Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Conservatives should have the same free speech rights at Colin Kaepernick

original article: Christian Artists Should Have The Same Free Speech Game As Colin Kaepernick
August 30, 2017 by James Gottry

In case you haven’t been following the news, the NFL, or the little blue bird I like to call Tweety, Colin Kaepernick is trending. Again. But this time it is not for kneeling on the field during the national anthem. It is because he is not even on the field during the national anthem.

If you’ve missed the off-the-field action, here are the highlights.

  • March: Kaepernick opts out of the final year of his contract with the 49ers.
  • April – present day: No NFL team signs Kaepernick.
  • August 23: More than 1,000 people rally outside NFL headquarters in New York, demanding that Kaepernick be signed by the start of the regular season next month.
  • August 24: Two bars in Chicago announce their TVs are on the fritz they will not show any NFL games until Kaepernick is signed.

Throw in Michael Vick saying Kaepernick should cut his hair to “be presentable,” then Vick apologizing and saying “his Afro has nothing to do with him being signed,” and Jim Brown arguing that Kaepernick should be an activist or a football player but not both, and we’ve got ourselves a good ‘ol-fashioned controversy. (Not that conflict has been missing from the news cycle.)

I love it. NFL teams are free to sign Kaepernick, not sign him, or offer him a discount on season tickets. Those who don’t agree with Kaepernick’s views are free to cheer his current unemployment, wave a flag, or whistle the national anthem all the way home. Fans of Kaepernick are free to fly to New York and protest outside the NFL, burn a flag, and decry the injustice of it all. And yes, two bars in Chicago are absolutely free to pursue a new demographic by playing Lifetime movies on Sunday afternoons.

It’s the beauty of America. The beauty of freedom of speech and conscience. And yes, the beauty of learning to co-exist with people who think differently than you.

Now, Let’s Join Another Game in Progress

In Colorado, Jack Phillips is facing a very different set of rules. Like Kaepernick, Jack took a principled stand in relation to his career. Jack is a cake artist and decided years ago that while he would serve any individual who came into his shop, he would not accept invitations to create certain custom cakes. Cakes with alcohol in them, and cakes that promote atheism, racism, or indecency were on that list. So were cakes that were anti-American. So if you want a flag-burning cake for your Kaepernick protest, Jack is probably not your guy.

It turns out, no one cared too much if Jack declined an invitation to make a cake with alcohol in it, or a flag-burning cake, or a Halloween cake. If they did care, they voted with their wallets and took their business elsewhere. That’s fine with Jack, because he doesn’t want to force anyone to believe what he believes; he does, however, want that courtesy to go both ways. He wants true tolerance, the kind where we can co-exist with people who think differently than we do. Sound familiar?

No problems there. But there’s another type of cake Jack doesn’t design: cakes for same-sex weddings. That’s the one that has Jack scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. Because when two men entered Jack’s Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked that Jack design a wedding cake for their same-sex ceremony, Jack politely told the couple that he would gladly sell them anything in his store, but designing a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage was not something he could do.

So why is Kaepernick’s situation playing out in the court of public opinion while Jack’s is playing out in the Supreme Court of the United States?

When the couple left Jack’s shop, they had a range of options. Among other things, they could have applauded his free exercise of conscience based on his sincerely held religious beliefs (unlikely in this situation, though not unprecedented). They could have held a rally imploring Jack to change his views, or they could have voted with their wallets and taken their business elsewhere (which they did).

But they took an additional action, one we haven’t seen in the Kaepernick situation. The men asked the government to punish Jack for attempting to live peacefully according to his views, and—when offered the power to interfere—the government obliged.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Phillips’s decision to live by his conscience was unlawful and ordered him to re-educate his staff, file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years, and create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings if he creates wedding cakes at all. That’s why Jack finds himself preparing to go to the Supreme Court and ask the justices to protect free speech and religious freedom for all people.

Too Many Men on the Field

The day after the news broke that Chicago bars were announcing their plans to nix NFL games, attorneys for Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib, were in a courtroom in Phoenix, Arizona. As I’ve written before, they also face something Kaepernick does not: government interference and punishment.

Meanwhile, Barronelle Stutzman is waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will hear her case, and this 72-year-old grandmother stands to lose everything. She is also the victim of government interference and punishment.

If you disagree with Jack, Brush & Nib, and Barronelle, then write a letter to the editor, attend a rally, and otherwise express your beliefs. Raise a flag, burn a flag, but don’t give the government the power to throw a flag.

If the government can force a Christian cake artist to design and create a cake for a same-sex wedding, it can force a Muslim singer to offer her services for an Easter service, or a liberal speechwriter to draft speeches for a conservative candidate, or a pro-gun control T-shirt designer to create shirts for the National Rifle Association that say “more guns are the solution.” That kind of government blitz on conscience should alarm all of us, no matter where we stand on the individual issues.

After the New York rally, Kaepernick tweeted, “My faith always has been and always will be in the power of the people!” He’s right. And when it comes to free speech, the government belongs on the sideline. We the people can handle it.

censorship, christian, civil rights, conservative, culture, discrimination, diversity, free speech, freedom, government, ideology, judiciary, justice, political correctness, public policy, relativism

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Filed under: censorship, christian, civil rights, conservative, culture, discrimination, diversity, free speech, freedom, government, ideology, judiciary, justice, political correctness, public policy, relativism

What I wish I would have said about abortion

My family and I recently had a discussion about abortion with some dear friends. Well, it was mainly me and the wife of the other couple. Now, if this discussion was with a stranger I most likely would have unloaded. Most defenses for abortion are quite common and easy enough to respond to.

Some people who defend the killing of children are monsters. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is one. Dr. Mary Gatter, admitting she sold aborted baby parts, and would like sell more because she wants a Lamborghini, is another such monster. Never mind the profit motive here, move on.

But some people have been led to believe certain things that simply are not so, and would not defend abortion if they could see the picture as opponents do. Abortion culture teaches an inverted ethic. We should take a closer look at it.

I don’t recall how the discussion moved to the abortion issue. One of the earlier comments from my friend was something like “would it surprise you to know that I’m pro-life?” I wasn’t surprised by that, and I told her so. But during the course of the discussion she proceeded to defend keeping abortion legal. Apparently, she’s of the “I don’t personally support abortion, but I think abortion should be legal” bent. I wanted to phrase her position that way, and then rephrase it with a less sanitized choice of words. “You mean you don’t personally support killing babies, but you think killing babies should be legal?” But I didn’t say that. This is my friend, after all, and I know she is not like the monsters mentioned above. My friend is susceptible to reason; I don’t believe the monsters are.

Letting the discussion play out on the sanitized language field was one of my mistakes. Another semantic game the monsters play is trying to distinguish between “pro-choice” and “pro-abortion” while bullying women who are pro-life. In discussions with monsters I would ask “the choice to do what?” It’s a surreal experience watching abortion supporters perform logical gymnastics trying to avoid the obvious fact that even in perfect circumstances, two lives enter an abortion clinic but only one life leaves. Another tactic is accusing abortion opponents as being opposed to “abortion rights” rather than being opposed to “killing babies”. See how one definition makes abortion look good and the other makes abortion look bad? Diverting attention away from the whole picture, focusing on a tiny subset of facts, and playing semantic games are very common in this battle. Obscuring the nature of the evil in question is one of the best tactics used to defend it. So when the monsters use tactics like this, ordinary folk like my friend catch on to it. I should have pushed for this clarification of language right from the beginning.

Predictably, the discussion moved on to matters of “what about when the life of the mother is at stake?”. I understand why the discussion so often moves in that direction. Most people who think abortion should remain legal don’t realize those of us who think killing babies should be illegal have already thought through this aspect of the situation. For the moment, let’s overlook the fact my friend was defending killing babies. For now let’s pretend questions about the mother’s life can honestly be addressed to the exclusion of the child’s life. Of the many pro-lifers I know, all of them are willing to make an exception for cases where bringing the child to full term would cause the death of the mother. For instance, if a pregnant woman has cancer and her therapy would end up killing her baby, I know of no one who would deny the mother access to the healthcare she needs. Though, for Stephanie Hosford, aborting her child was not necessary.

