Sunday, November 30, 2014
Leftist rediscovers Christianity
Out of all her agonizing about the fashionable "privilege" concept, the woman below extracts rules for her own behaviour that sound remarkably like what the Bible teaches. She could repeat her advice from most church pulpits and get only nods of agreement. In Western societies, Christian ideas still lurk close to the surface even among those who are not formally Christian
Privilege refers to the uneven distribution of power within a society. Privilege exists when that aspect of your life is seamlessly accepted into the world without scrutiny or suspicion. Personal privilege is the possession of these unearned attributes that dictate the ease and influence one will have within society.
Privilege is a fact, not an insult! You can’t help it if you have it, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
Privilege is not absolute. Most people occupy multiple social positions with multiple levels of privilege or disadvantage.
Take me for example! While I am mentally ill, queer, and currently occupy a non-normative internal gender identity, I occupy several positions of privilege as well:
I pass as a cisgender [normal] woman
I am able-bodied and without cognitive or intellectual impairments
My weight and height are within the boundaries of what is considered ‘acceptable’
(this list is not exhaustive!)
Here’s how I try to be responsible in the areas in which I hold privilege:
1. I Shut Up: I recognize that the privileged groups that I belong to historically (and currently) are the ones who have dominated discussions, created knowledge, and dictated the language, environments, and modes of conversations. I recognize that I do not always need to be heard all the time, and by insisting on my inclusion, I risk inadvertently reenforcing harmful power dynamics. If I do participate, I will carefully monitor myself to make sure I don’t hijack the conversation.
2. I Listen: I recognize that my experiences in privilege are considered normal, and that the experiences of people who do not belong to a privileged group are often silenced or ignored. I try to listen to those experiences, even if it’s hard or I don’t like what’s being said. The ability to ignore and dismiss is part of my privilege, and I will not contribute to that legacy.
3. I Educate Myself: I seek out resources, authorities, dissenting opinions, and alternate viewpoints on topics in which I hold privilege. I do not require members of disadvantaged groups to be responsible for educating me. When I have a question, I will make sure I ask it at an appropriate time and that I am not making someone uncomfortable or upset. I will not ask overly personal or intimate questions unless I know for sure that that is ok.
RH: Hey, when you were talking back there, I heard you use a term to identify yourself that I hadn’t heard before. Can I ask you a little more about that?
4. I Use It for Good: Because social power dynamics have made my voice more important than others, I will use that voice for good. I will speak up in my peer group when someone tells a racist joke or when I hear a slur. I will not tolerate discriminatory and disempowering behaviour from the people around me. I will consider how the organizations and groups that I belong to treat people who are not privileged, and I will make responsible decisions about whether to associate with them. I will opt-in or opt-out where it matters. I will always be careful to not speak FOR people, but I will stand up with them wherever I can.
RH: look, you’re my friend. I know you’re a smart, kind woman, but the jokes you make and the words you use when someone mentions immigration are really not cool. Can we talk about that?
5. I Will Learn from Messing Up: My privilege has been internalized and reenforced for my entire life. I will mess up sometimes; I will be thoughtless, misinformed, aggressive, or unkind. I will listen when people call me out on it, and figure out how I can avoid messing up again.
These personal guidelines help me make sure that the privilege I hold does more good than harm.
(person) but whenever I try to talk, someone yells ‘privilege’ at me!
Some people may use the term to bully or silence, but I would gently suggest that this happens less than people would like. When I feel attacked, I try to reflect on whether there’s some truth behind it (even if the person could have been nicer about it). Sometimes the call-out is disingenuous, but it never hurts to be a little self-critical!
Law School Humbug
The hottest new legal theories may be antithetical to the very notion of law, but their influence is growing, even beyond the ivy-covered walls.
Law schools across the country have taken on a new function: cleansing students' souls. The taint to be extirpated, of course, is racism and sexism, and in many classes the sometimes dramatic measures needed to root out such blights have driven away the more mundane task of teaching legal analysis. "I was going home crying every day," says Linda P., a law student at New York University. The source of her unhappiness was her "Race and Legal Scholarship" course. "No matter what I said, the response was: you don't know because you're white. Some students wouldn't speak to me after class. It scared me, because I thought I was this big liberal, and I was treated like the devil."
