By Michael Clark (Transcribed with edits from a voice recording)
Recently I linked to a news story about Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The headline goes like this:
In a nutshell, there was a protest on the front lawn of Queen’s Park, the site of the Ontario Legislature in Toronto.
The protesters didn’t like the new sex education curriculum. And, according to CBC news, the Premier says “she has no doubt homophobia motivated some of the hundreds of people who protested Ontario’s new sex education curriculum this week.”
The whole story got me thinking about something – actually I’ve already been thinking about it, but didn’t really know how to put it into words.
Basically, what concerns me is the use of the word homophobia. If someone dislikes homosexual activity, is it right to brand them as “phobic?”
Dictionary.com gives the definition of phobia as [emphases mine]:
a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.
And another definition at dictionary.com:
a combining form meaning “fear,” occurring in loanwords from Greek ( hydrophobia); on this model, used in the names of mental disorders that have the general sense “dread of, aversion toward” that specified by the initial element: agoraphobia.
And a third:
(psychiatry) an abnormal intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism, or object
So in other words, Wynne is insinuating that some people are irrational, abnormal and mentally disordered because they don’t like homosexuality.
That is shocking. I believe it’s a defamatory attack on the right to free speech and the freedom to think.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t care if someone’s gay, straight, bi or transgender. It doesn’t matter to me. I am not interested in those issues. What interests me is the sheer power or words.
There seems to be a general trend these days to label people who dislike homosexuality as phobic. They are homophobics… with homophobia.
Instead of phobic, let’s find some synonyms for the word dislike. We could just as easily call it:
Homo-antipathy, homo-aversion, homo-disapproval, homo-displeasure, homo-distaste, homo-dissatisfaction
And some more synonyms:
Homo-disfavor, homo-disinclination, homo-objection, homo-offence, homo-opposition
There are a few more, but those are the more moderate ones.
Maybe we could call people who dislike homosexuality homo-objectors or homo-opposers. This wouldn’t slander them as irrational, abnormal or mentally disordered for simply thinking for themselves and forming an opinion.
Why do people use the word phobic?
I think this is partly due to the scientific mindset. Unreflective folk call it a phobia, creating a pseudo-scientific gloss as if they have some kind of test tube certainty. And that’s bogus.
The word homophobia was coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s. At that time homosexuality was classified as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
Psychiatry treated gays and lesbians as if they had a disorder, right up to 1973. So a supposedly authoritative scientific diagnosis of homosexuality as a disorder in 1972 suddenly changed to its opposite in 1973. A gay or lesbian goes to their psychiatrist in 1972 and they’re sick. In 1973, the same gay or lesbian is well.
In short, science, and particularly scientism is the new religion. It has the same kind of power to shape thinking as religion did in the Middle Ages. If we make something sound scientific, even if it’s not, many people buy into it.
The fact that the Premier of Ontario would so recklessly smear certain groups in this way – just because they dislike homosexuality – reveals woefully inadequate thinking.
I’d expect that, say, in a teenager, but not with the Premier of Ontario.
About the Author
Mike Clark earned his Ph.D in Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa. He’s an ardent supporter of dialogue and free-thinking. Not one to uncritically accept the latest politically correct, scientific, religious or trendy opinions, Mike wants to get at truth. But as a limited human being, he realizes he’ll probably always have to settle for (hopefully better and better) theories about truth.
This article is basically an ad for a product the author is selling. But I found it interesting, and believe it has enough stand-alone informational content to qualify for earthpages’ non-commercial status. Also, I’m not getting paid a cent for taking my time to post it. No connection whatsoever to the author. So I thought I’d just say this before posting (see FAQ about our stand on commercial vs. non-commercial info). And yes, I’m drinking coffee as I post this… —MC
What Professions Drink the Most Coffee?
What Professions Drink the Most Coffee?
We all love to drink our coffee, lots and lots of coffee; however, there are certain industries that consume lots more coffee than others. Some industries are notorious for consuming coffee like it is water. So what are they?
