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What Are the Great Moral Issues of Our Time?

In Abortion, Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Abuse, Child Development, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Democracy, Drug Use, Euthanasia, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Government, Health Care, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Parenting, Pornography, Religious Freedom, Research, Sanctity of Life, Supreme Court, The Family, Values, Violence on February 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Hot topicsby Christie Masters

Senator Bernie Sanders has undergirded his presidential campaign with the declaration that “Income inequality is the great moral issue of our time…” Other political leaders also push free health care, free education and gender equality as the utmost in moral importance. But what are the greatest moral issues of our time? What grieves you when watching the news or reading an article, or breaks your heart when thinking of the future of your children? I would venture that it is not income inequality. The differences in wealth and income are caused by a multitude of factors, and while some causes are outside of individual control, many are directly related to personal choices, desire and subsequent effort to improve one’s own circumstances.   The important moral questions that face us today are much deeper, more dangerous, and have greater consequences if left unanswered.

Immediate International Moral Crises:

  • Terrorism: a world-wide epidemic, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. Nations that reject terrorism as a method of furthering political or personal agendas are the only hope for those that face its threat every day. Terrorism threatens to re-draw the political maps of the world, not to be replaced with states and statesmen, but with murderous and ambitious groups fighting for ruthless control over people groups.
  • Sexual violence: For many, the use of rape as a weapon of war is “the greatest moral issue of our time.” According to William Hague, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, sexual violence and rape have ruined millions of lives in our lifetime. “Normalization” of such acts, acceptance and silence, have increased its use[i]. We need our political leaders to lead the counterattack and condemn these crimes.
  • Human Trafficking: World-wide, there are approximately 27 million adults and 13 million children (some as young as 4 and 6 years old) that are victims of human trafficking. Up to 80% of these cases are for sex[ii].   When we live in a time that claims more slaves than ever before in history, can we conscientiously declare that income inequality is the greatest moral issue we face?

Foundational Moral Issues that Affect the Fabric of our Nation:

  • Religious Freedom: Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, the freedom of both soul and conscience to believe and act according to personal conviction and faith. A nation that protects this right, encourages tolerance and peace among its citizens, and protects the meaning of liberty.
  • Abortion and the Right to Life: There have been over 50 million babies aborted since the fateful decision of the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade in 1978. Do unborn children have the right to live? The answer to this human rights question is crucial and fundamental to society and to our Nation. The answer determines how we perceive the value of a human life, and how we answer will affect every question concerning the sanctity of life; young or old, healthy or frail[iii]. Do we believe in the human soul? If we do not, how does this affect every other thought that we could have about the human condition? This moral issue has not lost importance by the sheer amount of discussion it has produced, but remains fundamental to our society and to humanity.
  • Sanctity of Marriage: Marriage has historically and traditionally begun the family unit. The moral and legal definition of marriage being between one man and one woman has been the building block of our homes and communities. To change this definition is to ignore a fundamental truth that gives substance to our understanding of how human beings interact, and how we teach this moral belief to our children. The family unit is crucial to a strong and healthy nation. When marriage is undermined the healthy family is as well, and thus the strength of our nation.
  • Sexual Education: The Comprehensive Sex Education being taught in many of the schools in the United States and around the world amount to one thing: the destruction of innocence and the corruption of our youth. These classes promote the sexualization of children at younger and younger ages, by teaching them harmful behaviors and exposing them to sexually perverse and explicit materials that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Please do not let the political agenda of pro-homosexual and pro-abortion groups undermine the safety of your child. Call your school, find out what your children are being taught and take a stand if it violates your moral reasoning and principles.

Often the most important issues of our time are laid aside for lesser, but still pressing, matters. Undoubtedly income affects the majority of Americans. But we must not forget that fundamental rights of liberty which give us the freedom to pursue happiness, to pursue our dreams, are intrinsically linked to moral virtue and our answers to the hardest human questions. Ask yourself the hard questions, about the soul, about the safety of our children and the importance of good character. Ask yourself about the role of nations to prevent genocides, to protect the innocent. The most important moral issues are too important to ignore.

