MSNBC/NY Times Poll Alert: “Are Religious Rights Being Trampled on by Government?”

Thursday, December 29, AD 2011

Fr. Z says it best:

Perhaps other blogs will pick this up and help.

An article from the ultra-liberal New York Times (“Hell’s Bible”) is posted on the even more liberal MSNBC.

The article concerns the objections of the USCCB against pressure from the Obama Administration and/or states to force Catholic adoption agencies to allow homosexual “couples” to adopt.

You have to scroll down to the bottom of the MSNBC webpage to find the poll form.

Click here!

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5 Responses to MSNBC/NY Times Poll Alert: “Are Religious Rights Being Trampled on by Government?”

  • Chris Matthews of MSNBC has blatantly stated that he wants to see Obama re-elected. They are obviously using this survey to find chinks in their secular armor, and to defend Obama’s policies.

  • For roughly half a century, it has been the right of the Adoption Agency to determine who is fit to be a parent, why is it that the government feels that that right must be changed now? Why can’t we say that homosexuals aren’t fit to be parents?

    I agree that this is a complete intrusion of the rights of religion. Thanks for the heads-up on the poll (when I voted, roughly 18,300 voted and it was a 49-49-2 split).

  • Not a very good poll design– I tried a different browser after I voted and it would have let me vote again.

  • Interesting. I just voted @ 9:30pm Eastern Time and the poll results were:
    18,148 votes and 49-49-2 split.

  • Interestingly, the article states that the Lutheran Church in Missouri is going to go ahead with referrals to gay couples. I read that the Lutheran Church membership is dwindling, and they’re looking to expand their membership. Herbert W. Chilstrom is former presiding bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Chilstrom has written an open letter to the Bishops of Minnesota asking them to accept gay ‘marriage’ because gays are like blacks or something (his words).

    Changing doctrine to accommodate members is a short-term solution. The one thing that make the Catholic Church strong is it’s unity, catholicity, apostolicity, and holiness. The Lutheran church is making itself weaker, not stronger by bending God’s word to accommodate its membership.

    Back in 2001, Dr. Robert Spitzer, a noted psychiatrist had reported that homosexuals who really want to be cured, can become heterosexual using a variety of techniques.

    “Contrary to conventional wisdom,” Spitzer concluded, “some highly motivated individuals, using a variety of change efforts, can make substantial change in multiple indicators of sexual orientation, and achieve good heterosexual functioning.” Spitzer looked at 200 homosexuals – 143 men and 57 women. To the researchers’ surprise, good heterosexual functioning was reportedly achieved by 67% of the men who had rarely or never felt any opposite-sex attraction before the change process.

    Here’s a link to Dr. Spitzer’s discussion of his work:

    http://www.narth.com/docs/spitzer2.html

    Incidentally, Dr. Spitzer was the lead on getting homosexuality removed from the DSM in the 1980s because it supposedly couldn’t be cured. They gay community raised him on a pedestal then. Now they want him to go away.

What is Harvey Milk Day?

Monday, May 23, AD 2011

Save California has released an informational video explaining all of the details conveniently left out by the Kulturkampf Jihadists otherwise known as Liberals/Progressives and ACLU in celebrating high-risk sex by exposing it to innocent five year old children in California’s public schools.

For the Save California website click here.

Hat Tip: Cal Catholic Daily

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44 Responses to What is Harvey Milk Day?

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  • I heard or read recently that semen neutralizes the environment of the woman’s vagina so that it will be more receptive to the implantation of the new life. I have not taken the time to investigate this phenomena but at first sense this would seem to be true. When males are exposed to this neutralizing effect of semen, is it any wonder that all sorts of maladies would be the end effect?

    God forgives always
    Man forgives sometimes
    Mother Nature never forgives.

  • In America today, children are safer in the care of a homosexual couple than in the womb of their own heterosexual mother.

  • Kurt,

    You have any evidence to back it up outside of your own personal feelings based nothing on except… *feelings*.

  • Tito,

    If you can’t do the math on that in your own head, you have no understanding of the evil of abortion. I’m sorry for that.

  • Kurt,

    When you leave a cryptic comment, expect the type of comment to that response.

    In the meantime, brush up on your charity.

  • In America today, children are safer in the care of a homosexual couple than in the womb of their own heterosexual mother.

    Perfectly irrelevant unless you posit that the alternative in policy to turning children over to homosexuals is to slaughter them.

  • Kurt,
    I suspect that you are probably correct, but honestly one cannot easily know. One cannot simply compare the number of abortions to the number abuses at the hands of same-sex homosexual parents because the number of pregnant women and the number of such parents are not comparable. But it seems intuitively correct to me that what you say is almost certainly true. But I would hope that you would agree that your statement is best understood as an indictment of abortion rather than as a brief for same sex homosexual parenting.

