Tuesday, July 07, 2015



Racism is not what it used to be

Comment from Australia

Words matter, they matter a lot. Words define our thoughts and our thoughts drive our actions. By the manipulation of language it is possible to effect changes without people even realising what has happened.

Over the years, the definitions of the words in our dictionaries can gradually change. Often times this happens so slowly that we barely notice. Sometimes, this may be a natural process of change.  Sometimes, it isn’t.

The corruption of language can be driven by groups or individuals with agendas. It seems hardly likely that those agendas would be in our best interests.

George Orwell understood the danger posed by the corruption of language and knew who was responsible. He railed against the excessive use of long and unnecessary words, over complex sentences and vague and inaccurate descriptions. Orwell saw how this, “newspeak” as he called it, was used as a shield by the political classes to hide and distort despicable truths.

The gradual redefinition of common words is one of the most effective techniques for advancing a hidden agenda. The process is quite simple. First you take word X which is widely agreed to be undesirable. Then you gradually redefine word X to cover concept Y which you wish to eradicate. When someone expresses support for concept Y, you shut them down by simply accusing them of being an X.

One of the most devastating examples of the power of this technique is the redefinition of the word “racist”. Once upon a time, the word “racist” referred to someone who disliked or discriminated against people based upon their racial characteristics or background.

Race is a strange concept which, in itself is difficult to define. Is an Englishman of the same race as a Welshman? Are the Irish and the Scots a different race? When people advance racist arguments, they invariably stumble into a quagmire of inconsistencies and anecdotes.

In order to justify themselves, many racists simply refuse to accept or even consider the arguments of others. In effect they commit an act of bigotry, using belligerence to make up for a lack of rational thought.

Whilst bigotry is common among racists, the word itself has now been redefined to become synonymous with it. A racist is automatically branded as a bigot and the word bigot is assumed to mean “racist”.

Racism is now automatically considered to be the sole domain of the stupid, uneducated and belligerent. This wouldn’t be so bad, except that the word racist has itself been altered. This process has already had a devastating impact on our society. If left unchecked, things could get far worse.

The last couple of centuries have been a time of European dominance in world affairs. Naturally this state of affairs has led to many instances of abuse of power by Europeans. By today’s standards, many of these situations are quite shocking. When compared with the expansion of other great empires however (that’s right Ghengis, I’m talking about you), they were for the most part relatively muted and infrequent.

To the credit of Western cultures, we have undergone a self-examination and made considerable efforts to right past wrongs and level playing fields. As part of this process, we have focused on the racism of “whites” against “non-whites”.

The intense irony of this situation is that by this process, racism has become not only acceptable, but often quite desirable. Furthermore, people who criticise certain types of racism are now denounced as racists. By extension, they are characterised as stupid and belligerent bigots.

Consider, for instance the situation in Zimbabwe in the late nineties when Robert Mugabe decided to dispossess white farmers of their land. It is hard to think of a more blatantly racist action, yet if anyone ever accused Mugabe of racism, I am not aware of it.

In fact when British PM Tony Blair protested this action he was promptly silenced by Mugabe who, with a completely straight face, accused him of racism. The sad and yet completely predictable irony of that situation was that the people who suffered most (apart from the whites who resisted and were murdered or tortured) were the indigenous black Africans who soon found themselves facing starvation and misery.

A more recent example was provided last weekend in Tunisia. After the bloodbath perpetrated by devout Muslim Seifeddine Rezgui , Tunisia’s President Habib Essid  closed down 80 mosques which he described as “Full of venom”. Naturally there wasn’t so much as a peep from the Refugee Action Group, Unite Against Facism or Gay Welsh Against the Bomb. The ABC never phoned Sarah Hanson-Young, or even Zaky Mallah for their opinions and Barack Obama was eerily silent.

I’ve been involved in a number of campaigns to stop mosques and every single time, I’ve been accused of spreading racism and Islamophobia. Can you imagine then, the hysteria if Tony Abbott were to cancel the building of a mosque let alone, God forbid, to actually close one (or 80) down?

The screams would likely be audible in Tunisia. Judging by recent events, I think that Obama would consider sending troops to execute regime change (or at least some targeted drone strikes on National Party Headquarters) and UN sanctions would be in place by next Thursday.

Habib Essid can shut down mosques without a peep and Tony Abbott can’t. We all know the reason for this is because Essid is a Muslim and is not considered “white” while Tony Abbott is a Christian who is (not that Islam is a race, but that doesn’t stop the politically correct from pretending that it is).

This is a small, yet telling example of the discrimination which is increasingly being aimed by anti-white racists against “people without colour”. You don’t need me to list all of the racist laws and practices pursued by the Australian Government. All of these laws and practices discriminate against people who don’t belong to the Aboriginal race.

There is now a push to cement this racism into our Constitution. This evil racism goes against everything our culture has stood for over centuries. It undermines the goal of equality of all individuals, regardless of race. Sadly, anyone who points this out will be branded as a racist and an ignorant bigot.

What bothers me most is not the small day to day annoyances, the gradual erosion of free speech or the constant denigration of the most enlightened culture ever devised. It is the mental picture of a frog being slowly boiled and the feeling that if we don’t act soon, it may be too late.

Racism needs to be redefined back to its true meaning as a matter of urgency. We need to accept and examine the fact that all people can be guilty of racism and all of us can be victims of it, no matter what colour we may be.

We need to reclaim the word racism and demand that it be used in its true meaning. We need to take back this word and start using it in its proper context. When we see racism, we need to call it out for what it is, no matter what race the victim or the perpetrators may be.

We need to be clear that discriminating in favour of Muslims and “people of colour” means discriminating against people who aren’t. This isn’t “positive” discrimination, it is just good old discrimination dressed up in high handed “Newspeak”. This has been done deliberately to make evil intent look like an act of kindness.

We need to be clear that if Habib Essid can close down mosques then Tony Abbott can too. To think otherwise is racist. We need to be clear that campaigning against the evils of “white” Rhodesia but looking away when Mugabe massacres 14,000 of his own people is racist. We need to be clear that expecting all white majority countries to open their borders but not expecting the same from non white countries is racist. We need to be clear that criticising white people for slavery whilst ignoring the slavery practised by black people is racist.

The people who should be dealing with this issue are the ones who never will. They either have their heads in the sand, or else jammed in a highly lucrative trough with no incentive to ever pull it out. 

As usual it is up to us, the little people, the nobodies, the lumpen proletariat, to stand up to this onslaught. What has driven the success of the English speaking people is our rejection of the abuse of power by our ruling classes.

We must watch for this pernicious practice and call it out whenever we find it. Every time we do this, we help to redefine the word back to its original meaning. We have truth and common sense on our side. We just need the courage of our convictions and a belief that what we say is right.

It is time for the people of Australia, and of the whole Western world to reject this evil racism and stand for the principle of equality which made our societies such safe and agreeable places to live.

I know that many people will accuse me of racism for saying these things but I couldn’t care less for two reasons. Firstly, I know that my accusers are using a perverted definition of the term racism which they don’t even understand. Secondly, I know that these people would never dare accuse me of racism if I was black.

This shows clearly who the real racists are.

SOURCE







Leading Australian conservative politician warns Asian countries could see Australia as 'decadent' if same-sex marriage legalised

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has warned Asian countries could see Australia as "decadent" if moves to legalise same-sex marriage are successful.

Mr Joyce was asked about comments last week by another frontbencher opposed to gay marriage, Eric Abetz, who is the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator Abetz suggested that if Asian countries did not accept same-sex marriage then Australia should not either, pointing to the often-repeated phrase that for Australia this was the Asian century.

"Eric is right in saying where we live economically is south east Asia, that's where our cattle go," Mr Joyce told the ABC's Insiders program.

"When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us.  "They see us as decadent."

Insiders host Barry Cassidy asked: "So would they see us embracing gay marriage as decadence?"  "I think that in some instances they would, yeah," Mr Joyce replied.

He added he did not believe marriage should be redefined by the legislation.  "I don't think if you go and pass a piece of legislation and say a diamond is a square makes diamonds squares — they're two different things," he said.  "It's not making a value judgement about either."

Mr Joyce went on to say he viewed marriage as "a process that's inherently there for the support of ... or the prospect of ... or the opportunity of children".

"I think that every child has a right, absolute right to know her or his mother and father and also ... should be given the greatest opportunity to know their biological mother and father," Mr Joyce said.

The issue of gay marriage has been back on the agenda, with confirmation last week that Liberal MP Warren Entsch planned to introduce a private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage, with cross-party sponsorship, when Parliament resumes next month.

Before the last election Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised to allow the Coalition party room to decide if government MPs and senators should be allowed a conscience vote on the issue, which if it was allowed would give the bill a chance of passing.

However last week Mr Abbott played down the chances of the private member's bill being debated and put to a vote.

"It's quite unusual for private member's bills to come on for debate and vote in the Parliament," he said on Thursday.

SOURCE






Mandated Paid Maternity Leave Would Harm Women

Sweden has had compulsory maternity leave for some time.  The result is that most jobs for females are with the government. Private business can't afford them

Scores of politicians nationwide, including presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, are campaigning for laws that would mandate paid maternity leave. While their intentions sound noble, such mandates would hurt the employment prospects of women of childbearing age, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow Abigail R. Hall. Such mandates would impose extra costs for employers—including wages paid and possible overtime for other workers—and this would be reflected both in firms’ hiring decisions and in the compensation they would offer.

