Thursday, February 22, 2018

Education and the Victimhood Mentality

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 22:44
This news item was posted in Education category.
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By the Rev Dr. Joe Renfro, EdD


There is education, and often very much in contemporary American education is being coupled with a victimhood mentality.   Various minority groups are crying out particularly from the platforms of academia, our colleges and universities, that they or a group they support are suffering from various forms of what they call adverse discrimination—be it Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, genderism, xenophobia, ageism, socio-economic discrimination, disability prejudice, or whatever. Protest has become for many an accepted, even applauded form of education. Learning is for these, not the only acquisition of knowledge, but cultivation of attitudes under the semblance of education to promote change they desire.

Slavoi Zizek in an article from the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy wrote an article called, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” where he said:

The first thing to note here is that it takes two to fight a culture war: culture is also the dominant ideological topic of the “enlightened” liberals whose politics is focused on the fight against sexism, racism, and fundamentalism, and for multicultural tolerance… The second thing to note is how, while professing their solidarity with the poor, liberals encode culture war with an opposed class message: more often than not, their fight for multicultural tolerance and women’s rights marks the counter-position to the alleged intolerance, fundamentalism, and patriarchal sexism of the “lower classes”…The third thing to take note of is the fundamental difference between feminist/anti-racist/anti-sexist etc. struggle and class struggle: in the first case, the goal is to translate antagonism into difference (“peaceful” coexistence of sexes, religions, ethnic groups), while the goal of the class struggle is precisely the opposite, i.e., to “aggravate” class difference into class antagonism… The entertainment industry is not forcing depravity on an unwilling American public. The demand for decadence is there. That fact does not excuse those who sell such degraded material any more than the demand for crack excuses the crack dealer. But we must be reminded that the fault is in ourselves, in human nature not constrained by external forces.

The victimhood mentality wishes to ignore the total depravity of mankind, and seeks to hit just at the externals, neglecting to define the “heart of man,” that the Bible says is totally wicked.  The victimhood mentality is a concept that might point to a reality or a shad of actuality. It might point to a state where one might feel they are suffering adverse discrimination, exclusive of what real situations might prevail.  It is a tool to implant societal acceptance or applause on any form or behavior that the liberal mind might condone, or from the other side to condemn what they oppose.              

Laura Hollis in the April 27, 2017 Townhall wrote: 

Consider just a few of the legitimate complaints that have been piling up in the past 20 or 30 years. Many of these have their source in well-intentioned left-ish ideas that went seriously awry: the proliferation of majors that hold little to no possibility of meaningful employment; the erosion of academic standards; the encouragement of sexual license and devastating “hookup culture” and “rape culture” issues; the elimination of in loco parentis and creation of a warped quasi-legal state in its place; the de facto criminalization of student and faculty disciplinary matters and denials of due process; the creation of inflammatory and absurdly expansive concepts like “trigger warnings, “safe spaces,” privilege” and “cultural appropriation.” And then there is exploding tuition that has outpaced inflation and even the costs of medical care.

The victimhood mentality also would well fit into the picture of what has happened on many campuses, along with the others factors Hollis mentioned.

Many of the protests taking place throughout our land at present are against the concepts, morality, and laws that were germane to the founding principles of our nation.  To espouse the basic conservative thinking that was and is central to our land is under condemnation, and any speech promoting it is being condemned in many of our educational institutions.  The freedom of speech for conservative thinking is to be condemned or contained as disruptive, while the more liberal is promoted!

Violence has been hovering of the University of California Berkeley campus over the possibility of conservative thinker, Ann Coulter speaking on issues of concern.  However the liberal faction, much of it funded by outside sources such as the radical Soros are determined this conservative speech will not happen. Freedom of speech is to be allowed for the leftist speakers, but not for the conservative.

