Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sharpton ahoy! Black teen thief shot & killed by Cleveland Police on east side did not have a gun

He had been shot twice before by fellow criminals so clearly had a history of very foolish behaviour.  He may well have tried to grab the cop's gun.  Note that the store he robbed was owned by a fellow black

 A teenager shot and killed by Cleveland Police early Thursday morning has been identified.  Police said 18-year-old Brandon Jones was shot by officers at 2:15 a.m. on Parkwood Drive and Primrose Avenue.

Cleveland Police said officers were checking out a break-in at a small convenience store when the shooting happened.   When two officers arrived, police said Jones came out of the store with a bag.

At least one officer had his gun drawn, a source stated.

The two officers approached Jones and tried to arrest the man. Police say a struggle between the three ensued.   One officer shot the suspect at least one time.

Jones was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition and later died. According to sources, Jones did not have a weapon, but tried to grab an officer's gun.

No police officers were wounded in the incident.  Sources said the police involved were two seasoned veteran officers.

Essex Hayward, the 90-year-old owner of the shop, said it has been robbed several times and even shot before.  He said Jones only got away with cigarettes and some money.  The shop was closed when the break-in happened.


The PC terror of the Twittermob

Two web developers, Hank and Alex, were sharing tech-related in-jokes about `dongles' and `forking someone's repo' at a conference. It was private, jokey wordplay - or at least, that's what they thought. A woman in front of them, Adria Richards, overheard the jokes, became outraged, took a photo of the pair, and posted it on her Twitterfeed. `Not cool' ran the tweet as she `called out' their `inappropriate' and `sexist' jokes. At the end of the conference, they were reprimanded by the conference organisers and eventually sacked from their jobs. It didn't end there. The woman who tweeted her outrage received abuse from freelancing misogynists who themselves were outraged by the firing of Hank and Alex. Hackers attacked the IT server system at Richards' workplace and she, too, was sacked.

It is a grim story, but it is one that, unfortunately, is becoming commonplace. Author and broadcaster Jon Ronson, in his new book So You've Been Publicly Shamed, examines the peculiar twenty-first-century phenomena of the Twitterstorm and `calling out' culture. Ronson is a very good and likeable journalist. He has a talent for spotting a potentially great story and the tenacity to bring it to life. He is a journalist in the old-fashioned sense of the word. He pursues contacts, leads and interviews - many times over - until he's scooped a decent story. And, unlike so many hotshot broadsheet writers, Ronson is always more interested in the people he's writing about than he is in himself. It is this approach which means his contacts are often prepared to open up to him and which explains why his writing can be so compelling.

Ronson, though, has his detractors. His interest in oddballs and freaks suggests he is not someone who takes things too seriously. Yet his eye for the wacky and the strange sometimes ends up hitting on hard political topics. For example, his 2001 documentary, The Secret Rulers of the World, captured how radical lefties were embracing conspiracy theory, once the theory of choice for far-right nutters. Likewise, So You've Been Publicly Shamed captures how the easily offended, often radically minded, have wrecked people's lives in a manner which would make corrupt, repressive states feel proud. What's alarming and chilling about Ronson's case studies is that, far from being isolated incidents, they increasingly reflect a general trend towards the curtailing of free expression.

Take the case of the American, Justine Sacco. Before a trip to South Africa, she made a throwaway quip on Twitter, to her 170 followers, about how white people can't catch AIDS in Africa. This bad joke was a dig at her own apparently cosseted existence rather than at black AIDS suffers. But sadly for Sacco, this joke was lost on one of her followers (she doesn't know who), and by the time she had landed at Cape Town Airport she was trending on Twitter. Ronson provides an extensive list of the tweets in response to Sacco's original post. They were a mixture of pious, indignant rage and low-level sadism. `We are about to watch this @JustineSacco get fired. In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS she's getting fired.' Ronson makes the point that Sacco was the first person he'd interviewed who had been destroyed, not by the government or big business, but by her fellow citizens.

