Author Archives: Betty Pfeiffer

Author and Speaker

Does Your Son Have White Skin? – Identity Politics

If you have a son, and his skin is white, he is probably in trouble in today’s world. Ohio State University has a new course titled “Be a Man! Masculinities, Race and Nation.” To say the least, it teaches that being a white, heterosexual male is chancy and complicated. It’s Identity Politics!

That course’s required textbook is titled Dude, You’re a Fag! Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America posted a review of that book on Amazon that states:

We know that schools are a central site for the construction of gender identity, but until C. J. Pascoe’s careful and compassionate ethnography, we haven’t known exactly how gender conformity is extracted from a slurry of humiliations, fears, and anxieties. Boys will not be boys unless they are made to be, by violence, real or implied. A troubling, thoughtful work.”— (Emphasis added.)

So, are you teaching your white son to grow up to be a man by teaching him through violence?!? Remember this is the required textbook of this course! I have not read the book, but I have not found any comments refuting the statement by Pascoe.

The following was reported by Bill Korach of The Report Card:

Other assigned reading excerpts include: “Masculinity as Homophobia” by Michael Kimmel; “Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity” by Jackson Katz; “Dude Sex: Dudes Who Have Sex with Dudes” by Jane Ward; “Looking for My Penis” by Richard Fung; “Sodomy in the New World” by Jonathan Goldberg; and “Teaching Men’s Anal Pleasure” by Susan Stiritz.

Don’t rely on checking the qualifications of professors to determine the classes your student signs up for. “Be a Man! Masculinities, Race and Nation” was created and is taught by Jonathan Branfman who is a doctoral candidate at Ohio State and received a 2017-2018 Presidential Fellowship award.

Not content to poison the minds of college students, Branfman has also written a children’s book titled You Be You! It’s intended for kids seven to twelve years old, and according to an article in The Lantern, “Jonathan Branfman didn’t just want parents to know it’s never too early to expose their children to topics of gender identity, romantic orientation and diversity. He wanted to create an easy way to do it.” (Emphasis added.)

Branfman may have read my cautionary statements about parents starting to teach their kids not only God’s paths, but what they will hear in the secular world at an early age. (No, I don’t really think he did that!) Branfman is quoted as saying:

I often found myself thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone got really clear, unstigmatized information about gender and sexual diversity at a young age instead of them having to unlearn all kinds of harmful false ideas when they’re 12 instead of when they’re 20 . . .

So my goal for this book is for kid of all different identities to understand and accept themselves and each other from a really early age, (All emphases added.)

There are a couple of issues that need addressing here. God made, through Adam and Eve, all humans of every skin color. His laws, love, and forgiveness extends to all regardless of sex and ethnicity. However, he does not in any place in the Bible that I know of tell us to understand and accept deliberately living in sin. In the incident of the woman accused of adultery (John 8:11), Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” So often the last part of Jesus’ sentence is neglected. He does not tell the woman he understands her actions and accepts them; he tells her to “sin no more.” That’s not what some want to hear.

Texas State University is apologizing after coming under fire for running an opinion column in its student newspaper called “Your DNA is an abomination” that accuses white people of being oppressors who “shouldn’t exist.” In addressing this ideology, Paul Craig Roberts of the Institute for Political Economy wrote:

The idea that power resides in the white heterosexual male is obviously erroneous. Imagine if the Texas college student had written that black DNA is an abomination or homosexual DNA is an abomination. The article would not have been published. But it is perfectly OK to denigrate whites. Indeed, white males have no protection against abuse, because they are not protected by quotas, political correctness, and hate speech prohibitions. . . .

Americans, especially white people who are the target of the deadly ideology of Identity Politics and are placed by the ideology in the same position as Jews in Nazi Germany and capitalists in Soviet Russia, are unaware of the extent to which Identity Politics is now the dominant force in American culture.

Bill Korach says,

For Identity Politics the only acceptable white heterosexual males are those who admit their gender and sexual preference guilt and accept their punishment for being the victimizers of women, blacks, and homosexuals.

Do you think those statements of Roberts and Korach go too far, or have you seen Identity Politics affecting your white male child, either in school or personal relations? Are your kids being taught to understand and accept sinful lives?

Evolution v. Intelligent Design: Putting Your Life on the Line

Michael Behe uses the example of a mousetrap to illustrate “irreducible complexity”

What can changing your belief in the theory of evolution to intelligent design cost you? For Günter Bechly it cost a lot.

Even the highly educated can learn
It all began when German paleo-entomologist and museum curator at the Stuttgart Museum of Natural History, Günter Bechly, arranged for an exhibit to honor Charles Darwin. One of his displays was a balance scale. He put books offering scientific evidence against evolution on one side, and a copy of Darwin’s The Origin of Species on the other. Using a little “manipulation,” the single Darwin volume seemed to outweigh all those in opposition to it. A little heavy-handed perhaps, but the manipulation was obvious so no one was really fooled into believing that the preponderance of evidence was actually that one-sided.

