Kirsten Andersen

‘Righty or lefty?’: Quiz grills 7th graders about political/social preferences, not hand dominance

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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AURORA, CO, October 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Colorado parent is outraged after she says her twelve-year-old son was given a detailed and biased political survey asking about his views on controversial issues from health care to same-sex ‘marriage.’

The political survey was called “Righty or Lefty,” and asked students to rank their views on a ten-point scale, with one being the “extreme liberal” end of the scale and ten representing “extreme conservative” views.  Each question presented examples of the “extreme liberal” and “extreme conservative” position on a given topic before asking for the student’s opinion.

For example, regarding health care, the worksheet explained:

“Liberals believe that all Americans are entitled to health care when they need it.  Since health insurance is very expensive, liberals believe that the government should help those who cannot afford it.  Liberals believe that taxes should be increased, if necessary, to pay for health care.

Conservatives do not believe that Americans are entitled to health care.  Conservatives believe it is the responsibility of individuals to pay for their own health insurance.   Conservatives do not believe taxes should be increased to pay for health care.”   

And regarding same-sex “marriage,” the worksheet said:

“Liberals believe that gay people should be allowed to marry.  Since married people enjoy certain benefits at work (health care for spouse’s etc [sic]), and lower tax rates, then gays should also be allowed to receive these benefits.  Liberals believe that marriage does not need to be between a man and a woman, but rather, between any two people who are in love and want to be committed to each other.

Conservatives do not believe that gay people should be married.  Conservatives believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  Conservatives believe that allowing gay marriage diminishes the value of marriage in our society and upsets the family structure that is important to society.”

Some of the other topics covered included abortion, gun control, criminal justice, environmentalism, education, free speech and religion, national defense, and taxes.

The survey was later sent home to parents, who were also asked to answer the questions.

One parent, stunned and angered by what she saw as an invasion of her family’s privacy, sent the survey back unanswered with the following letter:

“I am appalled by the “Righty or Lefty” poll. First of all it is nobody’s business what mine or my 12-year-old son’s political views are. Secondly, my own son does not even know what half of these issues mean until after discussing them with him. His answers vary greatly during discussion. His views will always change as he grows and as new issues arise and he learns that these things have an effect on his life.

As I am reading these topics, I have noticed the entire thing is pro-Liberal and con-Conservative, being completely skewed towards “Lefty-nicey/meany conservatives” ideology, which I do not approve of. The entire thing is unbalanced and an unfair and inaccurate representation. My family is NEITHER and I do not appreciate you or the school trying to pawn this assignment off on students who are too young to have valuable opinions on these subjects!

I do not know what importance this has as being an assigned worksheet for a “major grade” (has he has informed me). I do not want to hear about it being for a government assignment! Learning about government is one thing – but it is none of your business to try and pry personal information out of a child on extremely private information. I am excusing my son from this assignment and expect this NOT to be counted against his grade.    Sincerely, [redacted].”

The student’s great aunt shared both the survey and the mother’s comments with Stand Up For the Truth, a Christian radio show based in Green Bay, WI which also streams on the internet. 

The great aunt blamed the assignment’s intrusive nature on the controversial Common Core curriculum, but she also pointed a finger at the powerful Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided Jefferson County schools in Colorado with a grant to pay for an ongoing data mining effort to track students, their performance, their activities and even their families.

“If this assignment doesn’t necessarily fit the Common Core agenda, it certainly fits the agenda of those collecting private information on students and parents for the Jeffco School District nearby here in Colorado by a grant from the Gates Foundation,” the woman told Stand Up For the Truth.  “This assignment is clearly an attempt to collect private data from my niece and her family through her 12 year old son.”

While that might sound paranoid, leading critics of the Common Core curriculum have pointed out similar concerns.  Back in August, Diane Kepus of WatchdogWire highlighted Common Core’s National Education Data Model (NEDM), which will track, among other things:

  • “Bus Stop Arrival Time” and “Bus Stop Description”
  • “Dwelling arrangement”
  • “Diseases, Illnesses and Other Health Conditions”
  • “Religious Affiliation”
  • “Telephone Number Type” and “Telephone Status”

Michelle Malkin wrote an entire series on Common Core, paying special attention to NEDM and the way it will allow the federal government to harvest massive amounts of personally identifiable information about children and their families, which can then be shared with certain ‘partners,’ i.e. well-connected businesses and other organizations that have bought into the program  -- for example, the Gates Foundation. 

According to Malkin’s research, home-schoolers and religious families who reject traditional government education will be tracked by NEDM.  As originally envisioned, the NEDM would even have included such personal data as hair color, eye color, weight, blood type and dental status.

