Friday, June 19, 2015
The Left Rejects Painful Truths
By Dennis Prager
Here’s a difference between Left and Right that is rarely noted despite the fact that it is at least as important as any other and even explains many of the other differences.
At the core of left-wing thought is a rejection of painful realities, the rejection of what the French call les faits de la vie: the facts of life. Conservatives, on the other hand, are all too aware of these painful realities of life and base many of their positions on them.
One such example was the subject of my first column on Left-Right differences: whether people are basically good. When liberals blame violent crime in America on poverty, one reason they do is that liberal beliefs since the Enlightenment have posited that human nature is good. Therefore, when people do truly bad things to other people, liberals believe that some outside force — usually poverty, racism and/or unemployment — must be responsible, not human nature.
Liberals find it too painful to look reality in the eye and acknowledge that human nature is deeply flawed. This is especially so because left-wing thought is rooted in secularism, and if you don’t believe in God, you had better believe in humanity — or you will despair.
Another fact of life that the Left finds too painful to acknowledge is the existence of profound differences between men and women. There is no other explanation for the rejection of what has been obvious to essentially every man and woman in history. It is certainly not the result of scientific inquiry. The more science knows about the male and female brain, not to mention male and female hormones, the more it confirms important built-in differences between the sexes.
Why then would people actually believe that girls are as happy to play with trucks as are boys, and boys are as happy to play with dolls and tea sets as are girls?
Because acknowledging many of those differences is painful. For example, feminists and others on the Left do not want to acknowledge that sex between two people who are not committed to each other usually means much more to women than to men. It is too painful to acknowledge that men are far more capable of having anonymous, emotionally meaningless sex than women. Therefore, feminism has now taught two generations of women that they are just as capable of enjoying emotionless sex with many partners as are men.
That the great majority of women yearn to bond with a man — more than they yearn for professional success — is another fact of life that the Left wishes not to acknowledge. Thus, feminism posited the silly false motto, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle” — because the reality is that most women without a man feel a deep hole in their soul. And that is too painful to acknowledge. (This hole also exists in men, but most men have no trouble acknowledging it.)
The entire concept of “political correctness” emanates from the Left’s incapacity to acknowledge painful truths. The very definition of “politically incorrect” is an idea or truth that people on the Left find too painful to acknowledge and therefore do not want expressed.
Why are so many young black males in prison? The reason is politically incorrect, meaning too painful for the Left to acknowledge: Black males commit a highly disproportionate amount of violent crime.
Why are there speech codes on virtually all college campuses? Because Leftists — who control most campuses — do not wish to hear discomforting facts or opinions with which they differ. That causes them pain.
That is the Left’s own language. Leftists constantly speak about people being made “uncomfortable” and about feeling “offended” (conservatives almost never react to an idea with which they differ by saying, “I’m offended”). If a man has a “cheesecake” calendar hanging in his car repair shop, the Left regards him as having created a “hostile work environment” — meaning some women might find it painful to see a woman presented as a sexual object.
Avoiding pain at almost all costs is at the heart of left-wing ideas and policies. That’s why kids can no longer run around during recess at so many American schools. They may get hurt. That’s why child protective services take children away from parents who allow their children to walk home alone or even play alone in the family backyard for 90 minutes without a parent at home.
Or take the left-wing bumper sticker idea: “War Is Not the Answer.” Of course, war is often the answer to great evil. Nazi death camps were liberated by soldiers fighting a war, not peace activists. But having to acknowledge the moral necessity of war is too painful a truth for many on the Left.
One might say Leftism appeals to those who wish to remain innocent children. Growing up and facing the fact that life is messy, difficult and painful is increasingly a conservative point of view.
