Anne Gassel just took her youngest child to her college orientation. There was nothing at this orientation that she hadn’t encountered at any of the others she had attended. Yet she walked away from this one “with a complete lack of nostalgia for college life.”
There were many reasons for this feeling, Gassel wrote at Missouri Education Watchdog. But the one that stood out to me was the low graduation rate noted by the school her child is attending.
“Of those that graduate with a degree, some will have degrees that prepare them for nothing that is highly valued by society,” Gassel wrote. “I remember last year at a college open house hearing from a young woman who had a degree in women’s studies. She told the parents sitting in the room that she was lucky to get a job with the university. I don’t think she realized how that sounded.”
She added: “Apparently the only thing a women’s studies degree prepares one for is working for a university admissions office to promote that degree to other gullible students.”
Gassel also criticized the “protective cocoon of pseudo real life,” in which schools provide counselors to help students deal with every minor slight they might be subject to. This, of course, does not prepare students for real life, where no such protections exist.
College is a lot different today than even when I was a student (which was just a few years ago). Now the “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” crowds run the campuses. My fear is of what will happen when these precious snowflakes who need counseling after hearing a different viewpoint get into the real world. Will they accept that they can’t avoid opposing views? Or will they fight to make everyone else kowtow to their beliefs?
Common Core started out as a state-led effort to create high standards that states would voluntarily adopt, but the Obama administration had different ideas. It disrupted that process by forcing states to adopt the standards, first through Race to the Top grants, and next through waivers. Waivers from onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind are granted only to states that agree to implement the White House’s preferred education policies — Common Core.
It says a lot when even The New York Times refers to the waiver process as “the most sweeping use of executive authority to rewrite federal education law since Washington expanded its involvement in education in the 1960s.”
The Senate’s bill, the Every Child Achieves Act, would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Language I fought to include in this bill will, once and for all, end the Obama administration’s use of waivers to force or incentivize states to adopt Common Core standards.
And it will end the Obama administration’s — and, for that matter, any future administration’s — ability to use any tool of coercion to force states to adopt Common Core — or any set of standards at all, whether it’s Common Core by another name or some new set of standards. Period.
That’s one reason why in April the Every Child Achieves Act passed out of the Senate education committee on a unanimous vote. Republicans and Democrats alike voted to give control of academic standards back to states. The bill restores that responsibility to states, local school districts, teachers and parents.
Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson thinks political correctness is breeding frustration that is erupting into violence.
“I’m not politically correct, so I can say something,” Carson said while speaking at a law enforcement forum with the National Sheriffs Association. “But don’t be surprised because I don’t spend every minute monitoring every word and phrase to make sure it’s correct because i feel very strongly that so many people gave their lives for freedom of speech. So we should not kowtow to the P.C. police.”
Carson stated that such suppression of freedoms can lead citizens to become increasingly frustrated with their government, and become not only upset with the politically correct culture, but also their economic status.
“You look at a city like Baltimore where we had all the strife a couple months ago, cities like Ferguson … I think what’s going on is a great deal of frustration because over the last few years there been a lot of change but not a lot of hope,” Carson said. “It makes it real easy for something to irritate you, sort of like a tinder box. Not making excuses for anybody but there’s a huge level of frustration because of the sluggish economy and everything associated therewith.”
“When you think of a nation that has the highest economic engine in the history of the world with this kind of sluggishness of course there’s frustration,” Carson claimed.
There’s nothing like being called a bigoted pile of garbage in the first sentence and being told in the next that love has won. Indeed, you know love has emerged victorious when a bunch of liberals are screaming in your face, calling your children ugly, and urging you to kill yourself.
Progressivism, as we’ve seen, is a bubbling cauldron of vile, hideous hatred. They dress it up in vacuous, absurd little symbols and hashtags and bright colors, yet the elites who drive the gay agenda are not out to spread love and happiness, but hostility and suspicion. And the obedient lemmings who blindly conform, with rainbows in their Facebook photos and chanting whatever motto they’ve been assigned, don’t really understand what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. The fact that this is the same ideology to come up with vapid slogans like #LoveWins is an irony too bewildering to comprehend.
