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Cheating. Bullying. Cybersexting. Hazing. Molestation. Suicide. Drug abuse. Murder. Scanning the headlines of the latest scandals in America's schools, it's quite clear that the problem is not that there's too much God in students' lives.
The problem is that there isn't nearly enough of Him.
With the malfunction of moral seatbelts and the erosion of moral guardrails, too many kids have turned to a pantheon of false gods, crutches and palliatives. They're obsessed with "Slender Man" and "Vampire Diaries." Alex from Target's hair and Rihanna's tattoos. Overpriced basketball sneakers and underdressed reality stars. Choking games and YouTube games. Gossip and hookups. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.
It's all about selfies over self-control, blurred lines over bright lines.
In a metastatic youth culture of soullessness and rootlessness, the idea of high school teens voluntarily using their free time to pray and sing hymns is not just a breath of fresh air. It's salvation.
But leave it to secularists run amok to punish faithful young followers of Christ.
Last week, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a religious freedom lawsuit against Pine Creek High School here in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs. Chase Windebank, a senior at the District 20 school, had been convening an informal prayer group for the past three years "in a quiet area to sing Christian religious songs, pray, and to discuss issues of the day from a religious perspective."
Windebank and his friends weren't disrupting classroom time. They shared their Christian faith during an open period earned by high-achieving students. Other kids used the time to play on their phones, eat snacks, get fresh air outside, or schedule meetings for a wide variety of both official and unofficial school clubs.
A Pine Creek choir teacher had given permission to Windebank and his fellow worshipers to meet in an empty music practice room. No complaints ever ensued from other students or faculty. For three years, the group encountered no problems, according to ADF's complaint. But in late September, Windebank was summoned to the assistant principal's office and ordered to stop praying because of "the separation of church and state."
The school singled out the young man of faith's harmless activities and banned members of his group from discussing current issues of the day from a religious perspective during an open period in an unobtrusive meeting place.
As Todd Starnes of Fox News, who broke the story of the lawsuit last week, lamented: "Public school administrators and their lawyers have succeeded in suppressing and oppressing the Christian voice at Pine Creek High School."
It defies common sense that in conservative-leaning Colorado Springs, home to a vibrant faith community and leading evangelical organizations, students would be reprimanded and deprived of basic constitutional rights. As a letter from local parents to the school district decried: "To what benefit does it serve a school to limit the ability for a student to pray with their friends, fellowship with their friends, or discuss daily events from a Christian perspective? It is obvious that School District 20 is taking a freedom FROM religion perspective, not a freedom OF religion perspective."
Think about it: If the high-schoolers gathered in the cafeteria to listen to Billboard magazine's No. 1 pop hit "Habits (Stay High)" -- "You're gone and I gotta stay high/ all the time/ to keep you off my mind" -- school officials would have no issue.
If they lounged in a courtyard to joke about the latest girl-fight videos or off-color joke memes posted on Vine, no problem.
If they discussed the latest "Walking Dead" episode or napped in the library? All good.
But singing "Amazing Grace" and studying scripture? This subversion must be stopped!
How did we get here? And in Colorado Springs, of all places -- not Berkeley or Boulder or Boston? Blame cowardice, ignorance and politically correct bureaucrats pledging allegiance to one nation, under godlessness, without religious liberty, and the occult of extreme secularism for all.
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Why Social Justice Warriors are losing Social justice warriors have been pretty successful over the past two or three decades, but they seem to be losing their touch. Perhaps this is because there has been a certain democratisation of opinion in the media; newspaper commentators, who for some reason take themselves as moral arbiters, tend to side with SJWs, but their monopoly of the pulpit has long faded. SJWs work by making disproportionate noise, but with the decline of the newspaper comment monopoly enough people with enough clout can see that, for example, Dominic Cumming’s word on IQ and education, or Lord Freud’s words on disabled workers were being twisted, or that the street harassment campaign didn’t quite fit the SJW narrative.
Well, I would say mildly, we are not the ones raising an uproar. You can tell what the real issue is by where the enforcement is. When do the cops show up? When do evangelical bakers get remanded to sensitivity camps? Whenever we refuse to use their vocabulary, the goons come out. That alone, that by itself, should tell you what the real issue is. Under their regime, you do not have to commit homosexual acts. But under their regime, you must agree to pretend that what they have decided to call it has in fact come to pass. But it hasn’t come to pass.
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Marquette Suspends Conservative Professor For Exposing Totalitarian Leftist Faculty Sit down and shut-up 12.18.2014 News Paul Bois
Marquette Political Science professor John McAdams has been suspended "until further notice" for exposing a leftist TA who silenced a student from discussing gay marriage in her ethics class.
Last month, an unidentified 20-year-old Marquette student stirred up controversy in his "Theory of Ethics" class when instructor Cheryl Abbate l ed a discussion about "applying philosophical theories to modern political controversies." Among the various political controversies listed were "gay rights" alongside other hot-button topics like gun rights and the death penalty.
