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Marriage: A Reflection After Fifteen Years

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Cohabitation, Families, father, Gender, Health Care, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, The Family, Values on April 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Ellsworth Family LDSElise Ellsworth

Next week my husband and I will celebrate fifteen years of marriage together.  Our marriage has weathered the births of seven children, four college degrees, eleven moves (four of them cross-country), job losses, being hit by a tornado, too many emergency room trips to count (we have six boys) and a host of other day-to-day stresses.  Frankly, I hope that the next fifteen years offer more smooth sailing than the last.  But despite having crossed some stormy seas I remain more committed than ever to the institution of marriage and more convinced than ever of the benefits of marriage between a man and a woman.  I am amazed at how many seemingly intelligent persons are being deceived by the popular argument that the best way to go through life is alone, cohabiting, or in a relationship with someone of the same gender.  I love being married to my husband!

There are so many well-documented benefits to man-woman marriage.  Married couples are healthier.  Married couples are wealthier.  Married couples are happier.  Married couples have better sex lives.  Married couples raise happier and more successful children.  These are all proven facts. So, I’d like to digress a bit and share fifteen little things I have loved about being married and being committed to my husband for the past fifteen years:

©     Our weekly dates – snowshoeing, hikes, learning a language, trips to the thrift store – the only date that hasn’t gone over well is tennis – I am a sore loser

©     Early morning runs – and after two near fires we have made the rule for the kids of “no attempts at cooking” while we are gone

©     Middle of the day telephone calls from someone who loves me

©     Making plans together – it drives my “let’s get going” husband crazy but I love to get his ideas

©     The little jokes my husband cracks right when I am in the middle of my serious tirades

©     Shared eye rolls when the kids are going out of control

©     When he “winks” his tail light at me when I’m following him in my car

©     Having an excuse to get dressed up

©     Entertaining together and watching my husband agonize as he tries to set “the perfect table”

©     Our nightly ritual of sharing one thing we love about each other – sometimes it’s “I like your nose hairs” (if we’re really mad), but it’s always something

©     The births of each of our children – touching heaven for just an instant

©     Swinging children between us on hikes

©     Trying to keep each other awake when we are driving on long road trips

©     The seemingly hundreds of soccer games we’ve attended over the years – sometimes I try to pretend I am not married to him when he loses it with the referee but I still love being there

©     Waking up next to my best friend (this is my husband’s addition J)

The cool thing about marriage is that this list is different for everyone but it’s still there.

Yes, today more than ever it is difficult to get married.  And it’s difficult to stay married.  But if you get the chance, if you fall really, truly in love – don’t settle for less.  Commit to lifelong marriage.  It’s been a fun ride.  I’m looking forward to the next fifteen years.

Considering the standards by which we measure our parenting

In Child Development, Families, father, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, The Family, Values on April 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm

UFI_Image_2014_04_15_MorningDewLast weekend I found myself sleeping on a grass field under the stars. Living in west Los Angeles, it’s a rare opportunity to see the stars between nights blanketed in ocean fog or the dimming effect of the city lights. But on this night, flanked by sleeping Boy Scouts scattered across a grassy field, clusters of the brightest stars shone down on us as we settled into our sleeping bags. As I drifted to sleep, I stared into the heavens letting my mind wander. Thoughts of my growing two-year-old entered my consciousness and of his younger brother expected to enter our family in a few months. In a self-examining moment I imagine many young parents experience, I began to ask myself probing questions such as, “How am I doing as a young father?” “What does my son need from me that I’m not presently giving?” “What kind of example am I to this precious little one?” As a first-time parent, such internal inquiry comes to me frequently as I travel the journey of perpetual “firsts.” Before I had a chance to answer the many questions that entered my mind, I drifted asleep. The following morning I awoke with those questions still on my mind. As I sat up to survey my surroundings, I noticed a moist sensation that completely enveloped me. I quickly realized that the nightly dew had visited us, coating our sleeping bags in a light blanket of moisture.

Dew plays an interesting part in the southern California ecosystem. I’ve always been amazed at the vast array of disparate plants that can grow in this naturally dry landscape. In the same garden you can find everything from desert cacti to blooming perennials to colorful tropical varieties. What I find remarkable is that Los Angeles ranks as one of the driest major cities in the country averaging a mere 14 inches per year. How can such an array of plants grow in such an environment? I’ve never claimed to be a botanist, but I believe this can be attributed in part to the continuous, nourishing, and nearly imperceptible dew that descends each evening. Dew may be quiet and unnoticed, but its steady influence empowers a variety of plants to grow and develop.

Oftentimes as a parent I hold myself to the wrong standards. While my inclination may be to measure myself by the sheer inches of rain I provide to my growing boy, perhaps what he really needs is consistent, mindful acts of love like the nightly dew. What fatherhood requires of me isn’t a periodic downpour, but a daily, nourishing effort to help a child grow. Mother Theresa, a woman of immeasurable influence in the lives of countless individuals was attributed to have taught, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” As I continue to grow alongside my toddler, my only hope is to echo this sentence-long sermon by offering my child a quiet daily dew of love, trust, and mindful example. I can’t wait to see how he blooms.

Written by Josh Ostler, contributor, Seeing the Everyday. Learn more at seeingtheeveryday.com

The War We Must Win

In Child Development, Domestic Violence, Education, Families, father, Government, Parental Rights, Parenting, Pornography, The Family, Values, Violence on March 20, 2014 at 8:41 am

porn-fight itRachel Allison

Four sons, one son-in-law, and five grandsons are reason enough to be concerned about the plague of pornography that is so available on our computers, “smart” phones, tablets, and every other devise that can access the internet. Because of the availability, addictions can be developed and fed almost any time and anywhere.

Several years ago my husband worked as a public defender.  Many of his clients had committed heinous sexual crimes, and of these clients, many admitted that their addiction to pornography played a major role in advancing their actions. My husband repeatedly warned our sons to avoid pornography at all costs. “Crash the computer if you must.” “Immediately flip the channel, or turn off the television.” “When you see it, you will know it.”  “Avoid it like the sickness and disease that it is.”

Fast forward ten years, and my oldest son is in medical school.  It soon became obvious that his roommates’ fathers didn’t have the same conversation with their sons.  Our son would often enter his apartment to find not only his male roommates, but also several of their female friends watching graphic pornographic videos.  Playboy magazines were always lying around the apartment.  We could only hope and pray that our warnings and counsel helped hold our son strong in each situation he encountered.

I often wondered what kind of doctors these young men would become.  When their “entertainment” focused on something so degrading to women, how could their education and their lives develop unimpeded in an upward and positive direction? I’m sure they would have argued that it was simply an entertaining past-time pursuit and that there would be no negative consequence.  But statistics, studies, and observing the destroyed lives and relationships of those who are caught in the web of pornographic addiction are all proof that they would be naïve and sadly mistaken to make such an argument.

Jo Fidgen‘s article, “Do we know whether pornography harms people?” states

“Pornography has been linked to unrealistic attitudes about sex, beliefs that women are sex objects, more frequent thoughts about sex, and children and young people who view pornography tend to hold less progressive gender role attitudes.”

Years ago I read the book, “A War We Must Win” by John Harmer.  The war he references is the war against pornography.  If there are naysayers to the harmful effects of pornography this book with all its references would be a must read.  I recently read a comment by “Jefe,” a reader of Harmer’s book whose evaluation is verbalized well.

Jefe, writes:

…Mr Harmer is…very well acquainted with numberless persons with shattered lives because of this insidious addiction…. The book itself explains how something that has always been considered abhorent, repugnant, or in any other way offensive to what should be “common decency” has been able to survive and thrive under constitutional protection and other legal tricks. It leaves no doubt that this form of “entertainment” is no less destructive than addictive drugs, but is in reality more destructive because it is dealt in subtlety and craftiness, disguised and packaged as entertainment. Mr. Harmer makes a point to demonstrate that porn is promoted through a gradual desensitization of society through currently acceptable forms of entertainment,…

According to Rabbi Shmuley, pornography is incredibly harmful and destructive to marriages. Pornography subtlety undermines male respect for women by detaching a woman’s personality from her body, reducing her to a mere sexual commodity, he says. This in turn bores men and leads to dissatisfaction with their own wives and an inability to create a fulfilling, authentic sex life based on mutual respect for their female counterparts…. “The principle sin of porn is not one of commission but omission. All the erotic energy that should be focused on the woman in your life is being wasted. Your eroticism is being punctured, leaving your relationship boring and predictable.”

