Wednesday 24th May 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The “Triggers”

July 3, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

I suspect that readers of this column have been reading about the “trigger warnings” that are being established in American colleges. George Will describes them as the “the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations.” They would be placed, he writes, “on assigned readings or announced before lectures, to provide students with a safe, supportive, and unthreatening environment.”
Great news, no? This will mean that Christian students with traditional values will now be warned before they encounter nude classmates offering them condoms at their college’s “Sex Week”; also before The Vagina Monologues or a “gay” coming-out novel is assigned by their literature professors. From now on, professors who make a habit of mocking Christianity and traditional values will take Christian students aside and permit them to skip the class where the diatribe is planned.
Sociology professors will be using triggers before they assign Manchild in the Promised Land or any of the other novels that describe in vulgar language the gritty details of violence, drugs, and sex in the inner city. Advocates of same-sex marriage will not be invited to make their case in a classroom setting without those who might take offense being given the opportunity to opt out. Likewise when their teacher decides to demonstrate sex toys to help students escape their middle-class hang-ups about sex or to read aloud one of Allen Ginsberg’s poems championing homosexual license.
You say what? That this is not how it is going to work?
I know. The above was my attempt at sarcasm. We all know that these triggers are not going to be used to protect students with traditional values. They have been designed to shield those who have adopted the secular left’s view of the world; to censor anything that can be interpreted by the politically correct guardians of campus life as sexist, racist, homophobic, or an affront to Third World sensibilities.
The hypocrisy would be laughable if not for the fact that the leftists who run our colleges continue to get away with these double-standards. One can only speculate if the campus radicals are so caught up in their ideological enthusiasms that they are unaware of the hypocrisy on display in these triggers; or if they are perfectly aware of it, and chuckle among themselves at how clever they have been in putting one over on Middle America by pretending they are not deliberately subverting American higher education for their ideological goals when that is exactly what they are up to.
While we are on the topic of hypocrisy and hidden agendas, let us take a look at the ongoing war on school vouchers being conducted by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder. The goal seems to be to kill vouchers — by any means necessary, including dishonest ones. Consider the latest move against Wisconsin’s and Louisiana’s voucher systems.
National Review Online, in a column by Rick Esenberg and C.J. Szafir, reported that this year “over 25,000 children are taking advantage of Wisconsin’s longtime school-choice program to attend a private school of their choosing. The newer Louisiana Scholarship Program is allowing 6,755 low-income students who attend schools graded C, D, or F by the state to attend a private school.” (The C, D, and F grades indicate underperforming schools.)
Clearly, large numbers of parents are eager to escape their local public schools. One would think that our government would want to assist them, to see if these experiments in helping disadvantaged children offer a model for the future.
One might think that, but it is not the case. Instead, the Obama Justice Department is looking for any excuse it can find to shut down these alternatives to the public school system. Write Esenberg and Szafir, “The Justice Department sent a letter to the state of Wisconsin claiming that its school choice program discriminates against children with disabilities, and, therefore, is violating Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The school choice program, it declared, must be reformed, or the federal government ‘reserves its right to pursue enforcement through other means’.”
This is twisted logic, to say the least. It may be true that the schools chosen by Wisconsin families opting out of the public school system do not have the facilities to handle students with serious disabilities. They are likely to be Catholic parish schools. But neither does every public school.
To take just one example, the competitive, elite public schools in New York City, Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High School, are open only to highly successful students. The Sidwell Friends Academy that the president’s children attend is not equipped to handle students with serious emotional and physical disabilities. Moreover, Title II of the ADA does not apply to private schools. When Wisconsin students with vouchers attend these schools, they do not become public schools bound by Title II.
The Justice Department has taken a different, but no less disingenuous, tack in Louisiana. It claimed, in Esenberg’s and Szafir’s words, that “the Louisiana Scholarship Program violated a nearly 40-year-old desegregation order that prohibits funds from going to private schools that promote segregation.” But those schools do not “promote segregation.”
“The problem was not that a school choice was enabling white children to flee public education — over 90 percent of children using a voucher are racial minorities — but that these black and Hispanic families might choose schools that do not fit the government’s preferred color palette.”
Ironically, they were likely to be far more integrated than the all-minority schools that these children left.
The Obama administration was not forced into using these dishonest arguments against the school choice programs in Wisconsin and Louisiana. The president and Eric Holder would not have had to confess in public that they were acting to serve the interests of the public school teachers unions, even if many suspect that is the case. They could have stated that they think it counterproductive to promote alternatives to the country’s public schools; that tax dollars will be better spent improving public schools than providing alternatives to them.
Many would disagree with that line of thought, but at least it would be honest. Instead, the Justice Department sought out these strained excuses about school choice programs discriminating on the basis of race and against children with disabilities.
Just for the record: If Obama and Holder feel Catholic schools deserve criticism for not being able to provide an education for severely emotionally and physically disabled children, let them provide Catholic institutions the full government funding that goes to public facilities for the disabled and see what the Church will do in response.
Talk about cheap shots: Where do Obama and Holder think a parish school would find the money to set up schools with facilities for the disabled?

