Duquesne university student government wants to ban Chick-Fil-A from campus

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

This story from Campus Reform is worth considering, especially for people who think that it is safe to support traditional marriage in public.

Excerpt:

Student senators at Duquesne University are lobbying for the cancellation of plans to bring Chick-fil-A to campus in the fall, saying they “fear” for the safety of their peers.

The popular fast-food chain came under fire in 2012 after its president, Dan Cathy, admitted his company was “guilty as charged” for donating to organizations opposed to same-sex marriage, prompting years of protests by LGBT activists, especially on college campuses.

Now, however, Duquesne University Student Senator Niko Martini has reignited concerns over the company’s past by proposing a resolution at the Student Government Association’s (SGA) March 26 meeting to nix the restaurant from a list of proposed overhauls to the school’s dining options.

“Chick-fil-A has a questionable history on civil rights and human rights,” Martini remarked in a statement to The Duquesne Duke. “I think it’s imperative [that] the university chooses to do business with organizations that coincide with the [university’s] mission and expectations they give students regarding diversity and inclusion.”

He hates the chicken, because the chicken is pro-natural-marriage, and he can’t deal with that. He has to silence anyone who disagrees with him on the definition of marriage.

This reminds me of the time that the gay activist Floyd Lee Corkins entered the Family Research Council building in Washington D.C. with several Chick-Fil-A sandwiches – and a handgun.

The radically leftist Washington Post wrote about what happened:

The man convicted of shooting an unarmed security guard at the Family Research Council last summer was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison.

Floyd Lee Corkins II had plotted to kill “as many people as possible” at conservative organizations that he viewed as anti-gay before he was stopped by the guard, Leonardo Johnson.

U.S. District Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts called Corkins’s crime “horrific” and praised Johnson, who was shot in the forearm while subduing Corkins and taking his gun.

“The carnage you wanted did not happen only because an ordinary man showing extraordinary courage stopped you,” Roberts told Corkins before announcing his prison term. “Killing human beings is not political activism. It is criminal behavior.”

[…]In February, Corkins pleaded guilty to three felony charges: a federal charge of transporting a firearm and ammunition across state lines, and D.C. charges of assault with intent to kill and committing an act of terrorism while armed.

Corkins, who volunteered at a gay community center in the District, told investigators that he was angry with organizations he considered anti-gay, such as the Family Research Council and the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A. The head of the restaurant chain had spoken out at the time against same-sex marriage.

In a multimedia presentation in the courtroom, federal prosecutors described Corkins’s planning of the shooting as “deliberate and clear-headed.”

The day before, Corkins had purchased 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he carried in his backpack along with the 9mm SIG Sauer pistol. He planned to “smear” the sandwiches in the faces of his victims to make a political statement, according to court documents.

Is Corkins any different from these other anti-marriage campus radicals? He opened fire, I guess, and was convicted of domestic terrorism. The campus radicals haven’t shot anyone who disagrees with them so far. But the same hate is there in both.

What scared me the most during 8 years of the Obama administration

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Progressives (especially liberal white women with non-STEM degrees) often ask me how I can be a conservative since I don’t fit their preconceived notion of a white male Republican. I could talk about how conservative policies are better for my life plans, but usually I just start with a story of something that the Obama administration did that scared me personally – namely, using the IRS to attack conservative groups right before the 2012 elections, so that Obama would win re-election.

Nothing was ever done to the IRS leaders who persecuted this conservative groups under the Obama administration, of course.

However, there might be a happy ending to this story under a Republican administration, as the Daily Signal reports:

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and tax policy subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday, noting the Obama administration refused to review the information the committee gathered in its extensive investigation into the matter.

According to the congressmen, there is clear evidence Lerner willfully partook in criminal activity during her tenure as the Exempt Organizations division director, yet former President Barak Obama insisted there was “not a smidgeon of corruption” at the agency.

“On April 9, 2014, the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to send a letter to the Department of Justice referring former IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois G. Lerner for criminal prosecution,” Brady and Roskam wrote. “As indicated in the attached letter, the Committee’s nearly three-year investigation uncovered evidence of willful misconduct on the part of Ms. Lerner. Despite this fact, and for what many believe were purely partisan reasons, the prior administration refused to review Ms. Lerner’s misconduct.”

