Tag Archives: Groupthink

How schools of social work stifle conservative views in the name of diversity

Here’s a great story from The Weekly Standard. It’s hard for me to slice it up so I can make the point of the article, but I’ll try, and if you like it, you go read the whole thing.

The author Devorah Goldman says this:

“I can’t have you participate in class anymore.”

I was on my way out of class when my social welfare and policy professor casually called me over to tell me this. The friendliness of her tone did not match her words, and I attempted a shocked, confused apology. It was my first semester at the Hunter College School of Social Work, and I was as yet unfamiliar with the consistent, underlying threat that characterized much of the school’s policy and atmosphere. This professor was simply more open and direct than most.

I asked if I had said or done anything inappropriate or disrespectful, and she was quick to assure me that it was not my behavior that was the problem. No: It was my opinions. Or, as she put it, “I have to give over this information as is.”

I spent the rest of that semester mostly quiet, frustrated, and missing my undergraduate days, when my professors encouraged intellectual diversity and give-and-take. I attempted to take my case to a higher-up at school, an extremely nice, fair professor who insisted that it was in my own best interest not to rock the boat. I was doing well in his class, and I believed him when he told me he wanted me to continue doing well. He explained to me that people who were viewed as too conservative had had problems graduating in the past, and he didn’t want that to happen to me. I thought he was joking .  .  . until I realized he wasn’t.

[…]Two hundred thirty-five master’s programs in the United States are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which requires schools to “advocate for human rights and social and economic justice” and to “engage in practices that advance social and economic justice” as part of their curricula. As Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), points out, the CSWE standards act as “an invitation for schools to discriminate against students with dissenting views.”

Lukianoff discovered the abusive culture fostered by CSWE after several students complained about their treatment in social work programs. Emily Brooker, a Christian student at Missouri State University’s School of Social Work in 2006, was asked by her professor to sign a letter to the Missouri legislature in favor of homosexual adoption. When she explained that doing so would violate her religious beliefs and requested a different assignment, she was subjected to a two-and-a-half-hour interrogation by an ethics committee and charged with a “Level Three Grievance” (the most severe kind). Brooker was not permitted to have an advocate or a tape recorder with her at the ethics meeting, during which she was told to sign a contract promising that she would “close the gap” between her religious beliefs and the values of the social work profession. At the risk of having her degree withheld, Brooker acquiesced.

Bill Felkner, a student at Rhode Island College’s School of Social Work, was instructed to lobby the Rhode Island legislature for several policies he did not support. In addition, RIC’s policy internship requirements for graduate students included forcing students to advance policies that would further “progressive social change.” When Felkner accepted an internship in the policy department of Republican Rhode Island governor Don Carcieri’s office, he received a letter from Lenore Olsen, chair of the Social Work Department, informing him that he had violated their requirements and could no longer pursue a master’s degree in social work policy.

[…]And so I sat, zombie-like, through the strange and sad reality that is groupthink for two long years. In a publicly funded school in America’s greatest city, I was censored, threatened, and despised by my teachers. I left school after graduation feeling that something had been stolen from me. I wanted to go back and argue with my teachers some more, ask them, for example, whether a description of Reagan’s economic policies as “nightmarish” in a textbook could be considered unbiased in any context. I wished I had stood up more often for my white male friends in class, asked people if they really believed that Band-Aids that were not exactly fair and not exactly dark in color were racist. Realizing that I had been awarded a diploma in part because I kept my opinions to myself was deeply unsatisfying.

Conservative students need to be aware that they are likely to face discrimination in social work programs on campus, and probably in many other programs as well. They will either have to silence themselves or change their views to be in compliance with secular leftist ideology. What’s even scarier, though, is when students who are raised in traditional evangelical homes go off to college and swallow secular leftist values uncritically. It always shocks me a little when I meet students who were raised in a married home with two evangelical parents and they tell me that they vote for Democrats. I just had a conversation this week with a young woman who claimed to be pro-life and pro-marriage who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. She is studying journalism, and I would bet that there are no conservative professors in her program. She told me that she voted for Obama because of environmentalism and Obamacare. She also expressed preference for big government over small government.

It’s definitely something to be aware of – the lack of critical thinking and respectful dialog in some of these programs. I’m going to be giving her a list of conservative news sites to read, like The Stream, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Signal, and so on. I wonder if she has ever read a conservative economist or journalist before… I’ll find out.

