One must marvel at the Constitutional disregard, determination and ingenuity of the PLDC friendly universities in their attempts to throttle a most basic American right – even after numerous courts throughout the land have consistently ruled such approaches to be unconstitutional – demonstrating that this fundamental contempt for the Constitution is at the heart of the PLDC agenda for academia.
As mentioned above, unlike public universities, which are, of course, government actors, private universities are not legally obligated to uphold the 1stAmendment rights of students on campus. In fact, private universities have a 1st Amendment freedom of assembly right to determine for themselves the terms of matriculation, within certain legal limits. However, many – in fact, most private colleges and universities advertise themselves as bastions of free and liberal learning, where all viewpoints can be expressed, discussed, and debated. Most private universities promise their students extensive speech rights in school materials such as student handbooks, recruiting brochures, and codes of conduct.
When a school, public or private, makes a promise to a student – whether in a student handbook or a brochure or a speech from the president – that school is morally and legally bound to honor that promise. Courts have held in numerous cases that private institutions must live up to these types of promises, based on a “contract theory.”
“Havlik v. Johnson & Wales University, 509 F.3d 25, 34 (1st Cir. 2007) “The relevant terms of the contractual relationship between a student and a university typically include language found in the university’s student handbook…. We interpret such contractual terms in accordance with the parties’ reasonable expectations, giving those terms the meaning that the university reasonably should expect the student to take from them.”;
Ross v. Creighton University, 957 F.2d 410, 416 (7th Cir. 1992) “It is held generally in the United States that the ‘basic legal relation between a student and private university or college is contractual in nature. The catalogues, bulletins, circulars, and regulations of the institution made available to the matriculant become a part of the contract.’”;
Schaer v. Brandeis University, 735 N.E.2d 373 (Mass. 2000) “…recognizing contractual relationship between student and university, and employing ‘the standard of reasonable expectation — what meaning the party making the manifestation, the university, should reasonably expect the other party to give it.’”;
In some cases, however, some lower courts have ruled that student handbooks and other related materials are non-binding or need not be precisely followed.
Pacella v. Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, 66 F. Supp. 2d 234 (D. Mass. 1999). Ruling that the provisions of the student handbook were not contractually binding on the university in part because the university could unilaterally modify them without notice;
Romeo v. Seton Hall University, 378 N.J. Super. 384, 395 (App. Div. 2005) “A contractual relationship cannot be based on isolated provisions in a student manual…. [A] private religious university’s values and mission must be left to the discretion of the university.”
In spite of these lower court decisions, the weight of the precedent at the Supreme Court level is favored toward recognizing private university-student relationships as contractual in nature and holding universities accountable for the promises they make to students in handbooks and other related materials. The “contract theory” is therefore a viable and judicially recognized means of enforcing students’ free speech rights at private colleges and universities.
As a private entity with its own institutional 1st Amendment rights, a private college may choose to define itself as being committed to values other than free speech, as long as the school makes it publicly and consistently clear that it holds a certain set of values above a commitment to free speech.
For example, the Mormon based Brigham Young University (BYU) is quite forthright in its stated policies that students entering BYU are not guaranteed robust free speech rights. One BYU policy says the following about free expression:
“[T]he exercise of individual and institutional academic freedom must be a matter of reasonable limitations. In general, at BYU a limitation is reasonable when the faculty behavior or expression seriously and adversely affects the university mission or the [Mormon] Church.”
It would be clear to anyone attending BYU that they are not entitled to unfettered free speech on campus. If a private college clearly does not promise free speech, and the college makes this known publicly and consistently, entering students have given informed consent and have voluntarily chosen to limit their own rights-in much the same way students entering military academies or theological seminaries understand that they are relinquishing many rights they would enjoy at a state college.
FIRE defines a speech code as any [public] campus regulation that punishes, forbids, heavily regulates, or restricts a substantial amount of protected speech, or what would be protected speech in society at large. This basic definition is necessary because colleges rarely label such restrictions as “speech codes” in their handbooks. Instead, they are referred to by many other names. For example, “speech zone” policies.
The most common type of speech code, however, is the absurdly overbroad “harassment policy.” For example, Eastern Michigan University defines sexual harassment as including “inappropriate sexual or gender-based activities, comments or gestures.” The University of Texas-Austin prohibits “sexually oriented conversations [or] comments” and “the use of language or the telling of jokes or anecdotes of a sexual nature…even if such conduct is not objected to by those present.”
Jackson State University’s [an HBCU – historically black college or university] harassment policy provides, in relevant part, that “The scope of any form of harassment includes language to physical acts which degrade, insult, taunt, or challenges another person by any means of verbal communication, so as to provoke a violent response, communication of threat, defamation of character, use of profanity, verbal assaults, derogatory comments or remarks, sexist remarks, racists remarks or any behavior that places another member of the University community in a state of fear or anxiety.” [Can anyone say “rap music?”]
