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News

Canadian couples may have had adoption/fostering nixed because of their Christianity

An Alberta couple filed a lawsuit in November, accusing provincial authorities of discrimination after their application to adopt a child was rejected. The suit claims that Alberta Child and Family Services disqualified the couple based on their personal belief that homosexuality is wrong. According to the filing documents “The casework supervisor explained that our religious beliefs regarding sexuality were incompatible with the adoption process.... The casework supervisor said this stance was the 'official position of the Alberta government.'" The case, is expected to be heard in Fall 2018

This isn’t the first Christian couple to make the news this year after running into trouble with Canadian child welfare authorities. In April, Derek and Frances Baars filed a lawsuit against the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society. The Baars, in their suit, claimed a child support worker demanded the couple tell two girls in their care, aged three and four, that the Easter Bunny was real, despite the couple’s belief that lying is wrong. The children were abruptly removed from their home, even after the Baars attempted to negotiate an acceptable alternative. It is unclear when their case will be decided, but the Baars have insisted that the caseworkers viewed them as poor candidates because of their religious convictions.

It’s important to acknowledge, as Dominic Verticchio, executive director of the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society, did, that there are two sides to every story and in both of these cases we’ve only heard one. That said, when asked if the Easter Bunny was real, Verticchio replied, “It depends who you ask.”

Time will tell if these high-profile cases having an impact on the future of adoption and foster parenting in Canada. It’s worth noting that using a faith-based adoption agency may not help head off these kind of confrontations – the Alberta couple went through Catholic Social Services. However, if legal roadblocks do occur, one option may be to contact the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is representing both couples. Their website is www.jccf.ca.

As discouraging as these stories can be, Christians must never let them have a chilling effect on their interest in taking in children. There is an acknowledged need for parents willing to adopt and foster, and the secular dogma that committed Christians aren’t up to the task must never be dignified. Rather, Christians should focus their concern on loving children who so often get forgotten in the smoke of social and political correctness.

News

Saturday Selections - Oct 21, 2017

Welcoming vs. affirming In the LGBTQ debate there is a demand that for a church to be welcoming, it must also affirm people's lifestyle. Trevin Wax highlights the problem with that - it's not the church's business to be affirming anyone. "What is the crux of the problem here? It's the expectation that the church would be in the business of affirming anyone at all. The Bible teaches that God's righteousness cuts us all down to size. If a church were to close its doors to sinners, it would be empty. And if a church were to empty itself of only some kinds of sinners, it would soon be full only of self-righteousness. Better then for the church to close its doors entirely." Paul Tripp video offers encouragement for every parent Paul Tripp offers some insightful and encouraging biblical principles for parenting in his new videos series and the first session can be watched for free. This is a great hour-long session to watch with your better half (skip ahead to the 18:30 mark to get right to the talk). Should teens own smartphones? Some giants in the tech industry are questioning whether it's wise. Related, here is a Jewish a cappella group encouraging a shabbat (the Jewish sabbath) rest from more than just work Does Liberal Christianity leads to atheism? Bart Campolo says that his atheistic turn started when he gave up on believing that God is sovereign. After that, it was just a matter of working out things to their "logical" ends. Godly dominion vs. Environmentalism Dr. Calvin Beisner headlined Reformed Perspective's 2017 speaking tour, sharing a message similar to this one. What I want from the news Tim Challies gives a good summary of what we'd all like from the news (which is what RP tries to deliver).  ...

News

Saturday Selections - Sept 30, 2017

This edition has been brought to you by the number 6: six items, six actions, and six surprises.... God painted ants on fruit fly wings Some things are just too cool not to share: God has crafted detailed pictures of ants on the tiny wings of a particular fly. Why? Because it is brilliant! Lots of astonishing pictures here. 6 actions to take when grieving the death of a loved one Thought this is a very short post, it has helpful suggestions summarized from the twice-widowed missionary-wife Elisabeth Elliot. 6 surprises every premarital counselor should cover Even the apostle Paul speaks of marriage as a mystery. To minimize some of the surprises, this is a good article for engage or newly married couples to read together. And it's a good reminder for all couples. More on why euthanasia safeguards can't work From the article: "Safeguards are ineffective to prevent slippery slopes. As British moral philosopher Dame Mary Warnock has put it in another context, 'you cannot successfully block a slippery slope except by a fixed and invariable obstacle.' In governing dying and death that obstacle is the rule that we must not intentionally kill another human being." The only flaw in this article is that the Christian ethic, serving as the foundation to Margaret Somerville's argument, is never acknowledged. So we need to take her point as to the weakness of "safeguards" but then be explicit as to the eternal standards we are appealing to. Or, in other words, don't just tear down the lie, as Somerville does here, but also present the full Truth, as founded on God's Word and his Law. How to avoid poverty Everyone wants to reduce poverty, and in the West, the way to do so is clear. But the in the West, our culture doesn't want to hear it if it involves doing what God wants. Now this article doesn't present it quite that way, but the prescription – finish high school, then get a job, then get married, then have kids – lines up nicely with God's will for marriage, and his commandment Don't commit adultery. Around the world, capitalism has helped raise millions out of poverty, but why? Perhaps because at its ideal (ie., not the crony capitalism type) it also lines up with God's commands not to steal or covet. On social justice I've only had a chance to dip my toe in this free resource, but this video series looks fascinating, and solidly Christian. It addresses questions like: "What is social justice today?" and, "What sort of social justice should Christians pursue?" (This does require you share your email address with them.)...