Linda's professor, Paulette Caldwell, practices the hottest form of legal scholarship today: critical race theory. While therapeutic courses such as Caldwell's remain a small portion of the curriculum at most law schools, the theory behind them has nevertheless shaken up the legal academy. Only " feminist jurisprudence" rivals critical race theory in influence and sheer sex appeal; both fashions are cut from the same cloth.
The impact of critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence doesn't stop at the ivy-clad walls of the legal academy. Feminist jurisprudence has revolutionized the law of sex discrimination and rape. Courts across the country, persuaded that legal practice is deeply racist and sexist, are conducting costly studies of their own alleged biases. Both movements are trying to limit First Amendment guarantees in order to protect female and minority sensibilities; their first success, beyond campus speech codes, has been in the workplace. These repercussions are all the more remarkable when you consider that critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence are fundamentally antithetical to the very notion of law.
Back in the law school classroom, Linda P. is not the only student crying these days. Law professors in many schools boast that their courses have reduced students to tears, sent them fleeing to the dean, and created crosscurrents of hostility in the classroom—proof that the professors are " touching a nerve." Frances Lee Ashley, a University of Tennessee law professor, faced numerous charges from students that her "Discrimination and the Law" class was simply a forum for white-bashing, that she favored black students, and that the class exacerbated racial tensions. Ashley was unrepentant. "If teachers intend to open this scary space," she writes in the California Law Review, "they need to be ready to make it reasonably safe and bearable for all members of the enterprise. . . . As a teacher in a predominantly white but desegregating institution . . . you [cannot] consistently do the right thing if by that you mean behavior that allows the average white student to avoid any feeling of being personally accused or defensive when matters of race are discussed."
Charles Jones, a professor at Rutgers-Newark Law School, asks students in his critical race theory seminar to write an essay about race relations, challenging, among other things, "the assumption that blacks, Jews, and Latinos are allies." When a black student wrote about her indelible dislike of white people, Jones knew he had struck gold. He asked the student to read her essay aloud in class; an Italian-American woman burst into tears and fled the room.
Fortunately, critical race teachers are prepared for such disruptions. "Getting in touch with your feelings is difficult," explains Jones. "We let [the Italian-American woman] experience out her grief. She sat out a class or two, and when she came back, she wouldn't talk." It was a useful lesson, Jones concludes: "She was naive to think there's not a lot of cross-racial hatred." (However open-minded critical race teachers may be about "cross-racial hatred," it is difficult to imagine this story coming out as it did had a white student written of his dislike for blacks.)
The core claim of both critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence is that law is merely a mask for white male power relations. Law, in other words, is indistinguishable from politics; the purported objectivity and neutrality of legal reasoning is a sham.
Much more HERE
How evil British social workers battled to prevent loving couple giving grandson a home: Three workers named and shamed by furious judge
Three social workers have been named and shamed by a furious judge for bias against grandparents who wanted to give their two-year-old grandson a home. The evidence they gave to a court as they tried to prevent the couple from raising the child was described as ‘visibly biased’, ‘begrudging’ and ‘grossly overstated’.
Judge Simon Jack said in the adoption case heard in Hull: ‘I found it very difficult to give any weight at all to their evidence.’
The condemnation of the social workers – Neil Swaby, Rachel Olley and Peter Nelson – came in a hearing in which the judge ruled that the grandparents should bring up the boy, with occasional help from the child’s other grandparents.
The judge said social workers had claimed one set of grandparents – named only as Mr and Mrs G – were already bringing up two older children and the little boy’s brother, and all of the children had difficulties or behavioural problems.
The other set – named as Mr and Mrs C – were said by social workers to have problems with drink and domestic violence.
But Judge Jack said there was no evidence Mr and Mrs G had problems with the children and ‘so far as Mr and Mrs C are concerned there is no evidence that I am aware of that any domestic violence or any drinking has had an adverse effect on any children in their care’.
