10/1/12

Apostasy and Its Consequences: A Submission To OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa

By: Aeneas Lavinium
ICLA

The following is the submission made by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa to the OSCE Human Dimension Meeting in Warsaw on 1 October 2012. The submission looks at how Islamic principles relating to apostasy are in violation of the most basic principles of human rights:

STATEMENT BY BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PAX EUROPA

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Working Session 10

Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

Warsaw, Monday, October 2, 2012

Apostasy and its Consequences

With the number of immigrants professing the Muslim faith rising sharply in the OSCE region, there is growing concern about the manifestations of intolerance for changing one’s religion from Islam to another religion or none at all.

Islamic Law is very clear about the consequences of leaving the Islamic faith:

When a person has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.1

However, CSCE Vienna 1989 as well as Copenhagen 1990 reiterated

  • the need to “ foster a climate of mutual tolerance and respect between believers of different communities as well as between believers and non-believers.” (Vienna 1989(16.2))
  • that participating States recognize that the exercise of the above-mentioned rights relating to the freedom of religion or belief may be subjected only to such limitations as are provided by law and consistent with their obligations under international law and with their international commitments. (Vienna 1989 (17))
  • that participating States reaffirm that everyone will have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change one’s religion or belief […] (Copenhagen 1990 (9.4)).

The current situation of ex-Muslims in Europe is dire. Many have been forced into hiding, fearing for their lives after the issuance of death fatwas for their conversion or apostasy; others have lost family and friends as a result of their leaving the Islamic faith. One case in point is a Bangladeshi man and his wife who is currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom after claiming asylum and being detained after officially renouncing Islam. Their asylum application was denied and they are now awaiting deportation to Bangladesh, where they will be killed according to Islamic Law for apostatizing.2

ODIHR recognizes the “problems [that] encompass infringements of the right to change, adopt and renounce a religion or belief, as well as limitations to the right to manifest one’s religion or belief” throughout the OSCE region.

BPE calls on participating States to protect apostates, supporting their right to change their belief without the threat of death.

BPE reminds participating States of their commitments with respect to changing of one’s religion without repercussions.

1 See ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper, commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English, by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri. The Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994) is “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland, USA. Page 595.

2 http://www.faithfreedom.org/articles/persecution-by-islam/apostates-of-islam-ignored-and-persecuted-even-in-thewest/

OSCE PDF

BPE Submissions on the OSCE site.

10/1/12

Which human rights?: A Submission To OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa

By: Aeneas Lavinium
ICLA

The following submission discusses how human rights today now has opposite and incompatible meanings. One of these is based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the other is based on the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.

BPE recommened that OSCE participating states should only use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights definition:

Statement by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Working Session 2

Fundamental Freedoms II

Warsaw, September 25, 2012

Which human rights?

During the Helsinki Process and the start of the CSCE, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief was accepted for the first time as a principle. At the height of the Cold War the inclusion of the humanitarian aspect was a victory for the West, including the neutral states.

Gently forcing the then Soviet Union into accepting the term “human rights” for the first time is without a doubt the greatest achievement of the then CSCE, now OSCE, paving the way for the demise of the Communist bloc. However, during the height of the Cold War there was no doubt as to what the term “human rights” referred to, namely the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, accepted by nearly all member countries of the United Nations, though some with reservations. Among those were reservations by Saudi Arabia referring to the Koran and Sharia, especially with respect to the right to choose one’s religion.

Nowadays, the term “human rights” has two opposite meanings:

  • In the non-Muslim world, “human rights” refers to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which affirms that all people – men and women – are guaranteed individual rights;
  • whereas in the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam of 1990 (CDHRI), men and women are not equal and it is the duty of men and women to follow the will of Allah. Dignity is granted only to those who submit to Allah’s will. The CDHRI divides all humans into two separate legal persons within its defined categories, namely men and women, believers and non-believers (kuffar). Any rights or freedoms are binding commandments from Allah as delivered through Mohammed, the last prophet.

All member states of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation accept only the CDHRI.

