Charlie Kirk Is Wrong About Affirmative Action

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Charlie Kirk Accuses Michelle Obama Of ‘Stealing A White Person’s Slot’ At College
Amy Howe, Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action programs in college admissions, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 29, 2023, 12:31 PM)
Fact Check: Did Clarence Thomas Go to Yale Under Affirmative Action Policy?

Ohio Exempts Faith Healing From Child Abuse Laws
Ohio: Medical Neglect Statutes
State v. Miskimens, 22 Ohio Misc. 2d 43, 490 N.E.2d 931 (Ohio Com. Pleas 1984)

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[0:00] We look at what Charlie Kirk and the Supreme Court gets wrong about affirmative action. It doesn’t help unqualified people. Then we find out why the Christian Nationalist argument about protecting children falls apart when talking about religious exemptions to child abuse laws. I’m Doug Berger and this is Secular Left.

[0:26] Music.

[0:35] One of the other major U.S. Supreme Court cases that was decided this term involved using affirmative action in deciding who gets in colleges and universities in the United States. It’s been a bone of contention for many, many years. And the root of the conflict is that people who already have a leg up, who are already privileged in our society, believe that affirmative action is unfair because it excludes them, from attending college. The inference is that the people who get into college because of affirmative action got there because of their race, and that they are not qualified for that spot.

[1:35] And that’s a false narrative. It’s a phony narrative. And they talk about the white people that get excluded talk about reverse discrimination. I have an audio clip of Charlie Kirk. He is the founder and CEO of Turning Point USA. That is the college, well, they focus on colleges, a college group that sponsored and supported Riley Gaines’s tour to bash trans people at different colleges, such as the University of Toledo. Anyway, so Charlie, he has a three-hour radio show, and this particular day he’s talking about Joy Reid, who is an MSNBC anchor, African American, and she had basically explained, that she had gotten into her college, I believe it was Harvard, under affirmative action. And there’s been some other people that have also said it.

[2:44] And so what Charlie does is he says the racist stuff out loud, and he has that common perception that I talk about, that white people who’ve already gotten success, they’re already at the finish line and they’re privileged.

[3:01] They believe that anybody who gets something through affirmative action are not qualified for that position. And I just want you to listen to this audio and then we’ll continue. You really have to wonder in fact you know if if we would have said three weeks ago Blake if, we would have said that Joy Reid and Michelle Obama and Sheila Jackson Lee and Katanji Brown Jackson were affirmative action picks we would have been called a racist but now they’re coming out and they’re saying it for us they’re coming out and they’re saying I’m only here because affirmative action yeah we know.

[3:41] You do not have the brain processing power to otherwise be taken really seriously. You had to go steal a white person’s slot to go be taken somewhat seriously. We know, we know, it’s very obvious to us that you were not smart enough to be able to get in on your own. I couldn’t make it on my own so I needed to make take opportunities from someone more deserving. You know this is how arrogant Joy Reid and Katanji Brown Jackson and Michelle Obama and Sheila Jackson Lee are. They’re so narcissistic they think this is persuasive. Joy Reid is without a doubt the dumbest narcissist on television. And by the way, none of them believe in affirmative action. You’re trying to tell me if Sheila Jackson Lee… Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard flight 781 with non-stop service from Houston, Texas to Washington Reagan National Airport. I want to tell you that we have Sheila Jackson Lee on board and in the spirit of affirmative action we have Ramon and Cadillac are your two pilots. They’ve never flown before, but they are black.

[4:49] Sheila Jackson Lee would be like, forget it, I’m off this plane. She would jump like, I ain’t flying here. They don’t believe it. Yeah, Andrew, but Ramon and Cadillac did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night and they’re black. Who cares? I don’t care the color of the skin of the pilot. I care are you there because you earned it. Here is how, this is how affirmative action really works for college admissions. This is how it really works. All right, you have a pile of applications from many, many potential students. You have a limited number of spots available.