But cases where the mother’s life is almost certainly at serious risk are extremely rare. The monsters who bring up these cases often use them (dishonestly) as an excuse to guilt people into supporting unlimited abortion. And in doing so they teach our society to think along the same lines. My friend wanted to keep talking about the 1% of cases, the rarest cases. She wanted to dig deep into the details, to see how far banning abortion, with exceptions, could go. But there was also a hint that she was searching for flaws in my position, almost as if any problem that might be found in my approach would invalidate the entire argument. Of course, no policy in human experience is 100% without flaws. My preferred solution is not invalidated simply because it might not be absolutely flawless, as that is a quite unrealistic standard.

We could easily claim abortion shouldn’t be allowed because of its flaws. Abortion’s most vocal supporters demand absurd standards. For example, some of the more rabid abortion supporters claim a 12 year old girl should be allowed to have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge despite the fact our laws require that same girl to have both of those things to get her ears pierced. Or, that same girl participating in Planned Parenthood’s own pro-abortion poster contest would be required by Planned Parenthood itself to provide written parental consent – simply to submit posters. Another example is the absurd claim men have no right to speak about abortion because this is a women’s issue, unless of course those men approve of it. The hypocrisy aside, telling someone they have no right to speak on a topic because of their gender is what we call sexist. But I didn’t say that.

There were, of course, the interruptions. When asked if I thought some form of medical board should be employed in the matter, in my response I was interrupted in mid sentence (something that happened numerous times) and was later accused of claiming a medical board should be invoked at every case where executing the child was thought to be the only way to save the mother’s life. It is perfectly appropriate for a bipartisan board of medical professionals (rather than lawyers or politicians or government/insurance bureaucrats) to establish guidelines for what doctors ought to do in rare situations like this. This was my point, but I didn’t get to make it since my friend was thinking of an invasive bureaucratic process invoked at every instance – putting words in my mouth. She heard as much as she wanted to hear and assumed the rest of my position. Unfortunately, this is a normal thing in a discussion on a controversial issue. We all need to be careful about this. To interrupt and presume (effectively misconstruing what other people say) does not help us understand the other side of the debate. When the truth is on your side, you don’t have to resort to tactics like this. But I didn’t say that.

We did discuss the 99% of cases a little, cases where the mother’s life is not in danger. I wish I would have stated in these cases the question for me is “under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty?” What was mentioned briefly was the example where a woman is raped and a pregnancy results. This is one of the best examples of the inverted ethic our society teaches.

So in a very realistic scenario: a man attacks a woman, he rapes her, and this results in a the conception of a child. In the United States, our inverted ethic tells us the death penalty should NOT be an option for the rapist, but it should be an option for the child. A child in the womb is the epitome of human innocence. The rapist is one of the worst examples of human depravity. This not the kind of rapist who engages in a consensual act with a woman, she gets embarrassed afterwards, and decides to accuse the guy of rape. There have been many cases of such false allegations. The Duke Lacrosse Team, though a different type of situation, should be brought up as an example of fake rape whenever this type of debate occurs. But it should also be mentioned instances of fake rape make it more difficult to deal with real rape, where someone is actually accosted and violated. Yet, the question remains, under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty, especially if our laws don’t permit this option for a rapist? Regardless of how the child is conceived, that blood is innocent. But I didn’t say that.

There was also the notion of “forcing” women to have children. That’s a fantastic lie the monsters have taught us, where the notion of natural consequences has been all but forgotten. The fact that a particular activity has a realistically high chance of a predictable and natural consequence has been obscured from the discussion. The claim banning abortion would be same as “forcing” women to give birth completely ignores the fact the overwhelming majority of pregnancies result from a mutually consensual act. Actions have consequences and in this case obvious consequences, as attested by the multi-billion dollar birth control industry. Why would there be so much money in birth control if this cause-and-effect sequence were a mystery? Whether you approve or disapprove of birth control has nothing to do with the fact the cause-and-effect sequence that results in pregnancy is not a mystery. If you use birth control, you prove you understand that sequence.

Recreational sex in a consequence-free environment is not a human right – we don’t have a right to be free from natural consequences, whether they be the nature of biology or the laws of physics. You can gripe about natural laws all you wish, but the universe doesn’t have to care or acquiesce. Rather than look at the painfully explicit common sense of the situation, abortion supporters have contorted their logic into a contrived grievance of “forced motherhood”. The child is not responsible for being conceived, yet that is who is punished (by the death penalty) in the act of abortion. I hear abortion advocates complain that the rape is not fair to the woman, which is true, but it’s also legitimate to ask how is killing the baby fair? This pro-abortion line of argument also intentionally dismisses the common place alternative of adoption. “Forced motherhood” is lie that dismisses both natural reality and the adoption alternative.

There was also the question of how banning abortion would affect the culture. My friend was convinced such a change of law would result in a great deal of new children in the world. I presume she also meant “unwanted” children, almost as if being “wanted” was the criterion by which society decides who has a right to live or not (thankfully we don’t live in a society like that, but progressive culture is pushing us in that direction). On this question we addressed the fact life is not a static thing. Because life is dynamic, changing the law on this fundamental and important issue would not be limited only to one presumptuous reaction; it would change expectations and actions across all society.

Many major laws have been implemented with certain intentions, yet realized unintended results – because society reacted in unpredictable (or unacknowledged) ways. One recent example involves an education funding issue in the U.K. Sex-ed funding was reduced, accompanied by predictable criticism. But what was surprising (at least to the advocates of progressive sex-ed and “free” birth control) was the result: a reduction in teen pregnancies by more than 40%. One might get the impression the government sex-ed policies, those who crafted them, and those who promoted and defended them may have neglected some basic tenets of human nature.

Legalizing abortion has resulted in an average of over 1 million abortions per year in the United States since 1973 – the overwhelming majority of which had nothing to do with rape or the mother’s health. Well over 50 million abortions have been performed in that time, in the U.S. alone. Let that sink in. This is not the same as 50 million heart surgeries, nor, I reiterate, were these health or rape related abortions. Over 50 million human lives have been snuffed out for the sake of convenience, in the name of women’s rights. Today the abortion supporting narrative pushes the killing of babies as healthcare, it plays semantic games with personhood (like other great evils in the past), and it acts as precedent for other pro-death movements such as euthanasia.

Assisted suicide has been pushed in Western societies as a “right-to-die” and a “choice” type issue. Who could have foreseen the influx of euthanasia support, even euthanasia against the patient’s wishes, once right-to-die laws were implemented in the name of choice? Some of us could, given the ostensible push to normalize killing as a response to human suffering. Today we frequently hear the argument medicalized killing qualifies as healthcare, just as is done in the abortion debate. Think about that: medicalized killing. What could possibly go wrong with that? (Oregon Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Starving Mentally Ill Patients to Death.) I mean, it’s not as if the absurdly named “end of life care” would be pushed as a substitute for actual healthcare, would it?

This brings me to what I thought was the core of the issue for my friend. She mentioned her concern that banning abortion would lead to curtailing other rights for women. And that’s one of the biggest lies our society teaches us about abortion.

Everyone believes in the slippery slope argument (as my friend does). It just depends on the issue. The slippery slope is constantly proven on matters of speech. Approved speech is the opposite of free speech (a right explicitly mentioned in the US Constitution). The list of restricted speech is constantly expanding. While ridiculing the political right about their supposed fear mongering, their concerns are justified every day with the latest updates to the list of banned words and violently thwarted public speeches. But the slippery slope argument is not always valid.