We also note that the delegation of the Russian Federation, in its Interpretative Statement of 26 July 2012 (PC.DEC/1045), requested the following statement to be added to Rules of Procedure:

We consider it important, as enshrined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme ofAction of 1993, to treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis in view of their universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness.

In light of the above observations, BPE asks for urgent clarification as to which set of human rights is referred to during discussions in the Human Dimension. This is a question of paramount importance due to the implications:

  • When BPE discusses the plight of young girls and women with respect to forced marriages, violence, and/or FGM, BPE always refers to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whereas the member states of the OIC refer exclusively to the CDHRI, which has ramifications on the status of the girl or woman.
  • Participating States that are also member states of the OIC thus refer to a different set of human rights at OSCE meeting in the Human Dimension.
  • It follows that within the Human Dimension of the OSCE there two diametrically opposed sets of human rights.

Recommendation

  • BPE recommends that OSCE and participating States refer to and use only the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • BPE recommends that this important point is renewed and clarified at the next summit meeting.

OSCE PDF

BPE Submissions on the OSCE site.

10/1/12

Fast and Furious Scandal New Details Emerge

Hat Tip: Judy W.

Read more at The Right Scoop…

Fast Furious: 16 Mexican Youth Gunned Down – ATF Weapons to Drug Traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, Colombia

UNIVISION report connects ‘Fast & Furious’ to murders of 16 Mexican teenagers

NETWORK FINDS 57 UNREPORTED WEAPONS

VIDEO **WARNING — GRAPHIC**

RYAN: ‘Holder must go’

Video: Preview of Univision’s “bombshell” report on Fast & Furious

Here Are 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Operation Fast and Furious

10/1/12

Eric Holder’s Violent Radical Black Militance: How Was this Covered-Up?

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

In the Daily Caller:

As college student, Eric Holder participated in ‘armed’ takeover of former Columbia University ROTC office

Published: 11:56 PM 09/30/2012

Daily Caller’s caption: “Future U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is seen in the 1973 yearbook of Columbia University in New York City. He graduated from the Ivy League school that year. (Image courtesy of “University Archives, Columbia University in the City of New York)”

As a freshman at Columbia University in 1970, future Attorney General Eric Holder participated in a five-day occupation of an abandoned Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) headquarters with a group of black students later described by the university’s Black Students’ Organization as “armed,” The Daily Caller has learned.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has not responded to questions from The Daily Caller about whether Holder himself was armed — and if so, with what sort of weapon.

Holder was then among the leaders of the Student Afro-American Society (SAAS), which demanded that the former ROTC office be renamed the “Malcolm X Lounge.” The change, the group insisted, was to be made “in honor of a man who recognized the importance of territory as a basis for nationhood.”

Black radicals from the same group also occupied the office of Dean of Freshman Henry Coleman until their demands were met. Holder has publicly acknowledged being a part of that action.

The details of the student-led occupation, including the claim that the raiders were “armed,” come from a deleted Web page of the Black Students’ Organization (BSO) at Columbia, a successor group to the SAAS.

continues, for three pages

Eric Holder, “SMH.”

Eric Holder is the United States Attorney General.

Eric Holder replaced none other than Jamie The Wolf Gorelick as Deputy Attorney General, under Janet Reno and Bill Clinton, in 1997. Both of these positions required confirmation hearings and a vote, in the U.S. Senate.

Eric Holder, incidentally, has also been a judge, of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

How did it come about that this highly important and pertinent information was not publicly known and discussed, until the Daily Caller brought it out, last night?

Then again, how has it happened, we have a Secretary of Defense and immediate past CIA Director in Leon Panetta, who is a known (scratch that, knowable, to those with Internet access) Communist collaborator? (Both Holder and Panetta have been approved in the Senate unanimously – right down to Rand Paul, with Panetta’s last confirmation.)

Then again, how has it come about that with Barack Obama’s background and at any stage, his present, he has been nominated, elected, and certified, as President?

Ladies and gentlemen, let us make no mistake. There is a great deal more to this power of the mushroom management of the People of the United States of America, and to the designs behind it, than a collection of sneaky crypto-Marxists pulling some strings in Washington, D.C. and Manhattan.

