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Archive for the ‘Birth Rate’ Category

Boy or Girl? Don’t decide. Part 2

In Abortion, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Families, Family Planning, father, Freedom, Gender, Human Rights, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, Sex Selection Abortion, The Family, Values on November 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

abortion boy or girlby Jessica Westfall

Editor’s notes:  See Part 1 of this  series here

The book, Unnatural Selection by Mara Hvistendahl, outlines the history of population control, abortion, and sex selection from a pro-abortion standpoint. Using this information, I will outline 3 issues regarding this movement: recurring ideas, unrestrained parental control, and the power of unique life. These issues will be separated into three different blog posts, this is part two.

Abortion and infanticide, as discussed in Part 1, are not motivated by new, original ideas, but old ones, the technology is what’s different. I don’t want to paint a bad picture of parents, or take away their choices. Parental rights are still vitally important.  In all but the most extreme cases, parents love and understand their children better than anyone else. No one will put the same amount of energy, care, and interest into a child as the parents will. The right for parents to raise their child in healthy, reasonable ways should not be tampered with. It’s also the right of the child to be raised by people who have his or her best interests in mind.

I am addressing the increasing amount of parents that don’t take this responsibility seriously. Choosing what pregnancies to keep and which to stop does not balance parent and children rights or responsibilities. As my mother likes to say, “Your rights end where the other person’s nose begins.” Abortion, especially sex selection, isn’t about the parents’ rights, it’s about the parent’s choices infringing on the rights of the child. The right to life is ignored or swept away in leu of the desires of the people that are predisposed to be most interested in the child’s well-being.

What about the children who grow into adults? Do the millions of bachelors across the world appreciate the lack of wives? Hardly. Does every girl like being born into a family that chose her just to dress her in pink? (It’s in the book, seriously, this is a real reason why people choose to have girls!) Of course not! Do girls like to be sold to the highest bidder, moved to foreign lands, stolen, forced into prostitution, or married as a child? I highly doubt it. These are all consequences of parents tampering with the natural order of things.

I love marriage and families. I love children, the boys and the girls. Yet I still suffered from a small bias when I found out I was pregnant. I was the oldest of 6 growing up and envied those with older brothers. I wanted an older brother. I wanted my children to have an older brother. When the doctor pronounced that I was the mother of a little girl, I didn’t believe him at first. I had convinced myself I would have a boy first. It took a moment or two to assimilate this new knowledge. As soon as it sunk in, I changed my expectations. I was ecstatic, I had a healthy baby girl. There has not been a day since (she’s 5 now) that I have wished I would have made the decision to end that pregnancy and have a boy first. Big sisters aren’t so bad, in fact they are pretty awesome.

My misunderstanding didn’t change that fact, I just hadn’t discovered it yet. I am so grateful I chose to give my daughter what I have, life. I’ve survived without a big brother and she will too, it doesn’t escape my notice there is one thing I wouldn’t have survived, and neither would she. She is her own unique person, and while I do not always succeed, my goal is to raise her into her own version of a healthy adult. If that were the dream of every parent, I think this world wouldn’t be too bad of a place. For now, the homes that I’ve observe that strive for this goal… well, those are the happiest places with the awesomest kids.

I love all the uniqueness that is humanity. Boys and girls, men and women, all are important. All have good to give. But first life must happen. The right to try to make a life for oneself, that is a right that I can easily say belongs to everyone in the human race. I can’t promise that the consequences of actions or the trials of life will always be desirable, but there is no hope if there is no life.

In some places of the world boys are preferred because the parents want heirs. In others, girls are preferred because parents want an easier child. These and many other reasons propel parents to choose one gender over another. Instead of embracing each child as he or she comes, for the unique individual he/she is, it’s about parents trying to create perfect lives, notice this part especially, for themselves. These parents don’t want to change to accommodate a rowdy boy or a daughter’s dowry. They don’t want to take the harder, yet usually better, route.

Sometimes a certain child doesn’t fit into the parent’s plans.  We live in a random, unpredictable world. Yet, as I learned 5 ½ years ago, plans are easier to change. Unfortunately, abortion and IVF have become just about that easy.

Boy or Girl? Don’t decide. Part 1

In Abortion, Birth Rate, Child Abuse, Child Development, Choice, Demographic Decline, Families, Family Planning, Gender, Health Care, motherhood, Parental Rights, Population Control, Sanctity of Life, Sex Selection Abortion, Technology, Values on November 11, 2015 at 7:29 am

sex selective abortionby Jessica Westfall

The book, Unnatural Selection by Mara Hvistendahl, outlines the history of population control, abortion, and sex selection from a pro-abortion standpoint. Using this information, I will outline 3 issues regarding this movement: recurring ideas, unrestrained parental control, and the power of unique life. These issues will be separated into three different blog posts, this is part one.

