The Emperor’s New Clothes, Breaking the Spiral of Silence

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson –
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” researchers Rob Willer, Ko Kuwabara and Michael Macy devised a set of ingenious experiments that showed how distressingly easy it is to make people go against what they believe to be true.

One of the experiments involved wine-tasting, in which participants evaluate both the wine and one another’s wine-tasting skills. The participants were given three samples of wine. In reality, all three samples were from the same bottle. One had even been tainted with vinegar!

Before they delivered their evaluation, they listened to other participants, who were plants, who praised the vinegar-laced wine as the best. Half of the participants went against their own taste buds and joined in praising the vinegary concoction.

Even more interesting is what happened next. Another participant, who was also a plant, told the truth about the wines. But when it came time for the participants to evaluate each other, some of them were permitted to do so confidentially, and the others had to do so publicly. [Read more…]

No Representation without Taxation

No Representation without Taxation by Bruce Walker –
The recent Occupy Wall Street ruckus and the drumbeat rhetoric of Democrats in Washington that the rich pay too little shows the dangers of placing power in the hands of those who have no real interest beyond self-interest in the governance of the nation. One rallying cry of our forefathers when the British Crown sought to impose taxes — really, very modest taxes — on the colonies without the consent of us colonials was “No taxation without representation!”

The logic of that slogan ran something like this: if I have no say in who passes taxes that I must pay, then what prevents the officials from imposing unfair taxes on me? On the other hand, if both the burden of taxation and the voice in tax-making are roughly equal, then taxes passed will be just and sensible. [Read more…]

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid

Marcia Segelstein

Marcia Segelstein

by Marcia Segelstein –
In the not too distant past, traditionalists theorized that when it came to raising children, the answer was to retreat from the world. Use private or parochial schools. Or even better, homeschool. Raise up a generation of kids who would change the world by trying to raise them outside the world.

To some degree, I concur. Homeschooling and using Christian and other private schools are great options for those who have the time and resources.

I’ve spoken to many parents of young children who are absolutely convinced — even if using public schools — that their kids will be immune to un-Christian and anti-Christian influences. They’ll be able to infuse such strong values in their kids that they won’t be infected by the culture.

I know it works for some, and more power to them. But it doesn’t work for everybody. Not by a long shot. Like it or not, parents can’t control every aspect of their children’s lives: what they’ll overhear at baseball practice, what they’ll see on TV at a neighbor’s house, or on a computer screen while on a playdate. Peer pressure isn’t a fanciful concept: it’s real. [Read more…]

Wall Street Occupiers Urged to Target Churches

Frank Schaeffer leftist by Mark Tooley –
Franky Schaeffer is the son of the late, highly influential evangelical thinker Francis Schaeffer​ , who helped shape the modern conservative evangelical movement. The son boasts he was himself a co-founder of the Religious Right. But he since has denounced Christianity as “stupid,” writes bitter tell-all books about his parents, and ferociously attacks conservative religionists as the virtual root cause of all American evils.

A blogger for The Huffington Post, young Schaeffer is now faulting religious conservatives for facilitating Wall Street greed. He’s imploring the Wall Street Occupiers to “protest the root source of America’s tilt to the far unregulated corporate right.” For Schaeffer, the next logical step is to demonstrate “outside mega churches, Evangelical publishing houses, [and] religious organizations that lead the ‘moral’ crusades against women and gays and all the rest.”

Will the Wall Street Occupiers heed Schaeffer’s frenzied call and next park their tents, blankets and anti-capitalist placards in the parking lots of suburban mega churches? It seems unlikely. But Schaeffer’s demand fits with the crazy Left’s sometime fixation on demonizing opponents based on class and religion. [Read more…]

Why Is Class Hatred Morally Superior to Race Hatred?

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –

The major difference between Hitler and the Communist genocidal murderers — Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot — was what groups they chose for extermination.

For Hitler, first Jews and ultimately Slavs and other “non-Aryans” were declared the enemy and unworthy of life. For the Communists, the rich — the bourgeoisie, land owners, and capitalists — were labeled the enemy and regarded as unworthy of life.

Hitler mass-murdered on the basis of race, the Communists on the basis of class.

