Sunday, November 20, 2016

Salvation Army in Australia Supports "Safe Schools" Initiative

The program is ostensibly an anti-bullying program but its far-Left authors expanded it way beyond that. It actually promotes homosexuality. From Karl Marx on, the far-Left have hated the family and this is yet another attack on it.  Some of its features:

* Teaches girls to bind their chests so their breasts won't develop

* Encourages student cross-dressing

* Teaches kids gay and lesbian sexual techniques

* Encourages kids to use either boys’ or girls’ toilets

* Integrates gender theory and sexual themes across all subjects

I have on various occasions in the past donated to the Sallies.  Because of their welfare work in wartime, military men tend to have a soft spot for the Sallies and I certainly have always thought well of them. 

Anne, the lady in my life, used to sing with the Sallies on street corners when they still did that and I have always regarded that history as a great credit to her.

Time does however tend to corrupt organizations that started out as idealistic and it seems that the Sallies have drunk the Leftist Kool-Aid now.  They are not who they were.  They now support a program that valorizes homosexuality and devalues the traditional family. 

Morgan Cox writes: "I just phoned the Salvation Army. They confirmed that they reviewed the "safe" schools program (the full unedited Victoria state version) and fully support it. I highlighted to them some of the reasons why as parents we hold grave concerns about the program. I was told that they feel sorry for me and my view. They think its a great program"

Until recently their front page said:  "However, same-sex relationships which are genitally expressed are unacceptable according to the teaching of Scripture. Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually-based family life do not conform to God’s will for society." 

The have always of course ministered to sexual deviants as being persons in need, but they have never until recently approved of homosexual practices. Like the Anglicans, they have now let go of Bible teaching and adopted a secular do-gooder philosophy. It will not end well.  They will fade away as the Anglicans are fading away.

They will never again get a donation from me and I hope that others concerned for healthy families will follow suit.  Politically, what they have done is asinine.  Conservatives are the big charitable givers and they will now choke a lot of that off

Below is the Salvation Army press release.

The Salvation Army supports the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria in its initiative designed to reduce homophobic and transphobic behaviour and create safe learning environments for all students. The Salvation Army is concerned by the very high level of bullying, higher levels mental health issues and the highest rates of suicidality of any group in Australia for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people. The Salvation Army’s Victoria State Council (VSC) has been aware of the negative claims about the Safe Schools program and its related materials but believes these to be unfounded.

Chair of VSC, Major Dr Geoff Webb says “Our social policy unit has reviewed the official teaching resources provided by the Safe Schools Coalition and the four official guidelines. It has also studied the independent review commissioned by the Australian government, together with other materials. None of the negative claims made about the program accurately reflect anything in the official materials reviewed.

“Provided schools adhere to official teaching resources and the official guidelines, there should be no issues with Safe Schools. We support the provision of safe learning environments for all students,” Webb says.

Dr Webb notes that a Federal Government independent review found that the four official guides are consistent with the aims of the program and are appropriate for use in schools. “Our findings are consistent with the government’s review,” Webb says, “and the resource All of Us is consistent with the aims of the program, is suitable, robust, age-appropriate, educationally sound and aligned with the Australian Curriculum.”

The Salvation Army in Victoria has welcomed the Andrews Government commitment of additional funding to ensure that every Victorian secondary school is involved in the Safe Schools programme by the end of 2018.


AMEN! Oregon Democrat who put Christian bakers out of business gets served JUSTICE

You’ve seen the story multiple times already: a Christian baker declines to cater a gay wedding, and gets sued in the process. The most publicized came out of Oregon, where the bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa chose not to bake a wedding for a same-sex wedding.

Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her mother visited Sweet Cakes planning to order a wedding cake. Bowman-Cryer had purchased a cake previously from the Kleins for her mother’s sixth wedding. Bowman-Cryer wanted to have the same cake she had purchased for her mother. That’s when Aaron Klein asked what the name of the bride and groom were.

“It’s two brides,” Bowman-Cryer said.

‘I think we may have wasted your time,” Aaron Klein told Bowman-Cryer. “We don’t do same-sex weddings.”

That answer led to a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and what happened as a result? As the Conservative Tribune reported, In 2013, Oregon Democrat Brad Avakian, as commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, put a Christian bakery out of business because its owners stood up for their religious convictions.

Sweetcakes by Melissa, owned by Melissa and Aaron Klein, was forced out of business by Avakian and the BOLI in 2013. Klein told Independent Journal Review that they were fined $135,000 and the state garnished their bank accounts to cover it. When all was said and done, Klein said that the state took $144,000 from them.

In the Red tsunami that swept the nation last Tuesday, however, justice was served to the politician behind putting the bakery out of business.

Fast forward to 2016 and Avakian, not unlike many of his fellow Democrats, got served a big slice of sweet justice. The people of Oregon ended his run for Oregon secretary of state in favor of Republican Dennis Richardson — the first time in 14 years the solidly blue state elected a Republican for state office.

Rob Kremer, an Oregon political analyst, told the Review: “I think people in Oregon were uncomfortable with Avakian’s stated objective of expanding the scope of the secretary of state’s office to broaden a progressive agenda. “While I don’t think the Sweetcakes by Melissa case was the only thing that turned off voters, it was certainly an example people could point to to show that he was abusing his authority.”

In addition to the voters, of all the major newspapers in the very blue state, not a single one offered Avakian its endorsement.

Aaron Klein told the Review: “His losing was a good sign that people don’t agree with somebody who is anti-constitutional to the nth degree. He never recognized our religious constitutional rights in his office. He just ignored them. And then he went off-kilter with ideas about what he wanted to do in his new office.”

Good riddance! And Sweet Cakes is still appealing their lawsuit to the Oregon Supreme Court, so they may rise again as Avakian falls out of employment.


Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one

A Leftist sees the light, albeit through a glass darkly

By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake

It turns out many women don’t care about Trump’s sexism – nor that Clinton is a woman. A majority of white women voted for Trump. And while Clinton did carry the female vote overall, her advantage among women was a percentage point less than Obama had enjoyed over Romney in 2012. This has left many American feminists reeling. Just how did this happen, they ask?

Lena Dunham, one of many woke, rich, Clinton-supporting celebrities who apparently do not impress the voters of Wisconsin, mourned that white women had been “so unable to see the unity of female identity”. But there is no unity of female identity and there never has been.

Clinton believed her major appeal was her gender. She also counted on women to be offended by Trump’s misogyny. But it turns out “woman” isn’t much of an identity – or even basis for solidarity – in itself.

Feminism has to deal with women in all their diversity. While there’s no doubt that one percenters like Lena Dunham and Katy Perry are bummed out by the election results, they are not affected by it in the same way as a woman operating a pile driver outside of Cleveland, an undocumented nanny from Honduras or an anti-abortion evangelical woman in Tulsa.

Many are now rightly attempting to galvanize women against Trump’s awful sexist persona – and worse, his anti-choice agenda, planning A Million Woman March in Washington DC the day after the inauguration. I plan to attend, but we have to be careful about this appeal to gender, bearing in mind that it didn’t defeat Trump in the first place.

While many women are profoundly insulted by Trump – who is on tape boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy” – and frightened by his rabidly anti-choice vice-president, many more may be waiting to see what he does on immigration and trade. Meanwhile, many men – pro-choice, anti-racist, environmentalist – will be eager to join us in opposing a Trump agenda.

By banking on the idea that women would support a female presidential candidate, feminism made a terrible mistake. Strangely, given feminism’s history of ignoring minorities, the group that they misunderstood the most is white women, who usually vote Republican.

As John Cassidy points out in the New Yorker, not only did Trump carry white women, so did Romney in 2012, McCain in 2008 and Bush in 2004. Presumably, many white women have conservative views, whether on taxes or abortion, and neither Trump’s misogyny nor Clinton’s anatomy could override those commitments.

