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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.

 

 

Waiting on the Supreme Court

In Child Development, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, father, Freedom, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parenting, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on June 24, 2015 at 4:31 am

supreme-court-justicesby Diane Robertson

Before this month is over, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on marriage laws for all 50 states. The questions the Supreme Court must answer are:

  1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
  2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?

Given the history behind the actions of the Supreme Court concerning marriage, the majority of people agree that the Supreme Court will rule that:

  1. The 14th Amendment requires states to license marriages for any two people, and that
  2. The 14th Amendment requires same sex marriages in other states must be recognized by all states.

While the Supreme Court Justices are supposed to remain impartial, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not feel like that was necessary with this case. In May, she presided at a same sex marriage, and used words to make it apparent to the audience that she thinks that same sex marriage is a right granted by the Constitution of the United State. The New York Times reported that:

“The most glittering moment for the crowd came during the ceremony. With a sly look and special emphasis on the word ‘Constitution,’ Justice Ginsburg said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States.”

While we may know what one justice believes, no one can say for sure what the ruling the 9 justices will come up with. But one thing is for certain: children do best when raised by their mother and father. In the past the state recognized marriages because marriage is the best place for children to grow up healthy, and healthy children make societies prosper. In another two weeks, the nation may disregard the needs of children by redefining marriage into a union that prioritizes romantic love and sexual companionship above the needs of children. But the fight will not end there. Many people will stand strong on the side of children and their needs for a mother and father.

 

 

 

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.

My Dad will always be King

In Child Development, Choice, Families, father, Marriage, Parenting, The Family, Values on June 22, 2015 at 8:39 am

dad with teen daughterby Caitlin Woolbert

My Dad is a great example to me. One of the greatest lessons I learned from my Dad is the importance of telling your children how much you love them. Children don’t just know they are loved. They need to be told. Guess How Much I Love You is a children’s book that teaches this lesson. This is a story about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, who are father and son. Little Nutbrown Hare wants his father to know how much he loves him, and expresses this by stretching his arms out to indicate this. Big Nutbrown Hare replies by stretching his arms out even further (as he has longer arms) to show that he loves his son even more.

The story continues by measuring and comparing how much they love each other – by how high they can reach, how they love each other to the end of their toes, by how high they can hop, and how far the river is. Big Nutbrown Hare can always do things better as he is bigger and cleverer, which impresses Little Nutbrown Hare. At the end, Little Nutbrown Hare falls asleep saying he loves his dad as far as the moon. To which Big Nutbrown Hare whispers (to his sleeping son) that he loves him just as much, but more.

This story means a lot to me. My dad and I get into “I love you more battles” all of the time. These battles are a fun way my Dad tells me how much he loves me. I have tried to win these battles but he always wins.

Another way my Dad tells me how much he loves me is by nudging me three times. I know this might sound a little weird but the three times mean “I love you.” Like I said it may sound weird and seem a little silly but it is one of my favorite things I learned from my Dad.

My Dad continues to teach me the importance of spending quality time with each of his children. I recently went on a 16 hour road trip with my Dad. We had 16 hours of quality time. It was a fun bonding experience that I will remember always, especially the game we started by pointing out all of the animals we saw along the way.

Dad’s, you might not think the things you do with your children have any special meaning. Let me just tell you from personal experience, they do. A great example of this comes from “Charles Francis Adams who is the son of the second president of the United States, a successful lawyer, and ambassador to Great Britain. Although he had little free time, one day he took his son fishing. In his diary, he wrote, “Went fishing with my son today. A day wasted.” On that same day, his son wrote “Went fishing with my father today, the most wonderful day of my life”

Our relationship with our father plays a huge part in who we will become. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter and she will choose a man who is like him.

Daughters look to their dads for much more than allowance, the latest phone, or trips to the mall. The relationship she has with you is something that influences what she will expect from men for the rest of her life. She will watch how you show affection and respect to your wife, your commitment to being with your family, and the ways that you show love to your kids. In other words, you are the model for the type of man she’s likely to be attracted to.

It can be daunting for a man to figure out how to bridge the gap between, for example, his love of pro football and his daughter’s passion for the latest boy band. But, the main thing is to spend time together, to try to regard her interests with an open mind.

