2013 Provocative? Yes. Hateful? No.

Making Sense

Two weeks ago I wrote a column encouraging churches to take a moral stand and make their voices heard as the Supreme Court deliberates the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which voters in my home state approved in 2008 to ban same-sex marriage.

I pointed out that the fight over Proposition 8 is not just about the legality of gay marriage; it’s part of a larger effort by some factions to change the culture. In that context I wrote: “There is also a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder.”

Was that a provocative statement? Yes, but it was designed to provoke thought about worst-case scenarios and the value of morality in our society.

Did I mean to equate same-sex marriage with murder? No, I did not, and anyone who believes that is very mistaken. I believe those who tell me they favor gay marriage out of love, but I also believe they are engaging in behavior that is wrong in God’s eyes, and I believe this out of love for them.

Should I have made myself more clear, by rearranging the sentences and adding more detail? Probably, and I regret that some people misunderstood. The topics do have the common thread of morality, but one does not necessarily follow the other.

I should point out that my concern about the future of morality in the law is well founded. Justice Antonin Scalia, whom I admire for his no-nonsense Supreme Court opinions, expressed similar concerns writing for the dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 homosexual sodomy case. He noted that “state laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity” are sustainable only if validated by case law “based on moral choices.”

“Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s ruling,” Scalia wrote.

Scalia, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas were on the losing side of the Lawrence opinion, but Scalia’s dissent found many logical deficiencies in the majority opinion, which found a protected liberty interest in private and consensual sexual behavior.

Scalia’s opinion goes on to discuss Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973. The discussion was in a different context, but the topic is appropriate here.

For those of us who believe that abortion is murder, we went far down the slippery slope 40 years ago when the Supreme Court nullified morality-based abortion legislation. Infanticide now happens every day under the guise of privacy rights.

Is it outlandish to suggest that other forms of murder might possibly become legal in the future? Assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, and euthanasia is legal in some foreign countries. Who knows what the future holds; the slope is very slippery indeed when society cuts its ties to morality.

Where do we go from here?

I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will find that Proposition 8 is constitutional after all. Even the majority in Lawrence stated that their decision “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”

In the meantime, we are having a great debate, and churches should add their voices.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

Renew our Founding Principles

Making Sense

Billions of Christians around the world celebrated Easter last Sunday, but not our media.

Once again the holiest day of the Christian year slipped under their godless radar.

I saw Easter pop up in the news a only few times last weekend, but the stories had nothing to do with God or religion, or the importance to Christianity of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Easter “news” was Easter egg hunts. ABC and USA Today covered the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll like it was a nuclear arms treaty.

An Easter egg hunt in Seattle things turned bloody when two mothers got in a nasty fight after one pushed the other’s child. And the big Easter story out of Minnesota was that an egg hunt had to take place in the snow.

Meanwhile, on Easter Sunday morning, ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos did its part to desecrate the holy day.

The show’s panel discussion on religion included an atheist who had complained three months ago that President Obama was wrong to speak of Jesus Christ at the memorial service for those killed in Newtown, Conn.

Marking Easter Day without mentioning its importance to Christians reminded me of something my father Ronald Reagan once said: “If we cease to be one nation under God, we’ll be a nation gone under.”

My father understood that the whole planet closely watches the actions of the United States. We’re seen by the rest of the world as a godly nation.

If we’re not leading the way, if we’re not serving as a good role model for the rest of the countries in the world, then who will? Russia? China?

If you don’t believe the world is watching us, here’s a little story about a man I met on the plains of Kenya.

I was staying at the Mara Safari Club when one of the Maasai warriors who worked there came up to me.

“Are you Ronald Reagan’s son?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“I’ve seen you on TV on Larry King,” he explained.

I looked around me at the empty savannah and thought, “How in the world did he see me on CNN here in the middle of Africa?”

“You’re the Christian,” the Maasai man said.


“You have a brother, Ron.”


“He’s an atheist, isn’t he?”


“I’ve seen him too on Larry King.”

