Opinion

Editorial: Trump Is Right to Ditch the California Auto Waiver

The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a plan we endorsed previously. It will revoke California’s ability to set separate greenhouse-gas standards for cars — so that a single policy will apply to the entire country, and so that California can’t use the threat of a bifurcated regulatory regime to influence that policy in a way other states cannot. We are fans of federalism. But Congress, understandably not wanting automakers to have to comply with 50 different sets of regulations, has generally preempted state regulation in this area — with the exception that California, and California alone, may apply for a waiver to create its own emission rules to address “compelling and extraordinary conditions.” Other states may then adopt these rules if they choose. “Compelling and extraordinary conditions” was intended as a reference to smog. And in contrast to Californian smog, there is nothing compelling and extraordinary about Californian climate change. Climate change is happening to the rest of the country (and indeed the world) too, and climate change is what the state’s greenhouse-gas rules — as opposed to policies regulating other emissions — address. Thus the legal basis for the waiver does not apply here. Further, under the Obama administration, California leveraged the car industry’s desire for a single regulatory regime into an agreement with the federal government, under which the nationwide regulations would reflect California’s priorities. As a result, car buyers nationwide had to pay extra for vehicles meeting the state’s preferences. No single state should have such power. The waiver needs to go. And the Trump administration should continue with the other element of its plan too: nixing Obama-era rules that required fuel economy to hit nearly 55 miles per gallon on average by 2025, a far-fetched goal that could force car companies to sell electric vehicles at a loss to bring down the average fuel economy of their overall fleets. Freezing the standards after next year, as the administration plans to do, could reduce the future price of a car by thousands of dollars — and also reduce motor-vehicle fatalities, because one way carmakers increase fuel efficiency is to make cars lighter and more dangerous. It’s important to note that nothing in either policy change stops companies from making more fuel-efficient cars if Americans want to buy them. In fact, several carmakers have already struck a deal with California to follow the state’s higher standards whether or not the waiver continues. The Trump administration questions the legality of the pact, but the agreement will help these companies appeal to customers who are willing to pay for fuel economy, and also reduce the stakes of any future court battle over the waiver. It’s fine for car companies to go above and beyond what’s legally required of them. But the government should not force the industry to meet unreasonable standards, force customers to pay for it, or allow California to set national policy.

Agreed 100%!!  Thanks to the editors at National Review for that spot-on editorial.  Excellent!!   🙂

Timpf: If You Are Too Triggered by Lessons About the Crucifixion, You Cannot Be a Religious Scholar

Students in a Bible course at the University of Glasgow are being given trigger warnings before being shown images of the crucifixion — and permission to skip those lessons altogether if they are worried they’ll feel too uncomfortable. Predictably, much of the conversation surrounding this has been focused on the cultural implications of the policy, and how it contributes to creating a generation of weak little snowflakes. Of course, that discussion is relevant. After all, giving young adults the idea that they deserve “trigger warnings” and protection from potentially traumatic material is ridiculous in a world where bad things are going to inevitably happen to them anyway. They are going to get dumped, their loved ones are going to die, and neither a partner who is done with them nor a metastasizing cancer is going to give a s*** how triggered they are before wreaking havoc on their lives. But the problems with this policy go far beyond the abstract cultural implications. It’s also objectively, indisputably wrong on a logical level — because receiving credits for a class signifies that you have learned enough about the subject matter to earn those credits, and no student in an introductory Bible course could meet that qualification without having learned about the crucifixion. The crucifixion may be a traumatic Biblical event, but it is also arguably the most monumental one. The crucifixion and corresponding resurrection of Jesus Christ are the entire foundation of the Christian religion, and yet somehow we have an institution willing to give students credit for a class about that religion’s holy book without them having to learn anything about the book’s most consequential event? I would have no problem with professors offering warnings before displaying graphic images — giving the squeamish ones time to cover their eyes — but giving students the opportunity to opt out of crucifixion-related lessons entirely? Sorry, but . . . nope. Giving a student who did not learn class material about the crucifixion credit for a Bible class is like giving a student who did not learn to do a cartwheel a spot on the gymnastics team, and Glasgow University should be ashamed of itself. If you really, truly, cannot stomach learning about the crucifixion, then that’s fine. Same goes for any of the law students at Oxford who might find rape or violence law too triggering. (Oxford stupidly has a policy allowing those students to opt out of those lessons as well.) No one can or should be able to force you into learning about things that make you too uncomfortable, which is why, even before trigger warnings, there has always been a way to opt out of material that you don’t think you can handle . . . it’s called do not take a class where material you cannot handle is a central focus of the curriculum. Now, I’m not saying that all students shouldn’t have the opportunity to learn about the Bible. Of course they should, and of course those classes’ instructors should be as accommodating as possible. But that doesn’t change how stupid this particular policy is, and that’s a fact that becomes abundantly clear when you think about what would happen to education if all classes followed Glasgow’s logic in this case. Students could pass courses about the Revolutionary War without learning about a single battle because battles are traumatic. Students could pass courses about the Civil War without learning about slavery because slavery is traumatic. Credits on transcripts would mean nothing, degrees would mean nothing, and people could confidently call themselves experts in fields without even having to know the most basic things about them. Call me insensitive, but I’d rather live in a society that recognizes the reality of facts than a fantasy founded on a flimsy collection of self-serving delusions all for the sake of people’s feelings.