If you insist on going to programs that are more ideology than marketable skills, then expect to have to keep your mouth shut all the way through in order to graduate. And then after you graduate, whenever you get the chance, vote for smaller government, lower taxes, and more academic freedom laws that protect a diversity of views in the classroom. I also recommend donating to legal groups who defend basic liberties, such as Alliance Defending Freedom.

Pro-religious liberty protesters arrested for praying outside White House

From Life Site News. (H/T Mommy Life via Mary)

Excerpt:

Six pro-life activists, including one Catholic priest, were arrested this morning in front of the White House while holding a peaceful prayer vigil in protest against the Obama administration’s birth control mandate. They were released shortly thereafter, after paying a $100 fine.

Fr. Denis Wilde, the Associate Director of Priests for Life, told LifeSiteNews that by their arrests the protesters hoped to send a “wake-up call” to President Obama that opposition to his mandate is not going away.

The six were arrested on a charge of “disobeying a lawful order.” The priest explained that while it is legal to hold protests in front of the White House, protesters are not allowed to remain stationary, including if they kneel down and pray.

“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested,” Father Wilde said. “We knew that was the risk when we gathered today, and we will do it again regardless of the risk. What people of faith – of every faith – need to do now is stand with us.”

My previous story on Obama’s war on religion is here: The Becket Fund assesses Obama’s “compromise” on the contraception mandate.

Related posts

The Becket Fund assesses Obama’s “compromise” on the contraception mandate

Eric Metaxas shared this on Facebook, so here it is.

Full text:

Facing a political firestorm, President Obama today announced his intent to make changes to a controversial rule that would require religious institutions, in violation of their conscience, to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs. But this “compromise” is an exercise in obfuscation, not a good faith effort to solve the problem. Thousands of churches, religious organizations, businesses, individuals, and others will still be forced to violate their religious beliefs.

For example, the fake compromise will not help the Becket Fund’s clients Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, Colorado Christian University, and Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic media organization. They will still be forced to pay for insurance that provides contraceptive coverage. The White House’s claim that “the insurance companies will pay for it” is silly. For-profit insurance companies aren’t going to donate contraceptives and abortion drugs to employees; the employer will pay for it one way or the other. More fundamentally, the Becket Fund’s clients still face the same chilling dilemma they did yesterday: choosing between helping their employees buy immoral abortion drugs or paying huge fines.

“This is a false ‘compromise’ designed to protect the President’s re-election chances, not to protect the right of conscience,” says Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund. “No one should be fooled by what amounts to an accounting gimmick. Religious employers will still have to violate their religious convictions or pay heavy annual fines to the IRS.”

According to a White House “fact sheet,” some religious employers will no longer be required to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs; coverage for those services will instead be provided for free directly by insurance companies. This does not protect anyone’s conscience. First, the problem is helping employees get abortion drugs, not the cost of providing those drugs. Since providing insurance benefits would still help employees get insurance, religious employers still have to choose between providing health benefits that help employees get abortion drugs, and paying annual fines. Second, thousands of religious organizations self insure, meaning that they will be forced to pay directly for these services in violation of their religious beliefs. Third, it is unclear which religious organizations are permitted to claim the new exemption, and whether it will extend to for-profit organizations, individuals, or non-denominational organizations.

“It is especially telling that the details of this fake ‘compromise’ will likely not be announced until after the election,” said Smith. “Religious freedom is not a political football to be kicked around in an election-year. Rather than providing full protection for the right of conscience, President Obama has made a cynical political play that is the antithesis of ‘hope and change.’”

My previous post in which I chastised the Roman Catholic bishops for supporting Obamacare is here.

Obama revises contraception mandate but Catholic groups still pay for abortion drugs

Life News explains.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration has revised its controversial mandate that had forced religious employers to pay for health insurance coverage that includes birth control and drugs like Plan B, the morning after pill, and ella that can cause abortions.

Responding to a firestorm of opposition from pro-life organizations, Catholics groups and even some Democrats, the Obama administration has revised the mandate in a way that pro-life advocates are saying is even worse.

