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16.06.2015
NEWPORT, WASH — From its ancient beginnings in India, to its relatively new birth in the West, Buddhism has come to be practiced in a variety of ways by its 488 million adherents.
Until recently, though, limited technology had prevented Buddhists in different regions from learning about one another’s customs, and had puzzled non-Buddhists trying to understand the faith.
In the Dalai Lama’s latest book, “Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions,” co-authored by American Tibetan Buddhist nun, Venerable Thubten Chodron, various practices are explained and misconceptions are corrected. In the book, released in November, the authors examine two major Buddhist movements: The Sanskrit traditions of Tibet and East Asia, and the Pali traditions of Sri Lanka and Southweast Asia. Chodron, who is the first female monastic to co-author a book with the Dalai Lama, is the founder of Sravasti Abbey in Washington State, one of the only monastic communities in the west for Americans to study the Buddha’s teachings. She had the idea for the text in the mid-1990s and has been working with the Dalai Lama on the project since.
The Buddha’s teachings are all similar, though emphases and information might vary from region to region. Chodron said writing the book and studying other Buddhist traditions strengthened her own practice, and she believes it can do the same for others. The Dalai Lama plans to have the 290-page book translated into Asian languages to spur dialogue among Buddhists worldwide. About the Author Latest PostsAbout Tracy SimmonsTracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut.
The strangling of free, open commentary on Islam in Europe has had an impact that is as predictable as it is dire.
The Brussels issue of Charlie Hebdo had barely rolled off the presses before the mag’s critics were going for the kill. A Guardian writer said the Brussels editorial was "seminal," because it "states that the problem is not with some Muslims, but with all Muslims." According to to Salon, the editorial was "so extreme," blaming "peaceful Muslims" for the Brussels attacks.
The editorial, titled "How Did We End Up Here?", is really about the culture of intellectual caution and suffocating non-judgmentalism sweeping 21st-century Europe (and much of the West.) If the mag blames anything for Brussels, it’s this censorious culture. This "philosophical line," this culture of frowning upon and sometimes even punishing criticism of Islam, is deeply entrenched in Europe. In Charlie Hebdo’s view, this erection of a ridicule-deflecting force-field around Islam has a terrible impact on community life in Europe.
Secondly it nurtures a victim culture within some Islamist quarters and among young Muslims in particular, who now grow up in societies in which the law, politicians, and intellectuals all give the impression that criticism of Islam is wicked. The real problem in Europe today is not so much Islamophobia, though anti-Muslim sentiment certainly exists; it’s Charliephobia, if we take this term to mean the fear of letting a magazine, or anyone else for that matter, dissent from PC orthodoxy, reject relativism, and engage in robust discussion about any worldview they choose. Just as conservatives call for clampdowns on death metal after school shootings, or moral panickers about gangsta rap try to hold edgy hip-hoppers responsible for gang violence, so supposedly liberal pro-choicers want to indict the passionately pro-life politician or priest for the violence of a mercifully small number of individuals.
It’s a form of moral blackmail: Shush your passion, dial down your ideals, or people will die. The post-Colorado instinct to "dampen speech" also points to a larger problem in pro-choice politics today: an inconsistency on freedom and autonomy, and a shift away from emphasizing women’s capacity to determine their destinies towards presenting them (and everyone else) as fragile individuals in need of protection from nasty words and wicked trends. The reason I am pro-choice is pretty simple: like John Stuart Mill, I believe that "over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign"—or, in this case, over her body and mind the individual is sovereign. A recent horrific murder in Britain confirms that, 30 years on from Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon's scaremongering over porn and its impact on the putty-like male mind, feminists are still depicting porn as the instigator of criminal activity. Last week, Nathan Matthews, 28, was found guilty of murdering his 16-year-old stepsister, Becky Watts, during a sexually motivated kidnap plot. The revelation that Matthews was obsessed with porn became a key part of the media coverage. The hacks who focused on Matthews' obsession with porn no doubt thought they were exposing what a despicable character he is.
In the Telegraph, Joan Smith argued that the "normalisation" of watching hardcore porn has made murders like Matthews’ more likely. These feminists' unwittingly friendly overtures to rapists and killers show how dangerous the idea of "rape culture" is.
There are two big problems with the idea of "rape culture." The first is that it is built on some very shoddy statistics. The second problem is that the fetishisation of culture as the cause of violence and shaper of attitudes smashes the idea of free will and moral autonomy. The notion that porn directly acts on society, as if it were some sentient force moving "through the eyes" and "against other bodies," is not new. But one group of people have fully welcomed censorious feminists' fact-lite association of porn with rape and murder: rapists and murderers. Strossen pointed out that in the 1980s and 90s, some men who had committed foul deeds fell back on the Dworkinite idea that the culture made them do it in an attempt to shrink their guilt. Marcia Pally, academic and feminist against censorship, wrote about how in the mid-1980s, when the court refused to declare him insane, Ted Bundy started "collecting information attesting to the negative effects of pornography," in order to show that wicked images made him wicked.
