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The Big Freeze

The other day, I had an e-mail exchange with a prominent scholar who studies religion in America. It’s not part of his public profile, but he happens to be a believing Christian. He was extremely pessimistic about the situation here, given the long-term data he is seeing about how the advance of secularism, consumerism, and individualism is routing belief.

I’ve been thinking about that all weekend, and how unprepared American Christians are for it. We really do labor under the self-indulgent illusion that It Can’t Happen Here. Oh yes, it most certainly can — and it is. Today in First Things, Carl Trueman writes about how Christian colleges and universities had better get used to doing without federal funding [1], even in the form of tax exemptions. Why? For one thing, Title IX forbids federal funding to any university that practices sexual discrimination, though there is an exemption for religious institutions and seminaries. The Obama administration tried to expand Title IX to include LGBTs, but that has been withdrawn — for now. Trueman points out that the “underlying cultural commitments” that made expanding Title IX to include LGBTs remain in place.

More:

Some colleges—for instance, Hillsdale and Grove City—stand apart from federal funding. Such places thus seem relatively safe. But are they? There is another point of vulnerability: the 1983 Supreme Court ruling in Bob Jones University v. United States. This ruling denied tax-exempt status to Bob Jones University because of policies regarding interracial dating that were judged contrary to a compelling government policy. The text of the decision can be found here [2], but the key passage reads as follows:

The Government’s fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education substantially outweighs whatever burden denial of tax benefits places on petitioners’ exercise of their religious beliefs. Petitioners’ asserted interests cannot be accommodated with that compelling governmental interest, and no less restrictive means are available to achieve the governmental interest.However we may cheer the particular result of the Bob Jones case, the implications unfolding in today’s climate are concerning. Replace “racial” with “sexual” in the paragraph above, and the point is clear. In an era where a close analogy is assumed between civil rights regarding race and civil rights regarding sexual identity, the Bob Jones precedent could easily lead to the revocation of tax-exempt status for schools committed to traditional views of marriage and sexual morality.

The usefulness of Title IX and Bob Jones for the sexual-identity revolution lies precisely in the fact that most Christians see them as sound in what they were originally meant to accomplish, even as some might cavil at their heavy-handed application in after years. In a world where the law increasingly seems to exist not to protect minority opinion but to impose the sexual or identitarian taste du jour, the uses of these laws are increasingly sinister. Yet their origins make them hard to oppose with any cultural plausibility. For this reason, the religious exemption in Title IX will, I suspect, either fall or become so attenuated as to be in practice meaningless.

Remember too that when the federal government published a list of Christian colleges that requested Title IX exemptions from the Obama administration’s LGBT expansion, those colleges were hit with all kinds of bad publicity denouncing them as havens of hate. Plus, Christian colleges are split on this issue [3], just as the churches are becoming. Those institutions that hold to Christian orthodoxy are going to be increasingly isolated and stigmatized.

Sometimes I hear Christians saying things along the lines of, “Bring it on! The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church!” etc. These are the kind of romantics who in a different context would gas on about the cleansing power of war. They have no idea what persecution is like, and what it can do to Christian communities. In the Orthodox Church in this country, you meet people who grew up under communism, in Russia or other Eastern European nations. It’s always the same story: most of their family was lost to the faith, because the government made believing in God too difficult. Often immigrants from formerly communist countries who show up at Orthodox churches have to be catechized, because the faith was almost entirely obliterated from public life. Persecution may strengthen some Christians, but it is not something to be welcomed.

I also hear some uninformed Christian romantics saying things like, “Fine, we don’t need the state’s money.” What they don’t grasp is that even if that is true, on principle, that means that most Christian colleges will have to close. In California, when the state last year tried to deny state tuition assistance grants to needy students who went to colleges the state deemed anti-LGBT, it almost passed. What prevented it from going through was in large part the political fact that the students who would have suffered most from this policy were minorities. Nobody believes this issue has gone away for good. Without federal and state tuition assistance, many Christian colleges and universities couldn’t make it.