The slippery slope was invoked to defend slavery. Keep in mind, supporters of slavery treated it as a “property rights” issue. By casting slavery as a matter of property, its defenders were able to wrap this evil in the cloak of constitutional rights. The abolitionists were not at all interested in curtailing property rights, though slavery defenders accused them of wanting to do just that because that’s how they (slavery supporters) had defined the issue. The abolitionists argued that, in a free country where we are all created equal with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it was morally invalid and an American contradiction to treat one person as the property of another. That is not a right, that is an injustice. The fact slavery defenders disagreed with or maligned this perspective did not change the ugly reality of the situation.

The same applies to abortion. The monsters have defined the issue in terms of women’s rights, preaching that banning abortion would inevitably lead to curtailing other rights women have. I’ve written on this point before, taking a closer look at how the abortion industry wants everyone to think of abortion in only one way, their way (while they ridicule pro-lifers for being rigid). They insist the fight over abortion has always been about controlling women. Abortion opponents argue something quite different; we argue killing one’s own child is not a right, it’s an injustice. From that perspective, it is patently untrue that banning the KILLING OF CHILDREN poses a threat to women’s rights. The defenders of “women’s rights” are in the unenviable position of having to argue against LIFE as a human right. In fact, treating a class of people as non-persons poses a grave threat to other human rights. The “not a person” argument was used to defend slavery and is once again used to defend abortion – by the same political party. But I didn’t say that.

We didn’t get into other details such as the striking eugenicist tone of the abortion crowd. Did you know there are efforts to eliminate Down Syndrome, not by curing the ailment, but by eliminating the people through abortion? I didn’t mention this comment made by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about Roe v Wade:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

On a global scale, the frequency at which abortion is tied to population control is demonstrated by a recent speaker invited to the Vatican who claimed decreasing the human population by 6 billion people would have a “pro-life” effect. Talk about inverted ethics. Pope Francis has appointed an abortion supporter to the Vatican’s pro-life academy. Others in positions of power have bought into the population bomb myth. We should all be cautious about listening to people talk about universal healthcare (the government controlled kind) and women’s rights who also believe the human population is one of the world’s biggest problems. The conflict of interest and ulterior motives can’t be that difficult to spot.

We didn’t get to matters of the science related to abortion, such as the fact the child can feel pain even in the womb, or the fact the preborn child is not part of the mother’s body but is actually a separate entity, or that science strongly indicates the child in the womb is human being. Nor did I ask, if the “fetus” is merely a formless clump of cells (another popular argument among the monsters), how can organs be harvested from it?

Speaking of a formless clump of cells, abortion culture preaches outright scientific fraud. For the first few weeks of gestation, one can legitimately argue the “fetus” is just a blob. But to argue the child is merely a blob of cells at 9 weeks or later is downright anti-science. An article on Live Action News details how an abortion facility in New York “uses false depictions of abortions in an attempt to convince women that early abortion is trivial and easy, encouraging women to abort”.

Compare the image provided by the abortion clinic of what the child looks like in the 9th week of gestation (left) to an image of what the child would actually look like (on the right). If the child at 9 weeks of gestation really were as depicted by the abortion clinic, please tell me where the harvestable organs are. You don’t have to take my word or Live Action News’ word for it. Google some images on “ultrasound 9 weeks” and compare the results to the images provided by the New York abortion facility. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

We didn’t discuss the racist and eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, or the fact the majority of American Planned Parenthood clinics are set up for easy access to black communities. Nor did we discuss the fact black folk make up about 12% of the American population, but well over 30% of American abortions.

We didn’t address the issue of what has been termed “post birth abortion”, refusing to give medical aid to a baby born in the process of a botched abortion. Really? Does Planned Parenthood actually defend killing babies after birth? Yes, they do. And some judges do, too, believe it or not.

We didn’t talk about the growing problem of healthcare practitioners being coerced to participate in medicalized killing. A nurse in Sweden was fired because she refused to assist in performing abortions. A Canadian nurse was recently forced to resign from her job of 30 years because she refused to sign an oath agreeing to help euthanize patients who wanted assisted suicide. Nor did I mention Planned Parenthood too often fails to report known incidents of sex trafficking and child sex abuse because of obvious financial motive. Planned Parenthood is, after all, a major international corporation. It would be intellectually lazy and dishonest to ignore or dismiss this factor. I didn’t mention the fact Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest abortion business.

We didn’t talk about former abortionists who have converted to the pro-life side, and now fight against abortion. Nor did we talk about Norma McCorvey, the famous “Roe” from Roe v Wade who became a pro-life activist, fighting to overturn that court ruling. The same is true of Sandra Cano, the “Doe” of Roe’s companion case Doe v Bolton.

We didn’t talk about the absurdity of branding the killing of one’s own child as “healthcare” or the odious ideas that killing babies is an act of compassion or women’s empowerment. How does killing a baby “empower” women? No more than beating up a woman would empower men – in other words, abuse is not empowerment. Notice I didn’t pose the question with rhetorical sleight of hand, asking “how does abortion empower women?”. I asked a more honest question, one that does not hide behind sanitized language intended to mask the evil reality of the situation. Besides, on a global scale, given the majority of sex-selective abortions target girls (as many cultures have a clear preference for boys), here is yet another reason to question how women are “empowered” by this. But since boys and girls are both targeted, it’s curious that abortion is defined as a women’s rights issue, rather than a baby’s rights issue.

Nor did we discuss the demonstrably false idea that in some locations Planned Parenthood is the only place a woman can get any healthcare at all. The truth is, there is no where on the planet that Planned Parenthood is the only source of healthcare, so it is asinine to suggest women “won’t have access to healthcare” if Planned Parenthood is closed down or if abortion is banned. This is a popular claim among the monsters.

We didn’t talk about survivors of botched abortions who have grown into adults now fighting against abortion. When confronted with the claim abortion is about women’s rights, abortion survivor Gianna Jessen bravely asks “what were my rights?” Nor did we discuss the myth of absolute autonomy, the idea women should have absolute control over their own bodies, when we ALL (even the staunchest abortion defenders) support laws restricting what people can do. If you support even ONE such law, you don’t believe in absolute autonomy. And there is no reason for me to pretend you do.

After all, why do people support any laws restricting what people can do? Usually, laws designed to protect people from harm garner widespread support. But on the issue of abortion, somehow we can’t all agree that killing babies is inflicting harm.

We didn’t talk about the case of Kermit Gosnell, a respected man of his community, advocate of women’s reproductive health issues, and branded America’s most prolific serial killer convicted of killing babies born alive and some of the women he “served” in his abortion clinic, not to mention the harm he inflicted upon other women under his “care”. Nor did we discuss the underhanded protection Gosnell enjoyed by the political establishment and the news media who went out of their way to avoid bringing Gosnell’s story to the public. Nor did we talk about the many other women who have died as a result of shoddy abortions, yes even women in the United States. What, did you still think abortion was safe? Or are we going to act like a few women’s lives are a price worth paying for the sake of being able to legally kill our children? If there is any situation where the 100% flawless standard should be demanded, it’s this.

Since that discussion with my friend, I found an astounding article on The Stream written by Jennifer Hartline. Hartline’s no-nonsense approach to this issue raises some powerful points we in the right-to-life community need to own. She says:

I’m tired of hearing people … tell me that abortion is vital — no, indispensable — to women’s health, well-being, equality, success and happiness in this world. I’m sick of hearing that women simply cannot thrive without the legal right to terminate their babies.

I’m sick of the womb being cast as the ball and chain around a woman’s neck. I’ve had it with babies being cast as the aggressor, the enemy, the thief of dreams. Abortion advocates rely on the narrative the Mom and Baby are locked in combat with each other, and only one can come out alive. This demented view of pregnancy means Mom has to kill Baby in self-defense.

I’m sick of fertility being cast as a disease, and pregnancy as some flukey and horrible thing that happens sometimes after you have sex, even though it shouldn’t because latex and chemicals are supposed to prevent that. I mean, how’d that happen?

