WesternFront America http://westernfrontamerica.com A Journal of Conservative Social and Political Commentary Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:03:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Don’t Ban Bossy, Ban Beyonce http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/ban-bossy-ban-beyonce/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/ban-bossy-ban-beyonce/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 02:02:41 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24108 Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, has a line in her book that states “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills.” As you have probably heard by now, her Lean In organization and the Girl Scouts of America have teamed up with various celebrities and some other well-known female figures to urge us to ban the use of the word bossy. As part of their “public service” campaign they have released a short ad featuring these women lecturing us about how they were called bossy and other names as children and therefore we should “ban bossy.” The “Ban Bossy – I’m Not Bossy. I’m the Boss” video has gone viral while stirring up some controversy along the way. It has now been viewed over 2,250,000 times on Youtube.

Ban Bossy — I’m Not Bossy. I’m the Boss.

image

Ban Bossy — I’m Not Bossy. I’m the Boss.

View on www.youtube.com

Preview by Yahoo

Playing a prominent role in this campaign is the pop star diva Beyonce. It would appear that the Girl Scouts believe that Beyonce is an appropriate role model for impressionable young girls and someone who should be emulated and looked up too.  That is disappointing, and the fact that they cooperating with her on any level should raise more than a few eyebrows. Any objective observer would be hard pressed to not point out that Beyonce apparently believes that empowering women not only calls for the banning of certain words but also the constant sexual objectification of females and dressing up like a stripper at every opportunity. Whoring yourself out just because “sex sells” is hardly edifying to the female gender and is worthy of condemnation. Yet here she is, front and center, in the Ban Bossy ad campaign sponsored by an organization supposedly charged with the mission of building the character, self-esteem, and self-respect of young girls.

For the Girl Scouts and Lean In to showcase her as a spokesman in their campaign is pathetic at best. One of the last people we should be encouraging our daughters to pattern their lives, thoughts, actions, and attitudes after is her. Yet our little Feminist friends apparently have no problem with that. Influencing millions of little girls to sexualize themselves at a very young age is far more damaging than calling someone bossy, and recruiting a spokesperson who is married to a man who routinely calls women “bitches and hoes” just smacks of idiocy and hypocrisy on every level. Conveying the message that a girl has to portray herself as a shameless sexual plaything to gain fame, success, and attention is far more detrimental to the female gender in general, and to entire upcoming generations of young women, than one ten-year old girl telling another to quit being bossy on the playground. And we wonder why vast numbers of young women have self-esteem, eating disorders, and body image issues in our culture.

In the Ban Bossy video Beyonce tells us that “Girls are less interested in leadership than boys,” while Lynch adds, “And that’s because they worry about being called bossy.”

Really, that’s why? Are you really telling me that the fear of being called bossy has somehow stymied generations of women?  How come I’m not buying that? And so what if a somewhat smaller percentage of “girls are less interested in leadership than boys.” Is that the end of the world? Are we really to believe that there must be some sort of contest and competition between the genders when it comes to the percentages of each in perceived leadership positions? Or is this really perhaps just another attempt to fuel the fires of conflict and tension between them by those who don’t really care much for the male gender to begin with? These are questions worth pondering.

Is it so far-fetched to fathom that maybe males and females aren’t actually exactly the same and perhaps, just perhaps, it is just a natural trait for a majority of both sexes to see males as leaders more often than females? And if so, is that really such an inherently awful idea?  We are not born as ‘clean slates’ but already have a vast network of natural inclinations and predispositions already inside of us as we enter the world. That is not to say that culture and society doesn’t play a significant part in who we are and what we become, but to dismiss basic genetic factors and behavioral traits when it comes to gender is both foolish and naive.  It’s probably not patriarchy and misogyny they should be complaining about here, but basic biology. Perhaps we should spend less time fighting against it and more time learning to understand it.

So what is the definition of this particular word “bossy” that is so bad that has caused such a stir and must be banned from our collective vocabulary? Below are a couple of different definitions that a quick internet search was kind enough to provide me with.

boss·y1

ˈbôsē,ˈbäs-/

adjective

informal

adjective: bossy; comparative adjective: bossier; superlative adjective: bossiest

.fond of giving people orders; domineering.

adjective,boss·i·er,boss·i·est.

given to ordering people about; overly authoritative;  domineering.

Origin:
1880–85, Americanism; boss1 + -y1

Synonyms: highhanded, officious, dictational; overbearing, abrasive.

In the spirit of consensus, we should all agree that being bossy is not synonymous with true leadership and that it really shouldn’t be. And that being ambitious is not the same as being bossy, stubborn, or pushy either as is implied in the ad campaign. No one really and truly likes a bossy person, whether they are a woman or a man. One gets the distinct feeling that some of the women involved in this feminist push to remind us that we shouldn’t dare criticize a woman no matter how she speaks or acts may have actually deserved to be labeled bossy in the first place. Perhaps they were called bossy for a reason.

There are numerous and far more offensive terms for those suffering from attitudinal problems when it comes to their interactions with other people, and bossy is probably one of the least objectionable of them. Several unprintable ones easily spring to mind. Some are gender specific and some not. And all are far more hurtful and theoretically damaging than bossy. Where are the campaigns against them?

When was the last time you actually heard someone use the word bossy anyway? The more you study this supposed crisis of “bossy labeling” the shallower it sounds.

In a world full of truly serious problems one is hard pressed to believe that somewhere out there one elementary age girl is so devastatingly damaging another ornery elementary age girl’s psyche by calling her bossy that we now need to have a national campaign complete with ads, websites, pledges, celebrity endorsements, and the whole rigamarole that goes along with something like this. All so we can ban a word of dubious guilt and reputation. One has the feeling that some people have far too much time on their hands and that their priorities are in all the wrong places.

Tell the women of the Middle East or North Africa about the pressing need to ban the word bossy and they’ll tell you some interesting stories about rampant female circumcisions, beatings, and honor killings that will make your skin crawl. The trivial nit-picking of Western Feminists that do little more than drive additional wedges between the genders and make mountains out of mole hills is just baffling at times. Do they really have nothing better to do with their time or money?

I decided to do a bit of field research on the subject. I interviewed my own extremely outgoing, charismatic, and full of life, ten-year-old daughter over breakfast. Without telling her why or what I was up to, I asked her if anybody ever called anyone else bossy at her school. She said, “no, not really.” She then became fairly animated and excitedly said, “But there are some girls who should be called bossy. They are always trying to tell everyone else what to do.”

Exactly.

The fact is that the word bossy is a term that we use to describe what is often very boorish behavior and even borderline bullying. Labeling actions and making the attempt to curtail certain raw behaviors among children is in fact a civilizing notion and one that is often, but not always, rightly used to help modify unattractive behavior. It is how we self-police in a civilized society and it helps us to smooth the rough edges off of each other as we can learn to get along and interact in acceptable ways. I have had the opportunity to observe and even work for some bossy women (and men) on occasion. While they may have inspired fear and apprehension with their actions and way of handling themselves, their overall demeanor did not inspire respect or loyalty from their employees. It was not true leadership. My daughter was right; bossiness is not attractive in any form whether it is on the playground or in the workplace.

I, admittedly, have little patience with the modern-day Feminist movement in general and the fact that they have infiltrated and hijacked the Girl Scouts of America to continue to promote their twisted views of gender and society is irksome. I’m tired of the Thought Police and their manufactured outrages of the week. And as far as Beyonce goes, I have three daughters of my own and they deserve better than what this sick and gutter-licking popular culture has to offer.

Let us also not forget that the Left is always trying to ban something, whether they are large sodas or guns or a word they don’t particularly like. It’s always all about controlling the thoughts and actions of others through force, intimidation, or guilt.

In the end it really comes down to this. If you don’t really want to be called bossy, then don’t be bossy. If you are acting bossy then don’t complain when others call you out on it. Otherwise, you just come off looking kind of silly and maybe a bit bossy as well. Always take responsibility for your own behavior and conduct yourself properly at all times with self-restraint, wisdom, and discernment before running about trying to modify the behaviors of others. Just remember, you aren’t the boss of me.

David Huntwork is a conservative activist, blogger, and columnist and the proud father of three daughters. The son, grandson, and great-grandson of Ministers of the Gospel he brings a unique blended background of theology and ideology to the great debates of the day. He believes that Faith, Family, and Freedom is the formula for success and the key to a good life and a healthy nation. David blogs at TheConservativeCitizen.com. You can contact him at Davehuntwork@juno.com.

]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/ban-bossy-ban-beyonce/feed/ 0
Flavor Is a Human Right, Too http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/flavor-human/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/flavor-human/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 01:54:44 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24104 The biggest problem Christians and conservatives have in making the case for marriage to the younger generation is we don’t speak the same language, and I’m not referring to the number of ‘likes’ inserted into each sentence that replace thought. Our frame of reference has only a tangential connection with that of the younger generation.

The default authority for Christians when explaining their opposition to homosexual marriage is the Bible. But it’s not for the generation born after 1980. The Washington Times reports, “More Americans are doubting the infallibility of the Bible, treating it as a guidebook rather than the actual words of God, according to a survey released Wednesday.”

This belief (no pun intended) puts that generation in agreement with Episcopalians, Methodists and Unitarians who also don’t understand what the big deal is when Rev. Adam and his wife, Steve shake hands with the faithful as they leave the sanctuary on Sunday.

This finding was part of a survey conducted on behalf of the American Bible Society. In the Times its president, Roy Peterson explained, “I think young people have always questioned their parents, questioned the church…Today the skeptics are saying, ‘It’s just like any other piece of literature, and it’s no different from that.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when a Christian references the Bible, the youngster counters with, “You may like the Bible, but I’m partial to the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, if there was a modern language translation, the Egyptian Book of the Dead also has some value for those who want to increase their spirituality quotient.”

This declining interest is an indication there’s a real chance the Bible may lose it’s spot as the perennial number one best–seller, although this is not sufficient cause for Ellen to hope her bio will take its place.

The importance of the Bible for moral instruction has also declined. In 2013 almost a third of respondents “blamed a lack of Bible reading as the problem” behind a decline in American morals. This year it’s only 26 percent, but that decrease may be explained by the corresponding number of Americans who purchased 70” TVs in the intervening months.

So how does one explain opposition to homosexual marriage in terms the young can grasp? How does one put in context the aggressive demand that Christians conform to an unprecedented definition of marriage that didn’t exist even 25 years ago and flies in the face of all of human history?

How can they relate to our rejection of this absurd definition of marriage that completely upends an accepted way of life in the interest of pleasing an intolerant minority and its cheering section.

There are essentially no sexual taboos today, so approaching the problem from a Biblical angle is like expressing your opposition to the healing power of crystals by using the Physicians Desk Reference, when your audience hasn’t read either one.

Fortunately in today’s brave new culture food taboos have replaced sex taboos and it is here Christians can make our case in a way that duplicates the situation we encountered with homosexual marriage and is simultaneously understandable by the younger generation.

My analogy works regardless of whether you’re locked in debate with a smug and superior homosexual marriage supporter or you’re simply answering a question from one of those ‘love and let love’ types unable to understand why we feel so strongly about the issue.

The demand that Christians completely redefine marriage and accept a radical new definition that institutionalizes and affirms a form sexual practice the Bible specifically forbids, is the exact equivalent of pork lovers demanding that vegan restaurants serve bacon.

If America’s homosexuals can demand “marriage equality” then bacon lovers can demand “flavor equality.”

A vegan’s unconstitutional exclusion of bacon is simply elevating personal preference over a fundamental human right to have food that tastes good. And even diners who aren’t eating bacon because of an irrational fear of being attacked by their heart, can still feel the pain and humiliation of being ostracized.

Just try wearing an Arkansas Razorbacks’ Hog Head hat into your nearest Busboys & Poets restaurant if you want to see how a real second–class citizen is treated by kale bigots.

And who says vegans get to define what qualifies to be labeled as “vegan?” Flavor is flavor, people. Just as we’ve been told “love is love.” You may like the slimy feel and hay–infusion aftertaste of tofu, but I like the crunch of crispy, fried bacon and how can that be so wrong?

One doesn’t choose to love bacon any more than one chooses whom to love. It’s fried into my DNA.

I should be able to go into Sweet & Natural bakery and ask them to whomp up a delicious quiche Lorraine and not get a bunch of sanctimonious static about beliefs, animal rights and cholesterol.

Who are these Pharisees to tell me I can’t eat pork?