The same was true of Lindsey Stone. She and a friend had a long-running `stupid joke' that involved pulling poses contrary to what a public sign says, such as smoking in front of a no-smoking sign. At Arlington in Washington DC, the pair saw the `silence and respect' sign for US soldiers who had died in combat - this prompted Lindsey to do a goofy am-dram one-finger salute pose in front of the sign. Due to Facebook settings not being as private as many of us think they are, especially for uploaded photos, this private joke became public. Four weeks after returning from Washington DC, Stone became aware of online hostility towards her and her photo. Incredibly, a `Fire Lindsey Stone' Facebook page had been created and had attracted 12,000 likes. The company Lindsey worked for, LIFE (Living Independently Forever), was inundated with emails demanding her sacking - a request that was quickly met. According to Ronson, Stone `fell into a depression, became an insomniac and barely left home for a year'.

Public shaming in the twenty-first century, especially for mildly jokey rather than criminal behaviour, can be devastating for its victims. Ronson, who admits that he's done his fair share of `calling out' tweets, is right to say the process degrades us all. A harder question to answer is why such unhinged responses to bad jokes and legitimate opinions have become the norm rather than the exception.

In trying to answer this question, it would be easy, and wrong, to indulge in anti-human prejudices, and to his credit Ronson picks apart such lazy theories. He demonstrates how the nineteenth-century French doctor and thinker, Gustave Le Bon, was wrong with his `group madness' concept, developed in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Le Bon's theory was that humans totally lose control over their behaviour in a crowd. Our free will evaporates and a contagious madness takes over.

Ronson notes that Le Bon is still popular because `we tend to love nothing more than to declare other people insane'. But the problem with theories like Le Bon's is that they can't explain why some people get involved in Twitterstorms and others choose not to. It seems that how people react in a crowd or on social media is based on patterns of behaviour that reflect wider belief systems. The predilection to behave in this way exists prior to the coming together of any pitchfork- or Twitter-wielding mob.

For the sociologist mile Durkheim, the process of punishment and shaming served to change an individual's behaviour and uphold society's values. From Medieval times through to the nineteenth century, the authorities were willing to tie people to public whipping posts or place them in stocks for their transgressions. Local newspapers would have published a digest detailing the amount of squirming that had occurred. Punishment is primarily expressive - it expresses society's moral outrage at the offence. Through rituals of order, such as a public trial and punishment, society's shared values are reaffirmed and its members come to feel a sense of moral unity.

Thus `calling out' someone's Twitter transgressions could be said to be motivated by a desire to do good for wider society. Ronson draws a not too far-fetched analogy between public shaming on social media and how citizens in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) informed the Stasi (the GDR's terrifying secret police) on their neighbours - they thought this was the right thing to do.

The question today is how and why harmless jokes, or the `wrong' opinions, are seen as transgressive and worthy of what the criminologist John Braithwaite calls `stigmatic shaming' (which means there's no final forgiveness for the individual's `bad behaviour'). But in the twenty-first century the nature of stigmatic shaming has changed, too. Ronson notes how individuals who have been exposed to public judgement for aspects of their sexual behaviour, such as sleeping with prostitutes, are no longer social pariahs. Max Mosley or Wayne Rooney, for instance, were not cast out of public life following tabloid revelations of their paid-for sex romps. Shaming no longer involves the transgression of traditional or religious values but, instead, the transgression of politically correct codes. And it is on social media where the regulatory power of PC codes is most keenly felt.

Twenty-five years ago, the term PC was a joke, largely used by conservatives to lampoon the behaviour of liberals and lefties. Today, far from PC having `gone mad', it has gone thoroughly mainstream. Critics of PC are often viewed as closet bigots, people who simply want to make racist or sexist comments without any comeback. But this misses the point about the problems with PC. PC is designed to control individual behaviour rather than create a more equal or fair society. Through PC, problems to do with racial or sexual inequality have been recast as problems of language etiquette. Justine Sacco's family, for instance, had a long history of actively supporting the ANC in South Africa during the struggle against Apartheid; her tweet was also a joke against herself and perceptions of `white privileged' Americans. But all of this was irrelevant because the politically correct use of language is considered more important than a person's actual opinions or deeds.

Protecting other people's self-esteem or emotional states has become important because humans are no longer seen as being able to cope with `disagreeable' words. This has pretty much become the organising principle on university campuses throughout Britain and America. But the culture of limiting `offence' has only encouraged people to perceive and exaggerate all manner of comments as `offensive'. We've reached the point where an individual's subjective `hurt' now triumphs over solidarity with other people. Indeed, solidarities based around work, how most of us are only one pay cheque away from penury, was once a powerful social bond among the powerless in society. It was widely recognised that handing employers a stick with which to beat an employee could be used against yourself and others. This is why, 30 years ago, nobody would call on someone else to be sacked from their job on the basis of something they had said, no matter how reprehensible they thought it was.

