Signs and Wonders: Dawkins on Islam, blurring boy-girl distinctions, Western Wedding University

Newsworthy | Warren Cole Smith

Signs and Wonders: Dawkins on Islam, blurring boy-girl distinctions, Western Wedding University

Richard Dawkins
Associated Press/Photo by Manish Swarup

Dawkins steps up … sort of. I’ve got to give atheist Richard Dawkins credit. A couple of weeks ago he was called out for not criticizing Islam, while directing all his anti-theistic rants toward Christianity. I was one of those who said the reason he criticized Christianity and not Islam was the fact that Christians would not kill him. Instead, we Christians pay him handsomely to participate in high-profile debates. But three years ago, Dawkins openly criticized Islam as “one of the great evils of the world.” Good for him. It was a small step in a more honest direction. We’ll know he’s more than just a marketing-savvy opportunist, that he has the courage of his convictions, when he publishes a sequel to his bestseller The God Delusion called The Allah Delusion.

Parents gone wild. Coy Mathis, born a male triplet, has behaved like a girl since he was 18 months old. When his brother Max was consumed with dinosaurs, Coy played with Barbie dolls. When he enrolled in Eagle Elementary School in Fountain, Colo., the 6-year-old wore girls’ clothing. Classmates and his public school teachers contributed to his confusion by using female pronouns to refer to him. But when school officials quite sensibly told Coy’s parents he couldn’t use the girls’ bathroom, the first-grader’s case became a national cause célèbre for the LGBT movement. In a saner world, Coy’s parents, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis, would be slapped with child abuse charges. Instead, with the help of the Transgender Legal and Defense Education Fund (TLDEF), they have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division on behalf of Coy, alleging that the school has violated his rights. “Our eye is focused on getting Coy back into school,” said TLDEF’s executive director Michael Silverman. “We are hopeful we can resolve this quickly for Coy’s sake.”

Massachusetts madness. If what’s going on in Massachusetts is any indication, Coy and his parents may get their way. As our columnist La Shawn Barber commented on a few weeks ago, the Massachusetts Department of Education says boys and girls who identify as the opposite sex now are allowed to use whichever school bathroom and locker room they feel most comfortable in, and schools are discouraged from using gender-based clothes and from conducting gender-based practices—even from lining up elementary-aged children based on their sex. The 11-page directive to the state’s public schools was issued Feb. 15 and supposedly was released in light of a new state law—passed by the legislature and signed by the governor—that adds “gender identity” to the state’s non-discrimination code. The directive explicitly states it is aimed at children of all ages, including those in elementary school. “In all cases,” the directive states in laying out the new policy, “the principal should be clear with the student (and parent) that the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.”

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Find a mate and graduate. Getting an Mrs. degree is an important part of the curriculum at Walla Walla University, a Seventh-Day Adventist college in Washington state, one of only a few in the country. WWU has long been popular with devout Adventists as a school where like-minded—and marriage-minded—young people can find each other more easily than in the culture at-large. “A lot of people come here and they try to get married,” Alyssa Seibold, a junior, told the Whitman Pioneer. “Because of the community that we are in, I feel like people can find someone they are compatible with because we all come from similar backgrounds.” The school’s chaplain, Pastor Paddy, wrote on the campus ministries website: “We hope that if God is leading you to come to WWU, that you can find a home here; a place to know others and God, as well as to be known. The ways to get involved are endless, we just want to see you engaged (in ministry or to someone of the opposite gender :-), remember we aren’t called Western Wedding University for nothing.”

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