Academia Conflicted on Penn State Scandal

Penn State Warms Up

Penn State Warms Up (Photo credit: acaben)

It has been months since the news broke of Penn State’s football organization turning a blind eye to the homosexual abuse of boys by Jerry Sandusky. As the story unfolds these allegations appear have some truth behind them. The pain and suffering of these young men must be recognized and the perpetrator(s) punished.

Unfortunately the academic community has a hard time setting itself up as a prosecutor for these kind of crimes against children. While it is not as yet a popular view, there are some in the academic community who advocate that pedophilia has a proper place in adult sexuality. Thankfully, this position is still abhorrent to most people in our nation including those in the university. I’m afraid the seed belief, that there should be no restrictions on sexual expression between consenting individuals, is being aggressively popularized on the university and high school campus by left leaning academic and student leadership.

Another example of the intentional blurring of these moral lines is in the federal administration. Our president appoints to governmental agencies people who advocate for adult/child sex. Kevin Jennings was appointed as assistant deputy secretary in the Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools in the U.S. Department of Education. He was a founder of GLSEN an organization which recommends literature to teens that encourage them to experiment with sex with adults. Why is our president bringing people like this into the Department of Education and other executive level positions with hardly a blink from the press, while Joe Paterno was vilified for not taking harsh enough measures against his former colleague?

For a good discussion of this topic, WallBuilders Live! this week featured Warren Cole Smith who explained how difficult it is to be a whistleblower when the community at large is actively rubbing out the lines of moral clarity. The crime of silence in these situations is inexcusable but easy to explain with the competing values involved. We Christians must not be silent.

Reining in the Judiciary

I recently completed a DVD series entitled “Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents“. I am encouraging my colleagues to watch and discuss the series as well.

One of the points which I have found most interesting about this course is the discussion of the federal judiciary. The judiciary is actually the smallest and least significant part of the federal government. If you look at the actual text of the Constitution there are something like 53 clauses which describe the function of the legislative branch. There are about 18 clauses that describe the function of the executive branch, but only about 6 clauses that discuss the function and form of the judicial branch. So even the weighting of attention given in the Constitution demonstrates the relative size, strength, and importance of the three branches.

The judicial branch would like us to believe that they are an equal and equally powerful part of the federal government but if you read the Federalist Papers you can see that the founding fathers saw that the legislative branch should be the dominant branch and the judicial branch would pose no threat to the freedom of the people. Unfortunately starting with Marbury versus Madison, then the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court has attempted to assert its will over both the executive and the legislative branches. The Constitution calls only for a Supreme Court, not for all the lower federal courts. The fact is that Congress has the power to decide how long the Supreme Court can meet, how many members should be on the Supreme Court, and can eliminate all the federal appellate courts, circuit courts, etc., except for the actual Supreme Court.

I for one see that the current low state of our nation has been hastened by a tyranny of unelected “lifetime” appointment judges. It is time for us to put them in their place by either having the legislature exercise its true authority over the judicial branch, or by amending the constitution to require judges to undergo affirming and reaffirming votes by the people or by Congress once ever ten years. As far as I’ve heard, Newt Gingrich is the only 2012 candidate that has brought up this topic. He was soundly attacked in the media notwithstanding the fact that he was citing Constitution chapter and verse. Click this link for his white paper on the subject.

The Great Recovery

If you are a teacher in California these days, you might be having to live a little leaner these days. My wife and I have been using Dave Ramsey’s financial materials for a few years now. He has a method for handling finances in a practical methodical way. If you are needing help managing your income and expenses I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s program.

I received an article from Dave Ramsey’s The Great Recovery movement entitled What Should You Expect from your Candidates? I appreciate Dave’s usual no-nonsense approach to politics. He emphasizes the fact that I have a lot more to do with what happens in my personal finances than Washington does. I need to vote and participate in our political process to get the best available leaders in office. But if I am waiting around expecting Washington or Sacramento to fix my financial situation, I’m going to be waiting a long time. And their solution will never work as well as something I could have come up with on my own. The thing that will fix my financial situation best is my own paying attention, learning, working hard, living on a budget, etc.