While some of these policies are enacted out of a presumably well-intentioned-if-paternalistic-impulse to “protect” students from “harm,” they are entirely incompatible with freedom of expression and the daily reality of communication in our modern, liberal democracy. When enacted at public universities, speech codes like the ones described above have been found unconstitutional by federal and state courts in decisions dating back over two decades.”
But the Campus Division of the PLDC goes far beyond attacks on free speech. A popular pogrom is all about “microaggressions” – defined in the PLDC College Dictionary at UCLA as; “the everyday verbal, non-verbal and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or not, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” Further, according to a book on the subject published by Wiley; “…overt expressions of racism, sexism, ageism and (a new one) ableism are less [serious] than the covert and unconscious manifestations [of microaggressions] delivered by well-intentioned individuals.”
That explanation is, itself, a microaggression by its own definition because virtually everybody is being accused of targeting or of being victimized by someone else’s description of marginalization and of being ignorantly well-intentioned. I’m offended.
So, what the “political correctness police” are now indoctrinating our “best and brightest” – our college kids – into believing is that, for example, the Golden Rule is “microaggressive” because the speaker would be failing to recognize the arrogance and cultural insensitivity of believing that everyone values being treated well – as the speaker supposedly would want to be treated.
Other examples of microaggressions provided by a Nashville Tennessean columnist include: “I think the most qualified person should get the job.” “There is only one race, the human race.” “Where are you from?” “You look nice today.” Based on these examples, simply being nice can be evidence of malevolent and aggressive behavior. Deconstruction in full bloom, folks.
One recent manifestation of this absurdity was when the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the flagship of the UT system, published guidance to have its students refer to each other using the “gender neutral pronouns” xe and ze (pronunciation unknown) so as not to “label anyone who was having any issues with their gender identity”. Once this nonsense became public, the heavily Republican legislature, which funds the university system, threatened hearings and sanctions and the administration at UT quickly removed the guidance from its handbook.
This is the same university that officially sponsors a “Sex Week”!
Proving how quickly they learn, the same Diversity Office then published guidelines for faculty and administration gatherings around the Christmas holiday. They cautioned against allowing any holiday parties from degenerating into “Christmas” parties. Again, the legislature rose up in disbelief at the contempt displayed by State employees, cancelled their funding and directed that the Diversity Office be disbanded.
This is the same PLDC friendly university that combined the men’s and women’s athletic administrations which resulted in 12 of the 15 losses being women – while 7 of 8 positions on the athletic dean’s staff were being held by men – all the while claiming gender equity. War on women? How about a war on the truth?
While institutions trying to control speech is one thing, actually drafting students to work for a particular political candidate under the rubric of “community service” is quite another. That’s not enough to deter the PLDC. Consider:
A public high school in Maine was caught red-handed trying to recruit students to work on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as a “community service opportunity” – without the knowledge or consent of parents. Could you imagine the national media firestorm had the school been recruiting for Donald Trump’s campaign?
Students at Marshwood High School in South Berwick received an insidious email from the Clinton campaign – urging them to sign up for positions as unpaid “fellows”.
“Hillary for New Hampshire is looking for smart, energetic winter fellows who are committed to winning the New Hampshire primary for Hillary Clinton,” read the email from a campaign staffer. “Everyone working on the campaign now started off as a fellow at some point, so it is a great way of getting a different skill set whilst helping an important cause.”
One set of parents was furious that their teenage son had received the solicitation – calling it “disingenuous and sneaky.” “My son didn’t appreciate being targeted by anybody via his school email for a political campaign,” said the mother. “I’ll be honest – he’s not a fan of Hillary Clinton to begin with. He’s done his homework and he doesn’t like her.”
The parents reached out to Paul Mehlhorn, the principal of the high school. They provided the press with a copy of his emailed response. “We often receive information from outside sources regarding opportunities for students to get involved in their communities,” he wrote back. “We pass on this information to provide students with ways they may meet the requirement to perform 50 hours of community service to graduate.”
Mehlhorn went on to explain that students are not obligated to volunteer for Clinton’s campaign, “nor does it suggest the school supports a particular political candidate, religious doctrine or branch of military.” [Then what is the “important cause” described in the e-mail, if not Hillary’s victory. “If other ‘campaigns’ were to seek volunteers, we would pass that on also,” he noted.
The principal went to say that the email solicitation sounded like a great way to have a conversation with their children about understanding their choices in getting involved or not. As you might imagine, the parents were not all that thrilled with the principal’s explanation [especially since this political conversation began with an endorsement of the PLDC candidate].
“Politics doesn’t belong there – Republican, Democrat, green, purple, white, whatever,” the mother said. It doesn’t belong in the schools. The kids get, we get so much of this – we get bombarded during the political campaigning season, which now is almost never ending. Those kids should be able to go to school and learn without having that noise around them or targeted at them.”
When contacted, Mary Nash, the superintendent of schools said it was a mistake to send out the email. She said a school staffer had forwarded the email to students without providing “additional information regarding this community service opportunity.”
However, the intentions were pretty well explained in the email. They wanted minors to pound the pavement for Hillary Clinton. She directed the principal to send a letter to moms and dads. “In general, all staff must refrain from sending out any solicitations supporting any non-school organization,” the principal wrote. The mom said there is absolutely nothing wrong with students getting involved in political campaigns. However, the school overstepped its boundaries.
“If you want to campaign for someone – that’s fine – but that’s between the child and the parents,” she said. ‘That’s not for the campaign to target you at school and it’s not for the school to suggest to you. That’s between you and your parents.”
Well said [but, the real evil in this incident is that the educators – or should we say ‘indoctrinators’ – didn’t see anything wrong with this solicitation to minors and continued cook up verbal pretzels to defend it].”
A more significant example of indoctrination can be found in public schools around the country and has risen to the top of parents’ consciousness in Middle Tennessee. Tennessee seventh-graders spend a portion of their time in a world history course studying “The World of Islam”. The amount of time spent on the topic, and what students are actually learning during that time, has some lawmakers and parents in an uproar and the State planning to review standards.
It should be noted that there is no Tennessee history course entitled “The World of Christianity”. It appears that Christianity is not politically correct, while Islam is. Think about that: misogyny, child abuse, state-sponsored murder, genital mutilation and more is politically correct while the “Golden Rule” is, apparently, heresy to the PLDC.
It has been discovered by parents that their children were given a written assignment in World History where they are required to write out the “Five Pillars of Islam”, which begin with the statement of belief that; “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.” Imagine the conflict and confusion this causes in the minds of impressionable young minds. At no point in the section about either Judaism or Christianity do students write out the Ten Commandments – in deference to the alleged “separation” of church and state.
In fact, students are provided 23 pages of text on Islam and only one-half a page on Christianity.
“There is a big difference between education and indoctrination,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a statement. “It is reprehensible that our school system has exhibited this double-standard, more concerned with teaching the practices of Islam than the history of Christianity. Tennessee parents have a right to be outraged and I stand by them in this fight.”
Blackburn’s criticism joins the calls of state lawmakers and parents in several Tennessee counties upset over the middle school curriculum. Parents in Maury, Williamson and other counties have expressed concerns about the class. They say their children were required to memorize the Five Pillars of Islam and to write that, essentially, “Allah” is the only God as part of an assignment, according to several local and national media reports.
On the other side of the argument, the “Pillars of Islam are basic tenets of the Islamic religion, and simply learning them or repeating them doesn’t make anyone Muslim”, according to the executive director of advocacy organization American Center for Outreach, who is Muslim. “To learn what the first pillar is has nothing to do with indoctrination. You can’t trick someone into being a Muslim.”, he said. [Then why are schools trying?]
[The First Pillar of Islam states (a) Nothing deserves worship except God (Allah). (b) Muhammad is the Messenger of God (Allah). A Muslim is simply one who bears witness and testifies that “nothing deserves worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”]
“There is a basic level of misunderstanding driving this fear and outrage”, he said. “In Arabic, the word ‘Allah’ means God. Christians who speak Arabic use the word Allah to talk about God all the time, he said [but not American children who use the word ‘God’ to mean the God of Abraham, Moses, Sts. Peter and Paul and Pope Francis.”]
Here is why this statement presents a major problem for a nation conceived in the Judeo-Christian religion.
“According to the Encyclopedia of Religion, Allah corresponded to the Babylonian god Baal, and Arabs knew of him long before Mohammed worshipped him as the supreme God. Before Islam, the Arabs recognized many gods and goddesses, each tribe had their own deity. There were also nature deities. Allah was the god of the local Quarish tribe, which was Mohammed’s tribe before he invented Islam to lead his people out of their polytheism.
Allah was then known as the Moon God, who had 3 daughters who were viewed as intercessors for the people into Allah. “Historians like Vaqqidi have said Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods being worshipped in Arabia at the time Mohammed rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of pre-Islamic deities…Interestingly, not many Muslims want to accept that Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka’ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came.