It hasn't quite reached the boob-baring, free-lovin’ level of Woodstock yet, but a sexual revolt of sorts is underway on campus. A few days later, another Warwick student, Jack Hadfield, announced that he, too, would not be attending campus consent classes.
They treat students like children, telling these men and women, many of whom will have already had sex, how to express and recognise consent. Their ability to experiment, to screw around, to negotiate the ups and downs of relationships for themselves—as adults have done for centuries—is being undermined by finger-waggers determined to throw their sexual encounters open to public and even pseudo-legal scrutiny.
Today’s encroachment into students’ sex lives is actually worse than the religious moralism of old.
Yesterday’s moralists warned us against being wicked; today’s moralists warn us not to do anything at all without first being advised by self-elected sexperts.
It might hint that men are rough and untrustworthy, but it does something worse to women: reduces them to childlike creatures in need of protection against the whistles and chatter and larks of life.
The students of today aren't super-coddled, they're just following the logic of censorship that earlier liberals either helped to set in motion or shrugged their shoulders at. It's fun and important to mock the jumped-up Joe Stalins who have seized power in student associations across the West and who are banning songs, hats, newspapers, and people that piss them off. But it isn’t enough. The good news: Over the past year, everyone from Barack Obama to sensible feminists have taken to calling out the censoriousness of students.
The students’ union at Warwick University banned Maryam Namazie, an Iranian secularist and critic of Islamism, on the basis that her comments would "intimidate" Muslim students. Last week, Manchester University’s students' union, lacking even a smidgen of self-awareness, banned a debate on free speech on the basis that it might harm students because one of the speakers was Julie Bindel, a feminist who has committed various politically correct speech crimes. Last year I was prevented from speaking about abortion at Oxford (I was due to make the pro-choice case) on the basis that I don’t have a uterus. All these cases expose how utterly contemptuous of the student body today's student leaders are. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, too many liberals failed to stand up to the censorship of scoundrels.
Liberals’ complacency in the face of a 30-year tide of intolerance, fuelled by identity politics, the therapeutic culture, and the politics of victimhood, allowed P.C.
To those of us who have a genuine commitment to freedom of speech, it's not only nice stuff that should be publishable. But none of this matters to the offence-taking set, because their aim is not to understand, far less be tolerant—it is to take offence. The fact-lite fury over these latest cartoons tells us two important things about the sorry state of free speech in the West today. First, it exposes the shallowness of that eruption of "Je Suis Charlie" following the massacre at the mag's offices in January.
The second thing this latest controversy reveals is that, like charity, censorship begins at home. Indeed, it's worth remembering that before Charlie Hebdo was shot up, it had already been taken to court by people offended by its rabble-rousing—because France, like every other European country, has actual laws against being overly offensive about religious groups. Charlie Hebdo, and others, will get flak so long as Western society values individuals' and group self-esteem over freedom of speech.
There are many mad and worrying things about the speech codes spreading across campuses like a contagious brain funk. But perhaps the worst thing about these tongue-clamping rules is how they incite hyper racial-consciousness. The "problematization" of students who refuse to think and behave racially is best captured in a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) guide to "Recognizing Microaggressions." In keeping with other campus speech codes, the guide treats as dicey everything from simple questions (such as asking someone "Where were you born?") to expressions of faith in meritocracy (like saying "America is the land of opportunity"). UCLA says "Color Blindness," the idea we shouldn't obsess over people's race, is a microaggression. Apparently such comments deny individuals' "racial and ethnic experience." But on a campus like UCLA a few decades ago, refusing to treat individuals as "cultural beings" would have been the right and good thing.
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point similarly advises that color blindness is a racial microaggression.
And in the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) barmy guide to "bias-free language"—brilliantly mocked by Reason's Robby Soave at The Daily Beast, and now disowned by UNH's president—students are expected to take account of a person's skin color, age, and heritage before engaging with them. If that line sounds familiar, that's because it is almost exactly what Martin Luther King said in his "I have a dream" speech. New college speech codes don't only infantilize students and stymie open, frank discussion. The attempt to airbrush historical stuff from the present is the height of authoritarianism.
If you thought only the whackjobs of ISIS were hellbent on obliterating statues that offend them, think again. Thousands of miles from the Islamic State, in what you would imagine to be the different moral galaxy of the Western academy, there are young hotheads who likewise want to remove from public view the monuments that have the temerity to upset them. Last week it was revealed that a bunch of students at Oxford want a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed. Problematic is to the intolerant PC brigade what "haram" is to Islamists—it's used to brand things that are wicked, and which should ideally be No Platformed or Safe Spaced out of existence.
