The Summers of Our Discontent<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
by Stephen Crampton
The resignation of Harvard President Lawrence Summers is symptomatic of a rising intolerance
that pervades our public institutions.
Larry Summers has finally resigned. The downfall of the Harvard President began last year, when he dared suggest that women might lack an aptitude for science and math. The irate faculty, feminist to the core, responded with a no-confidence vote from which Dr. Summers never recovered. And so Summers becomes the latest casualty in the Fourth Reich's tireless efforts to enforce uniformity of politically correct thought.
That Summers apologized, promised to reform, and groveled for all he was worth (which, with a $563,000 salary, is a lot) was of no consequence. Sins against the Reich know no forgiveness.
Summers is not alone, mind you. The casualties in the Reich's war on dissent are piling up faster than puff pieces on Hillary Clinton.
In just the last week, the Reich has taken to the streets to silence a peaceful gathering of Christians in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Worcester, Massachusetts, vandalized billboards that dared to question homosexual orthodoxy in St. Louis, and forced Christian high school students In Boyd County, Kentucky to attend re-education -- I mean, sensitivity training classes over the objections of their parents.
Earning honorable mention was the Ohio Board of Education, which recently issued an ultimatum prohibiting critical analysis of evolution in Ohio schools. Message to faculty and students: Critical thinking will not be tolerated in our science classes!
At the same time the Left is busy executing dissenters, it cannot pin enough feel-good medals on its own followers. If the upcoming Academy Awards are not proof enough, consider the recent American Academy of Arts and Sciences report noting that in 1950, Harvard conferred a B+ grade or better on only 15 percent of its students. Today, it's nearly 70 percent. And last year alone, 91 percent of Harvard seniors graduated with honors.
Calling them honors when 91 percent of the class "earns" them smacks of deceptive trade practice.
Perhaps the extremes to which the Left will go to pat themselves on the back is a result of their naturally depressed dispositions, as George Will recently pointed out (www.NewsAndOpinion.com). It may also explain why they are so intolerant of opposition; the ranking members of the Reich may ease their angst by abusing and disrupting the dissenters.
The Taliban of Tolerance strikes again
In Worcester, Massachusetts, for example, they forced Christians to pay $6200 to the local police just to protect against the numerous death threats issued by homosexual activists. But the homosexuals, led by none other than the Mayor Himself, gathered en masse (pun intended) outside the event, shut down the streets, and never had to obtain a permit, much less pay a dime for the extra police necessitated by their actions.
In St. Louis, Missouri, billboards depicting ex-homosexuals proclaimed, "I Questioned Homosexuality. Change is Possibe. Discover How." The messages were sponsored by Exodus International, a network of former homosexuals.
Obviously, such hateful statements could not be allowed to go unchallenged. So the leaders of the homosexual activists challenged Exodus to a public debate -- no, wait, wrong story. In fact, the brownshirts did what they do best; they went out in the dead of night and defaced the signs by spilling paint all over them. "Maturity" is not a word that seems to have entered their vocabulary.
In Boyd, Kentucky, the Gay-Straight Alliance won the right to meet in the schools, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood ACLU lawyers, when the schools gave up and entered into a consent decree. As part of the settlement, the schools agreed to require sensitivity training for all students.
When the parents learned their children would be forced to attend these brainwashing sessions, they objected and filed suit, raising parents' rights concerns among others. But a federal judge ruled this week that mandatory training was a perfectly legitimate means of furthering the schools' goal of eliminating harassment.
Predictably, the training video tells students that homosexuality cannot be changed, and that it is wrong to voice any opposition to homosexuality, regardless of one's deeply held religious convictions. (Remember: no critical thinking allowed!)
For those having trouble keeping score, allow me to offer a simplified version of the status of free speech in America today: vile epithets directed against Christians are protected by the First Amendment; questions or criticisms by Christians and others of the wonderful world of homosexuality are not protected, but are punishable as "hate speech" or "harassment." Any questions?
So, the discontent of the Left works itself out in the denial of the fundamental rights of dissenters. In other words, they make us feel their pain.
Note that neither logic, nor the Constitution, nor even the scientific method is allowed to stand in the way of the Reich's efforts to obliterate the opposition.
In the case of Dr. Summers, his mistake was bringing logic to bear on the sacred cow of feminism. That the math and science aptitude test scores of women were consistently lower than those of men had nothing to do with it.
So, too, for the critical analysis of evolution. It has been rightly observed that die-hard evolutionists have far more faith in their faulty first premise than most religionists have in their God. And for good reason: it takes more faith to believe a lie than it does to believe the truth.
Sadly for us, the search for truth has become less important than adherence to the ideology du jour. But without truth, all society suffers. One does not send a man to the moon on the basis of warm fuzzy feelings or ideological equality. It takes cold, hard facts. It takes truth.
If truth is not tolerated, freedom is no longer free. To maintain our freedom we must fight for truth. Suppression never works. As the Supreme Court observed over 60 years ago, "compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard."
There is a once-commonplace expression scarcely heard today, that may be just the medicine for the Left's loathing of the truth: "Deal with it."
Mr. Crampton serves as Chief Counsel of the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (CLP), a public interest-type law firm. The CLP's web site is www.afa.net/clp. Mr. Crampton's daily radio show, "We Hold These Truths," can be heard on almost 200 radio stations nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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