The new "Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace" policy, recently released by the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), bans discrimination due to "same-sex partner status" and "sexual orientation". The document, a copy of which has been obtained by LifeSiteNews.com, also indicates that teachers and even parish priests could potentially be penalized for what would normally be considered remaining faithful to Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
The policy preface states, "The harassment and discrimination policy of the Toronto Catholic District School Board is deeply rooted in Catholic teaching." Nevertheless, the policy protects "same sex partner status", defining discrimination as "unfair treatment" based on "race, sex, color, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, marital status, same sex partner status, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship, family status, record of offences or religion (creed)."
Harassment is defined as "any vexatious behavior that threatens, intimidates, demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person or a group, and that a reasonable person should have known would be unwelcome. It includes actions, comments, or displays. It normally involves a course of conduct but a single act of a serious nature may constitute harassment." The long list of offenses includes, "suggestive remarks" and "the use of stereotypical images or language."
The document indicates that a staff member could use the ambiguity of many of these examples, such as behavior that "embarrasses a person," to push a pro-homosexual or other agenda that contradicts Catholic teaching.
Other examples of harassment are listed as, "differential treatment, and the avoidance or exclusion of any group or individual, for example the refusal to converse or work with an employee because of his/her racial or ethnic background." These examples also suggest that a school principal could be convicted for not hiring an active homosexual who wanted to be a youth counselor or kindergarten teacher.
The policy also indicates that the regulations apply to everyone involved in the Catholic schools, including the "parish priest". It states, "Every member of this community, student, parent/guardian, employee, contracted service provider, trustee, parish priest or others while on Board property and at Board sponsored events shares in the responsibility for creating an environment that is safe and respectful."
The policy will be enforced "within offices, staff rooms, classrooms, cafeterias/lunch rooms and other Board property events associated with and including co-instructional and extra-curricular activities situations outside of Board operated premises e.g. field trips, external work assignments, work-related conferences, training sessions, travel or social gathering."
The penalties for committing an offense are swift and severe and could lead to the offender being fired. The policy states, "Any employee found to have engaged in any type of harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal." The Director of Education will "ensure that corrective measures are taken and disciplinary measures are imposed quickly and without undue delay when a complaint is substantiated, regardless of the seniority of the offender."
Methodists Sue New Jersey over Attempt to Force Gay "Marriage" at Church Owned Camp
In another case of a clash between Christian traditional values and the new secular sexual morality, the United Methodist Church group that owns a private campground retreat are suing the New Jersey government, saying its rights of religious freedom are being violated. The state is investigating a discrimination charge brought against the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association by a pair of lesbians who wanted to use the private retreat campground for a "civil union" ceremony.
The federal suit accuses the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights of "causing a substantial burden on, and chilling of," the group's "rights to unfettered religious expression, association and free exercise of religion."
New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws require those offering "goods, services, and facilities to the general public" to allow "any accommodation, service, benefit, or privilege to an individual" without "discrimination" on the basis of sexual orientation. The state of New Jersey granted legal status to homosexual civil unions in February.
But now the Methodist group is counter-suing, saying that the state of New Jersey has no right to dictate to a religious group how they use their own privately-owned facilities. The United Methodists founded the campground in the 19th century as a place for spiritual revival for the church's members. The Methodist church's guiding document, the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, specifically prohibits the denomination's clergy and churches from participating in same-sex rites.
Mark Tooley, Executive Director of UMAction, a group attempting to preserve traditional Christian teaching in the Methodist Church, said the suit is an effort to defend the church and the campground "against a potentially intrusive arm of a state government that may try to override church policies in the name of `tolerance'."
"This matter is not just about same-sex unions," said Tooley. "It is about the freedom of a religious organization to uphold its own beliefs and establish policies for its own property."
Scott Hoffman, chief administrative officer of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association told LifeSiteNews.com on July 10, that the particular part of the grounds the two women wanted to use, "is a facility we have used exclusively for our camp mission meeting and worship celebrations since 1869."
The Alliance Defense Fund is representing the Camp Meeting Association and says the state has subjected this "patently religious entity to an illegal investigation and threat of prosecution under the law."
