'What a massive failure': Conservative Christian shocked by newest revelations on Jerry Falwell Jr scandal
Conservative Christian David French this week found himself utterly appalled at scandalous new revelations surrounding Jerry Falwell Jr.'s tenure as the president of Liberty University.
Pointing to a recent interview Falwell conducted, French zeroed in on the former Liberty boss's declaration that he's no longer a believer in organized religion despite the fact that for years he led a religious learning institution.
"Liberty is the definition of 'organized religion,'" notes French. "What a massive failure of Liberty's board. Just massive. Falwell's character was known for years."
French also castigates the university as an institution for allegedly trying to cover up sexual assault claims, which he says suggests the rot at Liberty goes deeper than just Falwell Jr.
"There are unjustified attacks on religious liberty in this country," French writes. "Abortion is an atrocity. Cancel culture is real. But the constant us v. them phrasing is becoming an outright evil in the church. It's blinding people to extraordinary corruption. Worse it's rationalizing it... God help us, but American Christendom is undermining American Christianity."
All around the United States, Republicans have been pushing bills that would prohibit teaching critical race theory in public K-12 schools — which is a solution in search of a problem, as CRT is only being taught on some college campuses and isn’t available in public grammar schools, middle schools or high schools. Liberal economist and New York Times opinion writer Paul Krugman discusses this anti-CRT hysteria in his January 24 column, slamming it as thought-policing on the part of far-right Republicans.
“Republicans have made considerable political hay by denouncing the teaching of critical race theory; this strategy has succeeded even though most voters have no idea what that theory is and it isn’t actually being taught in public schools,” Krugman explains. “But the facts in this case don’t matter, because denunciations of CRT are basically a cover for a much bigger agenda: an attempt to stop schools from teaching anything that makes right-wingers uncomfortable.”
CRT is a field of academic study teaching that racism of the past affects present-day institutions. Professors who offer CRT studies, for example, would argue that although Jim Crow laws were abolished during the 1960s, they inflicted long-lasting damage that remains in 2022.
Anyone who wants to find a college course that actually teaches CRT will have to look around to find it because not all colleges have courses that involve CRT study. But with the anti-CRT bills coming from Republicans, a book that has nothing to do with CRT — for example, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” or Toni Morrison’s novels — could be condemned as CRT.
Krugman points to an anti-CRT bill in the Florida State Senate as a troubling example of thought policing.
“There’s a bill advancing in the Florida Senate declaring that an individual ‘should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race,’” Krugman observes. “That is, the criterion for what can be taught isn’t ‘Is it true? Is it supported by the scholarly consensus?’ but rather, ‘Does it make certain constituencies uncomfortable?’”
Krugman warns that anti-CRT hysteria will inevitably lead to thought-policing of topics that are unrelated to racism.
“What’s really striking…. is the idea that schools should be prohibited from teaching anything that causes ‘discomfort’ among students and their parents,” Krugman argues. “If you imagine that the effects of applying this principle would be limited to teaching about race relations, you’re being utterly naïve. For one thing, racism is far from being the only disturbing topic in American history. I’m sure that some students will find that the story of how we came to invade Iraq — or for that matter, how we got involved in Vietnam — makes them uncomfortable. Ban those topics from the curriculum!”
Krugman continues, “Then there’s the teaching of science. Most high schools do teach the theory of evolution, but leading Republican politicians are either evasive or actively deny the scientific consensus, presumably reflecting the GOP base’s discomfort with the concept. Once the Florida standard takes hold, how long will teaching of evolution survive?.... The point is that the smear campaign against critical race theory is almost certainly the start of an attempt to subject education in general to rule by the right-wing thought police, which will have dire effects far beyond the specific topic of racism.”
A US appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, rejecting his request for a new trial and keeping him in prison for life.
Guzman was convicted in February 2019 of trafficking hundreds of tons of cocaine and other drugs into the United States over the course of 25 years, as well as money laundering and racketeering.
He was later sentenced to life plus 30 years and ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.
Guzman's lawyers asked for a new trial, citing juror misconduct, among other issues.
One of the jurors told the website Vice News that he and others had ignored trial judge Brian Cogan's ban on them following media coverage of the 11-week trial.
But in a 44-page ruling released Tuesday, Judge John Newman of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd District rejected the request by Guzman's attorneys.
"Judge Cogan conducted the three-month trial with diligence and fairness, after issuing a series of meticulously crafted pretrial rulings," Newsman wrote.
"For the reasons set forth above, the resulting judgment of the District Court is AFFIRMED."
When Cogan read the drug lord's life sentence in July 2019, Guzman said, in Spanish, "there was no justice here."
Guzman -- his nickname means 'shorty' for his abbreviated stature -- had also argued that the total solitary confinement to which he was subjected after his extradition from Mexico in 2017 prevented him from working with his legal team before and during the trial.
Guzman is serving his term in a high security prison in Colorado.
During Guzman's reign, his Sinaloa cartel's empire expanded across the globe, its tentacles stretching from the Americas to Europe and Asia.
In Mexico he managed to break out of prison twice.
The second time, in mid-2015, he did so via a one-mile (1.5 kilometer) tunnel that opened in his cell's shower. He zoomed out by hopping on a modified motorcycle mounted on rails.
Mexican marines captured Guzman six months later and he was extradited to the United States a year after that, ending his decades-long cat-and-mouse game with the authorities.
Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel, was sentenced to three years in prison in the United States in November for drug trafficking and money laundering in association with her husband's cartel.
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