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Can Weimar America Save Itself?

From queering science to destroying public spaces, ideologically fanatical elites destroying institutions that make civilization possible. Will we ever fight back?
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Here's a post by the anti-woke atheist scientist Jerry Coyne, taking apart a new paper published in a chemistry academic journal. You think you've seen it all, maybe, but I assure you, you have not. The intellectual corruption, even in the sciences, through woke ideology is something I could never have imagined we would live through in the West. Here's Coyne, with quotes from the actual paper:

The abstract gives an idea of the purpose of the course: to indoctrinate students in the authors’ brand of feminism, CRT, and other aspects of woke ideology.  It wants to rid chemistry of White Supremacy, for the unquestioned assumption is that chemistry education is riddled with white supremacy. If you read the authors seriously, you’d think that all chemistry teachers put on white robes and burned crosses after school:

ABSTRACT: This article presents an argument on the importance of teaching science with a feminist framework and defines it by acknowledging that all knowledge is historically situated and is influenced by social power and politics. This article presents a pedagogical model for implementing a special topic class on science and feminism for chemistry students at East Carolina University, a rural serving university in North Carolina. We provide the context of developing this class, a curricular model that is presently used (including reading lists, assignments, and student learning outcomes), and qualitative data analysis from online student surveys. The student survey data analysis shows curiosity about the applicability of feminism in science and the development of critical race and gender consciousness and their interaction with science. We present this work as an example of a transformative pedagogical model to dismantle White supremacy in Chemistry.

At the outset they get off on the wrong foot: by asserting that sex is not binary (all bolding is mine):

When scientifically established facts, such as the nonbinary nature of both sex and gender are seen by students of science as a belief, one might ask: Are we being true to scientific knowledge? We use this student comment as a reflection of the subjectivity of how the pedagogical decisions are made in teaching “true science” vs what existing scientific knowledge tells us. This has resulted in the propagation of scientific miseducation for generations.

Sadly, it’s the authors who are miseducated here. Whatever they think, biological sex in vertebrates is binary, and to teach otherwise is the real distortion of education.

They have a new term, too, though I don’t see how it differs from either systemic racism, unconscious bias, or deliberate racism. (The “King’ mentioned, by the way, is not Martin Luther King, Jr.):

King introduced a new term, dysconscious racism, defined as an acceptance of dominant White norms and privileges arising from the uncritical habit of the mind leading to the maintenance of the status quo. In contrast to unconscious bias which has been quoted as involuntary and used in the academy often, King’s idea of dysconcious racism demands a critical analysis of the history of systemic discrimination in the institutions and coming up with effective interventions.

Below is the authoritarianism, breathless in its arrogance. I used to think that it was an exaggeration to compare the radicalization of science with the Lysenko movement in Stalin’s Russia. Now I’m not so sure! We’ve put our feet on that path.  Is there any ideological buzzword missing in the following paragraph?:

In this article we describe the development, implementation, and student experience from a special topic course in chemistry, Science and Feminism, as a disruptive tool to challenge the status quo in Chemistry. Using Critical Race Theory and intersectional feminism as the framework, this course aimed at creating an intellectual as well as physical space for STEM students at East Carolina University (ECU) where they could explore their identities and how these intersect with the knowledge base and the pedagogy of science by looking at these from historical, political, and feminist lens. The other aim was to shine light, through this process, how scientific epistemology and culture have strong links with capitalism, enslavement, colonization, and exploitation of female-bodied folks. We provide the historical context of teaching this class in our institution, development of the course syllabus, assignments, and evaluations adopted for this course over the past two years as a template for future course development. In the Discussion and Conclusion section, we also provide a short description from qualitative analysis of online student surveys to understand what students thought about the importance of such a STEM course. Finally, this course is intended to produce an affirming space that will allow minoritized students to enter a chemistry class without having to leave their identities at the metaphorical and physical door of STEM classes.

But you’re supposed to leave your identities at the door. Science is science and the pursuit of the truth, and what truths are apprehended, should be independent of the characteristics of the person who does science.

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Read the whole thing. Keep in mind that this did not appear in some minor Grievance Studies journal, but in the Journal of Chemical Education, published by the American Chemistry Society. This ideological claptrap is now mainstream science. Notice in the abstract that this paper presents a pedagogical model to be implemented in a public university serving students from rural areas. These students are having their minds crippled by ideology. The next generation of chemists should be learning science, but instead, the institutions responsible for forming their minds have surrendered to garbage ideology. American institutions -- academic and scientific -- are destroying knowledge. This is going to have an immense effect on our civilization. It cannot fail to.