The lawmakers cited evidence showing Lerner provided misleading information to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s questions and the use of her personal email, which put taxpayers’ confidential information at risk of exposure, as reasons for reopening the investigation.

The DOJ announced in October 2015 it would not pursue criminal charges against Lerner at the close of its two-year probe. The investigation faced challenges due to Lerner’s crashed hard drive, the absence of email archives, and the destruction of over 400 electronic backup tapes, and it was unable to prove the IRS official “intentionally discriminated against an applicant based upon viewpoint” and cited line-employees’ “ignorance, inertia” and “negligence” for delays in tea party applications for r 501(c )(3) status.

“It is clear that when the DOJ announced in October 2015 that it would not bring charges against Lois Lerner, the agency was following President Obama’s signal on how he wanted the investigation to be handled,” they continued. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics.”

For now, thought conservative lawmakers are at least trying to get some mony taken out of the IRS budget.

Jim Jordan, my favorite Congressman, explains in USA Today:

Part of my time in Washington has involved investigating the IRS targeting of conservative groups. For a sustained period, the IRS systematically targeted Americans based on their political beliefs.

Congressional efforts to investigate the matter were thwarted. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was brought in to clean up the mess, but under his watch, 422 back-up tapes containing potentially 24,000 emails relevant to the scandal were destroyed. Such actions leave the American people with little trust in the IRS.

Not only did the IRS violate the First Amendment with its targeting, the agency may have violated the Fourth with the use of “Stingray” surveillance technology. Last year, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing about the technology, which tricks cellphones into pinging off a Stingray device to reveal the phone’s location. Such technology might have a place at the FBI, but why does a tax collecting agency need a device that can track citizens’ whereabouts?

These issues, along with other egregious examples of wasteful spending (one IRS employee spent $43,726 at a Ritz Carlton near Washington, D.C.) warrant the Congress to use its power of the purse to demand accountability.

Likewise, it’s up to leaders at the IRS to prioritize their budget on the agency’s core mission: collecting tax revenue and serving its customers, the American taxpayers. Instead of using taxpayer dollars to violate constitutional rights, the agency should refocus on its priorities. Applying budget cuts in a way that hurts its core mission is just another in a long line of poor decisions by IRS leadership.

Given the history of waste, disregard for civil liberties and lack of internal controls at the IRS, it is no surprise that the Trump administration would like to cut the budget. Doing so sends a signal that this Congress and administration will not reward unlawful behavior.

It seems pretty to me at least that the previous administration repeatedly used government power to target and attack those who disagreed with their communist – pacificist policies. I’d like to see Jeff Sessions punish the progressives from the last administration so that they learn the hard way to obey the law, even if they have no sense of morality. If we had electe Ted Cruz, then he would have just abolished the IRS outright, and that would be a wonderful thing.

UT Arlington student commits suicide after being disciplined for rejecting gay man

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

This is from David Fench in National Review.

On June 2, 2016, Klocke committed suicide — mere days after learning that he’d been disciplined for allegedly “harassing” a gay student. Last week, his family filed a lawsuit, laying out claims that — if proven true — should send chills down the spines of parents of male children.

[…]He claimed that the gay student called him “beautiful.” Klocke then typed into his web browser, “Stop, I’m straight.” The gay student replied, “I’m gay” and then allegedly kept glancing at Klocke, who eventually got up and moved seats.

[…]After the class, the gay student allegedly approached a senior administrator he knew, the university’s vice president of student affairs and dean of students. Rather than launching the school’s Title IX process for resolving complaints of sexual harassment or gender discrimination, the dean assisted the student in preparing a claim that circumvented normal procedures entirely.

The dean then allegedly assigned the case to the school’s associate director of academic integrity, who promptly issued an order prohibiting Klocke not only from contacting his accuser, he also prohibited him from attending the class where the incident occurred, and — crucially — from contacting any member of the class, directly or through any other person. Later, he reportedly barred Klocke’s father, an attorney, from attending a meeting regarding the case, and then “decided” the dispute without following university-prescribed procedures, without giving Klocke the opportunity to contact or call witnesses, and indeed without hearing from any witness who could corroborate either student’s claims. The school, for its part, denies that it departed from mandatory processes and asserts that it “followed its policies and procedures.”