Also, something a lot of American Christians who live in bubbles don’t understand: as the orthodox Christian position on sexuality and gender identity becomes ever more unpopular, young people will stay away from colleges they perceive as bigoted, and will not want to pursue degrees from institutions bearing the bigot stigma in this culture.

Read the whole thing. [1] Trueman points out a truth that far, far too many Christians refuse to acknowledge: that the political assault on orthodox religious institutions is happening because American culture has radically changed. Fighting politically and legally are necessary, but ultimately not sufficient to save us, because we increasingly don’t have the people with us. Writes Trueman, “It is the heart that must change if arguments are to carry any weight. And only things that go that deep will avail us at this time.”

This is the basic thrust of The Benedict Option [4]. Carl Trueman is a college professor. He understands what’s happening. He is telling orthodox Christians to prepare for a long, hard winter. He is correct to do so. We are in much deeper trouble than most Christians realize, and we had better use the time we have now to prepare for it. I heard over the weekend from a Christian reader who is deep inside the Educational-Industrial Complex, who wrote with very heartening news about creative resistance to what’s coming. I hope to be able to write about that later.

Along these lines, I received this e-mail over the weekend from a reader of this blog. I share it with his permission, though I’ve slightly edited it to protect privacy:

 Your post [5] on Christian Smith’s rant made me think immediately about my son who is graduating from [university] (and I’ll never recommend it to anyone).  My son aspires to be a college history professor and has received encouragement from his current professors to pursue this.  Yet he’s a religious conservative.  Does his aspiration require him to wade into “weapons-grade B.S.”?  What alternatives might he consider?  Perhaps you have thoughts or could suggest others [my son] and I could contact.

 

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122 Comments To "The Big Freeze"

#1 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 16, 2018 @ 1:46 pm

it is important to point out that surveys show Orthodox Christians in America evincing high support for gay rights, divorce, remarriage, and abortion.

The elephant in the room is the meaning of “support.” Do they endorse abortion as a positive good? Do they morally oppose abortion, while believing that criminal legislation is not helpful? (Not unlike, Baptists don’t drink, and wish others wouldn’t, but many do not support a return to Prohibition)?

JonF has explained eloquently how Orthodoxy deals with divorce and remarriage… not looked upon favorably, but accepted as a necessary reflection of the imperfect human condition. Where does the word “support” come down in that? Support for flexible civil statutes? Support for anyone who divorces and remarried because “I have a right to be happy”?

Similar questions could be posed about “gay rights.” Rhetoric and polling about who “supports” what is terribly imprecise, unless it is based on a substantial, prolonged, carefully nuanced conversation, with someone willing to take the time, and a truly neutral interrogator who really explains in detail what they are asking.

In California if you pass the Bar Exam you are admitted to the bar. There are some requirements, but you don’t have to go to law school at all, accredited or otherwise.

One thing I admire about that is that an applicant COULD choose to “read law” in the old school way, apprenticing with a practicing lawyer until they are ready to take the exam. If they can find a lawyer willing to do that.

How does being “compassionate and loving” to gays and lesbians work with discriminating against them in higher education, which seems to be what people here are fighting for?

Potato, the operative word is “discrimination” and it is a slippery one. E.g., you’ve spoken sensibly on trans-sexuality, but those who are suing school districts claim they are being “discriminated against” when they aren’t allowed to walk an anatomically female body into a male locker room, or an anatomically male body into a female locker room. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, we have to tell them plainly, no you are not being “discriminated against” and it is not true that your “are a woman” (or a man). What is true is that you have a valid medical diagnosis, and deserve some private space to work it out with your doctor.

When it comes to, e.g., a college devoted to doctrine that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, a same-sex couple is not being “discriminated against” if they are denied married student housing. If the relevant doctrines include remaining celibate until marriage, as marriage is understood by the sponsoring faith, then they will have to remain celibate at that institution, although its not binding on them elsewhere. They ARE being “discriminated against” if they are told, you can’t take classes here, because you are gay. But why would they want to live four years of their life at an institution with those principles anyway?