Some examples of ways you can get involved in your daughter’s life are:

  • Carpool-The more time dads spend with daughters and their friends in the car and at their school, the more insight they can have into their daughters’ world.
  • Take an interest in her activities– Studies show that when fathers take an active interest in and play sports with their daughters, the girls are less likely to have unhealthy or abusive relationships.
  • Listen without judging– Fathers sometimes want to rush in and fix problems; daughters don’t always need solutions but want to air their feelings without fretting that Dad will freak.
  • Share your experiences– Girls benefit from knowing that even dads have faced adolescent uncertainty.
  • Spend one-on-one time– Bike riding, going out for ice cream or playing board games together is great for younger girls; older girls enjoy going alone with Dad to a favorite restaurant or having a regular bowling date.

There is a cute quote that says, “Someday I will find my prince but my Daddy will always be my King.” Remember Dads that a strong relationship is important to have with your daughters. If you don’t have a strong relationship with your daughter it isn’t too late to start now.

Resources

McBratney, S., & Jeram, A. (n.d.). Guess how much I love you.

Widmer, M. (2004). Strengthening marriages and families through wholesome recreation. Retrieved from http://marriageandfamilies.byu.edu/issues/2004/Summer/wholesomerecreation.aspx

Crime in the Surgery Room

In Abortion, Child Abuse, Choice, date rape, Domestic Violence, Families, father, Health Care, Human Rights, motherhood, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, The Family, Values, Violence on June 18, 2015 at 9:37 am

I have to warn you before you read my post. This story is horrifying. It wrenched my gut more than anything I’ve read in the past two weeks.

 

ER room 2By T.R. Ransom

 

A fourteen-year-old girl who was impregnated by rape had the fetus beaten out of her by five of her family members. They were scared of a fatherless baby attracting the attention of Family Protective Services, so they took matters into their own hands – after pills failed to do the job. After labor was induced by six hours of violence, the eight-month-developed baby was burned on a charcoal grill. The brave young woman has come forward to tell what happened to her and five arrests have taken place.

The Dallas Police department gave an official statement calling what took place an example of ‘organized crime’. Social media commentators have called it ‘hideous’, ‘disturbing’, and ‘monstrous’. There is an innate recognition in people everywhere that what happened was wrong.

For some reason, whenever this story principally happens in a hospital and is funded by government spending, it’s considered victory for women’s rights.

I know you’re thinking that it’s a stretch to compare the two. Many feminists would object that there’s a mountain of difference between a girl being savagely beaten by untrained medical experts and a woman who was raped and independently decides to get the baby removed. Why, they ask, would anyone compare a brutal beating to a safe, healthy abortion performed by a medical expert?

I’ll tell you why. It’s because abortion isn’t healthy, safe, or in any way the best choice for women. Abortion is dangerous. People will argue all day about the risks to a mother’s life from child labor, but not one word will be said about the health risks of getting an abortion performed. Not once will anyone mention incomplete abortion, sepsis, hemorrhage, amniotic fluid embolism, or the intra-abdominal injuries that have resulted from abortion. I haven’t even begun to mention the mental and emotional trauma that can be caused by “progressive birth control”.

“Alright”, the opposition says. “So there’s physical harm caused by abortions – same with any surgical procedure. The biggest difference between your two examples is that the young girl had the fetus beaten out of her against her will. The thousands of women who get abortions do so by choice.”

It’s true that the girl in this story didn’t choose to have the baby aborted. But what if the girl had chosen to have the fetus beaten from her body? What if she had willingly laid down and said, “Cousins, I need your help. Beat me until the child is delivered.” I’ll tell you what wouldn’t have happened. The police wouldn’t have come to the door saying, “We have a report of screaming in this household. Is everyone okay?”

“Officer, we just violently removed our cousin’s child from her womb and burned the fetus on our grill.”

“You’re under arrest!”

“Wait, she wanted it done! She asked for it!”

“Oh, she asked for it? Never mind then, go about your day.”

It’s obvious why this ridiculous scenario would never take place: Even if the girl had voluntarily asked for her family’s help, any sane decent human being would realize the atrocious and animalistic nature of what had just taken place. People would still be put in jail and Family Protective Services would have still stepped in. To say that a woman’s voluntary compliance in an abortion eliminates the crime aspect isn’t consistent with the reality of organized crime.

