Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
Every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization on sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.
By now, we’ve all heard the refrain that U.S. churches need liberalize their teachings on sexuality and homosexuality or rapidly decline. The logic behind the argument is simple: more and more Americans are embracing homosexuality and same-sex marriage, including growing numbers of religious Millennials. So long as churches remain the face of opposition to gay marriage, those churches will shrink into irrelevancy when gay marriage (inevitably, we are told) becomes a settled political issue.
These arguments often see church acceptance of homosexuality as a carrot as well as a stick. It isn’t so much that denouncing homosexuality will drive people away from church, but that embracing it will also lead people into church. LGBT individuals and their supporters, many of whom hold a dim view of religion after a decades-long culture war, will reconsider church if denominations remove their restrictions on gay marriage and ordination.
But a number of Christian denominations have already taken significant steps towards liberalizing their stances on homosexuality and marriage, and the evidence so far seems to indicate that affirming homosexuality is hardly a cure for membership woes. On the contrary, every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.
A brutal natural experiment is underway demonstrating the role of race, riots, and radicals in determining whose death is noted, and whose ignored in racialized America when unarmed young men are shot and killed by police. While American and world media, along with the President and Attorney General of the United States, obsess over the death of Michael Brown at the hands of the Ferguson, Missouri police, few people outside of Utah have heard of the remarkably parallel and contemporaneous death of Dillon Taylor, an unarmed young man (and father-to-be) from a gun shot by a Salt Lake City policeman, whose name has not been released, but who has been identified the SLC chief of police as nonwhite.
Here are the bare facts of the death of Dillon Taylor, via KUTV, Salt Lake:
Dillon Taylor, 20, who is from Salt Lake, was exiting 7-Eleven with his brother and cousin, Adam Thayne, around 7 p.m. on Monday, when Salt Lake City police arrived, responding to a report of a man waving a gun in the area.
The officers ordered the men to the ground. Two of them complied, but Dillon, who police say matched the suspect’s description, did not go down.
“It came in as a 911 call that there was a man with a gun,” said South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Darrin Sweeten. “He was verbally challenged and ultimately was shot.”
Sweeten did not release further details on the shooting….
No one has suggested that Taylor was involved in the commission of any crime, unlike Brown who was captured on surveillance camera robbing a convenience store shortly before his death.
Dillon’s brother and cousin claim they were on their way to visit his parents’ graves and that Dillon was surprised by the police presence. He was not aggressive, they said.
“He had headphones in, and he couldn’t hear [anything], and then they finally surrounded him,” Jerrail said. “They’re like, ‘Get on the ground,’ and [he] pulled up his pants and [they] shot him.”
Should the government be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a same-sex wedding?
In a free society, the answer is no. Family farms should be free to operate in accordance with the beliefs and values of their owners. Government shouldn’t be able to fine citizens for acting in the market according to their own—rather than the government’s—values, unless there is a compelling government interest being pursued in the least restrictive way possible.
But the New York State Division of Human Rights doesn’t see things this way. On August 8, it fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration. The Human Rights Commission ruled that “the nature and circumstances of the [Giffords’s] violation of the Human Rights Law also warrants a penalty.”
This is coercive big government run amok.
Here’s the back story. In 2012, Melissa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy contacted the Giffords to rent the family’s barn for their same-sex wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford responded that she and her husband would have to decline their request as they felt they could not in good conscience host a same-sex wedding ceremony at their home. The Giffords live on the second and third floor of the barn and, when they host weddings on the first floor, they open part of the second floor as a bridal suite.
The Giffords have owned and operated Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York for over 25 years. Like many small farm families, they often open the farm to the public for events like berry picking, fall festivals, and pig racing.
Unfortunately, New York’s Human Right’s law (Executive Law, art. 15) creates special privileges based on sexual orientation that trump the rights of business owners. Because the Giffords’ family farm is open to the public for business, New York classifies it as a “public accommodation” and then mandates that it not “discriminate” on the basis of sexual orientation.
Of course the Giffords were not engaging in any insidious discrimination—they were acting on their belief about the nature of marriage. They do not object to gay or lesbian customers attending the fall festivals, or going berry picking, or doing any of the other activities that the farm facilitates. The Giffords’ only objection is to being forced to abide by the government’s views on sexuality and host a same-sex wedding. The Human Rights Commission has now declared this historic belief about marriage to be “discrimination.”
The Giffords must pay a $1,500 mental anguish fine to each of the women and pay $10,000 in civil damages penalty to New York State. If they can’t pay in 60 days, a nine percent interest rate will be added to that total. Like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Giffords must also institute anti-discrimination re-education classes and procedures for their staff.
The Department of Justice under Eric Holder has ordered a Detroit-area school, Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights, which has a growing Arab population to translate every communication, spoken and written, into Arabic, increase ESL, including teaching in Arabic, and hire more Arab educators.
It will allow meaningful participation by students with limited English proficiency, the DOJ claims.
It will also limit assimilation, a goal of this administration.
“This is a great victory for the Arab-American community and its children to become contributing citizens in our country,” said Shereef Akeel, a Troy attorney who filed a federal complaint in 2011 on behalf of Hiam Brinjikji, a counselor in the school district who complained about the district’s neglect of Arab immigrant students.
District officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Crestwood violated federal civil rights laws.
Civil rights law is now being translated as the U.S. having to accommodate other cultures instead of demanding assimilation.
