Jonathan Haidt on the Physical Violence at Middlebury College

“When something becomes a religion, we don’t choose the actions that are most likely to solve [any particular] problem,” said [Jonathan] Haidt, the author of the 2012 best seller “The Righteous Mind” and a professor at New York University. “We do the things that are the most ritually satisfying.”

He added that what he saw in footage of the confrontation at Middlebury “was a modern-day auto-da-fé: the celebration of a religious rite by burning the blasphemer.”

The protesters didn’t use [Charles] Murray’s presence as an occasion to hone the most eloquent, irrefutable retort to him. They swarmed and swore.

The claim here is that a segment of intelligent American college students was – at least for the duration of a gathering – a tribe, swarming and swearing with the righteous, violent, ritually satisfying, ways of its tribe. This is the villagers of The Lottery, assuring themselves of an orderly world and a good harvest by stoning a chosen villager.

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If you’re going to go to college, and you have these tribal tendencies, they can fall roughly two ways – call them Football and Foliage. Foliage refers to private small landscaped tribal grounds, Football public large arena’d grounds. Here’s how one commentator describes and justifies the latter:

Look at the shirtless boys with faces and torsos painted in the school colors; look at the cheerleaders on the fields, the ‘waves’ surging through the stands.

American universities, those temples of reason (at their best), are tribes… If you want your students to become loyal, giving alumni, you must turn them into members of a tribe.

Paradoxically, the temple of reason, if it is to survive financially, must turn its students into a tribe. It must use all of its resources to do exactly the opposite of what universities are supposed to do — sustain and strengthen human reason. Tribal fraternities, tribal football teams, tribal fans — these are the often dangerous ritual actors some public campuses encourage.

Some private campuses offer the ritual satisfaction of enforced intellectual loyalties.

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Andrew Sullivan on religious aspects of the event.

If you happen to see the world in a different way, if you’re a liberal or libertarian or even, gasp, a conservative, if you believe that a university is a place where any idea, however loathsome, can be debated and refuted, you are not just wrong, you are immoral. If you think that arguments and ideas can have a life independent of “white supremacy,” you are complicit in evil. And you are not just complicit, your heresy is a direct threat to others, and therefore needs to be extinguished. You can’t reason with heresy. You have to ban it. It will contaminate others’ souls, and wound them irreparably.

… [At one point,] the students start clapping in unison, and you can feel the hysteria rising, as the chants grow louder. “Your message is hatred. We will not tolerate it!” The final climactic chant is “Shut it down! Shut it down!” It feels like something out of The Crucible. Most of the students have never read a word of Murray’s — and many professors who supported the shutdown admitted as much. But the intersectional zeal is so great he must be banished — even to the point of physical violence.

This matters, it seems to me, because reason and empirical debate are essential to the functioning of a liberal democracy. We need a common discourse to deliberate. We need facts independent of anyone’s ideology or political side, if we are to survive as a free and democratic society. Trump has surely shown us this. And if a university cannot allow these facts and arguments to be freely engaged, then nowhere is safe. Universities are the sanctuary cities of reason. If reason must be subordinate to ideology even there, our experiment in self-government is over.

Liberal democracy is suffering from a concussion as surely as Allison [Stanger] is.

A Christian Garland

David Garland, Baylor University’s president, speaks:

I don’t know any school that has been as transparent as we have and taken the extraordinary actions we have… We’ve also published, on our website, findings of fact which in many ways are findings of fault… From a Christian perspective, we’ve confessed our sins, tried to repent and tried to make restitution.

Deadspin’s Tom Ley responds:

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen someone pack so many lies into so few sentences. [The] findings of fact report that Garland deems to have been such an extraordinary act of transparency was nothing more than a 13-page summary of the law firm Pepper Hamilton’s investigation into the school’s failure to handle sexual assault allegations. That summary contained almost no specifics, and there is no written record of Pepper Hamilton’s full investigation because the school asked the firm to deliver its report to the regents orally.

As for Garland’s appeal to look at his school’s actions from a Christian perspective, all he’s doing here is pulling the same sleight of hand that so many institutions that operate under the umbrella of Christianity have pulled so many times before: He’s taking the concept of redemption to mean that properly-identified Christians, like himself, always have a free pass waiting for them. This is how a hollow document, a few scapegoat firings, and engaging in legal battles with victims become repentance. Being a good Christian means whatever the good Christian wants it to mean, and David Garland fancies himself a good Christian.

