Normally, when I read A Bama Blog I just shake my head and laugh. Occasionally, though, when the rhetoric gets too overblown I may make a comment in an attempt to bring the discussion back to reality. For instance, I had to respond to this post:
Today marks the 514th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. It’s fashionable these days to be down on Columbus and other Western explorers and colonists, but those who wallow in the mire of such political correctness always seem more than happy to reap (or sometimes, to plunder) the benefits of what those brave men of the West accomplished. Columbus and those who followed in his wake brought the gifts of Western civilization and Christianity to formerly savage and heathen lands.
I don’t know who the ungrateful fashionistas are, but I think my comment summed up the likely response to that post from all of us who not only value cars, air conditioning and democracy, but historical accuracy as well:
“Columbus and those who followed in his wake brought the gifts of Western civilization and Christianity to formerly savage and heathen lands.”
did you really write that?
i’m not going to dispute that 1) pre-Columbus America was “savage and heathen” or that it is now 2) western and civlilized, though both are very debatable. but to call the change a gift is silly indeed. a conquest yes. a gift? by no sensible definition of the term.
our ancestors did not “give” western values to the natives, they slaughtered the natives and then continued to live as westerners but in a new location.
Today, though, I decided that instead of a chuckle or a comment, I would actually respond to one of Lee P.’s ridiculous posts with a post of my own.
Initially, I wanted to critique this one, in which he freaks out over a recent lawsuit that argued Alabama’s method of funding its colleges was unconstitutional. He’s gotten himself into a tizzy about this case in earlier screeds. Today’s does not add anything of substance, only including a list of Alabama academics who supported the plaintiff’s and then stating:
Maintaining the proper constitutional balance between the federal government and the states is essential to the Republic’s survival under the present Constitution. That these seven respected and influential professors of law and history would have us deviate so radically from that balance – while caring not a whit for the consequences – is really quite disturbing.
What I wanted to say was “Well, thank the Lord we have knowledgeable folks like Lee – who have studied at the feat of historical and legal scholars like Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D’souza, Ramesh Ponnuru and Ann Coulter - to save us from the silly mistakes made by people like Charles Gamble, Wayne Flint and Howard Walthal.” But that would just be snarky.
I also wanted to take him to task for the overall tone of the post (and his previous one on the same topic). Basically, what the lawsuit was arguing was that Alabama’s method of funding education perpetuated racial segregation. I agree with the court, and Lee P., that the allegation was not true. Or at least the evidence was not strong enough to justify relief.
Lee, though, following in the footsteps of George Wallace, Roy Moore, and Tom Parker, seems to think that even if the allegation was true, no federal court could do anything about it. Alabama, in his view, would be perfectly free to violate the constitution. That’s where I get off the boat. If Alabama was using its tax structure to perpetuate segregation, then I agree wholeheartedly that Alabama’s funding system would have to be radically changed, even if that meant changes in the tax code. Alabama is subject to the law just like you and I are subject to the law.
But I’m not going to discuss that, either, because someone beat me to it.
The post I will discuss is entitled “Indoctrination 101.” I could not possible summarize the post in way that makes it sound any more idiotic than does Lee’s own introductory paragraph:
To find the latest example of leftist ideology masquerading as scholarship, we don’t have to go very far. Undergraduates at the University of Alabama had an opportunity this semester to register for a new class called “Modern Gay America.”
Why is Lee so upset about this class? He offers two pretexts for his opposition.
it should be a subject reserved for graduate or post-graduate work. The focus of undergraduate education should be exposure to a broad-based curriculum in the humanities, the sciences, mathematics, and history. For college students to be familiar with the text of the U.S. Constitution is essential. For them to be familiar with the subtexts of the Wizard of Oz is optional.
Again, good thing we have Lee P. to let all those silly academics know what a college education ought to include. Lee would even have to teach the class about the constitution, seeing as how he just told us that no-one in the state but him, and maybe some judges on the Eleventh Circuit, really understands it.
Seriously, though, this class is just what Lee says an undergrad curriculum ought to include: history. From the syllabus:
Wed. 10/1 Introduction to the 20th century: The Early Years of Gay Life . . .
