Sunday, March 10, 2013

Homosexual  Activists Bully Tebow, Christian University

Gay rights activists are demanding Tim Tebow back out of a speaking engagement at Liberty University just two weeks after pressuring the New York Jets quarterback to cancel a speaking engagement at the First Baptist Church of Dallas.

Tebow is expected to speak this weekend at Wildfire – a men’s conference hosted by the conservative Christian university. His remarks will be closed to the general public.

The professional football player is well-known for sharing his faith in Christ – but in recent weeks he’s come under fire from the national media and gay rights activists for speaking in churches that follow biblical teaching.

Huffington Post called Liberty a “notoriously conservative private college with an anti-gay reputation.” And more than 10,000 people have signed a petition launched by Faithful America calling on the quarterback to cancel his speech.

“Liberty University isn’t just another conservative Christian college,” the group stated. “its ground-zero for a global assault on the legal rights of gays and lesbians – and a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the religious right.

A Liberty University spokesman refused to comment.

Faithful America said Tebow would give his “Christian faith a bad name” by speaking at the university founded by the late Jerry Falwell.

Several weeks ago Tebow canceled a speaking engagement at the First Baptist Church of Dallas – citing “new information” he had received.

He never elaborated on his comment – but sources close to the church told Fox News he backed out in part over the uproar surrounding the church’s position on traditional marriage – and salvation.

Pastor Robert Jeffress has been an outspoken leader in the nation’s culture wars – affirming from the pulpit traditional marriage and salvation through Jesus Christ.

The national media labeled the pastor as anti-gay and anti-Semitic – charges that were vehemently denied by the church and the many national religious leaders.

“To me, the real issue here is the controversy this has generated,” Jeffress said at the time. “It’s amazing that a church that believes faith alone in Christ is what saves a person and that sex should be between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship – that somehow those beliefs are considered hate speech? That is historic Christian doctrine for the past 2,000 years.”

Right Wing Watch suggested Liberty University was actually more extreme than FBC Dallas and listed a litany of alleged offenses.

They claimed Liberty University bans gay students and shut down its College Democrats chapter over the party’s views on gay rights. They also alleged the university hosted anti-gay conferences and that professors have made anti-gay comments.

Again, the university declined to address the controversy.

“If Jeffress’ anti-gay remarks were too extreme for Tebow, they pale in comparison to the things regularly said by representatives of Liberty University,” Right Wing Watch stated. “Perhaps it is time for Tebow to take another look at some of this ‘new information’ about Liberty.”

Huffington Post wondered if Tebow was giving hints about his position on homosexuality by making an appearance at Liberty.

“Due to Liberty University's reputation for intolerance toward the LGBT community, some might interpret the athlete's appearance as a tacit acknowledgement of similar values,” they opined. Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, is urging Liberty University and Tebow to stand firm – and warned that homosexual activists cannot be appeased.

“Their goal is to marginalize and to discredit Christians,” he told American Family News. “If he cancels this appearance at Liberty University under pressure from the gay lobby, I think his credibility is going to suffer a ton.


Minnesota Bill to Ban K-12 Speech That Denies Fellow Students a “Supportive Environment”

That’s H.F. No. 826, which requires schools — including private schools that get any “public funds or other public resources” — to ban, among other things, “bullying” at school, defined as

use of one or a series of words, images, or actions, transmitted directly or indirectly between individuals or through technology, that a reasonable person knows or should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of interfering with the ability of an individual, including a student who observes the conduct, to participate in a safe and supportive learning environment. Examples of bullying may include, but are not limited to, conduct that:

places an individual in reasonable fear of harm to person or property, including through intimidation;

has a detrimental effect on the physical, social, or emotional health of a student;

interferes with a student’s educational performance or ability to participate in educational opportunities;

encourages the deliberate exclusion of a student from a school service, activity, or privilege;

creates or exacerbates a real or perceived imbalance of power between students;

violates the reasonable expectation of privacy of one or more individuals; or

relates to the actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, age, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, academic status, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic defined in chapter 363A of a person or of a person with whom that person associates, but the conduct does not rise to the level of harassment.