I find myself these days scarcely able to cope with how quickly and how thoroughly everything is unwinding -- and how so few people seem to care. There ought to be Congressional hearings into what's happening to science education under assault from wokeness. Legislators, at both the state and local level, should be exercising the authority voters have given them, and doing whatever they can within the law to protect education from ideology.

I find the general passivity people have in the face of the queer assault on common sense, the common good, and children, to be even less explicable. I'm sure that most normal people who accepted same-sex marriage and gay rights in general, out of a sense of compassion and an idea of justice for gay folks, had no idea what was going to come with that bargain. Well, things like this happen all the time now:

Recently, 17-year-old, Rebecca Phillips, visited the Santee YMCA to workout after work, as she routinely does.

But this time, as she was showering, she encountered a naked man inside the women’s locker as she was showering. Rebecca is underage, and explained to Santee City Council that she was scared for her safety.

She ran into a stall to hide and change, before informing staff of the naked man freely using the women’s locker room.

Staff said the man, who claims to be transgender, is allowed to shower wherever he wants. Since he identifies as a girl, the naked man chose to use the women’s locker room. Then, the Director of Membership for San Diego County YMCA’s, Teri Maas, called Phillips and informed her she was never in danger with the naked man in the locker room.

Phillips explained underage minors, and her siblings, frequent this YMCA and the women’s locker room, and suggested transgender customers use the family restrooms, or any additional facility beside the women’s locker room.

Phillips said she was made out to be in the wrong for even suggesting such a thing.

YMCA Spokesman Dan Cruz joined Good Evening San Diego further explain their response to the incident. Cruz said the organization is dedicated to diversity, inclusion and equity. Cruz added they will work with elected officials to follow all the laws.

Here's the clip of the smarmy Dan Cruz's interview. It's upchuckable -- "diversity, inclusion, and equity" is a buzz phrase that justifies all manner of injustice and cruelty. But to be fair, the woke California legislature has put entities like the YMCA in a difficult position.

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Watch this brief clip of Rebecca Phillips speaking at the Santee City Council meeting about what happened. There is not a sane society on this planet where the interests of women like her, and female children, are less important than the preferences of a male who calls himself female, and shows up naked in a locker room with vulnerable women and children:

What are we doing to ourselves? Why are we allowing this?

We are collectively failing the next generation. Look:

One young adult in 20 is now nonbinary or transgender, communities that society barely recognized and seldom counted until a few years ago. 

Those populations are not new. Only recently, though, have survey-takers thought to ask people about gender identity, invoking terminology that did not exist for prior generations. The word “nonbinary” did not appear in The New York Times until 2014.  

The rising visibility of nonbinary and transgender people reflects the nation’s growing acceptance of gender fluidity, especially among the young. One landmark study found 1.2 million nonbinary people in the 18-60 age group. Of that total, three-quarters were under 30, which suggests Generation Z has explored gender identity to an extent that older Americans have not.  

American society and culture, led by its institutional elites, has become a system for producing mentally and emotionally damaged young people who are alienated from their bodies, who are convinced to submit to surgical and chemical mutilation, and who are going to be left ill-equipped to form stable relationships, much less stable families. And the masses just sit back and let it happen. I cannot for the life of me understand this. I really can't. Twenty-three years ago, I wrote about how GLSEN -- the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network -- was beginning its long march through the educational institutions, under the misleading banner of anti-bullying. Now we have this kind of thing:

At some point, the backlash will come, and it will be hideous. Or worse, the backlash won't come, and we will destroy ourselves.

Now is a time for choosing. If sane, responsible people don't stand up now and put a stop to the kind of things that are tearing apart academia, including science, and that are destroying our capacity to live together, then they -- we -- are going to be responsible for whatever happens next. We are living in Weimar America. You remember what followed Weimar Germany, don't you? No one could possibly want that here. But if the chaos and the ideological destruction of our civilization's institutions and practices continue, I fear that that's exactly what we are going to get.

If you think I'm being alarmist, I invite you to read Hannah Arendt. Here are some passages from my book Live Not By Lies:

To grasp the threat of totalitarianism, it’s important to understand the difference between it and simple authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is what you have when the state monopolizes political control. That is mere dictatorship—bad, certainly, but totalitarianism is much worse. According to Hannah Arendt, the foremost scholar of totalitarianism, a totalitarian society is one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal of bringing all aspects of society under control of that ideology. A totalitarian state is one that aspires to nothing less than defining and controlling reality. Truth is whatever the rulers decide it is. As Arendt has written, wherever totalitarianism has ruled, “[I]t has begun to destroy the essence of man.”

