Editor’s note: Florida resident Andrea Falce’s email about the apparent prayer divide between conservatives and liberals stood out among recent missives. It leads this week’s selection from the mailbag. Be sure to write us at letters@dailysignal.com and include your name, town, and state.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: Prayer is officially passe. Liberal media voices, comedians, and Democrat politicians have been openly mocking Christian faith in God since the Obama era.

Now,  A.J. Willingham of CNN, the mass murderer in Thousand Oaks, California, and liberals as a group have the same openly hateful take on “hopes and prayers.”

What is the fundamental divergence between liberals and conservatives?  Barack Obama coined it: God and guns.  I think our feelings about God are the quintessential point. Liberals reject God. They hate that the Founding Fathers guaranteed the right to have faith in God. Conservatives have the audacity to exercise those rights.

Lately it seems cathartic to mock, guilt, cajole, and punish Christians for loving God. The U.S. has a fundamental problem on its hands that goes way beyond guns. It is well explained when liberals try to bully and shame Christians for praying.

Conservatives tend to see people as the Founding Fathers did, with God-given rights to live and dedicate their lives as they see fit. Many of us shape our perspectives by a faith that includes death, judgment, and heaven or hell as real and inevitable parts of the future. For us, government exists to uphold basic law, order, and infrastructure.

Liberals want to live in a world where they are the gods and there is no life or law beyond themselves. They see government as a power source for reshaping reality. They want to deputize a new truth. A classic example is how it chaps the liberal that men were made men and women were made women. By government, they will legislate an alternative reality.

What is the real solution to the mass shooter problem? Maybe we ought to first ask the question: Why are these shootings happening? And be willing to answer truthfully. One thing is for sure, to have an honest conversation you need to tell the truth.

Are guns causing the violence? It’s pretty absurd to assign an inanimate object such power. Gun laws haven’t curbed the murder rates in D.C. or Chicago. Hateful, ill-considered actions fuel murders.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., explained the liberal understanding of truth during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. He kept repeating that Christine Blasey Ford was telling “her truth.”

For Booker, and liberals overall, the truth is not something that exists independent of mankind’s will, to be discerned and appreciated. For them, truth is an object of convenience, manipulable in accord with expediency.

Right and wrong are simply relative to whatever serves liberal purposes in the moment. For conservative Christians, the truth is humanity’s to seek, discover, discern, and revere. It is set by God and impossible to remake.

No matter how liberals try to bend it or break it, we still keep searching and abiding by something beyond their dictations. They want all the power, and we can’t give it. Do they really want solutions to gun violence?  I am not sure. I know this: Liberals seek to gain more power after each heinous act.

For conservative Christians, prayer is one of the first steps in thoughtful, wise action. Liberals loath prayer in schools, sporting events, Democratic conventions, even during tragedies. The Thousand Oaks mass shooter had a sense of disgust toward prayer, too, and took the time to post about it on social media between murders.

This nation was founded on hopes and prayers. We already know liberals disdain the foundation of the United States and seek to redefine its principles. In the assault on prayer, they are telegraphing how much they disbelieve in God and disdain people of faith.

I keep praying because I believe a change in the hearts of men is the only real solution to gun violence or any violence—including abortion, the acceptable form of killing that involves drugs and sharp objects instead of bullets. There won’t be a quick solution to fixing sick souls.

Disarming those who would resist evil isn’t a solution, it’s a power grab. If the liberals are sick of “actionless” prayer in the face of tragedy, they don’t understand faith.

I for one am ready and willing to work truthfully for a solution to violence. While I wait for the liberals to show up, I am holding on to God and the right to bear arms. We need protection against senseless violence and haters who mock prayer and wish to destroy faith, foundations, and life.

I have faith that good will win in the end, even if not on human time. Until then, my hope, efforts, and prayers go out to the nation for peace, honesty, and healing.—Andrea Falce, Milton, Fla.


Those Red Christmas Trees at the White House

Dear Daily Signal: About first lady Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations (“What I Saw During a First Look at the White House Christmas Decorations”): I love the first lady. Melania, you are awesome! You have great taste.

The red trees seem symbolic of the precious blood spilled. It breaks my heart to think of the moms and dads, wives and husbands and children who gave their family members for a country that no longer understands freedom.

If your message is that of sacrifice, Melania, it needs to be felt. If it doesn’t mean that, please message me and next year I will help you decorate. (I’m really good at it.)—Cindi Gordon


The photos of the White House’s Christmas decorations were beautiful. I just wish captions had noted the specific rooms where they were taken.