China Declares War On Islam: Prayer In Mosques Is Outlawed And All Muslim Shopkeepers Must Sell Alcohol Or Face Prosecution
Before a Muslim community gets into Jihad mode, the first thing they do is call on all Muslims to repent from alcohol, pork and tobacco. It is this spark which begins the process rolling, as small groups of Muslims begin to push that agenda on Muslim communities by using peer-pressure. When this happens, it is a sign that trouble is ahead. Pretty soon they begin to demand a change in laws in order to force the host to acquiesce to their demands.
This problem exists in any society where Islam is allowed. So when giving Muslims “freedom of religion,” the ball gets rolling and soon Islam’s ethics begins to conflict with the host nation.
What the west needs to learn, and they will, slowly, is that Islam is the antithesis to western ethics: the more you have repentant Muslims, the more they are prone to violence while in the Judeo-Christian ethics, it is usually that the repentant gives peace and also finds peace. The reason for such a reverse between the two ethics is simple to understand. Firstly, Islam focuses on the outward forms of holiness: Hijabs, beards, no drinking, no pork and no smoking. Secondly, Islam’s concept of ‘peace’ has nothing to do with western understanding of the term. Peace in Islam is the Muslim definition for ‘justice’ and is foreign in all aspects, be it the concept of peace, the definition of peace and the practice of peace. In Islam, peace can only exist when Sharia reigns supreme.
So in order to fight the spread of Islam, the best approach is almost like the war on drugs where a society brings down the enabler, that is the ‘drug pusher’ (Imams, mosques) and also the substance (Quran and Muslim materials).
So in China, unlike the west, they get it. The Chinese authorities launched a series of “strike hard” campaigns to weaken the hold of the drug of Islam in China’s western region. So they have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant owners in its troubled Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and cigarettes, and even promote them in “eye-catching displays,” as Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. Alcohol and tobacco, while it is a problem, to the Chinese is the lesser of the two evils. So now establishments that failed to comply were swiftly dealt with and were threatened with closure and their owners with prosecution.
Government employees and children are also barred from attending mosques, lest they consume the drug and are even prohibited from observing the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. And in many places, women have been barred from wearing Hijabs and the men are discouraged from growing long beards.
China understands that spreading Islam starts by peer pressure and public scorn towards anyone who smokes or drinks alcohol. For example, in the village of Aktash in southern Xinjiang, Communist Party official Adil Sulayman, said that many local shopkeepers had stopped selling alcohol and cigarettes from 2012 “because they fear public scorn,” while many locals had decided to abstain from drinking and smoking.
So while some might think that China is imposing on freedoms, it becomes a tough balance, westerners need to ask themselves as to why they impose on Christians to bake cakes for gays with an agenda. So while we complain about China, where are the massive complaints about forcing Christian shops to acquiesce to the LGBT?
In reality, it is the Islamists who are imposing their Sharia driven agenda on the public and the Chinese government is thwarting their attempts. For example, in one unrelated incident in neighboring Qinghai province on Friday, an angry crowd of Muslims smashed windows of a supposedly halal store in Xining city, after pork sausages and ham were found in a delivery van, according to the local government and photographs on social media.
Sulayman said authorities in Xinjiang viewed ethnic Muslim Uighurs/Uyghurs who did not smoke as adhering to “a form of religious extremism” and this is true to a certain extent. They issued the order to counter growing religious sentiment that was “affecting stability,” he said.
The notice ordered all restaurants and supermarkets in Aktash to sell five different brands of alcohol and cigarettes and display them prominently. “Anybody who neglects this notice and fails to act will see their shops sealed off, their businesses suspended, and legal action pursued against them,” the notice said.
According to Radio Free Asia, Hotan prefecture, where Aktash is located, had become “a hotbed of violent stabbing and shooting incidents between ethnic Uighurs and Chinese security forces.”
As Shoebat.com has reported, the Uyghurs are largely a Turkish speaking minority that is revered by the Erdogan regime in Turkey. In 2012, Erdogan and then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid a visit to Xinjiang, a place the Turks do not consider as part of China, but consider it to be East Turkistan.