This topic is so important that I'm posting the entire Arendt section from the book:

In 1951, six years after the end of World War II, the political philosopher published The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt’s classic study of what had happened in Germany and the Soviet Union, in an attempt to understand how such radical ideologies had seized the minds of men. According to Arendt, the following conditions tilled the ground, readying it for poisonous ideas planted by ideological activists.

Loneliness and Social Atomization

Totalitarian movements, said Arendt, are “mass organizations of atomized, isolated individuals.” She continues:

What prepares men for totalitarian domination in the non-totalitarian world, is the fact that loneliness, once a borderline experience usually suffered in certain marginal social conditions like old age, has become an everyday experience of the ever-growing masses of our century.

The political theorist wrote those words in the 1950s, a period we look back on as a golden age of community cohesion. Today, loneliness is widely recognized by scientists as a critical social and even medical problem. In the year 2000, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam published Bowling Alone, an acclaimed study documenting the steep decline of civil society since midcentury and the resulting atomization of America.

Since Putnam’s book, we have experienced the rise of social media networks offering a facsimile of “connection.” Yet we grow ever lonelier and more isolated. It is no coincidence that millennials and members of Generation Z register much higher rates of loneliness than older Americans, as well as significantly greater support for socialism. It’s as if they aspire to a politics that can replace the community they wish they had.

Sooner or later, loneliness and isolation are bound to have political effects. The masses supporting totalitarian movements, says Arendt, grew “out of the fragments of a highly atomized society whose competitive structure and concomitant loneliness of the individual had been held in check only through membership in a class.”

Civic trust is another bond that holds society together. Arendt writes that the Soviet government, in an effort to monopolize control, caused the Soviet people to turn on one another. In the United States, we have seen nothing like the state aggressively dismantling civil society—but it’s happening all the same.

In Bowling Alone, Putnam documented the unraveling of civic bonds since the 1950s. Americans attend fewer club meetings, have fewer dinner parties, eat dinner together as a family less, and are much less connected to their neighbors. They are disconnected from political parties and more skeptical of institutions. They spend much more time alone watching television or cocooning on the internet. The result is that ordinary people feel more anxious, isolated, and vulnerable.

A polity filled with alienated individuals who share little sense of community and purpose are prime targets for totalitarian ideologies and leaders who promise solidarity and meaning.

Losing Faith in Hierarchies and Institutions

Americans’ loss of faith in institutions and hierarchies began in the 1960s. In Europe, though, it started in the immediate aftermath of World War I. Surveying the political scene in Germany during the 1920s, Arendt noted a “terrifying negative solidarity” among people from diverse classes, united in their belief that all political parties were populated by fools.

Are we today really so different? According to Gallup, Americans’ confidence in their institutions—political, media, religious, legal, medical, corporate—is at historic lows across the board. Only the military, the police, and small businesses retain the strong confidence of over 50 percent. Democratic norms are under strain in many industrialized nations, with the support for mainstream parties of left and right in decline.

In  Europe of the 1920s, says Arendt, the first indication of the coming totalitarianism was the failure of established parties to attract younger members, and the willingness of the passive masses to consider radical alternatives to discredited establishment parties.

A loss of faith in democratic politics is a sign of a deeper and broader instability. As radical individualism has become more pervasive in our consumerist-driven culture, people have ceased to look outside themselves for authoritative sources of meaning. This is the fulfillment of modern liberalism’s goal: to free the individual from any unchosen obligations.

But this imposes a terrible psychological burden on the individual, many of whom may seek deliverance in the certainties and solidarity offered by totalitarian movements.

Sociologist Émile Durkheim observed that many people who had been set free from the bonds of religion did not thrive in their liberty. In fact, they lost a shared sense of purpose, of meaning, and of community. A number of these despairing people committed suicide. According to Durkheim, what happened to individuals could also happen to societies.

You can destroy as much by failing to build as by actively wrecking. Philip Rieff said the collapse of a civilizational order begins when its elites cease to be able to transmit faith in its institutions and customs to younger generations. Political scientist Yascha Mounk, observing the collapse of liberal democratic values among the American elites, tweeted:

It’s telling that, in the year of 2019, the notion that one purpose of civics education might be to convince students that there is in fact something worthwhile in our political system seems to strike many members of elite institutions as faintly bizarre.

The Desire to Transgress and Destroy

The post-World War I generation of writers and artists were marked by their embrace and celebration of anti-cultural philosophies and acts as a way of demonstrating contempt for established hierarchies, institutions, and ways of thinking. Arendt said of some writers who glorified the will to power, “They read not Darwin but the Marquis de Sade.”

Her point was that these authors did not avail themselves of respectable intellectual theories to justify their transgressiveness. They immersed themselves in what is basest in human nature and regarded doing so as acts of liberation. Arendt’s judgment of the postwar elites who recklessly thumbed their noses at respectability could easily apply to those of our own day who shove aside liberal principles like fair play, race neutrality, free speech, and free association as obstacles to equality. Arendt wrote:

The members of the elite did not object at all to paying a price, the destruction of civilization, for the fun of seeing how those who had been excluded unjustly in the past forced their way into it.

Regarding transgressive sexuality as a social good was not an innovation of the sexual revolution. Like the contemporary West, late imperial Russia was also awash in what historian James Billington called “a preoccupation with sex that is quite without parallel in earlier Russian culture.”[vi] Among the social and intellectual elite, sexual adventurism, celebrations of perversion, and all manner of sensuality was common. And not just among the elites: the laboring masses, alone in the city, with no church to bind their consciences with guilt, or village gossips to shame them, found comfort in sex.

The end of official censorship after the 1905 uprising opened the floodgates to erotic literature, which found renewal in sexual passion. “The sensualism of the age was in a very intimate sense demonic,” Billington writes, detailing how the figure of Satan became a Romantic hero for artists and musicians. They admired the diabolic willingness to stop at nothing to satisfy one’s desires and to exercise one’s will.

Propaganda and the Willingness to Believe Useful Lies

Heda Margolius Kovály, a disillusioned Czech communist whose husband was executed after a 1952 show trial, reflects on the willingness of people to turn their backs on the truth for the sake of an ideological cause.

It is not hard for a totalitarian regime to keep people ignorant. Once you relinquish your freedom for the sake of “understood necessity,” for Party discipline, for conformity with the regime, for the greatness and glory of the Fatherland, or for any of the substitutes that are so convincingly offered, you cede your claim to the truth. Slowly, drop by drop, your life begins to ooze away just as surely as if you had slashed your wrists; you have voluntarily condemned yourself to helplessness.

You can surrender your moral responsibility to be honest out of misplaced idealism. You can also surrender it by hating others more than you love truth. In pre-totalitarian states, Arendt writes, hating “respectable society” was so narcotic, that elites were willing to accept “monstrous forgeries in historiography” for the sake of striking back at those who, in their view, had “excluded the underprivileged and oppressed from the memory of mankind.” For example, many who didn’t really accept Marx’s revisionist take on history—that it is a manifestation of class struggle—were willing to affirm it because it was a useful tool to punish those they despised.

Here’s an important example of this happening in our time and place. In 2019, The New York Times, the world’s most influential newspaper, launched the “1619 Project,” a massive attempt to “reframe” (the Times’s word) American history by displacing the 1776 Declaration of Independence as the traditional founding of the United States, replacing it with the year the first African slaves arrived in North America.

No serious person denies the importance of slavery in US history. But that’s not the point of the 1619 Project. Its goal is to revise America’s national identity by making race hatred central to the nation’s foundational myth. Despite the project’s core claim (that the patriots fought the American Revolution to preserve slavery) having been thoroughly debunked, journalism’s elite saw fit to award the project’s director a Pulitzer Prize for her contribution. Equipped with this matchless imprimatur of establishment respectability, the 1619 Project, which has already been taught in forty-five hundred classrooms, will find its way into many more.

Propaganda helps change the world by creating a false impression of the way the world is. Writes Arendt, “The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda—before the movement has the power to drop the iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world—lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

In 2019, Zach Goldberg, a political science PhD student at Georgia Tech, did a deep dive on LexisNexis, the world’s largest database of publicly available documents, including media reports. He found that over a nine-year period, the rate of news stories using progressive jargon associated with left-wing critical theory and social justice concepts shot into the stratosphere.

What does this mean? That the mainstream media is framing the general public’s understanding of news and events according to what was until very recently a radical ideology confined to left-wing intellectual elites.

It must be conceded that right-wing media, though outside the mainstream, often has a similar effect on conservatives: affirming to them that what they believe about the world is true. For all users of social media—including the nearly three quarters of US adults who use Facebook and the 22 percent who use Twitter—reinforcement of prior political beliefs is built into the system. We are being conditioned to accept as true whatever feels right to us. As Arendt wrote about the pre-totalitarian masses:

They do not believe in anything visible, in the reality of their own experience; they do not trust their eyes and ears but only their imaginations, which may be caught by anything that is at once universal and consistent with itself. What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.

A Mania for Ideology

Why are people so willing to believe demonstrable lies? The desperation alienated people have for a story that helps them make sense of their lives and tells them what to do explains it. For a man desperate to believe, totalitarian ideology is more precious than life itself.

