Monday, August 01, 2011
Tolerance is a religion too
The following is an excerpt from a longer article on education by Australian theologian Joel Hodge. It's always been obvious that Leftists use "tolerance" in an intolerant way but the remarks below cut to the heart of the "tolerance" cult
Tolerance: it is argued that Australia is a multi-religious, multicultural society that should not impose certain religious beliefs on people, but should be tolerant of different beliefs, with the implication that different religions should be studied alongside each other. The first point that one should note about this argument is that it is a belief: tolerance is a belief and value that structures how we see and behave toward each other.
No-one can scientifically prove tolerance to be a valid or fool-proof way of running a society. Certain facts can be argued in its favour, but in the end, it can only be believed as a good and fruitful way of relating and acting (as it is in the West, though not necessarily in other places). I personally believe that tolerance can be a positive force in some circumstances, though it is not enough to have a successful society. Tolerance often sounds more like forbearance to me, rather than real acceptance of and engagement with the other.
The second point that one can notice about modern tolerance is that it is a belief that subjects other beliefs to it. In other words, it equalises different beliefs or social forces by subjecting them to its form of belief. In the case of "religion", it subjects the more prevalent forms (such as Christianity) to itself in order to control them, and then, equalise them with smaller forms. It may just to give smaller belief systems a chance to profess what they believe. This is not what modern tolerance is only about, however. It involves a power-play by the dominant elite to subject those social movements and beliefs to itself.
This second point, then, leads to my third point: tolerance is usually not real tolerance in our society, and because of this, we apply tolerance selectively for particular gain. For example, in the realm of sport, we allow many different sporting expressions in Australian society, however we do not reduce the more dominant forms, such as AFL, to the level of the less popular forms, such as bowling or synchronised swimming, by giving them the same media exposure or forcing children to learn and play them, out of tolerance. If we did, we would probably have widespread civil unrest.
Real tolerance is not subjecting everything to the same playing field, but allowing different religious and cultural forms to exist in their own way. Do we really do this in Australian society? Do we really allow different religio-cultural forms, such as New Zealanders, or Hindus, or Arabic cultures, to exist in their own form? No, because there's an existing culture, language, belief system, and way of life in Australia to which other cultural forms adapt themselves.
Therefore, for the religious education debate, the argument about tolerance can be seen as a ruse to subject a certain dominant belief system (Christianity) to another, atheist secularism. Modern secularism has no great respect for different religious forms, but wishes to equalise and subject all of them to its agenda.
Hatred, smears and the liberals hell-bent on bullying millions of us into silence
By Melanie Phillips
The baleful effects of the recent attacks in Norway, where Anders Breivik bombed Oslo’s government district and then gunned down teenagers at a Labour party camp, murdering at least 77 people, have not been limited to that horrific carnage.
For the atrocity has produced a reaction among people on the political Left in Britain, Europe and the U.S. that is in itself shocking and terrifying.
Former Norwegian prime minister and current chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Thorbjorn Jagland has said that, in response to the violent attacks, David Cameron and other European leaders should use a more ‘cautious’ approach when talking about multiculturalism.
Cameron has said multiculturalism (the doctrine that gives the values of minorities equal status to those of the majority) has failed, and has also talked about ‘Islamist extremism’ as a cause of terrorism. Jagland, however, said leaders would be ‘playing with fire’ if they continued to use rhetoric that could be exploited by extremists such as Breivik.
This is because Breivik’s so-called manifesto shows that he is violently against mass immigration, multiculturalism and Islamisation — and that he wants the forced repatriation of Muslims from Europe and the murder of all who have promoted multiculturalism.
But to connect such abhorrent ravings with Cameron’s comments is simply grotesque.
Yet the former Norwegian premier is treating Breivik as if he is a political terrorist whose words have the authority of a sane and coherent creed.
Even if he was motivated by hostility to multiculturalism and Islam, it is perverse to suggest that no one should write about these things because some deranged person raving about such ideas has run amok.
It’s a bit like saying no one should express concern about late abortions or animal cruelty because it leads straight to the firebombing of abortion clinics or animal-testing laboratories.
Breivik's so-called manifesto shows that he is violently against mass immigration, multiculturalism and Islamisation - and that he wants the forced repatriation of Muslims from Europe and the murder of all who have promoted multiculturalism
Breivik's wants the forced repatriation of Muslims from Europe and the murder of all who have promoted multiculturalism
Multiculturalism and Islamic extremism raise entirely legitimate and very serious concerns about defending a culture from attack both from within and from without.
Jagland seems to be cynically exploiting the murder of more than 70 innocents to make a connection which is as obnoxious as it is opportunistic in order to bully into silence those who express such legitimate democratic concerns.
Shockingly, he is merely one of many who are doing so. As soon as the atrocity happened, people on the Left saw a heaven-sent opportunity to smear mainstream conservative thinkers and writers by making a grossly distorted association between Breivik’s attack and their ideas.