There have been at least three UC Berkeley free speech protests that have devolved into violence since February 1st of 2017 – leading to thirty-four arrests, thirty-nine injuries and property damage totaling at least $100,000. There have been calls on Coulter to cancel her appearance to avoid further bloodshed.  Still others have called for her to standing up for her First Amendment rights.

Hank Berrien in the Daily Wire, April 24, 2017 wrote an article, “College President Considers Punishing Conservative students for posting Shapiro’s Quote About Transgenderism” – the quote being : “Transgender people are unfortunately suffering from a significant mental illness, and it is not a solution to pretend that transgender people are the sex that they think they are in their head. Biology is biology; men can’t magically become women and women can’t magically become men.”  Here was freedom of speech, by using a quote, but it was condemned.

This situation happened at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, the Hood College where a Republican club used a glass case in the Whitaker Student Center to display material that discussed abortion and transgenderism, including the quote from Shapiro about transgenderism.  Notice this was just to discuss the issues!

According to Fox News, April 23, 2017 The Anti-Zionist Muslim activist Linda Sarsour to speak at NYC University. Sarsour, a Muslim woman, has referred to “Zionist trolls” and lauded the “courage” of rock-throwing Palestinians.  She will deliver this year’s keynote address at the commencement ceremony of a New York City university. The Brooklyn-born activist, who is co-organizer of the Women’s March and a former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants.  It judged fine, for her to utilize her free speech!

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, says it is “nuts” that a taxpayer-funded institution like CUNY would invite a supporter of Shariah law to speak, CBS New York reported.  “She is someone who associates with radical Islamists; supports them; shows support for them. She is someone who has said, clearly, she thinks throwing rocks at cars in Israel is a good thing,” Hikind told the station. “I mean, it’s just nuts. It makes no sense. It’s crazy to have this woman be the person who’s going to speak to the students.”  Free speech for just the Left in many of our academic institutions!

All of this is the product to the Rainbow Coalition that rejects freedom of speech of the conservative Christian worldviews and applauds that which is in opposition to it. There is an educational conflict between the cross of Christ and the Rainbow Coalition.  The Rainbow Coalition portrays itself as most encompassing and as the guardian of truth, and in America its main enemy if the Cross of Christ, which in its beliefs and actions are much in conflict with the image the coalition wishes to project.

Many of us with knowledge of the Bible recall that Scripture that says; “Men shall be ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  We look at the situations in California itself in the middle of an existential crisis of identity.  It has been said:   “The liberal stronghold has been very much in the news as of late, as left-leaning fascist millennials continue to tear down anyone who dare opposed their progressive viewpoints…The latest nonsense to come slithering out of the Bear Republic is absolutely infuriating, as a group of student leftists have demanded that Pomona College take ‘action’ against a conservative author scheduled to speak on campus, claiming that the ‘truth’ is no longer an objective concept.  (Racist California College Students Demand Censorship of Conservative Speakers, Deny “Truth” Exists  — by Andrew West, Constitution, April 19, 2017)

The Rainbow Coalition has evolved into the symbol for any minority group that feels they have suffered some form of adverse discrimination, and it is the flag to unite and combat the so-called status quo that supposedly supports this discrimination the liberal oppose.  There are instances where girls were forbidden to wear necklaces with the cross of Christ.  There are Christian colleges were Muslim protests have led to the removal of crosses from classrooms.  There are colleges where leftist speakers would wildly applauded and Christian conservative thinkers were forbidden to speak, heckled, or assaulted. Where is freedom of speech?

However, it is one thing to adversely attack a so-called minority group, inflicting a type of suffering from the so-called discrimination, but it is really just the same for this same action to become a tool to discriminate against a previously accepted group.  To promote reverse discrimination under the halo of justice can often be injustice.  It contradicts the very arguments that it wishes to make and becomes a disguised form of injustice in reality.  