In an interview with Todd Starnes of Fox News, the student said regarding the incident, "we had a discussion on all of them – except gay rights. She erased that line from the board and said, ‘We all agree on this.’”
When the student confronted Abbate after class about why they didn't discuss gay rights, Abbate said that some students who might be homosexual could get offended, clarifying that opposition to issues like gay marriage would be homophobic.
In a recorded conversation, the student accused Abbate of restricting his right to express his opinion in class and Abbate dropped the bombshell.
“You can have whatever opinions you want but I will tell you right now – in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated,” she told him. "If you don’t like it, you are more than free to drop this class.”
The student did drop the class and reported it to the Chair of the Philosophy Department, Nancy Snow, but nothing happened. However, Abbate didn't get away scot-free. When conservative professor John McAdams learned about the incident, he exposed it on his blogThe Marquette Warrior where he accused of Abbate of "using a tactic typical among liberals now" when dealing with her student. He also criticized Nancy Snow for some of her own Orwellian conduct in her “Philosophy of Crime and Punishment” class where she "tried to shut up a student who offered a response, from the perspective of police" to Snow’s comments about supposed "racial profiling'" and her ordering that the student write a letter of apology to all black students.
Once McAdam's blog post went viral, Abbate and several professors signed a petition to have McAdams disciplined for his public dissent. Shortly thereafter, McAdams received the following letter of suspension from Marquette Dean Richard Holz:
The university is continuing to review your conduct and during this period–and until further notice–you are relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with Marquette students, faculty and staff. Should any academic appeals arise from Fall 2014 semester, however, you are expected to fulfill your obligations in that specific matter.
Your salary and benefits will continue at their current level during this time.
You are to remain off campus during this time, and should you need to come to campus, you are to contact me in writing beforehand to explain the purpose of your visit, to obtain my consent and to make appropriate arrangements for that visit. I am enclosing with this letter Marquette’s harassment policy, its guiding values statement, the University mission statement, and sections from the Faculty Handbook, which outline faculty rights and responsibilities; these documents will inform our review of your conduct.
Richard C. Holz, Ph.D. Dean
Responding to his suspension, McAdams highlighted the absurdity of being given Marquette's harassment guidelines considering that "the behavior must be directed toward a protected class (color, race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, veteran status, age, gender or sexual orientation), and leftist philosophers are not a protected class."
Marquette's Turning Point USA chapter has since launched a grassroots initiative. Their petition to lift McAdams' suspension can be signed here.
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The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .”
followed immediately by the Free Exercise Clause:
“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Together these are called the “Religion Clauses” of the First Amendment.
Some people suggest that they are contradictory: the Establishment Clause encourages the exercise of “religion” in every possible sense, and at yet the purpose of the Free Exercise Clause is to keep religion from being practiced to such a degree that politics are influenced.
Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, political or religious affiliation Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment Deliberate misgendering. This includes deadnaming or persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person’s gender identity. You must address people by the name they give you when not addressing them by their username or handle Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop Threats of violence, both physical and psychological Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm Deliberate intimidation Stalking or following Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes Sustained disruption of discussion Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse Publication of non-harassing private communication
Our open source community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will not act on complaints regarding:
‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’ Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you” Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
They're not even pretending anymore. This is just straight up thought, speech, and behavioral policing, and it explicitly goes in one direction, the direction that provides the SJWs with political control of the organization.
If you don't resist, you will be ruled by these totalitarian freaks.
In a report released yesterday, entitled “Cyber Violence Against Women And Girls: A Global Wake-up Call,” UN Women, the group behind last year’s risible “He for She” campaign, called on governments to use their “licensing prerogative” to ensure that “telecoms and search engines” are only “allowed to connect with the public” if they “supervise content and its dissemination.”In other words, if search engines and ISPs don’t comply with a list of the UN’s censorship demands, the UN wants national governments to cut off their access to the public.
So, what sort of content does the UN want to censor? ISIS recruitment videos, perhaps, which lure women into lives of rape and servitude? Live-streamed executions from Syria? Revenge porn or snuff videos? There’s no shortage of dangerous and potentially traumatising content on the web, after all, much of it disproportionately affecting women.
Alas not. The UN is hung up on “cyber violence against women,” a Kafkaesque term that is apparently shorthand for “women being criticised on the internet.” At least, that’s how at least two attendees at the launch of the UN report, published by the United Nations Broadband Commission, explained it yesterday.
According to feminist culture critic Anita Sarkeesian, who spoke at the event, online “harassment” doesn’t simply consist of what is “legal and illegal,” but “also the day-to-day grind of ‘you’re a liar’ and ‘you suck,’ including all of these hate videos that attack us on a regular basis.”
Unable to prove that they are the victims of a wave of “misogynistic hate” – no bomb threat against a feminist critic of video games has ever been deemed credible and there are serious doubts about threats supposedly levelled at transsexual activist Brianna Wu – feminists are trying to redefine violence and harassment to include disobliging tweets and criticisms of their work.
