Friday, February 08, 2013

University of Michigan Christian club discriminated against

Clashes between Christian clubs and college campuses have been heating up across the country, with numerous schools telling evangelical groups that they cannot require their members and leaders be believers. The latest debate is erupting at the University of Michigan, where the college is being accused of booting an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter off campus for requiring its leaders to be Christians.

According to Greg Jao, InterVarsity’s field director, the university gave the Asian chapter of the group two options — either reverse its constitution to be in compliance or leave campus. The problem apparently began last December when group members were brought before officials to discuss a problematic part of the Asian InterVarsity group’s constitution. The document required club leaders to sign a statement affirming their Christian faith — something the university said was a violation of its non-discrimination policy.

While students were given an option to submit a new constitution that complied with these rules, they decided to refrain from doing so and to stick with their values. From a practical standpoint, it is understandable why a faith-based club would want its leaders to share theological values, something that a statement of faith would ensure.

“The university is sending the message that religious voices are suspect and should be marginalized,” Jao told Fox News’ Todd Starnes. “I think it sends the message that the university does not understand the nature of religious beliefs and the convictions of religious students.”

As a result of its decision to stick to its convictions, the Asian InterVarsity group was de-recognized by the school and forced to relocate off-campus. Jao noted that this isn’t just a Christian problem, as other faiths will also be impacted.

“I can’t imagine the Muslim Student Association saying you don’t have to be a Muslim to help lead our group,” he noted. “I think the university’s decision will impact any religious group that’s being honest about their leadership criteria.”

When a University of Michigan spokesperson was contacted by Fox News’ Todd Starnes, a statement was released noting that all registered student groups are required to agree to and sign a standard non-discrimination agreement. Additionally, club constitutions must be reviewed. The response also noted that the Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has not complied with these mandates, but did not get into specifics about the debate between the two parties.

The club plans to use the university’s appeals process to overturn the decision. For now, students are meeting  in an alternative location.

This is yet another example of a club embroiled in a battle with a prominent university over a non-discrimination policy. Vanderbilt University, Yale and Tufts, among others, have had similar faith-based wars over the same subject.


S&M at WCU

 Mike Adams

I think the time has come for a line item veto in higher education. The people of North Carolina are being bankrupted by higher education spending that is simply not academic in nature. The problem was once confined to UNC’s flagship campus in Chapel Hill. But now it has spread like a cancer throughout the entire UNC system.

For example, this week (February 4-8, 2013) at Western Carolina University, the Women’s Studies Program is sponsoring Sexual Empowerment Week. Each day will feature an event funded by North Carolina taxpayers. Here is the scheduled lineup:

February 4. In the Multi-purpose Room, between 7 and 9 p.m., an “All You Ever Wanted to Know about Sex but Didn’t Learn in High School” panel was assembled. The panel featured two professors - one in Psychology (Hal Herzog) and one in Women’s Studies (Marilyn Chamberlin).

In case you didn’t know, Hal Herzog is an expert on animal behavior. He once wrote a book asking profound questions such as “Is it Okay to kill animals just because they taste good?” and “Why is it Okay to feed a mouse but not a kitten to your pet boa constrictor?” and, finally, “Can dogs read people’s minds?” The learned professor even developed a personality test for baby snakes.

Dr. Herzog later studied chickens, and as part of his research interviewed and observed people who engaged in cockfighting. Maybe that’s how he got to be a sexual health expert. Let’s just hope he doesn’t integrate his interest in human sexual behavior with his interest in animal/human relationships.

February 5. In the Multi-purpose Room, between 6 and 8 p.m., sex therapist Marsha Rand lectured on “how to have an emotionally and spiritually healthy sexual relationship.” The flier says “First 50 people only.” It is unclear whether that was meant to limit seating to fifty people or whether her advice is only good for one’s first fifty sex partners. Oh well, I guess sexual ambiguity is just another form of diversity.

February 6. In the Multi-purpose Room, between 7 and 9 p.m., there will be an event called “Safe Sex” led by Barbara Starnes. Since it was dubbed an “interactive session” it is unclear whether students will merely talk about – or actually engage in - safe sex during the session. So hopefully the attendance will be limited to fifty people in this session, too. Otherwise, that would be one serious fire code violating orgy!