“Forced paid leave would fail to help women and their families by reducing their wages and harming their chances at employment,” Hall writes in the Daily Caller. “This policy truly throws the baby out with the bathwater.”

Mandated paid maternity leave addresses a valid concern, but it does so in a way that is counterproductive. What would be a better approach? “Contractual alternatives to coerced paid maternity leave make much more sense,” Hall writes. “How about encouraging women to negotiate maternity leave as she would salary or other benefits? This would allow women to obtain a longer leave without increasing the cost of employing younger women as a group.”

SOURCE






Shock, horror!  The Salvation army are Christians

Report from Australia

An internal investigation has been launched at The Salvation Army's much-praised Oasis Youth Support centre in Surry Hills amid claims of homophobia after a young woman was advised to "pray" away her attraction to other women.

The incident has also been blamed for the sudden resignation of the centre's general manager Michelle Bryant, who has been a central figure in promoting the services helping the homeless and disadvantage youth - services that have won the support of many high-profile people, including Hollywood heavyweight Cate Blanchett.

Bryant, who joined the Oasis centre from the corporate world, declined to comment when contacted by PS this week, however she is understood to have described the incident  as "horrific" to friends, who say she has long harboured concerns about how troubled youth, especially those struggling to deal with their sexuality, were being "evangelised" by Salvation Army officers.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Salvation Army said: "The incident relates to alleged comments made to a client in relation to 'sexual orientation'. The Salvation Army is conducting an investigation into the alleged incident and is providing counselling support to both the client and staff of the Oasis Youth Support Network at this time. Salvation Army officers and staff treat every person who comes into our care with non-judgmental respect and acceptance no matter what their situation or circumstance."

However, non Salvation Army staff at the centre were this week questioning exactly how impartial the "non-judgment" claims are given the incident and previous well-documented controversies the organisation has become embroiled in when it comes to gay and lesbian issues.

In 2012, the Salvation Army was forced to make a public apology after one of its majors stated that the Salvation Army believed gay people should die. At the time Major Andrew Craib was the Salvation Army's spokesman in several states and was being interviewed on Melbourne radio station Joy FM about the organisation's Handbook of Doctrine, which refers to the Romans book from the Bible.

The Oasis Ball will be held at Town Hall next month to raise money for the Surry Hills centre. Photo: Kitty Hill
When asked directly whether people who identified as gay or lesbian should "die", as written in Romans, Craib responded on air: "We have an alignment to the scriptures, but that's our belief."

The Salvation Army later claimed the "death" inferred was a "spiritual death" rather than a physical one, but the comments had already generated a national outcry.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Monday, July 06, 2015



A new British bill of rights? Hopefully not

Paul Coleman

We can’t trust our illiberal leaders to protect our freedoms

Seventy years ago today, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, ushering in the era of human rights. But in Britain, there are increasing calls to eliminate the existing human-rights framework and create a new bill of rights. And I can understand why. In the past few years, there have been countless stories of faux human-rights claims – enough to arouse suspicion among many human-rights activists. Is it really a human right for prisoners to vote in elections? Or a human right for life sentences to include the possibility of release?

The UK government’s concern with these types of cases may be legitimate, but what is troubling about the debate is the idea that our current political leaders can come up with something better.

All of the substantive rights and freedoms in the Human Rights Act (1998) are taken word for word from the European Convention on Human Rights (1950). This was based on other core human-rights documents that were being drafted at the time, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

These earlier documents were drafted in the wake of the Second World War. Europe had witnessed unspeakable horrors, and in the following years, through the Nuremberg trials, countless atrocities against humankind were brought to light.

The international human-rights treaties debated and drafted during the Nuremberg years were designed to limit the role of the state. They were to make it clear that there are some fundamental freedoms that are inherent to the human person. These rights are not given by the state and cannot be taken away. That is why the Universal Declaration deliberately begins by recognising the ‘inherent dignity’ of all members of the human family. Though they are far from perfect – owed mostly to the fact that a significant voting bloc sat behind the Iron Curtain – these human-rights treaties promote human freedom far more than our current leaders are prepared to.

Seventy years ago, the United Kingdom and other Western countries consistently rejected the arguments of the Communist-led nations. For example, during one negotiation, British delegate Lady Gaitskell defended freedom of speech as ‘the foundation stone on which many of the other human rights were built’.

When the Soviet Union attempted to insert the clause that, ‘All societies, unions and other organisations of a fascist or anti-democratic nature, as well as their activity in any form’ should be ‘forbidden by law under pain of punishment’, the West responded. The Belgian representative said that despite ‘hating fascism as intensely as did the USSR’, tolerance should mean tolerating even the intolerant.

Accordingly, the UK vigorously defended the right of all organisations, ‘even fascist and communist ones’, to exist and to make their views known, even though those organisations held views that the majority of the population repudiated.

Fast forward to today. UK government officials fought hard (and failed) to maintain a criminal prohibition on ‘insulting words’ under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. There are plans to push through a ‘snoopers’ charter’ in an attempt to criminalise ‘extremism’ on the internet. Home secretary Theresa May is desperate to ban groups who ‘stay just within the law but spread poisonous hatred’. All of this in pursuit of ‘British values’ – a phrase that the state gets to define (and redefine) at its pleasure.

While the Universal Declaration recognised the vital role of the family, declaring that it is the ‘natural and fundamental group unit of society’, the Scottish government is eagerly trying to implement its ‘named person’ scheme, which is designed to make the state a co-parent with extraordinary powers to meddle in the private and family life of its citizens. The law would allow state monitoring and intervention to protect every child’s wellbeing in Scotland, regardless of the parents’ wishes. The child’s wellbeing would be defined by the state without the slightest consideration for the right to privacy and family life. As the list of state-enhancing, freedom-diminishing initiatives increases, why does anyone think a new bill of rights would make things better and not worse?

Although the core human-rights treaties we have today are flawed, they largely achieve their aim: some valid limitations on the state’s reach and a recognition that rights are inherent not state-granted. Nothing in the current political climate suggests we can achieve the same today.

Let’s have a debate about the hijacking of human-rights language, but let’s not pretend a British bill of rights drafted by our current leaders is the solution.

SOURCE






I will defend your right to fly the Confederate flag

No form of political expression should be banned, not even hateful ones

Don’t ask me to defend a Confederate flag display by the state. Unlike private individuals and associations, governments don’t have rights: they exercise power. And while hoisting a Confederate flag on state property isn’t an illegal use of power, it is a politically abusive one, for all the reasons so recently recited in the wake of Dylann Roof’s massacre in Charleston.

But plant a Confederate flag in your backyard or wear its image on a t-shirt, and I’ll defend your constitutional right to do so, even as it’s condemned as hate speech. I’ll also defend the constitutional right to protest against your flag-waving with raucous incivility, while opposing any government efforts to ban private Confederate flag displays or to silence people who protest against them.

As long as this is still America (and not Western Europe) a government ban on speech is the exception, not the rule, and there’s nothing exceptional about speech considered hateful. On the contrary, these days, it’s quite common. Engage in vigorous, provocative argument about a controversial subject, and you’re likely to give offence. Give offence and you’re likely to be accused of spouting hate.

Like pornography, hate speech is difficult to define objectively. One person’s hate speech is another person’s religious conviction, moral code or political ideology. Precisely what ‘verbal offences’ would be covered by a hate-speech ban? That depends on the beliefs, biases and sensibilities of people with the power to enforce it.

Did President Obama engage in hate speech when he uttered a hateful word, instead of referencing it by an initial? Of course not. Words derive meaning and power from the context in which they appear and the tone in which they’re uttered. Yet Obama’s quotation of a single, racially charged word, in the context of a critique of racism, was headline news. It gave offence to some, titillated the media, and may have garnered more attention than the substance of his remarks.

You can partly attribute the media reaction to sensationalism; verboten words are clickbait. But the controversy over the president’s words (or word) also reflects a distressing unwillingness or inability to discern meaning, to distinguish between benign and malevolent utterances. It reflects a magical view of language that regards words as incantations casting spells, regardless of how or by whom they’re used.

Words are malleable; they don’t have single immutable meanings. They’re emblems of varying emotions and ideas. You might say the same of any symbol — a crucifix, the Star of David, or the Stars and Stripes — as well as the Confederate flag. It’s a potent symbol of slavery and subordination, but not quite a universal one. It may mean one thing to white separatists, another to an integrationist whose forbears fought in the Civil War, and another thing entirely to a historian. They’re entitled to read or display the flag as they choose. They’re not entitled to public, state endorsement of their readings or displays, just as people for whom the flag is an emblem or celebration of oppression are not entitled to state bans on its private display.

Official hate-speech bans share this with official displays of the Confederate flag. They harness government power abusively to gain advantage in what should be private battles over the meaning of words and symbols and expressions of hate. Freedom of speech is freedom from government intervention. If that’s not clear when government officials are your allies in battles over speech, it will be obvious when they turn against you.

SOURCE







Who really wants to impose austerity?

The British left rages against mild Tory cuts yet dreams of imposing real austerity.

Nothing better sums up the otherworldliness of the British left than its current war against austerity. What austerity? There’s no austerity in 21st-century Britain. That A-word, coming from the Latin austerus, meaning ‘dry, harsh, sour, cruel’, has traditionally been used to describe pretty severe conditions of restraint. Like food rationing during the Second World War. Yet today it is used to mean anything from the trimming of a welfare benefit that didn’t even exist a couple of decades ago to the cutting of a relatively small proportion of the public-sector bill. Left-wing observers raging against ‘austerity’ are denuding the A-word of all meaning, and demonstrating their inability to grasp the real problems facing Britain today.

Everyone’s talking about austerity. You can’t open a newspaper without encountering angst-ridden commentary about ‘the pain of austerity’, and how Tory austerity policies are designed to be ‘a deliberate rewriting of the social contract to divert our common wealth to the elite’. At the weekend, thousands of people marched in London to ‘End Austerity Now’. Some carried placards saying ‘Austerity kills’, a reference to the claim that Tory cuts to welfare have caused some people to commit suicide — what the Guardian refers to as ‘the unspoken side of welfare reform’. Exploiting the mental torment of isolated suicides to challenge Tory policies: nice.

Reading these angry articles, you could be forgiven for thinking that public spending was being obliterated and millions were being cast into penury. This simply isn’t the case. There’s no doubt the recession has brought about tough times for many, especially the poor and people with insecure employment. But austerity is not being imposed. On the contrary, public spending continues to rise, as it has done every year since 1948. In 2014/15 prices, public spending has risen from just under £400 billion in 1990 to over £700 billion in 2014. Yes, there have been cuts in some areas — for example, in public investment in social housing and school-building — but in other areas there has been more of a shifting around of a resources than any kind of austere action. For the first three years the Tories were in government (then with the Lib Dems), spending on welfare benefits actually increased by £10 billion, to a total of £192 billion, largely as a consequence of the boosting of the Basic State Pension and Disability Living Allowance. It’s surreal that a government which increased public spending, including on benefits, should have been described as ‘imposing austerity’.

Some in the public sector have lost their jobs, and that is very bad for them. But even this must be measured against the fact that, over the past 10 years, the public-sector workforce had grown by extraordinary levels. According to recent data, in the third quarter of 2014 there were 386,000 fewer public-sector jobs than there had been when the Tories and the Lib Dems took office in 2010. Yet this is 386,000 out of more than six million. The public sector remains vast. In 2000, there were 5,221,000 public-sector workers — by 2010, there were 6,070,000. An increase of nearly one million in 10 years. Britain still has a huge public sector, which simply doesn’t sit with the idea that we’re living through painful, even murderous austerity.

Left-wing observers’ rage against ‘austerity’ is not a reflection of anything happening in the real world. Rather, it reveals their weddedness to the state, their belief that ‘ordinary people’ could not survive without the public sector. In recent years, as its faith in working men and women waned, and eventually gave way to open contempt for these obese, anti-EU sections of society, the left has come to see the state as the key force for progress. It views the public sector not only as the provider of resources for the poor, but as a provider of therapy and health advice, parenting advice, racial-awareness lessons for employees and schoolkids alike. The state is seen as the solution to every economic and social ill. So any suggestion that the state and its army of employees should be cut back, or even rearranged, is met with angst, and concern about how the little people will cope without the monetary benefits and moral advice of the authorities. It isn’t ‘austerity’ the left is worried about (since there is none); it’s anything that chips away at the Byzantine modern state which they view as the saviour of society.

Of course, much of the public sector is essential. It keeps Britain moving and healthy and fit. Public investment in infrastructure is important: we could do with more of it in industry, science and tech. But there is much of the public sector which is, in essence, a feudalistic racket, charged with looking after the terminally unemployed — those christened by the public sector as ‘incapable’ of working. That large sections of the middle classes make their living through attending to the needs of working people who have effectively been put out to pasture should concern anyone who believes in modernity and autonomy. But to the left, which has profoundly lost faith in the ability of anyone other than the state to run society, this is all perfectly normal, and good. There is much of the state that could be cut back, but the Tories aren’t doing it. Why? Because they actually share the left’s view of the state as a necessary carer for, and corrector of, the lower orders.

There’s a further irony to today’s politics of anti-austerity: the observers rashly describing a few Tory cuts as ‘austerity’ are the ones who really want to impose austerity. Real austerity. In fact, before they developed their newfound emotional attachment to describing everything they don’t like as ‘austerity’, they were openly calling for austerity. George Monbiot is one of the Guardian’s chief complainers about Tory austerity — the same George Monbiot who in 2006 proudly described environmentalism as a ‘campaign not for abundance but for austerity’ and who inspired the radical group Riot 4 Austerity. His colleague Zoe Williams likewise complains about ‘austerity’ yet a few years ago she was dreaming of introducing Second World War-style food rationing, because ‘the lesson from the 40s is that to fix a public-health problem… you need big government’.

For much of the past 20 years, the post-Thatcherite left has demonised economic growth and called for constraints on industry, supermarkets, big cars, etc. Through the politics of environmentalism and the use of questionable mental-health arguments — with desire for more material goods refashioned as a mental malaise: ‘affluenza’ — the left abandoned its one-time commitment to expanding production and consumption and called for… well, austerity. And now it marches against what it calls austerity, but which is nothing of the sort. It fights phoney austerity, but wants real austerity.

What we need today is not hysterical headlines about austerity, but a serious debate about the expansion of the state, and whether we really need all of it, and an unflinching commitment to real, massive economic growth that puts people before ‘the planet’ and allows us all to live wealthier, fuller lives.

SOURCE






Islamic Hate for the Christian Cross

Last May in Italy, a Muslim boy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl during school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck.  The African schoolboy, who had only started to attend the school approximately three weeks earlier, began to bully the Christian girl-"insulting her and picking on her in other ways all because she was wearing the crucifix"-before he finally "punched the girl violently in the back."

What is it about the Christian cross that makes some Muslims react this way?

The fact is, Islamic hostility to the cross is an unwavering fact of life-one that crosses continents and centuries; one that is very much indicative of Islam's innate hostility to Christianity.

Doctrine and History

Because the Christian cross is the quintessential symbol of Christianity-for all denominations, including most forms of otherwise iconoclastic Protestantism-it has been a despised symbol in Islam.

According to the Conditions of Omar-a Medieval text which lays out the many humiliating stipulations conquered Christians must embrace to preserve their lives and which Islamic history attributes to the second "righteous caliph," Omar al-Khattab-Christians are "Not to display a cross [on churches]... and "Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims."

The reason for this animosity is that the cross symbolizes the fundamental disagreement between Christians and Muslims.   According to Dr. Sidney Griffith, author of The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque, "The cross and the icons publicly declared those very points of Christian faith which the Koran, in the Muslim view, explicitly denied: that Christ was the Son of God and that he died on the cross."  Thus "the Christian practice of venerating the cross and the icons of Christ and the saints often aroused the disdain of Muslims," so that there was an ongoing "campaign to erase the public symbols of Christianity, especially the previously ubiquitous sign of the cross."

Islam's hostility to the cross, like all of Islam's hostilities, begins with the Muslim prophet Muhammad. He reportedly "had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with its figure upon it." He once ordered someone wearing a cross to "take off that piece of idolatry" and claimed that at the end times Jesus himself would make it a point to "break the cross"-an assertion the Islamic State regularly makes.

Islamic history following Muhammad is riddled with anecdotes of Muslims cursing and breaking crosses.  Prior to the Battle of Yarmuk in 636, which pitted the earliest invading Muslim armies against the Byzantine Empire, Khalid bin al-Walid, the savage "Sword of Allah," told the Christians that if they wanted peace they must "break the cross" and embrace Islam, or pay jizya and live in subjugation-just as his Islamic State successors are doing today in direct emulation.  The Byzantines opted for war.

In Egypt, Saladin (d. 1193)-regularly touted in the West for his "magnanimity"-ordered "the removal of every cross from atop the dome of every church in the provinces of Egypt," in the words of The History of the Patriarchate of the Egyptian Church.

Europe: Growing Violence against the Cross

Centuries later, not much has changed concerning Islam's position towards the cross, though much has changed in Western perceptions.  In other words, an African boy punching a Christian girl in Italy for her crucifix is part of a long continuum of Islamic hostility for the cross.  Perhaps he learned this hatred in mosque-the same European mosques where Islamic State representatives call Muslims to jihad?

After all, earlier this year in Italy, another  crucifix was destroyed in close proximity to a populated mosque.  The municipality's Councilor, Giuseppe Berlin, did not mince words concerning the identity of the culprit(s):

   "Before we put a show of unity with Muslims, let's have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture. We shouldn't minimize the importance of certain signals; we must wake up now or our children will suffer the consequences of this dangerous and uncontrolled Islamic invasion"

Nor is Italy the only European nation experiencing this phenomenon.   In neighboring France, a "young Muslim" committed major acts of vandalism at two churches.  Along with twisting a massive bronze cross, he overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows. 

And in Germany, a Turkish man who checked himself into a hospital for treatment went into a sudden frenzy because there were "too many crosses on the wall."  He called the nurse a "bitch" and "fascist" and became physically aggressive.