Last year, the Muslim terrorists in China detonated a suicide car bomb in the middle of a crowd in Xinjiang killing 31 civilians and in 2013, a confrontation involving axes left 21 people dead in China’s troubled far-west region of Xinjiang which was the deadliest violence in the region since July 2009, when Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, was rocked by clashes between majority Han Chinese and minority Uighurs that killed nearly 200 people.
The Muslims in China prove one thing, that certain situations require and demand taking certain measures. Measures that the U.S. would not consider, until of course, Muslim violence escalates.
There is no doubt that the west will eventually take drastic measures as we see in China. It was Benjamin Franklin who once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” yet Obama wants us to believe that a pound of cure is worth the ounce of Muslim contribution to western society
New York Times Ignores Children of Gay Parents Who Want a Mom and Dad
Ryan T. Anderson
The New York Times ran an article this weekend profiling and quoting many children of gay and lesbian parents under the headline “What Could Gay Marriage Mean for the Kids?”
Noticeably absent were any children who, while loving their two moms or two dads, yearned for both a mom and dad.
In my new book, “The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” I devote a chapter to highlighting the stories of children of gays and lesbians who have spoken out about how redefining marriage has social costs. Their basic story is the same: Same-sex marriage denies children like them a relationship with either a mother or a father—denies them their mother or their father.
Worse yet, people claiming marriage must be redefined as a matter of justice are telling children that the hurt they feel isn’t a legitimate response to objective reality but the result of their own misguided feelings. This is nothing less than victim shaming.
Although the loss suffered by these child victims is real and traumatic, their existence is never acknowledged by The New York Times. As a corrective, here are two of their stories.
In February 2015, Katy Faust published her moving testimony in the form of a letter to the man known to be the pivotal vote on the Supreme Court: “Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from the Child of a Loving Gay Parent.” She wrote:
I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.
Faust explains: “While I did love my mother’s partner and friends, I would have traded every one of them to have my mom and my dad loving me under the same roof.”
Faust is clear that “there is no difference between the value and worth of heterosexual and homosexual persons … because we are all humans created in the image of God.” But not all relationships are equal: “when it comes to procreation and child-rearing, same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are wholly unequal and should be treated differently for the sake of the children.”
You can believe both of those things. I certainly do. But our culture—and The New York Times—won’t let us say them. Faust explains:
It’s very difficult to speak about this subject, because I love my mom. Most of us children with gay parents do. We also love their partner(s). You don’t hear much from us because, as far as the media are concerned, it’s impossible that we could both love our gay parent(s) and oppose gay marriage. Many are of the opinion I should not exist. But I do, and I’m not the only one.
Faust takes seriously a basic biological truth and moral reality: “Each child is conceived by a mother and a father to whom that child has a natural right.” So what happens “when two adults who cannot procreate want to raise children together”?
When a child is placed in a same-sex-headed household, she will miss out on at least one critical parental relationship and a vital dual-gender influence. The nature of the adults’ union guarantees this. Whether by adoption, divorce or third-party reproduction, the adults in this scenario satisfy their heart’s desires, while the child bears the most significant cost: missing out on one or more of her biological parents.
Despite her painful personal experience, for most of her life Faust publicly supported same-sex parenting: “I could have been the public service announcement for gay parenting.”
But not anymore: “I cringe when I think of it now, because it was a lie.” Only when she herself became a parent did she begin to realize why she was wrong: “Kids want their mother and father to love them, and to love each other.” She continued:
Now that I am a parent, I see clearly the beautiful differences my husband and I bring to our family. I see the wholeness and health that my children receive because they have both of their parents living with and loving them. I see how important the role of their father is and how irreplaceable I am as their mother. We play complementary roles in their lives, and neither of us is disposable. In fact, we are both critical. It’s almost as if Mother Nature got this whole reproduction thing exactly right.
Faust does not denigrate the lives or loves of gay parents. “I am not saying that being same-sex attracted makes one incapable of parenting. My mother was an exceptional parent … This is about the missing parent.”
