Monday, November 04, 2013
A ‘Disgusting Experience’: Band’s Show Cancelled Because They Are ‘Too White’?
Shokazoba, an “Afrobeat” band, reportedly had its Halloween performance at Hampshire College allegedly cancelled because the members of the group are “too white” to play Afrobeat music.
The band’s keyboard player, Jason Moses, told MassLive.com that about 30 people were able to execute an online campaign to have their show at the annual Halloween event shut down. He said the band is not even all white, but race shouldn’t matter anyway.
“It’s not important to us. Music and art has the opportunity to transcend all that,” Moses said.
The Hype Committee, which apparently made the call to cancel the band’s show, announced the decision on Facebook on Oct. 24:
“Due to concerned students voicing their opinions about the band Shokazoba, we held community dialogue to hear what individuals had to say. As a result of the dialogue, and discomfort expressed by members of the community in person as well as by email, Facebook, and other means, we have removed Shokazoba from the lineup for Hampshire Halloween.”
Further, a Hampshire College spokeswoman said in a statement that students “questioned the selection of one band, asking whether it was a predominantly white Afrobeat band, and expressing their concerns about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures.”
Moses says the entire experience has been “disgusting.”
“It felt like we were demonized. I didn’t feel they should cancel us,” he said.
The keyboard player also revealed his group singed a performance contract with the Hype Committee that prohibits the school from discriminated against based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical ability or sexual orientation.
“He said he does not feel the band was dealt with in an honest way, and said he was sure some people would have wanted to see them play. Moses said the band would still play at the college, if it were organized by a different group interested in incorporating other points of view,” MassLive.com’s report adds.
An age when all faiths are equal - except Christianity: As a judge says Christian morality has no place in our courts, a stinging riposte from a former Archbishop of Canterbury
By George Carey, Former Archbishop Of Canterbury
Christianity is a force that has profoundly shaped our civilisation. From literature to architecture, from music to education, the morality and aesthetics of the Christian faith are the very foundations of our nation’s culture.
Crucially, Britain’s legal system also has its roots in the ethics of Christianity.
The concepts of honesty, personal responsibility, opposition to violence, concern for others and respect for their property — which are all part of the fabric of our laws — lie at the heart of the gospels.
Tragically, this rich and inspiring heritage is now under attack as never before. Our Christian identity is being ruthlessly marginalised.
No longer regarded by officialdom as the bulwark of our society’s moral code, it is increasingly treated as a minority fad or even a dangerous anachronism.
This trend has been driven by the ideologies of atheism, secularism and multi-culturalism, which together have formed a battering ram against our traditional Christian culture.
Society’s leaders are fond of talking about ‘social inclusion’, yet they now seem determined to exclude Christianity from the public realm.
This tendency was highlighted this week in a speech by Sir James Munby, the senior judge and President of the Family Division of the High Court, who spoke about Christianity’s decline as an influence in the judicial system.
Drawing a contrast between modern Britain and the more devout Victorian age, Sir James declared that ‘the days are past when the business of judges was the enforcement of morals or religious beliefs’.
Significantly, he said: ‘We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths’, with the result that he and his colleague ‘happily’ no longer had a role in enforcing morality.
On one level, Mr Justice Munby is absolutely right. Equality before the law is one of the essential principles of British justice. Everyone, no matter what their beliefs, is entitled to equal respect in the courts.
But that does not mean that Christianity should be banished from public life altogether.
I am afraid that his rhetoric represents another disturbing assault on the role of the Christian faith in civic life.
For all his judicial restraint, his words are part of a pattern whereby, in the name of tolerance and equality, Christianity is increasingly ostracised.
Everywhere there are examples.
Only this month, the managers of a set of student halls at Huddersfield University banned the distribution of Bibles because, like the judge, they said they wanted to remain ‘ethically neutral’.
Similarly, town halls have increasingly abandoned the tradition of saying prayers before their meetings, while crucifixes and other aspects of Christianity have been outlawed in many workplaces.
In one particularly outrageous recent case, a highly-experienced paediatrician was forced out of his position after he emailed his work colleagues a copy of the beautiful 16th century prayer of St Ignatius Loyola, which contains the famous lines, ‘to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds’.
Understandably, the doctor thought St Ignatius’s verses might serve as an inspiration at his clinic, but instead he found himself out of a job.
This case goes to the core of the problem. In our dogmatically secular world, the Christian faith has, ludicrously, come to be seen as a threat to equality, freedom and progress.