Of course, other times Europeans willingly capitulate to Islamic hostility for the cross.  Real Madrid, a professional football (soccer) team in Spain reportedly stripped the traditional Christian cross from its club crest as part of a deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi-"so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates."  And in the United Kingdom, offensive crucifixes are being removed from prisons in order not to offend Muslim inmates (who are further provided with food baths for Islamic rituals).

Muslim World: Christians Killed for the Cross

If this is how some Muslims react to the Christian cross in Europe-where Muslims are aware of their outnumbered, minority status-how do other Muslims react to the cross in the Islamic world, where vastly outnumbered and ostracized Christian "infidels" are easy prey?

The answer is murderous-literally, Christians are being murdered by Muslims provoked at the sight of the cross:

Last year in Egypt, a young Coptic Christian woman named Mary was mauled to death-simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to Muslim Brotherhood rioters.    According to an eyewitness who discussed the episode, Mary Sameh George was parking her car by the church to deliver medicine to an elderly woman:

    "Once they [Brotherhood rioters] saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rearview mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in.  When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair-to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off.  They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find....  Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off.  Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat.  Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked."

In response, the Coptic Christian Church issued the following statement: "Oh how lucky you are, Mary, you who are beloved of Christ.  They tore your body because of the Cross.  Yet they offered you the greatest service and gave you a name of honor as one who attained the crown of martyrdom."  The statement also quoted Christ's warning to believers: "Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service" (John 16:2).

In October 2011, seventeen-year-old Ayman Nabil Labib, a Coptic student, was strangled and beaten to death by his Muslim teacher and some fellow students-simply for refusing to obey the teacher's orders to remove his cross. Student eyewitnesses present during the assault said that while Ayman was in the classroom he was told to cover up his tattooed wrist cross, which many Copts wear. Not only did he refuse, but he defiantly produced the pectoral cross he wore under his shirt, which prompted the enraged Muslim teacher and students to beat the Christian youth to death.

Before that, an off-duty Muslim police officer on a train from Asyut to Cairo shouted "Allahu Akbar!" and opened fire on six Christians, killing a seventy-one-year-old man and critically wounding the rest. Before opening fire he had checked for passengers with the traditional Coptic cross tattooed on their wrists. (Days ago, another Coptic woman was "shot dead by an Egyptian police officer.  Although officially an "accident," the Muslim officer is notorious for hating Christians.)

In Pakistan, when a Muslim man saw Julie Aftab, a Christian woman, wearing a cross around her neck,

    "The man became abusive, shouting at her that she was living in the gutter and would go to hell for shunning Islam. He left and returned half an hour later, clutching a bottle of battery acid which he savagely chucked over her head. As she ran screaming for the door a second man grabbed her by the hair and forced more of the liquid down her throat, searing her esophagus. Teeth fell from her mouth as she desperately called for help, stumbling down the street. A woman heard her cries and took her to her home, pouring water over her head and taking her to hospital. At first the doctors refused to treat her, because she was a Christian. ‘They all turned against me . . . even the people who took me to the hospital. They told the doctor they were going to set the hospital on fire if they treated me'. . . . 67 percent of her esophagus was burned and she was missing an eye and both eyelids. What remained of her teeth could be seen through a gaping hole where her cheek had been. The doctors predicted she would die any day. Despite the odds she pulled through."

All this because she was wearing a cross.

Even in Muslim nations deemed "moderate," violence provoked by the cross is not uncommon.  In 2012, a 12-year-old boy in Turkey who converted to Christianity and decided to profess his new faith by wearing a silver cross necklace in class was spit on and beat regularly by Muslim classmates and teachers.

In the Maldives, October 2010, authorities had to rescue Geethamma George, a Christian teacher from India, after Muslim "parents threatened to tie and drag her off of the island" for "preaching Christianity." Her crime was simply to draw a compass in class as part of a geography lesson.  The compass was mistaken for the Christian cross.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Sunday, July 05, 2015



Greek corruption behind Greek collapse

Is there such a thing as an honest Greek?

Greece in teetering on the brink of ruin - and it is hard not to feel sympathy for the pensioners crying in the street and the mothers facing empty supermarket shelves.

Yet those reading a new book may find themselves feeling a little less compassionate towards the Greeks. It reveals an eye-popping catalogue of benefits scams and tax avoidance schemes that have robbed the public purse.

James Angelos' The Full Catastrophe: Travels among the New Greek Ruins lays bare the corruption which filtered through all levels of society - from the islanders who pretended to be blind, to the families who forgot to register their parents' death and the doctors who 'earn' just €12,000 a year - yet live in Athens' most exclusive neighbourhood.

It was the rumours of an 'island of the blind' which first bought Angelos, a journalist, to Greece in 2011.  He had heard that on Zakynthos, something like two per cent of the population were registered blind.

All was not quite how it seemed, however, and it transpired that 61 of the 680 'blind' residents were quite happily driving around the island.

In fact, an astonishing 498 of those 680 were not blind at all - or even partially sighted. But being 'blind' had its advantages - in particular, the €724 paid in benefits once every two months, and a reduction in utility bills.

It was a scam which could be traced back to one ophthalmologist and one official, which was estimated to have cost the country €9 million.

And, as Angelos discovered, it was only the tip of the iceberg.  How big is the problem of disability benefits fraud, Angelos asked the then-deputy health minister Markos Bolaris.  'Very big,' came the accurate, but short, reply.

Indeed, when those claiming disabilities were asked to present themselves at government offices so records could be updated, 36,000 failed to do so.  That translated to an immediate saving for the government of €100m a year.

But the fraud was certainly not confined to just disability benefits.  When the government chose to take a closer look at who they were paying pensions to, they found a slightly suspicious 8,500 pensioners had surpassed the milestone age of 100.

An even closer look revealed, 40,000 pension claims were fraudulent. It seems people were forgetting to register their loved ones' deaths.

It's not that these scams were not known about before, of course.

A Daily Mail investigation in 2011 revealed the subway system was essentially free for the five million residents of Athens - because, with no barriers, it relied on an honesty system which few were honest enough to use.

It described street after street of opulent mansions and villas, surrounded by high walls and with their own pools, which, on paper, were the homes of virtual paupers.

They were all allowed to declare their own income for tax purposes - and officially, they were only earning €12,000 - or a paltry £8,500 - a year, below the tax threshold.

Apparently, only 5,000 people admitted to earning more than £90,000 a year - prompting one economist to describe Greece as a ‘poor country full of rich people’.

The lengths these doctors, lawyers and businessmen would go to to hide their wealth from the government was, it has to be said, impressive.

According to official records, just over 300 homes in Athens' most exclusive neighbourhood had swimming pools, and had paid the resulting tax for such a luxury.

But when the government decided to have a look on Google Earth, it became clear these residents hadn't been totally honest.  The real figure for swimming pools in the area is believed to be closer to 20,000.

But instead of coming clean, there was a boom in sales of camouflage tarpaulins to conceal their existence from the tax inspectors flying over the gardens.

And then there are the tales which seem to be more down to incompetence, rather than actual fraud.

In particular, there is the tale of treasury employee Savvas Saltouridis, who used an Uzi submachine gun to murder the mayor of his Greek mountain town in 2009, who remained on the municipal payroll for years afterwards - even though he was languishing in jail.  He was taking advantage of the complex disciplinary system

But what do when so many are cheating the system? It is estimated tax evasion alone might be costing the country as much as €20billion a year in lost revenue, while years of benefit fraud will certainly have added up.

But when Angelos suggested punishing those who tried to play the system, he was given a straight forward - if depressing - answer.   'If you start putting people in jail, maybe you'll have to put half of Greece in jail,' an official said.

SOURCE






Cantuar rebukes U.S. Anglicans for recognising same-sex marriages and referring to God in ‘gender-neutral’ language

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rebuked American Anglicans for recognising same-sex marriages and referring to God in ‘gender-neutral’ language.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby told leaders of the Church of England’s US sister church that it was the wrong time for a row over gay rights and sexism in services.

He told the bishops of the Episcopal Church that they should be ‘looking outwards’ to mourn for the victims of Islamist terror attacks instead of returning to the Anglicans’ decades old disputes over sex.

And the Archbishop pointedly drew their attention to the need to take notice of the racially-inspired massacre of black American churchgoers in Charleston.

Archbishop Welby told the Americans that their radical reforms would cause distress among Anglicans and the faithful of other Christian churches.

The campaign by the liberal bishops of the US church to promote gay rights has led to a deep divide in the 70 million-strong Anglican Communion, the network of churches around the world that were set up on the model of the Church of England and which look to Lambeth Palace for leadership.

Its latest move came at its general convention in Salt Lake City, which agreed to remove from its liturgy any references to marriage being between a man and a woman, and to replace references to God as ‘He’ with language that does not specify sex.

Services in the new form are likely to be in use in states that approve them by Christmas.

Archbishop Welby’s disapproval was set out in a statement from Lambeth Palace.

‘The Archbishop of Canterbury expressed deep concern about the stress for the Anglican Communion following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed,’ it said.

‘While recognising the prerogative of the Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.’

