Jack E. Kemp
A shorter version of this appeared at American Thinker, leaving out my personal example at the end and the analogy I draw. But readers here will get the full story, “The real Ozark Stuff, straight from the jug.”
In a question that brought nervous laughter to other journalists, a question by Associated Press reporter Mathew Lee, asking whether the United States would monitor a Papal election, brought a serious formal non-answer, as reported by Family Security Matters via CNS News:
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Friday that if a request were to "come forward" that the papal election be monitored by an international organization called the Organization for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the U.S. government "would take it very seriously."
Nuland made the remark only after she did some "digging" on the issue because Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee had questioned her at Thursday's briefing about whether the administration believed the papal election had met international standards.
At both Thursday's and Friday's briefings there was more than a little jocularity in the way Nuland handled Lee's questions, and there was some laughter among the reporters who witnessed the exchanges. But Nuland's ultimate answer that the U.S. would take "very seriously" a request to monitor the papal elections was one she did in fact research and did not need to give.
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As if Mr. Lee hadn't been offensive enough, he further added that "It's probably the least transparent election. I mean, it's more opaque than an election in North Korea or Iraq under Saddam Hussein."
So now a reporter is equating the College of Cardinals with North Korea, in an offensive moral equivalent. Well, perhaps we should have the selection process of department heads at journalism schools – and the New York Times - be monitored by Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh to see if the process is fair and contains true “diversity.”
A short time ago, American Thinker posted my piece on The Wall Street Journal's John Fund and election monitoring attorney Grant Lally discussing their investigations of voter fraud in American Elections. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/03/vote_counts_and_vampire... which included districts that received over 100 percent Democratic vote, dead voters not purged from the registration rolls, U.N. observers at American elections being appalled by what they saw, etc. I have another, more logical, suggestion for Mr. Lee of the AP. Perhaps we should have the Holy See send people to monitor our American Elections, especially - but not limited to - the caucuses of the Democratic Party primaries.
Mr. Lee is echoing the ideas of Carl Bernstein and Sally Quinn, voiced on Face the Nation, where they advocated changes in the positions they wanted a new Pope to take in relations to race, gender and homosexuality. http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/03/12/even_bob_schieffer_has... As my fellow writer Paul Szemanczky pointed out, this is the same Carl Bernstein who cravenly did not utter one word in defense of his famous Watergate journalistic partner, Bob Woodward, when leftists were excoriating Woodward all over the media and internet as a heretic of the Holy Liberal Church, as Woodward pointed out that the Sequester was actually Obama’s idea.
Forgive me for bringing in this common joke as an analogy, but it fits this situation. Mr. Lee's (and Mr. Bernstein’s and Ms. Quinn’s) suggestions are somewhat like the story of the father who takes his young son aside and tells him he wants to discuss The Facts of Life. The modern, “hip, plugged-in” ten year-old replies, "Sure, Dad. What do you want to know?" And as Selwyn Duke has pointed out at American Thinker, http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/is_pope_francis_liberal_or_c... The Catholic Church’s positions are timeless and not open to the opinion of the day - particularly the anti-clerical opinion of the day.
The book "IndocriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity," has its chapter 15 written by Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Senior Pastor of Chicago's Moody Church. In that chapter, Dr. Lutzer discusses values clarification in an explanation that appears to perfectly explain what Mathew Lee did at the State Department in moving the standards of acceptable behavior away from the traditional ones. On page 231, Dr. Lutzer states:
Values clarification was invented by Dr. Sidney Simon in order to change the beliefs, convictions, and moral values of a child. ...questions are to be used that solicit open-ended answers to teach the child there are no absolutes. Examples of such questions include: Would you favor a law that would limit the size of families to two children?...Do you think sex education should include techniques for love-making, and contraception? Would you like to have different parents?...
The child's values are as good as anyone else's and no one can tell him any different.
Not that the child has been stripped of his previous values, three more steps follow: (3) the teacher is to tell the child that he must make up his own mind as to what values he will accept (at this point the child is subject to psychological manipulation), and then (4) the child must publicly declare his "conversion" to the new values systems...Then (5) the child is to regularly act on these values. In the end, the child firmly believes that no one - neither his parents nor his church nor the Bible - has the right to tell him what is right and what is wrong. Because all values are preferences, they are not subject to argument or to be judged by any other authority.
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The very issues that Mr. Lee, Mr. Bernstein and Ms. Quinn raised would fit perfectly in any “values clarification” classroom exercise. They are designed to undermine the authority of organizations, in this case, The Catholic Church. One could argue that their public remarks are an attempt to turn the broadcast airwaves into a giant national “values clarification” remote learning classroom and desensitize all of us of having any respect for the Catholic or any other Church. And, by logical extension and emotional generalization, they would also have us become operantly conditioned to think and feel a lesser respect for any Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, etc. religious authority. These reporters are the well-spoken arm of a new Reign of Terror.
Thirty years ago, I was working part time on the staff of a university computer lab. When I was asked to teach a class on how to type the basic requests for the school’s computer terminal line commands (print, show time [used], etc.), I had the highly “educational experience” of teaching on the morning of a strike of a commuter railroad bringing people, my students included, to New York City. One of the several students who arrived around an hour late “requested” that I start over again from the beginning of my talk, something most readers here – those over 40, anyway - wouldn’t, I assume, imagine asking of an instructor from grade school through college. I say “requested” in quotes because when I refused to do this, he then strode from his seat, almost into my face, with the air of a thug about ready to assault me. Assuming that he wouldn’t hit me while I wore glasses and in front of thirty classmate witnesses, I stood my ground and he walked by me and out of the class. The hate I saw in his eyes and face is the hate of someone who had clarified his values to conclude that an instructor should disregard their obligation to be elsewhere later in the morning and accept the student’s definition of what that instructor’s “obligations” were. And, to add to this, his class’s regular professor supported his position when days later she summoned me to her office to chastise me for my “shortcomings.” This meeting was scheduled a day after I had received a letter offering me full time employment in the private sector and my telling her this at the beginning of our meeting took the wind out of her ability to threaten me with the loss of work hours or my part-time job, a job loss I would gladly have accepted at that point.
Granted, I am influenced by my life experiences (particularly the one just mentioned), but I see serious consequences to what the “transgressive” reporters of today do to push the envelope. Their actions can quickly resemble anarchy and mob rage in “scholars” who are taught to make up their own values as they go along. Mr. Lee of the AP may think he is pushing the envelope in attempting to make the State Department evaluate Papal elections, but one day he may loose favor with the whims of the younger, “hipper progressives,” as Mr. Woodward did, and the progressive cutting edge may well be pushed towards his face.