Follow the money.

10/1/12

Egyptian President Morsi Shows His Colors

By: Ashraf Ramelah in American Thinker
Voice of the Copts

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the United Nations General Assembly – AFP

Historically, the Egyptian prison cell has been the incubator for monumental accomplishments, such as the formation of al-Qaeda and the current presidency of Egypt. It has provided the necessary network, doctrine and framework to spawn greater goals.

Perfect plans have been hatched and prepared in Egypt’s prison blocks, allowing bad actors like Muhammad Morsi to plot their next moves. Within a few days of Hosni Mubarak’s confinement of Morsi to the Two Sahrawi branch of the Wadi el Natruon Penitentiary during Egypt’s January 2011 uprising, Morsi broke out. He was a pawn in the execution of the Muslim Brotherhood’s long-awaited scheme to take over Egypt.

Morsi was under arrest for suspicion of treason and not yet officially a sentenced criminal at the time of his escape. He might never have received a trial. Hardcore Islamists like Morsi have always been thrown behind bars by Egypt’s dictators in order to prevent successful insurrections and the rise of full-blown sharia.

So on January 29, shortly into the revolutionary crisis and on the fourth day of telecommunication darkness (a complete shutdown of phones and internet) throughout Egypt, the doors of prisons around the country (including the Two Sahrawi Penitentiary) flung open, and prisoners fled to the streets. No sooner had Morsi emerged from his vault than a satellite phone landed in his hands for an interview already set up with Al Jazeera. It has been widely speculated throughout the Arabic press that Hamas terror cells provided this capability and linked him to the airwaves.

While the overthrow of Mubarak’s reign was underway, it was rumored that Mubarak himself had set Morsi free, along with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and the whole of Egypt’s criminal lot, in order to sic them on protesters in the streets. But it is now widely believed that Mubarak never ordered open the prison doors, at least not at the Two Sahrawi. According to many Egyptian sources in the Arabic press (see journalist Tawfik Okasha’s YouTube video investigation in June 2012 at Al- Phareen in Egypt), Mubarak considered Morsi a realistic threat to his government.

Intelligence coming from the Egyptian Secret Service indicated to Mubarak’s regime that Morsi was a spy cooperating with the CIA to overtake the uprising of January 25. Supposedly, Mubarak was informed that the Muslim Brotherhood had received the sum of two billion dollars via Qatar. Where Mubarak never really feared freedom-fighting youths, the Muslim Brotherhood was a formidable force.

Three months later, at the end of April, Morsi became president of the newly formed political party of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, called “Freedom and Justice,” which would catapult him to the top position in the country in just another fourteen months. Throughout the pre-election season of 2012, Morsi had always been known as the “stebn,” the Arabic term for the proverbial spare tire. This meant he waited on the sidelines as an alternative candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt’s presidential bid, second to the favored Keraat El Shater. It was anticipated that El Shater would be blocked by the election commission and become an illegal selection.

Then began the campaign of deception, where the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to the outside world (i.e., to the American administration) to be moderates and democracy-lovers and attempted to convince freedom-fighters inside Egypt who had shed blood for this debacle that their views were considered and respected and that their goals were one and the same with the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, at this time, Morsi emphasized how he would respect all international treaties, including the 1979 peace agreement with Israel. The “ballot gazwa,” referred to as a “democratic election” by Morsi and the West, brought Morsi to power after his party members delivered groceries and cash to buy votes. As the world knows by now, Morsi represents the worst possible outcome for Copts, all freedom-loving Egyptians, the Middle East, and the West.

Once in office, President Morsi naturally tried to reinstate the dissolved Islamist Muslim Brotherhood-majority lower Parliament earlier eradicated by the Egyptian Supreme Court on the basis of corrupted elections. At the same time, there were plenty of rumors flying about Morsi’s potential revision of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

Unsurprisingly, within 20 days of his installation on the brink of Ramadan, Morsi honored his own convictions, one could say, when he issued an amnesty decree for 572 imprisoned jihadists (Islamic holy warriors) as the first of his planned incremental release of almost 12,000 Muslim jihadists held behind bars. Twenty-five were leaders of terrorist organizations Al Giamaa Al-Islamia and Al-Jihad Al-Islami, sentenced for Sadat’s assassination, the murder of tourists inside Egypt and other terrorist acts.

Some of the released prisoners went on to participate in the subsequent attacks upon the Egyptian patrols at the Israeli border in Sinai a month later, where 15 Egyptian border guards were killed. This, in turn, led to President Morsi’s excuse to turn over Egypt’s military leadership to those sharing his religious-political views. Moreover, the attack on the border led directly to the excessive build-up of Egyptian military currently present in Sinai. Morsi’s government is now in violation of Israel’s recent permission to allow a limited number of Egyptian military into Sinai after the attack. Formerly, Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel stated that no Egyptian military at all would be present in Sinai.

Finally, the man whose policies ignore and inflict pain upon the Egyptian people, damage the cause of human rights, deprive his countrymen of basic civilities — neglecting to have trash collected from the streets of his cities — came to the podium of the U.N. General Assembly last week as the brand new, modern, democratic leader of a “new Egypt.” Within his 37-minute speech, he offended the free world too many times to mention, not the least of which via his pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli rant.

Equally egregious was his rail on free speech in America. He made an outrageous appeal to the General Assembly and Security Council to exercise their “principal responsibility” and address the phenomenon of “vicious campaigns against what they [Muslims and migrants] hold sacred.” Advocating a “firm stand” on behalf of “Islamic sanctities,” at stake according to Morsi is “cooperation among us” and “international peace and security.” Can you imagine a more provocative demand on America than this threat to the law of our land known as the First Amendment? Will America allow the U.N., under the urging of President Morsi, to designate what expression is permissible in America, flouting America’s Constitution?

Upon entering the office of the presidency, Mr. Morsi tightened controls of Egypt’s privately owned and state-monitored media so that he alone could determine permissible expression. He states that “Egypt respects freedom of expression,” but he goes on to qualify it as “one that is not directed towards one specific religion or culture” — i.e., Islam. Mr. Morsi is an enemy of the free speech known in America. To answer the question haunting the foreign policy experts lately, Mr. Morsi’s U.N. speech alone proves that he is not an ally of America, but rather a fugitive tried and true.

10/1/12

Forum: Has The Relationship Between The Sexes Has Changed For Better of Worse in The Last 30 Years?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: Generally speaking, do you think the relationship between the sexes has changed for better or worse in the last 30 years? Why?

The Independent Sentinel: I’m answering as a woman and I’m answering on a personal level. Overall I’m not happy with the changes in women and can’t speak to how men feel about them.

Men don’t hold open doors as much and I miss that. I miss polite manners, proper attire and proper etiquette.

Women now think their rights include killing fetuses up to the moment of birth. They think they sound cool cursing. A lot of women seem to have lost the modesty and self-regard that kept them from indiscriminate bed hopping and dressing like women of the night. I don’t appreciate men who live their lives like that either by the way. Do men think changes like this are an improvement?

I can’t answer for men or how it affects people overall, but to me it represents a moral disintegration of society and it sets a terrible example for the youth.

Divorces are far too common and people aren’t working as hard at making relationships work. They made sacred vows to each other that they don’t take as seriously as they should in a lot of cases.

Women have far more career opportunities now and if they put the time and effort in, they do as well as any man. I work in a man’s world and they’ve always treated me well. It was harder for me to get ahead as a woman, but it made me strive harder.

As parents, is their relationship good for children or are parents becoming too engrossed in work or drugs or other less important pursuits? There is hardly anything more important than raising children well, but it seems like less of a priority for some, at least it does here in NY. The men I know have trouble finding the kind of woman they want to marry.

I don’t believe these changes are representative of most women but it is more of a problem than in the past and parents are neglecting their children more than ever. They often compensate by spoiling them or blaming others, like teachers, for their children’s problems.

Women have more freedom which is a great thing. What they do with the freedom remains to be seen.

