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New Conservative Books13 min read

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After subscribing to a free copy of the weekly arch-conservative rag, Human Events, I decided not to actually pay for the thing (if I read "no amnesty" one more time I’m gonna send a letter bomb).  But the one good thing that came from that subscription was the fact that they put me on the mailing list for the Conservative Book Club.  Each month, they send me an invite to join them, with a fat envelope pushing the latest books, and many of the books look good.  They cover the following topics:

  • Who Really Cares – Conservatives are much more generous and compassionate than liberals
  • Western Lit – How Universities have gutted the traditional western civ. courses and replaced them with feminist, Marxist, and racist agendas
  • Can a Catholic be a Democrat? – Not anymore.
  • Liberal Lies – A fact book to dismantle common liberal canards
  • The Constitution Explained – by more than 100 conservative scholars
  • Moslems – a collection of essays from as early as 1908, showing that western scholars have long recognized Islam as an enemy of western peace and freedom
  • The evil next door – What the press does’t tell you about non-Christian religions

Here’s some excerpts to discuss.

Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide – Who Gives, Who Doesn’t, and Why It Matters

"When President Bush coined the term "compassionate conservatism,"
many conservatives were understandably miffed. It seemed to concede to
liberals that traditional conservatives are indeed a greedy, selfish
bunch – unlike liberals, with their "commitment" to the poor and
disadvantaged. Now comes an amazing new book that buries that old
canard forever
. In Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide –  Who Gives, Who Doesn’t, and Why It Matters,
Arthur C. Brooks uses hard data to prove that, when it comes to
charitable giving, conservatives, “especially religious conservatives" are far more generous than liberals, who seem to believe that compassion begins and ends with voting for government handouts."

The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature

The study of literature is essential to preserving Western culture and transmitting it to future generations. Yet today’s English departments have come under the control of people who teach anything but the English and American literary classics. Even when the subject is Shakespeare or Faulkner, the professor’s own politics — Marxism, feminism, or some similar radical agenda — will be the real content of the course.

What PC English professors don’t want you to learn from:

  • Beowulf: Heroes deserve our respect and gratitude. If we don’t admire them, there’s something wrong with us
  • Medieval English literature: The wisdom of the past beats the latest expert opinion, hands down
  • Milton: Our intellectual freedoms are Christian, not anti-Christian, in origin
  • The Romantic poets: Intelligent radicals become conservatives when they grow up — make that, if they grow up
  • Wordsworth and Coleridge: The difference between entertainment that degrades and entertainment that refreshes and ennobles
  • Evelyn Waugh: Without religion, human beings are disgustingly selfish
    and shallow — and in abandoning Christianity, our culture will shrivel
    and die

Can a Catholic Be a Democrat

The Democratic Party of the 1930s and ‘40s was in many ways the
natural home of American Catholics. Patriotic and the self-proclaimed
champion of the common man, it appealed strongly to millions of
working-class, first- and second-generation Catholic immigrants who had
proudly embraced their new home in America. But it also stood for the
Christian morals that Catholics shared with their Protestant neighbors
– as well as a respect for the rights of property, and a staunch
opposition to communism and socialism, that the popes had enunciated in
their social encyclicals. But all that changed in the 1960’s, with the
rise of a new kind of Democrat: wealthy, secular, ideological. So
complete this transformation has been that we no longer speak of a
natural alliance between Catholics and the Democratic Party. Now, David
Carlin, a cradle Catholic and former Democratic politician —
here asks whether today it’s even possible to be both a faithful
Catholic and a Democratic true believer.

Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies

It happens to all of us: we’re debating some liberal friend or
colleague when he makes an unsupported claim we’re just positive is
false, but we don’t have the hard facts to prove it. Or we’re
confronted with slick arguments for, say, legalizing gay
marriage, but aren’t quite ready with the strongest
counter-arguments. Now there’s help. In Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies,
Boston talk-radio host Gregg Jackson provides tightly argued, fully
documented responses to no fewer than 241 of the most common claims
made by the Left on all the most important political, social, and
cultural issues of our day.

Among the 241 claims soundly refuted in Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies:

  • Legalized abortion reduces child abuse
  • Prayer in schools is unconstitutional
  • To stimulate a slow economy, we should increase government spending
  • The 2nd Amendment does not guarantee an individual’s right to own a gun  –  only the right of states to maintain militias
  • America needs a government-run health-care system like Canada’s to keep costs down and solve the problem of the uninsured
  • The death penalty doesn’t deter violent crime
  • Sex education in public schools reduces the number of unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases
  • Global warming is real, and results from human activity
  • Our planet is grossly overpopulated
  • The 9-11 attacks occurred because of U.S. support for Israel
  • America’s wealth is responsible for breeding the global poverty which creates terrorism
  • Banning ‘gay marriage’ is akin to banning interracial marriage
  • Children raised by homosexuals are as well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexuals
  • Affirmative action ‘levels the playing field’ and gives disadvantaged minorities a fair chance to compete
  • Tax cuts cause budget deficits
  • Higher marginal tax rates for the rich are only fair  –  progressive taxation levels the playing field
  • The American colonists stole America from the Native Americans and the Mexicans
  • Western civilization is not superior to any other culture  –  all cultures are basically equal
  • Conservatives oppose welfare because they don’t care about the poor
  • The Founding Fathers were slave-owning hypocrites who only gave lip service to liberty and equality

The Heritage Guide to the Constitution

The Heritage Guide to the Constitution brings together more than
100 of the nation’s best conservative legal scholars to provide the
first ever clause-by-clause examination of the complete Constitution,
revealing its real meaning according to the original intent of the Framers.

