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rachelg
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« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2008, 05:25:16 PM »

The UN with the help of Condi Rice finally does something right.

U.N. categorizes rape as a war tactic
Fri 20 Jun 2008, 3:39 GMT
[-] Text

By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council demanded on Thursday that warring governments and factions act to halt violence against women, saying rape was no longer just a by-product of war but a military tactic.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who chaired part of the session, told the council the world had now recognized that sexual violence during conflicts went beyond individual victims to affect nations' security and stability.

Echoed by a string of speakers, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the 15-nation council the problem had "reached unspeakable and pandemic proportions in some societies attempting to recover from conflict."

Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert, a former U.N. peacekeeping commander, told the meeting: "It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict."

Speakers identified former Yugoslavia, Sudan's Darfur region, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Liberia as conflict regions where deliberate sexual violence had occurred on a mass scale.

U.N. officials have said the problem is currently worst in eastern Congo. But a recent survey of 2,000 women and girls in Liberia showed 75 percent had been raped during the West African country's civil war.

A U.S.-sponsored resolution adopted unanimously by the council called sexual violence "a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group."

It said the violence "can significantly exacerbate situations of armed conflict and may impede the restoration of international peace and security."

It called on parties to conflict to take immediate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence, said such crimes should be excluded from amnesty after conflicts, and warned that the council would consider special measures against parties that commit them when imposing or renewing sanctions.

ABUSES BY PEACEKEEPERS

The resolution also called on Ban to submit a special report on the issue next year and tighten procedures for stopping abuses by U.N. peacekeepers, who have been accused of sexual offences in several countries.

Ban said he was "profoundly committed to a zero-tolerance policy" and would strengthen disciplinary procedures by holding not just individuals but their supervisors accountable.

The United States, council president for June, chose sexual violence as the theme of the month's debate on a general issue. As well as Rice, several government ministers replaced ambassadors as their countries' representatives.

Opening the debate, Rice noted there had long been dispute about whether the theme was a security issue and hence something the Security Council was authorized to address.

"I am proud that today we respond to that lingering question with a resounding 'yes'," she said. "This world body now acknowledges that sexual violence in conflict zones is indeed a security concern.

"We affirm that sexual violence profoundly affects not only the health and safety of women but the economic and social stability of their nations."

Rice focused on Myanmar, where she said soldiers regularly raped women and girls as young as 8 years old. Myanmar's envoy, Than Swe, later called the allegations unfounded. "We categorically reject them," he told the council.

Backers of the resolution had said that if the Security Council defined sexual violence as a security matter the text would give peacekeepers the high-level support they needed.

The resolution had been negotiated for weeks between council members and with human rights and women's groups. Diplomats said China and Russia, which both voted in favour, had watered down some language, including on sanctions.

Chinese Deputy Ambassador Liu Zhenmin told the council it should focus on preventing conflicts in the first place and that sexual violence "should not be treated as a stand-alone issue, nor should attention be given to its symptoms only."

http://africa.reuters.com/world/news/usnN19485901.html
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rachelg
Guest
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2008, 04:40:06 PM »

My responses are in bold

MD-2: 
a) Whether/to what extent gay/lesbian is a matter of nature or nuture remains a matter of great debate.  It most certainly is a matter of behavior.   Why should it be illegal to think less of a man e.g. for confusing his intestines with a woman's uterus?

b)Given the relentless expansion of the logic of anti-discrimination law, I have experienced backlash in my own thinking.  Now I am quite willing to entertain the notion that non-discrimination laws should be limited to governmental action. 

I think it should be legal to think less of someone because they are Bisexual , Female, republican , Zoroastrian, etc.  I just don’t think it is okay to discriminate against people for matters of gender, religion, political, sexual orientation and age (for those over the age of 18).      We are talking about actions and government action specifically  not thoughts so I don’t see it as thought crime.

Confusing intestine with uterus-- What is that Freudian?   - I believe the latest  thought is that homosexuality  is related to brain development . Lesbian woman have brains more like straight males and gay men  have brains similar to straight women.   
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-sci-gaybrain17-2008jun17,0,888962.story . I will  post the whole article next. 

.

MD-2: 
a) As long as the woman has free choice, why do you seek to deny her the right to marry whom she pleases simply because the man is already married if he wishes to marry her too?  Where does Wife 1 get her right to deny them their happiness-- especially if polygamy was part of the deal going in?  The issue is who/what institution is to say what the rule is and say when the rule is to change.  In our system of government, the special role of the judiiciary requires that it exercise its power only with rigorous intellectual honesty and humility.  To say that our Consitution compels allowing fetuses to be killed is absurd.  To say that our Constituion compels gay marriage is equally absurd.


Do you think prostitution should be legal?  I have the same problem with Prostitution that I do with Polygamy -- The institutionalization of the objectification of women.     



MD-2
a) You miss my point about gays in the military-- it is that sexual energies can lead to favoritism that corrodes unit morale and cohesion.
b)  Allow me to explain something to you about the human penis and those of us attached to it.  There is a period in the human males life where the crack of dawn had better not bend over or he will try to nail it.   If he is hetero, he will be looking for a vagina.  If he is gay, he will be looking for a male anus.  When my daughter hits puberty and goes on a school trip, if I think it better that she be chaperoned by a hetero woman than a hetero man, then IMO the government has no fcuking business getting in the way of that.  Similarly, if my son is going on a Cub/Boy Scout camping expedition and he is scared at being away from home in the forest, I do not want to have him getting pestered by a gay troop leader-- whom during the day has been his authority figure. 

This is such simple common sense-- how dare the government seek to get in the way of this!!!   


I have spoken with women and men who are in co-ed combat units in Israel and they said sexual tension was not an issue because are too dirty tired and busy.    It is obviously not my area of expertise. Thanks for the anatomy lesson   but it is a actually a lecture  I heard from my Father multiple times growing up but  not in those words. My friends and I  used to call it the all men are evil speech. smiley I also  went to a coed high school and college
And  for  life lessons there is always Buffy.

Cordelia: Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?
Xander: I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex.


So the age range you are talking  about it is would not be  gay leaders but  gay scouts who would be the biggest problem. There  is no way you can judge sexuality for Scouts at that age accurately in all cases.  My brother was in Scouts with boys who are now gay men  and  my neck of the woods is not exactly LA  and  is pretty old-fashioned and conservative.


 
 
MD-2
a) Of course we are discussing statistical probabilities, not certainties so of course one can point to this case or that to the contrary without it changing the larger point in the slightest.
b) In my opinion it is precisely narcisstic to think more of oneself than of the child.    The overwhelming probability (98% is my understanding) is that the child will be straight.  The human animal is an amazing organism-- one born to receive the culturization that nutures its nature.  What a cruelty to take the wondrous ability to emulate and imitate and produce a heterosexual child with homosexual mannerisms!!! How vain! How cruel! How narcisstic! How clueless!   You ask how gay marriage affects me personally-- to respect the privacy of the individuals involved I will say only that within my extended family I have seen exactly how it can affect people.


The Adventure continues!

I agree that is narcissistic to think more of oneself than a child but I don’t think it is narcissistic to want a child.   I believe children growing up with two moms or two dads can grow up to be happy, moral, and  productive adults.
I don’t think a heterosexual boy would grow up with gay mannerisms any more than  a child raised by one parent of the opposite sex grows up  less feminine or less masculine.    It seems like some gay mannerisms have a genetic or hormonal basis or why would it be that gay men have them and straight men don’t

This doesn’t answer all the points you brought up. I  am a slow writer and have more ideas than I have patience and time to write.    I will write more on this topic later.    I appreciate the opportunity to converse.

Thank you,

Rachel   

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rachelg
Guest
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2008, 04:41:31 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-sci-gaybrain17-2008jun17,0,888962.story
From the Los Angeles Times
Gay men and straight women have similar brains, study says
The research suggests a basic biological link between sexual orientation and a range of mental functions.
By Denise Gellene
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 17, 2008

The brains of gay men resemble those of straight women, according to research published today that provides more evidence of the role of biology in sexual orientation.

Using brain-scanning equipment, researchers said they discovered similarities in the brain circuits that deal with language, perhaps explaining why homosexual men tend to outperform straight men on verbal skills tests -- as do heterosexual women.

The area of the brain that processes emotions also looked much the same in gay men and straight women -- and both groups have higher rates of depressive disorders than heterosexual men, researchers said.

The study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, however, found that the brain similarities were not as close in the case of gay women and straight men.

Previous studies have found evidence that sexual orientation is influenced by biological factors. More than a decade ago, neurobiologist Simon LeVay reported that a key area of the hypothalamus, a brain structure linked to sexual behavior, was smaller in homosexual men than in heterosexual men.

The latest study, led by Dr. Ivanka Savic of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, was significant in that it looked at areas of the brain that have nothing to do with sexual behavior, suggesting that there was a basic biological link between sexual orientation and a range of brain functions.

"The question is, how far does it go?" said Dr. Eric Vilain, who studies human sexual development at UCLA and was not involved in the study. "In gay men, the brain is feminized. Is that limited to particular areas, or is the entire brain female-like?"

Vilain said his hunch was that the entire brain was not feminized because "gay men have a number of masculine traits that are not present in women." For example, he said, men regardless of sexual orientation tend to be interested in casual sex and are stimulated by sexually suggestive images.

Savic and her colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain volumes of two groups, each divided evenly between men and women: 50 heterosexuals and 40 homosexuals. They knew going into the study that in men the right cerebral hemisphere is larger than the left, but in women the hemispheres are of equal size.

The results showed that gay men had symmetrical brains like those of straight women, and homosexual women had slightly asymmetrical brains like those of heterosexual men. Symmetry is thought to favor verbal skills, the report said.

The differences were pronounced. For example, the right cerebral hemisphere in heterosexual men was 624 cubic centimeters -- 12 cubic centimeters greater than the left side. In homosexual men, the right hemisphere was 608 cubic centimeters -- 1 cubic centimeter smaller than the left.

In heterosexual women, there was no volume difference between right and left hemispheres. But in homosexual women, their right hemisphere was 5 cubic centimeters larger than the left.

Next, researchers used positron emission topography to measure blood flow in the amygdala, a brain area involved in processing emotions. The circuitry of the amygdala in gay men more closely resembled that of straight women than straight men, researchers said. The amygdalas of gay women looked more like those of straight men, the report said.

Savic said she thought the brain differences originated in the womb or infancy, probably as a result of genetic or hormonal factors. She said she could not explain why the differences were more pronounced in homosexual men than in homosexual women.

S. Marc Breedlove, a Michigan State University neuroscientist who studies sexual development, said that in his studies with rats, changes in prenatal levels of testosterone caused the sort of brain alterations that Savic observed.

denise.gellene@latimes.com
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rachelg
Guest
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2008, 04:46:35 PM »


This is an excerprt A Human Rights Campaign Foundation Report
April 13, 2004
http://www.hrc.org/documents/costkids.pdf

.. There are stark differences in how families headed by same-sex and opposite-sex couples are treated, both
financially and legally. As of this writing, the full and certain protections of marriage are available in no state.
This means that no same-sex parents or their children have access to the 1,138 federal protections that come
with marriage.
1 And only couples in Vermont and California have access to the hundreds of marital benefits
states provide.

Moreover, same-sex couples with children are not even guaranteed the right in most states to establish a joint
legal relationship to the children they are raising together. Nor may they enjoy the most basic protections that
come through such a legal relationship. In fact, protections are least available in precisely those parts of the
country that have the highest percentage of same-sex couples with children – namely, the South and Midwest.
More specifically, this report also finds these stark differences in the ways same-sex couples with children –
and their children – are treated in some of the most fundamental aspects of their family lives. For example:

- Health insurance
. Same-sex couples with children are far less likely to have access to family health
insurance through their employer – and those who do pay far more for it than their married heterosexual
co-workers. For example, a gay or lesbian parent who earns $60,000 a year and receives health insurance
for his or her partner will pay $875 more in taxes each year than married heterosexual couples.