Gender is devastatingly skewed in many areas of the world. At least 160 million women are missing because of sex selective abortion, that is the population of women in the United States. Many developing countries (i.e. China, India) have been choosing to abort their girls. This shortage of girls has led to prostitution, kidnapping, and child brides. This is a serious concern.

While many believe the gender imbalance is based on negative traditions and sexism, the same thing is happening in the United States. While less developed countries want boys, the US wants girls. Abortion is a cheap and prevalent option in developing regions while in the US sex selection happens at conception through IVF, in vitro fertilization. In both cases the issue is not religion or lack thereof, developed or developing, new traditions or old. It boils down to parental choice, with no regard to the child’s rights. While choice and reasonable control are not bad things, once it infringes on the rights of another, and in this case the unborn child, it becomes disastrous.

While the author does not want to admit there is a link between abortion and increasingly poor and overreaching choices, I will. The whole concept of abortion is for parents to create the world they want instead of planning or dealing with the consequences of their actions, or life in general, which as we all know, is difficult sometimes. Humanity cannot be determined by another human’s decision to want that life, an embryo or fetus will either grow into a human, or it won’t. Humans definitely come from human embryos and fetuses, making every human embryo/fetus human – a person – uniquely important.

This brings us to my first point. Rationalizing the rights of children for the choices of adults is not new. This misuse of power is an old tradition, an old idea. I was aware that children, throughout history, have often gotten the short end of the stick. Adults are bigger and more experienced, kids are largely at their mercy. This is a big responsibility, one that I, as a budding adult don’t take lightly. However, I had thought that the new technology and popular arguments against the life of a fetus were new and original. Not so.

As this book outlined the history of population control and abortion I was interested to learn that, until the Middle Ages, some European cultures believed life did not begin until days, in some cases months, after birth. Many, many babies were killed with this belief in mind. I was shocked by how similar these beliefs were to some of the ideas that are believed today. Certainly both ideas, at the center, are rationalizations for adults to use their strength and intellect for the detriment of those weaker and more vulnerable.

Infanticide in this case would be considered wrong by almost everyone today, and yet new technology has given new life to this old, terrible custom. This old, terrible rationalization. Ultrasound was not around in the Middle Ages.  Had it been available  it is clear to me that abortion would have been used. Instead, conveniently, life didn’t begin for a few days after birth, long enough to determine the gender of the child or, perhaps, any disabilities. Those babies have all been lost and it is a tragedy.

Some argue that abortion may (in some cases) be more “humane” in that it is considered a medical procedure. It is mostly done in sterile rooms, (usually) before the child has ever taken a breath. And yet, in the Middle Ages or now, the outcome is the same. In most cases, if left alone, that child would have grown into an adult. Does it really matter if the child has grown 2 weeks inside the mother, or two weeks outside? Terminating at any stage of development, this not so new idea, ends a human life. The casualties include at least 160 million baby girls.

Are Children “Scary”?

In Abortion, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Families, Marriage, Research, Sanctity of Life, UN, Values on October 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

childrenWith World Congress of families in full swing this week, this is a subject that was researched two years ago.  Things have not changed…unfortunately.

Attempting to scare people is part and parcel of the Halloween season, but the “zero-population growth” folks have really kicked it into gear the last few weeks.   “Scary stories” abound, especially since the new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released in late September.  The report claims that scientists are 95% certain that human beings are causing global warming.  (You can read rebuttals to that position here.)  But this is nothing new. There is a long history of academics and individuals who believe that too many human beings are responsible for not only global warming, but for irreversible environmental destruction, war, starvation, and poverty. In short, humans are a cancer that must be slowed and eventually eradicated.  

In spite of a long list of discredited doomsayers, anti-people propaganda continues to have traction.  Consider these news stories:

  • Eric Holthaus, former weatherman for the Wall Street Journal, announced that he was planning a vasectomy and tweeted to his followers:  “No children, happy to go extinct…”
  • Speaking of which, did you miss World Vasectomy Day?  It was Oct 18.  The website’s video states:  “It all comes down to human beings…  For too long, people have stopped talking about the population of the planet!”  Then the video asks what you, personally, are willing to do to save Mother Earth. (Hint:  it starts with a “V”)
  • Bestselling author, Alan Weisman, released his new book “Countdown” (sequel to “The World Without Us”) with the basic message of “if humans want to survive, we must eliminate population.”
  • In a recent interview with San Diego Charger’s quarterback Phillip Rivers, ESPN not so subtly chastised him for his large family.  (Go here and here.)

