Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Oxford University Press book asks: does religion cause violence?

J.W. Wartick posted a review of a book called “The Myth of Religious Violence”, and written by Dr. William T. Cavanaugh.

Let’s take a look at some of the review.

Here, J.W. quotes from the book:

The story goes that, after the Protestant Reformation divided Christendom along religious lines, Catholics and Protestants began killing each other for holding to different doctrines. The wars of religion… demonstrated to the West the inherent danger of public religion. The solution to the problem lay in the rise of the modern state, in which religious loyalties were marginalized and the state secured a monopoly on the means of violence…

This story is more than just a prominent example of the myth of religious violence. It has a foundational importance for the secular West, because it explains the origin of its way of life and its system of governance. It is a creation myth for modernity (123).

Then writes this:

Following the lines of thinking of Voltaire, John Locke, and others, Cavanaugh argues that the myth of religious violence is perpetuated in order to marginalize that which is considered religious and give rise to the nation-state. According to this myth, “All theological religions are to be tolerated, provided they do not interfere with the obligations of citizens to the state…” (129). The myth is that religion is divisive and that they “fight over doctrines or ‘religious creeds’” so that “the state steps in to make peace” (130).

Cavanaugh shows that this myth is indeed false. The “wars of religion” had any number of motivating factors. The use of this story is not so much to tell a truth as it is a means by which to legitimize the nation-state. He argues towards these conclusions by showing that many “wars of religion” were in fact wars of economy, wars of power structures, and the like. He notes four primary factors for this myth to work: that combatants were motivated by religious difference, that the primary cause of war was religion, that religious causes are analytically separable from political, economic, and social causes at the time of the wars, and that the rise of the modern state was not a cause of the wars (141-142). He then analyzes each of these in turn based upon the historical record and shows that these all fail to account for the actual history of the “wars of religion.” In fact, the opposite is true in each case (142-177).

“We must conclude that the myth of the wars of religion is finally incredible, which is to say, false” (177).

[...]Perhaps the most challenging and paradigm-shifting portion of the book is that which focuses upon the uses of the myth of religious violence. Cavanaugh argues that the myth is so perpetuated because of its usefulness.

Cavanaugh has his BA from the University of Notre Dame, his MA from Cambridge University, and his PhD from Duke University. Do the secularists have anything to stack up against someone with his credentials?

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , ,

Study finds that gay parents are more likely to raise gay kids

A peer-reviewed study about gay parents raising gay kids in AOL News.

Excerpt:

Walter Schumm knows what he’s about to do is unpopular: publish a study arguing that gay parents are more likely to raise gay children than straight parents. But the Kansas State University family studies professor has a detailed analysis that past almost aggressively ideological researchers never had.

[...]His study on sexual orientation, out next month, says that gay and lesbian parents are far more likely to have children who become gay. “I’m trying to prove that it’s not 100 percent genetic,” Schumm tells AOL News.

His study is a meta-analysis of existing work. First, Schumm extrapolated data from 10 books on gay parenting… [and] skewed his data so that only self-identified gay and lesbian children would be labeled as such.

This is important because sometimes Schumm would come across a passage of children of gay parents who said they were “adamant about not declaring their sexual orientation at all.” These people would be labeled straight, even though the passage’s implication was that they were gay.

Schumm concluded that children of lesbian parents identified themselves as gay 31 percent of the time; children of gay men had gay children 19 percent of the time, and children of a lesbian mother and gay father had at least one gay child 25 percent of the time.

Furthermore, when the study restricted the results so that they included only children in their 20s — presumably after they’d been able to work out any adolescent confusion or experimentation — 58 percent of the children of lesbians called themselves gay, and 33 percent of the children of gay men called themselves gay. (About 5 to 10 percent of the children of straight parents call themselves gay, Schumm says.)

Schumm next went macro, poring over an anthropological study of various cultures’ acceptance of homosexuality. He found that when communities welcome gays and lesbians, “89 percent feature higher rates of homosexual behavior.”

Finally, Schumm looked at the existing academic studies… In all there are 26 such studies. Schumm ran the numbers from them and concluded that, surprisingly, 20 percent of the kids of gay parents were gay themselves. When children only 17 or older were included in the analysis, 28 percent were gay.