The notion that expression is a form of violence—whether it's controversial books that are said to assault students' fragile minds or invited speakers whose words allegedly harm students—opens the door to the policing of speech as thoroughly as we police physical force. Unlike ISIS, the Oxford students aren't wielding sledgehammers against the stone object of their fury (not yet, anyway). The "Rhodes Must Fall" guys talk of Rhodes' problematic "legacy" and how it has no place on a 21st-century campus. What ISIS and the Oxford lot share in common is a Year Zero attitude, a desire to rewrite history. Earlier this year, St Louis University took down a statue of the Jesuit Missionary priest Father Pierre-Jean De Smet holding a crucifix over Native Americans. In the wake of Charleston church massacre, the Guardian actually set up a page to track all outdated or racist symbols and monuments in the U.S. If every old thing, whether it’s the works of Mark Twain, which are strewn with racial epithets offensive to modern ears, or those libraries named after slave-owner Thomas Jefferson, were to be judged by how well it sits with modern-day mores, we’d have to tear down everything. Rihanna, the best and sexiest thing to happen to popular culture in a decade, has had her fair share of run-ins with the morality cops. Rihanna’s video for her new song, "Bitch Better Have My Money," has caused just about everyone to have a fit of Victorian vapours. Ours is an era in which no piece of popular culture escapes the Media Studies pontification of those sad people whose favourite word is "problematic." And to them, everything is problematic.
Whatever critics' particular beefs, this branding of Rihanna’s video as "problematic" speaks to one of the ugliest strains in the West today: the moral policing of pop culture. Today's constant branding of certain forms of pop culture as "problematic" is the book-burning of our era.
We once thought pop culture would be slayed by old-style moralists, or that it would eat itself. Pope Francis's eco-encyclical, issued to great fanfare this week, might be hyperbolic, anti-progress, and seemingly keen to bring the hotness of hell up to Earth.
That Francis can so readily adopt eco-lingo, can read as fluently from the gospel according to Greenpeace as he does from those other gospels, confirms that God-botherers and eco-worriers share a serious agitation with the human urge to explore and develop—what they call our "hubris"—and long to make us live simpler, less stuff-filled lives.
He warns that our avarice—by which he means our desire to live in big homes and drive nice cars, like he does—is propelling the world to disaster. Shorter version: your material aspirations will destabilise the planet and cause people to kill each other.
Francis is especially agitated by what he calls our Promethean delusions, our belief we can tame nature and use her resources to create a world of plenty and opportunity. He slams our "excessive anthropocentrism." We must "restore men and women to their rightful place"—that is, as humble janitors of the planet, whose only job is to keep Earth nice for future generations, not to dig at it, extract its innards, remake it in our own image.
If all this downbeatness about humanity and scaremongering about the future sounds familiar, that's because it echoes the eco-hysteria that has become so prominent in Western political life.


The similarities between the pieties of environmentalism and the diktats of Catholicism are striking. Christianity's end-of-worldism is getting a new airing in the apocalypse obsession of greens, who warn of an eco-unfriendly End of Days. The Word of God has become the authority of The Science (greens always say "The" before "Science," to signal its definitiveness.) "Science has spoken," said Ban Ki-Moon last year, in a speech on why we should all obsess over climate change, just as Catholics insist the "Lord has spoken" so STFU.
Of course, you can offset your carbon by planting a tree or something—what Catholics call penance.
This is why Francis is so drawn to environmentalism: he sees it as a more acceptable, 21st-century way of pushing the guilt and meekness and anti-Promethean outlook that the Vatican has long been hawking. Indeed, the most striking passage in his encyclical is when he celebrates environmentalism for potentially bringing to an end the era of progress: "Following a period of irrational confidence in progress and human abilities, some sectors of society are now adopting a more critical approach. How striking that he now dons enviro-garb in order to hector hubristic humans and cheer the coming to an end of the "irrational confidence in progress." He instinctively recognises that environmentalism represents the greatest challenge to what he no doubt views as the error of Enlightenment.
If you were in any doubt that a dark cloud of illiberalism has descended over the Western academy, then the case of Tim Hunt should put you straight. Hunt's crime was to make a not-very-funny gag during an after-dinner speech at a conference on women in science in South Korea earlier this week. In a normal world, a world which valued the freedom to make a doofus of oneself, that should have been the end of it. That's another way of saying that Hunt's penchant for making un-PC jokes was incompatible with life at UCL. What is truly alarming, what should really send a shiver down every liberal's spine, is not the words that came out of Hunt's mouth but the haranguing of him that followed, the shunning of him by the academy and possibly by the scientific elite itself.
