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Institutions and Images for Boys

That there is a war on boys and manhood is obvious. It is not even a question, as the perpetrators are now open about it at every level of society.

Fake academics call manliness “toxic masculinity,” as if 100,000 years of being a man – tough, focused, unwilling to back down on important issues, willing to fight, serve, feed one’s family, be patriotic, to be a warrior, a hunter – somehow became a problem.

Fake educators disproportionately punish boys who engage in boyhood behavior, which often is prep for being a hunter or warrior. It’s like punishing naturally unruly lion cubs or bear cubs for tussling and play fighting. A docile little girl standard is the behavior being pushed on boys.

Only in a spoiled and rotting society where we remain distant from the hard work and sacrifice needed to maintain what we have is it a purported problem, distant from the ground-up preparation and training needed to create young men capable of defending everything that has been built around us.

America’s main enemies have no problem being manly.

The Russians and Chinese may seem odd by our cultural standards, and they may lag behind us in technology, but they are warriors, nonetheless. They maintain a tough attitude. People there who decry their “toxic masculinity” probably ‘disappear’ or are openly assassinated on the streets, much like the few real journalists there, too.

For most nations, the idea that some of your own citizens would be making war on boys and men, and on their ability to defend the homeland, is beyond treason. It is sedition, an act of war from within, the worst act possible, because it puts everyone else at risk.

So my son enjoys being in the Boy Scouts of America, and he has a rifle hung on hooks above his bed, as well as deer antlers on the wall. He is happily shaped by the images, symbols, and work demonstrating a progression from boyhood to manhood. These things symbolize self-reliance, responsibility, self control, increasing duties to others and increasing one’s ability to deliver to others.

These are the qualities that shaped America, and they are the antidote to the girly-man weakness being pushed on our boys today.

The BSA is still one institution where boys can still learn these traits, values and skills, the military being another, and sports and even hunting camp yet others. But you won’t see a poster like this from the BSA today, and that is why it hangs on my son’s wall. It was a birthday present from his parents. We want him to imbibe its symbolism, with which it is filled.

Boy Scouts of America: Manly symbolism

 

 

 

 

Israel’s Independence Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, So Where are We Today?

Israel Independence Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day are here.

Obviously these two milestones are related in the sense that out of the ashes of the European genocide against Europe’s Jewish minority (not to be confused with the similar and nearly simultaneous Muslim Arab ethnic cleansing of the Jewish minority once living in the Middle East, now presently applied to Christians there) arose the modern state of Israel on the soil of the ancient state of Israel.

Here in America most Jewish communities spend a full 24-hour period on Holocaust Remembrance Day reading the names of Nazi victims. By reading their names, they are in some small but meaningful way not forgotten. And by remembering them as people, larger society is supposed to remember what happened so that people, and government, do the necessary things so genocide does not happen again.

This is all sound logic to me, although it is questionable whether it works, or not.

Why am I sounding a bit skeptical here? Because the evidence isn’t supportive that this approach works, in the sense that it does not inspire humans around the globe to treat one another better, much less treat Jews any better. The evidence in front of us demonstrates that Holocaust Remembrance Day, with all its universalist activities, primarily appeals to Jews, their friends, and liberal-minded news reporters. Meanwhile, plenty of genocide is going on ever since, namely in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kurdistan, and now once again in the Middle East, where Muslim Arabs are sadistically rampaging among the religious and ethnic minorities among them.

And Israel has been under sustained and increasing attempted genocide from the day it was founded in 1948. Every libel, slander, lie and contrivance has been drummed up to delegitimize Israel and to justify the ceaseless murders of unarmed Jews within and outside Israel. Boycotts, divestment from Israeli companies, and sanctions against Israeli academic institutions and the government of Israel are proof that Israel, and Jews, receive an incredibly harsh and unjustified treatment from a world that really ought to know better.

Making things even worse, and totally odd to me and to most people I know, is the overwhelmingly liberal mindset American Jews maintain. Their liberal political views, on a policy-by-policy basis, are completely contrary to the Torah (the Bible) to which their ancestors swore loyalty and which created Western Civilization.

Abortion-on-demand and as a form of birth control, faith in big government, rejection of religion’s role in good government, gun control, you name it, every single one of the politically correct issues that liberal Jews believe in are at odds with their own founding document, the Bible.