When our culture was grounded in Christian principles, we used to think of love in the way that St. Paul described it: love is patient, love is kind, love does not boast, love is not self-seeking. Now in this progressive dystopia, love has suddenly become something that tells you to drink battery acid and die. The difference is slight, but noticeable.
But I wasn’t especially troubled by the progressive lynch mob and their vulgar, wretched, hateful “love.” I’m used to it. I’ve been more concerned by the large number of self-proclaimed Christians and Conservatives who’ve repeatedly informed me that the whole gay marriage issue isn’t important. “It won’t affect us,” they tell me over and over again. It’s not relevant to our lives. We aren’t hurt by it. Who cares? It’s all good. Whatevs, man. There are matters more urgent than truth and morality and the future of the human race. Like, what about the economy and stuff?
Why do you think liberals care so much about this? If it doesn’t matter, why have they dedicated years to bringing about this past Friday? Because they want gay people to love each other? Nonsense. There was never any law preventing any gay person from loving anyone or anything. The State never had any interest in encouraging, preventing, or otherwise regulating love. The State does have an interest in the foundation of civilization, which is the family. That’s why, up until recently, it recognized True Marriage.
Gay marriage is not an essential or true institution, nor does it serve any real purpose in society. There’s no practical or moral reason for the romantic lives of homosexuals to be recognized or elevated or protected in any way. Even most homosexual activist know this, despite pushing for gay marriage. Gay couples in many cases aren’t monogamous, and gay activists like Dan Savage have been very enthusiastic in extoling the virtues of open relationships and fornication.
This whole gay marriage debate is about opening up the lifelong monogamous bond of matrimony to a community that often doesn’t desire a lifelong monogamous bond. Do you understand what’s going on here? They don’t want marriage as it currently is; they want to change it into something else.
It makes no sense. That is, until you come to understand that liberals desire not to fortify or strengthen the family, but to dismember it. This is purely a game of power and destruction. Why do you think their victory on Friday prompted such vulgar, bloodthirsty gloating? Did black Americans react that way when they achieved civil rights? Did women respond like this when they won the vote? No, because these groups were actually fighting to participate in, and embolden, constitutional liberties. Modern liberals, for their part, wage a war not of freedom but sabotage. Now with their triumph last week, they act like marauding pillagers who just sacked a village and burned it to the ground. They brag like conquering tyrants, not warriors for liberty. Just ask the Catholic priest who tried to walk by a gay rally this weekend in New York only to be spat on by two gay bullies.
And look at this homosexual staging a mock crucifixion. I don’t remember Dr. King ever doing that. Nor do I recall any civil rights rallies, other than gay pride parades, where men get decked out in assless chaps and drag makeup and engage in all kinds of debauchery in the middle of the street. I definitely haven’t read of any other march, besides gay rights marches, that feature barely clothed children gyrating before a crowd of apparent pederasts. This is the kind of perversion and debasement only found in liberal “civil rights” causes, because that’s what the movement is about. It is focused not on freedom, but on imposing its decayed values on our society.
Affect you? Yeah, I think so.
Some might say that’s already happened, and I wouldn’t disagree. But eventually we’ll arrive at a point where even the ones who think it “doesn’t affect them” will have to finally face the harsh reality that all of this really does, and always did.
But by then it will be too late.
When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, “we the people” are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our “public servants” are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.
This decision makes next year’s choice of the next President of the United States more crucial than ever, because with that office goes the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court. Democrats have consistently nominated people who shared their social vision and imposed their policy preferences, too often in disregard of the Constitution.
Republicans have complained about it, but when the power of judicial appointment was in the hands of Republican presidents, they have too often appointed justices who participated in the dismantling of the Constitution — and usually for the kinds of social policies preferred by Democrats.
Can the Republicans — or the country — afford to put another mushy moderate in the White House, who can appoint more mushy moderates to the Supreme Court?
And what has replaced Judaism, Christianity, Judeo-Christian values, and the Bible? The answer is: feelings. More and more Americans rely on feelings to make moral decisions. The heart has taken the place of the Bible.
Years ago, I recorded an interview with a Swedish graduate student. I began by asking her if she believed in God. Of course not. Did she believe in religion? Of course not. “Where, then, do you get your notion of right and wrong?” I asked. “From my heart,” she responded.