Population ControlOK, I’m continually hearing this stuff.  Is overpopulation a problem or not?

Global fertility rates are half of what they were in 1970 and are continuing downward.  The number of children the average woman has during her childbearing years fell from five in the mid-1960′s to 2.5 today.   With the exception of some sub-Saharan nations such as Niger, Yemen and Uganda, fertility rates have fallen rather dramatically around the world.  (UN, World Population Report, 2012)  By 2020, for the first time, the global fertility rate will dip below the global replacement rate of 2.1.

Currently 80 countries, representing close to 50 percent of the world’s population, have below-replacement fertility rates.  No industrialized nation still produces enough children to sustain its population over time or to prevent rapid population aging.  This is counterintuitive, however, because even in areas where birthrates are dramatically below replacement level, the absolute  number of people is often still growing–giving the appearance of rampant population growth.

If fertility rates have fallen, why have world population numbers continued to rise?

It’s because of a process called “population momentum.“   There are enough women, already born, who will probably bear children that the world’s population will continue upward for a period of time.  But what the population control advocates don’t address is what happens when the population momentum stops and population growth rates become negative and eventually go into a steep free fall.

Demographic Winter 2Population free fall is happening in some countries right now.   When a country reaches a total fertility rate of 1.4, that country will lose one-third of its population every generation.  There are over 35 countries that are in that predicament right now.  Our colleagues at Population Research Institute (PRI) have put together a short, clever cartoon video that explains such things as population momentum.  See it here.

Does a country’s ability to rise out of poverty depend upon reducing family size?

Try though they might, the international agencies that support population control have not been able to support their assumption that reducing family size boosts development or provides a sure rise out of poverty.

You’ll note that even in this AP article Lester Brown, a well-known environmental activist, states: “Extreme poverty and large families tend to reinforce each other.” [emphasis added] He offers this equivocating statement because there is no empirical support for the position that reducing fertility pulls a country and its people out of poverty.

It is said that modernization and development are “the best contraceptive.”  As modern technologies and economic development have gained traction in developing countries, birth rates have fallen – with or without inducements to reduce family size.  The statement “you won’t pull yourself out of poverty until you curtail your children” is simply unsupportable.   Here’s an interesting chart; take a look and you decide:  Statistics on Population and Prosperity:  Is There an Effect?  

Secondly, you’ll want to see another of PRI’s cartoons.  It gives you “A New Way to Look at Population and Poverty.”

Hunger in Africa Why are there people in the world that are still hungry?                                                     

“There is enough food in the world today for everyone to have the nourishment necessary  for a healthy and productive life.” – World Food Program.   

“The world currently produces enough food for everybody, but many people do not have access to it.”  -Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN.

The distribution and access to food is hampered by many things other than poverty, such as natural disasters, ineffective farming techniques and over-exploitation of land, poor infrastructure for delivery, and war.  One of the biggest reasons people go hungry is because of ineffective and/or corrupt government.  There is no reason to believe that reducing the number of children is going to have a major impact on the factors that are the primary drivers of world hunger.  To see a list of statistics regarding population and food production, go here.  You’ll also see another short, yet great PRI video:  “Food:  There’s lots of it.”

Conclusion

The problems in some countries are serious and deserve our full attention.  The millions upon millions of dollars spent on population control programs, however, are better spent on such things as providing clean water, sanitation, modern medical care, education, infrastructure, and economic development. Such programs distract from real aid.  For example last year, USAID requested $1,350 million for maternal and infant health, family planning and reproductive health while requesting only $670 million for malaria and $95 million for nutrition.

This is the message that United Families International will continue to deliver:

  • We welcome each and every child into the world. Each is a life of significant value.
  • Human ingenuity will enable mankind to meet the challenges ahead.
  • Ethical behavior requires wise stewardship over the earth and its resources, but lowering the value of human life is not the answer to environmental challenges.
  • Eliminating humans is not the way to eliminate poverty.  “Family Planning” and “reproductive health services” are not the answer to the world’s problems.
  • Parents have the right to choose their family size – large or small – and should be allowed to rear them according to their own values.