All these years I have been concerned about pornography ruining the lives of my sons and grandsons.  The more I educate myself to its tentacles of destruction, the more I worry for my daughter, daughters-in-law and granddaughters. Their lives are just as precious, and they would be the innocent victims if the men in their lives succumb to this evil.  This is a war worthy of our every effort…it is the war we must win.

How can we take a stand?

1.  When you see it, you will know it.  Walk into stores that display it.  Calmly talk to the manager.  He will most likely tell you that his hands are tied.  So write to the corporate offices. Encourage like-minded men and women to also write.

2.  Talk to your children.  Warn them.  I have read and heard several times that we should start warning our children as young as 7 and 8 about this issue.  How sad is that?

3.  Get filters on all computers, and make sure these computers are always placed in rooms with lots of traffic flow.

4.  Collect all smart phones and tablets at night.  Your children won’t need them after everyone has retired to their rooms…right?

These are just four suggestions.  Again, when you see pornography, you will know it.  Don’t ignore it. Take a stand!  And know that I, for one, will be fighting along side of you.

 

 

 

Discovering self-worth in a visual-centered world

In Child Development, Education, Families, father, Parenting, The Family, Values on March 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

seeing_24_W_4.1FNr.inddIn a media age that bombards youth with images of what they should look like and gives false importance to outer beauty, it can be challenging to instill in young minds a true sense of inner strength and beauty. How can fathers and mothers compete with the seemingly endless flow of lies that lead to unwarranted self-doubt and anxiety in young people? Though there are many suggested solutions in parenting books, the most influential approach is one that any father and mother can provide without training. We learn from Jenet Erickson’s own reflections the lasting, positive effects of a father whose consistent, deliberate presence formed the necessary attachments that kept his daughters from relying on the media for answers. Instead, they found character and confidence through his constant care. In Jenet’s own words:

In the hours before he went to work and in the hours after he returned, Dad spent his time teaching us and showing us how to do difficult things and better ourselves in the process. From doing math and chemistry problems to hoeing rows of tomatoes and milking cows, from learning to swim to kneading and baking bread, he instilled in his children confidence and capacity. In a way that only he could manage, he challenged us to do more while strengthening us through his knowledge we could do it. Most important, he was seemingly always beside us, willing to reach in and lift the load when it got too heavy, always encouraging us with his confidence. In his closeness and care, we felt strength. In his teaching and challenging, we developed confidence that we could do whatever was put before us.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized Dad had never talked much about our appearance. I very rarely heard him comment on anyone’s appearance—especially women’s. In his quiet teaching, I knew that what Dad cared about most was that our bodies were healthy and well cared for so they could help us fulfill our dreams and do good for others. In a world that objectifies the body for sexual pleasure and financial gain, Dad seemed to intuitively fill us with confidence that our bodies were about our minds, hearts, and capacities. In Dad’s world, there was simply not time or energy to worry about making our bodies fit a worldly model of beauty. We had too much to do and too much to give. Our deep attachments to him and Mother, as well as understanding ourselves and our self-worth, provided footing to focus on what we could give and do to bless others.

As I look back, I marvel at his wisdom…

Today’s post and image are contributed by Seeing the Everyday magazine. Read more about Jenet Erickson’s experience in her article, “Kneading Confidence,” in Seeing the Everyday no. 24. For more information, go to seeingtheeveryday.com.

Welcome to Child Protective “Of Our Own Jobs” Services

In Child Development, Democracy, Domestic Violence, Families, father, Government, Grandparents, Health Care, Human Rights, Media, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, The Family, Values, Violence on March 5, 2014 at 9:06 am
     CPSRebecca Mallory

     “Hello. I’m from the government. I’m here to help.”  Is anyone as fed up with government trying to “help” as I am? Last week’s blog post recounted the horrific story of Justina Pelletier who has been cruelly taken from her parents by doctors and a government who, of course,knew better. Thank heaven for all the press and general public outcry!  Your voice is powerful, America!  The criminals at Boston Children’s Hospital, etc. are being forced to re-evaluate Justina’s case. Hopefully, this little girl will be returned to her parents after a year and will regain her health after proper treatments resume for her mitochondrial disease. This horrific story has caused pain to Justina’s parents, family and friends as well as to this young child whose life is threatened each day she is not receiving the proper care for her rare disorder. Hopefully, this nightmare will end soon. But what about the thousands of other cases where CPS has to justify their existence by overstepping? CPS is another horrible example of government overreach and the refusal to use common sense in many cases. As promised, here’s one story experienced by a friend of mine in Phoenix, Arizona.