The revised Obama mandate will make religious groups contract with insurers to offer birth control and the potentially abortion-causing drugs to women at no cost. The revised mandate will have religious employers refer women to their insurance company for coverage that still violates their moral and religious beliefs. Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide coverage at no cost.

Essentially, religious groups will still be mandated to offer plans that cover both birth control and the ella abortion drug.

According to Obama administration officials on a conference call this morning, a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge. The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

The birth control and abortion-causing drugs will simply be “part of the bundle of services that all insurance companies are required to offer,” White House officials said.

“We are actually more comfortable having the insurance industry offer and market this to women than religious institutions,” the White House said on the conference call LifeNews listened to because they “understand how contraception works” and it “makes sense financially.”

[…]Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan told LifeNews in response to the revised mandate that it violates the right to religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

“This ObamaCare rule still tramples on Americans’ First Amendment right to freedom of religion. It’s a fig leaf, not a compromise. Whether they are affiliated with a church or not, employers will still be forced to pay an insurance company for coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs,” he said. “This is not just a problem for church-affiliated hospitals and charities. Under these rules, a small business owner with religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs and contraception must either violate his religious beliefs or violate the law.”

“The liberal Obama administration thinks its political goals trump the religious faith of American citizens. That isn’t right, fair, or constitutional,” he said.

The abortions will still be paid for by the religious groups. They are going to pay for the drugs through medical insurance premiums. So religious organizations are still being forced to provide abortions for their workers.

Who is to blame for this? I blame Catholic bishops. Catholic bishops do believe in socialism. They do want a secular government to take money from religious people. And they do want government to hand out medical care to people, instead of letting individuals, businesses and charities provide health care.

Rick Santorum agrees with me on this.

Consider this interview with Rick Santorum in which he reacts Obama’s health care mandate.

Excerpt:

HH: Now I want to talk to you about two substantive issues, Senator Santorum. The first are these new regulations from the Obama administration. I read the letter from Archbishop Olmstead of Phoenix on the air. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has written a new article in First Things. It’s shocking, actually, what’s going on. Should this be a centerpiece of whoever the nominee’s campaign is?

RS: I talked about it in every speech I’ve given today. And here’s what I said, though, Hugh. I said that I took issue with the Catholic Bishops Conference, because Hugh, you may remember, they embraced Obamacare.

HH: Yes.

RS: They embraced it and said…here’s what I said to them. Be careful when you have government saying that they can give you rights, that you have a right to health care, and government’s going to give you something, because once you are now dependant on government, they, not only can they take that right away, they can tell you how to exercise that right, and you can either like it or not. And that’s the problem. That’s what the Catholic Bishops Conference didn’t get, that there’s no free lunch here, folks. If you’re going to give people secular power, then they’re going to use it in a secular fashion. And that’s why, you know, I hate to say it, but you know, you had it coming. And it’s time to wake up and realize that government isn’t the answer to the social ills. It’s people of faith, and it’s families, and it’s communities, and it’s charities that need to do this as it has in America so successfully for so long.

HH: Rick Santorum, what do you advise Catholic hospitals, Catholic colleges, Catholic…the centers of poverty assistance, the adoption agencies? What do you advise them to do in the face of, as Archbishop Olmstead said, we cannot comply with this unjust law?

RS: Civil disobedience. This will not stand. There’s no way they can make this stand. The Supreme Court, eventually, this thing’s going to get to the Supreme Court just like the ministerial hiring issue that was just decided by the Supreme Court the other day. And it was a 9-0 decision that said the Obama administration can’t roll over people of faith when it comes to hiring. Yet in the face of that decision, this radical, secular government of Barack Obama continues to have faith be the least important of the 1st Amendment. And I just think they fight. They fight in the courts, and they fight by civil disobedience, and go to war with the federal government over this one.

Evangelical protestants feel comfortable with Catholics like Rick Santorum. He gets it. If the bishops are wrong on socialized medicine and wrong on the death penalty and wrong on other things, then so much the worse for the bishops.

Obama did very well with Catholics in 2008 even though Obama is the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States. Catholics tend to be more liberal on economic issues than evangelicals, which is why many of them voted for Obama. Evangelicals oppose economic liberalism, because they oppose government taking tax money from workers in order to provide services for other people aren’t trying to be self-sufficient. Evangelicals oppose increasing the dependence of individuals on a secular government. Evangelicals don’t want a secular government to take money from individuals and then use it to push secular leftist ideas like global warming, Darwinism and sex education in government run institutions, e.g. – public schools, public broadcasting, etc. Evangelicals trust individuals to care for the poor, and they don’t want to make it too easy for people to make reckless decisions and then get a check in the mail or a free abortion.

