The Front Page Cover
~ Featuring ~
The United States of Believers
by Eytan Kobre
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Wednesday Top Headlines
Roy Moore defeats Trump-backed Luther Strange in Alabama Senate runoff (Fox News)
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Bob Corker will retire from the Senate, leaving an opening for … Mark Green? (The Chattanooga Times-Free Press)
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FBI: Murder, violent crime increased significantly in 2016 — thanks liar-nObama (The Washington Free Beacon)
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Trump border wall construction begins (The Washington Times)
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September could see fewest refugee arrivals yet; smallest proportion of Muslims (CNS News)
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U.S. moves to impose tariffs on Canadian jet maker, siding with Boeing (The Washington Post)
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Dunford: North Korea’s ability to target U.S. with nuclear-tipped ICBM “a very short time” away (CNS News)
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House to vote on 20-week abortion ban next week (The Washington Times)
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Feds spend $429,220 tracking eye movements of Latinos at grocery stores to fight obesity (The Washington Free Beacon)
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Sessions teaches free speech 101 and media reaction proves they need it (The Federalist)
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The NFL rakes in billions of dollars from taxpayers (The Daily Signal)
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CNN calls Trump racist while it’s getting sued by 175 back employees for discrimination (The Daily Wire)
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Policy: All that kneeling ignores the real cause of soaring black homicides (New York Post)
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Policy: Getting back to basics: The why of tax reform (The Hill)  ~The Patriot Post
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Corker to retire after 2018
by BURGESS EVERETT
{politico.com} ~ Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker will retire from the Senate after two terms, scrambling next year's election map and causing a seismic change in the Senate's entrenched committee structure... The Tennessee senator's announcement on Tuesday shocked Republicans and the Senate. Though he began mulling retirement earlier this month, most Republicans were convinced he would run again. The 65-year-old senator became the first senator to announce his retirement this cycle, even as octogenarians Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) mull reelection. But Corker has grown frustrated with the Senate's gridlock and couldn't bring himself to run, said a person familiar with the situation... http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/26/corker-to-retire-after-201...
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State Legislator Seeks To Withdraw Funds
From New Orleans Saints And NFL Following Protests
by Tracy Mastaler
{westernjournalism.com} ~ Following widespread protests by NFL players who knelt during the national anthem prior to Sunday’s football games, a Republican state representative in Louisiana... announced his desire to cut millions in state tax dollars, exemptions and credits allocated to the New Orleans Saints, the NFL and any facilities associated with those groups. Rep. Kenny Havard’s announcement came a day after 10 Saints players knelt during the national anthem prior to their game against the Carolina Panthers. The renewed protests were in response to President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players who he said disrespect the American flag with their demonstrations. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a b— off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!'” Trump said Friday during a rally in Alabama... https://www.westernjournalism.com/state-legislator-seeks-withdraw-f...
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DirecTV Offering Refunds on 
NFL Packages Over Anthem Protests
by Trey Sanchez
{truthrevolt.org} ~ The Wall Street Journal is reporting that satellite cable provider DirecTV is allowing “at least some customers” to cancel subscriptions to its NFL SundayTicket package... as long as they cite the anthem protests as a reason. “Sunday Ticket’s regular policy doesn’t allow refunds once the season is under way,” the report notes. “But DirecTV representatives said they are making exceptions this season—which began in September—in response to the protests, in which players kneel or link arms during the national anthem.” A Sunday Ticket package costs nearly $300 and DirecTV noted handling a “high volume of calls to cancel.” Those subscriptions account for $1.5 billion a year in revenue for DirecTV and the NFL...   http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/directv-offering-refunds-nfl-packag...
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Russia, Russia, Russia: Roger Stone 
Testifies Before House Intelligence Committee
by Fuzzy Slippers
{legalinsurrection.com} ~ Roger Stone, an ally of and unofficial campaign adviser of President Trump, testified Tuesday in a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee...  Though Stone requested an open hearing, it was at the Committee’s insistence that the interview be closed. This is the latest in the efforts of Congress to root out alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign and/or Trump associates. On Monday night, Stone released a statement in which he denies any collusion with Russians and notes that there is “not one shred of evidence” that he or anyone on the Trump campaign did so. He also released the private Twitter messages between himself and Guccifer 2.0...  https://legalinsurrection.com/2017/09/russia-russia-russia-roger-st...
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Resounding “Yes” In Kurdish Independence
Vote Leads to International Threats
by Fuzzy Slippers
{legalinsurrection.com} ~ Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that Kurds had voted “yes” to independence in a referendum held in defiance of the government in Baghdad... and which had angered their neighbors and their U.S. allies. The Kurds, who have ruled over an autonomous region within Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, consider Monday’s referendum to be an historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own. . . . . “We may face hardship but we will overcome,” Barzani said, calling on world powers “to respect the will of millions of people” who voted in the referendum...  https://legalinsurrection.com/2017/09/resounding-yes-in-kurdish-ind...
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The United States of Believers
by Eytan Kobre
{jewishworldreview.com} ~ Many readers are aware of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case involving a Christian baker who was punished by the state of Colorado for refusing on religious grounds to bake and design a wedding cake for a same-gender coupling celebration. The litigation, which the "ultra-Orthodox" umbrella group, Agudath Israel of America, calls “one of the… most closely watched religious liberty cases in recent years,” is now before the Supreme Court, and last week, the Agudah filed an amicus brief written by Washington attorney and my in-law Jeff Zuckerman. 

