Posts Tagged ‘Making A Difference’
There’s a tradition in our society that says it’s not a good idea to tell people about your pregnancy until you’re past the “safe mark” of 12 weeks, when the risk of miscarriage diminishes. The unspoken message is that miscarriage is best kept quiet. Nobody wants to know about the ones that didn’t make it. In fact, our culture barely regards them as even human. That’s why you hear statements like “thank goodness you weren’t that far along,” “don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have another, “ or “at least you have (your older children),” as if you’d lost a dream instead of a living child. These are things people would NEVER say to parents who’d lost an older child, but because of our culture’s dismissive attitude towards unborn life, these children are viewed as less valuable. Their mothers are expected to grieve in private silence, if they are given permission to grieve at all.
For those who find themselves pregnant after losing a baby, we know there is no such thing as a “safe mark.” We know that life is fragile, and that it can just as easily be lost after 12 weeks as before. There are no guarantees. We have lost our innocence…the ability to look at that little plus sign and instantly be filled with the joyful expectation of holding that little bundle in nine months. We walk a tightrope of joy and sorrow, hope and dread, knowing that the next appointment may bring the words that we fear most: “I’m sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat.”
Even though I never got to hold Autumn, Eden and Hope, they’re still my babies. I’m still their mother. The only way I know to parent them is to honor their brief lives here on earth, and acknowledge that they are real children, now waiting in heaven for me. They weren’t just blobs of tissue. They weren’t just lines on a pregnancy test. They were precious, individual souls…and so is the one I carry now.
My last three babies didn’t make it to the “safe zone” of 12 weeks. I live with the knowledge that there is a very real possibility that I won’t get to meet this baby on this side of heaven, either. My children’s lives, like my own, are in God’s hands, and I have no control over them. But whatever the outcome, I have peace that God is in control, and I WILL meet my babies someday, although perhaps not as soon as I would hope. In the meantime, I best way I know to honor their lives is simply by acknowledging their presence. By recognizing that every life matters, no matter how brief.
So for now, I will partner with God in carrying this little life as long as He allows me to, and accept each day we have together as a gift.
When I was 8 weeks pregnant, I went with some friends to a 3-hour women’s self defense seminar offered by a local Krav Maga studio. I put a name tag on my belly that said “baby” so nobody would grab me around the waist, and enjoyed every minute of it. They gave everyone a coupon for a month of free classes, but I didn’t want to push it as my pregnancy progressed.
When the studio offered a summer special on classes, I decided to take them up on it. I’ve been wanting to learn self-defense for awhile and need to get the baby weight off. Though most people I know do Zumba, my mood right now is much more towards fighting than dancing.
During my first class the instructor told me, “you’ve got a lot of aggression and fight in you.” No one has ever told me that before. I immediately knew it was coming from all the frustration of trying to fight something that can’t be conquered. The only reason I was even able to take the class was because I was no longer pregnant. No matter how hard I try, I can’t change that fact. I can’t bring my babies back. Suddenly I was slammed by a wave of grief and anger. The lump in my throat strangled me far more than my partner’s practice choke-hold.
The next day I argued with myself over what I had gotten myself into and whether I should go back. I hate it when my grief catches me off-guard in public, and was afraid of losing it in the middle of class. I forced myself to go back at the next available opportunity, knowing that if I didn’t face the fear immediately, I would find an excuse never to return.
Towards the end of my second class they did a drill where they exhausted you and then had you fight off an attacker with pure instinct and adrenaline. I was ready to give up and the instructor and two other students kept telling me I could do it. It reminded me of being in labor, when I’d be convinced I couldn’t go on and everyone around me would encourage me. But the difference was, there was a wonderful reward at the end of all that labor. And the last time I had been pushed to my limit like this, there had been no reward. Nobody to cheer me on. Just silence, and the remains of my babies to be buried. Another grief trigger. I managed to fight off my opponent but I couldn’t stop the tears once the class was over. They probably thought I was nuts.
It’s amazing how raw emotion rises to the surface when you’re pushed to the limits. The ache in my muscles is nothing compared to the aching chasm in my heart, and no amount of Advil can touch it. Right now I’m faced with two choices: keep learning to swim in this ocean of grief, or allow myself to drown in it. I’m coming to terms with the fact that sometimes the only way to heal is simply to fight through the pain.
What are your teens being taught in Oregon schools?
When I walked into this year’s Oregon Adolescent Sexuality Conference in Seaside, Oregon, one of the first things I encountered was a table manned by three young teen boys. On the table was a collage that included many depictions of totally bare female genitalia—obviously pornographic and, one would think, illegal.
The collage included a drawing of a woman circa 1950 declaring, in the most base terms, what a woman’s private parts should smell like. It also included a drawing of a pigtailed little girl riding on a tricycle with the word “Vagina!” written above her, and another drawing of a young female child standing by a rose, with the word “Vagina” written below her on a chalkboard.
“Everyone can come inside” are the words visible along the outer edge of the piece, which appeared to be a decoupaged plate.
The boys smiled nervously as hordes of teens, who had arrived for what some described as a field trip, passed the display table. Planned Parenthood was on the steering committee of this conference.
