Saturday 18th April 2015

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:

Untitled 2

Attention!

Our On-line Store is currently experiencing problems. If you are ordering a print edition of The Wanderer 

CLICK HERE!

American Sisters accept Vatican reforms on doctrine, theology

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2015 / 04:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a joint report marking the conclusion of a multi-year mandate for reform, members of the LCWR have agreed to corrections called for by the Vatican, and said they will…Continue Reading

Cardinal George, archbishop emeritus of Chicago, dies at 78

DEVELOPING: Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago from 1997 to 2014, died Friday at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, the Archdiocese of Chicago has confirmed.

We Must Pray For And Defend This Good Bishop

bishopcord

I call on all the readers here to pray and offer fasting and alms for the spiritual defense of Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco. Will San Francisco be the Alamo of the Church in these USA? Today, in the ultra-liberal…Continue Reading

Prominent Catholics call on pope to oust S.F. archbishop

In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members signed a full-page ad running Thursday in The Chronicle that calls on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of…Continue Reading

This teacher cannot sue the Catholic Church for firing him because he openly rejects Catholic teachings: Legal experts

OMAHA, NE, April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Legal experts agree that, if you openly flout Christian teachings, you have no right to sue a religious school for firing you – in most instances. That analysis comes after a sexually active…Continue Reading

PETITION TO POPE FRANCIS: Declare St. John Paul II “Doctor of the Church”!

johnpaul

I, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, do hereby petition our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to declare St. John Paul II Doctor of the Church. I ask that St. John Paul II, who instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, be declared Doctor of…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmüller: Advocates for changing Catholic teaching on marriage are ‘heretics’ – even if they are bishops

April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has been among the leading voices critical of proposals stemming from the Vatican’s Synod on the Family that risk subverting Catholic teaching on the sacraments and morality. He was one of five…Continue Reading

Obama administration: Catholic school upholding marriage is ‘sex discrimination’

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found “reasonable cause” to rule that a Catholic prep school has unlawfully discriminated against a homosexual band director formerly in the school’s employ. Mount…Continue Reading

God or Nothing

ROME, April 10, 2015 – He has said so himself, with candor: “I have the feeling that God has put me here for a short time.” Four or five years, or even less. It is natural that this disclosure of…Continue Reading

USA, 25% more priests in 2015

Good news for the American Church. 595 priests are expected to be ordained in 2015: an increase of 24.7 on the previous year. The news was announced by the United States Episcopal Conference, which nevertheless prefers to err on the…Continue Reading

Catholic school reinstates teacher suspended for defending Catholic teaching on Facebook

SOMERVILLE, NJ, April 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A teacher suspended from a Catholic school for using Facebook to defend traditional marriage has been reinstated. Almost one month ago, Patricia Jannuzzi was suspended from Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey,…Continue Reading

Müller suggests new task for Congregation for Doctrine of Faith

The German cardinal has suggested a new area of responsibility for his dicastery: to provide the “theological structure of a pontificate” andrea tornielli vatican city In one of the numerous interviews he has given over the past few weeks focusing…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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Christian humility is not masochism, but love

Vatican Radio) Humiliation for its own sake is masochism, but when it is suffered and endured in the name of the Gospel it makes us like Jesus. That was what Pope Francis said in his homily at the Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he invited Christians to never cultivate sentiments of hatred, but to give themselves time to discover within themselves sentiments and attitudes that are pleasing to God: love and dialogue.   Is…Continue Reading

Pope Francis to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

(Vatican Radio)  A communique from the Holy See’s Press office on Thursday announced that Pope Francis will make an apostolic visit to three Latin American countries in early July. It said following invitations from the respective heads of state and the Catholic Bishops, the Pope will be in Ecuador from the 6-8th, Bolivia from the 8th- 10th  and Paraguay from the 10th-12th. Full details of the programme for the visit will be published at a…Continue Reading

Pope at Mass: Those who do not dialogue disobey God

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday offered the Mass at Casa Santa Marta for his predecessor, the Pope Emeritus, on the occasion of Benedict XVI’s 88th birthday. “I want to remember that today is the birthday of Benedict XVI,” Pope Francis said at the liturgy. “I offered the Mass for him, and I invite you to pray for him, that the Lord might sustain him and grant him much joy and happiness.” In his homily,…Continue Reading

Pope: Christians must not hoard their riches but offer them to the needy

pope753

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says that Christians must not hoard their riches, but offer them in service to the needy. He was speaking on Tuesday morning during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. Taking his cue from a passage of the Acts of the Apostles that describes life in the first Christian community, Pope Francis said that a community that is renewed in the Spirit seeks harmony and endures suffering with patience. Referring to the…Continue Reading

Income Inequality: Married Couples With Kids Make Average Of $107,054

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + If American politicians wanted to drive down the income of the American people and make this a poorer nation — and they actually studied the government’s own data…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . The Artful Ploys Of The Noonday Demon

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Time, by Jean-Charles Nault, OSB (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2015), 203 pp. $16.95. Available through www.ignatiuspress.com. Some temptations are bold and brazen in their seduction, and some are subtle and artful. While the temptations of the flesh disorder the appetites and produce uncontrollable…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Can We Use Our Consciences On Contraception?”

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 chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Surveys in many countries consistently show that most Catholics believe that decisions of conscience about…Continue Reading

Protecting Freedom Of Religion

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. (ZENIT made Fr. Flynn’s essay available; all rights reserved.) + + + Great Britain’s Equality and…Continue Reading

A Russian Orthodox Bishop Speaks Plainly To Ecumenists

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In a previous article (see The Wanderer, February 26, 2015, p. 6A) attention was focused on the ecclesiological views of the Metropolitan Hilarion (Aleyev) of Volokolamsk, one of the most important Russian Orthodox bishops as chairman of the Department for External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate. In an important speech delivered at…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Church’s Origin, Foundation, And Mission

By DON FIER Sacred Scripture reveals a rich and diverse tapestry of images to describe the Church. Each of these symbols enables one with faith to gain additional insights into the various complementary aspects which are present in this great mystery which the Fathers of Vatican Council II refer to as the “universal sacrament of salvation” (Lumen Gentium, n. 48…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In the second reading on Good Friday (Heb. 5:8-9), there is a phrase toward the end of the epistle that says: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” I am puzzled by the words “when he was…Continue Reading

The Good Shepherd

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings: Acts 4:8-12 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18   In the Gospel reading today we hear our Lord telling us that He is the Good Shepherd. We have all heard this many times and, in our minds, we have our own notions of what that means. We can think about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Siena

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Catherine of Siena lived in the 14th century, a century of great upheaval and confusion in the Church. The Church celebrates her feast on April 29. She not only was a great saint, but her writings and her example were so extraordinary that she is one of the few persons who have been given the title…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… We Worship The Easter Christ In The Eucharist

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Christ is risen, Alleluia! The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!” A blessed Easter full of joy in the graces of our risen Lord to you and your families. During the “three days” of the sacred Triduum, this year I received an email note from a parishioner: “I went to church with my mother on Holy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anselm

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anselm was born in France near the Swiss Alps around 1033. At the age of 15, he wished to enter religious life by joining a monastery. Sadly, his influential father was so against it that the monastery refused to accept him. This so discouraged the youth that he drowned his sorrows in worldly pursuits. He deeply…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

By CAROLE BRESLIN By 1701 the European colonies in North America had expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Anglo population in the English American colonies had reached 275,000. The French had recently established a colony in Detroit. Catholics, however, were persecuted as Massachusetts passed a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave or face execution. New York passed a…Continue Reading