Saturday, January 26, 2019

Don't let the perpetrators pretend to be saviors

The Atlantic ran a long-overdue story about Bryan Singer. In it we see that the situation with the LGBT movement has changed. At last, the purveyors of homosexuality can no longer assume that the press, academia, and their past enablers in the courts and government will continue to protect them. In an age of MeToo, perhaps the gay community had scant cause to believe their own vast networks of abuse would remain undiscovered to the general public, and the perpetrators in their midst unpunished. If the Vatican with all its money and power could not dodge a reckoning, then it should not surprise us that the gay community could not either.

The tide seems to turn now, but we must wait to see if it will turn as fully as it should. As I noted in an earlier post, groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign will likely try to reposition themselves in the avalanche of revelations about to come forward. They may pretend they are shocked or may be shameless enough to present themselves as the solution to gay abuse. 

Do not let them get away with anything. Groups like GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, Southern Poverty Law, and Right Wing Watch all applied the "homophobia" or "hate" label to anyone who spoke the truth about gay abuse. They acted as the nerve center of a gigantic web of collusion, protecting gay abusers in exchange for the financial incentives that came with it, and ruthlessly stifling any whistleblowers.

Some folks (including me) spoke truthfully about the core issue that could never be denied. Homosexual activity is physically harmful between men. Nobody can engage in a lifetime of anal sex without harming himself or harming lots of other people. While apologists may mention the rates of heterosexual infection in Africa, in the West, where plentiful health care is available, only homosexuals managed to contract AIDS sexually in large numbers even after decades of generously funded outreach, research, training, and awareness. The anus is not designed to be penetrated. Lifelong habitual anal sex causes an endless series of health problems, of which the worst is AIDS though AIDS is not the only damage. Whether you have 500 sex partners in your erotic career or only one partner with whom you have sex 5,000 times, the fact is that the act of anal sex damages people. Feces spreads sickness and filth. The skin in the anus ruptures easily and results in pain and the dysfunction of the muscles used to defecate. To enjoy this act many people need to use alcohol, amyl nitrates or other drugs; otherwise they must be coaxed or coerced, doing it for pay, using sex as a means to find acceptance, or getting raped. 

That is what male homosexuality is. It will never be anything else, no matter how hard we try to use our rhetoric and moral imagination to envision male homosexuality as something more wholesome and dignified.

To get to the point where you view anal sex as normal and commit your identity to it for life, you have to be brainwashed to accept abuse as normal; either you are abused perpetually (bottom), or you abuse and are abused (versatile), or you become a serial abuser (top). Whichever role you play, you are complicit in massive, systematic abuse.

Where underage males are involved or someone fails to honor the need to gain consent from a partner, the abuse is particularly terrible and rises past a legal threshold. But even among consenting adults, homosexuality is harmful. Because it harms people's health to such an extent, the deliberate and organized encouragement and enabling of such harm is abusive. Homosexuality is harmful.


Lesbians do not cause this much physical harm to each other. But they harm each other emotionally. That alone would not be enough to deserve a strong rebuke. But lesbians must accept a public rebuke because they yoked their cause to gay men, who do cause widespread devastation through their sexual practices. In fact, at no time did any lesbian movement assert itself as the leading component of a queer or LGBT movement. Gay men held the most money and power, so they set the course for the activist enterprise. They formed a global community of abuse and tainted any other group that tied itself to gay male activism with complicity in abuse.

The lies about gay normalcy, gay families, "born this way," and "good as you" could not sustain themselves over the long term. Inevitably the cold statistics of harm done by homosexuality would become undeniable even if a gay-friendly society could try to defuse anger over the effect of rampant homosexuality on culture, law, religion, and politics. Too many people got out of homosexuality and turned normal for people to claim that this was an innate "orientation." Too many kids raised by gay parents reached adulthood having seen the twisted workings of gay subcultures. Too many people who jumped into gay identity reached middle age with misery and sickness for people to dismiss the physical harms as the fruit of homophobic imaginations.

The reckoning would come. Perhaps it has come already and the first revelations about gay abuse are only the beginning. I can see the gay activists trying to double down, blaming "stigma" or comparing gay abusers to the abuse by heterosexual predators. But things do not exist in comparison all the time; sometimes we must grapple with what things are, in themselves. The gay community is full of people who engaged in widespread abuse and/or encouraged it to go on, defending those who perpetrated it and crushing those who called it out. I know, I have the scars to prove it. Just google my profiles on GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and the rest. Go back and see how Claire Potter, the lesbian blogger at Chronicle of Higher Education, classlessly attacked me in the comments at Inside Higher Education to state that my own history of sexual abuse was something I imagined because I was mentally ill and a liar. These people know very well they covered up horrors that the average American could not bear to hear about.

They knew all along what went on. They tried to cover for the gay community's abuse by spreading a false idea that some people were born gay and therefore carried a biological destiny to suffer the harms of anal sex. This paradox, obviously untrue, gave the gay community "gaydar" status because we were told that adult gays could spot younger gays. And then came the "bullying" rhetoric. Kids who got made fun of, who felt rejected, who struggled to find their place, were told over and over again that they must be gay because they were bullied. (As if the bullies knew them better than they knew themselves, and somehow the sympathetic gay adults and the bullies were united in their knowledge that yes, this child must be gay.) Pressured into experimentation just as they were tender, young, and vulnerable, they found themselves unable to go against the assumptions that gayness was something in their destiny, inside them. They surrendered to fashion and allowed the gay community to take them prisoner.