The booth belonged to Youth for Education and Prevention of Sexual Assault (YEPSA), a supposedly teen-led initiative from Eugene, Oregon. At a booth whose stated mission was the prevention of sexual assault, I could only wonder why the teen boys would be manning a table containing graphic pictures of female genitalia, suggesting that “everyone can come inside” a pigtailed little girl on a tricycle.
With that question in mind, I checked on the Internet and found that the group puts on performances, the first of which was The Vagina Monologues. The students stated they just finished a run of a play that they wrote about the life struggles of a transgendered woman. They have a transgender education panel coming up, and they do art shows around teen sexuality and gender.
Day two of the conference found me very reluctantly attending a workshop led by YEPSA entitled “You Say Porn, I Say Porn!”
The program description did not even begin to touch the stark reality of the session. “To porn or not to porn, that is the question. YEPSA will be leading the masses through the very exciting world of pornography.” The session was held in a large room, filled with teens and adults. It started with a soft porn video commercial.
About 10 teen facilitators lined up across the front of the room and introduced themselves. They gave their names and the pronoun they prefer (“I prefer ‘she,’” “I don’t have a preference but I identify as male,” etc.). This was in keeping with a theory emphasized over and over at the conference—that gender is fluid and is determined only by the person in question and how that person feels at that particular time about his or her gender. In others words, biology has nothing to do with gender.
[...] This is just a sampling of the plan that Planned Parenthood has for our teens. Check out our website at www.stopp.org, where I will be writing for several weeks on the unbelievably inappropriate materials and scenarios that were presented at this conference.
Oregon Education Department “sexuality education expert” Brad Victor prides himself on the fact that Oregon has the “most progressive sex education laws in the nation,” and brags about how he easily slid Oregon’s explicit Administrative Rule under the radar as a consent item at the state board level. The plan is that other states will follow suit. Many are already deeply embroiled in Planned Parenthood’s sex education. Those who are not embroiled are targeted.
But as we pointed out in our last edition of The Wednesday STOPP Report, Brad Victor also demonstrated that if parents will speak out at every level, sex education can be easily derailed in a school district—even one where the programs are already firmly in place. The sooner parents start their challenges, however, the better.
Jim Sedlak’s book Parent Power!! is available free of charge on our website. It is a brilliant instructional tool that lays out the plan that parents can follow to get Planned Parenthood out of local schools. It is a plan that has been proven to work time and time again when parents follow it. Read Jim’s book today and take action!
If you want to keep tabs on what these groups are teaching Oregon’s children, check out the Facebook pages for Sex Ed in Oregon and The Adolescent Sexuality Conference. Notice which groups and pages they “like” and recommend to young people.
Every life matters.
STILL is a documentary film aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. STILL will examine the effects of a grief avoidant society and will tell the stories of individuals and families from all walks of life who have suffered the death of a baby during pregnancy or infancy:
Nothing stirs the Left’s seething rage more than a woman, black or gay person refusing to toe the ideological line and daring to speak out for conservative values.
Dr. Ben Carson is the latest target of the bigoted Left, which does not allow independent thought from “minority” groups they seek to keep under their control. Mark Levin recently had an amazing interview with Carson, in which they discussed the Left’s agenda to silence conservative minorities.
Kyle Becker has the transcript at the Independent Journal Review:
MARK LEVIN, HOST: These attacks on you, I have to ask you. You’re a religious man. Do these attacks make you want to speak out more and do more or do they cause you to second guess coming out and talking like this?
DR. BENJAMIN CARSON: No, they make me recognize what serious trouble we’re in. And what has really brought it home to me is, you know, I’ve gotten so many letters of support or phone calls or emails from people who believe similarly, but are afraid to speak out because they think there may be retribution. And basically, it proves what I was saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that political correctness is threatening to destroy our nation because it puts a muzzle over honest conversation, and the fabric of our nation is changed without the benefit of a conversation.
LEVIN: Well, you’re right. They don’t want a conversation, do they? They don’t want us to engage. In fact they…
CARSON: No, they want to shut us up completely.
CARSON: And that’s why the attacks against me have been so vicious because I represent, you know, an existential threat to them. They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me. They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me. So they take my words, misinterpret them, and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.
LEVIN: And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race, because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?
CARSON: Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?
Listen to the whole interview on the Mark Levin show:
View on YouTube
Planned Parenthood’s primary source of income is abortion. The purpose of their “sex ed” agenda is to encourage kids to experiment sexually and create as many new potential customers as possible. They will bulldoze anybody who dares to get in the way.
Last week, a Portland, Oregon math teacher was led out of his classroom by police and is expected to be fired for his opposition to Planned Parenthood. For years, Benson High School teacher Bill Diss has protested Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette (PPCW) building an abortion facility as well as their infiltration into the city’s schools.
This Fall, he refused to allow Planned Parenthood staffers to come into his class to push their agenda, under the auspices of the Teen Outreach Program – why was this interrupting a math class, of all things? – and ever since, the school’s administration (not to mention PPCW) has had it out for him.
Now that PPCW has completed the heroic task of stopping Mr. Diss, they can go back to their very important, regularly scheduled programing – promoting sex toys!
Tonight, as part of “Sexy Tuesdays,” PPCW is offering a “Sex Toy Workshop & Soiree.”
Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is the organization that Benson High School allows access to their students to, even to the point of interrupting class time against the wishes of teachers, and firing educators like Mr. Diss.
