Duke & Vandy Refer To God In Gender Neutral Language

Duke and Vanderbilt University divinity schools instruct professors to “start using more inclusive language when referring to God” according to National Review, though it conflicts with the God of the bible.

In an attempt to enact a form of social justice, Vanderbilt asks that its professors “give consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the divine, because the school commits to include gender as an analyzed category and to mitigate sexism.”

According to Law Newz, the two schools seek to “balance what they feel are sexist institutions in the church’s history.”  To do this, they are “pushing for gender-neutral terms and pronouns to be used, especially in reference to the divine” in an attempt to “counteract gender bias.”  For, according to Vanderbilt, “male privilege in a patriarchal society stems from sexism.”

It goes on to say that Duke believes “that the language can be harmful and exclusionary,” and gives “a plethora of examples of gender-specific terms that can be replaced with neutral ones.”  Further, “When referring to God, Duke says that people shouldn’t exclusively use male or female pronouns.”

Referencing Vanderbilt’s 2016-2017 catalog, Heat Street says, in an attempt to mitigate sexism in its teachings, the school is asking its professors to include “consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the divine.”

In an emailed statement sent by Melissa Snarr, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Vanderbilt’s Divinity School, she says, “Masculine titles, pronouns, and imagery for God have served as a cornerstone for the patriarchy,” and an “exploration of fresh language for God” is recommended.   She says that the faculty’s views on the expression of the divine vary, and, “it is up to the individual professor’s interpretation for their classes and is suggestive rather than mandatory.”

Duke suggests that the divine be expressed without gender-specific pronouns like “God” and “Godself,” and instead of saying, “God is a father to us all,”  say, “God is a parent to us all.”  Mixing gender in metaphors is another option given to professors.  For example, “God is the father who welcomes his son, but she is also the woman searching for the lost coin.”

Duke’s guidelines state that it is “in a transitional period with our use of language,” and “imagination, patience, and diligence are required to use language that expands and enriches our understanding of God.”

National Review points out that the idea “may sound fair, but in many cases, it’s really not up to the professor.”  It goes on to say that when speaking about the “Christian God, every single reference to Him in the bible uses masculine pronoun,” indicating that their God is male.  Lastly, it says, “Teaching anything else would be giving inaccurate information…”

Image via MorgansLists

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UNCG Students Must Commit To Social Justice Part III

A piece on the required reading list for Zilonka’s class is from Native Appropriations called “Defeating The Stone Man:  PMDD, menstruation, and healing,” the author talks about her struggle with Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder and how it relates to the “power attributed to menstruating women” in the myth about the Stone Man.  The story is about how a cannibal named Stone Man became weak while stationed around menstruating women, so much so that he was able to be killed by the tribe’s medicine man.

Following his death, the Stone Man was burned.  Afterwards, near where his body had lain, the people found “red paint, which they believed brought success.”  The moral of the story was “through the power of menstruating women, therefore, great tragedy was averted and good fortune brought to the people.”

The author talks about how she began to think more deeply about her “own relationship” with her body, hormones, and “their power” after reading the section in the book about “traditional beliefs around menstruation, and the misinterpretation of those beliefs.”  She says, “Power is something that can be both negative and positive—evil can be powerful, but good can also be powerful.”

She talks about how the piece was “nearly impossible to write” but that she writes because she has “seen how little women (and all people who menstruate) openly talk about these issues, and how stigmatized talking about moon times and monthly bleeding has become in Indian Country.”

Further, she states that she writes the piece “by way of explanation to the many missed deadlines, unanswered emails, unanswered texts, broken plans, the resentful subtweets, and Facebook posts from colleagues and friends.”  She concludes with, “I’m sorry,” and a GIF that she felt illustrated “a line of menstruating women stopping the Stone Man.”