UCL and the mob's hounding of Hunt echoes the university of the pre-Enlightenment era, when only those who were 100 percent Good Catholics had a hope in hell of getting a job. The Hunt case confirms something important: that Western universities are complicit in the censoriousness that is consuming them. In effectively dumping Hunt, UCL is sending the message that it will not tolerate deviant thinking. Too often today we're told that gangs of crazy students or irate feminists, invading armies of pinkos, are turning otherwise enlightened universities into hotbeds of PC intolerance.
Traveling through breathtaking Himalayan terrain, Vajra Sky Over Tibet visits extraordinary temples, monasteries, and festivals. Journey into the living traditions of this vanishing civilization and explore the universal ideals of wisdom, compassion, and inner peace at the very heart of this ancient Buddhist culture.
She explained that she originally approached him, asking him to write a brief text for geshes to use when teaching Westerners, since most Buddhist texts assume readers understand the age-old Buddhist concepts of rebirth, sangha, dharma and other key beliefs.
Thubten Chonyi, a Buddhist nun who was raised as a Christian, said she hasn’t seen a book like this before, that honors and explains the commonalities and differences among Buddhist traditions, and said it’s important and timely because Buddhism is growing and falsities and biases about the faith are spreading. Chodron said Scriptures found in the Pali traditions, for example, aren’t found in Tibetan cannons because Buddhism came to Tibet later.
In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Republican presidential nominee, see refugees arriving from Iraq and Syria as one of the greatest threats to the United States, according to a study released on Thursday by the Pew Research Center. It crossed the line into something else, perhaps something not covered by the ideals of freedom of speech.
It suggests the most rotten thing in Europe right now is the PC cult of self-censorship, the widespread "aversion to causing controversy" and "fear of contraction or objection," especially around Islam. In France, as Charlie Hebdo discovered in 2007 when it was taken to court under anti-racism laws for the crime of publishing Muhammad-mocking cartoons, you can actually be arrested for ripping the piss out of Islam.
The strangling of free, open commentary on Islam—and on various other ideologies—has had an impact that is as predictable as it is dire. The elevation of Islam above the realm of testy, frank discussion has the unwitting effect of making some Europeans feel more antsy about Islam while cultivating a sense of psychic vulnerability among some Muslims, who bristle and balk and sometimes respond violently to ridicule of their religious beliefs.
Where its editorial talks about the "veiled woman" in our local town or the baker who refuses to serve ham, it isn’t blaming these ordinary Muslims for terror; it’s simply asking if we should be allowed to have open, critical debate about their cultural habits, about the veil and other things.
It’s this culture of worshipping self-censorship over freedom of thought and frankness of debate that is damaging public life and brewing communal tension and in some cases violence. Those of us who believe in individual responsibility, that people have free will and the choice of whether to do good or bad, will say: "Robert L.
They’re pointing the finger of blame at those who use fiery pro-life rhetoric, or, as I prefer to call it, anti-choice rhetoric. John Hickenlooper (D) called on both pro-life and pro-choice activists to "tone down the rhetoric." Violent crimes like Dear’s could be a consequence of such "inflammatory rhetoric," he said.
Her description of Dear’s actions as the "predictable" result of strong rhetoric suggests he lacks agency, that he’s nothing more than a vessel through which other people’s ideas flow and then explode.
It’s a pseudo-liberal version of media-effects theory, deploying the same hackneyed, unproven argument that has been used by censors for decades: that controversial or heated or misleading words and images could propel individuals towards crime.
Individuals must be free to believe and say whatever they like, and to behave and govern themselves and their lives as they see fit, just so long as they do not harm anyone else or anyone else’s property.
If women stop being sovereign over themselves the minute they become pregnant, then they aren’t free. Not simply to decide the future of their pregnancies but also to engage in robust public discussion about all manner of issues, including abortion?
With their promotion of the idea of "rape culture"—the notion that images and culture propel men to hate and harm women—they have done more than anyone to diminish rapists' responsibility for their foul crimes.
Matthews and his girlfriend, Shauna Hoare, had been text-messaging each other about kidnap fantasies. The court, in Bristol, found Matthews guilty both of having a criminal mind and of carrying out a criminal act: he was punished as a murderer. He was branded a "paranoid pervert." Some reporters gave the impression that the porn he watched drove him to kill.
But their reporting had a different, unwitting impact: it absolved Matthews of full culpability through claiming he had been "taken over" by porn. It is time, she says, to make the anti-porn message part of every child's schooling, so that they know that watching twisted porn is "not healthy or acceptable behaviour." "However liberal we might want to be," it is time to address how "desensitising" porn culture can be, she said. He was desensitised, programmed, and if only educators had protected him from porn, perhaps Becky would still be alive. And this is a boon to those who have chosen, freely, to do something awful with their moral autonomy.