I’m sick of women being told they cannot be happy unless their female bodies cease to do female things. I’m tired of hearing that women must be like men in every way, or they cannot be considered equal…

For me, the discussion was not about winning the debate. It was about winning the war. I’d much rather see my friend defending life than defending the killing of children. Making her an enemy helps neither of us in any way. And it doesn’t help in the war, either. Challenging the notion killing children is a “solution” or a “right” is at the heart of the matter. I intend to bring up these details next time, if there is a next time.

Ideally, American society will reach the point where so many people identify with the right-to-life side that banning abortion will become the standard attitude, and it will not be those defending the rights of babies who have to fight an uphill battle. This battle will not be won by legislation, but by winning hearts and minds. The legislative battle, though absolutely necessary, is merely the icing on the cake. Ending the injustice of killing children for the sake of someone else’s convenience is the real battle.

abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

Filed under: abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

Professor offers ‘American Whiteness’ course

original article: Professor offers ‘American Whiteness’ course which describes ‘whiteness’ as ‘a very bad idea’
August 21, 2017 by Jeffy Fisher

A professor at an Iowa college is teaching a class called “American Whiteness” this fall that will explore the “historical expansion” of white people in the U.S. as well as “challenges to whiteness.”

Professor Karla Erickson is offering the course, which will look at “whiteness as a specific racial formation with a distinct history, proactive and defensive politics, and institutional and personal investments,” Campus Reform reported.

Students will learn about the “historical expansion” of whiteness; “formal and informal advantages that accrue to whiteness”; and potential “challenges to whiteness.”

On this week’s episode of “The Jeff Fisher Show,” Jeffy Fisher thought the title “American Whiteness” sounded like a TV series available to stream.

He pointed out that college and university campuses are tumultuous places where students protest in order to feel “safe.”

“What we need more of is people finding ways to divide us on college campuses,” Jeffy said sarcastically.

To see more from Jeffy, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Jeff Fisher Show” Saturdays 9 a.m.–noon ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

bias, bigotry, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, racist, relativism

Filed under: bias, bigotry, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, racist, relativism

Transgender lesson for 5-year-olds, parents precluded

original article: School gives transgender lesson to 5-year-olds, refuses to give details to parents
August 24, 2017 by Lianne Laurence

Tensions continue to rise in a Sacramento suburb over a boy who “transitioned” to a girl at Rocklin Academy Gateway kindergarten last June during a lesson that some parents say left their five-year-olds traumatized.

Angry parents flooded the Rocklin Academy School Board meeting Monday to protest that they weren’t forewarned the boy was transitioning to a girl or that the kindergarten class would be taught about transgenderism, reported CBS.

Parents were notified only a week later and told only “that two books had been read, not that there was a transgender student in the class,” according to a parent statement provided to LifeSiteNews by Greg Burt of the California Family Council.

But kindergarten teacher Kaelin Swaney defended her actions at the board meeting.

“I’m so proud of my students. It was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said, according to CBS.

Teacher, board won’t tell parents what happened

But the teacher has refused to disclose to parents what happened during the lesson, according to the parent’s statement. Instead, she told the parent to “ask our student.”

The school board has taken the same line, says Karen England, executive director of Capitol Hill Resources, a pro-family public policy group.

Board staff “are refusing and they refused even afterwards to answer parents’ questions and have referred the parents to their children who were in their class, to the five-year-olds, as to what happened,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Because of state regulations governing open meetings, the board couldn’t legally address the issue Monday night because it wasn’t on the agenda, England told LifeSiteNews. The teacher and parents spoke during the general comments section.

Board accusing parents of inaccuracies

The board is now saying that parents’ accounts of what happened on the second-to-last day before summer break are inaccurate.

In a Tuesday email to parents, Rocklin Academy superintendent Robin Stout disputes the “timeline of events” but adds: “Because of our obligation to protect student confidentiality and safety, we are not at liberty to correct every detail.”

Stout states no “transition ceremony took place” but the “gender transition of the student had occurred before the day the book was read.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Stout and Rocklin Gateway School but did not hear back.

According to the parent’s statement, one-third of the class (seven students) said the teacher read one book in the beginning of the day and another at the end. (The two books pro-transgender books were “I am Jazz” and “The Red Crayon” and target four to eight year olds.) Somewhere in between, “the child changed his clothes from boy clothes to girl clothes.”

“All of the students knew that the child now had a girl brain in a boy body and that he had a new name that the students were to call him,” the parent stated. “Because of this we are assuming that there was some sort of presentation.”

At the next day’s graduation ceremony, the teacher introduced the student by “his girl name” and “all of the students knew he was now a girl and that he had to be called by his new girl name,” the parent stated.

“The school did not refute this happened until a week ago,” she wrote. “They are now disputing the sequence of events but not that the events did not take place.”

Parent getting hate mail; school fears lawsuits

That parent is also getting hate mail among the responses to a petition she has launched, Burt said. “People are afraid to talk about this issue.”

Parents fear not only the backlash but lawsuits, noted England. “I’m getting a letter from a legal group that lets them know that no, you can’t get sued for telling the truth.”

Schools also “are scared to death” they’ll be sued or charged with discrimination, Burt said.

He blames California’s lawmakers for this.

Indeed, Stout has stated the board didn’t have to tell parents in advance because gender issues don’t fall under sex education and aren’t subject to the state’s opt-out and parental consent laws.

California law also bans discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

A July 31 school board presentation stated a child has a “right” to self-identity and anyone who intentionally does not use a student’s preferred pronouns could be guilty of “gender identity harassment.”

More transgender laws coming

California’s senate is now poised to pass SB-179, which will create a “third” gender for birth certificates and driver’s licences, Burt said.

“This particular bill allows a parent to change the gender of their children, no questions asked, no doctor’s note required,”  he told LifeSiteNews.

“Plus there’s no age limit, so a parent can change the sex on their two-year-old’s birth certificate by simply filling out a form if they wanted.”

Added Burt: “So what’s a school do if a boy comes in and it says legally on his birth certificate that he’s a girl and he’s obviously not a girl?”

The California senate is also considering Bill 219, which will jail people for up to a year for not using the pronouns of choice for patients in long-term care facilities. The bill mandates such facilities place men claiming to be women in rooms with women.

Parents and faith leaders must fight back

The kindergarten blowup in Rocklin is the inevitable result of such legislation, Burt says.

The California Family Council is “pleading with parents and religious leaders speak out publicly regarding their opposition to laws that promote transgenderism and to call and personally meet with their legislators,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Way too many people who disapprove of these government policies have been silent about their opposition. And policy makers have interpreted this silence as approval of the direction they have been going. That has to stop,” added Burt.

“This isn’t going away,” England told LifeSiteNews. “The school is digging in. … It’s erupting.”

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More social justice math, it’s “discriminatory”

original article: Math is ‘unjust and grounded in discrimination,’ educators moan
August 23, 2017 by Toni Airaksinen

  • Two national organizations of math teachers are on a mission to prove that math education is “unjust and grounded in a legacy of institutional discrimination.”
  • In a joint statement, the groups complain that making students “master the basics” leads to “segregation and separation,” and call on math instructors to adopt a “social justice stance” in the classroom.

Two national mathematics organizations are on a mission to prove that math education is “unjust and grounded in a legacy of institutional discrimination.”

The National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) and TODOS: Mathematics for All “ratify social justice as a key priority in the access to, engagement with, and advancement in mathematics education for our country’s youth,” the groups declared last year in a joint statement, elaborating that “a social justice stance interrogates and challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics education—and in society as a whole.”

Next month, NCSM and TODOS, along with a few other membership societies for math teachers, will host a free webinar drawing upon the principals noted in their joint statement, inviting any interested members of the public to join in hearing “A Call for a Collective Action to Develop Awareness: Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education.”

