--1--A friend of mine passed along this interesting observation to me: in our society--it is slowly losing the ability to be called a civilization or a coherent culture--it is basically ok to decide you want to change anything about yourself that you want. This includes everything from your religion to your spouse to your own body (e.g. with a sex-change operation); and all this can be done (and sometimes is done) without much in the way of prudent deliberation, and the society of the West practically celebrates that this is so (I think it's called "openness" and "diversity" and other such things). There is, however, one thing which no man must ever change about himself, and that is his sexual orientation if his orientation is "gay"*, though if he is "straight" then he is encouraged to change away!
--2--Which brings me to another observation. If he decides that he doesn't want to be gay anymore, then he is ridiculed by the brownshirts for tolerance (which is one of the few forms of bullying which seems to be permissible). And if he decides to seek out professional help, that is if he decides to seek counseling to help him to become straight--really, if is is at all uncomfortable with being gay, or simply wants to live chastely and seeks professional help with that decision--then any counselor who dares to offer him help is to be punished. Any person who shows signs of becoming such a counselor is to be discredited--and thus we see claims that within the psychology profession, there is consensus that "gay" is perfectly alright, that it is not a psychological disorder for anybody.
--3--There are some gay activists who run around looking for counselors (and other professionals or businesses) which practice ungood think. These targeted therapists are largely minding their own business, but at the same time they genuinely seem to want to help any clients who do come to them confessing that they are uncomfortable with same-sex attraction, whether the request is to help them to become not gay, or even to simply help them to cope with being gay (e.g. by living chastely, which is something that everybody is is some way called to do). These are same-sex attracted people who already believe that homosexual relationships are wrong, sinful, or even simply unhealthy, and who do not want to be told that there is nothing wrong with acting on homo-erotic impulses. They may or may not even be looking to be "cured," but are only asking for help because of a psychological disturbance due to their same-sex attractions. In any case, there are now gay activists who seek out psychological therapists who offer to help such people, and these activists do so with the intent of stripping such honest therapists of their livelihood. All of which makes it laughable that the "gays rights" movement* is only about tolerance and equality. As Mr Mark Shea puts it, "Dear Gay Activists: This is why people hate you. You’re welcome."
*There are, of course, some in the movement who really do only want these things. But much of the effect of the movement is to make Christianity socially and at times legally punishable.
--4--grades are being inflated.
--5--Every semester as a first-day activity, I have my students (each) measure the length of the chalkboard at the front of the classroom. I find that this is a good way to introduce them to some basic statistics (read: data analysis), since usually they do not all get the exact same length. This time around, I asked the length of the board, and somebody guessed by counting tiles on the ceiling; then somebody else asked if she could use a meterstick to measure the board, and then reported her measurement aloud to the class. The third student then said that he knew the board's length, because the second student had attested to it. He was willing to trust the "witness account." I of course made everybody measure the board for themselves, and to their surprise and chagrin each person got a different measurement. We then proceeded to do some statistics. What was, however, overlooked by most of them in all of this is that although each measurement (or each "eyewitness report" of the board's length) differed in the particulars (e.g. to the nearest centimeter), the general story was quite consistent (the board is a little over 4 meters long). Different details, same story, and this for something simple and immediate like measuring the chalkboard.
--6--The weekend is looking packed around the edges with Mass in the middle: walk for life tomorrow morning, and then closing the weekend with a likely blogger meet-up with a fellow contributor to IGNITUM TODAY. The middle seems relatively empty, well, except for the most important thing (Mass).
--7--My wife brought me lunch at work today. Today was her last day at St Theresa's School, so she had early release (yesterday was the last day for the students). It made me remember how much I miss being able to have picnic lunches together on a regular basis.
Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Mrs Jennifer Fulwiler at her Conversion Diary blog.