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markpkessinger

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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 03:48 PM
Number of posts: 7,555

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And another question we should be asking about Covington

Although I have seen suggestions by some that the action by Covington Catholic High School is a violation of the Church's tax exempt status, I don't believe that is the case. Tax exempt status allows such organizations to engage in political advocacy for or against issues or causes; they just can't advocate for specific candidates.

BUT . . .

The question this brings to mind for me is this: Is it appropriate for a school run by a religious organization to enlist minors (il.e., the students in its charge) as pawns or footsoldiers for the religious oragnization's sociopolitical advocacy? Some will say sending these kids to the demonstration was about teaching the kids civic engagement. But if that's the case, I would ask, what about any students who may quietly disagree with the school's (and the church's) position on the issue in question (abortion, in this case)? Are such students permitted to civically engage the issue on their own terms, free from any fear of academic sanction or disciplinary action by school authorities? if not, then these students are not being taught about civic engagement, but are being used -- indeed, exploited -- by the Roman Catholic Church for its own purposes.

But then, the Roman Catholic Church is rather expert in exploiting children, so . . .
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Jan 23, 2019, 01:49 AM (16 replies)

My response to David Brooks and to all other Covington defenders

I posted this initially as a response to David Brooks' column in The New York Times today, a column melodramatically titled, "How We Destroy Lives Today."

Mark Kessinger
New York, NY 56m ago

Having watched both the original video, and the video that the supporters of these kids claim is a vindication of them, I see nothing in the latter that in any way justifies their behavior. The claim is that the boys had been provoked by another group. Perhaps they were, but. . . provoked to do what, exactly?

They claim that the young Mr. Sandmann was "standing his ground." Really? Against what challenge? What I see in the video are two groups, one of the high school students, who are milling about, and the other the native American man and his group, who seem to be moving through the park in the course of their protest, and this is what brings the two into close proximity. Normally, in a free-flowing public setting such as this, there's an automatic give and take of space as people try to move through such a crowd. But for this young man, any such "give" is apparently too much to ask. And so this young man chooses to maintain nearly chest-to-chest contact, his face a foot from the man's face, staring directly at him and smirking. The student has said he was smiling to demonstrate that he and his friends were friendly and accepting. Sorry, but the totality of his smirk, his stare, and his chest-to-chest stance constitutes a body language the meaning of which is well known to any male over about the age of 8. It was clearly an attempt to intimidate, and those kids deserve to be called out on it.


I think there are a lot of very well-meaning people who have been hoodwinked by a clever right-wing spin machine!
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon Jan 21, 2019, 10:09 PM (23 replies)
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