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PCA Cancels Anti-Polarization Panel with David French For Being Too Polarizing

Por Bob Smietana
david french PCA
David French, left, and the Presbyterian Church in America logo. (Courtesy images)

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) canceled a recently announced panel on helping pastors deal with polarization — saying the topic was too divisive.

“The concerns that have been raised about the seminar and its topic have been so significant that it seems wisest for the peace and unity of the church not to proceed in this way,” the PCA’s Administrative Committee said Tuesday in canceling the event.

Instead of the panel—which the PCA referred to as a seminar—the PCA will hold a prayer time at the denomination’s General Assembly, scheduled for June 10-14 in Richmond, Virginia.

Leaders of the 393,000-member denomination, which has about 1,600 churches, had last week announced the panel, titled “How to Be Supportive of Your Pastor and Church Leaders in a Polarized Political Year.” The inclusion of author and New York Times columnist David French, a longtime PCA member who recently left the denomination, led to online outrage.

Critics — many from outside the PCA — labeled French, best known for his vocal opposition to Donald Trump, as liberal and divisive and accused PCA leaders of trying to cause “rancor and controversy” over politics. Those critics mostly disagreed with French’s political views.

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PCA presbyterian general assembly
Promotional image for Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly, scheduled to take place on Jun. 10-14, 2024, in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo: X)

Ben Dunson, a PCA minister and founding editor of the American Reformer, a publication that seeks to reform “Christian institutions that have become corrupted by false ideologies and practices,” called French the “most polarizing” panelist the denomination could have chosen.

“I cannot imagine a worse choice to help the PCA through the contentious issues we are facing,” Bunson escribió in opposing French’s presence on the proposed panel, which he said would disrupt the denomination’s “peace and purity.”

Critics also called out bestselling author Nancy French, David French’s wife, for being too critical of the PCA in her new memoir.

David French declined to comment for this story. 

The panel would have also included Paul McNulty, the president of Grove City College, a conservative school that published a informe rejecting “wokeness” in 2022, along with a pair of PCA pastors, but their inclusion received little attention relative to French’s.

As American society has become more polarized, religious groups have become increasingly divided along political lines. A majority of white Christians, including Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelicals, are allied with the Republication Party, while Black Protestants, Hispanic Protestants, nones and non-Christians are allied with the Democratic Party. That means churches are less likely to be politically diverse, a reality that intensified during the Trump and COVID-19 era.

The hostility between parties has also grown in recent decades, with each side believing the other is more “immoral, dishonest and close-minded” than other Americans, de acuerdo a Pew Research.

As a result, voting for the wrong candidate can be seen as a sign of sin or heresy. Cooperating across party lines is often viewed as a betrayal.

The Frenches, along with Christianity Today editor Russell Moore and writer and pastor Curtis Chang, recently launched a project called “The After Party,” designed to bring “Christian virtues like kindness, love and mercy” into political discussions at churches.

Chang said the cancellation of the PCA polarization panel illustrates the problem Christian groups are facing. 

“The PCA canceled David because it could not even tolerate hearing from a fellow Christian —David French — who might hold different views from some of its members on various partisan issues,” Chang said. “The PCA canceled David because it is elevating partisan differences over shared fidelity to Jesus.”

Bryan Chapell, the stated clerk of the PCA, did not mention David French by name when announcing the panel’s cancellation but said a panelist had caused controversy. Chapell also apologized for choosing that panelist.

“Had I known some of the ways that the panelist has expressed himself or been understood in past writings, I would have made a different choice for the purposes of this seminar,” he wrote.

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana es reportero nacional de Religion News Service.

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182 Respuestas

  1. Dr. Cynthia

    Being God and being wimpy are oxymorons. The insinuation that Jesus and His ways are “wimpy” comes from Christian Nationalist, not from me.

    I too know Scripture.

    “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.”

    “The deeds of the flash are evident: adultery, idolatry, hatred, contentions, outburst of anger, selfish ambitions etc…”

    “The Spirit and the flesh are contrary to one another. (Galatians 5:16-26)

    I believe our “strength” is living and functioning in the Spirit, not in some bravado form of the “flesh.”

    1. Debra:

      Your words:

      “I believe our “strength” is living and functioning in the Spirit, not in some bravado form of the “flesh.”

      I agree 100%. When I say “FIGHT!”, I am referring to spiritual warfare. And sometimes, that spiritual warfare requires fleshly bravado, as in flipping tables. As in telling off the Pharisees. As in speaking in front of the Sanhedrin.

      Who gave Paul the power and words to stand up for Christ in the middle of huge crowds out to kill him?

      The Holy Spirit.

  2. David Meyer,

    Here is the link to the article where Russell Moore said that:

    https://www.npr.org/2023/08/08/1192663920/southern-baptist-convention-donald-trump-christianity

    The Roman Legion reference is a way of saying that if Christian Nationalists/MAGA cultists, who are so blinded by their zeal and worship of another Barabbas (aka TFG), they try another coup/riot/insurrection/extra-constitutional method along the lines of Jan 6th, I and others will be ready to stop it to save the Republic and our Constitutional system. Even it means taking up the sword against these zealots. If 35% of Christians think it is OK to use violence to get what they want (as an earlier Julie Roys article pointed out), and if they really want to die trying on that hill, I will gladly help them get their wish with the cold professionalism and unhesitating nature of a Roman soldier.

    1. Charles Mallet:

      Just a warning, Charles. You are threatening violence on an online forum. Be very careful. You could easily be reported.

    2. Charles, thanks for the reply and candidness. I honestly was expecting a unique piece of Roman history (something I developed an interest in while studying scripture).

      I saw from your earlier response that you recognize the tension in scripture pushing against some of the actions you describe. You yourself mentioned the crowd wanting to release Barabbas. It’s possible that many in this crowd were also laying out palm fronds and cloaks before Jesus when he returned to Jerusalem shortly before. It’s part of the nature of the crowd as portrayed in the NT. Like it or not, we (and they) are neighbors. And I think it’s safe to say that none of us are immune to the effects of the crowd. I see what you’ve said about your position as tragic.

      I hope you do to.

      Cuídate.

  3. Dr. Cynthia,

    Abortion
    Democrats, are not selling abortion; neither am I. Some “abortions” are medically needed. A woman is in danger when pregnant by a man who doesn’t intend to be a father. We’re not caring for the abandoned and abused children we already have. President Obamas’ solution was to eliminate unwanted pregnancies. Well, now they want to do away with contraception.

    Transgenderism
    Jenner is a Republican. Democrats do not own transgenderism. Hospitals have been performing sexual reassignment surgeries for years. Nothing new under the sun. Adults one thing, children another. Ethan Crumbley, Kyle Rittenhouse. Children are too young for guns too. One solution is better parenting.

    Hamas
    As a country, Israel is our friend. Jewish people are Democrats too. Another overgeneralized statement, but proof that people need to listen to one another. Starving the innocent because of the sins of the evil is the complaint.

    Open Borders
    Border crossings are down again. They were at their lowest under Democratic administrations. Read the facts. Again, Democrats believe if people are leaving unsustainable places, can we humanly improve those places so there is no need to leave? Who wouldn’t want a better life. Let’s not forget MAGA just rejected a bi-partisan solution just to have something to complain about at election time. Surely, permanently separating babies form their families and never reuniting them, isn’t the solution. In the name of God, please say it ain’t so.

    DEI
    Wouldn’t be necessary except for the hardness of hearts. God created diversity. Your title as “Dr.” proves “you” benefited from DEI.

    Michael Cohn said Trump pays to rig the polls and for rally attendance. All a facade. Read the transcript. He is losing, not gaining support.

  4. Marín:

    Your words: “I actually believe it is very ignorant, prideful and stubborn to refuse to move one’s stance despite new information and experience being introduced.”

    I don’t imagine I will ever change my position on sinful behavior to try and accommodate “new information.” If you think that’s “ignorant, prideful and stubborn,” so be it. I believe, based on my understanding of the Bible, that God forms us in the womb and has ordained all of our days before we are even born (Psalm 139). I always analyze individual cases of abortion, but I do not change my stance on it. I believe it is sinful, particularly when used as a form of birth control. Statistically, many women have more than one abortion. The medical examples you cite are incredibly rare and are necessary for the preservation of a mother’s life. When I speak about abortion, I am talking about the termination of life in the womb for reasons that revolve around convenience or fear or shame. I believe letting a mom die in the name of saving a baby’s life is wrong, too. So, defining the terms before emoting is always a good idea, don’t you think?

    1. cinthia-
      I was NOT emoting; how is it emoting to give facts and examples of real cases?
      It’s actually emoting to merely hear the word “abortion” and immediately shut the conversation down without considering things like how the term is medically defined and cases that introduce complexities and new angles.
      I was telling you about cases and medical facts that made me pause when it came to these “zero abortion” policies that Republicans are passing. Have you read the ones in states like Tennessee? I am not in support of them for the reasons stated. If you had asked me BEFORE I learned about these cases and medical facts, I would have told you something different. THAT is what I mean about being willing to consider new information and being open to a new stance, instead of emotionally going “abortion! no!” without even listening.

      And unfortunately, unless you know a woman personally and intimately enough to discuss, you can’t say why she got an abortion. You can only assume (which isn’t really a great foundation for making a judgment). Only God knows hearts, minds and true intentions.
      I only know a few women who have admitted to having abortions. And I can tell you this – they didn’t like it. That’s why I say “everyone is pro-life” – no one enjoys getting an abortion. It’s not this “let me skip to the clinic on my way to work” image conservatives like to put out there. It is heartwrenching. While it’s not my decision, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      1. Marín,

        I agree that abortion is a heart-wrenching decision for some. Did you know that over 50% of Americans who have abortions have more than one abortion?

        I do not support what many are calling an “abolitionist” position, that all pregnancy terminations are
        wrong.

        Rather, I believe that each case needs to be examined carefully to determine the best course of action, as I already stated.

        The cases you cited are extremely rare. They are not a good representation of abortion practices in the USA as a whole. That was my point.

  5. Marín:

    Your words: “he tries to hide his hatred of our former President by couching his comments in Constitutional parameters and by attacking a personality that he believes does not reflect Christ.” You mean like what conservatives do with Obama, Pelosi, Biden, or anyone left leanng? Where was your objection then? Your bias is showing.”

    Marin, did you read the next sentence of my comments? I look at what people DO, not how they speak. I look at POLICIES. I believe President Trump’s policies were awesome. I believe Left-leaning policies do great harm to our nation, and I have to tell you they are all coming from the Democrats as far as I can tell. And, please, do you actually believe the people you list reflect Christ? They do not.

    If you are looking for someone who reflects Christ’s character 24/7, you will never find that person. As Christians, we strive to reflect Christ. We often fall short. I know I do.

    1. You look at what people DO, not how they speak. Ok, so tell me your thoughts on Trump’s three marriages. What about his infidelities? What do you think about him paying fines for denying housing to Black people in NYC?
      As for actions, I saw MANY lives changed for the better due to the Affordable Healthcare Act (or Obamacare). Am grateful Obama was committed to making healthcare affordable for all.

      You act like you take a hard line on sin, but you make excuse after excuse for Trump’s sins, “graciously” saying things like “you’ll never find that person who reflects Christ’s character 24/7” (but you NEVER extend that same grace to those who are left-leaning)….all because you like Trump’s policies, period.
      The end justifies the means, I guess?

  6. Debra:

    Regarding abortion: Roe v. Wade was struck down during President Trump’s presidency. Medically necessary abortions are extremely rare. “We” are not responsible for the children others have. As believers, we can and should help those in need, but ultimately, children are the responsibility of their parents. If a woman gets pregnant by a “man who doesn’t intend to be a father,” whose choice was it? If she was raped, it opens up a completely different discussion because rape is a criminal act. If she chose to have sex with a man “who doesn’t intend to be a father,” isn’t she also choosing the potential consequence?

    Sorry, but I don’t know any Democrats fighting abortion. Most I know think it’s absolutely fine.

    Regarding transgenderism: Look at the laws being passed regarding sports, regarding school bathrooms, regarding civil rights. Where do you think most Democrats stand based on their stated positions? Who is leading the transgenderism charge? DEMOCRATS.

    Regarding Hamas: The Palestinian people elected Hamas members to lead in the Gaza Strip. A majority of them support Hamas, including their indoctrinated (brain-washed?) children. Some Democrats in Congress stand with Israel – ALL Republicans do. So, if I look for Hamas supporters, I only find them in Democrat camps. Also, WAR always results in the death of innocents. In Israel’s case, the only way forward long-term is the elimination of Hamas. Period.

    1. Hola Cynthia,

      You say “WAR always results in the death of innocents. In Israel’s case, the only way forward long-term is the elimination of Hamas. Period.”

      The elimination of Hamas seems like quite a rabbit hole.

      Period, fine, maybe. But are you so sure? Looking at the long-term: how far can they go and how many eggs can they break to achieve a goal of no-Hamas and call it a day? To be clear I feel if there was any moral high ground to begin with in this most recent conflict it is long gone. And probably before then.

      Hamas was losing steam before their attack. It certainly seems less the case now. And even if Israel captures or kills every member of Hamas, how are residents in Gaza likely to be predisposed to Israel after this? “Indoctrinated” or no, even if Israel achieves the goal at a high-level, I would be shocked if this does not create more of the same and further generations of conflict. The line could be stretched out further, but it is too gruesome.

      Maybe it is not practical to condemn two sides in a conflict, but there is that warning “…for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

      Read that in a book once.

      Just some of my thoughts. I know this is a complicated conflict and the solution is not going to be an easy one to come to. Feel free to share yours.

      Gracias,

      1. Debra,

        Your comments about the Gaza conflict make sense. I agree with you when it comes to wondering about the future – will Israel actually be able to wipe out Hamas? And, once they do, IF they do, what then?

        One practical event that must occur is the elimination of all those tunnels!

        I hate War and have seen far too many. I do not know what the answer is, but I know that God’s arm is always long enough to handle anything. I feel very sad about the children caught in the crossfire of adult stupidity, don’t you? It happens all the time when adults start fighting.

        In my opinion, Israel has a right to defend itself, and it is the only country on earth (that I’m aware of) that warns its enemies when it is going to start firing and dropping bombs, etc.

        The most curious event that happened recently was the death of Iran’s president and foreign minister and various other important Iranian government officials. I found the timing extremely odd and also intriguing….. Mossad perhaps? Or a direct “God” intervention?

        We’ll probably never know.

    2. Facts: unless trump was president in 2022, roe v wade was struck down in 2022.
      More facts: abortion historically decrease under democrat presidents
      More facts: abortions did increase after roe v wade
      how many US citizens who are neo-Nazis are voting democrat? Yeah, the proud boys are trump supporters.

      1. You’re right, Bob. Roe V. Wade was struck down in 2022. My bad! I believe it happened thanks to President Trump and his Supreme Court nominees, however. I will continue to give him the credit.

        1. And what happened to the number of abortions nationally after it was struck down?

          Clearly you should do more research when basic facts are easily known such as the dates of important court cases.

  7. Debra:

    Regarding Open Borders: You are completely wrong. Border Crossings have been at an all-time high since Biden took office. I’m not sure how you can state “they were at their lowest under Democratic administrations.” Here is another comment you made: “Again, Democrats believe if people are leaving unsustainable places, can we humanly improve those places so there is no need to leave?”
    No, we can’t. Indeed, we are not in any way, shape or form responsible for how other countries are run.
    And, in reading my Bible, I see numerous examples of God enforcing boundaries and making sure people can be safe from those who would steal from them and take advantage of their laws.

    The bi-partisan bill you mention in your comments was basically a give-away to illegal border crossers. It did nothing to help Americans. Isn’t our government’s main purpose the protection of American citizens?

    Regarding DEI: You made me smile. The hard work I put in to get my PhD had nothing to do with racist policies. Thankfully, I don’t have to bear that burden. And using Michael Cohen to support your point is probably not the wisest move.

    DEI policies tend to favor one person over another based on skin color. Jesus never did that. He loved us all equally.

    1. “Trump’s Final Numbers,” illegal border crossings, as measured by apprehensions at the southwest border, were 14.7% higher in Trump’s final year in office compared with the last full year of Obama’s term.” Fact check.org – Not Fox, NewsMax or OneNation, but from real, legitimate news sources.

      Presidential rankings (by non-partisan historians)
      Notice who is in last place!
      1. Abraham Lincoln, 93.87
      2. Franklin D. Roosevelt, 90.83
      3. George Washington, 90.32
      “7. Barack Obama, 73.8”
      “9. Lyndon B. Johnson, 72.86”
      “10. John F. Kennedy, 68.37”
      “12. Bill Clinton, 66.42”
      “14. Joe Biden, 62.66”
      16. Ronald Reagan, 61.62
      19. George H.W. Bush, 58.54
      22. Jimmy Carter, 54.26
      27. Gerald Ford, 46.09
      32. George W. Bush, 40.43
      35. Richard Nixon, 36.41
      45. Donald Trump, 10.92
      SAD!

      *We are the wealthiest nation in the world.
      *We have the lowest inflation rate.
      *To be unwilling to help fellow humans in the world says it all. God created and
      loves the world, not just America.
      *To imply immigrants are thieves and criminals, is MAGA not Christ.

      We wouldn’t have laws if people did the right thing on their own, Cynthia. DEI is akin to a speeding limit, otherwise people would drive too fast. To imply others are not qualified, or haven’t earned their accomplishments, is based on what? It clearly demonstrates the very need for DEI.

      1. Debra,

        How are you defining “DEI”? Its current form is dying as I write. It supports racist policies, one of which has already been struck down by the Supreme Court. So, perhaps you are referring to equal rights? I’m not sure.

        My simple point is this: Basing a policy of admittance to school on skin color is once again illegal.

        Also, listing presidents based on popularity is never wise. The Washington Post tends to voice its hatred for President Trump every day, so I am not sure they can be trusted. Truth stands, and I can see that President Trump is loved by many because of how he helped our country.

    2. cinthia-

      Revisit the data about border crossings during the Obama Administration. They dipped so low that Republicans tried to flip the script with “he’s so bad Mexicans are going back! They don’t want to come!” (He also deported more than Bush and Trump administrations). So….which way do you want it?

      FYI, DEI policies include gender, race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, veteran status and disability status; all are considered when it comes to employment and admissions applications. Why the obsession only with race?
      Data also shows that white women have been THE BIGGEST beneficiaries of DEI policies since their implementation.
      So YES, your gender WAS considered when admitting you to your PhD program. It does NOT mean you didn’t work hard. It means it was a factor when reviewing your application.
      Just as you defensively stated how hard you worked (which you did), maybe now you’ll think twice when looking at a person of color in a job or PhD program and making the assumption that they didn’t have to work hard. Insulting, isn’t it? Getting in doesn’t keep you in.

      1. Marín:

        Your words: “DEI policies include gender, race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, veteran status and disability status; all are considered when it comes to employment and admissions applications. Why the obsession only with race?”

        You may want to examine the difference between DEI policies (which emphasize equal outcomes) and Equal Rights policies (which emphasize equal opportunities).

        You imply they are one and the same: They are not. DEI focuses on equity, not equality.

        1. Nice way to avoid the question, so I’ll say it again: why the obsession only with race? DEI – and I have worked in DEI in the corporate and university levels – focuses on gender, sexual orientation, race, color, ethnicity, veteran status and disability status (all protected classes).

          Why avoid that white women have been the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action?

          Why dodge that you DID in fact have your gender considered when applying for a PhD?

          A BIG part of DEI is enforcing EEOC policies – which literally stands for equal employment opportunity commision – in compliance with federal law. In working in DEI I was responsible for developing and enforcing strategies and policies that provide equal opportunity – yes, THAT is what it is – to applicants and employees regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race….all of the things listed above. That included expanding the reach for applicants beyond “target schools”, developing mentoring programs, designing “return to work” programs for women and veterans, and making sure buildings and offices were accessible to our physically disabled employees and students.

          You are implying you know more about my job than I do, all to avoid answering the question: why the obsession only with race?

          1. Marín:

            In my opinion, you are the one with the race obsession. I have yet to see one of your posts that doesn’t mention race. That’s sad.
            No, Marin, my graduate program had nothing to do with race, gender, or any other category assigned by God. My acceptance was based on interviews, grades, and recommendations. Had it been based on my gender, I would have gone somewhere else. I want to be known for my character and my talent. I do not want people looking at me and saying, “Wow, she is white and a woman. She should be in our program!” That would be a very serious “NO!” for me personally. Any graduate program worth its salt ignores characteristics that the individual cannot control, like race and gender.

            You are confusing EQUITY, as espoused by any DEI initiatives, and EQUALITY, as protected by U. S. Law. Discrimination based on sex, race, etc. is illegal in the USA.

            Your words: “Why avoid that white women have been the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action?”

            Affirmative action is illegal, Marin. Struck down by the Supreme Court. Further, all women are now able to vote, etc. because those are rights enshrined in the law. “Affirmative Action” was an attempt at quotas that went horribly wrong.
            “In 1964, Congress passed Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as, race in hiring, promoting, and firing.” This law is about equality under the law, not equity.

  8. Trump’s false or misleading claims total 30,573 over 4 years – Washington Post

    Cohn was paid by Trump to hire the company to cheat on the polls, and to hire people for the rallys.
    Again, read the trial transcript. Trump did not dispute it, nor did he dispute the National Enquirer’s proof of their conspiracy with him to lie and cheat.

    Thinking Cohn is a bigger liar than Trump certainly isn’t wise, or funny.

  9. cinthia,

    It is not by popular vote. It is a blind evaluation by historians, and the numbers are then tallied. How is everyone else always wrong or lying? Presidents have been evaluated this way for years. If the numbers had been in his favor, it would have been accepted – Right?

    1. Vision/agenda-setting: “did the president have the clarity of vision to establish overarching goals for his administration and shape the terms of policy discourse?”

    Obama Care, immigration, the wall… Everything is he’ll let us know. Zero plans or vision other than enriching his friends and family and sowing division and hate. Whole message is how bad America is.

    2. Domestic leadership: “did the president display the political skill needed to achieve his domestic objectives and respond effectively to unforeseen developments?”

    Covid – over a million Americans dead, empty shelves, not toilet tissue…

    3. Foreign policy leadership: “was the president an effective leader in promoting US foreign policy interests and national security?”

    He wanted to do away with NATO. NATO is a deterrent to World Wars. He said he could
    prevent WW2! Already happened. He sided with Putin over our own Intelligence. Traitor

    4. Moral authority: “did the president uphold the moral authority of his office through his character, values, and conduct?”

    Where to begin? His administration broke every ethics clause there is. Many of his
    cronies went to jail. The tweets…

    5. Positive historical significance of legacy: “did the president’s legacy have positive benefits for America’s development over time?”

    He tried to overthrow the government to stay in office. People are still going to prison because of his efforts. They just showed that he hid even more classified documents in his bedroom. Dead last on the list and he earned it.

    1. Debra:

      Every single one of your points can be interpreted differently. For example…

      4) Give me mean tweets every day of the year if it means a better economy, better foreign relations with no war, safer streets, and lower gas prices. Biden’s foul mouth, lies, plagiarism, and racism do not speak well of his administration at all. He ignores the law in order to further his agenda. I prefer the lesser of two evils.

      5) No, he did not try to overthrow our government. His words and actions do not support your accusation. His documents case has not come up yet. Apparently, as President, he had the right to declassify documents.

      OPINIONS are not the same thing as FACTS. For example, “His administration broke every ethics clause there is. Many of his cronies went to jail…” is an opinion, not a fact. Many of his “cronies” did NOT go to jail. And what ethics clauses were broken? Name them.

      Here is another example: “He sided with Putin over our own intelligence. Traitor..” Siding with someone who has factual information is always the right thing to do, regardless of who it is. It does not make him a traitor except in some peoples’ OPINION.

      Another one: “Everything is he’ll let us know. Zero plans or vision other than enriching his friends and family and sowing division and hate. Whole message is how bad America is.” This is an OPINION, not factual information.

      1. 5) he tried to undo a lawful election. His associates are in court, some have plead guilty. Fake electors. Are you even paying attention. If Biden pulled what trump did, you’d be screaming bloody murder. He did not declassify those documents. There is a process and paperwork none of which exists.

        Your statement: opinions are not facts, yet you state your clearly biased opinions as facts

  10. Cynthia:
    Your words: “DEI policies tend to favor one person over another based on skin color.” Focusing on ONE aspect, despite all the other aspects (gender, sexual orientation, etc) I listed. Why is that?

