Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Research Shows Gay Parenting Not Optimal

Gay marriage is legal in Utah of all places. On December 20th, Utah's Amendment 3, which defined marriage to be between one man and one woman and was added to the Utah constitution by 66 percent of the voters, was struck down by Federal judge Robert Shelby who also refused to stay his decision pending appeal. The Supreme Court has since put a hold on further gay marriages pending appeal.

Support for gay marriage is based on feelings with little thought to what it will mean to society, and especially children. To gain support for gay marriage, supporters share stories of women or men who have been together for decades. What they don't focus on is that gay marriage is not a goal for the majority of gays, and that even when their is a marriage, gay values are accepting of infidelity during marriage, which is not acceptable in traditional marriages. Nevertheless, they have a goal of labeling anyone who does not support gay marriage as bigots.

Supporters of traditional family values are not bigots. Rather, they are supporting a position of a family structure of what is best for children.

Supporters of gay marriage would like us to believe that gay couples are equal to straight couples in parenting. They use self-selected, unrepresentative studies to support their claims. These studies lack objectivity and scientific rigor. With society's experiment of gay marriage so new, it is difficult to find good data on it's impact.  Perhaps the best resource we have at this time is Canadian census data.  Same sex marriage has been legal since 2005 in Canada, so we have a large pool of census data we can look at to see what happens when gay marriage is legal. Among the findings so far: Only 45% of girls being raised by two men and only 15% of girls being raised by two women finish high school. That's right, the high school drop out rate for girls with two mommies is 85%. Ouch! (See study here.)

Other studies have found other disturbing results of gay parenting. For example the Family Research Council reported results from a study by sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin. Here is what he found about children (who are now adults) raised by gay parents (men and women couples).

  • Are much more likely to have received welfare
  • Have lower educational attainment
  • Report less safety and security in their family of origin
  • Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin
  • Are more likely to suffer from depression
  • Have been arrested more often
  • If they are female, have had more sexual partners--both male and female

  • There was additional data for children (now adults) being raised by two women and this showed their children:

  • Are more likely to be currently cohabiting
  • Are almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance
  • Are less likely to be currently employed full-time
  • Are more than 3 times more likely to be unemployed
  • Are nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual
  • Are 3 times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabiting
  • Are an astonishing 10 times more likely to have been "touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver."
  • Are nearly 4 times as likely to have been "physically forced" to have sex against their will
  • Are more likely to have "attachment" problems related to the ability to depend on others
  • Use marijuana more frequently
  • Smoke more frequently
  • Watch TV for long periods more frequently
  • Have more often pled guilty to a non-minor offense

  • As you can see, there is strong evidence that same-sex relationships are not as positive as traditional marriage. If the citizens of a state want to make the mistake of legalizing same-sex marriage, they should be able to make such a dumb move. However, if citizens of another state see the wisdom of marriage being for one man and one woman, they should also have the right to make this a state law. To force a state to allow gay marriage against the will of its citizens when the potential for harm to society is so great is folly.  

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.

    Monday, December 23, 2013

    A Pope Who Leads By Example

    In 1958, the late political scientist and Harvard professor Edward C. Banfield wrote an insightful book called The Moral Basis of a Backward Society. Banfield spent two years during the 1950s living in Montegrano, Italy, a small village of 3,400 poor farmers and laborers. The farmers’ work was seasonal, and although they were very busy during the planting and harvest season, they had a lot of free time during other parts of the year.  Despite this availability of free labor, he noticed that the locals made no effort to help out with the local orphanage or repair a crumbling monastery. The citizens took no action to improve local schools or health care services. Unless someone was family, he or she could expect no help from a neighbor. 