Your Afternoon Giggle.

Baylor University’s director of sports ministry will leave the school this summer…

[Wes] Yeary testified in defense of former football player Sam Ukwuachu, who was later convicted of sexual assault. Yeary said he would be comfortable with Ukwuachu returning to his home and being around his children.

Yeary also testified that Ukwuachu’s victim told him about the assault. He said he told her that if she would have called him on the night of the rape, he would have given her a ride home.

Yeary was allegedly involved in a separate case involving former Baylor football player Devin Chafin, who was dismissed from the football team June 1.

In a Title IX lawsuit against the university, Dolores Lozano accuses Baylor officials of not adequately responding to her claims of domestic violence against Chafin.

Lozano reported an assault to Yeary, the suit alleges, and Yeary then gave her literature to assist her in spiritual self-worth and preservation.

Yeshiva University’s Most High-Profile Benefactor…

… Ira Rennert, once again reminds students at the Rennert Entrepreneurial Institute how it’s done.

Loot, loot, loot; and then when you’re caught, appeal, appeal, appeal.

Go to it, kids!

Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Texas Christian University’s most militant Disciples of Christ are to be found on its football team, where select players routinely fan out among the non-football-playing student population on campus and beat the shit out of them.

The bloodied president of the team’s booster club, The Flagellants, recently issued a statement: “For the greater glory of God.”

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry…

… and Blotto God …

If your university worships football, then Johnny Manziel and Richie Incognito and Jameis Winston and so many others in the pantheon shock and appall you again and again as they spit on the divinity you have granted them and leave your school as lost as the nation of North Korea will be, should The Dear Leader ever be called home.

The latest scene of disillusion and devastation is the University of Oklahoma, whose quarterback is a drunk who gets in fights with cops and then, when they try to arrest him, flees. A local scribe puts this football-god violence in the context of all the other such violence in the program and concludes it’s a real shame and something should definitely be done about it.

These are tough days for Sooner football. Not as tough as the final days of the Switzer Era when guns and drugs and woes abounded, and yet, the release of the Joe Mixon video and the revelation that Dede Westbrook was twice arrested for domestic violence before arriving in Norman has stained the program.

Stained? Woe unto thee, scribes and Pharisees! Be careful, when thou liest safe and soft, lest thou forget Baylor.

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UD thanks two of her readers for the Jameis Winston link.

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The tweets are coming in.

Positive for Oklahoma fans is at least Baker Mayfield wasn’t charged with punching any women.

All in good time my little pretty; all in good time.

The Branch Davidians. The Shoot-Out Bikers. And now Waco Texas has a new violent cultist.

Kim “Knock Them Right in the Face” Mulkey.

I’d as soon vote for her as vote for Trump. However…

… Marine Le Pen’s refusal to meet with a Muslim leader because he insists she wear a veil to the meeting is magnifique.

“You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up,” she said.

Absolutely. Lots of women are compelled to veil themselves; they need to see high-profile women around the world refusing to. It might help.

“Women ‘Furious’ as Ikea Sticks With All-male Catalogue in Israel: ‘We’re Turning Into Saudi Arabia'”

It’s a little late to start worrying about that.

‘Peter Wallace, an aspiring independent politician and former Hurstville Boys student, described the policy as ‘disgusting’. “This is teaching Muslim boys … that women are not their equal.'”

“Misplaced cultural sensitivity,” says someone else, and ain’t it the truth. The Hurstville Boys’ Campus of Georges River College, in Sydney, has decided it’s fine for some male students to refuse to shake women’s hands, Australia itself having no code of politeness, no cultural ethos, no sense of equity that might be offended by this.

But at least those involved in the decision and decisions like it are willing to defend themselves!

Georges River College principal Joanne Jarvis did not return calls or emails… Liberal MP for Oatley, Mark Coure, was at the Hurstville Boys’ Campus awards [graduation] ceremony [where boys refused to shake hands with women] in ­December but declined to comment. State Education Minister Rob Stokes also declined to comment… Opposition education spokesman Jihad Dib, a former school principal who is a Muslim, also declined to ­comment…

And UD is oh so familiar with this variant of the there are only a couple of thousand burqas on the street so who cares move:

Lydia Shelley, a lawyer and Muslim community advocate, dismissed concerns over the school’s handshaking protocol, saying “if you seriously want to address the issue of gender inequality … you could focus on Australia’s national shame of violence against women”. By comparison, she said, the handshake issue “pales in significance”.