In all of the media commentary on this story, no one has used the word “murder” in describing what happened. All of us need to fight the tide of political correctness to ensure that the truth is spoken. It’s time for more people to start coming out of the shadows and calling murder ‘murder’ and crime ‘crime’.

Our societal self-deception isn’t harmless. It’s taking lives.

 

DSC_7040T.R. Ransom is a college student in Salt Lake City. He enjoys studying philosophy, being involved in politics, playing the ukulele, and running marathons. He and his wife hope to one day open their own private school.

What Father’s Need to Know

In Abstinence, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Marriage, Parenting, Research, The Family, Values, Violence on June 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

Germany, Bavaria, Munich, Son (2-3 Years) kissing his father, smiling

by Diane Robertson

We need fathers. The politically correct modern notion that as long as a child seems loved and cared for, then it won’t matter who raises the child is just wrong. Children need fathers. Society needs fathers. Mothers need fathers.

For years fathers have gotten a bad rap. They are often portrayed as either aloof workaholics or silly and wimpy. This needs to change. Study after study has proven the importance of a father’s presence in the life of his children and how that importance extends to the health of every society.

Fathers need to understand their importance. How can we expect men to stay and raise their children when they are constantly told they aren’t necessary?

British researcher Michael Lamb notes that negative stereotypes about fathers can have consequences. “Fathers can hardly be expected to maintain a belief in their importance when they are continually being told of their irrelevance, other than as economic supporters.”

Nothing could transform society as substantially as putting the father back in the home. This will not happen unless the majority of people give fathers the praise that is their due.

Statistics show that boys without a father in the home are more aggressive and are much more likely to engage in anti-social behavior. Girls without a father participate in early sexual activity, and that fatherlessness is the number one indicator for teenage pregnancy.

This father’s day let us remember that we really, really do need our fathers and let’s start telling them that.

Who Will Raise the Leaders of Tomorrow?

In father on June 16, 2015 at 10:54 am

dad close to daughterBy Valerie Preston

A young father was stranded in LA and was in need of a cab to make his flight. Taking all risks into account, he found a ride from three young teenage boys. As a visitor to LA, he commented on the beautiful city. One boy responded, “Naah, it’s rough here, man. It’s hard.” As they began talking, the father questioned if the boys were involved in any of the many gangs surrounding LA. They were not. The teen boys had chosen alternate paths that would hopefully give them a future, instead of a bullet in their head. They chose to walk away from the gang life. Intrigued, the father wanted to know why. Having just returned from a Men’s Movement Conference, he asked if the boys in the car all had fathers living in their home. The answer was affirmative. He then asked if the boys in the gangs at school had fathers. The answer was negative. One of the boys described his father as, “always behind you, pushing you, keeping you in line.” The other boys agreed. It dawned on this man that maybe fathers really do make a difference. He credited his safe arrival at the airport that night to the fathers of these three teenage boys.

This young man’s intuition about the influence of fathers on their children is right. Fathers throughout the U.S. and throughout the world are influencing their children in one way or another. Research has identified that fathers influence their children for the better by being in the home. They are more likely to live away from poverty, they are more likely to be emotionally and behaviorally stable, and crime rates go down. In addition, teen pregnancies and drug abuse decreases, high school drop outs are lower and other results stem from a father being present in the home. This is not to say that children who grow up without a father in the home will always result in these threats, but the risks are definitely higher.

On the opposing side, there are many who do believe that fathers are replaceable. When fathers leave the home, some believe they can be replaced. A National Survey was completed by the National Fatherhood Initiative regarding mother’s attitudes on fathers. “A majority of the mothers agreed that a mother or another man could be an adequate substitute for an absent or uninvolved father.” 91% of the surveyed mothers believe that there is a father absence crisis in the United States today, but instead of promoting the fathers to be in the home, they are settled on the idea of replacing those fathers. But who is making this decision? The adults of society? Or the children who receive the direct impact of a parent in the home? Little research has been done to determine the child’s perspective on their fathers. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. They each have a voice and need to be heard.