The Real Vision of Planned Parenthood

In Abortion, Birth Rate, Choice, Courts, Diane Robertson, Freedom, Government, Planned Parenthood, Population Control, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Supreme Court, Values on August 5, 2015 at 7:01 am

by Diane Robertson

vidoes of Planned ParenthoodThe videos revealing the practice of Planned Parenthood selling parts of aborted babies has brought the debate back to the forefront. My social media accounts have been full of people condemning and defending Planned Parenthood and abortion. I have two separate thoughts on the matter. Margaret Sanger

First, Planned Parenthood does not, never has, and was never intended to help women. They provide birth control and abortion because the founder, Margaret Sanger, was a 1920’s eugenicist who worried about the “deterioration in the human stock” and “the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents, and dependents.” She set up Planned Parenthood to purify the human race. Sanger was also a first class racist. Through Planned Parenthood Sanger hoped to reduce the number of African Americans with the use of contraception.

She wrote: “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Though dead for many years, Sanger’s vision has been realized. Planned Parenthood is responsible for a disproportionate number of abortions in the minority populations. Planned Parenthood purposely sets up their businesses in poor neighborhoods. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in 2012, reported that among African American’s more children were aborted that born—31,328 aborted to 24,758 born. Sanger’s vision has also been realized in the elimination of many of the disabled. Approximately 75% of women who know they are carrying a Down’s syndrome baby abort. pregnant mother 3

Second, I think Planned Parenthood should be shut down. I wish the government would stop funding the abortion giant, but I understand that the people have created the need for Planned Parenthood, not the government. There would be no debate if women were not choosing abortion. The government funds abortion because women want it. Women want to terminate the life of their children.

Abortion could be stopped tomorrow, Planned Parenthood could be shut down permanently if mothers chose to protect their children rather than destroy their lives. It’s sad. It’s heart rending. It’s horrifying. It has killed more than 58,000,000 babies since Roe v. Wade. It’s called abortion. And it exists not because of Planned Parenthood, but because mother’s hearts have grown cold and they have rejected their own flesh and blood.

Marriage: The Anti-Poverty Weapon

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on July 28, 2015 at 9:07 am

wedding ringsby Carol Soelberg

It was all over the news last week: “U.S. poverty heads toward highest level in 50 years.” Other countries around the world, notably Greece and Spain, continue to struggle with insolvency and surging rates of poverty. Economists and other experts point to all sorts of reasons: unemployment, the global recession, strains on government safety nets, globalization, outsourcing, automation…. But I have yet to read anything this week that points to the greatest contributing factor to poverty – the breakdown of marriage and family.

Forgotten in the conversation is the fact that marriage is the strongest anti-poverty weapon that we have! In fact, several years ago the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution pointed out that “the proliferation of single-parent households accounts for virtually all of the increase in child poverty since the early 1970s.” (1)

In 2003, noting the dramatic difference in poverty rates between married-couple families and single mother families, Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation wondered what would happen if the parents of 3.93 million children living in poverty had married. So using the marriage rates from 1960, he theoretically “married” those parents. The result: instead of 3.93 million children living in poverty, we would have 0.75 million children living in poverty. You can see the details of his analysis here.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau: A child living with two married parents is more than three times less likely to be living in poverty than a child living with either a single or cohabiting mother, or with both unmarried biological parents. (2)
 

Non-marital childbearing and cohabitation at the center of the problem

Single parent homes are rapidly becoming the norm. As the ranks of the unwed mothers climb (41 percent of all births in the U.S. and over 70 percent in the African-American community), no one seems to dare mention the critical importance of marriage. Even though much is said about the poverty of unwed mothers and their children, there is an extreme reluctance to mention pre-marital sex, non-marital childbearing and cohabitation as a focal point of the problem.

Few want to discuss how, on average, those who live together without the benefit of marriage will see a 58 percent reduction in their lifetime wealth relative to those who are married.(3) [75 percent reduction in wealth for those who never long-term partner or marry at all.] Or, that the poverty rate for children living in cohabiting households is about five times the poverty rate of married couple households [31 percent vs. 6 percent]. (4)

Few are willing to talk about the effects of divorce and its affect on wages and the economic stability of individuals, particularly women and children, nor its impact on family wealth overall.

This much we know and must talk about: 

No other social institution has ever provided or will ever provide the same level of benefits as marriage between a man and a woman. Objective studies have consistently shown that man-woman marriage is, among other things, the optimal and most effective means of (1) bearing children; (2) raising children and providing for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare; (3) transforming males into husbands/fathers and females into wives/mothers; (4) bridging the male-female divide; and (5) channeling healthy sexual activity and discouraging unhealthy sexual activity. (5)

It must be stated repeatedly: strong marriages and families are an essential part of strong and healthy economies. 

You and your family are part of the solution

A wise man has said: “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” By the same token, we directly and severely limit our success as individuals and as nations when we neglect the home and don’t see its success as a key to our prosperity!