So what exactly did you mean?

#2 Comment By First_Deacon On January 16, 2018 @ 1:50 pm

“But, in terms of churches like yours, it is important to point out that surveys show Orthodox Christians in America evincing high support for gay rights, divorce, remarriage, and abortion.”
…..
“But,the declarations of clergy, and even formal doctrine, don’t map very well onto the cultural reality of Orthodox churches in America”

Yes, the reality of Orthodox churches in America is probably about the same as that of Catholicism, only with far smaller numbers of adherents. I personally would like to see the survey numbers split out by convert vs born-and-raised, and frequency of attendance (and when they show up, average lateness).

Lots of Greek Orthodox are there for Christmas, Easter, memorials for the family, will help out with the festival, maybe even help with Philophtochos if they can. But their kids are often never there with them, and if the kids are now adult, many left and never came back (or were never really there to begin with). Most of this group probably don’t think much about the cultural issues that are roiling all of the churches, or if they do, they ignore what the priests, bishops, and church teachings say and just follow the culture. If this were 100% of the parishioners, there would be no future for the Orthodox churches in America.

#3 Comment By Lamont McCullers On January 16, 2018 @ 1:57 pm

A man was being shown around heaven by St. Peter. Each denomination had their designated building and activity in each building was determined by the denominations’ time on earth. If it had been very strict on earth , then it was allowed to loosen and “party” in the building. If too much fun on earth, then it’s members had to do hours of prayer and study. While walking between buildings the man noticed a group huddled around a campfire. He was told, ” Ignore them they think they’re the only ones here”

#4 Comment By Youknowho On January 16, 2018 @ 2:06 pm

@Becky

If someone is passionate about history, I would advice to get a job, any job place that has a great library and a lot of used bookstores. Then he/she can do historical research on his/her own, and write articles.

John Lukacs said that some of the best histories have been written by amateur historians. Nothing prevents ANYONE from reading, learning, knowing how it is done, and finally writing.

#5 Comment By Youknowho On January 16, 2018 @ 2:13 pm

Rob, on the subject of public funding things that you do not agree with there is a difference between disagreeing with something, and being the target of hostility.

Yes, you and I would be willing to use our tax dollars to help fund Muslim, and Jew, and Buddhist schools. But what if one of the things taught in Muslim school is “Kill the infidels”? The least you would say is “Not with my money, buddy. Do I have STUPID written on my forehead?”

Christians have been know to make targets of hostility of many people, and those people have a right to say that if you are going to demonize me, please do not ask me to pay for it.

Think of it. What would a Catholic think about subsidizing a school where the reading matter come from Jack Chick publications, and they talk about the “Death Cookie” when describing the Sacrifice of the Mass?

[NFR: Don’t you see that MANY professors and students demonize whites, conservative Christians, political conservatives, and others, routinely? I think it’s awful, but you’re going to have to push me pretty far to say that the federal government should not provide any funding in any way to these institutions because some people there are bigots? Tolerance doesn’t mean anything if you only tolerate those you already agree with. — RD]

#6 Comment By Robert E. On January 16, 2018 @ 2:31 pm

[NFR: I would probably go farther in protecting religious liberty than many conservatives, but there is, of course, a limit. I would not allow polygamy, for example. Let me ask you, though: if one believes in sexual liberty, defined as the right to do whatever you like sexually, provide all parties consent, where do you draw the line as to what is to be forbidden by the law or custom? — RD]

You are asking two very different questions. Law and custom are separate spheres, and when they get mixed, tragedy results.

This error goes into how you phrased the question. Consent is a useful legal fiction, but it isn’t the entirety of sexual morality for progressives or liberals. If you sat down and actually talked to progressive people of my generation though, you’d find there are all sorts of sexual mores that, although they don’t find themselves as being advocated for legislation, are still none-the-less incredibly important and not merely consent-based.

Ask how people feel about Melania Trump marrying a man like Donald Trump. Or ask about the feelings of older men dating younger women. Or, more on point with the current climate, about people’s feelings about a boss dating one of their employees.