Trump also appealed to many women who feared downward mobility and poverty, winning a majority of women without college degrees, as well as rural women. He denounced the trade deals that they felt had wrecked their economies, and vowed to create jobs by rebuilding America’s decaying infrastructure. Meanwhile, Clinton partied with her funders in the Hamptons. She represented an out-of-touch elite, and many women felt that deeply and resented her – or simply didn’t care about her campaign.

Clinton also failed to excite some of the women who were part of the traditional Democratic base. She did win among poor women (those making under $50,000 a year), young women, Latinas and, overwhelmingly, black women. But turnout among some of these groups was disappointing. She won black women by two percentage points less than Obama did in 2012. And compared with Obama, her margin even among the much-vaunted Latina vote was about eight points lower.

The dismal election results should be a wake-up call for the likes of Lena Dunham and her supporters. Feminism has to mature beyond childish appeals to female unity, and recognize our many differences. It’s not the first time we’ve had to learn this lesson, but perhaps the trauma of Trump’s election will finally make it stick.


The tyranny of the new secular priesthood

Joel Kotkin nails the anti-masses Clerisy that now dominates the US

For many years, Joel Kotkin has analysed what holds back the advancement of the American ‘middle’ class, which for him includes the working class, the self-employed and small business owners. In this pursuit, Kotkin’s willingness to look beyond conventional labels and challenge trendy theories has made him stand out. As a leading geographer, he has long defied fashionable criticisms of suburbs, highlighting how such criticisms are often thinly veiled attacks on the working families who prefer not to live in urban downtowns. Now, taking on a broader role as social commentator, he overturns received wisdom about the elites and the masses in his book, The New Class Conflict.

Right away Kotkin says that, to understand the dynamics of the current political era, we have to ditch traditional notions of ‘left’ and ‘right’. He takes as given that the old corporate ‘plutocracy’ remains behind the Republicans. But he finds that the Democrats — a party that many still uphold as being on the side of the people, or the ‘99 per cent’  — are equally elitist, not least because they are backed by Silicon Valley ‘tech oligarchs’ and Wall Street bankers, among other high-rollers. Indeed, the ‘1 per cent’ seems pretty solidly behind the Democrats: eight of the top 10 recipients of donations from the rich were liberal groups like Emily’s List or, and in the past two presidential elections, the wealthiest areas of the country voted for Obama.

Moreover, much of what is considered the left today has adopted an elitist outlook that is at odds with the masses. As Kotkin notes, ‘self-described progressives frequently side with policies that restrain middle-class upward mobility’. In the past, ‘socialists, liberals and conservatives’ shared the goal of broad-based economic growth, while debating how best to achieve that aim; today, influenced by environmentalism and anti-consumption views, many are opposed to ambitious, large-scale growth, which has been vital for working-class improvement historically. ‘Take up less space, make a smaller impact, consume less’ – that’s the new mantra. ‘For all the trappings of progressivism’, says Kotkin, ‘the current ideology is remarkably degenerative’.

According to Kotkin, a large group of opinion-formers based in the worlds of media, education, government and non-profits has emerged to play a central role in making modern liberalism the predominant ideology. Kotkin calls this group the Clerisy, borrowing a term first used by the British poet Samuel Coleridge in 1830 to describe a group of Anglican church leaders, along with intellectuals, artists and educators, whose mission was to transmit society’s values to the less enlightened, lower orders. In a similar way, today’s Clerisy derives its authority from ‘persuading, instructing and regulating the rest of society’, says Kotkin.

There are a number of reasons why these groups constitute a distinct Clerisy, according to Kotkin, and are more than fellow intellectuals he simply doesn’t agree with. For a start, there’s the sheer size: employment in media, academia and foundations has expanded in recent decades, increasing these sectors’ weight relative to others. Furthermore, members of the Clerisy are ‘uniform in worldview, especially in political matters, their approach to environmental issues, and their social values’.