Image via Native Appropriations

UNCG Students Must Commit To Social Justice Part II

The following is a partial list of the required readings and viewings from Zilonka’s class:

  • “Excerpt from Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire
  • “Education is Politics” by Ira Shor
  • Gloria Steinem and Bell Hooks in a conversation. (Schalin says, “Bell Hooks is a radical feminist and race theorist” who “cites Freire as an important influence”).
  • “Raising Penelope, My Transgender Son” by Jodie Patterson
  • “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison. (Schalin says this is a “short story that has nothing to do with education but is instead focused on racial privilege”).
  • “White Privilege” by Peggy McIntosh

One of the Facebook pages that students are encouraged to like is TRAP-The Real Art of Protest, which recently posted the article Anarchism Could Help Save The World.

Another Facebook page is Million Hoodies.  It states on its page that they are “building a racial justice movement committed to creating a democracy where all black and brown people have social, political, cultural, and economic freedom, and the right to be safe.”

Zilonka states in an abstract for her paper “My Accent, Myself:  Transforming Liabilities Related to Otherness into Assets” that she “is reflecting on her relationships with her privileged status back home, as well as her evolving ongoing struggles with her otherness while living, studying, and teaching in the United States.”

According to NC Act Empower, Ms. Zilonka is an Israeli who has been living in the US for the past 4.5 years.  Her BA is in Social Justice Education and Peace Studies, and she is an “activist feminist educator” focusing on “liberatory pedagogy” and “critical feminist pedagogy.”

Holistic Educator says, “Liberatory pedagogy is a pedagogy of liberation centered around the principles of social change and transformation through education based on consciousness raising engagement with oppressive forces.”

Liberatory pedagody education for liberation or ‘critical pedagogy’ is what “fosters rational thinking by demythologizing…demythisizing reality and transforming it.”

The website quotes Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” regarding this.

“An act of violence is any situation in which some men prevent others from the process of inquiry…any attempt to prevent human freedom is an ‘act of violence.’ Any system which deliberately tries to discourage critical consciousness is guilty of oppressive violence.  Any school which does not foster students’ capacity for critical inquiry is guilty of violent oppression.”

It goes on to say, “Liberatory pedagogy recognizes the politics of education,” for “education is a matter of politics, as well as pedagogy,” with a goal of “self-actualization or ‘humanization.'”

According to Gender and Education, feminist pedagogy is a way of thinking about teaching and learning,” which includes an aim for class participants (students and teachers) not just to acquire new knowledge, but for their thinking to shift in new directions.”

Image via Revital Zilonka’s Facebook Page

UNCG Students Must Commit To Social Justice Part I

 

A University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) professor last semester had her students write an eight-page “commitment to social justice” in a class required for graduation with a K-12 teaching degree, according to The College Fix

Revital Zilonka’s syllabus for her Instruction of Education class details the assignment which has students demonstrate their “commitment” to social justice, including how they “plan to advance social justice.”  In their analyses, students must respond to a set of questions including, “What prejudices came up on your mind while interviewing/thinking about the interview?” This assignment comes at the end of the course after the students have gained “a new understanding” of “society and education.”

Additionally, the required reading list includes “feminist and Marxist” publications.  The syllabus also “tells students to like on Facebook a slate of secular-progressive pages, such as the pro-LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign, Feministing, Million Hoodies, and the Brown Girl Collective.” 

The College Fix emailed the university for clarification, as well as to see if students could request an alternative assignment.  However, those emails went unanswered.

The syllabus was first reported by John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.  Pope Center writer Jay Schalin says, “A public university cannot permit a professor to demand that its students ‘commit’ to a specific political perspective.”  Further, he says, “’Social justice,’ as it is used in this case, is precisely that, a term that implies a leftwing ideology,” which is part of the “critical pedagogy” of Brazilian, Maoist-inspired writer Paolo Freire.

Schalin states that this is not simply “a school or professor exercising his or her academic freedom,” but that it is a clear violation of “most accepted definitions of academic freedom.”