[RELATED: Teachers learn to use math as Trojan horse for social justice]

The president of NCSM, Connie Schrock, is a math professor at Emporia State University, and multiple professors serve on the board of TODOS.

While the organizations hope that math can be used as a tool for social justice in the future, they also believe that math has historically perpetuated “segregation and separation,” asserting in their joint statement that “mathematics achievement, often measured by standardized tests, has been used as a gatekeeping tool to sort and rank students by race, class, and gender starting in elementary school.”

Citing the practice of “tracking,” in which pupils are sorted by academic ability into groups for certain classes, NCSM and TODOS argue that “historically, mathematics and the perceived ability to learn mathematics have been used to educate children into different societal roles such as leadership/ruling class and labor/working class leading to segregation and separation.”

[RELATED: Michigan colleges drops math, considers diversity course instead]

“In practice, children placed in ‘low’ groups experience mathematics as an isolating act consisting of fact-driven low cognitive demand tasks and an absence of mathematics discourse opportunities,” the statement contends, attributing the condition to “a pervasive misguided belief that students must ‘master the basics’ prior to engaging with complex problems [sic] solving.”

The groups also bemoan the “white and middle class” workforce of math teachers, fretting that it may not appropriately “reflect” the demographics of the communities in which they teach, such as immigrant or racial minority communities.

Social justice could be the key to solving these issues, they say, calling on math teachers to assume a “social justice stance” that “challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics.”

[RELATED: Prof finds ‘no evidence’ sexism is behind gender gap in STEM]

NCSM and TODOS even provided detailed strategies that math teachers can use to promote social justice, such as advocating for increased “recruitment and retention of math teachers from historically marginalized groups” and challenging “individual and societal beliefs underlying the deficit views about mathematics learning and children, with specific attention to race/ethnicity, class, gender, culture, and language.”

But social justice work is nothing without accountability, they warn, declaring that “we must hold the profession and our organizations accountable to making a just and equitable mathematics education a sustainable reality.”

Campus Reform reached out to NCSM and TODOS for more information. TODOS did not reply, and NCSM President Connie Schrock declined to schedule an interview.

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Social Justice Math: hiding progressive propaganda in class lessons

original article: Lesbian: I use math class to teach young kids about homosexuality so I can ‘hide’ it from parents
April 24, 2017 by Pete Baklinski

A lesbian teacher ‘married’ to another woman revealed at a pro-gay teachers’ conference earlier this month how she teaches grade 4-5 students to accept homosexuality through what she called “social justice” math.

Alicia Gunn, an elementary public school teacher in Mississauga, Ontario, told attendees at the April 10 conference in Toronto’s City Hall that injecting LGBTQ issues into the classroom, especially in math, helps students as young as nine “disrupt the single story that many of our kids have about LGBTQ families.”

“Social justice math happens when students are solving problems using real, engaging, and meaningful numbers. Social justice issues happening in their school, community, or even globally become the context for the math that the students are doing,” she said.

The conference, hosted by the homosexual activist organization Jer’s Vision — now called the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity — focused on the implementation of Bill 13 in Ontario classrooms. Bill 13, called by critics the homosexual bill of rights, passed in June 2012, giving students the right to form pro-gay clubs in their school, including Catholic ones, using the name Gay-Straight Alliance.

When asked by one of the workshop attendees if she first asks parents’ permission before bringing homosexual issues up in class, Gunn responded that she does not, but she makes sure to teach her students about numerous social justice issues so that no parent can accuse her of focusing on homosexuality, which she said she likes to “hide” in her lessons.

“I find if you teach all the ‘isms,’ it kind of backs you,” she said. “If I teach all the isms, and sometimes I can hide it a little bit in the math, and what I mean is I can say, ‘I’m just teaching your kid about division. I’m so sorry that you, you know, feel that way,” she said, causing the room of educators to break into laughter.

LifeSiteNews attended the event and was asked at one point to stop filming, but captured the discussion on a back-up audio recorder.

Conversations about ‘gay stuff’

Gunn told attendees in her workshop, titled “Equity & Inclusion in Curriculum,” how she used the situation of students one day name-calling a young female student “lesbian” as a springboard to introduce the class into what she called “conversations” about “gay stuff.”

Gunn, who has received awards for her teaching methods and who is featured in a teacher resource put out by the government agency ServiceOntario, related how she first spoke with the female student, telling her that it was “OK to be gay.”

“And when I spoke to her about it, what she kept saying to me was, ‘Mrs. Gunn, I swear I’m not gay. I’m not gay,” Gunn told attendees. “And I kept saying back to her, ‘I don’t care if you’re gay. It should be OK to be gay.”

In an attempt to “give this girl her dignity back” Gunn made a presentation to the class of the lives of famous people who have identified as ‘gay,’ including basketball player Jason Collins, Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, and TV host Ellen DeGeneres.

“So, we came back to the carpet to talk about what do these people have in common. And [the students] were saying, ‘They’re awesome, they’re so cool, they’re famous. We’d love to meet them,’” Gunn told attendees.

Video from 2008 of Gunn teaching children about homosexuality:

Gunn then said when she broke the news to the students that all these people were gay, instead of them reacting positively as she had hoped, the students began to shout out “‘gross’ and ‘disgusting’ and ‘these people are sick.’”

At this point Gunn said she realized she would have to come up with a more creative way to get her students to think differently. That’s when she and a few like-minded teachers held a meeting to determine how they could weave the promotion of homosexuality into the curriculum, beginning with math.

Pink Triangles

Gunn showcased at the workshop her math lesson on triangles. She designed it around the pink triangle which the Nazis used in WWII concentration camps to identify sexual offenders including rapists, paedophiles, zoophiles, as well as homosexuals.

Image
Student-made poster of beauty queen contestant ‘Jenna’ Talackova.Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews

“The pink triangle was a badge of shame that the Nazis made gay men wear during the holocaust. So what we did is take a look at all the different badges of shame that people would have been wearing,” she told attendees.

“Now mathematically where we were is looking at different types of triangles. So, looking at angle-inside measurements to be able to tell is it isosceles, is it equilateral, is it scalene. So, that was the math aspect. But more importantly was the [pro-homosexual] thinking that went into it.”

Related: Teacher reveals how he convinced his Catholic school board to go pro-LGBTQ

Following the pink triangle math lesson, Gunn related how she had her students create “badges of pride” to turn the narrative on its head, “because that’s what the pink triangle has become, it’s become a symbol of pride.”

She related how one student made a badge with a pink heart, writing, “The pink heart shows that I am proud of who I love. I chose the color pink to make the badge, because of the badges of shame the Nazis made pink to make gays feel bad about being gay. So, I use it to show that you can love whoever you want.”

Gunn said she was pleased with the students’ headway.

“Already I’m feeling that the story is being disrupted. The original story of gay people being gross and disgusting, slowly we’re getting there.”

“So, I keep going,” she told attendees.

‘Pretty and Proud’

Her next classroom project consisted of having the students research famous LGBTQ Canadians and the contributions they’ve made.

Image
Sticky note LGBTQ projectPete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews

One such person the class focused on was ‘Jenna’ Talackova, a biological male who in 2012 successfully campaigned to participate in the Miss Universe Canada contest. Talackova, who underwent “gender reassignment” surgery at the age of 19, was originally barred from the contest because of a rule requiring the contestant to be a “naturally born woman.”

A poster-board display created by the students titled “Pretty and Proud” showing photos and magazine clippings of Talackova falsely claims he “won the pagent [sic]” when in fact he was one of the final 12 contestants.

Gunn said the students learned from the lesson that “you really need to stand up when things are wrong. You need to have a voice.”

‘Does it matter if someone’s LGBTQ?’