Agreed!!  That outstanding op/ed was written by millennial journalist Katherine “Kat” Timpf.  Kat is a regular on Greg Gutfeld’s weekend show on the Fox News channel.  Excellent!    🙂

Opinion: Stop Blaming Hillary Clinton’s Loss on Racism

Only in the fever swamp imagination of the race-obsessed Left can a white man beat a white woman and the reason is racism. Yet that is emerging for some as the explanation for 2016. The campaign wasn’t about Obama’s policies, or Hillary’s corruption, or Trump’s massive celebrity. It wasn’t about the threat of Islamic terror or the declining prospects of the white working class. It was about white supremacy. How do we know? Well, according to the Huffington Post, liberal icon Ta-Nehisi Coates explained it “perfectly” to The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. Here’s the exchange: “If I have to jump six feet to get the same thing that you have to jump two feet for ― that’s how racism works. To be president, [Obama] had to be scholarly, intelligent, president of the Harvard Law Review, the product of some of our greatest educational institutions, capable of talking to two different worlds. . . . Donald Trump had to be rich and white. That was it. That’s the difference. ” This is pure, unadulterated nonsense. There’s no better word for it. For proof, look no further than Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns. Can Coates look America in the face and say that Obama had to jump higher than John McCain to win the presidency? McCain was shot down over North Vietnam, badly wounded, tortured in enemy prison camps, and put in solitary confinement for two years. Yet he still refused an offer of early release unless every person captured before him was released as well. McCain then went on to serve in the House and then, for two decades, in the Senate before he ran for president against a first-term senator barely removed from the Illinois legislature. But, yeah, Obama had to do more. Mitt Romney can’t match John McCain’s record of public service, but his pre-campaign biography was formidable as well: An elite education (like Obama’s), decades of near-legendary business success (which included turning around multiple companies), a successful term as governor, and saving the Salt Lake City Olympics gave him a presidential résumé far superior to Obama’s pre-election record. But Obama won, handily. Don’t forget that Clinton was rich and white also. And a former senator. And a former secretary of state. And a former first lady. So, no, you don’t just have to be rich and white to win the presidency. Coates’s Daily Show appearance comes on the heels of his extended valentine to Obama in The Atlantic, where he made the same point — but only stronger: “Pointing to citizens who voted for both Obama and Trump does not disprove racism; it evinces it. To secure the White House, Obama needed to be a Harvard-trained lawyer with a decade of political experience and an incredible gift for speaking to cross sections of the country; Donald Trump needed only money and white bluster.” And lest anyone think that Coates is all on his own, he’s actually more moderate than some. In Slate, Jamelle Bouie called Donald Trump and Dylann Roof “brothers in white resentment” and declared that the “ideas that radicalized” a racist mass murderer will now “thrive from the Oval Office.” With both Bouie and and Coates, the argument is that in rejecting Hillary Clinton, America somehow rejected not Obama’s policies but Obama’s blackness. Again, this is total nonsense. Obama is leaving office with his highest approval ratings since his reelection. He’s far more popular than Trump. And Trump’s own electoral coalition is less white and more diverse than Mitt Romney’s. Clinton got a smaller share of the black and Hispanic vote than Obama did in 2008 and 2012. And, of course, as Coates notes and dismisses, Trump won in part because people who voted for Obama also voted for Trump. That’s not racism. It’s disappointment with failed policies. There are indeed vicious alt-right racists who support Trump. They’ve threatened journalists, invaded comment boards, and — helped by Russian accounts — dominated Twitter timelines. While these people should be condemned, opposed, shunned, and prosecuted (when their harassment becomes truly threatening), they are a microscopic constituency in American politics. Their conventions are incapable of filling a decent-sized conference room. Trump got more than 62 million votes, and there is simply no evidence that any meaningful number of his voters were influenced by (or even knew the existence of) the alt-right. It’s grotesque that a man like Steve Bannon self-consciously gave them a platform, and it’s even worse that Trump still keeps him close. But the alt-right did not win the election for Trump. There’s no actual evidence that it was even a factor. Clinton likely got more votes from outright Communists than Trump did from bona fide members of the alt-right. Instead, there’s abundant evidence that he was facing a historically bad opponent. Voters didn’t trust Trump, but they also didn’t trust Clinton, and it’s stunning to consider how little effort she made (compared with Trump’s) to win the election. As Damon Linker noted in The Week, between the end of the Democratic convention and the first debate, she was “largely out of the public eye.” Unlike Obama, she didn’t even bother to seek Evangelical votes. Her campaign rejected calls for help when Michigan was slipping away. She was arrogant. She assumed she would win. Her aides popped champagne corks on Election Day. But, yeah, white supremacy. It’s tempting to ignore Coates’s absurd argument (and Bouie’s even more absurd linkage of Trump to a mass murderer), but their ideas are heard in the halls of power and soon may harden into leftist conventional wisdom. This would be terrible for race relations and therefore terrible for a healthy republic. It further (and needlessly) polarizes an already divided nation. White people didn’t embrace racism. They rejected a Clinton. That’s a profound and meaningful distinction.