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford CT 06492.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Planned Parenthood Closing Multiple Abortion Clinics in Iowa After State Defunds It

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood announced plans Thursday to close four Iowa clinics as a result of a new state law that defunds it. At the end of June, Planned Parenthood facilities in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City, Iowa will…Continue Reading

Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony. Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak…Continue Reading

Trump nominates Callista Gingrich for ambassador to the Vatican

President Trump has nominated Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), as ambassador to the Holy See, the White House announced Friday. The nomination comes just five days before Trump is set to meet with Pope Francis…Continue Reading

The murder case of Blessed Oscar Romero has been reopened

San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19, 2017 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A nearly 40 year-old murder case was reopened this week to properly prosecute the suspected killer behind the Salvadorian archbishop’s martyrdom. Because of an amnesty law that prohibited…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Protest of Pence Twists Catholic Social Teaching

This Sunday, vice president Mike Pence will return to his home state of Indiana to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. For the third time in several years, the school’s graduation ceremony will be plagued by…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood is Ditching the Failed “Pro-Choice” Label. Here’s Why

The “pro-choice” label has not been working out so well for the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. The labels pro-choice and pro-life have been used for decades to help identify people’s positions on abortion, but young adults seem to be moving…Continue Reading

Bishop Conley: The Pro-Choice Political Dictatorship of Relativism

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would soon be elected Pope Benedict XVI, preached that “we are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and…Continue Reading

These Republicans Voted Against the Bill to Defund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday voted for a Reconciliation bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. This was the second attempt to get enough votes on the reconciliation bill that would not only defund the nation’s…Continue Reading

Cecile Richards Comes Unglued After House Defunds Planned Parenthood: Republicans Hate Women

Planned Parenthood abortion business president Cecile Richards it’s not happy that the House of Representatives voted yesterday to defund Planned Parenthood. The main response of the CEO of the nation’s biggest abortion conglomerate can be summed up in three words:…Continue Reading

Despite pro-life provisions, healthcare bill raises serious concerns

Vatican City, May 4, 2017 / 05:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The House passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement health care bill on Thursday, but one bishop warned that the new bill poses serious problems for…Continue Reading

Nine Catholic Colleges to Honor Opponents of Catholic Teaching at Commencement Ceremonies

This spring’s commencement honorees at nine Catholic colleges include pro-abortion politicians, a dissenting priest, and advocates for same-sex marriage, according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s annual review of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients at more than 200 Catholic colleges…Continue Reading

Matt Walsh: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell

I received this email yesterday. The subject line, as you could guess, was “Compassion”: Matt, you call yourself a Christian but you have no compassion. The Jesus I believe in just wants people to be compassionate towards each other. We…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Trump budget completely defunds abortion providers, and Planned Parenthood is furious

May 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-abortion feminists are bemoaning and pro-lifers are celebrating President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal that would withhold all federal funds from abortion-provider Planned Parenthood. Breitbart reported yesterday that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney told the media on Monday that the new budget would defund the abortion business, but only if the new Republican healthcare legislation passed recently by the House is also passed by the Senate and…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Sues St. Louis to Stop It From Becoming a “Sanctuary City” for Abortion

Several Missouri Catholic groups filed a lawsuit Monday challenging a St. Louis ordinance that could force them to hire abortion activists and rent to pro-abortion groups. The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis, the pro-life maternity home Our Lady’s Inn and a local Catholic businessman said the city ordinance violates their constitutional freedoms. In their lawsuit, they ask the court to block the city from enforcing the measure. In February, the St. Louis Board of Alderman…Continue Reading

Canon lawyer tells diocese to follow guidelines allowing Communion for remarried

May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A canon lawyer told priests at a workshop run by a U.S. diocese that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia has allowed them to break with the Church’s tradition practice of refusing Communion to “remarried” Catholics. Since the diocesan bishop has not issued his own guidelines on the Pope’s exhortation, the canonist said, the priests can follow the controversial interpretations from the bishops of Malta and Buenos Aires. The workshop was recorded…Continue Reading