In 2013, Grace Evans, an 11 year old girl, used her voice to speak up about her need for both her mom and dad to grow up to be a woman. She spoke out in a Minnesota Hearing regarding marriage laws. She boldly declared to the people her need for both her mother and her father. She explained that her mother taught and showed her how to be a girl, a good woman, and a wife. Miss Evans noted that her dad could teach her those things, but that her mom taught her in a special way that her dad could not. She then spoke about the need for her father. She emphasized the need for her dad because he protected her and gave her the confidence she needed to be a woman. She declared that she would not be able to be the woman she wanted to be without her dad. Every child needs a mother and a father to be born, so she believed that every child also needs that mother and father to grow. She concluded with a bold question directed at each person present asking, “Which parent do I not need, my mom or my dad?”

Who will answer this question? In response to the results of the National Fatherhood Initiative survey mentioned earlier, many fathers voiced that they are needed in the home. Miss Evans also declared in the Minnesota Hearing that the father is needed in the home. Research is saying that fathers are needed in the home. The children that are being raised today are going to be the leaders and the future of society tomorrow. Instead of insisting that a child will grow up “just fine” without a father, we should rise above settling for “fine” and rise up to raise outstanding individuals in whom we can entrust our lives with.

There will always be a voice speaking up about one side of a topic or threat. At times, the voice is so loud, that the other side backs down in fear. This can change. As some individuals feel there are adequate replacements for fathers, we need to stand together and voice the needs of fathers today. As we unite our efforts, our voice can be heard. Fathers will hear the plea to come home and take responsibility. The father crisis can decrease and the strength of the children can then increase.

In 2009, a voice was heard. President Obama voiced from personal experience that “the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.” Fatherhood Programs are beginning to evolve. These programs involve groups meeting locally throughout the U.S. to inform, help, provide activities, and more to promote fathers. These programs are open to those who desire to attend, so they do not reach everyone. There is, however, a way that we can reach others. We can individually do our part by using technology, media, writing, and our voices to promote the fathers within own communities. We can start small. Brian Klems, is an avid blogger for dads. He has taken the initiative to write about the life of a dad from his own experience. He has taken it from a humorous point of view while still giving fathers good advice to help them with their families. In addition, he has written a book, “Oh Boy, you’re Having a Girl” as a survival guide for raising daughters. Klems has taken a step to advocate for fathers. We can do the same. The use of technology has increased and we can use our voices there. Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, web pages, YouTube, and online articles are ways that we can make a difference. Once again, the voice can be heard. It needs to be heard. The leaders of tomorrow are depending on it.

Valerie PrestonValerie is a soon-to-be graduate of Brigham Young University – Idaho. She plans to make good use of her Bachelors of Science in Child Development degree as she continues to advocate for the family.

Confusion Conclusion

In Child Development, Choice, Families, father, Free Speech, Freedom, Gender, Gender Identity, Marriage, Parental Rights, Parenting, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Transgender, Values on June 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

bourne identityby Marlene Hinton

Robert Ludlum begins his book, The Bourne Identity with Jason Bourne as an amnesiac looking for clues as to who he is.  His first tip is when a gun is tossed to him and he is told to take it apart and reassemble it, which he does effortlessly and expertly, increasing his sense of wonderment about himself.

There is psychological and emotional strength in a clear concept of one’s identity because that enables us to reason and act based on understanding.   Confusion is debilitating, disrupting, and threatening (Thoits, 1991).   Jason Bourne was deprived of his resources and capabilities, including judgment, because of the uncertainty of who he was, what he knew, and what his abilities enabled him to do.  To survive, he focused intense energy on discovering his identity.

Although role identity is adaptive over time, a firm sense of personal identity is central to emotional and behavioral health (Stets & Burke, 2000).   Gender is a primary component of personal identity – indeed of the nation itself, as stable families are the cornerstone of any society.  Children are the result of gender.

How unfortunate, then, that elements of our culture are advocating for confusion through biological, emotional, and behavioral blurring of gender.   Roles, such as who-takes-out-the-trash do not define an individual in the same way that gender and its physiological, psychological, and emotional potential does.

Some sociological and science researchers claim gender is irrelevant.  However, the research cited in backing such claims is largely flawed.  For example, one article reveals that the comparisons of families are NOT actually between same sex couples and traditionally married heterosexual couples, but rather unmarried cohabiting couples.  The data for the latter vary dramatically from those of heterosexual married couples.