The statement added: ‘At a time of such suffering around the world, he stated that this was a moment for the church to be looking outwards. We continue to mourn with all those who are grieving loved ones and caring for the injured from the terrorist attacks in Sousse, Kuwait and Lyon, and from the racist attacks in Charleston.’

SOURCE





We won't hound fox hunters anymore says RSPCA  -- unless ...

The RSPCA has announced it will no longer chase fox hunters through the courts.  The animal welfare charity’s u-turn came after it was accused of wasting members’ funds prosecuting hunters for political reasons.

A review by Stephen Wooler, former chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service, recommended the RSPCA no longer prosecute in hunting cases last October.

Now the organisation’s trustees have decided to pass cases involving ‘traditional hunts’ to the police and CPS, after an initial investigation to determine the quality of evidence.

The trustees will, however, reserve the right to proceed if the police or CPS decline to take action. The RSPCA, which relies on donations, has faced criticism for the high cost of its prosecutions, some in cases with little chance of success.

A case against the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset was withdrawn in March when the RSPCA accepted it had no chance of conviction. In 2012, it successfully prosecuted the Heythrop Hunt in David Cameron’s constituency, but was accused of a political vendetta. The magistrate in the case described the £327,000 costs run up by the charity as ‘staggering’.

David Bowles, of the RSPCA, said yesterday: ‘We have listened to Stephen Wooler and have acted on his recommendation to adopt a clear policy on how we deal with cases specifically against traditional hunts. We will still look into allegations involving traditional hunts, before passing the evidence to the police, who will be invited to complete the investigation before handing the case to the CPS.

‘If the police decline to conclude an investigation, the RSPCA reserves the right to complete the investigation, and deal with any prosecution required, itself. We will still investigate other individuals for alleged breaches of the Hunting Act.’

Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, said the RSPCA had made a ‘sensible decision’, adding: ‘The RSPCA is in an extremely difficult position as a political campaigning organisation and as a prosecutor.  ‘We have long argued it makes it almost impossible for them to make objective decisions on prosecutions.’

The Prime Minister has promised MPs a free vote on repealing the hunt ban introduced by Labour in 2004, although it was not in this year’s Queen’s Speech.

Critics of the RSPCA claim it became more political under former chief executive Gavin Grant, whose vocal opposition to the badger cull and hunting led to accusations that the charity’s focus had switched to animal rights from animal welfare.

A leaked internal memo two years ago from RSPCA deputy chairman Paul Draycott revealed there were also concerns within the charity that it was becoming ‘too political’ and likened its pursuit of hunting to ‘the charge of the Light Brigade’.

Mr Grant quit last year and a successor has yet to be named.

SOURCE






Marriage Battle Picks Up Steam in Australia: ‘No Parliament or Court has the Authority to Repeal Biology’

“No parliament or court has the authority to repeal biology,” an Australian pro-family campaigner said at the weekend as the ripple effects of the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling lent additional momentum to a growing campaign to redefine marriage in Australia.

Australian Marriage Forum president David van Gend said decisions like the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling declaring same-sex marriage is a right was a reflection of “the moral dementia of the West.”

Describing the court decision as an “historic act of social self-mutilation” akin to Roe vs. Wade, van Gend warned it will lead to “a new era of civil discord.”

“We must not let that happen here.”

“If same-sex couples cannot marry, that is because they do not meet nature’s job description for marriage and family: marriage and childbearing is a specifically male-female phenomenon in nature, and no parliament or court has the authority to repeal biology,” he said.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision America’s biggest LGBT civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is throwing its backing behind the Australian campaign.

The HRC expressed support for the activist group Australian Marriage Equality, whose national convenor Rodney Croome says his country is “now the only developed, English-speaking country that doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry.”

“We welcome the Human Rights Campaign’s support for the Australian campaign because it will muster support across the world and highlight how far Australia is falling behind,” said Croome.

“Now marriage equality has been achieved in the U.S., all eyes will be on Australia with the hope we are next.”

The leader of Australia’s official opposition Labor Party, Bill Shorten, recently introduced a bill that would alter the definition of who can be legally married by replacing the words “man and women” with “two people.”

“Those eight words [‘the union of a man and a woman’] maintain a fiction that any other relationship is somehow inferior,” Shorten said when introducing the bill on June 1.

The issue was thrust into the political spotlight a decade ago, when Australians who had solemnized same-sex marriages in Canada tried to get courts in their own country to declare those unions to be valid and legal.

In response, the federal parliament in 2004 defined marriage explicitly as a union between a man and a woman.

The next skirmish occurred in 2013, when the federal parliament defeated a bill that would have allowed homosexuals and lesbians to marry. At that time both the then-Labor prime minister, Julia Gillard, and center-right opposition leader Tony Abbott opposed the bill, and it was voted down 98-42.

That same year the legislature of the Australian Capital Territory, which comprises Canberra and the surrounding area, passed the nation’s first same-sex marriage legislation. It was challenged by the federal government, and just five days after it came into effect in December 2013 the High Court overturned it, declaring it “a matter for the federal parliament.”

In the face of the new parliamentary push, Abbott – now prime minister – remains opposed to same-sex marriage.

“What happens in the United States is obviously a matter for the United States, just as what happened in Ireland a few weeks ago is a matter for the Irish,” he said in Melbourne on Saturday, referring to the Supreme Court decision and to Ireland’s May 22 referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.

“As for our own country, obviously there is a community debate going on,” Abbott said. “I have views on this subject which are pretty well known and they haven’t changed.”

‘The dominos are falling around the world’

Parliament is expected to take up Shorten’s bill when it resumes after the current winter recess.

“This is a joyous day in America,” Shorten said in response to the Supreme Court decision. “In Australia, let us make it a call to action.”

It was the Irish referendum that prompted Shorten to introduce the measure. He told reporters on Saturday that if a “famously religious society” like Ireland could take the step, “why couldn’t we in Australia?”

“America is another society which is very influential in Australia from its media, its culture, to its system of government in many ways,” Shorten added. “So now America too has moved on the path of marriage equality.”

“The dominos are falling around the world at an ever increasing rate, and it’s well beyond time that Australia caught up,” said Nick McKim, a lawmaker with the Australian Green Party.

“Marriage in Australia is a civil institution that belongs to our people, not to the churches which continue to oppose marriage equality,” he added.

But the Australian Christian Lobby slammed the decision by “five unelected judges,” charging that the necessary flow-on effect of making marriage available to same-sex couples is to deny a child either its mother or its father.

“The five judges overturned the democratic votes of more than 50 million Americans in 31 states which have voted to keep marriage as between one man and one woman,” said ACL managing director Lyle Shelton.

“Only 11 states [10 states and DC] permitted same-sex marriage through legislative or voter action. Everywhere else, judges have made the decision for the people on behalf of the homosexual lobby.

“America, the land that gave us ‘we the people,’ has ceded its democracy to ‘you the judges.’”

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************


Friday, July 03, 2015



Being bisexual 'is bad for your health': People with male and female partners report poorer wellbeing than those of other sexualities

Bisexual people have worse health than those of other sexualities, new research suggests.

A new study examining the health of people of different sexual persuasions found those who were bisexual rated their health as worse than gays, lesbians and heterosexuals.

The researchers also found that people who identify themselves as bisexual are disproportionately disadvantaged when it comes to on important social and economic and factors associated with good health and wellbeing.

As part of the study, researchers asked 10,128 sexual minorities (gay, lesbian and bisexual adults) to rate their health. They also asked 405,145 heterosexual adults to give the same rating, to see how it differed across people of different sexual orientations.

'Existing health research on the sexual minority population is sparse and typically does not make distinctions between the different types of sexual minorities,' said the study's lead author Professor Bridget Gorman, of Rice University, Texas.

'We developed this study both to examine the health of these different sexual minority groups and to assess how risk factors for poor health contribute to their overall health.'

The researchers also quizzed people on factors that impact health, including socio-economic status, education level, employment status and household income.

They then asked about access to health insurance. Smoking and drinking habits, their BMI, their well-being as well as access to social support were also recorded as part of the data collection.

The results showed that 19.5 per cent of bisexual men and 18.5 per cent of bisexual women rated their health as 'poor or fair' - the highest proportion among all the groups surveyed.

In contrast, only 11.9 per cent of men identifying as gay and 10.6 per cent of women identifying as lesbian rated their health as 'poor or fair' - the lowest proportion of those surveyed.

Health was also rated poor by 14.5 per cent of heterosexual men and 15.6 per cent of heterosexual women.

The researchers also discovered that bisexual people were disadvantaged when it came to many other factors that affect health, when compared to people of other sexual orientations.

For example, bisexual men and women were the least likely of the three groups to be educated to university level. Only 26.5 per cent of bisexual men and 32.1 per cent of bisexual women graduated from university.

This was compared with 55.7 per cent of gay men and 57 per cent of lesbian women, and 37.9 per cent of heterosexual men and 37.5 per cent of heterosexual women.

Bisexual men and women were more likely to smoke (23.8 per cent and 21.9 per cent, respectively).

This was compared with 14.9 per cent of gay men, 16.6 per cent of lesbian women, 11.1 per cent of heterosexual men and 8.3 per cent of heterosexual women.