Family structure matters, and same-sex marriage institutionalizes missing parents. Of course two lesbians can be great moms, but neither one can be a father.
Children of lesbians love their moms, Faust writes, but “ask about their father, and you are in for either painful silence, a confession of gut-wrenching longing, or the recognition that they have a father that they wish they could see more often.”
This makes sense, doesn’t it? The problem with same-sex parenting is obvious if, as Faust suggests, we consider children in similar situations:
What is your experience with children who have divorced parents, or are the offspring of third-party reproduction, or the victims of abandonment? Do they not care about their missing parent? Do those children claim to have never had a sleepless night wondering why their parents left, what they look like, or if they love their child? Of course not. We are made to know, and be known by, both of our parents. When one is absent, that absence leaves a lifelong gaping wound.
Faust points out that the “undisputed social science” shows “that children suffer greatly when they are abandoned by their biological parents, when their parents divorce, when one parent dies, or when they are donor-conceived.” And so she asks, “how can it be possible that they are miraculously turning out ‘even better!’ when raised in same-sex-headed households?”
The politicized science simply doesn’t make sense—it doesn’t reflect reality. “Every child raised by ‘two moms’ or ‘two dads,’” writes Faust, “came to that household via one of those four traumatic methods. Does being raised under the rainbow miraculously wipe away all the negative effects and pain surrounding the loss and daily deprivation of one or both parents?”
In closing her letter to Justice Kennedy, Faust notes that the Court has a duty to protect the freedoms of adults but also to provide equal protection to the most vulnerable amongst us.
Her solution? Freedom for gays and lesbians and the truth about marriage: “I unequivocally oppose criminalizing gay relationships. But defining marriage correctly criminalizes nothing.”
So she urges Justice Kennedy, “The bonds with one’s natural parents deserve to be protected. Do not fall prey to the false narrative that adult feelings should trump children’s rights. The onus must be on adults to conform to the needs of children, not the other way around.”
Another child of two lesbians, Heather Barwick, has expressed the same concern in a public letter of her own: “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting.” She begins:
"Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. … Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life. My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ’burbs of a very liberal and open-minded area. Her partner treated me as if I was her own daughter. Along with my mom’s partner, I also inherited her tight-knit community of gay and lesbian friends. … I still feel like gay people are my people. I’ve learned so much from you".
Why was Barwick writing? “I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage.”
Her explanation was simple: “It’s not because you’re gay. … It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself”—a relationship that would deprive children of a mom or a dad.
Barwick used to support same-sex marriage:
"Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting."
The problem that Barwick particularly highlights is not only that same-sex parenting deprives a child of a mom or a dad, but that same-sex marriage teaches the child that there’s nothing wrong with being so deprived, that if a child aches and longs for the missing mom or dad, the problem is with the child, not the relationship.
“A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.” Barwick describes it poignantly:
"I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with. There are parts of me that still grieve over that loss today".
Redefining marriage redefines parenting. So a legal system that redefines marriage changes a society’s culture and the values it promotes—as well as the expectations of its citizens. A society that redefines marriage, writes Barwick, “promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.”
Redefining marriage will stigmatize the children of same-sex couples, because they will not be allowed to give voice to their experience of lacking a mom or a dad. Barwick offers a compelling description of the difference between kids of divorce or adoption and kids of same-sex marriage:
Kids of divorced parents are allowed to say, “Hey, mom and dad, I love you, but the divorce crushed me and has been so hard. … ” Kids of adoption are allowed to say, “Hey, adoptive parents, I love you. But this is really hard for me. I suffer because my relationship with my first parents was broken. I’m confused and I miss them even though I’ve never met them.”
But children of same-sex parents haven’t been given the same voice. It’s not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain … If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.