It was promoted by Dworkin and MacKinnon in the 1980s and 1990s, and it was challenged, brilliantly, by feminist libertarians like Nadine Strossen, author of Defending Pornography (1995).
Indeed, Strossen pointed out that in countries where possession of porn is severely punished—like Saudi Arabia—women are far more likely to face everyday prejudice and violence. In Britain, some male students are refusing to attend their university’s sexual-consent classes, and I reckon this could be the first salvo in a sexual uprising against the gender-studies prudes now running (and ruining) student life. Pretty much every liberal broadsheet in Christendom asked, "Well, what DOES a rapist look like?," hinting that Lawlor, by virtue of the fact that he has XY chromosomes, does look like a rapist.
Sure, readers of The Tab, Britain’s spunkiest student newspaper, which often raises a very arched eyebrow at the buzzkilling shenanigans of student unions, might not be completely representative.
Consent classes have been taking place on campuses in Britain for more than a year, and they’re deeply patronising.
They tell students that consent must be "active," "ongoing," and "sober." So no more drunk sex.
From Britain’s consent classes to California’s affirmative-consent laws to the explosion of sexual-assault kangaroo courts on U.S.
At least those prigs only told us that certain acts were Wrong and we should hold back from doing them; today’s prigs think all sex that happens outside of their purview is by definition dangerous and that young men and women are incapable of negotiating even bar life, never mind sex life, by themselves.
The old prudish brigade said "Don’t do certain things"; the new prudish brigade calls into question our very ability to act autonomously. Do all the things you’re told not to: drink, fumble, enjoy, regret, cope—all the stuff adults have always done. Too many of the revolters are presenting these first shoots of a sexual revolution as a case of brave men standing up to "feminazis" (man, I hate that word). Too often we treat this scourge of student censorship as a sudden, almost malarial hysteria infecting campuses—the fault of a uniquely intolerant generation corrupting a hitherto healthy academy with their demands to be Safe-Spaced from hairy ideas. Such is the knee-jerk prejudice of student leaders that they think nothing of banning speakers not only because of what they say, but even because of their biological make-up. The largely forty- and fifty-something observers wringing their hands over the spread of the P.C. It brings to mind the grey-haired guardians of the academy in the 1960s, who wondered how spoiled, long-haired students were managing to overthrow curricula and introduce relativism into university life without ever once stopping to wonder if perhaps their own complacency towards enlightenment values might have acted as a green light to these "pinkos." Now liberals rather than traditionalists are throwing their hands up in horror at a new generation while failing to ask if their own complacency might have midwifed it.
Like vampires in desperate need of blood, the offencerati has an insatiable urge to feed its inner outrage machine, to devour some giver of grievance and spit him out the other end as a chastised, apologetic shadow of his former self. Back then, politicians, most of the media, and the Twitterati rallied behind the publication, declaring no one should be shot simply for mocking Muhammad. After the massacre, too many commentators internationalized the crisis of free speech, presenting its demise as something brought about by an alien strain, in this case Islamists with guns.
Indeed, some college speech codes chastise students who refuse to think racially, who balk at the idea that they should always be actively mindful of their own and everyone else's racial make-up. Now, in an eye-swivelling reversal, the polar opposite is the case: to demonstrate your politically correct virtue you must acknowledge the skin color of everyone you meet.
Miller, a diversity consultant who advises educational institutions on how to tackle racial microaggressions, says being color blind is a "microinvalidation," since it serves to "exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of certain groups." She says the phrase "We all bleed red when we're cut" is a microaggression. But American colleges in the 21st century demonize those who follow the King approach of judging people by "the content of their character" rather than by the color of their skin. They also point to the creeping re-racialisation of society, and to the rebranding of universalism itself as a form of racism. Rhodes was a British imperialist, founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), architect of Apartheid, and all-around unpleasant guy.
The activists' casual conflation of speech with violence—or rather, of walking by a statue with feeling assaulted—speaks to the terrifying Orwellianism that has much of the Western student body in its grip. After all, if walking past a statue is like being punched in the face, or hearing a controversial idea is akin to being stabbed, then that statue must go and that idea must be extinguished, right? And where ISIS has mainly demolished statues it considers idolatrous, these students are more politically minded demolishers, keen to rid Oxford of the likeness of a racist. It’s a deeply authoritarian instinct: not merely to discuss the past, and challenge its events and ideas, but to cleanse all remnants of it from the present. They were inspired by students at the University of Cape Town, who protested against and threw shit at a statue of Rhodes until it was taken down last April.