That is why five members of the Supreme Court have redefined marriage. They consulted their hearts. That is understandable. Any religious conservative who does not acknowledge homosexuals’ historic persecution or does not understand gays who desire to marry lacks compassion.
But let’s be honest. This lack of compassion is more than matched by the meanness expressed by the advocates of same-sex marriage. They have rendered those who believe that marriage should remain a man-woman institution one of the most vilified major groups in America today.
It is the heart — not the mind, not millennia of human experience, nor any secular or religious body of wisdom — that has determined that marriage should no longer be defined as the union of a man and a women.
It is the heart, not the mind, that has concluded that gender has no significance. That is the essence of the Brave New World being ushered in. For the first time in recorded history, whole societies are announcing that gender has no significance. Same-sex marriage is, above all else, the statement that male and female mean nothing, are completely interchangeable, and yes, don’t even objectively exist, since you are only the gender you feel you are. Which explains the “T” in “LGBT.” The case for same-sex marriage is dependent on the denial of sexual differences.
It is the heart, not the mind, that has concluded that all a child needs is love, not a father and mother. And therein lies one of the reasons that the notion of obedience to religion is so loathed by the cultural Left. Biblical Judaism and Christianity repeatedly dismiss the heart as a moral guide. Moreover, the war to replace God, Judeo-Christian values, and the Bible as moral guides is far from over. What will this lead to?
For those of us of faith, it appears society has collectively lost its mind. Madness has set in. Yes, in fact, we see what Paul warns of in Romans 1. The people have been handed over to themselves and we are caught in the middle. It is a wildfire of the mind and society.
A lot of you want to check out of it. You want to take refuge, hide, and protect your families. You want to go for the Benedictine Model that Rod Dreher hints at — take shelter in the monastery and wait for the fire to burn itself out.
I actually think the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday hurts the Republicans in 2016. I think a lot of people whose votes they need will throw up their hands and walk away. They see a lot of Republican politicians declaring it time to move on. They see 300 Republicans, a lot of them from George W. Bush’s administration, supporting the decision. These cultural conservatives think it is time to get out of Dodge while the getting is good.
The 300 Republicans who wanted this case to go away as a political issue, might find that the base they have relied on goes away with it. They will not expand their base with black and hispanic voters as small government, cultural liberals. They will lose more of their base as they move away from cultural conservatism altogether.
Here is what I would say, though, to the conservatives thinking of departing for broad fields, no neighbors, and a life of small town values. The wildfire is burning. But, whether you think it nature or God, nature has a way of exerting itself and wildfires eventually run out of fuel or get rained on.
Defiance, however, means more than merely ensuring that your church or your Christian school doesn’t change its policies. It means more than still donating to your church even if the day comes when you can’t deduct the contribution. It means a willingness to lose your job, your prosperity, and the respect of your peers. It means saying no every time you are compelled to applaud or participate in the sexual revolution. It means standing beside fellow Christians who face persecution or job loss — not just shaking your head and thinking, “There, but for the grace of God . . . ” It means having the courage to proclaim an opposing message — even during mandatory diversity training, even when you fear you might lose your job, and even when you’re terrified about making your mortgage payment. And through it all, it means being kind to your enemies — blessing those who persecute you.
But being kind to one’s enemies does not mean surrendering to them. I’ll never forget the first time I feared for my job because of my faith. In the midst of my first major religious liberty case — defending a small, rural church against a plainly unconstitutional government action — a senior partner at my firm called and demanded that I drop the lawsuit. He believed the firm’s reputation would suffer for representing an Evangelical church. As a second-year associate, I had no power or standing to defy his order, so — after discussing it with my wife and pondering my own mortgage payment — I summoned up my courage, walked into the managing partner’s office, and simply and respectfully said, “I’m not withdrawing from the case. I understand if you feel like you have to fire me, but I can’t abandon the church.” To my immense relief, I kept my job — and the case, which ended up launching my constitutional career.
I tell that story not to proclaim myself as a model for others — I have more than my share of failings, and that small act of defiance hardly merits mention — but simply to say that this is an old problem. Even in the U.S., Christians who’ve not yet faced these tests likely will, and soon. When they do, it is the church’s responsibility to ensure that they not do so alone. As the church stands, it must remember that our present troubles are meaningless compared to the deadly challenges facing the church in the Middle East. And, always, we must remember who controls our destiny.