First, what does interfering with “the ability of an individual ... to participate in a ... supportive learning environment” mean, exactly? Say that students are talking over lunch about how a classmate committed a crime, cheated, said racist things, treated his girlfriend cruelly, or whatever else, which causes people to feel hostile towards the classmate. That interferes with his ability “to participate in a ... supportive learning environment.” Presumably that’s now forbidden, right?

Second, what on earth does “creat[ing] or exacerbat[ing] a real or perceived imbalance of power between students” mean? What kind of power? Social power? Financial power? Power within student-run institutions, such as clubs or businesses that students set up?

Third, what does “violates the reasonable expectation of privacy of one or more individuals” mean? The disclosure of private facts tort doesn’t really tell us, because it is by design limited to speech said to a large group. Would a girl telling a friend that her ex-boyfriend has an STD violate the ex-boyfriend’s reasonable expectation of privacy? (What if the boyfriend is hitting on the friend?) Would revealing a secret qualify? Revealing an acquaintance’s religious or political beliefs, if the acquaintance views them as a private matter?

Fourth, “relates to the actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, age, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, academic status, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, [or] age ... of a person or of a person with whom that person associates” would require restrictions on a vast range of speech.

Condemning illegal aliens, Scientologists, people who marry too young, people who are flunking out of school, or people who are on welfare would have to be forbidden as “bullying.” That’s true whether one says this about a student, about the students’ family members (“person[s] with whom that person associates”), or presumably about the group as a whole: After all, even a general condemnation of illegal aliens might interfere with the ability of an illegal alien student who “observes the conduct” to “participate in a ... supportive learning environment.” (It’s not very supportive when people think that people like you should be deported, no matter how strong the case for deportation might be.)

Now public schools have broader authority to restrict student speech than does the government acting as sovereign. But even public schools’ authority is limited (see here for more details); and a public school policy that’s this broad would, I think, be unconstitutionally overbroad and thus invalid on its face, see, e.g., Saxe v. State College Area School Dist. (3d Cir. 2001) (Alito, J.). The government’s use of funds for private schools — even funds that amount to a small fraction of the school’s budget — as leverage to suppress a wide range of speech at those schools is even more constitutionally problematic, see FCC v. League of Women Voters (1984). And beyond that, the proposal’s overbreadth is bad policy as well as being unconstitutional.

For more on this topic, see my 2011 testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about possible problems with restrictions on supposed “bullying” in K-12 schools.


British primary school bans cops and robbers because of the 'harmful effects of imaginary weapons on young minds'

A primary school has come under fire after banning its pupils from playing cops and robbers or any playground game which involves 'imaginary weapons'.

School chiefs at Worcesters Primary School in Enfield, north London, outlawed the games over a fear that they will upset other children.

But parents at the 470-pupil school have reacted with outrage, saying that playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians was 'part of growing up'.

Father Mark Ayers said his seven-year-old son came home last week after being told off for playing with a pretend gun.

The 38-year-old, of Enfield, said today: 'This is just completely over the top. We all grew up playing cops and robbers and my son loves playing pretend army games - all kids do.  'This just seems like a huge overreaction.'

Mr Ayers also spoke out after his son had a fun-size pack of Maltesers confiscated by teachers after it was spotted in his lunch box.

My Ayers said: 'I put the Maltesers in as a weekly treat, but the school confiscated them for some reason.

'The school should be concentrating on other things rather than banning children playing games and taking their chocolate away.'

Another parent, who asked not to be named, said: 'My son was told that he was not allowed to play with imaginary guns or weapons in the playground by his teacher.

'He's nine years old and plays cops and robbers at home with his brothers, so he finds it quite strange to be told it's not allowed to do the same at playtime with his friends.'

Headteacher Karen Jaeggi defended the policy this week, saying: 'We actively discourage children from playing violent games or games involving imaginary weapons in the playground by explaining to them what it represents.

'Some children can be easily frightened by violent play which is often influenced by computer games and we feel that such games can have a harmful effect on young minds.'

Speaking about the ban on chocolate snacks, the headteacher added: 'At Worcesters we promote healthy eating habits since we recognise the problems of childhood obesity in the borough and want to do our best for the children attending this school.'


No comments: