What does big government really look like? What does it mean for individuals, families, businesses and churches to give their money to the government so that the government can distribute it as they see fit?
Well, Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in America and they embody the idea of big government. Let’s see how they spend the massive amounts of money they extract from individuals, families, businesses and churches.
Earlier this month, LifeNews.com reported on a high school in Seattle, Washington that is now implanting intrauterine devices (IUD), as well as other forms of birth control and doing so without parental knowledge or permission.
The IUD is known as a long acting reversible contraception, and may even act as an abortifacient. So, a young teen in Seattle can’t get a coke at her high school, but she can have a device implanted into her uterus, which can unknowingly kill her unborn child immediately after conception. Or, if she uses another method, she can increase her chances of health risks for herself, especially if using a new method.
The high school, Chief Sealth International, a public school, began offering the devices in 2010, made possible by a Medicaid program known as Take Charge and a non-profit, Neighborcare. Students can receive the device or other method free of cost and without their parent’s insurance. And while it’s lauded that the contraception is confidential, how can it be beneficial for a parent-child relationship when the parents don’t even know the devices or medication their daughter is using?
As it turns out, Chief Sealth isn’t the only school in Seattle doing this. As CNS News reports, more schools are fitting young girls — as young as 6th grade — with the devices and doing so without their parents knowing.
Now how did this happen? Where did the public schools get the authority to have control of these children? And where did the money come from to pay for these schools?
The answer is that the money was taken from individuals, families, businesses and churches and given to the government. And how does a secular government spend this money? Do they spend it the same way that individuals, families, businesses and churches spend this money? No. They spend the money advancing their secular agenda, which, in this case, is to advance feminism and the sexual revolution. They want young girls to be available for sex, because they helps them to be less capable of life-long married love. A woman who has had a large number of break-ups, abortions, etc. at a young age is more likely to look to government, not to a husband, for support. Undermining her father’s authority in the area of sexuality is exactly what they are trying to achieve. And the father is paying to be undermined with his tax dollars.
On this episode of ID the Future, the CSC’s Casey Luskin and atheist Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation debate academic freedom and free speech on the Medved Show. This debate was inspired by the ongoing case of Professor Eric Hedin, a physicist at Ball State University who is being threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation for favorably portraying intelligent design in the classroom.
Topics: (note that I am paraphrasing Dan Barker for the sake of humor, and he will probably sue me, since that is his entire contribution to the search for truth in this debate)
Michael Medved: untenured Ball State University professor Eric Hedin is under fire for teaching both sides of intelligent design in a college course
Dan Barker: this complaint against professor Hedin came to our attention from Jerry Coyne not from students of Professor Hedin
Dan Barker: professors are not allowed to question the presuppositions atheism, materialism, naturalism in the physics classroom
Dan Barker: this is a science course and you cannot question the religion of naturalism in class or else it’s teaching religion
Dan Barker: we need to use the power of the courts to stifle any dissent from of my religion (naturalism)
Dan Barker: the classroom of a university is not the proper place for students to inquire about both sides of scientific disputes
Dan Barker: even if students are paying their money and choosing this course of their own free will, they can’t be allowed to hear both sides
Casey Luskin: this course is not a science course, it is open to non-science students
Casey Luskin: the course evaluations from students of all majors is overwhelmingly positive
Casey Luskin: the course features people on both sides
Casey Luskin: the course features brilliant scholars like Lennox and Penrose, both from Oxford University
Casey Luskin: the course features opponents of intelligent design like Francis Collins and Karl Gilberson
Casey Luskin: the course features non-Christians like Lee Spetner, Paul Davies, Roger Penrose and Gerald Schroeder
Dan Barker: (taking over the host) you cannot study scientists like Francis Collins who mapped the human genome, that is “creationism”
Michael Medved: academic freedom allows professors to put a slant on what they are teaching
Dan Barker: if the professor’s slant is against my religion of naturalism, then I have to put them in jail and inquisition them
Dan Barker: you cannot teach science like the Big Bang and fine-tuning as if it is science because it contradicts naturalism
Casey Luskin: Even radical atheist PZ Myers says that professors have the right to academic freedom
Dan Barker: I’ll burn that creationist at the stake, too! And smash his filthy microscopes and telescopes!