Sex toy seminars are just the tip of the iceberg. Planned Parenthood is determined to indoctrinate children as young as 5 with their sexual anarchist ideology:
While the White House says sequestration has eliminated funds for children touring the White House, President Obama has no problem spending $350 million federal tax dollars for sexual indoctrination programs starting in kindergarten for those same children.
This is not your grandmother’s sex education about how things work and what can go “wrong.” In fact, the exact opposite is the essence of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP): Obamacare funnels $75 million annually into PREP, which must be used exclusively for Planned Parenthood-style “comprehensive” sex ed programs where no type of sex is wrong and the only sexual behavior PP considers “unsafe” is becoming pregnant.
More than one-fourth of the funds ‒ $20 million ‒ has been awarded to a coalition of six Planned Parenthood affiliates, operating under the name Northwest Coalition for Adolescent Health, to implement HHS’s TOP program across Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska at over 50 sites. In Oregon schools, Planned Parenthood is paying children cash incentives to participate.
PP is funded with our tax dollars to market sex to our children in our schools under the guise of sex education, anti-bullying, diversity, and tolerance. Once sexualized, those children then become PP sex customers for contraceptives, STD testing, and abortion.
If there’s one think Planned Parenthood is good at, it’s targeting and destroying the opposition. Prosecutors are terrified of going after them for their crimes. A lone teacher doesn’t stand a chance.
Neither did the people who tried to save the Jews from the holocaust. But they did it anyway, and today they are remembered as heroes.
An exemplary math and computer science teacher has been unjustly escorted out of Benson High School by police following a protracted battle with school officials about Planned Parenthood’s presence in the school and its association with his students.
Bill Diss was notified on Tuesday after the last student left his class that he was being placed immediately on administrative leave “pending a recommendation to the superintendent that you be dismissed from your employment with Portland public schools for reasons that have been discussed with you.” The mild-mannered Mr. Diss told STOPP that he was given only a few minutes to gather his belongings before police escorted him out. He was ordered not to return to the Portland, Oregon, school where he has taught for 11 years.
Mr. Diss is an outstanding teacher, who recently was awarded certification and recognition as the only teacher in Oregon who is qualified to teach college level computer science to high school students for dual credit. He has taught at the college and high school level for a total of 18 years.
Planned Parenthood has been in pursuit of Mr. Diss since 2007 when he began organizing efforts to stop Planned Parenthood. A STOPP press release from February of 2009 noted that Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette wanted Bill Diss’ teaching license revoked. The press release quoted American Life League’s Jim Sedlak: “Bill has organized one of the most effective efforts against Planned Parenthood in the country. It’s no surprise Planned Parenthood will resort to anything—even going after his teaching license—in order to silence him.”
Bill was opposing, on his own time, outside of any school activities, the construction of a Planned Parenthood killing center in an African American neighborhood in Portland. The Planned Parenthood business was eventually built, and today targets minority women for abortions.
Planned Parenthood was unsuccessful in its revocation bid but, incredibly, a decree came from the school district that Bill could not indicate that he was a teacher at Benson or that he taught for the Portland schools when he was giving talks outside the school.
Things really started heating up again at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year when Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette began to push its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) in partnership with Benson High School. The program is fueled by a multi-million dollar Obamacare teen pregnancy prevention grant, funneled through a coalition of Planned Parenthood affiliates. Benson High is located in the inner city, where sixty-two percent of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunches.
On September 17, 2012, Planned Parenthood operatives entered Mr. Diss’ classroom where he was tutoring students in basic math skills and other subjects. They expected to be given the floor to recruit students for the Teen Outreach Program. Because Mr. Diss had been notified that TOP representatives were coming to speak to the class and they produced ID showing they were from Planned Parenthood rather than TOP, Mr. Diss asked them to leave his classroom. They left, and a few moments later the principal and vice principal came to remove Mr. Diss from class.
The next day he was forced to sit through a Planned Parenthood presentation. “They were extremely aggressive in obtaining the children’s signatures by promising them all sorts of gifts and cash,” Bill said. Planned Parenthood filed a formal complaint against Mr. Diss with the school. You can read STOPP’s coverage about the events of that day and the TOP permission forms here.
Last I checked, children’s biological and psychological needs don’t change to fit the convenience and preferred lifestyles of adults. Children are hard-wired to need BOTH their mother AND their father. When one is missing, it creates a void and a wound that can never be entirely filled by a substitute. My heart breaks for children who are forced into this situation – for they are not given a choice.
The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers.
The Justice Department’s argument on the superfluity of motherhood is presented in a brief the Obama administration filed in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended California’s Constitution to say that marriage involves only one man and one woman.
The Justice Department presented its conclusions about parenthood in rebutting an argument made by proponents of Proposition 8 that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, was the ideal place, determined even by nature itself, to raise a child.
The Obama administration argues this is not true. It argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers is just as good as having one of each.
[...] So far in the history of the human race, no child has ever been born without a biological father and mother. Now, in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Executive Branch of the federal government is arguing that, regardless of the biological facts of parenthood, states have no legitimate and defensible interest in ensuring that children conceived by a mother and a father are in fact raised by mothers and fathers.
The brief that the Justice Department presented to the Supreme Court discussed children only as items controlled by others, not as individual human beings who have God-given rights of their own. It simply assumes that a child has no inherent right to a mother or father and that the only right truly in question is whether two people of the same-sex have a right to marry one another and that that right encompasses a right to adopt and foster-raise children.
