Crawford County Library Board takes action on book removal requests


Since April 17, 2023 when this resolutionwas passed by Saline County Quorum Court you would think thatsomething horriblehad happened if you read the local press reports!!! Read it for yourself at this link. 

It is a simple thing to move books with sexual content out of the children’s’ section, but now the leader of the saline county library says the library will not comply!!!!

I have links (see above) to most of the articles on this subject but the best comprehensive article can be found at this link.


Crawford County Library Board takes action on book removal requests


by Tina Alvey Dale (  March 14, 2023 9:52 pm 2,700 views

After a lengthy discussion on whether a library can reconsider or ban a book, the Crawford County Library Board voted to take action on one of four books in the library’s collection challenged by citizens during Tuesday’s (March 14) library board meeting in Van Buren.

The board voted unanimously to move “The Last Leaves Falling” by Sarah Benwell from the young adult/teen section to the adult section in the system’s libraries. The book’s description states that a teen grapples with ALS and his decision to die in this debut novel infused with Japanese poetry and the importance of friendship.

The book was challenged by Thomas Weitzel because it deals with a teenager and suicide. Weitzel 

said the “troubling” subject matter is not appropriate for children or adults. Weitzel said he would not support merely moving the book to the adult section because children could still access it and not every child has parents monitoring what they read.

Gentry Wahlmeier, attorney for the library board, cautioned board members about removing a book from the library, noting that while Arkansas state law requires libraries to have a book reconsideration policy, the U.S. Supreme Court says books cannot be reconsidered for their content.

“So it’s a ban on book banning,” Wahlmeier said.

The board voted to move the book to the adult section. Weitzel then said he would withdraw his challenge of “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe and the DVD of the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

A fourth challenge, of “Change” was not voted on because the person who challenged it was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board was also set to discuss changing basic criteria for assessing which books are selected for the library’s collection, a motion which was tabled at the Jan. 10 meeting. The board again tabled the motion. Library Board Director Tammi Hamby said while reading through the policy that sections of the policy manual referred to other sections, so the whole manual needed to be reviewed before any revisions were made.

The policy revision and book challenges all stemmed from controversy in the library that led to the former Crawford County Library Board Director Deidre Grzymala to resign with a $40,687.50 severance deal Feb. 21.

The controversy began in November when Hamby and her husband Dr. Jeffrey Hamby, a Van Buren family physician, spearheaded a campaign against LBGQT+ books being available through the Crawford County Library System and Grzymala’s book display of LBGQT+ children’s books set up at the Van Buren Public Library in November. Hamby was appointed to the Crawford County Library Board by Crawford County Judge Chris Keith and named the board chair after Jamie Balkman, former chair, and two other board members resigned after a contentious Quorum Court meeting in December.

Eva White was appointed interim director during a special called meeting Feb. 24. White was the library director for Crawford County from 1999 to 2012 and then again from 2013 to January 2021. She said she retired during the COVID pandemic at a time when she was experiencing knee problems. She has since had two knee replacements and is “ready to go back to work.”

“We have heard you. Each one of has expressed your agenda,” White said. “My agenda is to run this library as I have run it for years before. I want this to be your library.”

Several individuals attending Tuesday’s meeting expressed concern over removing books from the library. Some pointed out laws that protect books from being banned from public libraries. Some mentioned the Bible and the controversial content in it, noting it might someday be the next book banned. Some said that the ones hurt by limited resources in the library were those who could not afford to get books elsewhere.

“Think about what you do. Banning books only hurts ourselves,” said Sharron Herrick.

Central Arkansas Library System looking to file lawsuit against new law in Arkansas

Samantha Boyd

7 hours ago

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Controversy is heating up when it comes to a new law in Arkansas you have likely heard of.

Act 372 will allow library employees to face criminal penalties for distributing books found to be harmful to children.

One is the harmful to minors, criminalization provision.

“The idea that vilifying librarians and subjecting them to criminal penalties for something that has already been determined in one instance to be a standard that is flawed, is hard to understand frankly,” Coulter said.

Coulter pointed to a federal case in 2004 where a similar statute was found unconstitutional.

“Even though they switched words here and there, the effect is the same,” he said.

