Thursday 28th August 2014

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

Comment on this Article:

Outcry flares over California abortion push in Catholic colleges

August 27, 2014 “California Catholics are no longer safe to practice their faith within their own institutions.” Sacramento, Calif., Aug 26, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid backlash from religious liberty and education advocates, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration…Continue Reading

SATANIC ‘BLACK MASS’ GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM U.S. CITY

Concerns mount about ‘dark powers that this invites into our community’ The Catholic Archbishop of Oklahoma City has agreed to drop a lawsuit against a satanic cult that plans to perform a “black mass” in the city now that the…Continue Reading

California reverses: Catholic colleges must now pay for all abortions

baby

Two California Catholic universities must cover elective abortions in the health care plans they provide employees, according to a decision released Friday by Governor Jerry Brown. The affected schools are Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. The decision comes…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Warns Pro-Lifers About Ice Bucket Challenge Donations

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/25/14 11:59 AM A Catholic Archdiocese is warning pro-life advocates about the final destination of donations for the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become a pop culture and social media…Continue Reading

Why Top Catholic Education Organization Says Common Core Could Threaten Religious Liberty

Aug. 21, 2014 10:25pm Fred Lucas A leading Catholic education organization is warning that Common Core could pose a threat to religious freedom for Catholic schools that adopt the controversial education standards. The Cardinal Newman Society’s summer newsletter named among the 10 things…Continue Reading

It’s hard to engage in interfaith dialogue when your head has been cut off.

  By Benedict Kiely In times of evil, prophets who see it in what Ronald Knox called a “clear light” are not necessarily heeded, though they are desperately needed. Such a man was Hilaire Belloc, as Monsignor Knox described him at…Continue Reading

Archbishop Kurtz Provides Initial Response To Revised HHS Mandate Regulations

August 22, 2014 Disappointed that regulation will not expand exemption, only modifies ‘accommodation’ Extending ‘accommodation’ to exempted businesses reduces religious freedom More thorough study and detailed comments to come WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced…Continue Reading

Obama Tweaks the Birth Control Mandate—and the Right Is Still Angry

By Jonathan Cohn @citizencohn The controversy over Obamacare’s contraception mandate is back in the news. And it’s the same old story as before. Religious conservatives who run businesses and provide health insurance to employees don’t want those policies to cover all forms…Continue Reading

The “Closure Crisis” Within The Church.

(RNS) What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? That’s the question Nicole Stelle Garnett and Margaret F. Brinig, two Notre Dame law professors, pondered as they studied closures in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. There were 7,000…Continue Reading

Satanists Return Stolen Host to Archbishop Coakley

The organizer of a Sept. 21 black mass surrendered the consecrated Host, one day after the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit for its recovery. by CNA/EWTN NEWS 08/21/2014 OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City’s archbishop voiced relief that Satanists…Continue Reading

Slain journalist James Foley on praying the rosary in captivity

August 20, 2014 08:45 EST By Catherine Harmon The news broke late yesterday that Islamic State jihadists executed freelance journalist James Foley and posted a video of his beheading. Foley, 40, had been missing for two years while covering the conflict in Syria.…Continue Reading

Black Mass Organizers Face Lawsuit Over Stolen Host

Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 20, 2014 / 11:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Organizers of a satanic black mass slated to take place in Oklahoma City next month face a lawsuit on grounds that the consecrated Host used for the sacrilegious event…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  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 subscribe 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 145 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Francis’ General Audience Catechesis, August 27th . . . On the Dangers of ‘Parish’ Sins

pope512

Vatican City, August 27, 2014 (Zenit.org) Below is a translation of the Pope’s address during today’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. *** Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning! Every time we renew our profession of faith reciting the “Creed,” we affirm that the Church is “one” and “holy.” She is one because she has her origin in God Trinity, mystery of…Continue Reading

The Ice Bucket Challenge’s Ethical Surprise

pope511

Denver Archbishop Supports Alternative Charities; Recalls One Life Can’t Be Sacrificed for Another Denver, Colorado, August 26, 2014 (Zenit.org) By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Colorado From Conan O’Brien to little kids inspired to help those in need, people across the country have taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the past few weeks. The campaign has achieved astronomical success,…Continue Reading

Why Pope Benedict Called For The Rebirth Of The Church

By FR. JEROME ROMANOWSKI (Fr. Romanowski is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J.) +    +    + In studying the important summary of a meeting Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger attended in July 22-24, 2001, Fontgombault, France, I thought again of why the Holy Father had to retire. The proceedings were held in the Benedictine Monastery…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Dizzying World Of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of 900 of the best quotes from The Birth Control Review, which is more than 300 pages long and is organized by topic, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + The…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… The Apparition At Knock, Ireland, August 1879

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Knock in Ireland, on August 21, 1879. At the time the country was going through a period of upheaval in the aftermath of the Great Famine of 1845-1849, during which a million and a…Continue Reading

Memo To The Wanderer Family

By PAUL LIKOUDIS With all my heart I want to thank the many Wanderer readers who have supported me with their Masses and prayers through what has been a very challenging time, and is likely to become more challenging. The July 16 surgery was not a success, and complications required a two-week hospital stay, which…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Most Secure Way To Sanctity

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Totus Tuus Maria: Personal Consecration to Our Lady Following the Spiritual Teaching of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, by Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus (Gracewing Publishing, 168 pages, $14.91, www.gracewing.co.uk; also available at amazon.com). The author is a priest of the Diocese of Regensburg in Germany. He works in the Secretariat of State…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Justice And Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 33:7-9 Romans 13:8-10 Matt. 18:15-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul tells us that we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. The fact that St. Paul puts this into the category of something that is owed to another person is of…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address To Young People Of Asia… “Today Christ Is Knocking At The Door Of Your Heart”

SEOUL (ZENIT) — The Holy Father gave the following address to the young people of Asia on August 15. Pope Francis visited South Korea from August 14-18. ZENIT News Agency provided the text and translation of his address; all rights reserved. +    +    + Dear Young Friends, “It is good for us to be here!” (Matt. 17:4). These words were…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Changing Papacy Under Changing Demands

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Who would have thought that a 21st-century Pope would be accused of leading the charge of a new crusade? Not me. But that’s what has happened in the wake of U.S. air strikes on Iraq in defense of religious minorities at Mount Sinjar and in the effort to retake Mosul Dam. Pope Francis undoubtedly felt…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Biblical Foundations Of Celibacy

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 Years ago in New Zealand I listened to a talk by Scott Hahn where he told the story of a conversation he had had with a young man from Steubenville University. The youth has shared his desire to go to the seminary to become a priest. Some time later, the same young man…Continue Reading

The Creeds

By DON FIER In last week’s column, we laid the groundwork to begin an in-depth exposition of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches that we, as Catholic Christians, are called to believe: the one, true faith we profess in the Creeds of the Church. For it is in the formulas of the Creeds that, “through the centuries,…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John The Baptist

By CAROLE BRESLIN Thousands of years before the time of Christ, the Pharaoh of Egypt held the children of Israel in bondage. Our Lord proved His love for them when Moses led them out of Egypt. When Mary was carrying Jesus, she and Joseph, because of an imperial decree, had to travel to Bethlehem in order to be counted in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Pius X

By CAROLE BRESLIN This month the Catholic Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope St. Pius X who had so many things in common with the last few Popes. Like Pope Francis, he had a special affinity for the poor — especially since he came from a poor family. Like Pope John Paul II, who updated the…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading