Florida’s Culture Challenge, Chuck Colson’s Legacy, and a College Professor’s Day in Court
Ron DeSantis and Florida legislators pass important bills + Who is Chuck Colson? + Dr. Nicholas Meriwether wins preferred pronoun case
John StonestreetMaria Baer
Maria opens BreakPoint This Week asking John for some insight into who Chuck Colson was. It’s been 10 years since Chuck Colson’s passing following a final message at a Wilberforce Weekend in 2012. Highlighting attributes he remembers about Chuck, John explains the legacy he gave to the Colson Center.
Then, John and Maria explore how Florida is quickly becoming ground zero for the culture wars. John explains that a series of actions from the Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis are causing sparks in the Sunshine State.
To close, Maria asks John about the significance of a college professor’s day in court after the professor refused to call on a student using the student’s preferred pronouns.
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— References —
Carl Trueman – Colson Center Offering in April>>
Chuck Colson’s Leadership
One of the first projects after I joined the Colson Center team was a curriculum project called Doing the Right Thing. This film series reflected how Chuck understood those issues that plagued prison and the rest of our society. Upstream from the brokenness and evil was a lack of moral formation, an abandonment of right and wrong, and a neglect of virtue. In this film series, Chuck issued a clarion call for Christians to influence our communities with the Christian worldview. Christianity was, after all, a better way of being human
Chuck Colson’s Last Address
At the 2012 Wilberforce Weekend, Chuck collapsed on stage. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where, on April 21, he died. His final words may have been delivered with less energy than some of us were used to hearing from Chuck, but with no less lucidity or passion.
Florida Rejects Math Texts For ‘Indoctrinating’ Kids?
Florida called for textbook submissions from publishers in 2021 in accordance with a 2019 executive order from DeSantis aimed at eliminating Common Core standards in the state. The textbooks rejected “were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics.”
The 41% rejection rate was the highest in Florida’s history.
Florida Senate passes bill to strip Disney’s special self-governing status
The Florida House still has to vote on the measure, which would dissolve the special taxing district that allows Disney to operate much like a local government.
Ron DeSantis takes his culture war to the next level
(Gov. Ron DeSantis) has been outspoken in opposition to mitigation measures to slow the spread of Covid-19. (Florida was one of the last states to close down in the midst of the original outbreak in spring of 2020 and one of the first states to re-open after the initial wave.)
He’s championed civic literacy efforts aimed at teaching students the dangers posed by socialism and communism. “You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed,” DeSantis has said of the moves. “We don’t want that in Florida, you need to have a true contest of ideas, students should not be shielded from ideas and we want robust First Amendment speech on our college and university campuses.”
Shawnee State: Professors must speak contrary to their beliefs or be punished
In January, during a political philosophy class he was teaching, Meriwether responded to a male student’s question by saying, “Yes, sir.” Meriwether responded in this fashion because he refers to all his students as “sir” or “ma’am” or by a title (Mr. or Miss, for example) followed by their last name to foster an atmosphere of seriousness and mutual respect.
After the class, the student approached Meriwether, stated that he was transgender, and demanded that the professor refer to him as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns. When Meriwether did not instantly agree, the student became belligerent, circling around Meriwether and getting in his face in a threatening fashion while telling him, “Then I guess this means I can call you a c**t.” Before walking away, the student promised to get Meriwether fired if he did not agree to the student’s demands.
The student then filed a complaint with the university, which launched a formal investigation. Meriwether offered to call the student by his first or last name only, but university officials rejected this and anything else that would allow him to speak according to his conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs. Instead, they formally charged him, saying “he effectively created a hostile environment” for the student. Later, they placed a written warning in his personnel file and threatened “further corrective actions” unless he articulates the university’s ideological message.
Professor disciplined for refusing to use transgender student’s pronouns to receive $400K in settlement
In a statement, Shawnee State said the settlement was an “economic decision” and that it continues to stand behind a student’s right to a discrimination-free learning environment while also allowing its faculty and staff to freely express their beliefs.
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