The second component is the statute that allows a city board or county quorum court to decide if a book stays in the library or needs to be moved.Saline County resolution addresses library books too ‘obscene’ for children

We reached out to State Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) who sponsored the bill that is now law. He said:

“The only confusion as to the constitutionality of Act 372 seems to be in Nate Coulter’s head, as fueled by the law firm salivating over the possibility of biting into the $50,000 that the Central Arkansas Library System budgets for lawyers. Coulter campaigned against the bill, and now that it is law, he has been looking to spend taxpayer money to overturn it–including falsely claiming it applies to materials the Attorney General himself made clear the law doesn’t cover. I wonder whether the citizens of central Arkansas, who pay amongst the highest library taxes in the state, know that the head of their library system treats their hard-earned money as a slush fund to pursue his personal progressive crusade.”

In response to the statement, Coulter said,

“When you cannot respond on the merits or the substance of what we are talking about, then I guess you resort to attack me personally,” Coulter said. “This is not about me. It is not about Dan Sullivan. It is about the law.”

Coulter added that the library is looking for pro bono representation. As of now, the law is set to go into effect August 1. Coulter said they expect a lawsuit to be filed before then.

Categories: Local NewsNewsTop Stories

Since April 17, 2023 when this resolution was passed you would think that something horriblehad happened if you read the local press reports!!! Read it for yourself at this link.

It is a simple thing to move books with sexual content out of the children’s’ section, but now the leader of the saline county library says the library will not comply!!!!

Saline Co. Public Library director says they will not follow resolution to remove books 

by Desmond Nugent

Thursday, April 20th 2023

Benton (KATV) —

The Saline County Quorum Court earlier this weekpassed a resolution to remove inappropriate books from the county public library’s children’s section. Saline County Public Library director, Patty Hector shared with KATV why they do not plan on following the court’s recommendation. 

According to Hector, it’s been a tearful few days since the resolution passed. She said the court’s recommendation does not parallel that of the recently passed ACT 372. 

“There’s goes a step further, they’re just saying in any children’s book that any parent objects to; actually it’s any parent or person, so anybody in the community whether they have a child or even have a library card,” she said. 

ACT 372  is a law concerning libraries and obscene materials; to create the offense of furnishing a harmful item to a minor; to amend the law concerning obscene materials loaned by a library.

Hector said the Saline County Republican Womenhave a list of books they want to be removed but haven’t shared what’s on that list. 

“I don’t believe that there endgame has anything to do with books, especially not sexual content,” Hector said. “I think that’s the wedge that they used to get to libraries. I think they want to erase people of color and marginalize LGBTQ people.” 

KATV reached out to the women’s group for an on-camera interview, but they weren’t available on Wednesday for comment. One of their members, Mary Lewis made a public comment during Monday’s quorum court meeting. 

“We need to make sure they have a solid foundation of goodness not things that are not to be,” Lewis said. “Because you open the door to that and that’s just opening up every single kind of evil in this world.” 

According to Hector, they updated their policy to that of ACT 372. She also said they do not have any obscene materials in the children’s area and that they have no plans on removing any books. Hector said her concern if books are removed from the children’s section is a lawsuit could be filed. Hector told KATV such an action could infringe on freedom of speech. 

An official with Saline County said the library will not be punished if they do not follow the resolution.

Saline County Commission approves library resolution to relocate suggestive material

by Josh Snyder | Today at 9:37 p.m.

Saline County justices of the peace approved a resolution “requesting” the Saline County Library to relocate certain material “due to their sexual content or imagery” on Monday evening.

The resolution, titled “A resolution requesting the Saline County Library ensure that materials contained within the children’s section of the library are subject matter and age appropriate,” is listed as “Exhibit ‘E’” at the 6:30 p.m. quorum court meeting. Its sponsors are Jim Whitley, a justice of the peace representing District 10, and Clint Chism, a justice of the peace who represents District 11.

The resolution states, “The library should enact policies to relocate materials that are not subject matter or age appropriate for children, due to their sexual content or imagery, to an area that is not accessible to children.”

During discussion by the justices of the peace, Whitley said he wanted to dispel “rumors and innuendo” surrounding the resolution. He said that people have accused the resolution of being related to defunding the library system. 

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Whitley said, emphasizing that there was no intent to defund the library in the resolution. 

He also rejected claims that the library wanted to remove sexual material from the library at large. Instead, the resolution is “very specific to the children’s section of the library.” 

Whitley said children are “inundated daily with sexual language, imagery content that is really inappropriate for them.”

Literature is at the core of America’s democracy, the justice of the peace said, adding that he supports the library system. 

However, he said he doesn’t want children to come to the library and “read things they’re too immature to process.” 

Chism said that, in the past three days, “I’ve come under a lot of anger.” He read a prepared statement, in which he expressed surprise at their response. 

Laws already “do that sort of thing,” he said, adding that movies are rated, and that games and music have warning labels. 

“I don’t understand why it’s even being a debate,” Chism said. “Why would you want your children to look at something like that?”

Keith Keck, a justice of the peace representing District 13, proposed an amendment that states “parents or legal guardians are ultimately responsible for the children’s use of the library and for determining the appropriate library materials for their children to have access to.”

After discussion, the amendment was voted down 9-4. 

Keck also recommended an amendment that would add an additional reference to Act 372, but withdrew the motion after discussion.

The effort from Whitley and Chism references Act 372, a state law signed March 30 that exposes library personnel to criminal charges for “knowingly” distributing material found to be obscene. Such efforts add to the wave of recent pressure placed on Arkansas libraries to remove children’s books that address sexual subjects.

Act 372 removes existing language from state law that shields library personnel as well as school employees from prosecution for disseminating obscene material.

A person who loans out from a public library material found to be obscene could be charged with a Class D felony under the law. The legislation also creates a new Class A misdemeanor offense for knowingly furnishing a “harmful item” to a minor.


In an interview before the quorum court meeting, Saline County Library Director Patty Hector, Saline County Library said she didn’t believe the county resolution was necessary.

The library board has already voted to update standards for Act 372, and their books are in “the appropriate age section,” according to Hector.

Act 372 establishes parameters for citizens to challenge the appropriateness of material available to the public that is held in school or public libraries. Successful challenges could result in material being relocated to an area not accessible to minors.

Decisions not to relocate the challenged material could be appealed to a school district’s board, in the case of a school library, or the governing body of a city or county, in the case of municipal or county libraries.

Anyone wanting to make an official challenge over a book should fill out a form and speak with Hector, the director said. If the complainant wants to continue with their challenge, their complaint will go to a committee of library staff, who will discuss the book. After the committee reports back to the complainant, that person can choose to take the challenge to the quorum court. 

However, Hector said that, in the seven years she has been director of the system, “I haven’t had a book challenge in all that time.”

According to the director, library staff read professional reviews of books to determine whether the works are “right” for the library. Staff in the children’s section get together if they feel “the least bit concerned” about a book for kids, she said.

Hector said the library system also doesn’t buy books from groups pushing self-published works, or works that aren’t from a well-known publisher.

“We want things that are vetted by a publisher.”

Hector said she doesn’t think anything will need to be moved or relocated, because she believes her staff bought appropriate books.


In addition to Act 372, Hector pointed to other similar efforts to regulate the availability of certain books in Crawford County, Siloam Springs, Craighead County.

A late September post on the website of the conservative education and research group Family Council lists libraries with children’s and young adult books containing what it calls “graphic sexual content.” Crawford County is listed among them, though neither the Saline County Library nor the Craighead County Jonesboro Library systems are mentioned.

The post states that people can take steps to remove material they find objectionable by using a form that asks libraries to remove offensive materials and call on their elected officials to pass laws that regulate “objectionable material” in libraries.

In February, Crawford County Library System Director Deidre Grzymala announced her resignation following criticisms of the inclusion and public display of children’s books with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning themes at the library.

The Craighead County Jonesboro Library lost half its revenue in November, after residents voted to decrease the library’s 2.0 mill tax to 1.0 mill.

The Siloam Springs Library has had at least 10 of its books challenged. 

Similar efforts have also been taking place in other states. 

Attempts to ban books “nearly doubled” in 2022, compared against the previous year, a March 22 news release from the American Library Association states. Nationwide, there were 1,269 “demands to censor library books and resources in 2022,” according to the association.

In Saline County, other new business on the quorum court’s Monday agenda included a “resolution recognizing public safety communicators as first responders,” a “resolution authorizing continuation of ICJR grant,” an “emergency ordinance designating planning services as professional services,” an “emergency ordinance establishing Saline County Litter Control Fund” and an “ordinance amending the 2023 Saline County budget ordinance 2022-36.”

Information for this article was contributed by Will Langhorne of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Doug Thompson of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


Siloam Springs,  Craighead county,  Jonesboro,  Crawford countyDeidre Grzymala,  Family Council

I have read articles for years from Dan Barker, but recently I just finished the book Barker wrote entitled LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE which was prompted by Rick Warren’s book PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE which I also read several years ago.

