The odd joys of government lunacy

The odd joys of government lunacy

Before the tryptophan in the turkey induces somnolence, give thanks for living in such an entertaining country.

This year, for example, we learned that California’s legislature includes 93 persons who seem never to have had sex.

They enacted the “affirmative consent” law directing college administrators to tell students that sexual consent cannot be silence but must be “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” and “ongoing throughout a sexual activity.”

Claremont McKenna College requires “all” — not “both,” which would discriminate against groups — participants in a sexual engagement to understand that withdrawal of consent can be any behavior conveying “that an individual is hesitant, confused, uncertain.”

A severely moral California high school principal prohibited the football booster club from raising money by selling donated Chick-fil-A meals because this company opposed same-sex marriage.

The school superintendent approved the ban because “we value inclusivity and diversity.” Up to a point.

At a Washington state community college, invitations to a “happy hour” celebrating diversity and combating racism said white people were not invited.

At Broward College near Miami, a conservative who was asking students if they agreed that “big government sucks” was told by a campus security guard that she must take her question to the campus “free-speech area.”

She got off lightly: The federal government has distributed to local police, including those of some colleges and school districts, more than 600 surplus MRAP (mine-resistant ambush-protected) armored vehicles designed for Iraq and Afghanistan.

The federal government, which has Tomahawk cruise missiles and Apache and Lakota helicopters, used the code name “Geronimo” in the attack that killed Osama bin Laden but objected to the name of the Washington Redskins.

The Department of Homeland Security, unsleepingly vigilant, raided a Kansas City shop to stop sales of panties emblazoned with unauthorized Royals logos.

A US Forest Service article on safe marshmallow-toasting did not neglect to nag us: It suggested fruit rather than chocolate in s’mores. The droll Orange County Register wondered, “Why not replace the marshmallow with a Brussels sprout?”

The federal government’s food police began cracking down on schools’ fundraising bake sales: Step away from those brownies and put your hands on a fruit cup.

Niagara County, NY, spent $700,000 of its Tobacco Master Settlement Money not on fighting smoking but on golf course equipment.

In Seattle, the Freedom Socialist Party, which favors a $20-an-hour minimum wage, advertised a job opening for a Web developer to be paid $13 an hour.

Joe Biden was off by 160,839 when citing the number of people killed in the 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado. He said 161,000. But the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed optimism about “the nation of Africa.”

Barack Obama explained the Keystone XL pipeline: “It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else.

“That doesn’t have an impact on US gas prices.” Someone very patient should try to explain to him that prices of petroleum are set by a global market.

Hamlet: “Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?”

Polonius: “By the mass, and ’tis like a camel, indeed.”

Hamlet: “Methinks it is like a weasel.”

Polonius: “It is backed like a weasel.”

Hamlet: “Or like a whale?”

Polonius: “Very like a whale.”

Fortunately, Polonius was not among the Colorado Springs second-graders invited to use their imaginations in seeing shapes in clouds. Kody Smith said one looked like a gun. So a behavior report was filed against the 8-year-old.

A South Carolina high school student was arrested and suspended after having written a story about killing a dinosaur with a gun.

“The Great Immensity,” a climate-change musical financed by $700,000 from the National Science Foundation, quickly closed.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, perhaps planning for wars with small carbon footprints, fretted that global warming “could threaten many of our training activities.”

Alarmed by reports that global warming will cause a 4-foot rise in sea levels, California Gov. Jerry Brown warned that “Los Angeles’ airport’s going to be underwater.” It is more than 120 feet above sea level.

Because everything confirms the theory of impending catastrophic global warming, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina was called a harbinger of increasingly violent weather caused by . . . well, you know.

Today, Louisianans are thankful that this was the ninth consecutive hurricane season without a major hurricane landfall.

Teacher at Catholic University to student: If you don’t support gay marriage, drop my class

Cheryl Abatte copy

Teacher to student: If you don’t support gay marriage, drop my class

Students who oppose gay marriage are homophobic, according to an audio recording of a Marquette University instructor who went on to say that gay right issues cannot be discussed in class because it might offend homosexuals.