A quick summary of the characteristics includes the following:

  • Integrity
  • Cuts wasteful spending
  • Common sense
  • A good steward of money
  • Someone who listens
  • Strong leadership ability
  • Quick problem solving

If you’d like to read the article in its entirety click on this link What Should You Expect from your Candidates? You can also follow the link to learn more about The Great Recovery: a national recovery program that is guaranteed to be successful because it doesn’t depend on Washington. The Great Recovery appeals up the chain of command from Washington to fix our national financial problem. The Great Recovery appeals to We The People.

Hear the Republican Candidates Speak up on Life and Family issues

Just a quick post to spread the word on this unique look at some of the leading conservative presidential candidates. I have been a bit turned off by some of the debates I’ve seen with the Republican candidates. There are some important issues that I’m not really hearing about. I have a feeling the people organizing these debates don’t really want the candidates to have a chance to speak out on pro-life, pro-family issues. Well, someone arranged for an event that dealt directly with these issues. It was the Thanksgiving Family Forum held in Des Moines, Iowa on November 19. If you did not get a chance to see it you can click on the link provided below.

I would like to address the issue of allegations against Hermann Kane that have come up this past month. If there is a factual basis for these allegations, they are an issue to consider in his candidacy. We cannot separate private morality from public integrity. To think we could do so would be foolhardy. At the same time, if it comes down to it, because of his overall more conservative stance, I would rather have a Herman Kane in office than another four years with Barack Obama. Obama has been driving our blessed nation toward the precipice of socialism since he came into office. This has to end.

Teachers as Culture Warriors

Rebecca Hegalin spoke recently on FamilyTalk about becoming a culture warrior. Our culture is pushing against parents and families to uproot their influence in children’s lives. Mandatory preschool and daycare, full day kinder, no parent opt out for various social programs at school. All of these are examples of the Nanny State encroaching on responsibilities of the family. As Daniel Lapin would say the zookeeper taking over the care of the baby animals in the zoo. This encroachment impacts students in significant ways. As the family has been eroded away in our nation, children come to school more commonly in a state of crisis because they have no secure family environment.

Wall Builders had an episode with John Stonestreet of Summit Ministries and the Colson Center. They discussed the concept of Christians moving toward the tipping points in our culture in order to multiply our impact. Entertainment, journalism, politics, and education are all positions that wield extra leverage in our culture. As teachers we have a significant impact on our students. The left knows this and has been targeting schools from primary up through graduate courses with their ideology. Currently, it is not generally acceptable to be openly Christian in the classroom. In fact, there are reports of teachers being relieved of their duties and even sued because of their commitment to openly living our their faith. Thankfully there are a phalanx of conservative Christian legal firms that will take on clients whose 1st Amendment rights are being violated in this way. Please see my Resources page for a listing of some legal organizations that help in these situations.

We need Christians who are both willing to speak up and take a stand for what is right as well as push back when there are attempts at repression. Unfortunately, it is intimidating (at least for me) to be what seems to be a lone conservative voice in a sea of liberal leaning media, policies, and colleagues. I’m afraid of professional or social backlash myself. How about you, dear reader? Do you have concerns about taking a stand for moral causes or for Christian representation in this environment?

Mrs. Hagelin is the author of two books: Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That’s Gone Stark Raving Mad and 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.

John Stonestreet publishes (among other things) a one minute radio/podcast minute called The Point Radio. He addresses current issues from a Christian worldview.

Avoiding the Historical Traps of the Left

First page of Constitution of the United States

Image via Wikipedia

Avoiding the Historical Traps of the Left – summarized from WallBuildersLive!

WallBuilders is one of my favorite organizations for informing, encouraging, and equipping Christian conservatives to take back the land.  I encourage you to check out their half hour show available in some areas on the radio and online.