Also, the samples used are convenience rather than randomly selected, further impairing validity.  Likewise, the research organization often has a pronounced bias, selecting and shaping everything from conceptualization and questions to interpreting data and reporting findings.  These considerations make reports that there is no difference or even advantages to same sex relationships less valid.

In fact, several forums claim that domestic violence is a greater problem in same sex relationship households, so much so that a U.S. Justice Department study refers to it as “epidemic” (Callie Maire Rennison, “Intimate Partner violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99,” Bureau of Justice Statistics: Special Report, Oct. 2001).   Additionally, married women in traditional heterosexual relationships experience the lowest rate of violence in comparison with women in other types of relationships (“Violence Between Intimates,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings, Nov. 1994:2).

Only recently have we had to clarify whether two-parent homes are made up of a married man and woman.  This confusion of basic gender differences weakens the strength of the concept of marriage, of family, and of parenting.  It also sets the stage for young people to wonder about their own identity and explore – taking apart and reassembling in some fashion – their identity, particularly regarding gender.

Ironically, media creates at the other end of the spectrum a hypersexualized model that contributes to the morass of what young people view as appropriate or “normal.”  It is little wonder that identity confusion in this and other areas is propelling society toward chaos.   Emotional and psychological confusion disrupt the ability to feel contentment and peace and live accordingly (Burke, 1991).

There is great power in structure and security.  In jerking the firm gender foundation from under the feet of families, we leave a quicksand of insecurity and insanity for the next generation to navigate.   Married mothers and fathers are the solution.

Parenting is most powerfully expressed in assuring each child of his or her precious individuality, distinct worth and worthiness, and the unlimited devotion of family members.  Mothers and fathers model this adoration in their daily interaction and response to each child.   Confusion is replaced with confidence, stability, and resilience in maintaining clear understandings of identity.

Families find happiness, communities flourish, and society increases in peace when each individual acts with a certainty of who he or she really is.

Marlene Hinton is a wife, mother, grandmother, and defines herself principally through faith, family, and freedom. A teacher for many decades, education, particularly in those three areas, is a focus. She holds degrees in history, Spanish, bilingual education, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Resources
Burke, P.J. (1991).  Identity Processes and Social Stress.  American Sociological Review. 56:6, pp. 836-849. 

Ludlum, R. (1980).  The Bourne identity.  New York:  Bantam Books. 

Regenerus, M. (2012).  Children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.  Social Science Research 41:752-770.   

Stets, J.E. & Burke, P.J. (2000).  Identity theory and social identity theory.  Social Psychology Quarterly.  63:3.  224-237. 

Thoits, P.A. (1991). On merging identity theory and stress research.  Social Psychology Quarterly.  54:2, pp. 101-112. 

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Forests and Families

In Child Development, Choice, Divorce, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Sanctity of Life, Schools, The Family, Values on June 12, 2015 at 7:29 am

family in forrestby Tom Christensen

When driving through the arid national pine forests of Montana, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, one cannot help but notice large numbers of dead trees.   Mountain pine beetles about the size of a grain of rice bore into, lay their eggs, feed on and protect themselves in the soft phloem of an older tree, creating a deadly girdle cutting off the transmission of nutrients to the rest of the tree.

Vulnerable pine trees infested by the beetles quickly turn orange and die.  Abandoning a dead tree for one living, pine beetles spread from one tree to another until there are no mature trees left.  Literally millions of acres of pine forest have been destroyed in this manner.

Bark beetle infestation is a symptom of a sick forest already weakened by draught, disease and the aging process.  Pine trees when young and healthy have a natural internal defense mechanism against bark beetles.  They produce a pitch substance that encapsulates or drowns the beetles; and the beetles naturally avoid them.  When the trees grow older and are weakened by draught or disease, they are unable to stave off the beetles.

Bark Beetle.jpgA pine forest cannot be protected from the beetle by impractical artificial means, such as the regular injection of insecticide into trees, or by waiting for unreasonable natural means to destroy the beetles, such as extreme cold weather or forest fire.  The best approach is to steadily “replenish” the forest by planting and nurturing a fresh supply of seedlings and younger pine stock.