  • Perfectly irrelevant unless you posit that the alternative in policy to turning children over to homosexuals is to slaughter them.

    Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.

    Anyway, more children are harmed in the womb of their heterosexual mother than in the care of a homosexual couple.

  • Kurt,
    I suspect that you are probably correct, but … I would hope that you would agree that your statement is best understood as an indictment of abortion…

    Without a doubt.

  • Given that about 24% of pregnancies nationwide end in abortion, even fighting in the trenches of World War One was safer than being an unborn child in modern America. I’m not sure that the comparison is a hugely useful one.

    That kind of reasoning would convince one that playing Russian Roulette is a good idea.

  • @Kurt

    > “Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.”

    As far as I know, there is a _line_ of adults wanting to adopt children. Just-born babies are specially coveted.

    Abortions are not caused by “lack of adoption”. If you ask “Planned Parenthood”, they explicitly say that killing the baby is better then putting up for adoption. Those feminists simply do not want babies to be born.

    You could allow adoption to homosexuals, alcoholic bachelors, or whoever, and abortion would not go down.

    So why did you make this comparison? This can easily be used for dishonest homosexual propaganda.

  • Ignoring the pseudo-science in the video, if we can teach little kids to honor a genocidal maniac (Columbus), slaveowners, and a radical socialist (Helen Keller), why not Harvey Milk?

    “When males are exposed to this neutralizing effect of semen, is it any wonder that all sorts of maladies would be the end effect?”

    What in the world?

  • > “Ignoring the pseudo-science in the video”

    What “pseudo-science”?

    >”, if we can teach little kids to honor a genocidal maniac (Columbus), slaveowners, and a radical socialist (Helen Keller)”

    Don’t mix completely different things. When people respect slave-owners, they generally forgive them for holding a position that were very entrenched at their times. It may be quite difficult to think outside the cultural box, and we may forgive slave-owners who do (in this regard) what their parents and everyone around them taught them to do. None of this applies to Harvey Milk.

    Second, if you don’t like slave-owners or Helen Keller to be revered in schools, then argue against them; it makes no logical sense to say “because slave-owners are honored, perverts must be honored too”. What kind of logic is that?

    >”, why not Harvey Milk?”

    Besides what I have said above, there is the fact the making _children_ honor a _child predator_ is pretty much unbelievable. What next? Will we make Jews honor Hitler?

  • “Don’t mix completely different things. When people respect slave-owners, they generally forgive them for holding a position that were very entrenched at their times. It may be quite difficult to think outside the cultural box, and we may forgive slave-owners who do (in this regard) what their parents and everyone around them taught them to do. None of this applies to Harvey Milk.”

    I think all of that applies to Harvey Milk.

    “Second, if you don’t like slave-owners or Helen Keller to be revered in schools, then argue against them”

    I think they should all be taught as heroic but flawed figures, Harvey Milk included.

  • It’s sick out there and getting sicker.

  • @RR
    > “I think they should all be taught as heroic but flawed figures, Harvey Milk included.”

    For _children_? Really?

    One thing is for an adult to study academically the non-evil work of a guy who also did evil. For example, last year I studied the work of a logician who was also a Nazi. It was OK, because I am an adult, and also because we were only studying his work – and not _honoring_ the man.

    But

    1) small children
    2) honoring
    3) a child predator

    ? Really? How can this even be considered?

  • Small children honoring a slaveowner? Maybe you leave out the bad parts until they’re a bit older. I think that’s how most are taught and I’m sure that’s how Harvey Milk is taught.

  • RR,
    Referring to Columbus as a genocidal maniac is an unsupportable stupid slur.

  • I think they should all be taught as heroic but flawed figures, Harvey Milk included.

    He was a camera merchant who served a brief term as a municipal councillor in San Francisco. He was a bachelor all his life and never had any children. He is well-known because he made a public point of his sexual perversions and he was regrettably in the wrong place at the wrong time on a November day in 1978. He was none too scrupulous. I respect people who go into business for themselves and are willing to take on the time-consuming mess of municipal budgets, legislation, and constituent service. I cannot see what is heroic about him. My township supervisor compares favorably to Harvey Milk, but the New York state legislature will never insist that a day be devoted to his life and works in the state’s schools.

  • Milk is celebrated by the powers that be in California for only one thing: he was one of the first elected officials in that state who was an open homosexual. This is all about identity politics and the promotion of the homosexual agenda, and to pretend otherwise is as foolish as it is mendacious.

  • I guess teaching Sally Ride is promoting the feminist agenda and teaching Jackie Robinson is promoting the Black Panther agenda?

  • They actually accomplished something RR. All Mr. Milk accomplished was being badly ensnared in a politically correct sin.

  • He was a camera merchant who served a brief term as a municipal councillor in San Francisco. He was a bachelor all his life and never had any children. He is well-known because he made a public point of his sexual perversions and he was regrettably in the wrong place at the wrong time on a November day in 1978.