- Social Security benefits. When a gay or lesbian parent dies, the loss of Social Security benefits to
children and a surviving partner left behind can be staggering. For example, if a gay or lesbian parent who
earned $60,000 in the last year of his or her life leaves a partner and 10-year-old child behind, the family
could lose nearly $250,000 in Social Security survivor benefits that would otherwise be designated to the
care of the child – strictly because of the couple’s lack of access to marriage.

- Federal income ta
x. An analysis of federal income taxes reveals that a same-sex couple where one parent
stays at home with the children pays more in federal income taxes than a married heterosexual couple in
the same circumstances (based on parenting-related and earned income tax credits). On the other hand,
in a same-sex couple where both partners work outside the home, the family will pay less than a married
heterosexual couple in the same circumstances.
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G M
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Posts: 12071


« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2008, 10:05:20 PM »

Rachel,

**Have anything on the plight of polygamy in the US and how US laws and social mores oppress those who marry children in an attempt to follow god's laws?**

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/2008/06/021478print.html

June 21, 2008

Polygamy and child marriage in the U.S.? It could happen



It could easily happen, given the prevailing multiculturalism and new court rulings on marriage. If marriage can be redefined once, it can be redefined again. And it will be, unless a sufficient number of people say no, they don't want polygamy, or child brides, or any other aspects of Sharia, in the United States.

"Polygamy, child brides coming to U.S.? Editor of Islam book says recent court rulings pave the way," from WorldNetDaily, June 21:

WASHINGTON – Polygamy and child brides may make a comeback in the U.S. as a result of recent court rulings and the simultaneous rise of Islam, says the editor of a book of stories about Muslims leaving the faith.
"In light of the recent California court ruling and the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints) legal fiasco in Texas, is the time coming when we in the U.S will be forced to tolerate child brides and multiple wives?" asks Joel Richardson, editor of the provocative new book "Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out," published by WND Books.

The book is a compilation of the stories of 23 men and women who left Islam. The contributors are explicit about the danger that is posed by incrementally yielding traditional western moral and beliefs to Islamic tradition, a process that is called "soft sharia."...

And stealth jihad.

Posted at June 21, 2008 7:59 AM
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G M
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Posts: 12071


« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2008, 10:35:13 PM »

**Do we possess free will? What are the societal consequences of adapting very primitive neuropsychological research to further our political perpectives?**

Independent, The (London) > Mar 24, 2000 > Article > Print friendly
Science: Inside the mind of a killer

Jim Giles

Professor Adrian Raine has met more convicted murderers than most. As a neuroscientist interested in criminal behaviour, he has tested hundreds of violent criminals to investigate the murky relationship between brains and aggressive behaviour. And as with many in his field, he risks his work being appropriated by lawyers searching for a possible scientific explanation for their clients' crime.

Raine's latest study will be particularly interesting to lawyers. Instead of scouring prisons for his subjects, the participants were taken from the general community. All had been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (APD), a condition characterised by life-long antisocial and often violent behaviour. Although they had not committed the seriously violent crimes of his previous subjects, they had similar violent tendencies.

Controversy is never far away from the interpretation of Professor Raine's findings. His main claim to fame is that he detected physical differences in the front part of the brain above the eyes - the prefrontal cerebral cortex - in violent male offenders compared to other men.

"Our previous research has shown that convicted murderers - really violent offenders - have poorer functioning in the brain's prefrontal cortex," Raine says. Brain imaging techniques showed that just as with the more violent offenders, the APD sufferers had fewer cells in their prefrontal cortex. In this case, a deficit of between 11 and 14 per cent - equivalent to about two teaspoons of brain tissue.

But could Raine's subjects actually be suffering from something other than ADP? Previous studies have been criticised for failing to eliminate the possibility that subjects were, for example, undiagnosed schizophrenics. Raine and his colleagues believe that they have carefully controlled for possibilities such as these, and by doing so have actually strengthened the case for ADP being a disorder in its very own right.

Dr Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist at the University of Iowa, believes Raine's findings are remarkable. "The result identifies a potential neuropathological signature [for ADP]. If replications indicate that the finding is not present in other psychiatric populations, then we would be dealing with a notable advance in the understanding of mental diseases."

But Dr Damasio is quick to caution. Like all work using the technique functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the shadow of phrenology is never far away. "Normal or pathologic effects related to a given area are often the result of actions elsewhere in the brain. Whatever explanation we formulate for these disorders will have to take into account factors ranging from the level of molecules and neurons to cultural phenomena that impinge in the life of whole individuals."

So where does work like this leave our notion of personal responsibility for our actions? Next time one of Raine's APD patients commits a crime - as they often do - can we hold them responsible given that they appear to be at a physical disadvantage? Raine's work hasn't yet made it into America's courtrooms, but lawyers are seldom slow in making use of new science. And as the case of "Spydor Cystkopf" reveals, it can be difficult for the legal system to deal with.

In the winter of 1991 Cystkopf, a well off semi-retired advertising executive, had an argument with his wife in their New York apartment. During the argument she scratched his face. Given that Cystkopf's friends later testified that he is an extremely calm man, what happened next is hard to explain.

Cystkopf forced his wife to the floor and strangled her. He then threw the body from the window of their apartment in an attempt to make the death look like suicide.

Unlike most defendants, Cystkopf had the resources to explore any avenue of defence. His lawyer put them to good use. The sudden outburst of violence in a previously calm man pointed to the possibility of some brain dysfunction. A brain scan revealed a cyst (hence the pseudonym given to "Cystkopf" by the medical profession) underneath the left half of his frontal lobe which had been present since childhood.

This was enough for him to be referred to Dr Damasio, one of America's leading neuroscientists. Dr Damasio's report stated, "It is reasonable to assume that his inability to respond correctly is due to his long-standing neurological condition." Dr Damasio's evidence never made it to court, however. The prosecution uncovered evidence of heavy gambling debts and allegations that Cystkopf tried to persuade his former wife to commit suicide. He pleaded guilty.

So how should the courts deal with a case such as Cystkopf's? If the prosecution hadn't uncovered evidence of his debts should Dr Damasio's evidence have been used in court? Although the conditions Raine has studied are different from Cystkopf's, both involved dysfunctions in the frontal lobe. Should juries be expected to take into consideration damage to this area?

"We are talking of a predisposition to antisocial behaviour," says Raine of the effect of prefrontal damage. "Some people who have prefrontal deficits do not become antisocial, and some antisocial individuals do not have prefrontal deficits. It's important to make clear that biology is not destiny."

The question of biology and destiny is especially relevant in the case of Cystkopf. More than 4,000 people in New York state would be expected to be suffering from similar cysts. And despite the strong link between APD and the brain's frontal lobe, the existence of APD can be predicted equally well by a collection of 10 "psychosocial risk factors" as it can by the biological deficits. Because mild frontal lobe damage is only one possible cause of violent behaviour, it is unlikely it could be used to acquit someone of a crime. But should it somehow "explain" a crime and lead to a lesser sentence?

Despite the work of Raine and others, the mechanisms by which frontal lobe deficiencies influence criminal behaviour are still unclear. How could deficiencies in a person's frontal lobe predispose them to violence? Linking anatomy to behaviour is a difficult task in any area of the brain, but especially so in the frontal lobe. Neuroscientists know it plays a critical role in a range of abilities, including regulation of aggression, but because the frontal lobe has connections with so many parts of the brain it is impossible to ascribe a single function to it.

Raine is working on several theories, perhaps most the interesting of which concerns the need for an "arousal fix". Psychologists have wondered for a long time if the antisocial behaviour of APD patients was linked to low levels of arousal. Perhaps APD sufferers are unconsciously trying to compensate through stimulation-seeking? "For some kids," says Raine, "one way of getting an arousal-jag is by robbing stores or beating people up."

However Raine's work develops, the use of neurological evidence in a criminal court is always going to be controversial. But if a defendant can pay for it, stopping a neuroscientist testifying may be difficult.

The writer works on the Wellcome Wing Project at the Science Museum in London
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G M
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Posts: 12071


« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2008, 10:54:39 PM »

Rachel,

My state still has adultery in it's criminal code, though it's unprosecutable. In most every state, men face serious economic damage in civil court for having sexual relations outside their marriage, despite a wealth of research that demonstrates that heterosexual males desire multiple female sexual partners. Long term monogamy is a social construct, not biologically based. Should we alter our laws that affect not a  small minority, but a MAJORITY of men in this country? If not, why not?
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rachelg
Guest
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2008, 07:31:50 AM »

GM,
I don't care whether homosexuality is a choice or not. I still don't think you should discriminate against people for it. Religion and political affiliation are a choice and I don't think you should discriminate against people for it.    I was arguing more against Freud  than the idea that homosexuality is  biologically driven.Homosexuality  may be biologically driven, it may be nurture,  it may be a choice, and it may be constellation of all those  factors.

I don't think polygamy  or child brides should be legal so I  wouldn't  being looking for research that it is okay. Go right ahead and look for those studies.

I think adultery is morally and ethically wrong but I don't think it should be illegal. I have no problem with men losing money for adultery in a divorce . if your wife consents for you  not to be  monogamous  she wouldn't divorce you if you cheated. 

If I honestly believed that baring Gay Boy Scout  troop leads would protect kids from sexual assault I wouldn't have a problem with it.  I think that kids are much more at risk from someone the adults around them trust and someone who has private access to them.   You could be protecting your kid from the bogeyman and the problem would be your next door neighbor.
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ccp
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Posts: 4140


« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2008, 08:01:53 AM »

Rachel,
Interesting post (!st one)
I never thought about Federal benefits that Gays in States where homosexual marriage is legal.
But this statement seems a bit much - a little exaggerated for propaganda purposes:

"This means that no same-sex parents or their children have access to the 1,138 federal protections that come
with marriage."

I mean really?

While I not that opposed to gay marriage I am definitely opposed to gays adopting or having children by other means.
If two consenting adults want to do this that is one thing but..
Unless one of the gay "couple" already has a one or more children from previous life.
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G M
Power User
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Posts: 12071


« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2008, 08:45:48 AM »

GM,
I don't care whether homosexuality is a choice or not. I still don't think you should discriminate against people for it. Religion and political affiliation are a choice and I don't think you should discriminate against people for it.    I was arguing more against Freud  than the idea that homosexuality is  biologically driven.Homosexuality  may be biologically driven, it may be nurture,  it may be a choice, and it may be constellation of all those  factors.

I don't think polygamy  or child brides should be legal so I  wouldn't  being looking for research that it is okay. Go right ahead and look for those studies.

**So, some discrimination is ok then?**

I think adultery is morally and ethically wrong but I don't think it should be illegal. I have no problem with men losing money for adultery in a divorce . if your wife consents for you  not to be  monogamous  she wouldn't divorce you if you cheated. 

**So those that act in a manner that you find morally unacceptable should face punitive acts by the legal system?**

If I honestly believed that baring Gay Boy Scout  troop leads would protect kids from sexual assault I wouldn't have a problem with it.  I think that kids are much more at risk from someone the adults around them trust and someone who has private access to them.   You could be protecting your kid from the bogeyman and the problem would be your next door neighbor.

**Would a Boy Scout troop leader that engaged in heterosexual wife-swapping, group sex and sadomasochistic bondage and domination be more or less acceptable to you than a openly gay troop leader? If not, why not?**
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Crafty_Dog
Administrator
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Posts: 31485


« Reply #60 on: June 23, 2008, 11:28:57 AM »

"I don't care whether homosexuality is a choice or not. I still don't think you should discriminate against people for it."