To take this view and be consistent with the principles of the Declaration of Independence—which recognizes the ultimate authority of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and says that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”—the Obama Justice Department must advance the assumption that natural law and Nature’s God give children no right to a mother and father and no right not to be legally handed over by the government to be raised by same-sex couples.
As for children raised by two adults of the same sex, the most extensive study ever done was that of Dr. Mark Regnerus. Dr. Regnerus of the University of Texas conducted the largest, most rigorously controlled study in history. Here’s what the U.T. study found:
The results of the NFSS [National Family Structures Study]research revealed that the “no differences” claim—the claim that children raised by parents in gay or lesbian relationships fared no worse and in some cases better than children raised by intact biological parents—was not true. On the contrary, the children of these households, on average, did worse than children raised by their biological, still-married parents.
The weight of scientific evidence–as opposed to Donald Verrilli’s politically correct posturing–shows that his statements before the High Court are “not true.” Remember, we are talking about the well-being of the children, not whether the adults in these relationships are well-satisfied with their domestic arrangements.
People around the world are amazed at the casual way some Americans are ready to dispense with mothers and fathers. In France, for example, a young pro-marriage spokesman joined the nearly 800,000 impassioned defenders of marriage who turned out in Paris on Jan. 13th. This young spokesman–Xavier Bongibault–said “everyone needs a mother and a father. It’s only natural.” It isnatural. And this young demonstrator is gay.
He understands what the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge: Children need their mothers and fathers. It is their natural right. We can go as far back as 1790 and Edmund Burke and the French Revolution to see confirmation of this. The Rights of Man, wrote the great Irish philosopher and parliamentary leader, include the right to “the inheritance of our parents and the consolations of religion.”
The Obama administration is casting all that away. President Obama promised to “fundamentally transform America.” Few then realized he meant it. Abolishing marriage is what he is doing. Not changing. Not expanding. More than re-defining marriage, he is abolishing it.
Every year, the federal government spends well over a trillion dollars more than it takes in. As a result, it has racked up seventeen trillion dollars in debt, most of it in the last decade. In seven years at current rates, the U.S. will need almost a fifth of the GDP from the rest of the world just to finance our national debt.
Just two of our federal entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, have “unfunded future liabilities” of $46.2 trillion. Total liabilities are $86.8 trillion or more. Entitlements and other mandatory spending will burden more and more of the federal budget in the coming years. At today’s burn rate, before long no realistic amount of tax revenue will be able to service the debt and fund the government’s basic functions.
We need not worry about the federal government defaulting, since, unlike U.S. states or private citizens, it can print the money it needs to pay the bills. It can and will do so if we don’t make a course correction fast. Massive monetary expansion will ultimately devalue every dollar in circulation and trigger the sort of hyperinflation that flattens entire societies in short order. That’s bad enough, but when government borrows and spends for our supposed benefit, somebody else will have to foot some or all of the bill. If our faith applies to every aspect of life, then it must have something to say about this moral outrage.
[...] In the twentieth century, more than a hundred million people were murdered by their own governments. And that was just in communist countries. History and scripture agree: because of sin, governments with too much power become propagators of evil and destruction.
This speaks directly to government debt, since deficit spending is a symptom of government doing more than it can or should. The federal government now borrows and spends with such reckless abandon that it is careening toward a global economic catastrophe. If Christians can’t muster the courage to speak out against what Rep. Paul Ryan has called “the most predictable debt crisis in history,” we won’t deserve to be taken seriously after the collapse.
Sadly, many Christians don’t know how to disciple our nation to turn the tide because they’ve never studied God’s design for economics or the Biblical role of government. They can’t teach what they don’t know. The key to real reformation, says R.C. Sproul, Jr., is for Christians to understand and work to implement Biblical economic principles:
Christian author and teacher R.C. Sproul, Jr. told CBN News Anchor Lee Webb that he believes it’s time to return to the basics when it comes to economics.
“When we’re left arguing about whether or not we should have a marginal tax rate of 45 percent or 48 percent, and the conservative is stuck arguing for the 45 percent we’ve had an insufficient reformation in our thinking,” Sproul said.
Sproul believes that reformation will happen only when we return to scripture to see what God has to say about economics. That’s why he produced a video series called “Economics for Everybody.” It’s a compelling, even entertaining approach to a topic many find boring.
[...] Sproul provides historical evidence that nations most influenced by biblical Christianity are nations that, by and large, have prospered. They are nations marked by decentralized governments and free markets.
But nations that reject God are marked by centralized power, tyranny, and no free markets. Unfortunately, he said he has observed some of those troubling trends in America now.
“The United States is not a free market. It’s an interventionist economy that’s been moving closer to socialism for over a century now,” he said. “I am not optimistic about our nation’s future economically.”
“We live in a country in which the state forbids me to hire a man unless I promise to pay him X number of dollars,” Sproul explained. “We now live in a country where I can’t hire 50 men unless I promise to buy them all health insurance, including access to abortion.”
“This is not economic liberty. This is not free markets,” he said. “We’re missing the fact that we’re the frog and the water is boiling.”
That’s why Sproul believes it’s not enough to think conservatively. We must think biblically and train our children biblically.
