Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Bowdoin College bans Christian student groups on campus

From the radically leftist New York Times. (H/T Nancy P.)

Excerpt:

For 40 years, evangelicals at Bowdoin College have gathered periodically to study the Bible together, to pray and to worship. They are a tiny minority on the liberal arts college campus, but they have been a part of the school’s community, gathering in the chapel, the dining center, the dorms.

After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college. Already, the college has disabled the electronic key cards of the group’s longtime volunteer advisers.

In a collision between religious freedom and antidiscrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association.

Similar conflicts are playing out on a handful of campuses around the country, driven by the universities’ desire to rid their campuses of bias, particularly against gay men and lesbians, but also, in the eyes of evangelicals, fueled by a discomfort in academia with conservative forms of Christianity. The universities have been emboldened to regulate religious groups by a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that found it was constitutional for a public law school in California to deny recognition to a Christian student group that excluded gays.

At Cal State, the nation’s largest university system with nearly 450,000 students on 23 campuses, the chancellor is preparing this summer to withdraw official recognition from evangelical groups that are refusing to pledge not to discriminate on the basis of religion in the selection of their leaders. And at Vanderbilt, more than a dozen groups, most of them evangelical but one of them Catholic, have already lost their official standing over the same issue; one Christian group balked after a university official asked the students to cut the words “personal commitment to Jesus Christ” from their list of qualifications for leadership.

[...]The evangelical groups say they, too, welcome anyone to participate in their activities, including gay men and lesbians, as well as nonbelievers, seekers and adherents of other faiths. But they insist that, in choosing leaders, who often oversee Bible study and prayer services, it is only reasonable that they be allowed to require some basic Christian faith — in most cases, an explicit agreement that Jesus was divine and rose from the dead, and often an implicit expectation that unmarried student leaders, gay or straight, will abstain from sex.

“It would compromise our ability to be who we are as Christians if we can’t hold our leaders to some sort of doctrinal standard,” said Zackary Suhr, 23, who has just graduated from Bowdoin, where he was a leader of the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship.

The consequences for evangelical groups that refuse to agree to the nondiscrimination policies, and therefore lose their official standing, vary by campus. The students can still meet informally on campus, but in most cases their groups lose access to student activity fee money as well as first claim to low-cost or free university spaces for meetings and worship; they also lose access to standard on-campus recruiting tools, such as activities fairs and bulletin boards, and may lose the right to use the universities’ names.

Not sure how you are supposed to have a Christian student group, if the leaders don’t accept the authority of the Bible. But maybe that’s a feature, not a bug, from the point of view of these secular administrators and their allies in the judiciary. The really sad thing about this is that Christian taxpayers are paying these secular authorities to curtail their basic rights. It’s only open season on Bible-believing Christians.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

HIV/AIDS researcher fired for accurate but politically incorrect testimony

Legal Insurrection provides the background.

Excerpt:

The background is that the Belize Supreme Court is considering a court case seeking to overturn Section 53 of the criminal code, which bans some forms of homosexual behavior, specifically male-on-male sodomy. Argument was held in May 2013 but there has been no decision as of this writing.

The highly charged nature of the case pits a coalition of international gay rights activists against some Christian churches and groups.

Enter Dr. Brendan Bain, who retired as a Professor in 2013 from the University of West Indies.  While still a professor, in 2012 Dr. Bain submitted testimony in the form of an Expert Report in the case (embedded in full at the bottom of this post).

[...]The general thesis of the Expert Report was as follows, in part:

This report shows that the relative risk of contracting HIV is significantly higher among men who have sex with other men (MSM) in Belize than in the general population. This is also true in several other countries for which data are available, including countries that have repealed the law that criminalizes anal sex and countries where the law still applies.

So did the report contain false information? No.

From the Jamaica Observer.

Excerpt:

The National AIDS Committee (NAC) early Thursday issued a statement saying that “it takes no issue with, and has no objection to the actual content of the report of Professor Brendan Bain to the Court in Belize”.

Bain was fired from his post as director of the Regional Co-ordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) by the University of the West Indies for statements regarding men who have sex with men that he made as an expert witness in a Belize court case.

