by Dov Fischer
It never stops getting worse, does it? Just when you think the progressive Left has torpedoed our culture and country to rock bottom, a new hitherto-inconceivable outrage explodes.
Until the Trump years, the law-abiding universally loved the FBI. They protected our country and us, we thought. They investigated domestic threats to America, we thought. They were politically nonpartisan, like the military, we thought. Respect for them was so universal that ABC had a show titled The F.B.I., starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., which depicted FBI heroism week after week.
And then we inadvertently uncovered worse than our worst fears as a new president came to Washington, D.C., from outside the Beltway culture and started “draining the swamp.” Maybe it was too late, and maybe it now is too late. I have never drained a swamp, but the metaphor seems quite apt. One’s very proximity to a swamp exposes a person to bacteria and other toxic sewage and worse that can poison lungs and other body parts. One would have to be an expert at draining swamps and would have to wear Hazmat garb to undertake it. You can’t just show up in shorts and a T-shirt and drain a swamp. You never know what poison lurks and teems in there.
It turned out that the FBI, like the mainstream media, is yet another wing of the Democrat Party. They no longer are nonpartisan. They send SWAT teams to arrest septuagenarian Roger Stone in the middle of the night and “perp walk” the distinguished likes of Peter Navarro while turning a blind eye to crimes by progressives and their favored minions. They destroyed Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. By contrast, Hillary Clinton was not prosecuted, not even a teensy-weensy bit, after publicly spoliating 33,000 emails about yoga classes and wedding dresses and then having the hard drive taken from her bathroom to be hammered to smithereens.
That was the unexpected danger in exposing the swamp to be drained: Nothing really surprises anymore, no matter how low.
And then a new surprise explodes.
Merrick Garland — and thank G-d that Mitch McConnell blocked that deeply compromised partisan from ever becoming a Supreme Court justice — has proven to be morally corrupt within the proper confines of the law. He does not appear to have broken any laws, though an impeachment trial might shed interesting light after the House finishes impeaching Alejandro Mayorkas one of these days. And yet Garland could align with those calling concerned parents domestic terrorists because those moms and dads simply want their public school kids protected from the perversions of transgenderism and whatever other corruptions of culture and decency the public schools now are trying to shove down the throats of tender-aged kids who once were exposed instead to wholesome books. Now Dr. Seuss is banned, and Dilbert is banned, but books about “married” homosexuals and transgendered whatevers are deemed appropriate for children, with cross-dressers reading to them at Library Hour.
Sen. Josh Hawley, the cure that healed Missouri from the blight of Claire McCaskill, asked Garland a question during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. He noted a Jan. 23 FBI memo from its Richmond, Virginia, field office advocating “the exploration of new avenues for tripwire and source development against traditionalist Catholics.”
So he asked: “Attorney General, are you cultivating sources and spies in Latin mass parishes and other Catholic parishes across the country?”
Garland conceded the memo was “appalling” and called the document “inappropriate.”
When a woman wears white after Labor Day, that is inappropriate. (Ask Don Lemon.) When a person uses the fish fork for salad and the salad fork for fish, that is inappropriate. When the FBI targets “traditionalist Catholics,” that is not “inappropriate” but, to use a favorite aphorism of the Left, it is the “Death of Democracy.”
So Hawley pressed forward and asked how many informants the FBI has in Catholic churches across America. After evading the question, Garland finally said “I don’t know specifically.”
How could that even be the answer? The only possible answer an American would have expected from the attorney general is: “Zero: Never was, Never will be.”
It is part of Jewish lore that Jews living among Persian Zoroastrians in the 5th century had to contend with persecutions that included the government stationing spies in synagogues to assure that Jews did not recite the Biblical verse “Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d; the L-rd is One” during prayers (Deuteronomy 6:4). Zoroastrians believe in a duality of deities, and — when they had the power to do so — they banned public expressions of monotheism. So, according to that tradition, Jews would wait until the spies left toward the end of the two-hour (and sometimes three-hour) Sabbath services and then, near the very conclusion, once the government officers definitely were gone, Jews inserted the public affirmation: “Sh’ma Yisroel, Hashem Elokeinu; Hashem Echad!” (“Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d; the L-rd is One!”)
To this day, 1600-plus years later, that extra recitation of the Monotheism Affirmation — known as “The Sh’ma” — remains in the Orthodox Jewish prayer book at that same spot toward the end of the worship service. We remember.
So this one strikes close to home.
Things have gotten out of control. Caucasian children have to apologize for being White. Asian children are punished for focusing too heavily on their studies and getting good grades to qualify for great colleges. Jews have to apologize for being Zionists. Catholics have to apologize for being pro-life. For that matter, Catholics and Protestants also have to apologize for being Zionists, and Orthodox Jews and Protestants also have to apologize for being pro-life. We cannot say openly that transgenderism is a perversion of what is normal and that transgender surgery is mutilation of the human body and consigns its recipients to a life of physical ailments requiring hormonal treatment and more. We cannot say that this country is grateful that Christopher Columbus found this continent because he had a messed-up sense of direction, so got here before Arab Muslim Barbary Pirates did first and would have imposed on us the same slavery they imposed on millions of people throughout Europe and Africa.
We cannot say that Advanced Placement courses are a good thing because not all kids are equal, and gifted students should not be held back but encouraged to thrive to their maximum potential. We cannot say that Western culture has proven itself far superior to those of other continents and societies that did not produce what the West produced. To this day, when Zionists want to retaliate against the Arab boycott of Israel by boycotting something produced in the Arab world, we are stymied because they have produced nothing to boycott but slavery.
We cannot say on campuses or in mixed company that “abortion on demand is murder.” And a Supreme Court nominee cannot even say that a woman is someone who has a uterus and vagina and can bear children, making her different from a man who has a male reproductive organ and can impregnate a woman but cannot bear children. Instead, pressure is applied to professors to include in their signature blocks “He/Him/His” or “She/Her/Hers.” My three pronouns? “Me/Myself/I.”
Is there a red line where even decent 1960s-style liberals — the ones like Sens. Hubert Humphrey and Daniel Moynihan and Henry Jackson — can agree to say: “The encroachment has gone too far!”?
One would hope that line has been reached with the response by the attorney general that he cannot really say under oath whether or not the FBI stations spies in traditionalist Catholic churches.
But maybe our society has traversed even that red line, a line that truly borders the death of democracy.
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values (comprising over 2,000 Orthodox rabbis), was adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools for nearly 20 years, and is Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before practicing complex civil litigation for a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms: Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. He likewise has held leadership roles in several national Jewish organizations, including Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Federalist, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com.
Photo “FBI Agent” by FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation. Background Photo “St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church” by Channel 82.