    Bingo.

  • I guess teaching Sally Ride is promoting the feminist agenda and teaching Jackie Robinson is promoting the Black Panther agenda?

    1. Personally, I do not think that the life and works of either of these individuals merits more than passing mention in the sort of historical survey courses which are offered to elementary and secondary students.

    2. If there is a ‘Sally Ride Day’ or a ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ prescribed by any state legislature, can you tell us which one?

    3. Dr. Ride is an astrophysicist who did two things very few people do: completing the terminal degree in the hardest of hard sciences and traveling in space.

    4. I doubt Stokely Carmichael or H. Rap Brown took, during their years as public figures, more than a passing interest in Jackie Robinson.

    5. Discussion of the life of both can be framed in a way that is politically sectarian and distortive (and thus inadvisable).

  • Let’s also not forget Milk’s unwavering public support for the atheist, communist, bisexual rapist and mass murderer Jim Jones. Quite a hero, that Harvey Milk..

  • Milk was the first openly-gay politician in California. That coupled with the assassination is why we’re talking about him and not your local township supervisor. Milk is historically significant.

  • Another thing. Harvey Milk Day doesn’t mandate the teaching of anything. Teachers could teach or not teach kids about him with or without the day.

  • “Personally, I do not think that the life and works of either of these individuals merits more than passing mention in the sort of historical survey courses which are offered to elementary and secondary students.”

    I agree. Though they can be taught as part of a larger lesson on women’s history or black history. But I doubt opponents of Harvey Milk Day would approve of even a passing mention of him in classrooms.

  • Milk was the first openly-gay politician in California.

    And what people are saying is that this is not an “achievement” which needs to be discussed extensively with elementary school kids.

  • @Kurt

    > “Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.”

    As far as I know, there is a _line_ of adults wanting to adopt children. Just-born babies are specially coveted.

    You could allow adoption to homosexuals, alcoholic bachelors, or whoever, and abortion would not go down.

    So why did you make this comparison? This can easily be used for dishonest homosexual propaganda.

    I noted two particular situations I am aware of and you responsed to my comment. Therefore I can say that you are wrong and your views promote abortion and the destruction of the unborn.

    Without violating anyone’s privacy, I can tell you in both cases it was a matter of the gentlemen personally interacting with the mothers. I think the gentlemen’s actions were heroic. If you want to assert that it is not possible for some gay guys to have been heroic in these circumstances, I’ll continue the discussion. Otherwise, I’ll take your silence as a retraction.

  • @Kurt

    “Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.”

    As far as I know, there is a _line_ of adults wanting to adopt children. Just-born babies are specially coveted.

    You could allow adoption to homosexuals, alcoholic bachelors, or whoever, and abortion would not go down.

    So why did you make this comparison? This can easily be used for dishonest homosexual propaganda.

    I noted two particular situations I am aware of and you responsed to my comment. Therefore I can say that you are wrong and your views promote abortion and the destruction of the unborn.

    Without violating anyone’s privacy, I can tell you in both cases it was a matter of the gentlemen personally interacting with the mothers. I think the gentlemen’s actions were heroic. If you want to assert that it is not possible for some gay guys to have been heroic in these circumstances, I’ll continue the discussion. Otherwise, I’ll take your silence as a retraction.

  • That coupled with the assassination is why we’re talking about him and not your local township supervisor. Milk is historically significant

    No. he. isn’t. Except as a study in aspects of political culture. And he was not assassinated. He happened to be in the hallway when Dan White was on a rampage.

  • But I doubt opponents of Harvey Milk Day would approve of even a passing mention of him in classrooms.

    It’s not like the teachers do not have other things to discuss.

  • Milk wasn’t actually the first openly gay politician in California. In fact, when Milk finally did win elected office, his main opponent was another openly gay man (Richard Stokes) who had been “out” longer than Milk.

  • @Kurt
    > “I noted two particular situations I am aware of and you responsed to my comment. Therefore I can say that you are wrong and your views promote abortion and the destruction of the unborn.”

    What? What is the logic here?

  • @Darwin, is being the first black MLB player an “achievement”? At the very least, the election of Harvey Milk is a significant milestone.

    I also didn’t say anything about “extensive” discussion.

    Reading the California Education Code, there are lots of holidays that most likely go uncelebrated in schools. California Poppy Day? It looks like they designated a day for every minority and picked a representative to put a face on the day. Blacks (Crispus Attucks) , Asians (Fred Korematsu), Hispanics (Cesar Chavez), women (Susan B Anthony), environmentalists (John Muir), and Republicans (Ronald Reagan). Native Americans get a day but no name.