They claimed that anyone on ‘the Right’ who had spoken out against multiculturalism or Islamic extremism was complicit in the atrocity and therefore had a moral duty to stop writing about such things. To my stupefaction, I have become a principal target of this incendiary witch-hunt, being smeared for having helped provoke the Norway massacre.
One of the first out of the trap was British blogger Sunny Hundal, who delt at length upon two of my articles which had been quoted in Breivik’s purported manifesto and gave the impression that I was a major influence on Breivik’s thinking.
But in Breivik’s 1,500-page diatribe, I was mentioned precisely twice. The first time was a quote from an article in this newspaper about family breakdown. The second was another article about the revelation by a former civil servant that the previous Labour government had kept the public in the dark about a covert policy of mass immigration. Breivik made no mention of anything I had written about Muslims, Islamic terrorism or Islamisation.
Moreover, he also mentioned dozens of other conservative or liberal writers and thinkers. Among others, he quoted: Winston Churchill, George Orwell, Mahatma Gandhi, the Labour MP Frank Field, Tory Nicholas Soames, philosopher Roger Scruton, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and Swedish thriller writer Lars Hedegaard. Oh, and William Shakespeare, as well as the fathers of English liberalism John Stuart Mill and John Locke.
So the fact that Hundal singled me out like this while failing to mention these others (apart from a brief reference to Mr Clarkson) was an egregious smear — which was soon circulating and building up hatred on Twitter and the internet.
Soon, others joined in the hate-fest — even across the Atlantic. In the Toronto Star, columnist Heather Mallick wrote that unlike ‘almost everyone else praised by the killer’, I had not said I was horrified by the atrocity in Norway. Not only that, but whereas everyone else had wept at the murder of schoolchildren, ‘she [Phillips] spits’. But, on the contrary, I had written on my own website in terms far stronger than many other writers that there could never be any excuse for mass murder.
And the quote from my writing on which she based her ‘spitting’ claim was actually not about the atrocity at all, but about the people using those murders to foment just this kind of hatred.
Then there was Seumas Milne in the Guardian — who tried to make the smear stick by insisting that my criticism of the secret policy of using mass immigration to destroy British identity was ‘Breivik’s feeling precisely’.
But the truth is that the outrage at that policy is shared by millions of decent British people. So Milne was in effect smearing not just me, but all those millions by implying that their opinions also formed a ‘continuum’ with Breivik’s actions.
As one Guardian reader commented following Milne’s contemptible attack, the fact that he had deliberately blurred the distinction between reasonable political opinions with which one might disagree and the actions of a terrorist meant he was creating hysteria and polarisation. Indeed, the result of such incitement has been a veritable tsunami of electronically-generated mob hatred.
No, it is those who under the cover of accusing me of incendiary writing are themselves inciting hatred.
The claim that ‘blood is on my hands’ can so easily translate into someone seeking my own blood. Heaven forbid that should happen — but if it did, there would be a direct causal link with those who have whipped up this wicked firestorm.
Indeed, those who have exploited the killing of innocents in Norway to provoke such an eruption of distortion, demonisation and irrationality should disgust and alarm all decent people everywhere.
The Myth of White Privilege
By Selwyn Duke
Something must be wrong. My finances are in shambles; mainstream newspapers won't publish my pieces; and, no matter how much I try to convince Fox News that they need male eye candy as well, they just won't give me a show. Then I gaze into the mirror at my alabaster complexion and say, "What's wrong with this picture? I'll have to address this at the next White People's Meeting."
Of course, it isn't really true that all we Caucasians get together in a big conference hall somewhere and, rubbing our hands together with devilish glee, conspire as to how we're gonna get ourselves some'a that there white privilege. Yet you wouldn't know it listening to egghead academics, media mouths, and uncivil rights agitators.
Put "white privilege" into a search engine and no small number of results will be for ".edu" URLs, which means that our mental institutions of higher learning are busy teaching "critical race theory" and ideas such as "Whites are taught not to recognize white privilege" and that, as this University of Dayton site informs, white persons have a "special freedom or immunity from some [liabilities or burdens] to which non-white persons are subject[.]"
There is also something called "The White Privilege Conference" and a website devoted to it (I actually had to log on to make sure it wasn't a spoof site, but truth is stranger -- and stupider -- than fiction). And American Thinker recently wrote about an event called "Erasing White Privilege," during which whites sat around in a room confessing their collective oppressor sins while "people of color" discharged rage, "yelling at them" and "preaching." Ain't Obama's post-racial America grand?
Of course, I don't imagine there are many plumbers, supermarket workers, or forklift operators at such meetings -- and not just because they actually have to work. It's also because they know something:
White privilege is a myth.
Let's look at the facts. Because of the fashionable discrimination known as affirmative action, whites (males especially) are often untouchables in the job market. And examples are legion. Talk-show host Michael Savage has often mentioned that after he earned his Ph.D., he had trouble finding a job in his chosen field and was told in so many words that "white men need not apply."