GLAAD and the other gay organizations knew perfectly well that they were minions for rich abusers. They smeared critics, demonized whistleblowers, and propped up false propaganda for decades. Never let them claim they were innocent. As the stories come forward, let them face their own crimes, one by one. And one day, let America restore the reputations of all the maligned people who say in good faith now, "I told you so."

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

God's Voice Conference, Compensation, and the Conservatives' Funding Crisis

Robert Oscar López
Dear Colleagues, Friends, Allies, and Anyone Else Who Cares,

On February 22-23, 2019, in Oklahoma City, a conference will take place called "God's Voice." You can peruse the website for this conference at http://www.godsvoice.us. I served as a committee member for this conference and also intended to speak at the event. Early versions of the conference website list my name. 

I will not attend the conference as a speaker or as an organizer. I do not serve currently on the planning committee. I would prefer not to comment on this change but some people have questioned what my withdrawal from God's Voice means.

We have, perhaps, a teachable moment on our hands.

Four planners still serve on the committee--Janet Mefferd, Tom Littleton, Stephen Black, and Peter LaBarbera. They are good people. I support their work and agree with the vast majority of what they say. 

I encourage people to attend the God's Voice Conference. If they offer you a chance to speak at it, I would recommend that you take the opportunity and go.

But some have asked me to explain further. 

The conference will attract its own controversy because of the subject matter (a "biblical response to the queering of the church"). Also because of who the organizers are (people know them as fighters who do not back down.) 

Because of the controversy, a few people want me to disown the conference or disavow the people on the committee. I will not do that.

I withdrew from God's Voice due to a problem that needs more attention within our conservative and Christian movements. Quite simply, I cannot afford to go. 

For the last eleven years I have been heavily involved in both conservative and Christian causes. I sustained financial losses to defend them. My wife and children have paid the price for what has amounted to my "donation" of uncompensated labor.

Conservative activists and leaders have expected me to risk my family's sustainability by traveling and dueling over political questions. Since 2008 they have pressured me to take public stances that alienate colleagues and isolate me within my field. Then the backlash comes. I find myself abandoned and forced to clean up the mess.

Most in the pro-family movement ignore, minimize, or dismiss the toll this takes on families like mine. They often expect me to swallow the loss, anger more people I need as professional allies, and as one person told me, "shut up and back off." 

For years I went along with this. But I noticed that when their financial support is at risk, they will turn into compromisers and placaters. Recently allies asked that I refrain from scrutinizing or publicly questioning certain churches about their problematic practices. They wanted to protect the financial viability of ministries that would go under without the churches' support.

To which I finally asked, "what about my going under?" Many conservative and Christian leaders fail to step back and consider the sacrifices and risks that their foot soldiers take to work on their projects. Often they hide money and call in favors to protect their funders, even when they loudly call out others for selling out.

I cannot judge people for needing to feed their families. I will not judge them. But I need to feed my family too. I have to stop doing things for free which hurt my wife and children. In an ideal world, Christian activists would see this and understand it. But we do not live in an ideal world.

Tom and Janet have heroically sought to expose the financial corruption that undergirds and makes possible the "queering of the church." Queer subversives have made inroads into the churches because of money. Many people in the conservative and Christian world played tricks with their money in the past. They have financial secrets, especially debts. They need bailouts, which often come in the form of secret or "dark" money with strings attached. 

I stood up and fought for the truth in the last year because I believe truth deserves a fight. Dallas police officers physically removed Tom Littleton from the Southern Baptist Convention at the same event where Vice President Mike Pence spoke, where the Southern Baptists dealt with a firestorm over the firing of Paige Patterson, and where my resolution supporting reparative therapy got rejected whereas the convention passed countless resolutions affirming threadbare social-justice issues or thanking rich people. I wrote about these affairs when they were radioactive. 

Seeing power games this dangerous, a smart detective knows to follow the money trail.

Like most Christian denominations, the Southern Baptist Convention finds itself desperate for money. Churches are losing members, particularly white people. They need to do special outreach to people of color to save themselves from dissolution. They need to play up to wealthy foundations. The typical family foundation is a big pot of money that began when Grand Pappy, who struck it rich somewhere, became a Baptist. Typically a Grand Pappy found Jesus in the post-Civil War days of robber barons and plucky inventors. As his generation died off, later generations changed the family lineage. Among the great-grandchildren, some liberal descendant who partied for four years at an Ivy League school and has lots of gay friends now decides who gets the money. 

I smelled this game long ago. I once wrote a novel called The Melville Affair. It remains unpublished. One of the main characters, Austan Melville, was an heir to a Texas oil fortune and a flaming gay socialite living in Manhattan. Austan's ancestor was Baptist preacher "Habakkuk Magpie" who changed his name to Melville when he saw a rack of library books dedicated to Herman Melville. Habakkuk and his son Rufus wanted respect from the world at large so they took the surname Melville and started a charitable trust. 