“It’s my conviction that education is always and everywhere religious,” he said.
“And it’s not a surprise that when 80 percent of evangelical parents have their children in the government’s schools that they’re going to embrace the religion of the government which is the worship of the state,” he said.
Sproul cautioned Christians to avoid despair. One way to do that is by returning to the beginning, to the Creation Mandate and begin to see that our work is part of worship.
If you have never watched the “Economics For Everybody” series, I highly recommend it! We cannot teach what we do not know!
Daniel Smyth writes at the Washington Times about a new scheme in New York to use anti-discrimination laws to force pro-lifers to either compromise their convictions or go out of business:
New York could soon shut down Catholic and other health care providers for not offering or referring for abortions. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with enough support in the New York state legislature, could sign a reproductive health act (RHA) this year. Among other actions, the act would declare that New York “shall not discriminate against the exercise of…[abortion] rights…in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.”
The New York State Catholic Conference argues this “no discrimination of abortion rights” provision could “permit state regulators…to require support for abortion from any agency or institution licensed or funded by the state.” As the state grants medical licenses, New York could deny licenses to — and thus shut down — such institutions as Catholic and other hospitals or clinics that refuse to support abortion. New York could also deny these institutions Medicaid payments and other funding, which some of these institutions need for financial stability.
Other provisions in New York’s RHA would establish abortion on demand in New York. For instance, the RHA would permit abortions until birth, allow public funding of abortion and repeal the requirement of parental notifications for minors’ abortions.
Sadly, this is only the latest example in a larger agenda to attack and marginalize people of faith:
Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close their doors in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., because their religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by their jurisdictions.
A graduate student in Michigan was expelled from a counseling program because her religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by school officials.
Christian pharmacists in Illinois were told to find other professions because their religious beliefs regarding when life begins were deemed unacceptable by the state.
Private business owners are facing enormous fines because their beliefs about when life begins have been deemed unacceptable by the federal government.
Pastor Louie Giglio did not deliver the closing prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony because his religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by the administration.
[...] Compared with others around the world, people of faith in America enjoy extraordinary freedoms. Our lives are not in danger. We do not face imprisonment or torture for holding unpopular convictions.
Yet when people of faith are restricted from fully participating in society — owning businesses, entering the medical profession or providing much-needed charitable services — an intolerable trade-off has occurred. The government has exceeded its boundary, and the figurative wall between church and state must be strengthened.
[...] The tide has turned, and we have begun to see the emergence of a state-created orthodoxy. It deems support for traditional marriage unacceptable. It discredits those who believe that life begins at conception. It disfavors their faith — held for centuries by their predecessors — and creates a regulatory framework to prevent them from fully participating in the public square.
When the government says, “You can believe whatever you want, but you will be penalized if you exercise those beliefs,” we have entered dangerous territory. We cannot allow a religious litmus test to determine who may participate in American life. We must defend the Constitution not only in form, but also in effect.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” ~ Colossians 2:8
The Government has washed our nation out to a sea of debt to other nations. They have created a culture of falsely believing that all life choices should equal the same financial outcome for everyone, and that everyone who believes they are due material wealth ought to have it. Children have become an “expensive burden” we seek to avoid, but debt for personal expenditures and entitlement programs are not offensive today. The common idea is that “Children are soooo Expensive!”
In our culture, we have chosen lifestyle of debt, life-long entitlement mentality and lavish living. Frugality of past generations is largely gone. Some of the poorest people appear to be able to afford Smart Phones. Priorities are definitely skewed.
There is certainly nothing wrong with nice things, beautiful homes, etc. In fact, having ambition to succeed is inherently American. However there is something decidedly different about the last two generations of Americans. The last two generations have decided to pursue these material and temporal possessions at the expense of their children, and their eternal Christian inheritance. The other problem is that very few families can actually afford to live this lifestyle, regardless of how many children they have. Most people, right out of the gate into adulthood, begin their lives in debt. They begin either in debt themselves for college, or living a lifestyle sustained by the help or debt of their own parents.
This has left a huge societal impact, because Christian families are simply not having children anymore, because of the misguided belief that their single most important contribution to their children is what they can give to them materially speaking. With fewer Christians raising their children in an intact Christian home, fewer responsible, hard working, and freedom-loving adults are being set out into society. We can clearly see the impact on our freedoms and our government and society since the nation began forfeiting children in favor of debt.
Since this has culturally become the norm, there are several societal prerequisites to qualifying to have children. Notice none of them are of eternal benefit for others, or for ourselves. This means that what society deems of value, God has spoken and said is largely worthless..even the vast educations..etc. Again, goals and accomplishment are not worthless or evil. Parents inherently want a good future for their children, and often will sacrifice to help obtain that. However, if parents put more stock into ensuring their children have all their whims met, rather than raising solidly grounded, disciplined and responsible children, we have products of their misguided efforts abounding. The pursuit of these idols of wealth above eternal perspectives, or if they are pitted against raising any children for the Kingdom, then they limit the ability of people to raise children fully for the Lord and to stand on principle in his or her nation.
The radical gay left could give lessons in bullying, which is a shame, since I have several wonderful conservative gay friends who oppose this kind of behavior, and these disgusting tactics give the gay community a bad name.
Since the owner of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” bakery in Oregon declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony, the bullies have been out in full force.