But according to the NAC, “there is nothing in that report which is contrary to, or offensive to the work of the National AIDS Committee.”

The NAC is a non- government organisation established in 1988 “to facilitate multi-sectoral collaboration to reduce the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on the Jamaican society and promote an informed, supportive and caring environment that empowers persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.”

[...]In his report, Professor Bain highlighted for the court that homosexual men were at higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexual transmitted infections and that a supportive environment is needed at the community and governmental levels to enable high risk groups to access and practice safe sex.

What’s wrong with saying that men who have sex with men are at a higher risk of contracting HIV / AIDS? It’s not politically correct, so he had to go.

I’m sure his numbers were similar to those of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which makes the same point about men who have sex with men.

CDC numbers were also recently reported in the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

Teens and young adults now account for more than a quarter of the new cases of HIV identified in the United States annually, and a clear majority of those cases involve young gay or bisexual men, the federal government said in a major new survey Tuesday.

Of the nearly 48,000 new HIV cases identified in the United States in 2010, the latest year for which complete data are available, more than 12,000 involved teens and young adults, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found in its latest report.

About 72 percent of these new HIV cases in younger adults occurred in young men who are gay or bisexual, according to the CDC report.

[...]According to the CDC figures, black youths accounted for the largest share of new HIV cases, with Hispanic youths and white youths accounting for about 20 percent each.

About 1.1 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States. Some 47,129 new HIV cases were identified in 2010.

The CDC’s new report, “Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, Risk Behaviors Among Youths, United States,” estimated that youths aged 13 to 24 accounted for 12,200, or 26 percent, of new HIV infections in 2010.

Of these new cases, 7,000 were among black youths, 2,390 were among Hispanics, and 2,380 were among whites.

About 8,800 cases were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.

HIV/AIDS is incurable, and an estimated 17,774 people with AIDS died in 2009. Some 619,000 persons have died of AIDS in the United States since the epidemic began in the early 1980s, according to the CDC.

I’m really not sure why people who insist on suppressing numbers like this think they are doing good. If something is dangerous, the good thing to do is to tell other people the danger. Not to fire people who tell other people the danger. That’s wrong.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

CDC report: syphilis resurgence among gay men a “major public health concern”

Breitbart reports on a new CDC study.

Excerpt:

The sometimes-deadly disease syphilis is exploding in the United States, with most of the increase since 1995 among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to a new report from the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control (CDC).

As recently as 2000, researchers believed the total elimination of syphilis was within reach. The recent dramatic increases in infections, coupled with the observation that syphilis closely tracks with other diseases like AIDS, have the medical and scientific community deeply concerned. The CDC report considers “the increase in syphilis among MSM is a major public health concern.”

According to the report, “During 2005-2013, the number of primary and secondary syphilis cases reported each year in the United States nearly doubled, from 8,724 to 16,663; the annual rate increased from 2.9 to 5.3 cases per 100,000 population.”

The report also says that “men contributed an increasing proportion of cases, accounting for 91.1% of all primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2013.” Most of the increases came from men who have sex with men, which were responsible for 77% of cases in 2009 but 83.9% in 2012, what the report calls “the vast majority of male… syphilis cases.”

The report warns that the numbers in the new report are likely far less than the true number because only 34 states and the District of Columbia fully report sex of sex partners.

The report raises a particular concern about what it calls “co-infection rates.” “There are reported rates of 50%-70% HIV co-infection among MSM infected with primary or secondary syphilis…”

I really recommend reading that whole post, there are some really striking pieces of data in it.

When we are discussing what to promote and what to disagree with, this CDC data should be on the table. And remember, the closer we move to the single-payer system desired by the political left, the more people who don’t engage in risky behaviors will be taxed to pay for those that do choose to engage in risky behaviors. It’s fine for those who are not ambitious, but if you expect to earn enough to support a family, then you might find it’s much harder than it used to be before we were celebrating things the sexual revolution, which goes far beyond the problems the CDC outlined, into the costs of no-fault divorce, fatherlessness, etc.