Minority men seem to have lost their way as family men and that is heartbreaking.

I believe in shame, modesty, commitment, loyalty, honor, selflessness, generosity and I want to see them make more of a mark in our relationships period. I think we need to reset our priorities in the male-female relationship, at least in NY.

The lack of morals by some in Hollywood and the music industry sets a bad tone. That needs to swing back a bit and they do negatively influence societal values and relationships. They are propagandists.

Men always treated me equally and with respect. That was rarely a problem for me.

I am no longer a Humanist and I no longer believe anything goes. I see the way it’s going and I think it will hurt us in the long run.

Virginia Right!: Well, having been married for the last 30 years only qualifies me to answer that question as it applies to just one woman – my wife. But as an observer of human nature, I would have to say that the trend over the last 30 years – and going back to the late 60′s – has been one where women have moved from having an accepted “place” in society to one where they are able to do anything they want without anyone raising an eyebrow. From a woman’s perspective, the freedom they now have is a huge positive. The phrase “No, because you are a woman,” is all but gone from our society. Women are free to do nearly everything a man can do with very few exceptions. And those exceptions are more logistical in nature than societal.

There has been no better time in American history for those who love freedom to be a female.

From a male point of view, the concepts of chivalry and gentlemanly conduct are, sadly, outdated. A true gentleman sees that role as an honorable thing to do. Hold the door for a lady, give up your seat – even if it is on a lifeboat. We evolved over thousands of years where males were taught to protect females. Now women are more likely to be offended by this behavior. Younger males have grown up with “liberated” females. It is nothing to have a female call a guy for a date, and even pay – although most ladies are willing to overlook women’s liberation when the check comes.

At this point, the men are forced to allow the woman to pick and choose the areas where she wants to be free and “equal” and the times when the man still is expected to be the traditional male.(Yes. The ladies want it both ways.)

As the father of a daughter, I am thrilled and excited to see her face no barriers to her life’s dreams because she is a female. But part of me is sad because the same freedom I celebrate for her carries with it greater difficulties and responsibilities. Strangers won’t hold doors or give up their seat for her and these same strangers are far more willing to let her fend for herself and not make her path a bit easier.

The bonds between a man and a woman these days are counter to our evolutionary trends. That doesn’t mean they are worse, just different. But this newly evolving freedom that women enjoy is far less compatible with the traditional family structure. The female role as the nurturing parent in a family and the male as the “breadwinner” does not fit into the new relationship between men and women. And we have yet to come up with a model that replaces the traditional family structure that is anywhere near as successful at raising children.

So on an individual basis, the relationship between men and women is better than 30 years ago because women have the same freedoms and are truly equals with men. In a professional environment, the relationship between men and women is greatly improved.

But the new dynamic between men and women is definitely worse when it carries into the family unit.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Not really sure. Not being around so long – all I can say personally say is from about age 13 on, mine got better.

Simply Jews: As far as the changes (not personal, I am married for more years than I care to report), there was a serious improvement in women’s status. I do see a real empowerment of women, almost full removal of the glass ceiling and other barriers that prevent career, family and other kinds of equality. Saying this, of course there are still pockets of male chauvinism here and there, but time does its thing, and I think the overall trend is positive. As far as I am concerned, I don’t feel that my daughter’s career and life in general suffered from any “special treatment” that was missing in my son’s. What better litmus test can one apply?

Saying this, there are a few sources of potential and/or growing trouble:

  • Ultra-religious sects: Islamists mostly, of course, but Judaism and Christianity in their ultra-orthodox “implementations” do degrade women and women’s status. One can see the Judaic part in some places in Israel and the Christian “contribution” especially in what used to be the Soviet Union and its East-European satellites, where the Church’s rise was extremely fast and caused a lot of turbulence.
  • Militant feminism. I don’t have to tell Americans what it is, only that, in my opinion, this “movement” is far from being done in. Unfortunately, like many other revolutionary movements, feminism, once it (mostly) accomplished its goals, started to stagnate and to look for ways to reinvent itself, as any organization with a strong instinct of self-preservation. As a result, feminism produced that militant offshoot that has taken the initially valid ideas and goals to absurdity and continues to generate ill will and ridicule itself. In effect it causes more damage to feminism than male chauvinists could have ever dreamed about. But, since most of these distinguished ladies reside in the US, it’s mainly your problem.
  • Political Correctness. Being a thin layer of veneer on our uncouth souls, it hides more than it changes. Just like militant feminism, PC tends to cause the opposite of what it supposedly aims to achieve. For instance, like that Austrian law about the blonde jokes.

