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  • Archive for June 20th, 2008

    Rational Evil IV

    Friday, June 20th, 2008 by Elgin Hushbeck

    Listen to the MP3 

     Over the last several weeks I have been looking at the development of secular thought following the holocaust, and how the attempt maintain human right apart from God has resulted in a number of competing and conflicting strategies.

    These strategies produced a number of absurdities that if given any serious thought would quickly undermined the entire system and many did think seriously about this, and worse they pointed out these problems. These critics needed to be addressed.

     

    The problem was that they could not be answered in the normal way. How can one rationally defend the belief that men and women are the same when they are so clearly different. How can one morally defend the belief that we really should not condemn the honor killing, i.e. the murder by her relatives of a woman because she was the victim of rape.

     

    The simple answer is that you can’t. So rather than answer the arguments, those making them needed to be silenced. Anyone questioning the belief that men and women are different were called sexists. Anyone pointing out a negative aspect of other cultures were called bigoted.

     

    While freedom of speech is still proclaimed a basic human right, and even defended in areas of vulgarity and sexuality, restrictions on speech have greatly increased in other areas. At first, labels such as sexist, racist, bigot, homophobe, etc, were enough to silence, or at least discredit those pointing out the problems with the new secular reasoning. But over time, the power of rational argument began to push past this first line of defense.

     

    Simple labeling was not enough and stronger deterrents were needed. Starting with universities, supposedly bastions of free speech and intellectual inquiry, more formal limitations started appearing on what could be said and what could be researched.

     

    These speech codes were challenged in the courts and many were struck down. But the need that spawned them remained, and so despite rulings such as Dambrot v. Central Michigan University and Corry v. Stanford speech codes did not go away, they were simply repackaged as anti-harassment policies.

     

    In fact, according to Jon Gould, a law professor at George Mason University, “hate speech policies not only persist, but they have actually increased in number following a series of court decisions that ostensibly found many to be unconstitutional.”

     

    Political Correctness was thus born in a series of formal and informal speech codes and training classes on anti-harassment and diversity; not only in specific classes but it also incorporated throughout the curriculum.

     

    But such indoctrination in school from Kindergarten through College was still not enough. So the training was expanded into the business world. For example, in 2004 California passed a law that required employers to provide mandatory sexual harassment training. And of course to transgress these policies in the work place threatens one’s job and thus their livelihood.

     

    By labeling these policies anti-harassment and diversity automatically gives them an air of respectability and masked the more questionable aspects. After all who supports harassment and who doesn’t support diversity? But the real question is what constitutes harassment and what is diversity? Everyone would agree that a boss demanding sex from an employee in order to keep their job is morally reprehensible and should be illegal. But what about acknowledging that men and women are different?

     

    In a well publicized example in 2005 Larry Summers the president of Harvard University was addressing the question as to why more men seem to go into science and math than women. He suggested that one possible line of research could look at possible differences between men and women.

     

    A fire storm of criticism erupted at this mere suggestion that men and women might be different, and this eventually led him to issue an apology. Even so, the faculty of arts and sciences issue a vote no-confidence, and his suggestion was a factor in his resignation the following year.

     

    But even sanctions that can could threaten one’s job have not been enough to silence the rational arguments, so not too surprisingly the sanctions are being stepped up and the arguments them are being criminalized, as the Brigitte Bardot recent discovered when she was fined €15,000 by a French court because her comments on the ritual slaughter of animals in Islamic culture, “constituted a legal offense.

     

    In 2006 Mark Steyn published the bestselling book, America Alone in which he argues that in the cultural conflict between Western and Islamic civilization that Western Civilization is losing. When Steyn’s book was excerpted in MacLean’s Magazine the Canadian Islamic Congress claimed that article “subjected Canadian Muslims to hated and contempt” and as a result as I write this Steyn is awaiting a decision from the Vancouver Human Right Council. This is just one of many examples of such attempts to silence those who differ with the current views of diversity.

    Thus, in the effort to preserve a view of Human Rights apart from God, the traditional view of Human Right has been turned on its head. Speech is suppressed. Freedom of Religion has been turn into separation of Church and State and the suppression of religion. Intellectual freedom has been restricted to lines of inquiry that are consider acceptable, and exclude things like Intelligent Design. Those who do not fall into line are not only shunned, but can lose their jobs, livelihoods, or be convicted and fined by the government. All in the name of Human Rights.

    This is Elgin Hushbeck, asking you to Consider Christianity: a Faith Based on Fact.