Here’s the paper entitled “Children of homosexuals more apt to be homosexuals?“. It appeared in the Journal of Biosocial Science.

Abstract:

Ten narrative studies involving family histories of 262 children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers were evaluated statistically in response to Morrison’s (2007) concerns about Cameron’s (2006) research that had involved three narrative studies. Despite numerous attempts to bias the results in favour of the null hypothesis and allowing for up to 20 (of 63, 32%) coding errors, Cameron’s (2006) hypothesis that gay and lesbian parents would be more likely to have gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure (of sexual orientation) sons and daughters was confirmed. Percentages of children of gay and lesbian parents who adopted non-heterosexual identities ranged between 16% and 57%, with odds ratios of 1.7 to 12.1, depending on the mix of child and parent genders. Daughters of lesbian mothers were most likely (33% to 57%; odds ratios from 4.5 to 12.1) to report non-heterosexual identities. Data from ethnographic sources and from previous studies on gay and lesbian parenting were re-examined and found to support the hypothesis that social and parental influences may influence the expression of non-heterosexual identities and/or behaviour. Thus, evidence is presented from three different sources, contrary to most previous scientific opinion, even most previous scientific consensus, that suggests intergenerational transfer of sexual orientation can occur at statistically significant and substantial rates, especially for female parents or female children. In some analyses for sons, intergenerational transfer was not significant. Further research is needed with respect to pathways by which intergenerational transfer of sexual orientation may occur. The results confirm an evolving tendency among scholars to cite the possibility of some degree of intergenerational crossover of sexual orientation.

Please exercise caution when commenting, we do not want to be Brendan Eich’d by the Obama administration.

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

College official ridicules pro-life demonstrator who was attacked by feminist professor

What kind of people are in charge of universities that preach diversity and tolerance?

The College Fix explains.

Excerpt:

The College Fix previously reported the attack on a pro-life student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A feminist professor attacked a teenage demonstrator, and the episode was caught on video.

Now, a statement released by UCSB vice-chancellor, Michael D. Young, shortly after the incident, has come to our attention. In the statement, which was released to students on March 19, Young ridicules pro-life demonstrators, calling them “evangelical types,” “self-proclaimed prophets,” and “anti-abortion crusaders.”

The peaceful pro-life demonstrators were subjected to an unprovoked attack by feminist studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young. But the vice chancellor insults the demonstrators as “proselytizers hawking intolerance” and peddlers of “fear,” “hate,” “intolerance,” and “discord” at UCSB.

Nowhere in the memo does vice-chancellor Young condemn the violent actions of his faculty member, Professor Miller-Young, which left the arms of a 16-year old girl covered with scars and abrasions.

Instead, the vice-chancellor praises himself as one known for fighting on behalf of “tolerance.” He touts his long record of speaking at “anti-hate events” and officiating at a “Queer wedding.” Contrast that to the pro-life demonstrators who, the vice-chancellor says, come “wrapped in intolerance and extremism.”

With no apparent sense of irony, vice-chancellor Young reiterates his strong commitment to free speech. He directs all his criticism toward the pro-life demonstrators, and none toward the intolerant, hateful and violent liberals who attacked them.

Apparently, “intolerance” at UCSB has a special meaning–and it covers any point of view that falls outside the extreme liberal groupthink of academia. If you are pro-life, you are considered intolerant. If you hold traditional religious views you are intolerant. On the other hand, if you physically attack a pro-life student, you are probably considered a noble and excellent person who simply took the struggle for good a little too far.

[...]In view of all the events of the past few weeks, one can reasonably come away with no other conclusion but that the strongholds of intolerance at UCSB have little to do with so-called “evangelical types,” upon home UCSB’s Michael D. Young seeks to place blame. Instead, at UCSB, intolerance thrives among feminist professors and senior administrators who believe that, ultimately, a liberal-progressive point of view and intent justifies any action, even, as in this case, a physical attack. Or, at least, it shields the liberal who carries out that attack from any criticism.