“How exactly does amassing and selling such personal data improve educational outcomes?” Malkin asked in her column.  “It doesn’t. This, at its core, is the central fraud of Washington’s top-down nationalized curricular scheme. The Bill Gates-endorsed Common Core ‘standards’ are a phony pretext for big-government expansion.  Individual student privacy is sacrificed at the collective ‘For the Children’ altar.”

Common Core, Malkin concluded, “is not about excellence or academic achievement. It’s about control, control and more control.”

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The first pro-abortion Republican enters the 2016 presidential race

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By Ben Johnson

EXETER, NH, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The large and expanding field of would-be Republican presidential candidates grew by one today, as George Pataki became the first GOP presidential hopeful this election season to openly support abortion-on-demand.

The 69-year-old long-shot candidate also has a history of supporting homosexual legislative causes.

In the weeks leading up to his formal announcement, George Pataki took out TV ads asking Republicans to refrain from talking about abortion and gay “marriage,” branding them “distractions.”

“In 12 years [as governor], I don’t think I talked about that issue twice,” he once said of abortion.

On same-sex “marriage,” he says, “I think, leave it to the states. I don’t think it’s a role in Washington.”

However, Pataki has a long history of enacting the homosexual political agenda as governor of New York from 1994-2006. He signed a “hate crimes” law that added the words “gay” and “lesbian” to New York state law for the first time.

He signed the Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Act (SONDA), which prohibits business owners from “discriminating” against homosexuals in housing or hiring, with an exemption only for religious institutions.

He also added sexual orientation to state civil rights laws, alongside such immutable characteristics as race and sex, in an apparent quid pro quo for a gay activist group's endorsement in his last run for governor. The New York Times reported that, under pressure from Pataki, then then-Senate Majority Leader “shifted his position on the bill as part of what is tacitly acknowledged, even by Senator [Joseph] Bruno's senior aides, to have been a deal to win an endorsement for Governor Pataki from the state's largest gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.”

After the LGBT activist group endorsed Pataki in 2002, citing a long list of his service to the homosexual political cause, Pataki personally lobbied senators for the bill's passage, then signed it into law that December.

Coupled with his stance on gun control, environmentalism, and other issues, he stands well to the left of the Republican mainstream.

The three-term governor of New York, who belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, took his own advice by largely avoiding social issues today. The closest he came was his vow, “I'd repeal oppressive laws like ObamaCare and end Common Core.”

He added that he would “fire every current IRS employee abusing government power to discriminate on the basis of politics or religion. That is not America!”

Otherwise, Pataki's announcement speech hewed to stand pat Republican issues like reducing taxes, shrinking the number of federal employees, increasing military spending, and supporting entrepreneurship.

He began by thanking his supporters, in English and Spanish.

Smiling, his head pivoting between twin teleprompters, he said, “Let me tell you some of the things I'd do right away to get oppressive government off the backs of Americans.”

He would institute a lifetime ban on congressmen acting as lobbyists after they leave office. “If you ever served one day in Congress, you will never be a lobbyist,” he said. He favors forcing Congress to live under the laws it passes, so there will be “no special rules for the powerful.”

He cited his history of cutting taxes, reducing welfare rolls, and leaving his state with billions of dollars in surplus. “That's what our policies can do,” he said. “I know we can do the same thing for the United States.”

In recent weeks, he has called for a more interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. Today, he reminded his audience that he was governor of New York in 9/11. “I will not fear the lesson of September 11,” he said. “To protect us, first we must protect the border,” he said – an unexpected phrase, as Pataki supports amnesty for the at least 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“We will stand with our ally, Israel, a democracy on the front lines of terror and barbarism,” he said.

Like former Sen. Rick Santorum, who announced he is running for president yesterday, Pataki agreed that “if necessary, American forces will be used to actually defeat and destroy ISIS on the ground – although he promised not to become “the world's policeman.”

Some of his campaign promises drew skepticism, such as seeking to develop self-driving cars and to cure Alzheimer's disease and cancer within the next decade.

The speech's venue was chosen deliberately by Pataki, who considered entering the presidential race in 2000, 2008, and 2012. The town of Exeter, New Hampshire, claims to be the founding place of the Republican Party. (Ripon, Wisconsin, makes a similar claim.)

More importantly, the first-in-the-nation primary skews more libertarian on social issues than evangelical-dominated Iowa and South Carolina, so Pataki has essentially staked his candidacy on doing well in New Hampshire. Fellow pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani made a similar bet in 2008, banking on a good showing among transplanted New Yorkers in the Florida primary. He left the race after finishing a distant third.

Short of a stunning upset in the Granite State, Pataki has little chance of breaking through the pack this year. A Fox News poll ranks him dead last among 16 announced and potential candidates. Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News said, “George Pataki would never say this, but you do have to wonder if he's sort of, maybe, gaming for vice president.”

