New Counter Cultured Article: Johns Hopkins Student Battles Campus Leftists

Yesterday we published an interview with John Hopkins student Andrew Guernsey up at Counter Cultured.

Here’s an excerpt:

The First Amendment is under siege in our country today. From articulating support for natural marriage to being politically incorrect, respectful disagreement over issues and intellectual diversity are strongly discouraged today.

One college student, Andrew Guernsey, has gone out of his way to challenge the “tolerance brigade” at Johns Hopkins University following its student government’s decision to bar Chick-fil-A from campus. As a result, this incident has garnered a lot of media attention. Andrew penned an op-ed in National Review and subsequently appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss why campus statists are wrong to suppress campus free speech. 

I recently interviewed Andrew to learn more about what happened on his campus and how he has played a role in fostering a discussion of socially conservative ideas with his peers.

Continue reading at Counter Cultured.

Ted Cruz First Candidate to Announce Bid for the Presidency: Why It’s A Good Thing

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Last night, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) formally announced he’s running for President of the United States.

He addressed Liberty University. (Watch his speech here.)

Below are some of my tweets from his TedTalk at Liberty:

Now, naysayers have suggested that his campaign will be a flop because he doesn’t own the domain TedCruz.com. (He does have ownership of TedCruz.org, however.) Though this is a bit disconcerting, it’s nothing major to worry about. Clarification on this can be found at Twitchy.

Not that my opinion counts for much, but this could be very interesting–in a good way. Without a doubt, Cruz is a viable candidate. He’s smart, he cares about this country, he understands the importance of gauging young people, and he can duke it out on the cultural battlefield. Can he win the primary? Possibly. Regardless of who you may or may not be supporting this early in the race, it’s important for serious contenders to come about and mute passé ideas belonging to those in the party who are out of touch. It’s important for a candidate to unite conservatives and libertarians while espousing our ideas in an articulate manner; they must also champion true limited government in the face of crony capitalism/big government. ‪#‎DisruptDC‬ ‪#‎MakeDCListen‬

What will the senator bring to the table? Below are some points:

1) He’s smart and doesn’t need to read from a teleprompter.

2) He’s a sound conservative and is liberty-minded. (Fiscal, social cons can gravitate to him.)

3) He excites the grassroots.

4) He gets conservative policy and is consistent in the U.S. Senate.

5) He’s not an Obama reincarnate in Republican cloth. (Solicitor General of Texas, anyone? Accomplished lawyer much?)

6) He’s against big government. (See his opinions on Export-Import Bank, subsidies, NSA spying, Common Core, high taxes, bloated government departments, etc.)

7) He can rally conservatives, libertarians, independents behind a banner of faith, freedom, and free enterprise. (Few can actually do this.)

I can list more positive qualities about a Cruz bid for the presidency at a later time. Even if he doesn’t advance too far in the primary – though it’s plausible he could – his presence in the 2016 field will make squishes like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and others squirm. It’ll help narrow down what is expected to be a crowded field.

What do you think about Cruz’s presidential bid? Is it good or bad? Please remain civil in the comments section. Thanks!

New Counter Cultured Article: Interview With Jordan Bosstick of Miss American Made

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Today I published an interview  I conducted with my friend Jordan Bosstick of San Diego, California for Counter Cultured. Jordan is a fellow young conservative from Southern California. She is also a business owner who manages two blogs – one fashion, the other political. Below is an excerpt from the article:

We are happy to resume our interview series “Counter Cultured Chats”! There are so many bright, successful counter cultured Millennials out there–why not profile them? Previously, we interviewed libertarian activist and vlogger Julie Borowski. Today, we are profiling Jordan Bosstick of Miss American Made.

Jordan is a young conservative based out of San Diego, California. She also owns Volkalize, a social networking website that fosters political debate. Her other website- Miss American Made– has garnered a lot of attention for promoting American-made products. Below is our interview with Ms. Bosstick!

Continue reading at Counter Cultured.

25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall Fall: Tyranny Still Thrives Today

On this day 25 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell . This soon led to the physical collapse of the Soviet Union. This pivotal moment in history freed millions of people behind the Iron Curtain, including members of my family in Lithuania.

Below is footage from that fateful day:

Here’s a picture I took of a remnant of the Berlin Wall at Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Library in August 2012.

 

The fall of the Berlin Wall was symbolic in that it led to the physical collapse of the Soviet Union. It was also the tireless efforts of Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II–along with the indomitable freedom-loving people of Eastern Europe (including members of my family in Lithuania)–who brought the end of the USSR. From Solidarity in Poland to the Baltic Way in the Baltic Republics, the perseverance of those in Eastern Europe helped pivot the end of the Soviet Union.

