Equality act guts religious liberty and other commentary

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Faith beat: Equality Act Guts Religious Liberty

If the Equality Act, passed by the House last week, becomes law, it would “cause incalculable damage to our society — with a particular ­assault on . . . religious believers,” warns Kenneth Craycraft at First Things. It imposes “a controversial sexual-ideological scheme on the American public” and forbids “any religiously based objections to that agenda.” Its radical redefinition of sex to mean subjective “gender identity” would extend to every realm of American public and even private life — including churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious institutions. Deviously, “the bill’s sponsors, recognizing that it is an infringement on the free exercise of religion, explicitly deny application of the most important statutory security of the free exercise of religion, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Orthodox believers, beware.

Pandemic journal: Red-State Triumph

While Gov. Cuomo was winning an Emmy for his pandemic news conferences, Michael Hendrix notes at City Journal, “a number of heartland governors paired efficient government with trust in their communities and people” to speed up vaccinations. West Virginia’s Gov. Jim Justice, for example, “has boasted one of the nation’s highest vaccination rates”; on Dec. 15, the state’s first COVID-19 shots were administered, “weeks before any other state could do the same.” Other states — “smaller, redder” ones — have also been successful. “Alaska, North and South Dakota and Utah” top the list of the states with the most shots administered. Fact is, while blue, coastal leaders get all the good press, leaders in heartland states “are vaccinating and educating like their residents’ lives depend on it, which they do.” 

From the right: The Left’s CPAC Lies

Expect “a slew of essays and think pieces from the corporate press” citing last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference as proof that “the Republican Party is in crisis, lost in the wilderness, ­imploding,” predicts The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson. They will ­argue that the party has become “insane and radical” under former President Donald Trump’s “stranglehold.” Such handwringing won’t achieve the desired effect, however, since “most Republican voters liked the direction of the party under Trump.” Pretending otherwise obscures “the reality that the party has managed to bring in new voters” and is “poised to take back the House and Senate in 2022.” The left’s worst nightmare is “a conservative populist movement that brings in new voters by actually listening to what they want and fighting for their interests in Washington.”

Neocon: Europe’s Anti-Woke Backlash

Censorious wokesters have launched “an utterly uncompromising ­assault on context, the study of history and the value of unfettered intellectual debate,” Commentary’s Noah Rothman observes — and “some people don’t take too kindly to the effort.” Witness the pushback from Emmanual Macron, who has denounced US-style critical race theory, which the French president says “gives comfort” to radical Islamism and “corrupts society.” In Britain, meanwhile, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson recently declared: “I am deeply worried about the chilling effect on campuses of unacceptable silencing and censoring.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government followed Williamson’s statement with a concrete commitment to combat woke censorship on campus. Those behind the ­divisive “activism” of identity politics, says Rothman, have only themselves to blame. 

Culture critic: The War on Aristotle and Homer

In the March 2021 issue of The New Criterion, the editors lament the wokesters’ war on Greco-Roman classics, whose appeal addresses “our ­humanity, not our tribal affiliation.” Yet Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a Princeton professor, “wants to save the classics from whiteness,” as a “fawning” New York Times profile said of him recently. “All classics scholars, he has insisted, have a ‘responsibility . . . to race the discipline.’ Martin Luther King Jr., taught that what matters is not the color of your skin but the content of your character. Padilla joins with the Black Lives Matter crowd in reversing that dictum.” — Compiled by The Post Editorial Board 

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