Then the Maasai man asked me if I talked to my brother, Ron.

“Not often.” I said.

“The next time you talk to him,” the Maasai said, “tell him that there’s a Maasai warrior that prays for him every single day in Africa.”

As a Christian, and someone who was not praying for my brother and sisters every day at that time, I suddenly felt about an inch tall. Because of that encounter I do pray for them now.

People wonder why the country is in the turmoil it is. Yet our godless media give us no moral principles to live by and nothing of eternal value to hang on to or reach for.

If you do strive for something spiritual or publicly express your faith in God and his power and love, the media are quick to ridicule you or bring in atheists for “balance.”

I don’t care what the media or the atheists think about God or our Founding Fathers. We’re a Christian nation. We were founded on godly principles. Read the Constitution.

We desperately need to get back to those founding principles, and not just on Easter Sunday.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

Churches: Time to Fight!

Making Sense

You can’t win the fight if you don’t put on the gloves.

A punch-drunk, old heavyweight boxer knows that’s a truism, but not the churches of America.

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state by a 52 to 47 margin in 2008 but has since been declared unconstitutional by federal courts.

Fox TV, Rush Limbaugh and other talk-show pundits have weighed in, arguing the conservative — and moral — position that sanctifying gay marriage with the grace of the U.S. Constitution is not only wrong but a serious threat to the culture of this country.

But those media outlets often speak to those who are already in the choir. That leaves a lot of other Americans who aren’t hearing anyone preaching the conservative argument on gay marriage.

I don’t expect the GOP to provide any leadership. Republicans are too busy cat-fighting with each other and making sure their presidential choice will be whooped by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

And where in the heck are the churches on the issue of legalizing gay marriage?

Where are the Protestants, Jews and Catholics? Have they lost their tongues? Their hearts and wills? Their institutional you-know-whats?

Where’s the moral outrage? Why aren’t thousands of our pastors, priests and rabbis shouting from their pulpits? Why aren’t they leading their congregations through the streets in mass protest?

Why aren’t their bishops appearing on the tube with David Gregory and Piers Morgan to defend the institution of marriage as a union of one man and one woman?

Like the bank executives that are too chicken to stand up to the federal bullies in Washington, and like the energy company bosses in California who won’t stand up to the Green Socialists in Sacramento, the churches cower in fear.

Are they afraid to lose their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by engaging in political activity? Are they afraid to be derided as religious nuts and cultural Cro-Magnons by the liberal media?

Or are our churches and their comfortable leaders simply no longer willing to fight for what is right?

This fight over Proposition 8 isn’t just about saying it should be legal in the eyes of government for two people of the same sex to get married in California.

It’s ultimately about changing the culture of the entire country; it inevitably will lead to teaching our public school kids that gay marriage is a perfectly fine alternative and no different than traditional marriage. There is also a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder.

Churches should be in the vanguard of the fight to defend the culture against legalized gay marriage, not hiding in their pews.

Sure, the mainstream liberal media will be against them and will ignore them as much as they can. But if the churches show up en masse — and make sure millions of their members’ voices are heard — the media will be forced to cover them, and even the Supreme Court will feel the political wind.

Meanwhile, as the High Court decides our fate, it’s time for the churches to get engaged and start fighting for America, instead of wimping out. If it takes them giving up their 501(c)(3) status to start fighting for righteousness, then I’m all for it.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan.  Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

New Song, New Singers

Making Sense

I love talk radio; I love Fox News.

If it weren’t for the arrival of their strong conservative voices, Americans would still have nothing to listen to but the one-sided news and opinions of the left-liberals who run the mainstream New York-D.C. media.

But I’m frustrated.

Talk radio and Fox are getting so boring, so predictable, so shrill, I can barely tune in anymore.

Night after night on Fox, it’s the same issues, the same arguments, the same lame liberal guests showing up to be browbeaten by Hannity and O’Reilly.

How many Juan Williamses does Fox have on its staff anyway? Five? Is my friend Alan Colmes the only liberal in North America who’ll come on and debate Hannity?