The literal name of Mohammed’s father in Arabic is Abd Allah. His uncle’s name, Obred Allah. These names show the devotion of Mohammed’s families pagan roots, and also prove that Allah was part of a polytheistic system of worship before Allah was made the supreme and only God. This should be proof to the pre-Islamic root of the name of Allah to the Muslim.
Mohammed kept his family name above all the other names. To the Muslim, God is strictly singular, all seeing, all hearing, almighty, He is the first and the last. But what differs is that he has no Son and he cannot be called Father who relates to His son in a unique way as Christianity believes (Son and Father does not mean offspring in historic Christianity).
Of the 99 names of God in Islam, not one is “Father” or has a personal connotation. The difference is not to be overlooked. The God of the Bible is personal and wants an ongoing friendship with each of us. Islam portrays God as one who expects us to do our religious duty or He angers. There are rules to be obeyed and one can only please him but not know him personally. No Muslim would ever consider being able to have a personal relationship with him, by talking to him, and loving him. Islam does not even allow a depiction of him.
Jesus instead taught Christians to pray “our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Throughout the Old Testament God was real to the prophets who had him personally speak to them and they to him. “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?” (Mal 2:10)
To a Muslim, the God of the Bible’s New Testament, who is described as triune, is offensive and pagan, reminding them of what Mohammed destroyed. This is recorded in their Qu’ran. They interpret this as 3 separate Gods and not a unified one. “They are unbelievers who say God is a third of three. No God is there but one God.”
Muslims claim that the name Allah can be found in the Bible. This is no different than what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do for the name Jehovah. Allah is not called Yahweh once in the Koran but neither is Yahweh called Allah in the Bible. So, they can’t be the same God. Neither is the word Elohim, which is applied to Yahweh over 2,500 times in the Bible, used in the Koran. Neither is Allah called “I Am”, which He said to Moses, in the Bible, would be His name forever.
The God of the Bible identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob’s name is later changed to the name Israel, being the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. The God of the Bible calls Jerusalem the city of David and that the Messiah would descend from his lineage. Neither does the God of the Bible mention Mecca or Medina but, instead Jerusalem, over 800 times. Yet Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran, which the Muslim claims as their own.
The God in the Bible is called the God of the Jews, an impossibility with Allah. They are called His chosen people, but they are not Allah’s chosen. Allah commands the Muslim to not take the Jews or Christians as friends. Sura.5:51 disdains the Jews. Mohammed said, “The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them.” (Mishkat Al Masabih Sh.M. Ashraf pp.147, 721, 810-11, 1130). So how could Israel inherit the land or any of God’s promises from Allah, if he is their God. Clearly, he is not the same God of the Bible.
Muslims trying to prove their position from the Bible point to the Old Testament with the word alleluyah, interpreting the first portion of the word alle, as Allah. The word [H]alleluyah is not a compound Hebrew word. It is not two words but a singular word meaning praise to Yahweh. (alle- praise, lu- to, yah- Yaweh). The root of the word is hallel, meaning praise. This has nothing to do with an Allah, and the last syllable of the word is a reference to Yahweh the God of the Bible. This is hardly any evidence for Muslim assertions. They are also confusing Aramaic with Arabic.
This word play only gets more ludicrous as they try to have Jesus saying the name of their God. When Jesus was on the cross, theyclaim when he cried out Eli, Eli – it was really Allah, Allah. The New Testament was written in Greek; however it points us to him speaking the Aramaic language, not Arabic. Jesus was quoting Psalm 22:1 which read in full says, Eli, Eli Sabbathani “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.” What makes even less sense for this position is the fact that they don’t believe that it was Jesus on the cross in the first place, but that another took His place. Some think it was Judas; so, was it Judas crying out Allah, Allah?
The first Arabic translation of the Bible was made about the 9th century. Nowhere is the name of Allah found, in the Old or New Testament, as a name for God. When Islam became the dominant political force, people were coerced to use the name Allah for God or suffer the consequences from the hands of militant Muslims. Because of Islam’s dominance Allah became the common name of God.
The translators of the Bible gave in to the religious pressures and substituted Allah for Yahweh in the Arabic Bibles, but this is not the name of the God of the Hebrews, nor of the creator who made heaven and earth because of its source in paganism. His nature and attributes have only a few basic similarities and many more differences. And the most important point is that all through the Qu’ran it says Allah has no son.”
So, the God of Islam is not the same as the God of Judeo-Christians. Allah is not a personal God who wants a relationship with us. Allah simply demands obedience. Our God-given free-will is irrelevant to Allah and, if we have the temerity to exercise it, we should be killed. So, instructing children that there “is no God but God and Allah is His name” is, at the very least, disingenuous and, at worst, a monstrous lie. Next time: Is Islam a religion?