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Pataki is not the first “pro-choice” Republican to run for president.  Giuliani (who supported partial birth abortion) and Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (another potential 2016 candidate, who supports abortion during the first trimester) ran in 2008. Twelve years earlier, both California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter supported abortion-on-demand. Arlen Specter later left the party and became a Democrat.

In 1988, General Alexander Haig opposed a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So did Texas Gov. John Connally in 1980.

George H.W. Bush supported abortion and voted for Planned Parenthood funding early in his career but changed his position by the time he ran for president the second time, in 1988.

President Gerald Ford was the last Republican nominee to proclaim himself “pro-choice.” 

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Ireland ‘defied God’ by voting for gay ‘marriage’: Cardinal Burke

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By Pete Baklinski

OXFORD, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Cardinal Raymond Burke lamented how formerly Catholic Ireland has gone further than the pagans in the pre-Christian days of old and “defied God” by calling homosexual behavior “marriage” in the referendum last week.

“I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage,” he told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic organization, in an address Wednesday about the intellectual heritage of Pope Benedict XVI. The Tablet, Britain’s liberal Catholic newspaper, reported his remarks.

On Friday, 1.2 million Irish people voted to amend the country’s constitution to say: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” A little over 734,000 people voted against the proposal. 

Burke said that he could not understand “any nation redefining marriage.”

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The cardinal also emphasized the important role that parents play in protecting their children in a culture increasingly hostile to God’s laws. “The culture is thoroughly corrupted, if I may say so, and the children are being exposed to this, especially through the internet,” he said. One practical piece of advice that he offered families was to put computers in public areas to prevent children from “imbib[ing] this poison that’s out there.”

During the same Oxford visit, but during a homily at a Mass the day before, Burke called marriage between a man and woman a “fundamental truth” that has been “ignored, defied, and violated.”

Burke warned during the homily of the dangers of “various ideological currents” and of “human deception and trickery which strives to lead us into error.”

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Why young Christians can’t grasp our arguments against gay ‘marriage’

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By John Stonestreet

May 28, 2015 (BreakPoint.org) -- For five years, Dr. Abigail Rine has been teaching a course on gender theory at George Fox University, an evangelical school in the Quaker tradition.

At the beginning of the semester, she tells her students that “they are guaranteed to read something they will find disagreeable, probably even offensive.”

Writing at FirstThings.com recently, she related how five years ago it was easy to find readings that challenged and even offended the evangelical college students “considering the secular bent of contemporary gender studies.”

But today, things are different. “Students now,” she says, “arrive in my class thoroughly versed in the language and categories of identity politics; they are reticent to disagree with anything for fear of seeming intolerant—except, of course, what they perceive to be intolerant.”

And what do they find “intolerant”? Well, in her class, an essay entitled “What is Marriage?” by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson, which was the beginning of the book “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.”

In their article, Girgis, George, and Anderson defend what they call the conjugal view of marriage. “Marriage,” they write, “is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other … that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together.” They defend this view against what they call the “revisionist view” of marriage, which redefines marriage to include, among other things, same-sex couples.

“My students hate it,” Dr. Rine wrote. They “lambast the article.” “They also,” she adds, “seem unable to fully understand the argument.” And again, these are evangelical students at an evangelical school.

The only argument for conjugal marriage they’ve ever encountered has been the wooden proof-texting from the Bible. And besides, wrote Rine, “What the article names as a ‘revisionist’ idea of marriage—marriage as an emotional, romantic, sexual bond between two people—does not seem ‘new’ to my students at all, because this is the view of marriage they were raised with, albeit with a scriptural, heterosexual gloss.”

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

As Rine points out “the redefinition of marriage began decades ago” when “the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination.”

And if marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction,” then it seems mean-spirited to Rine’s students to argue that marriage by its very nature excludes same-sex couples.

And where do students get the idea that marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction”? Well, everywhere—television, church, school, their homes, in youth groups.

Rine writes, “As I consider my own upbringing and the various ‘sex talks’ I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist.”

In other words, once you say, “I do,” you get “the gift” of sex which is presented as “a ‘gift’ largely due to its [erotic], unitive properties, rather than its intrinsic capacity to create life.” Even in the Church, children have become an optional add-on to married life rather than its primary purpose.

What can we do to win back our children, our churches, and the culture? In our recent book “Same Sex Marriage,” Sean McDowell and I lay out a game plan. We offer strategies for the short-term and the long-term, with the ultimate goal: re-shaping the cultural imagination towards what God intended marriage to be, starting with the church. Come to BreakPoint.org to pick up your copy.

As Chuck Colson once said in a BreakPoint commentary about marriage, “We Christians are very good at saying ‘No.’ But we’ve got to get better at saying ‘Yes’: showing how God’s plan for humanity is a blessing. That His ways, including faithful, life-giving marriage between one man and one woman, lead to human flourishing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Reprinted with permission from Break Point.

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