And the same goes for the photographer who refused to document my family’s annual fall hog butchering reunion and hoe down. If she/he (I think the photographer was undergoing some sort of transformation) is open for business to the public, then the photographer should not be allowed to discriminate based on unscientific belief and superstition. Go down that path and the next stop is Montgomery and Bull Connor.

Separate but equal is inherently unequal. If Western Sizzlin’ can offer food for vegans then its only fair that Arugula ‘R We be forced to offer a BLT.

© Michael R. Shannon

]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/flavor-human/feed/ 0
The War Within the GOP http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/war-gop/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/war-gop/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 01:33:19 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24100 I started out a Democrat because my parents were Democrats. When I was old enough to conclude that the Democratic Party was so socialist I could not remain one, I became a Republican. In her nineties, even my Mother registered as a Republican. Times change and people change. Now I am considering registering as an independent. I am waiting for the outcome of the November midterm elections.
My decision will depend on how many Tea Party movement candidates are elected and my hope is that it will be a wave election that rejects so many Democratic candidates that power in the Congress–particularly the Senate–returns to the GOP. Then I will watch to see how much action they take to reverse the damage of Obamacare and other programs in much need of reform, replacement and rejection.
According to Gallup, currently an estimated 42 percent of voters today self-identify as independents Those who identify themselves as Republicans fell to 25 percent.  In 2013 Gallup reported that 41 percent regarded themselves to be conservative or very conservative, but that was the lowest since Obama took office in 2009.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59% of GOP voters say that Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the Party’s base. I suspect that’s because the base is more conservative than its elected representatives. Conversely, Democrats are quite happy with theirs.
The emergence of the Tea Party movement has dramatically demonstrated the unhappiness of voters with the direction the nation has taken since Obama was elected in 2008. At the heart of their displeasure are the dreadful state of the economy and the growing fear of a Big Government that extends more and more control over all aspects of their lives.
The internal debate within the GOP is showing up in commentaries among its pundits. It reflects to some degree the fears of its establishment elites who have managed to serve up John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom lost because they waged campaigns devoid of any serious criticism or confrontation with liberalism. The Party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.
They suffered as well from an incessant Democratic Party campaign to define Republicans as indifferent to the poor, aligned with large corporations, and hostile to illegal immigrants, homosexuals and women.
With the help of the mainstream media, these themes are constantly repeated. Meanwhile, cities and states run by Democrats are going bankrupt thanks to their devotion to spending and alliance with public service unions. You could line up the agendas of the Democratic Party and the Communist Party USA side by side and find very little difference.
Unfortunately, there are voices in the GOP that sound more like Democrats than Republicans. The most visible to emerge is Jeb Bush, a former Florida Governor, whose informal recent remarks sound like Democrat-light. He could have better articulated the need for immigration reform, but he did not. This is a common problem among too many Republicans in office or running for one, no matter what the issue may be.

Jeb Bush favors Common Core, a federal program of education standards that represent why education in America is failing and has been for a very long time. Regrettably, his brother, George W. Bush advocated “Leave No Child Behind” with its comparable standards. Parents today are clamoring for charter schools to save their children from the indoctrination imposed by teachers unions since the 1960s. Democrat demands for pre-kindergarten programs are just a further intrusion into their lives.

In a Wall Street Journal commentary, former Florida Governor, William W. Galston, characterizes the war within the GOP as being between “the social conservatives and defense hawks that Ronald Reagan created in the late 1970s” and the current GOP leadership who think those values should be abandoned to entice youth, women, and homosexuals. He expressed the war as a generational one between younger and older Republicans.
“The tea party offers nothing except nostalgia for a demography that is in retreat and a Constitution that never was,” said Galston. “By contrast Mr. Bush wants to run as a conservative unafraid of the future.” His wish for a campaign that avoids mud-slinging betrays a timidity that could cost the GOP another loss if he were to become its presidential candidate. My view is that Republicans, as per the Rasmussen poll, want a candidate and a Party that would more boldly fight Democratic Party and liberal lies.
In a March commentary by Karl Rove, the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, had nice things to say about the party’s reformers such as Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and governors such as Bobby Jindal, Rick Snyder, Scott Walker, and John Kasich. He cited their efforts to help the poor, but left unsaid was that they are poor because they are either a permanent class of the poor or the result of Obama’s failure to turn the economy around.

Rove could well have mentioned Tea Party favorites such as Senators Cruz, Lee, and Paul who are reinvigorating Republican principles and giving voice to them.

The GOP is not about the poor. It is about the middle class and too many are sinking into poverty thanks to Democratic programs emphasizing spending, borrowing, and expanding programs such as food stamps, unemployment payments, and an increase in the minimum wage. All of Obama’s blather about income inequality is aimed at those who think such programs will help the economy, but all they do is undermine it.
“Conservative reformers seek to broaden opportunity, increase prosperity for every American, restore the value of work, and strengthen markets, competition and choice,” said Rove. “If successful, their efforts would help the GOP among middle class voters.”  That could have been written by a member of the Tea Party movement.
“It is hard to overstate how much the Republican Party is hurt by the persistent belief of many voters that its candidates are out of touch and do not care about people like them,” said Rove. That’s the message of the Democratic Party and always has been. It is a message that mainstream media repeats.
 
The Tea Party movement, however, is overcoming that message and the success of Republican governors and the popularity of its candidates suggests that many Americans see the movement as the salvation of the nation. The Republican Party too often looks pale by comparison and that must change.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/war-gop/feed/ 0
The Turtle Rebellion http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/turtle-rebellion/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/turtle-rebellion/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 01:27:31 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24096 Militias are reforming and retraining.  Citizens are cleaning their guns and counting rounds of ammunition for them.

Why? The government’s heavy-handed way of dealing with a Nevada rancher whose cattle are being seized by the federal government at the point of a federal gun.  (For more read:  http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/us/nevada-rancher-rangers-cattle-showdown/)

Are we looking at another Ruby Ridge or yet another Waco?  I certainly hope not.  But the truth is, America cannot continue as the police state she has become.  Plus,  and this is extremely important, Americans no longer trust their federal court system.