Discover the real meaning of the Constitution:

  • The "general Welfare" clause: to liberals, the charter for
    the Welfare State. How its original intent was to limit federal spending
  • Why the Constitution plainly forbids dual citizenship
    though millions of American citizens today are also active citizens of
    other countries (some hostile to ours)
  • The "Necessary and Proper" clause: why it was meant to
    authorize Congress to enact laws plainly adapted for executing only
    Congress’s enumerated powers — not (as liberals think) any law
    Congress considers "reasonable"
  • How the Framers limited federal court involvement to
    matters between states,
    not within them — meaning that federal courts
    had no right to overturn state laws
  • The Establishment Clause: How the Supreme Court in recent years has put the First
    Amendment’s "No Establishment of Religion" and "Free Exercise of
    Religion" clauses in mutual tension — and why it was not so for the
  • Why most of the Founders did not believe that government
    should be "untainted" by religion
    — and, to the contrary, believed it
    was a necessary support of good government
    * What exactly did the Framers mean — and, no less important, not mean
    — by "Freedom of Speech"? How the Court has taken it far afield of
    their original intent
  • The "Incorporation Doctrine": How this novel (post-1940s)
    interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment has been used by the Courts
    to make most provisions of the Bill of Rights limit the power of the
    states in the same way they limit the federal government
  • The Eighth Amendment’s primary purpose in forbidding
    "cruel and unusual punishment" — nothing at all to do with forbidding
    capital punishment
  • The Ninth Amendment: originally designed to prevent the
    expansion of federal power seemingly implied by the listing of
    prohibitions within the Bill of Rights — yet more often today cited to
    create new rights (such as abortion) to be enforced on state

Moslems: Their Beliefs, Practices, and Politics

Belloc’s essay on Moslems, together with five important and meaty
Catholic Encyclopedia articles by scholar Gabriel Oussani in 1908,
comprise this valuable new book. Major themes:

  • What Mohammed actually taught. Why it’s heresy
  • What’s in the Koran? A healthy sampling
  • How close the Moslems came — as recently as three centuries ago — to dominating Europe by force
  • Mohammed’s background, lineage, wives, offspring, disciples
  • Islam and women
  • Why the Moslem military threat was so real … then collapsed
  • Why it’s a mistake to think Moslems can’t adapt to, and use, technology
  • The real origins and astonishingly rapid development of Islam
  • Why it remains a potent religious force to this day
  • Where Christians and Moslems can agree doctrinally
  • Islam’s corrosive effect on culture and its own people
  • Paradoxically, why it enjoyed a period of high culture and intellectual achievement
  • All about the Crusades (and why do Christian leaders apologize for them?)
  • Christianity in Arabia: once dominant, then dominated by Moslems (not a pleasant fate, then or now)

The Religions Next Door: What We Need To Know About Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, And Islam—and What Reporters Are Missing

Marvin Olasky tells the truth about about non-Christian religions —
and the danger of believing that all religions hold different
variations of the same tenets.

The heart of Olasky’s book is his
straightforward treatment of the four major non-Christian religions —
for each of which he provides a concise yet thorough account of its
history, beliefs, rituals, and key figures, plus a glossary of terms.
"It is neither wise nor compassionate to remain uninformed . . . when
one culture may be threatening another, to settle for the most
superficial coverage of that culture’s belief, or to assume that both
cultures have essentially the same understanding of who God is," Olasky

A tiny sampling of Marvin Olasky’s insights:

  • How many reporters and editors at leading publications attend
    religious services weekly? Five in ten? Four in ten? Three? (Keep
    going, you’ll get there)
  • How syncretism — the attempt to merge religions under the
    assumption that they are all basically the same — creates an illusion
    of similarity that can be dangerous, especially when it applies to
    reporting on religions with militant aspects
  • How the favorable treatment Islam has gotten from the press and in schools has fostered its growth in America
  • The profound differences between God and "Allah," and between the "paradise" of Islam and the Heaven of Christianity
  • Why Islam has no concept of "inalienable rights," but accords a subservient status to Jews and Christians, known as dhimmis
  • How Hindu belief underlies India’s caste system — and why
    the subservient status of 240 million "untouchables" may lead to the
    greatest civil-rights conflict of the 21st century
  • How Hindu scripture and theology contribute to the epidemic of "sex-selection" abortions of females in India
  • Why Buddhism is a religion of doubt — not only in the existence of God, but of reality itself
  • Why Buddhism is especially appealing to those who have lived as hedonists — such as 60’s rebels and Hollywood stars
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: how archaeological research is vindicating the accuracy of the Old Testament
  • How Judaism changed after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.
  • How Hitler’s anti-Semitism arose not from Christianity but from racial theories stemming from the Enlightenment and Darwinism
  • Why journalists never write about the way Christianity has survived and thrived
  • Why the lack of religious belief among most journalists does not leave them neutral toward religion, as they like to think

Well, there you have it.  I’ve added some of these to my Amazon wishlist (now at 288 items).