Mr G told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that he had asked Mr Swaby: ‘Who do you think you are, God?’ and Mr Swaby had replied: ‘In this situation, yes. Get used to it, your grandson will go for adoption.’ Mr G added: ‘The judge asked Miss Olley’s advocate to stand up and he said to her, “basically your case is a shambles”.
The social workers, employed by North East Lincolnshire council, were named under new guidance for the family courts intended to open up the habitually secret workings of lawyers, experts and social workers who decide on the future of children in the state care system.
The most senior family judge, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby, has ordered that social workers and medical experts in family courts should be named in the same way as witnesses in other courts. The Hull case came about after the death of the two-year-old boy’s mother, who had a history of drug abuse and violence with the child’s father.
Judge Jack said: ‘Neil Swaby seemed very reluctant to accept anything positive could be said about either set of grandparents. I had the clear impression... he was intent on saying only things which supported the local authority’s case.’
The judge said Miss Olley gave evidence the two-year-old had behavioural problems, but this ‘conflicted very strongly’ with an adoption social worker’s statement.
He added of Mr Swaby and Miss Olley: ‘Their concerns appeared to be grossly overstated to try and achieve their ends. I have never, in over ten years of hearing care cases taken the view, as I did in this case, that the local authority’s witnesses were visibly biased. I hope I shall never see that again.’
The judge said evidence from Mr Nelson, a new social worker who had been brought on to the case, had ‘the same bias’.
North East Lincolnshire council said it was ‘committed to ensuring the best outcomes for children and where possible allowing them to stay within their extended family’.
It added: ‘In light of this judgement, we have also reminded social workers of the importance of giving a balanced point of view whilst recognising their right to giving a professional judgment.’
Koran should be read at Prince Charles' coronation says top bishop: Critics attack proposal and accuse Church of England of 'losing confidence' in its own traditions
Prince Charles’s coronation service should be opened with a reading from the Koran, a senior Church of England bishop said yesterday. The gesture would be a ‘creative act of accommodation’ to make Muslims feel ‘embraced’ by the nation, Lord Harries of Pentregarth said.
But critics attacked the idea, accusing the Church of ‘losing confidence’ in its own institutions and traditions.
Lord Harries, a former Bishop of Oxford and a leading CofE liberal thinker, said he was sure Charles’s coronation would give scope to leaders of non-Christian religions to give their blessing to the new King.
The former Bishop of Oxford, who continues to serve as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Southwark, made the suggestion about the Koran during a House of Lords debate. He told peers the Church of England should take the lead in ‘exercising its historic position in a hospitable way’.
He said that at a civic service in Bristol Cathedral last year authorities had agreed to a reading of the opening passage of the Koran before the beginning of the Christian ritual. He said: ‘It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation.
‘That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies, including the next coronation service.’
Lord Harries’ suggestion comes more than 20 years after the Prince first said he would prefer to be seen as ‘Defender of Faith’ rather than be known by the monarch’s title of ‘Defender of the Faith’.
Charles said in 1994 he ‘always felt the Catholic subjects of the sovereign are equally as important as the Anglican ones, as the Protestant ones’.
‘Likewise, I think that Islamic subjects, or the Hindu subjects, or the Zoroastrian subjects of the sovereign, are of equal and vital importance.’ In 2006 the Prince made known that he wanted a multifaith coronation that would be more ‘focused and telecentric’ than his mother’s in 1953.
However traditionalist Christians condemned Lord Harries’s idea. Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute think-tank said: ‘Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey.
People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.’
Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the CofE’s parliament, the General Synod, and head of the Christian Concern pressure group, said: ‘At a time when we are looking at what British values mean, we cannot have values in a vacuum. British values stem from our Christian heritage.
‘We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.’
Douglas Murray, associate editor of the Spectator, said if Muslims were included in the coronation service, there must be room to for Hindus, Sikhs, and atheists.
He added: ‘If there were to be a reading from the Koran at the coronation, surely as a matter of reciprocity, all mosques in the UK should have prayers for the King and the Armed Forces every week at Friday prayers.’
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.