UFI

“Oppressive” Words: What You can’t say

In Free Speech on September 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm

can't say thatBy Diane Robertson

It’s apparent that an education received at a liberal university is more a matter of indoctrination in social justice rather than an effort to help young people grow into learned adults. Sometimes this indoctrination seems so far from reality that I think the students couldn’t possibly be duped. Yet, more bizarre teachings in the name of social justice continue to grow and merge into the rest of society.

Several Professors at Washington State University have included in their syllabuses a ban on using “oppressive” words. The syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ “Women & Popular Culture” class states that if students mention or write words such as: the man, illegals, illegal aliens, colored people, tranny and most bizarre, the words male and female, they could fail an assignment, the course, or be removed from the classroom.

Ironically, in another class, Professor Michael Johnson Jr.’s syllabus says, “Reflect your grasp of history and social relations by respecting shy and quiet classmates, and by deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

I am not sure when male and female became so offensive that a women’s studies professor would feel it necessary to flunk a student from speaking and writing the very words that distinguish between the genders. Wouldn’t women’s studies then be oppressive?

Fortunately there’s some sane people that have made some excellent satirical pieces that can help us think about the consequences of this liberal doctrine while making us laugh at the same time.

For a really funny video go here. For an interesting short story go here.

Wading Through the Mud Towards Happily Ever After

In Marriage on September 1, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Spartan RaceBy Tamara Jones

It will be fun!

Marriages and wedding anniversaries are a time of celebration. They are fun and exciting! My 18th wedding anniversary was spent in a way that I had never envisioned as I participated in a Spartan race with my husband. This had been a goal of ours for a year, and the date of the race just happened to fall on our anniversary. Even though we had been planning for this race I was still not as physically prepared as I had hoped I would be. Many of the obstacles were very intimidating, but my husband’s enthusiasm was contagious. I clung to his encouraging words of, “Come on! It will be fun!”

As the race started and I found myself wading through mud up to my waist, I soon realized that I was not having fun. The obstacles we encountered were difficult; they tested my physical strength and sapped all my energy. What seemed easy for my husband was overwhelming for me. However, with each of the obstacles I watched as my husband completed his task and then came back to help me with mine.

By the time we came to the second ten-foot wall we had to get over, I knew I could do it. Not because I had found some hidden strength I didn’t know I had, but because I knew my husband was right there waiting and willing to help me get over the wall. After twenty-five obstacles, five miles, three hours, two minutes, and forty-five seconds, we crossed the finish line together and received our matching medals. By staying with me through it all, my husband taught me an important lesson: He could have completed the race with a much quicker time if he had gone off on his own, but he did not leave me behind. We had made a goal to complete this race together, and so he stuck by my side, helping me complete the tasks that I did not have the ability to complete on my own.

Reaching for the finish line

For all of us, marriage is often like this race, full of mud pits and ten-foot walls. There are times when we may find ourselves doubling back and rescuing our spouse from obstacles they can’t overcome and then there are times when we are the ones being rescued. It is this commitment to a marriage that is the formula for success.

Unfortunately, many choose to walk away from marriage when things get hard instead of wading through the mud and eventually reaching the finish line. Having grown up watching Snow White, Cinderella, and other fairytale movies, I dreamt often of my wedding—complete with my own happily ever after. What I didn’t realize until I got married, was that happily ever after doesn’t just happen on its own.

Many of us enter into marriage thinking we are at the end of all our troubles. There seems to be a misconception that, once we are married, life is guaranteed to be easy. It is this misconception of happiness in marriage that is threatening our society today. But, while life is hard and marriage is hard, it is still possible to have a happy marriage.

Why stay together?

Spartan Race medalWe cannot avoid the obstacles of life, and sometimes when we try to go around them instead of facing them, we find ourselves up to our knees in mud. Life will always be full of bumps, mud pits, and obstacles, but knowing we can rely on our spouse can strengthen not only our marital relationship but the family unit as well.

When two people continue to work at their marriage, they are teaching their children the importance of their family and the importance of sticking to the commitments they make. After all, some of the best things in life are the things we work hard for. When a goal is made to remain committed, there is something to work towards together. Studies have shown that marriages with higher levels of commitment have more satisfaction. It is the committing to one another and working towards united goals that help us look past our own selfish desires and make the sacrifices necessary to put the needs of our spouse first.

