To no one’s surprise, this happened:
The Boy Scouts of America voted Monday to lift a long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization.
The BSA’s full executive board voted 45 to 12 in favor of the change, effective immediately. The vote came after the National Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution earlier this month stating that “no adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation.”
The Scouts, however, included a necessary exemption for church-sponsored troops — allowing them to set their own policies. This displeased the lords of political correctness. Here’s the Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin:
Including an exemption for troops sponsored by religious organizations undermines and diminishes the historic nature of today’s decision. Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period.
Yet if the church-sponsored troops pull out of scouting, the BSA would collapse. In many jurisdictions — including scouting’s most healthy and vibrant — church-sponsored groups dominate. I know of multiple local troops that would sooner close shop (or explore alternative affiliations) than violate their deeply-held values. But the HRC and the rest of the LGBT Left doesn’t care. It would rather destroy scouting than see it maintain its culturally and religiously conservative heritage. Already the Mormon church — which is heavily involved in the scouting community — is expressing concern:
The Mormon church quickly issued a statement saying that it was “deeply troubled” by the vote and that its “century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined.”
“The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation,” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints statement said. “However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.”
Liberalizing socially conservative organizations is a great way to shrink them to irrelevance. Just ask the vanishing Protestant Mainline. But the goal here was never to help the Boy Scouts of America but rather to send scouts the same cultural signal the sexual revolutionaries send to the rest of America: Join . . . or else.
Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Scoutmasters: LGBT Groups Not Satisfied Unless Religious Liberty Is Trampled
In rural, small-town Iowa, a group of parents and community leaders is seeking to prevent students from the local taxpayer-funded middle school and high school from attending future versions of an anti–bullying conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.
The last one — in April — left many of the denizens of Humboldt, Iowa up in arms, reports Des Moines NBC affiliate WHO-TV.
Iowa Safe Schools, an activist group out of Des Moines, hosted the conference.
It was quite something.
Among the nearly two dozen speakers, “only two” addressed bullying, one attendee estimated, according to EAGnews.org.
The rest of the sessions involved issues such as “how to pleasure their gay partners.”
Middle school girls from Humboldt (pop.: 4,690) had the opportunity to learn “how to sew fake testicles into their underwear in order to pass themselves off as boys.”
One speaker wore a dress made out of condoms to which could be “used as needed.” . . .
Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, said parents who worry about middle school kids hearing about anal sex with strap-ons and analingus are “disgusting.”
“It’s incredibly frustrating that adults are being the problem and being the bully,” Monson told the Des Moines NBC affiliate. “
If I were a parent in this district, I would not stop until heads rolled. I looked up Iowa Safe Schools, the organization that sponsored this “event,” and discovered that, despite a moniker suggesting that it’s aimed at reducing bullying, it’s actually a LGBT promotion organization, with its mission statement as follows:
The mission of Iowa Safe Schools is to: a) improve school climate in order to increase the personal safety, mental health, and student learning of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied (LGBTA) and all other students; b) increase awareness and understanding among current and future educators, school administrators, and key community agents of inequities regarding the safety of LGBTA students and their family member(s) in schools and communities throughout Iowa. Iowa Safe Schools also seeks to empower these key actors with effective, research-based tools and strategies to combat intolerance and safety inequities.
No one wants LGBT–or any other kids–to be bullied at school. But there is a huge difference between promoting LGBT tolerance and promoting LGBT sex, and the event in Humboldt crossed the line. And the line-crossing doesn’t seem to be limited to the Humboldt event. Back in April, at an event in Des Moines called “The Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth”–also sponsored by Iowa Safe Schools–students were similarly shocked to find that an event billed as “anti-bullying” turned out to be LGBT promotion:
What one student thought was going to be a day to support anti-bullying at the Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, turned out to be much more graphic.