The loss of human capital that occurs from family breakdown stunts economies in so many ways, but most tragic is the human misery we inflict upon ourselves and upon our children.

Here’s what you can do: 

1. Prepare for marriage or work at making your own marriage successful.
2. Have children and put their growth into happy, productive citizens at the center of your busy lives.
3. Recognize that no marriage or family is perfect, but strive to create and model a healthy and successful family.
4. Get educated and speak up. Family capital is a very real thing. Share the message of not only the social and religious importance of marriage and family, but make people aware of the fiscal impact of strong families.
5. If you are just promoting conservative fiscal public policy and not emphasizing the importance of the social issues, then you are missing an important part of the solution.
6. At every opportunity, advocate for traditional marriage and mother-father families. As always we at United Families International welcome and need your support as we strive to do the same.

Is Redefining Marriage Removing Children from Society?

In adoption, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Families, father, Gay rights, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Population Control, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on June 25, 2015 at 10:29 am

society without childrenBy Trishia Van Orden

A young mother walks into a room and where her two children are watching television. As the mother sits down on her couch she pulls out a book. After a few minutes, her children notice their mother reading. Immediately they turn off the movie they are watching and sit on the floor in front of her. Her children listen as she slowly reads from the book in her hand. Many years later, her daughter sits in a room with her new baby and reads from the very same book that her mother read to her every night after work. If one was to ask her why she did this, she would reply, “Whenever my mother read to me, I could feel her love for me. I want my child to feel my love for her as well.”

Children look up to their parents for love, support, and comfort. They incorporate their parent’s actions and words into their own behavior. Children who come from healthy family relationships have a desire to be like their parents. What would happen to a child, if when they looked up, there was no one there? What would happen if their parents were too interested in their own lives to care about the lives of their children?

Society has seen a huge change in the way that parents view and treat their children throughout time. Before the 18th century, some parents would abandon their children if those children were not assets to their lives. Parents were often more concerned with their own needs and survival than they were for their children. As time passed parenting started to change. People moved from being parent-centered to child-centered and then eventually to family-centered.

In today’s society many adults have started to move back towards parent-centered parenting and away from their children’s best interests. Many parents use their children as props for legalizing the redefinition of marriage. Kathy Faust recently went to the Supreme Court of the United States of America and shared her experience and feelings about growing up in a homosexual family. In her statement Faust said:

“Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.”

Family and marriage are a very hot topic in the United States today. If one was to ask a friend for the definition of marriage, they might hear something to the extent of “marriage is a committed relationship based off of love in which people are joined together by law.” Many believe that marriage is a way for the couple to be joined together and gain legal benefits. There is however another purpose for marriage. According to Jack Straw “Marriage is about a union for the procreation of children.”

When we remove children from marriage, we are moving toward removing children from society.

As the United States moves away from traditional marriage and towards what some refer to as “contemporary” marriage, families start to collapse. Many children are left behind simply because of the over emphasis on the sexual and emotional wants of their parents. Some couples even refuse to have children because in their eyes children are an inconvenience. Others, who have children, place their children in someone else’s care so the parents can devote more time to their careers or to personal time to fulfill their own desires. Then there are those parents who use their children as props for political statement to influence government policies and laws, such as homosexual marriage.

As couples move away from children and towards their own needs, the future generation of all societies withers away. The rising generation is becoming more aggressive and self-centered. Psychologist Oliver James notes that this is because people are placing their children in daycares instead of raising them themselves. These children are placed second to the needs of their parents. Other children who are used and abused face emotional trials that leave them scared and broken. These children tend to have a harder time acquiring the needed skills and character traits that will enable them to be an effective member of society.

Children need to be part of marriage. When a couple marries, they create not only a union, but a family. When a nation redefines marriage to be between any persons, they are ignoring the needs of children. According to a study done by Mark Regnerus, children who are raised in homosexual families face “a variety of forces uniquely problematic for child development” that children of heterosexual couples do not face. When marriage is redefined to include homosexual relationships children are put on the back burner. Dawn Stefanowicz wrote in her statement to the Supreme Court that “special-interest groups [who] support political and legal objectives toward same-sex marriage, [are] ignoring the horrendous inequality, permanent losses and prejudice to children in the name of adult sexual rights.”