“He may even be willing to help in his own prosecution and frame his own death sentence if only his status as a member of the movement is not touched,” Arendt wrote. Indeed, the files of the 1930s Stalinist show trials are full of false confessions by devout communists who were prepared to die rather than admit that communism was a lie.

Totalitarianism’s most dedicated servants are often idealists, at least at first. Margolius Kovály testifies that she and her husband embraced communism at first precisely because it was so idealistic. It gave those who had walked out of hell a vision of paradise in which they could believe.

One of contemporary progressivism’s commonly used phrases—the personal is political—captures the totalitarian spirit, which seeks to infuse all aspects of life with political consciousness. Indeed, the Left pushes its ideology ever deeper into the personal realm, leaving fewer and fewer areas of daily life uncontested. This, warned Arendt, is a sign that a society is ripening for totalitarianism, because that is what totalitarianism essentially is: the politicization of everything.

Infusing every aspect of life with ideology was a standard aspect of Soviet totalitarianism. Early in the Stalin era, N. V. Krylenko, a Soviet commissar (political officer), steamrolled over chess players who wanted to keep politics out of the game.

“We must finish once and for all with the neutrality of chess,” he said. “We must condemn once and for all the formula ‘chess for the sake of chess,’ like the formula ‘art for art’s sake.’ We must organize shockbrigades of chess-players, and begin immediate realization of a Five-Year Plan for chess.”

A Society That Values Loyalty More Than Expertise

“Totalitarianism in power invariably replaces all first-rate talents, regardless of their sympathies, with those crackpots and fools whose lack of intellect and creativity is still the best guarantee of their loyalty,” wrote Arendt.

All politicians prize loyalty, but few would regard it as the most important quality in government, and even fewer would admit it. But President Donald Trump is a rule-breaker in many ways. He once said, “I value loyalty above everything else—more than brains, more than drive, and more than energy.”

Trump’s exaltation of personal loyalty over expertise is discreditable and corrupting. But how can liberals complain? Loyalty to the group or the tribe is at the core of leftist identity politics. Loyalty to an ideology over expertise is no less disturbing than loyalty to a personality. This is at the root of “cancel culture,” in which transgressors, however minor their infractions, find themselves cast into outer darkness.

In early 2020, an astonishing cancel-culture controversy emerged in which Jeanine Cummins, author of a much-anticipated novel about the Mexican immigrant experience, suffered savage attack in the media from some progressive Latino writers who accused the white woman of stealing the experiences of Latinos. Some prominent Latinas who had praised the book in advance of its publication—including novelist Erika L. Sanchez, and actress Salma Hayek—withdrew their backing, lest they seem disloyal to their group.

Beyond cancel culture, which is reactive, institutions are embedding within their systems ideological tests to weed out dissenters. At universities within the University of California system, for example, teachers who want to apply for tenure-track positions have to affirm their commitment to “equity, diversity, and inclusion”—and to have demonstrated it, even if it has nothing to do with their field. Similar politically correct loyalty oaths are required at leading public and private schools.

De facto loyalty tests to diversity ideology are common in corporate America. As the inventor of JavaScript, Brendan Eich was one of the most important early figures of the internet. But in 2014, he was forced out of leadership of Mozilla, the company he founded, after employees objected to a small donation he made to the 2008 campaign to stop gay marriage in California.

A Soviet-born US physician told me—after I agreed not to use his name—that he never posts anything remotely controversial on social media, because he knows that the human resources department at his hospital monitors employee accounts for evidence of disloyalty to the progressive “diversity and inclusion” creed.

That same doctor disclosed that social justice ideology is forcing physicians like him to ignore their medical training and judgment when it comes to transgender health. He said it is not permissible within his institution to advise gender dysphoric patients against treatments they desire, even when a physician believes it is not in that particular patient’s health interest.

I hope you'll read Live Not By Lies, if you haven't already. There's lots more. We are in a do-or-die moment for our civilization -- and we are not ready.

To borrow from Heda Margolius Kovaly, I say that it is not hard for a totalitarian regime to keep people ignorant. Once you relinquish your freedom for the sake of "diversity, equity, and inclusion," for social justice , for conformity with the ideological standards of your workplace or profession, for the purging of racism, sexism, or any -ism from our society, or for any of the substitutes that are so convincingly offered, you cede your claim to the truth. Slowly, drop by drop, your life begins to ooze away just as surely as if you had slashed your wrists; you have voluntarily condemned yourself to helplessness.

This is what we're doing. We have become a society that reduces young women to weeping in front of city councils because she cannot understand why society permits a naked man to stand in a locker room full of naked females, some of them children, for the sake of social justice. She's right. At some point, there will arise a mass of people who have had enough of this insanity, and who are prepared to fight to roll it back. If we who would like to keep this civilization don't stand up now, peacefully but insistently, to defend what's left of our institutions, then we may soon find ourselves in a situation in which there is no civilization left to defend, and we are left to witness a fight between competing barbarisms.