Yet what really sets the Clerisy apart is their moralising objective, and how they operate: ‘In much the same way as its predecessors, today’s Clerisy attempts to distill for the masses today’s distinctly secular “truths” on a range of issues.’ Rather than engage in a search for truth, the modern secular priesthood presents its ideas as an orthodoxy and seeks to enforce conformity. In contrast to the traditional liberal ideal of tolerance, the new Clerisy seeks to regulate speech, indoctrinate the young and ‘restrict discussion on the matters they address, such as gay marriage, climate change, and race and gender issues’. Debates have been ‘settled’; dissent from the orthodoxy and you will be vilified or ignored.

Kotkin’s appreciates the irony that the new Clerisy is secular, if not adamantly anti-religious. Another reason why it may be immediately obvious that this group plays a clergy-like function is its reliance on science as its source of authority, given the way that science has been traditionally counterposed to religion. However, Kotkin argues, ‘the scientific community has taken on a partly theological character’. This is especially the case when certain scientists espouse a political opinion in the name of ‘the science’. Oppose my calls for deindustrialisation and reducing workers’ consumption in response to global warming? You’re anti-science.

It is Kotkin’s middle – the ‘yeomanry’ (small business owners) and workers – that suffer as a result of the rise of the Clerisy. It promotes excessive regulations, often in the name of environmental protection, on businesses large and small, which slows growth and job creation. In California, no-growth policies and ‘green energy’ measures have stunted development in the state and resulted in a ‘liberal apartheid’: ‘Well-heeled, largely white and Asian coastal denizens live in an economically inaccessible bubble insulated from the largely poor, working class, heavily Latino communities in the interior of the state.’ The people of the largely rural and poor upstate New York have been denied the economic benefits from developing shale gas extraction (fracking) thanks to opposition from wealthy city residents and a Democratic Party governor reliant on support from environmentalists.

But the middle class does not just bear the brunt of the new elite’s economic and environmental policies. Indeed, the Clerisy believe all areas of social life are amenable to their technocratic expertise, and they adopt authoritarian measures that undermine individual autonomy, including what foods people eat or how parents raise their kids. ‘The role of government has increasingly blurred into attempts to regulate even the most personal of behaviours’, writes Kotkin, ‘not to achieve some spiritual goal, or even to improve material wealth, as was common in the past, but to shift behaviour in order to achieve some perceived social “good’”. The Clerisy turns to the federal government to take on roles previously adopted by families, churches and other community organisations. While marriage and families have historically supported social mobility, modern clerical culture celebrates being single and childless.

Kotkin’s openness to new developments has clearly resulted in many valuable insights, but his book is not flawless. In particular, his overarching framework of ‘class conflict’ isn’t completely accurate. What we’re witnessing today is the absence of true classes in the classic sense – neither a robust ruling capitalist class nor a well-organised, self-conscious working class. The absence of those two major classes has meant that, by default, we live in a world that reflects the prejudices of the professional, upper middle class (which doesn’t appear in Kotkin’s definition of ‘middle’).

Furthemore, Kotkin’s recurring references throughout the book to growing income inequality make him look like a victim to the fashionable Clerisy-style rich-bashing. He might be distinctive in blaming the Democrats and tech oligarchs for inequality (rather than Republicans and bankers), but he’s still singing a tune written by Thomas Piketty and Elizabeth Warren.

Kotkin is on much firmer ground when he sticks to promoting economic growth as a way to raise working-class living standards and increase social mobility. As he writes in the conclusion, the Clerisy may dominate the airwaves, but it remains a minority, and one that is out of touch: ‘Perhaps nowhere is there greater dissonance between the populace and the leaders of the new class order than in perceptions of the desirability of economic growth and widespread social opportunity.’ His book is an important contribution towards exposing the gap between this patronising, know-it-all secular priesthood and the rest of us.



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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