Dan Barker is the  Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, And co-host of Freethought Radio and co-founder of The Clergy Project.

On March 19, 2022, I got an email back from Dan Barker that said:

Thanks for the insights.

Have you read my book Life Driven Purpose? To say there is no purpose OF life is not to say there is no purpose IN life. Life is immensely meaningful when you stop looking for external purpose.

Ukraine … we’ll, we can no longer blame Russian aggression on “godless communism.” The Russian church, as far as I know, has not denounced the war.


In the next few weeks I will be discussing the book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE which I did enjoy reading. Here is an assertion that Barker makes that I want to discuss:

Think about sexuality. The bible says that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). It is assumed that Adam and Eve were heterosexual, because they were commanded to “replenish the earth.” Jesus made the same assumption: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (This is also sexist, from the male point of view.)

Sexiest? Sounds like you are modern day woke and you will end up turning on your buddy Richard Dawkins?


A.F. Branco for Jan 12, 2022


After Life 2 – Man identifies as an 8 year old girl



Richard Dawkins declares there are only two sexes as matter of science: ‘That’s all there is to it’

Dawkins added that those who have tried to cancel JK Rowling for making the same point are ‘bullies’

Gabriel Hays

 By Gabriel Hays | Fox News

During a recent interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, famed atheist and biologist Richard Dawkinsdeclared, “there are two sexes, and that’s all there is to it.”

He added that LGBTQ activists looking to discredit the reality of two biological sexes are pushing “utter nonsense.”

Dawkins further noted that those going after Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her commitment to the reality of two sexes are “bullies.”


Famed atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins strongly defends the reality of biological sex during an interview with Piers Morgan.

Famed atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins strongly defends the reality of biological sex during an interview with Piers Morgan.(Screenshot/Piers Morgan Uncensored)

The famous critic of religion spoke with Morgan during a recent episode of “Piers Morgan Uncensored.” The host prompted Hawkins by mentioning how “extraordinary” it is that LGBTQ activists and woke ideologues “want to what they call, de-gender and neutralize language.”

Piers was referring to a recent list of problematic words put out by the “EBB Language Project,” a collection of academics looking to police words that could potentially be found to be politically incorrect. The proposed list contained gendered words, such as “male, female, man, woman, mother, father,” U.K. outlet The Telegraph reported.

Dawkins had commented on the project last month, telling the paper, “The only possible response is contemptuous ridicule. I shall continue to use every one of the prohibited words. I am a professional user of the English language. It is my native language.”

During their interview, Morgan trashed such language policing and the idea there aren’t two sexes, He declared, “I mean, it’s incontrovertible. There’s no scientific doubt about this.” He also noted that a “small group of people have been quite successful actually in reshaping vast swathes of the way society talks and is allowed to talk.”

Dawkins immediately discredited the entire movement, saying, “It’s bullying.” Mentioning famous people who have been demonized for going against these activists, the renowned researcher added, “And we’ve seen the way J.K. Rowling has been bullied, Kathleen Stock has been bullied. They’ve stood up to it. But it’s very upsetting the way this tiny minority of people has managed to capture the discourse and really talk errant nonsense.”


Richard Dawkins rose to fame for his books on religion and biology, but he has locked horns with woke orthodoxy over issues such as gender ideology.

Richard Dawkins rose to fame for his books on religion and biology, but he has locked horns with woke orthodoxy over issues such as gender ideology. (Mark Renders/Getty Images)

Upon Morgan asking Dawkins how to combat the “nonsense,” Dawkins simply replied, “Science.” 

He then said, “There are two sexes. You can talk about gender if you wish, and that’s subjective.” Morgan asked him about people who claim there are “a hundred genders,” though Dawkins claimed, “I’m not interested in that.”

He said bluntly, “As a biologist, there are two sexes, and that’s all there is to it.”

Subsequently, the host mentioned how Dawkins has had his career and reputation dinged for simply asking questions about inconsistencies in the left’s dogmas on gender and identity.

Morgan said, “You had a humanist award stripped in 2021 because of your comments about of this kind of thing.” He cited the tweet that cost him, which stated, “In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of the NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.”

Morgan mentioned, “You had your award stripped because you were effectively doing what J.K. Rowling and others have said – you were just espousing a biological fact.”

Dawkins shot back, “I wasn’t even doing that. I was asking people to discuss. Discuss! That’s what I’ve done all my life in universities.”

Demonstrators protest in support of rights for transgender youth.

Demonstrators protest in support of rights for transgender youth. (Fox News )

Morgan asked Dawkins why society has “lost that ability to actually have an open and frank debate.”

The scientist replied, “There are people for whom the word discuss doesn’t mean discuss, it means you’ve taken a position, which I hadn’t… I thought it was a reasonable thing to discuss.”

Gabriel Hays is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. 


Dennett wearing a button-up shirt and a jacket

I was referred this fine article by Robyn E. Blumner in defense of her boss at the RICHARD DAWKINS FOUNDATION by a tweet by Daniel Dennett.

As an evangelical I have had the opportunity to correspond with more more secular humanists that have signed the Humanist Manifestos than any other evangelical alive (at least that has been one of my goals since reading Francis Schaeffer’s books and watching his films since 1979). Actually I just attended the retirement party held for my high school Bible teacher Mark Brink of EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL of Cordova, Tennessee on May 19th and he introduced me to the works of Francis Schaeffer and it was Schaeffer’s works that eventually help topple ROE v WADE!!! Ironically Mr Brink had a 49 year career that spanned 1973 to 2022 which was the same period that ROE v WADE survived!!!

Not everyone I have corresponded with is a secular humanist but  many are the top scientists and atheist thinkers of today and hold this same secular views. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-).

Let me make a few points about this fine article below by the humanist Robyn E. Blumner. 

Robyn is trying to use common sense on people that “GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind.” Romans 1 states:

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil,

Identitarianism Is Incompatible with Humanism

Robyn E. Blumner

From: Volume 42No. 4
June/July 2022



Identitarian: A person or ideology that espouses that group identity is the most important thing about a person, and that justice and power must be viewed primarily on the basis of group identity rather than individual merit. (Source: Urban Dictionary)

“The Affirmations of Humanism”: We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity and strive to work together for the common good of humanity. (Paul Kurtz, Free Inquiry, Spring 1987)

The humanist project is at a dangerous crossroads. I fear that our cohesion as fellow humanists is being torn apart by a strain of identitarianism that is making enemies of long-standing friends and opponents of natural allies.

Just at a time when it is essential for all of us to come together to work arm-in-arm against Christian Nationalism and the rise of religious privilege in law, humanism is facing a schism within its own movement. It is heartbreaking to watch and even more disheartening to know that the continued breach seems destined to grow.

The division has to do with a fundamental precept of humanism, that enriching human individuality and celebrating the individual is the basis upon which humanism is built. Humanism valorizes the individual—and with good reason; we are each the hero of our own story. Not only is one’s individual sovereignty more essential to the humanist project than one’s group affiliation, but fighting for individual freedom—which includes freedom of conscience, speech, and inquiry—is part of the writ-large agenda of humanism. It unleashes creativity and grants us the breathing space to be agents in our own lives.

Or at least that idea used to be at the core of humanism.

Today, there is a subpart of humanists, identitarians, who are suspicious of individuals and their freedoms. They do not want a free society if it means some people will use their freedom to express ideas with which they disagree. They see everything through a narrow affiliative lens of race, gender, ethnicity, or other demographic category and seek to shield groups that they see as marginalized by ostensible psychic harms inflicted by the speech of others.

This has given rise to a corrosive cultural environment awash in controversial speakers being shouted down on college campuses; even liberal professors and newspaper editors losing their jobs for tiny, one-off slights; the cancellation of great historical figures for being men of their time; and a range of outlandish claims of microaggressions, cultural appropriation, and other crimes against current orthodoxy.

It has pitted humanists who stand for foundational civil liberties principles such as free speech and equal protection under the law against others on the political Left who think individual freedoms should give way when they fail to serve the interests of select identity groups. The most important feature of the symbol of justice is not her sword or scales; it is her blindfold. Identitarians would pull it off so she could benefit certain groups over others.

Good people with humanist hearts have been pilloried if they don’t subscribe to every jot and tittle of the identitarian gospel. A prime example is the decision last year by the American Humanist Association (AHA) to retract its 1996 award to Richard Dawkins as Humanist of the Year. The man who has done more than anyone alive to advance evolutionary biology and the public’s understanding of that science, who has brought the light of atheism to millions of people, and whose vociferous opposition to Donald Trump and Brexit certainly must have burnished his liberal cred became radioactive because of one tweet on transgender issues that the AHA didn’t like.

