Share. As in “thank you for sharing”. The only possible legitimate use of the word “share”, this side of California, is in the context of the stock market. So, instead of inviting people to share at the next meeting, just turn and say: “So, what do you think?”
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Some claim that religion is the worst thing that ever happened to the world. They blame all wars on religion, they remember the Crusades, they remember segregation, they don't remember much else.
I am reminded of a discussion between two men on a train in the 19th century. One man was enlightened and attempted to persuade the other of the uselessness of religion (read: Christianity).. The man doing the talking used another passenger as an example of poverty and superstition. The exampled man was seated a couple of rows ahead of the couple, across the aisle, and silently slipping through the beads of his rosary.. Unknown to either of the talking men was the example's name. The man's name was Louis Pasteur.
In reality Christianity has done more for us than we can imagine. Above you will find a 53 minute YouTube video that covers the subject well. Sit back and enjoy profitable viewing.
Monday, February 25, 2013
I'm talking about the problem of pornography. It a "pandemic." "In this digital age, the images are no longer limited to salacious magazines or adult stores. Such content is readily available on the Internet, on smart phones, on cable and satellite TV, in hotels." The problem is, writes Carlson, "No longer do viewers have to actively look for it; it looks for them."
Yes. Pornography is a stalker. One has to be vigilant or you'll inadvertently walk into one of its traps. Perhaps, like me, you've done a search and found images that could only be judged pornographic.
At $13 billion a year, the government sanctioned porn industry piles up more revenue than any of the major sports organizations. Are Americans becoming bigger fans of pornography than of major league sports?
Well, there's nothing "sporting" about how pornography is affecting our youth. As the website, ProtectKids.com points out, exposure to pornography:
• May incite children to act out sexually against other children
• Shapes attitudes and values
• Interferes with a child's development and identity.
These effects should not surprise us, considering the powerful grip pornographic images can get on the mind. But reading the stories of young boys who were caught in its snare at the tender ages of 10, 11, and 12 brings these facts home:
One boy said it led him to have sexual intercourse at age 13; another said he started downloading the images and trying out the "weird things" he saw. The 10 year old boy, now age 14, wrote that it caused him to picture every girl he saw naked.
In an interview in the February issue of World,Donna Rice Hughes, the originator of the ProtectKids.com site,explains how pornographers are seducing kids.
Nine out of 10 kids have seen pornography on the Internet. The pornographers put free pictures and free videos and everything else on the Internet in order to get people to come to their site and get hooked on the material before they ever get charged for it. We have today, in this country, absolutely no regulation with respect to softer-core material.
Thus images that would have made us blush a couple of generations ago are so commonplace that we now see them on taxi-cab ads. How do we begin to protect our children and ourselves from this flow of filth?
The harder-core material, including sex acts or any deviant material like bestiality, group sex, and rape, violence, everything else, is prosecutable for adults as well as for minor children."But, as Politico.com reported (1/17/2013) the U.S. Department of Justice has stopped prosecuting adult pornographers. It has prosecuted some child pornographers, but since the end of the beginning of the Obama administration, the DOJ has not filed any new charges against purveyors of adult pornography.
It's good that the administration is going after child pornographers. The problem is the easy access youngsters have to adult pornography. There have been very few prosecutions over the past 16 years of any type of obscenity on the Internet. So what this means is that kids can get for free what adults couldn't even get in a triple-X-rated bookstore.
Sexual imagery is everywhere in advertising, TV programs, magazines, and yes, even taxi-cab ads, causing youth to experiment with sexuality at younger and younger ages. Worst of all parents are complicit in all this. They accept [the] idea that their children will act-out sexually and that there is nothing to be done about the barrage of sexual images fed to them every day." Yet although more parents are now using internet filters to protect against pornography, almost 50 percent do not.
"Sexting," sending naked pictures of oneself through text or email, is now becoming common among teens. A study reported in the September 2012 JAMA Pediatricsfound that 28 percent of the students in seven southeast Texas high schools said they had sent a "sext." The percentage of those who had been asked to send one was almost twice as high-57 percent.
Boys may have explicit images of up to 30 different girls on their phone. They swap them like we used to swap football cards. If they fancy a girl, they send her a picture of their genitals. As one teenage girl said after the report came out, sending pictures of your body parts is the new flirting.
Parents need to be pro-active to protect their children from this type of peer influence and pressure. They should not apologize for actively monitoring their children's interactions online, on Facebook, and on their phones. There is no way to undo the harm done if your child succumbs to the pressure to respond to a sext, as a number of girls have found out.
One way to stop the filth is to go after the producers. A handful of companies control large numbers of porn sites, so a few well-placed prosecutions would go a long way in cleaning up the Internet, where most kids find hardcore pornography.
