Inmates running the asylum

I’m more than a little tired of hearing of colleges rescinding invitations to speak on campus after leftist-indoctrinated students and (in many cases) faculty stamp their little feet, throw a hissy fit and demand exclusion of ideas with which they disagree (all in the name of ‘tolerance,’ of course):

Williams College students invited Suzanne Venker, a writer and longtime critic of feminism, to speak Tuesday night, but changed their minds and took back the invite for her talk, “One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back: Why Feminism Fails.” . . .

The students who run the series decided to cancel the event, co-president Zach Wood explained, after its Facebook page began to attract acerbic comments and “things got a little out of hand.” …

Somewhat ironically, Venker had been invited to participate in Williams’ “Uncomfortable Learning” speaker series, which was created precisely for the purpose of exposing Williams students to perspectives that contrast with those they regularly hear on campus.

This is but one of many reasons why a college ‘education’ is rapidly becoming a useless commodity and a bad financial investment.  We are raising a generation of children to believe it’s their right — duty, even — to drown out the voices that don’t comport with the utopian memes with which they’ve been indoctrinated.  And so you get the irony of students yelling “fascist” at various right-of-center guests in an attempt to drown out their presentations, all the while historically oblivious to the fact they are acting little better than the brown or black shirts — the original fascists.

Where are the faculty and administrators willing to be adults and push back, reminding the students that speech is either free for all, or not free at all?  Where are the mentors telling these students that avoiding unpleasant challenges to your pet view of life is no way to prepare for navigating the adult world?  Does no one these days quote Aristotle to these little totalitarians?

Far from being a place to expand one’s horizons and learn to think critically about the challenges of life, higher education today is largely an assembly-line process by which students check boxes next to impractical courses to get an increasingly worthless degree, all the while being conditioned to be part of the leftist collective literally hell-bent on telling all of society how to live — by force, if necessary.  For many, the result of the college experience is a lifetime hangover of debt and an aversion to traditional ideas of limited government, personal independence, and self-reliance.

For collectivists, all those results are features, not bugs.  It creates an ill-prepared and debt-saddled mass of citizenry that can be swayed in support of ever-larger government to bail them out.  For the rest of us, it’s time to reevaluate how much social emphasis we place on completing such a process

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‘Tolerance’ was a means, not the goal

In the furor over recent passage of religious freedom acts by a couple states, we see the true face of those who have worked tirelessly the past half century or more to reshape America’s views.  While I have not gotten around to reading the science fiction series Dune, I found this quote from it (used by someone else writing on this subject) to be highly apropos:

“When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.”

I can agree that gays have been subjected to violence in the past, and this was–and is–wrong.  But the ultimate goal of the Left was never simply an environment where gays could safely be open about their lifestyle.  Nor was it achieving the sanction of the State to “marry.”  These were important foundations of change for them to establish.  But now that they ARE established, the real endgame becomes clear: the marginalization and punishment of anyone who dares question or disagree with that lifestyle.  This was evident as soon as gays began to “marry.”  Some approached Christian businesses to seek services for their ceremonies, putting those proprietors into the position of choosing between God and money.  This was no accident, because as soon as any Christian business owner held to their higher allegiance by refusing to support an event that defies clear Biblical teaching, it provided the Left with the next set of talking points for a media frenzy.

This browbeating has been so successful that a considerable number of Americans — probably a majority — now take the position that business owners should just keep their beliefs to themselves.  None consider the fact that Christians are specifically told to honor God in everything we do — in other words, there is to be no compartmentalization of work, faith, family, etc, into different spheres of activity.  For the Christian, Christ is Lord of all — including business practices.  So while the Left has a point that Christ would not treat homosexuals abusively or with hate, they overlook the fact He would also be unequivocal about the fact they are being defiant sinners in the eyes of a Holy God who has clearly stated this lifestyle is an “abomination” (His words, not mine — take it up with the Creator if that makes you angry).  Whether dealing with Pharisees or the common person of His day, Christ’s first concern was always their relationship with God, to whom we will all one day have to give an account.  I would caution those trying to use Christ’s words against sincere Christians to note that Jesus could be rather blunt with those who used a pretense of piety to cover their actual hostility to what God expects of them.

There are plenty of professed Christians who unwisely mock or say unChrist-like things to or about gays — and they should stop doing so, as it does nothing to honor God or bring others closer to Him.  The Left fails to understand, though, that while they see even peaceful, civil Christian objection to homosexuality as “hate,” nothing to could be further from the truth.  It is no more ‘hateful’ than one person warning another of any sort of danger.  Sin and rebellion against God’s design is the default setting for this world, and remaining there leads to eternal separation from a God who loved us enough to send His Son to provide a way out.  For those of us who believe this Truth, it would be hateful NOT to warn others–or to participate in a ceremony that validates and celebrates sin!