Trolls came in droves to spam the bakery’s Facebook page with hateful, threatening and pornographic comments and images (all in the name of “love” and “tolerance,” of course). They went after anybody who dared post comments of support. They harassed the bakery’s recommended vendors, family and friends, and spammed their Yelp and other business review pages with hate and slander.
They “doxed” the family – who have small children – by publicly posting their personal information where identity thieves and dangerous people could find it:
They sent activists after Aaron and Melissa’s personal Facebook pages to harass them:
Someone even created a fake impersonator page in an attempt to slander them, by posting a racist, homophobic quote and claiming that it was Aaron and Melissa who said it (warning, foul language):
The conveniently cropped screen shot has since gone viral, and a reporter at the Examiner gave false confirmation that the quote was real.
What they’re NOT showing you is the whole picture (click to enlarge):
Notice, the impersonator page only has 8 “likes,” while the REAL page had over 600. Notice also that under “Recent Activity,” it says “joined Facebook,” meaning that the impersonator page was only recently created, while the REAL page has been on Facebook since 2010.
The impersonator page, which used images lifted from their website, was only online for a couple of hours – long enough to post a couple of disgusting quotes and take screen shots to outrage the gullible.
The REAL page looks like this:
Several boycott pages have also been set up on Facebook, as well as one specifically designed to bully, called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa is run by Homophobes,” which uses the same photos as the real page in order to confuse people. Facebook insists the page doesn’t violate their terms of service and refuses to take it down.
Sadly, much of the bullying has come from Christians who blame this family for the treatment they’re receiving and claim that they deserve it. ”Just bake the cake! What’s the big deal?” “Who are you to judge?” “People like you are why gays hate Christians!” “Jesus loves gays, and you should, too!” They compare the owner to the Westboro Baptist freaks, even though he NEVER said he hates gays or called them an “abomination,” or anything of the sort. He simply politely said, “I’m sorry, I don’t make cakes for gay weddings.” When they asked why, he explained it violated his faith. And now some Christians are harassing him for it. It’s really sad. There IS a balanced approach between the ridiculous claim that “God hates gays” and just caving to the entire leftist agenda.
This honestly has nothing to do with Aaron and Melissa or cake. They’re just the pawns these radicals needed to make a frightening example out of anybody that dared to stand in their way. I recommend that Christians and conservatives read Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals,” so they understand the playbook tactics that are being used against us. My friend Barbara Curtis, a former radical leftist who became a Christian author and mother of 12, did a book study to help Christians understand what we’re dealing with.
Most of us innocently living our daily lives have no idea how cruel and dangerous these people can be if you end up in their cross-hairs. I hope the church is waking up to the fact that the enemy we are dealing with is VERY real, and ignoring the problem is not the answer. Neither is throwing our own under the bus, as many Christians are apt to do to save their own hides. We can’t afford to be naïve and think, “If we just give them everything they want, they’ll leave us in peace.” No. They want to destroy us and everything our faith stands for. They don’t need a provocation to come after us. Our mere existence is a threat. That is the reality.
I hope the church is beginning to wake up and realize that we are ALL on the front lines of the culture war now. Even a small family bakery is no longer safe and off-limits.
Thankfully, this family is also receiving lots of support from Christians, conservatives and libertarians (some of whom are gay) who recognize that nobody should be intimidated by government and harassed by bullies for exercising their 1st Amendment conscience rights. Even if you disagree with their particular stand on this issue, it’s important to remember that someday YOU might be bullied and coerced because of YOUR convictions, whatever they are.
It’s also important to recognize that there are many people who support gay marriage who do NOT condone bullying of this sort. There are some people who are genuinely hurt and offended, who will probably show up to protest, and who just need to be reached out to with love and respect. It’s a great opportunity to start a conversation, but that can only happen in a civil atmosphere where both sides feel safe.
No wonder the left does everything it can to make sure that this debate is hyper-emotionalized and anything BUT civil.
Slew of online hate reviews plagues ‘Sweet Cakes’ bakery
A small, family-owned bakery in Oregon is being investigated for “discrimination” by the Oregon Department of Justice because their faith compelled them to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.
A woman and her mother came into the bakery asking about wedding cakes. During the course of the conversation, the baker, Aaron, asked the groom’s name. He was told that there was no groom – rather, a second bride. At this point, he apologized and explained that he did not make cakes for homosexual weddings.
The woman apparently left in a huff, and her mother came back to give Aaron a piece of her mind. A few days later, Aaron discovered that a formal complaint had been filed against him for “discrimination,” by the lesbian partner who hadn’t even been present for the discussion. The Oregon Attorney General is now investigating.
Once upon a time in America, the exchange of goods and services was voluntary, unhappy customers were satisfied with taking their business elsewhere, and signs that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” actually meant something.
Now, the government wants to tell business owners who and what they must serve, regardless of their convictions. But the sacrament of marriage is particularly sacred and holy to people of faith, and to redefine it in any way is a sin. To take part in a ceremony which seeks to redefine that sacrament would be a violation of this baker’s faith.
Obviously, Aaron has no problem serving gay customers for occasions like holidays and birthdays. This woman had bought a cake from him once before, and had been served with no issue. If she hadn’t been happy with the service, she wouldn’t have come back.