      Last June, 2013, Brittney and Bryce Gurr observed that their 8 month old baby, Beckett, was acting strangely. He had been vomiting and had a low grade fever. They took him to a small municipal hospital in Gilbert, Arizona where doctors did a cat scan which showed bleeding on the brain. The hospital confessed that their machine was faulty and that the Gurrs should go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. At PCH the attending doctor looked at the faulty films and immediately claimed that the baby suffered from “shaking baby syndrome” a very serious and deadly phenomenon in which a large percentage of babies do not survive. No further testing was done. This was based solely on the faulty films from the Gilbert hospital. The Gurrs were so shocked at this prognosis that they could hardly respond. Shaking Syndrome was absurd!  They tried desperately to think back to what could have caused the trauma. Brittney was frantic and worried about her baby; not about what the doctor was accusing her of.

      Rewind to a few days earlier. Beckett had been playing at Grandma Connelly’s when a family puppy was “playing” and pushed Beckett backward and he hit the back of his head. Collette heard the loud thump and knew she should watch Beckett’s eyes for signs of trauma. Two days later, Brittney was watching a neighbor’s children who were playing with Beckett. Not realizing that he couldn’t stand alone, one child simply let Beckett go and he once again hit the back of his head which resulted in a concussion. He started vomiting and developed a fever which are signs of concussion. Before taking the baby to PCH, the family gathered together to pray for his speedy recovery and safety.

As they entered the hospital, they were greeted by a deputy sheriff who was ready to take the baby into custody.  The Gurrs tried to tell the authorities that little Beckett had fallen and hit his head but they would not listen to a word of pleading from these loving parents. They accused the Gurr’s of child abuse. Brittney and Bryce were distraught with shock and fear. Brittney began to feel like a terrible and neglectful mother. She, like Linda Pelletier, began vomiting herself and feeling physically as well as emotionally ill. Guilty. That’s all the authorities believed.  The following Monday the hospital finally took another cat scan. The doctor noticed a spot on Beckett’s leg and determined that his leg had been broken. Brittney assured them that he had never broken his leg. No. Not an acceptable answer. CPS called Grandma Collette and informed her that the two children were now in state custody but under Collette’s care. The grandparents were ordered to be in the home and presence of the Gurrs at all times no matter what, because obviously, these abusive parents could not be trusted!

     For the next four months, one of the four grandparents had to live with these parents to observe and/or report any suspicious or abusive behavior. Meanwhile, the Gurrs were subjected to lie detector tests and other absurdities.  Even their three year old Benson was ordered to endure a total psychiatric evaluation from the deputy sheriff. “Why? We do not want our three old to have to go through that!”  they plead. Twenty minutes later, CPS was at the door to take the children out of the home! Because to this trusty government agency, the parents’ response was “a red flag”. The Connelly’s hired an attorney at this point who told them that was ridiculous. Even the deputy sheriff told them repeatedly that he knew they were innocent. Thank heaven little Benson did not have to endure the CPS interrogations. “I’ve seen plenty of abusive parents and you are not those people,” he assured them. Still, CPS would not admit their horrid mistake. They seemed to double down in their efforts to justify their faulty accusations. Brittney’s health continued to deteriorate as the vomiting continued. She worried sick about her babies and this unbelievable nightmare they were experiencing.

    The Gurrs, wanting desperately to put this ordeal behind them, contacted CPS almost daily to get an update on their case. Why was it dragging on and on after there was no basis for this atrocity? The file stated that CPS was waiting on the “findings of the childrens’ psychiatric evaluations.” Which never happened!!! Who forgot to record that bit of information? Only because of the Gurr’s persistence, and the help of their attorney, CPS found absolutely nothing but a loving family who’s little boys were subjected to life itself. Boys fall, boys bump their heads and guess what? Boys live through it and become stronger. So after months of emotional and financial horror, the Gurrs were proven not guilty. No basis at all for what they endured.