News

Destruction only destroys - the "broken window fallacy"

We are halfway into the 2017 hurricane season and tropical mega-storms in the Atlantic basin have already broken several records. Hurricane Irma has sustained its destructive power longer than any super-storm ever recorded (and our data goes as far back as the 1970s). At the time of writing, the expected damage caused is upwards of $250 billion US. In the midst of this destruction, some are speaking of an economic “silver lining” – that the incoming hurricanes might in fact be good for the economy. For example, William Dudley, from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, argues that, “the long-run effect of natural disasters is that it actually lifts economic activity.” The reasoning is that after the initial harmful effect on human and economic resources, the inevitable rebuilding efforts will stimulate local economic activity. It will also increase demand for labor, driving up wages and ultimately making people wealthier. And if we consider the way economic activity is most often measured – via Gross Domestic Product (or GDP) – reconstruction efforts might seem to cause an increase in the economy. Unfortunately, this is not true. Simply put: destruction does not benefit the economy. In the case of Hurricane Irma, the GDP figure will show the value of reconstruction efforts, but not the value of what was destroyed. It is true that the reconstruction of infrastructure and housing spurs on economic activity. However, this argument ignores the opportunity cost – it ignores what could have been done with that money if it didn’t have to be spent on reconstruction. This observation was first made by the French economist Frederic Bastiat. He illustrated the concept that destruction does not benefit the economy through the example of a broken window. Replacing the window may improve the economic position of the repairman, but it means that the owner of the window has lower disposal income to spend on anything else. If the window hadn’t broken he could have had a window and a pair of news shoes. Now he can only afford to replace the window. Similarly, the destruction caused by the hurricane requires the government to spend money on reconstruction and aid, at the expense of what it might otherwise have done with that money. The government has to use resources to rebuild something, as opposed to using the resources to build something new. As Christians, we need to be sensitive to this fallacy in the measurement of economic activity. The task of stewardship of God’s creation is not only about the utilization of the resources within it. It is also about considering the destructive impact we have on creation through our activities. Far too often do we only consider the value that was generated through our activities, but we forget to properly count the cost of our activities, whether it be environmental or socioeconomic. May the Lord be a refuge and strength to those affected by the destructive power of the ongoing natural disasters across the world....