Oppressive Leftist contempt for the morality of mainstream people
Post below lifted from David Thompson. See the original for links
Further to this and the comments following this post, I mentioned the mismatch of certain leftist moral markers with aspects of traditional working class / bourgeois morality:
"When seen in context, Thatcher's `society' quote actually chimes quite strongly with traditional working class / bourgeois morality regarding personal and familial responsibility. A similar moral aspect becomes apparent in discussions of immigration, where many working class people take the view that a person should generally pay into a benefit system before taking from it. This tends to conflict with the view, most common among middle-class leftists, that a newcomer from country X can arrive and immediately make several claims without having contributed via taxation, etc. I've read more than one Guardian commentator dismiss the former view as `typical of racist little Englanders', which rather misses the point of contention. Wherever you stand on the issue, and whatever exceptions one might imagine, my point is that quite a few middle-class leftwing commentators have casually dismissed as `racist' a moral argument based on reciprocity and a sense of community."There's another illustration in today's Observer, in John Lloyd's review of Andrew Anthony's book, "The Fall-Out: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence":
"Anthony uses an account of his early years as a vivid, emotively charged account of a working class-born, council house-raised and comprehensive school-educated boy who came to question his parents' outlook. In one instance cited, his mother asked her local councillor why it was that she, a model tenant for many years, had become a much lower priority for rehousing than a newly arrived immigrant family. The councillor to whom Mrs Anthony complained was Tessa Jowell, until recently Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; she gave her complaining constituent `a brusque lecture on racism'.What's interesting here, and illustrative of a much wider phenomenon, is Jowell's apparent readiness to frame the issue in terms of racism, and Anthony's own apprehension regarding how a person might seem in certain kinds of company. And, again, there's something grimly amusing about those who most loudly profess to care for "the proletariat" showing sneery disregard for the views and moral values of that same group of people.
This vignette recalls progressive, especially London, politics of the Seventies and Eighties. with an overlay of moralising political correctness which assumed prejudice on the part of a white working class and innocence on the part of those with darker skins. In a comment which must be a painful memory, Anthony observes that at university, his `enlightened concern was that [his mother] didn't do or say anything that could be construed as racist ... I was now outside, like an anthropologist, looking in'."
BOOK REVIEW of "The Fall-Out: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence" by Andrew Anthony
This is the book of an angry man who, in early middle age, has discovered that much of what he wrote, spoke about and believed that he believed has become hollow. Andrew Anthony's belief was in that set of instincts, reactions and responses that is usually described as left-liberalism, held, with varying degrees of tenacity, by a very large proportion of the British population, especially the educated middle class.
This belief is amorphous: it does not have the relatively sharp lineaments of a definite ideology, such as the various forms of revolutionary socialism. Marxism, and the regimes that ruled in its name, were by the Eighties clearly failing and often horrific, at least in their unacknowledged pasts. They were also easy to define, with fairly precise contours.
Liberal leftism, by contrast, is a state of mind, a social marker, a moral attitude. It is thus more difficult to hold up to the light, to examine what should be retained, what jettisoned. Former communists could and often did embrace a robust form of liberalism as a relief from excusing actual dictatorships or endorsing future ones. Because they had been communists, they had been constrained to accept at least a proxy responsibility for the actions of tyrannies and most of them, at least by the Eighties, when even general secretaries of the Communist party of the Soviet Union were pointing out past atrocities, wanted out.
But liberal leftism has no gulags, corrective psychiatric wards or re-education centres on its conscience: indeed, it recoils from such things. It has no party, no country, nothing that can tie it down and nothing for which it can be blamed. Until the last few years, it was not challenged from within. Now, with such recent works as Paul Berman's Terror and Liberalism, Nick Cohen's What's Left? and Christopher Hitchens passim, it has some accounting to make of itself. Andrew Anthony's book takes its place with these, on their level for intelligence and intensity.
Left liberals are not now, for the most part, socialists in any organisational sense, but they at least admire those who still call themselves so, and are prepared to extend understanding to the former Soviet Union as to the present regimes in China, Cuba and Venezuela (North Korea is going a bit far). In one of the many vivid passages in this coruscating book, Anthony describes an idealistic working holiday in Nicaragua in 1988, some years after the Marxist-led Sandinistas took power. By now a fully fledged left liberal, he was nevertheless uneasily aware of problems which were not merely ascribable to poverty and the brutality of the former Somoza dictatorship, but were those of a new government which had made the peasants' economic lot in some ways worse through collectivisation, which encouraged mob justice and which committed and denied many atrocities.