All the criticism, as usual, is reserved for those who dare to hold pro-life views, and who dare to utter those views aloud.

I post this to show parents exactly what is waiting for their children at college. You are paying tens of thousands of dollars for sociopaths to indoctrinate your children in secularism and leftism. Not just that, but the university is also affirming of a very promiscuous sexual environment, which goes beyond ridicule into peer-pressure. If you are sending your kids in unprepared, keep in mind that the people running the show are much like Michael D. Young, and they are not shy about making sure that your kids turn out just like him.

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

Feminist professor who attacked pro-lifer charged with theft, battery and vandalism

Update on the story from last week, courtesy of The College Fix.

Excerpt:

The College Fix reported on March 12 that department of feminist studies professor Mireille Miller-Young, whose research emphasis is black studies, pornography, and sex work, had been caught on camera assaulting a 16-year-old student, Thrin Short.

Miller-Young led a small mob that approached a group of pro-life demonstrators who were holding signs. The mob chanted “tear down the sign.” Miller-Young then grabbed one of the signs and stormed off with it, eventually engaging in a physical altercation with 16-year-old Short, one of the pro-life demonstrators, when Short tried to retrieve the stolen sign.

The confrontation took place in the university’s designated “free speech area.”

The 3 by 5 foot sign contained graphic images of aborted fetuses as well as statistics and facts about abortion. The scuffle left the 16-year-old Short with visible scars and scratches on her arms.

[...]Late last week, Santa Barbara officials announced that Miller-Young is being prosecuted for misdemeanor theft, battery, and vandalism in connection with her assault on Ms. Short.

Short says Miller-Young pushed her at least three times, stole her sign, then grabbed and attempted to restrain her while others made off with the sign.

Short’s father told Fox News that he hopes the prosecution of Miller-Young will serve as a lesson for those who seek to halt free speech on campus. “She was free to engage in a rational dialogue with them,” Mr. Short said. “Instead, she chose to bully them, steal and destroy their property, and hit and scratch my daughter.”

“I think the goal of this prosecution should be to set a good example for her students, one that will not only deter her from repeating this conduct, but will also deter those who approve of her actions from imitating her appalling behavior,” Mr. Short added.

This sort of stuff happens all the time, by the way. Sometimes the pro-abortion people run over signs:

And sometimes, they try to run over people.

And sometimes, they actually shoot people.

I have some friends in the pro-life movement, and I’m familiar with some of the horrors they have to endure. If you reason that people who are willing to kill innocent unborn babies are fine with committing lesser crimes against less innocent people, you’d be right. I think we should all agree that whatever you do in your life, you shouldn’t be taking innocent human lives in order to avoid having to take responsibility for your own actions. That’s just wrong.

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

Women’s studies professor accused of assaulting peaceful pro-life demonstrators

Mireille Miller-Young (right)

Mireille Miller-Young (on the right)

From The College Fix.

Excerpt:

A department of feminist studies professor has been accused of going berserk after coming across a campus prolife demonstration that used extremely graphic displays, leading a small mob of students to chant “tear down the sign” before grabbing one of the signs, storming off with it, then allegedly engaging in an altercation with a 16-year-old prolife protestor who had followed the educator to retrieve it.

Much of the scuffle was recorded on a smartphone by the 16-year-old, Thrin Short. The yet-to-be-released video is now in the custody of Santa Barbara law enforcement officials, who are investigating the March 4 incident.

The professor at the heart of the controversy is Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor whose area of emphasis is black cultural studies, pornography and sex work, according to her faculty webpage. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday by The College Fix.

The confrontation took place at the coastal, public university’s “free speech” area, a heavily traversed part of the quad.

The roughly 3-feet by 5-feet displays included images of aborted fetuses, as well as diagrams detailing the abortion process and other “educational” information, according to Kristina Garza, a spokeswoman for 16-year-old Thrin. Garza heads up campus outreach for the nonprofit, Riverside-based Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust – a group that had trained the Short sisters and other students on how to conduct campus antiabortion events.