    And unless it was before 1972, your gender was ONE consideration in your PhD application. That’s facts. Just like my race – along with my perfect SAT score, 4.0 GPA, essays, and interviews – was one consideration in my college application. It’s not “either/or” – only looking at gender (or race) and ignoring everything else. It’s a “yes/and”: “yes, this person has amazing qualifications AND they would bring a perspective and experience as a woman/person of color/veteran/etc that is a VALUE ADD to the class.” That’s how it works. I have been in the room when these decisions were made.
    Affirmative action is still legal; the SCOTUS ruling ONLY addressed race (it still goes on for gender and all the other protected classes) at the COLLEGE level. Nothing has changed in hiring. QUOTAS are illegal, via the Bakke SCOTUS ruling. Let’s not conflate the two.
    I believe the way we are going about DEI is imperfect, but I hear a whole lot of criticism and not a lot of ideas. (Given data shows that class rank is the best indicator of academic performance, I’d love to see more ‘accept all who are in the top 10% of their class’ type of policies, as that would address race and socioeconomic class differences. What about you?

  11. Marín:

    Your words: “DEI policies tend to favor one person over another based on skin color.” Focusing on ONE aspect, despite all the other aspects (gender, sexual orientation, etc) I listed. Why is that?”

    Simple answer: Read Ibram X Kendi’s works. and you will see his prioritization of race. In my opinion, it is incredibly concerning and relates directly to DEI and its main tenants. Here is one of his most pertinent quotes, related directly to DEI: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination…”

    Here is a question for you: What are the differences between ensuring people receive equal rights versus ensuring equal outcomes, as DEI initiatives attempt to do?

    1. (Part 1):
      And there’s the problem – basing your understanding of DEI on one fairly recent opinion focused on one aspect of DEI.

      DEI has been around since WAY before Ibram Kendi (I work for and alongside people who have been in this space for three decades), and is rooted in three things:
      1. Upholding the civil rights legislation passed in the 60s (e.g. compliance with federal laws prohibiting discrimination – whether intentional or indirect)
      2. Providing equal access to opportunity (e.g. making sure all employees and applicants are aware of and fairly considered for opportunities they are qualified for)
      3. Identifying and knocking down the barriers to the first two (e.g. inconsistent application of policies, biases)

      The major priority of the first 2 decades of this work was gender (hence the significant leaps by white women in education and careers); race came into focus BECAUSE of how the flawed application of DEI was significantly advancing white women but leaving other groups behind. BUT THE OTHER AREAS NEVER CEASED TO BE PART OF DEI.

      This is why I am concerned about negative attitudes towards DEI: not an “obsession” with race. But I’m seeing my projects to support veterans returning to the workforce get cut because everyone is walking around thinking DEI is only about race. (Veterans programs have ALWAYS fallen under DEI).

    2. (Part 3):
      I am paying close attention to states eliminating DEI for the main point of seeing how programs for women, veterans, disabled and neurodivergent, and LGBTQIA are going to take a hit – because of people making a similar oversight as you. Already received a lot of panic communications over a women’s mentorship program getting defunded. Oh well. That was always part of DEI. What did you think was going to happen? This could backfire people realize DEI isn’t all “let unqualified Black people into every school and job, and leave qualified white people homeless and penniless!” Folks will find out.
      Never ever in my career in DEI has anyone mentioned equal outcomes. It’s always been equal access to opportunity by meeting people where they are and providing what they need to be considered for an opportunity then you’re on your own from there: like the bicycle metaphor, we all need one that’s our appropriate height….but we all need to pedal on our own!
      That special project for the CEO that’s only known about via word of mouth in certain circles….I’m the one who asks why every qualified employee doesn’t hear about it and get the chance to be considered for it. But I can’t guarantee anyone’s success if they don’t do the work.

  12. cinthia,
    You- “…your points can be interpreted differently
    Me: My FACTS can be researched and substantiated.
    You: Many of his “cronies” …
    Me: Roger Stone, Allen Weisselberg, Peter Navarro, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Elliot Broidy, George Papadopoulos, Tom Barrack, George Nader, January 5 Prosecutions, those indicted in Georgia, Arizona, and Maro Largo employees.

    Trump accumulated in excess of 3,404 conflicts of interest… officials repeatedly violated Hatch Act. List too long.

    You 4) Give me mean tweets …
    Me: Give me a dignified president rather than petulant child, consuming every news cycle with ridiculous behavior like suggesting drinking bleach and golfing. One protecting SS and Medicare, lowers prescription drug prices, working for all Americans, has a diverse, highly qualified, experienced administration, like Biden. Saying Biden is racist is just disingenuous. For starters, Trump was fined by the government for his racism. Also, crime is down around the country.

    You 5) .. he did not try to overthrow our government …
    Me: Hope Hicks said the mantra is deny, deny, deny, lie, lie, lie! Yes! he did, reason for the charges and why people from his administration, including her, resigned because THEY believe he did. It was a live event. He continues to incite violence in our society with his vicious lies. Classified documents – NOT HIS.

    All cowards manipulates others to do the dirty work.

    You – “Everything is he’ll let us know.

    Me: WASHINGTON (AP) — When in doubt, President Donald Trump has a ready-made response to any questions: “We’ll see.”

    You ) but ultimately, (abused) children are the responsibility of their parents.
    Me: from someone who harps on children and drag queens. I felt ill.

    Me: Remembering veterans like my father, not spending another moment thinking about the draft dodging enemy of our country.

    1. Debra,

      You are always entitled to your own opinions. What cannot be denied is that President Trump did not engage in any wars for four years, raised the income levels and employment levels of all Americans, did not contribute to inflation, and did not attempt to interfere in the marketplace by incentivizing the purchase of EVs. Further, he did not (does not) need teleprompters, has a high IQ, has impressive children, and does not blow in the wind with every public opinion.

      Biden’s administration is…well, let’s just say they are far from “highly educated” and have lost touch with the desires of American citizens. Many in our nation view Mayorkas as EVIL to the core. He has overseen a porous border situation that has led to the deaths of Americans and increased opioid use. He has imported corrupt gang activity, child trafficking, and fentanyl overdoses. He has encouraged illegal entry and flown criminals around our nation at taxpayer expense. In a word, he has failed in his mission to protect Americans.

      Sorry, Debra. I prefer President Trump every day of the week. He did far more good for our country. And, by the way, Biden swears more than most of our past Presidents and he also had an affair with his current wife while she was married. A paragon of dignity he is not. Oh, he plagiarized on numerous occasions and lies every time he speaks as well.

      So, be careful. You are comparing two evils and need to choose the lesser evil if you want what is best for the USA.

        1. Perhaps rather than “highly educated”, how about “highly brain-washed?
          How is it that the Biden administration is so anti-Israel along with most other western nations? Are they afraid of Islam and its adherents? During the Holocaust many nations denied entry for the Jews. Individuals such as Corrie Ten Boom and Harry Truman were exceptions in being a friend to the Jews.
          The taking of life – sadly, there is no question that President Biden and the Democrats worship the Abortion Beast.
          Pray that we as a nation turn from our wicked ways – the answer is Jesus.

          1. How is the Biden admin anti Israel when they’ve continued to give the billions of dollars of weapons? Fox News said so is not an answer.
            Stop the fear. There are 100 million Chinese Christians living under oppression. There are Christians in Muslim countries that fear death that could come at any moment.
            Yet Christians in this country equate the valid election of a democratic president with the oppression these people receive for their faith.

      1. “Pyrrhic” – a victory won at too great to have been worthwhile.

        Because of him and his divisive nature, we are now neighbor against neighbor, state against state, and worst of all, brother against brother. You can’t even wear a red baseball cap anymore.

        You – Sorry, Debra. I prefer President Trump every day of the week
        Me- Just leave it at that. Your rebuttals are ALL refutable.

        Me – If the economy is so bad, how are so many people going to concerts? Every restaurant or store I go into is full.

        You – President Trump did not engage in any wars for four years,
        Me – What wars are we engaged in now? He also brags about Kim Jon Un. NK STILLS has
        nuclear weapons. All Trump accomplished were his “love letters” lol

        You – has a high IQ, –
        Me- A joke – right? He uses a six-grade vocabulary, his own administration says he’s an unlearned moron. He thought we could buy Greenland. Ugh! He paid Michael Cohen to sue anybody threatening to reveal his transcript. Biden has a law degree.

        When he avoids the teleprompter, he talks foolishness like “Hannabal Lecter” and name calling. How does joking about Chris Christy’s weight help us as Americans?

        You – has impressive children?
        Me – Really, I’m not going there, but I could. He never takes Baron anywhere…no sporting events …Don Jr. parades around with the woman he left his wife and children for… Ivanka and Jared profited financially – massively!

        You -Oh, he plagiarized…
        Me – Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech word for word

        You – (Biden) have lost touch with the desires of American citizens
        Me – Trump lost the popular vote both times

  13. Debra:

    Your words: “You ) but ultimately, (abused) children are the responsibility of their parents.
    Me: from someone who harps on children and drag queens. I felt ill.”

    I did not use the word “abused.” Did you think it was okay to misquote me?

    It’s not. Lying about someone else’s words is offensive and known as “bearing false witness.”

    I am signing off now. I will not be interacting with you again.

  14. Debra:

    Your words: “Saying Biden is racist is just disingenuous.”

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2024/may/23/biden-proves-hes-demagogue-on-race-yet-his-own-rec/

    “As a senator, Mr. Biden worked with segregationists to oppose busing to integrate public schools, which now-Vice President Kamala Harris famously cited in a Democratic primary debate in 2019 as racist.

    In 1977, he said desegregating schools would cause his children to “grow up in a racial jungle.”

    In 2007, he described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

    In 2010, he eulogized Sen. Robert Byrd, a former exalted cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan, and called him “one of my mentors.”

    And in 2020, he told a Black radio audience that if they didn’t vote for him, then “you ain’t Black.”

    After 52 years in Washington, there is no disputing that Mr. Biden is a demagogue who shifts his views on race depending on the politics of the moment. So, when he tries to tell you who the racists are, understand that he’s mostly talking about himself.”

    1. Just an update, trump is now a convicted felon. In a court of law, a jury decided on the evidence that he did illegal things in paying off a porn actress so she wouldn’t tell the media she had sex with Donald j trump who was a married man at the time. Melanie trump had Donald’s child 4 months before the sexual encounter. The man you are fully supporting is a convicted felon. He claims to be a Christian, yet does not think he needs to live a Christian life. He claims he has no sins he needs to confess. The Bible (the word of God) speaks to this in I Corinthians 5:11 and tells us not to associate with a Christian who is sexually immoral, greedy, verbally abuse (“sh** hole countries, now stories of him using the “n” word while on the apprentist, trashing court reporters, judges, anyone who doesn’t support him). I don’t expect you to respond, because you ignore inconvenient truths.

        1. Who decides who is losing the “debate”. It’s clear you are just posting opinion as facts. These are op Eds, Cynthia. Surely you know the difference.
          Here’s a fact: your presidential candidate, for whom you will never not vote no matter what, is a convicted felon in a court of law. Please point to any other current presidential candidates who are convicted felons.

  15. cinthia,

    Me: “A woman is in danger when pregnant …We’re not caring for the abandoned and abused children we already have.”

    You: “We” are not responsible for the children others have.… but ultimately, children are the responsibility of their parents. “ “… whose choice was it? … If she chose to have sex with a man “who doesn’t intend to be a father,” isn’t she also choosing the potential consequence?”

    Trump-Teleprompter

    “This teleprompter is facing you, not facing me,” Trump told the crowd, before walking over to manually adjust the teleprompter. “These teleprompters are just gonzo, folks!
    May 1, 2024

    “As the teleprompters were seen visibly flapping around in the 35-mile-per-hour wind, Trump complained: “Don’t pay these suckers!” referring to those who’d set them up.”
    March 17, 2024

    He often mispronounces words that he can’t read on the teleprompter.

    You: “Biden’s administration is…well, let’s just say they are far from “highly educated”

    Adminstration: I randomly selected two.

    Blinken attended secondary school in Paris, receiving a French baccalauréat with high honors. He graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude and earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

    Yellen- She graduated with a degree in economics from Brown University. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. She also received two honorary degrees, one from Brown and the other from Bard College

    Racism – From Wikipedia
    Donald Trump, former president of the United States, has a history of speech and actions that have been viewed by scholars and the public as racist or white supremacist. Journalists, friends, family, and former employees have accused him of fueling racism in the United States.

    I’m out of characters, so I’m stopping.

  16. (Part 2):
    Before 1972, there were very few women doctorates or industry leaders. If “everything was a fair meritocracy before DEI”, that would mean this was because few women were smart or qualified enough.
    But I think we know there were legal, political and cultural barriers in place that were leading to this outcome. So DEI practices involved going out there and recruiting and preparing qualified women for such opportunities. And look what happened!
    Why do we get uncomfortable at the concept of doing the same for people of color? Or….do we really think that before 1972, the low numbers of people of color in higher ed and industry leadership roles were truly indicative of capability?
    While I believe Kendi raises an interesting question, I disagree with him. Yes, I think we must intentionally address discrimination (we can’t just “not talk about race anymore and think racism will go away”), BUT I think that’s by growing the pie, not fighting over who deserves what slice. We somehow are believing a lie that opportunity is finite. Why?

    1. Thank you for sharing. I landed on feeling sad that anyone would feel inferior because an opportunity was given to them. I know my race and gender are considered when applying for schools and jobs; I also know I graduated at the top of my class, had a perfect SAT and AP scores, am bilingual, and stayed in touch with interviewers because “they found me so impressive they had to know where I ended up choosing to go.” The “yes/and” of looking at ALL of me allowed me to bring unique perspectives and experiences into my work. Just as I am more than my race and gender, I am more than test scores and GPAs. That’s the hard part of admissions and hiring: considering ALL aspects of the applicant. “Qualified” can mean a lot of things.
      Have you read Clarence Thomas’s take? He admits affirmative action is why and how he had access to opportunities that landed him where he is, but knows that by no means is he inferior – he just needed access to the opportunity (which was often hindered to poor Black kids). And while I disagree with him ideologically, I will not deny his intellect; he shouldn’t feel inferior). This takes me back to the question you didn’t answer: do you think before 1972, everything was a “fair meritocracy” and women/people of color were underrepresented in higher ed and industry because they were inferior?

    2. Also, Cynthia – I am assuming your positive intent in sharing the article, but I want to clarify one thing: Black people are not a monolith. We are a diaspora of individuals that hold a wide range of ideologies, perspectives and experiences. Just like there are women who hold views across the entire spectrum of abortion and feminism.
      “See, a Black man agrees with me!” doesn’t really change much or make one’s argument more (or less) valid. I’ve had this argument come at me plenty of times, and it’s almost funny.
      Anyway. Assuming that’s not what you were trying to do, but wanted to get that out there.

      1. Marín,

        My intent was of course positive. I respect your opinion and wanted to hear what you thought. Here is another article I found early this morning – very critical of “equity” initiatives.

        https://blog.joelonsdale.com/p/a-note-on-equity-and-captured-institutions

        There seems to be a very serious disconnect between how you view the meaning of “equity” and how it is viewed by Conservatives. It would be helpful to better understand this disconnect.

  17. Jesus is the answer! However, it comes as a result of evangelization. Expecting unregenerated people to desire to obey and please God – by law – is to negate our responsibility.

    Saying Democrats “worship the abortion beast” is just a plain mischaracterization and is insulting. One could argue that aborted babies remain in the arms of God. Furthermore, the government does not force women to have abortions.

    ALL sin is against God. Abortion is not the only sin in this world. Murder is a sin and is illegal but people are killed every day. Sin is an issue of the heart and unless or until we as Christians do a better job, there will be no change, just another administration, every four years.

    This topic is about David French, a good man, a man of faith, being ostracized by fellow believers because he does not support someone who violates everything we preach against as Christians. Now, that sounds more like “brain washing”. Plus, academic education was the text.

    Recent research shows the Church is dwindling because of POLITICS. The “one anothers” have become “the others.”

    I will say it again, it has been a PYRRHIC VICTORY. So much has been lost, mainly our credibility, how can support of such a person be considered a win? How has it been worth it?

    1. Perfectly said
      Work with young people and have teens/young adults. The embrace of trump is so damaging to the church. The youth largely do not want to be part of an institution that >80% of people in support a candidate who is the opposite of moral. Oddly, I’ve met many a Mormon who did not vote for him, depsite supporting many of the conservative ideals he has backed. I have no idea how people can see the events of 1/6 and say, I’m 100% behind that. If they actually read a book like Tim Alberta’s recent one, they’d maybe realize they are following con men like Ralph reed. They think they are helping the nation when really they are accelerating it’s demise

        1. You can chose to leave president blank. That is a statement to the Republican Party (by the way, i voted republican for president up until 2016) that a person of integrity needs to be their candidate. Not a convicted felon. Nicki Haley seems like a decent human being. Married, kids, smart, successful. You can vote for people of integrity throughout the ballot. You can find an independent candidate of character. You cannot make a deal with the devil to get the policies you want.

          1. Bob C Kile:

            Thanks for the suggestions. In my opinion, not voting for a presidential candidate is the same thing as voting for one. One must make a choice.

            Yes, we will have to choose between two sinners. It’s what we always have to do.

            Matthew 5: 27-28

            “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

            Jesus’ standard is Perfection. We will never find it. Given this fact, I will choose a candidate based on how he will treat our nation and its citizens. If I judge by character, I will always be disappointed. We are all sinners. Biden is way too old to be running for the highest office in the land. He cannot work at full capacity to bring good things to the USA. His track record is horrible.

      1. Cuenta,

        Tim Alberta’s experience at his father’s funeral proves, it isn’t merely “alternative facts,” it is an “alternative universe!”

        One justification for the apparent conflict is “we’re not electing a pastor”. We’re not a church whose members have shared values either. We are not homogenous. We are a diverse nation.
        He wasn’t even an effective president. His whole life is smoke and mirrors.

        They claim to be constitutionalist. Well, so much for “insure” domestic tranquility.” They continuously force their will with vitriol, division, the threat of violence, and actual violence.

        Abortion is tragic all around. The solutions need to be as varied as the reasons people seek them. If it is the “unpardonable sin” that justifies voting for such a known immoral and corrupt person, then why allow for time limits and exceptions?

        They are all self-righteous hypocrites – all condemnation – zero solutions. How about the son of the founder of the “Moral Majority”, president of a premier Christian college, huge Trump supporter, is into threesomes and voyeurism? Ugh!

        “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42

        1. Debra, Bob – have you looked in the mirror? Is Donald Trump the “chief of sinners”? Every Christian, such as I, born again of the Spirit, confesses that they are “chief of sinners”.
          As for the PCA it may be that they are wary of peoples within and without that are as “Revoice”.

          1. Yes, Meredith. I pray, confess, study God’s word, and repent. More importantly, I do not put my devotion to anyone above my Lord and Savior. NO ONE.

            Yeah, he is “chief” among sinners. He has, and does, pretty much commit them all. He always says, he’s done nothing wrong. He’s got gold mirrors, just no moral compass.

            Also, I’m not asking to be president. Leaders set the tone. He certainly is: followers attacking police, making death threats, destroying the Capitol. Did you see congressman running for their lives. Poor Mike Pence.

            Your complete devotion to someone totally rejecting of God, means you truly need to look in the mirror. Judas could not.

            He bragged that he could “shoot someone on 5th avenue, and get away with it.” Well, maybe. However, he couldn’t get away with violating E. Jean Carroll, couldn’t keep defaming her, or cheating on his taxes, or running a bogas charity, or committing election fraud. We will see if he can get away with stealing classified documents and provoking an insurrection to subvert the rule of law. Ump! All of the election lies – still.

            Your anger is misplaced. They are just the tip of the iceberg of his sinful criminality. Interesting that you’re not angry about any of those things.

    2. Beautifully said, Debra. My heart is saddened by the declining credibility and influence of the church in a world that needs us now more than ever. We can self-righteously point fingers all we want (with Christianese sayings like “the world just doesn’t understand the gospel” and “the power of the gospel remains unchanged”), but we MUST take responsibility for LIVING OUT the gospel – and how we’ve let our witness get tarnished by the scandals, greed, and political idolatry this site exposes on a daily basis. Otherwise, the decline will just continue.
      I repeat – I was truly hoping to see this panel set an example for how we can have respectful debate among believers; but apparently only the “right” believers can participate. Isn’t that the point? Shaking my head.

      1. Thank you Marin!

        I always learn something from you and deeply appreciate your thoughts and perspective.

        God didn’t plop us down in a dull world. It is full of beauty, and color, and diversity, and interest, and is an expression of His amazing creativity.

        Thanks for the very important work that you do in assuring everyone has a opportunity to let their light shine, instead of hidden under a bushel. We are all certainly better as a result of your calling.

        Be better! (MO) Be best! (MT) haha! Be Blessed! (DH) smile.

      2. Marin, we perhaps agree. How does one best “live out the gospel” other than believing in Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior, and as the Apostle Paul proclaim his death and resurrection.

        1. meredith-

          We best live out the gospel by making sure our belief in Him is demonstrated through our obedience to His word.
          Scripture says our love for Him is shown through obedience. And that faith without works is dead.
          Justifying sin with whataboutisms, Christianese “who are we to judge”/“we are all sinners” and “the end justifies the means” philosophies is not obedience.
          Idolatry of power, money, and political parties is not obedience. Unfortunately all of this behavior is rampant among believers who are saying the “right” things.

          1. Marín,
            Very difficult for me but we are to pray for our leaders, and Jesus said to even pray for our enemies! And nearly impossible for me to pray for our current President, the most powerful person in the world. The war in Gaza – President Biden could easily have ended by telling Hamas to surrender and give over the hostages! The Abortion , the taking of human life. Perverting gender against the clear teaching of the Bible. Our country has fallen to the one who as a roaring lion seeks to kill and destroy.
            Jesus Is the answer.

          2. You are absolutely right – we are to pray for our leaders.
            And God wouldn’t call us to do anything that’s impossible. We have to get over ourselves and our own feelings, rely on the Spirit, and obey.
            That also includes loving sinners without all the condescension, labels, generalizations and accusations. Instead of staying in our bubbles, feeling good and puffing out our chest about how “we don’t bow to the abortion beast,” go talk and pray with a woman who has had an abortion. Or a doctor who performed one. Go talk and pray with someone who is struggling with gender identity or their sexuality. We need to meet people where they are with love, compassion, and prayer. Only then will they listen when we point them to Jesus.
            Standing in our Christian citcles, finger pointing, accusing and labeling makes us little more than mean girls wearing cross necklaces.

          3. Marín –
            “Faith without works is dead” – yes, it is hypocrisy.
            For “Christian” – works without the gospel is apostacy.
            The gospel – believing in Jesus – is the only answer to one’s sin.
            “Christian” – may the peace of Christ, may the Love of Christ, rule in your heart.

  18. First hand information is always the best. If the discussion is David French then read for yourself David French’s writings or listen to him speak. When we get into 2nd or 3rd hand information and so on we get into trouble.

    1. Hi Belinda,

      I love Cynthia. Believe it or not, we have agreed a couple of times. Haha! Besides her love of scripture, I also appreciate always knowing exactly where she stands.

      “I” defended David French. Although my exposure is not extensive, I have not read or heard him say anything I found objectionable. 2nd and 3rd hand… into trouble?

      CS Lewis said: “We don’t need more Christian writers (or any profession); we need more writers who are Christians.” Unless we are in full time ministry, we work and live among non-believers.

      The fallen world might not know doctrine, but they recognize character. I believe it is significant that the secular world also finds David to sincerely appear to be an honorable man of faith.

  19. cinthia-
    I’ll try to sum it up: What Mark Cuban said is THE core objective in all my years of working in DEI: Putting people in a position to succeed. And because that will look different for different people (based on a slew of factors), which means not everyone is treated equally.
    Conservatives hear that last part and ignore two things:
    1. Giving everyone absolutely the same thing (the bicycle example) will not set people up to succeed. You have to give people a bike that meets their height and capability so they can pedal! Conservatives scream “Her bike is different! We aren’t all being treated the same!” Uh yeah, she’s shorter. Don’t you want her to be able to pedal? Everyone must pedal on their own, so what’s the problem with making that possible?
    2. All positions (for schools or jobs) have more qualified applicants than openings. So what do you do when you have 4 perfect GPAs and SAT scores and 1 slot? Years of data shows the default choice would be rooted in bias with a wealthier straight white male often getting it. People in my job ask, “what if we picked the woman/person of color, person from a poorer background, etc. with these scores instead?” Conservatives are mad because the default is changing as that default is often in their demographic.
    Quick but staying in word count LOL

  20. Hi Marin,

    Let me push back a bit on some of your comments, if I may, with the understanding that I believe your heart is in the right place. I have worked with emotionally and mentally disturbed students, so I know what it means to adjust learning goals to increase their chances of success.