Because the Holocaust was unique in its industrialization of death and in its targeting of every Jew, including babies, for death, the post-World War II world has been rightly obsessed with eradicating racism (but not anti-Semitism!), i.e., the hatred of another solely because of race. But the world has not been obsessed with eradicating the other source of genocide: classism, or the hatred of others based on class. [Read more…]

New York’s Marxist Epicenter

Occupy Wall Street communists socialists marxists by Charles Gasparino –
The standard portrayal of the Wall Street protesters goes something like this: Ragtag group of unemployed young adults, venting often incoherent but overall legitimate populist outrage about economic inequality. But go down to the movement’s headquarters, as I did this past weekend, and you see something far different.

It’s not just that knowledge of their “oppressors” — the evil bankers — is pretty thin, or that many of them are clearly college kids with nothing better to do than embrace the radical chic of “a cause.” I found a unifying and increasingly coherent ideology emerging among the protesters, which at its core has less to do with the evils of the banking business and more about the evils of capitalism — and the need for a socialist revolution.

It’s not an overstatement to describe Zuccotti Park as New York’s Marxist epicenter. Flags with the iconic face of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara are everywhere; the only American flag I saw was hanging upside down. The “occupiers” openly refer to each other as “comrade,” and just about every piece of literature on offer (free or for sale) advocated socialism in the Marxist tradition as a cure-all for the inequalities of the American economic system. [Read more…]

Christians Need Not Apply?

Christian persecution discrimination by George J. Marlin –
Christians who spar in the political arena have grown accustomed to being pounded by secular ideologists who deny the spiritual and look askance at most traditional moral constraints. Though we have taken punches, we are still standing. But the secularists’ latest offensive to eradicate all traces of our Judeo-Christian heritage from American society is, in my judgment, most disconcerting and may be the knockout blow.

Secularists have moved beyond dismissing Christians as anti-intellectual and anti-rational. They are now publicly ridiculing them and questioning their fitness to participate in public life. They portray religious beliefs as nothing more than superstitions, old wives’ tales, or legends, and claim anyone who believes such drivel is balmy. Is it any wonder, then, that agencies like HHS now think they can ride roughshod over the conscience rights of individuals and religious institutions? [Read more…]

Obama’s Contempt Bordering on Treachery

Obama radical marxist hates America by Steve McCann –
The United States, faced with its worst crisis in 65 years, has at the helm a radical political class, as personified by Barack Obama, who have chosen a path trod by so many despots in mankind’s recent history. Barack Obama and his fellow-travelers are exploiting the fear and desperation of a growing number of citizens amid gaping fissures in American society in order to retain and expand their control over the populace.

Human societies are held together by the most fragile of cords. Whenever unrelenting internal or external challenges abound, thereby placing excessive stress on the foundation of any society, the key determination as to whether chaos ensues is most often in the hands of the society’s leaders. They can choose to exploit the circumstances in order to satisfy their lust for power, or they can embrace a course of action and policies to rally the citizenry into collectively overcoming the crisis at hand, regardless of the fractures in that society.

American society is no longer the cohesive and determined entity that accomplished so much over the past centuries; it is extraordinarily susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous ideologues. [Read more…]

Half Baked: UC Berkeley’s Diversity Machine Loses Its Mind

Cupcakes diversity half-baked by Heather Mac Donald –

Tuesday’s now infamous affirmative-action bake sale at the University of California at Berkeley is unlikely to dissuade Governor Jerry Brown from signing a bill that would reintroduce race and gender preferences into the state’s public universities. It has nevertheless served one useful function: it has clarified just what Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and diversity does for his whopping $194,000 annual salary.

Berkeley’s College Republicans wanted their “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” to serve as a counterweight to a phone bank erected on the campus’s main thoroughfare, where students could call Brown and urge him to sign the preference-reinstating legislation, Senate Bill 185. Like other anti-affirmative-action bake sales on college campuses over the last decade, the College Republicans’ sale priced items according to the race and gender of the customer: whites paid $2 for a pastry, with Latinos paying $1 and blacks 75 cents, while women got a 25-cent discount on all items. [Read more…]

You Thought You Were Only Shopping

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson –
Did you know that shopping online could be considered a homophobic activity? Neither did I.

Imagine that your laptop finally gives up the ghost. You have several options: You can drive to the store and buy a new one, or you can shop online.