Seriously. Is there anything Williams and Colmes — or for that matter, pie-thrower Ann Coulter — will say about Obamacare or the Obama Economy they haven’t said 100 times on TV in the last year?

“The Five” is another example. It gets great ratings, but it’s so stale and predictable.

Can’t Fox find anyone better than Big, Bad Bob Beckel to go 1-on-4 with that show’s conservatives, who, except for funnyman Greg Gutfeld, are like watching Hannity II, III and IV?

And is there some new FCC law against having two liberals on a Fox show once in a while? (Not Juan Williams, thanks.)

Fox needs to get fresh faces and new voices into its regular lineup. Instead of arguing with Williams night after night, what’s wrong with Hannity or O’Reilly talking to ordinary Americans — people who’ve lost their homes or can’t find a job?

I think even loyal viewers are starting to notice that Fox’s slogan should be changed from “Fair and Balanced” to “Stale and Predictable.”

The other day, after seeing conservative guest Dennis Prager waste most of his air-time watching Hannity tangle his liberal guest, I sent out a Tweet saying, “I think sometimes Hannity invites guests on to watch him argue with another guest just to get their approval. It’s frustrating.”

The response from my conservative Republican followers was quick and one-sided; a bunch of Tweeters agreed with me that Fox was losing its steam.

A guy named Tom said nothing interesting ever happens on Hannity’s show. Another guy said he loved Hannity but said he “needs to find new people to interview, too many repeats.” Sharron tweeted she’s stopped watching him altogether.

This is a serious problem for conservatives and Republicans — and the United States of America.

We’re in a serious fight with Obama and his gang, who seem hell-bent on turning us into a socialist country with enough government spending and debt to qualify for membership in the European Union.

For good and bad, talk radio and Fox have become the national voices of conservatism, the places where conservative ideas and arguments can be publicized and debated.

The Republican Party has made the mistake of allowing Fox and talk radio to become its spokesman, in large part because it has no national spokesman of its own. But Fox and talk radio are letting the GOP and the rest of the country down.

People outside the Beltway are desperate for solutions to our economic and social problems, but Fox and talk radio seem more interested in giving them arguments — tired arguments.

People — our people in the conservative choir — are starting to tune out Fox and talk radio. And it’s because their song — our song — is getting stale and predictable.

We need to start hearing a new tune from the conservative media — and new singers.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan.  Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

A Catholic Pope, Revisited

Making Sense

By the time you read this, the world’s billion-plus Roman Catholics may have a new pope. And when the black smoke of Tuesday’s indecisive first vote has turned to the white smoke of final decision, don’t be surprised if the cardinals have chosen… a Catholic pope.

After the election of Benedict XVI in 2005, I wrote that the cardinals had correctly ignored the desires of some people to install a wimpish equivocator willing bend with the winds of compromise. I believe the cardinals will show the same wisdom in 2013.

In other words, the cardinals will choose someone who can remain faithful to his creed and his office, a true Catholic in all respects.

Some dissidents think the Church needs to become relevant by embracing all modern codes of conduct, but the Church will remain relevant where it really counts only if it retains its core principles. When the world is in adrift in turmoil, the answer is not more turmoil.

For example, abortion is no less evil today than it was in 2005; the need to protect life is no less compelling. The world will always need a place for rock-solid affirmation that life matters.

For those Catholics who don’t like the idea of a Catholic pope, there is an answer. It’s called the Episcopal Church, and every Catholic Church in the United States should have a map showing the location of the nearest one.

There, dissident Catholics will find homosexual bishops, lesbian priests, sanction for abortion, the unfettered right to divorce, and all those other practices the Catholic Church forbids under pain of mortal sin. It is the church that can’t say no. Dissidents will be very comfortable there.

Does the Catholic Church have problems to solve? Yes, it does.