One of the most depressing trends covered in Ronson's book is how calling for someone to be sacked from their job, even though a tweet is unrelated to their work, is often the first demand social-media users all-too gleefully make. It shows just how atomised and lacking in solidarity Western societies have become. Trying to get someone sacked was once considered a terrible thing to do. Now it is considered the right thing to do. Ronson's book demonstrates how social media reflects and exacerbates such malignant trends, such as calling for the state or employers to punish people for opinions, jokes or beliefs considered offensive or inappropriate.

Nevertheless, Ronson is somewhat off the mark when he applies his criticism of public, social-media shaming to the case of author and `motivational public speaker' Jonah Lehrer. In 2012, journalist Michael C Moynihan became suspicious of quotes Lehrer had attributed to Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. In fact, the quotes were completely made up. Other editors and book publishers quickly discovered that most of Lehrer's articles and work featured fabrications, inaccuracies and evidence of plagiarism. Ronson uses the case of Lehrer as part of his exploration of public shaming, but actually it's not entirely legitimate to compare Lehrer's downfall with the cases of Sacco, Stone and others. In Lehrer's case, it was a journalist, and then social media, who forced Lehrer to be held to account for his dishonesty and fakery. He was not being destroyed for bad jokes or bad opinions.

Ronson feels uneasy that Lehrer had `been exposed by the sort of person who used to be powerless' and reminds the reader Lehrer had written some wonderful stuff. There's a danger here of confusing Twittermob intolerance with stinging public criticism and ridicule. Increasingly, many journalists are hostile to `below the liners', ordinary members of the public who leave ridiculing comments underneath an opinion piece or review. There's a tendency to confuse the online public who are simply opinionated with Twittermobs and intolerance. Ronson is right to cast a weary and critical eye over the Twittermob mentality. But journalists' views and opinions still ought to be fair game for challenge and ridicule. At times, So You've Been Publicly Shamed doesn't clearly make the distinction between robust public debate and intolerance.

It is also worth pointing out that shame and being shamed are not necessarily bad things. The existence of shame is a recognition that genuinely transgressive acts are problematic. Shaming, therefore, provides a check and balance on wayward behaviour. It is the mechanism through which, informally and organically, civilised boundaries are maintained by society. It is also less repressive because such informal controls do not involve the state and the judiciary. What makes the Twittermob's acts of `shaming' so brutal is that individuals who haven't done anything wrong end up having their lives destroyed. Telling bad-taste jokes does not warrant being given unemployable pariah status. Ronson's engrossing book, and the sorry tales he covers, is a depressing snapshot of Twitter's tyranny of intolerance and the closing down of a free society.


From Ireland to Indiana, the spread of gay-marriage groupthink

Why the campaign for same-sex hitching is so censorious and intolerant

To see how straitjacketed the debate about gay marriage has become, look no further than Ireland.  There, on 22 May, there will be a referendum, with voters asked to say Yes or No to amending the Irish Constitution so that marriage will be redefined as a union between ‘two persons without distinction as to their sex’. Sounds good, right? An opportunity for an actual electorate to have a debate and have its say on the future of marriage? Not so fast.

The run-up to the referendum has been about as far from a fair or open debate as it’s possible to get. One side in the debate - the side that is critical of gay marriage - is demonised daily, treated virtually as heretics, almost as criminals. It’s accused of causing psychological harm, branded as ‘hate speakers’, and frequently forced to make public apologies simply for expressing its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And as a writer for the Irish Independent says, ‘It’s not a debate if one side can’t speak’. The public discussion before the Irish referendum has not been a debate, she says - it’s been ‘a Two Minutes Hate’ against anyone who doesn’t think gay marriage is the greatest idea ever.

Pretty much the entire establishment in Ireland, aside from the increasingly uninfluential bishops and priests, backs gay marriage (giving the lie to the gay-marriage movement’s depiction of itself as a beleaguered minority bravely battling The Man for its civil rights). From the prime minister, Enda Kenny, to the vast majority of Dail Eireann, to pretty much the whole media - most notably the Irish Times, voice of the minuscule cultural elite in Dublin that sets the moral and political agenda in Ireland - every person with power is rallying for gay marriage. And barely a week passes when they don’t demonise the other side, the smaller, less powerful side, the side which, in opposing gay marriage, is apparently harming citizens, causing violence and, worst of all, jeopardising Ireland’s political future.

