Monday, December 05, 2016
Australia: Weasel words from the Salvation Army
A little while ago, the Victorian branch of the Salvation Army gave unconditional approval to the "Safe Schools" program -- a program that promotes homosexuality and undermines the traditional family. The Marxist authors of the program smuggled in the propaganda by using the language of "safety" and the Sallies have followed suit.
This sparked outrage from many quarters, including, one gathers, Army members. Not so long ago the Sallies opposed homosexuality on scriptural grounds but they now have bowed down before the the false god of secularism. The false god who led the children of Israel astray after the Exodus was often Baal of Peor, a god of sexual license. Not much has changed it seems. Despite their expansive lip-service to Christianity, Bible teachings no longer matter to the Sallies, it seems. The gods of Canaan are OK for them now.
But in response to the flak that they have received from Godly and family-oriented people the national organization has now done a very half-hearted backdown. In the statement below, the only words of the backtrack are: "The Salvation Army cannot unconditionally support the Safe Schools programs in Australia in their current form". They don't say why and the ordinary reader would never guess why. For them to say more would expose the hypocrisy of their claim to be Christian. Clearly, they no longer support the Biblical view of homosexuality. In Christ's words, they are "whited sepulchres" (Matthew 23:27)
Something else that the Sallies have not learned from their Bibles is the advice that even a fool who holds his tongue will be accounted wise (Proverbs 17:28). They clearly should have shut up about the whole thing.
As we have seen, their approval of "Safe schools" angered a lot of Christians and conservatives. And now their retraction of that approval has angered the Left, who are vowing never again to donate to the Sallies. It's unlikely that they ever did anyway but they will undoubtedly find some way to bring heat to bear. So the Sallies are now the ham in a very unhappy sandwich
The Salvation Army is a Christian movement dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus. We purposefully work to reveal this love to everyone by building loving communities combined with the provision of spiritual, emotional and material support. Our compassionate participation has evolved over 136 years of service in all spheres of the Australian community, especially to people who are vulnerable, suffering and underprivileged and we are humbled that our efforts are so widely welcomed, encouraged and supported.
This non-discriminatory commitment to love and serve others is highlighted in our international mission statement which says we are: ‘to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination’. We believe that God loves everyone. We call on all Salvationists and community members to show this same love to others.
We have zero tolerance for bullying and as such, there is no situation where it is acceptable. Every person regardless of race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or religion has the right to feel safe so they can achieve their full God-given potential. We emphasize that the alarming high rate of bullying and suicide among LGBTIQ school students evokes deep concern within The Salvation Army.
There are many accounts of marginalised students benefiting from aspects of the Safe Schools programs which have resulted in a safer, more caring culture forming in those schools. In this regard, we recognise the program’s intent to address bullying. Whilst acknowledging such positive outcomes, The Salvation Army cannot unconditionally support the Safe Schools programs in Australia in their current form. We believe there needs to be consideration and refinement to the scope and form of implementation.
We believe the availability of support services for every vulnerable student including those identifying as LGBTIQ is vital. We also believe the provision of a government approved anti-bullying program needs to consider all high risk student groups. To this end, The Salvation Army is open to working with State and Federal Governments and other agencies to develop a program that more comprehensively addresses the issues associated with bullying within schools.
We call on all Salvationists and the community at large to treat each other with respect and grace. Jesus said that after loving God, the second most important commandment is to love our neighbour as we love ourself. Everyone has the right to always feel safe and to be treated with respect and grace.
Diversity Dogma Dovetails with Waste, Corruption, Nepotism
The U.S. economy may be sluggish, but as we noted, bureaucracy is booming. University of California bosses cry out for more taxpayer cash even as they bulk up on “diversity” bureaucrats. Universities nationwide are now cranking out administrators to fill these useless posts, but diversity bloat is hardly confined to education.
For example, new Sacramento city manager Howard Chan will try to “increase diversity” at city hall, and fill the recently created position of “diversity manager.” That pledge came in response to an “audit” showing that city management does not reflect the ethnic proportions of the population at large. If representation is not proportionate, according to diversity dogma, discrimination is always a problem and the only remedy is hiring on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender. Such “reverse discrimination” is actually illegal under Proposition 209, which Californians passed on November 5, 1996, but city officials elevate political correctness over the rule of law.