If you choose the latter, you have another option: You can buy it from an online retailer, or you can connect to a retailer via a portal. Why? Because some portals, like CGBG, split its share of the profits with a charity of your choice.

It’s as close as shopping gets to “win-win” in our consumerist culture.

That is, of course, until someone objects to the charities who are receiving a share of the profits. And you won’t be surprised at who is making the objections.

Among the charities CGBG shares its profits with are the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. In July, a petition asking Microsoft to stop doing business with CGBG hit the Web. The organizer, “Stuart Wilber, a 73-year-old gay man in Seattle,” in the words of the New York Times, says that he was “astonished” that people could buy Microsoft products through CGBG. [Read more…]

Gay Agenda is a Serious Threat to Religious Freedom

gay agenda threat to religious liberty by Kevin J. Jones –
Legalizing ‘gay marriage’ is having major repercussions for religious freedom.

Once a state recognizes same-sex partnerships as marriages or the equivalent, then naturally the argument is made that in family life classes in schools this has to be taught to be a valid partnership. Religious parents who do not want their children to be “indoctrinated in beliefs contrary to their own” are “out of luck,” said George, who founded the Manhattan Declaration project to defend religious liberty. …

Legalizing “gay marriage” is having major repercussions for religious freedom, according to observers of the latest developments. Princeton law professor Robert P. George cited the words of American Jewish Committee lawyer Marc Stern, who in 2006 said the conflict between religious liberty and same-sex marriage would be “a train wreck.” [Read more…]

Mugged by Mythology, Liberals Believe the Darnedest Things

Liberal Myths Obama by Jeff Bergner –
Sometimes talking with liberals is perplexing. You never know what claim they will make next or what name they will call you. Take David Axelrod’s response to Standard & Poor’s recent credit action: He calls it the “Tea Party downgrade.” Amazingly, he blames the United States’ loss of its AAA bond rating on the one group that has sounded the alarm about our fiscal crisis. How did the president’s leading adviser come up with a label so detached from reality?

Comforting as it would be to dismiss this as a one-off comment, Axelrod’s words spring from the mental universe of liberalism. It is a vast sphere of assumptions that are found nowhere else. In an effort to promote the civility of debate that is so much in demand these days, here is a compendium of the myths underlying some of the strange things liberals say.

Myth #1: Conservatives are outside the American mainstream. Conservatives can’t be mainstream because it is liberals who speak for the American people. [Read more…]

Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
Last week, David Brooks of The New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Below are some excerpts from Brooks’ summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. (It was led by “the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith.”)

“Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing …

“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all …

“Moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner …

“The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste … [Read more…]

Dreher: ‘Anti-Bullying’ Another Battle in the Culture War

Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

by Rod Dreher –
For many years now, the gay movement has been using school bullying as a wedge to work pro-gay teaching into curricula and into the life of public schools, and to marginalize religious students and others who hold a traditional view of the morality of homosexuality.

It goes under the mantra of making schools “safe.”

If you don’t affirm homosexuality explicitly, the argument goes, then you are making your schools unsafe for gay kids. You can well imagine how lawsuit-fearing school administrators hate to hear that.

It’s nonsense, of course.

There is no reason at all why pro-gay instruction, either in classrooms or extracurricular, has to happen for bullying to be opposed effectively. What’s wrong with a school administration saying that bullying will not be tolerated, and making good on that policy by coming down like a ton of bricks on bullies, no matter their target? That would be the most value-neutral way to handle it. [Read more…]

How to defend your children against pro-gay lessons in the classroom

How to Defend Children in Classroom against Gay Agenda by John-Henry Westen –
As young people across North America head back to school next week parents need to attend to more than just making sure the back-to-school clothes and utensils are in place. There is an unprecedented attack on morals coming from the school.

Particularly in the area of sexuality, so-called public morality has moved outside of the realm of life-and-family-affirming principles to such an extent that a veritable anti-morality is being fed to our children. And this year there is a concerted effort to restrict parents from countering the efforts of the school to promote this anti-morality.

Both in California and Ontario pro-homosexual curricula are to be introduced into public schools forbidding parents from opting their children out from such instruction.  Even where parent opt-outs are permitted, however, some schools have resorted to instructing students to keep secret from their parents sexuality discussions held in the school. [Read more…]