A Lesson in Hire Education
October 15, 2012 - Monday
So far, the best argument for protecting marriage may be sitting in the President's office of Gallaudet University. There, voters got a unique view of the real-life persecution that awaits anyone who opposes same-sex "marriage." Last week, when Gallaudet's Dr. Angela McCaskill was outed for signing a petition in favor of a public vote on marriage, she was exiled from the University she called home for 23 years. Now, instead of sitting in her office helping students, she's meeting with attorneys, trying to come to grips with President Alan Hurwitz's decision to banish her from campus. Calling McCaskill's actions "inappropriate," Hurwitz is putting a face on the intolerance that FRC and other marriage advocates have warned about for years.
By all reports, his ruthlessness is already taking its toll. According to her pastor, Rev. Dr. Lee Washington, Dr. McCaskill and her family have been the targets of threats and intimidation ever since the story broke. "As her church family, we stand firmly by her side and welcome all persons of good faith regardless of their ideological views to denounce these actions of cowardice and bullying." Even the Washington Post warns that Gallaudet's overreaction could seriously "undermine" the effort to redefine marriage. "The surest way to repel voters--and to vitiate the marriage movement's broader goals and values--would be to say, or even seem to say, 'Agree with us or else.'"
Unfortunately, that's always been the underlying, totalitarian message of the homosexual movement. The only difference here is that Maryland voters have been warned: public dissent will not be tolerated. Not surprisingly, liberals are racing to cover up Gallaudet's mess, insisting that they believe in free speech as much as the next guy. Tell that to the wedding cake bakers, the T-shirt makers, the bed and breakfast owners, the military chaplains, the high school teachers, the restaurant owners, the photographers, the churches, the Massachusetts parents, and others who were fired, sued, harassed, fined, and suspended. Like Angela, their biggest crime was having an opinion contrary to the radical Left--something one former FRCer knows a lot about.
When Teresa Wagner left Family Research Council, she had plenty of offers to join university faculties and teach law. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Wagner joined the staff as a part-time associate director of its legal writing program. She also applied to be a full-time teacher at the law school, but her application was mysterious denied. It wasn't for lack of experience, since Teresa was the most qualified candidate. Nor was it for lack of legal expertise, since the person offered the position "had never practiced law, had no legal publications, and had no prior successful teaching experience." It was because of her work in the pro-family movement.
Teresa will try to prove as much in federal court, where her appeal kicks off today. Although people have sued for discrimination in hiring decisions, experts say Teresa's case is the first of its kind. Unlike other plaintiffs, she has evidence. Like Dr. McCaskill, Teresa Wagner belongs at the University. Until then, both women are giving students a serious education in political bias. For more on Dr. McCaskill's case, stay tuned for her press conference tomorrow. If you haven't signed FRC's petition, join the more than 50,000 who have called for her reinstatement.
Nones on the Run?
Since last week, the national media has salivated over a new poll that hints at a major slump in the number of religious Americans. To the delight of the secular movement, 33 million Americans responded to the Pew Forum that they have no religious "affiliation"--including a third of the country's young people. These "nones," as the survey calls them, are helping advance a convenient story line in America, which is that the Christian faith no longer holds a place of prominence in society. Atheists point to the dip in Protestantism (now less than half of the population) as proof that secularism is supplanting organized religion.
Are they right? Is the sky really falling on the church as we know it? For starters, it's important to note that the "nones" are not all atheists or agnostics. In fact, over the long term, Pew points out, that there has been "no change" in 76% of Americans who say prayer is an "important part of their daily life." If the majority of Americans are still a spiritual people, why are they so dissatisfied with the church? In my opinion, the problem is not that people are walking away from the church--but that the church is walking away from orthodoxy. "Most of the old-line Protestant denominations are captive to every theological fad that has blown through their divinity schools in the past 30 years--from crypto-Marxist liberation ideologies to sexual identity politics," theologian Russell Moore writes.
That abandonment of principle is leading to a decline in membership, especially among the more liberal denominations. As more churches move away from biblical authority, their attendance suffers. Just ask the Episcopal Church, whose pews are virtually empty after the decision to endorse homosexuality. It's time to push back on the spin that's feeding our weak brethren who say that compromising truth in pursuit of love is the way to reach the lost. Intuitively, people want to anchor their lives to something meaningful--something that demands the sacrifice and discipline of "taking up your cross." When a denomination abandons the truth and waters everything down to love, it reduces the church to another hour of Dr. Phil--which is something Americans can get without ever leaving home.
There's also the problem of our aggressively secular and sexualized culture, which has chipped away at the idea that truth is absolute. Increasingly, the church is reflecting the society instead of confronting it. In my radio interview with Dr. Moore over the weekend, we explore the possibility that this survey could be a tremendous opportunity for the authentic church to separate itself from the "mush" and stand up for the message of radical faith. Yes, we are to speak the truth in love, but speak the truth nonetheless. Find out how by listening in here.
** With tomorrow's showdown between Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama looming, check out Bob Morrison's column on CNSNews, "The Problem with Framing the Debates."