Gunn related how on another occasion, she wrote on the board, “Does it matter if someone’s LGBTQ?” asking her students to write their answer on a sticky note, which, when collected, were sorted into ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’

She told workshop attendees that the children’s answers showed the fruit of her work. “You’ve got to remember, these are grade 4-5 students and some of them really get it,” she said.

One student wrote, “No, it should not matter who you love, what gender you are, your race or sex, or what you look like.”

Another wrote: “I think it doesn’t matter if someone is LGBTQ, because they are just like us.”

Related: Lesbian teacher: How I convince kids to accept gay ‘marriage’, starting at 4-years-old

“And that’s what we’re after,” Gunn said. “We are the same.”

Image
Pride Dolls the students play with and used as a fundraiser to support Russian LGBTQ people.Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews

Gunn related how she then used math to examine the rates of discrimination against people who identify as gay or lesbian from a chart put out by the homosexual organization Egale.

“What I had students do in groups is take a look at one of the graphs, and tell the class the story that the graph tells. What’s happening in our schools right now that makes it still matter if someone is LGBTQ,” she told attendees.

One group of students went on to examine a graph of those “feeling upset by homophobic comments” compared to those who do not.

“My one group was really upset by people not being upset,” Gunn related. “They were saying, ‘The fact that only 5.6% of non-LGBT kids care when they hear these things, that upsets me.’ One of my boys put up his hand and said, ‘I’m one of those people, and I’m extremely upset.’”

Gunn related how after one pro-LGBT lesson she asked her students what they were going to do to make a difference. On top of deciding to be “kind” to LGBTQ people, the students decided to run a fundraiser selling Pride Dolls to raise money for Russia’s LGBT community by supporting the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA). Gunn praised the dolls to attendees as an asset to the classroom, saying how students loved to play with them. “They’re nesting dolls. The kids love taking them apart and playing with them,” she said.

One conference attendee asked Gunn what to do about parents who do not support the LGBTQ movement, mentioning how parents once told her not to involve their child in the pro-homosexual ‘Day of Pink.’

Gunn mocked the parents for failing to realize just how extensive are pro-LGBTQ issues in the classroom and curriculum.

“And it’s not one day a year,” she said. “If you don’t want to send your kid to school on the Day of Pink, that’s OK. But they’re going to get it all the days before. They would have got it in September, and they’re going to get it after. So, one day? We’re not about one day.”

Gunn’s workshop partner Hiren Mistry, Instructional Coordinator for Equity & Inclusive Education in the Peel District School Board, put it this way: “Equity is not an add-on, it is the foundation of everything.”

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Trans revolution: Public schools are only the beginning

original article: The Trans Juggernaut Wants Your Kids, And Public Schools Are Just The Beginning
August 17, 2017 by Joy Pullmann

If you had argued pre-Obergefell that de-sexing marriage would lead to drag queens leading preschool storytime in public libraries and public schools hounded into hiding their mandatory sex ed curriculum from parents after a settlement requiring trans-friendly “education” starting in kindergarten, you would have been called an unhinged bigot. How could what two consenting adults do privately have any effect on whether five-year-olds are told they should consider cutting off their penises? Preposterous. Fear-mongering. Wild-eyed insanity.

Or not. Rod Dreher’s “Law of Merited Impossibility” strikes again: “It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.” As I’ve written beforeObergefelland related caselaw, which are still developing, are turning out not to be aboutwhat consenting adults do privately. They are the spear tip of a wholesale shift in law that is already negatively affecting children, because at its heart is the principle that sexuality is genderless.

As theologian N.T. Wright pointed out to the Times of London last week, “Nature…tends to strike back, with the likely victims in this case being vulnerable and impressionable youngsters who, as confused adults, will pay the price for their elders’ fashionable fantasies.”

This is likely why the transgender movement is targeting the young: They are vulnerable and impressionable, prepuberty pose better as either sex and therefore look less terrifying than adult transgenders, and once locked into the trans body morph will never truly be able to escape. Devastated people are prime candidates for exploitation by their pretend advocates. Also, locking in trans-policies now is a way to preclude debate before more extensive data and personal experience can fuel the inevitable backlash.

Of course this is bad for kids, but it’s not about kids. They’re just pawns, as usual. It’s about politics. Pushing transgenderism not only destabilizes a key component of a child’s identity but also contributes to early sexualization that is linked with mental illness and risky behaviors. Early exposure to and lack of clear parental direction about sex is also linked with increased gender confusion, which is precisely what we’re seeing as clinics for cutting and pasting children’s hormones and body parts explode inside a media environment that glamorizes this form of child abuse.

Parents are facing fewer and fewer ways to protect their children from being used as guinea pigs inside an experiment constructed by unelected bureaucrats. Here we’ll discuss two recent examples: one specific and one more general.

You Can’t Know What We’re Teaching Your Kids About Sex

Kelsey Harkness recently reported on the brewing situation at a public charter school in Minnesota. Charters are public schools often created and run by a board of a coalition of local parents and community leaders. Everyone who attends has to choose to do so rather than be assigned to attend automatically through geographic attendance zones, like most public schools. They usually provide a safe haven for families looking for a sound alternative to traditional schools, which are on average of lower academic quality because they do not have to compete for students.

Saint Paul’s Nova Classical Academy is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the top Minnesota high school. But it has been transformed into a rainbow Trojan horse after Dave and Hannah Edwards sued Nova for not including pro-transgender materials starting in kindergarten to accommodate their five-year-old son, whom they claim is transgender. Parents began transferring their kindergarteners out of the child’s class when they came home saying things like, “Mom, I think you can choose if you want to be a boy or a girl,” according to interviews with The Daily Signal.

The little boy began wearing a female uniform and accessories, and classes began to include pro-trans picture books endorsing gender fluidity. This month’s settlement after 16 months of litigation requires the school to make all uniforms available to both sexes, pay LGBT organizations to “train staff” in politically correct behavior every three years, and “not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of requirements in the gender inclusion policy because of objections based on religion or conscience.” This lawyer and Federalist contributor, after reviewing the settlement, said it appears to ban the school from even notifying parents of its sex policies.

The circumstances are even more suspicious and shocking than a prohibition on telling parents what their children will be learning about human biology: Dave Edwards is an academic in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychology, whose pending PhD is being funded by a taxpayer-funded grant and who specializes in transgender education. As a school consultant and trainer on gender identity, he now personally profits from doing “training” of the kind his family’s settlement forces on Nova. Here’s from his website, GenderInclusiveSchools.com.

There are more curiosities in the family’s case. Edwards’ LinkedIn profile lists him as a “founding staff member of Venture Academy Charter School,” also in Saint Paul, a high-profile school funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which uses its deep pockets to seed “education reform” with far-left ideas and personnel. Edwards started his career in a heavily Gates-funded teaching fellowship known for its politically progressive staff.

Rather than enroll his son in the school Dave helped create, the Edwardses chose to apply for Nova at approximately the same timeDave stopped working at Venture Academyand began pursuing his doctorate with a focus on transgender school compliance. This was almost three years after the family decided the child was gender-fluid when he began emulating Beyonce’s dancing at two years old. In March 2016, after their son had attended Nova for seven months, the Edwardses withdrew him, but continued to press their lawsuit.

“The daily influence of this little boy, who very much looks like a girl, all the accessories … they’re really doing it up with him,” said a mother whose six-year-old was in kindergarten for those few months with the Edwardses’ son when he was five. Since lawsuit-induced policies have been adopted, Nova has lost a tenth of its students.

Nova Is Just a Tip of the Spear

Nova is a test case for what trans activists want to perpetuate nationwide — and not just in public schools, but also in private and home schools. An 8-year-old drag queen groomed by his parents says “If you want to be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents,” the underlying, totalitarian belief of the movement he represents. The easiest initial access point is private school choice programs, but activists are also targeting all private schools through accreditation bodies. The accreditation attack is currently most visible in higher education, but it’s spreading to K-12.