  • “The only evils these people recognize are having to endure hunger, disease, and murder. It is as though man’s greatest good were to have everything good, except himself.” St. Augustine, The City of God

  • “And he was not assassinated. He happened to be in the hallway when Dan White was on a rampage.”

    Are you serious? How widespread is this misinformation? I guess, properly teaching Harvey Milk is even more important than I thought.

  • “… properly teaching Harvey Milk …”?

    Good grief! Really?

  • Given the time limits in history classrooms, “properly teaching” everyone’s trail-blazing icon is a zero-sum game. Whom do we exclude as a result?

  • Pogo: “We have met the enemy. And, he is us!”

  • Are you serious? How widespread is this misinformation?

    White was at city hall to meet with Mayor George Moscone. His encounter with Milk was happenstance.

    There was prior to Milk’s election an explicit homosexual in the Minnesota legislature and one in the Massachusetts legislature.

  • A few minutes after White was admitted to the mayor’s office, the secretary heard the sound of his raised voice and then several dull thuds. White then exited the mayor’s office, reloaded his gun while making sure he was not observed, and ran to the area of the building housing the supervisors’ offices and used his key to enter. There, Supervisor Feinstein called to him, but White said to her, “I have to do something first,” and asked to meet with Supervisor Milk. Promptly, within 15 seconds of entering Milk’s office, White shot Milk once through his mid-section, then twice more into his chest. When Milk fell to the ground, White shot him through the back of the head splattering the office with blood. Then White put the muzzle of his gun against Harvey Milk’s skull and blew out the remainder of his brains. White confessed that he was upset about losing his job and that he had killed Milk because he had thought that Milk had plotted to have him removed. White’s aide testified that she had driven White to City Hall that day, and that White had told her in the car (while he was armed with his concealed weapon and extra bullets, unbeknownst to her) that he was planning to see both Moscone and Milk. In his confession, White claimed he didn’t know why he brought his gun and ten extra bullets to City Hall that day.

    According to Happenstance Theory, it was happenstance that White went to City Hall that day, happenstance that he brought a gun with him plus ten extra bullets, happenstance that Moscone was shot, happenstance that White then reloaded his gun with the extra bullets he happened to have brought with him that day, happenstance that he specifically then asked to see Milk, happenstance that he then promptly shot Milk, not once, but over and over again, happenstance that White confessed that he killed Milk because he had thought Milk had plotted against him, and happenstance that after having shot the two people he reportedly had planned to see that day, he didn’t again reload his gun like he did before requesting to see Milk but instead left for the day. And happenstance that White wrote befote his suicide in 1985 that “I shot [Moscone] five times, then reloaded and went down the hall to do the same thing to Harvey… [Moscone] decided for me.” Happenstance that “If I had won, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with Harvey.” “Down the hall to Harvey’s office. His aide let me in. I shut the door, pulled out the gun, and wiped the smirk off Harvey’s face with five more bullets.”

    According to Happenstance Theory, everything, including every murder, every election, everything, is happenstance, for if the murderer’s life had been different, if George Moscone had said White could have his job back, if a butterfly somewhere over the Amazon had flapped its wings just a little faster, things woulda coulda have happened otherwise. But instead, we had a “Crash Moment”, as Oprah might call it, and now we have Harvey Milk Day. All happenstance.

Scouting in a Fractured American Culture

Tuesday, August 3, AD 2010

The New York Times runs an article about how the national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America are seeking to address concerns about shrinking membership as they celebrate 100 years of boy scouting in the US. The number of boy scouts has declined 42% since it’s peak in 1978, with 2.8 million boys currently in the Scouts.

To judge from the commentariat at the Times, you would think this is entirely the result of the BSA remaining firm in their ban of gay scout leaders and statement that “homosexual conduct is inconsistent with obligations in the Scout Oath.” Not to mention saying that boys who refuse to recite the Scout Oath because of its references to God and reverence may simply not have a place in the program. Commenters claiming to be Eagle Scouts line up one after another in the comments to announce that no son of theirs will ever be a member of the Scouts while it remains homophobic and theocratic.

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6 Responses to Scouting in a Fractured American Culture

  • After a year in scouts, I allowed my son to walk away. My girl is still in scouts. There are many, many factors involved. A lot of it is the parental leaders. The pool is small for those able to do it, and they are volunteers after all. Another factor is other activities. There is a lot more for children to do, and of course those activities are also run by adult volunteers. Then there are the not so good reasons like there being more entertainment available at home through electronics.

    I always find the political explanations somewhat entertaining. In neither scouting group was their a vast amount of ideological diversity. For a den we’re talking 8-12 children. Politics and political issues don’t come up all that often and were it ever to come up, whatever instruction the kid had from the parent would generally be respected. Most people when they are off the Internet don’t look for excuses to beat other people over the head.