The Noisy Room: I would say the relationship between the sexes has changed for the worse over the last 30 years. We have been subjected to massive social engineering. Socialists, operating through psychologists, have gone to great lengths to blur the lines between gender roles and burdened families with taxation to the point where the nuclear family has fractured by the necessities of income. Single breadwinner homes are increasingly rare and home raised children are rarer still.

Men have been “feminized,” women have been “aggressivized” and children, in the process of being “socialized,” are increasingly, aggressively self-important, self-centered and self-serving. As a socially engineered society produces successive generations of amoralized young adults, and “belonging” no longer includes the family, the natural relationship between men and women corrodes in favor of adversarial relationships. Even married couples compete for space and dominion within the home. Children are no longer offspring and progeny, so much as they are products of Mommy and Daddy’s success to be showcased to Mommy and Daddy’s peers or alternatively, a continuing bundle of self entitlement burden.

The engineered framework imposed on families through public schooling, non-stop advertising memes of ‘women are smart, men are dumb,’ ‘kids are smart, adults are dumb’ and ‘politically correct grouping are smart, middle class, white dudes are dumb,’ no longer supports something as quaint as a nuclear family unit having parents that provide discipline, guidance and leadership rather than money, attention and privilege.

The natural relationship of women and men, now overstressed by these artificially imposed tensions and competing priorities, continues to unravel. Men and women each had defined, unique roles in the relationship before and after marriage. Those roles have been blurred, distorted and shredded to the point that a solidified relationship and a family are increasingly difficult to define and characterize. Without morality, a grounded religious belief and a core work ethic, the family unit and the relationship between a man and a woman can only exist in a warped, corrupted form. That is what the last 30 years of Progressive secularism has brought us.

The Razor: I would say the relationship between the two sexes hasn’t changed, but what has changed are the roles. Men aren’t expected to get married immediately after school and have more freedom to be slackers if they so desire, while the sexual liberation of women has allowed men to avoid “buying the cow while they can get the milk for free,” granting men sexual freedom without the responsibility of marriage. After marriage men have been freed from the tyranny of sole breadwinner and now women are increasingly expected to bear that burden as equals. Perhaps as a result of this, men now have more time with their children and can play a more active role in their development. They can also pursue jobs that are more fulfilling to them personally instead of being forced to chase better paying positions and jobs.

Oddly enough, I believe that women have suffered the most. They now face the same expectations that men have to to be successful in a career. Instead of having the choice to stay at home with their children, many women are forced by economic necessity to return to work soon after bearing a child.

In short men have lost responsibility and gained freedom while women have achieved the opposite result. Thank you Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem!

The Right Planet: Overall, the relationship between men and women has deteriorated over the past 30 years, in my opinion. I think the high divorce rate in the U.S. might support that conclusion statistically. I have witnessed a great deal of confusion and befuddlement from both sexes as to the ever-changing roles of men and women in modern society.

I don’t believe the blame for this observed breakdown between men and women is the sole fault of just one sex, or just one societal factor; but I believe a big part of it is due to a lack of respect for people in general that has only increased over the years. We live in a very licentious and in-your-face culture which demands instant gratification (just look at the profits of the porn industry if you disagree). Additionally, we also find ourselves in a culture where the New Marxists of the Left purposefully try and destroy the whole concept of traditional family, and to blur the lines between the sexes – an androgynous culture being the stated goal (i.e. sameness).

