmas Eve. Like our redeemer, America was the one chosen to Shepard the world. America was God’s gift to protect religious freedom.”
– Bishop Fulton Sheen
Bishop Fulton Sheen was a Catholic Bishop, writer, teacher, theologian and syndicated radio and television evangelist. He had PhDs in Cannon Law, Philosophy, and Theology. He wrote more than 200 books and had a syndicated news column. He won two Emmy Awards for his TV shows, and was featured on the covers of TV Guide, Colliers, Look, and Time magazine. He shared views with American presidents frequently on the importance of faith in society. Although his theological resume is impressive, he is best known for his distain for socialism and communism and his ability to unite Americans of all faiths in their fight to protect liberty during the dark days of the Cold War.
Bishop Sheen was not a typical TV evangelist. Clerics from every faith admired his ability to bring unity to Judeo-Christians and convince them to pray collectively to protect America from the evils of socialism and communism. He believed faith was the greatest distinction between freedom and communist oppression. He once told viewers that communist leaders “Malenkov, Vyshinsky, Beria and, Stalin will be punished unmercifully by God someday for the sins they’ve committed against mankind and the Lord." Joseph Stalin suffered a stroke a few days later and died the next week.
One Christmas Eve during the Cold War, tension between the Soviets and America was so severe, America feared a nuclear attack. Bishop Sheen opened his weekly show that holy night planning to talk about the miracle of the Immaculate Conception. He wanted to remind viewers the Lord had a master plan for every man, woman and child on this earth to enter His kingdom and spend eternity with Him. When He sent Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve the night of our Savior’s birth, He sent a message to us: “He opened heaven’s gates for everyone of every faith that night.”
As Sheen peered into the faces of his audience that night, he sensed fear and anxiety in the studio. The Bishop had an uncanny ability to annotate his message. Realizing their concerns that Russia and China might form a super power to avenge U.S. involvement in the Korean War, he knew he must resonate a message that restored peace within them. With his disarmingly hypnotic gaze he counseled them: “This holy night we must have faith in America. It is the sacred place God created for every faith to share the blessings of freedom. It is a shelter for world peace. It might not seem it is tonight, but it is God’s will. And tomorrow His birthday present to us will be eternal world peace.”
He efficaciously continued, “Politics is the devil’s instrument that fosters hatred and discord among men to divide them into factions to destroy their faith in God.” He said America has proven it is above that. America set an example for the world. Our freedom is built on faith not on politics. That is why we will survive all attacks by any governments that don’t believe in God or the rights of man. America will lead the way using its strength and valorousness to stop assaults upon their theater of faith. We must keep faith in our leaders and pray for them. Sheen cautioned the audience, “If we ever permit politics to disrupt our faith and unity we’ll lose the ability to protect America.”
As Bishop Sheen continued, he felt the chilling trepidation and consternation of his audience melt into a warming calm of serenity and faith in their leaders to defend them. But he continued to stress that they must never forget: “America is great because God made her so.” And he assured them it was our founders’ faith in God that gifted them with the wisdom to blueprint the American Republic. He insisted the one unifying element of the American experiment was freedom of religion. And that alone would always be our saving grace. He told his audience, “Everyday Americans pray to their Lord. And no matter what words they use, the spirit of every prayer is the same: It is their faith and trust in God that keeps us united and brings us peace.” He cautioned them to never stop praying.
“Physical idleness deteriorates the mind; spiritual idleness deteriorates the heart.”
– Bishop Sheen
Bishop Sheen reminded viewers that Christmas that America must never suffer from “over-tolerance.” He told them not to believe the things they read in newspapers or hear on the radio or see on TV, that we are spending too much money on the military. Or that in a nuclear attack, ground troops will be worthless. This doctrine of tolerance is the devil’s way to fight God’s virtues. The devil is using them to convince America if they are more “broadminded towards socialism and communism, it will bring world peace.”
“In journalism, the modern man wants controversy, not truth.”
– Bishop Sheen
Bishop Sheen concluded his show that Christmas Eve with this admonition. “As Christians, Jews and people of all faiths celebrate Christmas in their own traditional way, let us never forget that God made America great because he created her as the protector of the world. As Jews light another Menorah and as each Christian makes the sign of the cross, let us all pray that the New Year will usher in a tide of new faith that will continue to unite us to protect world freedom. God bless you.”
"Life is Worth Living" and "The Fulton Sheen Show" aired on the DuMont TV and ABC networks and was in weekly syndication from 1955 to 1968. Sheen had the only show able to outdraw "The Milton Berle Show" in that time slot. When Berle heard this he said, referencing his sponsor Texaco, “We both work for the same boss, Sky Chief.” The following year, as Bishop Sheen accepted his Emmy Award, Berle quipped, "Well, he's got better writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!" Martin Sheen, who grew up watching Bishop Sheen, adopted his name when he started his stage career. Bishop Sheen has been beatified by the Catholic Church and is now being considered for canonization as a saint.
Bishop Fulton Sheen blazed the pathway for many other prominent religious figures to correlate the role of religion in protecting world peace. As a result of this, a religious and cultural upheaval swept America in the 1950s. It forever united America’s religious and cultural beliefs. This spiritual rebirth fostered a renewed American patriotism and our ability to superintend future global tensions. The importance of free world political leaders often over-shadows the humble efforts of Bishop Sheen, Rev. Billy Graham, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Jerry Falwell, Charles Fuller along with the countless other brave clerics who helped defeat the threat of European Communism and the Eastern Block.
Bishop Sheen told us, “America’s greatest asset is faith and unity.” At a time our nation is facing its worst internal political divide in our young history, Christmas gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the words Bishop Sheen used to comfort his fearful audience on that Christmas Eve in the darkest days of the Cold War: “Politics is the devil’s instrument that fosters hatred and discord among men to divide them.” Maybe for one day we can set aside our politics in the name of American unity and count our blessings in recognition of the powerful gift of freedom that our Savior blessed us with?
“One of the first orders Stalin issued was to ban all prayer because the people were praying to God to deliver them from ‘the wickedness and snares of the devil.’ When party members asked Stalin why he issued such an order he replied: Because, we are those devils."
– Bishop Fulton Sheen
William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.