  • My sons are currently in scouting. My oldest son is 12 and in Scouts. My 8yr old is in Cubscouts. I am a den leader for the Cubscouts. I have been a leader for 6 years and being that I have a 2 year old will probably end up being a leader for about 15 years. I have found that in Cubscouts the focus is learning morals and some responsibility but also to have alot of fun with friends in your den and Pack but also to foster fun within the family. Parents are a key component to the success of the Scouts. The more you involve the parents the better chance that the boys will remain in Scouts and the better chance that they will get more out of the program.

    My goal has always been to get the boys to have fun at the den meetings, pack meetings and at home with the family. I enjoy seeing the boys mature in there confidence and there relationships with other members of the Pack and especially with there family. For me there is nothing more satisfying then getting the Cubscouts into Boyscouts where they will fully mature and learn life skills that are not taught today in the culture in general.

    Along with the factors you talked about another factor contributing to the loss of members in Scouting is the idea of sacrifice. I think that a culture that loses its connection with Christianity loses the idea of sacrifice. I think sometimes People are a little selfish with there time. They seem to feel that it is there time and they don’t have to share it with anyone. Now this is a small percentage that I am talking about but just wanted to add to the things that are affecting attendace.

    Scouts is one of the greatest organizations for boys to be involved with. Of course that is second to the Church.

  • “The number of boy scouts has declined 42% since it’s peak in 1978….”

    Umm, there’s an even easier and more straightforward reason for this decline. The Baby Boom. The number of boys born between 1946 and 1964 accounts for the peak number in 1978.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boom

  • Good point. Maybe simplier is more correct.

  • The population went through a sudden period of growth with the baby boom, but the population has continued to grow since that time. The absolute number of boys 8-18 is higher now than it was in 1978.

  • My husband is the scoutmaster of my son’s troop at our parish church. My son-15 is the oldest scout in the troop and hopefully will complete his Eagle project within the next year and a half. That being said, my son has told me repeatedly that it’s not “cool” to be in Scouts. He likes Scouts but doesn’t want it mentioned to anyone. I embarrassed him once by mentioning he was in Scouts to two girls he liked. In our troop, once the boys make Eagle or turn driving age, they drop out of the troop, leaving the troop pretty leaderless(as the troop is supposed to be self-led. we do have adult volunteers). Being a clean cut Scout is no longer appealing to a lot of teenage boys.

All That Is Necessary For The Triumph Of The Same Sex Agenda Is That Good Men Do Nothing

Friday, July 23, AD 2010

All that is necessary for the triumph of the same sex agenda is that good men do nothing.  The fear of reprisal, both materially and physically, can cause good men to do nothing.

Having not experienced this form of intimidation, I am still disturbed by the tactics that are utilized by the more militant arm of the same sex marriage agenda.  This exposure to such violence is almost non-existent for me.

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12 Responses to All That Is Necessary For The Triumph Of The Same Sex Agenda Is That Good Men Do Nothing

  • I fully agree that prayer is the answer. I believe that both action and informing the public about the purpose of traditional marriage, how it relates to Christianity, and explaining the reasons why same-sex “marriage” goes against the purpose of marriage- procreation- is very important for traditional marriage defenders to be able to win this debate or culture war. It is impossible for same-sex couples to have an openness to procreate. Traditional marriage couples have that openness (to procreate) regardless of whether the couple is having infertility issues or not. But, it is an impossibility for two males or two females to procreate naturally.

  • Seems extreme/fanatical narcissists believe in free speech for themselves but not for us. That they can silence those who may believe differently than they. The Age of Enlightenment is past.

    When we find ourselves alone and the government is derelict in its duties to protect liberties and persons. There are instances wherein physical force is justified.

  • I just can’t take this debate seriously any more.

  • Anthony,

    Should I laugh at your comment?

  • Do what you like, Tito.

    I just think that its near impossible to discuss the matter in a rational way.

  • I think I agree with Anthony.

    As Orwell (or was it Gibbon?) said (I think, I don’t have it here.) “I never make the mistake of arguing with irrational people over beliefs/issues to which they they cling that have no moral or rational basis.”

  • I’m just a little blogger, myself, and yet I’ve had a radio host suggest that people beat me up, while a kind person over at Daily Kos once opined that I should be strung up from a street lamp with a meat hook. Meanwhile, my partner in blogging was once upon a time roughed up by union goons who didn’t like his opinion being expressed in the public square.

    Some years back I managed to catch some flak for calling our progressive friends “junior-league Leninists” – it was a “how dare I?” moment. But that is what they are: narrow minded, bitter, hate-filled fanatics. They don’t want debate – to debate implies that the other side might have a valid point, and they’ll never accept that.

    And so, this is what we see – and I really doubt its a new phenomena; its likely that we’re just seeing more of it due to the advent of the New Media. In the end, this is a good thing – the more these kooks are exposed, the more outrage builds among average Americans and thus comes the greater chance of securing the power necessary to make real changes.