- Journalists and other media staff
- Law officials (policemen)
- Plumbers and other trade workers
- Nurses and other medical professionals (doctors)
- Corporate executives
- Telesales professionals
- IT technical support
- Retail employees
10. Drivers (truck drivers, semi-trucks, etc)
So why do journalists and other reporters drink so much coffee? Imagine walking into a newsroom, you might see a large amount of grizzled journalists hunched over keyboards, neckties slightly loosened, sleeves rolled up, maybe a cigar, and a large mug of Joe. Well, newsrooms look rather different than that but you would be correct about the latter part. According to a new survey, Pressat, they surveyed a wide variety of industries and found that journalists drink the most coffee.
85 percent of the professionals, across all the industries, said that they consume at least three cups of coffee per day. Believe it or not, K-Cup coffee has played a big role in the amount of coffee consumed. Having three cups of coffee per day is well beyond the recommended 200 milligrams per day. The professionals in the high-stress jobs, like the ones in that list of 10, drink the most coffee.
It seems that consuming coffee while on the clock is a necessity in today’s professional world. Is it possible that people are being stretched beyond capacity and even working late or early will push professionals to drink more coffee?
70 percent of the people surveyed in this study believe that if they cut their coffee consumption, then their job performance will suffer; whether they cut the coffee out completely or reduce it, they believe quality will decrease. Men turned out to drink a bit more coffee than the women in the study, a whole 5 percent more coffee.
Looking at the list, you can see why coffee is a huge part of their lives. One would even think that medical professionals would consume the most; one may also be surprised to not find military on the list.
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About the Author
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Special to Earthpages.org
Hindus want “Dutch Black Pete” to go.
Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was time for this negative, offensive, racist and discriminatory caricature to vanish from annual traditional festivities in cities and towns throughout the Netherlands in November-December.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that “Dutch Black Pete” might be a popular Dutch tradition but it appeared to be a racist throwback to the slavery era.
Rajan Zed further said that it was absolutely baffling that racist stereotypes like “Dutch Black Pete” continued to exist in 21st century world, which should have been extinct many decades ago. Was not Netherlands famous for promoting equality? Zed asked.
Zed urged His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands to urgently intervene to put an end to the character of “Dutch Black Pete”. Country of Rembrandt and Van Gogh which has a long history of social tolerance and which hosts International Court of Justice should not be in the business of negative stereotyping.
Zed suggested His Holiness Pope Francis to also come out with a strong statement against “Dutch Black Pete” tradition as religions were supposed to speak against racism.
Zed urged Netherlands to also make efforts to end frequently complained workplace discrimination.
Black Pete (Zwarte Piet) is a traditional jolly sidekick to Dutch Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas (Dutch version of Santa Claus); dressed in a gaudy medieval costume with blackened face, thick red lips, earrings and curly Afro wig; often showed as servile, clumsy and dumb; in the annual parades and festivities in Amsterdam and other cities/towns of Netherlands. It first appeared in an 1850 book by Jan Schenkman.
Special to Earthpages.org
Hindus feel that something needs to be done urgently to rescue the European women as 62 million of them have reportedly “experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15”.
A report released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on March five revealed wide prevalence of violence against women in Europe at home, work, in public and online.
Rajan Zed, based in Nevada (USA), said it is simply immoral and sinful to watch about one third of European women suffer from violence and do nothing.
Quoting Hindu scriptures, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, says: Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God, Zed adds.
Rajan Zed noted: It was really shocking to learn that “33% have childhood experiences of physical or sexual violence at the hands of an adult” and one in 20 women had been raped, as the report pointed out.
Zed stressed that European policy makers, employers and religious leaders needed to wake up to this extensive physical, psychological and sexual abuse of women; including during childhood; and come up with “real and effective” ways to combat it. Zed urged His Holiness Pope Francis to strongly come out condemning all violence against women.
And unenlightened European men should also seriously rethink their attitudes and treatment of women in general and work towards bringing positive changes, Rajan Zed stated.
FRA, headquartered in Vienna (Austria) and established in 2007, helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people are protected. Morten Kjaerum is the Director.
You would think that Jews, who are called “The People of the Book” by the Qur’an, would have lots of Jewish books for their children.
