Wednesday, 13 April 2016

From safe spaces to being burned at the stake. A heretic writes!

A recent event in Indiana University highlighted what is becoming a major problem with the growth of the censorious and safe space types in education. reported:

Students at Indiana University in Bloomington were frightened on Monday night amid reports that a member of the KKK, armed with a whip, was walking around campus.

Many took to social media to warn others about the presence of the KKK on campus, and one R.A. sent out a warning to his residents to not leave the dorm and to please be careful.

As it turns out, the "Klansman" was actually Fr. Jude McPeak, O.P., a Dominican Friar and an Associate Pastor/Campus Minister at IU's St. Paul Catholic Center. And definitely, definitely, not a member of the KKK.

Dominican brothers wear a habit consisting of a tunic, scapular, capuce, cappa, leather belt, and Rosary. Many Dominicans choose to carry a longer Rosary that hangs down the length of one's leg--and I guess could resemble a whip, if a person had never seen a whip or a rosary before.

Easy mistake to make...err no it isn't really.

So frightened have today's students become of anything that might unsettle their privileged lives that they seek to ban, to censor, to remove anything that does not fit in with their fragile egotistic outlook on the world, that actually confronting their imagined enemies doesn't even occur to them Best avoid is their strategy.

In my day as a student (to use an equivalent scenario), if someone had raised an alarm about the National Front being on campus we'd have gone and investigated, organised and driven the enemy off.

If it was a Monk we might have taken him down the bar. 

Ironically Westminster University (formerly known as the Polytechnic of Central London in my day) does not have a student union bar since the Islamic Society took over the Student Union and closed it on "financial grounds" as it was losing money. 

A major social asset lost to ideological chicanery. It never turned a profit, that wasn't the point!

And that is the worry.

Tolerance, debate and the free exchange of ideas is central to the view of the world that I grew up in. Oh I'm not saying everything was perfect back in those days, but certainly student activists weren't the wimps we have come to ridicule today.

Education is so central to making the world a better place, and sometimes, no all the time one has to consider the views, opinions and writings of those with whom we disagree no matter how distasteful we might find them.

And all is open to debate whether the adherents of any ideology or theology like it. No ideas are sacrosanct and beyond criticism. Only the wilfully ignorant would deny this with those who blindly follow inherited thought.

This includes religion.

Religion is of course one of the earliest forms of social control, something noted over 2,000 years ago by writers and philosophers such as Democritus (cc 460 to 380 BC) who put forward the notion:

"that humans originally lived like animals; then they formed communities to prevent attacks from other beasts; that led to communication and language; then clothing and agriculture; then shelter and fire. Civilisation....developed in response to dire need. Religion was part of this civilising process. Early humans noted the turning of the seasons (and)..posited an an agent behind these occurrences and worshipped it" (Battling the Gods /Tim Whitmarsh)

In other words an early exposition of atheism as the basis of religion is based on an error of false attribution to "God" of a natural phenomenon.

Makes perfect sense but likely to get you imprisoned or put to death in a whole swathe of countries across the world.

Yet we can make such statements with impunity (at least from the state, one cannot preclude the actions of fanatics) in this country.

According to the "safe spaces" theory this is "offencive" to (insert oppressed minority group of your choice here whether made up or not) and must not be allowed.

Such movements will take the world backwards to ignorance and superstition.

Those that try to limit your ability to freely discuss matters of either material existence or more spiritual matters are the blinkered bigots from the past returning to the modern world.

Who will be next at the stake?

Stand up for free speech always. Your freedom depends on it.

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