Marriage = happier people

With the trend in our society focusing more on deserving to be happy rather than working towards a happy marriage relationship, it is easy to lose sight of what is important. Continually working to improve a marriage relationship is not only important but it also makes us happier. The results from a recent study show that people are in fact happier married than not married. Previous studies have been inconclusive since it was thought that married people were happier because happier people were the type of people who married. This study instead looks at happy single people and then the increase of their happiness after being married. This study also looks at the importance of friendship in marriage and determined that the happiest marriages are those where the spouse is also the best friend.

When people are encouraged to find happiness in marriage there is potential for more success. It is this success that then influences families and children. Children that grow up seeing a happy healthy relationship between their parents have a standard to work towards. They can see that friendship and love can go together and that it is the happiness of married couples that creates a happy home for their development.

 Committed to marriage

Even though more and more marriages are crumbling, we can be strong and know that marriage is worth it. Each obstacle we overcome with our spouse gets us closer to the goal of reaching the finish line together. With our spouse we gain new strength from each obstacle, and that strength prepares us for more obstacles. We can stand united, proudly wearing our medals, knowing that we gave it our all and we continue to give it our all. Tamara JonesWe remain committed to marriage, and it is this commitment that makes all the difference.

Tamara Jones is a wife and mother of six children. She is currently a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho majoring in Marriage and Family Studies. She plans to graduate with her Bachelors in April 2016, and wouldn’t be able to do it without the support and encouragement of her husband. 

Returning to the Classics

In Child Development, Choice, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Media, Parenting, Values on August 31, 2015 at 11:07 am

Classic novelsby Erin Weist

I subscribe to several newsletters in various forms of social media that cover the topics of popular and newly-published books around the world. I love good literature. It can be ennobling and uplifting and encouraging in its scope to improve oneself and thereby improve the world. For several years I have felt discouraged that the books racing to the top of bestseller charts are disappointing and poorly written at best and morally degrading at worst. Literature is part of what defines a culture, wherever it is in the world, and popular culture has become degrading and ignoble. Young adult literature can be a great option for youth to get a taste of the power of the written word, but it is also becoming the only thing adults in many circles read as well. And unfortunately it is not as inspiring as classic literature can be, either in theme or in language.

Consider the classic English novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, which tells of a girl who is raised in difficult circumstances and yet is determined to keep her virtue and her faith in God as paramount to everything else in her life. Or Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, in part a sobering reminder of the devastation that follows adultery. Even The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is an adventure that simultaneously entertains with a protagonist whose choices are based on moral principle and also educates the reader about tensions between Britain & France during the French Revolution.

Many popular books I see coming through my newsfeed are similarly character-based but, rather than instill virtue, are designed to push boundaries, alienate morals, defy social construct of family & gender and paint them in a sympathetic light, as if their dangerous choices will bring personal fulfillment and peace. It is a lie.

Classic literature is classic for a reason. These books were based off the prototypical story-driven ideals that bad guys lose (or destroy their own and others’ happiness) and good guys win (or find lasting contentment and peace). These are true, time-tested principles. But literature of any day can also create its own morals to decide what will bring happiness. Can we decipher the truth from the lies? Can our children? Art has great power to mold a society. Most of it today is in visual and graphic form. It is also based on selfish personal constructs rather than true, historically-proven principles. Please encourage good literature in the youth within your circle of influence!

I will end with my example of the heroine Jane Eyre. She is raised in a socially protected circle, meaning she has no knowledge of the world or people beyond her own horizon, and is simultaneously denied any love or kindness. Yet as she grows and encounters goodness in the world she chooses to embrace the light it brings and forgive any past wrongs. She triumphs as a pillar of strength and fortitude, of trust in God and a desire to follow Him, regardless of personal temptations. This is the heroine that should be touted and praised in our bestseller lists over those who submit to degradations and false social constructs designed to enslave. Good literature is a teacher. Let us seek after “things [that] are honest…just…pure…lovely…of good report” (Philip 4:8) and bring the classics back in the light where they belong.

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