Bechly’s problems started when he decided to read some of the books of the opposition. What could it hurt? He might find out what was driving these believers in intelligent design. One he chose was Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe; he sat down to begin tearing it apart. Surprised, he found that what he read actually made sense. He realized that building a flagellum using evolutionary principles is (his words) “completely ridiculous.”

He decided to talk to some of the authors with compelling ideas about intelligent design (known often as ID), such as Behe and William Dembski. He says, “They are much different from what I expected. They are open-minded. They are not religious fanatics who try to push a kind of theocratic system on society under the label of intelligent design. They are really interested—is this neo-Darwinism story really true or is there scientific reason to doubt it.”

Dumped by Wikipedia
Enlightenment sometimes comes with repercussions. It did for Professor Bechly—in of all places, Wikipedia. When Bechly began to make his newly-acquired views on intelligent design public, Wikipedia erased him!

An article from pjmedia.com, “Wikipedia Erases Record of Accomplished Scientist — ‘Censored’ for His Intelligent Design Position” states that Bechly was not considered sufficiently “notable” to warrant his page. His credentials were not sufficient (although they had been in the past.) Credentials not sufficient for Wikipedia? Well, let’s see. In response to Wikipedia, Paleontologist Günter Bechly

. . . provided links to press, TV, and radio segments mentioning his work, exhibitions he designed, and a few articles from the BBC and Scientific American.

“Add to that three described new insect orders, more than 160 described species, and insect family Bechlyidae, a genus and 8 species named after me, 2 edited books and numerous book chapters, 1 book in German about me, and a ResearchGate score that is higher than 85% of ResearchGate members.”

I just checked to be certain. I did a Wikipedia search and received the response, “The page ‘Günter Bechly’ does not exist.”

Persona non grata
At the Stuttgart Museum of Natural History, gossip and cold looks were the least of Günter’s problems. The museum began blocking his applications to purchase new fossils; a person working under him retired and wasn’t replaced even though that position was very important to his work; Bechly’s amber collection was moved from its convenient location near his office; he was asked to resign from a position he held in a research-funding group; and finally, the museum told him he was “a big threat to the credibility and reputation of the museum” and it would be best for him to resign.

Big questions for parents
So, ask yourself some questions: If you believe God (we could call him our Intelligent Designer) created all things through his Word alone, are you teaching that regularly and often to your children? In school they will be taught that it all arose through the process of a Big Bang and evolution.

Do you consider it important that your children believe the Scripture is true and trustworthy? If they do not believe Genesis, why would they believe anything else in the Bible? (That’s a pretty major question, because that’s where we learn about salvation through the perfect life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.)

Counting the cost
However, as demonstrated in the life and career of Günter Bechly and many others, your children’s life on this earth might be considerably more difficult if they believe in God. They may be teased about denying the theory of evolution. Teachers may lower their grades. I’ve heard of at least one college who refused admission to a science program because the student professed his belief in God as creator.

In Luke 14:27 Jesus tells us, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” He reemphasizes the cost of following him in verse 33: “. . . those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” That sounds like some pretty tough love.

Which would you prefer for your children: an easier professional life or eternal life in heaven?

I’ll be interested in hearing whether your schools are permitting teaching the theory of intelligent design. And let me know how you talk to your children about the differences in evolution and creation by God.

A Look at Public School Education in 2017

With regard to public schools, there was much to be dismayed about in 2017, but much that was positive as well. The positive stuff usually slid under the radar, so let’s take a backward look at 2017 and see what we can feel good about.

Teaching the Bible as History and Literature
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a Bill into law that allows Kentucky public schools to teach courses on the Bible. The law does not force schools to teach the Bible, but rather gives schools the option of providing a Bible literacy elective course for students to voluntarily study. The law permits students to learn the role the Bible played in the history of western culture. As one saying goes, it will be “teaching, not preaching.” Similar legislation has passed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Texas House Bill 1287, if passed, will permit public schools to offer “elective courses on the bible’s Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) and New Testament and their impact on the history and literature of western civilization.”

Other similar bills are waiting action in Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Evolution and Climate Change
Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma and South Dakota introduced bills that would protect teachers who “teach the controversy” on global warming and evolution as long as it is not taught from a religious standpoint. (The bills were defeated in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.) Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee have already passed such laws. In mid-November two bills were pre-filed in Florida that would require “controversial theories and concepts” to be taught in a “factual, objective, and balanced manner.” In Texas similar legislation died in committee when a legislative deadline passed without action on the bill.

Betsy DeVos, the new secretary of education under President Trump, was criticized in an early 2017 propublica.org article. It read:

Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick as secretary of education, has funded groups that champion “intelligent design,” a sophisticated outgrowth of creationism. Science educators worry that she could use her bully pulpit to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools.

The article mentioned a question posed to DeVos asking if she would promote “junk science.” She responded that she supports allowing “students to exercise critical thinking.”