    Point 1:
    “Giving everyone absolutely the same thing (the bicycle example) will not set people up to succeed. You have to give people a bike that meets their height and capability so they can pedal! Conservatives scream “Her bike is different! We aren’t all being treated the same!” Uh yeah, she’s shorter. Don’t you want her to be able to pedal? Everyone must pedal on their own, so what’s the problem with making that possible?”

    Making something possible is not the same thing as increasing success. Often, making something possible does the opposite: It increases one’s hopes and sets one up for failure. For example, making college possible for all students who want to go, even unqualified ones, often leads to failure. Not all students are meant to go to college. I have always believed in working with the gifts God has provided. Do I believe all students should have the opportunity to go to college? Absolutely! Do I believe all students should go to college? No. I believe opportunities should fit talent and ability. Only then will students find success. I do not believe making the way forward easy is always the best solution. Life is HARD work. Also, looking for opportunities on one’s own is part of life’s struggles.

    1. cinthia-
      It is not my job to guarantee success; it is only my job to guarantee access to opportunity. And unfortunately, many of your points have been used to deny marginalized populations access to opportunity under the guise of “they’ll fail anyway” (which reeks of a lot of “isms”, but that’s another thread.) What I find interesting about conservatives and their “college isn’t for everyone” point is that they RARELY are talking about themselves or their kids. Take former Senator Rick Santorum. He gave a speech on college not being for everyone, ending it with, “Being a mechanic is a great job! Not everyone has to go to college!” But when a reporter asked if that meant he’d be ok if his son chose to be a mechanic over going to college, awkward silence ensued. What’s ok for thee apparently isn’t ok for me, is it?

      Do I believe college is for everyone? No. Do I believe that is up to me to decide? Or you? Or the government? No. We are not the UK – we do not funnel people into certain career/educational tracks early in life based on what we perceive as their capability. We let people determine their own path, and I believe that’s what makes this country so uniquely great.

      So I repeat: what’s wrong with equal access to opportunity, and letting people decide and work hard for themselves? Some will fail, some won’t. But at least that’s based on personal capability and accountability, not corporate or government predeterminations.

      1. Hi Marin,

        I think equal access to opportunity is already enshrined in the laws of the United States, isn’t it? The Civil Rights Act, for example. So, I am not sure what you are doing that is different from what the law already does?
        In other words, it seems redundant to be in the business of “ensuring equal opportunity” while at the same time advocating for preferential treatment of minority groups. All Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. (see 1964 Civil Rights Act) are guaranteed the same rights under the law. This means all Americans can apply to any job, any college, any program…anywhere in the USA.

        Again, what is your goal? What are you trying to achieve? What are you doing that the law does not already do?

        Just seeking clarification here. It almost sounds like you are trying to right the wrongs of the past by providing preferential treatment to minorities in the present. Am I wrong?

        In terms of personal capability and accountability, those are skills encouraged and taught in the home. Children growing up in homes that do not provide that kind of environment are at a distinct disadvantage no matter what opportunities come their way. The earlier kids are exposed to reading, language, math skills, scientific concepts, etc., the better.

        How do you feel about U. S. Medical schools lowering their standards in order to accommodate students of color?

        1. cinthia-
          People like me are hired to make sure that the law is followed; a huge part of my job is making sure my organization is legally compliant. I spend probably a third of my year managing compliance. I think you know that just because a law is passed does not mean it is automatically enforced: look at law enforcement officers escorting students to integrate schools YEARS after the Brown v Board decision; and I can show you pictures of an admissions denial letter my uncle recieved from Baylor – a Christian university! – in 1966 saying “it seems that other universities are uncomfortable admitting Negro students, and we will be following suit until further notice.” (My father was among the first class to integrate Baylor a few years later.) This was over a decade AFTER Brown v Board! This was AFTER the 1964 Civil Rights Act! So it is VERY naive to think “well a law was passed, so everything is great and wonderful and fair!”
          Passing a law also doesn’t mean companies know HOW to enforce it; so my team helps put together policies, practies, and trainings (for all levels) so people know WHAT the law says, proper terminology (e.g., what is a “quota” and why it is illegal, but a “quota” is not a “target”, which IS legal), what it looks like to enforce it, and what to do if you find violations. But conservatives want to cut all of this, because DEI is terrible, right?

        2. But overall, my goal is not about giving anyone preferential treatment. It is about asking the right questions to make sure all candidates are fairly considered. GPAs and test scores don’t tell the full story; neither does race or gender. Example: I have had white applicants who aren’t good at taking tests get a chance, as they had the GPA and challenging course work to be considered. But NO ONE asked if that could be the same situation for a Black applicant (we know why), so I speak up and ask “could this Black applicant be bad at taking tests, too? Let’s look at their GPA and course work as well.” Isn’t it fair that if we considered that possibility for the white applicant that we do the same for the Black one? That’s DEI at work. That’s what conservatives deem to be “righting the wrongs of the past”, and I disagree. It’s simply saying “we’ve done this for white applicants, why can’t we do it for the Black ones too?”
          All I want is for everyone to get the same considerations.

          Also, kids are not responsible for the failure of their parents. There is NOTHING wrong with seeing a kid whose parents’ failed them and giving them the mentoring and tutoring they need to go after their dreams. I will never understand why conservatives get so upset over this. It’s good for our entire community when these kids are equipped to better their circumstances!

          1. Marín,

            Thanks for your responses. I, too, see nothing wrong with mentoring and tutoring students who need extra help so they can go after their dreams. I think we have a different view of the word “talent.” I have seen students who come from terrible backgrounds doing incredibly well, and I have seen students who come from “privileged” backgrounds doing extremely poorly.

            What I mean is this: Students are gifted in various ways from the time they are born. If a little child wants to be a doctor, but that child does not have the “smarts” it takes to be a doctor, are we doing that child harm by encouraging him/her to go into a profession they are not suited for? This has ZERO – and I mean this sincerely – ZERO to do with skin color and race. It has to do with how God has gifted some with certain talents and abilities that others lack. When we attempt to fit kids into molds for which they were not designed, they end up hurt. Or, worse, they end up completely discouraged and give up.

            So, we need to find what kids are good at and encourage them to head in that direction. And that brings me back to college: No, not all students are equipped to attend college. Many would prosper more in a job that does not require attending four years of school and going into debt.

          2. Your approach makes sense. And I do agree that we all have different abilities and talents. I just don’t know whose place it is to say “you can’t do that”, nor do I know if there will ever be a way to do so without questions of fairness – because we STILL see so much of this “funneling” happening along race and socioeconomic class lines (e.g., teachers steering poor kids or Black kids towards trade schools and away from advanced courses based on assumptions) AND we know how today’s parents are. They all swear their kids are the next genius that simply needs to be discovered. Joking. Kind of.

        3. As for medical students: data is proving the race concordance hypothesis (see the study by the NIH), enough for us to examine what it would mean to have more diversity in the healthcare field, and revisit what it means to be “qualified” for med school and practice. I don’t think it’s all GPAs and test scores. For example: Black women are facing astronomical maternal mortality rates under the care of doctors who were “at the top of their class”. The current system is failing them; even a wealthy, conditioned athlete like Serena Williams nearly died in childbirth (and Olympian Tori Bowie DID die!). I’d like for there to be funded research on why this is happening; and if it’s related to who is considered “qualified”, I’d like that to be upended.
          That does not mean I’m for “lowering standards”; it means looking at what those standards are and how they could be translating into this horror (well, it’s horrific to Black women, so as expected, conservatives are quiet – but I was ecstatic the NY Times did a piece on this) we are seeing today. For example – data shows that class rank is a better indicator of ability than GPA and test score. Is it “lowering standards” to take someone who graduated top of their class at an HBCU, but perhaps had a lower test score, than someone who wasn’t top of their class, but had a high test score? I truly don’t know. I’d like to research it to have a more informed answer.