And of the three groups, they were the most likely to have an annual household income of less than $25,000 (£16,000), with 39.5 per cent of men and 42.1 per cent of women falling into this category

This was compared with 22.9 per cent of gay men, 25.4 per cent of lesbian women, 24.8 per cent of heterosexual men and 29.5 per cent of heterosexual women.

SOURCE






Worth trying, I guess

Good-looking man who was 'possessed by a homosexual demon' in Kenya is exorcised by a priest to 'cure' him.  There is a lot of superstition in Africa so this could work



A video has emerged of a Nigerian businessman being exorcised by a priest because he was allegedly possessed by a 'homosexual demon' after bathing in a hotel swimming pool in Kenya.

Filmed by a Nigerian Christian television network, the video claims that after Tegus caught the demon, he broke up with his girlfriend and started to download gay porn.

A man, thought to be a priest, is seen questioning Tegus before carrying out the exorcism. Throwing his arms at the possessed man, the priest yells at him: 'Turn'.

He proceeds to do this again before Tegus tries to escape. Grabbing him tightly by the wrist, the priest orders the demon: 'Turn for Jesus Christ.'

The dramatic video opens with a calm interview between the priest and the smartly dressed businessman.  When asked who is inside him, Tegus quietly says that it is his 'friend' and that he has many 'friends' inside him.

The priest calmly asked for some names and in response Tegus says: 'I made him gay'.

Starting to build up the tension for the packed congregation, the priests asks: 'What have you been pushing him to do against his will?'

Tegus tells the priest how the supposed demon made him love men instead of loving women and that he loves men.

Lowering his voice a few tones, the priest starts to interrogate the man, questioning how the demon entered his body.

The businessman informs the priest thathe caught the demon from swimming in a hotel pool.

Continuing to maintain his audience's attention, the priest lambasts Tegus, calling him 'an unclean spirit.'

He becomes harsher in his tone, ordering Tegus to come closer.  Firmly held by two men in matching red jumpers, Tegus is exorcised by the priest, who raises his hands near to the frightened man.

Shouting  the words 'Turn for Jesus Christ', the priest grabs him tightly by his wrist, yanking down on Tegus' arm.

Attempting to run away, the priest yells at him to come here and he is prevented from escaping by two of the red shirted assistants.

The priest turns, flashing his arms and ordering the man to go, causing Tegus to collapse to the ground.

A faint ripple of applause can be heard from the silent congregation.

Walking around in a disoriented manner, the man is asked how he is. Quietly he tells the priest that he is fine.

Asked what he said earlier, Tegus insists he said nothing.

Speaking in a crudely edited interview afterwards, Tegus recalls how he got the demon from swimming.

'After swimming, I went back to my room in the night to sleep and I had a dream. I dreamt where I saw myself swimming in the same pool and when I woke up, I felt something had entered me.'

'I started having passion for men and going closer to my closer men. Before my journey, I had a fiancee.I had to ask her to quit the relationship because I had no passion for anymore - no more affections for her.'

Tegus insists at the end that he has had 'total deliverance' and now feels a 'passion for the opposite sex.'

Nigeria has strict laws on homosexuality, where anyone who commits a homosexual act can be punished for up to 14 years in jail. Same sex marriage is also banned in the West African country.

SOURCE






American College of Pediatricians: Gay Marriage Ruling ‘Tragic’ for Children

“This is a tragic day for America’s children,” Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, said Friday in a statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

“The SCOTUS has just undermined the single greatest pro-child institution in the history of mankind: the natural family.

"Just as it did in the joint Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, the SCOTUS has elevated and enshrined the wants of adults over the needs of children,” Cretella said.

The American College of Pediatricians is “a nonprofit organization of pediatricians and health care professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.”

The College filed an amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case which led to the legalization of gay marriage in the United States. The brief examines scientific studies on same-sex parenting conducted during the past 20 years.

“Despite being certified by almost all major social science scholar associations -- indeed, in part because of this -- the alleged scientific consensus that having two parents of the same sex is innocuous for child well-being is almost wholly without basis,” the brief states.

The brief maintains that the “alleged consensus” that the children of same-sex couples do not suffer any disadvantage is the result of “intense politicization of research agendas” -- not of objective science.

It references the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 1991 guidelines on Avoiding Heterosexist Bias in Psychological Research. The guidelines define “heterosexism” as “conceptualizing human experience in strictly heterosexual terms and consequently ignoring, invalidating, or derogating homosexual behaviors and sexual orientation, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships and lifestyles.”

“How can a researcher who has discovered negative outcomes for children with same-sex parents publish such findings without ‘invalidating (or being perceived as invalidating) lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships?’ the brief asks. "Even worse, how can a researcher who suspects that he or she may find such outcomes find funding or support for the research?” the amicus brief asks.

According to the court document, some studies that reported no difference between children raised by same-sex couples and children raised by heterosexual couples were later found to be invalid.

For example, in the three often-cited studies of adolescents raised by lesbian mothers conducted by Dr. Jennifer Wainright of the University of Virginia, for "27 of the 44 'lesbian mother' couples" she cited, "the responding adolescent reported that one of the parents in the household was his or her male father," the brief noted.

"Wainright et al's three studies compared a group of heterosexual parents with another group of (mostly) heterosexual parents. It is not surprising they found 'no differences' in child outcomes betweeen these groups..."

When Dr. Paul Sullins, an associate professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America, re-analyzed Wainright’s data, with the sample corrected to include only same-sex couples, he found that 87.7 percent of children with married same-sex parents exhibited symptoms of depression, compared to 47.2 percent of children with married opposite-sex parents.

One third (32.4 percent) of children with married same-sex parents reported feeling fearful or crying almost every day, compared to 3.1 percent of children with married opposite-sex parents, according to Sullins’ study.

Adolescents who reported that they had already had sexual intercourse were asked if they had ever been forced to have sex against their will. More than two thirds (70.5 percent) of adolescents with married same-sex parents responded “yes” to this question, dropping to 10 percent of those with married opposite-sex parents. 

However, Sullins’ data also suggests that “same-sex parents are just as loving and caring, perhaps more so, than are opposite-sex parents” and that negative results are not the result of any stigma attached to the children of same-sex parents.

The brief states that “special consideration must be given to the states’ interests in the well-being of children, who are uniquely vulnerable and have little recourse against harm,” asserting that state laws preventing same-sex marriage have a “rational basis” and that it would be “imprudent” for the courts to restrict these laws.

“Although it is disappointing only four of the nine justices heeded the scientific findings in the College brief,” Cretella  added, "the College will continue to proclaim the important unique contributions of both mothers and fathers to the optimal nurturing of all children.”

SOURCE






Australia: That Leftist double standard about free speech again

Attorney-General George Brandis was widely ridiculed after he made these comments in the Senate in May, 2014: “People do have a right to be bigots, you know. People have the right to say things that other people would find insulting, offensive or bigoted.”

Many of Brandis’s critics were from the ABC, where the Attorney-General is something of a hate ­figure.

So it was a surprise on Monday night to hear so many people on the ABC’s Q & A program using Brandis’s exact argument to defend the show’s decision to grant several minutes of airtime last week to ­Islamic extremist Zaky Mallah.

Host Tony Jones kicked off the homage to Brandis with these opening remarks: “The ABC’s editorial standards tell us to present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded, nor disproportionately represented.”

Guest Anne Aly, a research fellow at Perth’s Curtin University, readily agreed. “We deserve to have these issues brought to our attention,” she said.

A video question from viewer Michael Daley followed Aly’s theme: “The High Court has held that there is an implied freedom of political communication. Therefore, while I disagree with the comments made by Zaky Mallah last week, we have an obligation to honour his right say them.”

And guest Lawrence Krauss, one of those relatively obscure American academics who so frequently appear on Q & A, joined in. The ­director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University said that some of Mallah’s views were “despicable”, but in our society “we have to be willing to have discussions about despicable views”.

In other words, people have the right to say things that other people would find insulting, offensive or bigoted. George Brandis should consider himself deeply honoured by the ABC’s belated agreement.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Thursday, July 02, 2015




Same-sex “Marriage” and the Persecution of Christians in Canada

Canada legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005, the fourth country in the world to do so. During the rushed public debate that preceded legalization, the Christian and traditional understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman had strong support. Polls showed a deep split among Canadians, and the majority (52 percent) were actually against legalization at the time that it occurred.

Opponents of same-sex “marriage” were given all kinds of assurances. The preamble to the Civil Marriage Act states that “everyone has the freedom of conscience and religion,” “nothing in this Act affects the guarantee of freedom of conscience and religion and, in particular, the freedom of members of religious groups to hold and declare their religious beliefs,” and “it is not against the public interest to hold and publicly express diverse views on marriage.”

But how quickly things change. Since the watershed moment of legalization, Canadian social norms have shifted rapidly, and what was once considered fringe or debateable has become the new normal.

Today, different opinions on “gender identity” and same-sex “marriage” are no longer tolerated. Our society is sweeping away respect for religious faiths that do not accept and celebrate same-sex “marriage,” and the Civil Marriage Act’s assurances seem merely farcical. It is not premature to speak of open discrimination against Christians in Canada.