Austan, a great-great-grandson of Habakkuk, was the favorite of his grandmother. She had no idea about his sexual antics. Everyone in the family covered for him until she died and left Austan in charge of the family foundation. 

Austan uses the money to gather an entourage of cloying pornographers producing "art" that really amounts to photographs that demean young Latino boys and display them for profit. The main protagonist in Melville Affair, Dodson Silva, falls prey to Austan Melville's seduction. Austan throws him away when he realizes that Dodson sees the racism and hypocrisy in his family's cultured veneers. 

In Melville Affair, three rich white families complicate life for the ensemble cast of Latino characters affected by their schemes. The Melvilles are one family. Another, the Buckleburns, are old Yankee aristocrats who ended up on the right side for hundreds of years. Then the Turtleshells, a shady media dynasty with a fake name, descended from Andreas, refugee fleeing the war-torn Balkans in the late 1940s. 

Anglo money ends up toxic to poor Latinos trying to get ahead in the creative arts. Latino characters like Evelyn Morales, Oscar Coronado, Richie Rosas, and Angélica Crespo get entangled in conflicts they did not choose. They try earnestly to share their talents with the world and get dragged into the nightmares of nonprofit foundations, political action committees, and media megaliths controlled by these wealthy white people behind the scenes.

I wrote Melville Affair first in 1998 as "the Latino Bronze Age" and kept developing it until it reached its final form in 2008. I mention this to say I have noticed the problem of Baptist money for a long time--long before I had any idea I would ever be Southern Baptist, live in Texas, or have anything to do with debates about Mike Pence or Tom Littleton.

Southern Baptists must walk a tightrope and not fall down on either side of the wire.

If they openly affirm homosexuality and trans politics, they will lose more Christians, who will exit the churches. 

If they play hardball and stick to the scripture on sexuality issues, they will lose the Melvilles and Buckleburns whose money they need to keep going. 

So they invite and honor Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana and VP of the USA. He vetoed the religious freedom act that would have protected many Christians from persecution similar to what I suffered. Of course Pence had to do that back then, to protect his career. And Southern Baptists had to invite him to speak at the convention, to protect their careers. They had to sink my resolution, to protect something somewhere too.

Tom and Janet have done important and courageous work to expose these financial corruptions. For that reason, the God's Voice conference matters. It will do important work.

But my situation differs. For a whole decade I gave my pound of flesh to pro-family causes. I will continue to fight for them as I can. But we cannot ignore the quandary of how Christians are going to make a living. We cannot simply attack and attack and expose and criticize. 

To present at God's Voice, I would have to sacrifice a great deal. I would have to spend my money and time. Instead of attacking people whose money comes from questionable places, I want to work with people to build something sustainable that I can get behind. I do not need to be on a stage and on the radio fighting battles on a dozen fronts.

I choose this way because I know the reality of my family's needs. But others who can make the sacrifices necessary to attend and support an effort like God's Voice should absolutely do it.


Irregardless, we all have to figure out how people in our movement can support themselves on terms they can live with.

By the way this transmission is worth listening to, by Joe Goodson. https://www.facebook.com/CentralTexasCCC/videos/309052693050258/

----ROBERT OSCAR LOPEZ


Thursday, January 17, 2019

What I sent to the MLA about translators' safety in 2014


From: Bobby Lopez
Date: Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM
Subject: Intimidation of translators and transnational literary scholars
To:


Dear Dr. Rosemary G. Feal,

I am writing to you as a colleague and as a member of the Modern Language Association. Currently I am an associate professor of English and Classics at California State University-Northridge. On September 15, 2014, a major political action group published a "report" that listed me as their second biggest enemy. This classification is based solely on my arguments regarding same-sex parenting. While I am aware that this topic is controversial, I based my arguments on personal experience, research and translation, and transnational, trans-historic literary study. In other words, I have followed principles of evidence and argumentation as espoused by the MLA.

The report uses the threatening term "on notice" to describe their intent to surveil and pressure me about my collaborative research and translation projects with colleagues in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Italy. Their reasons for targeting me for intimidation stem from my participation and presentations as part of public debate in the United States and especially in the four above countries in Europe. This is literally a campaign of intimidation designed to pressure not only me but all scholars and translators who collaborate on research with people in foreign countries. As you will see from this link, The Export of Hate, I have been warned and placed "on notice" that harm will befall me if I continue to exercise my academic freedom and pursue international research with scholars in other countries. These harms do not preclude efforts to retaliate me through institutions (such as the university board of trustees, etc.) or physical attacks. The implications for the professionals in your organization are enormous. 

I am interested to know whether the MLA will defend the principles of its organization in the face of a campaign of threats and intimidation. There are more details pertinent to this case; I am willing to provide further details if the MLA would like to know more.

Sincerely,
Robert Oscar Lopez

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Gay Community's Racism Exposed -- Maybe This Is the Year

This article is worth bookmarking:

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ted-lieu-ed-buck-west-hollywood-20190109-story.html

If you have not been made aware of what is happening, let me give you a recap. Ed Buck is a mega-donor to Hillary Clinton's campaign and also a leading light of the LGBT leadership. In 2017, police discovered a young black man dead in Buck's home. This month another dead black man was found in his home. Here is what I wrote in August 2017:

http://englishmanif.blogspot.com/2017/08/young-black-man-dies-in-home-of-gay.html


I commented on this above. Please take a listen. The racism in the gay community is rampant. I wrote three novels that explored my personal experience with gay racism (Johnson Park, Melville Affair, and Gay Wars). The gay community panned them as terribly written. Even if they were awfully written it is noteworthy that members of the gay community accused me of lying about the racial sex abuse that goes on in the community; they claimed repeatedly online that I authored "porn" or "erotica," to dismiss the problems I was highlighting then.