As with all heretics in history, Ireland’s opponents of gay marriage stand accused of directly harming the public. So last month, the Psychological Society of Ireland issued a dire warning that the propaganda of the anti-gay marriage camp could ‘impact detrimentally on people’. PSI said it is ‘seriously concerned’ that this lobby’s claim that traditional marriage is better than gay marriage, on the grounds that a mother and father make better parents than two people of the same sex, could have ‘far-reaching implications’. It chastised opponents of gay marriage for promoting ideas that ‘run contrary to the positions of professional bodies’ - that is, for daring to defy the new priests: the expert class - and said their words could wreak mental and moral havoc.

As one news report summed it up, PSI thinks that ‘the debate itself [my italics] carrie[s] the potential to have detrimental effects, both psychological and emotional, on adults and children’. So discussion is dangerous; positing a view that runs counter to the elite’s outlook could cause emotional damage. It’s remarkable how much the authoritarian boot has shifted: once it was those who denied Biblical truths who were accused of doing moral harm to citizens; now it is those who cleave to Christian views and doubt gay marriage whose words, whose desire to have a debate, are depicted as dangerous, warping things.

The PSI is not alone in demanding that the anti side watch its words, or better still, stop saying them. An Irish government minister has urged antis to ‘refrain from confrontational and offensive language’. The Irish Times has gone further, publishing a piece calling for the establishment of a ‘homophobia watchdog’ in the run-up to the referendum, so that the authorities can ‘monitor the inevitable destructive rhetoric that will colour one side of the debate’. And to those who cry ‘what about free speech?’, the Irish Times has a simple answer: ‘“Free speech” is not a free pass to inflict psychological trauma.’ That is, your words, your very thoughts, are traumatic, even socially destabilising, and thus they must not enjoy liberty; they should not be expressed.

Echoing those eco-illiberals in the UK and elsewhere who slam media outlets that offer a ‘balanced’ view in the debate on climate change, the Irish Times has also called into question the need for media balance on gay marriage in the run-up to the referendum. Too much of the media have ‘a skewed view of what balance is’, it says, feeling the need to offer a platform to ‘Middle Ireland’, ‘the silent majority’, ‘the mainstream’, when the only consequence of such ‘polarised conversations’ is that ‘facts and reason are drowned out by emotional arguments and inaccuracies’. ‘It’s pointless’, it concludes. It means, amazingly, that debate is pointless. Gay-marriage activists see themselves as ‘factual and reasoned’ and anyone who criticises them as emotional, inaccurate, traumatising, psychologically harmful. Who needs to hear from ‘Middle Ireland’ when the well-educated inhabitants of Dublin 4 know exactly what the nation needs? As it happens, the Irish media do not need lectures from the PSI about trauma or from the Irish Times about ‘skewed balance’, and nor is there a need for a speech-monitoring homophobia watchdog - for the media in Ireland have already dutifully fallen in line behind gay marriage. Indeed, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has recently ruled that too many broadcasters are showing a bias in favour of gay marriage. (There’s no need for rulings like this either, of course; can’t we just let debate flow freely?)

Experts’ and observers’ depiction of gay marriage’s opponents as emotionally harmful is having a direct impact on how the debate is, or rather isn’t, panning out. It is strangling discussion, stifling the expression of what are increasingly depicted as deviant views. In the words of Eilis O’Hanlon at the Irish Independent, the increasingly shrill proponents of gay marriage seem less interested in ‘finding the truth’ than in ‘identifying [themselves] as members of an enlightened elite’, so that the whole referendum run-up is ‘reduced to a case of kindly metropolitan liberals versus nasty Catholic conservatives’.

A writer for the Sunday Independent admitted to feeling reluctant to express her concerns about the behaviour of the pro-gay marriage lobby. Her friends warned her to ‘be careful’ because ‘anyone who sticks their oar in risks attack’. There is a ‘chilling effect’ on public discussion as a result of the treatment of one side as wicked and corrupting, she said. The bishop of Kildare, Denis Nulty, had a point when he recently warned against ‘the danger of groupthink’ on gay marriage. As O’Hanlon says, through groupthink ‘outsiders are demonised and hounded’. Referring to the Twittermobs that formed during a heated debate on gay marriage last year, she says ‘anyone who expressed the slightest reservations about same-sex marriage was howled down as a homophobe and pelted with hashtags and slogans until they either submitted to the mob or were driven offline’.