It’s an attempt not merely to control what people can think and say today, but to project contemporary conformism back in time. She gets the Moral Majority hot under their starched collars with her refusal to wear many clothes. That she has a tattoo of a gun, smokes weed, and relishes having loads of money—she’s Instagrammed pics of herself standing on piles of cash in stilettos—doesn’t sit well with the anti-fast living crew. Co-directed by Rihanna, it’s a Tarantino-esque, blaxpolitation-style mini-movie in which Rihanna plays a woman screwed over by her rich accountant who decides to get revenge by kidnapping his beautiful, blond wife. Instead of enjoying it—or not, if it ain’t their kind of thing—people are think-piecing the video to death.
Ironically, this may be the most anti-female idea around today, that women are so easily brain-fried by the culture that (allegedly) surrounds them. He once received a letter from an earnest liberal-arts student suggesting he rewrite his Martian Chronicles to include more female characters. It creates a climate in which artists feel under pressure to make their work more morally palatable and politically acceptable, to water down their "territorial imperatives"— that is, their artistic freedom—at the behest of the new culture-policers.
In fact it’s being killed in slow motion by a new generation of observers who seem to think culture should not only entertain them but also embody their moral outlook. We have become "self-centred." "The emptier a person's heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume," he says, from his vast, palatial home, which has so much art in it that if you spent one minute looking at each piece you'd be there for four years. Environmentalism rehabilitates in secular drag the stinging rebukes of humanity once delivered by pointy-hatted men of God. Its promise of Godly judgement for our wicked ways has been replaced by greens' promise that we'll one day be judged for our planetary destructiveness. Greens breathe life back into Catholic guilt, too, urging us to feel bad about everything from flying abroad to eating strawberries out of season. In the past, rich believers paid priests loads of money for an Indulgence, which absolved them of their non-mortal sins—today the eco-concerned wealthy spend their cash on offsetting their carbon farts, the modern equivalent of an Indulgence. About that revolution in ideas when philosophers and scientists challenged the mysticism of the Church and said mankind should explore his surroundings, extract nature's secrets, dare to know, dare to discover.


The Twitterati has given birth to the hashtag #distractinglysexy, featuring pics of women in laboratories, all designed to mock Hunt's 1950s worldview.
For what we have here is a university, under pressure from an intolerant mob, judging a professor's fitness for office by his personal thoughts, his idea of humour.
Only now, academics must be unflinchingly in accordance with the commandments of PC rather than with Biblical thinking. Oxford University did something similar last year when it cancelled a debate on abortion (which I was due to speak at) at the behest of an angry mob of feminists. This enthralling third documentary offers a cinematic pilgrimage to central Tibet, bearing witness to the indomitable faith of its endangered Buddhist community and the imminent threat to its very survival. The enduring power of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism resonates in all of its sacred shrines and echoes within the bustling Jokhang Temple and the empty Potala Palace, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. At the Dalai Lama’s request, she began writing the book with him and over the years the purpose evolved.
However, she explained, the Buddha intentionally delivered teachings at different times and places, knowing his lessons weren’t one size fits all.
She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.Second Harvest seeking volunteers for food drive - May 3, 2016Viewpoints: Do you believe in the right to die? We now know that when the anti-Charlie Hebdo set feigns concern for ordinary Muslims, what it’s really worried about is any criticism of Islam itself. More informally, the idea of "Islamophobia"—which treats everything from opposition to the burqa to discomfort with the Koran as evidence of a swirling, hate-fuelled fear of Muslims—keeps criticism of Islam in check. The editorial describes the taxi-ride taken by the Brussels bombers as a "last step in a journey of rising anxiety." In short, terror springs, not so much from Islam itself as from the restriction of debate about Islam, which fosters communal angst and misunderstanding. Where the editorial says that something like Brussels cannot happen "without everyone’s contribution," it is talking about Europe itself, not Muslims. Indeed, I would say that the campaign against Islamophobia has done more to foster awkwardness and bitterness in 21st-century Europe than Islamophobia has.
Their claim to be against "punching down," to care about ordinary, vulnerable people, has been exposed as utter bunkum.
They claim that a swirling anti-abortion outlook, promoted by Republicans and various religious hotheads, create the conditions under which the likes of Dear become murderous. Their bodies become subject to stringent laws, and their individual sovereignty is usurped by a higher authority tyrannically presuming to speak on behalf of something inside the woman’s body. But in the days after his trial, something perverse happened: feminists, those who should be most keen to see the likes of Matthews held fully responsible for their foul plotting and behaviour, offered up an explanation for his wickedness that will have given him some comfort.
On both sides of the Atlantic, the rallying cry of third-wave feminists is that culture makes men wicked and reduces women to victims. In the West, meanwhile, the explosion in online porn has coincided with a general fall in violence.