 

[i] http://www.peacedirect.org/us/fco-sgbv-conference/

[ii] http://facts.randomhistory.com/human-trafficking-facts.html

[iii] http://www.numberofabortions.com/

Tech-Tethered–Held captive by technology?

In Child Development, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parenting, Research, The Family, Values on February 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm

tech tetheredby Jackie Bowles

A few weeks ago I attended a family reunion. Getting everyone together is very hard to accomplish. As the week progressed, it was interesting to see the interactions between various family members or should I say a lack of interaction. Most were endlessly distracted, glued to their phones, keeping Facebook up to date of the festivities and activities they were hardly participating in. How do you carry on a conversation or interact with someone who is totally focused on technology?

We have become such a dependent society on technology that communication in general is declining. There is a time and a place for your phone. A few examples of inappropriate phonetech tethered 3 use would be on a date, breaking up a relationship or while engaged in face-to-face conversation with someone else.

Research has shown that the more time on the internet, social media and technical devices means less time spent in real face-to-face communications.[i] While these technologies seem to be a good way for parents to connect with teens, it is proven that electronic communications are not as good as face-to-face communications and directly impact the quality of our family relations.

Instant electronic communication creates a constant need to be contactable at all hours of the day. One study wrote, “It’s not about going online but being online[ii].” There are concerns about the technology surrounding us every day. We become addicted to the shallow social support the internet offers[iii]. We become so focused on how many followers we have, and are less concerned for those in the same room as us.

Those using social media throughout the day can actually increase feelings of isolation. They begin to withdraw from their family and friends and turn to their phones as a source of comfort and communication. Communicating electronically leaves a large window for misunderstandings to occur. More than half of human communication is conveyed through non-verbal means like facial expressions and inflections. Because we aren’t having as many face-to-face interactions, our abilities to read and understand the body language of others is becoming lost.[iv]

tech tethered 2

We have become a people tethered to our phones. Unable to efficiently get the things done that we want because of the need to answer or look at every “ding” that comes our way. We’ve become so focused on what others think of us, what others are saying, what everyone had for the last meal.

Are we pushing away loved ones for our desire to be “tethered?” Let’s enjoy life in real time. Let’s make the most of every moment. We must have self-control over the time spent on devices. We need to set up boundaries for ourselves. Rachel Macy Stafford promotes a hands free attitude in life. She suggests putting the phone away and enjoying each moment in the moment. Experience those opportunities that won’t happen again.

dancing in the rainDance in the rain. Enjoy the time with your family. We must embrace those things in life that really matter. Block out times during the day as “tech free”. Enjoy the outdoors, go on a walk, plant a garden, have friends over, look at the stars, connect with loved ones, fly a kite. There is so much around us to physically experience. We just need to pay attention to find it.

And you can bet that the next family reunion I am invovled in planning will be somewhere remote, where cell phones are put away and everyone will experience some good old fashioned fun.

 

[i] “Social anxiety and technology: Face-to-face communications versus technological communication among teens” by Tamyra Pierce

[ii] Family functioning and information and communication technologies: How do they relate? A literature review” by Joana Carvalho et. al

[iii] “Addiction to mobile text messaging applications is nothing to “lol” about” by Abdullah J. Sultan

[iv] Family functioning and information and communication technologies: How do they relate? A literature review” by Joan Carvalho et. al

When the Courts don’t Defend Churches, the Law, and Employment Rights

In Abstinence, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Gay rights, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Religion, Religious Freedom, Religious rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Schools, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, Values on February 3, 2016 at 8:31 am

catholic gaysby Diane Robertson

As a member of a Church that hires many people to do a multitude of things from computer programming to custodial to cook and expects everyone to adhere to the Church’s standards of conduct in public and in private, I worry when I read that a judge has decided that this is not an okay practice.

Recently a state judge in Massachusetts ruled that a Catholic school discriminated against a gay man by retracting a job offer upon learning that he was married to another man.

Girl school CatholicFontbonne Academy offered a position to Matthew Barrett as a food services director in 2013. The private school informed Barrett that all employees were assumed to exemplify Catholic teachings and values, and he agreed to those terms.

Barrett listed his husband on the employment form as his emergency contact, prompting the school to withdraw the job offer.