I wasn’t privy to the strategy meetings on the matter, but it seems to me that the brief accomplishes something very important. 

In straightforward legal terms, it seems difficult to see how the Court could come down on the side of Colorado. The baker is asserting his First Amendment right to the free exercise of his genuinely held religious belief that it would be sinful to abet this ceremony. End of story. 

But that simple, logical rendition leaves out a major subplot of the story — the alternative lifestyle movement’s steamrolling of American society on behalf of, first, the normalization, and now, the celebration of its cause. It has won, and society — and sanity — has lost. End of story. 

That may be why the “Question Presented” at the outset of the brief was framed this way: “Will our society honor the guarantees of the Free Exercise Clause when a religious practice is based upon a moral judgment that is anathema to the contemporary zeitgeist?”

This case is not about conflicting legal claims; it is about whether it is still possible in today’s America to assert an uncontested constitutional right in the face of the righteous fury of the greatest single expression of the “contemporary zeitgeist.” And thus it is the zeitgeist, the morally anarchic spirit of the times in which we live, that must be shown to be a farce. 

The brief sets out to so subtly undermine the legitimacy of that zeitgeist by noting the bottomless arrogance of believing that a brand-new moral insight into the character of marriage has transformed that which all of humanity believed throughout history into rank bigotry: 

Not long ago, this case would have been inconceivable, even as a law school exam hypothetical. Until very recently, the moral values of America were generally consistent with the moral values reflected in Jewish law. This is no longer true…. American society has also changed radically, in a very short period of time, its moral judgment concerning same-gender activities…. 

Nothing in the Constitution changed between the Bowers decision in 1986 criminalizing immoral relationships and the Obergefell decision in 2015 holding that there is a constitutional right to same-gender marriage. The contemporary zeitgeist, however, had made a 180-degree about-face. Among the intellectual and philosophical opinion-shapers of America, a consensus formed that same-gender “marriage” is just a marriage. 

While U.S. constitutional law may have this flexibility, Jewish law, based upon the divinely revealed Written Law and Oral Law, is immutable. Thus, under Jewish law, same-gender activities remain an abomination, and a marriage of two men remains inconceivable. 

We recognize that our values in this area are out of sync with those of 2017 America. We believe that America has made a grievous mistake, but that is beside the point now. All we seek here, and all that we say the Free Exercise Clause requires, is to be allowed to continue to live our lives in accordance with Jewish law.

In this, the brief follows the lead of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote this in his dissent in Obergefell, the case that legalized same-gender couplings: 

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch…. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since…. These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution. 

Both Scalia’s dissent and the Agudah brief are engaged in a subtle form of leitznusa d’avodah zarah. Each holds up for ridicule a newly hallowed societal belief that gives a veneer of legitimacy and moral seriousness to what is nothing more than licentiousness, turning the normal into the immoral and vice versa. 

But while Justice Scalia spoke against the enshrinement of this belief into law, striving to hold back the pan-societal tide, the Agudah’s submission to the Court isn’t trying to convince anyone of the folly of their ways. Its claim is simple: Whatever nonsense society may now have chosen to believe, leave us alone. 

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