[...]According to Garza, when Miller-Young came across the prolife demonstration, the professor started yelling at the protestors, saying abortion is a woman’s right. Then things got uglier, as the scholar allegedly enticed about 15 students to begin shouting “tear down the sign, tear down the sign” at the group, which consisted of 12 young women and one young man, Garza said.

[...]As the prolife demonstrators tried to engage students one-on-one in conversation during a lull in the chanting, that’s when Miller-Young allegedly grabbed one of their signs and stormed off, followed by two UCSB students, Garza said, adding Thrin followed the threesome with her older sister, Joan, in tow and calling 9-1-1.

The pro-life students have posted their account of the events:

The parade weaved through two buildings and entered an elevator in the third. Thrin attempted to get on the elevator with them, but Young blocked the doorway. Thrin stuck her foot in the door, but Young pushed it out with her foot. Tenaciously, Thrin put it back. This happened several times as Thrin pleaded with the students to not get involved. “The police are on their way,” she told them …

Suddenly Young reached out and pushed 16 year old Thrin. “Don’t touch me!” Thrin cried, startled. Young’s long fingernails scratched Thrin’s arm. Young pushed Thrin twice more and each time Thrin kept the door from closing with her arm. Finally, Young got out of the elevator, and tried to pull Thrin away from the elevator door. Thrin held onto the elevator with her other hand, the one holding the camera. Realizing that students were trying to take the camera out of her hand, Thrin let go of the elevator.

The elevator doors closed. Professor Young let go of Thrin, leaving several scratches on her arms, and got on another elevator. Then the police arrived. The police did not seem overly concerned about the incident until they saw the video and realized how violent the professor had been. Police identified the assailant and found the remains of the sign – it had been destroyed. UC Santa Barbara police are completing their report …

Something similar happened last year at DePaul University.

Excerpt:

The head of a conservative student organization at DePaul University has been sanctioned by the university and could be expelled after he released the names of vandals who destroyed a pro-life flag display.

Kristopher Del Campo, the chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter, was found guilty by the university on two counts – “Disorderly, Violent, Intimidating or Dangerous Behavior to Self or Others” and “Judicial Process Compliance.”

DePaul University did not return calls seeking comment.

Last January Del Campo and other pro-life students received permission from the university to erect a pro-life display featuring 500 flags. Vandals later destroyed the display – stuffing a number of the flags into trash cans.

The university’s public safety department launched an investigation and eventually identified 13 students who confessed to the crime. Those names were then released by the university to Del Campo.

On Feb. 5 the national Young Americans for Freedom organization posted the names of the vandals on their website. The posting generated negative comments directed at the vandals – and the university held Del Campo responsible.

Three days later, Del Campo was informed that he had violated DePaul’s Code of Student Responsibility. He was formally charged ten days later.

Here’s another example of the tolerant left, from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

A group of youths arrested and charged with vandalizing a Kentucky pro-life campus display said that destroying the display was an expression of their “right to free speech.”

Pro-life leaders of Northern Right to Life at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) say they first set up the display on Monday morning. It consisted of tiny onesies hanging on a line with red “X” taped onto every fourth outfit to symbolize a life lost to abortion. The display included a sign explaining its significance and citing the Guttmacher Institute.

But after the display was torn down twice within the first two days, members of the pro-life group began taking night shifts to watch for the vandals. On Friday morning around 1am, they say they spotted four young men beginning to cut down the line and throwing the clothing, which was to be donated to needy local children, in the trash.

[...]Both Piron and the Kentucky Post report that the three suspects police caught – Travis Black, Steven White and Montez Jenkins Copeland – have been charged with Criminal Mischief.

“Though the vandals don’t think they deserve to be faced with consequences, we at NRTL believe that it’s important for people to understand that they cannot just rip down a display simply because they disagree with its message,” said Piron.

A fourth suspect who had turned himself in, Kyle Pickett, agreed with pro-lifers that they had a right to display the clothing as free speech – but justified the vandalism as equally protected.

“Tearing it down was expressing our right to free speech,” he said, according to the Post.

I think the troubling thing about these stories is that pro-abortion radicals are moving beyond mere disagreement and into coercion, threats, vandalism and violence. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that they would attack grown-ups. They advocate for killing babies, after all. That’s even worse.

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