He cites the “1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure” which states that an instructor’s “business is not to provide his students with ready-made opinions, but to train them to think for themselves.”  He says that the instructor is to “especially be on his guard against taking advantage of the students’ immaturity by indoctrinating him with the teacher’s own opinions before the student has had an opportunity to fairly examine other opinions upon the matters in question.”

Schalin says that the course is “openly intended to push prospective teachers to adopt left-wing ideas.”

Image via Million Hoodies

What You’re Not Being Told About The Refugee Crisis

As refugees pour into the United States, the mainstream media fails to report the full story according to Infowars. Americans are made to believe that the majority of the migrants are Syrian families fleeing from war and ISIS persecution. However, “of the 50% who claim to be Syrian, in some areas 90% don’t even have documentation to prove it.” According to the UN’s own documents, “72% of the migrants are men, with just 13% women, and 15% children.”

Infowars points out that many of the refugees “have nothing whatsoever to do with the Syrian refugee crisis,” but they are seeking a better life. Many, upon their arrival into the countries that “refuse to shower them with free cash, they head straight for welfare havens like Sweden and Germany.” Most are not fleeing war at all but are in search of a higher standard of living funded by European taxpayers.

International Business Times documents an incident where ISIS fighters were caught posing as refugees, “taking advantage of the movements of displaced families.”

Infowars points out that mainstream media only shows footage of the migrants in a positive light while the criminal acts of the refugees bring more violence into Europe. Further, the “images of Jihadist rebels who fought with ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliated groups arriving in Germany as migrants” are suppressed.

Infowars reports US Air Force General Phillip Breedlove, who is also head of the US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, said that the refugee flows from one or two years ago mainly consisted of “probably more legitimate refugees” who were “fleeing civil wars, terrorism, and other problems.”

He went on to say that he has seen an increase of  “criminality, terrorism, and foreign fighters” in the flow of refugees, which is “a daily part of the refugee flow now.”

Infowars says that the European government justifies the influx to meet the needs the immigrants for cheap labor, when in fact, the European Union countries are “exploiting the migrant crisis to import huge numbers of people who will eventually vote for more big government and more EU bureaucracy.” It points out that 58% of Sweden’s welfare money goes to immigrants, not its citizens.

They go on to say that the “migrant crisis wouldn’t exist in the first place if our NATO powers hadn’t armed and funded Jihadists in the Middle East and North Africa to topple secular governments.”

Meanwhile, Americans are being told that they must “open the floodgates to waves of people who are completely intolerant of liberal, western values,” all in the name of tolerance.

Image of ISIS Fighters Posing As Refugees via International Business Times

 

 

 

Org Pushing for Syrian Refugees In Asheville Associated With Black Lives Matter

An organization that is pushing for Syrian refugees in Asheville, North Carolina is associated with Black Lives Matter. Lady Liberty 1885 reports that the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, an affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), has been active in promoting “Moral Monday throughout the state of North Carolina, including busing in protesters to various Moral Monday events through the UUA offshoot called Standing On The Side of Love (SSL).”

Campaign Director Caitlin Breedlove states that SSL partners with Black Lives Matter and other “communities experiencing identity-based violence.”

On its website Black Lives Matter states that it “goes beyond extrajudicial killings of black people by police and vigilantes” and “affirms the lives of black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, folks with records, women, and all black lives along the gender spectrum.” It states that it serves as an entity that “centers those that have been marginalized within black liberation movements,” and it serves “to (re)build the black liberation movement.”

Ms. Breedlove states that SSL is “willing to activate and mobilize for love and justice.” This includes the Unitarian Universalists who are “using their places of worship to fortify and lead social movement efforts,” as they bring courage for the “backlash” they have been receiving.

Breedlove points out that SSL’s acts of “speaking out, pushing back, and loving ourselves out loud,” are “causing a dragon of cultural backlash in the United States against these communities.” She points out that although they have had their “sacred Black Lives Matter banners desecrated” at their churches,” SSL is calling for “collective love.” She states that SSL stands to “nurture, buffer, and protect the movements as they are under attack.”