I could also mention a junior-high-school friend of mine whose test score was too low to qualify for the specialty high school I attended and the black student who gained admission with the exact same score. Or read this essay by Professor Louis Pojman, who cites the case of a brilliant Ph.D. philosopher who was denied a tenure-track position because the university in question had to hire a "woman or a Black." Then there is the Dayton, OH police department, which recently discarded its recruit exam and the scores of 748 people who passed it because not doing so would have resulted in too many whites being hired.
And there is social discrimination as well. While black comedians can use derogatory terms for whites such as "cracker," white comedians who use corresponding anti-black racial epithets risk career destruction. A racial slur isn't even necessary for a white person to incur the thought police's wrath. Sportscaster Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder lost his job in the 1980s for, while tipsy at a restaurant, offering an unsophisticatedly stated opinion as to why blacks are great athletes.
Even more ridiculous, Washington, DC mayoral staffer David Howard was pilloried and had to resign his position (he was later rehired) for using the word "niggardly," which is of Scandinavian origin and means "cheap," during a staff meeting. Golf commentator Kelly Tilghman was suspended for two weeks for innocently using the term "lynch" when describing what young players might have to do to beat Tiger Woods. And university student Keith John Sampson was charged with "racial harassment" for reading a book about the Ku Klux Klan in the presence of black colleagues. It didn't matter that it was an anti-KKK book.
There is also a trove of government programs designed to aid minorities -- such as those geared toward minority-owned businesses -- but no corresponding help for whites. And, as whistleblowers recently revealed, our Department of Justice has long been ignoring voting-rights cases when the victims have been white.
This is where the white-privilege propagandists may say, "But, wait, whites are wealthier than other racial groups and occupy most positions of power and prestige. Why do you think that is?!" This is the same reasoning leftists use when claiming that the large number of blacks in prison proves discrimination in the criminal/justice system. But let's see how valid this circumstantial argument really is.
The median income of Jewish Americans is approximately twice that of their non-Jewish countrymen. Additionally, while only about 40 percent of high-school graduates attend college, the rate among Jews is 85 percent. Jews also occupy positions of power at a rate greatly in excess of their two percent of the population. Yet should we speak of "Jewish privilege"? It would be more instructive to note a secret of Jewish people's success: They place great emphasis on education and workplace achievement.
And what about blacks' dominance in mainstream sports? Wouldn't it be ridiculous to talk about "black athletic privilege"?
Group-specific success isn't just an American phenomenon, either. As Professor Walter Williams wrote:
"[D]uring the 1960s, the Chinese minority in Malaysia received more university degrees than the Malay majority - including 400 engineering degrees compared with four for the Malays, even though Malays dominate the country politically. In Brazil's state of Sao Paulo, more than two-thirds of the potatoes and 90 percent of the tomatoes produced were produced by people of Japanese ancestry."
So while we could prattle on about Chinese privilege in Malaysia or those privileged Japanese boys from Brazil, it would be wiser to accept a simple truth: There is simply no evidence that all groups can succeed equally in every endeavor.
And this brings us to the real prejudice at work here. Whether it's Jewish Nobel Prize-winners, blacks in the athletic arena, or something else, we generally give credit where it is due.
Except when the relatively successful group is white people. Then they are guilty -- of discrimination, oppression, and victimization -- and will never be proven innocent. Their success just must have come at the expense of others, no matter what the facts say.
As for oppression, what is the endgame here? Many foreign nations have enacted hate-speech laws predicated on the idea that expressing negative sentiments, true or not, about a group can ultimately lead to its persecution. Well, another privilege whites don't have is a dispensation from the laws of man's nature. And when they are constantly and unfairly maligned as deserving not their successes but only contempt for being the source of the world's woes, it's not hard to figure out what the consequence will be.
Men allege sexual discrimination at Swedish police academy
Dozens of men have filed sexual discrimination complaints with Sweden's Equality Ombudsman (DO), after being denied admission to Sweden's National Police Academy.
The ombudsman has received around 80 complaints from men alleging they weren't admitted to police training programmes because of their gender.
The complaints come on the heels of an initiative by the Centre for Justice (Centrum för rättvisa) examining suspicions that police academy recruiting efforts put male applicants at a disadvantage relative to female applicants.
According to the Centre, there may be "thousands" of cases of sexual discrimination.
In its analysis, the Centre found that, for several years in a row the police academies have admitted the same number of men as women, despite the fact that fewer than 40 percent of applicants were women and that they generally performed worse on the language and physical parts of admissions tests.
"Men have had a much more difficult time than women getting in to the final interviews and have therefore had a much harder time gaining a spot in the programmes," Clarence Crafoord, head of the Centre for Justice, said in a statement.
"There is much to suggest that illegal discrimination occurs widely when it comes to admission to National Police Academy."
The men want the ombudsman to look into whether or not it's legal to deny male applicants a spot to train to become a police officer in favour of female applicants, even if the men outperform women on entrance tests.
"If they don't have the right to make that choice, it's really wrong," Mats Hedin, who was denied a spot at a police education programme at Linné University, told TV4.
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.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.