The child-abuse scandal must be dealt with unequivocally. The next pope will also have to quell dysfunction within the Vatican’s central bureaucracy, the Curia. Some cardinals are thought to be frontrunners for the papacy based on their management skills, though I believe the Church needs more than a manager — it needs a leader.

There is also the matter of re-energizing the faithful. I won’t deny that a higher level of energy would be a good thing; after all, Pope Benedict did retire because he realized he could no longer serve due to “lack of strength of mind and body.”

I believe the Church will find a pope who can manage its bureaucracy and provide the energy to excel as a transformational world leader, as did John Paul II.

The new pope need not be transformational in the sense that doctrine should change, but transformational in finding new ways to make the wisdom and relevance of Church doctrine understood by all, and attractive to those who have not yet found a home for their innate faith.

Update: Let’s pray that Pope Francis is that leader.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan.  Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

Getting Wise to Government Lies

Making Sense

Take President Obama and his Cabinet of Liars, please.

We all know what dirty tricks they played to try and stop the sequester’s automatic budget cuts from happening.

They spent weeks trying to frighten the America people into believing the country would collapse into chaos and suffering if the federal government’s sequester-forced spending cuts went into effect.

The campaigner in chief and his chorus of toadies did everything they could to make sure the puny spending cuts — which would have merely taken the federal budget back to its 2012 level — would cause the most pain to the most people.

Supposedly the cuts were going to decimate the ranks of our local police forces and firefighters, throw hundreds of teachers into the streets, create long lines at airports and maybe even leave the United States vulnerable to a military invasion by Greece.

Of course, most of Big Media played right along with Obama’s dirty political game. Like the dupes they are, they publicized every sequester scare-story like it was going to mean the end of America as we know it.

(Too bad the MSM don’t devote the same level of hysteria to covering some of our real problems, like Obama’s runaway federal spending and our un-payable future debt load.)

In case you haven’t noticed by now, Armageddon didn’t happen. The sequester came and the sun is still coming up. Planes aren’t falling from the heavens. And I haven’t had to use my guns to defend my home against a single robber or terrorist.

Even the invertebrate Republicans in Congress haven’t caved to pressure from the special interests who oppose the sequester cuts, though perhaps they just need more time.

So far, Obama’s cross-country campaign of whoppers hasn’t worked on the American people, who don’t need Karl Rove to tell them that the “Big Bad Wolf” the president was yapping about every day wasn’t really at their doors.

Another hopeful sign that most Americans are not as naive or stupid as the Obama Gang thinks they are came this week when the citizens of Los Angeles went to the polls.

The mayoral primary was the top draw, but also on the ballot on Tuesday was one of California’s infamous ballot measures.

The official title was “Proposition A — Neighborhood Public Safety And Vital City Services Funding And Accountability Measure.” That’s government-speak for a half-cent sales tax hike.

If you’re not familiar with the fiscal condition of my home city of Los Angeles, it’s a depressing microcosm of the federal government and the state of California. Taxing too much and spending even more, the city already has a sales tax of 9 cents and a projected annual budget deficit of $216 million.

To get voters to OK the higher sales tax and add $200 million in annual revenue to City Hall’s $7.2 billion budget, LA’s politicians imitated the president’s tactics.

Just as Obama tried to scare the public into believing that the sequester would hurt our national security, the local pols here tried to scare voters into thinking public safety would be endangered without Proposition A.

Proposition A was backed by the police chief and outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who used police academy recruits as props and warned of losing 500 city cops if the sales tax hike was defeated.

I’m happy to report that the voters of the City of Los Angeles saw through the sham. Proposition A went down to defeat Tuesday night, crushed by a final margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

Proposition A’s defeat was a minor victory in the great war against government taxing and spending.

But when voters in a liberal city like Los Angeles can’t be scared into voting for higher taxes, it’s a sign that maybe Americans are getting wise to government lies and the politicians who tell them.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

Get Out of the Weeds

Making Sense

America’s got some serious problems to solve.

Our Obama Economy is still stuck in a ditch by the side of the road.