Improving Textbooks
Florida Citizens Alliance, a group that states it is motivated because: “Our establishment education system is failing America’s students academically, civically and morally. Florida children are being indoctrinated in a public-school system that undermines their individual rights and destroys our founding principles and family values.” Their goal is to improve K-12 education in Florida. Their efforts, along with others, have resulted in many improvements, the latest of which is a new state law that makes it easier for Florida residents to challenge books used in public schools. It could get overhauled next year so those who dislike certain texts could also suggest replacements they find more appropriate. Read more.

Another organization, Truth in Textbooks (TIT), based in Texas, has almost 200 volunteer citizen reviewers of social studies textbooks. It hopes to have 500 in the near future. It will assist twenty-two states with textbook review and selection for grades K-12. In past reviews, TIT has been able to identify a massive number of factual errors, many of which the publishers corrected after being notified of them. One publisher was discarded from the acceptable list when it did not respond to TIT’s requests for changes.

TIT says in its Mission Statement its goal is:

To provide the children of America the most accurate and informative social studies books possible.

To accomplish this mission TNT has set these goals:

  • 100% accuracy in identifying errors and corrections
    Identify misstatements of fact, notable omissions, imbalances  and/or opinions disguised as facts
  • Provide the correct information based upon scholarly, recognizable references and research
  • Provide feedback to public officials and publishers
    Inform the public of our findings
  • Recruit, select, train 300-500 citizen volunteers to be certified social studies textbook reviewers. [Want to be a reviewer?]
  • Provide a website for others to post  reviews of social studies textbooks in order to have a single depository of these reviews

Get Involved
There are a lot more positive educational advances that occurred in 2017 and more still developing, but for now thank God there are people who take the instruction of our kids seriously. If you have the time and inclination, I’m sure your help will be appreciated. If any of you know of other positive happenings in your public school, please let all of us know.

“Hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).

Facebook: A Planned Attack

Did you know Facebook and a host of other social media sites were designed to mess with your mind? And not only your mind, but your kids minds! That’s not just some far-out theory. That comes straight from the mouth of Sean Parker, former president of Facebook. He admitted that the developers of Facebook and other social media sites recognized “a vulnerability in human psychology” and built the sites to take advantage of that weakness to get its users addicted.

Parker was speaking at an event sponsored by Axios, a news and information website founded by Politico, and was not hesitant in saying he and the team that launched Facebook tried to figure out “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”

Thumb up . . . The consequences
They decided on a “social-validation feedback loop . . . exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with,” said Sean Parker. That means—and you know this—that users want people to “like” what they post. Give a thumb-up. And when they get “likes,” they want to post more so they get more “likes.” There are now more than two billion people liking each other. That sounds good, doesn’t it? We all want to be liked, and it’s better to like people than to hate people. Ah, and all the “friends” we have. This is wonderful!

However, Sean Parker continued with his admission of knowledge of the consequences of a website such as Facebook.

It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.

Think about that!

We did it anyway!
Sean Parker continued:

The inventors, creators—it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people—understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.

We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.

The thought process that went into building these applications . . . was all about: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”

Watch Tucker Carlson’s evaluation of Sean Parker’s comments about how social media is destroying both America and our kids.

Is this affecting your kids? Perhaps more than you realize. I recently read about a girl who told a friend she was unhappy because no one talked to her anymore. Her friend responded that she felt the same way. The sad, pathetic, irony of that interchange was that the two girls were sitting in the same room texting each other!

A former Facebook vice president for user growth, Chamath Palihapitiyahas, also turned his back on the medium he helped develop and expand. At a talk given at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he said that he and the company’s founders “have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” His own kids don’t have profiles on the social network. Palihapitiyahas admitted he feels “tremendous guilt” for the kind of impact Facebook has had on the world. His own kids are “not allowed to use this [expletive].”

What would Steve Jobs do?
Back when the first iPad was hitting the market, an Apple employee asked Steve Jobs what his kids thought about the tablet. Jobs said, “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” The author of the book about Steve Jobs told that same person some homey details about life in the Jobs family. “Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things,” he said. “No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices.”

Some of the possible effects on young people spending a lot of time on the social media sites (at least four times a day) include:

  • Low self-esteem leading to poor health
  • Lower grades
  • Less time studying
  • Procrastination
  • Distraction
  • Poor time-management
  • Looking for a sense of “belongingness”
  • Symptoms of anxiety
  • Insomnia

You can read more about the consequences in a Forbes article dated June 30, 2017 titled “6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health.”

Kidshealth.org says 17% of teens say they’ve been contacted online by someone they didn’t know in a way that made them feel scared or uncomfortable, 30% say they’ve received online advertising that was inappropriate for their age, 39% admitted to lying about their age to gain access to websites. In addition, another study showed 9 out of 10 teens post photos of themselves online or use their real names on their profiles; 8 out of 10 reveal their birthdates and interests; and 7 out of 10 post their school name and the town where they live. Actions like this can make kids easy targets for online predators and others who might want to cause them harm.

Let me know if your kids use social media. If so, how much? What, if any, are your rules? Are you surprised at the confession of Sean Parker?