[5:34] So the first thing you do is you go through the applications and you discard the ones from the people who do not have the qualifications to go to that school for whatever reason. You know, maybe you don’t like their essay, maybe they don’t have the extracurriculars, maybe their entrance exam scores weren’t, you know, you have already a set standard. So you go through and you weed out the ones that don’t meet that standard, because there’s still people that will apply to an Ivy League school or elite school that actually do not have the qualifications to be there. So you weed all those out. So then you have still many more applications than you have slots. So what you do is you start going through and you have this this policy that you want to help marginalized groups or historically marginalized groups such as women, blacks, Native Americans. And so you go through the applications and you, you know, this is an African American, This is a woman. This is an African-American. and you divide it up.

[6:45] So, left on the sludge pile are the white students, and then you have the pile of the people that you want to give a hand up, to boost up, and so you assign them to the slots. However percentage you want to do that. And then the remaining ones you take out of the white pile, based on the grades, and you, rank them based on grades and all that stuff and then you put them in the slots. That’s how race-based admissions work. Okay, so you start out with a pile of people that more than likely are qualified to go to that school. You weed out the ones that are marginal, that you don’t think will be successful, and then And out of the remaining ones, you give preference to the African American, the woman, Native.

[7:46] Americans and slot them. And then with the rest of them, you slot the white students that are left. These conservatives, these radical conservatives, they just come across thinking that you automatically, are not qualified if you’re black or a woman or whatever for a slot in an elite university because you were given a preference by affirmative action. And even some African American people make that argument. That’s why they that’s why some of them don’t like affirmative action, because it gives them a stigma that they’re not qualified for their job. And that’s not from them. That’s from the privileged. That’s from the white people. They’re the ones that are saying that the African-Americans not qualified. And so, you know, it’s just, obvious that these schools were using these race-based quotas, not quotas, but race-based factors to overcome historically lack of numbers, you know.

[9:01] Because they used to not allow minorities to go to those schools, you know, and a lot of these African-Americans are going to school, some of them are going to college for the first time, and so that’s why affirmative action is they’re giving them a hand up that they normally would not get and so it’s it’s not very ironic. Well it’s ironic that the people that are already at the finish line are complaining about the rules.

[9:38] You know, that doesn’t seem very fair, that the white people that are already privileged, and some of these elite universities have a problem, not a problem, but they have legacies. You know, my dad went there, my grandpa went there, my mom went there, so I get to go there, or my family’s foundation donated millions of dollars for a new building, so I get to go. You know, that’s just using a different category of preference. So if using race-based factors is illegal, according to the Supreme Court, wouldn’t using, arbitrary factors, like whether or not you’re a legacy? Because understand this, if you have an elite university or college, and you have a policy where you want to help marginalized groups up, that means you’ve had a problem before. And it was something like 87% of legacies are white, so they’ve kind of tipped the scale. And so if affirmative action, according to the Supreme Court, tips the scale illegally, then legacies should tip the scale illegally.

[10:58] But you won’t see that. You won’t see that. And we still have that constant idea, that affirmative action gives somebody who is not qualified for a job, a job. And that is not the case. We can ask Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

[11:20] He got to go to his university because of affirmative action back in the 60s, late 60s, early 70s. And here he is voting against affirmative action. Because you’re like, well, he’s African-American, he’s voting against it. Well, the other factor, the reason, other factor that causes people to be against affirmative action, again, is if you’re already at the finish line. If you’re already successful and rich and accepting gifts and other things from benefactors on cases that you rule on, like Thomas has been recently, you’re going to be against, correcting those past mistakes that affirmative action policies attempt to do. Because that’s what rich people do, is they complain about poor people getting quote free stuff unquote you know they also did talk about poor, people getting too much food stamps too many food stamps during the pandemic rich people rich white people in particular complained about people getting the payouts the $300 payout $600 payout however much that was that from the pandemic relief funds because they said it disincentivizes people from working.

[12:50] You know, it’s like they don’t care about their health and safety. They just want they just don’t want to give them, quote, free money, unquote, even though that’s not the case with government public assistance programs. And you’re like, why is that, Doug? Because even poor people pay taxes of some kind.