The district will also have to engage in intense community outreach and anti-retaliation programs at their own expense. They not only have to make these costly and unreasonable accommodations, they have to like it and intimidate everyone else into liking it.
In June 2012, Debbie Schlussel warned of a new government requirement to force all communications between the Dearborn Public Schools and the parents to be conducted in Arabic to accommodate what is now a fifty percent Arab and mostly Muslim population.
The people behind the push are Palestinian Islamic terrorists and a top executive at Hezbollah TV. It is now a government requirement for Dearborn Public Schools and since it is the DOJ behind it, it’s a nationwide requirement if Arabs say it is.
Have you heard of Professor Carol M Swain? She is a law professor at Vanderbilt University who said she cannot understand how anyone who calls themselves a Christian could belong to the Democratic Party. Personally, this is the exact sentiment that I share…and am sure many of my readers feel the same way. The Democratic party is based on the idea of abortion on demand. Abortion is built into their party platform: abortion on demand with no apologies. Prof. Swain argues that abortion, among other things, is equivalent to a genocide of the black community.
In a recent interview Swain pegged Obama as a destroyer of the country in general but specially bad for the black community in particular. She also says that it bothers her that so many people in the black community have been deceived and bullied into supporting a number of liberal policies that are destroying their communities and devastating lives.
Swain feels strongly that Obama is destroying the Constitution and robbing both black and white Americans of our civil rights. Obama and his Regime have attacked our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. You probably also realize that during Obama’s presidency he has dramatically expanded the level of surveillance into our lives. We are at a point now where we are literally being watched from the moment we leave our houses in the morning until the moment we return. We cannot even be sure when we are having a private conversation.
A recent report from the advocacy group Young Invincibles suggests not: African American millennial men need two or more levels of education to have the same employment prospects as their white peers. White male college graduates have a 97.6% employment rate. Black male college graduates have a 92.8% employment rate—which correlates more closely with the job prospects for white men who have some college education but no degree (92.5%).
The 19th century reformer Horace Mann may have called education the great equalizer, but 150 years later, the numbers suggest otherwise. The reason for this is obvious—as the report points out, “the legacy of racial discrimination across centuries continues to impact economic disparities, and so young African Americans start on an uneven playing field.”
The study reports one (somewhat) hopeful finding: “Increased educational attainment clearly closes the gap, and closes it dramatically.” That means that each level of education an African American student achieves makes a steadily bigger difference in his employment prospects. Earning a high school diploma has a 50 percent larger impact on a black man’s employment likelihood than it does on a white man’s. By the time those two men arrive at the professional degree level, the 50 percent has become 146 percent: the African American man is much, much more likely to be employed now than he was with just a bachelor’s degree—even though a white man with a bachelor’s degree still has slightly better employment prospects than a black man who has gone to graduate school.
Finding ways to increase the number of African American students at American colleges and graduate schools is certainly a worthwhile aim. But it’s equally important to make sure they’re getting the same advantages as their white peers after graduation day: the support networks and internship programs that can lead to stable careers.
As the media-sanctioned rioting, bloodshed and looting continue in Ferguson, Missouri, evidence is emerging that police shooting victim Michael Brown wasn’t the upstanding citizen that many on the Left have claimed him to be.
All of this is happening as mobs have been attacking cops with Molotov cocktails and destroying community infrastructure. Some blacks in the region are reportedly randomly assaulting non-blacks as collective payback for what happened to Brown. Looting and property destruction are rampant. Scores of people have been arrested. Aircraft were ordered to fly at least 3,000 feet over Ferguson airspace after police said their helicopters were fired on from the ground.
A curfew was imposed, and the state’s feckless Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, stripped local police of some of their responsibilities, replacing them with state highway patrolmen. This, predictably, led to more looting of stores and all the things that usually happen when an angry, violent mob is rewarded for its bad behavior.
Through it all, the Left is out in force in Ferguson, trying to make a bad situation worse. The criminal elements of the city have been emboldened by martyrized accounts of Brown, and have carried out a campaign of destruction against the civil order under the banner of “no justice, no peace.”
This autopsy and an official county autopsy apparently aren’t enough. Now Eric Holder’s spokesman says the “extraordinary circumstances” — whatever those may be — require that a federal autopsy be conducted. Forty FBI agents have also reportedly gone door-to-door in Ferguson in an attempt to gather evidence in an ongoing civil rights investigation related to the shooting.
And they’ll keep digging until they find evidence that vindicates the mob and the left-wing media and the community organizers from Chicago who have descended on Ferguson in order to make an example of the innocent people who live there.
The Gateway Pundit can now confirm from two local St. Louis sources that police Officer Darren Wilson suffered facial fractures during his confrontation with deceased 18 year-old Michael Brown. Officer Wilson clearly feared for his life during the incident that led to the shooting death of Brown. This was after Michael Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson robbed a local Ferguson convenience store.
Michael Brown robbed a Ferguson convenience store the morning of his death.
Local St. Louis sources said Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket.” This comes from a source within the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and confirmed by the St. Louis County Police.
A blowout fracture is a fracture of one or more of the bones surrounding the eye and is commonly referred to as an orbital floor fracture. (AAPOS)
Officer Darren Wilson left the state of Missouri last week.
More… The St. Louis County Police told reporters after the shooting that the police officer involved suffered facial injuries. He “was hit” and the “side of his face was swollen.”
I would have left the state, too, Officer and never looked back…