Indeed, that was the thrust of Sir James Munby’s speech, particularly in his comment about the religiously-minded, supposedly reactionary Victorians.
But the truth is that there is no conflict between equality and Christianity.
In fact, the opposite is true. The idea that all human beings are equal before God is central to the Christian faith. It is precisely because of this egalitarian impulse that Christianity has appealed to so many people over the centuries.
It is this same principle of equality that has infused British law since Magna Carta.
What Justice Munby seems to have failed to understand fully is that our whole legal system has its basis in Christian morality, with its emphasis on empathy and selflessness.
Christianity has nearly always been a restrained, tolerant faith, keener on compromise than obedience. ‘The gentleness of English civilisation is its most marked characteristic,’ wrote George Orwell, whose famous image of ‘old maids cycling to communion’ so brilliantly evoked the English character.
The one exception to this rule was the cruel Puritan zealot Oliver Cromwell; but fortunately his reign of religious terror was brief.
Just as misleading is Sir James’s pretence that, thanks to the decline of Christianity, today’s judiciary no longer has to impose any form of religious morality. But that, too, is completely wrong.
The modern state does indeed have its own new religion: the creed of political correctness, which it imposes with a fervour that might have provoked the admiration of Cromwell.
The consequent marginalisation of Christianity has left a vacuum, which is now filled by the ideologies of diversity and human rights.
This new morality, in a deeply anti-British, anti-Christian way, demands complete obedience.
Those who refuse to obey are treated by the State as heretics to be punished, as was graphically illustrated by the case of a Christian couple who owned a B&B in Cornwall and, because of their religious belief that sex should only happen inside marriage, refused to allow unmarried couples — gay or straight — to share a room.
In a landmark legal case which sealed the supremacy of gay rights over Christian belief under the Sexual Orientation Regulations introduced in 2007, the B&B owners were ordered to pay £3,600 compensation. The modern British state cannot tolerate such unorthodoxy.
The couple have been forced out of business. It is a case that makes a mockery of the judge’s claim that the judiciary is no longer involved in ‘the enforcement of morality’.
In truth, we now have a class of judicial activists and public officials who have taken on the highly political role of imposing this new orthodoxy.
Other controversial recent human rights cases include the demand that prisoners be given the vote.
In another recent incident, a nurse was suspended from her job for offering to say a prayer for a patient. Her managers ruled that she had failed ‘to demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ — a statement that could hardly be more political.
What is so disturbing about these developments is that double standards are being employed.
Christians are often hounded for their beliefs, yet there would be outrage in some quarters if adherents of other faiths were treated in the same way.
Christians in the NHS, for example, are told that they cannot wear crucifixes, yet Muslims are allowed to wear headscarves.
In the same vein, a Christian doctor is currently under investigation for ‘sharing his faith’ with a patient. Would Sikh or Hindu doctors be scrutinised for talking about their faiths? I doubt it.
Contrary to what High Court judge Sir James Munby claims, we are not moving towards equality — but towards something far more sinister: the slow disappearance of Christianity from the forefront of our society.
In the process, I fear, we are losing something extremely precious.
Religious Tolerance Is Not Hate
Recently, many Christians were alarmed to learn that military leaders had begun classifying mainstream Christian organizations such as the American Family Association (AFA) as “domestic hate groups,” comparable to the Ku Klux Klan. The briefing in question took place at Camp Shelby (Mississippi) in early October. What has happened in the last few years to bring about such confusion in an arm of our government which has traditionally honored God unapologetically?
There is much confusion over what we mean when we talk about America’s Christian heritage. For some, the words conjure up images of strict social norms and puritanical moral codes, while others may point to slavery and segregation as trump cards, negating their meaning. In reality, America’s Christian roots can be best understood as an experiment in human liberty, based on the idea that God created people to be free. Before the American Revolution, humans had almost always been ruled by hereditary kings or military strongmen. Outside of nomadic tribes and small-scale tribal confederations, to live in a settled “nation” meant to be ruled.
As the modern nation-state emerged, standing armies and guarded borders became the norm. Most assumed that a king or emperor had to be at the helm for a country to fend off invaders and protect its people. Could a nation survive if it allowed its citizens the freedom and responsibility to govern themselves? This was the question the framers of the Constitution hoped to answer in the affirmative when they gathered in Philadelphia to sign our founding documents.