[13:12] And public assistance is tax dollars. So it’s not free for any means, especially for poor people. It’s definitely not free because you have to basically open up your life to the government. You have to tell them how much money you have in the bank, how many assets you have, how many people live in your house, your criminal record. They have to know your criminal record. And if you’re on food stamps, you have to have it re-evaluated every year, every six months to a year where there’s a certain level and you can have amounts cut back like during the pandemic they had the emergency allotment it was like depending on the size of the family it was anywhere from 250 to a thousand dollars a month and now that the pandemic is the emergency is over, it was all cut back to the regular amount. But basically, you know, when you think about it, if you’re already in the winner’s circle, then you really don’t, have a leg to stand on and complain about people who are struggling to come up.

[14:31] And if we have to change the rules a little bit or tip the scales ourselves to make sure that, historically marginalized groups get a leg up, that is not discrimination. That’s correcting past discrimination. And that’s a totally different thing.

[14:53] This is Doug, the host of Secular Left, letting you know that I also get tired of hearing myself, talk all the time. Would you like to be a guest on the show or know someone who you, think would make a good guest? Then let us know on our website slash guest.

[15:16] One of the arguments used by the Christian Nationalists in the Ohio legislature to justify against trans kids, preventing them from receiving gender-affirming care, and.

[15:30] Also used by people, radical conservative groups like Moms for Liberty and other religious zealots in local school districts to ban books, is to protect the children. You’ll hear that, or parental rights, parental, you That’s one of the arguments that they’re using in support of State Issue 1, is that if you vote for State Issue 1, it will protect parents’ rights, which isn’t part of that amendment. But that’s the argument they use. Protect the children. Oh no. Oh woe is us. We’ve got to protect the children. That’s always the default argument, and almost always it’s false, because they don’t want to protect the children. They just use it as a crutch or as a shield in order to force their religious beliefs on other people.

[16:26] And it’s not a new tactic. It really isn’t. When the sex education debate was coming up in the 1970s, late 60s, 1970s, when the Jerry Falwell group, Moral Majority, got started, That was one of the main arguments, is they had to protect children.

[16:46] Even then, they said children are being encouraged to have sex before marriage, which wasn’t the case. Teenagers were having sex before marriage long before sex education. That’s why they wanted to do sex education in the schools. So the Christian Nationalists and other conservatives, they do this, protect the children. We have to protect the children.

[17:13] And I’d started covering this stuff back with my, I have a website that I was covering church and state separation issues. And one of the things that I came up, I discovered myself, was that the state of Ohio exempts faith healing from child abuse laws, believe it or not. And this was, I did an article on this in 2014, and it says, and this is 2014, it said recently a Pennsylvania couple was convicted of allowing a second sick child to die. They tried to use their religion as a defense for refusing to take two of their children to medical professionals.

[18:00] And then I wrote, did you know that Ohio also exempts religious beliefs of the parents from laws meant to protect children? It’s under chapter, Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 2919, Offenses Against the Family. And it’s section 2919.22, Endangering Children. And under section A, it says, No person who is the parent, guardian, custodian, person having custody or control, or person and local parentis of a child under 18 years of age or a mentally or physically handicapped child under 21 years of age shall create a substantial risk to the health or safety of the child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. Here’s the important part. It is not a violation of a duty of care, protection, or support, under this division when the parent, guardian, custodian, or person having custody or control of a child treats the physical or mental illness or defect of the child by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious body. So, if a parent or someone who is supposed to take care of a child violates a duty to care, protect, and support a child, but does so because of their religious beliefs, then, that person can’t be charged for the crime.

[19:28] And then the endangerment section isn’t the only place one finds a religious exemption. The Ohio Revised Code 2151.03, Neglected Child Defined, Failure to Provide Medical or Surgical Care for Religious Reasons. Section B. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as subjecting a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child to criminal liability when solely in the practice of religious beliefs the parent, guardian, or custodian fails to provide adequate medical or surgical care or treatment for the child.