But thank you for a lovely viewing of Christmas at the White House.—G. Richardson

Editor’s note: We’ve added captions, so be sure to check them out.


Thank you, Ginny Montalbano, for having a heart. It is certainly more than what your peers have.

Your momma showed you how to respect people as well. Melania Trump is doing her best. —Rebecca Carlson


Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures. They truly capture the essence of the season.—Barb Camper


Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures, and for writing a sweet article about the White House Christmas decorations. House Beautiful magazine did such a mean hit job that I’m going to share your article in contrast. Merry Christmas!—Davis Songtoo


Wow. That is beautiful. I love it.—Anna Clare


Beautiful! I would love to see it in person.—Terry D. Gilchrist


Thank you, and Merry Christmas!—Ann Chase


Thank you to Ginny Montalbano for doing a “Media Misses” show on the beauty of the White House’s red Christmas trees (“Media Misses: Melania Hits Back at Haters Over Christmas Decor“). I love the red  trees at the White House.

One of the reasons they are beautiful is because of the ability to have so many of them. It made a statement.

I personally love Melania Trump’s taste in decorating. For me, hopefully for most Christians, the reason for the tree is simply to decorate and celebrate the birth of Christ. Just as we put up banners, decorate presents, and sing a birthday song on someone’s birthday, Christmas should actually be an extension of Christ’s birth, with no agenda for personal (but tasteful) decorations.

Yet the leftist media has made a statement based on politics. Sadly, they did not follow the same line when Vogue praised Lady Gaga’s Christmas tree outfit in 2013, Cosmopolitan’s liking upside-down Christmas trees in 2017, and People’s showing celebrity Christmas trees over the years—even of those who are not Christians.

I tend to look at the left as just jealous, mostly. They don’t have the taste or the ability (due to their personalities) of making the simple red trees as bold and beautiful.—Lynda Truhla, Houston


Thank you, Ginny Montalbano, for standing up for America. There is so much negativity about our country and its disappearing values. Those of us who believe in all the good things that are America need to speak out.

I am tired and gravely disappointed in the many who disrespect our country and especially the many sacrifices of our fine men and women in the military. I was one of them many years ago. I understand their commitment and passion for our country.

I shake my head at the attitudes of many, young and old, and the gutless actions of many politicians who kowtow to such.—Mike Marini, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.


It is really sad how corrupt the mainstream media has become. They are nothing more than propaganda agents for the left, spreading smears, lies, and slander. It seems like most of them are truly despicable people who have no moral character, honor, or integrity. They engage only  in slander and character assassination.—Jim P.


The critics have not done such a large, responsible job. Melania stood on her own two feet and delivered. Very American.—John Moorhead, Pittsburgh

A Professor’s Recipe for Free Speech on Campus

Dear Daily Signal: Law professor Amy Wax is certainly in the tiny minority of college professors who still teach facts and have not been politically brainwashed, as Kelsey Harkness’s commentary indicates (“Professor Thinks Banning These Words Would Fix Free Speech on College Campuses”).

Wax dares to speak truth, so that makes her politically incorrect in today’s eroded culture in which “tradition” is a bad word, and biblical morality and plain common decency are seen as deplorable.

She espouses the value of families with two parents of opposite sexes who are married to each other before producing offspring? How terrible! How outdated! She doesn’t believe “offended” needs to be spouted every time someone sees or hears opinions that disagree with their own? Shocking!

She has the nerve to reveal the outcome of grades that have been earned under racial and gender anonymity, thus eliminating the possibility of racial and gender discrimination? Hmmm. Is that “fair”? No wonder this highly educated, brilliant woman is being persecuted—Lynne Douglas


The more elite, the more prestigious a university, the less diversity of speech. The elite groupthink takes over and mandates conformity to leftism.—Christina Paul


Excellent article. Telling the truth is becoming a no-no in our society. Using names rather than details, action, and explanation is a yes-yes. Sadly, these bad ideas are widely taught by “educators.”—Jim Smith, North Carolina


My daughter’s alma mater (Kennesaw U) offered a tutoring center with free academic help—but it was limited to certain “minority groups.” Blatant discrimination. Yet leftists call anyone who opposes it “racist.”—Kim Henry, Atlanta, Ga.