Not only are the scores of dead trees unsightly, the non-reproducing dead trees contribute to soil erosion, mud slides and flash floods.  The dead trees also affect wildlife habitat, food chains, and a broad range of ecosystems.

The Devastation of the Natural Family

Like a majestic ponderosa or lodge pole pine forest, the future of an entire civilization turns on the health and strength of its families.  The greatest hope for society is the formation of impenetrable unions of strong, capable men and women who honor their marital covenants, care for their own, and produce a steady supply of young ones prepared to carry on the fight for life, liberty, and the family.

 Forest After Bark Beetle 2.jpg
The internal defense system of an enduring society is a stable family structure, elevated moral standards, and a willingness among parents to “multiply and replenish the earth.”  Like a pine forest, a human society is replenished when the older population renews itself with healthy, responsible young people who marry and continue the cycle of life.

On the other hand, a family’s internal defense system can be weakened by narcissistic dysfunction, addictions and attitudes.    Like pine beetles, negative social policies and conventions (such as those that disfavor traditional marriage, religion, childbearing and responsible parenthood), feed on families under stress.  However, unlike bark beetles, they target the young as well as the old.

Similar to the death and destruction of millions of acres of pine forests, the effects of the weakening and dissolution of families throughout the world are plain to see.  Nations depopulate, crime rates rise, schools fail, quality of life declines, and economies sink.

Preserving the World’s Families

What can be done to protect the health of the world’s families?

Family Working Together.jpgFirst, each family must strengthen its own internal defenses and immunities.  Stable families can resist those who would destroy them if they are well-organized, self-sufficient, and put their marriage and children first.  The best protections include living by a consistent code of rules and expectations; practicing forgiveness, integrity, thrift and industry; communicating with and loving each other; and playing, working, and worshipping together.

Second, individuals, families, communities and nations must resist harmful external influences such as media, policy, institutions, and peer influences that seek to penetrate them.  They must acknowledge that high-sounding policies of government paternalism, anti-capitalism, and moral relativism stunt economic growth and opportunity and destroy lives, families, and personal initiative.  Government policy too often addresses the symptoms of family decline rather than the causes of it.

Parents are the first line of defense.  Next comes the faith institutions, the school and university, and the community.  In some settings such as the United Nations, the opposition is so vast and organized that one cannot fight these battles alone.  To provide an effective voice of reason, families, churches and organizations must join with others, including professionals, to influence policymakers and to shape policies at distant, unreported venues.

In summary, the stakes are too high and the potential destruction too devastating to allow the enemy of the family free reign.  For a society to flourish, the limits of government must be understood, mature families must be replenished and strengthened from within, and the common characteristics and vulnerabilities of those who would destroy the family must be clearly identified. 

What’s Really Behind the Bruce Jenner Revelation?

In Child Development, Choice, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Gender, Gender Identity, Media, Sexual Orientation, Values on June 9, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Kaitlin Jennerby Rebecca Mallory

Usually the trash on social media just makes me shake my head in sorrow for the lost morons who gobble this stuff up. However, this whole Bruce Jenner thing needs to have the other side addressed. It is not only disgusting, but extremely dangerous because of the mixed messages that it sends. This is not about a man who thinks he’s a woman. It’s about shoving an agenda down our throats and making millions of dollars while doing it. Why do we insist on normalizing destructive behavior? And don’t you dare disagree or voice an opposite opinion! Especially you close-minded conservative, bigoted, homophobe, Christian kooks! With the bombardment of the media, you’d think you were the only close-minded weirdo left. Guess what percentage of people there are in the gay and transvestite community? Less than 2%. Can you believe that?? Yet many are loud, obnoxious, and militant so it seems like a much higher number. It’s time we voiced our opinion.

Here’s the bottom line, Bruce is still a man. Cosmetic surgery and injecting synthetic hormones will never change the internal workings and organs of a human being. That pesky Mother Nature… ruining all our fun again. Kind of puts a kink in the old “they’re born that way” philosophy. It’s tragic that Jenner’s always felt he was a woman. I admit that I have never had same sex attraction or transgender leanings and I have sincere empathy for anyone who struggles with these tendencies. What would make me truly empathetic would be if “Cait” was suddenly plagued with hot flashes, night sweats, thinning hair, severe mood swings, belly fat, and suddenly getting paid 70 cents on the dollar compared to a real man. But I contend that there is a much more lucrative motivation here.