We really ought not be celebrating the homosexual lifestyle / orientation. We should be treating this like smoking or obesity, if we really cared about the health of people with these same-sex attractions. It’s possible to express disagreement and to tell the truth about risks and consequences without hurting anyone’s feelings. I like to know what will happen to me if I make certain choices. It’s good to have the facts before you decide what to do.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NFL player fined and banned from team activities for disapproving of homosexuality

From the Miami Herald.

Excerpt:

The Dolphins swiftly and publicly reprimanded Don Jones late Sunday for his Twitter remarks critical of Michael Sam, fining him and barring him from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training.

In a statement released by the team, Jones apologized for tweeting “omg” and “horrible” after seeing Sam sharing a celebratory kiss with his partner on national TV Saturday evening. Sam had just been drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round, becoming the first openly gay player selected by an NFL team.

[...]Although the Dolphins did not disclose the amount of the fine, the fact that they made the punishment public was significant. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin rarely discusses internal discipline with reporters but made it a point to condemn Jones’ words on official team letterhead Sunday night.“We were disappointed to read Don’s tweets during the NFL Draft,” Philbin said. “They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don [Sunday] about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program. We will continue to emphasize and educate our players that these statements will not be tolerated.”

So, if you are Tim Tebow, everyone can insult you and make fun of you for being a Christian and for being chaste before marriage. But if you’re gay, then no one can even disagree with you on sexual issues.

This is why I have an alias. I am very conscious of the fact that the way I earn a living is something that the other side would love to take away from me. If anyone who did not tolerate my statements on certain controversial issues ever found out who I was or where I worked, I’d be out of a job. I am happy to say what I think about controversial issues, (not with tweets, but by citing studies), while I can still do it. But I have no doubt that the secular left will one day make it their business to find out who disagrees with them on matters like sexual ethics, and make sure we are properly corrected about our bad ideas. They seem to have tremendous difficulty letting other people have different views than they do, and not punishing them for those different views. “These statements will not be tolerated” the coach says.

 

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Obama-appointed judge orders Ohio to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

From the Toledo Blade.

Excerpt:

Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere despite the state’s own ban on such marriages in its constitution, a federal judge in Cincinnati officially ruled today.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he will appeal the decision as he already has another by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black that required the state to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates.

The latest ruling, promised by Judge Black more than a week ago, does not mean that same-sex couples may be wed in Ohio. But it strikes a blow against another portion of the constitutional amendment Ohioans adopted in 2004 that prohibits government from extending rights approximating those of marriage to same-sex and unmarried couples.

The case before Judge Black initially dealt solely with the issue of having the names of same-sex couples legally married in another state on the birth certificates of children born here. But Judge Black, a 2010 appointee by President Obama, went a step further by ordering the state to recognize all such marriages performed legally.

[...]The case was brought by four couples married in California, New York, and Massachusetts who have had or soon expect to have children in Ohio. Three are female couples in which one spouse was impregnated through artificial insemination while the fourth is a male couple who adopted a child born here.

[...]Ohio is just one of a number of states with same-sex marriage cases in the appeals pipeline with at least one likely to work its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Christian News Network reported on the Obama-appointee’s previous related decision.

Excerpt:

As previously reported, Black similarly issued a ruling in December that required state officials to recognize same-sex “marriages” on death certificates. He rejected the state’s sovereignty argument at that time as well.

[...]Consequently, Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township), a born-again Christian, is seeking to have Black impeached as he believes that the judge is rather trampling the state and federal constitutions.

“[Judge Black] persists in allowing his personal political bias to supersede jurisprudence,” he wrote in a recent statement.

Becker has submitted an impeachment resolution to the state assembly, but it has not yet come up for a hearing.

I wonder if the many people who claimed to believe in traditional marriage yet voted for Obama will stop voting for Democrats? One can hope that will be the case, now that everyone can see what people like me were warning about before the election. We warned back then, but were told that our concerns were silly and that Obama was just as much a Christian as George W. Bush. Now we know different. And so many people still claim to be pro-life and pro-marriage while voting for the most pro-abortion and anti-marriage President we have ever had. I suppose in 2016, they’ll vote for Democrats again, and be shocked when the Democrats push even more for expansions abortion and gay rights. When will we learn?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

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