It’s nice to see a normal college professor for a change. The so-called political correctness has gotten out of control, and the suppression of free speech because of some snowflakes is insane.

The universities don’t want free thinking; they want students to become snowflakes, which won’t help them later on in life. But it will turn them into Democrat voters.—Uzi Kattan


Excellent article, and not what I expected from the headline. Amy Wax is one professor I’d be honored to learn from.—Tonya Acre Merrill


What? A rational, sensible professor? Unbelievable!—Dandie Shupie


I have noticed lately that the people who now believe in America the most are Canadian, British, and European. It seems our homegrown higher-educated citizens are the most anti-American.

This has been festering since about 1900, when Woodrow Wilson teased with the idea of the original social justice. It slowly metastasized and is now a melanoma on society. The big question is how do we reverse 100 years of indoctrination in Marxism?—Carl Casino


The headline is extremely misleading. Not sure why I even bothered to read it. My thought was “fire her,” but I wanted to find out what words were so threatening—only to find out she is absolutely correct.

Something has to be done with these anti-American indoctrination camps, mistakenly called “universities.”—Chucky Scheen


We don’t need more unconstitutional government interference in our lives and speech. Everyone is allowed to accuse anyone of anything. That’s the price of freedom.

There is no natural or constitutional right to not be offended or falsely accused by a private party. However, if such accusations are lies, published, and there is harm done, there are tort laws that one can use to recover damages.

Freedom takes guts and courage. The real problem is the feds’ unconstitutional attempts toward social engineering. It is a whole different story when the feds start muscling in with their unconstitutional “social justice warrior” crap. That is what we must stand against and defeat.—Jim Newell

Nolan Peterson’s Dispatches From Ukraine

Dear Daily Signal: Russia’s interest is in the Russians who live in eastern Ukraine and Crimea (“Trump Cancels Meeting With Putin as US, UK Back Ukraine in Wake of Russia’s Naval Attack”). They don’t need any problems in Eastern Europe, and would like to get all this settled with everybody saving face.

The Russians thought Trump was going to help but, in spite of all the Putin boot-licking, he can’t do much without Congress.

Russia is playing a much more pragmatic policy in that they’d like the whole mess in Ukraine settled so they can pursue their expansion in the Middle East. It’s the long game that policymakers don’t understand, especially now that the U.S. is in disarray.—Jason Johnson


The U.S. should provide Ukraine with sufficient weapons to deter Russia from ever invading.  We have few real friends in this world, and Ukraine is one of them.—Randy Leyendecker, Kerrville, Texas


Trump declared he would reduce our military footprint around the world and stay out of these regional squabbles. Now he seems totally embedded in the deep state/military industrial complex’s need for all war, all the time, all over the world.

He deceitfully aided and abetted deep state goals by demanding more unaccountable dollars for “the military.” Not only to be spent countering global “threats,” nearly all imaginary, but against our own people and their better interests.—Jack Knox


Watching the last administration permit Russia to return to Syria, after spending most of my adult life helping to get them out, and keeping them out, was one of the biggest disappointments in my life (“On the Brink of Major War? Ukraine Grapples With Russian Attack”).

Letting Putin take Crimea with so little real resistance on our part, then letting him get into Syria has really given Putin a boost in the old ego. It should have been a shot to the left eye.—Curtis Conway


Ukraine is pretty stupid for attempting to start a war they will never win. And until they kick out the deep state CIA, they will soon be on their own. This is in fact a political war, and no good can come out of it.—Bob Shoemaker


It is well past time for NATO and the U.N. to do more than increase sanctions against Russia and slap it on the wrist (“After 4.5 Years of a Stalemated War, Ukraine Braces for a Full-On Russian Invasion”). NATO needs to stand up to Russia and deploy armed forces to Ukraine to support and protect Ukraine.

The only way to fight a bully (Putin) is to stand up to him. Bullies are cowards who use fear and aggression to intimidate others. NATO and Ukraine need to stand up to Putin and show him the world is not going to stand for these actions.—Marion E. Daniels-Price


It could be supposed that perhaps Russia with these actions is trying to goad Ukraine into a major confrontation, in order to justify an all-out invasion of the country.

The question is what the NATO bloc might counter with and how serious the U.N. is about maintaining the country’s independence.—Rockne Hughes


Another bogus post by Nolan Peterson (“‘Nobody Wanted This’: After 4 Years of War in Ukraine, All Is Not Quiet on the Eastern Front”). The Donbas region does not want to annex the city of Mariupol, because it does not want to destroy it like Ukraine destroyed the city of Donetsk.

