Ferguson Episode Betrays the Hollowness of Black America’s Leadership

November 27, 2014

In Ferguson, Missouri, a Little Caesar’s, a locally owned store that provided local jobs to members of the black population, has been completely burned down; nothing is left. The people who worked there are now unemployed.

Rocks, bricks, bottles and tear gas canisters flew across the streets of that city this week. Police cruisers were set ablaze. A law office was burned.

A Walgreens drug store close by, another source of local jobs, was looted.

Protesting the St. Louis County Grand Jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for having fatally shot 18 -year -old Michael Brown in August, huge crowds gathered in New York City and in Oakland, California. In New York, some 2,000 people took to the streets of midtown Manhattan, marching down Broadway and through Times Square chanting, “Justice for Mike Brown.” The marchers, most of them young adults, spread over four blocks.

What’s this furor about?

The St. Louis County Grand Jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson, 28, for the August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.  A  jury of nine whites and three blacks  – empanelled months before they knew anything about the Ferguson shooting –  met on over 25 separate days to decide the matter.

Those jurors were the first  to hear, see, and read every last piece of evidence.  That evidence has yet to be seen by the public.  What we do know is:

  • They listened to 70 hours of testimony from about 60 witnesses;
  • The jurors were presented with five indictment options, ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter;
  • Three medical examiners testified;
  • Three autopsies returned consistent results;
  • Two shots were fired while Officer Wilson was in his police car;
  • Brown’s body lay 153 feet east of Wilson’s car;
  • There was less than 90 seconds between the first shot and the arrival of a second police car;
  • Audio of the final 10 shots was captured on video.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The reaction from America’s default black leadership was predictable:

Rev. Jesse Jackson speaking at a news conference  on Monday in  Springfield Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina had has this to say on the topic of Ferguson:

“All we really want is justice, [the] issue is not riots, the issue is justice… it’s not uprising, it’s uplifting.  We need to stop police rioting and killing… which is provocative and painful… there is a fear of retaliation. It would not be smart to retaliate with the violence… not because we are afraid, but because we are wise.”

Notice that in Jackson’s view of the matter it is the police who are rioting.

Rev. Al Sharpton was no better.  He did not seem to think there was anything wrong with the Ferguson rioting by the black community, failing to mention it and restricting his comments to an attack on St. Louis District Attorney Bob McCulloch

” Last night the appearance by the district attorney made it clear to everyone why we had little faith in a state prosecution. I have been out involved in civil rights all my life. We have seen cases go ways that we felt were right and ways that we felt were wrong. I have never seen a prosecutor hold a press conference to discredit the victim. “

It should be noted that the entire case rested on the issue of whether in fact Michael Brown had presented a threat to the officer’s life . Characterizing Brown as a juvenile delinquent who had earlier in the evening robbed a convenience store and who had actually assaulted the officer was entirely relevant to the issue of Officer Wilson’s guilt or innocence.

In short, neither of the two most prominent black leaders in the country could bring themselves to outright condemn the rioting in Ferguson or elsewhere. In fact, by their silence, they seemed to condone it.

I have written extensively on the issue of the penchant of prominent black leaders to revert to the language of victimhood in the face of familial breakdown, high crime rates and lack of ambition within their communities.

But thankfully there are forthright black leaders who are not spinning on this very convenient victimhood treadmill.

Take  Stacy Washington,  a St. Louis resident who hosts a local radio talk show there:

“Now that we have a grand jury decision, may the process of healing begin in earnest. I truly hope for a refocus of protest energy towards reflection and away from blaming the police for the difficulties facing black Americans today. We must begin to look at improving ourselves instead of blaming groups of others for endemic problems that plague the black community. May God grant the Brown family peace and closure.”