This article in no way wants to diminish the countless number of cases where child abuse is real and rampant. No child should ever be victim to any kind of abuse. But could we please use an ounce of common sense? This seems to be a running theme with government agencies. They pick on those people who seem to be law-abiding and strive to do the right thing. Why? Because those people don’t resist. They want to cooperate with authorities and incorrectly assume that the agency has their best interest at heart. That’s a lot easier than accusing and arresting those who are truly abusive, often a result of alcohol, drug or other addictions. Those people are difficult to deal with and resist! Further, those people are often pandered to because they’re on some form of government assistance, and it’s not “polictically correct” to hold them accountable in any way. So they get off scot free where law-abiding citizens have to endure the atrocities that the Pelletiers and the Gurrs endured. Why not go after those who don’t know how to game the system? Much easier. These government employees want to keep their jobs, that’s the bottom line. So when someone comes to your door and says, “I’m from the government, I’m here to help”, get out your checkbook and make sure your legal team is in place!

     Please pray for the Pelletiers as their year-long ordeal is still raging. Surely, there are countless other cases that we don’t know about where good and loving parents are experiencing horrific cases like these. And speak out when you know an injustice is happening. Your voice is powerful America!

 

Parents’ devotion a source of courage for mother and daughter facing daily adversity

In Child Development, Families, father, Health Care, motherhood, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, The Family, Values on March 4, 2014 at 10:03 am

UFI_Image_2014_02_25Born with congenital double kidneys, Debbie McNaughton faced frequent high fevers and infections growing up—she was a constant concern for her parents, who moved her to their room to fully attend to her at night. When her fever would spike, her mother would wipe her forehead with a cool cloth as her father held her in his arms until sleep overcame her. Through years of worry and hospital visits, her parents never left her side.

At age eight, a pediatric surgeon invented a new surgical procedure to correct Debbie’s kidneys. Despite the hardship of hospital visits and surgery, Debbie describes how “Feeling their concern and strength gave me the courage to face adversity then and throughout my life. My parents’ devotion became a pattern for me to follow in my own unexpected challenges of motherhood.”

Debbie’s daughter Meg was born two months premature and diagnosed eighteen months later with cerebral palsy. She is non-verbal and uses a communication device for speech and a power wheelchair for mobility. Though the challenges of cerebral palsy caused natural mourning for the dreams Debbie had envisioned for her daughter, she has let go of those imaginings. Her love for Meg, instilled at her birth, continually deepens as they face a life of daily struggles and joys in their successes together. Debbie draws on the devotion and courage of her father and mother, and Meg, because of Debbie’s dedication to her, has survived to become a beautiful woman, with amazing strength and determination. They have changed one another and left enduring impressions on all who know them. Debbie reflects, “Each day when I look at Meg’s smile, I become a strengthened woman, a fighter, a focused advocate, persistent, devoted; more and more akin to those personal attributes I dearly felt from my own parents.”

Today’s post and image are contributed by Seeing the Everyday magazine. Read more about Debbie and Meg in Debbie’s article, “My Daughter Meg,” in Seeing the Everyday no. 20, pp. 24-27.

For more information, go to seeingtheeveryday.com.

Godlessness and Destroying Families: the Fertile Soil for Totalitarianism

In Abortion, Cohabitation, Constitution, Courts, Divorce, father, Government, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parental Rights, Pornography, Religious Freedom, Sexual Orientation, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on February 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm

shattered family-portraitMaddi Gillel

Why do weakened/destroyed families and the destruction of a belief in God allow a totalitarian government to flourish?  It tears down the walls of defense and strength that these institutions provide.   The following are some of the goals of Communism for the United States:

  • Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression.  An American Communist cell was told to ‘eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms’.  Control art critics and directors of art museums.  “Our plan is to promote ugly repulsive, meaningless art.”
  • Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.
  • Present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as ‘normal, natural, healthy.’
  • Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state.’
  • Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies.  Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
  • Discredit the family as an institution.  Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.  Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents.  Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents. (The Naked Communist – W.C. Skousen)

Faith is a force from the heavens above, the belief that God’s word is more important than man’s.  Family is a force from the grass roots below, the belief that the fundamental unit of society is what makes up and controls all larger institutions.

When faith and family weaken, the middle institution of government swells – partly because of its inherent thirst for power, and partly to try to do the social jobs that family and religion are no longer doing.  If government is not balanced and held in check, it will expand and grow at the expense of individual freedom and independence.

The problem is that government, when compared to family or to religion, is horribly expensive and inefficient at handling social problems of welfare, justice and moral training.