“Two militia members from Montana and one from Utah have arrived at Cliven Bundy’s ranch.  The press was told by a militiaman that militias from New Hampshire, Texas and Florida are likely to join and stand with Bundy and stay at his ranch.
” (From a report at: http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2014/04/10/expect-to-see-a-band-of-soldiers-militia-members-arrive-at-nevada-ranch/

In a later report we learn: “In the wake of the publicized protests, members of various militia groups have been traveling from Virginia, Texas, Montana, Idaho and Wisconsin and arriving at the protest site and Bundy’s ranch to support the family, said Stephen L. Dean, 45, of Utah, a member of one such group called the Peoples United Mobile Armed Services.” — SOURCE:  http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/us/nevada-rancher-rangers-cattle-showdown/

Underlying the whole dispute is the environmental movements efforts to preserve the habitat of a little heard of desert tortoise.

Don’t laugh!  Today it’s a turtle.  Originally, it was tea. All revolutions have a tipping point. The point at which the people say, this far and no farther!  Bundy’s ranch may be the next Lexington.

(The tortoise is protected under the Endangered Species Act.  The Fish and Wildlife Service lists the species as “threatened.”)

There was a brief mention of US military personnel taking part in the rustling of Mr. Bundy’s cattle.  If true, that would be a direct violation of federal law. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, still in effect, was passed to prevent U.S. military personnel from acting as law enforcement agents on U.S. soil.

The text of the Posse Comitatus Act, which is still in effect (as 18 U.S.C. Section 1385), reads:

“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” –  SOURCE: http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/a/posse_act.htm

I have yet to see any confirmation of the use of US military personnel in the dust-up at Bundy’s Ranch.

What worries me most about the ongoing wielding of raw federal power in Nevada is this:  I am afraid this is only the beginning.  I am afraid this sort of confrontation will become far more frequent if the situation in Nevada is allowed to continue.  Give the feds an inch and they’ll take a mile … or your cattle — or BOTH!

Oh, and do not deceive yourself, if given the order to fire on the protesters, armed and unarmed, the federal goons WILL indeed open fire — without a moment’s hesitation. That’s what they are trained to do. That’s what they will do.

Unfortunately, I believe the same holds true with US military personnel.  Just as when the War Between the States (Better known in the South as the War of Northern Aggression) broke out and southerners serving in the federal services resigned and went home to join their families in defense of their homes, so, too, will SOME current US soldiers.   But, I dare say, most will notDifferent times.  Different people.

People change and peoples change.  It is more than a little difficult to predict how modern  Americans will react to the federal government locking the country into a police state, totally ignoring our constitution, and making and enforcing, or not enforcing, laws at their whim.

It is easy to look back and see — with certainty — that our ancestors would have cleaned that nest of vipers out long ago. 

Today we are different — soft and pliant, willing to enjoy freedom so long as it doesn’t cost us anything, or any effort.  And for crying out loud, do not ask us to defend it by force of arms!

Unfortunately for us all, that may be exactly where we are headed.

The country, the republic, cannot continue on its current course.

On April 10th, 2014, “Oath Keepers” issued a statement, which pretty well sums up the feelings of thousands of military veterans, police officers, first responders, and others.  You would do well to follow this link over to Oath Keeper’s site and read their statement in full. You will find it here:
http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2014/04/10/coalition-of-western-state-legislators-sheriffs-and-veterans-stand-vigil-in-support-of-embattled-nevada-rancher-cliven-bundy-%E2%80%98to-prevent-another-ruby-ridge-or-waco%E2%80%9D/  

I am the product of the only region of the country to be invaded, conquered, and occupied by a foreign power.  I am, as are my fellow southerners, acutely aware of the cost of war with one’s fellow Americans.  We know the cost.  Our ancestors bore that cost and passed the scars down to us.  WE venerate them.  We look back on their sacrifices with feelings of respect and reverence.  We consider those who took up arms as hallowed and exalted.  But believe me when I tell you that we are still paying the price even today.

As evidenced by the confrontation in Nevada, we may be drawing nigh to a moment of decision just as my Confederate ancestors did 149 years ago.

Time will tell if we will be called upon to take up arms in defense of the constitution and in defiance of a tyrannical federal government.  Understand, dear reader, EITHER decision will be terrible in its consequences.

The current brush fire in Nevada may cool. Tempers may cool and some sort of reason prevail.  But before too much time passes it will recur.   Once the federal government gets a taste of raw power enforced at the point of a bayonet, it grows rabid.

And this is why American citizens are armed. It is the foundation of the Second Amendment, the preservation of our country from despots who wish to impose tyranny upon us.

Seems to me the last sentence of the preceding paragraph pretty well sums up America’s situation today.

J. D. Longstreet

 

*********************************************
J. D. Longstreet’s commentaries can be found at conservative websites
across the Internet. Longstreet blogs daily at his home site
OMEGA OPTION at: http://www.omegaoption.blogspot.com/ and at
*OMEGA DISPATCH* at: http://www.omegadispatch.wordpress.com/  and at: “Flash Point 2016″ at: http://www.flashpoint2016@wordpress.com/
*********************************************
Follow J. D. Longstreet on TWITTER @JDLongstreet@JDLongstreet
*********************************************
VISIT *”INSIGHT on Freedom” on FACE BOOK at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Insight-on-Freedom/456078171087851
*********************************************
”Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain — and most fools do.”**
…   Ben Franklin
]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/13/turtle-rebellion/feed/ 0
Long Live The Republic! http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/09/long-live-republic/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/09/long-live-republic/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:29:59 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24091 For over two hundred and thirty years the American Republic has weathered wars, epidemics, hostile neighbors, worldwide conflicts, economic disasters, internal struggles, and competing ideologies. Its birth was a long and desperate struggle for independence against the strongest and most advanced military in the world.

In the War of 1812 its capitol was burned to the ground. It suffered the growing pains of expansionism against hostile natives as well as unfriendly claims and competition by Spain, France, Great Britain, and Mexico. It suffered through a tragic and horribly bloody civil war that helped to define the idea of federalism at the expense of states rights and ended once and for all the national shame of slavery. It endured the rigors of industrialization and eventually emerged as the most technologically advanced nation the world had ever seen.

The Republic weathered the stock market collapse and a national drought that sent tens of millions into poverty and many thousands into starvation. And it emerged from its humble origins to proclaim ‘manifest destiny’ and smash the Spanish Empire, German imperialism, Japanese militarism, Italian fascism, the horrors of National Socialism, and eventually the corrupt ideology of Soviet communism. Its armies have faced the Chinese, the Mexicans, the Spanish, the Germans, the Italians, the Japanese, the North Koreans, the Vietnamese, and the petty tyrants of dozens of smaller countries and hot spots. Today it faces the international enemy of Islamic fascism and jihadist fundamentalism.

