DIRTY MARTINI AND THE CROSSÂ -- HOW THE LEFT DEFINES DIVISIVENESS AND INCLUSIVENESSGrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary By Don Feder 03-15-07Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Through the cultural institutions it controls (academia, the media and the courts), the left has the power to determine what is and isn't offensive. In the exercise thereof, it applies a convenient formula: If it challenges our values, it's offensive and/or insensitive. If it furthers our values, it's inclusive, promotes tolerance, advances diversity and is Oprah-approved.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Last week, the administration of Virginia's College of William and Mary finally relented and agreed to return an 18-inch bronze cross to the college's Wren Chapel, where it had been a fixture for 70 years.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â All it took was an alumnus's threat to withhold a $12-million pledge, and an escalating protest (more than 18,000 signed an online petition calling for the cross's restoration).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The admission of defeat by William and Mary President Gene R. NicholÂ -- my candidate for Hillary's running mate, by the way -- came less than a month after the college provided a venue and support for a "Sex Workers Art Show."
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The cross and the porn show are perfect symbols for the way the left views offensiveness and tolerance.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Nichol had the cross removed last October, based on the complaint of one studentÂ -- one, out of a student body of 7,500. No matter. When it comes to the display of religious symbols (Christian symbols in particular) hyper-sensitivity is the order of the day.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The cross "sends a message that the Chapel belongs more fully to some of us than to others," Nichol pontificated. Then why not change its name to The Wren Community Center?Â After all, "chapel" denotes a place of Christian worship, suggesting that it belongs more fully to some than to others.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If you enter one of the Hillel houses located on hundreds of college campuses, you're apt to find a Torah scroll, -- sending a message that the facility belongs to some (Jews) more fully than others (non-Jews).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Like Harvard, William and Mary (the second oldest college in the United States) was established to train Christian clergyÂ -- in this case, of the Anglican Church. It graduated generations of Christians (including four presidents of the United States), was endowed by Christians and taught Christian theology, among other subjects.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The presence of a cross in the chapel of such an institution is as unremarkable as an American flag in a VFW hall.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â But in the wackadoo world of the left, crosses, crÃ¨ches and Ten Commandments monuments are always controversial. In a nation that's 90% Christian, even the mildest manifestation of the majority faith is contentious for militant secularists and perpetual grudge-bearers.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Consider the untold trauma which might be inflicted on a non-Christian upon encountering, say, a cross in a college chapel. Why, it's too horrible to contemplate.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â On the other hand, an exhibitionist performance by individuals who sell their bodiesÂ -- what could possibly be offensive about that? If some crazed Puritans find said "art" objectionable, well, too badÂ -- It's covered by the First Amendment or promotes diversity and enriches the academic experience.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thus, on February 12, William and Mary hosted the "Sex Workers Art Show," a traveling menagerie which --according to The Virginia Gazette -- includes "Sparkling nipple adornments, feather boas, bare bottoms, erotic dances, striptease music and sex toys."
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A 200-pound woman called Dirty Martini did a strip-tease and ended up wearing nothing but a G-string and pasties over her fleshy Himalayas. Justice Potter Stewart once memorably remarked that while he couldn't define obscenity, he knew it when he saw it. Dirty Martini might be the living embodiment of that dictum.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Stripper Jo Weldon "shared her story" of how she teased her way through college and grad school. Another performer delivered an anti-war monologue, while wearing fatigues and carrying "a dildo shaped like a gun." Make what not war?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â "It's hip, it's in your face and it's exciting," gushed a student with the Lambda Alliance, one of six sponsors of the orgy. The show's organizer said its message was that sex workers (including street-walkers, escorts and exotic dancers) "should be taken seriously." So should drug-pushers, rapists and terrorists. In the case at hand, however, "taken seriously" is a euphemism for celebrated.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â President Nichol explained that while he hatedÂ -- simply detestedÂ -- this bacchanalia, intellectual inquiry is the governing principle here. "It's not the practice and province of universities to censor or cancel performances because they are controversial," Nichol sniffed. (At William and Mary, only crosses are censored.) Nichol neglected to explain how academic freedom required the university to support the performance to the tune of $1,800.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Think the academic community would tolerate a traditionalist art show where middle-aged men recited verses on the differences between the sexes or did performance art extolling the natural family? No, that would be hate speech, and would make some feel less welcome than others.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Again, their ideas must be tolerated, in the name of academic freedom. Your ideas are hateful and hurtful to the community, and so deserving of censure and censorship.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A classic example of this double standard was the treatment of an Ann Coulter quip versus Bill Maher's latest blathering.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month, Coulter used the one F-word the left will not countenance, when she explained that she had nothing to say about former-VP Candidate John Edwards, because "it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.'"