One last thing: Camille Paglia, the iconoclastic lesbian academic and provocateur, warned us all six years ago:

UPDATE: And when this happens, the woke will pass laws permitting the State to seize children it identifies as queer from parents unwilling to raise them as such. You watch. It's coming -- if we don't stop it now. This is what Woke Science is doing to us. We need BOTH a political and a cultural strategy to stop it.

UPDATE.2: Once again, the corruption of academia by ideology. Here's a recent statement by the American Academy of Religion, on the ickiness of having its annual meeting in Texas:

... With our 2023 annual meeting set for San Antonio in November, we understand that there are concerns about meeting in Texas, as there were in 2021. The challenges faced by immigrants, migrants, people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ persons in Texas are of real concern to us, and these important issues influence the programming and direction of the AAR.

We remain committed to holding the Annual Meeting as we have for over 100 years, though we recognize that holding our annual meeting in San Antonio, like the “prism glass” in Guy’s song, is layered and complex. The Annual Meeting provides the opportunity for us to gather together as scholars of religion, and our colleagues in Texas colleges and universities are asking us to come to San Antonio, to support them and be in solidarity with them. Even more, San Antonio is the largest majority Hispanic city in the United States, which is one of the reasons why the presidential theme is La Labor de Nuestras Manos. Over 75% of the city is people of color. And San Antonio is 4th in the nation in minority owned start-up businesses (the top 3 are all in California).

We also face the fiduciary responsibilities that we hold as a Board to safeguard the Academy and ensure the possibility of future meetings. The contract for the 2023 San Antonio meeting was signed in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature almost a decade ago, before the laws were passed that are concerning to many of us. If we break our contracts in Texas, we would, as a member organization, face a significant financial liability of well over $1 million (over one-third of our annual budget) or possibly even more.

So, should you avoid San Antonio for reasons related to human rights or funding sanctions against travel to Texas, we understand and honor your decision. If you do come, if you are able to “step inside this house,” to return to Guy’s words, we’ll be there to greet you and engage these critically important issues.

American Academy of Religion Board of Directors

These snowflake academics boggle the mind. They have committed their lives to the study of religion, but their ideological commitments would make it impossible, for example, for them to gather in an Islamic country, even though Islam is, of course, one of the great religions of the world. Madness! What do you think the likelihood is of serious religion scholarship going on within that field now, if the scholarship in any way conflicts with the woke presuppositions of the organization?

Who will be the academic monks, and who will establish the "monasteries," where real scholarship can take place amid these new Dark Ages?

UPDATE.3: A reader writes:

That academic article you referenced in "Can Weimar American Save Itself?" post----- it's even worse than you think. 

If you go and look up the credentials of those who wrote the article, they aren't even Ph.D.s. The lead author is a lab technician. They are literally ALLOWING the ignorant and unlearned to destroy their discipline. It's like the professors opened the gates and let the barbarians come in and sack everything.