This is why communist and socialist governments, and all totalitarian regimes, try to eliminate religion and undermine families.  Churches and synagogues are marginalized and eventually banned; and families are unfairly taxed or depleted.  The norms and personal priorities in such societies begin to shift away from responsibility and family focus and toward materialism and self-focus. People begin to abandon parenthood and family ideals in favor of more personal comfort and ‘freedom.’ Even in ‘free’ countries, the secular, materialistic abandonment of faith and family creates a ‘cult of the individual,’ where selfish options are valued more than commitment and sacrifice – and where we hear much about individual rights and individual freedom and being true to yourself but little about family rights and religious freedom.

This creates weaker rather than stronger people.  David Brooks of the New York Times put it this way: “People are not better off when they are given maximum personal freedom to do what they want.  They’re better off when they are enshrouded in commitments that transcend personal choice – commitments to family, God, craft and country.”

We seem to have a lot of things backwards. We think that poverty and crime and drugs and bad public policy are destroying families.  We even hear that a natural traditional family is now a luxury that only the rich or highly educated can afford.  In fact, it is the decline of families and of faith that is creating poverty, crime, abuse, addiction and bad politics.  Solid family life, far from being a luxury, is the only way to survive and to help society survive.  (Richard and Linda Eyre – New York Times best-selling authors)

There will be many who are stunned that what they thought was a decision that only affected them, is playing right into America’s deadliest enemy. Such choices as abortion, childlessness, divorce, playing into the ‘plot’ to get children away from their mothers, fathers, preoccupation with materialism, etc.

Next blog:  Death by EPA; hiding place for Communism.

Land of the 47th Most Free and Home of the Weak?

In Child Development, Constitution, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Courts, Democracy, Education, Families, father, Free Speech, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Media, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Religion, Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Life, Schools, The Family, Values on February 27, 2014 at 7:38 am
JustinaRebecca Mallory
Did that headline sink in? Yup. It was announced this week that America now has the 47th most free press in the world. What about the First Amendment to the constitution declaring Freedom of Speech and of a Free press?  It’s being completely trashed by the government and public education attempting to rewrite it. American free press now ranks behind Germany, the UK (remember the American Revolution?) Belize, Austria, even The Czech Republic, and El Salvador!  With government crackdowns and intrusions, freedom of the press in the United States is on life support. What are YOU going to do about it? Don’t think it applies to you? You’re not doing anything wrong? Well check this, happening-as-we-speak, story out about parents who’s child has literally been taken away from them and their constitutional right of free speech squelched as their world’s greatest fears are being realized. Unfortunately, our “report selective evil” press is ignoring much of this story.
Lou and Linda Pelletier took their daughter, Justina, to the Boston Children’s Hospital after she came down with flu-like symptoms. She was being treated for a rare genetic disorder at Tufts by a doctor that they trusted and were happy with, but the BCH doctors disagreed with that prognosis and determined that it was all in her head and that she suffered from somatoform, a psychiatric disease. They decided that Justina’s parents were abusive by over-medicating her needlessly. They immediately declared her a ward of the state and police-escorted the Pelletiers out of the hospital without their daughter.That was one year ago on Valentine’s Day, 2013. The courts issued a gag order to shut anyone up involved with this case under the guise of “patient protection” or HIPPA laws. Out of love for their daughter, and a parent’s desperation to save her, this week Lou Pelletier broke the gag order and went public on the Blaze Radio network and on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox News to plead for help. “They’re killing my daughter”, Pelletier cried to Glenn Beck, who vowed to cover this tragic story until it was resolved.
Results? Lou Pelletier may go to jail for breaking his silence  because he is trying to save his daughter. Very curious is the fact that the gag order was not issued until seven months after the case began and shortly after a Massachusetts newspaper got wind of this tragedy and was working on the Justina Pelletier case. The state is trying to intimidate this desperate father, and anyone else who dares to speak. Sound familiar? Anyone read history from the 1930-40′s concerning Nazi Germany? Hello! Anyone home here in America? What about parental rights? The hospital even wanted the Pelletier’s to sign a horrifying document that declared Justina a ward of the state and that as such she would be subject to any experimental tests that they deemed necessary. And by signing, the Pelletiers would not seek a second opinion. Are you kidding me?? What nitwit parent would sign such an atrocity? Of course, they refused.
 Lou Pelletier explained to Beck and to Kelly that in order to enter their daughter’s hospital room, they were not allowed to carry a cell phone, camera or other listening device. Linda, Justina’s mother, could not enter with any of Justina’s siblings. Inside the room were police carrying guns. Seriously? Does this sound like the “land of the free” to you?? Linda observed red streaks on Justina’s abdomen indicating possible sepsis infection. Shortly before Justina entered BCH, she was ice skating and living the fairly normal life of a teenager. Now her mother has to watch helplessly as her daughter is confined to a wheelchair and suffers a constant decline in health because she’s not being treated for the original genetic disorder diagnosis. BCH doctors say it’s just psychosis”.
This great hospital that is so concerned about Justina’s well-being has denied her, a devout Christian, any clergy. She’s missed Easter and Christmas as well as Sunday services for over a year. Justina has not engaged in school lessons or tutoring since being held captive at BCH. She’s now 15 years old. Just this week the court moved Justina to foster care. Foster care? So it’s now not at all about medical care, it’s about the state declaring the Pelletiers’ unfit parents. At the judge’s recommendation, Linda Pelletier collapsed to the floor in unbelief. She was rushed to a different hospital for care. Incidentally, how many of you know people who are truly unfit to have children and are horrid parents? A ton! I know them too! Anyone affiliated with this case declare that there is not an iota of evidence that Justina does not come from a caring and loving home.
Is there no common sense in determining what makes a good and bad parent? Which one are you? Are you sure? Who would stand up for you?
We as Americans need to stand up for parents’ rights before criminals like those at BCH continue this overreach. Free speech is being smothered day after day. Our constitutional rights are hanging by a thread. We are the only ones who can make enough noise to resolve this horrific injustice before it happens to your child or my child. I realize that no one wants to get involved. We just want to live our lives. To go to work, take our kids to ball practice, come home and eat dinner and sleep in peace. Unfortunately, those days are gone. We have a lawless and imperialistic administration, an inept congress and a complicit media that reports agendas, not truth. If you’re a student of history you will no doubt recall the Wiemar Republic and Nazi Germany. Nobody wanted to admit or believe what Hitler or Musolini were doing to the Jews and others that they deemed unfit. They ignored or shut their eyes to the horror. I wish I were being dramatic.
What can you do? Help Justina get back to her parents who love her.  Call 800-722-9550 to sign a petition to help the Pelletiers or go to www.justiceforjustina.com. Put yourselves in the Pelletier’s shoes. This is your chance to make a difference.
Unfortunately, this story is becoming more common. Next week this blog with report a similar story happening in Mesa, Arizona, to a friend of my daughter’s. You won’t believe this one either. Buckle up America.