What a damaging idea "rape culture" is, pushing for censorship, spreading fear about sex, and, worst of all, allowing Bundy, Matthews and other nasty men to present themselves as victims, effectively. A Guardian writer suggested every man in the world, including the Dalai Lama, should post photos of themselves holding a sign that says "This is what a rapist looks like." Because, yep, any man might be a rapist. Yet it’s striking that of the 4,440 people who voted in its poll, 2,708 said they were against consent classes, with 1,732 in favour. In an irony that would make Orwell proud, or mad, they’re compulsory on some campuses, including Cambridge and Oxford. Consent-class rebel Jack Hadfield’s talk about the "demonization of men" and some media commentators’ handwringing over wicked feminists gives the impression that men alone are damaged by the stifling anti-sex climate on campus. From the demand for warnings on classic works of literature that mention rape to the idea that controversial speakers might threaten students’ mental safety, policers of student life suck the soul out of the academy when they treat words as violence. Mencken said: "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. Christians walk on water—Muslim children sink." Only the most literally-minded could consider this an attack on Muslims. These #CharlieHebdo [cartoons] are the latter." Yet to those of us who have a genuine commitment to freedom speech, it isn't only nice stuff that should be publishable—so should the hateful and disgusting. Earlier this year it reported a columnist for The Sun to the police, claiming an anti-migrant column she wrote was an incitement to racial hatred. But that edifice of liberal solidarity soon started to corrode, with liberal columnists wondering if maybe Charlie should tone down its "Islamophobia," followed by various novelists having a hissy fit when PEN America gave Charlie a courage award.
But the offence-taking culture is awesomely powerful within Europe itself, in our capitals, our academies, political circles, and everywhere.
The Western culture of "You Can't Say That!" had found Charlie Hebdo guilty of crimes against politically correct sensibilities long before those killers summarily executed its staff for speech crimes against Muhammad.
Say it loud, say it clear: Je Suis Charlie, whether it's punching up, punching down, ridiculing Muhammad, upsetting the right-on, or whatever. There's the branding of the most anodyne forms of friendly banter as "aggressive" (apparently it is a microaggression to say to a Latino or Native American, "We want to know what you think"). It brands as problematic any comment by a white person that suggests he or she "does not want to acknowledge race." Anyone who claims to be "immune to races"—that is, who prefers not to think about people as racial beings—is viewed as aggressive. And according to Oxford students calling themselves the "Rhodes Must Fall" movement, his statue at Oriel College—his alma mater—is not only offensive but an act of violence. And yet, the similarities between these Western statue-fearers and the ISIS statue-destroyers are striking. It's cultural cleansing, disguised as an Islamic duty by ISIS and as radical anti-racism by Oxford students. Yet being surrounded by statues of flawed historical figures and dead eccentric writers is part of living in a complex, colorful society.
The intolerant students and others seeking to smash past images and ideas really have their eye on establishing their future authority to determine what all of us may think and say.
Said wife is shown hanging upside down from a rope in a warehouse, being hit on the head with a bottle, and suffering other abuses at the hands of Rihanna and her all-female crew, all while Rihanna sings: "Bitch better have my money!" Look, it won’t make Werner Herzog feel threatened, but it’s a slick, seven-minute slice of all of Rihanna’s glorious toxicity.
Ballard’s Crash or Robert Palmer’s video for "Addicted to Love"—still all brilliantly entertaining, though.
Clearly he wants to heat us up in preparation for our eternal frying for all the eco-sins we've committed.) But we should nonetheless be grateful that, for all its dottiness, this humanity-lecturing letter has been published. All the pollution produced in the making of our things will increase "the threat of extreme weather events," he says, echoing in green-friendly language the Old Testament God's promise of floods as punishment for mankind's sinful antics. The demonisation of human hubris and promotion of eco-meekness that is at the heart of the green ideology chimes perfectly with the asceticism of Catholicism. Carbon-calculating, where people measure their every single production of carbon, is like Catholic guilt on steroids. Those of us who still believe in progress, and in humanity, and who think Prometheus had the right idea, will need to wage war on green thinking as determinedly as those Enlightenment greats stood up to the humanity-binding mysticism of their eras. And so with tedious, life-zapping predicability, Hunt fell victim to the offence-policers, to the machine of outrage being constantly cranked up by self-styled guardians of what we may think, say, and even joke about.
Professors of Britain, be warned: tell a funny that irritates the right-on, and you shall be cast out. The management of the London School of Economics gave the nod to the disbanding of its student rugby team for the crime of distributing a rude leaflet. In truth, universities themselves, having embraced relativism, non-judgmentalism, and discomfort with the idea of Truth itself, incite such behaviour. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of SpokaneFAVS. It is talking about "the dread" of open debate, "the dread of being treated as an Islamophobe or being called racist," which, it says, makes public life in Europe less open, less honest, and more prickly.