Further, regarding the recent House Bill 2 decision, Breedlove states that North Carolina “became arguably the most anti-LGBTQ state in the country with a piece of legislation that makes it illegal for trans people to use bathrooms in public.” She calls for escalating the movement.

Breedlove seeks to expand the SSL campaign and have it become a “balm of fortification.”

A fortification for its “social justice movement,” and “for our activists and faith leaders who are tired, afraid, alone, and spiritually depleted in the face of such a Dragon.”

Ms. Breedlove’s bio states that she is the former co-director of Southerners On New Ground (SONG), whose purpose is for “building a political home across race, class, culture, gender, and sexuality.” SONG states, “We believe that Community Organizing is the best way for us to build collective power and transform the South.”

During her tenure with SONG she trained “a large cohort of new LGBTQ organizers in the South,” as well as “led countless political education processes” for the SONG constituency.

Breedlove states, “If we awaken a Dragon, we need the courage to face a Dragon.”

Image via Durham Solidarity Center

Org Accused of Bid-Rigging, Bribery Pushes For Syrian Refugees In Asheville

Aid organization accused of bid-rigging, and bribery is pushing for Syrian refugee placement in Asheville, North Carolina according to Lady Liberty 1885. International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a humanitarian aid organization based in New York with a presence in 20 countries in Africa where it rebuilds communities, as well as ships refugees “almost exclusively to the United States.” The organization has been meeting with the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and other stakeholders.

IRC is a federal contractor, paid with Americans tax dollars through grants to “place refugees in as many states as possible, including North Carolina,” which is currently ranked 9th in the nation for number of resettled Syrian refugees.

The article goes on to say that IRC’s 2014 tax filing contained a grant of over $51 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), over $40 million from the Department of Health and Human Services. Further, according to IRS filings, in 2016 IRC’s total revenue was $456,122,865. In 2014 its gross receipts grew to over $600,000,000.

IRC CEO David Miliband is a former British politician and member of the Labour Party, a center-left political party, now resides in New York. He receives a salary in in excess of $570,000.

Lady Liberty 1885 goes on to say that IRC is part of an ongoing investigation of multiple aid organizations for bribery and bid-rigging, and has had millions of pounds in funding withdrawn in the United Kingdom over the alleged misuse of funds. The organization is accused of allowing “corrupt operators in Turkey and Syria embezzle US taxpayers’ cash under the guise of helping victims of the region’s devastating civil war.”

USAID Inspector General’s office named IRC and two other charities in a report that alleges the organizations were involved in a “scam whereby aid workers swapped humanitarian supplies for inferior knock-offs, and kept the difference in price as a kick-back.” USAID has since withdrawn funds from the organization.

Citizen-Times reports, IRC Atlanta’s Executive Director JD McCrary said that the first household of refugees could come as early as next spring, with others arriving in ensuing twelve months. He went on to say that IRC “strives to provide refugees with furnished homes or apartments upon arrival,” whose goal “households to gain economic self-sufficiency within four to six months.”

The article states that IRC “provided $11.8 million in cash and asset transfers to more than 75,000 refugees and displaced households last year. In the United States, the agency helped resettle nearly 10,000 refugees in 2015.” The majority of the refugees are currently being resettled are Congolese, Bhutanese, Burmese, Afghani, and Iraqi, although there are likely to be more Syrians in the near future.

At the helm of the initiative in the Asheville area is Western North Carolina Refugee Challenge that started working with IRC several months ago. Founding member, Joanna Bliss of Brevard, said that there was ugly rhetoric and talk of closing borders, which became the impetus for her to take action. She said, “I heard that, and I thought, we have to change this conversation.”

Image via Western North Carolina Refugee Challenge

Prolife Clinic Denied Rezoning Request Next To Abortion Clinic

A Hand of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center in Raleigh, North Carolina was denied a rezoning request to move next door to an abortion clinic during the Raleigh City Council meeting on Tuesday according to WNCN.