When I was coming of age, sex, drugs and rock & roll was the mantra of the day; it’s even more over-the-top for young people in our society now. Yet I’ve witnessed death, jail, insanity, divorce and the utter heartache of many who have chosen the dissipated path of the self-indulgent and morally bankrupt lifestyle – me being one of them back in the day. A culture where everybody is running around boffing each other and indulging in every capricious whim is not a good thing. I have yet to see any good come from it, yet we’re fed a steady diet of it on a daily basis from many quarters. Bottom line: if you don’t have any self-respect, you’re sure as hell not going to have any respect for the opposite sex, or anyone else, for that matter. That’s a no-brainer if you ask me.

Gay Patriot: When you’re a gay man with many straight friends, you observe actions between men and women in a way that those straight peers often do not. Perhaps the primary thing you notice can be summarized in the apparently trite statement: men and women are different.

Each group expects something different from the interaction. Things are worse when we expect men and women to have the same reactions to similar circumstances, and try to adjust their behavior to fit certain social expectations.

Things are better for those who accept that women can do more than just raise children, but acknowledge that many women (and some men) are content to stay home and work as housewives and mothers. And treat each individual with dignity.

The notion of social construction of gender identities is itself a theoretical construction. That notion assumed that society created sexual difference, yet recent studies in neuroscience, psychology, ethnography and genetics have, as Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker observed, indicated that sex differences that almost certainly originate in human biology.”

Those who respect that difference will certainly see an improvement in their relationships with the other sex and those who do not will see them deteriorate.

As the French often say, “Vive la difference!”

The Glittering Eye: That’s a difficult question, so difficult that I don’t think I can answer it. So I’ll answer a slightly different question:

“Have the changes of the relationship between the sexes over the last fifty
years in the United States been good or bad for most people?”

That’s complicated too, but I’ll answer it in two parts. The legislative and enforcement changes, e.g. equal pay for equal work, banning of sexual harassment in the workplace, have been good. However, I think the empirical evidence strongly suggests that we must conclude that the social changes have not been good for most people.

To illustrate how that’s the case, consider a single metric: out-of-wedlock births. According to a report from the CDC, over the period of the last fifty years the percentage of out-of-wedlock births has increased from less than 10% to nearly 50%. That’s not good for women, men or children.

It means that children are more likely to grow up poor and in insecure and unstable circumstances than was the case a half century ago. If you’re looking for the reason for the problems in education today, look no farther. Not to race or poverty or teachers unions or bad teachers or bad schools. Look to the changes in the relationship between the sexes. The physiological and eurological effects of stress on children means that they come to school unprepared to learn. For the kind of love and stability that kids need to thrive, they need two parents in a committed, stable relationship.

Bookworm Room: Yes, it has changed and the change has been for the worse. What we’re seeing now is a profound lack of respect between the sexes. (I’m talking generally, of course, rather than specifically.) Three decades of radical feminism have left women viewing men as an enemy determined to subjugate and rape them. Men, unsurprisingly, view women as hostile and dangerous viragoes who, merely by whispering the words “rape” or “harassment,” can destroy them. Thirty years of sexual liberation have also seen men and women (again, en masse) view each other as objects for transitory sexual gratification.

One could say that the lack of respect and the objectification of the opposite sex has always characterized men’s attitude towards women. In the pre-liberation era, women were “silly little things,” who existed to have children, clean the house and gratify men’s sexual needs. But American popular culture was never that crude. Regardless of individual attitudes, popular culture enshrined women as people worthy of respect precisely because they did give birth to and raise the next generation, and because they did support the man at home and in the bedroom.

Many women are filling the same roles nowadays as they did in the pre-liberation era (raising kids, being homemakers, etc.), but that role is denigrated. In other words, while women are now earning as much as men for comparable work, have open to them employment pathways no one could have imagined forty or fifty years ago, and get to bed as many partners as their male counterparts, the price they’ve paid for that freedom has been the destruction of a mutually respectful culture between the sexes.