The Catholic Church has always defined marriage to be between one man and one woman and has always preached that sexual relationships are only to be had in a marriage between a man and a woman. It would not be unreasonable to expect that “exemplifying Catholic teachings” includes either living a celibate life or living in complete fidelity within a marriage.

There are a couple of things that make this ruling ominous and outside established laws.

First, the judge accused Fontbonne Academy of withdrawing the job offer because of Barrett’s sexual orientation and therefore breaking the law. That is simply not true. The school holds the same standards for every employee no matter their sexual orientation. Barrett did not meet these standard. Throughout the history of the United States, the law has supported private entities who had a specific set of standards for employees to meet. Roger Severino, of the Heritage Foundation said:

“Personnel is policy, and common sense tells us that an all-girls Catholic school should not be forced by the government to hire people who publicly reject central church teachings about marriage. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right of private organizations, especially religious ones, to choose the people who carry their messages, but this decision departs from settled law.”

Second, it is an attack on religious freedom. It is the government’s attempt to force religions to abandon their schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other programs or deny their beliefs about marriage.

Since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling, one cannot be sure that the Court would continue to uphold the right of churches to hire people who willingly uphold the standards of the church. This time, I hope the case stays in Massachusetts. Otherwise this could signal the end of churches hiring only those people who are willing to live according to the churches’ standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s the Bonus Coming From

In Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, Parenting, Research, The Family, Values, working mothers on February 2, 2016 at 8:06 am

married couple and financesby Tashica Jacobson

A common phrase heard over and over during my schooling was “married individuals are happier, healthier, and make more money.” This can seem hard to believe as my husband and I experience the struggle to pay bills and survive the tension of weekly budgets. However the financial benefits of marriage are proven and have been documented multiple times. One study found that “on average, married people each generate 4 percent more wealth per year than singles.  Over time, that means married people accumulate twice the wealth of singles, on average, and couples end up with four times the combined wealth of a single person.”

Many factors contribute to this “marriage advantage;” the level of commitment in marriage, the pooling of resources, and the documented effects of marriage on men.

Level of Commitment

Marriage demands a higher level of commitment than other relationships. It has the expectation of permanence and exclusivity. Because of this couples invest together for the long term. This explains why married couples are more likely to be home owners, have savings, and plan for retirement. Married couples are seven times more likely to own their own home than singles.

Pooling of Resources

Couples also have the benefit of pooling their resources when they are married. For two people they only pay one rent and one set of utilities. They can “ride share,” saving on car and gas expenses, buy food in bulk without it going bad as fast, and divide up chores and household duties.

One example of this is shared meal preparation. When living alone cooking meals every night gets mundane and doesn’t always fit into schedules. Couples can take turns preparing meals, and the other can step up when one spouse might be running late. Result? Married couples eat out less often and buy fewer frozen dinners.

Child care is one of the more costly expenses that parents have. Spouses can pool their resources here, as well, to reduce and even eliminate the cost of childcare. Many couples I know plan work schedules so that one parent is in the home to care for children while the other parent works. Split-shift parenting allows parents to reduce or eliminate the amount of time a child spends in daycare by adjusting to each other’s schedules.

Spouses also tend to combine their income. Rather than each partner paying for his/her set of expenses and managing money separately, married couples tend to combine their income and manage bills and expenses together.

Transformative Effect on Husbands:

Brad Wilcox, a well-known educator and popular speaker,  stated that “Marriage has a transformative effect on adult behavior, emotional health, and financial well-being—particularly for men.” Men show better work habits once they are married. They work harder, earn more money, and are more conscious about the effect of work on life.

Marriage focuses men on their role as providers and they tend to start looking for opportunities to make more money and work harder. Married men are also less likely to quit a job before another one is secured, and they are less likely to get fired. Result?  They earn more money on average than their single counterparts.

Marriage really does make a difference in the financial well-being of individuals, and as those benefits are accumulated over the years a large difference begins to be manifest.  After ten years of marriage, one study showed that married couples reported an average net worth  approximately 4 times greater than their single counterparts. Finances are just another way that marriage benefits individuals and society.