Last year the prolife organization bought the residential-zoned property located on Jones Franklin Road, which is next door to abortion clinic, Preferred Women’s Health Center.

Currently the two facilities are located less than a mile apart.

Last April the abortion clinic said that they oppose rezoning of the property because it “will bring more harassment and scrutiny to its patients and staff.” They call the move “an intimidation tactic” that “will not change anyone’s personal beliefs.”

The abortion clinic said that it “does not support the underhanded tactics of Hand of Hope or its associates,” and if the rezoning request is granted, it would “cause disruption and difficulties” for not only their business but for their neighbors, as well.

According to Life Site News, when A Hand of Hope purchased the property in 2015 they requested a zoning allowance for commercial use. This move was an attempt to reduce its budget by relocating from their current rented office. Although the City Planning Commission gave its unanimous approval, the city council voted down the request seven to zero.

It goes on to say that Preferred Women’s Health Center has been the site of protests and demonstrations from prolife and abortion advocates. Last year 26 groups received protest permits for the location.

A Hand of Hope Executive Director Tonya Baker Nelson said that her “organization doesn’t participate in the protests or demonstrations.”

Mrs. Nelson told Free Press Beacon on Wednesday that the move is a “sound financial” one. She said that it is “the wisest use of the money” in their efforts to “help women consider choosing life for their baby.”

With regards to the allegations regarding their practices, she said, “Our best practices are totally transparent and without an obvious tilt toward being influenced by ‘making a sale’ and profit from ending one person’s life and affecting another one.”

Mrs. Nelson said, “We see the men and women in the middle of making a pregnancy decision as human beings instead of dollar signs.”  She said, “They know the difference. When they come back to us, even after ending their pregnancies, they know we genuinely care for them—that doesn’t sound underhanded to me.”

When asked if they will fight the ruling, Mrs. Nelson said, “We currently have a team of attorneys looking into our legal options at this point.”

Image via Charisma News

Charlotte Students Will Choose Name & Gender

Charlotte-Mecklenberg schools (CMS) will allow students to choose their own name and gender when school starts back in August. CMS sent a message to all principals Monday to say that students will “be called by the name and pronoun they choose,” according to The Charlotte Observer. Further, the gender identity that students choose “will be honored in restrooms, locker rooms, yearbooks, and graduation ceremonies,” according to a recent regulation released Monday.

CMS has been working on the regulation for year, Superintendent Ann Clark said, but “the political furor over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 left principals confused and wary.” She went on to say that this move is “to allow all students to be safe and comfortable as they pursue an education, and “this is about courage, understanding, and compassion.”

Clark said that official transcripts must contain the name and gender on students’ birth certificate, however schools “will be expected to create class rosters that use the student’s preferred identity.” According to Clark, CMS has been dealing with transgender students “on a case-by-case basis, starting in elementary schools and running through high school graduations, where there have been cases of the graduate wanting one name and gender used on the diploma and the parents wanting another.” However, if students are 18, “the student’s choice will be honored next year.”

Image via Stream.org

Charlotte Trans Students Will Choose Bathroom/Locker Room When School Starts

Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools (CMS) will allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice beginning in August, according to WCNC.com. CMS Principal in Residence Ivy Gill announced Monday that when school starts back students will be trained on “how to deal with differences at school,” which will include “special accommodations for transgender students” like access to restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

Ms. Gill said, “If there is a request for increased privacy in the restroom or locker room, we will provide a private or screened off area in a locker room, a separate changing facility schedule, or use of a nearby private area such as a staff office or single restroom or shower.” She went on to say that this also includes access to staff restrooms.

CMS attorneys insist that they are “simply following the law.” Attorney George Battle said, “This isn’t CMS taking a stand against HB 2. This isn’t us flouting our legislature. This is CMS following the law as it states.”

Image via Christian Examiner