Sy Mao’s Advice for Growing Rice (and Children)

In Child Development, father, Grandparents, motherhood, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, stay-at-home mom, The Family, Values on February 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm

riceRice is the most important crop in the world.  These tips will help you raise your rice properly.

Growing rice is challenging but not impossible.  It takes patience, care, and a tremendous amount of work.

Even though rice adapts to many environments, it needs plenty of sunshine, water, and nutrients to thrive.

Rice comes in many varieties—brown, black, white, and red—including long-grain (slender), medium-grain (short and fat), short-grain (nearly round), sweet, sticky, and more.  All varieties are good.

The secret to growing rice that thrives is to provide a proper environment.  Clean out all noxious elements that may harm young plants.  Use plenty of healthy organic matter.

Make certain your plants have plenty or room to grow.  Stay close to remove sprouting weeds.  Trying to care for too many plants at one time can be difficult and tiring.

While rice does best in certain environments, sometimes you have no control over natural conditions.  Don’t worry.  Rice has an uncanny ability to tolerate both drought and flood.

Sometimes rice is planted in a nursery bed, and then moved later to a garden.  Other times, rice is sprouted right in the garden itself.  Both methods work.  The advantage of direct seeding is that you reduce transplant shock to the young and tender plants.

Above all, never take your rice plant for granted.  Every plant is important.  Care for them properly and they will grow to be mature, tender, and strong.

Good luck.

Sy Mao

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright.

Stable Marriages Make Stable Children

In Child Development, Cohabitation, Courts, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Families, father, Gender, Government, Grandparents, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, The Family, Values on February 12, 2014 at 7:36 am

strong_family_bondsDiane Robertson

This happens to be National Marriage Week. February 7th to 14th each year has become a “collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.” While many argue that their version of marriage cannot possibly affect others’ version of marriage, this is simply not true. We all live in a society and whether it is pleasant or not, we must as a society live with the choices of other people. The choice to marry profoundly affects society as does the choice to divorce or to redefine marriage and family.

In an article titled, “5 Reasons Marriage is Your Future,” Alliance Defending Freedom declares, “Whether you’re married or not – whether you have children or not- the marriages of those around you contribute to the society in which you live. They’re improving the economy and raising upstanding citizens. Since they’re healthier and happier, they’re great coworkers, bosses, and community members. Most importantly, they’re providing a safe, nurturing atmosphere while raising the next generation, and creating a better future for all of us.”

It behooves government to protect the marriages in which children will have the best chance of growing into contributing adults. This assures the best future for society. Decades of social research has shown that children from divorced and single parent homes do not fare as well as children from intact married couples. Yet the government has done little to discourage divorce or raising children in single parent homes. Society as a whole has become apathetic toward family structure. An “all choices are equal” or “whatever is in your heart is right” attitudes prevail regarding family. As a result, 40% of children are born to single mothers and the divorce rate sits around 50%. As marriages between a man and a woman have broken down, many want society to embrace a new form of marriage corruption and family definition—same sex marriage and same sex parenting. Will these help improve marriage and family life? Research suggests no.

A recent Canadian study, on new family structure suggests that homosexual relationships, including married homosexual relationships are not nearly as stable as heterosexual married relationships. One of the arguments used to promote gay marriage is that it will provide a stable home for children growing up with homosexual parents. This study clarifies marriage does not stabilize homosexual households in the same way that it does heterosexual households.  From another study conducted by Mark Regnerus in 2012 we learn that:

“among the respondents who said their mother had a same-sex romantic relationship, 91% reported living with their mother while she was in the relationship, and fewer (57%) said they had lived with both their mother and her partner for at least four months at some point prior to age 18. An even smaller share (23%) said they had spent at least three years living in the same household with their mother’s romantic partner. This is to say that out of 2,988 respondents, only 40 children reported living with two lesbian women for three years or more, which is not a long time. Only 2 out of the 15,000 screened spent a span of 18 years with the same-sex relationship spent a span of 18 years with the same two mothers. Among those who said their father had had a same-sex relationship, 42% reported living with him while he was in the relationship, and only 24% reported living with him and his partner for at least four months. Only 1.1% of children whose father had a same-sex relationship spent at least three years together in the same household with both gay men.”

This strongly suggests that the parents’ same-sex relationships were often short-lived, a finding consistent with broader research on elevated levels of instability among same-sex romantic partners. For example, a recent study of same-sex couples in Great Britain found that gay and lesbian cohabiting couples are more likely to separate than heterosexual cohabitating couples. A 2006 study of same sex marriages in Norway and Sweden found that “divorce risk levels are considerably higher in same-sex marriages.” Such that Swedish lesbian couples are more than three times as likely to divorce as heterosexual couples, and Swedish gay couples are 1.35 times more likely to divorce. Out-spoken same sex marriage advocates and sociologists, Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey, acknowledge that “preliminary data hint that [lesbian] relationships may prove less durable.”

Although it would be helpful to compare the children of intact married heterosexual couples to the children of committed and intact gay or lesbian couples, this has been attempted, but is not feasible. There are not enough homosexual couples raising children that have stayed together long enough to make a serious comparison. The Canadian study, which draws from a large representative sample of the population, and despite using screening tactics designed to boost the number of respondents who reported having had a parent in a same-sex relationship, a very small segment reported to have been parented by the same two gay or lesbian parents for three years or more. This is an insufficient number to make reliable comparisons between the two groups. 

Although there is much speculation today that there are large numbers of same-sex couples in the U.S. who are providing a stable, long-term parenting relationship for their children, no one has been able to come up with a sample size large enough to provide any serious data on the matter. The above-cited studies of different nations suggest that on average, same-sex couple relationships are more short-lived than those of opposite-sex couples. We must conclude that homosexual relationships are unstable.

The instability in family life alone from same sex households should be enough to conclude that children do better with a married mother and father. Governmental recognition of same sex couples will not benefit society any more than governmental recognition of heterosexual co-habitating couples has benefitted society. If we want to assure the brightest future for our children and grandchildren, we must recognize that all relationships are not created equal. Children need both their mother and their father and they need them to be happily married. So during this week of celebrating marriage and love do what it takes to forgive, love, serve, and strengthen your marriage. And then support laws and policies that promote the best life for children—marriage between a man and a woman.

 

 

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