Christian Lawyers Need Not Apply

The Canadian Charter of Right and Freedoms declares that Canadians have a fundamental “freedom of conscience and religion” and “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.” But constitutional guarantees are at the mercy of lawyers, and Canadian lawyers have emerged as among the most fiercely intolerant of anyone, including their own colleagues, who fails to support same-sex “marriage.”

This extreme intolerance became evident last year when Trinity Western University, the largest privately-funded Evangelical Christian university in Canada, set out to establish a law school. TWU’s plans were approved by British Columbia’s Ministry of Education, which seemed like the final green light. But in a truly unprecedented move, the law societies of three provinces, including Ontario, voted to deny accreditation to the law school.

The law societies gave only one reason, and it had nothing to do with sufficiency of the legal training of TWU graduates. The sole sticking point was the fact that TWU has a campus covenant which, among other things, asks students to abstain from same-sex (and heterosexual) sexual relationships outside of marriage, and states that marriage is reserved for man and woman.

The benchers who sit on provincial law societies are some of the most powerful lawyers in the country. In debating the TWU covenant, many of these elite lawyers made comparisons between the opposition to same-sex “marriage” and racism. For instance, one Ontario bencher said: “we can draw a useful analogy between public attitudes towards interracial dating and interracial marriage in 1985 and discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2014.” In British Columbia, one bencher put it this way: “there is no way to avoid asking … what this Law Society would do if the community covenant related to interracial marriage, even if that precept was based on religion as it was in the case of the Bob Jones University.“

The implication could not be more clear: Christians who believe in traditional marriage are the modern-day equivalent of racists, and warrant identical exclusion. Christian lawyers across Canada are now repeating the words of prominent Ontario lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos: “I did not attend TWU, but I share its biblical view of marriage…. Do my religious beliefs, particularly about marriage, somehow disqualify me from ably practicing law? That is the inevitable conclusion and consequence if we endorse barring TWU law graduates from practicing law.”

Not only are Christian lawyers being pushed out by their colleagues, but they are also experiencing ostracism from their clients. As the debate over TWU heated in the media, some of Canada’s most powerful corporations created Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD), a group that now includes over 70 of Canada’s largest corporations. Through LLD, these companies aim to alter the legal landscape by choosing to do business only with pro-gay law firms. Never before has there been a concerted effort to essentially starve Christian law firms out of business.

Catholics Seen as Opposed to Human Rights
The view that Christians are no longer fit for certain jobs is spreading out beyond the legal profession. In March, Toronto’s city council voted to remove the nomination of a Catholic school trustee to the city’s Board of Health. The trustee had not shown any wrongdoing or incompetence, and city councillors didn’t even try to argue this. Their stated concern was that the trustee had a history of voting in line with Catholic teaching.

In particular, some councillors were concerned that the trustee had consistently opposed gay-straight alliances in schools (a 2012 Ontario law states that these activist gay groups must be permitted inside all publicly-funded schools, including Catholic ones).

As in the case of TWU, councillors used an analogy to racism. The chair of the Board of Health asked: “Would we allow that as a society if it was black-white alliances? That’s what human rights are about….” Another councillor said: “These are actually human rights issues, the right for gays and lesbians to lead an equal life in the city of Toronto.”

The writing is on the wall. A mere decade after same-sex “marriage” was legalized in Canada, citizens who do not support same-sex “marriage” are outside the bounds of social acceptability. It is now considered in the public interest to deny them career opportunities and advancement.

Children as the Next Frontier of Gender Diversity
This coming September, all publicly funded schools in the province of Ontario, whether Catholic or secular, must begin to teach an aggressive new sexual education curriculum which is categorically opposed to Catholic teaching on sexuality and the human person.

Starting in grade three, the curriculum introduces children to the idea that gender is fluid, and that little boys can decide to be girls, or vice versa. The message is that transgender desires are just as perfectly normal as homosexual leanings.

This message is already being propagated by our media. For instance, Canadian public radio recently covered the case of a 12-year-old boy who chose to “come out” as a girl one year earlier. This “heartwarming” story includes details such as the fact that the boy’s puberty has now been chemically stopped, and he may be put through female puberty instead.

Young Canadian children have been “coming out” as transgender, and are being encouraged by officials in schools and government, and by the media. Currently, a Catholic school in Alberta is being pressured to allow a 7-year-old transgender “girl” to use the girls’ bathroom. Last year, the province of Alberta issued a new birth certificate to a 12-year-old “boy” who was born a girl.

Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s largest pro-life organization, accurately expresses the dilemma that Ontario’s Catholic schools are facing:

It is unclear how Catholic schools can implement teaching on birth control, abortion, the idea that being male or female is a social construct, gender expression, and the 6-gender theory, even if retrofitted with a “Catholic lens.” Catholic moral teaching forbids abortion and the use of artificial contraception as grave evils. The theory of gender identity, gender expression and the idea that there are more genders than just male and female directly contradict Christian anthropology of the human person.

The Dawn of a New Dictatorship?

Canada continues to pioneer through a vast social experiment. The legalization of same-sex “marriage” represented the victory in our laws and public morals of a view of the human person and human sexuality that is seriously incompatible with the Gospel. This is turning out to be a zero-sum situation, and Christians are starting to be seen as public enemies.

Last May at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Princeton professor Robert George spoke precisely of these changes in our Western culture, and of the coming persecution of Catholics and other like-minded Christians. Here in Canada, his predictions are already coming to pass:

The days of socially acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past…. Powerful forces and currents in our society press us to be ashamed of the Gospel … ashamed of our faith’s teachings on marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. These forces insist that the Church’s teachings are out of date, retrograde, insensitive, uncompassionate, illiberal, bigoted, even hateful … these same forces say you are a homophobe, a bigot, someone who doesn’t believe in equality. You even represent a threat to people’s safety. You ought to be ashamed!

…One may in consequence of one’s public witness be discriminated against and denied educational opportunities and the prestigious credentials they may offer; one may lose valuable opportunities for employment and professional advancement; one may be excluded from worldly recognition and honors of various sorts; one’s witness may even cost one treasured friendships…. Yes, there are costs of discipleship—heavy costs.

Trinity Western University is now fighting expensive court battles in three provinces, and will likely wind up at the Supreme Court. The Toronto Catholic school trustee is considering an appeal to a human rights tribunal. Thousands of parents have protested against the new sexual education curriculum in Ontario, pulling 15,000 kids out of school to demonstrate their outrage.

But Ontario’s premier, who is herself a lesbian in a same-sex “marriage,” has announced her resolve to introduce the curriculum despite the protests. The tsunami of gender identity politics is only gathering speed, bringing ever more pressure upon those who dare stand in its way.

SOURCE






Amazon.com: No Confederate Flags But Hamas and Hezbollah Flags Available

 Amazon.com joined other American companies like eBay and Wal-Mart last week in banning the sale of the Confederate flag, but the online retail giant has apparently not banned items associated with foreign terrorist groups.

Flags of Hamas and Hezbollah, and armed “Taliban” action figures are among the offerings available with a few clicks of a mouse.

Amazon’s decision to remove merchandise featuring the Confederate flag, reported by Reuters and others last week, came in the wake of the shooting of nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C. by a white gunman who photographed himself draped in the flag.

A search of the Amazon.com website reveals that it has for sale an 18-piece set of figurines described as “Afghan Taliban.” The figures, available for $18.18 a set, are shown carrying assault weapons, ammunition and rocket propelled grenades.

Items featuring the bright yellow flag of the Lebanese Iranian-backed Shi’ite group Hezbollah, designated by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) since 1997, are also on sale on Amazon.

A pack of photographic prints of the flag are available for $3.99, a fridge magnet for $2.99, a small window cling flag for $2.99, and an “I love Hezbollah” infant bodysuit for $19.99.

The flag of Hezbollah (the “Party of Allah”) features a fist, an AK-47 assault rifle and an image of the Qur’an.

The Anti-Defamation League’s describes the banner as follows: “A fist rises from the letters clutching an AK-47. Below the rifle are a Qur’an, a globe and a seven-leafed branch. The red Arabic script above the rifle reads, ‘the party of God, they are the triumphant ones.’ The red Arabic text below the central image reads, ‘the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.’”

The flag of Hamas, also a designated FTO, is also on sale at Amazon.com for $8.47.

Its availability on the site riled some browsers, who used the “customer reviews” feature to let Amazon know their views on the matter.

“Hey Amazon. You just removed the Confederate flag from your inventory. I DEMAND you also remove THIS symbol of hatred and bigotry from your inventory,” read one.

“Great job Amazon for showing us your true colors,” said another. “Can’t get a Confederate battle flag but you can get a flag of this terrorist group. A group that has killed many women and children.”

SOURCE






Having Dispensed With God, Leftists Now Aim for Christians



 Five leftist lawyers, currently abusing their authority as Supreme Court Justices, unleashed their activism upon the U.S. Constitution Friday and created a non-existent right to same-sex marriage. The Fourteenth Amendment may provide equal protection under the law, but by applying it to expand the definition of marriage the Court has created a constitutional crisis in America. The First and Tenth Amendments, which respectively promise freedom of individual religion and award jurisdiction to the States of all powers not enumerated in the Constitution, have now been placed in direct conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Love Wins”? Not here it doesn’t, nor does anything but the will of five judicial despots, followed by the bullying mob rule of the Left and its Rainbow Mafia. Need proof?