Rachel, forgive my martian linearity  wink but this is not the question presented.  The question presented is whether
a) the Consitution compels the State to make it a crime or civil offense
b) the State should make it a crime or civil offense


"If I honestly believed that baring Gay Boy Scout  troop leads would protect kids from sexual assault I wouldn't have a problem with it.  I think that kids are much more at risk from someone the adults around them trust and someone who has private access to them." 

Right.  And I am not going to give young somewhat older hetero males private access to my daughter as she gets older, and ditto gay males with my son.  It makes perfect sense to me that if I want to allow my son to go on a Cub Scout/Boy Scout camping trip (the epitome of private access-- while dependant upon for safety to boot!) that I don't want a gay man as part of it. 

There's other points you've made to which I would like to respond, but don't have the time at the moment.
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rachelg
Guest
« Reply #61 on: June 25, 2008, 08:45:35 PM »

CCP I certainly didn't count all the rights married couples have compared to non-married couples'   It is likely they were very generous in how they counted.   
Another huge lack  between  partnership and marriage is immigrations rights for your partner. I have a friend that was thinking of leaving the country to be with his boyfriend but thankfully the boyfriend got a green card. 

GM,


**So, some discrimination is ok then?**

 
I guess it has do with my definition of marriage. I think marriage is life partnership between two people.   A child is not yet old enough to consent and polygamous marriage is not an equal partnership
.
GM
**So those that act in a manner that you find morally unacceptable should face punitive acts by the legal system?**


 

It has nothing to do with my finding it morally unacceptable. If a man  or a woman  makes a partnership with a spouse and  he/ she does not live up to his/her  end of it he/she should face punitive acts by the legal system in case of divorce especially in something  so basic to the marriage  as sexual fidelity.


 
 
GM
**Would a Boy Scout troop leader that engaged in heterosexual wife-swapping, group sex and sadomasochistic bondage and domination be more or less acceptable to you than a openly gay troop leader? If not, why not?**
 

I don't see the connection between homosexual sex and what you mentioned.    Do you see the connection between those things and interracial marriage because that use to be common. http://www.vtfreetomarry.org/pfds/Arguments_Against_Interracial_Marriage_and_Equal_Marriage.pdf  I  personally have no interest  in discussing  the pros and cons of  wife swapping,  bondage,  nambla, incest etc.   If you think they are worth discussing go right ahead  but I will not be participating.
 

Crafty_ Dog
Rachel, forgive my martian linearity  wink but this is not the question presented.  The question presented is whether
a) the Consitution compels the State to make it a crime or civil offense
b) the State should make it a crime or civil offense

 
A.I'm sorry -- I  don't feel capable of answering that question 
B.  The short answer is yes for actions not thoughts ( sexual orientation should have the  same protections for that we do for  gender, age, disabilities, etc) but the long answer there would be exceptions.  For example religious organizations should be able to discriminate.    ( I didn't think that was a question I was avoiding -- I thought I had answered it Huh   

 
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rachelg
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« Reply #62 on: June 25, 2008, 08:47:43 PM »

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/23/europe/virgins.php?page=2

 Sworn to virginity and living as men in Albania
By Dan Bilefsky
Monday, June 23, 2008

KRUJE, Albania: Pashe Keqi recalls the day nearly sixty years ago when she decided to become a man. She chopped off her long black curls, traded in her dress for her father's baggy trousers, armed herself with a hunting rifle and vowed to forsake marriage, children and sex.

Had she been born in Albania today, says the 78-year-old sworn virgin, who made an oath of celibacy in return for the right to live and rule her family as a man, she would choose womanhood.

"Back then, it was better to be a man because, before, a woman and an animal were considered the same thing," says Keqi, who has a bellowing baritone voice, sits with her legs open wide like a man and relishes downing shots of Raki and smoking cigarettes. "Now, Albanian women have equal rights with men and are even more powerful, and I think today it would be fun to be a woman."

Sworn virgins became the patriarchs of their families, with all the trappings of male authority, by swearing to remain virgins for the rest of their lives.

The ritual was a form of self-empowerment for rural women living in a desperately poor and macho country that was cut off from mainstream Europe for decades under a Stalinist dictatorship. But in Albania today, with Internet dating and MTV, the custom is all but disappearing. Girls no longer want to become boys.

The tradition of the sworn virgin can be traced to the Kanun of Leke Dukagjini, a code of conduct that has been passed on orally among the clans of northern Albania for more than five centuries. Under the Kanun, the role of women is severely circumscribed: Take care of children and maintain the home. While a woman's life is worth half that of a man, a virgin's value is the same - 12 oxen.

The sworn virgin was born of social necessity in an agrarian region plagued by war and death. If the patriarch of the family died with no male heirs, unmarried women in the family could find themselves alone and powerless. By taking an oath of virginity, women could take on the role of men as head of the family, carry a weapon, own property and move freely.

They dress like men, adopt a male swagger and spend their lives in the company of other men.

Some also took the vow as a means to avoid an arranged marriage. Still others became sworn virgins to express their autonomy. Some who regretted the sacrifice transformed themselves back into women and married later in life.

"Stripping off their sexuality by pledging to remain virgins was a way for these women in a male-dominated, segregated society to engage in public life," says Linda Gusia, a professor of gender studies at the University of Pristina in Kosovo. "It was about surviving in a world where men rule."

Taking an oath to become a sworn virgin should not, sociologists say, be equated with homosexuality, which has long been taboo in rural Albania. Nor do the women have sex changes. In the northern Albanian countryside, about 40 sworn virgins remain, according to researchers studying the custom.

Known in her household as the "Pasha," Keqi says she decided to become the man of the house at age 20 when her father was murdered in a blood feud. Her remaining four brothers opposed the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, who ruled Albania for 40 years until his death in 1985, and they were either imprisoned or killed. Becoming a man, she said, was the only way to support her mother, her four sisters-in-law and their five children.

Lording it over her large family in her modest house in Tirana, where her nieces served her brandy while she barked out orders, Keqi said living as a man had allowed her freedom denied other women. She could work construction jobs and pray at the mosque alongside other men. Even today, her nephews and nieces said, they would not dare marry without their "uncle's" permission.

"I was totally free as a man because no one knew I was a woman," Keqi said. "I could go wherever I wanted to and no one would dare swear at me because I could beat them up. I was only with men. I don't know how to do women's talk. I am never scared." When she was recently hospitalized for an operation, she recalled, the other woman in her room was horrified to find herself sharing close quarters with a man and requested a move.

Keqi said that being a woman made her a more compassionate man. "If the other men were disrespecting a woman, I would tell them to stop." She said being deprived of a life of sexual intimacy was a necessary sacrifice. She did not miss having children, she added, because she was surrounded by her nieces and nephews. "Once I made up my mind 100 percent, I had the strength to never turn back."

Being the man of the house also made her responsible for avenging her father's death, she said, including the Kanun's edict that spilled blood must be met with spilled blood. When her father's killer was released from prison five years ago, by then a man of 80, Keqi said she ordered her 15 year-old nephew to shoot him. Then the family of the man took revenge and killed her nephew.

"I always dreamed of avenging my father's death. My brothers tried to, but did not succeed. Of course, I have regrets my nephew was killed. But if you kill me, I have to kill you." In Albania, a majority Muslim country, the Kanun is adhered to by both Muslims and Christians, though the Ottoman Turks and successive governments have all tried to limit its influence.

Albanian cultural historians said the cleaving to medieval customs long discarded elsewhere was a byproduct of the country's previous isolation. But they stressed that today, the traditional role of the Albanian woman was changing.

"The Albanian woman today is a sort of minister of economics, a minister of affection and a minister of interior who controls who does what," said Ilir Yzeiri, a critic who writes about Albanian folklore. "Today women in Albania are behind everything."

Some sworn virgins bemoan this female liberation. Diana Rakipi, 54, a security guard in the seaside city of Durres, in west Albania, who became a sworn virgin to take care of her nine sisters, said she looked back with nostalgia to the Hoxha era. During communist times, she served as a senior army officer, training women soldiers in combat. Now, she lamented, women did not know their place.

"Today women go out half naked to the disco and do not know their limits," said Rakipi, who has cropped hair and wears a military beret. "I was always treated my whole life as a man, always with respect. I can't clean, I can't iron, I can't cook. That is a woman's work."

But even in the remote mountains of Kruje, about 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, north of Tirana, where long dirt roads snake through olive groves, locals say the Kanun's influence on gender roles is disappearing. They said erosion of the traditional family, in which everyone once lived under the same roof, had altered women's position in society.

"Women and men are now almost the same," says Caca Fiqiri, whose aunt Qamile Stema, age 88, is the last sworn virgin remaining in her village. "We respect sworn virgins very much and consider them as men because of their great sacrifice. But there is no longer a stigma not to have a man of the house."

Yet there is no doubt who wears the trousers in the family's one-room stone house in Barganesh, their ancestral village. There, on a recent day, "uncle" Qamile was surrounded by her clan, dressed in a qeleshe, the traditional white cap of an Albanian man. Her only concession to femininity were pink flip-flops.

Pointing to an old black and white photo hanging in the entrance - showing a handsome young man in his prime - Stema said she took an oath of virginity at age 20, after her father died, and she was left the eldest of nine sisters.

After becoming a man, Stema said she could leave the house and chop wood with the other men. She carried a gun. At wedding parties, she sat with the men. When she talked to women, she recalled, they recoiled in shyness.

Stema said becoming a sworn virgin was a necessity, and a sacrifice. "The truth is I feel lonely sometimes. All my sisters have died, and I live alone. But I never wanted to marry. Some in my family tried to get me to change my clothes and wear dresses, but when they saw I had become a man, they left me alone."

Stema said she would die a virgin. Had she married, she joked, it would have been to a traditional Albanian woman. "I guess you could say I was partly a woman and partly a man, but of course I never did everything a man does," she said. "I liked my life as a man. I have no regrets."

Go to iht.com/europe to listen to commentary from Dan Bilefsky and view additional photographs of the sworn virgins who live in Albania.
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G M
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« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2008, 11:06:52 PM »

CCP I certainly didn't count all the rights married couples have compared to non-married couples'   It is likely they were very generous in how they counted.   
Another huge lack  between  partnership and marriage is immigrations rights for your partner. I have a friend that was thinking of leaving the country to be with his boyfriend but thankfully the boyfriend got a green card. 

GM,


**So, some discrimination is ok then?**

 
I guess it has do with my definition of marriage. I think marriage is life partnership between two people.   A child is not yet old enough to consent and polygamous marriage is not an equal partnership

***So, you are falling back to this nation's moral and legal definitions when it suits your purpose.***
.
GM
**So those that act in a manner that you find morally unacceptable should face punitive acts by the legal system?**


 

It has nothing to do with my finding it morally unacceptable. If a man  or a woman  makes a partnership with a spouse and  he/ she does not live up to his/her  end of it he/she should face punitive acts by the legal system in case of divorce especially in something  so basic to the marriage  as sexual fidelity.


***Again, when it suits your purpose then legal discrimination is acceptable, right?***
 
 
GM
**Would a Boy Scout troop leader that engaged in heterosexual wife-swapping, group sex and sadomasochistic bondage and domination be more or less acceptable to you than a openly gay troop leader? If not, why not?**
 

I don't see the connection between homosexual sex and what you mentioned.    Do you see the connection between those things and interracial marriage because that use to be common. http://www.vtfreetomarry.org/pfds/Arguments_Against_Interracial_Marriage_and_Equal_Marriage.pdf  I  personally have no interest  in discussing  the pros and cons of  wife swapping,  bondage,  nambla, incest etc.   If you think they are worth discussing go right ahead  but I will not be participating.