America has admittedly suffered imperfections and committed many mistakes and miscalculations along the way. For all nations, like people, suffer shortfalls. But through it all the United States has been a beacon of hope helping to point the way towards personal freedom and opportunity. It has freed more people from tyranny, been more generous monetarily, eliminated more evil, created more representative governments and hope, championed more human rights, and been a shining example of what can be right and true than any other nation or people has ever done in the history of the world. It has given women more freedom and opportunities than they ever had before. It ended the evil of slavery and championed the revolutionary ideals that all men are equal before God. This country has provided more opportunity, more hope, more peace, more wealth, and more freedom than any other has dared to contemplate.

America continues to struggle forward into a new century. It faces many challenges and hurdles and a host of enemies which increasingly attack and undermine it from within. Multiculturism and Political Correctness, massive legal and illegal immigration, cultural disintegration and decadence, globalism and statism, and the abandonment of traditional morality and the family structure are all controversies that it must face. Change is not always progress, and the foundational principles of the Republic should never be cast aside.

As the worlds only Superpower it must still face the evils that arise around the globe, weather the never-ending naysayers who attack its predominant position in Western Civilization, and deal with a resurgent Russia as well as a Red China that is really just beginning to flex its political, military, and economic muscle on the global stage.

The Republic faces many problems but we should still have faith in its people, history, ideals, and culture. It has overcome much in its two centuries plus of existence and it will have much to overcome in the next two centuries to come. It still remains that shining city on the hill and I thank God everyday that I live in this country and I am eternally proud to call myself an American.

Take the time to appreciate the most powerful and promising country that has ever existed and be thankful for the freedoms that we still have the right to exercise on a daily basis. We still can, and need to insist upon, the right to assemble, the right to worship, and the right to debate and criticize. The right to raise our children as we see fit, the right to bear arms to protect our families and community, and the right to own property and a home. These simple things we often take for granted but the great mass of humanity in the world do not have the right to exercise these valued things that we are constitutionally guaranteed in America.

The Republic may currently be in decline, but it is not dead. And if the Republic and its ideals fall, remember there is no where else to go and no one else to turn too. That alone makes it worth still worth fighting for and defending against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

David M. Huntwork

]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/09/long-live-republic/feed/ 0
The Methane Hoax Cranks Up http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/methane-hoax-cranks/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/methane-hoax-cranks/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:22:58 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24084 Having spent decades trying to convince everyone that carbon dioxide (CO2) was a “greenhouse gas” that was going to cause the Earth to heat up, the same environmental charlatans are now embarking on a campaign to do the same with methane. In the U.S. the first move was announced by the White House in late March.
The carbon dioxide hoax fell apart in the wake of a cooling cycle affecting the Earth that began around 1997 and continues to this day. Warming and cooling cycles are natural events and both are tied to the activity or lack of it of the Sun.  Humans have nothing to do with the climate other to enjoy or endure it.
Why methane? It has a lot to do with the development of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking”, and the way it unlocks natural gas, aka methane, all of which portends an America that is energy independent, along with its huge reserves of coal and oil. If, of course, the government permits this to occur.
As we know, the Obama administration does not want that. It would mean more jobs, greater prosperity, and the ability to pay down the national debt, not to mention drive down the cost of electricity, gasoline, and everything else that depends on energy.
Despite the cooling cycle that is likely to last for many more years, Steve Hamburg, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, was quoted by the Washington Post saying that “ounce for ounce, methane is 84 times as potent as a greenhouse gas over 20 years” compared to carbon dioxide. “More than a third of the warming that we’ll see as a result of today’s emissions over the next couple of decades comes from, essentially, methane. We need to remain focused on carbon dioxide emissions, but doing so is not enough.”
Excuse me, but the Environmental Defense Fund and countless other Green advocacy groups have been focused on carbon dioxide for decades and the Earth is cooling, not warming. What part of this does Hamburg not understand?
James M. Taylor, the managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly published by The Heartland Institute, reported in January that “Natural gas fracking is not causing a spike in the U.S. methane emissions”, citing Environmental Protection Agency data. “Methane emissions specific to natural gas are in a long-term decline, down ten percent since 1990 and down seven percent since 2007 when the fracking boom began.”
The Washington Post, however, asserted that emission levels “are set to rise by 2030 as shale oil and shale gas production expands in the United States.” Do you remember all those predictions about the increase of carbon dioxide emissions and how, in ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred years, the Earth would heat up?
This is not about methane, it is about finding a way to shut down fracking and the extraction of natural gas and oil in the same way the Obama administration’s “war on coal” has caused the loss of over 150 coal-fired plants that until it began, were providing electricity. Reducing sources of electricity drives up its cost to everyone. As more natural gas came on line by 2013 it had become the second greatest source of U.S. electricity, but overall the amount of electricity produced was less than in 2007 before the war on coal began.
A natural component of the Earth, it has a number of sources, but one that has also caught the eye of government regulators involves cow flatulence and belching.
The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25% by 2020. The Environmental Protection Agency has been tracking cow farts since 2012 and now the dairy industry has to worry along with the oil and gas industry. In addition to the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management will be announcing “new standards this fall to reduce venting and flaring from oil and gas production on public lands.”
It’s often best just to let the Greens speak for themselves, revealing their never-ending efforts to attack the energy industry that keeps our lights on, heats and cools our homes, and fuels our cars and trucks. “President Obama’s plan to reduce climate-disrupting methane pollution is an important step in reining in an out of control industry exempt from too many public health protections,” said Deborah Nardone, the director of the Sierra Club’s Keeping Dirty Fuels in the Ground campaign.
“However,” said Ms. Nardone, “even with the most rigorous methane controls in place, we will still fall short of what is needed to fight climate disruption if we do not reduce our reliance on these dirty fossil fuels.”
What the heck is a climate disruption? A blizzard, a hurricane, a flood, tornadoes? None of these phenomena have anything to do with using fossil fuels. This is the kind of utter drivel we have all been hearing for decades.
It has nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with denying access and use of the greatest reserves of coal, oil and natural gas that exist in the greatest nation on Earth, the United States of America.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/methane-hoax-cranks/feed/ 0
Perils of commercial beekeeping http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/perils-commercial-beekeeping/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/perils-commercial-beekeeping/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:13:50 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24080 Honeybees pollinate crops but endure stress, parasites and disease. Solutions are coming. 