 

 

 

Life Isn’t Fair

In Choice, Divorce, Families, father, Freedom, Grandparents, Marriage, Parenting, Religion, Sanctity of Life, Single Mothers, The Family, Values, working mothers on January 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

parent talking with daughter 2

by Rebecca Mallory

All of us, at one time or another, are brought to our knees because of unexpected events. Trials and tribulation hit each of us whether we’re rich, poor, short or tall, young or old. We all have them. These moments often jolt us back to reality in reflection of what is truly important. I’ve had one of those weeks.  Not from personal experience, but from the experience of others.

 How do you deal with trials, devastating news and/or set backs?
What purpose do trials serve?
What are we supposed to learn from them?
Without core beliefs and a trustworthy support group, many of us would be caught up in the “why’s” of life. No, life is not fair. Life is precious and can be cut short at any time.Though tragedy strikes us all, we still have a choice of how we will react.
Will we allow it to destroy us?  Or will we pick ourselves up, be forgiving, loving and patient and move on?  I contend that our reaction depends on those core beliefs. So as you kiss your kids or spouse “goodbye” today, let’s not take anything for granted.
If this was your last day on earth, would you be a different person?
How would you treat the people around you if this was so?

Would you look for the good?

Such was the case for some friends of ours. Mary, (not her real name) had been divorced for many years. She raised her sweet kids, got them through college, and did it alone. She recently met a great guy from Australia online, they dated and got married over Thanksgiving, 2015. They were so incredibly happy together,  Mary seemed to glow. Last week, Robert (not his real name) was playing pickup basketball and literally collapsed with a massive cardiac arrest and died at 54 years old.  Why? How is that fair to this darling girl?

A couple of days later, I heard of a young mom in the neighborhood who was taking her little four year old out for a walk in hopes that mom would soon go into labor and deliver their new baby sister. The little girl somehow let go of her mother’s hand, dashed into the street and was hit by a car and killed. Why? How is that fair to this grieving young family?

Life is anything but fair. So how do we deal with these tragedies of life? I had a sister who died of lung cancer three years ago. She never touched tobacco.

I know that each of you have these same stories or know of close friends who have. Here’s what I do know, however. We must all come to grips with what life may throw at us. We need to have a strong support system and core beliefs to guide us through those times. For many people that is their religion,  a faithful friend, strong families, or belief in a higher power, etc. It is so important that we have access to something or someone bigger than us to support us through these times.

I reflected on the words spoken in the funeral of this newlywed. His two sons spoke and were obviously distraught. One son recounted how he always got on his dad’s case because he didn’t save money like the son wished he would. “But,” he answered, “I’m creating memories with my precious family.” This son was so grateful for that. Mary, his wife, bravely spoke also. She spoke of Robert’s goodness and positive attitude. She spoke of the seven glorious weeks they had together and how grateful she was for those precious memories. Certainly she could have sobbed and wailed about how unfair it was that he was taken at such a young age. From her core beliefs, however, Mary chose to look at the bright side of having had those wonderful weeks with a wonderful man. The difficulty will not stop for a long time of course. Loneliness will settle in and those pesky “why’s?” will creep into her thoughts as they do all of us when we face trials.

Life rarely turns out the way we planned. As teenagers many young girls picture their life with a handsome and rich husband who showers them with anything they want. Large families who all love each other and live next to each other in total bliss. Problems and life’s road bumps would never be an issue for them. What if that actually happened? What kind of growth is gained from that perfect life? How would they learn to be a little more kind, compassionate or empathetic to those around them?

Look back at your life. What experiences brought you the most heartache and/or joy? I’ll bet it was those that were most difficult and brought you to your knees to search the depths of your soul for what is truly important. “Stuff” suddenly does not matter. Petty grievances are often forgiven, and hopefully, we learn life’s hard but valuable lessons that then prepare us for the next big challenge we will face. I remember feeling sorry for parents who had a wayward child, one who had a drug addiction, lost a job, or died at a young age. It wasn’t until my family faced similar trials that I truly understood the pain of those who went before us.

