Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Democrats in California want to pass laws to penalize Asians

Basically, the Democrats in California want to pass an affirmative action bill, which would penalize overachievers. Asians tend to outperform other races in academics, so they are always the losers when academic criteria are minimized in favor of racial criteria for college admissions.

Here’s an article from National Review, sent to me by Letitia.

Excerpt:

The California state legislature was on the verge of approving a referendum to restore the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions to state universities.

[...]What both sides of the bimodal Asian immigration population have in common is that their children do uncommonly well in school. They are represented in California’s much-admired universities in far larger numbers than their share of the population would suggest: Asians compose 14 percent of California’s population but 37 percent of the undergraduates at its state universities. They make up about 40 percent of the students at UCLA, 43 percent of the students at Berkeley, half the students at UC San Diego, and more than half of the students at UC Irvine. A relatively small minority, they compose the largest single ethnic group on California university campuses (at least as California defines “ethnic group”).

[...]Liberals talk a great deal of mindless rot about what they like to call “privilege,” the supposedly omnipresent advantages that accrue to the white, the male, the heterosexual, those whose sense of self is more or less congruent with their biological genitals, etc. But it is worth keeping in mind that progressive social-engineering programs such as the use of racial criteria in university admissions do not hurt only hurt well-off white people sporting penises. (Not that we should shortchange the interests of well-off white penis-sporters.) They also hurt poor people and immigrants, in this case a group of immigrants that we as a country should count ourselves lucky to have. It is important to remember why race-based admissions are such an important issue for progressives: The Left lives in the public schools, which do a terrible job of teaching black, Hispanic, and poor students, who consequently show up in embarrassingly small proportions at elite institutions. Asian students, on the other hand, do a tremendous amount of work outside of school, spending ten times as much time as non-Asian students do on organized non-school activities ranging from music lessons to tutoring to test-preparation courses. That is true across the economic spectrum: Working-class Asian immigrant families in Queens send their children to tutoring sessions and piano lessons at a much higher rate than does the non-Asian population, even though the relative financial sacrifices necessary for them to do so are heavy.

For that, California’s professional race hustlers, and their allies across the country, would see them punished.

So, here is another case where the party that talks a lot about racism and race is actually the one that is opposed to Asians getting ahead. My view is that if Asians have the strong families that produce high achievers, then let them be 40% of the students at the university. Maybe then people of other races will get the message that they need to focus more on raising children who can compete. Follow the rules and you won’t be poor: finish high school, get jobs, get married, have children, don’t get divorced. If you follow those rules, you will not be poor, and your children will outperform you.

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

How to increase the number of adoptions in America

Here’s an article from National Review that argues that there is far more demand for children to adopt than there is supply of children to adopt for certain specific reasons.

The article mentions how legalized abortion and pro-eugenic attitudes contribute to diminishing the supply of children via abortion, but then it discusses another reason for reduced supply which I found horrifying. Apparently leftist social workers think that it is a bad idea for white parents to adopt black children, and would prefer those black children grow up in foster care.

Look:

Most of the parents waiting to adopt are white; most of the children awaiting adoption are not. Parents’ attitudes toward transracial adoption have become much more liberal since the 1970s, but the racial attitudes of social workers, those sometimes pitiless gatekeepers on the adoption pilgrimage, have hardened. A study published by the academic journal Child Welfare found that 43 percent of the caseworkers responsible for the longest-waiting black children in New York State expressed hostility toward transracial adoption. Federal law prohibits the use of racial criteria in adoption placement, but ethnic considerations have seeped into the system: The number of transracial adoptions executed each year remains tiny despite the willingness of the majority of couples to adopt a child of a different race. About 8 percent of all adoptions are transracial or cross-cultural — and that number includes international adoptions, commonly from Asia and South America. Professor Judy Fenster of Adelphi University finds that black social workers are particularly inimical to the prospect of cross-racial adoption. It seems that the matchmakers at the heart of the adoption system are part of the problem.

Transracial adoption is a volcanically touchy issue — the National Association of Black Social Workers has deployed weapons-grade rhetoric characterizing the practice as “cultural genocide.” That ideology has had predictable consequences: Black children spend more time in foster care than others, and in general have less luck in finding permanent adoptive homes. The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994, a legacy of the late senator Howard Metzenbaum, forbade the use of race as the decisive factor in making adoption-placement decisions, but the language of the statute left those politically opposed to transracial adoptions with room for much mischievous maneuvering. Would-be adoptive parents were disqualified for expressing political opinions at odds with social workers’ preferences.

