Friday, January 2, 2015

To Teachers: Don't Call Children Boys and Girls!

The Lincoln Public School District in Nebraska has decided to teach students that gender is flexible. The administration has given teachers a list of ways to create “gender inclusiveness” in the classroom. This list was developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that encourages schools to be “gender-sensitive.”

Teachers are told that they should not address children as “boys and girls.” Teachers are supposed to come up with a silly classroom nickname, such as “purple penguins.” Students shouldn’t be separated into lines or groups based on gender, and if students refer to boys and girls, the teacher should ask them why they do that and help them to “think more expansively.” Teachers are also supposed to ask students which pronouns they prefer, rather than assuming boys want to be “he” and girls want to be “she.” If students must indicate their gender, teachers should give them the options of boy, girl, both, or neither.

Naturally, many parents have complained about this silliness. At a recent board meeting, parents who spoke against the new guidelines outnumbered parents who supported them ten to one. But the superintendent’s response was that the school is just trying to be nonjudgmental.

Ben Terry, one parent who has three kids in the district school, spoke out against this nonsense. He accused the district of “actively condoning and supporting the redefinition of gender.” He’s quite right—that’s exactly what the district is doing. There was very little parent support for the school’s new gender policy, but the board meeting was filled with gay rights activists who have no children in the
district. The left clearly understands that the easiest way to reorganize society is to change the minds of the next generation.

Conservatives need to learn that, too, and pay close attention to what goes on in the public schools.

Eagle Forum Blog: The Gender-Sensitive Classroom

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Three Secrets and Five “Return to Order” Resolutions for 2015 -

by John Horvat II

The New Year is the time to make resolutions. The problem is that many people dismiss such resolutions as good intentions that are almost made to be broken. In the rush of things, no one has time to keep them.

I disagree with such conclusions. My book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here and Where We Need to Go, is all about resolutions that need to be made. In fact, the book itself is the fruit of a New Year’s resolution.

For a long time, I had struggled to find the time to study and write the book. On January 1, 2008, I resolved to study every day even if it be for fifteen minutes. Now, seven years and one book later, I still have the habit of studying and writing every day for one, two or even five hours. Resolutions can work, if we only let them. Moreover, we need them if we are to return to order.

But resolutions must be good resolutions, not fleeting whims. I maintain there are three secrets for  making good resolutions. The first is to choose a task that is very concrete and specific, like studying a particular topic. Second, it must be doable – if only for fifteen minutes. Finally, it must be done consistently – every day if possible. In the keeping of resolutions, we must remember that it is better to do a lot of a little than a little of a lot.

To read the 5 Resolution click on the link below

Three Secrets and Five “Return to Order” Resolutions for 2015 -

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Lost Generation of Youth Who Can't Fix Things

Young people in Britain have become a lost generation who can no longer mend gadgets and appliances because they have grown up in a disposable world, the professor giving this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures has warned.

Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, claims that the under 40s expect everything to ‘just work’ and have no idea what to do when things go wrong.

Unlike previous generations who would ‘make do and mend’ now young people will just chuck out their faulty appliances and buy new ones.

But Prof George claims that many broken or outdated gadgets could be fixed or repurposed with only a brief knowledge of engineering and electronics.

This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are entitled ‘Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’ she is hoping it will inspire people to think what else they can do with common household objects.
Ideas include using a magnifying glass and shoe box to turn a mobile phone into a rudimentary projector; how to use tin foil to make too small batteries fit correctly and how to turn a bottle of water into a lamp.

Prof George said: “We’ve got a lost generation that has grown up with factory electronics that just work all of the time."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seven Sublime Ways to Make Christmas Merry Again

 by John Horvat II

Christmas should be a time of great joy, but oftentimes it isn’t. Perhaps the joy is lost in the season’s gaudy and frantic commercialization that has turned a great holy day into a secular holiday. There is also the loud revelry of winter parties present that tends to suffocate the memories of calm Christmases past. Whatever the cause, the fact remains that the merry is often taken out of our Christmases.

 It is not as if people do not try to celebrate Christmas. They do all the right things: put up Christmas trees, get together with family, send out Christmas cards or even go to church. But this vague desire to be merry often triggers only warm and fuzzy feelings. The final result is a sensation of a great emptiness, of something that has gone missing.

There is a reason for this emptiness. Christmas cannot just be a jumble of fuzzy feelings. It asks more of us than simply gathering together with family and friends or putting in a shallow appearance at church. The feast does not lend itself to mediocrity. It refuses to be reduced to ornaments, holly and folly. When we turn Christmas into a social occasion, it loses its meaning and becomes empty.

The best thing to remedy this situation is to do something sublime this Christmas.

It is really the only way to make Christmas merry again. By sublime, we mean doing those things which, by their excellence, cause souls to be overawed by their magnificence, grandeur and marvelousness. It provokes what Edmund Burke rightly calls “the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.”

Doing something sublime this Christmas need not involve great expense, but it does ask that we be not niggardly and selfish. It may be experienced alone, but more often involves sharing with others. All that is necessary for the sublime to work is that we be turned toward that which inspires awe. It is only natural that our search would lead us to the manger where Christ awaits us.

Thus, doing something sublime might involve works of art, music, ideas, or feats associated with Christmas that strongly draw and overwhelm us. It involves the extraordinary not the ordinary, the beautiful not the ugly; all that is marvelous and innocent.

To enjoy a sublime Christmas, engage in activities that have always captivated the soul. Such a list might include:

1. Put up that kind of Christmas tree with all types of lights and ornaments that one can easily spend hours contemplating. Avoid the three-minute, popup, pre-lit holiday tree.

2. Participate in that kind of Christmas caroling where the person sings with full lung those beautiful Christmas carols that capture the sublime scene of that first silent night.

3. Attend a traditional Christmas concert and be overawed by a full choir and live orchestra. Marvel at the fact that so many still gather for these events in our secular days to celebrate the birth of Our Savior.

4. Seek to live Christmas through the eyes of children. Their overawing innocence delights the soul and regenerates innocence lost. Do everything possible to cultivate this innocence in children and the child in one’s own soul.

5. Visit an elaborate and beautiful nativity scene that delights the soul by its variety and imaginative characters.

6. Attend a Midnight Mass that observes all the pomp and ceremony of the occasion, allowing all to see the sublime in the symbolism and liturgy.

All these things (and so many others) can be sublime since they fill the holiday emptiness with intense admiration, wonder and reverent love. They can be excellent, inspiring and extremely beautiful. However, they are mere means so that we might better contemplate “the reason for the season.

The seventh and most important sublime thing we can do this Christmas is to contemplate the Christ Child in the manger under the loving gaze of His Holy Mother and Saint Joseph. We should consider the fact that Christ came to save us. “For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us.”(Is. 9:6)

On that ineffable night when Our Savior was born to Mary Ever Virgin, an immense impossibility became possible: the God-man was born. From the moment of His birth, this Divine Infant desired to bear hardship for us. We sense His striking, audacious and sublime love for us. From heaven descended torrents of graces which paved the way for our salvation and made Christian civilization possible.

Such considerations should inspire us to serve the object of our admiration and to give of ourselves freely to Him Whom we love. It is then that Christmas makes sense and is again made merry.
And so let not this Christmas be an ordinary and empty holiday. Let it not be a bland celebration of self. Rather, fill this special season with all that which can fill us with reverent love, awe and wonder for the Christ Child. Let it be a merry and sublime Christmas!