What causes this difference between Catholics and evangelicals? Evangelicals believe in salvation through grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Christ ALONE. Evangelicals put the emphasis on what you believe – it has to be true in order to please God. Catholics, just like Mormons, Jews and other religions, emphasize good works as a requirement for salvation. Many Catholics also support inclusivism, which is the view that you can be saved in other religions like Judaism and Islam. This means that for these Catholics, specific Christian doctrines are not essential for salvation, so long as you have sincerity and good works. On the other hand, evangelicals are exclusivists who emphasize the need for each person to arrive at true beliefs about God in order to be saved, and good works are just natural outworkings of their beliefs.

Evangelicals emphasize the responsibility of the individual to discover truth with their Bibles, reasoning, science and history. This belief in individual responsibility carries over into their approach to charity. Evangelicals believe individuals are responsible for deciding what to do about charity – you earn your own money and then you choose yourself how to share with others. But the responsibility to give away money wisely is an individual responsibility – you share your money in a way that is consistent with your beliefs. Evangelicals don’t generally accept the idea of handing money off to someone else and letting them decide what to do with it. We think that everything is our responsibility, starting with Bible study and theology, and going on through to economics and politics.

And this emphasis on individuals over big government has this effect:

(Source)

Note that this chart puts evangelicals together with born-again Christians. But evangelical Christians differ from born-again Christians, because they are firm on exclusive salvation and evangelism. Evangelicals like to study so that they can discuss their beliefs in public, using reasons and evidence to persuade others. A born-again Christian does not have that same emphasis on study and persuasion, because they don’t focus on evangelism. So, if you separate out the born-agains from that 26%, number for Obama support, then you are likely to get a much lower number for evangelicals who support Obama. We don’t like health care mandates covering abortion. Evangelicals are used to having to puzzle things out for themselves – so they puzzled out what Obama believed and then they voted against him.

Is global warming the secular leftist equivalent of flat-earthism?

Either you say that this is global warming, or you get no research money and no Ph.D.
Either you say that this is global warming, or you get no research money and no Ph.D.

Here’s the latest on the 20 inches of global warming being dumped on the global warming alarmists on the secular leftist East coast.

Excerpt:

The U.S. East Coast faces a second day of travel disruption after snowstorms blanketed cities from New York to Boston, closing airports and halting trains with waist-high drifts and blinding winds.

New York City’s Central Park had 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow by 8 a.m., the most for the month since 1948, as the storm’s center shifted north and east, the National Weather Service said. Snowfall in the city eased by daybreak while the agency issued blizzard warnings for Boston and into Maine.

More than 5,000 flights were canceled in the region since yesterday as airports closed. John F. Kennedy International will reopen at 6 p.m., while resumption times for LaGuardia Airport in New York and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty are undetermined, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

“It is horrendous in the New York City area,” Tom Kines, a meteorologist at State College, Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather Inc., said by telephone. “This is about as bad as it gets. There may have been storms that equaled this, but it doesn’t get much worse than this. To get this much snow with the amount of wind that is accompanying it, that is devastating.”

And it’s happening in Moscow, too.

This isn’t a one-off thing, the same thing happened last year.

What is annoying to me is that people are making entire academic careers based on studying Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny using expensive scientific equipment paid for by taxpayers (who don’t share their beliefs in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny).

I understand that global warming advocates are concerned about implementing communism and and coerced abortions, but why don’t they just come out and advocate for communism and coerced abortions, and stop inventing fairy tales to deceive the public at taxpayer expense. You can have your delusions and your deluded research programs where you hide the decline, but please pay for it with your own money, and keep your hands off of my children’s worldviews.

The problem with the left in academia is that there is no room for critical thinking. If you oppose the idea that people in academia and government should be able to extract wealth from the productive proivate sector to fund their research into self-serving delusions, then you get bad grades, no research money, and no Ph.D. That’s called “critical thinking” by the way. By which they mean coerced uncritical credulity.