***Because you can't defend your point. This is why you won't defend it. Homosexual conduct is commonly defined as sexually deviant behavior in traditions judeo-christian morality, as are the other sexual acts that you don't want to defend. "Gay marriage" is imposed on us by judicial imperialism by activist judges because it doesn't win in the legislatures and ballot initiatives. Your core argument seems to be  "It should be legal because I know some gay people and they are nice."***
 

Crafty_ Dog
Rachel, forgive my martian linearity  wink but this is not the question presented.  The question presented is whether
a) the Consitution compels the State to make it a crime or civil offense
b) the State should make it a crime or civil offense

 
A.I'm sorry -- I  don't feel capable of answering that question 
B.  The short answer is yes for actions not thoughts ( sexual orientation should have the  same protections for that we do for  gender, age, disabilities, etc) but the long answer there would be exceptions.  For example religious organizations should be able to discriminate.    ( I didn't think that was a question I was avoiding -- I thought I had answered it Huh   

 
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G M
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« Reply #64 on: June 25, 2008, 11:11:58 PM »

In recent times, some islamic apologists have tried to market islam as sharing core ethics with judeo-christian morality and tried to introduce the "Abrahamic faiths" meme. This is exhibit A on why that is not true:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/25/saudi-marriage-advice-try-waiting-a-few-years-before-deflowering-your-infant-child-bride/
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« Reply #65 on: June 26, 2008, 08:22:54 AM »

CRAFTY DOG:
Rachel, forgive my martian linearity  wink but this is not the question presented.  The question presented is whether
a) the Consitution compels the State to make it a crime or civil offense
 
RACHEL:
A. I'm sorry -- I  don't feel capable of answering that question.

MARC  /CD:

But you HAVE answered it- in the affirmative- when you supported the CA SCT's decision!


CRAFTY DOG
Rachel, forgive my martian linearity but this is not the question presented.  The question presented is whether
, , ,
b) the State should make it a crime or civil offense
 
RACHEL.  The short answer is yes for actions not thoughts ( sexual orientation should have the  same protections for that we do for  gender, age, disabilities, etc) but the long answer there would be exceptions.  For example religious organizations should be able to discriminate.    ( I didn't think that was a question I was avoiding -- I thought I had answered it)

MARC/CD:
Yes you have begun to "answer" it, but my point was to define the question presented.  So, lets explore a bit further.  You now say that religious organizations should have the right to follow their beliefs and discriminate.  What about religious individuals?  And, why should atheists have lesser rights?

Which brings us to the next question presented:

Since  when called upon the point you are unwilling to say that the Constitution compels redefining marriage, and you say that discrimination should be illegal, how can you argue that the judiciary is the branch to carry this out over the expressly voted wishes of the people of California?  Why is this not a matter for the political process? (Executive and Legislative, plebecite (sp?) )

=====

Regarding the Albanian story, the point seems to be as thoroughly glossed over as possible, but this can be described a Muslim custom too, yes?
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« Reply #66 on: June 26, 2008, 08:32:09 AM »

Crafty,

It's an innovation in Albania, not mainstream islam, but obviously arose out of sharia law's influence on gender roles in that culture.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2008, 09:06:54 AM »

Exactly.
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rachelg
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« Reply #68 on: June 28, 2008, 08:23:35 AM »

GM  and Marc,
I owe you both a reply but I am leaving  on vacation early tomorrow grin  and I have not finished packing  so it will be a couple of weeks.

Take Care,
Rachel
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #69 on: June 28, 2008, 11:06:15 AM »

Have a wonderful time-- looking forward to continuing the conversation when you return.
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rachelg
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« Reply #70 on: July 14, 2008, 10:33:48 PM »

Marc,
Thanks for your well wishes on my vacation it was wonderful. I will respond to your questions  in a couple of days.

Gm,

  My religious views ( Conservative Judaism) have everything to do with my view on Gay rights.  In my opinion Judaism and Christianity have very different view points on sex and sexuality.  For example  Judaism has laws related to family purity that Christianity does not.  I often feel that when people say Judeo/Christian they really mean Christian. 

In Judaism breaking sabbath and not keeping kosher are worse than homosexuality . Do you think  it should be illegal for me  to eat cheeseburgers or go to a movie on a Friday night ?    Also,  In my admittedly limited knowledge of Christianity Jesus himself had nothing to say about homosexuality.     Both  Judaism and Christianity specifically mention sodomy and not homosexuality  woman are not explicitly included.   So if it was just religiously based shouldn't you just exclude male gay marriage. Do you think adultery should be illegal?   Are you interested in some sort of  Jewish or Christian Sharia?

 
My point is gay people are human beings( including family members and friends of mine)   therefore they should be treated well.
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« Reply #71 on: July 15, 2008, 06:14:09 AM »

Marc,
Thanks for your well wishes on my vacation it was wonderful. I will respond to your questions  in a couple of days.

Gm,

  My religious views ( Conservative Judaism) have everything to do with my view on Gay rights.  In my opinion Judaism and Christianity have very different view points on sex and sexuality.  For example  Judaism has laws related to family purity that Christianity does not.  I often feel that when people say Judeo/Christian they really mean Christian. 

**I would take a slightly different position than Dennis Prager, but I like his point of view on most topics.**
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jewish World Review March 30, 2004 / 8 Nissan, 5764

What does 'Judeo-Christian' mean?

By Dennis prager






The uniqueness of America



http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The United States of America is the only country in history to have defined itself as Judeo-Christian. While the Western world has consisted of many Christian countries and consists today of many secular countries, only America has called itself Judeo-Christian. America is also unique in that it has always combined secular government with a society based on religious values.

But what does "Judeo-Christian" mean? We need to know. Along with the belief in liberty — as opposed to, for example, the European belief in equality, the Muslim belief in theocracy, and the Eastern belief in social conformity — Judeo-Christian values are what distinguish America from all other countries. That is why American coins feature these two messages: "In G-d we trust" and "Liberty."

Yet, for all its importance and its repeated mention, the term is not widely understood. It urgently needs to be because it is under ferocious assault, and if we do not understand it, we will be unable to defend it. And if we cannot defend it, America will become as amoral as France, Germany, Russia, et al.

First, Judeo-Christian America has differed from Christian countries in Europe in at least two important ways. One is that the Christians who founded America saw themselves as heirs to the Hebrew Bible, as much as to theirs. And even more importantly, they strongly identified with the Jews.

For example, Thomas Jefferson wanted the design of the seal of the United States to depict the Jews leaving Egypt. Just as the Hebrews left Egypt and its values, Americans left Europe and its values (if only those who admire Jefferson would continue to take his advice).


Founders and other early Americans probably studied Hebrew, the language of the Jewish Bible at least as much as Greek, the language of the New. Yale, founded in 1701, adopted a Hebrew insignia, and Hebrew was compulsory at Harvard until 1787. The words on the Liberty Bell, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land . . . ," are from the Torah. Vast numbers of Americans took Hebrew names — like Benjamin Franklin and Cotton Mather (kattan in Hebrew means "little one" or "younger").

The consequences included a strong Hebrew Bible view of the world — meaning, in part, a strong sense of fighting for earthly justice, an emphasis on laws, a belief in a judging, as well as a loving and forgiving, G-d, and a belief in the chosenness of the Jews which America identified with.

The significance of this belief in American chosenness cannot be overstated. It accounts for the mission that Americans have uniquely felt called to — to spread liberty in the world.

This sense of mission is why more Americans have died for the liberty of others than any other nation's soldiers.

It is why those who today most identify with the Judeo-Christian essence of America are more likely to believe in the moral worthiness of dying to liberate countries — not only Europe, but Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. That is why America stands alone in protecting two little countries threatened with extinction, Israel and Taiwan. That is why conservative Americans are more likely to believe in American exceptionalism — in not seeking, as President Bush put it, a "permission slip" from the United Nations, let alone from Europe.

The second meaning of Judeo-Christian is a belief in the biblical G-d of Israel, in His Ten Commandments and His biblical moral laws. It is a belief in universal, not relative, morality. It is a belief that America must answer morally to this G-d, not to the mortal, usually venal, governments of the world.

That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values lead the fight against redefining marriage. We believe that a pillar of Judeo-Christian values is to encourage the man-woman sexual and marital ideal, and to provide children with the opportunity to benefit from the unique gifts that a man and a woman give a child, gifts that are never replicable by two men alone or two women.

That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values are unmoved by the idea that the war in Iraq is moral if Germany, France, China and Russia say so, but immoral if they oppose it. We ask first what G-d and the Bible would say about liberating Iraq, not what Syria and other members of the U.N. Security Council say.

That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values believe that war, while always tragic, is on more than a few occasions a moral duty. Nothing "Judeo" ever sanctioned pacifism. Of course, the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah yearned for the day that nations will beat their swords into plowshares. But another Hebrew Prophet, Joel, who is never cited by those who wish to read the secular value of pacifism into the Bible, said precisely the opposite: "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!'"

And that is why those who want Judeo-Christian values to disappear from American public life affirm multiculturalism, seek to remove mention of G-d from all public life, and make Christmas a private, not a national, holiday.

The battle over whether America remains Judeo-Christian or becomes secular like Europe is what this, the Second American Civil War, is about.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

In Judaism breaking sabbath and not keeping kosher are worse than homosexuality . Do you think  it should be illegal for me  to eat cheeseburgers or go to a movie on a Friday night ?   

**Nope, just as you are free to keep kosher, you are free not to keep kosher in this country.**

 Also,  In my admittedly limited knowledge of Christianity Jesus himself had nothing to say about homosexuality.     Both  Judaism and Christianity specifically mention sodomy and not homosexuality  woman are not explicitly included.   So if it was just religiously based shouldn't you just exclude male gay marriage. Do you think adultery should be illegal?   Are you interested in some sort of  Jewish or Christian Sharia?

**In my state, adultery is illegal, but not enforceable in the criminal justice system, a position I agree with. I like my government secular and constitutional, given that our collective moral paradigm is based on judeo-christian morality.**
 
My point is gay people are human beings( including family members and friends of mine)   therefore they should be treated well.

**I've not seen anyone here deny the humanity of homosexuals, or advocating their mistreatment. My basic stance is I don't care what CONSENTING ADULTS do PRIVATELY. I do object to activist judges legislating from the bench.**
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rachelg
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« Reply #72 on: July 15, 2008, 06:36:07 PM »

Gays face same battle interracial couples fought
By Gail Mathabane

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-01-25-couples_x.htm
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Bush hinted that a constitutional ban on gay marriage might be needed if "activist judges" continue to threaten the sanctity of marriage by "redefining marriage by court order."

Although I'm not gay, for 16 years I've been in a marriage that a group of nine "activist judges," led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, legalized in 1967. They did so by striking down the laws of 16 states, mostly in the South, that had considered marriages such as ours illegal, immoral and ungodly.

In other words, I'm white and my husband is black.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court delivered the landmark Loving decision, interracial couples were in the same boat that same-sex couples are in today. They were vilified, persecuted and forbidden to marry. Interracial marriage was considered a felony punishable by five years in a state penitentiary.

Critics of gay marriage point to polls that seem to support their position. In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll last month, 65% said they oppose same-sex marriage. But mass opinion should not dictate judicial decisions. In 1948, when California became the first state to strike down a ban on interracial marriage, nine out of 10 Americans opposed such unions.

'Loving vs. Virginia'

In the Loving case, a Virginia judge had called for the imprisonment of Mildred Jeter, an African-American woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, after they were legally married in the District of Columbia and moved to Virginia, where their marriage was considered a felony.