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Democratic National Committee Chair Howard DeanÂ -- a man famous for his sober pronouncementsÂ -- demanded that the "Big 3" GOP presidential candidates condemn CoulterÂ -- and the big weenies obliged. ("An offensive remark," whined Mitt Romney. "Completely inappropriate," Rudy Giuliani concurred. "Wildly inappropriate," chirped gutsy John McCain.)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Within days of Coulter's comment, on his show (which should be called "Really Dumb Time") comedian and al-Qaeda admirer Bill Maher expressed sympathy for a blogger who said he wished Vice President Cheney had died in a bombing in Afghanistan. (Maher: "I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact.")
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No one on the right demanded an apology. No one on the left proffered one. In my lifetime, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were killed and Ronald Reagan shot by assassins. But for the left, the morality of political assassination is open to debate.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Besides insisting that its views are virtuous, and all others evil, the left never hesitates to employ institutions of the state to enforce its orthodoxy. Stalinism, thy name isÂ -- the membership rosters of the ACLU, People for The American Way and The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â About the time Dirty Martini was disrobing at William and Mary, U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolfe was creating his own obscene art, with a 38-page decision declaring that public schools have not only a right, but a positive duty to indoctrinate children on homosexuality.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Plaintiff in the case was Lexington, Massachusetts parent David Parker, who objected to his 6-year-old being subjected to the Robert Mapplethorpe perspective on unnatural acts, without his knowledge or consent.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In his opinion, Wolfe reasoned (a word that seems wildly inappropriate in this context): "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident (to whom?) that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation." Ergo, by indoctrinating the kiddies in one view of sexual-orientation (so-called) the schools are "preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy" (in Wolfe's words) -- that is to say: Preparing them to mindlessly assimilate the left's worldview.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Believe me, it won't be long before The Sex Workers Art Show is performing at a kindergarten in your neighborhood.Â After all, is not freedom of sexual expression increasingly a hallmark of the United States of Diversity/Perversity?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In a ruling last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't go quite as far as Wolfe. But it did determine, in a case similar to Parker's, that parental rights stop at the schoolhouse door.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Judge Stephen Reinhardt (one of the foremost judicial Jacobins in the land) wrote the majority opinion. "Parents have a right to inform their children when and as they wish on the subject of sex," Reinhardt generously allowed. "They have no constitutional right, however, to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so."
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This is a carte blanche to brainwash your children when, where and in whatever ways the edu-tocracy sees fit.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â On the one hand, the left demands the separation of church and stateÂ -- which is another way of saying the separation of our morality from the government it largely controls.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â At the same time, it works feverishly to advance its pseudo-religionÂ -- which resembles a synthesis of neo-Marxism and neo-paganism (a Canaanite fertility cult).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The cross, the Ten Commandments, sexual normalcy and parental rights all are anathema to the left's Dionysian creed, soÂ -- in the guise of diversity, sensitivity, inclusiveness and tolerance --- all must go.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It makes perfect sense that a college that would banish a traditional religious symbol would parade forth prostitutes, strippers and other "sex workers." Both moves are opposite sides of the same agendaÂ -- one dedicated to the disestablishment of Judeo-Christian values, the other to the enthronement of the Dirty Martini ethic.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In this cause, the left has no more potent weapon than its ability to sanctify one thing as inclusive, and damn another as divisive.