The Five Worst Events of 2018 — And What We Can Do About Them

By John Zmirak Published on December 30, 2018

To wrap up 2018, I’d like to start by remembering the darkest events of the year. That reminds us to keep on praying, writing, calling, and otherwise striving to shed light in the shadows. So here are the worst things to happen this past year, in no particular order. I’ll also add what I said about them at the time. And make some suggestions on what we can do.

U.S. Allows Turkish Aggression Against Religious Minorities in Syria

Two weeks ago, President Trump announced his shock withdrawal from Syria. It seems that the U.S. is not only abandoning the Kurds who fought alongside us. We’re even taking back from these brave fighters the weapons we loaned them to destroy ISIS for us. That leaves these freedom-loving Kurds, Syrian Christians, and hunted Yazidis to the mercy of Turkey’s al Qaeda allies. I wrote at the time:

As Stream writer Johannes de Jong points out … back in January [in] the small Afrin region of Syria … Turkish tanks and planes (obtained through NATO) bombed hospitals and apartment buildings. Jihadi mercenaries linked to al Qaeda hunted down Kurdish converts to Christianity, and burned their churches. Tens of thousands of refugees flooded out of the area. Now that will happen to the men and women who till last week were fighting shoulder to shoulder with Americans, and taking the bulk of the casualties. We’ll be betraying the Kurds again, as we did back in 1992.

It’s not too late to let your senators, representatives, and the White House know what you think. Tell them that the U.S. shouldn’t stay in Syria indefinitely. Nor should we try to overthrow the government in Damascus. But we should keep our troops there to keep out the Turks, until a peace agreement is hashed out. Our goal should be clear: a decentralized, federated Syria, as Jason Jones and I laid out and the Russians once supported.

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And let us pray for the people of Northern Syria, especially the infant Kurdish churches that are springing up all over the region — one of the only patches of religious freedom in the Middle East. Check out my podcast on this with Jason Jones.

U.S. Congress Still Fully Funds Planned Parenthood, Freezes Out Christian Aid Groups

Let’s be clear: The Trump administration has been far, far better for the pro-life cause than a Clinton regime would have been. There’s no comparison. Nor is it clear that any of the other major GOP contenders, had they won, would have done any better. That said, there are two massive failures that we must lay at the feet of the whole GOP, from the House through the Senate and up to the White House. If the pro-life movement is to move forward, we must hold legislators accountable who voted wrongly —  fielding better candidates party primaries and even running third party candidates against them where needed.

We all saw the powerful, video proof that Planned Parenthood sells human baby parts for profit. We cheered when President Trump promised to stop shoveling money into that organization’s coffers. But two consecutive GOP-controlled congresses have gone right on sending that group hundreds of millions of dollars. What a shocking, comprehensive failure for our movement, and a stain on the Republican party. Use Planned Parenthood’s own scorecard to look up your congressmen and senators to see how they voted on this and other life issues.

In another, less-publicized debacle, the WEEE Act, pushed by Ivanka Trump, just passed both houses of Congress. As I explained:

That bill would enact into law Obama’s leftist USAID policy. It would give the federal agency’s staff the power to develop and impose all sorts of conditions on USAID programs. Most of these conditions come from the playbook of radical feminist, gay, and population control group organizations. They steer money toward groups trying to legalize abortion in dozens of countries with pro-life majorities. And undermine traditional marriage, and parental rights.

It’s too late to stop the WEEE Act, alas. We’ll have to hope that a future GOP Congress amends it, to fix its built-in anti-Christian bias.

Vatican Allies with Communist China

The Chinese government is using violent force to close “unregistered” (that is, real) Christian churches in China. For decades the Vatican stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other Christian groups in demanding religious liberty — even at the cost of prison and death for sincere believers. Now the leftists in Pope Francis’s Vatican have sold out the underground churches of China, including its Catholics. The Vatican has ordered underground bishops to resign and be replaced by Communist appointees, some of whom apparently have illicit wives and children.

Is this a surrender to the Communists? Far worse, I think it amounts to an alliance. The anti-American, pro-leftist Vatican of Pope Francis seems to see the free market U.S. as worse than Communist China. How do I know? The head of the Vatican’s Social Science office said so, after making a carefully supervised tour of China. Pope Francis and his key allies regularly make anti-American statements, while keeping quiet about the massive abuses in China, which still include forced abortion.

As I wrote back in February, Pope Francis uses

“neo-liberalism” as a term of abuse for pro-American political and economic policies. And he did just make a deal with a dictatorship that dynamites Christian churches. (Most of them Protestant.) He subjected China’s Catholics to the same authorities that oversee those demolitions. Presumably he hopes that Catholic churches get spared. If so, they’d effectively benefit from the government’s persecutions.