As early as the 1980s I was exposed to a gay subculture of racially themed BDSM, which went both ways. There were white men who fantasized about being sexual slaves to men of color. Then there were white men who had sick fantasies about tying up and sexually abusing men of color. 

Often when white men fantasized about abusing black or Latino men they combined these fantasies with a fetish for young men of color. Older white men typically had these tastes and wanted to abuse young, even underage, blacks and Latinos.

"Poppers" or amyl nitrates, and stronger drugs, like meth, became necessary sometimes to get young men of color to endure the abusive sex scenes. Often these scenes involved exchange of money between older white men and men of color. When I say this was rampant, I mean it. I saw this subculture in New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and many other cities.

For decades, if you even mentioned this was going on, the gay community closed ranks and accused you of homophobia to silence you.

Ed Buck did not act in a vacuum. His actions formed part of a subculture.

Now is the time to expose what has happened and discuss it openly. 

The gay community has been protected by the press and academia, coddled by gullible heterosexual allies, for far too long. They have been no less guilty than the Catholic community was, of encouraging a culture of secret abuse in their midst.

We need to clean house finally.

I find it repulsive that Ted Lieu, the Asian Democrat politician who recently touted himself as a good Catholic, received large donations from Ed Buck. To express his remorse for what Ed Buck did, he has donated $13,000 to gay causes and $5,000 to black causes.

So he rewarded the gay community for having been complicit in (even guilty of) causing two black men to die.


And then he gave $5,000 to the NAACP, which has been among the weakest when it comes to safeguarding the black civil rights legacy from co-optation by the LGBT lobby. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Life After the Conservative Label

I find writer Selwyn Duke relentlessly interesting. He commented to me a few years ago that he had stopped calling himself conservative. I have found others, some but not all tied to the alt-right, also rejecting the label conservative. Roosh of the famous Return of Kings even wrote an entire blog post entitled "Conservatives are losers."

I've wrestled with the question of whether "conservative" is a useful label anymore. During the last few years the question gained greater importance. My beliefs have not changed but my feelings about the notion of a conservative movement have changed. Much of what the conservative movement does fails to advance the conservative movement. Increasingly, the conservative movement has split into two problematic scenarios. 

Scenario 1: Some people under the conservative label lost sight of conservative principles and prioritize simply advancing the organizations they work for, or their own careers. Often they rationalize this by saying that they need to position themselves as spokespeople for conservatism. People in this scenario tend to have many verbal maneuvers that convince people that they are far more devoted to principles than they actually are. For instance, a lot of people I would class in this category vehemently oppose Trump and claim conservatives are abandoning their principles by supporting or even working with  Trump. Most so-called "fake" conservatives are actually more like Never Trumpers: they abandon principles of faith, tradition, and decency by engaging in ad hominem distractions about Trump, neglecting the value of policies that Trump can enact, which others cannot. Also, in many cases the Never Trumpers are not defending pure conservative ideals, but rather protecting conservative organizations against scrutiny and reform. The reality is that the Deep State got deep, in large part, because conservative leaders had hidden deals with liberal leaders. The Trump movement brought added scrutiny to all sides, which is healthy in general regardless of people's labels.

Scenario 2: A second camp of problematic conservatives are the babes in the woods. These are people who genuinely believe in conservative principles and have sincere faith in conservative spokespeople. They just have no realistic plan of how to fight back against the left and think, somehow, that conservatives who get smeared and blacklisted have taken the wrong approach and brought harm upon themselves by making bad choices. This camp of people means well but is simply too gullible to be anything other than a hindrance. They constitute a significant "opportunity cost" in the movement because they place their financial support and work time in the hands of people who abuse them and exploit them, with the result that people who want to champion conservative values and put them into practice do not have the help they need to get things done. 

For many years I perceived these problems in the conservative movement as side issues, minor glitches that did not pose an existential problem. Now I have realized that these are not exceptions to the conservative movement or flaws in it--these are the conservative movement.

The "conservative" label has gradually lost its meaning because in public discussion we hear it so often defined by these two groups.

A massive chasm opens up between the challenges conservatives deal with in their life, typically consisting of cultural intrusions into their family's ability to live out traditional values, and the discussion of the conservative movement, typically consisting of abstract debates about conservative ideas or about policy ideals that nobody believes will ever be put in place. 


We need a new label. Much like shedding the word "gay," a decision to shed the "conservative" label might free us from the implicit suggestion that we have to protect leaders who used the conservative label to enrich themselves at our expense, or policy ideas that have been tried for thirty years and are seemingly destined to fail. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

David French says Tucker Carlson Gets It Wrong. David French Got It Wrong.

Someone forwarded this to me, by David French:


David French wrote some great articles in the past but increasingly his work has grown tone-deaf. He just doesn't get it.