Like the rough stone that tumbles into a river and is constantly bombarded with debris, freezing cold water and other elements, it slowly becomes smooth as it yields to the river. On the other hand, think of those you know who choose to remain heartbroken and bitter because of refusing to yield to life’s curve balls. Often these people look much older than their age and are in poor health because the worry and stress that they allow, yes allow, to consume them will age or even kill them faster than most diseases.

This blog post has been cathartic for me as I struggle with the “why’s?” of life. What have I learned? The same lessons that I learn each time a tragedy happens and yanks me back to the few things in life that matter: my God, my family, my relationships. Life is fleeting and you can always expect the unexpected. Love your children, spouse, neighbors and friends. Treat the people in your community with love and respect. They are experiencing life just as you are. They have feelings, families, trials and joys just like you. Let’s try to be a little kinder, a little more gentle in our reactions, less likely to take offense, and more filled with joy and laughter.
Be the bright spot in someone’s day. It takes so little on our part to bring a smile to someone’s face. And the great secret is that you benefit even more and feel great joy. No, life isn’t fair, but we can overcome the unfairness with our choosing to look at the good in all including ourselves!

Understanding Filters in Communication

In Families, Free Speech, Marriage, Parenting, The Family, Values on January 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

Communicationby Keely Tanner

Good communication is an important aspect in our everyday lives. Developing good communication skills can be a pain. Communication for some just comes naturally. And then there are some who struggle with it all their lives.  Is it a skill that should be worked at and intentionally developed?  Absolutely!
How often have we had conversations with someone and what we have said was taken wrong? Or many times has someone completely misinterpret the point of our conversations? This happens to all of us. Everyone communicates differently and we all can improve.
In the book “Fighting for Your Marriage” authors Howard J. Markman,  Scott M. Stanley, and Susan L. Blumberg share five filters in communication.

  1. Distractions: Stress and business makes it harder to focus. When communicating put things away that make it hard to focus on the conversation.
  2. Emotional States: Moods are powerful filters.  Communicating while in a bad mood  tends to make any dialogue negative. Making a conscious effort to understand the moods of the communicators gives us better idea of why they are acting or responding the way they are.
  3. Beliefs and Expectations: When we are expecting someone to be negative, what they say will always seem more negative than it already is, even if it is not their intent to be negative!
  4. Different in Style: There are different styles of talking that people use. Discover the style of your partner so you can understand the way they communicate.
  5. Self-Protection: We often hide what we think because it directly speaks and reveals who we are and we can be rejected by what we say. There are times when we say things because we don’t want to be judged by our answers or actions. We need to be aware of this.

Understanding the five filters of communication will hopefully help us develop filter awareness. Everyone is influenced by them. These filters are not intrinsically good or bad.   The conversations that we have will become more meaningful. Our relationships with those with whom we communicate will become stronger.  We will also have a better understanding of those with whom we communicate.

What is the Most Effective Form of STD Prevention?

In Abstinence, AIDS, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Education, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Health Care, Marriage, Media, Parenting, Population Control, Religion, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Sexually Transmitted Disease, The Family, Values on January 25, 2016 at 9:27 am

STD's 5by Erin Weist

*The opinions expressed in this article are mine alone.  Each individual reserves the right to live and choose as they best see fit.

I have seen a few articles recently touting the need for greater national exposure to the HPV vaccine, a series of shots given meant to prevent the spread of Human Papillomaviruses which cause things such as genital warts and certain types of cancers.  I firmly believe in the right of any individual to make individual choices concerning his or her own body.  That responsibility also lies with parents to make the best choices possible for their children.  In the case of this vaccine, I believe the recommendations by the CDC and other medical groups are misguided and counterintuitive.

 

First, the CDD website recommends the following: The HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus.  But elsewhere on their site, under an article about risky sexual behaviors in youth, there is a score of worrisome statistics regarding unhealthy sexual behaviors and the need to curb them.  Rather than teaching kids about the theories behind sexual activity (the “why” or “when”) there is only a list of the “how,” attitudes and behaviors suggested that they adopt, such as “reducing the risk for STDs and unintended pregnancy.”