In 2008, before the Saul Alinsky-ite Barack Obama and his Chicagoland gang occupied the White House and began “fundamentally transforming” our nation, there was debate, dissent and dialogue about all sorts of issues, including those issues fomented by the hard Left in order to label the response of the Christian Right as extremist.

In 2008, homosexual couples could enter into a legal, binding contract for shared property, power of attorney for making health care decisions, probate of wills, etc., and were, in most cases, receiving health care benefits from employers. These same homosexual couples were consummating their relationship in the privacy of their own domicile without harassment.

In 2008, Christians could speak their opinions and stand on their faith while understanding their voice was respected in the public square.

In 2015, however, those same Christians are in grave danger of losing legal standing because their beliefs are pitted against a brand new, heretofore undiscovered constitutional right. Tolerance is only for those who agree with the mob-rule Left.

What changed in seven years?

If you ask a moderate Republican, he or she might say, “Elections have consequences,” and shrug, since they never viewed this as meaningful anyway. If you ask the Bible-believing Democrats who voted for Ronald Reagan, they shudder at the exchange of timeless principles for sexual license. If you ask a libertarian, you might get the response that devout Christians are the “recalcitrant minority.” But if you ask someone who identifies as Christian first, American second, and is conservative politically, you’ll hear sorrow for a nation that worships the secular triune of me, myself and I rather than our Creator.

Millions of votes cast around the country to support the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman have now been nullified. How will this tyrannical disregard for the enumerated powers of the Constitution play out in the everyday lives of Christians?

In your place of worship, there’s now a government-approved theology that the God-rejecting Left expects to be preached. Whereas Bible-centric congregations stand on Holy Scripture, which does not include one single advocacy of sexual sin or perversion, the homosexual agenda demands that this view be rejected. One of the five black-robed tyrants, Justice Anthony Kennedy — considered the “swing vote” — laughingly attempted to reassure those whose lives revolve around their faith in the Judeo-Christian God by writing, “Those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

Get that? We can advocate our opposition, but there is little legal standing in such a weak word. As Chief Justice John Roberts put it, “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

Let’s not forget the Christian bakers, florists, photographers and other business owners who have been financially ruined and litigiously challenged by the Rainbow Mafia. Already, Christians have been forced to either comply with the government-approved theology or face persecution.

What about the tax-exempt status of Christian organizations such as schools, faith-based charities, hospitals and other institutions with religious beliefs?

The Obama administration has already indicated this provision as a likely stick to enforce the mandatory bowing to the altar of government-sanctioned faith. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, arguing conjured-up rights before the Supreme Court back in April, tipped their hand in response to an inquiry by Justice Samuel Alito. “It’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verrilli promised. “I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue.”

Chad Griffin, president of the Human (read: Homosexual) Rights Campaign, likewise said, “No question, the work is not done. … We still have a long ways to go.”

Cultural icons like Star Trek actor George Takei, who is homosexual, made the same veiled threat after the ruling. Some, he said, are “going to try to use the shroud of religious freedom” to disobey the Court’s decree. “I believe in religious freedom, and people who argue that are entitled to their freedom,” Takei said. “But” — yes, there was bound to be a “but” — “they do not have the freedom to impose their religious values on to others.”

Yet that’s exactly what the Court and the Rainbow Mafia are doing. The mob-rule Left, characteristically using its ends to justify any means, is wielding its political and legal prowess acquired over the last seven years to openly oppress Judeo-Christians.

Yet there are glimmers of hope that will endure.

Cultural and casual Christians, the ones who believe philanthropy and showing up for a holiday service is their only necessary spiritual response, will quickly self-identify and want to change the subject. Eventually, these fair-weather believers will either deepen their faith or more explicitly abandon it to avoid social stigma or name-calling.

But the greatest outcome of this conflict threatening the Liberty of the faithful and devout will be the growth of strength and community. Think of redwoods, trees that soar to heights of over 350 feet and can live thousands of years. These natural giants have roots of only five to 13 feet deep, but spread outward to 100 feet, interlocking with the roots of neighboring trees in the grove. Unseen bonds within these titans of the forest provide stability and support when the storms howl.

As Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, reminds us, “[T]he church often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it.”

And Congress isn’t idle. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which Lee writes “would prevent any agency from denying a federal tax exemption, grant, contract, accreditation, license, or certification to an individual or institution for acting on their religious belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”

This battle has been won through activism and deception. The war, however, is not over.

SOURCE







The Reference in This Girl Scouts Book Started a Media Firestorm More Than Three Years Ago. But What has happened since?

It was back in 2011 that a concerned mother first approached TheBlaze to expose a paragraph inside of a book printed by the Girl Scouts of the USA that encouraged young girls to visit a well-known liberal website to clear up any “media misinformation” they encountered.

Three years later, she says that the controversial directive to use Media Matters for America — a liberal “information center” aimed at “correcting conservative misinformation” — to fact-check the news is still prominently displayed inside copies of the books being sold in some of the organization’s stores, despite intense media coverage over the issue and the Girl Scouts’ claim that they reprinted the book in 2012.

“I am not all that shocked to learn the Girl Scout organization has broken yet another promise made to its members. Sadly, example after example exists of the Girl Scout organization saying one thing and doing another,” Christy Volanski, a former Girl Scouts leader, told TheBlaze. “Considering that this organization claims to ‘build girls of character,’ it is deeply concerning that Girl Scouts USA and its local councils continue to be deceitful with families and supporters.”

In was back in December 2011 that TheBlaze first covered Volanski’s concerns over a workbook titled, “MEdia” that was published by the Girl Scouts in 2010 — a publication designed for girls in grades six through eight that offers insight into how young people should process and understand media messaging.

Volanski was stunned at the time to find that the book referred young readers to Media Matters for America as one of the primary sources for debunking lies and deceit, as the organization is known for its overtly partisan — and progressive — stances.

Under the headline, “Consider the Source,” text on page 25 of the book encourages girls to go to the George Soros-funded Media Matters web site to clear up any media misinformation they might encounter. It reads:

The Internet is a breeding ground for “urban legends,” which are false stories told as if true. Next time you receive a txt or e-mail about something that seems unbelievable, confirm it before you spread it.

The fact-checking site snopes.com investigates everything from urban legends to “news” articles and posts its findings. Media Matters for America (http://mediamatters.org/) gets the word out about media misinformation.

A representative for the Girl Scouts told TheBlaze back in 2012 that the book was being reprinted, and an online version of the text shows that Media Matters was indeed digitally replaced by Snopes.com, a popular fact-checking website.

“Girl Scouts constantly reviews our materials based on feedback and suggestions we receive from our members, and we update our materials on a regular basis,” the organization said at the time. “As a result of this process, a corrected page was posted online in January, which councils could use to sticker any books they had in the shop. The girl book went into reprint in May [2012] and 5,000 copies — with the correction — were delivered in July.”

But three years later, Volanski said that the organization is still selling the old Media Matters version of “MEdia.” She sent individuals to four different Girl Scouts stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Arkansas, earlier this month, where she said none of the store workers cautioned buyers that there were edits or changes to the book, with the old Media Matters versions still sitting on shelves in all but one case.

One store in Arkansas was selling the book with a sticker over the Media Matters paragraph that instead directed Girl Scouts to Snopes.com. The last time Volanski checked stores back in 2012, two were selling updated versions without the references and four stores were not.

TheBlaze reached out to the Girl Scouts to seek comment about why the controversial reference remains in the book more than three years later, and the organization sent the following response: “Girl Scouts constantly reviews our materials based on feedback and suggestions we receive from our members, and we update our materials on a regular basis.”

When TheBlaze inquired to ask, more specifically, why a partisan website is given to young kids to help them fact check media messages, the organization skirted the question, responding, “The girl books went into reprint, with corrections, and were promptly delivered.”

The organization ignored a third attempt to ask why, if the new copies were promptly delivered, that the old books referencing Media Matters are still on bookshelves nearly four years later.

In 2012, Wendy Thomas Russell, the book’s author, denied placing the Media Matters reference in the book, saying that she had “no idea” how it happened. She also said that she wouldn’t have included the reference due to the group’s obvious bias. Russell wrote:

So how did Media Matters end up in the book I wrote? The truth is, I have no idea. My final draft read as follows:

"The Internet is a breeding ground for “urban legends,” which are false stories told as if true, and then spread quickly. Next time you receive a txt or a forwarded e-mail about something terrible that happened to someone, try to confirm it. The fact-checking site snopes.com investigates everything from urban legends to “news” articles and posts its findings."

That’s it. Just Snopes.

No offense to Media Matters, but I didn’t even know the group existed until last week. And no offense to the Girl Scouts, but, even if I had known about the group, I never would have included it in the book. Media Matters’ slant isn’t only evident in the content, it’s spelled out in the freaking masthead.

It is still unclear both how the reference made its way into the book — and why it is still on shelves more than three years after the initial controversy.

As TheBlaze previously reported, Volanski is no stranger to critiquing the Girl Scouts, as her daughter Sydney, who served as a Girl Scout for eight years and left the organization in 2010 after she found that it embraces what she believes are controversial stances, co-edits the Speak Now: Girl Scouts Website; it provides examples of what the family sees as liberal bias.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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