Ben Shapiro has done it again. What has he done? Wrote a popular book that’s complete garbage. The New York Times best seller list recently put his new book The Right Side of History as #1 for nonfiction.
I read the description when I first heard of it and checked for the preview just before the release, I was unimpressed. It should be noted the only Shapiro book I’ve read in full was Primetime Propaganda, which is basically just one of those books Al Franken made fun during the Bush era — except released in 2011. I am however familiar with his website, and how it is highly pro-Israel and openly tries to stop readers from getting information.
Here is the Amazon page I use as a source for this book (I’m not buying it, under any circumstance).
Here’s the description:
America has a God-shaped hole in its heart, argues New York Times bestselling author Ben Shapiro, and we shouldn’t fill it with politics and hate.
Why am I reminded of that “bully shaped hole” song from Phineas and Ferb?
[Ben Shapiro] came [to Berkeley] to argue that Western Civilization is in the midst of a crisis of purpose and ideas. Our freedoms are built upon the twin notions that every human being is made in God’s image and that human beings were created with reason capable of exploring God’s world.
Where in the Bible does it say we have freedom of speech or religion? In fact, considering the first commandment is “no Gods before me,” it seems like the God of the Jews would not get along with Thomas Jefferson nearly as much as Ben thinks.
Here is what Ben lists as things religion (and by that he means his religion) gives credit for.
We can thank these values for the birth of science, the dream of progress, human rights, prosperity, peace, and artistic beauty. Jerusalem and Athens built America, ended slavery, defeated the Nazis and the Communists, lifted billions from poverty and gave billions spiritual purpose. Jerusalem and Athens were the foundations of the Magna Carta and the Treaty of Westphalia; they were the foundations of Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
To both the ending of slavery and Emancipation Proclamation all I will do is point out Lincoln famously said “Christianity is not my religion.” The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson who was a deist and wrote a version of the New T estimate that edited out every magical act.
The book is clearly filled with half-truths and lies by omission, just reading the introduction can tell you that. Here’s a paragraph from page xiii:
[Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, despite both being highly unpopular] still earned millions of votes in support. Not just that . . . [but they also] broke of friendships with those who voted differently.
He uses this as a jumping off point to talk about how divided we are, however, we have always been divided. What do you think “Whites Only” signs were doing? If anything, only being dived by politics is much better than where we previously were.
For that matter, political division is a positive for a country that wishes to have free and open debate. In 2002, Saddam Hussein was elected the leader of Iraq with 100% of the vote, seems like there wasn’t much division at the time. However, Iraq was still a dictatorship and the people who voted only did so because they were beaten into believing they had no other choice (because they didn’t). This is what a country without some form of division actually looks like.
Also, there’s the part where the man who describes himself as “small government” complains not enough people trust our government.
Just 20% of Americans trust newspapers . . . that number is 19% for the federal government overall.
Oh yeah, and the man who wrote a book about how media is all liberal and should not be trusted is angry people are not trusting the media.
The last thing I will say is this, this book did inspire me to do one thing. Not go to Church, vote Republican, or buy anything by Milton Friedman. Instead, it inspires me to write something quite a bit better, even something on a few of the subjects mentioned in the book.
Of course, from my own perspective.