    Mark Noonan

  • Anthony,

    I understand now.

    n4nadmin, Teresa, T. Shaw,

    Yeah, at times (maybe most) it is impossible to engage in any dialogue with people that are this intolerant and bigoted against us.

  • “the more these kooks are exposed, the more outrage builds among average Americans and thus comes the greater chance of securing the power necessary to make real changes.”

    Just to ruffle feathers, I will say that I have little confidence that once power is obtained it is utilized properly. Power is predictably used to (1) bring reprisal on political enemies and/or (2) make it difficult to dislodge who’s in power.

    Supporters of “traditional marriage” are just as susceptible to that kind of corruption as the pro-gay marriage side.

    To this day I still believe the only peaceful way out of the argument is to walk away from state-sanctioned marriage. Both sides of this debate concede a crucial (and I think, fatal) point: that governments, even secular ones, have authority to tinker with the personal relationships between consenting adults.

    There are moral hazards on both sides of that coin. On the pro-gay marriage side there is a real risk that the next logical step is a breach into theological issues by governments, forcing religions to accept same-sex marriage or finding ways to punish them for not. On the traditional side, there is a real risk of some individuals hiding behind the issue in order to enact homophobic policies (the genuine kind, not the trumped-up kind).

    The only role I could possibly see for governments is in their authority to enforce contracts and mediate contractual disputes between individuals. There’s nothing about that power which requires the word “marriage” attached to it.

  • I tend to lean to Anthony’s side–the State didn’t create marriage, and if it were to get out of the marriage business entirely there wouldn’t be much to yell about, would there?

    Realistically, I don’t see that happening. It may be useful to remind folks who think their “tolerance” badge will be tarnished if they don’t give in to this exercise in social engineering that the State really shouldn’t be meddling if it can’t demonstrate a compelling interest. The State’s interest in traditional marriage is that it provides the best environment for raising children who do not subsequently become problems for the State. I believe that compelling interest is largely absent (or at least, highly optional) in same-sex relationships.

  • My qualm with “the State’s interest” is that it shifts with the political winds.

    Under certain circumstances it could be in the state’s “interest” that abortion become illegal. The need for cheap labor, future soldiers, taxpayers and population collapse could all be reasons for the state to do away with abortion. On the other hand, reducing costs, freeing the supply of goods, eliminating undesirable traits and population control could (and are) used to justify abortion.

    Take marriage. I could just as easily justify allowing gay marriage by saying the practice would (or could) stabilize promiscuous behavior, “normalize” certain consensual sexual acts, reduce instances of violence against gays while providing the state with fiscally stable homes in which to place unwanted children. All are reasons to be a-okay with letting gay marriage move forward. And, selfishly, the State will undermine the Church, thus increasing government’s sway with people over that of religion.

    Where do we really go to worship? The Church, or the State? It’s an important question to answer because it seems that both sides wish to see their values either codified or validated through the coercive powers held by government. If “my values” receive the government’s stamp of approval then “the Truth” be damned.

    These are questions Christians of all stripes should think long and hard on before rushing to pass laws or fire shots in the culture wars.

  • The State isn’t going to get out of the marriage business. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock foundation of our society. Homosexual “marriage” is a travesty being foisted upon society by those who wish the State to give its stamp of approval to homosexuality and use the coercive power of the State against those who dissent. This is an important battle and should be fought against by all those who realize that this is part of a struggle waged by those who wish to turn the concept of family on its head.

15,000 Pro-Family and Pro-Marriage March in Argentina

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

Police estimated 15,000 peaceful marchers came out in defense of the family and marriage against militant gay activists in Argentina on June 19, 2010 rallying Argentinians to vote “in favor of matrimony between one man and one woman.”

Archbishop José Maria Arancibi marched along these peaceful protesters in defense of children.

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5 Responses to 15,000 Pro-Family and Pro-Marriage March in Argentina

Lyon Cathedral: Pious Young Catholics Face Down Militant Gays

Tuesday, June 22, AD 2010

From Father Zuhlsdorf:

Prepare to be disgusted and then edified.

This from LifeSite with my emphases and comments:

Catholics Defend French Cathedral de Lyon During Homosexual “Kiss-In”

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

LYONS, June 17, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Approximately 200 young Catholics came to the defense of the Cathedral of Lyons, France, during a “kiss-in” protest held by homosexuals in front of the building last month.

The homosexuals reportedly came on the eve of the “World Day Against Homophobia” in May to kiss each other in front of the cathedral, [vile] presumably in protest against the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year-old condemnation of homosexual sex acts[I believe the condemnation is in the Old Testament as well.  It is also written into our being as images of God.]