Pray for the Christians in China, and support groups such as Persecution.org (International Christian Concern), which speak up for religious freedom worldwide.

No Wall. Senate Would Rather Keep Fake Filibuster.

I don’t see a path forward for President Trump to get the funding for a much-needed border wall. Nor in a Democratic-controlled House will he find the votes to plug the gaping loopholes in our asylum laws. Or implement E-Verify, making employers check to see if new workers are legal. Or make any of the other common-sense immigration fixes which voters elected Trump to obtain. The longer the borders remain unguarded, the more states will flip from red or purple to solid blue. And every other cause we care about, from unborn life to religious freedom, will suffer.

We all saw the powerful, video proof that Planned Parenthood sells human baby parts for profit. We cheered when President Trump promised to stop shoveling money into that organization’s coffers. But two consecutive GOP-controlled congresses have gone right on sending that group hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why did Republicans with control of both houses of Congress fritter away two years? And accomplish nothing to address this existential threat to America? Well, a fair number of congressmen were quietly aligned with the open-borders, cheap labor lobby. But what finally blocked their efforts — and for many served as a fig leaf — was a stupid Senate tradition. The silent, phony filibuster. As I wrote last week:

Recall what a real filibuster was: A senator making use of the venerable tradition of unlimited debate to make a very long speech opposing a bill. That holds up all Senate business, and requires a two-thirds cloture vote to end debate. In the 1970s, senators created a loophole, which bound the Senate to pretend that a simple notice from any senator amounted to a filibuster on one given bill. No need for speeches, no holding up Senate business. That cheap procedural trick made two-thirds super-majorities mandatory for all judicial appointments and legislation. Harry Reid abolished it for judges, which backfired for Democrats but was constitutionally sound. If our Founders had wanted to require a super-majority for every nomination, they would have written the Constitution that way. They didn’t, for very good reason.

The whole reason so many squishy, worthless justices ended up appointed to the Supreme Court by Republicans? That phony filibuster. If the Democrats hadn’t nuked it, we wouldn’t have Neil Gorsuch or Brett Kavanaugh.

Now if the Senate doesn’t nuke the legislative fake filibuster, we won’t have a Wall. We’ll have an endless influx of more new Democrat voters, and soon it will be impossible to elect a Republican president ever again. Or Republican senators for that matter. We will live in a one-party country. And the moment it suits them, the Democrats will repeal the filibuster, so the GOP rump can’t obstruct its march toward a Venezuelan future.

Don’t get complacent. Given the massive demographic shift immigration causes, we are unlikely to have a Senate with 60 GOP senators ever again. So by keeping in place the phony filibuster, we are giving the Democrats veto power over all legislation, period. And of course, if they take back the Senate and we try to use the filibuster against them? They will simply nuke it. So Harry Reid did on judges, when it suited him.

We are unlikely to have a Senate with 60 GOP senators ever again.

Please contact your senator and let him know what you think.

Ireland Legalizes Abortion

Since my mother’s family was Irish, I’ve always felt an attachment to that nation. And until quite recently a pride that it was the only Western nation to protect unborn human life. In fact, because it rejected both abortion and euthanasia as easy, evil ways out, it led other countries in maternal and prenatal care. No more.

After a decade of scandals in the Catholic church, and drunk with the prosperity that came in the past 20 years, the Irish have massively secularized themselves. And this year, they decided overwhelmingly to legalize abortion. And now it appears that even Catholic hospitals and doctors might be forced to abort children, refer for abortions, or face government penalties. Pray that the nation which evangelized much of northern Europe via its missionary monks recovers its Christian faith, and sense of human decency.

Most of all, boost the pro-life cause in America. For better or worse, we set the tone for the rest of the West. That’s a grave responsibility, I think you’ll agree.

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  • Nick Stuart

    The withdrawal from Syria is not a “shock withdrawal”. Keeping us out of, and getting us out of, foreign entanglements was a Trump campaign promise. Trump began pressing his defense people, Mattis included, early this year to get us out of Syria. Finally he had to unequivocally and peremptorily order it done.

    We accomplished what we set out to accomplish, now it’s time to leave. The Kurds had our help for the time they had it which is more help than they would have had otherwise.

    We don’t have the money, our military is stretched very thin.

    The national debt is now approaching $22,000,000,000,000 which is about $180,000 per taxpayer. There are things we need in this country that we should be spending the money on.

    My son-in-law had to leave his infant son and pregnant wife to deploy to Kuwait to help fight our Mideast forever wars. It’s time to begin bringing them home.

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