Thursday, September 11, 2014

With love - I am certain - from FRC's Rob Schwarzwalder

Poor Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President of Family Research Council. It is not easy to be a fundamentalist bigot. Back in the day of Copernicus, Schwarzwalder would have assured the masses that the notion of Earth orbiting the sun was an elitist conspiracy. “Please. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that Earth is the center of the universe. It's right there in Genesis.”

That brings me to Rob's immediate hissy fit titled Welcome Back to College, USA
The California State University system has booted InterVarsity from its 23 campuses because IV, an Evangelical Christian group, believes its local chapters should be led by (get ready) Evangelical Christians. 

I wrote about this on Tuesday.  IV should trust that its members will elect appropriate leaders and sign the university system's non-discrimination accord, something they refuse to do. Of course the real issue here is not that they might elect a Jew or Muslim to be an evangelical Christian leader; It's that they might elect a queer. Oh my! Rob continues:
Women-only Mt. Holyoke College has announced that it is changing its gender categories, to wit:
  • Biologically born female; identifies as a woman.
  • Biologically born female; identifies as a man.
  • Biologically born female; identifies as other/they/ze.
    [ … ]
I guess that Rob's literal interpretation of the Bible doesn't quite keep pace with science.  We know considerably more about sexuality than we knew just a decade ago. In the past these marginalized individuals simply didn't attend college or dropped out. Not accommodating them didn't make them conform. They simply became less participative in society. Of course our friend Rob doesn't believe (or pretends not to believe) that transgender people even exist. You see God created males and females, and so on. It's called willful stupidity.

Rob continues with a mad rant largely composed of nonsense from
How about venerable Vanderbilt, which
… has decided student groups on campus cannot determine their own leadership. […] The rule came in part because, as you will not be surprised to learn, a Christian fraternity “had expelled several students for violating their behavior policy. One student said he was ousted because he is gay. …
I have given this a drivelectomy but left the link in place in case you want to read the original screed in full. In any event student groups can most certainly determine their own leadership. If the members want to elect a queer that is up to them. It is the policy promoted by the likes of Schwarzwalder that limits the choices of local chapters. Let the students decide. It's just that simple.

As a Jew I am not at all certain how to respond to the next part of Rob's aria a capella:
And, as of Wednesday of this week, “Rev. Bruce Shipman, the Episcopal chaplain at Yale, has resigned in the wake of controversy over a New York Times letter he wrote suggesting Jews were collectively culpable for Israel’s actions and for subsequent rises in global anti-Semitism.” Yale, founded as an explicitly Christian institution centuries ago, summons the decency to fire a nascent anti-Semite — a tiny flash of light in the gathering twilight that is the moral climate of the nation’s colleges and universities. Of course, this spasm of honor comes long after Yale jettisoned its original purpose: to train young men to “live religious, godly and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth; and constantly attend upon all the duties of religion, both in public and secret … (each student was to) …consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ.”
Schwarzwalder is misleading with respect to Mr. Shipman's departure. Schwarzwalder. Yale University had little to do with the departure of Mr. Shipman. This was an issue that was between Shipman and his church's board of governors. Schwarzwalder never cited the statement from the church itself.

Then there is this part about Yale's supposed purpose which was supposedly “jettisoned.” Rob's link is not to Yale. Rather it is to which asserts “Yale University was founded on … October 16, 1701, it was by Congregationalist ministers unhappy with the growing liberalism at Harvard. ”

Not surprisingly Yale University provides a different narrative; “Yale's roots can be traced back to the 1640s, when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a college in New Haven to preserve the tradition of European liberal education in the New World.” There is no mention of Harvard or dissatisfaction with its liberalism — to the extent that it might have been liberal in the first place.

What is important here is not the history of Yale. Rather, it is the fact that Mr. Schwarzwalder knows that his constituency will accept information from a Christian website as more authoritative than the original source which, in this case, is obviously Yale University.

Yale University doesn't claim to have been founded as a Christian school (perhaps it was) and cites as a source. Nevertheless, Schwarzwalder seems to bemoan the fact that it was and now isn't.

Poor fucking Rob. The world is changing around him at lightning speed and he cannot cope. As science learns more, literalists look increasingly foolish. Long after Copernicus determined that the sun was the center of our universe, science has learned that gender is a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends. We have also learned, to a scientific certainty, that sexual orientation is innate and unalterable and that attempts to change orientation might be toxic. Oh, and Yale's president, Peter Salovey, does not have a degree in theology (he is a psychologist) and he just happens to be Jewish. Poor fucking Rob.

So yeah, welcome to college, USA you queers and other minorities. May you realize your full potential and may your minority status be irrelevant. Most of all, in spite of schmucks like Mr. Schwarzwalder, you have a better than even chance of being treated with respect and dignity at many colleges and universities. Mazel tov.

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