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10 Responses to Lyon Cathedral: Pious Young Catholics Face Down Militant Gays

Texas, Textbooks, the Washington Post and Ann Althouse

Monday, May 24, AD 2010

The Left in this country has been having a hissy fit over conservatives on the Texas State School Board amending the social studies standards in that state.  For example, California State Senator Leland Yee (D. San Francisco) has introduced a bill that would require the California Board of Education to be on the lookout for any Texas content in reviewing public school textbooks.  He also makes the hilarious statement that the Texas curriculum changes pose a threat “to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.”  This in a state where the legislature has instituted a Harvey Milk Day to propagandize students in the gay rights agenda, and where the California Education Association, the teacher’s union, is the largest spender on politics in the state.

To support the meme of the Left that evil conservatives were perverting educational standards in Texas, the Washington Post wrote a hit piece that may be read here.  Ann Althouse, law professor and blogger decided to compare the claims of the Washington Post to the new standards.  Here is what she found:

Let me embarrass the Washington Post. Below, the material from the WaPo article, written by Michael Birnbaum, is indented. After the indented part, I’ve located the relevant quote from the Board of Education text, found here. (I’m searching 3 PDF documents: Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits Subchapter A. High School; Social Studies Subchapter B. Middle School; Social Studies Subchapter C. High School.)

The Washington Post writes:

The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards….

The new standards say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated — something most historians deny –…
The students are required to “describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government…” The word “vindicated” is inflammatory and unfair. What is the Washington Post saying historians deny? One can be informed of the reality of what the Venona Papers revealed about communist infiltration into the U.S. government and still understand and deplore the excesses of “McCarthyism.”

…draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis’s and Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural addresses…
Students are required to “analyze the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address and Abraham Lincoln’s ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address.” The word “equivalency” is uncalled for. The requirement is to analyze, not to be indoctrinated that the ideas are the same.

… say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty…
What I’m seeing is “explain the significance of the League of Nations and the United Nations” and “analyze the human and physical factors that influence the power to control territory, create conflict/war, and impact international political relations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), or the control of resources.” Where is the language that can be paraphrased “imperil American sovereignty”?

…. and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn.
Students are required to “explain the roles played by significant individuals and heroes during the Civil War, including Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and congressional Medal of Honor recipients William Carney and Philip Bazaar.” Only Davis and Lee were Confederate officials! There is also this: “describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo [in the Civil Rights Era].” That’s obviously not from the Civil War, but I can see why it’s annoying to Democrats.

They also removed references to capitalism and replaced them with the term “free-enterprise system.”
The document on economics does use the term “free enterprise system” throughout, but students are required to “understand that the terms free enterprise, free market, and capitalism are synonymous terms to describe the U.S. economic system,” so what is the problem?

Virtually everything cited in the article to make the curriculum seem controversial is misstated! Appalling!

ADDED: Birnbaum had an article in the previous day’s Washington Post that does contain quotes, and these have to do with changes that went through on Thursday (and which do not — but should! — appear in the documents that are available at the Board of Education website):

Students will now study “efforts by global organizations to undermine U.S. sovereignty,” an addition late Thursday evening encouraged by board member Don McLeroy (R), who has put forward many of the most contentious changes….

Another one of the seven conservative board members, David Bradley (R), added a list of Confederate generals and officials to the list of topics that students must study.

This provides support for Birnbaum’s statement that the standards “include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn.” And it answers my question “Where is the language that can be paraphrased ‘imperil American sovereignty’?” My criticisms about “vindicating” McCarthyism, “the equivalency between Jefferson Davis’s and Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural addresses,” and the term “free-enterprise system” remain.

I have not been defending the Texas standards, only attacking the quality of the journalism that fails to quote or link to a text that is referred to. Birnbaum’s Friday article contains some useful quotes (though still not a link to the whole text). The Saturday article was unanchored to text and forced me to look for what I could find on line. I’m also criticizing inaccurate paraphrasing, like the use of the words “vindicating” and “equivalency.” Birnbaum’s take on the standards might be true, but in an article that refers to a text, I do need to see the text. Paraphrasing, without the text, raises suspicions, and I don’t apologize for having those suspicions.

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17 Responses to Texas, Textbooks, the Washington Post and Ann Althouse

  • I will wager this fellow Birnbaum was acting as a mouthpiece for some advocacy group or looks at just about anything with a set of distorting lenses and has no idea he has said anything tendentious.

  • There is the issue that the role of Thomas Jefferson’s writings in influencing the founding of America is being de-emphasized. Allegedly, St. Thomas Aquinas’ thought in influencing America (more of a stretch than Jefferson) is being noted.

    Moreover, the emphasis on the presidency of Lincoln, the unintended consequences of the Great Society, Reagan, the contract with America in 1994, and the emphasis of the Founding Fathers’ particular interest in a small, limited government leads me to believe that this is a politicized curriculum — in fact, the Chair of the State Board, Don McLeroy has said himself admits:

    “It’s imperative that our children be taught the original direction of our country…And I think you tie that in with the concept of American exceptionalism that we’ve added to the standards. I think that it’s important to understand why America is such a wonderful place.”