Joe HicksOr my good friend, Joe Hicks, a former executive director or the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Los Angeles City Human Rights Commission who is now a conservative activist:

“From the inception — and despite the hyperbolic rhetoric from national black leaders, local protesters and political opportunists of all stripes — my position was that the facts and a thorough investigation would tell the story of what happened on that street between teenager Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson. Now that Officer Wilson’s actions have been deemed within the scope of a lawful police response to the dangerous actions of Mr. Brown, it’s now important to watch how the so-called black leadership responds. Will they irresponsibly reject the decision, along with the facts it revealed, and continue to claim that Brown was the murder victim of a racist white cop? To what extent will Ferguson protesters defy the orders of authorities for lawful behavior? We don’t need a replay of the violent, pathological riots we saw on the streets of that small suburb of St. Louis.”

Michael DozierOr Dr. Michael Dozier

“It amazes me that there are so many who dismissed the fact that Michael Brown robbed a convenience store and attacked a police officer prior to being killed.  Once again, the black community largely turned a blind eye to the real issues affecting the very lives of our youths. Black-on-black crime is an epidemic and thousands of black children are brutally killed every year, yet we do not see the Al Sharptons or Jesse Jacksons protesting their deaths. The President doesn’t proclaim their lives would reflect the life of a son he never had. The black community needs to stop with the excuses and victimization and stop allowing antagonists to come into their communities to promote their own agendas.”

Kevin MartinOr  Kevin Martin:

“Now that the grand jury has rendered a decision, people on both sides can now peacefully debate the result. The decision does not give anyone the right to engage in property destruction, physical assaults and general chaos if they don’t agree with that decision.  The grand jury looked at all the evidence, and it surely did its best to render a judgment respectful of all parties. It is long past the time for those who might seek to use violence to achieve an outcome to decamp from Ferguson and allow the community to heal.”

Perhaps it is best summed up by Johnathan Gentry  who wrote of the rioters on his Facebook page on  Nov. 25, 2014:

You showed absolutely no respect to Michael Brown, his family, your community, or yourself! But yet, you demand respect as a human being. His family asked for a “Peaceful” protest. Yet, you disregarded, dishonored & disrespected their wishes & burned down your own city anyway. It’s your own actions & behavior that’s keeping you bound, stuck & not getting ahead. Everything you stood for went down the drain last night by burning down your own community. That’s no ones fault but YOURS!! Your behavior confirmed everything .“Your iniquities have turned these blessings away, and your sins have kept good from you.” (Jeremiah 5:25)

His video below says it all:

It is time for men and women such as these, who respect the rule of law, who will not bow to a corrupt black leadership that uses any incident it can to out ” whitey” as a racist, bigoted savage, to now attain their place in the media as spokesmen for a new generation of black leaders. It is only with the encouragement of individuals such as these, providing leadership and inspiration, that the black community will emerge from their self inflicted cycle of violence and recrimination and join the rest of the population of the United States in responsible citizenship and communal achievement.

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Annie Lennox Tells It Like It Is

October 22, 2014

Finally a major rock star has summoned the courage to reveal one of the
ugly truths of the music business. Last week, the Scottish rock star, Annie
Lennox, one half of the successful 80s duo, The Eurythmics, blasted Beyonce
for her crude, sexually suggestive stage performances and lyrical content.
Asked by Pride Source  whether Beyoncé
recent declaration of herself as “a feminist “rang true to her, Lennox
responded:

“I would call that “feminist lite.” L-I-T-E. I’m sorry. It’s tokenistic to
me. ………… I see a lot of it as them takingthe word hostage and using it to promote themselves, but I don’t think they necessarily represent wholeheartedly the depths of feminism…….I think for many it’s very convenient and it looks great and it looks radical, but I have some issues with it. ….I think it’s a cheap shot. …. What can I tell you? Sex always sell. And there’s nothing wrong with sex selling, but it depends on your audience. If they’re 7-year-old kids, I have issues with it.”

She followed this with this clarification to NPR’s Steve Inskeep on October 21st:

‘The reason why I’ve commented is because I think that this overt sexuality
thrust — literally — at particular audiences, when very often performers
have a very, very young audience, like 7 years older, I find it disturbing
and I think its exploitative. It’s troubling. I’m coming from a perspective
of a woman that’s had children,’ she explained.

Lennox, soon to turn 60, is no conservative. She is an
outspoken advocate for the LGBT agenda and quite a diehard on other issues such as the environment and climate change. But her surprising reaction to the steamy sexualization of our teeny bopper culture should be coming from the mouths of many other exprienced musicians and performers who must see the how live music business has been gradually turning into a platform for the pornographic arts.

She is talking of course about performers such as Nicki Minaj, Rhianna, Kei$ha and former child star, Miley Cyrus.

Of course what they do may be nothing new. Madonna, Britney Spears and  Lady Gaga have been doing much the same thing for years and in the 70s artists such as David Bowie and Lou Reed had few obstacles singing about gay sex and presenting transgendered stage acts.

But Lennox is right. Now even 7-year-olds are exposed to the direct sexual suggestiveness of their favorite pop stars, without fully comprehending what those stage movements and lyrics might even be suggesting.

Perhaps that was why it was so disappointing to read Paul McCartney’s response last year to what he thought about Miley Cyrus’ stage antics . He responded that he didn’t see anything wrong with her “twerks” and any of the other Cyrus lewd acts – which, he must have appreciated, were as sexually explicit as almost anything at a strip club.

Does he really think that this kind of personal exhibitionism in the name of free expression represents a great artistic leap forward? A classy guy, he must surely appreciate the dehumanizing impact of these wildly popular acts have on the same society that hoisted him to such fame in the 1960s.  True it might be that the Beatles were no paragons of virtue ( John Lennon appeared completely naked on the cover of a solo album in 1968; and McCartney, about the same time, wrote the sexually suggestive ” Why Don’t We Do it in the Road? “).   But they didn’t trade in what we used to call smut.

Why do these women do it?   The attention hungry stars on our nation’s stages today apparently feel the need to best one another in outrage – much like Janet Jackson did in 2004 when she bared a breast before millions of viewers during her half time performance at Super Bowl.

It is hard to know what to expect next. Perhaps performing sex live on stage will set the bar to the next level for these women and would of course place them  in a new category – “feminist pop star” as ” porn star”. Except of course, by the time this happens time there will be no essential difference between pop star and porn star at all. They will be one and the same and no one will even blink an eye.


Scotland Takes the Morning After Pill

September 22, 2014
On Friday morning the Scottish people must felt like the failed suicide who awakes in hospital the next day and wonders to himself: ” Now why in the hell did I do a stupid thing like that? ”

The convincing drubbing that the independence movement took on Thursday should have made most Scots aware of how facile and threadbare were their ideas of separation.

Without a solid financial structure, with the threat of the U.K. withdrawing the usage of the English pound and with the EU ‘s own President declaring how difficult it would be for Scotland to gain entry into the European Union, there was, in the end, really no doubt about the result. Secession would have brought  economic and political pain beyond endurance.

Suicide averted and now life can move on.

But the foolish Scottish secession movement may be a harbinger of more drastic things to come.  Put simply, the drive to break up great nations has not ended; it has only just begun.

Catalonians and the Basque in Spain, Quebecois in Canada, the Flemish in Belgium, the Faroe Islanders in Denmark, Venetians in Italy and Bavarians in Germany have all contracted something of the same secessionist bug.
Which is not to mention  Wales, Cornwall, Northern Ireland in The United Kingdom, Silesia in Poland, Frisia in Netherlands/ Germany, Corsica in France, Aaland in Finland and Kashmir in India .  These countries all sport incipient movements that call for breaking away from the motherland.  And over time, the movements will only gain in strength as the nation state as we know it comes under relentless pressure to fragment.

One of the causes of this process of dismemberment is the resistance to the intense globalization which has affected the economies, social structures and political climates of all Western oriented nations.  As these countries see more of their jobs outsourced to Asia; as they feel their own wealth drained by supra-national entities or else by heavy taxation from a central government which sends back very little in return or as their distinctive cultural identity is eroded by an invasive English language- based  culture , there is a tendency to wish for the days in which one could claim to actually belong to something other than a nominal state, whose political  and economic frontiers are fast disappearing to the point of invisibility.

There is also no doubt that the emergence of the European Union has significantly sliced away at the distinctive cultural identities of Europe’s nation-states.  In the effort to meld 28 European states into a cohesive economic unit, the Brussels based bureaucracy has gingerly skipped over the significant cultural, political and historical differences that divide its constituent members, imposing a rather bland and impersonal ” “European” identity to which few can truly connect. There is, after all, no distinctively European language  ( the experiments in Esperanto having miserably failed) ; nor is there a universal cultural affiliation which is

uniquely European – and no significant effort to create one either. There is, in short, no such thing as a ‘ European’ – and nor is there likely to be in the near future.

The decline of nationalist spirit, evident throughout the West, is really an issue of collapsing identity.  I discovered this first hand in a walk through southern England in the summer of 2008.  There I met villagers who complained to me that they were mystified about who they were supposed to be – were they British, European or world citizens?  Their pubs were now served by Polish barmaids who barely spoke English;  their cars serviced by Czech mechanics who knew very little about their British made cars and even their parks and wild lands managed by immigrants from Bangladesh.  England, I discovered, was a place where multiculturalism and an attempted integration into Europe was eating into the very fiber of British identity, stripping away centuries the view of Great Britain as one of the great civilizing forces in world history. .

I write these words, of course, at the time of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, a conflict spurred, in large part, by escalating, unfettered nationalism.  The Europeans’ answer to the ‘nationalist’ problems of the 20th Century was to de-emphasize the nation-state in favor of the collective. The irony, of course,  is that in doing so, they have tampered with the basic human need  for paternalistic symbols – whereby one shapes his or her identity – and perhaps even existence – by reference to a defined sovereign entity, which reigns over our individual lives beyond family and beyond our immediate communities.

The problem of failed identity in a world without frontiers will bedevil the citizens of the 21st Century.  The governments of western countries must therefore recognize that the utopian drive towards integration and collective identity – and the inherent emptiness of that enterprise-  will necessarily stir to life the dormant, but very real attachments citizens have to their language, culture and history.  There can be no surprise then when a country such as Scotland, for 300 years a peaceful, if not exactly placid, constituent member of the United Kingdom, suddenly rebels against British dominion and demands independence.  Strengthening the spirit of nationalism, drawing on a nation’s rich history and collective memory, emphasizing national uniqueness and pride as well as the nation’s special mission, is a task worthy of any Western leader.  The question remains whether we have any leaders left worthy of the task.

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles , the coordinator of the AFA  Identity Crisis Conference in Rome in 2008 and the moderator of the Outbreak of the First World War and its Consequences conference held on September 21, 2014.

Who Is Missing From TIME’s List of the World’s Most Influential People?

May 3, 2010

Lady Gaga made it.  So did Bill Clinton.  Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al- Nhayan, president of the United Arab Emirates is a lucky inclusion , as well as Ashton Kutcher and Taylor Swift.  Even that indefatigable Palestinian peace maker Salam Fayyad  ( who? – you might correctly ask) is in there.    They are all inductees in  the 2010 TIME Magazine’s  100 Most Influential People in the World list.  The annual list is entree to immediate celebrity, a ticket to dinner parties, the lecture circuit and a fair amount of ridicule.

But missing from this year’s list are  the two men who will undoubtedly have a more  significant influence on world events in the coming  twelve months than anyone TIME listed on its pages this week.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, won his indisputable place on this list, with his galvanizing speech to the United Nations on September 24, 2009, which,  in the wake of a earlier speaker’s demagoguery,  he admonished the world’s gathered leaders to stand up for the U.N’s purported values:

“Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium.   To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries. But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?”

His words put to shame those of Barack Obama who could barely bring himself to emit a word of condemnation about the racist hate speech which was to  issue from the mouth of Iran’s Mahmoud Achmadinejad.  After the speech, pundits and analysts were declaring Benjamin Netanyahu the true leader of Western civilization.

His nemesis, as well as the West’s,  also did not make it into the Top 100 list, despite his defiance in rejecting the U.N.s’ demands for inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities  and the  growing likelihood that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike this year against the Iranian regime.  This seismic event will not only roil world economies but will cause a substantial shift in global power.

These two men could therefore well hold much of the fate of humanity in their hands.   I have to wonder whether that would be enough of an influence to have included them in the top 100.  Probably not.   After all, they have nothing on Lady Gaga’s ” incredibly literary” ( Cyndi Lauper’s contributory comment)  influence on  our culture and civilization.


The Modern Feminist Agenda

March 8, 2010

Twenty-two years ago, when I was working for a cultural center in Los Angeles, it was decided to invite Betty Friedan to present a lecture.  Friedan had been vaunted for years as one of the founders of the modern feminist movement and her book, The Feminist Mystique, paved the way for a host of successive feminists, younger and more rabidly determined to shake up gender bias around the country.

During that visit I spent considerable time with Friedan, driving her from location to location and learned much about her ideas on feminism.

By 1988,  already in her late 60s, Friedan was in no mood to reflect on the great achievements of the feminist movement over the preceding 25 years.  She had authored The Second Stage in 1981, in which she had critiqued what she saw as the extremist excesses of some of her  colleagues who could be broadly classified as gender feminists. (Gender feminists typically criticize contemporary gender roles and aim to eliminate them altogether.)  She fulminated against them as I drove her back to her hotel in Santa Monica:

They’ve stripped us of everything. Any real legtimacy. The feminist movement is in ruins!”  

I believe  she was right.  By the late 80’s, the entire feminist movement was moving beyond its traditional role of seeking equal rights for women and fast embracing far left wing ideologies and lesbian and transgender advocacy as its primary focus. 

In took only another four years before the feminist movement was upended when Christina Hoffs Sommer published Who Stole Feminism?  in which the author identified gender feminism as characterizing most modern feminist theory and serving as its prevailing ideology in academia. 

Because she had identified some of these excesses, Friedan progressively saw her leadership eclisped by Gloria Steinem, who knew how to coddle the radicals without necessarily embracing their ideologies.

But it has become fairly clear from Steinem’s rule of the roost, that women’s issues are not nearly as important as subscribing the movement to left wing causes.   From the anti- War movement, to Black victimhood politics to gay rights, Steinem  has been involved in almost every left wing cause of the past 50 years trailing the obliging feminist movement behind her.

Perhaps that is why so many women regard  “feminist” as a dead term these days, restricted to hard core man haters who have no patience nor respect for a woman’s expression of  femininity.  

So I had to laugh when Steinem was asked in this interview in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, why so many women shrink from the term  feminist today?   She answered:

“Because it has been demonized by the right wing. Every time I  can bear to turn on Rush Limbaugh he’s talkling about femi-Nazis.  It has been distorted, just like liberal has. “

What a poor excuse for an argument.  Feminism long ago painted itself into a radical corner and needed nothing from Rush Limbaugh or any other right wing commentator to characterize it as out of touch with the needs of most modern women.

The feminist movement’s myriad failures are on par with many other left wing causes that have lost sight of their original goals.  For instance, where is the National Organization of Women, Independent Women’s Forum, Feminists for Life and Feminist Majority Foundation in condemning through international campaigns the grave indignities suffered by women in Muslim countries from stoning, wife beating, genital mutilation and denial of civil rights?   Where is the feminist movement in addressing the way young women, particularly on our college campuses, debase themselves through casual sexual encounters ( the hooking up culture!) and exploitative relationships?  

Where are the feminists in praising a woman with the strength of character of a Sarah Palin who, no matter what you think of her politics, has demonstrated that women can rise from almost nowhere and play a very signficant role in national politics, competing with men on almost every level.

Palin is not lauded , of course, because her politics puts her beyond the pale of feminist acceptability.   In fact, the feminists barely regard her as female at all.  Steinem famously declared as much in this Los Angeles piece in September, 2008, when she said that “Palin  shares nothing but a chromosome in common with Hilary Clinton.”

Tomorrow will mark International Women’s Day, the 99th time it will be celebrated.  Given what we have seen from the feminist movement in the years following its inauguration, perhaps it won’t surprise anyone that that first auspicious date in March, 1911 was observed  following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The IWD was its brainchild.


WHEN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS DISCRIMINATE

December 23, 2009

You’ve got to hand it to the English.  They sure know how to sniff out a good case of discrimination when they sense one. 
 
Latest example of this prodigious olfactory power:  The case of “M”, the progeny of a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father who lives in London.  “M” sought admission to the Jewish Free School (now known by its acronym JFS) in North-West London, an institute which characterizes itself as an orthodox Jewish day school offering a high school education to a wide spectrum of practices within the British Jewish community.  It has been doing so since 1732, making it the longest established Jewish educational institution in Europe.
 
” M” found himself  on the wrong branch of the family tree when he applied for admission to the school.  He was denied entry because it was determined that his mother’s earlier conversion to Judaism had not been conducted by strict orthodox standards.  This rendered ‘M’  technically non-Jewish, and therefore an inadmissible candidate.

A suit was launched on behalf of student ‘M’ under the U.K.’s 1976 Race Relations Act, claiming that school’s use of rabbinic law to determine the Jewishness of the student was  discrimination based on the student’s ethnicity –  the first time in English history such a claim had been made in a civil court.

According to ‘M”s legal team, an act of discrimination had occured and the father ( who had long since divorced the mother) had decided to ask the English legal system to fix it. 

For years the case dragged through the courts until the Court of Appeals finally held that the application of Jewish law in this case had indeed violated the Race Law.  And last week the newly re-established Supreme Court, by a narrow majority, supported the earlier decision, mandating that M  be allowed to attend the school.  

While the nine esteemed justices all went out of their way to make it clear that JFS’ admission’s policy was not ‘racist’ in the normal sense, the majority opinion nevertheless maintained that the observance of strict Jewish law by this school had infringed the rights of others.  Therefore JFS’s admission policies would not be allowed to stand.
 
 Anyone with even an ounce of understanding of the operation and influence of  common law must surely appreciate the seriousness of this assault on privacy and communal  rights.

 If not, then lets make it clear:  This decision amounts to a non-Jewish court dictating to a Jewish community as to who is and who is not a Jew, removing that privilege from the hands of the community’s own religious leaders.  

The  implications of the interference of a secular court  in a religious matter of this nature has telling consequences.  I have alluded in an earlier piece Tyranny of the Minority,  to the repercussions of  religious institutions bowing  to multicultural pressure. But with the Court now taking an interventionist role in a religious matter, all bets are off on the rights that will be trampled in the inexorable drive to build a just, diverse and truly multicultural British society.  
 
Faith schools could lose not only their right to select pupils on religious grounds but could have the entire gamut of religious life opened to judicial review by secular judges who will bring their own prejudices, experiences and likely ignorance to bear on the subject.

So a Jewish woman objects to her synagogue’s practice of dividing men and women during prayer services?   No problem.  Take it to the district judge who will review the case and decide it on the basis of common community practices.  Unhappy with the absence of a kosher certification for certain favorite products?  Well just hop  on down to your local attorney to file a complaint of  discrimination and presto, you will have a non-Jewish judge determining what kind of food is kosher and what is non-kosher.