It is not hard to see how parents are moving from a family-centered to a parent-centered relationship with their children. When children become the means to an end and not the purpose and outcome of family and marriage, society suffers. Children look up to their parents for an example, and if parents are forgetting their children, that cycle will be repeated. John W. Whitehead once said, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”

If this society is to last for another 200 years, parents need to move back towards family-centered parenting. Children need to be part of the family and not be seen as a means to an end or a nuisance. We begin by placing children’s needs before our own – in every circumstance – not only in our homes, but in our laws and policies. We begin this most important action by placing children back into marriage.

 

 

Who is Affected in the Fight?

In adoption, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Courts, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Gay rights, Gender, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parenting, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, Values on June 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

baby nappingby Emily Black

When people hear that I am an advocate for traditional marriage, the first question that bursts forth is always, “Well, do you actually know anyone who is gay?” as if my not knowing anyone would be reason to condemn my stance on same-sex marriage. As it turns out, my brother who I am very close to, came out to me a week before my wedding. He had invited me out for ice cream and as our conversation progressed he admitted he had been in a homosexual relationship with a man whom he now lived with and planned to marry once same-sex marriage became legalized in Utah. This experience happened in late July of 2014 and same-sex marriage was legalized in Utah later in October of the same year. My brother has since been united with his partner and they have dreams of one day adding children to their union.

You may now be wondering if my stance has changed regarding same-sex marriage since this incident. The answer is no, and I will tell you why.

Equality

It seems as though we have heard about the issues of feminism, equality, and same-sex marriage much more in this decade than ever before. Of course issues of equality have been around for several decades and the most prevalent arguments seem to be traced back to the civil rights movement, which turned into the women’s movement, and we now seem to have entered a fight for equality in all walks of life, especially when it comes to marriage. What is the fight specifically about now? Homosexual couples are seeking for the same marriage rights that heterosexual couples have enjoyed under the law for centuries.

According to Ryan T. Anderson,

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children.

Who Takes the Hit?

The question is then asked, why can’t homosexual couples raise children as effectively as heterosexual couples? Until recently, the argument has been that there is no difference between children raised in homosexual homes versus heterosexual homes. This argument has been labeled the “no differences” theory. However, new research has come out debunking previous research on the grounds that former studies in support of the “no differences” theory neglected to follow the methods of experimental design. The most popular study questioning the “no differences” theory was conducted by Mark Regnerus. A follow up article titled, The Research on Same-Sex Parenting: “No Differences” No More expounded on the blatant mistakes which had been committed in the research done in support of the “no differences” theory. The article states,

First, the participants were aware that the purpose was to investigate same-sex parenting and may have biased their responses in order to produce the desired result.

Second, participants were recruited through networks of friends or through advocacy organizations, resulting in a sample of same-sex parents of higher socioeconomic status than is typical of parents in a same-sex relationship generally.

Third, on average, samples of fewer than 40 children of parents in a same-sex relationship virtually guaranteed findings of no statistically significant differences between groups.

Mark Regnerus pointed out that these problems existed and another man by the name of Dr. Donald Paul Sullins carried out a new series of studies. His studies discovered,

…the prevalence of emotional problems among children living with same-sex parents to be 4.5 times as high as among children living with their married biological parents, three times as high as children living with a married stepparent, 2.5 times as high as those with cohabiting parents, and three times as high as children with a single parent.

From these studies, one could gather that children raised in homosexual homes are in fact affected by the sexual orientation of their parents. Is this really a problem though? Are there really enough homosexual couples to make a difference in society? According to the United States Census Bureau’s count in 2013, there were approximately,

  • 55,607,113 married opposite-sex couples
  • 6,571,259 unmarried opposite-sex couples and,
  • 726,600 same-sex couples

 

Defend Our Future

The numbers of same-sex couples has grown since the Census Bureau’s report in 2011. As these numbers continue to grow we will also see the fight for the legalization of same-sex marriage continuing to be prevalent in our society today.

If same-sex marriage is legalized we will see the effects in the future children of America as well as children all over the world who are being affected by same-sex marriage. Children come into this world as innocent human beings who deserve the best care, and as science has proven, that care lies within the walls of a home with a loving father and mother tied together in the bonds of matrimony. Stand for our future and defend traditional marriage.

 

Emily BlackMy name is Emily Black and I am a Marriage and Family Studies major at BYU-Idaho.  My career goal is to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  My life goal is to become a mother.  I have been married to my wonderful husband for nine months and I am an advocate for traditional marriage.

Is It the Economy Again?

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Cohabitation, Divorce, Families, father, Marriage, The Family, Values on March 20, 2015 at 7:16 am

empty ring boxGary Boyd

Seth Freed Wessler, writing for nbcnews.com, charges the economy with the low percentages of married young people and the rapidly diminishing institution of the American middle-class family. As industrial and professional jobs for men that paid a living wage 50 years ago have dried up, Wessler asserts that those of traditionally marriageable age no longer give marriage a high priority, since marriage no longer secures financial stability.