The associate director of academic integrity found Klocke responsible for “harassment,” placed him on probation for the remainder of his academic career at the university, and prohibited him from returning to the class where the incident occurred, though he could work on “group projects outside the classroom.”

It is important to note that there are two competing accounts of what happened, and those are laid out fully in David French’s article.

The College Fix has more on the lack of evidence from the gay student, and the actions of the university:

Here’s a list of UTA violations of Klocke’s rights under its own rules, according to the suit:

Not letting him go back to his class or contact anyone in class to find potential witnesses

Never telling him he was under Title IX investigation

Never telling him a student affairs official, who was advising the accuser, was running the investigation

Charging him with “physical abuse” (a claim never made by the accuser) and a “non-specific” harassment violation, without giving him the required hearing and opportunity to present witnesses

Withholding a list of witnesses and describing the accuser’s report as a neutral “statement of evidence”

Refusing to tell Klocke that his father, an attorney, could accompany him in a meeting with Moore if they “waived confidentiality”

Even when both Snow and Moore privately agreed they couldn’t keep Klocke out of his class based on the evidence, Moore told Snow he had “worked it out” to keep Klocke out, the suit claims.

The next day he received a letter stating he had been found responsible for harassment, putting him on disciplinary probation through graduation.

Schow concludes:

Klocke had no prior history of mental health problems, and by all accounts was happy and looking forward to the future after graduation.

Personally, I believe the account of the student who committed suicide, that seems more in line with what universities are doing to straight white male students these days. Progressives are constantly faking hate crimes against themselves in order to punish those who refuse to approve or participate in what they are doing. They can’t live and let live, they have to crush and overpower all dissent. It really makes me wonder why you hear so little about the corrupting effects of sin in churches today. People who sin can become dangerous to people around them, because they seek to stifle out any dissent or disapproval to what they are doing, by any means necessary. Sin can cause intolerance, in short.

Best Easter sermon ever: Andy Stanley on 1 Corinthians 15:3-7

Bible study that hits the spot
Bible study that hits the spot

On Sunday night, I decided to blog all 5 posts for this week. Then a friend of mine who attends Andy Stanley’s church sent me a link to Andy Stanley’s Easter sermon. I listened to the sermon, and the sermon was so good – so good! – that I had to bump all the other posts forward one day.

The sermon was about 1 Corinthias 15:3-7, which is an early eyewitness creed received by Paul, which he recorded in his letter to the Corinthians some time around 53 A.D. – 2 decades after the death of Jesus. Within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses.

So, definitely listen to that sermon, and I’ll say a little about the creed below:

First, the creed – which is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8:

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

The creed is verses 3-7.

Almost all historians accept this creed as dating back to within 5 years of the death of Jesus. But why?

Here’s a great article from Eric Chabot, director of Ratio Christi Apologetics Alliance, The Ohio State University to explain why.

Excerpt:

The late Orthodox Jewish scholar Pinchas Lapide was so impressed by the creed of 1 Cor. 15, that he concluded that this “formula of faith may be considered as a statement of eyewitnesses.” (5)

Paul’s usage of the rabbinic terminology “passed on” and “received” is seen in the creed of 1 Cor. 15:3-8:

[…]As Richard Bauckham notes, “the important point for our purposes is that Josephus uses the language of “passing on” tradition for the transmission from one teacher to another and also for the transmission from the Pharisees to the people.”(7)

Bauckham notes in his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony that the Greek word for “eyewitness” (autoptai), does not have forensic meaning, and in that sense the English word “eyewitnesses” with its suggestion of a metaphor from the law courts, is a little misleading. The autoptai are simply firsthand observers of those events. Bauckham has followed the work of Samuel Byrskog in arguing that while the Gospels though in some ways are a very distinctive form of historiography, they share broadly in the attitude to eyewitness testimony that was common among historians in the Greco-Roman period. These historians valued above all reports of firsthand experience of the events they recounted.