A metro high school student who attended the conference says she was overwhelmed by a sexually explicit question and answer forum at one of the workshops. She was so shocked that she recorded a portion of the Q&A, where someone anonymously asked if anal sex was painful.
The conference hosted by Iowa Safe Schools. Executive Director Nate Monson defends the open forum and says it’s the only chance many LGBTQ teens have to get answers.
Since when does a teen’s desire to “get answers” mean that all fellow students must hear a graphic answer, down to specifics about sexual toys and positions? When did sexual education turn into sexual proselytizing?
Iowa Safe Schools and other similar LGBT “safe schools” efforts aren’t about preventing bullying or even sexual education, but about promotion of LGBT sex. Yes, students need to learn the specifics about body parts, how they work, and how babies are made. Such education became integral, after all, to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. But unwanted pregnancy is not possible with LGBT sex. So teaching about specific LGBT sexual techniques and practices isn’t sexual education, it’s sexual promotion. And many parents are, understandably, not comfortable with the public school system being used for such promotion. Those parents who are comfortable with teaching sexual promotion–learning the means of sexual pleasure–are of course free to discuss these matters with their children.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (a Republican) and the Iowa legislature should immediately ban all “safe school” efforts sponsored by Iowa Safe Schools.
Violate your vows, or pay up. That’s essentially what the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals told the Little Sisters of the Poor and their attorneys last week. We’ve seen the same mentality over and over lately. Back in 2013, the Attorney General of Virginia took it upon himself to sue a florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding due to religious beliefs.
This sounds eerily like what the Koran and Sharia Law command. Believe what we believe or pay the tax. Yep. If you deviate from the beliefs of Islam and want to continue breathing air and holding onto your religious beliefs, according to the Koran, and Islamic law, you must pay the jizya, or tax. That’s a sobering thought isn’t it?
Hey, it’s working pretty well for ISIS. They managed to get a bunch of Christians to pay up or die.
Without courts that uphold our Constitutional rights to worship (or not to worship) we are simply sitting ducks for the next bunch of lunatics who come along and want to force us into their idea of godliness or godlessness.
The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, whose fund attorneys are representing the Little Sisters, released a press release earlier this month confirming the court decision.
President Obama’s executive actions on immigration shield more than 80 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country from any danger of being deported, a top immigration think tank reported Thursday.
As part of his November amnesty Mr. Obama announced a program to proactively grant a temporary deportation amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. But he also directed immigration agents not to bother deporting millions of others, even though they weren’t eligible for the official amnesty, which grants work permits and other benefits.
The directions to immigration agents were deemed enforcement “priorities,” and instructed agents not to bother arresting or deporting anyone who didn’t meet the top priority levels.
“Implementation of the new enforcement priorities is likely to affect about 9.6 million people,” MPI’s Marc Rosenblum, author of the new study, said.
I woke up yesterday morning deeply confused. If there is one thing that I thought I’d learned over the past few weeks, it’s that history has a “side,” and I don’t happen to be on it. My views — pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage — were yesterday’s news. The rainbow White House, rainbow Facebook, and — most important — the rainbow Supreme Court all told me so. The culture war was over. All that was left was the mop-up operation. I should hightail it back to my “house of worship” — which the Left would leave alone (for now) — while it purged the academy and the marketplace of the last vestiges of bigotry and backward thinking. It was time to bankrupt the Christian bakers.
All of this was so crystal clear that imagine my confusion when I discovered that since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, three separate polls showed that support for same-sex marriage had declined. Not only that, but almost six in ten Americans now support the right of religious business owners to decline to participate in same-sex weddings — a sharp increase. At the same time, Planned Parenthood — the world’s largest abortion provider and the social-justice Left’s favorite organization — was reeling from revelations that its senior leaders appear to just love to talk about selling baby parts. After all, there are Lamborghinis to buy.
And why would the polls be showing such a sudden shift to “the wrong side of history” in the middle of a revolutionary, victorious era for the left? Because, as French points out, people don’t like a bully.