In his article, Mr. Wessler uses the real-life and current example of a young couple with a child who have not married, in order to show that the economic pressures brought to bear on them have caused them to make other choices than marriage and the traditional family.   He quotes the couple and recounts their experience.

Michael Bridges and Laura McCann had a longstanding relationship. McCann came up pregnant, and delivered their baby a few months after McCann finished college. Today, they are still not married. In fact, they separated two years after the baby was born.

Statistics cited by Mr. Wessler are undoubtedly true. Marriage rates are down, when compared to 1960. Births of children to unwed parents are up. Most young couples are choosing to bypass marriage and jump directly into having kids, or avoiding both marriage and procreation. The question, however, is whether the economy can be blamed, or must we look to the erosion of morals and values.

While couples having babies today are often not staying together, would it still not behoove them to do so economically? The Earned Income Credit is not enough on which to live for a year, and even though the mother may no longer stay home full-time, are two incomes still not more than one? Does it not cost less to house two adults in one apartment than in two apartments?

The answer, regrettably, is an erosion of our values. After the baby was born, and the responsibility to its care established, McCann was quoted as saying: “We weren’t going to stay together just because we were together, if it wasn’t the right thing”.

Again, the article does not give the causes of the couple’s choice to separate. The undertones suggest possible disenchantment with each other or a desire to move in different directions. However, in the absence of abuse or infidelity, how could staying together not be the right thing? The question is one of perspective and priority.

Until the real issues are addressed, society will continue its march towards the increased barbarism and unravelling of civilization that loom inevitably before us, and away from chewed-up-and-spit-out traditional family in the trail behind us.

10 Reasons Why We Have a Culture of Death

In Abortion, Bioethics, Birth Rate, Child Abuse, Courts, Demographic Decline, Diane Robertson, Down Syndrome, Elder Care, Eugenics, Euthanasia, Families, Gender, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Parental Rights, Physician Assisted Suicide, Sanctity of Life, Sex Selection Abortion, Supreme Court, Values on March 18, 2015 at 7:36 am

Right to lifeDiane Robertson

Sometimes I think our world has turned upside down. We neither respect life nor the means by which life is created. In some instances, we have changed the words murder and killing to softer words like abortion, euthanasia, mercy killing, and death with dignity.

Since people started considering the lives of some as an inconvenience or a mistake− unborn babies− it has been easier to convince many that the lives of others are just not worth living— the terminally ill, the disabled, the elderly, and the mentally ill, or the wrong gender.

This mentality that some lives are not worth living has really begun to have serious consequences in society.

  1. Abortion, obviously. Since the 1960’s there have been over 3 billion abortions worldwide. That is over 1/7th of the total world population never even given a chance at life.
  2. Euthanasia or assisted suicide to prematurely end the life of an adult with a terminal illness.
  3. Allowing euthanasia for the mentally ill. Even if a person isn’t dying already, if they are suffering from chronic depressive disorders, the Netherlands allows them to end their lives with the assistance of doctors.
  4. Allowing euthanasia of terminally ill children. A year ago, the Netherlands legalized euthanasia for children. They sold this to the nation as a humane and merciful way to end the suffering of sick child. From an article promoting the practice, we read: “Certainly, no doctor wants a child to die. But there are horrors that exist whether we choose to address them or not. The insufferable, untreatable distress of a terminally ill child is one such horror.”
  5. Contemplating “post natal abortion” for disabled children. As soon as Canada legalized Euthanasia, a prominent bioethicist, Udo Schuklenk starting arguing for this. He said, “Once we have concluded that death is what is in the best interest of the infant, it is unreasonable not to bring about this death as painlessly and as much controlled in terms of timing by the parents as is feasible.”
  6. 90% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.
  7. Wrongful Birth Lawsuits are a sort of malpractice lawsuit in which parents can sue doctors for not diagnosing a congenital or genetic disorder. Couples have to prove they would have aborted their child if they knew about the condition before birth. Some have won as much as $50 million in these lawsuits.
  8. Legal sex selective abortions. In China and many places around the world, laws allow mothers to terminate their unborn child simply because it is the wrong gender.
  9. Infanticide: Sometimes women who didn’t get an abortion or regret having their baby kill their newborns. In Canada judges have even acquitted women for killing their babies.
  10. Convincing others to commit suicide. And most recently, a girl convinced a friend to go through with a suicide. Fortunately, this is still illegal.