Our campaigner in chief is running around the country pushing for higher taxes and no spending cuts and crying, “The federal sky will fall!” if Congress doesn’t stop the puny 10 percent sequester from happening.

In Washington the incompetents and cowards in Congress can’t get our fiscal house in order, and they’re too stupid or self-serving to realize they are wrecking the greatest economic machine humans have ever created.

We have a budget to balance and an immigration problem. We’re spending trillions we don’t have and promising tens of trillions more in benefits our grandchildren can never repay.

And what are many of my fellow Republicans and conservatives in Washington — and the media — doing while America is being towed down the road to Greece?

They’re thrashing around in the political weeds, wasting their breath complaining about petty political things that may boost the ratings of talk shows but are otherwise meaningless.

For example, one of the outrages of the week involves the White House being accused of selling access to President Obama in exchange for $500,000 donations to his latest pet advocacy group.

Are these Republican and conservative friends of mine kidding? Were they born yesterday?

The parties in power in Washington have been selling access to their powers and privileges forever.

That’s why libertarians want to keep the federal government as small, weak and limited as possible, so that when Washington politicians are bought off, they can do as little harm to the country as possible.

Another example this week of Republicans making a partisan mountain out of a molehill is their attack on former Obama press mouthpiece Robert Gibbs for not telling reporters what he knew about the administration’s secret drone program.

Conservatives looking for dirt on Obama and liberal commentators like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart went to town over Gibbs’ silence.

But it was just another petty complaint du jour. The White House doesn’t tell reporters everything it’s doing or planning. It never did, whether it was the date for D-Day, our U-2 flights over the USSR or the raid to kill Osama.

My father invaded Grenada and didn’t tell Congress in advance. He even forgot to tip off his buddy Margaret Thatcher, whose airspace had to be crossed by our warplanes.

The most ridiculous complaint of the week made by people on our side of the political fence was their reaction to Michelle Obama’s appearance on the Oscars broadcast Sunday night.

They acted like it was an impeachable offense. But the first lady handing out a best-picture award at an Oscar ceremony is not something Republicans should waste a second of their time on.

It’s not new and not a Democrat thing. On Jan. 20, 1985, Ronald Reagan — who, if I recall, was a Republican — performed the opening coin toss for the Super Bowl game via television from the White House.

The first lady’s appearance at the Oscars was something my father and my mother — his first wife, Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman — would have applauded, not booed.

It’s time for Republicans and conservatives to get serious. The country is burning down like ancient Rome, but we’re wasting our time and energy attacking Democrats for petty or nonexistent crimes that do nothing but hike TV ratings and give partisan bloggers fresh ammunition to shoot in the air.

It’s time for us to start fighting about the things that really matter. It’s time to come out of the weeds and start concentrating on the stuff that matters to the guy with no job or the business owner with high taxes, not the stupid stuff like Michelle Obama’s “Oscar Moment.”

—–Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

The Real Answer to the Immigration Question

Making Sense

America has almost 12 million illegal immigrants.

Many of them came here on visas and never left.

But about 60 percent of them walked in from just one country — Mexico.

Though the stalled Obama Economy has caused about 900,000 to go home since 2007, there are still about 6 million Mexicans living in the United States who’ve sneaked across our borders.

Everyone from Marco Rubio to John McCain and our golfer in chief are trying to figure out how to deal with the illegal immigrants we have already and prevent future waves of Mexican migrants.

But no one seems to be talking about why so many Mexicans risk so much — including their lives — to break into America.

What is it that makes so many of them leave their families and children behind and travel — often on foot — to seek economic opportunity in the USA?

I’ve been to Mexico on business and on vacations. It’s a beautiful country, rich with oil, gas and other natural resources. It’s blessed with 114 million good and hardworking people.

Mexico has everything it needs to be a First World country. But it’s cursed.

Its government is corrupt and inept — and always has been. Now its federal government is a running joke. Its unable — and unwilling — to stop illegal drugs or people from crossing into the USA.

Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world. Deadly criminal cartels effectively control the U.S.-Mexican border, trafficking in drugs and humans. Drug violence is so widespread that some cruise ships no longer visit Mexico’s Gold Coast.

No wonder so many Mexicans come north to a country where good jobs are plentiful, the wages are high and the streets are safe. If I were a Mexican, I’d be leaving too.

Yes, as Republicans say, it’s time to protect our borders better. Yes, it’s time to come up with realistic ways to deal with the illegal immigrants we already have living among us.

But it’s also time for one of our so-called political leaders to ratchet up the rhetoric and pull a Ronald Reagan.

When the Soviet Empire still controlled half of the world, my father stood near the Berlin Wall in 1987 and famously told Mr. Gorbachev that if he was really for peace, prosperity and liberalization, he should “Tear down this wall!”

It was a bold and masterful political move that showed the whole world that Ronald Reagan and the United States stood steadfastly on the side of freedom in the waning days of the Cold War.

One of our most important wars today — and one we clearly are not winning — is the drug war on our southern border.

What we need now is for President Obama to skip the back nine at the Floridian, go down to our border with Mexico and deliver a message to Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto.

“Senor Nieto,” our part-time president should say, “End the corruption. Crush the drug cartels. Make Mexico a peaceful and safe society. Free your economy from the shackles of socialism so your citizens can go back home to prosper.”

President Obama also should declare to the world the United States is ready to do everything it can to help Mexico become a land of freedom and opportunity, not a land of fear and corruption.

Turning Mexico into a better place for its citizens to live and work — a place more like Canada, for example — would also do a lot to solve our future immigration problems.

Mexicans would stay home. And we wouldn’t need an army of border control agents and a 20-foot fence protecting our southern border any more than we need them on our northern border to protect us from illegal Canadians.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan.  For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

State of the Union: Failure

Making Sense

Our failure in chief gave us his annual blurred vision of America again Tuesday night.

Based on his State of the Union message, Barack Obama’s eyesight is as ideologically impaired as ever.

Despite four years of failure, he still sees only one road America can go down to regain its economic health.

Not down the capitalist road of free enterprise and liberty that made us the richest country in history.

He wants to continue down the socialist road to more federal government — which means more Obama taxes, more Obama spending, more Obama debt and more Obama government programs to fix problems government programs caused in the first place.

The president and his hallucinating idolaters in the mainstream liberal media think his failed policies and bad ideas will work their magic if only we try them for another four years.

But look at reality. Look at the unemployment rates in 2008 and 2012. Despite trillions of federal spending, they’re essentially the same.

Look at the federal debt in 2008 compared to 2012 — it’s much worse today. Look at America’s bungled foreign policy.

Look at the middle class. The president keeps boasting about how he’s going to use the federal government to help them. The reality is that the middle class is being devastated by his administration.

Starting Jan. 1, 2013, Americans with jobs have had their disposable incomes cut 2 percent because Social Security taxes were returned to their normal level.

And because of the rules under Obamacare, millions of employees are going to have their hours cut by employers who can’t afford to pay every full-time worker’s health care.

That speech Tuesday night was a national joke. As usual, it was mostly hot air, bad ideas and tired platitudes. It delivered nothing sensible, newsworthy or brave.

What if Obama had turned to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and said, “Hey Harry, how about passing a federal budget this year? I’m tired of funding the government with continuing resolutions.”

What if he had said, “Sorry, my Green friends, you’re living in a dream world. We need the Keystone Pipeline and I’m going to do everything I can to speed up its construction.”

What if Obama had turned to the survivors of deadly gun violence in the audience and said, “I am not going to push for tougher new gun control laws because I know they would have done nothing to save your loved ones from being murdered.”

No chance. Instead, the president stuck to his socialist script and threatened that if Congress doesn’t cooperate with his latest brainstorms, he will get his way by using executive orders.

The people of this country will soon rue the day they voted to re-elect Obama in 2012. At some point they’ll learn that his “progressive” way, the 1930s taxing-and-spending-and-regulating way, is not the answer.