Best plan is to just let Ukraine implode by itself. Only problem is the U.S. keeps sending weapons to Ukraine. Now Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wants to arm paratroopers with new U.S. Javelin anti-tank missiles.—Thom Kinoshta


Donbas doesn’t want to annex Mariupol; Moscow does. Ukraine isn’t imploding; to the contrary, in many ways it is growing, if not beginning to thrive.

With neighbors like Russia, who needs an executioner? Just like in the Cold War, let’s see which system prevails. Oh wait, we figured that out already.

My bet is on the still flawed but much freer countries, not ones where reporters and political opponents are murdered and poisoned brazenly by a man and his government who admittedly were probably what Russia needed in the early 1990s, but have no place in the modern world now.

Ukraine is a free country, and always will be. The volunteers and soldiers didn’t have any of these things from the U.S. in the beginning.

What is at play is patriotism and the very real memory of what Russia’s government (not necessarily the people) has done to Ukraine—and the fate of other countries in recent years who succumbed to Russia’s pressure. Not Ukraine.—Aaron Harford

The President Pushes for Prison Reform

Dear Daily Signal: It’s about time we had a commonsense solution to the problem of crime in our communities, as John Malcolm and John-Michael Seibler write in their commentary (“Trump Is Leading the Way on Conservative Criminal Justice Reform. Here’s the Proposal”).

Maybe we can put what we save by passing this bill back into our military, which, from what I see in The Daily SIgnal, seriously needs help.

I pray this legislation passes. Any congressman thinking with both his heart and his intellect should pass this bill.

If Congress doesn’t pass the bill, it will prove that the Democratic left is more interested in attacking President Trump than in solving the problem.—Keri Siegel


What an excellent idea. Makes huge sense to do as the bill proposes. Those who are not a threat to the general population’s safety could be re-established back in society, with parameters.—Tonya Acre Merrill


This legislation is a disaster if it allows foreign-born drug dealers and cartel members to walk out of jail. This language must be removed.—Dave Gorak, La Valle, Wis.


Send the felons to Mexico or Central America, and remove their citizenship. I’m not kidding.

These people don’t want to rehabilitate and don’t respect American law and order, so we need to send them to countries that don’t respect American law and order either.—Redigo Gubernatio


Great column on John-Michael Seibler on criminal justice reform (“Here’s What Opponents of Criminal Justice Reform Get Wrong“). I couldn’t agree more; this type of reform is long overdue. We need to create a reason for those who will eventually go back to society to not be repeat offenders.

It’s way better for all concerned to provide an education, drug rehab, counseling, and job training so that ex-cons can be productive members of society. Yes, I know that some of this is available now, but it needs to be much more universal and stepped up.

Unfortunately, all those things are unpopular with the get-tough-on-crime crowd and conservatives who don’t see why money should be spent on this. At least it’s a first step.—Jason Johnson


John-Michael Seibler writes: “With the First Step Act, senators now have a choice: They can adopt meaningful, evidence-based reforms designed to improve public safety, or they can engage in fearmongering.”

This is cheap argument by intimidation. Being concerned about turning criminals loose is “fearmongering?” If so, then let’s have more fearmongering.

Seibler also writes: “Simply put, it is a profound waste of human capital, at taxpayer expense, to merely warehouse inmates while private and nonprofit entities are offering help.”

Criminals behind bars, being punished for their crimes, are “human capital?”

Not having read it, I have no firm opinion on the legislation itself. But frankly, given the way in which Seibler writes about the issue, if he is in favor of it, then I tend to oppose it.—Douglas Mayfield


Sentencing reform as well as programs to rehabilitate inmates are desperately needed. The law of unintended consequences had more to do with our present condition of criminal justice than did people of a conservative viewpoint.

At some point, judges began giving lighter sentences to criminals under the theory that their bad behavior was due to societal ills rather than personal choices, and crime rates went up. In reaction, harsher sentencing laws came into effect, taking away judicial discretion. Incarceration rates went up as well as longer sentences.

At first, this seemed like the answer to the ills of growing crime rates. But over time, I have begun to question if there can be a middle ground between ensuring that someone who contemplates an illegal activity is aware of its consequences and giving someone who committed a crime the opportunity to have a real life again outside prison.—Richard Daniels

Sarah Sleem and Troy Worden helped to compile this edition of “We Hear You.”