There is a layer beyond consent, about power imbalances, that you have a blind spot for Rod. And I think part of that blind spot is because of what it may indicate for some of your own religious ideas on how the relations between men and women should be. Also, why don’t you talk to them about “complementarianism” or “pro-natalism” movements like the quiverful movement. There are strong judgments on equality for women that go beyond mere consent, to the point where any consent would be considered manufactured in cases where women in a household do not have equal status with men.

The reality is that progressives and liberals often have strong opinions on sexual morality. Would your relationship with your wife survive their scrutiny? If not, you might want to be very careful about criticizing the entire liberal construct that separates law from custom. And you might want to consider once more about how robust exactly you want to make your defense of religious liberty. Because chances are, there are people in my generation who may view your relationships as immoral to the same degree you would view a polygamist’s.

It is also important to look at how conservative criticism has fed into building a lot of these sexual morality customs. Your people have a role they played in the #MeToo movement as well, when they wrote off my entire generation in the 90’s as moral relativists. Even today, you write off liberal and progressive sexual morality as “mere consent”, you write off progressive Christians as “Moral Therapeutic Deists”. Tomorrow though, what if they decide to behave as your people in the past, and put your relationships to their ethical tests, to prove you wrong? That’s the sort of toxic dialectic you are creating when you abandon empathy for progressives and declare liberalism dead.

#7 Comment By LFM On January 16, 2018 @ 3:08 pm

Potato wrote, “So what’s the thought in this group? If the law school were right-thinking, if it were the right kind of small “o” orthodox Christian law school, they wouldn’t have admitted her, right? Or she wouldn’t be on law review, so we could all make the point that she’s immoral? Maybe she should not have scored the prestigious clerkships she is headed for, to make the same point? Ideally, I supposed, people like that should be unemployed. [para] Is that what you’re all fighting for, the right to behave that way? How exactly would this work out if you got everything you want?

Not at all, not at all, not at all. Need to see that again? Not at all. Your daughter would be/should be welcome at any Catholic university, even those that espouse conservative moral theology. Indeed, as far as I know, that’s generally the case at Catholic universities. (I could be wrong.) Where she might have a hard time, or give others a hard time, if she so wished, would be if she objected to courses that dealt with sexual morality in a theologically conservative manner. People like me might not be pleased that same-sex couples were given the right to marry but the fact of her same-sex marriage would not affect my view of her right to attend a school that taught conservative moral views without harassment.

Of course, there are a number of people who think that any expression of conservative moral views in the presence of those most affected by such views is itself a form of harassment. If that is what you and your daughter think, I can’t help you much. But neither are such people as I guilty of the kind of crude segregationism that you suppose.

#8 Comment By Anastasios On January 16, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

[NFR: You think I don’t know that? Good luck with your Episcopalianized American Orthodoxy. — RD]

Chuckle. And God grant you many years as well, Rod!

#9 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On January 16, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

Robert Levine, sincere question: are you against ethno-nationalism for all nations or just the U.S., for some reason?

‘American’ isn’t an ethnicity, so it would be arbitrary and unjust to single out any one of America’s ethnicities for special treatment.

#10 Comment By Chris On January 16, 2018 @ 3:44 pm

Rod

I would like to echo Anastasios’ satements. I find this issue of christian higher education and discrimination against LGBT persons to be almost entirely framed by protestant evangelicalism and its unOrthodox conceptions about sin. We Orthodox do not view sin as the violation of a moral code. It is “amartia” or missing the mark. Sin is a misuse of our energies. Sin is not actually a matter of morality or a moral code but a spiritual sickness to be cured by living a sacramental life. Consequently I find the desire of (mostly) protestant evangelical institutions to sanction LGBT students to run counter to the Orthodox understanding of sin and how to address amartia. In my own experience attending an LCMS school, a conservative christian institution is perfectly capable of upholding biblical morality while concurrently NOT sanctioning LGBT students. You make a serious intellectual and logical error by conflating the upholding of biblical standards with a policy of discrimination and sanction. I must remind you that we are not Roman Catholics or protestant evangelicals and the Orthodox approach should be conisitant with our traditions not those of sectarians. Furthermore an approach which conflates the upholding of biblical standards with punative sanction violates our Orthodox ethos, our understanding of grace, the traditions of the desert fathers not to mention the gospels themselves. You can not save Christianity from a rising tide of secularism by advocating that christian institutions act in ways contrary to the gospel. But this is a position you repeatedly take. It is the serious failings of christian institutions and western christianity itself that damages the faith.