Mon. 10/6 Gay Hollywood and the 1940’s- Kaiser Ch. 1
Wed. 10/8 The 1950’s: Early Gay Struggle and Liberation- Kaiser Ch. 2, . . .
Fri. 10/10 The Beginnings of Community: Gay Cities and Workplace Culture-Kaiser Ch. 2 Continued.
Mon. 10/13 Nature vs. Nurture: Science and Religion in Gay Life- Kaiser: pg. 52-58, [Handout]
Wed. 10/15 The 1960’s: Gay Rebellion, Stonewall 1969- Kaiser Ch. 3, (pg. 192-202), first assignment due.
Fri. 10/17 The 1970’s: Mainstream Culture and Gay Club Life- Kaiser Ch. 4 (pg.253-265)
Mon. 10/20 The 1980’s: In the Shadow of Death- Kaiser Ch. 5 (pg 275-325) . . .
That does not sound any different than, for instance, the modern south class I took as an undergrad, or the history of the Supreme Court class I took in law school. It’s just a study of how a particular group of people have lived during a particular period in history. One of the affects of the study will be a better understanding and appreciation of the group. If that group was anyone but “the gays,” I really can’t imagine anyone complaining.
Here’s the second pretext:
In fact, this course has little to do with the scholarly study of history, but is instead entirely devoted to the advocacy of a very narrow view of history in which truth is less important than dogma.
Lee P., of course, makes this judgment without having been to this class, or, I assume, talking to anyone who has. Instead he quotes the syllabus:
EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES
1) To acquire an appreciation of the diversity of American identities and experiences, particularly the lost history of Gay and Lesbian history, identity, and growth in a culture that ignored, or forget them.
2) To understand a range of cultural artifacts: novels, plays, autobiographies, memoirs, photography, film, painting, and music that one can utilize in the study of the development of an individual and unique Gay and Lesbian community during the 20th century.
3) To understand the connections between such diverse cultural spheres as popular entertainment, consumer culture, the fine arts and broader American cultural values. We also want to look at how Gay and Lesbian people working in secret helped to shape the different emerging American cultural moment that was the 20th century.
To me that course description sounds like the usual meaningless mumbo-jumbo found in any course description, and like any other course description is pretty much useless if what you want to know is what will actually happen in class.
So let’s click the mouse a few more times than did Lee P. and see what the actual subjects of this nefarious plot by the left to subordinate America to their radical homosexual agenda think about the actual class. From the Crimson White:
The class was scheduled to have 30 students, but was expanded to 40 because of the interest from students, [the teacher, Josh] Burford said.
“The most unexpected thing about this class is that I’ve had to turn away at least a dozen students,” Burford said. “It hurts me to have to tell them no, but we have limited space.”
Burford said this is the first class where most of his students never miss class, are excited about his lectures and stay after class ends to ask questions.
“What’s really nice about the class is that they’ve formed a little community,” Burford said. “I see them helping each other and hanging out together.”
Wow. Sure looks like students are voluntarily taking this ELECTIVE and benefitting from it, too. How can the students in this classroom not realize – like Lee P. in Huntsville realizes – that though they think they are using their own free will and critical thinking abilities, they are in fact being manipulated by the radical homosexual leftist communistislamofascists? Outrageous, really. Here’s the view of another young victim:
I for one am in the class and one of the straight people and also from the south. I can honestly say there is no homosexual agenda especially in this class. the class is simply trying to teach about a culture, it is no different than women studies, african american studies, or any of the other cultural studies that exist. An LGBT major is no different than any of the other new college majors and just because he isn’t a science or math major doesn’t mean his life is useless and we should cast him (and the entire community that wishes to know about gay culture) out of society.
Well, then, so much for the pretexts. I won’t speculate about the real source of Lee’s disgust. I will just offer another student’s view:
The Good Book says Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve. There is enough sin on this campus with the Frats and Sororities. What we don’t need on this campus is a class that will sanction a sinful and disgusting agenda.
I will be praying for this university and all the sodomites today.
Maybe that guy ought to run for Attorney General. I bet Lee P. would vote for him. Unless he wants higher taxes.