No but if you really really seriously want to address the issue of gender inequality you should focus on global gun violence… Let’s go cosmic, shall we? That way no one will focus on the utterly trivial, so trivial you can’t even see it with a microscope, business of officially training teenage boys to be assholes.

Starr in perfect …

alignment.

Baylor University: It Never Rains But it Whores.

It Never Rains but it Whores

[Singalong.]

Did y’ever wake up in the morning
And grumble as you tumble out of bed?
Your strength coach arrested — solicitation.
You might lose SAC accreditation.
The school of Ken Starr and Art Briles
Is drowning in lawsuits and trials
Your regents are vile but they won’t do town halls
You’re out of compliance with Big 12 by-laws
Yes, all day long,
Everything you touch goes wrong.

Teacher told us, when this happens, never to whine or wail;
The same things happen at other schools, but on a much smaller scale!

It never rains but what it whores;
If lady luck should happen to desert you,
Some gang rape’s never gonna hurt you,
So wait and the skies will all be blue.

It never rains but what it whores;
So what if all your troubles come in bunches,
Keep sticking to your silly little coaches,
And the sun will come shining through.

Bide your time and keep on hummin’,
Don’t you frown and sit around and weep.
Wait your turn, your day is comin’,
And you’ll be there on top of the heap!

It never rains but what it whores;
You may as well get all your worries over,
From then on you’re gonna be in clover!
Smile when you should cry,
For every cloud there’ll be a rainbow,
There’ll be a sunbeam for every raindrop by and by!

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[UD thanks many readers who have sent her Baylor updates.]

All the flighty histrionic Baylor ladies…

… will be dominating news from that university for awhile. As in – what’s my girl Briles doing with her lawyers today? Last week she was suing everybody at the university cuz they said hurtful things and made her feel bad; this week she’s withdrawing her suit because “a girl can only carry so much… she wants some peace in her life…”

But don’t worry! Two other ex-football people are still suing, and there’s tons more where they came from.

America’s highest-profile Baptist university is increasingly divided up between people who are suing and people who are in prison.

“The NCAA is caught in a strange dynamic: It’s attempting to define its shrinking jurisdiction at the same time that the nature of corruptions in college sports and the stakes are growing.”

Her sentence is maybe a little grammatically awkward at the end, but Sally Jenkins gets the job done here, noting first of all that corruption in university football is currently massive and growing. She notes more particularly that America’s most rape-licious campus – oh-so-Baptist Baylor – should get NCAA’s death penalty, but probably won’t cuz there’s too much money at stake. “[T]he death penalty is difficult to contemplate when major college football revenue is more than $3.4 billion.”

Plus, whether it’s Whorehouse University of Louisville or Sex Slave Baylor University (spiritual sex slaves, like what did they call those Greek temple prossies, hierodoulos), who are we to interfere with freedom of religion? It’s been said often enough – and it’s utterly obvious – that pro- and pretend-not-pro- football is a religion in America. The thick description here, as Clifford Geertz would put it, is that of multiple temple cults where worship of naughty haughty Player Gods means full submission to them. Full legal, financial, academic, physical and sexual submission. THERE IS BUT ONE GOD AND HIS NAME IS RICHIE INCOGNITO. We love steroidal fucks like Richie and want them to do whatever they want with us. They beat the shit out of our students, rape them, whatever, and the president of our university pleads Give them another chance! This is our holiest of mystery sects, full of blood and sex and brain spatter, and it all plays out, of all places, on our university campuses.

The Baylor Hymn: Toting Up the Rapes

Practice in the morning – throwing, blocks, and tackles –
Practice in the noontide, til the drunken eve;
Waiting for the hostess and the time of raping,
Waiting for the lawyers, toting up the rapes.

Toting up the rapes, toting up the rapes,
One suit says it’s fifty – lads are in a scrape!
Toting up the rapes, toting up the rapes,
Trustees come together seeking an escape.

Raping in the sunshine, raping in the shadows,
Fearing neither cop nor courtroom’s chilling breeze;
By and by complainants and the press condemn us
Now our rapes are over – there is no reprieve.

Going forth with weeping, losing field advantage,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over, we’ll bid new recruits welcome.
We’ll regain position, toting up the rapes.

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