Apparently decades of past good works are erased by 280 characters. Just poof. No wonder a New York Times poll1 recently found that 84 percent of adults say it is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem that some Americans do not speak freely because of fear of retaliation or harsh criticism.

This is what identitarians have wrought. Rather than lifting up individuals and imbuing them with autonomy and all the extraordinary uniqueness that flows from it, identitarians would divide us all into racial,  ethnic,  and  gender-based groups and make that group affiliation our defining characteristic. This has the distorting effect of obliterating personal agency, rewarding group victimhood, and incentivizing competition to be seen as the most oppressed.

In addition to being inherently divisive, this is self-reinforcing defeatism. It results in extreme examples, such as a draft plan in California to deemphasize calculus as a response to persistent racial gaps in math achievement.2 Suddenly a subject as racially neutral as math has become a flashpoint for identitarians set on ensuring equality of outcomes for certain groups rather than the far-more just standard of equality of opportunity. In this freighted environment, reducing the need for rigor and eliminating challenging standards becomes a feasible solution. The notion of individual merit or recognition that some students are better at math than others becomes racially tinged and suspect.

Not only does the truth suffer under this assault on common sense, but we start to live in a Harrison Bergeron world where one’s natural skills are necessarily sacrificed on the altar of equality or, in today’s parlance, equity.

Of course, the identitarians’ focus is not just on racial issues. Gender divisions also play out on center stage. I was at a secular conference recently when a humanist leader expressed the view that if you don’t have a uterus, you have no business speaking about abortion.

Really? Only people with female reproductive organs should be heard on one of the most consequential issues of the day? Such a call, itself, is a form of lamentable sexism. And it seems purposely to ignore the fact that plenty of people with a uterus are actively opposed to the right to choose, while plenty of people without a uterus are among our greatest allies for abortion rights. Why should those of us who care about reproductive freedom cut fully half of all humanity from our roster of potential vocal supporters and activists?

As has been said by others perplexed and disturbed by such a narrow-minded view, you don’t have to be poor to have a valid opinion on ways to alleviate poverty. You don’t have to be a police officer to have a valid opinion on policing. And, similarly, you don’t have to be a woman to have a valid opinion on abortion rights.

If the Affirmation quoted at the beginning of this article that rejects “divisive parochial loyalties” based on facile group affiliations isn’t a rejection of identitarianism, I don’t know what is. In his 1968 essay “Humanism and the Freedom of the Individual,” Kurtz stated bluntly:

Any humanism that does not cherish the individual, I am prepared to argue, is neither humanistic nor humanitarian. … Any humanism worthy of the name should be concerned with the preservation of the individual personality with all of its unique idiosyncrasies and peculiarities. We need a society in which the full and free development of every individual is the ruling principle. The existence of individual freedom thus is an essential condition for the social good and a necessary end of humanitarianism.

The individual is the most important unit in humanism. When our individuality is stripped away so we can be fitted into prescribed identity groups instead, something essential to the humanist project is lost. Those pushing for this conception of society are misconstruing humanism, diminishing human potential and self-actualization, and driving a wedge between good people everywhere.


1. The New York Times/Siena College Research Institute February 9–22, 2022 1,507 United States Residents Age 18+. Available online at

Jacey Fortin, “California Tries to Close the Gap in Math, but Sets Off a Backlash,” New York Times, November 4, 2021. Available online at

Robyn E. Blumner

Robyn E. Blumner is the CEO of the Center for Inquiry and the executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason &, Science. She was a nationally syndicated columnist and editorial writer for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) for sixteen years.



Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Francis Schaeffer later in this blog post discusses what the unbelievers in Romans 1 were rejecting, but first John MacArthur discusses what the unbelievers in the Democratic Party today are affirming and how these same activities were condemned 2000 years ago in Romans 1.

Christians Cannot And MUST Not Vote Democrat – John MacArthur

A Democrat witness testifying before the HouseJudiciary Committee on abortion rights Thursday declared that men can get pregnant and have abortions. This reminds of Romans chapter 1 and also John MacArthur’s commentary on the 2022 Agenda of the Democratic Party:

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…26 For this reason (M)GOD GAVE THEM OVER  to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live….it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

Dem witness tells House committee men can get pregnant, have abortions

‘I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,’ Aimee Arrambide tells House Judiciary Committee

By Jessica Chasmar | Fox News

A Democrat witness testifying before the HouseJudiciary Committee on abortion rights Thursday declared that men can get pregnant and have abortions.

Aimee Arrambide, the executive director of the abortion rights nonprofit Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define what “a woman is,” to which she responded, “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves.”

“Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?” Bishop asked.

“Yes,” Arrambide replied.

The remarks from Arrambide followed a tense exchange between Bishop and Dr. Yashica Robinson, another Democrat witness, after he similarly asked her to define “woman.”

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot)

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot) (Screenshot/ House Committee on the Judiciary)

“Dr. Robinson, I noticed in your written testimony you said that you use she/her pronouns. You’re a medical doctor – what is a woman?” Bishop asked Robinson, an OBGYN and board member with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“I think it’s important that we educate people like you about why we’re doing the things that we do,” Robinson responded. “And so the reason that I use she and her pronouns is because I understand that there are people who become pregnant that may not identify that way. And I think it is discriminatory to speak to people or to call them in such a way as they desire not to be called.”

“Are you going to answer my question? Can you answer the question, what’s a woman?” Bishop asked.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW)

“I’m a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?” Robinson replied. “If you tell me that you use she and her pronouns … I’m going to respect you for how you want me to address you.”

“So you gave me an example of a woman, you say that you are a woman, can you tell me otherwise what a woman is?” Bishop asked.

“Yes, I’m telling you, I’m a woman,” Robinson responded.

“Is that as comprehensive a definition as you can give me?” Bishop asked.

“That’s as comprehensive a definition as I will give you today,” Robinson said. “Because I think that it’s important that we focus on what we’re here for, and it’s to talk about access to abortion.”


“So you’re not interested in answering the question that I asked unless it’s part of a message you want to deliver…” Bishop fired back.

Wednesday’s hearing, titled, “Revoking your Rights,” addressed the threat to abortion rights after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaled the high court is poised to soon strike down Roe v. Wade.
John MacArthur explains God’s Wrath on unrighteousness from Romans Chapt…

First is what Romans says:

Romans 1:18-32

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For (A)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B)suppress the truth [a]in unrighteousness, 19 because (C)that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [c]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (F)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (G)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (H)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [d]crawling creatures.

24 Therefore (I)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (J)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [e](K)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed [f]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason (M)God gave them over to (N)degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [g]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, (O)men with men committing [h]indecent acts and receiving in [i]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit [j]to acknowledge God any longer, (P)God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are (Q)gossips, 30 slanderers, [k](R)haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, (S)disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, (T)unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of (U)death, they not only do the same, but also (V)give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party. By the way, there are seventy-two million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party and maybe they need to rethink that identification.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. The Bible is not politics. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about personalities; it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.


God Is There And He Is Not Silent
Psalm 19
Intro. 1) Francis Schaeffer lived from 1912-1984. He was one of the Christian
intellectual giants of the 20th century. He taught us that you could be a Christian and not abandon the mind. One of the books he wrote was entitled He Is There And He Is Not Silent. In that work he makes a crucial and thought provoking statement, “The infinite- personal God is there, but also he is not silent; that changes the whole world…He is there and is not a silent, nor far-off God.” (Works of F.S., Vol 1, 276).
2) God is there and He is not silent. In fact He has revealed Himself to us in 2 books: the book of nature and the book of Scripture. Francis Bacon, a 15th century scientist who is credited by many with developing the scientific method said it this way: “There are 2 books laid before us to study, to prevent us from falling into error: first the volume to the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the creation, which expresses His power.”
3) Psalm 19 addresses both of God’s books, the book of nature in vs 1-6 and the book of Scripture in vs. 7-14. Described as a wisdom Psalm, its beauty, poetry and splendor led C.S. Lewis to say, “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world” (Reflections on the Psalms, 63).
Trans. God is there and He is not silent. How should we hear and listen to the God who talks?
I. Listen To God Speak Through Nature 19:1-6
God has revealed himself to ever rational human on the earth in two ways: 1) nature and 2) conscience. We call this natural or general revelation. In vs. 1-6 David addresses the wonder of nature and creation

Helen Pashgian on Georges de La Tour | Artists on Art


Georges de La Tour - 1593-1652

GEORGES DE LA TOUR (1593-1652)

The influence of Caravaggio is evident in De la Tour, whose use of light and shadows is unique among the painters of the Baroque era.

Francis Schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer roman bridge

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