    By comparison, Banfield looked at St. George, Utah, then a small town of 4,500. Compared to the temperate climate in Italy, St. George was not a natural location for growing crops. There were limited natural resources in the area. I guess no one told the residents of St. George that they should wallow in their poverty. Banfield noted that in just one issue of the local paper there was a variety of public-spirited activities. The Red Cross was conducting a membership drive. A local women’s club was raising funds to build another dorm for the local junior college.  A local business had contributed an encyclopedia to the school district. The Chamber of Commerce was working on getting support to build a paved road to two nearby towns. A local church was collecting pennies to support a hospital 350 miles away. Parents participated in local Parent Teacher Association meetings at the schools.

    Banfield concluded that Montegrano remained mired in poverty because its citizens had no concept of giving. Meanwhile, St. George was thriving because its citizens knew that giving was a basic primary value.

    Recently, Pope Francis was selected by Time Magazine as their 2013 Person of the Year. Given Time's leftward leaning, he was not chosen for his stand against abortion or his views on not ordaining women to the priesthood or allowing priests to marry. Rather he was selected because of the great example he has been in looking after the poor and not living an extravagant lifestyle. At this season of the year where much of the focus is on commercialism and spending money on extravagant gifts for people far from need, it is great to see a high profile example of looking after the needs of the less fortunate before the wants of those who live in affluence. 

    When giving is local and personal as opposed to Federal via forced taxes, the results are always better. Thank you Pope Francis for setting a great personal example.

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Quoting the Bible is Hate Speech

    The A&E Network suspended Phil Robertson from future episodes of the popular Duck Dynasty TV show.

    Robertson gets in trouble for saying, "Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."

    I guess you can't quote the Bible in public anymore.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    New International Version (NIV)
    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
    10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    The Best Read Aloud Christmas Book Ever

    There are a lot of great read aloud Christmas stories. Of course none of them would be possible without the original version of the original Christmas story in the New Testament. Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol is a great classic, and Dr. Suess has his The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, which is a favorite of millions of readers. But there is another book that I believe should be acknowledged as the Best Read Aloud Christmas Book - Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

    Ms. Robinson, who passed away only a few months ago, wrote this book in 1972. What makes it such a great read aloud book is that at 100 pages, it is not that long. With just seven chapters, you can read it in just one week's time if you read one chapter a day, but you might get through it faster since your listeners may demand that you go on and read another chapter.

    But what makes this book the most appealing is that it is laugh out loud funny while at the same time it has a touching message of the meaning of the birth of Christ that will easily bring tears to you and your listeners.

    So do your family a favor and turn off the TV and read this book together. You will not regret it.

    Is there another read aloud Christmas book you would recommend even more?

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.

    Monday, December 16, 2013

    Fiddlin' - O Crooked Town of Washington

    O Crooked Town of Washington

    sung to the tune of O Little Town of Bethlehem

    O crooked town of Washington, 
    How oft we see thee lie. 
    Above thy full and endless bull, 
    The simple truth goes bye; 
    Yes in thy dark streets lurketh, 
    The everlasting Left. 
    The hopes and fears of all the years, 
    Are left in thee bereft.

    Barack is born of Stanley, 
    His healthcare is all awry. 
    While mortals sleep, NSA keeps, 
    Their watch of prying eyes. 
    The cable shows, together, 
    Proclaim the holy birth, 
    And praises sing, Obama's king, 
    Welfare to men on earth. 
    How silently, how silently, 
    The progressive tax is laid. 
    The rich impart the greater part, 
    So liberals can be paid. 
    No ear may hear his coming; 
    But in this world of spite, 
    Where meek souls will receive him, still, 
    The taxman takes a bite.

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Obama, No Nelson Mandela

    Back in 1988, Senator Lloyd Bentson, then the Democrat Vice Presidential candidate ripped his opponent, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Senator Dan Quayle with one of the most famous lines in debate history:

    ¨Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.¨

    For some reason, our current president, Barack Obama, seems to see himself as a protege of the late South African President Nelson Mandela. Well, to paraphrase Senator Bentson, ¨Barack, you're no Nelson Mandela.¨

    First, let's get the superficial similarities out of the way. Yes, they were both the first black presidents of their respective countries. Yes, they were both attracted to socialist/communist teachings in early adulthood. Yes, they both were honored with Nobel Peace prizes (Mandela for his role in the peaceful transition of power in South Africa, Obama for . . . judicious use of Predator drones(?).)