In the scripture from Actus 17:22-13 the Apostle Paul stood in the midst of the people on Mars’ hill in Athens, Greece, and he debated with the intellectuals that were there.  Many of the ancient Greek philosophers had speculated about various understandings of evolution, but Paul didn’t address or argue about this, for God could use whatever he wished. Paul did not debate for debates sake, but he went to center of the core.  However, what was important was that they did not know God, but in Christ they could. This should be central force of the Christian influence in Education!

As Paul sought to deal with the Athenians on the basic doctrine of just one God, whom we could know through Jesus Christ, he referred to some of their own materials.  Paul quoted from the philosopher, Epimenides, that “For in him we live, and move and have our being,” and then from Aratus, who was a pagan poet and said, “For we also are his offspring.”   The Athenians listened to Paul as he spoke so eloquently from the knowledge of that time, but when he mentioned the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the glory of God, it blew their minds and most turned him off.  God was not just an idea, but Paul taught that he  was one with whom we could know and relate. This calls for not speculation but commitment!

Paul called the people to repentance, to let God direct their lives instead of just following their own desires.  He told them to turn from seeking to rule their own lives to the realization of God leading their lives through the risen Jesus Christ.    We could not know God through a dead Christ, but we can know him through the risen Christ.  Christ is alive, and we find the affirmation of this through the indwelling Holy Spirit, who comes into our lives when we come to know God through Jesus Christ.  Christ is risen and alive.  There was no one protesting in Paul’s speech or crying about victimhood under the Roman rule.

Many are using education as a tool to cultivate and develop this victimhood mentality.  We are observing a force at work that is seeking to transform our nation away from being a Judeo-Christian culture.  It is a call to change into a leftist, humanistic, totalitarian, socialistic, and authoritarian form of dominance, something we must move against and beyond for it is founded on error. Many leading forces from the leftist thinking categorize the Bible as a central force of prejudice, but the progressive thinking is an ideology without a basic presupposition, except that truth is not an existence, but a process.  Thus for them falsehoods can combine to the realization of their quest!

Their goal is to have Big Brother to educate us, so as to determine to what we are to believe and in what ways we are to act. All is going to be overseen and determined, so that the evils of prejudice as they define them are eradicated from our society. The progressive world view is the quest.  The co-called victims set the goals to subdue some ideas.  We have observed this process moving rapidly in the past decade under the flagship of globalism. But is globalism good, when we are called to believe everything as relative, and so much of everything, we really believe nothing?

Prejudice refers to an attitude and belief that one group of people is in some way inferior to another. The word “prejudice” comes from the Latin roots “prae” (in advance) and “judicum” (judgment), which essentially means to judge before. When we “pre-judge” someone, we make up our minds about who they are before we actually get to know them. Prejudices — or “pre-judgments” — are not based upon actual real-life interaction with a person or group. Prejudice is often born of stereotypes and forms the fertile soil of discrimination. But discrimination when it refers to distinguished between right and wrong, good and bad, or positive or negative is not a negative term at all.

Being able to make rational judgments based on evidence should never be confused as being prejudice! People should be classified as equal regardless of their particular category, and each individual should be open to his or her personal achievement and fulfillment, but not at the expense of limiting that of others, as often victimhood thinking does.  The victimhood mentality promotes a form of bias that actually is just a form prejudice in different attire—adverse discrimination is not justice, but it is injustice in the clothing of justice.

We use the concept of free speech as one of the basic foundations to the United States of America, and this was determined by the Christian heritage that was basic to the formation of this land. The First Amendment to our Constitution is that:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  This is basic to the freedom in our land!

Free speech is an offense to many on the left and on the right as well, because free speech encourages debate, dialogue, and the discovery of truth.  Many people have died for the cause of free speech.  The Lord Jesus Christ died practicing free speech, declaring the truth as to who he was.  Many were offended, so it is any wonder now, as many in our land are pulling to limit freed speech under the Rainbow Coalition banner and the color of their support for the victimhood mentality.  Christ did not die demonstrating or free speech, but he died because he chose to use it, “to tell it like it is.”

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