Indeed!! Aside from the inaccurate, trendy, and otherwise unnecessary dig at Steve Bannon, who is no more of a racist than Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is.  That (again, otherwise) outstanding op/ed was written by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French. David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

Greg Gutfeld: Brexit’s babies: Why the Leavers won and the losers can’t stop crying

People (I will politely call them that, when referring to celebrities and media on Twitter) are acting like the Brexit vote is the end of humanity. It’s an online spectacle, this manic hissy fit orchestrated by A, B and C listers who seemingly have ignored the scandalous depravity unfolding in Venezuela, the horrors of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the murderous homophobia of ISIS and assorted other Islamist terror outfits, the barrel bombing of Syrians (which helped foster the Brexit vote). Yes, the Chicken Littles’ pleading for a re-vote are the same ones who CAUSED the vote, through selective outrage, shallow taunts and cowardly ambivalence. Brexit could have been avoided if its critics could have been honest about the present day world. But they weren’t. And so, on that note, here’s why Brexit happened, from a Yank’s eye. The Remainders remained home; the silent ones didn’t If you want to know who didn’t go out and vote – it’s the people hilariously demanding a second chance. The people who were sure Brexit wasn’t going to happen, were so sure it wasn’t going to happen, that they didn’t bother to get off their arses and vote. Now they want a do-over, a redo, calling this election a mulligan. I don’t think it works that way. If you didn’t take it seriously the first time, and everyone else who voted did – that’s on you. You were caught out in your arrogance and ignorance, assuming everyone who was for the exit was a frail, white angry pensioner. Turns out they were people you know – they just never told you so! While you ragged on and on about the bigotry of the leavers at a cocktail party in Chelsea or a pub in Islington, those who disagreed just silently nodded, hoping you’d shut up at some point. The Remainders offended anyone who felt discomfort over mass migration. Fact is, Great Britain has been under siege by the Islamophobia-phobia – the same disease that also grips the American media and body politic. If you express any fears over the rise of Islamism and its assorted toxic doctrines (whose consequences are recently visible in horrific splendor), you are the bad guy – the racist. You are actually worse than the perpetrator of such misdeeds. The sense that control over your own country was now in the hands of impotent bureaucrats in Brussels, and that a vote to leave could wrest your country away from such toadies who are putting your country at risk – is not a symptom of racism or xenophobia. It’s actually a sensible outlook given the state of affairs all over the globe. True , the mass migration is not the refugee’s fault: the west shares blame in its ineffectual response. And many don’t wish to flee – they simply have no choice. But given that over a million who might stream into Germany could then now come to Glasgow or Glastonbury –and within these numbers might sneak a lone ISIS fiend – why shouldn’t you, a British citizen, be concerned? You’d be an ostrich with your head not just in the sand, but up your own butt. The modern human lacks sense of priority. I don’t know whether it’s hilarious or sad that Lindsay Lohan, James Corden and others are expressing outrage over Brexit, as Venezuela descends into an abysmal amalgam of Soylent Green and Lord of the Flies. Bold-faced names are expressing elitist outrage over a vote, while people down south are assaulting each other over toilet paper. Venezuela represents real-time suffering, not the hypothetical hysterias put forth over Brexit. The actual policies of a government – one lauded by Sean Penn and Oliver Stone – are creating a living hell, against the wishes of the suffering people. And yet, the stars in our celebrity skies prefer to wring their soft, precious mitts over Brexit. Here’s why: Venezuela’s demise is caused by an ideology romanticized by the same people fretting over Brexit: socialism. It’s just easier to call a British man who fought in World War II a racist, than it is to condemn an inhuman ideology that he fought and beat. Fact is – Venezuela would LOVE to have a referendum like Brexit – to be able to exercise some autonomy over and away from the tyrannical ideologues who’ve destroyed their once rich country. Instead they starve and/or die, while the media denigrates grannies drinking tea. How did this lead to Brexit? I have a theory. Philosophers who are way smarter than me have studied this perplexing priority — that despite leading moral lives we tend to care more about a small problem in our vicinity (my roof is leaking), than a larger problem far away (a mudslide kills hundreds). Even more, research shows that the larger the suffering, the less we react. Meaning our heartstrings will be pulled harder by the photo of one starving child – than many children equally in pain. It’s weird but true. We care less when there is more. What we are seeing with Brexit is a play on this weird reflex. Because a starlet once lived in London, this compels her to express an oh-so-brave stance against Brexit (even though a week ago she might have thought Brexit was a laxative). Yet, has she said anything about Venezuela, or Syria, or Afghanistan, or the Taliban? I must have missed it. My point: it’s no longer a comparison between one starving child and many, it’s a choice between exercising one’s moral superiority in a risk-free environment (let’s go on Twitter and call pro-Brexit people racist or dumb) – and calling out real horror (islamists chucking gays off bridges and buildings). This moral cowardice as expressed by the most well-known of earthlings is what led to Brexit. Brexit wasn’t just evidence of a natural concern over one’s well being in the face of rising Islamism amidst the European Union’s lax immigration policy, it’s also a big middle finger (or two “middle” fingers, if you’re British) to those who cannot prioritize injustice, or evil. So call those who voted for Brexit bigots or idiots — you’ll only encourage them. And by selectively ignoring greater evils around you — you’ll be making the case for leaving better than the leavers ever could. And you make the world less safe, too. Maybe it’s good you stick to Twitter.

Outstanding!!  Greg just nailed it!!  Consider this your Read of the Day.  If you read just one article here today, then READ THIS!!  Then, forward it on to all your friends and family members.  You can catch Greg over on the Fox News channel’s The Five program during the week, and he has his own show on weekends.