Pope Francis announces new June 28 consistory

Vatican City, May 21, 2017 / 04:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his Regina Coeli address Sunday, Pope Francis announced to pilgrims that he will be holding a June 28 consistory to create 5 new cardinals he said represent the “catholicity” of the Church. “Brothers and sisters, I wish to announce to you that Wednesday, June 28, I will hold a consistory for the nomination of 5 new cardinals,” the Pope said May 21, adding that…Continue Reading

CDL. BURKE: RUSSIA MUST BE CONSECRATED TO IMMACULATE HEART

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Raymond Burke is publicly calling for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His comments came in front of an audience at the fourth annual Rome Life Forum, which included co-author of the dubia Cdl. Carlo Caffarra, as well as Bp. Athanasius Schneider and more than 100 pro-life leaders from around the world. In his address, “The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization,” Cdl. Burke spoke of a connection between the Third Secret…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… “Outcasts” And True Social Justice

By REY FLORES “A bold example of social justice in action” — Follow the cameras of Grassroots Films, the Award-Winning producers of The Human Experience and Child 31, on an unexpected journey across the globe. Travel to the prisons of Central America, walk the dark city streets of London, New York, and Ireland’s most treacherous…Continue Reading

Kentucky Printer Can Refuse LGBT Message

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling on May 14 affirmed a printer who objected to promoting a message for Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) which conflicted with his sincerely held religious beliefs. Hands On Originals’ managing owner, Blaine Adamson, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, refused to print T-shirts for the…Continue Reading

No Help For Minor Children… Gender Confusion Prevails In The Courts

By DEACON MIKE MANNO (Editor’s Note: Deacon Mike Manno, an attorney, is director of deacons for the Diocese of Des Moines and host of Iowa Catholic Radio’s Faith On Trial program [www.iowacatholicradio.com]. He can be reached at deaconmike@iowacatholicradio.com.) + + + This month the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Ninth…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Conservatism, Economics, Social Welfare, And Catholic Social Teaching

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly, sometimes bimonthly. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Pragmatism Revisited

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Putnam, Hilary, and Ruth Anna Putnam. Pragmatism as a Way of Life: The Lasting Legacy of William James and John Dewey. Edited by David Macarthur. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. xi + 475 pp. Cloth, $49.95. This book consists of twenty-seven essays, thirteen by Ruth Anna Putnam, eleven by Hilary Putman,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Canonization Mass For Jacinta And Francisco . . . Pope Francis Says: “Dear Pilgrims, We Have A Mother”

(Editor’s Note: Pope Francis on May 13 canonized Jacinta and Francesco Marto, as the highlight of his May 12-13 Apostolic Pilgrimage to Fatima. Below is the Vatican translation of the Pope’s homily during the Mass, as provided by ZENIT News Agency. (It is followed by the text of Pietro Cardinal Parolin’s homily at the vigil. Earlier at the vigil, the…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… 25th Ordination Jubilee Solemn High Mass And Celebration

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: The staff of The Wanderer congratulates Fr. Cusick on his upcoming 25th anniversary of Ordination.) + + + Thank you for reading my column so faithfully over the years and for all that you have done to support the apostolate of The Wanderer. As we mark the 25th anniversary of my June 6,…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… More On The Gabirah, The Queen Mother

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in his celebrated book True Devotion to Mary, explains that our Lady is not only the Mother of Christ, the Mother of God Incarnate, but she is also the spiritual Mother of All Christians, of all those who are baptized into the Church founded by her Son. He…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Of Healing

By DON FIER When we began our examination of the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on the seven sacraments several months ago, it was noted that they are often grouped into various categories: sacraments of the living and of the dead; sacraments of initiation, healing, and vocation or service; sacraments that can be received only once…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I find the following passages in the Gospels puzzling. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and they asked Him if He was Jesus the Nazorean, He replied, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” John says that “this was to fulfill what he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Sanz And Companions

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1748, the Viceroy of Peking with great frustration asked, “What are we to do with these men? Their lives are certainly irreproachable. . . . Their jailers and their families become their disciples and embrace their religion. To prolong this state is only to give them the opportunity of increasing the number of Christians.” Thus Peter…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the death of Pope St. John Paul II, faithful Catholics rejoiced at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the next Vicar of Christ. The German prelate took the name of Benedict XVI for two reasons: in memory of Pope Benedict XV who led the Church during the turbulent times of World War I, seeking peace…Continue Reading