Since President Trump appointed school choice proponent Betsy DeVos as education secretary, Democrats have demanded to know why she supports giving parents freedom to choose their kids’s schools when so many hinterland bigots will choose schools that don’t let boys shower with girls or lie to developing minds about basic biology and its implications for their identity.

These questions led to a media divebomb this summer on a Christian school in Indiana that accepts voucher students and whose policies reflect the Ten Commandments’ prohibition against sexual immorality. Subsequently, Indiana outlets have begun investigating which in-state private schools are “anti-LGBT,” meaning require students to adhere to centuries-old prescriptions for chastity that apply to those of all sexual attractions.

Through reviews of publicly posted handbooks and phone calls, journalism nonprofit Chalkbeat Indiana found 27 “anti-LGBT” schools and created a comprehensive database of in-state private schools’ sexuality and admissions policies. Just in case, you know, rainbow protesters wanted to show up at a few, or know where to enroll their gender-dysphoric kindergarteners and then sue.

It also quoted a professor who says “allowing some schools to discriminate against LGBT students on the basis of religion is no different than racial discrimination.” You read that right. Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are morally equal to racists. It’s not surprising, then, that in this political environment about 80 percent of Indiana private schools keep their sex policies off the Internet and don’t return reporters’ phone calls to reveal them.

In Indiana, private schools must be accredited by either the state or one of seven private accreditors approved by the state board of education to accept students through one of the state’s two private choice programs. Chalkbeat, another Gates Foundation grant recipient, singled out the Association of Christian Schools International, an organization with 3,000 member schools, for offering a sample sexual ethics policy that repeats standard Christian teachings about the proper use of sexuality — within marriage between two opposite-sex people.

Discrimination Based on Behavior Is Not Like Racism

Chalkbeat referred to sex-specific policies and safeguards as “discrimination,” implying an equivocation between racial discrimination and behavior expectations. But race is an immutable fact, not a behavior. This is one of the reasons discrimination on its basis is so unjust. Yet we as a society discriminate based on behavior all the time, and we must to stay civilized, as well as to preserve our constitutionally guaranteed rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of association.

We sometimes treat the sexes distinctly, and create special, sometimes separate, environments for those who are emotionally troubled. There are sensible reasons for these that are not in the same ballpark as racism. The leftists harping on this topic are essentially demanding a religious litmus test — the adoption of the moral belief that every sexual practice must be affirmed — as a precondition for educating children. It is starting with public and private schools, but will eventually encompass “outliers” such as homeschoolers. None of us are safe unless we band together and stop this crazy train in its tracks.

A key problem is that Republican-led statehouses are the ones guarding school choice programs, and these same statehouses can barely muster the votes to protect children in public schools from being forced into unisex shower and sleeping quarters. Just two days ago Texas Speaker Joe Strauss torpedoed a special session that was set to consider both a bathroom bill and a school choice bill, and the state is in desperate need of both. Despite the lack of federal laws banning sexuality-based policies even when rational, such as in public showers and sports competitions, courts are already busy writing this religious (and antiscientific and inhumane) litmus test into existing sexual-privileges laws for women.

Chalkbeat put its recent set of articles on these topics under the heading “Choice for Some.” It’s an ironic slogan given that the logical end of their rhetoric is choice for none. Eradicating all social and ethical policies based on the distinctions between the sexes herds everyone into an Potemkin genderless society whether we consent to that arrangement or not. Some may feel that’s progress; others may call it totalitarianism.

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This is socialized medicine

original article: Matt Walsh: Courts in Europe have sentenced a baby to death. This is socialized medicine.
June 28, 2017 by Matt Walsh

There’s a horrific case over in the U.K. that hasn’t gotten a ton of attention here, but it should. If we look closely, we may see our future — and our present.

Charlie Gard is a 10-month-old baby who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. It’s a horrendous condition that leads to organ malfunction, brain damage, and other symptoms. The hospital that had been treating the boy, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, made the determination that nothing more can be done for him and he must be taken off of life support. He should “die with dignity,” they said. The parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, disagreed.

This is the very crucial thing to understand: they are not insisting that GOSH be forced to keep Charlie on life support. Rather, they want to take him out of the hospital and to America to undergo a form of experimental therapy that a doctor here had already agreed to administer. Chris and Connie raised over $1.6 million to fund this last ditch effort to save their child’s life. All they needed the British hospital to do was release their child into their care, which doesn’t seem like a terribly burdensome request. They would then leave the country and try their luck with treatment here. However slim the chance of success may have been, it was better than just sitting by and watching their baby die.

Here’s where things get truly insane and barbaric. The hospital refused to give Charlie back to his parents. The matter ended up in the courts, and, finally, in the last several hours, the European Court of “Human Rights” ruled that the parents should be barred from taking their son to the United States for treatment. According to the “human rights” court, it is Charlie’s human right that he expire in his hospital bed in London. The parents are not allowed to try and save his life. It is “in his best interest” to simply die, they ruled.

In Europe, “Death with dignity” supersedes all other rights.

In Europe, a mother may kill her baby but she is not allowed to keep him alive.

Again: barbaric.

I have heard many people rationalize this demented decision by saying “the doctors know best.” That may well be relevant and true in situations where family members are trying to force doctors to administer treatments that they, the medical professionals, know will not work. But that is not what’s happening here. The only thing these parents are trying to “force” the doctors to do is relax their grip so the child can be taken to different doctors in a different country. The doctors may be the final authority on what kinds of medical measures they personally should take, but they are not the final authority over life itself. It is one thing for them to say, “I will not do this treatment.” It’s quite another for them to say, “You are not allowed to have this treatment done by anyone. You must die.” The former is reasonable. The latter is euthanasia. This baby is being euthanized. By barbarians.

I’ve seen some on social media calling this case “unimaginable” and “mind boggling.” It is certainly awful, but unfortunately it does not boggle my mind or exceed the limits of my imagination. These sorts of cases are inevitable in Europe, and, unless we make a drastic change of course, they will soon become commonplace here. The stage is already set. Just consider these three factors:

(1) This is what happens with socialized medicine. 

If the State runs the health care system, ultimately they will be the ones who decide whose life is worth saving and whose isn’t. That’s not just a byproduct of socialized medicine — it’s the point. And it is especially risky to cede this sort of power to the government when you live in a culture that doesn’t fundamentally value parental rights or human life, which brings us to the last two points.

(2) This is what happens when parental rights are subordinate to the State. 

This case came down to the question of who should have the final say over a child. Should it be the parents, or should it be a collection of doctors, judges, and bureaucrats? And if the parents don’t take precedence in a life or death situation, can it really be said that they have rights at all? If I have no say when my child’s very life is at stake, when do I have a say?

The way things are headed in Europe, a parent may have some jurisdiction over the minor minutia of daily life, but when it comes to the major issues — how a child is to be educated, how he is to live, what he is to believe, when he is to die — it is increasingly up to the State to determine. As a “medical ethics” expert at Oxford put it, parental rights are “at the heart” of most big medical decisions, however “there are limits.” Chris and Connie apparently reached the “limits” of their parental authority and now must sit back obediently while their son dies in agony. “Limits,” you see. You’re only a parent up to a certain point, and then your relationship to your child doesn’t count for anything anymore. That’s how things are in the U.K. — and the U.S., as always, is close behind.

(3) This is what happens when human life is not considered sacred. 

But what really is the downside of taking the child to the U.S. for treatment? It may not work, OK, but why not try? They raised enough money to pay for everything, including an air ambulance to get the baby to the treatment facility. Nobody is being burdened here. Nobody is being forced to do something they don’t want to do. What is there to lose?

Well, the court answers, it’s just not worth the trouble. They’ve weighed all the variables using their various formulations, and they’ve decided that it makes no sense to go through all this trouble on the slim hope of saving this one measly life. Yes, they’ve used the excuse that the baby is “suffering,” and I’m sure he is suffering, but that doesn’t explain why the parents should be prevented from pursuing every option to ease that suffering. Death is not a treatment plan for suffering. Death is death. Death is the destruction of life. We all must experience it some day, but the inevitability of death does not negate the value and dignity of life.