One would logically conclude that a group of people who had recently undergone such incredibly painful and devastating attacks, round-ups, shot on sight, murder in the street, painful medical experiments, gassing, bodies burnt to hide the atrocity, and so on, you would think that the survivors and heirs would adopt a more self-preserving view. That is the conclusion that their friends have arrived at and said is needed many times, and asked why Jews don’t, for many years.

You know, why do most Jews vote for people and policies that are against their own interests? Like for Obama, or against gun rights?

That American Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of intense gun regulation is without question. Public surveys show it. Even more to the point are the lists of leaders on gun regulation; nearly all of them are Jews – Past and present US Senators Feinstein, Schumer, Metzenbaum, Lautenberg, Boxer – joined by an endless list of Jewish members of Congress, and not to mention the actual leaders of gun regulation, Josh Sugarmann, Shira Goodman, to name but a few, and not to mention the Jewish donors to anti-gun rights groups, like Bloomberg and Hechinger, to name but a few.

More locally, two years ago I sat in on a meeting between my then-newly elected state senator Democrat Rob Teplitz and a group of citizens gathered at a local Harrisburg synagogue. As the morning Boy Scout function there was the drawing attraction, and not everyone there was Jewish, there was one group of men who had just completed their prayers and who had then gathered to join in the following meeting with Senator Teplitz. Either the first or second question of the event came from a man in that group, who asked Senator Teplitz when he was going to become an ardent and active advocate for serious gun regulation. Heads nodded in agreement around the table, and Teplitz responded that he would be neither “too pro gun nor too anti gun.”

Further confusing many Americans is how vociferously anti-Israel so many American Jews have become. Whether by strongly supporting an obviously anti-Israel Obama or by actively participating in anti-Israel actions and activities, lots of American Jews clearly are at war with the one nation designed to protect them should the very things they are remembering now begin to happen once again.

Why would a tiny group of people, who have experienced such awful tragedies and injustices over and over again, seek to both disarm themselves and their fellow citizens in favor of big government, which has never anywhere been a friend to Jews or liberty, and also disarm and undermine the one country capable of protecting Jews should the you-know-what hit the fan?

Folks, I know you are moved by recalling victims and inured to maintaining victimhood. It is practically the Jewish identity to the point where “Holocaust worship” has been decried by the more religiously observant Jews; you know, the Bible believers.

If you really want to remember the European Holocaust and say “Never Again!” in a way that means something, then be able to defend yourself. Get a 12-gauge pump shotgun, learn to use it with buckshot and store it safely, and support a strong Israel capable of easily defending itself against all attackers. That’s it.

Otherwise, you just make people ask “Do Jews today really remember what happened, and do they really understand how important Israel is to them?”

In other words, people just must ask “are Jews really so smart?”

Framing the Issue, Defining the Person

Although I spend most of my work time with muddy boots out in the field, I obviously have a passion for government policy and issues. My college and graduate school degrees are in government (and economics, and statistics, and history, and…and…), so “big issues” have always motivated me. And thus, I write about them.

As a sound policy advocate, I am always wrestling with framing an issue or defining the person behind an issue, say, in a public race for office.

One of the aspects of this process I am getting better at is understanding what motivates someone else who sees it differently than I.

And here is my conclusion: Power, power, and more power over decisions, resources, and people is what motivates the vast majority of people who take a stand on something. Especially in politics.

Take, for example, last week’s decision at the Boy Scouts of America. In my mind, the decision to allow gay people is not an issue. After all, how would I know someone is gay unless they tell me? I could not care less about who is gay, or straight, and in fact I enjoy the presence of a number of gay people because they are funny, smart, and entertaining. I have nothing against gays. But what I do have an issue with is talking about sex with my kid, and who does it, and why.

And so, the political advocates of being gay say they have a right to talk about their sexual preferences any time they want, and I respond that now I know how women feel when meatheads make stupid comments that can be construed as sexist or come-ons. There is just zero room for discussing sexuality or sexual preferences in public or with kids not your own. And so I frame this issue naively, thinking it is about what is best for kids (knowing that adults who also object to having sexuality pressed upon them can take refuge in myriad anti-sexual harassment laws).

Every kid should have a sex-free zone drawn around them. And yes, talking about your sexual preferences is S-E-X-U-A-L.