 

The reasoning is all there behind the rules and recommendations but NO ONE comes out and says it.  Abstinence works.  It prevents this stuff.  It is possible, it is healthy, it is normal.  Our society has moved away from an unhealthy shunning of those who fall into sexual snares to an equally unhealthy acceptance and LAUDING of over-active sexual discovery and behavior.  I maintain the right in my own life to practice abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage and likewise the right to teach my children this practice, in place of vaccines meant to allow the continuation of harmful behavior, only with fewer side effects.  

 

The site cancer.gov explains that “HPV vaccination before sexual activity can reduce the risk of infection.”  It also states that “people who are not sexually active almost never develop genital HPV infections” (emphasis added).  Weighing the odds, it seems even science can’t argue that abstinence is the most effective form of infection prevention.  So why doesn’t anyone teach it?

 

Suggest at a local school board meeting that you teach abstinence to kids and you are laughed out of the room.  Suggest it in ANY public forum and you are actually derided for your values.  They are out-of-touch, they are unrealistic, they are even unhealthy.  For sake of public awareness of other possibilities I submit the following:

 

My kids will learn about sex.  Not a single one of the bunch is over 10 years old and they already know quite a bit.  My kids will likewise learn about sexually transmitted diseases.  They will learn about how & why they are spread, they will learn the dangers of those diseases.  But they will also learn how God commanded us to keep ourselves morally chaste throughout our lives.  They will learn why we have the ability to sexually reproduce, what sex is for, why we have children, how they can use it to promote a healthy relationship with their spouse and why we don’t engage in sexual behaviors with anyone before we are married.

 

THIS IS POSSIBLE.  It is even reasonable and healthy!  It is how both my husband & I were raised.  Granted, our children may find spouses someday who have been sexually active previously and they will need to deal with that issue as a couple.  But it should never be about telling them that we know they’re going to be reckless so “here are the things to help you during your harmful behavior.”  A simple Google search brought up these articles and studies (here, here and here) that show how harmful early sexual behavior is for kids (and those were just on the first search page).  Why are we sending counterintuitive messages saying early sexual activity is harmful but here is something to help you engage in it?
I invite anyone who will listen to join me.  Kids should not be having sex.  It is meant to be between husband and wife.  At minimum it should be between ONLY adults.  Our legislation, our physician recommendations, our schools, our federal recommendations, our family values, EVERYTHING should be encouraging abstinence for kids.  Always, always, always.  By all means teach them about the dangers of STDs and then encourage them to stay chaste until they are adults and able to navigate the waters of sexual activity with emotional maturity.  Do it for the kids, please.

The Results Are Out: Children Need a Married Mom and Dad

In Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on January 22, 2016 at 7:50 am

family in forrestby Elise Ellsworth

About a year ago I noticed that a bird had built its nest above my neighbor’s garage. It was the most uniquely situated of any I had ever seen.   I commented on the nest. My neighbor responded with something like, “Oh, that stupid, stupid bird.” I wondered what she meant. She explained to me that the previous year the bird had built her nest in the same spot. The baby birds, when venturing out of the nest had plunged to their death on the pavement below. And yet this year the bird was at it again – building a nest in the same place.

It seems that society has become fixated on creating novel and unique family arrangements that do not work well: cohabitation, no-fault divorce, unwed parenting. And the results from social science and data have come back. Overwhelmingly. Resoundingly. Go back to the tree.

Children do best when raised by their happily married biological parents.

An article published in the Journal of Marriage and Child Wellbeing was entitled: “The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation.” In this article, the author studied children who grew up in a household with two biological parents as compared to those growing up with one biological parent. The conclusions were that these children were “less likely to experience a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood but also in adulthood.”

Many other such studies have been performed with similar results. Children need their biological mom and dad. We don’t need more new alternatives. We need to learn from history. We need to do better what already has been done. Our children only get one chance at life. Let’s build the best families possible for future generations.

 

 

From Freedom to Tyranny–Are we there yet?

In Constitution, Courts, Democracy, Diane Robertson, Education, Free Speech, Gay rights, Gender, Gender Identity, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Religious rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, Transgender, Values on January 20, 2016 at 7:17 am

freedom-of-speech violatedby Diane Robertson

In the name of equality and fairness for LGBT people, the government of the United States is removing the long-standing freedom and rights to speech, religion, conscience, and control of personal property and private businesses.