February 7. Sexual Empowerment Week moves to the Grand Ballroom to accommodate the climax of the week’s events (bad pun, sorry), which is a Sexuality Exploration Fair. Information will include how to masturbate (which is something no one can learn to do without a college education) and how to engage in BDSM sexual practices. BTW, BDSM stands for “bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism.” BTW, BTW stands for “by the way.” I know a lot about acronyms. I went to college.

February 7. Sexual Empowerment Week will be completed in the Multi-purpose Room between 8 and 9 p.m. with a book discussion. The topic is “the realities of dominant/submissive relationships.” I would submit that S&M is a dominant theme in the week of events.

I would also like to submit a series of public records requests to Dr. Marilyn Chamberlin, the morally confused individual who organized this absurd week of events at taxpayer expense. Specifically, I would like to know how much this cost and what plans she has to fund events that counter her advocacy of sexual permissiveness. You know, in the name of sexual diversity.


British grade school tells parents to stop children using slang phrases as it is preventing them from learning 'standard' English

Particularly in England, pronunciation and grammar matter hugely, so this school is just doing its job

Parents have been sent letters from a school urging them to stop their children using phrases such as 'it's nowt' and 'gizit ere'.

Sacred Heart Primary School, a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided school, warned against 'problem' phrases and criticised children using pronunciations, such as 'free' and 'butta' instead of 'three' and 'butter'.

The letter spells out 11 'incorrect' phrases. 'I done that' and 'I seen that' were blacklisted, and parents were reminded that 'yous' should not be permitted because 'you is never a plural'.
Sacred Heart School sends grammar and pronunciation letter


    It's nowt - it's nothing
    Letta, butta etc - letter, butter
    Gizit ere - please give me it
    Yous - the word you is never a plural
    I seen that - I have seen that or I saw that
    I done that - I have done that or I did that

Carol Walker, Sacred Heart's headteacher, defended the letter, saying: 'We would like to equip our children to go into the world of work and not be disadvantaged. 'We need the children to know there is a difference between dialect, accent and standard English.  'The literacy framework asks children to write in standard English.

'I am not asking the children to change their dialect or accent but I don't want them to enter the world of work without knowing about standard English.'

Parents seemed broadly in favour of the language initiative, though they were taken aback to receive the letter.

Cheryl Fortune, 35, a school escort for Middlesbrough Council and parent at Sacred Heart, said: 'When I saw it I was a bit shocked. I thought my kids are only eight and five, so it is a bit extreme.

'If I am honest though my eldest son said "yeah" last night and my youngest said "it's yes", so he corrected him. I can understand why the school has done it, to encourage people to speak properly.'

Another parent, engineer Chris Allinson, 31, hadn't seen the letter but thought it was a good idea.  He said: 'I try to correct my daughter Jasmine's speech if she says things wrongly. I want her to get the best start in life.'

Sacred Heart is not the only school where accent is an issue.

Essex school children at the Cherry Tree Primary School in Basildon are being offered elocution lessons after teachers complained that the accent was affecting their grammar and spelling.

Famous Essex girl Billie Faiers [known principally for very large breasts] from TOWIE was less than impressed, saying: ‘I think it is ridiculous that kids so young are being forced to act a certain way.  'Both me and my sister have never had any sort of elocution lessons and it did not do us any harm.'

Sheffield's Springs Academy banned slang and 'text speak' last year in the hope of giving its pupils a better chance of getting a job.

Kathy August, deputy chief executive of the trust that runs the school, explained: 'When you are going for interviews you need to be confident in using standard English.'

However this angered local MP Angela Smith, who said: 'Who is going to adjudicate? Who is going to say slang, dialect or accent? And which one is right and which one is wrong?'

On the other end of the spectrum, parents in Ceredigion complained their children were not learning enough 'standard English'.

They set up a campaign group in West Wales last year, making a formal complaint to Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, that their children were being 'forced' to speak Welsh.


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