An amusing part of this whole thing is what it must be doing to the feminists around the country. In an age where it is taboo to objectify women, that men are pigs who gawk at a practically naked woman on a magazine cover, low and behold, here comes “Cait” in full blown sex-object garb debuting to the world that he/she is a beautiful 65 year old (extremely photo-shopped) woman to be gawked at and fawned over. Society has told us that we cannot, under any circumstance, disagree or show any kind of disgust with this vile revelation. Let me just be clear about one thing. If you were born a man and think you’re a woman, or vice versa, have at it. But do not make a complete spectacle and bombard me with a barrage of “hey, look at me and how brave I am!” nonsense that I am just supposed to swallow and applaud. Not going to happen. My beliefs, which last I checked in the constitution says I have a God-given right to, say this is wrong. Take Charity, now Chaz Bono, for instance. “He” came out with very little fanfare, huge media blitz, or “in your face” television special to shock the world and in the end make millions. His choice. Have at it. Jenner has deeper and more cash-conscious motives. This isn’t rocket science, folks.

It’s laughable to read and watch the mainstream media’s reaction to this situation. One commentator was horrified that “Cait” didn’t come out in a dignified pantsuit instead of skimpy bathing suit. Seriously?? Since when did pantsuit pinups sell magazines?? Starting to see the motivation here? (This would be a great place to discuss free market Capitalism as well as supply and demand, but I will restrain myself.)

While conservatives had their own list of complaints about this national celebration, the more intriguing ones came from the left. For instance, many people criticized the Vanity Fair cover of Jenner as a pinup. “One step forward for Caitlyn Jenner, one step back for womankind,” Eric Sasson complained in The New Republic. “As a media sensation, Jenner had many choices for how to reveal herself to us, so the fact that she chose a way that only reinforces how much our society objectifies women is a bit distressing,” he explained.

Jonah Goldberg lamented on “Townhall” this week, ” Fawning is mandatory, dissent forbidden. Babbling morning hosts cooed over the Internet “buzz” (which they were fueling). Somehow they forgot to mention that a hefty portion of it expressed sadness, disgust and outrage at all the pandering .This publicity barrage is selling a new series on the cable channel E! titled “I Am Cait.” You can now see all the gears and pulleys of this publicity machine. Bruce stuck with male pronouns in the first stage with ABC, so that they could make a drama out of the actual rollout of “Caitlyn Jenner.” Every sensitive liberal soul is carefully taught that Bruce is a male until he decides that he’s not. He changes his name for a new TV show. At that precise moment, everyone joins the pronoun revolution. Isn’t this whole linguistic regime tremendously convenient for a publicist?

   The dominant theme of the pandering is how “brave” Bruce Jenner is, from President Obama’s tweets to every other liberal in America. ESPN will be giving him a “Courage Award” at their upcoming ESPY Awards show.

Let’s call it for what it is folks. Brave? Hardly. You know what brave is? Soldiers who are serving our country right this minute with no clear objective of why they’re putting themselves in harm’s way because of no definitive foreign policy. Brave are the wounded warriors who come home having lost limbs or suffering from PTSD as they watched their buddies blown up by Islamic militant animals who do not value human life. Brave defines the thousands of children who each day, face another round of chemotherapy or some other treatment for potentially fatal diseases. But Bruce Jenner? Not brave. Self-aggrandizing, shocking, degrading… anything but brave. And when you have a pandering media that refuses to recognize an iota of morality, that’s called lazy, spineless, and pathetic.

Changing the subject just a tad, anyone been reading about the now grown up children of same-sex parents? The vast majority of them feel “cheated that they didn’t have a father figure in the home”. Ever hear about those stats? Of course not. Because it doesn’t fit the liberal agenda which fills the coffers of Vanity Fair, E! Entertainment television, or the Bruce Jenners of the world. How screwed up will these poor children be with these mixed messages that money is King of this world? C’mon America. Can we stop glamorizing destructive behavior?

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