At the same time, the Sandinistas had defeated a foul dictatorship, given ordinary people dignity and purpose and defied an America supporting its local bastard in the shape of Somoza. What Anthony dimly recognised, and what was to finally be driven home to him by 9/11 and its aftermath, was that here was a contradictory experience: the Sandinistas were in some ways better, in some ways worse, in some ways the same as the old regime. But that observable common sense was and is, for his former brand of politics, a forbidden conclusion. 'To question your friends was by definition to aid the enemy,' he writes.
Anthony uses an account of his early years as a vivid, emotively charged account of a working class-born, council house-raised and comprehensive school-educated boy who came to question his parents' outlook. In one instance cited, his mother asked her local councillor why it was that she, a model tenant for many years, had become a much lower priority for rehousing than a newly arrived immigrant family. The councillor to whom Mrs Anthony complained was Tessa Jowell, until recently Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; she gave her complaining constituent 'a brusque lecture on racism'.
This vignette recalls progressive, especially London, politics of the Seventies and Eighties, where largely middle-class politicians of the left did do good, did keep the local machines going, but with an overlay of moralising political correctness which assumed prejudice on the part of a white working class and innocence on the part of those with darker skins. In a comment which must be a painful memory, Anthony observes that at university, his 'enlightened concern was that she [his mother] didn't do or say anything that could be construed as racist ... I was now outside, like an anthropologist, looking in'.
With a similar, if rural, experience of growing up, getting out and looking back with contempt, I was hugely impressed and moved by the sad delicacy of his recreation of his mother, the regret that she should have been a victim of his newly adopted radical disapproval.
Two issues loom large. One is the Evil Empire. For the liberal left, America has become the 'prejudice of choice for those who pride themselves on their lack of prejudice'. He gets at Americanophobia through an Americanophobic who is American: film-maker and writer Michael Moore, whose depressingly manipulative Fahrenheit 9/11 was lauded all over Europe. Moore, whom he has interviewed, emerges as a boastful, bloated and hypocritical figure, who excuses every contradiction by the formula: 'I'm from the working class.'
Like Chomsky, Moore plays to and helps to organise world opinion against his country, on the basis of cartoon-like pastiches of its nature and actions. Anthony asks liberals to pose themselves this (the correct) question: 'What would the world look like with a different superpower?' And gives his answer: 'If we look at the real world alternatives the 20th century threw up - the British and French empires, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union [and now, he might have added, the growing power of China] - then the US begins to look quite benign'.
The second large issue is Islam. Anthony has interviewed a range of Islamic figures, including Yusuf Islam, the former pop singer Cat Stevens, who has poured some of his wealth into a Muslim school whose stated aim is to give its pupils an all-enveloping Islamic education, so that its pupils will be Muslim first and last.
For Anthony, this sealing off of the Muslim experience, the at best ambiguous, sometimes joyous, reactions to 9/11 and 7/7, the insistence of many Muslims of seeing themselves as victims - all point to a leadership of European Islam which is not, or too little, concerned with integration, understanding and the genuine multiculturalism which includes frank examination and discussion of differing cultures.
He keeps his anger level high by reminding himself and us of the attitudes of the clan from which he has defected: the guilty liberals. His constant argument, running through the book, is with other liberal-leftist journalists, especially on the Guardian, such as Madeleine Bunting, Seumas Milne and Gary Younge, writers who still believe what he once did. Guilt, he says, has eviscerated their liberalism - and turned it into a permanent form of appeasement of ideologies, personalities and actions which are, by true liberals' own lights, insupportable.
'European liberalism,' he concludes, 'is again confronted with the threat of religious censorship and, moreover, violence. Sometimes, it seems as if the struggle for the Enlightenment will have to be fought all over again, but that's only because too many liberals appear too cowed or constrained by the diktats of post-colonial discourse [translation: guilt] to assert the importance of reason and robust intellectual debate.'
Anthony came to feel, quite properly, a different kind of guilt: the guilt of one who, in turning his back on his upbringing, had closed off what was of value in it for himself or, at least, what should have excited sympathetic understanding, if not always agreement. The guilty liberalism he excoriates, in a book that retains a force and a passion and an insistence that you examine the thoughts you think that you think through some 300 finely written pages, is not a definition of the contemporary left, but a barrier to its development.
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.
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