    The differences are far more numerous.

    • Mandela spent the better part of three decades in prison. Obama was a child of privilege, with highly educated parents and grandparents, attending the most exclusive private school in Hawaii and with the help of affirmative action, attending the most prestigious higher education facilities in the nation.

    • Mandela reconciled with the oppressive apartheid government leaders to bring a mostly peaceful transition to black majority. Once president, he included his political enemies in important posts in his government and was seen singing the old apartheid era national anthem. Obama is politically incapable of working with Republicans as seen from his stimulus and Obamacare programs, and failure to tackle needed reforms to Social Security and Medicare.

    • Mandela recognized the positive role of religion. In his autobiography he said, "The Church was as concerned with this world as the next: I saw that virtually all of the achievements of Africans seemed to have come about through the missionary work of the Church." In an unguarded moment, Obama disparaged people for clinging to religion. He has interfered with people's rights to practice their religion in a Supreme Court battle to force religious owners of businesses to provide abortion drugs to employees. His administration has directed the Armed Forces to take steps to reduce the public affirmation of faith by our soldiers, sailors, and particularly airmen.

    • Mandela is mentioned in the same breath as Lincoln, Gandhi, and King with their goal of unity and peace with others that did not share their views. Obama has no interest in taking steps to unity or recognizing others who have different political views. For example, he is making a high profile visit to attend Mandela's funeral and made it a point to shake hands with Cuban dictator Raul Castro. He made no such visit for Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

    • Mandela was a respected world statesman. Obama is an incompetent political hack.

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.

    Monday, December 9, 2013

    How Muhammad Became a Christian

    If you are familiar with the writing of Jeff Benedict, it is probably from the articles he writes for Sports Illustrated magazine. However, Benedict also writes books, mostly related to sports. Thankfully, he also helps out with memoirs.

    This year he helped Tito Momen write his autobiography, My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a ChristianConversions of Muslims to Christianity are so rare that a story like this is newsworthy.  In Momen's case it a journey of extremes. Momen was the Nigerian born son to a Muslim father who held extremist Muslim beliefs that are associated with the radical Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, and Al-Queda. Tito was not Momen's original first name. His father named him Muhammad.

    Momen story is a journey from strict Islam to a doubting follower of Muhammad, to a new Christian convert who was imprisoned 15 years for his religion. He was disowned by his father but had an amazing reconciliation the day his father died.

    Back in 1965, when Momen was 5 years old, his father started him on a course to become a Islamic imam. He gave young Muhammad a copy of the Quran and a bunch of notebooks with instructions to copy the scriptures in full as a method to memorize the book. He was allowed no toys or any forms of entertainment. He was allowed to go to the local school which was 80% Muslim and 20% Christian. One of his teachers gave him a book of African stories to help him learn to read. When he took it home to read to his mother and other children in the area, his father took the book away because he was only allowed to read the Quran to the children. When a teacher noticed he had a talent for drawing, he began practicing at home, but his father put a stop to it, and warned he would be beaten if caught again. He was allowed one hour to play soccer everyday, but after he got in fight with some boys at age 10, his father took his ball away telling Muhammad that he could have it back when he turned 16.

    The strict form of Islam followed by Muhammad's father was very detrimental to women. His father regularly beat his wife for breaking Islamic laws such as failure to properly cover herself. He arranged the marriage of Muhammad's 14 year old sister to a 30 something man she had never met and without telling his wife first.

    Muhammad was a good student and wanted to please his father. He did not always make the choices his father would wish.  Once he went to see a movie which was forbidden by his religion. His father found out and punished him. Muhammad recognized that he was a disciple of a religion of fear, but he knew no other life.