Michael Medved: Casey, would you use state power to fire a professor who disagreed with you because you were offended?
Casey Luskin: no, I had to take tons of courses from professors who had a slant against my views and I learned a lot from different views
Dan Barker: you will address me as the Holy Father, please! Every professor who disagrees with my religion must burn!
Casey Luskin: Barker has no idea what is going on in the class, he never attended it
Casey Luskin: The atheists students who took his class gave him high ratings and said he graded fairly
Dan Barker: I don’t have to look through the telescope to know the Earth is flat – Hedin is a traitor! Off with his head!
Dan Barker: Creationist PZ Myers is wrong, and I’ll burn him at the stake for creationist heresy against my Holy Church!
Dan Barker: Oxford professors like John Lennox are creationists because his Big Bang religion is grounded on experimental data like the cosmic background radiation, the hydrogen/helium abundances and the redshifting of light from distant galaxies
Dan Barker: I have a degree in Religion and I write hymns, which makes me smarter than John Lennox since he is a “creationist”
Dan Barker: I haven’t published any scientific research myself, but I have written some atheist praise hymns, so I am qualified to burn the heretics!
Michael Medved: The course is taught by someone with a PhD in Physics, and the syllabus says that it investigates science and religion
Michael Medved: Why is it wrong to investigate the science that questions philosophical assumptions like naturalism and materialism?
Casey Luskin: The syllabus features amazing readings from all the latest science relevant to that question from both sides
Michael Medved: What will Ball State U do to the professor?
Casey Luskin: So far no action from Ball State U, but people need to sign the petition to protect the professor
Michael Medved: Isn’t academic freedom being applied inconsistently here?
Casey Luskin: Yes and science is supposed to move forward by disagreement and debate
Casey Luskin: How confident can intelligent design censors really be if their contribution to the debate is coercion and intimidation?
Michael Luskin: Is Dan Barker right to say that Oxford professor John Lennox is a “creationist”?
Casey Luskin: Creationism starts with the Bible, but intelligent design starts with scientific data
And there is a period of questions from the callers. This episode features a debate, so it is not to be missed.
Now Dan Barker sounded pretty confident in that debate, so you might be surprised by his academic background:
Dan became a teenage evangelist at age 15. At 16 he was choir librarian for faith-healer Kathryn Kuhlman’s Los Angeles appearances. He received a degree in Religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church, California, in 1975.
[…]Dan preached for 19 years. He maintained an ongoing touring musical ministry, including eight years of full-time, cross-country evangelism. An accomplished pianist, record producer, arranger and songwriter, he worked with Christian music companies such as Manna Music and Word Music. For a few years, Dan wrote and produced the annual “Mini Musicale” for Gospel Light Publications’ Vacation Bible School curriculum.
I’m not sure if Dan Barker has the right background for disputing whether intelligent design belongs in a classroom or not. Remember, the bulk of his life was spent writing and singing feel-good, happy-clappy songs. In his debates with Christians, it’s quite clear that he is totally unequipped to assess scientific evidence from the Big Bang, the fine-tuning, the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, or habitability. It’s just not his thing, and I don’t think that musicians have what it takes to understand those arguments enough to feel comfortable using the courts to suppress people with actual PhDs in science.
On this episode of ID the Future, the Medved Show hosts the CSC’s Casey Luskin and student Zack Kopplin, a leading activist in the effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act. Luskin and Kopplin debate the implications of the Louisiana law for science education standards and whether or not the law promotes the teaching of creationism.
Medved: Should teachers be forced to teach creationism in public schools?
Luskin: The Discovery Institute has never advocated that creationism be taught in public schools
Medved: Does the Louisiana law mandate that creationism be taught in public schools
Kopplin: Yes, the bill does because Bobby Jindal said that the bill teaches creationism
Luskin: (Reads the actual text of the law) the law EXPLICITLY STATES that teaching creationism is forbidden
Luskin: Governor Jindal is misinformed about the law, but if you look at the law it says NO CREATIONISM
Kopplin: I don’t care about what the law actually says, I’ll just repeat that Bobby Jindal thinks it’s creationism
Kopplin: Thirty years ago, there was an attempt to mandate creationism, therefore this law is doing the same thing
Medved: Are there any complaints that creationism is being taught in any schools after this law has been passed
Kopplin: No, I don’t know of any, but that’s not because there are none! Maybe there are some that I haven’t heard about yet
Medved: If you are taught something that you think is stupid, then is that automatically a violation of your rights?