Though the USSR collapsed, its pernicious ideas still permeate today. Putin’s Russia is Neo-Soviet, and he says the Hitler-Stalin Pact was justified. Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and countless other countries still practice tyranny today. And American universities whitewash Soviet crimes and even justify them. Marion Smith of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation wrote an important op-ed in Wall Street Journal highlighting the danger of communism’s lurking presence:

To tear down that wall will require the same moral clarity that brought down the concrete and barbed-wire barrier that divided Berlin 25 years ago. The Cold War may be over, but the battle on behalf of human freedom is still being waged every day. The triumph of liberty we celebrate on this anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s destruction must not be allowed to turn to complacency in the 21st century. Victory in the struggle again totalitarian oppression is far from inevitable, but this week we remember that it can be achieved. 

It’s important to educate people about global communism’s horrors and call for equal condemnation of Soviet crimes. I urge you to support groups like Victims of Communism to further educate the country about the horrors of global communism.

Remember to never forget.

More Power to Millennials Getting Married in Their 20s

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Credit: StyleMePretty (via Pinterest)

Who says Millennials–young adults ages 18-33–are balking marriage? Quite the contrary!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of two young conservatives who are very close friends of mine. Let me introduce you to the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Meyer!

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Congratulations to the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Ron Meyer! #CeliaAndRonFromThisDayOn

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I love seeing my friends get married.  I attended two weddings this past year–a West Virginia wedding for my dear friend Angela in July and the aforementioned Virginia wedding this past weekend. It truly warms my heart that more Millennials are realizing that the institution of marriage is not a lost cause–or an institution rooted in slavery as some women have claimed. (Yes, some hold this bizarre belief that marriage is slavery.)

Notwithstanding, people–particularly Millennials–shouldn’t fear or loathe marriage. In fact, they should look forward to it one day. (I wrote about this subject in an article titled “We Should Look Forward to Marriage” for Marriage Generation in May 2013.) Though few of my close friends have taken the plunge, I expect more of them–myself included–to experience marriage in the future.

Though today’s culture reduces marriage to planning the ‘perfect’ wedding, having the ‘perfect’ diamond ring, and saying “Yes to the Dress,” many Millennials thankfully refuse to cheapen the institution.

A March article in Forbes highlighted this trend:

Once, marriage was seen as a “cornerstone” in life. Today’s Millennials see it more as a “capstone.” The marriage rate among 20-somethings may be at an all-time low, but not for lack of desire.

Due to many factors — a lackluster economy, radical feminism, marriage redefinition, divorce, infidelity, etc. – Millennials are skeptical about jumping into marriage. Those of us who regard the institution highly don’t want to settle for less or get divorced, so we delay marriage. Others wait until they’re financially secure to take the plunge. Whatever a Millennial’s reason to delay marriage, have discernment, practice delayed gratification, and remember to love yourself before you can love someone else.

To my fellow Millennials who are newly hitched or engaged–thank you for proving that marriage is still worth pursuing!

New Townhall Column: ‘Of Tolerance and Tyranny’

I’ve penned a new column at Townhall.com today on tolerance and religious liberty. Check it out!

Support traditional marriage? Believe in the First Amendment and religious liberty? Congrats, you’re a bigoted “fascist” and “homophobe”!

Brouhaha recently erupted over Arizona Senate Bill 1062—the bill that garnered national attention after being falsely maligned and derided as “anti-gay.” The two-page bill defined free exercise of religion as “practice or observance of religion, including the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.” Simply put, the bill would have reaffirmed the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by former President Bill Clinton.

Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro detailed how SB 1062 would have protected business owners from government coercion:

This doesn’t mean that people can “do whatever they want” – laws against murder would still trump religious human sacrifice – but it would prevent the government from forcing people to violate their religion if that can at all be avoided. Moreover, there’s no mention of sexual orientation (or any other class or category).

Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) ultimately vetoed the bill after caving to pressure from opponents.

Conservative talk show host Tammy Bruce—who is a lesbian—criticized Brewer in a column for submitting to the radical gay Left’s bullying tactics:

It has been disgusting to watch supposed gay “leadership” drag young gays and lesbians through an indoctrination that insists that in order to have equality, you must force other people to do your will, make them betray who they are, and punish them if they offend you.

Attacks on religious liberty are real and shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Continue reading at Townhall.com.

Happy Birthday, Counter Cultured!

Today marks a year since my sister Anna Maria launched the popular culturally conservative blog Counter Cultured. She enlisted me to help her manage the blog, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we and our contributors have accomplished this past year.

Below is our anniversary video featuring yours truly, Caleb Parke, Claire Chretien, and Anna Maria Hoffman.

From interviews with Ryan T. Anderson and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum to viral vlogs to grassroots video projects, we’ve succeeded in adding the young conservative perspective to the culture war.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed, participated in our videos, and supported our blog along the way. Here’s to many more years. Stay counter cultured!