Opinion: Mr. President, You Disgust Me

I’ve known for eight long years what a poor excuse for a man we have as a President. I’ve known for eight long years what a deep dark hole he is leading this country down. I’ve known for eight long years that he is either mentally unstable, incredibly ignorant, or an extreme Muslim sympathizer like we’ve never seen in the White House. I hope other Americans are waking up after the pathetic Presidential address to the nation about the Orlando Islamic terror attack. It’s time to talk frankly. Obama’s speech was the most insulting, revolting & embarrassing speech EVER by an American president. It made me sick to my stomach. Obama is the commander-in-chief. He certainly knows far more than an average citizen like me…certainly far more than the journalists on Fox News or CNN. Obama knows what the FBI chief knows…what the Orlando Police Chief knows…what the CIA knows…what military intelligence knows. His press conference was even pushed back by 30 minutes. Obviously he wanted the absolute latest intelligence. Yet at the moment he walked to the podium I already knew… A) The mass murderer was Muslim. B) He pledged allegiance to ISIS C) ISIS itself warned publicly 3 days earlier about a pending terrorist attack in Florida D) The murderer called 911 to give credit to ISIS before walking into the gay nightclub.. E) He yelled “Allah Akbar” before opening fire Only minutes after Obama was done with his pathetic address to the nation, it was reported that ISIS actually took credit for the attack. That was also undoubtedly known to him when he walked to that podium too. Yet with all of those facts at hand… Obama still did not mention the words “Islamic” or “Muslim” or even “Radical Islam” in the entire address to the nation. No mention was ever made of the religion or background of the worst mass murderer in United States history. Obama still would not say the words “Islamic” and “terror attack” in the same sentence. Obama still would not assign blame to Islam, or radical Islam, or Jihad. He knew exactly at that moment in time what this attack was. But he could not bring himself to mention those words. It’s just impossible for our President to ever assign blame to Islam. But he was certainly angry. Steam was clearly coming out of his ears because he had to admit the attack was in fact “terrorism.” We’ve been through this so many times before- he’s always quick to blame guns or Republicans, but the word “terrorism” rarely ever comes out of his mouth. But this time was different. All the facts were in. This was 100% ISIS verified before Obama walked to that podium. So he had to admit it was a “terror attack.” Even Obama knew he couldn’t avoid that. That had to burn him. He looked so angry and shocked that I half expected a Muslim prayer to end his speech. I could almost hear “Salaam Alaikum” rattling around in his brain. I know Obama, my old Columbia college classmate, like the back of my hand. I waited for the old tried and true liberal attack on guns. Obama didn’t disappoint. He had his usual hissy fit about guns being to blame. It was the gun’s fault. It had to be. The man who picked it up was a Muslim. We are under attack by radical Islam, most of the time by lone wolf attackers like this one- where one law-abiding American citizen with a gun could end the attack and save many lives. But amazingly, Obama’s only impulse is to disarm us. Obama and his socialist cabal want to disarm the innocent victims, leaving us helpless to defend ourselves. Obama is a man who wants to rush the process of importing more Muslims refugees into the USA (even military age males from war zones), even though his own Homeland Security Chief warns we cannot vet them. Obama’s not just purposely importing Muslims, he’s bringing them in at a record pace. Obama refuses to secure the