One of America’s earliest food crops – almonds – is also one of the most important for commercial beekeepers. Almonds depend on bees for pollination, but the explosive growth of this bumper crop taxes the very honeybees the industry needs to thrive.

California’s Central Valley produces over 80% of the world’s almonds, valued at over $4 billion in 2012. The boom is poised to continue, with new food products and expanding overseas markets increasing demand to the point that no young almond trees are available for purchase until 2016.

Demand for almonds translates into demand for pollination. So every year commercial beekeepers transport some 60% of all US honeybees to California’s almond groves in February and March, when it’s still winter in most other states. It’s one of their biggest challenges.

For one thing, bee colonies, especially those from northern states, lack sufficient time to emerge from their heat-conserving winter clusters. Some beekeepers thus maintain 20,000 to 30,000 hives. Each one requires careful inspection for diseases and parasites – a meticulous, Herculean task on such a scale.

Complicating the situation, beekeepers are trying to work within a large-scale agricultural system, using an insect whose husbandry practices have changed little since the nineteenth century. The larger the commercial beekeeper’s stock, the harder it can be to tend them and recover from financial setbacks in the form of lost bees.

Almond growers will need 1.5 million hives this year, estimates Colorado beekeeper Lyle Johnston. “It takes almost all the commercial bees in the United States,” to pollinate the almond crop, he says. The payoff can amount to half an individual keeper’s yearly profit.

However, bees can come back from California “loaded with mites and every other disease you can think of,” beekeeper Ed Colby explains. That can often mean bee colony deaths. Last year, US beekeepers experienced an average 30% overwinter bee loss; some lost 10% to 15% of their hives, while others lost much more. It’s a normal cost of doing business, but it can be painful.

Last year’s rate was higher than normal, and higher than any keeper would want. But it was not the “bee-pocalypse” that some news stories claimed. The real story is that efforts to identify a single unifying cause for higher-than-usual losses have failed. Scientists are discovering that multiple issues affect bee health.

Urban, suburban and agricultural “development has reduced natural habitats, clearing out thousands of acres of clover and natural flowers,” a 60 Minutes investigative report observed. “Instead, bees are spending week after week on the road, feeding on a single crop, undernourished and overworked.”

The migration itself is stressful, notes Glenwood Springs, Colorado Post-Independent reporter Marilyn Gleason. “First, there’s the road trip, which isn’t exactly natural for bees, and may include freezing cold or scorching heat. Bees ship out of Colorado before the coldest weather, and drivers may drench hot, thirsty bees with water at the truck wash.”

The convergence in almond groves of so many commercial bees from all over the country creates a hotbed of viruses and pathogens that can spread to many hives. The varroa destructor mite carries at least 19 different bee viruses and diseases, causing major impacts on bee colonies. Parasitic phorid flies are another problem, and highly contagious infections also pose significant threats. The intestinal fungus nosema ceranae, for example, prevents bees from absorbing nutrition, resulting in starvation.

The tobacco ringspot virus was likewise linked recently to the highly publicized problem known as “colony collapse disorder.” CCD occurs when bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind only a queen and a few workers. The term originally lumped together a variety of such “disappearing” disorders recorded in different locales across hundreds of years, as far back as 950 AD in Ireland. Thankfully, as during past episodes, these unexplained incidents have declined in recent years and, despite all these challenges, overall US honeybee populations and the number of managed colonies have held steady for nearly 20 years.

These days, perhaps the biggest existential threat to bees is campaigns purporting to save them. Extreme-green groups like the Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network of North America are blaming an innovative new class of pesticides called neonicotinoids for both over-winter bee losses and CCD.

Allied with several outspoken beekeepers, the activists are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and government regulatory agencies to follow Europe’s lead – and ban neonics. Instead of protecting bees and beekeepers, however, their campaigns will likely cause greater harm – because they ignore the multiple threats that scientists have identified, and because a neonic ban will result in farmers using pesticides that are more toxic to bees.

The European Union’s political decision to suspend neonic use came because France’s new agriculture minister banned their use. That meant French farmers would be at a distinct disadvantage with the rest of Europe, if they were the only ones unable to use the pesticide, noted British environmental commentator Richard North. They could lose $278 million per season in lost yields and extra pesticide spraying.

So the French agricultural ministry sought an EU-wide ban on all neonicotinoids. After several votes and a misleading report on the science, the European Commission imposed a ban, over the objections of many other EU members, who note that the evidence clearly demonstrates the new pesticides are safe for bees.

Years-long field tests have found that real-world exposures have no observable effects on bee colonies. Other studies have highlighted other significant insect, fungal, human and other issues that, singly or collectively, could explain CCD. Having analyzed scores of 2007-2012 bee death incidents, Canadian bee experts concluded that “…very few of the serious bee kills involve neonicotinoid pesticides. Five times as many ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ pesticide-related bee kills were sourced to non-neonic chemicals.”

In Canada’s western provinces, almost 20 million acres of 100% neonic-treated canola is pollinated annually by honeybees and tiny alfalfa leaf-cutter bees. Both species thrive on the crop, demonstrating that neonics are not a problem. Large-scale field studies of honeybees at Canadian universities and a bumblebee field study by a UK government agency found no adverse effects on bees.

Last October, a team of industry scientists published a four-year study of the effects of repeated honeybee exposure to neonic-treated corn and rapeseed (canola) pollen and nectar under field conditions in several French provinces. The study found similar mortality, foraging behavior, colony strength and weight, brood development and food storage in colonies exposed to seed-treated crops and in unexposed control colonies. This also indicates low risk to bees.

At least two more major, recently completed university-run field research projects conducted under complex, costly scientific laboratory guidelines (“good lab practices”) are awaiting publication. All indications to date suggest that they too will find no observable adverse effects on bees at field-realistic exposures to neonicotinoids.

Meanwhile Project ApisM., a partnership of agro-businesses and beekeepers, has invested $2.5 million in research to enhance the health of honeybee colonies. Switzerland-based Syngenta has spent millions expanding bee habitats in Europe and North America, through Project Pollinator. Bayer has built bee health centers in Europe and the United States, and Monsanto’s Beeologics subsidiary is developing technology to fight varroa mites.

None of that matters to the anti-pesticide activists. They are using pressure tactics to make Canada and the United States copy the EU. That would be a huge mistake. Science, not politics, should prevail.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

 

 

]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/perils-commercial-beekeeping/feed/ 0
Old times not forgotten during Confederate History Month http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/times-forgotten-confederate-history-month/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/times-forgotten-confederate-history-month/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:05:36 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24076 April 20th is Easter and the world remembers Jesus Christ our Savior, and….

April is also the time for enjoying hot dogs, baseball and remembering the sons and daughters of the South during Confederate History and Heritage Month.

If you have not visited Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta, Georgia and seen the beautiful Confederate Memorial carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson you should plan a visit for your family. Make your plans to attend the Annual National Confederate Memorial Day observance on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 1 PM in front of the magnificent carving. Read more on face book at: https://www.facebook.com/events/467817253329352/
Tennessee Senator Edward Ward Carmack said it best in 1903; “The Confederate Soldiers were our kinfolk and our heroes. We testify to the country our enduring fidelity to their memory. We commemorate their valor and devotion. There were some things that were not surrendered at Appomattox. We did not surrender our rights and history; nor was it one of the conditions of surrender that unfriendly lips should be suffered to tell the story of that war or that unfriendly hands should write the epitaphs of the Confederate dead. We have the right to teach our children the true history of the war, the causes that led up to it and the principles involved.

The War Between the States “1861-1865” claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of brothers, husbands and sons. Though enemies on the battlefield, after the war, the men of Yankee blue and Confederate gray sponsored reunions at such places as Gettysburg. The soldiers told war stories while the United States and Confederate flags flew briskly in the warm summer breeze.

After the War Between the States, Northern and Southern women formed memorial organizations. They made sure all soldiers were given a Christian burial and a marked grave. Memorial Days were begun in many states North and South of the famous Mason-Dixon Line. Confederate graves were also cared for in the North and Union graves in the South. Great monuments were also erected that still cast a giant shadow over many town squares and soldiers’ cemeteries across the U.S.A.

April 26, has become to be recognized as Confederate Memorial Day in many states. For over one hundred years the Ladies’ Memorial Association, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans have held memorial services on or near this day. Other Southern States recognize this day, which began as Decoration Day, on May 10th and June 3rd.

Efforts to mark Confederate graves, erect monuments and hold memorial services was the idea of Mrs. Charles J. Williams. It is written that she was an educated and kind lady. Her husband served as Colonel of the 1st Georgia Regiment during the war. He died of disease in 1862, and was buried in his home town of Columbus, Georgia.

Mrs. Williams and her daughter visited his grave often and cleared the weeds, leaves and twigs from it, then placed flowers on it. Her daughter also pulled the weeds from other Confederate graves near her Father.
It saddened the little girl that their graves were unmarked. With tears of pride she said to her Mother, “These are my soldiers’ graves.” The daughter soon became ill and passed away in her childhood. Mrs. William’s grief was almost unbearable.

On a visit to the graves of her husband and daughter, Mrs. Williams looked at the unkept soldiers’ graves and remembered her daughter as she cleaned the graves and what the little girl had said. She knew what had to do.

Mrs. Williams wrote a letter that was published in Southern newspapers asking the women of the South for their help. She asked that memorial organizations be established to take care of the thousands of Confederate graves from the Potomac River to the Rio Grande. She also asked the state legislatures to set aside a day in April to remember the men who wore the gray. With her leadership April 26 was officially adopted in many states. She died in 1874, but not before her native state of Georgia adopted it as a legal holiday.

Those who served the Confederacy came from many races and religions. There was Irish born General Patrick R. Cleburne, black Southerner Amos Rucker, Jewish born Judah P. Benjamin, Mexican born Colonel Santos Benavides, American Indian General Stand Watie who was born in Rome, Georgia and Scottish born Confederate nurse Kate Cumming.

April is Confederate History and Heritage Month. Read more on face book at:https://www.facebook.com/ConfederateHeritageMonth 

Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., Speaker, Writer of short stories, Author of book “When America stood for God, Family and Country” and Chairman of the National and Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Confederate History and Heritage Month committee. http://www.facebook.com/ConfederateHeritageMonth


]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/07/times-forgotten-confederate-history-month/feed/ 0
Scaring the World about its Climate http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/02/scaring-world-climate/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/02/scaring-world-climate/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:56:07 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24067 Ever since the creation in 1988 of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it has engaged in the greatest hoax of modern times, releasing reports that predict climate-related catastrophes as if the climate has not been a completely natural and dynamic producer of events that affect our lives.
The IPCC was set up by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program. It has enlisted thousands of scientists to contribute to its scare campaign, but as Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, noted in a recent Forbes article regarding the vast difference in the assertions of the IPCC scientists and those of its puckishly named Nonintergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), “What is a non-scientist to make of these dueling reports? Indeed, what is a scientist to make of this?”
“Very few scientists are familiar with biology, geology, physics, oceanography, engineering, medicine, economics, and scores of other more specialized disciplines that were the basis of the claims…” The IPCC has depended on the ignorance of those scientists outside their particular disciplines and recruited them to be involved in the UN hoax. The rest of us look to them to provide guidance regarding issues involving the climate and, as a result, have been deliberately deceived.
The NIPCC, anticipating the latest IPCC addition to its climate scare campaign, has just issued a new addition to its “Climate Change Reconsidered” reports. The first volume was 850 pages long and the latest is more than 1,000 pages. It represents the findings of scores of scientists from around the world and thousands of peer-reviewed studies. At this point they represent some twenty nations.
I have been an advisor to The Heartland Institute for many years and have been exposing the climate change lies since the late 1980s. A science writer, I have benefited from the work of men like atmospheric physicist, S. Fred Singer, a founder of the NPCC who has overseen five reports debunking the IPCC since 2003.
The Heartland Institute has sponsored nine international conferences that have brought together many scientists and others in an effort to debunk the UN’s climate scare campaign.
I have always depended on the common sense of people to understand that humans have nothing to do with the climate except to endure and enjoy it. We don’t create it or influence it.
The global warming campaign is based on the Big Lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) traps the Sun’s heat and warms the Earth, but the fairly miniscule amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (0.038%) does not do that in a fashion that poses any threat. Indeed, it is the Sun that determines the Earth’s climate, depending where you happen to be on the Earth. Next to oxygen, CO2 is vital to all life on Earth as it is the “food” on which all vegetation depends. More CO2 is good. Less is not so good.
The IPCC has depended in part on the print and broadcast media to spread its Big Lie. It also depends on world leaders, few of whom have any background or serious knowledge of atmospheric science, to impose policies based on the Big Lie. These policies target the use of “fossil fuels”, oil, coal and natural gas, urging a reduction of their use. The world, however, utterly depends on them and, in addition to existing reserves, new reserves are found every year.
One reason the IPCC has been in a growing state of panic is a new, completely natural cooling cycle based on a reduction of solar radiation. As James M. Taylor, the managing editor of Heartland’s “Environment & Climate News”, pointed out recently, “Winter temperatures in the contiguous United States declined by more than a full degree Celsius (more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the past twenty years.” He was citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. “The data contradicts assertions that human induced global warming is causing a rise in winter temperatures.”
In addition to the recent extremely cold winter, there have been others in 2000-2001 and 2009-2010. There will be more.
The IPCC report is full of claims about global warming, now called “climate change” since the world is obviously not warming. In March, Taylor rebutted an IPCC claim that crop production is falling, noting that global corn, rice, and wheat production have more than tripled since 1970. In recent years, the U.S. has set records for alfalfa, cotton, beans, sugar beets, canola, corn, flaxseed, hops, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugarcane, sunflowers, peanuts, and wheat, to name just a few.
The Earth would benefit from more, not less, CO2 emissions, but the Obama administration has been engaged in imposing hundreds of new regulations aimed at reductions. It targets the development and expansion of our energy sector. The President has repeated the lies in his State of the Union speeches and we have a Secretary of State, John Kerry, who insists that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind and not the increase of nuclear weapons.
Every one of the Earth’s seven billion population are being subjected to the UN’s campaign of lies and every one of us needs to do whatever we can to bring about an end to the United Nations and reject the IPCC’s claims.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/02/scaring-world-climate/feed/ 0
World Vision’s Secular Myopia http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/02/world-visions-secular-myopia/ http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/02/world-visions-secular-myopia/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:39:34 +0000 http://westernfrontamerica.com/?p=24063 Maybe it was a Mexican divorce.

