Posts tagged ‘political speech’
Commentary by Ann Coulter | Posted: May 12, 2021
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com, AND WhatDidYouSay.org
After a year of being browbeaten by “the scientists” not to wear a mask, to wear a mask, to wear double masks, to get vaccinated and still wear a mask, our analytic overlords are still no closer to determining the tiny little issue of where this virus came from.
Recently, the widely respected science writer Nicholas Wade published an article in Medium pushing the idea that — contrary to what “the scientists” assured us — COVID-19 might have come from the Wuhan virology lab, not the wet markets.
According to Wade, the virologists attacking the lab theory were claiming scientific certainty for something unknowable, and at least one of them has a gigantic conflict of interest. Even at a time when “TRUST THE SCIENCE!” has become a liberal mating call, I’m shocked at the deceptions of these guys.
Wade cites two groups as leading the attack on the lab theory.
Kristian G. Andersen, [Tweet him] a professor of immunology and microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in California, was the lead author of a paper published in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020, claiming: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”
Now, a year later, Wade says, “Dr. Andersen and his colleagues were assuring their readers of something they could not know.” While Andersen claimed that two of the virus’s characteristics couldn’t be made in a lab, Wade describes exactly how they could be.
The second group of experts denouncing the lab theory was led by Peter Daszak, [Tweet him] the president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak got two dozen other scientists to sign a letter to The Lancet that portentously declared: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.” Scientists, the letter said, “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”
Well! No uncertainty there!
But Wade notes that Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance had helped fund the Wuhan lab.
I have a problem when a guy with a financial and reputational stake in a lab organizes a group of scientists to say, It’s absolutely not from the lab!!! Daszak’s letter concluded with what only the deeply cynical might suggest was a lie: “We declare no competing interests.”
In response to the obvious question, “Why didn’t any other scientists speak up?” Wade says: “Perhaps because in today’s universities speech can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.”
If we could give them a truth serum, I wonder what these experts would say about transgenders, IQ, the COVID shutdowns and any number of pressing social issues we’re all supposed to shut up about because of “science.”
And of course there was the fact that Trump had floated the lab theory. Before a liberal will answer any question, he needs to know:
1) Has Trump ever offered an opinion on this?
2) What is the 180-degree opposite position?
Wade claims to have no preference for one theory over another — he’s just laying out the facts! But it’s pretty clear that he is coming down on the side of the lab theory.
He doesn’t mention that 27 of the original 41 Chinese people who contracted COVID-19 had been to the Wuhan wet market, known the world over for its delectable porcupine anus and snake innards. Several other carriers were family members of those infected there. By contrast, no one from the Wuhan lab appears to have been infected.
No, Wade’s argument is a purely scientific one. Not my bailiwick. But I can see when experts disagree, and, oh my gosh, do they disagree!
One of Wade’s main points is that COVID-19 is the only coronavirus with a furin cleavage site. (You don’t need to know what it is — substitute the words “chocolate bunny.”) “So,” Wade concludes, “it’s hard to explain how the [COVID] virus picked up its furin cleavage site naturally.”
Last month, the World Health Organization released a major report on the origin of the coronavirus, so I checked to see what its scientists said about this “furin cleavage.” They say COVID-19’s “furin cleavage” is, in fact, like that in another bat coronavirus, RmYN02, “providing evidence that such insertion events occur naturally in animals.”
I can’t evaluate the science, but I can line up words, and those conclusions don’t match. In fact, they are direct opposites.
Like you, I’m inclined to believe Wade over the WHO, but that’s not the point. Do you see how absurd this is, trying to ascertain a scientific fact as if we’re assessing the credibility of witnesses in a sexual harassment case? Well, he lied about the lingerie, but she seems to have been stalking him …
We’re talking about SCIENCE, our new religion! Wear a mask — it’s “SCIENCE”! There’s no such thing as race — it’s “SCIENCE“! Global warming is incinerating our planet — it’s SCIENCE! The mere invocation of “SCIENCE” is used to slam the door on any argument.
This week on MSNBC, a host actually said, “There are no bad apples at the CDC.” Every hour of every day, I have to hear about the “bad apples” in policing. But at the CDC? Nope! They’re SCIENTISTS.
Whether the virus that destroyed the world economy and has already killed more than 3 million people came from a Chinese lab or a Chinese wet market, or a Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side (unlikely), it’s China’s fault. What is mind-boggling about Wade’s article is the overweening and baseless pomposity of our high priests of SCIENCE.
Reported by Bill Bumpas, Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com) | Wednesday, October 17, 2018
A Christian law firm says when it comes to politics and elections, silence isn’t an option for pastors. A recent survey indicates, however, that a substantial percentage of them are still unwilling to jump into the political fray and express their feelings about President Trump.
Liberty Counsel says pastors and church leaders are free to speak up regarding biblical and moral issues relevant to the upcoming election, including educating their members about the positions of candidates.
“Pastors can preach on any topic at any time, no matter whether this is a political discussion at that moment,” explains Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “You may educate the people on these biblical topics and then explain to the people the candidates’ positions on these topics. You can do that by the distribution of voter guides or other means.”
Staver adds that candidates may also speak at a church. “You may acknowledge candidates who are attending your church and you can have candidates engaged in a forum or debate at your church,” he continues. “You can encourage people to register to vote. You can actually bus them to the polls.”
The bottom line, Staver says, is that pastors and church leaders must be empowered to confront what he calls the “assaults” on culture, faith, and freedom.
“This is not about politics [but rather] biblical and moral issues that have become politicized,” the attorney stresses. “The truth is [that] no church has ever lost its tax-exempt status for either endorsing or opposing any political candidate. Nor has any church lost its tax-exempt status for supporting or opposing local, state, or federal law.”
Are some pastors really ‘undecided’ – or are they just unwilling?
On the annual National Day of Prayer in 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that promotes free speech and religious liberty, making it easier for churches to participate in politics. He has also loosened the unenforceable IRS restrictions on churches regarding political activities, effectively weakening the “Johnson Amendment” enacted in 1954.
Despite those decisions by Trump, a recent survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors indicates they remain divided when it comes to assessing how they feel about his Oval Office performance. The results of the survey by LifeWay Research show a slim majority of pastors, 51 percent, approve of how Trump is handling the job; 28 percent say they disapprove of the president’s performance; and 20 percent are not sure.
Pointing to the number of those who are uncertain, Scott McConnell, executive director of the Nashville-based evangelical research firm, says when asked about politics typically some pastors are just reluctant to commit.
“When we asked about the approval of President [Barack] Obama during his first time, we saw that nine percent of pastors were not sure, were not willing to say one way or the other,” he recalls. “But we see twice that many today giving that kind of response related to President Trump.”
McConnell continues: “There’s definitely no lack of information on how the White House is doing and the decisions they’ve been making; and so the undecided posture really seems to be an unwillingness to kind of jump into the political fray at all or to pick sides in how the president is doing and really the current state of American politics.”
He says younger pastors are least likely to approve of the president’s performance, explaining that it appears they are a little less tied to political identities.
A LifeWay Research survey conducted prior to the 2010 midterm elections found 30 percent of Protestant pastors approved of President Obama’s job performance. More than six in ten (61%) disapproved and only nine percent said they were not sure. By way of comparison, another survey by LifeWay Research – taken in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election – found that only 32 percent of Protestant pastors were planning on voting for Trump while 19 planned on voting for Hillary Clinton. A full 40 percent were undecided.