[20:08] So while you can have your kids taken away and you can lose custody of your children for not providing medical care, you won’t necessarily have to do any jail time for the neglect or abuse that you caused as long as it was because of religious reasons. You might go to jail if you fail to report the neglect or abuse, but the parents who did it would not. death, the child can be abused as much as the parents desire as long as it’s for religious reasons. And the other thing too is the Ohio Revised Codes that I just mentioned have been on the books, since at least the 1980s. And through lobbying of the Christian Science Church, and that’s the, religious group that says that they abstain from medical treatment because they believe that prayer alone and spirituality alone can heal your sick body. So they refrain from using any, medical treatment. And so they lobbied not only the federal government, but state governments to add these exemptions to their laws.

[21:23] And they lobbied Congress in the 1970s to add religious exemptions to child abuse laws. The federal government, in turn, forced states to add religious exemptions in order to receive federal funds for child protection laws.

[21:38] Yeah, you heard that right. They forced states to add religious exemptions for child abuse in order to get federal funds for child protection laws. In response to Christian Science Church lobbying, the federal government began requiring states to enact religious exemptions from child abuse and neglect charges in 1974. This group called CHILD, their founders Rita and Douglas Swan, lobbied for several years against this regulation, which the federal government finally rescinded in 1983. In 1996, however, Congress enacted a law stating that the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act did not include a federal requirement that a parent or guardian provide a child any medical service or treatment against the religious beliefs of the parent or guardian.

[22:34] Furthermore, Senator Dan Coats, a Republican from Indiana at the time, and Congressman Bill Goodling, also a Republican from Pennsylvania, claimed during floor discussion that parents have a First Amendment right to withhold medical care from children. And it says Child Incorporated believes the present law discriminates against a class of children and endangers them. CAPTA mandates that states in the grant program have laws requiring parents to provide needed medical care for their children, but simultaneously allows those states to give parents in faith-healing sex the right to withhold all medical treatment for children.

[23:10] They filed a lawsuit back in 1996 against the state of Ohio, it was Children’s Health Care is a Legal Duty Incorporated and Brown v. Dieters. Unfortunately, the court ruled that the plaintiffs had no standing and the court can’t force prosecutors to charge someone with a crime. Prosecutors can and have elected not to prosecute people who neglected a child because of religious beliefs. And this religious exemption to neglect and child abuse is an affirmative defense, for criminal charges. There are no civil laws on the books in Ohio against neglect and abuse of children for religious means. There’s no exemption.

[24:03] So, basically, John and June, Christian scientists, could eventually lead to the death of their child, and maybe an aunt could sue the parents for wrongful death or whatever, because there’s no exemption for the religion.

[24:23] And then, again, and the reason why this group’s lawsuit failed It’s because courts generally, at least when I wrote this in 2014, can’t rule a law unconstitutional unless someone is injured by that law. And since the religious exemptions are a defense for a crime, I wrote, I doubt anyone who is covered by that law will file a lawsuit demanding to be prosecuted for that crime. And then the only way that these religious exemptions can be removed is through the legislature. And so that was from the 70s and 80s, and then they filed that lawsuit in the 90s. So this has been a thing and they did have a court case. Decided in 1984, it was in a common pleas court in Coshocton County, 1984.

[25:20] The parents of a child that had been neglected, were trying to use this code, this high or revised code as a defense. Judge was asked to rule on the constitutionality of the law and whether or not they could use it as a defense in their case. That case was the State v. Miss Kimmons. I can’t pronounce it. I’ll have a link up in the show notes for it. Anyway, so the judge, the common pleas court judge in Couchocton County, was considering during the questions is the statute constitutional.

[26:05] And can it be used as an affirmative defense? And so he ruled on the constitutionality. It says, the first sentence of revised code 2919.22a defines the elements of a criminal offense endangering children. Court finds nothing defective about that. The statute then continues, however, create a purported exemption from the consequences of what would otherwise be criminal behavior. In simplest terms, Ohio’s present child endangering statute says to parents, you may not violate your parental duties and thereby endanger your child’s health, or safety unless you and some of your co-worshippers can’t believe you can. This exemption is based solely upon a religious preference of the accused. How can such a clearly preferential favoring of one group of potential offenders over another group, based upon that group’s self-proclaimed religious tenets, fail to constitute a law respecting the establishment of that religion? I think it cannot. State Control of Religious Practice and Parental Rights

[27:13] And then the judge goes on, it’s not about controlling what you believe, it’s controlling how you practice it. And depending on the circumstances, a state can step in and control the practice of a religion, especially if a child, through no fault of their own, no choice of their own, is involved. It says, furthermore, in the instant case, it is not the personal religious practices of these parents which are sought to be regulated. An important line must be drawn between the right of an individual to practice his religion by refusing medical treatment for his own illness and that of a parent to practice his religion by refusing to obtain or permit medical treatment for another person, his child. This court, as with any governmental entity, can neither know nor care whether someone who relies solely on faith healing for his own affliction is religiously or scripturally correct.

[28:08] But the right to hold one’s own religious belief and to act in conformity with those beliefs does not and cannot include the right to endanger the life or health of others, including his or her children.” Says here, they quoted a case, a U.S. Supreme Court, case, Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1994, says.

[28:28] Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves, but it does not follow they are free in identical circumstances to make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when they can make those choices for themselves. And then it goes on to the Lemon Test, using the Lemon Test, which pretty much got blown out of the water by the current U.S.

[28:52] Supreme Court in 2023. But I wanted to mention this because this is a good argument. It says It has been apparent throughout this trial that the second sentence of RC 2919.22a hopelessly involves the state in the determination of questions which should not be the subject of governmental inquisition and potential public ridicule. Questions such as what is a recognized religious body? By whom must it be recognized? For how long must it have been recognized? What are its tenets? Did the accused act in accordance with those tenets?

[29:28] Our spiritual means, and what is the effect of combining some prayer with some treatment or medicine. The determination of such issues runs clearly afoul of at least one recognized test for determining it, the Lemon Test, the excessive entanglement. It is also submitted that the entanglement can hardly be said to have any legitimate purpose other than to advance one religion over others.” And he focused, this judge in this decision, focused on the The fact that it said, prayer only.

[30:01] Because not every religion uses prayer. Quite a few do, but not all of them. But I wanted to bring that to people’s attention. If you are concerned about Christian nationalists in the state legislature hurting children, especially as we’ve seen recently with trans children, bring this up with them. Talk to them about this religious exemption to child neglect and abuse. Ask them how they feel about that, and whether or not they plan on doing something. When I was part of Secular Coalition for Ohio, we did a Secular Lobby Day with CFI down in Columbus one year, and the topic that we were lobbying about was religious exemptions for vaccinations. That’s another part that they have. They have a religion and personal belief exemption for vaccination laws in Ohio, which is another sore spot. So when they talk about protecting children, that’s not what they really mean. So we were lobbying against trying to get those exemptions removed, and I actually had a chat with my state senator at the time. He actually was in the office. Usually when we do these things, we were talking to staff people.

[31:28] And I talked about talked about this, removing these exemptions. And he said, look, he says, I totally agree with you that these exemptions are wrong and they should be removed.

[31:45] But he said, if I vote for this to remove it, then I’m going to be ostracized by the, well he didn’t say religious zealots, but the other religious zealots in the state legislature, and he may need votes for something that he’s passionate about. So there you go. They just totally ignore concrete evidence and And they just vote for these religious things because that’s what they want to do.

[32:19] And again, I bring all this up because I just want to tell you that they’re using that tactic in this State Issue 1 stuff. And they’re going to use it again, and they have used it, when they’re talking about the possible reproductive rights amendment that’s coming up in November. Is that they’re always talking about parents’ rights and protecting the children. And so that’s what I want to ask them. If a candidate for office or one of my elected officials ever comes and asks me a question, you know, talk to me, that’s what I’m going to ask them. I’m going to say, well, if you believe in parental rights and you believe in protecting children, what about these religious exemptions to the neglect and abuse laws? And what about the exemptions to vaccinations? What are you doing about those? Because I can tell you time and time and time again it’s because it’s a false narrative, that they’re just using just to shove their religion down your throat. Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information including links to sources used, in our show notes on our website at

[33:43] Secular Left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger and he is solely responsible for the content.

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