What this really comes down to is that the Powers That Be don’t see the fundamental value in life. That’s why you’ll hear these people speak more often of the “dignity” of death than the dignity of life. They preach about the “right” to die but not the right to live. And the laws in Europe reflect this emphasis on death instead of life. Over there, they kill children in the womb and euthanize them when they come out. They even euthanize alcoholics and depressives and other people who are by no means terminally ill. Once the right to die has been placed over the right to life, death will continue claiming new ground and eating into life more and more. Death is a destructive force. What else can it do but consume?

It’s not quite as bad here yet, but we’re getting there. We already kill hundreds of thousands of children in the womb, and we often speak with admiration of people who make the “brave” decision to commit suicide. And we already, in many instances, place the authority of the State over the rights of parents. Our education system is built around that philosophy.

So, as I said, the stage is set. Prepare yourself for what’s to come.

And pray for Chris and Connie tonight.

 

babies, bureaucracy, children, civil rights, crisis, elitism, ethics, eugenics, extremism, government, health care, ideology, law, medicine, nanny state, progressive, public policy, scandal, socialism, tragedy, unintended consequences

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Transgender boy defeats girls, so much for empowering women

original article: Matt Walsh: Please, leftists, explain how this ‘transgender’ madness empowers women
June 6, 2017 by Matt Walsh

Tell me again, leftists, about your abounding concern for women. Please tell me about the need to empower young girls and provide them with opportunities. Please tell me all about your “pro-woman” stances and policies. Then, if you could, kindly explain how this story fits into all of that.

A mustachioed boy who “identifies as a girl” heroically won gold in the 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash for the Connecticut high school girl’s state championships last week. His times would have placed him a full second behind last place in the boy’s competition, but against the girls he easily came in first. Aside from the general insanity of the situation, there are two particularly disturbing aspects of this story, and I’m hoping you can help us all see the positive in these:

First, the boy and his parents have demonstrated total disregard for the girls he disenfranchised in order to win. The boy, “Andraya,” gloated that he’s happy to have won but he “kind of expected it.” Gee, I wonder why?

His dad graciously conceded that fairness is irrelevant and all that matters is whether his son is happy. “In terms of the fairness aspect, I don’t think about that as a father. I only think about, is my [son] happy, healthy and able to participate in what [he] wants to do… [He] got to compete as a girl where [he] feels [he] should compete.” This is what you call terrible parenting.

His mother also waved her hand dismissively at the girls who were robbed of an opportunity to win a fair race. “I know they’ll say it is unfair and not right, but my counter to that is: Why not… [He] is competing and practicing and giving [his] all and performing and excelling based on [his] skills. Let that be enough. Let [him] do that, and be proud of that.” It should be “enough,” she says, that her son is happy and proud. That’s all that should matter to anyone. Please explain, leftists, how the parents and the boy have the right attitude here.

Second, the actual girls in the race have been so beaten into silence and submission that they were afraid to even voice their displeasure over the competition being blatantly rigged against them. Kate Hall, the student who came in second but really came in first, cried and confessed to being “frustrated,” but then added, “that’s just the way it is now.” “I can’t really say what I want to say, but there’s not much I can do about it,” she muttered dejectedly.

So, leftists, tell me how these girls have benefited from this fantasy that biological males can also be girls. Better yet, tell them. Go up to Kate Hall and explain to her that she has no right to be disappointed. Explain that, although Andraya has insurmountable biological advantages, it’s still fair that he compete against her because that’s what he wants. Explain that his desires and his feelings must always come before her own. Explain how the happiness of one biological male outweighs the happiness of every girl he raced against. Please, explain.

And then perhaps you should have a sit down with all of the girls across the country and let them know that the extinction of women’s sports is on the horizon. Please explain how this is all for their own good. After all, women cannot compete in women’s leagues if men are competing in women’s leagues. So, there will be no more women’s leagues. There will be men’s leagues and then cross dressing men’s leagues. I’m really hoping you can explain to my daughter and to all of our daughters how empowering it will be to witness the end of female athletic competition.

And, while you’re having this discussion, make sure you also explain how their silence and submission is, in this case, right and healthy. These girls are scared of speaking out and letting their feelings be known. They’re scared of saying they want their own leagues, and their own bathrooms, and their own identity. They’re scared of asserting their right to safety and privacy. But this is good, yes? Those bigots ought to be intimidated, right? They ought to just shut up and go along. Please tell them that. Please explain it. I don’t think they quite understand yet. Please, you pro-women folks, you women’s rights defenders, you protectors of female autonomy. Please come forward and lay it out clearly so everyone comprehends it. Say it just as it is, like this:

“No, girls, you don’t get your own bathrooms anymore. You don’t get your own leagues. You don’t get your own identity. Not if men want in. Shut up and let the man beat you. Let him take your gold medal. Let him disrobe in front of you. Let him do what he wants. You have no choice. The proclivities and fetishes of men must come first. The desire that you may have to retain and defend your own unique identity is transphobic. Shame on you. Your feelings are not legitimate.”

Put that on the banners at your women’s marches.

Make it your rallying cry.

Go ahead.

Please.

bias, bigotry, biology, discrimination, diversity, education, ethics, extremism, ideology, justice, left wing, liberalism, pandering, political correctness, progressive, public policy, reform, relativism, sex, sexism, tragedy, unintended consequences

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Oregon readies its death panels, starting with the mentally ill

original article: Oregon Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Starving Mentally Ill Patients to Death
June 6, 2017 by TEVEN ERTELT

Yesterday the Oregon Senate Rules Committee passed out Senate Bill 494 on a party-line vote. Touted as a “simple update” to Oregon’s current advance directive, this bill is designed to allow for the starving and dehydrating to death of patients with dementia or mental illness.

Senate Bill 494 is little more than the state colluding with the healthcare industry to save money on the backs of mentally ill and dementia patients. This bill would remove current safeguards in Oregon’s advance directive statute that protect conscious patients’ access to ordinary food and water when they no longer have the ability to make decisions about their own care.

“It’s appalling what the Senate Rules Committee just voted to do,” said Gayle Atteberry, Oregon Right to Life executive director.  “This bill, written in a deceiving manner, has as its goal to save money at the expense of starving and dehydrating dementia and mentally ill patients to death.”

“Oregon law currently has strong safeguards to protect patients who are no longer able to make decisions for themselves,” said Atteberry. “Nursing homes and other organizations dedicated to protecting vulnerable patients work hard to make sure patients receive the food and water they need.  Senate Bill 494, pushed hard by the insurance lobby, would take patient care a step backwards and decimate patient rights.”

“Oregon Right to Life is committed to fighting this terrible legislation every step of the way,” said Atteberry.  “We have already seen the outrage of countless Oregonians that the Legislature would consider putting them in danger.  We expect the grassroots response to only increase.”

SB 494 was amended in committee yesterday.  However, the amendments did not solve the fundamental problem with the bill.  To learn more about what SB 494 will do, please watch testimony made to the Rules Committee on behalf of Oregon Right to Life yesterday by clicking here.  SB 494 likely heads to a vote of the full State Senate in the coming weeks.

Three additional bills (SB 239, SB 708 and HB 3272) that also remove rights from vulnerable patients were introduced this session.

“There is a clear effort to move state policy away from protecting the rights of patients with dementia and mental illness and toward empowering surrogates to make life-ending decisions,” Atteberry said.

Senate Bill 494 makes many changes to advance directive law, eliminating definitions that can leave a patient’s directions left open to interpretation. SB 494 would also create a committee, appointed rather than elected, that can make future changes to the advance directive without approval from the Oregon Legislature. This could easily result in further erosion of patient rights.

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