“David Barton gives a presentation on avoiding the historic traps of the left. Listen as he presents facts about our nation that you were never taught. What is it about our history that the left doesn’t want us to know? Our nation has Christian roots. When we understand that, we will understand where we come from and where we are going.”

Below is my brief summary of the traps. For a detailed and enjoyable explanation of each one, go listen to the archive of the series of six shows starting August 23, 2011.

1. Poststructuralism – to believe that only groups not individuals give meaning to the whole. This trap makes us consider people not as individuals but as members of groups. They consider everyone on the merits of their group membership. This is coupled with the belief that the Bill of Rights protects the rights of the minority from the rights of the majority not the rights of individuals from an overreaching government.

2. Modernism. Modernism is to use a modern context to interpret any events whether fairly recent or in the distant past. For example, Thomas Jefferson attended church in the Capitol building during his presidency. He even ordered the Marine Corps band to play foe the worship services. Some would look at this through a modern lens and say he misunderstood the Constitution, but it is more likely to say that he understood it, but we’ve grown to misunderstand it now.

3. Academic collectivism. This trap happens when a series or set of academics agree amongst themselves and reference each other’s works to back up their assertions. They rarely, never, or selectively go back to historical documents for fact-finding. Instead they simply cite one another’s work to support their theories. This tends to get away from anything based on history and ends up allowing them to support the agenda of their choosing.

4. Minimalism is the practice of focusing on a tiny subset of what was happening at a time in the past as though that is all that was happening. An example would include saying that we separated from England because of taxation without representation. This is one of the reasons but it is one of 27 reasons. Unfortunately that is probably the only reason most schoolchildren could give today.

5. Deconstructionism a steady stream of negative designed to tear down the positive image in the mind of the people. When the historians and press only focus on negative aspects of the founding era and from founding fathers lives, people are not aware of the positive things and the Christian religious nature of many of their beliefs and actions. It changes our attitude toward our country and its founding.

Again, this was simply my brief summary of the traps. For a detailed and enjoyable explanation of each one, go to the archive of the series of six shows starting August 23, 2011 and listen for yourself.

Origins of this Blog

I have several reasons for starting this blog. The main purpose is to encourage conservative educators to use our voices. We can influence our schools to become places where children are raised up with good morals and manners once again. We have been silent followers for too long, meekly going along with what has become the immoral liberal agenda of teachers unions. I have put together my resources page to help teachers who want to get started.

One motivating event happened as a result of a recent local union election. At a rep council meeting I had learned that candidates were not supposed to use district communication systems for campaigning. I myself was not a candidate, but I had strong opinions about which candidate I would like to see elected. I decided to email and speak to some of my colleagues encouraging them to vote the same way I would be voting.

As the election progressed and the votes were counted, I was very excited when the candidates I was supporting won by a three to one margin. Unfortunately the losing side decided to dispute the results. We had one rep council meeting where the election was upheld locally. This was followed by a CTA ruling that the election was to be upheld.

When my efforts to communicate my opinions were called into question, I decided that maybe I had better use a more public, transparent method of communicating my views. I had already been thinking of blogging about conservative issues. The election experience crystalized that thought. I have a feeling there might be a number of other committed teachers who are feeling marginalized by the liberal agenda of the bulk of CTA’s leadership. You’re not the only one! There are lots of us. We can push back.

I had some uncertainty about starting a blog. I don’t have a lot of experience blogging, a wonderful 21st-century innovation that allows the common person to have a voice that can potentially be heard across the community, the country, the world. You will notice as I post entries on this blog that I approach the conservative point of view from a Christian perspective. In my deliberations this perspective gives the best explanation for understanding and living in this world we live in. I do recognize that others have reached a conservative point of view from other perspectives. I welcome allies from various backgrounds, and respectful, civil discourse from any side. For my part, I will be attempting to examine issues from a Christian perspective.