The Supreme Court Gets It Right

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding religiously affiliated schools in state school choice programs. The court ruled that that families have a right to seek the best educational opportunities for their children, by preventing states from blocking the participation of religiously affiliated schools in state school choice programs. The decision was the usual 5-4 split–only this time the five were in favor of not discriminating against religious schools.

The article reports:

Tuesday’s decision in Espinoza removed the largest state constitutional obstacle by holding that so-called Blaine Amendments cannot be used to deny choice to parents.

Under the U.S. Constitution, states no longer may prevent parents from choosing religious schools if they are participating in a school choice program.

“A state need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools simply because they are religious,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court in Espinoza.

This decision struck a blow to the notoriously anti-Catholic Blaine Amendment in Montana’s Constitution that sanctioned explicit discrimination against religious schools in funding. Montana’s discrimination hurt families who have a wide variety of values and preferences when it comes to their children’s education.

As the Supreme Court had previously noted, Blaine Amendments have an “ignoble” history. The amendments are named after Sen. James G. Blaine of Maine, who in 1875 sought a federal constitutional prohibition of aid to “sectarian” schools.

The article concludes:

In Mitchell v. Helms, Thomas wrote of Blaine Amendments: “This doctrine, born of bigotry, should be buried now.” On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza took us one step closer to achieving that goal.

Now is the time for states to cast aside these 19th-century rules rooted in prejudice that unfairly punish religious families, students, and schools. The Constitution requires states to provide a level playing field for religious and secular education.

The legal impediment to school choice programs is now gone, and it’s up to state legislatures to move forward advancing education choice.

The court made it clear that policymakers across the country now have the power to enact robust school choice programs. They should do just that.

If the education establishment wants American children in public schools, they have a responsibility to make public schools better. Until then, parents who want their children educated will seek out voucher programs that will allow them to send their children to schools that teach the basics–not get bogged down by the social justice trend of the day.

The Cancel Culture Is Beginning To Cancel Their Former Heroes

The New York Sun posted an article yesterday about Princeton University’s decision to remove the name of Woodrow Wilson from its school of public affairs. This reverses a decision made four years ago when the topic was also brought up.

The article reports:

…That was in 2016, when Princeton’s trustees, reacting to concerns within the school community and given impetus by Black Lives Matter, appointed a committee to appraise the 28th president of America, decided to continue to honor him.

At issue then was “the position he took as Princeton’s president to prevent the enrollment of black students and the policies he instituted as U.S. president that resulted in the re-segregation of the federal civil service.” Wilson’s name was on not only the School of Public & International Affairs but also a residential college. The board followed the committee’s recommendation to keep Wilson’s name. It issued what seemed to be an important statement.

“Contextualization is imperative,” it said. “Princeton must openly and candidly recognize that Wilson, like other historical figures, leaves behind a complex legacy with both positive and negative repercussions, and that the use of his name implies no endorsement of views and actions that conflict with the values and aspirations of our times.” As the cancel movement spreads today, that plea for context seems even more important.

The article concludes:

So where does that leave us? Writing in 2016 of Wilson’s views on race, scholar David Kennedy said that “We can wish that he had possessed qualities of imagination and empathy that would have liberated him from those views, but he did not.” Kennedy concluded that “In a world where there is no shortage of evil, it surely seems perverse to highlight the imperfections, rather than the positive accomplishments, of those who tried to do their best.”

Four years after echoing Professor Kennedy’s judgment, Princeton has suddenly zeroed in on Wilson’s imperfections. Whether that will serve the cause of racial understanding at the university remains to be seen. How sad it would be were one of two Princeton graduates to lead America and Princeton’s only Nobel laureate in peace — not to mention the coiner of the motto “Princeton in the Nation’s Service” — confined to the margin of the university’s institutional memory.

We seem to have lost the concept of viewing history in its context. Slavery and racism are part of America’s past, but slavery is gone and racism is not the acceptable order of the day, as it once was. Renaming things and tearing down statues will not change what was. It is time instead to deal with what is and work to make it better.

One of Many Reasons The Democrats May Be Worried

The Daily Signal posted an article today titled, “19 Black Americans Explain Why They’re Conservative.” Please follow the link to the article to read the details, I am simply posting the list:

  1. W.B. Allen: Good Sense Needs No Explanation
  2. Brian Bledsoe: Most Fair for All
  3. The Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath: Not Sellouts, but Solutions
  4. Michael E. Kerridge: Reasonable Human Imperative
  5. Liz Matory: From Liberal to Liberated
  6. Lenny McAllister: Advancing Freedom for All
  7. Emery McClendon: Working for Everyone
  8. Charlotte D. McGuire: Against All Odds
  9. The Rev. Dean Nelson: Best for All People
  10. Sophia A. Nelson: Sustained Opportunity
  11. Autry J. Pruitt: Maximum Protection
  12. C.J. Sailor: Essential to Thriving Communities
  13. Carol M. Swain: Hope and Encouragement
  14. A.J. Swinson: Self-Sufficient, Entrepreneurial, Morally Strong
  15. Jimmy Tillman: Christian Values and Critical Thinking
  16. Terris E. Todd: Way of Life
  17. Deana Bass Williams: 3 True North Principles
  18. Dee Dee Bass Wilbon: Founding Principles
  19. Daren Williams: Origins of Conservatism

Please follow the link to read their explanations. They are well thought out and provide a lot of insight as to how all of them came to the conclusions they have come to.

 

 

Are Colleges Living Up To The Principles They Were Founded On?

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog about the recent virtual graduation at WSU Tech, an affiliate of Wichita State University. Ivanka Trump was scheduled to speak at the school’s virtual commencement.

The article reports:

Some students, faculty members, and alums objected.

WSU’s president responded as college presidents do. She decided that Ivanka would not speak at the virtual ceremony. Instead, her address would be available online.

Ivanka posted it on Twitter. She included a reference to the “cancel culture,” of which WSU’s actions are an example.

The article details the rest of the story:

The Kansas Board of Regents called an emergency meeting and went into “executive session.” After the meeting, the board issued a statement expressing support for free speech, diversity, and inclusion.

It decided not to fire WSU’s president, notwithstanding her obvious lack of commitment to these values. In turn, she issued a statement giving lip service to them.

I suspect that this “resolution” will satisfy Wichita State’s donors. Whether it should is another question.

At this point in the descent of nearly all American colleges and universities, I wonder why any conservative would donate a penny to almost any of these institutions. Such donations subsidize the indoctrination of students by those who dislike conservatives and despise our values. The effects of this leftist indoctrination are there for all to see. In my view, they are undermining America.

We conservatives should do our best to “defund” the nation’s colleges and universities until such time as they demonstrate a true commitment to free speech and viewpoint diversity, and cease the systematic leftist indoctrination of students.

Not only should conservatives ‘defund’ the colleges that are limiting free speech–we should refuse to send our children there.

The Lack Of Tolerance Is Amazing

Conservatives are constantly being accused of being intolerant because we generally have basic principles we believe in. Traditional values are now seen as unacceptable in a ‘tolerant’ society. It seems to me that if the society were all that tolerant, there would be room for everyone to live according to their values. We need certain rules to maintain an orderly society, but the fewer laws the better. Let each man act according to his conscience, and let each man deal with the consequences of his actions. Well, unfortunately tolerance is becoming a vanishing virtue.

Yesterday Breitbart reported on the response on social media to Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki when he put on a MAGA hat during the White House ceremony for the World Series champions. You can follow the link to the article to read the reaction. I won’t print what was posted here because this website is rated G.

This was a moment when everyone was celebrating the Nationals’ victory. It was a fun, lighthearted celebration. Kurt Suzuki took a moment to recognize the accomplishments of his host. In many places that would be considered good manners.

It’s time for those claiming to be tolerant to practice what they preach.