The judge's ruling had religious overtones similar to those heard in the arguments of today's critics of same-sex marriage: God created the races and placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for them to mix.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate approved one of the nation's most sweeping measures against gay marriage. The bill, which passed 18-15, bars unmarried state employees — whether heterosexual or homosexual — from receiving benefits for domestic partners.

Ohio legislators passed the bill on the heels of a landmark ruling last November by Massachusetts' highest court granting gay couples the right to marry under the state's constitution. The court gave the Massachusetts Legislature 180 days to change state laws to make same-sex marriages possible.

Like interracial marriages, same-sex marriages are bound to become legal sooner or later, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state same-sex sodomy laws last June and California recently adopted a domestic partnership law that will give same-sex couples a status similar to marriage when it takes effect next year.

Difficult challenge ahead

In some ways, however, advocates of same-sex marriage face a tougher challenge than did advocates of interracial marriage. The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and similar state-specific laws defining marriage strictly as a union between a man and a woman are on the books in 37 states; laws against interracial marriages were on the books primarily in the South.

Laws usually change long before public attitudes do. After I got married, a well-meaning North Carolina woman told me that "somewhere in the Bible" it says blacks and whites are not supposed to love each other "because they're different species." I responded that as a minister's daughter, I was quite familiar with the Bible and believed that God loves us all — regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation — and wants us to have happy marriages with faithful spouses of our own choosing.

Some conservatives argue that the government should keep its nose out of people's private lives. I agree. The government should have no role in dictating whether two individuals can marry. Gay marriage, like interracial marriage, is not a threat to the sanctity of marriage and will not upend America's social structure.

The Supreme Court's Loving decision stated that marriage is one of the "vital personal rights" protected under the 14th Amendment. It is time these rights were extended to same-sex couples so they can enjoy the many emotional, financial and social benefits offered by legalized marriage.

Gail Mathabane, a journalist, is the co-author of Love in Black and White: The Triumph of Love Over Prejudice and Taboo.
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rachelg
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« Reply #73 on: July 15, 2008, 06:55:30 PM »


**I've not seen anyone here deny the humanity of homosexuals, or advocating their mistreatment. My basic stance is I don't care what CONSENTING ADULTS do PRIVATELY. I do object to activist judges legislating from the bench.**[/b]

I think not allowing someone who is gay the right to marry the person they love is mistreatment.   How Do you and Dennis Prager decide what part of bible should be law and what part of the bible shouldn't?

If I was writing laws I  would be  more inspired by Rabbi Hillel  “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah. All the Rest is Commentary.  Now go, and  study "  than "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind it is abomination" Leviticus 18:22
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rachelg
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« Reply #74 on: July 15, 2008, 08:13:54 PM »

CRAFTY DOG:
Yes you have begun to "answer" it, but my point was to define the question presented.  So, lets explore a bit further.  You now say that religious organizations should have the right to follow their beliefs and discriminate.  What about religious individuals?  And, why should atheists have lesser rights?



I think organizations  religious or atheist etc should have the right to hire people who believe in their mission and not hire people who don't.  I see that as an organizational  right not the right of a particular person. A  Christian working for lets say BOA  should not have the right to not hire an atheist just because they don't like atheists or the other way around.  I do see churches/ other religious organizations  having historically more rights than other groups and it doesn't particularly bother me because of the importance of religious freedom in this country. 

CRAFTY DOG:
Which brings us to the next question presented:

Since  when called upon the point you are unwilling to say that the Constitution compels redefining marriage, and you say that discrimination should be illegal, how can you argue that the judiciary is the branch to carry this out over the expressly voted wishes of the people of California?  Why is this not a matter for the political process? (Executive and Legislative, plebecite (sp?) )

In my opinion discrimination should be illegal.  The question being is that what the  CA State Constitution says .   I don't fell able to interpret the  California State Constitution and various case laws. There are obviously lawyers and judges on both sides of the issue.

If according to the  CA  State  constitution or  case law etc discrimination is illegal  it is a matter for judges not popular vote.

Hopefully Gay Marriage will pass by plebiscite in November. It on the ballot is CA correct ?

 I had to look this up so I will share with others
 
plebiscite --- A direct vote in which the entire electorate is invited to accept or refuse a proposal

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rachelg
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« Reply #75 on: July 15, 2008, 08:16:56 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/world/middleeast/29marriage.html?ex=1372392000&en=7915acb07161faf6&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

June 29, 2008
Tiny Voices Defy Child Marriage in Yemen
By ROBERT F. WORTH

JIBLA, Yemen — One morning last month, Arwa Abdu Muhammad Ali walked out of her husband’s house here and ran to a local hospital, where she complained that he had been beating and sexually abusing her for eight months.

That alone would be surprising in Yemen, a deeply conservative Arab society where family disputes tend to be solved privately. What made it even more unusual was that Arwa was 9 years old.

Within days, Arwa — a tiny, delicate-featured girl — had become a celebrity in Yemen, where child marriage is common but has rarely been exposed in public. She was the second child bride to come forward in less than a month; in April, a 10-year-old named Nujood Ali had gone by herself to a courthouse to demand a divorce, generating a landmark legal case.

Together, the two girls’ stories have helped spur a movement to put an end to child marriage, which is increasingly seen as a crucial part of the cycle of poverty in Yemen and other third world countries. Pulled out of school and forced to have children before their bodies are ready, many rural Yemeni women end up illiterate and with serious health problems. Their babies are often stunted, too.

The average age of marriage in Yemen’s rural areas is 12 to 13, a recent study by Sana University researchers found. The country, at the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

“This is the first shout,” said Shada Nasser, a human rights lawyer who met Nujood, the 10-year-old, after she arrived at the courthouse to demand a divorce. Ms. Nasser decided instantly to take her case. “All other early marriage cases have been dealt with by tribal sheiks, and the girl never had any choice.”

But despite a rising tide of outrage, the fight against the practice is not easy. Hard-line Islamic conservatives, whose influence has grown enormously in the past two decades, defend it, pointing to the Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to a 9-year-old. Child marriage is deeply rooted in local custom here, and even enshrined in an old tribal expression: “Give me a girl of 8, and I can give you a guarantee” for a good marriage.

“Voices are rising in society against this phenomenon and its catastrophes,” said Shawki al-Qadhi, an imam and opposition member in Parliament who has tried unsuccessfully to muster support for a legal ban on child marriage in Yemen in the past. “But despite rejections of it by many people and some religious scholars, it continues.”

The issue first arose because of Nujood, a bright-eyed girl barely four feet tall. Her ordeal began in February, when her father took her from Sana, the Yemeni capital, to his home village for the wedding. She was given almost no warning.

“I was very frightened and worried,” Nujood recalled, speaking in a soft, childlike voice as she sat cross-legged on the floor in her family’s bare three-room home in a slum not far from Sana’s airport. “I wanted to go home.”

As she told her story, Nujood gradually gained confidence, smiling shyly as if she were struggling to hold back laughter. Later, she removed her veil, revealing her shoulder-length brown hair.

The trouble started on the first night, when her 30-year-old husband, Faez Ali Thamer, took off her clothes as soon as the light was out. She ran crying from the room, but he caught her, brought her back and forced himself on her. Later, he beat her as well.

“I hated life with him,” she said, staring at the ground in front of her. The wedding came so quickly that no one bothered to tell her how women become pregnant, or what a wife’s role is, she added.

Her father, Ali Muhammad al-Ahdal, said he had agreed to the marriage because two of Nujood’s older sisters had been kidnapped and forcibly married, with one of them ending up in jail. Mr. Ahdal said he had feared the same thing would happen to Nujood, and early marriage had seemed a better alternative.

A gaunt, broken-looking man, Mr. Ahdal once worked as a street sweeper. Now he and his family beg for a living. He has 16 children by two women.

Poverty is one reason so many Yemeni families marry their children off early. Another is the fear of girls being carried off and married by force. But most important are cultural tradition and the belief that a young virginal bride can best be shaped into a dutiful wife, according to comprehensive study of early marriage published by Sana University in 2006.

Nujood complained repeatedly to her husband’s relatives and later to her own parents after the couple moved back to their house in Sana. But they said they could do nothing. To break a marriage would expose the family to shame. Finally, her uncle told her to go to court. On April 2, she said, she walked out of the house by herself and hailed a taxi.

It was the first time she had traveled anywhere alone, Nujood recalled, and she was frightened. On arriving at the courthouse, she was told the judge was busy, so she sat on a bench and waited. Suddenly he was standing over her, imposing in his dark robes. “You’re married?” he said, with shock in his voice.

Right away, he invited her to spend the night at his family’s house, she said, since court sessions were already over for the day. There, she spent hours watching television, something she had never known in her family’s slum apartment, which lacks even running water.

When Nujood’s case was called the next Sunday, the courtroom was crowded with reporters and photographers, alerted by her lawyer. Her father and husband were also there; the judge had jailed them the night before to ensure that they would appear in court. (Both were released the next day.) “Do you want a separation, or a permanent divorce?” the judge, Muhammad al-Qadhi, asked the girl, after hearing her testimony and that of her father and her husband.

“I want a permanent divorce,” she replied, without hesitation. The judge granted it.

Afterward, Ms. Nasser, the lawyer, took Nujood to a celebratory party at the offices of a local newspaper, where she was showered with dolls and other toys. Nujood lived with her uncle for a time after the ruling but then insisted on returning to her father’s house. “I have forgiven him,” she said. She swears she will never marry again, and she wants to become a human rights lawyer, like Ms. Nasser, or perhaps a journalist.

Despite the victory, Ms. Nasser and other advocates say they are worried about the lack of legal means to fight early marriage. Nujood’s case only reached the court because she took such a wildly unusual step and happened on a sympathetic judge.

“We were lucky with this judge,” Ms. Nasser said. “Another judge might not have accepted her in court, and would have asked her father or brother to come instead,” and Nujood would probably still be married today.

A 1992 Yemeni law set the minimum legal age of marriage at 15. But in 1998 Parliament revised it, allowing girls to be married earlier as long as they did not move in with their husbands until they reached sexual maturity.

That change reflected the triumph of northern Yemen’s more conservative Islamic culture over the secular and Marxist south after North and South Yemen united in 1990. In South Yemen, the government had passed a law in 1979 setting the age of marriage at 16 for women and 18 for men. An extensive public awareness campaign, including songs and television spots with titles like “The Victimized Daughter of the Tribe” and “Traditions and Rituals” helped educate people about the dangers posed by early marriage and pregnancy.

But in Yemen, as in Afghanistan — another country where child marriage is common — the fight against Communism ended with the triumph of a hard-line form of Islam. After war broke out in 1994, Ali Abdullah Saleh, then North Yemen’s leader, sent jihadists to fight South Yemen. Critics say he has become politically indebted to conservative Islamists.

After Nujood’s case became public, Ms. Nasser said she received angry letters from conservative women denouncing her for her role. But she has also begun receiving calls about girls, some younger than Nujood, trying to escape their marriages.

One of them was Arwa, who was married last year at the age of 8 here in the ancient town of Jibla, four hours south of Sana. As with Nujood’s case, Arwa’s situation aroused a legal and social outrage.

Standing outside a relative’s house here, her hands clasped in front of her, Arwa described how surprised she was when her father arranged her marriage to a 35-year-old man eight months ago. Like Nujood, she did not know the facts of life, she said. The man raped and beat her.

Finally, after months of misery, she ran to a hospital. Employees there took her to a police station, she said. A local judge, on receiving her case, briefly jailed the judge who had approved the marriage contract. Arwa is living with relatives while her case awaits a resolution. But her relatives rarely let her out of the house, fearing that her husband, who has refused the judge’s demands that he appear in court, may take her again.

Asked what made her flee her husband after so many months, Arwa gazed up, an intense, defiant expression in her eyes.

“I thought about it,” she said in a very quiet but firm voice. “I thought about it.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #76 on: July 16, 2008, 12:21:05 AM »

In that the justification for the pedophilia is that Mohammed did it, I'm thinking that article about the brave little Yemeni girl belongs on one of the threads about Islam.

Concerning the gay marriage issue:

Marriage has always been defined as between a man and a woman.  The laws that banned interracial marriage violated the equal protection clause of the US Constitution-- a black man could not marry a woman that a white man could and vice versa-- and as such were properly struck down.   

Marriage has never been between two men or two women by definition.  Furthermore the people of Califormia specifically voted to that effect.  The CA Supreme Court simply imposed the personal political beliefs of a majority of its members.  The initiative that presumably that will be on the ballot this fall will be to repeal this piece of judicial imperialism.
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« Reply #77 on: July 16, 2008, 09:05:20 AM »

http://uscode.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode01/usc_sec_01_00000007----000-.html

TITLE 1 > CHAPTER 1 > § 7
§ 7. Definition of “marriage” and “spouse”


In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Rachel, there is a biological definition of male and female. There is no clear biological definition of race. Marriage has always been defined as being a legal union between a single man and a single woman, who aren't close relatives.
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rachelg
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« Reply #78 on: July 16, 2008, 07:03:04 PM »


I posted the article about the Yemeni girls because I thought they were inspiring not necessary as criticism to  Islam. Sadly getting married at 8 is not the wost thing that could happen to a girl/woman  in an Islamic country.  I can move it if you want.   


Marriage has been changed before  by allowing for  divorce and the  change in the status of woman going from property to a more or less equal partner that seems to me to be at least as big a change as allowing for  two men or two woman to get married.   At Birth the biological definition for male and female  human beings is usually but not always clear.

 I will probably take a break from the gay marriage  topic for a little bit.  I feel like we are starting to go in circles and no matter how many times you explain it to me I don't think I will see the light. Please have the last word. 

Rachel
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #79 on: July 16, 2008, 07:23:18 PM »

"I posted the article about the Yemeni girls because I thought they were inspiring not necessary as criticism to  Islam. Sadly getting married at 8 is not the wost thing that could happen to a girl/woman  in an Islamic country.  I can move it if you want."

Actually I was making a rhetorical point as I sometimes am known to do  grin   

"Marriage has been changed before  by allowing for  divorce and the  change in the status of woman going from property to a more or less equal partner that seems to me to be at least as big a change as allowing for  two men or two woman to get married. , , ,"

I guessing that these changes were not held to constitutionally compelled. smiley
   
" I will probably take a break from the gay marriage  topic for a little bit.  I feel like we are starting to go in circles and no matter how many times you explain it to me I don't think I will see the light. Please have the last word."

Both wise and gracious of you-- thank you.  I restate what I (and GM) have already said  cheesy

I will have a real humdinger for this thread next week, , ,   
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rachelg
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« Reply #80 on: July 21, 2008, 09:25:08 PM »

Sadly  I  may be the only one who finds these really entertaining but anyway


Nellie McKay - Mother of Pearl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU446HDtGv8


Feminists don't have a sense of humor
Target Women: Feeding Your F---ing Family
Sarah Haskins
http://current.com/items/89113716_target_women_feeding_your_f_ing_family
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #81 on: July 22, 2008, 01:59:36 AM »

Well, I got half way through the first one , , ,  cheesy
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rachelg
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« Reply #82 on: July 28, 2008, 05:15:22 PM »

Girls' math skills now equal boys'
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25836419/
Study finds no difference between boys and girls, even in high schools
The Associated Press
updated 2:23 p.m. CT, Thurs., July. 24, 2008

WASHINGTON - Sixteen years after Barbie dolls declared, "Math class is tough!" girls are proving that when it comes to math they are just as tough as boys.

In the largest study of its kind, girls measured up to boys in every grade, from second through 11th. The research was released Thursday in the journal Science.

Parents and teachers persist in thinking boys are simply better at math, said Janet Hyde, the University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who led the study. And girls who grow up believing it wind up avoiding harder math classes.

"It keeps girls and women out of a lot of careers, particularly high-prestige, lucrative careers in science and technology," Hyde said.

That's changing, though slowly.

Women are now earning 48 percent of undergraduate college degrees in math; they still lag far behind in physics and engineering.

But in primary and secondary school, girls have caught up, with researchers attributing that advance to increasing numbers of girls taking advanced math classes such as calculus.

'Gender parity' in standardized tests
Hyde and her colleagues looked at annual math tests required by the No Child Left Behind education law in 2002. Ten states provided enough statistical information to review test scores by gender, allowing researchers to compare the performances of more than 7 million children.

The researchers found no difference in the scores of boys versus girls — not even in high school. Studies 20 years ago showed girls and boys did equally well on math in elementary school, but girls fell behind in high school.

"Girls have now achieved gender parity in performance on standardized math tests," Hyde said.

The stereotype that boys are better at math has been fueled, at least in part, by suggestions of biological differences in the way little boys and little girls learn. This idea is hotly disputed; Lawrence Summers, then the president of Harvard, was castigated in 2005 when he questioned the "intrinsic aptitude" of women for top-level math and science.

Joy Lee, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., says she always felt confident about math, but remembers how it felt to walk into a science class full of boys. "Maybe I was a little bit apprehensive about being the only girl, but that didn't last for very long," said Lee, president of a school club that tries to get young girls interested in science and technology, along with engineering and math.

"I definitely do encourage other girls to pursue those interests and to not be scared to take those courses just because there are not very many girls or because they think they're not good enough to do it," Lee said.

More women in college
Still, while there are fewer women in science and technology, there are more women in college overall. To Hyde and her colleagues, that helps explain why girls consistently score lower on average on the SAT: More of them take the test, which is needed to get into college. The highest-performing students of both genders take the test, but more girls lower on the achievement scale take it, skewing the average.

For the class of 2007, the latest figures available, boys scored an average of 533 on the math section of the SAT, compared with 499 for girls.

On the ACT, another test on which girls lag slightly, the gender gap disappeared in Colorado and Illinois once state officials required all students to take the test.

As Hyde and her colleagues looked across the data for states' testing, they found something they didn't expect: In most states they reviewed, and at most grade levels, there weren't any questions that involved complex problem-solving, an ability needed to succeed in high levels of science and math. If tests don't assess these reasoning skills, they may not be taught, putting American students at a disadvantage to students in other countries with more challenging tests, the researchers said.

That might be a glaring omission, said Stephen Camarata, a Vanderbilt University professor who has researched the issue but was not involved in the study.

"We need to know that, if our measures aren't capturing some aspect of math that's important," Camarata said. "Then we can decide whether there's an actual male or female advantage."

'We can do a better job'
A panel of experts convened by the Education Department recommended that state tests be updated to emphasize critical thinking.

While some states already have fairly rigorous tests, "we can do a better job," said Kerri Briggs, the department's assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

"If we're going to be globally competitive, we need students who are able to do higher-level math skills," she said.

Back in 1992, Barbie stopped saying math was hard after Mattel received complaints from, among others, the American Association of University Women.

So far, while her current career choices include baby doctor and veterinarian — and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, too — Barbie has not branched out into technology or engineering.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #83 on: July 29, 2008, 11:29:47 AM »

R:

I knew you would see this and post it here  grin

TAC,
Marc
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Karsk
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« Reply #84 on: July 29, 2008, 05:03:29 PM »

Also, is the parity in scores between girls and boys math scores achieving parity due to girls scores increasing, boys scores decreasing or a combination of both?   I tend to watch gender issues from the additional perspective of what has been happening to boys.  I want to see both boys and girls in good shape and capable.  There are some disturbing trends that I have mentioned in another post which I will reiterate here:


"THE BOYS PROJECT  http://www.boysproject.net/

The mission of The Boys Project is to help young males develop their capabilities and reach the potential that their families and teachers know they have. The Boys Project seeks to accomplish for young men what the Girls Project so successfully accomplished for young women--- to increase academic skills, to increase college success, and to develop the confidence, drive, and determination to contribute to American society.



THE "BOY CRISIS"


Since the late 1970's, young women have soared in college attendance while young men have stagnated. Young men's literacy is declining. Many young men are disengaging from school. Young men are less likely to be valedictorians, to be on the honor roll, and to be active in organizations like student government. Young men are more likely to get D's and F's, to be suspended or expelled from school, to drop out of school, and to commit suicide.

We are losing young boys to a sense of failure that comes from schooling poorly adapted to their needs. We are losing adolescent males to the depression that comes from feeling neither needed nor respected. We are losing young men to life tracks that include neither college nor any other energetic endeavor.

A large, sullen, poorly educated group of men will not keep the nation vital in the twenty-first century. The nation needs the energy, initiative, and ambition of its young men as well as its young women. "


Some statistics about Boys that I think are important ...also from the Boys Project Website:

For every 100 girls that are conceived 115 boys are conceived.
http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-3840.html

For every 100 girl babies born there are 105 boy babies born.
http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/06statab/vitstat.pdf

K-12 Education
For every 100 girls enrolled in nursery school there are 112 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in kindergarten there are 116 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in elementary grades there are 107 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in ninth grade there are 101 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in tenth grade there are 94 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in eleventh grade there are 109 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in twelfth grade there are 98 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in high school there are 100 boys enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 girls enrolled in gifted and talented programs in public elementary and secondary schools there are 94 boys enrolled.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_055.asp

For every 100 girls who graduate from high school 96 boys graduate
(NCES, unpublished tabulation.)

For every 100 girls suspended from public elementary and secondary schools 250 boys are suspended.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_144.asp

For every 100 girls expelled from public elementary and secondary schools 335 boys are expelled.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_144.asp

Special Education
For every 100 girls diagnosed with a special education disability 217 boys are diagnosed with a special education disability.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disability 276 boys are diagnosed with a learning disability.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with emotional disturbance 324 boys are diagnosed with emotional disturbance
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with a speech impairment 147 boys are similarly diagnosed.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with mental retardation 138 boys are diagnosed as mentally retarded.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with visual impairment 125 boys are visually impaired.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with hearing impairment 108 boys are diagnosed as hearing impaired.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls diagnosed with deafness 120 boys have deafness.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls with orthopedic impairment 118 boys have orthopedic impairment.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls with other health impairment 127 boys have other health impairment.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls with multiple disabilities 189 boys have multiple disabilities.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

For every 100 girls that are deaf/blind 98 boys are deaf/blind.
http://www.iteachilearn.com/uh/meisgeier/statsgov20gender.htm

Higher Education
For every 100 women enrolled in college there are 77 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women enrolled in the first year of college there are 79 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women enrolled in the second year of college there are 71 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women enrolled in the third year of college there are 75 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women enrolled in the fourth year of college there are 94 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women enrolled in the fifth year of college there are 65 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women enrolled in the sixth year or more of college there are 78 men enrolled.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2004.html

For every 100 women living in college dormitories there are 87 men living in college dorms.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html

For every 100 American women who earn an associateís degree from college 67 American men earn the same degree.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_262.asp

For every 100 American women who earn a bachelorís degree from college 73 American men earn a bachelorís degree.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_262.asp

For every 100 American women who earn a masterís degree from college 62 American men earn the same degree.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_265.asp

For every 100 American women who earn a first-professional degree 107 American men earn a first-professional degree.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_271.asp

For every 100 American women who earn a doctor's degree from college 92 American men earn the same degree.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/tables/dt04_268.asp

Other Indicators
For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/LCWK1_2002.pdf

For every 100 females ages 20 to 24 that commit suicide 624 males of the same age kill themselves.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/LCWK1_2002.pdf

For every 100 girls ages 15 to 17 in correctional facilities there are 837 boys behind bars.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html

For every 100 women ages 18 to 21 in correctional facilities there are 1430 men behind bars.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html

For every 100 women ages 22 to 24 in correctional facilities there are 1448 men in correctional facilities.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html

For every 100 women living in military quarters there are 642 men living in military quarters.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html

For every 100 women ages 18 to 24 years living in emergency and transitional shelters there are 86 men living in similar shelters.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html

For every 100 women ages 18 to 24 years living in-group homes there are 166 men of the same age living in-group homes.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t26.html


I believe that most of this information pertains to the USA.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 05:05:43 PM by Karsk » Logged
G M
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« Reply #85 on: July 29, 2008, 08:15:12 PM »

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article4426139.ece

From The Times
July 30, 2008
Love, blackmail and rape – how al-Qaeda grooms women as ‘perfect weapons’
Deborah Haynes in Baladruz, Diyala
Read Deborah Haynes's blog: Inside Iraq

A woman pretending to be pregnant walks up to a hospital in one of Iraq’s most dangerous regions and blows herself up.