#11 Comment By VikingLS On January 16, 2018 @ 4:31 pm

[NFR: Don’t you see that MANY professors and students demonize whites, conservative Christians, political conservatives, and others, routinely? I think it’s awful, but you’re going to have to push me pretty far to say that the federal government should not provide any funding in any way to these institutions because some people there are bigots? Tolerance doesn’t mean anything if you only tolerate those you already agree with. — RD]

I suspect he doesn’t take that idea seriously.

A while back Youknowwho insisted that I had voted against the social safety net on crotch issues, simply because I am a Christian.

Never mind that I’d never cast a vote based on sexual morality before, Youknowwho knew I had, because I’m a Christian.

Generally people don’t recognize their own prejudices when others give voice to those same prejudices. They just think those people are right.

Rod you get the same comments over and over from different progressives.

1)”You wouldn’t for the religious liberty of other religions!”

2) “Look at what Christians did in the past! This is only fair!”

3)”You just want to mistreat gay people! That’s not a freedom you should have!”

4) “What would you do to gay people in a Ben Op society!”

No answer is going to satisfy the people making these comments. You can stop playing Sisyphus, though. Eventually they will move on.

#12 Comment By Dignitate On January 16, 2018 @ 4:46 pm

For the life of me, I don’t understand why this is sudden breaking news. “He was extremely pessimistic about the situation here, given the long-term data he is seeing about how the advance of secularism, consumerism, and individualism is routing belief.” The trade of human souls for approx. 300 years (consumerism), while denying those souls’ humanity and dignity (secularism), for the sole purpose of material gain (individualism), is the long-term data that black folks been seeing. #oldnews

I would say the sheet is being pulled back and exposing who we really are.

What Dreher and friends are mourning is the death of the idea of their America, the goddess of liberty, patroness of American MTD.

#13 Comment By Potato On January 16, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

They ARE being “discriminated against” if they are told, you can’t take classes here, because you are gay. But why would they want to live four years of their life at an institution with those principles anyway?

So what exactly did you mean?

I didn’t mean anything, I was trying to figure out what this community means (to the extent that we can agree amongst ourselves).

Rod is all upset that in the future Christian colleges will be deprived of “religious freedom.” That’s what this post seems to be about. By that he does not mean that all classes on the Bible or all theology classes will be shut down. (Law schools do not typically include courses on theology anyway.) He seems to mean that the all-important, absolutely vital right to discriminate against LGBT people in some way or other will be compromised. Even more than it is already.

I’m trying to locate the problem, especially in a graduate professional school context, since law was named specifically. What behavior exactly will be prohibited to a school of law in this near-future which will completely destroy and compromise the religious freedom of Christians? This, whatever it is, is the behavior we are supposed to be defending.

So, what is it? You say, it’s not that gay students will be prohibited from studying law at the institution in question. So far so good. Is it in fact confined to married student housing, as you suggest? That might or might not be a problem, depending on the specifics. Law schools are not required to supply married student housing, or any housing at all in fact, and most schools don’t, so it might not arise even.

I’m suspecting that actual occasions of “discrimination” against gay law students will prove to be few and far between, and may not be worth mounting the barricades for. Especially if no one is proposing to actually deny them the opportunity to study law. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

#14 Comment By Rombald On January 16, 2018 @ 6:59 pm

Hector:

In old Japan, women had essentially no rights, all marriages were arranged, and there were no legal or moral restrictions on male sexual behaviour. That has been changed legally to a large extent since the 1860s, but is still influential in how people tend to see things (e.g. homosexual acts on the part of a married man are not viewed as objectionable, but identifying as gay is strongly taboo, and same-sex marriage is not on the horizon).