 

The Results Of Our Education System And The News Media

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about the changing values of Americans. The article includes the chart below:

According to statistica.com (2017 data), there are 97 million Americans born between 1928 and 1964 currently in America. There are 65.45 million Americans born between 1965 and 1980 currently in America. There are 72.06 million Americans born between 1981 and 1996. I realize that these dates do not exactly correspond to the graph above, but they give you a general idea of the age of the American population. Thank God the old people still have the young whippersnappers outnumbered. Evidently we are the generation with the strongest traditional values.

This shift in values did not happen in a vacuum. In 1962, prayer was taken out of American schools. Students no longer started the day with some sort of simple prayer. I remember in Junior High School (now Middle School) we began every day with an assembly where we said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and sang The Lord’s Prayer. I don’t remember being significantly harmed by that. By high school, the prayer and the Pledge were gone.

The article at The Wall Street Journal goes on to describe different feelings about racism.

The article reports:

The survey also found partisan divides on views of race relations. When surveyed six years ago, about half of Republicans and a slightly larger share of Democrats said relations among the races were on a good footing. Today, half of Republicans say race relations are good, while only 21% of Democrats say so.

Overall, the latest poll found 60% of adults saying race relations are in a bad state, a smaller share than in mid-2016, before Mr. Trump took office, when 74% said relations were poor. At the time, two incidents of police shootings of African-American men had been in the news.

In the new survey, only 19 percent of African-Americans said race relations were fairly or very good, the lowest level in Journal/NBC News polling over more than two decades.

While views on race relations improved overall, the change didn’t come through when Americans were asked about Mr. Trump’s time in office, the poll found.

Fifty-six percent of adults said race relations had gotten worse since Mr. Trump became president, while 10% said they had improved.

The Journal/NBC News poll surveyed 1,000 adults from Aug. 10-14. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

I blame the news media for that one. We had more racial unrest under President Obama than we have seen under President Trump.

The article also includes an interesting comment on patriotism:

Megan Clark, a 31-year-old from Austin, Texas, said her experience as a child living overseas due to her father’s military career influenced her views on patriotism.

“Patriotism for the sake of patriotism means nothing to me,’’ she said. “If you believe in the values that your country is expressing and following and you want to support those, then, sure. But just as a blind association with wherever you happen to be from, that just doesn’t seem logical.”

Generational differences on personal values were most pronounced among Democrats. In fact, the views of Democrats over age 50 were more in line with those of younger Republicans than with younger members of their own party.

Part of the responsibility for the decline in patriotism goes to our schools. It is disconcerting to me that the Advanced Placement U.S. History books focus on the negative aspects of American history–slavery, mistreatment of Indians, etc. They don’t focus on how unique the concept of God-given rights and freedom were at the time of the American Revolution. Part of the responsibility for the decline of patriotism also falls on parents. It is up to us to teach our children to love our country. Our freedom is always only one generation away. Hopefully we are not currently watching that generation grow up.

What Are Our Values?

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article with the headline, “Top Execs of 180 Companies: Abortion Necessary to Be Successful in Business.” What?

The article reports:

The top executives of more than 180 companies have signed a letter that says abortion is essential in order for people to be successful in their businesses.

“When everyone is empowered to succeed, our companies, our communities and our economy are better for it,” the executives say in the letter posted on a newly launched website titled “Don’t Ban Equality.”

“Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers,” they said, adding:

Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business. It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.

First of all, abortion is not reproductive care–it’s abortion. If you are so proud of what you are doing, why not call it what it is?

The article includes the following:

Abortion has nothing to do with equality. Men and women are not the same–generally speaking, only women have children.

The article concludes:

A Marist poll released in January found 76 percent of Americans are in favor of limiting abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy, including 92 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents, and 61 percent of Democrats.

Additionally, while 51 percent of Americans identify as “pro-choice,” even 60 percent of those agree with substantial restrictions on abortion.

The poll also found 60 percent oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.

At least the majority of Americans have more moral clarity than our business leaders.