But this time, the customer was asking Aaron to participate in a ceremony which violated his faith. He has a 1st Amendment right to abstain, and the customer has a right to be unhappy about it and never buy there again, but not to force him to accommodate her wedding against his conscience.
A quick peek at their website reveals the reason why this customer’s disgruntled fiance chose to make an intimidating example out of Aaron and his family:
No small business should be bullied into acting against their conscience. I bet if he refused to bake a cake for a Westboro Baptist or Klan rally, nobody would bother him. Or a cake to promote a candidate or cause he doesn’t agree with. Or a Muslim “wedding” with a 6-year-old bride. The only difference here is that he dared to refrain against a liberal pet agenda.
People have a right to discriminate against certain behaviors they find offensive. They have a right to not be bullied by the government for honoring their conscience. The Oregon Attorney General should be ashamed of wasting taxpayer money and pursuing such a spurious complaint. Please show them your support!
Robert Oscar Lopez has taken so much heat since he penned this article about growing up with two lesbian mothers, but he believes it’s worth it because he wants to be the voice for children who are being used as pawns in the gay marriage debate:
Between 1973 and 1990, when my beloved mother passed away, she and her female romantic partner raised me. They had separate houses but spent nearly all their weekends together, with me, in a trailer tucked discreetly in an RV park 50 minutes away from the town where we lived. As the youngest of my mother’s biological children, I was the only child who experienced childhood without my father being around.
After my mother’s partner’s children had left for college, she moved into our house in town. I lived with both of them for the brief time before my mother died at the age of 53. I was 19. In other words, I was the only child who experienced life under “gay parenting” as that term is understood today.
Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.
Inside, however, I was confused. When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, in a fundamental way striking at basic physical relations, you grow up weird. I have no mental health disorders or biological conditions. I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast.
My peers learned all the unwritten rules of decorum and body language in their homes; they understood what was appropriate to say in certain settings and what wasn’t; they learned both traditionally masculine and traditionally feminine social mechanisms.
Even if my peers’ parents were divorced, and many of them were, they still grew up seeing male and female social models. They learned, typically, how to be bold and unflinching from male figures and how to write thank-you cards and be sensitive from female figures. These are stereotypes, of course, but stereotypes come in handy when you inevitably leave the safety of your lesbian mom’s trailer and have to work and survive in a world where everybody thinks in stereotypical terms, even gays.
I had no male figure at all to follow, and my mother and her partner were both unlike traditional fathers or traditional mothers. As a result, I had very few recognizable social cues to offer potential male or female friends, since I was neither confident nor sensitive to others. Thus I befriended people rarely and alienated others easily. Gay people who grew up in straight parents’ households may have struggled with their sexual orientation; but when it came to the vast social universe of adaptations not dealing with sexuality—how to act, how to speak, how to behave—they had the advantage of learning at home. Many gays don’t realize what a blessing it was to be reared in a traditional home.
My home life was not traditional nor conventional. I suffered because of it, in ways that are difficult for sociologists to index. Both nervous and yet blunt, I would later seem strange even in the eyes of gay and bisexual adults who had little patience for someone like me. I was just as odd to them as I was to straight people.
Life is hard when you are strange. Even now, I have very few friends and often feel as though I do not understand people because of the unspoken gender cues that everyone around me, even gays raised in traditional homes, takes for granted. Though I am hard-working and a quick learner, I have trouble in professional settings because co-workers find me bizarre.
In terms of sexuality, gays who grew up in traditional households benefited from at least seeing some kind of functional courtship rituals around them. I had no clue how to make myself attractive to girls. When I stepped outside of my mothers’ trailer, I was immediately tagged as an outcast because of my girlish mannerisms, funny clothes, lisp, and outlandishness. Not surprisingly, I left high school as a virgin, never having had a girlfriend, instead having gone to four proms as a wisecracking sidekick to girls who just wanted someone to chip in for a limousine.
When I got to college, I set off everyone’s “gaydar” and the campus LGBT group quickly descended upon me to tell me it was 100-percent certain I must be a homosexual. When I came out as bisexual, they told everyone I was lying and just wasn’t ready to come out of the closet as gay yet. Frightened and traumatized by my mother’s death, I dropped out of college in 1990 and fell in with what can only be called the gay underworld. Terrible things happened to me there.
It was not until I was twenty-eight that I suddenly found myself in a relationship with a woman, through coincidences that shocked everyone who knew me and surprised even myself. I call myself bisexual because it would take several novels to explain how I ended up “straight” after almost thirty years as a gay man. I don’t feel like dealing with gay activists skewering me the way they go on search-and-destroy missions against ex-gays, “closet cases,” or “homocons.”
Though I have a biography particularly relevant to gay issues, the first person who contacted me to thank me for sharing my perspective on LGBT issues was Mark Regnerus, in an email dated July 17, 2012. I was not part of his massive survey, but he noticed a comment I’d left on a website about it and took the initiative to begin an email correspondence.
Forty-one years I’d lived, and nobody—least of all gay activists—had wanted me to speak honestly about the complicated gay threads of my life. If for no other reason than this, Mark Regnerus deserves tremendous credit—and the gay community ought to be crediting him rather than trying to silence him.