[...]In one case, a white couple who had hoped to adopt a severely disabled black girl in 1994 were disqualified on political grounds — specifically that they expressed a desire to raise their children to be “colorblind” — and on racial grounds, specifically that they lived in Alaska, which was judged to be superabundantly Caucasian. The couple had raised other severely disabled children of various ethnic backgrounds but they were rejected in favor of a single woman who expressed the “correct” racial attitudes — and who ended up declining to adopt the child, precisely because of her disabilities. The girl in question suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and from Russell-Silver Syndrome, a form of dwarfism associated with, among other things, gastrointestinal difficulties, a triangular face, and asymmetrical body growth. It is difficult to imagine that her most pressing challenge in life was going to be the relative scarcity of black neighbors in Fairbanks.

So, it’s very important to think about the rhetoric of the left on children’s rights and welfare. On the one hand, they talk about wanting to help children. On the other hand, the policies they embrace seem to promote child murder, child abuse, child neglect and child poverty. On the one hand, the secular left is very much in favor of killing children with abortion, or depriving them of fathers with single mother welfare, or depriving them of bio-moms or bio-dads with gay marriage. On the other hand, they are actually working against letting these children be adopted, so much that American parents have to go to other countries to find children to adopt. And even that process is very difficult.

When will we get to the point where we can look at leftists and just flat out say that although they might have good intentions, their policies don’t achieve good results. Maybe a little more compassion for children is needed.

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

New study: religious communities have lower rates of crime

From the radically leftist Huffington Post, of all places.

Excerpt:

As a crime stopper, faith may be particularly effective in setting moral norms, building social ties and investing communities with a sense of meaning and purpose, counteracting the “moral cynicism” and individualism that can foster criminal behavior, researchers Ulmer and Casey Harris of the University of Arkansas note in the latest issue of The Sociological Quarterly.

Ulmer and Harris explored “Race and the Religious Contexts of Violence” in their study. They analyzed data from the U.S. Census, the Religious Congregations and Membership Study and crime reports from nearly 200 counties in New York California and Texas. All of the counties had substantial numbers of black, white and Latino residents.

What they found was not only evidence that religion may exert a protective influence discouraging violent crime, but that there are also racial-ethnic differences in the role of faith communities.

Consider these findings:

• Black and white violence decreased significantly as the percentage rose of county residents who belonged to congregations or were regular attenders.
• Black and Latino violence was lower in communities where residents belonged to similar types of religious institutions, indicating faith groups from similar traditions were able to exert greater influence on community values when they had a significant presence.
• Religious homogeneity was not associated with overall rates of white violence, but further breakdowns showed communities with larger percentages of evangelicals had lower rates of white violence. Latino violence was significantly reduced in communities with large numbers of active Catholics.
• Black violence dipped dramatically in counties with high levels of poverty, unemployment and low levels of education where large percentages of residents were active in congregations. This is a key finding, as communities with severe social and economic disadvantages are more likely to have high violent crime rates.

The findings suggest that religious groups have the ability to cultivate moral attitudes “that counteract the code of the streets,” Ulmer says.

The post also includes results from another study, this one featuring over 15,000 people between the ages of 18 and 28:

Baylor researchers Sung Joon Jang and Aaron Franzen analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine differences in crime rates among young adults in four categories:

• Religious and spiritual.
• Spiritual but not religious.
• Religious but not spiritual
• Neither religious nor spiritual.

Individuals who identified themselves as “religious” were less likely to be offenders.

However, individuals who were “spiritual but not religious” were more prone to commit violent crime than their “religious and spiritual” counterparts and more likely to commit property crime than emerging adults who were “religious” or “neither religious nor spiritual.”

“Is being ‘spiritual’ enough to reduce criminal propensity without also being religious? Our study suggests the answer is no – at least during emerging adulthood,” Jang and Franzen write in a recent issue of the journal Criminology.

What both studies also suggest is that the role of religion should be considered as communities address issues of violent crime.

Communities lose out when they marginalize or trivialize the potential pro-social influences of religion, Jang says.

“And one of the areas where society suffers is in crime,” he says

A long time ago, when I was just getting started with blogging, I wrote a series of posts that explained the minimal requirements for a robust moral system.