[…]While the word “received” (a rabbinical term) can also be used in the New Testament of receiving a message or body of instruction or doctrine (1 Cor.11:23; 15:1, 3; Gal. 1:9, 12 [2x], Col 2:6; 1 Thess 2:13; 4:1; 2 Thess 3:6), it also means means “to receive from another.” This entails that Paul received this information from someone else at an even earlier date. 1 Corinthians is dated 50-55 A.D. Since Jesus was crucified in 30-33 A.D. the letter is only 20-25 years after the death of Jesus. But the actual creed here in 1 Cor. 15 was received by Paul much earlier than 55 A.D.

[…]Even the co-founder Jesus Seminar member John Dominic Crossan, writes:

“Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Ephesus in the early 50s C.E. But he says in 1 Corinthians 15:3 that “I handed on to you as of first importance which I in turn received.” The most likely source and time for his reception of that tradition would have been Jerusalem in the early 30s when, according to Galatians 1:18, he “went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas [Peter] and stayed with him fifteen days” (11).

This comment by Crossan makes sense because within the creed Paul calls Peter by his Aramic name, Cephas. Hence, if this tradition originated in the Aramaic language, the two locations that people spoke Aramaic were Galilee and Judea. (12) The Greek term “historeo” is translated as “to visit” or “to interview.” (13) Hence, Paul’s purpose of the trip was probably designed to affirm the resurrection story with Peter who had been an actual eyewitness to the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15:5).

Crossan, you may recall, is an atheist historian, and an expert in the historical Jesus. His own views of the historical Jesus are radical, so if he gives you the Corinthians creed, you know that the evidence for it has got to be golden.

Check out this post if you want to learn more about the creed.

Andy Stanley vs the Pious Fideist Pastors

Pastor Andy Stanley, you’ll remember, is the one  who gave that series of sermons incorporating evidential apologetics that drove the fideist pastors crazy. The central problem with Andy Stanley, according to the fideist pastors, is that he keeps saying that facts make Christianity true, and not merely the words of the Bible. Christianity, he says, is correct because the facts of reality make it correct. When we ask a person to become a Christian, it’s not that we expect them to have a “burning of the bosom” (feelings) when they read the Bible. That’s the Mormon view of faith (and the view of faith of pious fideist pastors). On the contrary, when we ask a person to become a Christian, we are asking them to accept facts. We are asking them to accept the reality that has God in it, not to take a leap of faith in a book.

Some of these facts about God and Jesus are reported from science, and some of which are reported from history, and some of which are reported in the Bible (understood as a reliable  historical record). It’s not the words of the Bible that makes Christianity true, it’s the reality that God made (some of which is described in the Bible) which makes Christianity true. Facts make Christianity true: facts like the fact of the universe being created, and the fact of the universe being finely tuned for life, and the fact of the resurrection, and the fact that the reports of the resurrection story emerged within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. The Bible does record many of the relevant facts, and even predicts some of the scientific ones. When a person sees that the central teachings of Christianity are true from science, history and the resurrection, they then turn to the Bible, the inerrant Word of God, in order to find about God’s character, so that they can acknowledge God as he really is in the way that they live. The Bible tells us more about the character of God than anything else outside the Bible. It is God speaking directly to us about things that often cannot be revealed through the other sources of facts.

Jesus asked people to believe in the fact of his resurrection, not the feelings they had when reading the Bible. It’s an evidential faith.

N.T. Wright lectures on the seven mutations caused by resurrection of Jesus

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: let's take a look at the facts
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: let’s take a look at the facts

Here’s a lecture from N.T. Wright, whose multi-volume case for the historicity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus seems to be getting a lot of respect from the other side, (although I strongly disagree with his economic and political views, which are naive at best). Wright has taught at Cambridge University, Oxford University, Duke University, McGill University, and lectured on dozens of prestigious campuses around the world. He’s published 40 books.

Here’s a video of his case for the resurrection:

You can read a written version of the lecture here.

N.T. Wright’s historical case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus

Wright basically argues that the resurrection cannot have been a myth invented by the early Christian community, because the idea of the Messiah dying and being bodily resurrected to eternal life was completely unexpected in Jewish theology, and therefore would not have been fabricated.