THAT’S the real issue here — the message of the Gospel is foolishness to a fallen world that sees it as hostile and hateful.   This is not limited to “gay issues” — nobody likes to face the facts about sin and the only means of redemption.  But those pushing homosexuality, tragically, are particularly wedded to their rebellion against God’s design, having taken it on as an integral part of their personal identity.  The Enemy’s hold in this particular area is a strong one.  Thus, they will not tolerate any differing viewpoint here.

To put it another way (as a friend of mine did online): Christians are always told if we don’t like what’s on television (a business!), change the channel — don’t try to force our beliefs on everyone else.  But now, if a Christian-owned business refuses to mock marriage by participating in a sham imitation of it, those same groups don’t say the gay couple should change businesses (as they could easily do).  No — it’s now necessary to force their agenda and beliefs onto Christians, even against their conscience.  Rather than agree to disagree, the Left now wants to use the power of the State to compel obedience.

So who, exactly, is really being intolerant here and denying freedom to others?

Farewell to the Fox

I’ve been a Firefox browser for several years, but no longer.  This neatly sums up the reasons why I’ve switched to Pale Moon (a derivative of the Mozilla platform, and a temporary selection until I have time to research something even further removed).

Many on the Left are revealing their true colors, now that social attitudes have been successfully shifted (this having been their active agenda for some time).  The treatment of Eich by OK Cupid and Mozilla is just the latest anecdote confirming the underlying illiberal nature of ‘liberals.’

True tolerance involves a ‘live and let live’ approach.  This is the basis for the oft-highlighted increased support in America for so-called ‘marriage equality.’  But it would seem evil demands ‘tolerance’ only until it is in a position to rule, at which point the means to an end is easily discarded and critics treated in they way the former underdogs labelled inappropriate when applied to them.

Two, however, can play that game.  Time to call out the ‘tolerance police’ for what they are: intolerant purgers of the Western, Christian traditions of the recent past.  It’s not tolerance they want: it’s affirmation and compliance.  They may soon find that in shooting for the later they end up losing what they gained of the former.

Rather than let recent events spur similar campaigns against others, “Mozilla delenda est.”

Might makes right to the modern Left

It’s no secret the loudest voices on the Left regarding free speech and ‘tolerance’ often don’t demonstrate such towards opposing viewpoints.  Recent example:

Feminist studies Professor Mireille Miller-Young is facing vandalism, battery, and robbery charges after an incident in the Arbor last Tuesday, March 4, in which she took and destroyed a poster depicting graphic images of aborted fetuses displayed by members of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a Riverside-based pro-life group.

While walking from class to her office in South Hall with some of her students at around 11 a.m., Miller-Young saw the graphic posters and confronted the protesters, arguing with them and drawing in a crowd of surrounding onlookers. After a heated argument, Miller-Young took the poster and began taking it to her office, followed by two pro-life protesters, 21-year-old Joan Short and her 16-year-old sister Thrin. After entering the elevator in South Hall, Miller-Young attempted to stop the girls from following and, as shown in a video taken by one of the protesters, appears to have pushed them away. According to a UCSB Police Department crime report, once in her office, Miller-Young used scissors to destroy the poster, which she found offensive as a pregnant woman who teaches about women’s “reproductive rights.”

“Miller-Young went on to say that because the poster was upsetting to her and her students, she felt that the activists did not have a right to be there,” the crime report states.

We’ll pause there for a moment to consider.  I’m a Christian, which means a lot of current public discussion has the potential to offend me and those with similar viewpoints.  Is this professor really trying to assert that if a group of individuals is ‘upset’ enough over the expression of a particular viewpoint, it’s OK to intervene physically and destroy the materials involved?  Is that really a standard she would accept coming from a different direction?

The later police report reveals additional, um, thought, on the part of this esteemed (re)educator:

When asked by police if there had been a struggle between her and the activists when she took the poster, Miller-Young responded, “I’m stronger, so I was able to take the poster.”

Again, is this a standard she and others of who share her viewpoints are willing to apply to others?  I think not.  As the Instapundit sometimes says, “nice incentive system you’re creating, there…”

This is the ugly reality behind much of the Gramscian Left.  Over the last four or five decades, while it was weak and a fringe perspective, it demanded tolerance, acceptance, even affirmation as it wormed its way into the mainstream.  Now that it has achieved a certain level of influence, though, it is unwilling to extend the same civility to opposing viewpoints.  This is because it was never about “rights” or “principles” in the first place.  It was about power.  Now that these formerly radical outcasts have it, they mean to exercise it.  And while our system may still have some checks and consequences for people like the professor who get a little too visceral with their newfound ‘strength,’ I’m not confident that will long remain the case.

Let future generations take note of the lesson.  When you tolerate an opponent whose goal is to subvert your civilization, you are enabling them eventually to try to become your oppressor.