          1. Marín,

            This story is popping up in various locations on the internet. I have no idea if it is even true. I hope not. It relates to merit versus identity politics when it comes to Medical School.

            https://www.joannejacobs.com/post/ucla-med-school-puts-diversity-first-sees-failure-rates-soar

            Disparate health outcomes are the result of a plethora of causes – could be genetic, could be weight issues, could be past medical history, could be…. a host of things. Black women experience a variety of health problems their white counterparts do not experience.

            Why? I agree with you – I think we need research to make that determination. When I lived in South Africa, pregnant women would go off into the country and come back with healthy babies. When American doctors got involved, C-sections skyrocketed because they insisted on changing their patients’ diet. This resulted in bigger babies, more difficult deliveries, etc. Sometimes trying to help makes things worse.

            Anyways, must go. Thanks for sharing all your insights. Perhaps one day we can discuss this in greater detail when we meet in heaven. Although, by then, I imagine we’ll have left dissension behind us and we’ll be enjoying everything heaven has in store for those who love Jesus.

          2. cinthia-
            I encourage you to read the stories of these Black women (Serena Williams wrote about her experience, Tori Bowie didn’t get a chance to, and there are plenty of others who shared their stories for various research and news outlets). And also read the data that shows how doctors are less likely to believe Black women when they say they are in pain…until it’s too late. Read the data on how doctors make assumptions on serious factors like pain thresholds based on race – BEFORE running any sort of tests. And check out the data on improved bedside manner and treatment received when the doctor/medical staff is of the same race as the patient. This is all part of the race concordance hypothesis. (And I’m sure you know this country’s history on poor medical treatment – even via deceit – of Black people, e.g., Tuskegee syphyllis experiment).
            This has nothing to do with the GPAs and test scores of doctors. It is as if many are qualified “on paper” to take a bunch of tests, but lack the qualitative aspects of practicing medicine. I don’t know how to assess or prepare for that. It’s one reason why I welcome the research.
            But for now, we live with an unfortunate outcome: while it’s common (and justified) to hear of patients who refuse to be seen by Black doctors (I would run out of room listing of situations I know of), very few think about how current studies actually prove it more logical for me to question the qualifications of a medical staff (complete with Ivy League degrees on the wall) where no one looks like me.

  21. Marín,

    (continuado)

    Point 2:
    “So what do you do when you have 4 perfect GPAs and SAT scores and 1 slot? Years of data shows the default choice would be rooted in bias with a wealthier straight white male often getting it. People in my job ask, “what if we picked the woman/person of color, person from a poorer background, etc. with these scores instead?” Conservatives are mad because the default is changing as that default is often in their demographic”

    Speaking as a “Conservative,” I would not be mad because of a changing default position at all. I would be mad because you did not give all four candidates an EQUAL chance! That is what “equality” means in practice: It means you do not use immutable characteristics (like gender and race) to make a determination. Instead, you weigh the merit of each individual. In this case, since all four candidates are “equal” in terms of merit, I would simply throw all names in a hat and have someone pick a name. That seems like the most fair option and it also supports “equality under the law” provisions upheld by the Supreme Court. If you do not believe it is fair to have a “white male” default position, how does picking a “female person of color” spell fairness? It doesn’t. You are simply doing the same thing and engaging in discrimination in the name of “DEI.”

    Just my thoughts for today…Blessings.

    1. part 2: In such circumstances, a complex conversation would take place. But I disagree that immutable characteristics don’t matter, due to impact on one’s experience and perspective – and thus diversity of thought. I have a very different perspective than a white man whose resume is identical. And if a team is already all white/male, one would ask if selecting me would add needed diversity of thought.

      We are seeing this play out in business: the beauty industry is EXPLODING because they learned Black women come in more than that one shade of brown always at the end of the makeup counter, with hair textures that are damaged by what’s sold “over the counter.” How? Rihanna embarrassed the industry (becoming a billionaire off this concept), leading to Black women getting more jobs in the beauty industry (~39% increase). How did GENERATIONS of “qualified” chemists/marketers at L’Oreal get this wrong?

      If you hear a company is launching a new campaign for feminine products, how would you react to NO women being on the team, because “the only qualified marketers are men”? Would you ask where they looked for candidates? How they landed on NO women being qualified to be on this team for this product? These are the types of conversations I have in my field. (Real example; I still LOL)
      This is why I lobby for conversations around what is “qualified” to be revisited. Conservatives are twisting it to mean “lowering standards”. It isn’t; it’s asking things like: if a job requires resilience, will you learn that about an applicant by solely looking at GPA? If she’s the only woman in her chemical engineering major, could that indicate resilience?
      It’s very nuanced. There’s no perfect answer.

      1. Marín,

        Thanks for your clarifying answers. Very interesting and helpful. It sounds like your job entails a lot of “law enforcement” in the sense that you try to make sure the Civil Rights Act is being enforced. I understand that completely and applaud your efforts.

        My point lies somewhere in the middle of God-given abilities. To illustrate, I do not believe “diversity” adds anything at all to ANY field if it means lowering standards in order to achieve that goal. In other words, I believe exceptional talent and ability should be paramount in jobs that require it no matter what the pool of applicants might look like. When I go to a physician, all I want to know is: Is this doctor qualified to treat my disease? When I get on a plane, all I want to know is: Is this pilot qualified to get me to my destination? Nothing else actually matters in the long run. I want to receive proper medical care and I want to get to my destination safely.

        1. Thank you for your message and willingness to hear another view. I think you’ll find people across all sides of the political aisle agree: we all want good medical care and to arrive at locations safely (ironically, the planes involved in most plane crashes have been “qualified” white male pilots, but that’s a whole other thread).
          Likewise, no one is saying anything about lowering standards. People ARE questioning what “qualified” means, in a world were data has consistently proven that GPAs and test scores are flawed measures of one’s capability, and where many “qualified” perfect GPAs and test scores STILL make egregious errors that are discovered and corrected by those with “less than” perfect scores (or didn’t even finish school at all).
          Taking certain guardrails off (what if you don’t HAVE to go to an Ivy League to work in corporate law) can expose areas of unhidden talent. Perfect example: the NBA. The ONE path to the NBA used to be through playing at a US college. That was it. Now the NBA lifted that guardrail (expanding access to opportunity): you can go from high school/AAU programs and qualify for the draft; you can play at an overseas school or league and qualify for the draft; and some NBA scouts even found raw talent on playground courts and got them ready for the draft. And now look: the league is at peak diversity (today’s best players are from Europe), interest and sales are growing around the world as kids from Slovenia see someone representing their country, and the level of play is only increasing year over year. The only people mad? The US college kids who want those guardrails back on to better guarantee their spot. Those complaints sound VERY familiar to me.

  22. meredith,

    I thought people are simply uninformed or misinformed about Donald Trump. I was wrong. You all know exactly who and what he is, and you do not care. Paul called himself “chief of sinners” because he persecuted Christians. Trump called us “suckers.” Some of us are.

    Trump projects too. You suggested I need to look in the mirror. Then, you admitted you cannot even pray for our current leader. Now you’re affirming that you have zero interest in bi-partisanship, which is a groundwork of peace and accomplishment. Sounds like the mirror you’re looking in is a FUN HOUSE MIRROR, because we are called to be peacemakers, and pray for our leaders.

    Trans is simply a new form of Biblical eunuchs. We live in a fallen world. Anyone saying the sky is falling should read both the Bible and some history. Whew!

    For all of your judgmental blustering, YOU believe in “a king”, I believe in “the King – of Kings.” God is not asleep. He is still in control. We don’t need to give the wheel to anyone, especially someone whose life is offensive to Him.

    Trump invoked Hannibal Lector, (ridiculous) so I will too: “What do we covet? That which we see everyday.” You all thought he was something to desire, but it is proven to be a façade.

    “Bye now. FLY, fly, fly.” We are as far apart as the East from the West in our views. If you all aren’t repulsed thus far, you never will be. God will be the judge of us both. Blessings to you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Debra,

      It appears that we are “birds of a feather” – children of God. A song this morning, “Fly to Jesus”, on my radio tuned to BBN.
      I was in my 40s when I truly believed in Jesus, “born again of the Spirit”. My future is secure in Jesus.

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