The new mayor of Sacramento is former state Senate boss Darrell Steinberg, on whose watch three Senators were busted on corruption charges. The Senate has been a hive of nepotism. Sergeant-at-arms Gerardo Lopez was involved in a gun battle that left one person dead, but he duly remained on the state payroll. Lopez’s wife worked for Steinberg in his policy unit, and Lopez’s mother was a big wheel in the Senate’s human resources department. What a cozy world.
Steinberg authored 2004’s Proposition 63, which hiked taxes to fund mental health services. The measure raised $8 billion by 2013, but according to news reports, mental health services had declined. The state auditor could not account for how the money was spent, and even the Sacramento Bee wondered if the money had been “shoved down a rat hole.”
Four years ago in 2012, voters faced four ballot measures on taxes and spending. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee held hearings on the measures, and the California Channel gave voters statewide a chance to gain insights from the testimony. Unfortunately, Senate boss Darrell Steinberg blocked citizens’ access by pulling the plug on the live broadcast. He then offered a lame apology in which he proclaimed, “I pride myself on being open and transparent.”
For Steinberg and his Sacramento cronies, “diversity” means the proportionality dogma, which is not state law. Since hiring by racial, ethnic and gender preferences is in fact illegal, the “diversity manager” position is pure waste. On the other hand, taxpayers can find true diversity in the mixture of waste, secrecy, corruption and nepotism now so common in government at all levels.
ESPN lurches Left and loses subscribers
Over the last two months, ESPN has lost an astounding 1.176 million subscribers. October and November have set records in losses for the sports network, which now has a total number of cable and satellite subscribers at 88.4 million — down from well over a 100 million just a few years ago. ESPN, the largest provider of sports coverage in the nation, will see at least a $100 million loss in revenue this year thanks to this hemorrhaging of subscribers.
There are several contributing factors, such as changing demographics and competition from other sports networks like Fox’s FS1. However, the largest contributing factor may be that the Entertainment Sports and Programming Network has changed into a leftist propaganda rag, unabashedly mixing sports broadcasting and commentary with the promotion of leftist social activism and politics. It’s the old leftist ploy of co-opting everything as a means of promoting and instilling their politically correct worldview into the populace, with the expressed purpose of excluding other perspectives. It’s Orwellian.
But American sports fans don’t want to be lectured to on how “brave” Bruce Jenner was for declaring himself a woman, or listen to the glorification of Colin Kaepernick for disrespecting the national anthem. The history of sports in America is one of entertaining competition, not of “social justice” causes. There is no question that sports have had significant impact upon American culture, but conflating “social justice” with sports entertainment only turns people off. ESPN is learning the hard way that sports and politics just don’t mix.
Bring back Christmas! Britain's equality chief says bosses should use 'common sense' and not dilute their festive cheer to avoid offending other faiths
Overzealous bosses should let staff celebrate Christmas and not fear offending other faiths, an equality chief has said.
David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said employers needed to take a 'common sense' approach when dealing with the Christian holiday.
He said company directors had misunderstood current laws promoting freedom of religion and had dampened down festive celebrations so not to cause offence.
There was no need for example to call the Christmas period 'the winter holidays', he said.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said: 'Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and it shouldn't be suppressed through fear of offending.
'Lots of employers have now become really worried about doing anything discriminatory regarding their Muslim or Jewish staff.'
He added there were a lot of 'myths' surrounding what employers had to offer staff who did not celebrate Christmas.
The government's integration tsar, Dame Louise Casey, has also defended the right of Christians and non-Christians to mark the annual holiday.
She referred to a case of a 'well meaning white manager' who would call a Christmas tree a 'festive tree' because she feared causing offence.
There were controversy when the Church of England was banned from screening a promotion featuring the Lord's Prayer in cinemas during pre-film adverts.
Mr Isaac said concerns that employers had to give staff time off to pray were wrong.
New guidance, to be issued next week, will make clear bosses only have to give religious requests proper consideration and do not necessarily have to agree.
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.