Japanese feminist-/left-/progressive-leaning women who I know are adamant that they want a “Western-style” marriage, by which they mean one that is companionate, more-or-less equal, mutually faithful, and lifelong – in the same ballpark as what most Christian churches teach.

There seems to be a tendency to view homosexuality as either comical, or, when it affects people’s own families, just “one of those disgusting things that men do”. It has never been illegal.

I don’t think abortion has ever been illegal (it might have been briefly at some point, under Western pressure), and I’ve heard women talk about it as sort of “one of those horrible things that men force on them”. Infanticide (actually, killing of older children too) used to be legal, and part of social progress was banning that, so some people, mostly women, see the job as having been left unfinished with abortion still legal. There are mizuko shrines at Buddhist temples, dedicated to the “souls” of aborted foetuses.

As for Orthodoxy, I’m an agnostic really. I’ve had no religious experiences, and I find the arguments both for and against Christianity, and theism, unconvincing. However, I am trying to believe in Christianity as an act of will, for the sorts of reasons put forward by Pascal and Peter Hitchens. I have always thought that, if one is to be Christian, one should be Orthodox, so that is the direction I am taking.

#15 Comment By mrscracker On January 16, 2018 @ 7:24 pm

My yard is starting to look like the photo here. Stay warm!

#16 Comment By Adam Loumeau On January 16, 2018 @ 8:02 pm

[NFR: It’s almost like you forget that conservative Christians are taxpayers too, and that we live in a pluralistic liberal democracy, where everybody has to put up to some degree with things they don’t like. Come on, this is just a childish complaint. You might as well say, “I’m a Republican taxpayer, and I don’t see why my taxes should have to subsidize road maintenance of the interstates in Blue America.” — RD]

Well said Rod. We need to be a lot more tolerant of everyone, including Bob Jones University and polygamists and everything in between. At the heart of the American idea is the notion that we can be tolerant of others and stop trying to use the law to punish people if we don’t have to.

Brendan from Oz: “There are numerous scholarly commentaries on every book, every line in the Bible, that have addressed these issues for centuries.”

You missed my point entirely. My point is that we all know why shellfish was banned in the Old Testament, yet we can eat shellfish today. It’s one of (potentially) many examples of how society changes and therefore, God’s will changes with it. Christianity is about enlightenment, for the betterment of God’s creation. I realize many scholars have analyzed every line in the Bible and just as many scholars can’t see the forest through the trees. Instead of “Biblical protectionism” and wonky analysis by nerdy religious historians and linguists, perhaps we can revisit many sacred cow ideas that the Christian powers that be don’t want to touch. Perhaps what will emerge is an even stronger conviction for some of these sacred cow ideas. Who knows? “Good Christians” aren’t supposed to even engage in the debate to begin with so no one actually knows where the discussion would lead.

#17 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 16, 2018 @ 8:26 pm

OK, we have an open question, or two questions:

1) What action on the part of a college would constitute “discriminating against” gays and lesbians?

2) What policies on the part of a college are threatened by the demand that “discrimination against gays and lesbians” must cease.

The answer to one question is not necessarily the answer to the other question. Those passionately concerned with either question may now elucidate.

#18 Comment By Potato On January 17, 2018 @ 7:59 am

Where she might have a hard time, or give others a hard time, if she so wished, would be if she objected to courses that dealt with sexual morality in a theologically conservative manner.

Thank you, LFM. Law schools very seldom (I won’t say never, but almost never) have courses that deal with sexual morality in any manner whatever, so it won’t arise. Law schools have way too much substantive material to cover in a short three years to dally about with irrelevancies.

In his typical no-time-for-nonsense way, Siarlys Jenkins (at 8:26 pm) has put my messily-phrased questions in a nut:

1) What action on the part of a college [though I was dealing with law schools, a slightly different question] would constitutive “discriminating against” gays and lesbians?