Maggie’s Notebook: It’s my opinion that the relationship between the sexes has changed for the better, but not due to any significant influence coming from the “feminist” movement. Female college students have steadily outpaced male applicants for years. Higher levels of education have opened doors and minds. Since the 70′s, women have learned that they can support themselves, and their children if they must. It has been a long rocky road for women to receive equitable support for their children from a former spouse. On the other side, it was a long rocky road for a man to gain access to his children once he was out of the house. Today we see mothers and fathers living in separate households, but both interacting with their children, supporting each other and sharing responsibility. Fathers are closer to their kids. It’s a very good thing not to be faced with raising children alone. Two thumbs up to parents who act like adults.

While the “glass ceiling” is still said to loom, there is no doubt women have risen to professional levels that were only a dream in the 60′s and before. Today, with the knowledge that you can work or not, there has been a turn-around. More women want to be home with their children in the formative years, and some Dads want to be stay-at-home Fathers. Women have had the work “experience,” or know that they can have it, if they want it. There is no need to feel defensive about either choice, unless you want to listen to, and be influenced by, Liberal women who view Mothers not working outside the home as having no worth. Do we care what they think? No we don’t.

Politics has long been the purview of men, but no longer. Today women are as involved in government as men, whether through public office or simply blogging their hearts out. With technology, women can stay at home and work or not, and understand the world on the same level as a corporate executive. We can have it all, but more importantly, we can have what we really want.

I often think of the burden the man of the family has, to know each and every day that he must get up and support his family. Those who do, or who try with their entire being, are to be praised – because the same is not expected of women. Full disclosure: I was never faced with raising my family by myself and I am grateful for it. My husband has always shared responsibility equally with me. The days of ignoring the mind of the “little woman” are gone. I am blessed beyond measure, but God knew what he was doing when he didn’t plop me down in a covered wagon on a prairie somewhere to pioneer a new land. I would have failed miserably. In those days we had ‘real’ women and real ‘men’ who fought everyday to survive. What could possibly have been more difficult?

Ask Marion: The relationship between the sexes in the United States and in the western world has experienced tremendous upheaval and change in the last 30-years resulting in the revising of traditional gender roles which have affected not only actual interplay between couples themselves, but also American life in general: in the home and between families, in the workplace, at school and throughout all aspects of American life to some degree.

This change has happened so quickly that men and women are still trying to sort out what their roles are, what all the new rules are and what they mean to them. And many would say that both men and women are increasingly willing to work together to learn to live within their new roles, share tasks that used to be more gender specific, negotiate feelings as well as adjust to the sometimes unnatural rules like language police to avoid hurt feelings at work. And some think that the new expectations will result in better workplaces, better relationships, better families, better schools and better lives. I for one do not.

I believe that the new focus on flattening the differences between the sexes comes with a large price. It requires both men and women to fight their natural instincts, their feelings and intuitions, and sets up false narratives for both sexes to interact and live within. In many ways it makes life a lot harder. Women are no longer expected to be the ‘keepers’ of the house, but in reality they are in most families. And although men generally are open to encouraging and supporting the successes enjoyed by the women they share their lives with, some find it hard to celebrate a woman’s triumphs that exceed their own because they feel it diminishes them, which then in turn ultimately undermines the relationship(s). It now puts partners in competition at almost every level.

We are all instinctively animals and the rules of society and religion were the balance. The women’s lib movement promoted by Progressives and the Bill Clinton/Monika Lewinsky affair, in addition to the drug culture, changed the sexual landscape in America and was the beginning of the breakdown of the family and traditional values.

There are no longer clear rules and choices, which in many ways makes modern relationships more difficult and in other ways actually limits choices. Women and families who choose to have the wife and mother stay at home and be homemakers, stay at home mothers and more traditional wives are often diminished by their more modern and hip counterparts. And conservatives who believe in waiting to have sex until marriage, traditional marriage and make pro-life choices with God at the center of their relationships are coming under increasing fire even though those choices generally produce stronger families, more enduring marriages and in the long run a stronger country.

In the end, the changes in the relationship between the sexes has weakened those relationships for most, because the two parties are always in competition instead of working together for common goals and with the weakening of enduring relationships and marriages comes the weakening of families which are the backbone of society; weakening America herself.

Well, there you have it.

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