Regnerus’s study identified 248 adult children of parents who had same-sex romantic relationships. Offered a chance to provide frank responses with the hindsight of adulthood, they gave reports unfavorable to the gay marriage equality agenda. Yet the results are backed up by an important thing in life called common sense: Growing up different from other people is difficult and the difficulties raise the risk that children will develop maladjustments or self-medicate with alcohol and other dangerous behaviors. Each of those 248 is a human story, no doubt with many complexities.
Like my story, these 248 people’s stories deserve to be told. The gay movement is doing everything it can to make sure that nobody hears them. But I care more about the stories than the numbers (especially as an English professor), and Regnerus stumbled unwittingly on a narrative treasure chest.
Now, Lopez is warning that the current state of the LGBT agenda is leading to a potential human rights crisis for children:
A year ago, I was afraid to fight what is happening in the LGBT community. Unaware of what the response would be, I published some articles about being the product of gay parenting and received hundreds of e-mails from around the world pleading with me to fight against a growing human-rights crisis caused by the LGBT movement. They wrote from so many places, so many countries; they had such eloquence and force; they were children of sperm donors, troubled adoptees, people agonized by the baby-farming in India and elsewhere, gays horrified at what is being done in the name of “gay families,” religious people, atheists, people who know for whatever reason that buying babies and erasing fatherhood or motherhood is not the fruit of love.
I cannot stay silent anymore. My race forbids it; perhaps, being the descendant of Puerto Rican slaves and knowing that the LGBT movement is reducing people — children, sperm donors, surrogate mothers – to chattel. I have assembled a document listing the main points of urgency. I fear that the only movement that can take action would have to be global; in the United States, as I explain, the academy, the fourth estate, the democratic process, and the judiciary are all ill-equipped to stop what the LGBT movement is doing.
[...] What is the slogan that I speak of with greatest horror? ”I deserve the same rights as anyone else.” That might be a harmless slogan, except not when the “right” you are referring to is the right to “build a family” to show that “you are capable of love.”
“I deserve the same rights” eventually means that a same-sex couple deserves to have a child provided to them, even though they can’t conceive it themselves.
If straight couples get to have undiluted custody of such a child, so should gay couples. So they must have the “right” to enforce contracts preventing surrogate mothers from wanting their babies back, the “right” to have sperm banks operate and sell them sperm, the “right” to jump the queue in line for Catholic Charities, the “right” to farm babies in the third world, the “right” to extort gratitude from the children they’ve placed in these situations, and the “right” to blind a child to at least one of his or her biological parents. If any of these “rights” is not held up with the full force of a state apparatus, then the slogan fails. Hence, we see the case of Dred Scott revived. To be treated as first-class citizens, gays need the government to cow their chattel into submission.
Underneath the appeals to “love” lies a morass of brutally gory market mechanisms, approaching science fiction. The changes in gay culture have created a large pool of same-sex couples who not only want children without involving themselves with the opposite sex, but also feel that any qualms are banned forms of hate speech. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll found that each generation of Americans is becoming gayer: now, over 6% of citizens under the age of 29 identify as LGBT. As recently as three years ago, polling consistently found LGBTs to make up less than 2% of the population.
The fight for marriage has never been about marriage. Marriage is the only way to have legal cover and shield themselves from criticism for their bioethical stunts.
Market demand is a powerful thing, and it is growing because of the increase in LGBT couples as well as the cultural messages convincing young gays that they will be given children or else society is oppressing them. Here in Los Angeles, I’ve seen the eerie proliferation of designer babies in gayborhoods, and the increasingly anesthetized reaction of gay couples’ friends. People go to third-world getaways to pick out babies, place ads for surrogates who can give them a certain eye color, and even collaborate with human trafficking. Never forgetful of my own pains as a lesbian’s son in the 1970s, I see the faces of these gay couple’s children, and sometimes, I have to run away and cry. I know the dazed glare, the powerlessness of these children, their helpless desire to please their parents, their fear of showing their parents any sign that the arrangement has been hurtful.
And yet, I can scarcely forget, this is only the beginning. While some say “it gets better,” all signs show that it will grow far worse.
Pastor Saeed: An American Citizen Imprisoned in Iran
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An Iranian court on Sunday sentenced Iranian-born American pastor Saeed Abedini – a convert from Islam to Christianity – to eight years’ imprisonment for “threatening the national security of Iran” by leading underground house churches, according to a U.S. religious organization closely involved in the case.
The 32 year-old from Boise, Idaho was convicted four months after being arrested while visiting family in Iran. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) says Abedini has been assaulted and mistreated while in custody in Iran’s notorious Evin prison.
The State Department and ACLJ have also raised concerns about the conduct of his trial, saying Abedini’s lawyer was given little time to prepare and was excluded from some of the proceedings.
ACLJ executive director Jordan Sekulow called the case “a mockery of justice.”
[...] Tehran’s treatment of a U.S. citizen is a brazen challenge to Washington as President Obama begins his second term and Sen. John Kerry prepares to assume the helm at the State Department.
So what does Obama’s State Department have to say about the fact that an American citizen is being imprisoned and tortured for his faith in Iran?
“We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini’s human rights and release him,” State Department spokesperson Darby Holladay said.
No statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Not the slightest recognition from the President. Knowing that real international pressure could be brought to bear through media coverage and strong statements from the White House, they choose instead to trot out an obscure spokesperson in the hopes that demands for a stronger response will die down.
If the media pressure goes away, there is NO WAY this American citizen will ever see his family again.