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Bogdán Emil
Bogdán Emil
Live Not By Lies is a prophetic book that everyone should read and discuss, whether they’re inclined toward agreement or disagreement. It’s a milestone in the debate, a gauntlet thrown down that is being foolishly ignored by the mainstream, to our collective detriment. But they can’t ignore it forever, and I would bet you that the opinion-makers and gate-keepers are already aware of it, they just don’t have a counter. The thesis is that we are living in Huxley’s world, not Orwell’s, which is what makes this totalitarianism “soft.” It’s not Soft Totalitarian as in less unpleasant and more desirable than Hard Totalitarian, instead, it is of a different nature, more insidious and self-hypnotizing. I have already delivered my rather minor critique: you inexplicably overlook soma. And that’s it. Overall, I think LNBL is ruthless, penetrating analysis. My point of correction is equally insightful and ultimately helpful, since the role of soma cannot be ignored, either in Huxley’s template or in our real-world predicament, as demonstrated even by your most recent posts about DMT, the Experience Machine, etc. Adding Paul Kingsnorth’s vision of “The Machine” to the big picture, the diabolical forces that empower the grinding down of humanity might also be interested in drip-feeding us a steady dose of hallucination-inducing anesthetic, just to make sure our capacity to choose is as fettered as possible. Or, even worse, the drugs themselves may be a direct gateway to our collective condemnation and ultimate suicide, the chemical embodiment of our spiritual purposelessness. Made from nothing, we return to nothing. But in the meanwhile, what are we? Scientist know that above all, we are temporary. Living in resentment of that fact, we convince ourselves that we can do anything we wish.
schedule 3 weeks ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    We can be sure of one thing about the future. Unexpected things will happen. Some of it very bad. But here and there also very good things.
    We are called to live in faith and not in fear.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
    Adrian Gaty
    Adrian Gaty
    It’s not Huxley or Orwell, it’s CS Lewis! Read That Hideous Strength to see him perfectly predict the literally satanic infiltration of the academic bureaucracy
    schedule 3 weeks ago
Theodore Iacobuzio
Theodore Iacobuzio
The chairman of the House Education Committee is Virginia Foxx, from North Carolina. I’ll send her this. Any other ideas? Time for JD to say something.
schedule 3 weeks ago
JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
Most of us go through life rarely if ever encountering this loonytunery. I'm in Baltimore for a three day weekend- I went out with friends Saturday night (not a drag queen in sight in Fells Point!) went to church Sunday, visited a terminally ill friend in the hospital in the afternoon, watched the Ravens game at the friend's I'm staying with later. I have a 4 pm prosthodontist appointment in Columbia today and since it's supposed to warm up pleasantly I'll do some biking down there beforehand. This, I propose, is real life, from which Rod seems increasingly detached the longer he lives in parts foreign. You cam find all manner of dysfunction, crime, ugliness etc. (Hey, I'm in Baltimore- nit hard at all) but why go looking? There's an article right here on TAC about news being bad news. I recommend it as tonic for excessive gloom and doomery.
schedule 3 weeks ago
    jocon307
    jocon307
    I became a member of this site just to respond to this comment. More power to you Jon, and glad you are enjoying your time in Maryland, the land of pleasant living, which it most certainly is. Good luck with the doctor, and may your friend find comfort.

    But, I think you are, at best, extremely naive. And at worst willfully blind. I assume you must have no children or grandchildren. I have two lovely grandsons, and I pretty much wake up in terror every morning worrying about them and their future in this country.

    This is not not a problem, even if most people's lives are undisturbed at this time. Pretty sure life was pretty normal all aroun in Germany in 1925 or in France in 17-whatever. But when we are told that chemistry is essentially a system of racist oppression, that little girls who don't want naked men (or even just people with penises) in their locker rooms are bigots, and that public school teachers are empowered to have secret, intimate, relationships with students; well, we are not just off the rails, we are down the mountainside in the canyon.

    Not sure who can pull us out. But it sure as heck isn't going to be just one person.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      A) One thing I'm not is blind about the several poential futures [note the plural). But I'm in enough trouble over that and I'm keeping my mouth shut.
      B) We aren't the Weimar Republic- the differences are legion, the similarities few. Republican Rome of the 2nd century BC probably is the closest analogy. Well, except we don't have slaves but we do have nukes.
      C) Ultimately the Chinese sages's advice to the Emperor is best to remember: This too shall pass.
      schedule 3 weeks ago
        Steve2023
        Steve2023
        Yes, it's likely this too shall pass. The question is pass into what? The trajectory of our society is worrisome. Particularly in the US and Canada, based on news stories showing moral decay (from a conservative perspective).

        World history shows many examples of great countries passing into decline due to ignoring changes in their society. Including financial excesses, social decadence, over-extension of political/military power, etc. Examples passing into decline are Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Spanish, Ottoman, British and Russian empires. Also, it's clear the US is not viewed globally as positively as in the past. It's possible China's chance at being a global leader is developing.

        Based on history, the view of "This too shall pass" has not worked well in too many cases.
        schedule 3 weeks ago
          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          Complex cultures go through cycles of up and down. We're very obvious on a "down" right now, but there's no reason to think another "up" won't come. Rome enjoyed a golden age after the civil wars of the late Republic. The Byzantine renaissance followed two hundred years of demographic collapse, religious strife and loss of territory to the Caliphate. The dysfucntional later Middle Ages yielded to the Renaissance and age of exploration. The bloodshed of the age of revolution and Napoleon was followed the peace and prosperity of the Victorian era.
          Live your life in the time appointed to you and hope of the Lord whose rewards are beyond this world. This is how best to live in every age. Nothing here lasts-- how much can it matter? Certainly it nothing of ultimate value.
          schedule 3 weeks ago
    MPC
    MPC
    I understand fully where you are coming from Jon, but the problem, starting a little before Trump's election, and turned up to 100x since Covid and George Floyd, is that you might not be interested in politics, and the ideas of idiots and cultists, but they are definitely interested in you. Covid made our typically performative, theatrical politics - unnoticeable for anyone who didn't want to notice it - uncommonly personal. The realization that politics can touch you, that itself I think is something of a red pill.