What’s happened? The Social Justice Warriors forgot that most Americans just don’t like mean people. And in one two-week span of American life, millions of SJWs helpfully and unmistakably labeled themselves with their rainbow profile pictures, then proceeded to act like hectoring, condescending, arrogant scolds — loudly and publicly — day after day. They were mean. They mocked Christians, celebrated the plight of a Christian baker’s family as it faced financial ruin for refusing to facilitate a gay wedding, and kept pointing at the Supreme Court and White House as if they represented some sort of cosmic scoreboard — as if the only conservative response was to take their ball, slink away, and go home.
While I always admire David’s no-nonsense approach to such subjects, there’s a bit more nuance to this story. I don’t think Americans tend to flatly reject a bit of tough talk and aggressive fighting for a cause which someone believes in. We’ve seen examples of that dating from Teddy Roosevelt to Donald Trump. And if the cause is judged to have some merit, most of us are willing to tolerate a reasonable amount of end zone dancing when a victory is achieved.
But what French seems to be getting at – and it’s a point I completely agree on – is that when a group which claims to be bullied or oppressed realizes a victory, Americans traditionally are not going to get behind the idea of that same group turning around and using that as an excuse to bully or oppress someone else. There’s wide approval of the gay rights movement winning the marriage argument at the Supreme Court. But when they turn around and use that victory as a cudgel to beat down Christian bakers, photographers and others, you see their fans heading for the exits quickly, and the recent polls David highlights are probably the first, growing proof of that trend.
The same goes for other areas of social debate. You can no doubt find many sympathetic ears when you talk about minorities facing perceived abuse at the hands of rogue police officers. But when you finish making that point and follow it up by having some of your members marching in the streets calling for dead cops, you become the enemy instead of the hero. And no matter how much you may find yourself supporting abortion when it’s framed as a medical choice for individual mothers, the ghoulish images of Planned Parenthood directors talking about “less crunchy” ways of chopping up unborn babies for organ recovery is still going to be turning a lot of stomachs.
No matter the topic in our various social conversations in America, you can always go too far. (This applies to conservative causes as well, so let this be a lesson to all.) Nobody likes mean people unless they’re in the movies or on television, and even then they need some sliver of redeeming value. When you turn a political victory into an excuse for the oppressed to become the oppressor, you’re going to wind up losing in the end.
Republican 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson recently made the assertion on a Iowa conservative radio show that the “purpose” behind Margaret Sanger’s founding of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood was to “eliminate black people,” and also questioned whether or not President Barack Obama realizes that.
While the 63-year-old retired neurosurgeon was going in and out of reception during his phone interview with radio host Jan Mickelson on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Mickelson played a clip of an Obama speech from last year where the president defended Planned Parenthood and even said “Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”
“You wonder if he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people,” Carson replied. “That was the whole purpose of it.”
Mickelson then played an audio clip of 2016 Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2009, when she was awarded the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award. In her acceptance speech, Clinton gave high praises to Sanger even though Sanger was known for advocating racist ideals.
“I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision,” Clinton stated. “I am really in awe of her.”
Mickelson responded by saying how hypocritical it is for people to destroy Confederate flags and Confederate tombstones but still continue to honor Sanger.
“We have reached a time where people are so desensitized where they are not horrified by this kind of activity,” Carson said. “We’ve allowed the secular progressive movement to [desensitize society] to the point where things are no longer wrong.”
Carson stated that the pro-life movement should see the recent Planned Parenthood revelation as a “smoking gun” to push for the defunding of the leading abortion company, which receives about $500 million in taxpayer funding each year.
Is genetically engineered food dangerous? Many people seem to think it is. In the past five years, companies have submitted more than 27,000 products to the Non-GMO Project, which certifies goods that are free of genetically modified organisms. Last year, sales of such products nearly tripled. Whole Foods will soon require labels on all GMOs in its stores. Abbott, the company that makes Similac baby formula, has created a non-GMO version to give parents “peace of mind.” Trader Joe’s has sworn off GMOs. So has Chipotle.