I wish the voices of Katy Faust and Heather Barwick would have been included in that New York Times piece. For all of the Times’ concern about the benefits of redefining marriage on children of same-sex couples, there’s little concern about the suffering inflicted on children raised in such relationships. A relentless focus on only one side of this debate has left us astonishingly deaf to their cries.
UK: Religious extremism and the shrouded worlds that turn us all into strangers
THE other evening I parked in a side street to take a phone call. The spot was close to my old primary school, a street I knew well as a child. Terrace houses, built for the workers who flooded into the town in the late 19th century. If these houses could talk, they would tell a tale of hard slog, family life and changing fortunes.
As I sat there with the window open, I watched a bedraggled little boy make his way up the pavement. He went into a front garden piled high with an old sofa, broken toys, tattered carpet. A sight only too familiar on this kind of streets, these days. The sad detritus of yet another eviction. Out of the house came two skinny men, who leant on the wall and started smoking. The little boy started talking to them. And I couldn’t understand a word any of them said.
I don’t know what nationality they were. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter though is that my home town is changing, literally before my eyes. No-one can put a number on the recent influx of migrants, from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South-East Asia and Africa. However, what is clear is that the unity that held this town together through thick and thin is fragmenting.
Different communities are springing up, divided by the languages they speak, the food they eat, the clothes they wear. I know enough of Barnsley’s history to appreciate that it built its identity on waves of migrant workers who turned up here to work first in the linen industry, then coal and glass. Bonds were forged through graft, and suffering. This though, is not integration. This is segregation. And it is making strangers of us all to each other.
Is this what we want for modern Britain, for our region? We are not, and never have been a homogenous nation. We’re an island. Invasion and economic migration characterises us; Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Irish, Russian, Polish, West Indian. What’s happening now is different though. How to say it without sounding intolerant, racist even?
Let’s put it like this. It is not right that within the shelter of our island we should have communities so closed in on each other that those of us outside have no idea of what is happening inside. It is not right that places such as Dewsbury could give birth to a series of jihadi fighters, including 17-year-old Talha Asmal who is believed to be Britain’s youngest suicide bomber. It is not right that three women from Bradford can leave the country unchecked with nine children under the age of 16, reportedly bound for Syria. It is not right that the back-stories to these two current cases alone provide a glimpse into shrouded worlds which many of us have no understanding of whatsoever. It was not right either that in another Yorkshire town, Rotherham, an endemic culture of child abuse was allowed to fester for so long, the authorities either too afraid or too complicit to make a stand.
It is so tricky, isn’t it? In Britain, we cherish personal freedom above all. We respect each other’s right to live as we choose. How though can we call ourselves a civilised and progressive nation when such oppression is happening amongst us, not just in isolated cases, but every day?
This is no time for political correctness. Politicians, at every level, must face up to a situation which threatens to create irrevocable damage. How can beleaguered towns – and I now count Barnsley amongst them – move forward and regenerate when seismic population change is outpacing the carefully-drawn and budgeted plans made by local councils? In Barnsley, for instance, there’s a shiny new town centre about to start construction. I know though that there are people now too afraid to shop in town because of the youths congregating in gangs. Their fears may be unfounded, but if this continues what’s going to happen to economic recovery?
Then there are the pressures on education, on health and social services that such population change brings. Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw spoke only the other day about the importance of instilling British values in schoolchildren to prevent them being lured into Muslim fanaticism. How do we do this when we have countless children in our schools who can’t even speak English? It could be much more acceptable if we could live without suspicion and fear. Unfortunately, the barriers erected by language, culture and religion drive insurmountable wedges between us.
We hear so much about “community”. Yet how can we stand behind politicians who say we should all pull together, when we know that we are living side by side with strangers who want to keep that way? I’m sorry if this sounds blunt, but take a walk down a street such as the one I parked in the other evening. For every little boy like the one I saw, you will see a disaffected young man, a blind go down, a world shut off. Is that what we want for a country whose freedom is supposedly the envy of the world?
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.