Ireland’s opponents of gay marriage have also been subjected to the kind of tabloid exposes normally reserved for social deviants. And such is the debate-allergic climate that even bishops, people who should surely be expected to hold a traditionalist view on marriage and the family, have felt pressured to make public apologies. For expressing his view that gay people who adopt children are ‘not necessarily parents’ and that ‘children need a mother and a father’, Bishop Kevin Doran was slammed and hounded, until he agreed to say sorry. He said he ‘regrets any hurt’ his words caused. Even the Primate of All Ireland indulged in a mea culpa: ‘I think that sometimes when we say things we can be insensitive, we can hurt.’ It seems the old bishops have heeded the warnings of the new secular bishops that make up Ireland’s expert and chattering classes, and have agreed to genuflect at the altar of safe, stultified discussion on gay marriage.

What is striking is the extent to which the critics of gay marriage are now treated in a similar way that gays were treated for decades. Homosexuality wasn’t decriminalised in Ireland until 1993 - making you wonder where the Irish state gets off now posing as super-gay-friendly - and before that gays were seen as a blot on the moral landscape. They were seen as psychologically disordered (not just in Ireland, but across the West) and their words and culture were often censored for fear that they would traumatise young people and tear the moral fabric. Sound familiar? Yes, the same is now done to those who hold traditional views on marriage and the family. In Ireland, as elsewhere, the illiberal, intolerant tactics once used against homosexuals have been turned against those who dare to criticise homosexual lifestyles.

Around the world, the institutionalisation of gay marriage has been attended by authoritarianism, whether of the violent state variety or what John Stuart Mill called ‘the tyranny of prevailing opinion’. From French riot police’s tear-gassing of protesters against gay marriage to American activists’ witch-hunting of corporate bosses or small-town restaurants that refuse to cheer gay marriage, this supposedly great civil-rights issue of our age has a powerful intolerant streak to it. (The recent fiftieth anniversary of the Selma march really exposed gay-marriage activists’ claims to be the new civil-rights movement: far from mirroring the blacks who marched for their rights, the gay-marriage movement, most notably in France, looks a lot more like the Montgomery cops who batoned those marchers off the streets.)

Why is the gay-marriage movement so intolerant? Despite winning the backing of almost every powerful figure in the West, from Barack Obama to David Cameron, from Apple to Goldman Sachs, and despite being turned by the media into the great unquestionable, almost sacrilegious cause of our age, still gay-marriage activists hilariously fancy themselves as underdogs and, worse, seek to shush or shame out of existence anyone who opposes them. In the words of the American journalist Damon Linker, the gay-marriage movement seems curiously hell-bent on ‘stamping out rival visions’. Or as Reason magazine said in relation to recent intolerant activism by American gay-marriage campaigners, it seems some are ‘not merely content with the revolutionary step of removing state discrimination against same-sex couples’, but also want to ‘use state power to punish anyone who refuses to lend their business services to wedding ceremonies they find objectionable’.

What’s this all about? Why the illiberalism, the intolerance, the ugliness? It’s because gay marriage is not really about expanding freedom at all. Rather, it represents the emergence of a new, post-traditonalist morality, an attempt by at-sea elites across the West to redefine themselves and their moral missions through the gay issue. Gay marriage has become the favoured means through which our rulers, feeling ever-more detached from their old moral worldview, are institutionalising a new, pseudo-progressive, seemingly consensual morality, based, not around the old ideals of family, commitment and privacy, but around the new po-mo values of relativism (all relationships are the same), non-judgementalism (who are we to say that a mum and dad are better than two mums?), and illiberal liberalism, the central political outlook of our times, which under the guise of building a new liberal consensus seeks to censure and punish anyone who deviates from that consensus. The reason the elites, from the political classes to the influential opinion-forming set, are so instinctually hostile to criticism of gay marriage is because they have invested their very moral rehabilitation, their future political and moral legitimacy, into this issue more than in any other. And thus no ridicule of it can be tolerated. For if you knock gay marriage you are not only knocking gay marriage - you are upsetting Western elites’ efforts to establish a new morality that simplistically distinguishes between Us (good, kind, liberal backers of gay marriage) and Them (the old, the religious, the outdated, the Other).