We’re in for four more years of slow growth, high unemployment rates, higher taxes and rising prices. Not to mention more government meddling in every aspect of our lives.

The impaired vision of Obama and his party is wrecking the economy, crippling the ability of our youth to get jobs and causing a decline in respect for America overseas.

My side — the conservative Republican side — is out of power. We don’t have the White House and the Senate. The courts rule against us most of the time. And the mainstream media are still in the tank for Obama.

All we can do for now is watch Obama’s Humpty Dumpty America as it falls off the wall and breaks into a million pieces.

At the end of the game, it’ll be up to the Republican Party, the conservatives, to put the country back together. I only hope we can live long enough to do it.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.

Pedophilia is the Problem

Making Sense

The bosses of the Boy Scouts of America surprised everyone this week by postponing their decision on whether to allow gay leaders and gay Scouts to join their ranks.

If the BSA’s long-standing ban on gays is lifted by national officials in May, the choice to admit gays may be left to local Boy Scout chapters — as it should be.

Churches and civic groups that sponsor Boy Scout troops wouldn’t be forced by the national organization to admit gays. And parents can choose whether they want their child to be in a troop led by a gay man.

If you’re asking me if I’d put my child in a Boy Scout troop with a leader who is a known homosexual, I would answer on the side of caution and say “No.”

But despite what some of my conservative friends think, allowing gays in the Boy Scouts will not be an open invitation to pedophiles to begin preying on children.

Being gay doesn’t mean you are a pedophile. Homosexuality and pedophilia are two completely different issues and studies show that a child is no more at risk of being molested by a gay or bisexual man than a heterosexual one.

As someone who was sexually molested by a camp counselor when I was eight, I know more than I care to about pedophilia and the long-lasting harm it does to children. You can read about my experience and what I learned from it in “Twice Adopted,” my 2004 book.

Pedophilia is the most heinous crime against children. But as the newspaper headlines have been telling us for a long time, some of our most famous institutions have a shameful record of coddling the child molesters who work for them.

Everyone knows by now how the men in power at Penn State chose not to tell the police about the serial pedophilia of former football coach Jerry Sandusky because they were afraid to sully the reputation of their “sacred” athletic program. Meanwhile, for years Sandusky was free to prey on new victims.

Penn State’s decision to protect its institutional reputation was nothing new. According to HBO’s scathing new documentary “Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa,” the Catholic Church — my church — has implemented a similar policy whenever pedophiles are discovered in its sanctuaries and schools.

From Wisconsin to Ireland to the Vatican, HBO showed that the church’s bishops and cardinals have a long and disgusting history of protecting pedophile priests, ignoring children’s allegations of sexual abuse, paying the parents of victims to keep quiet and keeping the sex crimes of priests secret from law enforcement.

In my hometown, we’ve recently been learning from the Los Angeles Times how for decades the hierarchy of the Los Angeles diocese “plotted to keep law enforcement from learning that children had been molested at the hands of priests.”

The BSA’s similar method of dealing with child molesters in its ranks also has been exposed by the L.A. Times.

The BSA’s own files revealed that between 1970 and 1991 officials chose not to tell police about hundreds of alleged sexual abuses, and in some cases allowed the molesters to continue working or volunteering with the organization.

In one case, the Times reported last fall, a camp director who heard about repeated abuse by a staff member told police he didn’t report them because “his bosses wanted to protect the reputation of the Scouts and the accused staff member.”

The men who run the Boy Scouts have something in common with the men who run the Catholic Church and Penn State. When it comes to dealing with the sexual abuse of children, they’ve always chosen to protect their own institutions instead of protecting children.

Pedophilia can be prevented and guarded against, but it’s impossible to eliminate. But from now on, when it is discovered, the perpetrators — who on average molest about 120 victims during their “career” — should be indicted and punished as criminals.

This should be the case no matter who they are, whether they’re straight or gay, or what institution they work for. Our innocent children deserve no less.

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com or call 800-696-7561.