Some environmentalists and public interest groups want to go further. Hundreds of organizations, including Consumers Union, Friends of the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Center for Food Safety, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, are demanding “mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.” Since 2013, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut have passed laws to require GMO labels. Massachusetts could be next.
The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all declared that there’s no good evidence GMOs are unsafe. Hundreds of studies back up that conclusion. But many of us don’t trust these assurances. We’re drawn to skeptics who say that there’s more to the story, that some studies have found risks associated with GMOs, and that Monsanto is covering it up.
Some people, to this day, believe GE papayas are dangerous. They want more studies. They’ll always want more studies. They call themselves skeptics. But when you cling to an unsubstantiated belief, even after two decades of research and experience, that’s not skepticism. It’s dogma.
The reason it hasn’t is that we’ve been stuck in a stupid, wasteful fight over GMOs. On one side is an army of quacks and pseudo-environmentalists waging a leftist war on science. On the other side are corporate cowards who would rather stick to profitable weed-killing than invest in products that might offend a suspicious public. The only way to end this fight is to educate ourselves and make it clear to everyone—European governments, trend-setting grocers, fad-hopping restaurant chains, research universities, and biotechnology investors—that we’re ready, as voters and consumers, to embrace nutritious, environmentally friendly food, no matter where it got its genes. We want our GMOs. Now, show us what you can do.
Women with early memory problems worsen significantly faster than men at the same stage, according to a new study that offers what is perhaps the best evidence to date suggesting meaningful sex differences in vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease.
The results come from an analysis of 398 participants with mild cognitive impairment enrolled in a large, national, long-term study called the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, or ADNI, and followed for up to eight years. The study is expected to be presented Tuesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington and is in press at the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia Translational Research & Clinical Interventions.
Over that span of eight years, women worsened nearly twice as fast as men on both a standard scale of memory and other cognitive abilities and a measure that assesses how well one is able to function, as reported by a spouse or caregiver. And, as time went on, women’s decline appeared to accelerate relative to men, according to P. Murali Doraiswamy, the senior author on the study and a psychiatry professor at Duke University.
“It’s time to focus on looking at gender issues,” said Dr. Doraiswamy in an interview. “The magnitude of difference, if it’s real and confirmed, is so huge we need to understand the mechanism [why it’s happening].”
The work needs to be replicated in a different sample, he cautioned. Participants in the ADNI study are being studied at some of the top Alzheimer’s research centers in the country and aren’t necessarily typical of the U.S. population.
The new study doesn’t shed light on why there are apparent sex differences in the rate of memory decline, so the next step in the work is to determine mechanism, said Katherine Lin, the first author on the study and an undergraduate student at Duke University.
Reimagining the First Amendment:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) says the 1st Amendment’s religious liberty protections don’t apply to individuals.
On MSNBC last week, Wisconsin’s junior Senator claimed that the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion extends only to religious institutions, and that individual’s do not have a right to the free exercise of their own religion.
The exact quote form Senator Baldwin is somewhat less dramatic but more worrisome:
Certainly the first amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. We’ve seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception. Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.
So you can have freedom of religion in Sen. Baldwin’s America, you just have avoid talking about your religious views in public. It’s a definition of freedom so narrow it could easily fit within the confines of an authoritarian state. Even the nominally communist oligarchs who rule China don’t really care what you think, so long as you don’t offend the party with your words.
What is being established, under the cover of the gay marriage debate, is a new set of hate crime laws directed at Americans of faith. The Left has done a superb job of framing this issue as one about the rights of homosexuals. This automatically paints any critics as bigots regardless of their personal values or beliefs. Once the dust settles gay marriage will be an established legal and cultural fact. What will become apparent shortly thereafter is that freedom of speech has been dramatically narrowed in modern America.