Sarkeesian’s comments were echoed by former video game developer, feminist activist and professional victim Zoe Quinn, who told the United Nations: “There are individuals on YouTube who have made a living off of [sic] abusing Anita and I.” Quinn does not name any specific YouTubers, and we are left guessing as to who these mysterious “abusers” really are.
The message from the UN seems to be: “cyber-violence” against women, at least according to their invited guests, is somehow equivalent to getting thumped, or bullied, or abused in real life, and it’s worth clamping down on basic free speech provisions to insulate these delicate first-world feminist wallflowers from the consequences of their own purposefully provocative statements.
The UN ignores the fact that both of their high-profile invitees are professional wind-up merchants who have capitalised on a media environment in which it has become acceptable to say almost anything about “straight white males” and which women, no matter how preposterous their opinions, can get column inches for saying they’ve been “threatened.” (No journalist will ever check their claims.)
Sarkeesian and Quinn are perhaps the finest living examples of what I call quantum superstate feminism, whose figureheads are at once aggressor and victim; trolling, provoking and ridiculing their ideological opponents while at the same time crying foul when their provocative language is returned in kind.
Somehow, I doubt women in actual peril outside Europe and the US will have much time for this self-regarding baloney.
The UN report itself contains a number of bizarre attempts to equate critical tweets on the internet with physical violence. “A cyber-touch is recognised as equally as harmful as a physical touch” says the report. In their press release, UN Women claim that “cyber violence … places a premium on emotional bandwidth.”
It doesn’t tell us what “emotional bandwidth” means, so we are left to guess. It sounds like “emotional quotient,” which girls say their boyfriends are lacking despite their higher IQs. Nonetheless, the concept of “emotional bandwidth” raises interesting questions. Is it a crime when Netflix starts buffering during a romantic comedy?
Inventing nebulous terms is a speciality of the UN. It allows them to “take action” (that is: issue reports no one reads) on something that doesn’t exist, which disguises their impotence when dealing with real human rights abuses. Needless to say, not everyone agrees that “cyber-violence” and “emotional bandwidth” are urgent humanitarian issues.
Tyler isn’t alone. As the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey points out, the UN’s grand plan to censor the web fights against the rising tide of cultural libertarianism. If UN Women think they have civil society on their side, they are mistaken. Everyone from academics and Hollywood actors to gamers and reddit users are sick of mendacious, sinister and profoundly anti-intellectual attempts to attack free expression with bizarre concepts like “cyber-violence” and “safe spaces.”
The UN report’s ham-fisted attempt to equate unwelcome words with violence isn’t its only problem. Its explicit focus on women is never justified, and runs contrary to the data. Research from the Pew Centre has found that “men and women are equally likely overall to have experienced “severe” [online] harassment.” (The research also found that women are twice as likely to be upset by online harassment, but that’s a separate question.) Yet the U.N. group appears to think women’s online harassment merits a special focus. Why?
The UN report’s explanation of the causes of “online cyber violence” echoes the tired language of 1990s moral panics, and in some cases even relies on outdated research from the same period. It blames the “mainstreaming of violence against women” on “popular music, movies, the gaming industry, and the general portrayal of women in popular culture.”
The report also has a strange preoccupation with pornography, which it accuses of causing “aggressive behavioural tendencies” as well as “increased interest in coercing their partners into unwanted sex acts.” Their citation is a link to “Stop Porn Culture,” a campaign group chaired by the militantly sex-negative and widely criticised feminist Gail Dines.
Other citations in the report are dead links to old blog posts. One has to wonder if the UN expected anyone to fact-check it at all. Given that most of their “reports” are boondoggles, I suspect they’re surprised by all the attention.
It can be pointless and pedantic to play what some of us call “Oppression Olympics,” but in this case the discrepancy between this UN group’s complaints and the real suffering of women is too great to ignore. In a world afflicted by female genital mutilation, forced marriages and acid attacks on girls whose only crime is wanting an education, the UN has chosen to focus on the professional whinging of privileged and mendacious western activists.
The UN has always been a joke, but in this case, by providing a platform for such ludicrously entitled windbags, they have provided us all with the punchline themselves.
News flash! A popular stock market chat room has requested that the UN add (asking anonymous posters who claim to be an expert on the bible if they have a relevant post secondary degree) to the list of proposed banned speech. LOL!
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Glenn Reynolds: After Yale, Mizzou, raise the voting age — to 25
In 1971, the United States ratified the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.
The idea, in those Vietnam War years, was that 18-year-olds, being old enough to be drafted, to marry and to serve on juries, deserved a vote. It seemed plausible at the time, and I myself have argued that we should set the drinking age at 18 for the same reasons.
But now I’m starting to reconsider. To be a voter, one must be able to participate in adult political discussions. It’s necessary to be able to listen to opposing arguments and even — as I’m doing right here in this column — to change your mind in response to new evidence.
This evidence suggests that, whatever one might say about the 18-year-olds of 1971, the 18-year-olds of today aren’t up to that task. And even the 21-year-olds aren’t looking so good...