Minutes later a man, also laden with explosives, attacks the rescue workers who rushed to the scene in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. Thirty-two people are killed and 52 wounded.

The co-ordinated bombings that ripped through the town of Baladruz in May are one of twelve attacks involving thirteen women suicide bombers to strike Diyala so far this year – a huge jump, signalling a new tactic by insurgents. US officials suspect that al-Qaeda has built a network of cells that recruit women and turn them into killers.

Women are the perfect weapon in a country where it is frowned upon culturally for a man even to approach a woman without her husband or father in tow, let alone frisk her for weapons at one of the many checkpoints that are the bombers’ favourite targets. In addition, it is easy to hide a vest packed with explosives under the traditional Islamic robes worn by women in Iraq without drawing suspicion.

In total, there have been 24 attacks involving women suicide bombers since January, including four on Monday in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk that left scores dead. Al-Qaeda is “a very adaptive enemy”, a US Special Forces captain based in Diyala said. “They will try to use whatever works best for them to attempt to exploit whatever political or cultural restrictions we have.”

In the past, al-Qaeda fighters have used mosques to hold meetings and hide weapons, knowing that the US military will not raid religious buildings. “Now they’ve adapted to try to use female suicide bombers.”

The military believes that al-Qaeda employs a variety of tactics to get women to become suicide bombers. Some are easy prey because their husband or children have been killed or detained by US forces, said Captain Matthew Shown, the intelligence officer for “Sabre Squadron”, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, which is based in southeast Diyala.

Another method is for a member of al-Qaeda to marry a woman and then dishonour her in some way, such as letting someone else rape her. “This would leave her with no choice but to end her life,” Captain Shown, 34, said.

There are also reports of women being told that their husband or child will be killed unless they agree to become suicide bombers.

Eliminating the threat of female suicide attacks in Diyala is a priority for US and Iraqi forces, who began a large offensive yesterday across the province against al-Qaeda and pockets of Shia militias.

There have been a few successes. Last month Iraqi police arrested the alleged leader of the suicide cell that orchestrated the twin blasts on May 2 in Baladruz. Video footage of attacks on US forces was found at his home. Officers believe the material was used to indoctrinate female recruits.

The US military is also hiring women to stand alongside male guards at checkpoints to ensure that all women get a full body search.“It is not possible for males to search females. It is a cultural thing,” said Staff Sergeant David Schlicher, who works in civil affairs at Forward Operating Base Caldwell, a US camp in the middle of a much larger Iraqi army base in the desert in southeast Diyala. “So this closes that loophole.”

The woman guards will complement a workforce of about 80,000 men who are paid by the US military to protect their neighbourhood under a programme that encouraged many former Sunni insurgents to turn against al-Qaeda.

There are few female volunteers, however, just as there are not many women in the police and Army because it is not part of their culture.

The female bomb threat appears to be changing attitudes. In Baladruz, twenty-five women are due to start civilian guard duties this week, and an appeal has been made for another ten.
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G M
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« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2008, 08:45:38 AM »

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0728hm.html

Heather Mac Donald
Math Is Harder for Girls
. . . and also, it seems, for the New York Times.
28 July 2008

The New York Times is determined to show that women are discriminated against in the sciences; too bad the facts say otherwise. A new study has “found that girls perform as well as boys on standardized math tests,” claims a July 25 article by Tamar Lewin—thus, the underrepresentation of women on science faculties must result from bias. Actually, the study, summarized in the July 25 issue of Science, shows something quite different: while boys’ and girls’ average scores are similar, boys outnumber girls among students in both the highest and the lowest score ranges. Either the Times is deliberately concealing the results of the study or its reporter cannot understand the most basic science reporting.

Lewin begins her piece with the mandatory mocking reference to former Harvard president Lawrence Summers’ suicidal speculations about why women are underrepresented on science and math faculties. She also manages to squeeze in a classic feminist trope for how our sexist society destroys girls’ innate abilities, invoking the infamous “talking Barbie doll [who] proclaimed that ‘math class is tough.’” Lewin implies that the new study blows Summers’ wide-ranging speculations on gender and math out of the water; all that holds women back from equal representation in MIT’s theoretical physics labs, it seems, is Mattel and other patriarchal marketers of gender myths.

On the contrary, Science’s analysis of math test scores only confirms the hypothesis that cost Summers his Harvard post: that boys are found more often than girls at the outer reaches of the bell curve of abstract reasoning ability. If you’re hoping to land a job in Harvard’s math department, you’d better not show up with average math scores; in fact, you’d better present scores at the absolute top of the range. And as studies have shown for decades, there are many more boys than girls in that empyrean realm. Unless science and math faculties start practicing the most grotesque and counterproductive gender discrimination, a skew in the sex of their professors will be inevitable, given the distribution of top-level cognitive skills. Likewise, boys will be and are overrepresented among math dunces—though the feminists never complain about the male math failure rate.

Lewin claims that the “researchers looked at the average of the test scores of all students, the performance of the most gifted children and the ability to solve complex math problems. They found, in every category, that girls did as well as boys.” This statement is simply wrong. Among white 11th-graders, there were twice as many boys as girls above the 99th percentile—that is, at the very top of the curve. (Asians, however, showed a very slight skew toward females above the 99th percentile, while there were too few Hispanics and blacks scoring above even the 95th percentile to compute their gender ratios.)

The Science researchers themselves try to downplay the significance of the two-to-one ratio for whites—the vast majority of students—on the grounds that it should produce a 67 percent to 33 percent disparity in male-to-female representation in math-dependent fields. Yet Ph.D. programs for engineering, they say, contain only about 15 percent women. Therefore, the authors conclude, “gender differences in math performance, even among high scorers, are insufficient to explain lopsided gender patterns in participation in some [science and math] fields.”

This reasoning is flawed, however, because the tests used in their study are pathetically easy compared with what would be required of engineering or other rigorous math-based Ph.D.s. The researchers got their data from math tests devised by individual states to fulfill their annual testing obligations under the federal No Child Left Behind act. NCLB has produced a mad rush to the bottom, as many states crafted easier and easier reading and math tests to show their federal overseers how well their schools are doing. The Science researchers analyzed the difficulty of those tests and found that virtually none required remotely complicated problem-solving abilities. That a gender difference at the highest percentiles shows up on tests pitched to such an elementary level of knowledge and skill suggests that on truly challenging tests, the gender difference at the top end of the distribution will be even greater. Indeed, between five and ten times as many boys as girls have been found to receive near-perfect scores on the math SATs among mathematically gifted adolescents, for example. Far from raising the presumption of gender bias among schools and colleges, the Science study strengthens a competing hypothesis: that the main drivers of success in scientific fields are aptitude and knowledge, in conjunction with personal choices about career and family that feminists refuse to acknowledge.

The same reality-denying feminists are itching to subject college science and math departments to gender quotas. They have already persuaded Congress to require university scientists to perform Title IX compliance reviews—a nightmare of bean-counting paperwork—covering everything from faculty composition to lab space. Misleading reporting like Lewin’s will only strengthen the movement to select cancer researchers and atomic engineers on the basis of their sex, not their abilities.

The Wall Street Journal, it should be noted, had no difficulty grasping the two main findings of the Science study: that “girls and boys have roughly the same average scores on state math tests,” as Keith J. Winstein reported on July 25, but that “boys more often excelled or failed.” That the New York Times, in an article over twice as long as the Journal’s, couldn’t manage to squeeze in a reference to the fact that boys outperformed girls at the top end of the curve should put its readers on notice: trust nothing you read here.

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Her latest book, coauthored with Victor Davis Hanson and Steven Malanga, is The Immigration Solution.
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Karsk
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« Reply #87 on: July 30, 2008, 11:55:26 AM »

As I read the past few posts, including my own, I began to think about how "facts" and statistics are widely available these days and how it is not sufficient to produce large volumes of information in order to make a point.  What is the point of the past few postings?  Also when trying to figure out the truth amidst the piles and piles of second source information that abounds in the media...if I really want to know I generally always go to the source material upon which the information is based. To actually see the initial papers and to evaluate the methods directly is the only way to determine the efficacy of the secondary information that exists.   Secondary information almost takes on the reliability level of heresay.

Christina Hoff Sommers wrote and important book called "Who Stole Feminism" where she returns to the source material and provides many examples of where the original source work is either inadequate or grossly miisquoted and yet false conclusions are widely disseminated throughout the media.  This book really reminded me that you have to listen with a very critical mind to all things.

At any rate:

1. Rachel's post about girls achieving parity in math scores says   something to the effect:  "in this one recent study comparing math skills of girls and boys, the AVERAGE scores of girls and boys on certain fundamental skills tests that do not emphasize higher math skills very much are relatively equal.  One implied fact is that this is different from before.

2. My post asked if the differences seen were due to boys average scores declining or girls increasing.  I then went on to add additional statistical information from the census bureau comparing girls and boys across a variety of metrics.  My implication is that there seems to be evidence that boys have significant problems that need to be addressed.

3. GM added that regardless of average scores in such tests, the spread of scores between girls and boys differs. So even if the average scores are the same,  the spread of scores for boys is greater than for girls with more dunderheads but also more geniuses appearing at either end. This then would explain why there are still more boys in higher level mathematics and physics positions.   


Have I summed this up correctly?

I need to check sources of this statement but it is true that in general there are fewer men in college and in graduate schools than women.  Examining this in more detail seems to be important for many reasons. This goes above and beyond gender parity issues.

Personally I think that discussions around disparities between groups are interesting and useful but such information need not be divisive. For issues that I care about, I would rather keep trying to dig through the morass of secondary information to find original sources that drive the media hearsay.

What I want is to have all our kids in good shape. Gender is not an issue in this sense.  Still it is useful to look at the differences between boys and girls so as to best provide for their needs.

Karsk

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #88 on: July 30, 2008, 12:53:20 PM »

Your summary of the recent discussion seems accurate to me.

I agree 100% that the trouble with so many things that so many people "know" is that they aren't so.

IMHO it is profoundly obvious that there are important differences between men and women.  Notwithstanding this, the liberal- secualr humanist-PC-Democractic ideology seeks to impose parity in all areas via the coercive powers of the State.
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Karsk
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« Reply #89 on: July 30, 2008, 04:22:46 PM »

"Notwithstanding this, the liberal- secular humanist-PC-Democratic ideology seeks to impose parity in all areas via the coercive powers of the State."

Just out of curiosity, do you see such issues as  a distinct and encompassing ideology?   I do not in the sense that I might identify a "Fundamentalist Ideology" or a "Communist Ideology".  Secular humanism ideology definitely extends throughout much of present day though and I think its expression is much more subtle.  Is that ideology what you see as responsible for gender issues? In some ways I can see your point and particularly how governments can really muck things up however...