The anti-Charlie set isn't about protecting Muslims from harm; it’s about protecting Islam from rebuke.
In truth, they’re all about protecting a global religion, an ideology, from ridicule, and in the process they’re doing more damage to freedom and social solidarity in Europe than they could ever understand. And now they’re demanding that pro-life people tone it down, police their politics, and watch their words.
Maybe every woman in the world should post a pic of themselves with a sign saying, "This is what someone who commits infanticide looks like"?
This should be men and women united against the creeping official colonisation of ever-more areas of our private lives.
These ban-happy brats are actually the bastard offspring of… well, of some of the people now criticizing them. Indeed, in a February letter to The Guardian decrying the new No Platforming of radical feminists, various academics said No Platforming was supposed to be "a tactic used against self-proclaimed fascists and Holocaust deniers." So even as they bemoan the No Platforming of radfems, they green-light the No Platforming of right-wingers.
And if a neo-fascist can be banned because his ideas "harm" ethnic minorities, why not a radfem whose ideas "harm" trans people?
It’s quite obviously a stinging criticism of those hard right-wingers who insist Europe must remain a Christian continent and who might just think that drowned Muslim kids around our watery borders are a price worth paying to keep it so. Now, in the instinctive tut-tutting and threats hurled at Charlie for publishing cartoons of refugees, we can see that "Je Suis Charlie" was most likely an emotional outburst against an act of barbarism rather than a deep defence of the freedom to say and draw anything we want.
Having been brought up on a continent that  chastises gratuitous offensiveness against Islam and other ideologies, those killers can be seen as the armed wing of the offence-taking lobby. A UTA student leader says the statue is "not in line with… the ideals of a diverse and all-inclusive university." Imagine that—a historical monument that fails to conform to the values of today.
When she got back with singer Chris Brown in 2012, despite the fact he beat her up in 2009, the sisterhood effectively cast her out as a dumb-as-shit broad who doesn’t know her own mind. Unless you’re one of the new culture-policers, that is, in which case it’s an outrageous glorification of misogyny, racism, violence, blah blah blah. For it shows in black and white—and green—what a colossal amount in common there is between environmentalism and Catholicism.
He's a fellow of the Royal Society in London, founded in 1660 and thought to be the oldest scientific research institution in the world. It shouldn't matter one iota if they are sexist, stupid, unfunny, religious, uncouth, ugly, or whatever.
How surreal that it was a feminist who unwittingly absolved Matthews of wickedness through claiming that porn acted through him—through the eyes, the mind, the body—rather than this being a case of him acting upon his own warped volition.
They are Complacency’s Children, the angry logical conclusion to liberals’ failure over the past 30 years to kick back against a creeping culture of intolerance. In the 1990s it was used against Islamist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir, on the basis that they were homophobic and menacing.
From the Brown University students who stormed their newspaper’s offices after it published a piece criticizing reparations for slavery, to the Dartmouth students who burnt their newspaper after they thought it had made light of date rape, throughout the 2000s this attitude had been running riot on campus, following on from its explosion in the 80s and 90s. The students of today aren't super-weird, they're just following the logic of censorship that earlier liberals either helped to set in motion or shrugged their shoulders at. One is a drawing of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian kid who washed up on a beach in Turkey. Now, not content with having caused gnashing of teeth among the religious, the feminists, and the anti-drug crowd, Rihanna has rattled another constituency: what we might call the new policers of culture, the growing army of online warriors who think nothing of judging art and entertainment not by whether it’s good, but by whether it says the right thing.
And this week he was unceremoniously ditched by University College London for telling a joke. James Martin to Speak at Gonzaga’s Commencement - Apr 19, 2016Friday Musical coming to St. Perhaps liberals didn’t notice because its main targets back then were right-wingers, Christian evangelists, and Israel supporters, rather than liberals. A British police force in 2015 is investigating a woman on suspicion of expressing herself. For if even a Nobel winner can be treated like this, what hope is there for lesser professors?
Even the notorious Laura Kipnis case is not a simple case of mad, intolerant students trying to shut down an outspoken academic, but rather has been facilitated by educational structures themselves: in this case the federal Title IX rules dealing with gender issues on campus. The Hunt story confirms that the academy isn't being destroyed by morally alien beings, by cushioned, entitled youth—it is destroying itself.
Two children's menus for the price of one." To my eyes, this looks like a (pretty lame) criticism of European consumerism, the kind of lazy lefty platitude that Charlie Hebdo often indulges in.
The chilling effect of the Hunt debacle on the Western academy is likely to be pretty intense.



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