Kopplin: Because you cannot allow the progress of science to call the religion of naturalism into question
Luskin: About that Jindal quote – he was talking about what he wanted to pass, not the law that actually passed
Luskin: (reads the text of the law again) The law explicitly says that teaching creationism in the classroom is prohibited
Luskin: Intelligent design is not creationism. Creationism starts with the Bible. Intelligent Design starts with science
Luskin: The law only supports teaching both sides of things that are already in the curriculum
Luskin: ID is not already in the curriculum, therefore, the law does not allow it to be discussed
Medved: Take Stephen C. Meyer’s book on the origin of life, could that be used in the classroom?
Kopplin: I am not very familiar with Meyer’s book, but if it is critical of Darwinism and naturalism, then it should not be taught. I don’t need to read it before I can censor it
Luskin: Meyer’s book advocates for ID, so it should not be taught in science classrooms
Luskin: non-ID science papers that are critical of Darwinism should be allowed in science classroom so students get both sides
Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
Should government promote bearing children?
What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
What do school boards think of parents training children?
Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
How is parental authority respected in the United States?
Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
What else should parents demand on education policy?
Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?
This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.
A federal judge in New York has struck down a test used by New York City to vet potential teachers, finding the test of knowledge illegally discriminated against racial minorities due to their lower scores.
[…][T]he city’s second Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST-2) …[is]… simply a test to make sure that teachers had a basic high school-level understanding of both the liberal arts and the sciences.
One sample question from the test asked prospective educators to identify the mathematical principle of a linear relationship when given four examples; another asked them to read four passages from the Constitution and identify which illustrated checks and balances. Besides factual knowledge, the test also checks basic academic skills, such as reading comprehension and the ability to read basic charts and graphs.
Nevertheless, this apparently neutral subject matter contained an insidious kernel of racism, because Hispanic and black applicants had a passage rate only 54 to 75 percent of the passage rate for whites.
Once their higher failure rate was established, the burden shifted to New York to prove that LAST-2 measured skills that were essential for teachers and therefore was justified in having a racially unequal outcome. While it might seem obvious that possessing basic subject knowledge is a key skill for a teacher, District Judge Kimba Wood said the state hadn’t met that burden.
“Instead of beginning with ascertaining the job tasks of New York teachers, the two LAST examinations began with the premise that all New York teachers should be required to demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts,” Wood wrote in her opinion, according to The New York Times.
LAST-2 hasn’t been used in New York since 2012, but the ruling will still have repercussions. Minorities who failed the exam (who number in the thousands) may be owed years of back pay totaling millions of dollars, and those who were relegated to substitute teaching jobs could be promoted to having their own classrooms. In addition, while Wood’s ruling only applies to New York City, the test was used statewide, and it could serve as a precedent for further lawsuits.
The ruling could also pave the way for another ruling finding New York’s current teacher test, the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), to be discriminatory as well. That test is even harder than LAST-2, with a strong focus on literacy skills such as writing and reading comprehension, and like LAST-2 it has a very large gap in scores between whites and minorities. A lawsuit, once again being heard by Wood, is already pending, with the plaintiffs arguing that there is no clear evidence strong literacy skills are essential for a teacher.
See this is why you shouldn’t send your children to public schools without checking them out first. Places like New York and Chicago are especially notorious for hiring poorly-performing teachers – and for refusing to fire them, no matter what they do. What does the government care whether the kids learn or not? Unionized teachers do not get paid based on their ability to get students to perform. They get paid based on the contracts that are negotiated between their union and the government. If it’s a Democrat government, then a fair amount of the union dues are going to be funneled into Democrat coffers, anyway. So why would the Democrats take on the teacher unions that get them elected? They would not. And that’s one major reason why so many kids in these public schools cannot read, write, or do math. It’s by design. The goals of the public education system are 1) to make sure teachers get paid regardless of performance, and 2) to get Democrats elected. Parents and children are no part of the equation.
It seems to me that the real racism is when judges privilege the interests of grown-ups over the interests of poor, minority students. We should be focused on making sure that students have the best teachers, not protecting the jobs of the worst teachers for political gain.