I need to think about this a bit.   I think what troubles me about an ideological premise for such issues is that it always boils down to an us or them kind of package.  I rarely fit into the supplied ideological packages.  I can see people who adopt ways of thinking on both sides of the liberal/conservative fence that are ideologically based.  I am not sure if you are presenting this way of thinking or not hence my question above.

What bothers me about any ideologically based thinking is that people abandon intelligent analysis in favor of just buying the whole package.  Intelligent, thoughtful liberals have more in common with intelligent, thoughtful conservatives than either has with their ideological compatriots who just buy the whole program whatever it is.

In other words, any argument that is based on informal fallacies of logic or poor information bothers me.   This is why I strongly believe in open discourse and freedom of speech and dislike PCness or any form of censure. 

People tend to stop analyzing their own beliefs and thoughts way too early.  This is a problem of education.   For example, as a school teacher many moons ago, I would ask a question like "How does Natural Selection work?"  and many student's responses would be one word game show answers like  "DNA".  In many classrooms kids actually manage to get away with such things with only a sigh and a head shake from the teacher.  That to me is the beginning of ideologies and that peculiar kind of ignorance that can co-exist with lots and lots of facts. 

I prefer an educational system that requires an intellectual "gathering of the pack" as a basis of combating ideologies of all sorts.  Now wouldn't that be something?

Karsk




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G M
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« Reply #90 on: July 30, 2008, 04:49:24 PM »

Current mainstream feminist and/or post-modernist leftist thought teaches that sex/gender are just "constructs". To dare suggest that there are concrete differences in the male and female brain is very un-pc, despite the huge amount of neuroscience that demonstrates this to be the case.
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LtMedTB
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« Reply #91 on: July 30, 2008, 11:58:28 PM »

Current mainstream feminist and/or post-modernist leftist thought teaches that sex/gender are just "constructs". To dare suggest that there are concrete differences in the male and female brain is very un-pc, despite the huge amount of neuroscience that demonstrates this to be the case.

Yes, indeed. Just ask former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers.

Tom
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #92 on: July 31, 2008, 12:38:53 AM »

"I prefer an educational system that requires an intellectual "gathering of the pack" as a basis of combating ideologies of all sorts.  Now wouldn't that be something?
Karsk"

ALL ideologies?  Including the one upon this country was founded? 


MD:  "Notwithstanding this, the liberal- secular humanist-PC-Democratic ideology seeks to impose parity in all areas via the coercive powers of the State."

KARSK:  "Just out of curiosity, do you see such issues as  a distinct and encompassing ideology?   I do not in the sense that I might identify a "Fundamentalist Ideology" or a "Communist Ideology".  Secular humanism ideology definitely extends throughout much of present day thought and I think its expression is much more subtle.  Is that ideology what you see as responsible for gender issues? In some ways I can see your point and particularly how governments can really muck things up however..."

How about this definition?  "(T)he view that every nook and cranny of society should work together in spiritual union toward the same goals, overseen by the State.  "Everything in the State, nothing outside the State." , , , No question about the role of government or its power (is) truly settled , , a "middle" or "third way" between capitalism and socialism , , , the State should be allowed to get away with anything, so long as it is for "good reasons".  , , , It represents the triumph of Pragmatism in politics in that it recognizes no dogmatic boundaries to the scope of government power., , , (T)he federal government should use its power to do nice things wherever and whenever it can."


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« Reply #93 on: July 31, 2008, 01:23:59 AM »

"I prefer an educational system that requires an intellectual "gathering of the pack" as a basis of combating ideologies of all sorts.  Now wouldn't that be something?
Karsk"

ALL ideologies?  Including the one upon this country was founded? 

This is a subject close to my heart.

The problem stems from the fact that there are so many different and conflicting claims to truth that it's hard to sort out genuine knowledge from opinion, religion, or propaganda. However, the act of separating knowledge from opinion or propaganda is the true mark of an educated person. It seems to me the goal should be to teach people how to think, as opposed to being told what to think. This could be achieved by acquainting students with the classics. I've seen high school literature books from the 1950s, and it stuns me how much education has been dumbed down in the last 50 years. I think it's a shame that the American education system does such a poor job educating students about the American Revolution. It's reduced it to "taxation without representation" and the Boston Tea Party. Students spend more time on the Civil War and slavery, but even that isn't done justice. It's unfortunate that you have to read a grad-student level book to find thoughtful and nuanced discussion about freedom. When I first read Bernard Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, I felt for the first time that I understood what America really meant. Why did it take that long? How many Americans live their whole life and never know, much less care? Is it possible to be ignorant and free?

Tom
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"Talent is God given. Be humble.
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Conceit is self given. Be careful."
Karsk
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« Reply #94 on: July 31, 2008, 02:27:56 AM »

Crafty,

First response:

We probably have to define ideology more specifically or at least clarify what each of us means.   When I refer to ideology or "being ideologically based" here, I mean specifically belief systems where the main justification for the  belief is "that is what WE believe in".   By definition, being ideologically based means that you first make a decision to believe a certain set of beliefs and THEN you go about justifying your beliefs and not the other way around. 

The real definition of ideology is more broad than this. Wikipedias definition:

"An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society. The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer change in society through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought (as opposed to mere ideation) applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought."

So I am probably incorrect in using the term as I am using it....with a negative connotation.  I like the way "being ideologically based" rolls off the tongue I guess.

I think that the ideology upon which the US was founded REQUIRES us to be responsible and intelligent individuals. What I grew up with was a requirement to look at our own beliefs directly and with a critical eye first before ever presuming to have the moral authority to judge someone else.  So yeah, I think that we should constantly evaluate our own ideologies even to the point of starting over if necessary.  First think for yourself and teach your children to think for yourself. THEN decide if you agree. Not the other way around. (Blindly agree then justify it with all manner of rationalization).  I am not sure how well this concept is understood these days...

The Declaration of Independence actually requires us to evaluate our own behaviour and revolt if the government strays from the original concept. It requires us to be intelligent and critical of our own belief systems:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."


Response to your second comment:

Where did you get that definition?

After thinking a bit and doing some reviewing  I am pretty sure that your description of secular humanism is not accurate.  My favorite quick and dirty source, Wikipedia states the following about secular humanism and this jives with what I remember from university:

"Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. Like other types of humanism, secular humanism is a life stance focusing on the way human beings can lead good and happy lives."

Secular humanism describes a world view with the following elements and principles:[2]

    * Need to test beliefs – A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
    * Reason, evidence, scientific method – A commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
    * Fulfillment, growth, creativity – A primary concern with fulfillment, growth and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
    * Search for truth – A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
    * This life – A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
    * Ethics – A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
    * Building a better world – A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

A Secular Humanist Declaration was an argument for and statement of belief in Democratic Secular Humanism."

About religion and secular humanism:  "Secular humanism is a broad philosophic position and not limited to be simply a statement about belief or non-belief in God. Accordingly, secular humanism can not be equated with nontheism, atheism, or agnosticism. Although many non-theists, atheists, and agnostics adhere to the tenets of secular humanism, this is not intrinsically the case.[5]"


---

Just like any belief system, over time what starts out as being kinda simple, straightforward and reasonable gets morphed into something else if the critical mind is lulled into sleep.  I think that you are referring to something that may have warped over time and got called secular humanism.   But I know that modern psychology and counseling was strongly influenced by specific psychological theories that are probably more pertinent here.  One was behavioral psychology (Skinner). Another was Humanistic psychology (Carl Rogers).  Skinner believed that all behaviour could be explained as a function of stimulus, response and conditioning.  Rogers espoused a way of counseling that was in some ways a reaction to Behaviorism and the prior psychoanalytic theory of Freud.  Both eroded the idea that behaviour was built into us.

From Wikipedia again:

"There are several factors which distinguish the Humanistic Approach [Rogerian] from other approaches within psychology, including the emphasis on subjective meaning, a rejection of determinism, and a concern for positive growth rather than pathology."

These concepts of subjective meaning and rejection of determinism (no biological basis for behaviour) infused themselves into many aspects of counseling and education.  These ideas strongly influenced feminism as well which is what GM was referring to I think.  At one point any suggestion that there was a biological basis to behaviour was met with censure and resistance to the point where proponents of a biological basis of behaviour were at risk.  I was there in the university environment at that time and saw this repeatedly.

The belief in a relativistic truth and the malleability of behaviour to social influence still influences lots of places but this is not nearly as strong as it used to be.  With improved methods of analyzing the brain and genetics, the biological basis of behaviour has gained in strength as well as a more eclectic approach to helping people that accounts for cultural backgrounds, spiritual metaphor, and even a return to psychoanalytic approach in the guise of what is called self psychology.

In conclusion I am trying to make several points:

1. I don't think that secular humanism is the source of what our are objecting to.
2. Psychological theory in the 60s, rather than secular humanism per se strongly influenced people in education and this in turn influenced university teaching and opened the door for radical feminist ideologies.
3. I did not mention this earlier but Feminism was also strongly influenced by some specific philosophers...Foucault comes to mind as one.  Somewhere in the philosophy influenced is a link to Marxist thought.  Its too late for me to find references regarding this tonight so I may need to clarify or rescind point 3 later.  Your last quote reminds me a little of this which is why I am mentioning it now.

Karsk




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Karsk
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« Reply #95 on: July 31, 2008, 02:29:20 AM »

Tom,

I agree.

Karsk
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #96 on: July 31, 2008, 12:10:19 PM »

Woof Karsk:

My intention for the moment is to ruthlessly focus on these words of yours "combating ideologies of all sorts". 

I disagree.

I believe that we receive from our Creator the inaleinable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit, not the guarantee, of happiness.  To pursue happiness, we have freedom of choice.  To make our choices meaningul, we have freedom of speech to inform us and we have separation of church and state.  And to make sure that the State remembers, we have the right to keep and bear arms. 

I came to this things through education and through thought.  In my opinion these things are right and those ideologies that oppose these things are wrong.

Do you agree or disagree?

TAC,
Marc
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Karsk
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« Reply #97 on: July 31, 2008, 02:57:18 PM »

I agree.

Too many words in my previous response eh? I can do that!


My point is simply that we cannot exclude a constant self evaluation of our own beliefs and ideologies, holding them up to an even more rigorous standard than we do when evaluating others.

I think that people forget to do this.  Over time they begin to react out of well worn habit to different positions. Formalized this lack of self evaluation (or evaluation of our own ideas) is what allows rigid thinking such as fundamentalism, bureaucratic mindsets, martial arts that are theoretically based rather than reality based and so on to creep into being.

I think I am talking about the Knightly virtue of Humility, which must be infused as a glue throughout all the other virtues.

________

When I referred to "education that combats ideologies of all sorts "  I  really meant  that I want to see kids taught to debate, question, and think for themselves.  The more people are given the skills that they  need to think through complex ideas and beliefs on their own to come to a conclusion that is based on the bedrock of their own understanding and the less they just buy into an ideology the better.  Its probably idealistic to think that everyone is actually capable of doing this.  But with this as the fundamental principle, folks not so inclined to think deeply will still be existing in a milieu where this is the accepted thing to do.

The cool thing about the foundation of the United States is that it is based on premises that ground us firmly in such bedrock. 


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G M
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« Reply #98 on: August 02, 2008, 03:05:33 PM »

http://www.zombietime.com/up_your_alley_2008/

CONTENT WARNING! SF street fair.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #99 on: August 02, 2008, 03:19:16 PM »

K:

I know what your point is  cheesy  I am just being relentless on my point that there are things which are right and things which are wrong-- and that it right to teach them as such.

yip!
Marc/CD
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