These were:

1) Objective moral values

There needs to be a way to distinguish what is good from what is bad. For example, the moral standard might specify that being kind to children is good, but torturing them for fun is bad. If the standard is purely subjective, then people could believe anything and each person would be justified in doing right in their own eyes. Even a “social contract” is just based on people’s opinions. So we need a standard that applies regardless of what people’s individual and collective opinions are.

2) Objective moral duties

Moral duties (moral obligations) refer to the actions that are obligatory based on the moral values defined in 1). Suppose we spot you 1) as an atheist. Why are you obligated to do the good thing, rather than the bad thing? To whom is this obligation owed? Why is rational for you to limit your actions based upon this obligation when it is against your self-interest? Why let other people’s expectations decide what is good for you, especially if you can avoid the consequences of their disapproval?

3) Moral accountability

Suppose we spot you 1) and 2) as an atheist. What difference does it make to you if you just go ahead and disregard your moral obligations to whomever? Is there any reward or punishment for your choice to do right or do wrong? What’s in it for you?

4) Free will

In order for agents to make free moral choices, they must be able to act or abstain from acting by exercising their free will. If there is no free will, then moral choices are impossible. If there are no moral choices, then no one can be held responsible for anything they do. If there is no moral responsibility, then there can be no praise and blame. But then it becomes impossible to praise any action as good or evil.

5) Ultimate significance

Finally, beyond the concept of reward and punishment in 3), we can also ask the question “what does it matter?”. Suppose you do live a good life and you get a reward: 1000 chocolate sundaes. And when you’ve finished eating them, you die for real and that’s the end. In other words, the reward is satisfying, but not really meaningful, ultimately. It’s hard to see how moral actions can be meaningful, ultimately, unless their consequences last on into the future.

I argued in other posts in that series that atheism does not ground any of those factors, but Christian theism (and Judaic theism) ground them all. Atheists aren’t going to be able to behave morally in the face of temptation when doing the right thing (assuming there is such a thing on their view) involves risk or self-sacrifice. Doing the right thing when it goes against your self-interest makes no sense on atheism – it’s not rational. And the studies above lend empirical support to that claim.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about parents and schools

This is a must-listen, especially for any single Christian woman who would like to get married and have children. If you want to marry a Christian man, you should listen to this lecture and also the Dr. Morse lecture on marriage Every Day. Christian men expect Christian women to know a lot about marriage. About why children need mothers, and why they need fathers, and how the state is always taxing families and then using that money to poke their noses in and teach the children all kinds of bad things.

With that introduction, here is the MP3 file on education policy.

Note: public schools = government-run schools.

Topics:

  • Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
  • Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
  • Should government promote bearing children?
  • What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
  • What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
  • Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
  • What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
  • Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
  • What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
  • What do school boards think of parents training children?
  • Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
  • Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
  • How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
  • How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
  • How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
  • How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
  • How is parental authority respected in the United States?
  • Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
  • What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
  • How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
  • Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
  • How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
  • Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
  • Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
  • How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
  • Does the public school monopoly cause racial predujice?
  • What else should parents demand on education policy?
  • Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?

This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care.

Related posts

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Tea Party conservative Tim Scott headed to U.S. Senate to replace Jim Demint

Republican Senator Tim Scott

Republican Senator Tim Scott

Those darn Republicans and their racist racisty racism!

The leftist New York Times moans about it:

Ms. Haley seriously considered a number of potential contenders, particularly Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of former Gov. Mark Sanford, who supported Ms. Haley in her race two years ago. But in choosing Mr. Scott, she selected a lawmaker with a strong conservative voting record during his two years in Congress.

Mr. Scott, 47, also offers a unique story and background, one that is in scant supply in the Republican Party right now. Raised by a single mother, he was, by his account, a lost child who struggled with school and with life until a Chick-fil-A franchise owner took him on as a protégé and schooled him in conservative principles.

“Coming from a single-parent household and almost flunking out of high school,” Mr. Scott said in 2010, during his bid for the House, “my hope is I will take that experience and help people bring out the best that they can be.”

[...]Mr. Scott will become South Carolina’s first black senator, and the first black Republican in the Senate since Edward Brooke of Massachusetts left in 1979. Over all, he will be the seventh black senator, and the chamber’s fourth black Republican.

He is the only black Senator in the Senate, from either party. Racism!

The leftist Washington Post is not happy:

 Since 2010, Republicans have either elected or appointed a black Senator, two Hispanic Senators (Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas) as well as two Hispanic governors (Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada) and an Indian-American governor (Nikki Haley of South Carolina). That group joins Gov. Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American, who was elected in 2007.