border, even though Muslim terror cells are surely entering the USA hidden amongst the hordes of illegals from Mexico and Central America. Obama is a man who brings in twice the number of immigrants from Muslim nations versus European nations. Obama is the man who cut $2.6 billion in funding for U.S. veterans, while at the same time adding $4.5 billion to the budget to relocate Syrian refugees to America. Obama is the man who is obsessed with disarming Americans, at the exact same time he arms Muslim terrorists- remember he recently handed back to the terrorist state Iran $150 billion PLUS interest to buy weapons that will be used to murder Americans, Israelis and other Westerners. Obama is the man who has claimed that terrorists have “legitimate grievances.” Obama is the man who refused to use the word “Muslim” at a terrorism summit. But remarkably he opened that summit with a Muslim prayer. Obama is the man who claimed “Islam” has been woven into our country’s fabric from the first days of America.

Which, of course, is historically and factually inaccurate..  And, I’m sure the Pilgrims are rolling over their graves over that ridiculous assertion..  To read the rest of that powerful op/ed by Wayne Allyn Root, click on the text above.

Starnes: What the hell? Artist crucifies Jesus on dartboard

The art exhibit inside a campus library at Rutgers University was sickening – Jesus crucified on a dartboard. “It is surprising that a state university would allow this,” Rutgers alum Natalie Caruso wrote on her Facebook page on April 20. “I asked them to take it down because I found it disrespectful and they refused. How is this acceptable?” I reckon in this age of political correctness, university are required to provide “safe spaces” for student artists to commit sacrilege. At Rutgers, that “safe space” just so happened to be inside the Art Library – in a prominent position near the circulation desk, NJ.com reported. Why, some youngsters even believe that nailing Jesus to a cross with darts – is funny – a Comedy Central chuckle-fest. “It’s hilarious,” wrote one student on Facebook. “We don’t have to cater to the wills of the Church or any denomination of Christianity or religion.” However, university officials felt otherwise and two days later they had the exhibit removed – not because it was sacrilegious – but because it violated library policy. Here’s the statement I received from Rutgers: “The artwork in question was removed from the exhibit because it did not meet Rutgers University Libraries policy, which requires art exhibitions and their pieces to be based on university events, curricular offerings, and topics of interest to the university community. The process that the Libraries use to determine how artwork is selected for inclusion in an exhibit takes into consideration freedom of expression as well as the criteria listed above. We have concluded that the policy and process the Libraries use to select artwork for exhibitions was not followed.” I’ve often wondered why the artistic class seems compelled to denigrate and desecrate the Sacred. Remember the exhibit that featured the Mother Mary smeared in elephant dung? Or what about the crucifix submerged in a bottle of urine? And yet, the God of the Islamic Radicals is off limits. It’s as if there is some sort of unwritten rule – thou shalt not profane the prophet. I suspect the fear of a fatwa plays a significant role in their editorial process. And I can understand that. Nobody wants to be blown to smithereens – event an idealistic, starving artist. But I have another theory. Maybe, just maybe American artists give the God of the Islamic Radicals a pass out of mutual respect. The enemy of my enemy… One wages jihad with a sword. The other wages jihad with a paint brush. Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook

Culture warrior Todd Starnes definitely is on to something here..  But, yeah..  The duplicity and hypocrisy of the liberal elite, and those who call themselves “artists,” that think it’s art to put a crucifix in a bottle of urine is breathtaking.  They would NEVER do that to a photo of the prophet Muhammad regardless of some fear of a fatwa.  The reason?  Because bigotry against Christians is the only form of acceptable, politically correct, bigotry out there these days.  The liberal elite in HollyWEIRD, the dominantly liberal mainstream media, and in (mostly Democrat) political circles poke fun at and even deride Christians here all day long.  So, this is hardly surprising in this age of political correctness gone wild.

Starnes: Why does this water tower anger atheists?

The city council in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was in a bit of a pickle. The city was in the middle of a growth spurt and needed high ground to build a one-million gallon water tower. But the property they needed was owned by the First Baptist Church. So they made a deal with Pastor Nick Garland and the congregation. “We donated the land and the easements for the tower,” Pastor Garland told me. “In kind, they said they would paint our name on the water tower.” It was a fair trade – all on the up and up. “Our people are very generous,” he said, referring to his congregation. “We want to be good citizens as well as good Christian folks representing the kingdom of God.” And Baptists are mighty partial to water. “We’re in the business of talking about Living Water and this (deal) provided water for a community and water for our church and water for a whole new area of the city to develop,” the pastor said. But it turns out – a gaggle of perpetually offended atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers from Wisconsin took issue with the deal. The Freedom From Religion Foundation fired off a sinister letter to the city – warning that the inclusion of the church’s name on the water tower violates federal law. “At some point that name is going to have to come off the water tower,” attorney Andrew Seidel told television station KTUL. “The water tower is in fact, government owned, and on government land. And as such, it can’t be advertising for any religion.” Seidel accused the city of promoting the Baptist religion. “The Supreme Court has spoken very clearly on this, and it has said the government can’t promote one religion or church over another, or religion over non-religion,” he told the television station. Well, the good people of Broken Arrow don’t appreciate a bunch of out-of-town atheists causing trouble. And the city’s attorney politely told the Freedom From Religion Foundation that the church’s name is going to stay on the water tower. “It wasn’t intended to endorse any sort of religion; it was simply to recognize them for the land contribution. It was a contract,” City Attorney Beth Anne Wilkening told television station KOTV. Pastor Garland told me the church is grateful for the way the city has handled the controversy. “They stood up for us – against the Freedom From Religion Foundation,” he said. “They have been very gracious to us.” Lord knows those silly atheists don’t have the good sense God gave a goose. They probably think the city’s tap water has turned into holy water since the tower is on church property. “Buddy, if it did, we’d have a lot of conversions down in the valley. I’m telling ya,” the good-natured parson said with a chuckle. Nor is the tower filled with Communion wine. That wouldn’t be appropriate for a Baptist church. We take our Communion before fermentation sets in – preferably Welch’s. The pastor assured me the city’s tower is filled with old-fashioned tap water – nothing more, nothing less. “It’s just plain water in a tower that has [the word] Baptist on the side of it,” Pastor Garland said. And the water tower has unintentionally given First Baptist Church bragging rights in the Sooner State. “We claim it’s the largest baptistery in the state,” the pastor said with a great big grin. That’s a joke, Mr. Seidel. Tell your attorneys to stand down. It’s only a joke. -Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook