Monday, December 01, 2014

Galloping Toward Gomorrah; The Great Wage Slowdown; MN Plans To Eliminate Gender Distinctions For High School Sports...more

The key to Obama's struggle with white working class voters is not 'white,' but 'working.'  Working class white people don't like President Obama much. According to the latest Gallup poll, only 27% approve of him. That's 21 percentage points down since he took office in 2009.

A standard talking-point is that these voters don't like Obama because they're racist. But that assumes that the key word in "white working class" is "white." In fact, the key word is "working." After all, Obama isn't any blacker than he was in 2009...

The Great Wage Slowdown of the 21st Century ...The typical American family makes less than the typical family did 15 years ago, a statement that hadn’t previously been true since the Great Depression. Even as the unemployment rate has fallen in the last few years, wage growth has remained mediocre. Last week’s jobs report offered the latest evidence: The jobless rate fell below 6 percent, yet hourly pay has risen just 2 percent over the last year, not much faster than inflation. The combination has puzzled economists and frustrated workers.

Of course, there is a long history of pessimistic predictions about dark new economic eras, and those predictions are generally wrong. But things have been disappointing for long enough now that we should take the pessimistic case seriously. In some fundamental way, the economy seems broken...

Minnesota Plans To Eliminate Gender Distinctions For High School Sports   Minnesotans are currently facing a fast and furious onslaught by the transgender lobby, which seems to be dictating policy to the Minnesota State High School League. The MSHSL decides policy for all extracurricular activities in public, private, religious, and home schools. It’s currently in the process of outlawing all sex distinctions in high-school sports. On December 4, it plans to install an athletic policy granting transgender students the choice to play on either boys’ or girls’ teams.

In this scheme, there would be no accounting for sex differences in high school sports on the field or in locker rooms, bathrooms, and hotel rooms. It forbids any camaraderie rooted in the biological reality of one’s sex, or any consideration of the reality of the opposite sex. In fact, to affirm that reality would basically be a crime. So the policy would ultimately abolish girls’ and boys’ sports alike.

Minnesota is a major trigger point for this policy’s application across the nation. If you haven’t noticed, the trans agenda is being pushed throughout the nation in a media shock-and-awe style intended to have folks get with the program, just like the proverbial teenager who says: “Well, everybody else is going along with it.” For the moment, on paper there will still be the illusion of male and female teams under this policy. . . . except that anybody claiming to be transgender can play on either the boys team or the girls team. In other words, there will not really be boys’ teams or girls’ teams. Follow me? No?...

Galloping Toward Gomorrah
...There’s no way around it: New York magazine is mainstreaming bestiality as an alternative sexuality. It’s just different. Who are you to judge, you bad heteronormative person? How does his relationship with the mare affect you, huh?

One extremely tasteless and morally revolting interview in a leading magazine is not the end of the world. But it is a signpost. It’s not going to make everyone run out and get an animal boyfriend or girlfriend. But it does attempt to weaken an important taboo by giving a sympathetic forum to a deranged man whose behavior deserves the strongest condemnation, and who personally needs help. It’s important to pay attention to this for exactly the reason Robby George says. Ideas have consequences. If your idea is that all consensual sex is good, or at least beyond judgment, and that sexual desire is its own justification, then you have met your consequence in New York‘s anonymous zoophile. If you can stomach reading the thing, it’s rather remarkable how the perv defends himself and his desire using the language and reasoning we have all become familiar with in other contexts...

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil ...One of the first institutions to embrace humanistic psychology was the Catholic Church. During the 1970s, self-awareness psychology became an integral part of life at Catholic seminaries, colleges, and grade schools. Religious studies textbooks were rewritten to include a generous serving of the wisdom of pop psychology gurus such as Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. For example, in the Conscience and Concern series’ book on the sacraments, about four-fifths of the chapter on marriage consists of a lengthy excerpt from Carl Rogers’ book Becoming Partners: Marriage and Its Alternatives. What might those alternatives be? Well, basically, whatever makes you feel good about your self. According to Rogers, the governing priority in any relationship is not fidelity but self-growth.

The influence of psychology even extended to the textbook illustrations. Book Seven of the Benziger series used in those days contains 300 photos and illustrations, but only one depiction of Christ on the cross. Book Eight has no crucifixion scenes. Nor do the books for grade levels Six, Five, Four, and Three. Presumably the sight of Christ suffering and dying for our sins might remind us of our sinfulness—and that, from the humanistic viewpoint, might be an unhealthy blow to our self-esteem.

Whenever a Catholic doctrine, such as human sinfulness, collided with a psychological doctrine, such as human goodness, the tendency was to sweep the offending Catholic doctrine under the rug. Catholics were given the impression that salvation was bound up with self-awareness and self-acceptance. Self-acceptance, it was believed, would automatically follow self-awareness, because the more you learned about yourself the more you would discover about the wonders of your inner self...

Ed Stetzer: Why Do These Pentecostals Keep Growing?
There are parts of the globe where the greatest church growth is happening through the Pentecostal movement. One of the most asked questions is, “In a world where the church seems to be declining in many areas, how they are bucking the trend?”

There is never one reason why a movement succeeds. But some factors rise to the surface. Pentecostals will say they are growing because the Spirit is moving in a powerful way. I get that, and actually would affirm that as part of the reason, but from a sociological perspective, other things are happening and worth exploring.

I was recently asked (by Pentecostal leaders) what some sociological reasons might be. So, following that meeting, and in this brief post, I want to explore how the beliefs of Pentecostals actually promote and produce growth, compared to other, more “mainstream” groups...


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