    It's the sad truth. I wish I could turn it off sometimes, and expect that nothing really will be happening, other than old debates about tax rates and govt spending. But on the other I have the instinct that to do so would be a disservice to myself and my family now. Only looking for the good in life, and tuning out politics, in most times is not a bad recipe, at others it is recipe for complacent, even lethal, disaster. Like 100 years ago in Germany, or 110 years ago in Russia.

    4 years ago I remember agreeing with you more often than not - that Rod was just being hysterical, and this sort of stuff doesn't resemble the real world very much. A lot has changed since then. Politics has taken an interest in us. Sometimes, unfortunately, the gloomy read is the correct one.

    It feels more and more like a desperate race to power, with principles cast aside. Reason feels inadequate. I try to keep my distance, but also realize that I need to keep my eyes open - in case the type of people that Rod writes about actually do end up winning. I am coming to accept that to stop them from winning is less now about principle, and more about skillful exercise of power (emphasis on skillful). I have hopefully 50+ more years in this world and my children more. We can't afford to just hope for the best.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Idiots and cultists (apart from a certain party who postpms on TAC alas) don't know I exist. And I stsy out of their way to keep it that way.
      schedule 3 weeks ago
        MPC
        MPC
        That is good advice. Though I still watch them, from a distance.
        schedule 3 weeks ago
    Peter Kurilecz
    Peter Kurilecz
    you're lucky that you've not encounted this tomfoolery. doesn't matter if Rod is Hungary or back home in Louisiana. this stuff takes place all over the country. check out this reddit about a drag queen show in what is normally a middle-class neighborhood. the vast majority of commenters see nothing wrong with drag queen shows especially those that attract or are aimed at children
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Dallas/comments/10ca7d2/counterprotestors_defending_drag_show_in_lakewood/
    schedule 3 weeks ago
    Jonesy
    Jonesy
    It’s only a trickle of time and when it reaches us it will be a tsunami. This has been growing ostensibly since the 30’s.
    schedule 2 weeks ago
Daniel Baker
Daniel Baker
"One young adult in 20 is now nonbinary or transgender, communities that society barely recognized and seldom counted until a few years ago. Those populations are not new. Only recently, though, have survey-takers thought to ask people about gender identity, invoking terminology that did not exist for prior generations."

We did not count nobinary or transgender people until a few years ago. So we have absolutely no data on how many there were before gender ideology flooded the Internet and captured the academy. Nonetheless, we are certain that this number is not new, but is exactly the same as before.

This is not science. This is faith.
schedule 3 weeks ago
    MPC
    MPC
    And we are sinners in the hands of their angry god.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
    jocon307
    jocon307
    It's malarkey.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    The stats quoted above are wildly inflated to the extent they mean anything at all. The t4ans phenomenon remains fairly rate. If you lump gays and lesbians in with them you do get about 5% of the population.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
      Daniel Baker
      Daniel Baker
      Well, sure, but there's no possible justification for lumping garden variety gays or lesbians into the categories of trans or nonbinary. Being gay or lesbian is a matter of what sex or gender you're attracted to, not what sex or gender you are yourself.
      schedule 3 weeks ago
Adrian Gaty
Adrian Gaty
Did you see the latest thing, from JAMA, is to encourage women to have abortions so that they don’t commit suicide? Just like we’re supposed to encourage trans affirmation (and permanent childlessness) so they don’t commit suicide? When walker percy and flannery O’Connor argued that compassion, detached from God, inevitably leads to the death chamber, this is what they meant. Thank you for fighting back against these demons!

Substack is no monastery, but it’ll have to do for now, more here:
https://gaty.substack.com/p/this-is-science
schedule 3 weeks ago
Peter Kurilecz
Peter Kurilecz
this past weekend BuzzBrew restaurant in East Dallas hosted a drag queen show. as you can imagine protesters from both sides showed up including antifa decked out in their black uniforms and rifles. do check out the comments in this reddit post. we will not be able to overcome this as long as folks like these commenters exist. Many dont want to know what these shows are not good for children
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dallas/comments/10ca7d2/counterprotestors_defending_drag_show_in_lakewood/
schedule 3 weeks ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    Don't take your kids to a drag show. There, problem solved.
    schedule 3 weeks ago
      Fran Macadam
      Fran Macadam
      ...and if the propaganda brainwashes you to do so to virtue signal or worse, go ahead!
      schedule 3 weeks ago
Jonesy
Jonesy
When you ask the question ‘where are the politicians’ on this I think it is a matter of not knowing it is happening. Without you writing about it we would never know.
schedule 2 weeks ago