Here's the short version: Tucker Carlson has gained a lot of attention by pointing to the deeper spiritual crisis in America. Which is so important! At Politicon 2018, the best panel I was on dealt with precisely this. The high suicide rate, spread of marijuana, high amounts of autism and behavioral problems, psychotropic drugs, depression, pornography addiction, and sexual dissatisfaction all point to a reality that only the most sheltered people can miss:

It is not about the economy, stupid. People in America are miserable. The statistics don't mean anything if people are miserable. We saw that during the Obama years so clearly. The statistics said the economy was recovering while we, in our personal lives, found ourselves feeling more desperate, nervous, and alone. The statistics say that children raised by gay couples do splendidly, and then when Brittany Klein and I go out and interview people who had gay parents, we find that they're miserable.

The statistics say that everyone supports trans and gay rights, and then you go out and you talk to people, and they feel freaked out and rejected by people close to them because they can see that sexual radicalism causes harm to individuals and those who care about them. The statistics say that women are making more progress than ever before, and yet you talk to women and they want decent stable men to marry and support them. The statistics say men have all these advantages and then you talk to men and you find them constantly besieged by two weighty pressures: all the old manly obligations to protect people around them, and new obligations to atone for centuries of patriarchy.

The statistics say that colleges are doing well, and then you talk to people and everyone hates everything colleges are doing. Liberals hate colleges for costing so much and being so racist. Conservatives hate colleges for being biased and discriminatory.

White people feel angry. Black people feel angry. Latinos wonder why the heck everyone is screaming at each other.

We're miserable. Tucker Carlson got it right. So what does David French do in response? He quotes statistics at Tucker to say we need to stop complaining. In summary, David French thinks we need to keep electing the same establishment politicians who have kept the policies in place that got us to this misery. We're supposed to focus on vague cultural changes that nobody can take responsibility for, and console ourselves by looking at statistics that deny us the reality of what we experience.

David French's article reminds me of 2015, when my friend Heather Barwick published an article, "Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting" about how painful it was to be raised in a gay home. Sarah Elizabeth Williams in Salon responded in a rebuttal saying Barwick was wrong because the statistics show kids in gay homes are totally happy.

To the devil with statistics. We know what's going on with our lives. This is why Bernie and Donald rose in power and stature. They heard us whereas Hillary and the Republican robots kept giving us statistics.

So David thinks that Tucker is encouraging victimhood because Tucker is putting politicians on notice that people are fed up and want real change. David thinks things don't need to change except incrementally, and barely at all, on some personal level. David is like the Washington DC people whom I reached out to, for help, when the academy was driving me from my tenured job, and they told me I should be patient and see if I might find allies in the professoriate. I remember telling one such bright light bulb about the knife marks on my office door and he said, "have you tried inviting your liberal colleagues to lunch?"

David thinks Tucker is just projecting people's personal problems on public policy. No, David. That's now how this works. Tucker is right. Lots of people on the right and left and in between no longer want to play this William F. Buckley, Oxford debate game where we all post hyperlinks and block quotes and beat each other up over statistics. We want to stop being so miserable. Some of this is our personal choices.

But we also live in a country run by a government. And we need the government to do its part too.

We need our taxes to go to decent schools and colleges. We need to fire massive numbers of bureaucrats who run countless agencies that affect our lives, and who run them badly and wastefully with a negative impact on us. 

We need the government to stop kowtowing to special interests and start doing the job they are supposed to do. We need the political parties to stop sending up cynical warmed-over hacks who spew the same proposals we have heard for 40 years. 

Tucker hit the mark. Listen to what he says.

How conservatives wasted two years of Trump's presidency when it came to education

Here is an email chain I sent to a conservative friend. Part of me just wants to give up the whole education fight but I know that we have to keep moving forward with it even if it's just me and five other people. The left and the right's "doe in the headlights" naïve ones are entrenching the left in the superstructure of higher ed more and more each day, even as they keep us constantly outraged over Trigglypuff and students who try to stop people from wearing Halloween costumes. We've got to move!


Dear -------,

Just one more thing I just found:
The membership and funding for the MLA kept dropping until suddenly this fund popped up:


It raised a lot of money and turned the MLA's fundraising balance from a drop of 24.6% one year to an increase of about 30% the next year. 

They list this as part of their activities:

EARLY CAREER DEVELOPMENT

  • Grants to help departments expand career development services for graduate students
  • Convention travel grants for students, adjunct faculty members, and independent scholars
  • MLA internships for students interested in careers at nonprofit organizations 
[This sounds good but remember that all these non-profit humanities departments that say who gets into grad school or gets hired are dominated by liberals and they are not tolerant of dissent.]

WORKFORCE FAIRNESS

  • Departmental consultancy visits to promote best practices and uniform standards for hiring, supporting, and mentoring graduate students and adjunct faculty members
  • Professional development grants to help part-time faculty members pay for research and conference travel, continuing education, new technology, and more
  • Preconvention workshops for graduate students on humanities careers outside the academy  
[NOTE: All of these positions are pretexts trying to protect the tenure system, which is a systematically abusive labor system.]