A New York appellate court ruled that Robert and Cynthia Gifford of Liberty Ridge Farm are not at liberty to do with their own home and property as they see fit. The court ruled that if they allow any marriages on their property, they must allow same sex marriages. And they must go through sensitivity training for refusing to do so.

In 2012, a lesbian couple asked to use their barn, which doubles as their home, and their backyard for a same sex wedding ceremony. They said they did not hold same sex weddings in their home, but would consider doing a reception. The lesbian couple sued. The New York Division of Human Rights found them guilty of discrimination, and fined the Gifford’s $10,000 plus $3,000 in damages and ordered them to implement staff re-education classes. The appeals court has upheld this decision.

The Gifford’s farm is not just a place of business, but their personal home and residence. In this case, the government is not only ignoring a right to conscience and a right to act on religious beliefs, but personal property rights as well.

In Washington State, the State Human Rights Commission made a policy, which works like a law, and will be enforced like a law, though it was not made through the legislature or even by judicial or executive action. This new policy will force businesses and schools to allow transgender individuals as well as anyone else to use the bathroom or locker room of their choosing. The most freedom threatening part of the policy, however, limits and punishes speech.

The Family Policy Institute of Washington, summed up the limits this new policy puts on speech as follows:

“It is illegal to ask ‘unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, or transgender status.’

The commission provides no guidance to the public about how they are supposed to know which questions are unwelcome before they ask them.

It is also illegal for a business to deliberately ‘misuse’ someone’s preferred pronoun. If a man believes he is a woman, but you refer to him as a ‘he’ anyway, he can sue you.

However, you should be careful not to ask questions about which pronoun he prefers. Remember, if that’s an ‘unwelcome question’ he can sue you for that.

It is also now illegal to use ‘offensive names, slurs, jokes, or terminology regarding an individual’s sexual orientation or gender expression or gender identity.’

The fact that ‘offensive’ is an undefined and completely subjective term that provides no guidance to the public about what they can and cannot do is apparently lost on the commission.

The best advice may be to just stop speaking. As we all know, someone is offended by everything.”

 

 

While many people may believe these government actions are made to help some people, they will in the end, harm an entire nation. Again and again the state and federal judiciary, as well as, various government departments have ignored property rights, the right of conscience and the constitutionally protected right to the free exercise of religion and speech in an attempt to control the actions and beliefs of the people through the threat of punishment. This is how tyranny works. When those who disagree with the edicts of the government are punished, then the people are no longer free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Needs of Women Verse Men in a Marriage

In Choice, Families, father, Gender, Marriage, The Family, Values on January 19, 2016 at 8:13 am
marriage feet in bedby Keely Tanner
Have you ever wondered “what is it that my husband really needs?” Or “What can I do to understand my wife?” These are questions that committed wives and husbands ask themselves all the time. Now we may not know all  the answers and everyone is different, but we all have needs in our relationships–especially in a marriage.
According to Dr. Mark D. Ogletree, a licensed professional counselor who treats individuals, couples and families dealing with relationship difficulties, men and women’s needs are usually quite different.
Women’s basic needs:
Affection: a symbol of security, protection, comfort, and approval.
Conversation: “Talking to us helps us feel loved.” Meaningful communication is the key to a women’s heart.
Honesty and openness: “Being honest and open helps us feel connected and close.”
Financial support: Knowing that there is money to buy food and other basic needs for the family provides financial security.
Family commitment:  Spending quality time with the family and even extended family.
Men’s basic needs
Sexual affection:  Strengthens the marriage bond and the relationship.
Recreational fulfillment: Men like it when their wives enjoy doing the same activities that they enjoy.
An attractive spouse: Men appreciate a wife that takes care of yourself.
Domestic support: Having a clean and organized home for both the family and husband.
Admiration: Men want to feel admired. It helps them feel motivated and rewards the husband.
The needs of both husband and wife are  important to our marriage relationships. Core needs must be met:  Security, acceptance, respect, love, growth and progress. As we come to understand the needs of our husbands or wives we will be able to build a stronger and long-lasting relationship with them.
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