Ireland captures this perfectly. The reason so many in the political and media classes want, or rather need, the amendment to the Constitution to pass is because they think legalising gay marriage will help rejuvenate Ireland in the twenty-first century. The minister for children said that if Ireland doesn’t legalise gay marriage, it would ‘send out a bad message internationally’. Or as prime minister Kenny put it, passing gay marriage will ‘send out a powerful signal internationally that Ireland has evolved into a fair, compassionate and tolerant nation’.

All this talk of ‘sending signals’ to the world shows how absolutely central gay marriage has become to the project of Western elites making themselves over in these post-Cold War, post-traditionalist, post-political times. The Irish state needs gay marriage for the same reason Obama and Cameron need it - to fashion a new moral worldview and ‘send a signal’ about its elitist progressivism, its decency in comparison to the old world, the old people, the old outlook. That so many gay-rights campaigners are going along with this politicisation and exploitation of their lifestyles by elites on the lookout for a new sense of purpose is remarkable. That those who hold a divergent view on gay marriage are being silenced is a scandal.


ACLU Targets Religious Charities Over Refusing Abortions, Contraception for Immigrant Children

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on Apr. 6  against the federal government to obtain “documents related to how groups that are awarded government funding contracts are restricting refugee and undocumented immigrant teenagers' access to reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion.”

The lawsuit is seeking the release of documents from the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families about contracts awarded to religious groups that are helping unaccompanied minors, many of whom have crossed into the United States from Mexico.

Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU senior staff attorney, said that religious organizations, particularly the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), are taking millions of dollars in federal funding and refusing “to provide teens with critical reproductive health care — such as emergency contraception and abortion — as required by U.S. law.”

“Recently, the federal government released proposed regulations requiring federal contractors who care for unaccompanied minors to provide access to contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion if a teen has been raped,” said the ACLU, referencing a recent interim rule published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

“In response, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the groups that received a government-funded contract to provide care to these teens, said any requirement that they provide information about contraception or abortion, even a referral or the arrangement for such services, would violate their religious freedom,” the ACLU said, citing the USCCB’s Feb. 20 letter of reply to ORR’s interim rule.

The Dec. 24, 2014 interim rule, which will go into effect this June, requires federally funded organizations caring for illegal alien minors to provide “unimpeded access to emergency medical treatment,” including “emergency contraception,” and abortion.

The ACLU argues that, “religious freedom does not include the right to take a government contract that requires providing access to health care, and then refuse to provide a teen who has been raped the health care she needs.”

However the USCCB and other religious organizations have invoked the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which bars the federal government from denying government grants and contracts on the basis of a group’s free exercise of religion.

“There is little question that a government requirement to provide or refer for items or procedures to which an organization has a religious and moral objection would impose a ‘substantial burden’ on its exercise of religion,” the USCCB wrote.

“Abortion takes an innocent human life and wounds another life.  It is the antithesis of healthcare.  This lawsuit will not expand access to humane care, but rather will peddle death and harm to an already vulnerable population — young undocumented immigrants — dealing a blow both to life and to religious freedom,”  Mallory Quigley, Communications Director at the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life advocacy group, told in reference to the ACLU lawsuit.

“Abortion does not cure, it does not provide relief or solace for the problems of sexual assault or poverty.  Abortion only inflicts further wounds on those already hurting.  Religious organizations such as Catholic Relief Services are providing true compassion and care, and the dignity that these young women deserve,” she said.

The ORR regulation anticipated religious freedom objections in its preamble, noting, “ORR is mindful that some potential and existing grantees and contractors may have religious or moral objections to providing certain kinds of services, including referrals (for example, for emergency contraception)."

“ORR is committed to providing resources and referrals for the full range of legally permissible services to UCs (Unaccompanied Children) who need them, helping to facilitate access to these options, and doing so in a timely fashion and in a manner that respects the diverse religious and cultural backgrounds of UCs,” states the rule.

“At the same time, ORR is also committed to finding ways for organizations to partner with us, even if they object to providing specific services on religious grounds,” it states.

The USCCB, along with Catholic Relief Services, the National Association of Evangelicals, World Vision, and World Relief called the referral option “inadequate” and called for an amendment to the rule providing a “meaningful accommodation” that “frees existing and prospective grantees, contractors, sub-grantees and subcontractors from any requirement to provide, facilitate the provision of, provide information about, or refer or arrange for items or procedures to which they have a religious or moral objection.”



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


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