I reached out to the 20-year-old student at the center of this outrageous episode and the story he tells should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks religious schools are safe havens for open discourse.

The story was first reported on a blog run by a Marquette University professor and was picked up by the good folks over at The College Fix.

The young man, who asked not to be identified, explained what happened when his ethics instructor, Cheryl Abbate, led a conversation in “Theory of Ethics” class about applying philosophical theories to modern political controversies. There were a list of issues on the board – gay rights, gun rights, and the death penalty.

“We had a discussion on all of them – except gay rights,” the student told me. “She erased that line from the board and said, ‘We all agree on this.’”

Well, as it so happened – the student did not agree with instructor Abbate.

So after class he approached the instructor and told her he thought they should have discussed the issue of gay rights. He also recorded their conversation — without her permission.

“Are you saying if I don’t agree with gays not being allowed to get married that I’m homophobic?” the student asked.

“I’m saying it would come off as a homophobic comment in this class,” the teacher replied.

“Regardless of why I’m against gay marriage, it’s still wrong for the teacher of a class to completely discredit one person’s opinion when they may have different opinions,” the student said.

Abbate  disagreed.

“There are some opinions that are not appropriate – that are harmful – such as racist opinions, sexist opinions,” she said. “And quite honestly, do you know if anyone in the class is homosexual?”

The student said he did not know the answer to her question.

“Do you not think that would be offensive to them if you were to raise your hand and challenge this,” she asked.

At that point, the student told the instructor he had a right to challenge that – “that’s my right as an American citizen.”

“Actually,” the teacher replied, “You don’t have a right in this class especially [in an ethics class]  to make homophobic comments.”

The student retorted that the comments were not homophobic.

“This is about restricting rights and liberties of individuals,” he said. “Because they’re homosexual, I can’t have my opinions?”

And that’s when the teacher dropped the bombshell.

“You can have whatever opinions you want but I will tell you right now – in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated,” she said. ‘If you don’t like it, you are more than free to drop this class.”

So the student dropped the class.

“I understand that other people have very different views than I do and that’s understandable,” the student told me. “But when a student is not allowed to have an open discussion in a discussion-type class on a specific issue because it’s regarded as homophobic – that really irks me.”

Marquette Professor John McAdams, who runs the Marquette Warrior blog, accused Abbate of using a tactic “typical among liberals now.”

“Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up,” he wrote.

The student told me he filed a complaint – but he said university officials dismissed his concerns.

McAdams wrote that he was not surprised because the university officials held the same intolerant views as the instructor.

“Like the rest of academia, Marquette is less and less a real university,” he wrote. “And when gay marriage cannot be discussed, certainly not a Catholic university.”

A university spokesman told me they were viewing “both a concern raised by a student and a concern raised by a faculty member.”

“We are taking appropriate steps to make sure that everyone involved is heard and treated fairly,” the spokesman told me. “In compliance with state and federal privacy laws, we will not publicly share the results of the reviews.”

Abbate told the website Inside Higher Ed that the “class discussion was not meant to be an opportunity for students to express their personal beliefs about political issues.”

She said she hoped Marquette would “use this event as an opportunity to create and actively enforce a policy on cyberbullying and harassment.”

“It is astounding to me that the university has not created some sort of policy that would prohibit this behavior which undoubtedly leads to a toxic environment for both students and faculty,” she told Inside Higher Ed.

The only thing toxic at Marquette are teachers who oppose Catholic doctrine and try to silence dissenting opinions.

I would be remiss if I did not address the student’s behavior. A full review of the audio tape reveals the student was in fact disrespectful to the instructor. And when the instructor asked if she was being recorded, the student did not tell the truth.

I asked the young man about his behavior and he admitted to me that it was wrong. He told me that he “regretted” his actions.

Nevertheless, the student’s behavior does not excuse Marquette University’s successful attempt to silence the free exchange of ideas.

So let’s review — an instructor at a Catholic university taught material that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and when a Catholic student brought this information to the attention of Catholic administrators – the student was the one who got rebuked.

I’m not a Catholic – but it seems to me Marquette University is one of those CINO schools – Catholic in Name Only.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join hisFacebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is “God Less America.”