Society really has gone from protecting all life to slowly accepting different ways to legalize killing and make it sound just and merciful. We may be told there is no such thing as slippery slope, but history has proven otherwise.

 

 

 

 

The Dangers of Moral Relativism

In Abortion, Abstinence, Bioethics, Birth Rate, Cohabitation, Courts, Democracy, Education, Free Speech, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Media, Planned Parenthood, Population Control, Pornography, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on March 11, 2015 at 7:52 am

right vs. wrongMekelle Tenney

Freedom can only be maintained within a society that also maintains morality. When Alexis De Tocqueville visited America and analyzed her political system he posed the question, “How could society fail to perish if, while the political bond is relaxed, the moral bond were not tightened?” And I believe that the majority of Americans will agree that morality is a necessity in a free society.

However Tocqueville when on to say, “What makes a people master of itself if it has not submitted to God?”[1] And that is where Americans disagree. Morals that are derived from some form of deity are constant and do not adapt. Furthermore they are not subject to different points of view. Currently America is suffering from the effects of a new twist on this principle known as moral relativism. Moral relativism is the idea that morals are based on a particular standpoint. No specific set of morals are considered the standard, meaning there is no right or wrong it all depends on your point of view.

Moral relativism has resulted in major changes to the political process. First it has removed any mention, consideration, or acknowledgement of God from all political discussion and decisions. The misappropriate application of the 1st amendment has enabled this movement to dispel the existence of God from our nation’s history as well as her present political workings.

Though our political system was never meant to be run by any specific religion or religious institution the acknowledgment of an eternal being who directs the affairs of men has always been a crucial part of our nation. For example, American political thought is deeply rooted in the idea that man has been given rights from God that cannot be taken by any other man. We firmly believe that it is wrong for one man to have dominion over another. That belief is based on a set of morals derived from a belief in a higher being.

Remove God from the picture we now have a moral belief that is founded on nothing. This allows moral relativism to take effect. We begin to question the origin of rights. Rights can no longer be seen as universal. Without universal rights can we really label some forms of government as wrong or evil? The danger of dictators and tyrants is now in question. Are dictatorships wrong? Can they not produce some good? If the definition of good is derived from the standpoint of the dictator then the answer is yes. And those who are living under oppression can define the outcomes of such a government as wrong, but it does not matter because no point of view has precedence over the other. We have now reached the point in this scenario where no one is wrong and no one is right.  So the only option we have to go with is the most popular opinion.

Though this is simply one example each scenario dealing with moral relativism will lead to the same problem. If we cannot derive from God what is right and wrong, where do we turn? One option available is to look at social science and rely on studies to tell us the trends associated with specific behaviors.

How it all plays out

A good example of this is sexual relations among teenagers. Years ago sexual relations before marriage were seen as morally wrong. Physical intimacy was something that was shared solely between a husband and wife. Moral relativism takes over and we see the situation totally different. In the 1960’s we began to remove these “religious principles” from our school curriculum. We would no longer teach our students abstinence.

According the Statistical Abstract of the United States released by the Department of human health the following years showed a 700% increase in teen pregnancies. Though all states vary on their methods of addressing the issue of teaching sex education in our public schools it has become an accepted fact that kids will be experimenting with sex.

We cannot preach morals to them so we must now teach them about safe sex in the hopes that we will reduce teen pregnancies as well teens contracting STDS.

The government has also come up with their own federally funded solution, an organization known as Planned Parenthood. Apart from providing medical procedures Planned Parenthood also provides resource for teens, parents, and educators. The section for teenagers answers questions such as which birth control is best for me?

Is there birth control I can take after unprotected sex?

Will my parents find out if I am on birth control?

How do I know when I am ready to have sex?

I think I am ready to have sex. What do I do now?

How do I prevent myself from getting a STD?

The website also informs girls about the options available to them if they find out they are pregnant. The first solution listed is abortion. Planned Parenthood informs young girls that there is no “right” way to feel about abortion. This is the solution moral relativism has come up with.

In 1983, in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals, Ronald Reagan offered a different much more simple solution, “I’ve watched TV panel shows discuss this issue, seen columnists pontificating on our error, but no one seems to mention morality as playing a part in the subject of sex.”[2]

Though it is a simple solution I fear we may never resort to it. What I wonder is how long will any nation will continue to exist with moral relativism as its guiding principle.

[1] De Tocqueville, Alexis. “Indirect Influence That Religious Beliefs Exert on Political Society In the United States.” In Democracy in America, 282. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

[2] Reagan, Ronald. ““Evil Empire” Speech (March 8, 1983).” Http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3409.

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