We need a three pronged approach to protect our children. The Department of Justice should prosecute pornographers to the full extent of the law. In addition, citizens can expose those businesses that promote or make pornography accessible.
The most important step is to take an active role in protecting children and others. For more information on how you can do so, visit ProtectKids.com and PureIntimacy.org, where you can also find articles on how to talk with your children about social media.
Monday, February 18, 2013
A confession: I turned 30 this year. I know, right? I don’t look a day past . . . Well, let’s not go there. Turning 30 gets a lot of hype, but I think you’re only as old as your middle school youth group makes you feel when they’re still chattering away at 4:17 a.m. at a lock-in.
When I was 20, 4:17 was just a kind of late night for me. I would slug gallons of vanilla coke and coffee and regularly function on minimal sleep, cranking out term papers AFTER my Resident Assistant shift ended at 1:00 a.m. Over the years, however, I’ve stopped drinking soda and I try to limit my coffee consumption to the morning. I’m hardly a health nut, but being a good steward of my body is one way I honor God.
I think this is a pretty normal trend — with maturity comes better decisions about our health. We realize fruit and granola makes a better breakfast than doughnuts and mountain dew and preservatives that enable food products to last until the year 3000 (I’m looking at you, Twinkies) should probably be consumed in moderation.
Hormonal ContraceptionA glaring exception to this is our culture’s enthusiasm for hormonal contraceptives, or “the Pill” as it’s known on the streets. If you’re like me, you hear “pill” and think something that’s good for you and will help you feel better, like Aleve for a headache or Nyquil for a cold. Hormonal contraception, however, contain hormones that prevent a woman’s body from releasing an egg (ovulation) and — without getting into too many details — make her cervix and uterine wall hostile to sperm and implantation.
This is in case ovulation occurs (in spite of the hormones telling your body not to) and the egg is fertilized. In this case, the five to seven day old baby won’t be able to attach to the wall of the uterus, causing a chemical abortion. (For a more thorough explanation of this, visit thepillkills.com)
The Cancer-causing PillThe Catholic Church is opposed to contraception as a means to prevent pregnancy because of the barrier it creates between husband and wife and because it can cause chemical abortions. But you should know that the Catholic Church isn’t the only one with strong feelings about this. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (these are guys in lab coats, not church people) “lists combined oral contraceptives as Group 1 carcinogens. ‘Group 1’ includes carcinogens in which ‘the agent (mixture) is definitely carcinogenic to humans’” (taken from www.1flesh.org).
Other items on this 33 page list (that you can read here) may be things you’ve heard of – Asbestos, mustard gas, plutonium, lead-based paint, radium, and gamma radiation to name a few. Think about it — any chemical strong enough to override the already powerful hormones that occur naturally in our bodies would have to have side effects. One of them appears to be cancer. You don’t need to go to the Vatican’s website to learn this, either. Pick up any magazine with advertisements for contraception and flip to the next page — the part with all the warnings.
And then there’s the mutant fishYeah. That’s right – mutant. The University of Pittsburgh’s Cancer institute Center for Environmental Ecology discovered that hormones ingested in oral contraceptives are making their way back into public water supplies. Fish that are exposed to these chemicals are developing “intersex characteristics” — sexual mutations. These chemicals are not eco-friendly, but I’m still waiting for an infomercial with a Sarah McLaughlin soundtrack to share this alarming information with the general public.
These are actually just two examples of how hormonal contraception is basically the opposite of anything you would want to do to your body. There are many other ways that hormonal contraception is wreaking havoc on the bodies of women, our society and our environment. Check out www.1flesh.org for more information.
You deserve betterWhat if your doctor suggests that you take hormonal contraception for acne or painful menstrual cycles? While it’s not sinful for girls to take these hormones to treat these or similar conditions, every year we’re learning more about just how powerful the pill is. Don’t hesitate to find a second opinion with another physician (see a list of physicians who don’t prescribe the pill here).
To summarize: Twinkies, doughnuts and mountain dew in moderation. Carcinogens should be avoided completely.
If a doctor disagrees, show them the side effects of what they’re trying to prescribe and explain that you’d like to reach 30 — and beyond — without adding the drama of an increased risk for cancer, blood clots, nausea, weight gain, or mood swings (to name just a few).
You deserve nature as God intended it
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Compared to other variables like education, income, and ethnicity, a family's decision to stay together had a greater positive impact on social outcomes.
The report found family cohesion the main factor in determining whether a child would graduate from high school, whether families would end up on programs such as food stamps or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and whether young men would be employed.
Living in a family with both parents had a greater impact on teenage out-of-wedlock birthrates than education, including sex education.
The study found the more children a man aged 25-54 had, the more likely he was to be employed. Men with larger families also made more money.
“The state has hitherto ignored the importance of the intact married family in shaping the outcomes of its social policies,” the study concludes. “This neglect of marriage is an error of historical proportions.”