Last Monday World Vision President Richard Stearns walks hand–in–hand down the aisle pledging fealty to homosexual marriage until death do they part. This is big news, because World Vision is a Christian charity and the nation’s 10th largest.

Then, only 48 hours later, the happy couple is fighting over who gets to keep the china as Stearns backpedals furiously.

And through all the uproar Stearns has this slightly baffled aspect, as if he’d just spent the last two days selling flowers in Terminal A for the Moonies, and now his parents have whisked him back home where he decides joining the Jaycees isn’t that bad after all.

For those who missed the controversy, in Christianity Today World Vision announced it “will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman” — an implied endorsement of homosexual marriage.

Stearns characterized this surrender as a “very narrow policy change.” Yet AP described it as “a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive social issues facing religious groups.”

During an interview Stearns became defensive, “We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope…This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues.”

Which makes one grateful World Vision didn’t have any members of Westboro Baptist on the board.

Still you can’t help but wonder what version of the Bible Stearns and the board is consulting. “This is also not about compromising the authority of Scripture. People can say, ‘Scripture is very clear on this issue,’ and my answer is, ‘Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.”

This is sophistry. Bart Ehrman is James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the UNC and a best–selling author, yet he denies the divinity of Christ, which at the time this is written World Vision still supports. Evidently Stearns and the board pick–and–choose among theologians as they pick–and–choose among Bible verses.

Then demonstrating his utter cluelessness regarding fundamental issues of church doctrine and how the secular world views the faithful, Stearns remarked, “I don’t want to predict the reaction we will get. I think we’ve got a very persuasive series of reasons for why we’re doing this, and it’s my hope that all of our donors and partners will understand it, and will agree with our exhortation to unite around what unites us.”

I suppose this type of reasoning makes sense when your reading matter is limited to The New York Times and Sojourners.

But in the Evangelical Christian world his “persuasive series of reasons” produced a stunning backlash. In the ensuing 48 hours World Vision lost money, support and credibility. Approximately 5,000 individual sponsors and contributors canceled, costing the organization upwards of $2.1 million. 60 church partners called the office to withdraw their support. And a number of employees at headquarters resigned. Some in protest, some because of the stress of dealing with the fallout from Stearns’ colossal stupidity.

Wednesday a chastened Stearns and board chairman Jim Beré signed a contrite letter that read, “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

Later in a conference call with reporters, Stearns elaborated, “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness” and if he “could have a do-over on one thing, I would have done much more consultation with Christian leaders.”

But he just ran out of time, what will all the meetings with The New York Times editorial board, the Human Rights Campaign and the cast of The Laramie Project.

The rapid retraction is a good first step, but the fact remains World Vision’s current leadership is unfit to run the organization.

In a post–divorce interview with Religion News Service, Stearns is taken aback by the notion he bears any responsibility. “No, there have been no serious requests for my resignation. I would certainly under- stand if the board wanted to make a decision around that. Some of the board members have asked the question about their own resignation. Right now, our feeling is we were all in this together. We made certainly, in retrospect, a bad decision, but we did it with the right motivations.”

Here we agree. Stearns and the board are all in it together and they should all take the honorable path and resign.

Here’s just a brief rundown of the unnecessary havoc these morally blind people have caused:

1.    Seriously damaged a reputation in the Evangelical community it took 63 years to build.

2.    Proved themselves totally unfit to manage the reputation and public relations of a billion dollar organization by demonstrating a basic failure to understand the culture and media.

3.    Potentially endangered employees working in Africa where governments are passing laws criminalizing homosexual conduct.

4.    Cost the organization millions of dollars.

5.    Opened World Vision up to scrutiny and attack from militant homosexual organizations and a hostile Obama administration.

6.    Distracted the staff from the mission of serving the world’s poor.

Any one of these offenses is enough, but all are an indictment that only resignation, reflection and repentance will answer.

Naturally many Christian leaders are welcoming World Vision’s return to the fold and urging Christians to resume financial and prayer support.  But as for me, if I want to make a contribution to an organization run by leadership that is this slippery and disingenuous, I’ll send a check to Congress.


© Michael R. Shannon

]]>
http://westernfrontamerica.com/2014/04/02/world-visions-secular-myopia/feed/ 0