News

Canadian colonialism dressed up as aid

Red tomatoes and purple onions pile in front of her. Behind is sugar, bagged by the kilo. Bottles of Fanta and 7-Up stand on a white shelf in this small, road-side kiosk, one of many in sub-Saharan Africa. In the midst of it she stands, a smiling woman in a blue shirt and white head wrap. Her smile adorns the official website of the UN’s Family Planning Summit, which met on July 11 in London, UK, to decide what to do with her. The website reads like a sales pitch: “Family planning is a best-buy in global development.” The Canadian government stood out as a champion of reproductive health at the Summit, part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy. Policymakers, donors and leaders have solved the life problem of the smiling African woman. But have they asked for her opinion? Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minster of International Trade, told the House of Commons that our national values “includes sexual reproductive rights and the right to safe and accessible abortions. These rights are at the core of our foreign policy.” This statement profoundly concerned the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, which argued in an open letter that abortion advocacy cannot be the core of Canadian foreign policy when it is “not only legally contentious but completely contrary to the deeply held convictions of many both within and beyond Canada’s borders.” The numbers underscore their concern: $119 million in international aid will go to famine relief and $650 million to abortion and sexual reproduction rights. Fifty percent of the latter is dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa, including countries where abortion is illegal except to save a mother’s life. An African proverb says, “the absent are always wrong.” The same donors who are so eager to end poverty are proving deaf to the voices of those they claim to help. A different view of procreation I have lived in East Africa since the age of three. Congolese mothers often counted their children to me, including those who died as babies. Mama Rebecca, a gentle old woman, cried over her five children, each of whom died tragically and far from her. In Africa, children – all children – are carefully remembered. To speak of Africa is to speak of an immense continent with 54 nations and many unique tribes, each with their own culture. Yet commonalities do exist. Father Bonaventure Turyomumazima of Uganda wrote that generally traditional African cultures are centered in life. Procreation completes marriage. Children are the continuation of a physical line, important both for the living and the dead. It is commonly expected for the entire community to raise the child. That means there are few unwanted children or “orphans.” Elaborate taboos and rituals preserve the lives of mother and child. Faith Kasiva, author of the report "Robbed by Choice," explains, “We live in an African cultural setting where having a child or motherhood is glorified in a way that probably it’s not in other societies.” Telling a woman in such a cultural setting to not have children is almost like telling a Canadian woman to empty all her bank accounts, quit her job and publicly defame herself on all social media, just to avoid poverty. It doesn’t make sense, given the social construct. “Unwanted pregnancies” are not the problem as much as unwanted wars, unwanted famines, unwanted rape, unwanted incest and unwanted displacement. Mama Rebecca didn’t weep because her children ought not to have been born. She wept because they ought not to have died. A strange irony plays out here: the world’s first feminist policy warring against a culture that glorifies mothers! But do Minister Freeland and the Family Planning Summit tell the whole truth? The dark side of depopulation Often, benevolent NGOs hold out family planning with one hand. The other is behind their back, shut tight on hundreds of statistics linking abortion and family breakdown, psychological health, increased poverty, community disintegration and isolation. The contraceptive Norplant is one example of this. Designed to keep a woman infertile for five years, Norplant has suffered tens of thousands of lawsuits in America for its side-effects. Now Norplant is exported to developing countries as “aid.” It’s an old story. Norplant is even harder on the bodies of malnourished women. The consequences are often not fully explained. When faced with unexpected complications, life-long sterility and even death by hemorrhage, these women are without health support. More than that, long-term barrenness can ruin marriages and isolate women from communities. Family planning as the West understands it will not end poverty. Tying aid money to such an agenda prompted Nigerian activist Obianuju Ekeocha to hail Canada as the new “number one colonial master of the world.”  New face, old story Over a hundred years ago during the rubber trade in Belgian Congo, the colonial army raided the village of a woman named Ilanga. As the chained villagers were marched from their burning homes, soldiers forced Ilanga’s baby from her, tossing it aside so she could carry their looted pot. The agony of such men and women being “civilized” bleeds into one of their songs: “We are tired of living under this tyranny/ We cannot endure that our women and children are taken away/ and dealt with by the white savages.” Today, the Canadian Prime Minister can use the force of the dollar to tell millions of women in Africa – “Drop the baby. Carry the pot of civilization. We know what is best. Your child would never have a good life. You may as well kill it now.” At least, this is what is heard on the other end. According to a writer in the Lusaka Times in Zambia, “Abortion is one way of saying ‘do not multiply anymore.’ Our multiplying is disturbing the depopulation plans.. . . These NGOs in Zambia came in the name of ‘helping’ suffering Zambians; on the surface they do good things, but in the background, they start their main program.” Canada is the first donor country to call its foreign policy a feminist one. An “ism” denotes a belief system. Emil Hagamu of Tanzania writes, “In African communities, the death of a child is no small matter . . . . Expanded legalization of abortion is being forced upon us by the traditional colonizing powers of the West.” Ekeocha, founder of Culture for Life, told Catholic News Service that Western funds are used to bribe African politicians to accept abortion, “The polls show overwhelmingly that Africans hate abortion . . . . By ignoring the will of the people, this is spitting in the face of the very type of democracy we are supposed to have in African countries.” ‘Tired of tyranny’ The Democratic Republic of Congo, the giant heart of the African continent, is targeted by Canada to the tune of $97 million. Minister Bibeau told the Globe and Mail that the aid would be “subtle,” working to provide adolescents with extensive sex education and to push abortion in a country where it is illegal. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a deeply troubled nation. Her children already suffer because of greed-based violence. Instead of helping living children, Canada will prevent the birth of more. Maybe that musical country will sing again the old song, “We are tired of living under this tyranny/ We cannot endure that our women and children are taken away/ and dealt with by the white savages.” If Canada does not consider the true situation of the woman in her road-side shop or listen to the bereaved grandmothers, then Canada’s aid is just colonialization in a new outfit. The colonizing powers of Africa-past were confident in their superiority. They were sure their agendas were right. But blood and tears mark those pages. Canada is currently writing a colonization of Africa-present. This too, history will remember. This article was originally published August 28, 2017 in Christian Courier (www.christiancourier.ca). Trudeau picture credit: Shutterstock.com...