ADVOCACY

  • Online advocacy campaigns  and lobbying efforts in Washington, DC, to rally support for humanities education
  • Course development grants for faculty members to develop courses that build enrollments and revitalize student interest in the humanities 
  • Trainings in op-ed writing to increase the range and quality of voices advocating for the humanities and language study

MLA BENEFIT FOR THE HUMANITIES

The MLA held its second annual Benefit for the Humanities during the 2018 convention in New York City to raise funds for the Paving the Way campaign. Special guests included Jon Parish Peede, the Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and three renowned journalists: David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker; Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now!; and Lydia Polgreen, editor in chief of HuffPost. They joined Paula Krebs for a discussion of cultural coverage in the media and the importance of a free press. The event raised over $109,000 from donors and sponsors, surpassing the amount raised at the inaugural benefit in Philadelphia in 2017.

SPONSORS OF THE 2018 BENEFIT FOR THE HUMANITIES

The MLA thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2018 Benefit for the Humanities.
Organizations and Corporations
Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company 
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
Cigna Healthcare
CoreSite
EBSCO 
EisnerAmper LLP 
Humanities New York 
JDM Benefits 
JSTOR 
Kerber Gost Agency 
New Jersey Council for the Humanities 
Spherical Cow Group
--------

From what I can gather, these folks are using 501c-3 money to advance a liberal agenda and Republicans in Congress are handing them millions of dollars to do it. Their goal is to lobby Congress to allow higher-ed institutions to keep their gravy train of tax exemptions, subsidies, grants, and student loan certifications intact. 

Why aren't we lobbying to shake up the accreditation agencies?
Will anyone on our side ask Congress to stop this insanity?
In Christ,
Bobby



Dear ______

I came across this in my research into the Modern Language Association:

The MLA supported the event by paying transportation expenses for members from states whose legislators represented key votes on support for humanities funding. MLA member Jessica Winston, professor of English and chair of the Department of History at Idaho State University, kindly agreed to fly out to meet with the Idaho delegation. I met with staffers from the offices of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) as well as accompanying the Pennsylvania team on their visits. Winston met with staffers from the offices of Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Raúl Labrador (R-ID). In addition, she and other advocates met with Senator James Risch (R-ID).

It comes from the 2019 annual report. How on earth did the academic left get these Republicans to sign on to a $2 million increase in NEH funding the same year Trump called for its defunding? And there have been no efforts to compel them to fix their political bias because every time we talk about the bias in these organizations, we get another speech in Congress from Ben Shapiro or Robbie George about how we need to refrain from telling these taxpayer-funded entities what to do.

------, is there anyone out there who might want to form a task force that is serious about forcing the Republican-controlled Senate and Trump's Dept. of Education to start defunding these people?

It is so infuriating sometimes I do not even want to read about this but I think it's crucial we do something during Trump's last 2 years. I admire a lot of the conservative activists but we have to face the fact that they are not getting anywhere with the model of activism we have been using. (See here:  https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/11/the_education_issue_for_2020_get_off_the_path_of_least_resistance.html ).

I was one of the 140 scholars who signed the support of Trump. I have gotten into the large meetings of the faith in education group under the White House. If we don't act now we're missing a huge chance.

Do you know anyone who thinks the way I do who might want to do something?

Let me know.

God bless,
Bobby

Mitt Romney, King of Disappointment

One of the most painful things I had to do during my years as a conservative was vote for Mitt Romney in 2012. I liked John McCain and really liked Sarah Palin a lot. But in 2012? Mitt came across as a rich jerk and his running mate, Paul Ryan, didn't exactly give me many reasons to get enthusiastic about him.

One thing I recall about the 2012 election was that I disagreed with Ann Coulter a lot back then, something that rarely happens. She loved Mitt and that he was a phenomenal candidate, then she expressed puzzlement when he lost miserably.


Well, Mitt Romney left the public eye for a while and then reappeared to run for the Senate as a replacement for Orrin Hatch. None of these people instill much enthusiasm in me. As a social conservative I heard them talk the talk about abortion and marriage for years and then miraculously, every time the Republicans had the government, Planned Parenthood kept getting funded and the LGBT movement continued its Bataan Death March. 

Anyhow, now Romney is authoring op-eds in the Washington Post calling into question Trump's fitness for the presidency. This serves zero purpose other than to primp for some future stage rush or revenge over some petty grievance in the past. Pushback came and then Romney started backtracking. Whatever!



Thursday, January 3, 2019

Keep Pushing for Abolition of Tenure

I have long maintained that tenure is a major system of labor abuse. This article came out in Chronicle, one of several that has surfaced in the last few days:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Invisible-Faculty/245399

Here Liz McMillen talks about the tragedy that tenure-track faculty at universities never formed an effective allegiance with "adjuncts," the temporary instructors who get paid per class and have zero job security.

When I abandoned tenure in 2016, I spoke sincerely about my conviction that tenure is not something that a Christian should seek or hold. Tenure is an earthly vanity, and fundamentally unjust. If you participate in the tenure system, you abet the many people on the tenure-track who demonstrate such constant inhumanity in the way they deal with people.

Liz McMillen, who I believe was the one who fired Naomi Schafer-Riley seven years ago, shocks me by now naming the tenure-track faculty and calling them out. Those of you who do not work in academia may or may not have experienced the work environment of the tenure-track world. It is truly barbaric. 