From the very beginning, these leaders saw religion as an indispensable part of America’s survival. If humans were not being ruled by a king, they would need an internal system of restraint to rule themselves. In fact, John Adams spelled this out very directly when he proclaimed, “Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Of course the American experiment was never carried out in ideal conditions. It took several decades before our laws lived up to the Biblical principle that humans of all races and genders are bearers of God’s image and thus worthy of the equal protection under the law. But those who fought for abolition and suffrage were able to do so peacefully by calling America to live up to its own standards: ideals that were rooted in unchanging Biblical Truth.
Religious toleration—the ideal that the military doubtless thought it was upholding when it condemned AFA— was always part of the American experiment. After all, many of the early settlers had been previously persecuted for practicing their faith differently from the majority. But “religious toleration” never meant that that the state was to be agnostic, and the principle of institutional separation of church and state never meant that God was to have no place in public life. American Atheists are free not to believe in God, but they are still bound to a system that recognizes God, not man, as the source of human liberty.
Americans have traditionally believed that as long as our nation remembered to honor God, we would remain “a shining city on a hill.” When we began removing any mention of God from our public life, stripping every reference to God and the Bible from our schools, we began a slow and painful descent into chaos. It is not that the invocation of God’s name is a magic spell that protects us from harm. Rather the acknowledgement of God is a public reminder of the shared principles and values that all Americans were supposed to practice, to teach their children and to hold dear to their hearts. Without such restraints, the cords of our Constitution begin to unravel, just as President Adams warned.
Our nation and world are in the middle of an age that is both infinitely promising and profoundly terrifying. Humanity is finding new cures for diseases even as it discovers new ways to kill; we are gaining greater knowledge and understanding while we seemed more plagued by ignorance than ever. Economies, political structures and belief systems are being shaken and tested.
If we are to have any hope of restoring our nation and regaining our confidence and security, we will need to remember what made us great in the first place and regain our trust in Him. Our coins say “In God we trust,” and so should our hearts. It is only because of the wisdom and grace of God that so great a nation came into being in the first place, and we will need His sovereign guidance if we are to survive.
UK has one of largest Gypsy populations in Western Europe with 200,000 living there
Britain has one of the largest Roma populations in Western Europe - with about 200,000 living here - says an authoritative report.
The study contradicts Government claims that ‘relatively few Roma citizens’ had set up home in this country. Most are thought to have arrived in the last ten years.
The 200,000 figure is four times the 49,000 estimated just four years ago in a report prepared for the Department of Children School and Families.
Some 183,000 have set up home in England, with 3,000 in Scotland, 900 in Wales, and 500 in Northern Ireland.
The findings come amid concerns about how many more migrants will arrive when restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria are relaxed in January.
It is claimed most of the migrants have arrived since a number of eastern European countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, joined the European Union in 2004.
The latest study, conducted by the University of Salford and seen by Channel 4 News, concluded the migrant Roma population in Britain was ‘significant’, increasing, and that 200,000 was almost certainly a ‘conservative estimate’.
As well as London, Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands are identified as areas where large numbers of Roma live.
According to Channel 4 News, Sheffield has seen a big influx of Roma families over the last ten years.
A decade ago, only one or two were living in the Page Hall area of the city. There are now several hundred families – with more arriving. Families of ten children are not uncommon.
Miroslav Sandor, who works in a local advice centre in Sheffield for Roma people, came to the UK in 2004 when Slovakia joined the EU.
He was drawn by the chance to send his children to school and college. He told the programme: ‘We came here for a better life, having a job, having education for my children.’
Miroslav ‘Bob’ Sandor, his son, said: ‘In Slovakia when you go to school they don’t let you go to college. If you Roma they just don’t care about you.’
Gulnaz Hussain, manager of an advice centre for migrants in Sheffield, said: ‘I don’t think we could accommodate more people arriving. I think it’s taken its toll in terms of numbers and houses that are available.’
One of the local residents, Jane Howarth, who is not Roma but has taken it upon herself to organise street patrols around Page Hall, said she often saw ‘hordes of people, Roma, standing on street corners, drinking, eating, chucking all their rubbish’.
Dr Philip Brown, one of the authors of the study, said: ‘A few years ago we didn’t really understand the number of migrant Roma in the UK.’
The Council of Europe estimates the population across the whole continent is somewhere above 11million – with 6million in the EU.
Of those, around two million live in Romania. Spain has the largest Roma population in Western Europe, with 750,000, followed by France with 400,000.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.