2) What policies on the part of a college are threatened by the demand that “discrimination against gays and lesbians must cease.

In short, what are you fighting for?.

Law school was mentioned, and I know a lot about that topic.

I understand that some people here would prefer that law students like my daughter crawl into a hole far from light so they don’t have to deal with the question. This is unlikely. (If you met her you would understand that.). Some think she should be condemned to unemployment. That is also very unlikely.

Small o Orthodox Christians will have to give up on being lawyers, we are told, because there can be no Christian law schools under an anti-discrimination-against-LGBT regime. (Why such Christians cannot go to a regular law school is not explained.) So, why is that exactly?

I will not enter the debate Siarlys has proposed because I am still confused about what exactly the problem may be.

#19 Comment By sara On January 17, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

I started out majoring in History in the 1970s in an honors program at a state university. I switched majors when the prof told me that 85% of history majors never got a job having anything at all to do with history. And that was THEN.

My advice to a young person who loves history and wants to make it their profession is:

move to Europe. Go to school there and take courses in conservation and restoration as well as history. There are far more jobs over there where they have ancient and medieval sites to conserve and/or restore for the purposes of tourism and many of those jobs involve interesting historical research.

Or stay in the US and go into a medical field or STEM.

Good luck!

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 17, 2018 @ 10:40 pm

I will not enter the debate Siarlys has proposed because I am still confused about what exactly the problem may be.

I too, will refrain, until someone with an ax to grind offers a clear presentation. That means empirical detail, not a highfallutin’ one-liner. I get into these debates a little too quickly sometimes, because I see the implications of what someone might mean, or seems to mean. But is there any there, there?

#21 Comment By LFM On January 18, 2018 @ 3:34 pm

Potato wrote, “Thank you, LFM. Law schools very seldom (I won’t say never, but almost never) have courses that deal with sexual morality in any manner whatever, so it won’t arise. Law schools have way too much substantive material to cover in a short three years to dally about with irrelevancies.”

I am surprised you framed the issue in this way. Have you not noticed that there are protests all over your country (and mine) in which students object to the very *existence* on campus of subjects or approaches to subjects of which they disapprove, and who are determined not only not to attend such classes but to ensure that no one else can, and ideally to ban them from campus?

I mean, I keep trying to find a way to put this so that you can grasp the depth and breadth of the problem, but you keep coming back with very literal-minded replies. Are you a lawyer yourself? (That is a profession that encourages literal-mindedness if ever there was one.)

Supposing the psychology department at a Catholic school taught a form of psychology that assumed that fornication, hetero- or homosexual, was always in the long term disruptive and damaging to people. Even if licensing facilities are now willing to license psychologists from such a place do you suppose that this is likely to continue? What about Catholic medical schools that forbid abortion and euthanasia? Will their graduates remain acceptable to licensing facilities, or perhaps only if they swear an oath that they do not condemn either practice?

#22 Comment By Baird Fulghum On January 19, 2018 @ 12:21 pm

I understand the theological/philosophical/real life theme of The Benedict Option and agree with much of what is presented. In reading the Big Freeze and comments,what is conspicuous by it’s absence ? >> God,the Almighty, YHWH who has at His disposal the heavenly host. It is if we operate in only a horizontal sphere , without the real vertical intervention of the Almighty. It seems as we cast gloom and the only remedy is in the hands of man. Most do not step into persecution by choice, understandable. The underground church in China, see the church in America as not living out faith in radical obedience to the Master, because (for now BF), there is little persecution for Sunday morning worshipers. This is not a call to passivity, but rather an absolute understanding that we know the end of the story and the Victor. We are living in the “already, but not yet”; between two worlds, if you will. Either God is sovereign or He is not.We must thread this needle carefully – not being foolish as to the status of the world we live in and it’s vox populi,but being absolutely certain as to Who is on the throne- The Lord God of Hosts. Do not despair beloved !