"The Intolerance of Tolerance" by D. A. Carson. Review by Tim Challies

Original Review Here

The Intolerance of Tolerance

  • Tim Challies
  • 02/28/12

The Intolerance of ToleranceSeveral times in the past decade D.A.Carson has been asked to give a public lecture at one university or another. Three times he has taken the opportunity to speak on the subject of tolerance, or intolerance, as the case may be. Those lectures proved the foundation of what would become his cleverly-titled new book, The Intolerance of Tolerance.

Here’s the thing: In a society obsessed with tolerance, we are actually not tolerant at all. It’s all a big lie, a big fiction, and we’re all playing along. In order to claim tolerancewe’ve had to rewrite the definition of the term and in so doing we’ve put ourselves on dangerous ground. Tolerance has become part of the Western “plausability structure”—a stance that is assumed and is not to be questioned. We are to be tolerant at all times. Well, almost all times, that is.

Carson begins by showing that tolerance presupposes disagreement. That’s the beauty of being tolerant—one person expresses disagreement with another but still tolerates him, accepting that differing views exists even while holding fast to his own. He puts up with another person even though they do not believe the same thing. But over time there has been a subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle shift in the word’s meaning. Today’s version of tolerance actually accepts all differing views. We’ve gone from accepting the existence of other views to believing that we need to accept all differing views. This brings us into the natural outworking of postmodernism, a philosophy that denies the singular nature of truth.

Things get trickier still when we see that tolerance is not considered merely a virtue today, but the cardinal virtue, the virtue above all others. “Intolerance is no longer a refusal to allow contrary opinions to say their piece in public, but must be understood to be any questioning or contradicting the view that all opinions are equal in value, that all worldviews have equal worth, that all stances are equally valid. To question such postmodern axioms is by definition intolerant.” To quote Carson, “Oh dear.”

Tolerance rules today with one important caveat. There can be no tolerance for people who do not agree with the contemporary usage of the term. People like Christians, for example. Those who hold to the old meaning, that I will tolerate you even though I believe that you are wrong, sinful even—there can be no tolerance for people like that. Hence this new tolerance is inherently intolerant.

The Intolerance of Tolerance explains this strange new definition, traces its development, shows how it is particularly opposed to Christianity, and discusses what we stand to lose if this intolerant new tolerance continues to reign in society. Carson closes by suggesting ten ways ahead—ten suggestions that each of us can adopt if we wish to combat the new tolerance.

This is not just a book for smart people, but you’ll find it helps. If you’re really smart and well-read you can probably read it once with pretty good comprehension. If you’re like me, you’ll need at least two readings and even then be scratching your head at times. It’s not that it’s exceedingly dense or difficult, but that it deals with categories that are unfamiliar. At least that was my experience. But I’m glad I read it as it helped me crystalize exactly what I’ve seen going on all around me. It’s given me the parameters I need to ensure that I don’t inadvertently lose the better meaning of tolerance and it has given me fair warning of the consequences should I do so.

It is available at Westminster Books ($15.60) or Amazon ($16.03 hardcover, $9.99 Kindle).

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?"

12  “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
which was brought upon me,
which the LORD inflicted
on the day of his fierce anger.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lamentations 1:12.

Isaiah 50:4-9

4  The Lord GOD has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
thim who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
5  The Lord GOD has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6  I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.

7  But the Lord GOD helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8  He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9  Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Is 50:4–9.

Food for Thought That DOESN'T Lead to Indigestion Isn't Worth It

Original article here.

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012

The $67 Billion Feminist Tax that Women Primarily Pay

Follow me closely on this one because it takes some explaining, but I’ll try to make this as clear and as simple as possible so you see my point.

In order for something to be taxed there must be some kind of transaction. You get a paycheck, you sell some stock, you buy gas, you sell a house, etc. etc. That transaction is recorded not just in company or government records, but at banks, so if you were ever to get audited, there would be some kind of proof a transaction did indeed occur. There are only two ways to avoid this taxation:

1. That transaction is done in cash (and therefore no banking or electronic proof that transaction occurred).

2. You barter for services or goods (again, no electronic record of any transaction).

Now, that being said, the IRS still requires you to report any cash or bartering transactions so you can pay taxes on it, but they’re relying on the honor system in these cases. Naturally, there’s an incentive to make transactions via cash or barter, resulting in an US underground economy estimated to be anywhere from $500 billion to even $3 trillion.

When you think “underground economy” you usually think drugs, weapons, maybe contractors doing favors for one another, but you rarely think of housework as part of the underground economy. Basic house maintenance, upkeep and cleaning is viewed more as a chore and even the most ardent of IRS agents I doubt would advocate somehow requiring homemakers reporting whether or not they vacuumed that year or mowed the lawn.

However, they don’t really have to. Feminism has already done that for them.

Again, before I continue on, let me get the disclaimers out here so we can blunt the knee-jerk reactions from the non-thinking reactionaries. Let me state that I for one never viewed house work as “beneath” anybody. I never viewed what could be considered traditional “women’s work” beneath traditional “men’s work” and to this day still am looking for proof where society placed less value on traditional women’s roles than they did traditional male’s roles. Truthfully, I believe having “men’s” work and “women’s” work categorized was really more of a symbiotically beneficial division of labor allowing both groups to produce more than had they tried to do both jobs, but that is for another debate at another point in time. For purposes of our discussion now, I view traditional “women’s work” just as vital as traditional “men’s work,” while at the same time agreeing there are instances where the traditional roles could be reversed that would also be beneficial.

But getting back to my original point, feminism has indeed brought a lot of the unspoken labor involved in house work, house maintenance and traditional “women’s work” out of the world of barter and into the official (and now taxable) economy.

How?

Well consider this.

1950’s home maker Sue spends her day cleaning and taking care of the house. Washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking meals, and (more importantly) taking care of the kids. All of this has vital value to the continuing function of the household and thus the economy and thus the country, but because she is not paid to do it, there is no way to put a market value on it and therefore no way to tax it.

But today, many thanks to feminism, women are no longer “shackled” to the doldrums of the 1950’s housewife. She can go and pursue her own education, her own career, have kids, have a home, have a car, pursue her hobbies, run for president, fly to the moon and cure cancer. She can do it all and she can have it all because she has moxie and grrrrrl power (TM). And so, in 2012, Amy is “having it all” as she works as a lawyer in a prestigious DT law firm, with her 3 children, her house payments and car payments, as she participates in the local wine club, and goes out and partays as she is single because her ex-husband was a jerk.

The question is, naturally, if Amy is out doing all these things, how does she take care of her house and her children?

Simple, she doesn’t. She pays somebody else to do it. She outsources all these things.

Uh ohhhhhh!

“Did you say, “outsource,” Captain?”

Yes, yes I did. And you know what that means. That was a transaction. A transaction that is recordable and now, thusly, taxable.

In short, by kicking the homemaker (whether it was male or female, it doesn’t matter) out of the house and into the working world you no longer have a willing and amiable spouse to stay at home and do all that work for “free.” You have to pay somebody, and NOW you get to pay taxes on it.

How much? Well, shucks howdy, a cool $67 billion every year ladies and gentlemen.

How did I come about that figure? With my patented “Super Awesome Economic Genius,” of course!

If you go to the NIPA accounts and look at personal consumption expenditures and add up all the various “household services,” “day care,” “cleaning services,” and other things that would have been done by a traditional housewife, you get $169.3 billion spent on everything. But in the 1950’s, that wouldn’t have been a transacted number. That would have been a theoretical value applied to the barter. But since $169.3 billion has actually been transacted, you need to apply the roughly 40% tax rate to that amount, which results in the $67 billion tax bill I estimated above.

Now who pays this tax?

Disproportionately women.

Men were already working in the official economy and therefore paying income taxes. It’s not like male labor force participation jumped since the 1950’s. But to pay for the outsourcing of house maintenance, home keeping, child-rearing, etc., this bill fell on women who were now on their way to having it all. Women were now not just working and paying regular income taxes, they were now paying that extra $67 billion in taxes to essentially free them up from those horribly oppressive traditional roles so they could pursue their careers.

However, this brings up a funny “chicken or the egg” observation.

Often times I will hear people (not just women, but men too) say,

“Well, you need a two-person income to support a family today. It’s impossible to have a stay at home parent.”

Really?

Is it that you need to work two jobs to pay for everything, or is it that “everything” costs so much because it was cheaper for one parent to stay home instead of paying $22,000 a year for day care, $10,000 a year for a cleaner, and an extra $12,000 a year for eating out at restaurants because nobody has time to shop for groceries let alone turn them into meals?

Sadly, today the point is moot. Society, in voting in a bevy of social programs, has made the option of a parent staying home nearly impossible. Too many government programs exist today to accommodate the two-working-parent model that if you decide one of you will stay home to rear children and take care of the house, you’re stabbed on property taxes, sales taxes, and other non-income tax related levies. You are also forfeiting “free” government programs that have taken over some of these traditional housewife duties.

However, the fact there are so many government programs brings up two last, but wickedly ironic points.

Point 1 – Cleaning the house, doing the dishes, etc., etc., is one thing. But the most expensive item that was bartered for back in the olden days was rearing children. Society, in all of its wisdom, has effectively outsourced that to the government. You have day care, pre-school, early childhood development programs, high school care for teenage moms’ children. You could even argue elementary school is largely a baby sitting operation. And with the early-morning school programs and after-school programs, you can hardly argue it isn’t. You can pretty much just go and have a child and after a bit of maternity leave, drop the kid off at some school, institution or daycare and the government will either subsidize it or outright pay for it. Thank god, you don’t have to deal with that icky, yucky, gross child of yours, let alone RAISE that darn thing! Whew! Onto your masters degree.

But who then raises your child?

And here is the wicked part.

Point 2 – Though not always, predominantly other women take care of your kid. Amy the lawyer or Kelly the engineer would be one thing in that the economic argument could be made that in outsourcing their traditional housewife duties, they COULD make more as an engineer, pay somebody else to maintain the home, pay the extra “feminist tax” on those transactions and STILL come out ahead. They and their husbands could make bookoo coin, fly around the world, gallivant and drink wine, and heck yes, more power to you, AS LONG AS YOU DON’T HAVE CHILDREN. However, that is not the case in the majority of working women. The majority of working women are not only NOT engineers, the majority of women DO want children.

So what ends up happening?

Women, in droves, disproportionately major in “early childhood development,” “education,” “child psychology,” “sociology,” “social work,” and a bevy of other worthless degrees to do what????

Take care of other womens’ children.

Not only do you NOT get to take care of your own children, you get to work to pay the taxes to pay other women to take care of yours (and the taxes needed to employ this veritable army of social workers is infinitely more than $67 billion).

Of course, this is all good. We’re all empowered. We’re all “having it all.” We’re all happy. I’m sure the government does a much better job at child rearing than actual mothers (or stay at home fathers) do. Thank god we abandoned traditional roles that somehow developed (for no reason whatsoever) over the millinea of human history. Otherwise there may have been some longer-term consequences that would dwarf the mere $67 billion tax bill. And that certainly isn’t possible now, is it?

The Satanic Ideology of Photoshop | From the Gospel Coalition

Original Article Here

The Satanic Ideology of Photoshop

A cover photo for Intelligent Life magazine caused a small stir recently because it dared the unthinkable: show a celebrity’s actual face. Cate Blanchett, 42, appears on the cover in little makeup, her smile lines and wrinkles un-retouched. She looks less like an Hollywood star and more like a dignified human being, like someone you might see drinking tea at a neighborhood Starbucks.

Compared to this photo, other images of Blanchett look plastic. The April cover ofHarper’s Bazaar also features her, but it shows her with perfectly smooth porcelain skin and smoky eyes. Her neck looks carved out of stone, her appearance as timeless as Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings, an unnatural immortality brought about through the magic of Photoshop.

She isn’t the first to go enhancement-free in a photo. I remember Jamie Lee Curtis doing something similar a few years back with a bit more fanfare, featuring a photo spread that showed every step of enhancement along the way in a normal shoot. The makers of Dove beauty products have been pushing the “Campaign for Real Beauty,” a series of promotions celebrating beauty that doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold for cover models. But these efforts, like the Intelligent Life cover, are significant only for their rarity. Photoshop is the norm, whether you’re shooting family photos, senior portraits, or billboards.

It’s become so normal that we hardly even notice it anymore, and that’s what makes it all the more insidious. Behind the wrinkle-removing, curve-enhancing, waist slimming work is a satanic ideology of youth and beauty.

Assault on Contentment

When Satan came to Eve in the garden, his assault (amongst other things) was an attack on her contentment. “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1) To paraphrase: “Has God held out on you? Has he given you less than you need, less than you deserve?” The temptations of Jesus in Luke 4 are likewise assaults upon contentment. For Jesus to turn stones to bread would have been to deny the sufficiency of God’s provision. To worship Satan in exchange for the kingdoms of the earth would have been to deny the sufficiency of Jesus’ inheritance to come. In these cases, Satan’s message was the same: God is holding out on you. You’re lacking what you really need. You don’t have what will really make you happy.

It’s an appeal to inner narcissism—one that worked with Eve. Once convinced the fruit would make her wise and “like God,” she ate. Similar appeals to our narcissism work just as well.

Which is why the covers of newsstand magazines are covered with plasticine starlets and starving models. These are the icons of a youth-worshiping consumeristic religion, and like the icons of Eastern Orthodoxy, they are windows into a version of heaven. They promise a world where aging—and thus death itself—is suspended, where the secret knowledge of success, beauty, happiness, love, and sex is revealed.

Unreasonable

Of course, we can read over-the-top hyperbole on the covers of Vogue or Cosmo and reason that they’re absurd. We can look at images like Blanchett’s on Harper’s Bazaar and know, rationally, that this isn’t the real world. But it isn’t reason that these magazines are after. As James K. A. Smith argues in Desiring the Kingdom, we aren’t fundamentally rational creatures; we’re desiring creatures, and though the promises of Hollywood and consumerism may be irrational, their picture of the ideal human life has captured our hearts. As Smith says:

It’s not so much that we’re intellectually convinced and then muster the willpower to pursue what we ought; rather, at a precognitive level, we are attracted to a vision of the good life that has been painted for us in stories and myths, images and icons. It is not primarily our minds that are captivated by rather our imaginations that are captured, and when the imagination is hooked, we’re hooked.

That’s why, in spite of the nakedly obvious lies that fill magazine covers, they continue to sell. Consumers aren’t rationally convinced that they’ll learn to flatten their bellies in four weeks, preserve their youth, and discover a satisfying sex life. But they are compelled by this hope for the good life and an image that seems to hold it forth at the low, low price of $5.99.

To the flesh-and-blood human being, whose body ages and whose face wrinkles, these ageless icons whisper, “You’re not good enough. You too fat, too old, too thin, too flat, to curved, too poor, too pale, too tan. Your Maker has held out on you. You’re a fading, dying thing that doesn’t measure up . . . but you won’t surely die. Follow me, and you can be young, beautiful, and successful forever.”

They hold forth an impossible standard of beauty, and consumers religiously pursue that standard—this dress, that makeup, this Botox, that surgical enhancement, this lipo, that diet, this tuck, that lift—on and on it goes like a sacred pilgrimage where ageless beauty can be yours for a pound of flesh. It rebuts the Creator who made us fearfully and wonderfully, numbering our hairs and our days, and called grey hair our glory because it signifies a life wisely lived (Proverbs 16:31).

It’s sad to me that in recent discussion about plastic surgery among some believers, there has been little attention to what creational theology has to say about it. We worry about lawfulness—is it forbidden?—but ignore what it says about who we are, who God is, and how he’s made us.

There are, of course, good medical reasons for many of these surgeries. There is a place for healthy diet and exercise (and many Christians should consider these more seriously as they prepare their body a tool for service and mission)—but, of course, this is the exception and not the rule. The rule—the force that drives the market for diets and cosmetic surgery—is not health and healing but enhancing and improving.

I think about this every day as I watch my daughters grow up. My Dorothy, who is four with flax-colored ringlets envied by everyone who sees them, already laments that she doesn’t have straight hair like Cinderella or brown hair like Belle. My wife and I feel like soldiers at these little ones’ gates, attempting to safeguard them from an onslaught of discontentment-breeding lies. How can we affirm that their Maker knew just what he was doing when he knitted them together, while a whole world tells them he got it wrong? We can bar the door and wall them in . . . but they’ll have to go to a grocery store eventually. Every trip through the checkout will be another salvo.

Bigger Hope and a Better Promise

Our only hope for them—and for ourselves—is to catch a vision and hunger for something greater, for our imaginations to be captured by a bigger hope and a better promise. Rather than hoping for agelessness and resisting the marks of time on our faces and bodies, we can hope for resurrection and trust in one who raises the dead. Rather than conforming to the fickle standards of beauty, we can worship the God who knew us before we were born, made us fearfully and wonderfully, and called us “good.” Then, when we see the Photoshopped and retouched icons around us, we can respond with a resounding, “Get thee behind me.”

Tim DeLisle, editor of Intelligent Life, commented on the un-edited photo of Cate Blanchett, saying:

When other magazines photograph actresses, they routinely end up running heavily Photoshopped images, with every last wrinkle expunged. Their skin is rendered so improbably smooth that, with the biggest stars, you wonder why the photographer didn’t just do a shoot with their waxwork.

Rather than celebrate these creations as they are, as their Maker made them, we want to transform them into something else. Something made flawless with human hands or something ageless and unaffected by the Fall. Something that, this side of Eden and apart from the Resurrection, will never be.

Mike Cosper is pastor of worship and arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He writes on the gospel and the arts for The Gospel Coalition.

Guess Who Doesn't Like Christians.

David Suzuki comes out swinging at Christians

March 28, 2012 By  4 Comments

Never one to be left off the fashionable left-wing bandwagon, David Suzuki has come out swinging at Christians, just as the rhetoric against them is heating up in the United States. Like many of the left-wing talking heads south of the border, Suzuki is blaming Christians for stifling science and pretty much being at the root of the world’s ills.

The State of Tennessee, for example, passed a law that allows teachers who don’t believe in evolution or human-caused climate change to challenge existing scientific theories. Yes, students should be encouraged to think critically and to question everything they are taught but, given the current political climate in the U.S., this is likely to lead to misinformation.

I’m only going to briefly comment on creationism, since most liberals seem to think that the modern Christian has the scientific understanding of a dung covered, illiterate 14th century peasant. It has been reduced to such a straw man argument, that it’s a waste of time to point out that current Christian theories ranges from intelligent design, to God simply initiating the big bang and evolution following naturally.

But notice what is insinuated when he lumps global warming and evolution together. Not only does he imply that only an uneducated country bumpkin could disagree with either of these theories, but he also goes on to say that students should be free to question everything they are taught – but we really can’t trust them to. The political climate might make them believe something other than what the left wants to indoctrinate… I mean teach them about global warming.

In the article, David Suzuki really holds most of his criticism for the current GOP candidates. You can practically feel the disdain dripping from the words he writes about Rick Santorum. Not only does Santorum dare to question global warming, but he also challenges the other sacred cows of the left – abortion and gay rights.

Rick Santorum just seems out of touch on every issue, from rights for women and gays to the environment. He’s referred to climate change as a “hoax” and once said, “We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit.”

That statement is in keeping with the Cornwall Alliance’s Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which has been signed by a range of religious leaders, media people, and even some who work in climate science, such as Roy Spencer, David Legates, and Ross McKitrick. It says, in part, “We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.” It also states that reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and fossil fuel use will “greatly increase the price of energy and harm economies.”

But you know what? Recent research from people who are labelled deniers by the global warming faithful, is showing that many ofearth’s systems are more resilient than previously thought. Can it be that the global warming cataclysm predicted by the left, is actually based on poor assumptions and badly flawed climate models?

And of course there is still time in the article to smear Stephen Harper’s scary, and suddenly fundamentalist Christian, Conservative Party.

Lest we get too smug in Canada, we must remember that we have politicians who hold similar religious views and are just as anti-science, although Canada has so far managed to keep religion largely out of politics. But recent cutbacks to government scientific research and staff show that many of our leaders also believe that the environment should take a back seat to corporate interests, and that any science that gets in the way must be hushed up or discredited.

Whether they justify it with religion or political ideology, it still doesn’t make sense.

Many on the left continue to claim that the conservatives have started a war on women, and question why they would alienate such a large voting block. But you don’t have to look hard to see that it is actually the Democrats and Liberals that are maligning an entire religion.

I won’t be so dramatic as to say that there is a war on Christianity, but it’s becoming clear that the left seriously does not like Christians. In they past they took the time to mouth platitudes in support of Christians, and droves of them – Catholics especially voted for them. But with the recent actions of the Democrats, and the continuing push against Catholics by Obama’s administration, that could be changing in the near future.

Bully for Bullies!

Hamilton-Wentworth Family Action Council

www.hamiltonfamilyaction.org

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up

against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought

to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:5. 

As parents up in arms, complaint filed against gay public school teacher who bashed Christianity

by Peter Baklinski

Fri Mar 23 11:25 AM EST

DUNDAS, Ontario, March 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Trustees of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) are lending their ears to the growing clamor of parents and ratepayers who want to know what happened on November 23rd, 2011 at Parkside High School in Dundas during a school-wide gay-straight alliance (GSA) assembly when a guest speaker reportedly tried to convince the audience that biblical teaching on homosexuality is obsolete, archaic and “wrong.”

The controversy over Parkside’s November GSA assembly has only gained momentum as Premier Dalton McGuinty gears up for a vote on his new anti-bullying legislation, Bill 13, which critics say conceals a radical homosexual agenda that would trample on religious freedom and parental rights. A key element of McGuinty’s bill involves forcing all school boards to permit openly homosexual, student-run GSAs.

One ratepayer Derek Kerr told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that he was “shocked and dismayed” by the response he received from Paul Barwinski, Parkside’s principal, when he asked questions about the “gay speaker who had re-interpreted the Bible and Catholicism to push her own social agenda on staff and students.”

“Mr. Barwinski began by asking me if I had any children who attended Parkside High School to which I answered ‘no’, I had not, and that I didn’t feel that it was relevant [since] my property taxes go the public board and I am a public school elector,” said Kerr. Kerr was not pleased that Barwinski “refused to answer” any of his questions, telling the ratepayer that he would only speak to parents of children who attend the high school.

Kerr told LSN that he was frustrated that “no one is willing to come forward to address my concerns.”

Dundas trustee Jessica Brennan wrote in an email to one concerned parent, the contents of which were leaked to LifeSiteNews, that the GSA assembly was “never intended to harm or disrespect anyone or their religion.”

“At the assembly, three current Parkside students and three former Parkside students spoke about their personal experiences in telling those around them that they were gay. The guest speaker spoke about e [sic] her religion and commented on her personal perspective regarding other faith traditions.”

Jackie Penman, HWDSB’s Corporate Communications Manager confirmed to LSN that the guest speaker was Laura Wolfson, a certified teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers who reportedly identified herself at the GSA assembly as a lesbian and youth worship leader from a synagogue and held herself out to be an authority on Old Testament Scripture.

Sources, who do not wish to be identified for fear of reprisals, told LSN that during the speech Wolfson sought to discredit Catholic beliefs by suggesting that since the eating of fish on Fridays by Catholics is no longer adhered to, neither should its beliefs on homosexuality.

Wolfson would not respond to LSN’s repeated attempts to contact her for comment.

LifeSiteNews requested a copy of Wolfson’s speech from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board so as to examine the accuracy of the source’s information, but HWDSB’s Communications Officer Mark Taylor declined the request for the speech.

LifeSiteNews has since filed a Freedom of Information request to obtain Wolfson’s speech.

Terry McFadden, organizer and co-MC of the Parkside GSA assembly, blogged that Wolfson was invited to the assembly to “address the boundaries some students face when confused about their sexuality, namely their religious beliefs.”

Wolfson reportedly started her treatment of Scripture in her speech by defining the word “abomination,” after which she pointed out that two offenses other than homosexuality that are labeled “abominations” in the Bible are things as common as not keeping the Sabbath holy and getting drunk. Since no one now would consider these two acts “abominations,” then homosexual acts also must not be condemned as wrong, she reportedly argued.

One concerned parent, who also wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, told LSN that they found the incident to be “pure brainwashing.”

“This wasn’t about safety or bullying. This was about discrediting Judeo-Christian beliefs [and] a complete bastardization of Scripture,” the parent said.

East Mountain HWDSB trustee Laura Peddle told LSN that after reviewing the speech, which was circulated to trustees as part of an Issue Note from the board, she could “understand how it would be offensive to traditional beliefs.”

“I can understand why different people with different beliefs would perceive it [the speech] as being more offensive than others would,” she said. Peddle noted that she herself does not hold traditional beliefs.

Peddle mentioned that after the board looked into the matter, they came back with “recommendations to make sure that everybody remembers what they have to do to make sure that the speakers are appropriate for a school setting.”

Chair of the HWDSB Board Tim Simmons told LSN that “whenever we have guest speakers they have to recognize the diverse community, the diverse audience, that they might be speaking to and be respectful around that. Everybody has to do that.”

“My concern is less about what was said because what’s said has been said. [My concern] is about if anything inappropriate was said, that it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Central Mountain HWDSB trustee Lillian Orban told LSN that she would consider the reported content of Wolfson’s speech to be a “bullying statement.”

“In my opinion, if I read the policy on bullying, that [Wolfson’s speech] would be deemed to be a bullying statement,” she said.

Orban mentioned that she is a staunch supporter of what she called “religious accommodation” in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholics told LSN that he had previously sent a letter to the Minister of Education demanding an official investigation into what he perceived as a “serious violation” of the Education Act.

Ontario’s Education Act states that it is the “duty of a teacher” to “inculcate by precept and example respect for religion and the principles of Judaeo-Christian morality” (264.1 (c)).

When Dominic learned that Parkside’s GSA assembly speaker is a certified teacher, he said that Campaign Life Catholics would file a complaint against Wolfson with the Ontario College of Teachers.

“Teachers in the secular public school board are required by the Education Act to inculcate respect for religion and the principles of Judaeo-Christian morality,” Dominic told LSN.

“They’re also prohibited by the Act from engaging in indoctrinatory religious exercises,” he said, adding that “what Wolfson did was clearly an indoctrinatory religious exercise and showed disrespect for religion and Judeo-Christian morality.”

“Disciplinary action is required. We will file an official complaint with the College of Teachers.”
To respectfully express concerns, contact the following:

1. Education Minister Laurel Broten (Liberal)
Email: lbroten.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Phone: 416-259-2249
Constituency office: 100-701 Evans Ave., Etobicoke, M9C 1A3

2. Education Critic Lisa MacLeod (Progressive Conservative)
Email:  lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org
Phone: 613-823-2116
Constituency office: 3500 Fallowfield Rd., Unit 10, Nepean ON, K2J 4A7

3. Premier Dalton McGuinty
Email:dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Phone: 613-736-9573
Constituency office: 1795 Kilborn Ave, Ottawa, K1H 6N1

4. Tim Hudak, Leader of the Opposition
Email:tim.hudakco@pc.ola.org
Phone: 905-563-1755
Constituency office: M1-4961 King St E., Bearnsville, L0R 1B0

5. MPP for your riding. Find their contact info here.

6. Catholic Bishops of Ontario contact info can be found here.

7. Trustees page of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board here.

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