Rather than guarantee you academic freedom (a lie that academics constantly regurgitate), tenure binds you to a system of flattery and obsequy, in which you have to prove to people who have tenure that you are just like them, think like them, and will protect them from scrutiny once they let you into their club. 

It is easy when you work in academia to think this is the way it has to be, because it's been that way since you went to college. The truth is, tenure is a completely illegitimate system. It harms people, as you can see from the reports of serious mental illness among people in graduate school. Associate professors have high rates of depression--the people who just got tenure! Why? Because tenure is a world. It is a distorted world, where people are mean and petty. 

When I think back on my days at Northridge, for instance, I get the chills. To be in a system like that, like you are inside the bowels of a monster, watching all your colleagues bloviate, preen, and abuse each other, constantly holding each other hostage with the threat of sabbatical reviews, promotion panels, committee assignments. They all protected their turf and behaved in ways that would have never been tolerated in any other field. They cover for each other's incompetence. And they waste inordinate amounts of money. They spend their junior years thinking only about research (and their research is garbage), then they get tenure and strut around like small gods. Very small gods. 

Meanwhile, an enormous army of temporary workers does the heavy lifting in our field. They come, teach huge workloads of classes, and frankly do a better job for the students because they know they cannot take their job for granted. And the tenured people act like the vast inequality between themselves and the people who are doing all the big work is righteous, fully deserved, and the way things must be, because the profession says so. 

I find myself getting better each semester as a teacher, scholar, and service to the community, because I don't have tenure. Tenure is anti-Christian. Tenure causes you to rely upon an earthly institution, and one based on vanity, flattery, and snobbery at that. 

As the academy claims to want a real fight against racism in academia, they have to face the tough fact of tenure. Tenure will always be a racist system because it is arbitrary and an old boys network. You get ahead in the system by playing to the mannerisms and sensibilities of the egotistical white liberals who run the whole system. If you are ethnic you have two choices. Tap-dance and fetch things for the white liberals, so you can get tenure and be left alone for a life of self-humiliating servitude to condescending people who swear they are not racist. Or, if that does not interest you, you can be yourself, speak honestly, and expect to be driven out the way I was. Tenure is a world in which people in power delude themselves to justify the scam they are pulling off on the world. They have to convince themselves that their personal discomforts and defensiveness around people who refuse to play along with their games are not petty vindictive responses from people trying to cover up their own incompetence--no, they must convince themselves that if they feel uncomfortable, that's because there is something wrong with the person who makes them uncomfortable.

I don't care how many Toni Morrison conferences these people have presented at or how many books they have written on W.E.B. DuBois. Academics will get very uncomfortable if you are ethnic, well trained, confident, and willing to walk through the front door with your head held high. They don't like people of color who have degrees in Greek. They like people of color who kiss up to them and tell them that their disgusting, disjointed poetry is great art. They like people of color who will beg them for approval and backing all week and then go disappear.

I was on the tenure track and fully competent. I spoke up at meetings and posted my thoughts on the listserv. One by one the white folks in the tenure-track department where I worked flipped out until I had no friends left. It didn't matter how nice I tried to sound or how softly I phrased things. I was brown and not somebody they could condescend to. So they pushed me around. When that didn't work, they just coached students to make up crazy accusations about me, and they dragged a knife across the Army decals on my door. And then they bullied the university administrators to make sure they did not investigate it.

The adjuncts probably have it worse. I am not sure. I left and love working in a place where the tenure system does not exist. We all cover the full range of courses taught in our college from freshman intro classes to senior seminars. We don't use adjuncts almost at all. It is far more humane and we do a better job. You live with job insecurity, but remember, Jesus wanted you not to put your faith in the treasures of this world. He did not want you to become a pharisee with long tassels seated in the place of honor at the banquets. He wanted you to think of the lilies in the field. They neither spin nor sew, yet Solomon never dressed as well as they do.

Remember that. 

MeToo becomes more of a political weapon each day

Here's a life lesson--when you are rising to the top, expect your enemies to orchestrate a sexual harassment claim against you. Bernie Sanders does well in polls and boom, the Clintonistas go out and find sexual harassment accusers. As usual, the allegations have no evidence other than lots of hearsay and accusers "corroborating" each other.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/for-bernie-sanders-claims-of-sexism-in-2016-campaign-hang-over-2020-bid/ar-BBRIM7i

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Problem with Famous Conservatives

During my decade or so in the so-called "conservative" trenches, I got to see a lot of behind-the-scenes wrangling. I wish I hadn't seen these things. They feel distasteful and unsettle the mind. Conservative politics is show business, kind of like the musical Chicago. Very little of it really comes forth as the fruit of conservative thought or ideals. A lot of it is actually quite fake.