And thus are parents like me unfairly defined as bad, bigoted, evil, cruel, etc. The issue has been framed in a way that automatically makes us “bigoted” if we disagree, thereby removing our ability (power) to defend our ideas. But I prefer to frame it in a way that protects kids, my kids, from being sexualized. And thus, I will stand my ground and say “leave the kids alone.”

Gay people who want to hang out at my house and debate this, or have dinner, or play cards, are welcome any time we know you are arriving.

BSA Policy Should be Zero Tolerance for Sex

It hurt to send this to my son’s Boy Scouts troop leader today. Ben is a wonderful man and an important part of our son’s life:

“Hi Ben.

I don’t care who is gay.

And no one has a right to talk about sex with my son Isaac.

Sex has no place in the BSA.

The moment that a teenager or adult talks about sex with my son at a BSA event is the moment I file a lawsuit against BSA for sexual harassment and then withdraw from the troop.

The correct policy should have been a zero tolerance for sex, period. Talking about sexual behavior is innately sexual. It’s an innately private subject without any legitimate purpose around kids.

You are and have been a fantastic troop leader. I’m very sorry to send this to you. But I must protect my son. Isaac has a right to be free from sexualization by older kids and adults. The new BSA policy says that someone has a right to sexualize my son. That’s wrong, and the BSA is now looking like an unsafe place, the wrong place for my son.

Josh”

Stepping Across the Barricade: I’m 47, Married, Religious, and Love My Gay Friends, Daggonit

Stepping Across the Barricade: I’m 47, Married, Religious, and Love My Gay Friends, Daggonit

By Josh First

July 31, 2012

Preface:
1) I do not hate, dislike, or otherwise work against homosexual people.
2) Since my college years I have known casually and also been close friends with many gay people, both women and men. I love my gay family members as well as a couple of my gay friends.
3) I am not gay, I am not attracted to men, but rather have always had a “thing” for older women. Now that my marriage is closing in on 20 years, I’m finally getting what I always lusted after: An older woman.
4) I have stood up for gay people, in the office during my professional career and during social situations in college, since I was in my teens.
5) If I were to see a gay person being physically attacked for the simple reason that they were gay, they could and always can count on my immediate involvement and intercession on their behalf. I’ll physically defend your right to be gay and free from harassment and assaults, and I’m a tough brawler.
6) I believe that people are born gay, that it is not a choice at least most of the time, and that God made gay people the way they are; more power to them. Someone had to fill Isaac Mizrachi’s shoes, and it sure isn’t going to be a knuckle dragger like me. I admire anyone defending our nation with a gun, gay or straight.
7) Be gay if that’s what you are. Live. Be. Enjoy the free air as much as I or any other person enjoys it. You are just as entitled to it as any other human. I don’t care if you are gay.
And…8: During the two times I have run for public office (U.S. House PA-17th District, 2010, and PA Senate – 15th District in 2012), I have taken open, strongly worded policy positions against discrimination against gay people in the work place, in the application of government benefits, and in equal protection of the laws of the land.

Given the forgoing, you would have to be a lunatic to say that I am anti-gay, bigoted against gays, or somehow an anti-gay crusader.

And yet, all these things have been said about me, and much worse, over the past week since I dared to raise a nuanced policy discussion about preventing the sexualizing of children. In sum, to recapitulate what started the ruckus, I support the Boy Scouts of America policy of not sexualizing their kids. In terms of gay people, it means that open displays of sex, discussing being gay, gay-ness, gay acts, and other human sexuality in general are all off limits, forbidden, and utterly unacceptable. Because these are, after all, children. This applies to gay, straight, and pedophile adults. Think what you want, but keep your thoughts to yourself.

My child is not going to be a battleground in this culture war issue. Homosexuality is sexuality, and sexuality of all sorts does not belong in the scouts nor around little kids. People pushing sexuality make me uncomfortable for obvious reasons, whether they are straight or gay. Sexuality is a private matter. Kids and sex don’t mix. 

Sexuality is sex; it is not race, religion, etc. no matter how much culture war proponents want to say it is. That’s the problem with culture wars. Demands are made of others to suspend belief, suspend reason, suspend debate and just kowtow, or die. 

Once again, to recapitulate, it is my opinion that talking about sex or sexuality with children who are not your own, especially in the Boy Scouts-type setting, is unacceptable. Adults, sex, and kids do not mix.

Unless the kids are yours and you are parenting them by describing human sexuality. Or, if you consent to having the “birds and the bees” be described for your kids at school by a professional in a public setting.

A few reasons probably account for the heaps of criticism on the position I took. First, gay people generally want to be accepted like anyone else (why wouldn’t they?), and they mistakenly believe that someone is singling them out for unfair treatment in a policy discussion like this. A second reason may emanate from straights who support gays’ right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and discrimination, and these fine folks believe, mistakenly, that any criticism of gays (even criticism that is leveled equally at both gays and straights) is automatically unfair and out of bounds. Another reason may be simple politics, as in “I will attack you and destroy you and harass you and demean you and lie about you if you say something I disagree with.”

Reading those comments, we had all three reasons at work.

What does it mean to be gay?

Well, being gay means that you are attracted to people of your same sex or gender.

Only you know how you feel about sex, unless you tell someone, or act flamboyantly in ways that convey your sexuality (or perform sex acts where others can see them). For gay men, this may mean acting effeminate, dressing in women’s clothes, or adopting modes of communication that tell other men that they are attracted to them. For straight men, conveying your sexuality usually results in charges of sexual harassment. At the very least, you’ll have been known to have ‘hit’ on someone.

The point is, unlike skin color, which is obvious to all but the blind and accounts for race and ethnicity, and religion\creed, which can be observed many different public and private ways, being gay or straight is not something that can be publicly observed under normal circumstances.

Which is one reason why I supported adding being gay or being perceived as gay to Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws.

The bottom line is this: Sexuality is not race, ethnicity, religion, or creed. Human sexuality is a thing unto itself, and usually it is taboo. We have taboos against incest, sex with animals, and until recently, homosexuality. In recent times, we recognized that private sexual relations between consenting adults are their own business, and that they must be accorded the same protections as anyone else when there or out in public.

In free societies, we ensure that minorities of all sorts are free from discrimination, because discrimination undermines the promise of equal protection and opportunity for all citizens. Minorities are defined as being different than the Protestant majority formed by the Europeans who settled America. If someone tells you over the phone that they are African American, you can then later on compare them to a European American’s skin color and see the difference, and measure their minority status. Religion is often strongly correlated with race and ethnicity, and ethnicity is often strongly associated with certain names. Thus, many names (Goldberg, Rosenberg, Stein, McCloud, etc.) give a hint about the person’s place of origin, potential ethnicity, and religious affiliations, however tenuous or committed.

Gays have the misfortune of being in a category that should be protected, but which cannot be easily verified, at least without the removal of some clothing and the performance of acts that must by necessity for all citizens occur only in private among consenting adults. Verification is going to be a challenge.

There are those of us Americans who are raising our kids to be both tolerant of others, including gays, and also be religious and modest. This means they are taught that some subjects cannot be discussed in public, but that everyone is entitled to the American dream. It means that we expect others to display the same inhibitions that we exhibit, and to respect our boundaries as they expect us to extend respect to them.

However, American public life is increasingly coarsened and with it the standard for public discourse is lowered. One measure is how Hollywood continues to abuse its power of persuasion and suggestion with movies glorifying violence and sadism. Another example is the blurring of private and public lives, where innately private acts are displayed in public. This means that some people now believe that they may, nay, even must, be able to force upon you their own beliefs, practices, and thoughts. Even if they are offensive to you as much as you accord them the right to be and do what they will. They demand such respect even while simultaneously stating that you yourself believe in only stupidness and bigotry.

Which gets to the conclusion of this essay: Tolerance is a two-way street. And tolerance does not mean acceptance. No one has the right to demand that someone else adopt their way of thinking or risk being called a bigot. You cannot do it with religion, and you cannot do it with sexuality. People have a right to have comfort zones, to have beliefs. Gays have a right to be free of discrimination. And parents have the right to say that they do not want Little Johnny knowing that men are attracted to each other like Mommy and Daddy are, and all the discussion that such attraction entails. There is no easy answer to this, as one side must gain and the other must by necessity lose in such a situation. Picking sides means no further dialogue, with each side manning its barricades. Some friends have let me know which side they are on, and they exclude me from that side, which I think is both illogical and unnecessary.

I like to view myself as someone who has stepped over the barricades and extended a hand of friendship to the other side. Demanding that I drop my discomfort, or that I kowtow and say certain words to make someone else feel as though they have won, well, that just prolongs the conflict, because it’s not right. Given the preface above, I wonder how many gays will say the same for my religious belief system. Or am I the only one who needs to be tolerant?