But there are many Jews whose homes lack even a few Jewish kid’s books. This is especially true for Jews who live in remote areas or have a spouse who is not Jewish. But for them things are changing.
A recent report carried by the Religious News Service relates how more than 10 years ago, Harold Grinspoon learned that Dolly Parton, who grew up in a poor home with no books, gives away thousands of books each month as part of her “Imagination Library” literacy project.
Grinspoon signed on to help her, sending books to kids in western Massachusetts, where he lives. Then he decided to start his own free book project, the PJ Library, for Jewish kids who might not know much about Jewish values or Jewish holidays.
“I love the Jewish people,” said Grinspoon, 84, who worries about rising rates of intermarriage among Jews. “If I can bring something warm and fuzzy in the form of the PJ Library into the homes of Jewish children, then that’s a good place for me to be,” he said.
Now 9 years old, the PJ Library — which stands for “pajamas,” because many PJ books are read at bedtime — recently gave out its 5 millionth book in North America. Grinspoon delivered it himself to a 4-year-old named Jake in Natick, Mass.
That book was one of 130,000 books the PJ Library mails to homes across North America each month, for which the Harold Grinspoon Foundation pays approximately $4 million a year. Those funds are matched by local Jewish organizations in each community served by the PJ Library.
These include many areas with tiny Jewish communities, such as Zion National Park where my granddaughters, the only Jewish children in 50 miles, live.
A Spanish version of the PJ library just started in Mexico and Grinspoon wants to bring the PJ Library to Russia — a country with a large Jewish populations where Jewish children were cut off from Jewish education for over 70 years.
In Israel, both Muslims and Jews receive books; in Arabic for the Muslims and in Hebrew for the Jews.
In the U. S. many of those who sign up for the PJ Library, are non-Jews who are or were married to Jews.
The sign-up form asks for little more than an address and the ages of the children in a household, so that the library can send them age-appropriate books. Anyone can sign up online.
Marcie Greenfield Simons, the PJ Library’s director, said a new study commissioned by the Grinspoon Foundation of 20,000 American Jewish families that receive the free books shows they are doing their job.
Nearly 58 percent said the program has moderately or greatly influenced their decisions “to build upon or add a Jewish tradition to their home life.”
And more than 62 percent said it “increased their families’ positive feelings about being Jewish.”
Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com
Special to Earthpages.org
Hindus want immediate withdrawal of Czech Police coloring book POLDOVY OMALOVANKY, reportedly meant for distribution in kindergartens and primary schools.
Rajan Zed, based in Nevada (USA), said that it apparently stereotyped Roma, indicating them as criminals. Racial stereotyping should not be acceptable in 21st century Czech Republic and the world, Zed stressed.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Czech Republic Interior Minister Milan Chovanec to look into the matter, withdraw all of these coloring books and mandate diversity training for all employees of the department to put an end to all such racial stereotyping, prejudices and caricaturing in the future; which was highly irresponsible.
Zed pointed out that such negative depiction of the Roma community would send wrong signals to the children’s minds at an impressionable age, who would be the leaders of Czech Republic tomorrow. In the future, the Interior Ministry should pre-screen and monitor all such material before it went for public distribution to make sure that Roma minority was not stereotyped, Zed added.
Moreover, police are meant for fighting against the stereotypes and not strengthening them, Zed noted.
Zed argued that Roma people in Czech Republic reportedly faced violent attacks, stereotyping, racism, prejudice, growing gap between Roma and other Czechs, fear, beatings, poor quality housing, systemic employment and overall discrimination, persecution, throwing of Molotov cocktails, social exclusion, segregated schools, marginalization; refused service at restaurants, stores, discos, etc.; municipalities/towns failing to support them; and the state being unwilling or unable to offer protection.
Zed further said that the country of Franz Kafka, Antonin Dvorak, Jaroslav Hasek, and rich cultural heritage should not continue staying apathetic and silent spectator ignoring Roma apartheid. Milos Zeman and Bohuslav Sobotka are President and Prime Minister respectively of Czech Republic.