In the United States, the Jewish Reform Movement and certain groups within the Conservative Movement, have long held that Orthodoxy’s focus on matrilineal descent is discriminatory.  But they should not be popping champagne corks any time soon.  With this Supreme Court decison, arguably the most authoritative voice on common law in the world,  schools, community centers, Jewish oriented social programs and even religious practices could all potentially come under the purview of secular law.  What the decision amounts to, (notwithstanding the five majority justices’ earnest hand wringing over the ‘unimpeachable’ and ‘ honest’ actions of the JFS school), is an attack on Jewish identity itself.  That is not a cause for any Jew to celebrate.
 
The decision could not have come at a worse time for  the British Jewish community.  According to commentator Gabriel Schoenfeld, anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of 2009 alone – including vandalism, hate mail and direct attacks on Jews, exceeded the entire number for 2008. Antisemitism in Britain is higher than it has been in several generations and grows worse by the week with undisguised attacks on Jews from respectable publications such as the Times of London, the Guardian and numerous university student newspapers.
 
An example of how the British public is coming to view its Jewish citizens and its private religious schools, was given some illumination in a series of on-line comments which appeared with the report of the Supreme Court decision in the Daily Mail:
 
 
Denominational schools should be totally banned and made illegal . There should be no place of any Religeous( sic) Denominational Schools, Jewish,Muslim, Catholic or Church of England etc., in this multi-cultural country. It only breeds racism and religeous( sic) hatred. ALL religious schools should be banned and made illegal. ”
                                    Chomskyite, London, United Kingdom,
 
Of course parents should be free to bring up their children in whatever faith they wish  – but outside of the education system.  That way children of all faiths mix and make friends which makes for a more cohesive population.”
                                      Marie, Lancashire
 
“Faith schools foster division, you only have to look at Northern Ireland to see what they have done. Education should be purely that and not have anything to do with faith.”

                                                                  (unattributed)                                        
 
Christians in the U.K. have not escaped from this growing hostility to the practise of religious faith.  Last week Olive Jones, a 54-year-old math teacher who teaches children too ill to attend school, was dismissed following a complaint from a sick girl’s mother. She was visiting the home of the terminally ill child when she asked the mother if she would join her in prayer on the girl’s behalf.  The mother responded  that they were not believers and so this would not be appropriate.
 
Jones was then called in by her managers who, she says, told her that sharing her faith with a child could be deemed bullying.   They then informed her that her services were no longer required.
 
How ironic it is that the multicultural creed, with its unflinching emphasis on freedom of cultural expression, grows increasingly intolerant of any religious practice, even while it continues to extol the benefits of pluralism and diversity.
 
As a result of the Court decision, JFS has already changed its admission policies.  Unable to give priority on the question of Jewish status, the School will now give consideration to those who obtain a religious practice certificate, issued on the basis of a child’s synagogue attendance, Jewish education and communal activities. Fifty other Jewish communal schools across the nation have followed suit.
 
To an outsider this might not seem to be such a remarkable change.  But for the U.K. Jewish community, which has lived within English secular and Christian societies for 20 generations, and for whom the sense of Jewish identity is tied inextricably to the concept of Jewish nationhood, it prevails as a monumental challenge to its existence.  It means that the community can no longer safely conduct its religious practices without worrying how commonly held  secular attitudes might judge them;  it  implies that those same practices may be subject to review by legal and political elites, who are indifferent to Jewish history and insensitive to Jewish tradition.
 
Across the Atlantic, religious communities should be no less concerned about these developments. With our local judges give increasing weight to the decisions of extra-territorial courts, this could be a wind blowing our way.  Perhaps we should all be wondering then, if the day will come, when to be “Jewish”  or “Christian”, ” Muslim” or “Bahai” will be regarded by our Courts as so inherently discriminatory that further laws will be needed to protect society from the attitudes, views and policies of those inflexible ‘religious separatists.’


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