    When he was fourteen he earned a scholarship with some of his neighbor cousins to attend a Muslim college prep program in Damascus, Syria. He thought he was going to continued learning all subjects, but when he got there he discovered the only subject covered was the Islam religion as understood by the radical Muslim Brotherhood. It was mostly just memorizing and rote repetition, which he was good at. Students who did not recite the Quran correctly were beaten.  Once he questioned a verse that said the Prophet Muhammad was told it was sometimes necessary to kill people. Young Momen asked his professor who told this to Muhammad since it was not clear from the scripture. For this he was beaten. He was branded a troublemaker for thinking too much. He really got in trouble when he had his friends got back to school late and because they had not eaten for a whole day, they fixed some food during Ramadan when Muslims are prohibited from cooking and eating. They all ran when discovered and all were initially caught except for Momen. When he turned himself in, he found his friends in the school courtyard in front of all the other students. They had been beaten by the professor. He knew what they had done was wrong but he was very familiar with the Quran and could not understand why his teachers never displayed forgiveness. Seeing his beaten friends, his temper flared and he hit the professor. For this, he and the others kicked out of the school and sent home.

    His father was furious with Momen when he came back. He was banished to a remote village for a year, but because he showed remorse, his father arranged for him to attend college in Cairo. When he graduated he would be qualified to be an Islamic cleric.

    Despite the predominance of Muslims in Cairo, it was a very secular city in the early 1980's. Away from home, Muhammad slowly fell away from his strict upbringing. He took up smoking, drinking, and partying, even getting a part-time job as a DJ. He also started reading banned history books that were critical of The Prophet Muhammad. When he mistakenly showed his notes to his professor, he knew he was doomed and that it would be reported back to his father.  Around this time he met up with a friend to listen to music records. This friend had been a regular smoker and drinker, but he had recently given up these bad habits and converted to Christianity. Intrigued, Momen got a Bible from his friend and read it in just a few days. He found a religion of hope and love, nothing like the religion of fear and oppression he learned from his father.

    Momen took the rare step in Egypt of being baptized a Christian. He changed his name from Muhammad to Tito. When his father found out about it, he held a public funeral for his son. He blamed his wife for his son's betrayal and she committed suicide under the persecution of her husband. Momen had received death threats for his actions, so he knew he had to get out of Egypt to a Western country. A friend got him a false passport that would get him to Canada, but he was caught before he was able to get there. He was put in jail and tortured. He was released on probation but later imprisoned for life on falsified drug possession charges, but he knew the real reason was his new religion.

    For the next 15 years Momen was in prison in terrible living conditions. He developed health problems that almost cost him his life. Although it took years, Christians from Western nations and concerned diplomats worked tirelessly to get him free. He finally, left Egypt and now lives in Ghana.

    One day in his new home he was surprised to see his cousin, one of the boys who he had studied with in Syria. His cousin told him that Momen's father was dying and wanted to see him. He had never heard from his father since he became a Christian. He returned to Nigeria and found his father in the hospital.  His father told Momen, ¨Allah has answered my prayer. I asked Allah that if what you believe in is true, I should see your face before I died. Allah has shown me your face. So I believe in whatever you believe in.¨ Momen told his father that it was not too late for him, ¨Christ died for everyone. Everyone can be redeemed, Father.¨ They visited for two hours and Momen's father died later that day.

    In the book Momen writes, ¨The next time I will see him will be on the other side. I do believe he'll be there. At that point, he won't be a Muslim and I won't be a Christian. We will simply be children of God. . . . My mother will be there, too. I expect her to be at my father's side. She will be proud of me. She will know what I believe. And she will be forever grateful.¨

    Some of the passages of this book are pretty rough, so it might not be a good read for younger teens, but it would be a great read for older teens and adults.

    Many liberals and secularists are quick to criticize Christianity, but blindly overlook the narrow mindedness of Islam as practiced by millions. This book is a great example of how Christianity can bring peace, hope, and love to people. It is unfortunate, but telling, that countries that are predominately Muslim will not allow freedom of religion and the ability of people to choose for themselves what they want to believe.  What are they afraid off? At some level do Muslim leaders know that the message of the New Testament is superior to their message of fear and oppression?

    If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
    If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.