Note: Stop talking about homosexuality and start studying heterosexuality

This piece, published today on Theological Matters, argues that homosexuality has taken too much space in our debate. The real issue is what to do with heterosexuality (English version is below the fold, if you scroll down):

https://theologicalmatters.com/2019/01/02/como-los-cristianos-confunden-el-tema-de-la-heterosexualidad-what-christians-get-wrong-about-heterosexuality/

The English version here in entirety:

Preston Sprinkle republished a 2017 essay by Greg Coles: “You don’t need to pray that God makes me straight” at the Center for Faith, Spirituality, and Gender. Coles boldly rejects the idea of heterosexuality.
Coles’s message joins an enormous genre of books and conferences exhorting Christians to engage LGBT issues by speaking the “truth in love.” Key players in the discussion hail from Christian institutions, most notably Mark Yarhouse of Regent University.
Sprinkle’s Center resembles Love BoldlyFaith in America, the Reformation ProjectRevoiceSpiritual FriendshipNew Ways Ministry, and LivingOut, not to mention the Metropolitan Community Churches. They partner often with Christians like Jackie Hill PerryRosaria ButterfieldKaren Swallow PriorWesley Hill, and Sam Allberry.
These groups aim to bridge clashing worldviews. One worldview adapts Biblical exegesis to postmodern culture. In noting homosexual culture today, this worldview condones homosexual identity, homosexual desire, or even sodomy itself (see here for “Side A” versus “Side B”.)
The other discerns today’s cultures according to the Bible. Based on what the Bible says, it deems today’s homosexual identity, desire, and intercourse wrong (see here for an argument linking postmodern sexual movements to the Sodom story.)
Coles equates heterosexuality and homosexuality as equally broken and sinful, stating, “Gay or straight, we are all drawn to lustful behaviors.” He offers an either/or choice:
  1. reject all sex as equally sinful or
  2. offer the same grace to all sexual inclinations.
The first would deny Christians the pleasures and procreation of normal sex. Since this is impossible and conflicts with Jesus (who glorifies male-female intimacy within marriage in Matthew 19:4-12 and in Mark 10:6-12), readers must choose #2.
Consequently equal grace to all sexuality becomes a de facto endorsement of homosexual desire. This is rhetorical but not Biblical.
The leveling between heterosexuality and homosexuality reinforces LGBT tenets:
  1. the desires are “normal,”
  2. the desires form an “identity,” and
  3. it is “bigoted” to ask that homosexuals repudiate their desires if we do not ask heterosexuals to abandon theirs.
These tenets make it difficult to uphold chastity, even with the best intentions. Study the case of Julie Rodgers at Wheaton College.
Catholic and secular, homosexual and heterosexual contexts all provide grounds for evangelicals to approach such reasoning with caution. The Catholic Church faces catastrophic fallout over sex abuse by clergy, of which 85% was same-sex. A MeToo movement spotlighted heterosexual abuses resulting from the loss of sexual boundaries. Clear limits matter. Yet the “truth in love” movement grows in appeal.
So what’s going on? Rather than scan the Christian responses to homosexuality, one can gain greater insight by examining evangelicals’ failure to understand heterosexuality.
In Jephthah’s Daughters (2015), I included a chapter called “Problem of Women.” In America, fear of sex has often led to a male fear of women and a female fear of men. In response, men avoid women and women avoid men through social arrangements that become sex-segregated. Nathaniel Hawthorne did not construct the Puritans’ fear of sexuality from nothing. From “Rip van Winkle” to Walden, one finds a long history of Americans dreading heterosexual domesticity (I explore this conundrum at length in The Colorful Conservative as well.)
While Coles appears to present a new idea it is actually old. His starting premise, like the premise of most others in this movement, errs: the major challenge facing Christians is not how to respond to homosexuality, but rather how to cultivate a Biblical heterosexuality.
In Genesis 1-2 God designs males and females to fulfill each other through sexual intercourse. The fifth commandment in Exodus 20:12 places “mother” and “father”—roles based on intercourse and procreation—as figures whose respect bestows flourishing on “the land.” Rejecting one sex goes against God’s design in scripture.
God did not create sexual orientations. He created sexes. God gave each sex a body equipped to provide physical pleasure and children to the other sex. Everybody is heterosexual because everyone is either male or female, regardless of what feelings they may grapple with. Homosexuality has nothing to do with heterosexuality and cannot be cast as its corollary.
Some people feel powerful same-sex desires, as Greg Coles narrates in his column. This does not change the fact that they are heterosexual already, because God made them that way, as the Bible tells us. Men in his situation need to stop self-analyzing to see if they can become straight—that is a moot point. They need coaching to help them date marriageable women.
Ministries should help people prepare themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for deliberate courtship of the opposite sex. Coles relates his own failures to feel desire at random images of women. That misses the point. God created his body to be desirable for a woman, so he has a gift to shareMinistries should encourage Christians to use their God-given anatomies. Their sexed anatomy grants them a pleasurable talent to be shared according to its purpose rather than denied the opposite sex.
The focus on whether Christianity forbids homosexuality has taken too much energy. For 2019, we need to begin a new discussion of heterosexuality as:
  1. a good in itself, provided that it is not abused,
  2. incomparable to homosexuality, and
  3. the necessary end of any ministry for Christians who identify as LGBT.
Males and females—indeed all humans—have equal right and duty to engage in such discussion. People should stop saying “heterosexuality is not holiness.” That statement is vague and misleading, a non-sequitur. God’s design for us is holy and His design is heterosexual. Even a celibate person has to acknowledge the beauty and intrinsic value of the opposite sex. Nobody can live life believing that the opposite sex does not deserve affection and pleasure.
To people like Greg Coles, I can only say, stop thinking about homosexuality and apply your male body to its God-given purpose. If your thoughts go back to dark places, pray and fill your mind and heart with the Holy Spirit.