    McLeroy wrote in an Op-Ed in the USA Today that the curriculum will “challenge the powerful ideology of the left,” whose “principles are diametrically opposed to our founding principles.”

    Sorry, but the curriculum is heavily politicized and I prefer history not historical revisionism.

  • And that need not be taken as a defense of the current curriculum — hardly. But this surely is not a remedy. I hope it fails.

  • Sorry, but the curriculum is heavily politicized and I prefer history not historical revisionism.

    Why are you confident the extant curriculum is not ‘heavily politicized’? What, roughly, would a ‘non-politicized’ curriculum look like?

  • In regard to Jefferson being de-emphazised Eric, that claim is made, but I do not think there is substance to it. The Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson’s magnum opus, is to be studied at several points in the curriculum. The one place where Jefferson is omitted is under World History:

    “Government. The student understands the process by which democratic-republican government evolved how contemporary political systems have developed from earlier systems of government. The student is expected to:
    (A) explain the development of trace the process by which democratic-republican government evolved from its beginnings in the Judeo-Christian legal tradition and classical Greece and Rome, through developments in England the English Civil War and continuing with the Enlightenment; and
    (B) identify the impact of political and legal ideas contained in the following significant historic documents: including, Hammurabi’s Code, the Jewish Ten Commandments, Justinian’s Code of Laws, Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, John Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government,” and the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen;
    (C) explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and William Blackstone and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present; ”
    Jefferson is omitted under C.

    Under United States government Jefferson’s ideas are to be studied:

    “(D) identify analyze the contributions of the political philosophies of the Founding Fathers, including John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, John Jay, George Mason, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson, on the development of the U.S. government;”

    I think the idea that Jefferson is being de-emphasized is not really accurate.

    Politics since the days of Horace Mann have always played a large part in curriculum development for public schools which is why states produce laundry lists of dos and don’ts in regard to what is taught. For example in Illinois the kids get off for Casimir Pulaski day and learn about him in school. Pulaski played a fairly minor role in the American Revolution dying at the siege of Savannah in 1779 leading a cavalry charge. However, activist Poles in Chicago wanted him in, so class time is taken up on this minor figure. What is unusual in Texas is not the politics, but the publicity it has received.

  • Texas is in the process of being “Arizonaed”.

  • Re: politicized curriculum, a few years back I noticed that my beliefs about political events were roughly that liberals were almost always right up until the 1980s, at which point conservatives were usually right. It occurred to me that my knowledge of pre-1980s politics came mainly from my public school education, whereas since then my knowledge of politics came from having experienced it as it happened.

  • Art,

    I didn’t say the current curriculum is not politicized. In fact, I stated explicitly that I’m not defending it.

    Education curriculum is not my specialty nor need I devise a “non-politicized” scheme of education, but when the Chair of the Texas State Board of Education is making statements focus on reversing ideological trends in emphasis rather than providing a solid presentation of American social history for Texas children, I’m inclined to think the curriculum is being politicized and with the emphasis on the Judeo-Christian roots of America, small and limited government, Lincoln, Reagan, the unintended consequences of the Great Society, the 1994 Contract with America, it seems obvious that the shift in emphasis is to offer a certan reading of history and the filtering of information is to, more or less, generate students that have a more conservative (politically speaking) view of society. The education seems primarily aimed at that end and I simply don’t support that. And this does not mean that I support in totality the current liberal establishment in the education scene.

  • Eric,

    Saying that “the curriculum is being politicized” suggests that it is not politicized already.

  • Steve Sailer wrote a pretty damning piece on one high school history textbook:

    http://www.vdare.com/sailer/100425_schoolbook_massacre.htm

    It’s hard to read that and not come to the conclusion that something in education has gone horribly wrong.

  • In my Texas public school I suffered a day of in-service regarding a computer instruction program. When I told the expert that the English IV segment contained nothing but two novels of manners (oh, yeah, boys go crazy over Jane Austen), she airily advised me that “It’s not all about Texas content.” My response was that Beowulf, Shakespeare, and Milton are still taught in Texas and, presumably, in Rhode Island.

  • “oh, yeah, boys go crazy over Jane Austen”

    Only if they are given the zombie version:

  • This is one guy who’s a huge Jane Austen fan.

  • Nice icon pic Mr. Anderson!

  • I’m with you, Jay.

  • I find the hullabaloo over the new standards to be most intriguing indeed. As a native Texan who attended public schools I have always viewed the curriculum as s starting point for education. I would humbly assert that it is the duty of parents to supplement the learning taught in the classroom. In thirty years I have seen three such battles and each time it was an exercise in futility.