“As the country changes, our party is walking the walk in reflecting the role of all Americans in our politics today,” said Eric Ueland, a Republican lobbyist and one-tim chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.).

Tim Scott with Nikki Haley and Michele Bachmann:

Tim Scott with fellow Tea Party members Nikki Haley and Michele Bachmann

Tim Scott with fellow Tea Party members Nikki Haley and Michele Bachmann

They also had some interesting facts about Tim Scott:

  • Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) grew up in Charleston, S.C., where he was raised by his mother after his parents divorced when he was 7.
  • In 1997, he found himself at the center of controversy when he hung the Ten Commandments outside the Charleston County Council’s chambers to remind the members of the morals they must follow. The Commandments were later removed after the council was sued by Charleston residents and the American Civil Liberties Union. “I’ve always said and remain in this position: Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it,” Scott said at the time.
  • He was first elected to the House of Representatives with strong support from tea party groups during the Republican wave election in 2010.
  • He was one of two freshmen selected in 2010 to join the House Republican leadership.
  • After graduating from college, Scott sold insurance and co-owned a real estate agency.
  • Scott crashed the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Rep. Michele Bachmann (see picture above)
  • After his mentor died when Scott was 17, the future congressman wrote a “mission statement” setting the goal of having a positive impact on the lives of 1 billion people before he dies.

Life News is happy:

Republican Congressman Tim Scott, a black pro-life advocate, will replace pro-life Sen. Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, after DeMint stepped down to take over as the head of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced today that she chose Representative Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, a move which makes him the first black senator from the South in decades. Scott will serve until a special election is held in 2014.

Like DeMint, Scott is a staunch pro-life advocate who has a 100 percent pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. This year, Scott voted to stop abortion funding in Obamacare, de-Fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, and stop taxpayer funding of abortion in various instances. He voted for a ban on sex-selection abortions, for enforcing parental notification laws, to repeal Obamacare, and to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia.

[...]In 2010, then candidate Tim Scott outlined the development of his political positions and party allegiance to The Weekly Standard, which wrote: “As he tells it, Scott became a Republican in three stages. First, there was the military influence… Second, there was his becoming a Christian in college. That turned him into a social conservative and strong foe of legalized abortion. This, too, turned him toward Republicans, he says.”

And so is the pro-America Tea Party:

Conservatives online cheered the news on Monday that Rep. Tim Scott has been picked for Sen. Jim DeMint’s South Carolina Senate seat, citing both his conservative credentials and the diversity he brings to the table.

Guy Benson of Townhall.com noted on Twitter, “@townhallcom readership reaction is pretty much unanimous: Enthusiastic virtual applause for Gov. Haley’s pick of Tim Scott for US Senate.”

Katie Pavlich, also of Townhall.com, added, “Super happy about Tim Scott, great job Nikki Haley.”

[...]“So happy it’s Tim Scott that will replace Sen. DeMint!,” offered Kathleen McKinley, a conservative blogger.

[...]“Tim Scott has taken our core values seriously in the House and we have every reason to expect similar, principled behavior in the Senate,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, in a statement.

[...]“Tim Scott is among perhaps the rarest kind of Washington official: One who knows how to articulate the moral case for conservatism and explain our fiscal challenges to the average American,” said Ned Ryun, the president and CEO of the conservative group American Majority Action, in a statement. “This form of leadership outweighs identity politics.”

[...]The conservative commentator Dana Loesch tweeted, “great news about Rep. Tim Scott.”

Colin Hanna, the president of the conservative group Let Freedom Ring, also heaped praise on Scott.

“Gov. Nikki Haley made a wise and courageous choice by nominating Rep. Tim Scott,” Hanna said in a statement. “Sen. DeMint was a voice for limited government, fiscal responsibility and the advance of liberty. We have the same hopes for Tim Scott.”

This makes up for losing Allen West in Florida – a Congressman I deeply admired and respected. Maybe he will win again in 2016.

Even though I am visible minority myself, I really only care if people are conservative or not, not what color they are. But when stories like this come out, I must mock the racist Democrats who are obsessed with things that don’t matter, like race. What matters is this – promoting policies that defend the rights and freedoms of all the people equally. And Tim Scott is going to do about as well doing that as anyone in the Senate can do. That’s why we like him.

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

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