In Judaism, when people die, they stay dead. At the most, they might re-appear as apparitions, or be resuscitated to life for a while, but then die again later. There was no concept of the bodily resurrection to eternal life of a single person, especially of the Messiah, prior to the general resurrection of all the righteous dead on judgment day.

Wright’s case for the resurrection has 3 parts:

  • The Jewish theological beliefs of the early Christian community underwent 7 mutations that are inexplicable apart from the bodily resurrection of Jesus
  • The empty tomb
  • The post-mortem appearances of Jesus to individuals and groups, friends and foes

Here’s the outline of Wright’s case:

…the foundation of my argument for what happened at Easter is the reflection that this Jewish hope has undergone remarkable modifications or mutations within early Christianity, which can be plotted consistently right across the first two centuries. And these mutations are so striking, in an area of human experience where societies tend to be very conservative, that they force the historian… to ask, Why did they occur?

The mutations occur within a strictly Jewish context. The early Christians held firmly, like most of their Jewish contemporaries, to a two-step belief about the future: first, death and whatever lies immediately beyond; second, a new bodily existence in a newly remade world. ‘Resurrection’ is not a fancy word for ‘life after death’; it denotes life after ‘life after death’.

And here are the 7 mutations:

  1. Christian theology of the afterlife mutates from multiples views (Judaism) to a single view: resurrection (Christianity). When you die, your soul goes off to wait in Sheol. On judgment day, the righteous dead get new resurrection bodies, identical to Jesus’ resurrection body.
  2. The relative importance of the doctrine of resurrection changes from being peripheral (Judaism) to central (Christianity).
  3. The idea of what the resurrection would be like goes from multiple views (Judaism) to a single view: an incorruptible, spiritually-oriented body composed of the material of the previous corruptible body (Christianity).
  4. The timing of the resurrection changes from judgment day (Judaism) to a split between the resurrection of the Messiah right now and the resurrection of the rest of the righteous on judgment day (Christianity).
  5. There is a new view of eschatology as collaboration with God to transform the world.
  6. There is a new metaphorical concept of resurrection, referred to as being “born-again”.
  7. There is a new association of the concept of resurrection to the Messiah. (The Messiah was not even supposed to die, and he certainly wasn’t supposed to rise again from the dead in a resurrected body!)

There are also other historical puzzles that are solved by postulating a bodily resurrection of Jesus.

  1. Jewish people thought that the Messiah was not supposed to die. Although there were lots of (warrior) Messiahs running around at the time, whenever they got killed, their followers would abandon them. Why didn’t Jesus’ followers abandon him when he died?
  2. If the early Christian church wanted to communicate that Jesus was special, despite his shameful death on the cross, they would have made up a story using the existing Jewish concept of exaltation. Applying the concept of bodily resurrection to a dead Messiah would be a radical departure from Jewish theology, when an invented exaltation was already available to do the job.
  3. The early church became extremely reckless about sickness and death, taking care of people with communicable diseases and testifying about their faith in the face of torture and execution. Why did they scorn sickness and death?
  4. The gospels, especially Mark, do not contain any embellishments and “theology historicized”. If they were made-up, there would have been events that had some connection to theological concepts. But the narratives are instead bare-bones: “Guy dies public death. People encounter same guy alive later.” Plain vanilla narrative.
  5. The story of the women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb cannot have been invented, because the testimony of women was inadmissible under almost all circumstances at that time. If the story were invented, they would have invented male discoverers of the tomb. Female discovers would have hampered conversion efforts.
  6. There are almost no legendary embellishments in the gospels, while there are plenty in the later gnostic forgeries. No crowds of singing angels, no talking crosses, and no booming voices from the clouds.
  7. There is no mention of the future hope of the general resurrection, which I guess they thought was imminent anyway.

To conclude, Wright makes the argument that the best explanation of all of these changes in theology and practice is that God raised Jesus (bodily) from the dead. There is simply no way that this community would have made up the single resurrection of the Messiah – who wasn’t even supposed to die – and then put themselves on the line for that belief.

And remember, the belief in a resurrected Jesus was something that the earliest witnesses could really assess, because they were the ones who saw him killed and then walking around again after his death. They were able to confirm or deny their belief in the resurrection of Jesus based on their own personal experiences with the object of those beliefs.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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