News

Saturday selections - Aug 12, 2017

The best articles this week, from Reformed and others sources.... What is the Shia Sunni divide? Did you know some observant Muslims pray only three times a day? This short summary shares the origins of the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Have smartphones destroyed a generation? This is a longer piece with an over the top title, but worth the read. With new technology these types of scary articles will pop up - you can go back and find articles about how the phone - the good old landline - was going to harm society. So there is an irrational "anti-technology" impulse to watch out for. But new technology does come with its challenges – it's a new tool for us to master. What's a bit different in this case is that this tool is being handed off to kids even as adults are still trying to figure out how to manage it. The result is that many kids aren't being taught about the dangers and trained on how to deal with them. So, instead of mastering the tool, the tool is mastering them. The real story of the “Miracle of Dunkirk” Dunkirk is playing in theaters now, but the film misses out on the real miracle that went on. How to prevent Global Warming? Prevent births! God said children are a blessing, but more and more often global warming alarmists are saying children are the problem. Why does this evolutionary biologist want to euthanize handicapped babies? This article is not written from a specifically Christian perspective - this isn't an example of the best way to argue against euthanasia. But what it does do is document that the slippery slope is real, and in doing so it offers supportive evidence to the Christian thesis that if we ignore God's law, we are left with chaos. 12 questions to ask before you watch Game of Thrones A new season has brought with it lots more hype. John Piper has 12 questions for Christians to ask before the watch Game of Thrones...

News

Dr. Jordan Peterson on...

On outwitting the obstructionists At a talk at Harvard in mid-April earlier this year Dr. Jordan Peterson shared advice on how we can bring back civility to our public debates. The Bible says when we are seeking out the truth, it is important to hear both sides (Proverbs 18:17) but on many college campuses that isn’t possible. Disruption-minded protesters show up and shout down the speaker they don’t like with chants about how, “We respect free speech…but this is hate speech!” This make discussion impossible. So how can we create room for discussion and debate on university campuses? Dr. Peterson outlined just how easy it would be. "I will tell you how serious the protesters are...Some of you may know that I participated in a debate on free speech...that the University of Toronto hosted....But one of the things I did when I was talking with the university administration was to suggest how they might deal with the possibility of protesters. So I said, well that's easy, I know how you can have absolutely zero protesters. Have it in the morning and they won't get out of bed in time. So we had it at 9 o'clock in the morning and there was one MPP - Member of Parliament - who showed up to hand out some pamphlets, and not a single protester. So it's like, if you want to have a controversial speech, just have it at 7 AM in the morning. You won't get a protester within 50 yards of it because they'll still be sleeping off last night's pot and alcohol-induced hangover." On the tactics of the politically-correct Left How do small fringe groups on the Left (like transgender activists) manage such a disproportionate influence in our culture? In an Oct. 5, 2016 video, on his “Jordan B Peterson” YouTube channel, Dr. Peterson outlined the tactics they use: Identify an area of human activity. Note a distribution of success. Identify winners and losers. Claim that the losers are losing only because they are oppressed by the winners. Claim allegiance with the losers. Feel secure in your comprehensive explanation of the world. Revel in your moral superiority. Target your resentment towards your newly discovered enemies. Repeat. Forever. Everywhere. In the name of compassion, these social justice warriors are breaking the Tenth Commandment, coveting their neighbor’s success. On the need for standing your ground We can often make compromises. In fact when what's at stake is an issue of preference, it's important we be willing to compromise – that's how we all get along, by doing to others what you would want them to do to (Luke 6:31), giving a little and meeting in the middle. But when it is a matter of right vs. wrong, it's vital we don't give an inch. If it is a matter of truth vs. lies, then we cannot compromise, not even in the name of compassion, love or grace (Jesus showed that grace and truth need to be paired, not pitted against one another (John 1:14-17)). So we must hold our ground, and we can't give it up, even if it only seems a little compromise at the time. Or as Dr. Peterson explained in an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience (Nov. 28, 2016): “Things get to terrible places, one tiny step at a time. If I encroach on you, and I’m sophisticated about it, I’m going to encroach 2 millimeters. I’m going to encroach right to the point where you start to protest, then I’m going to stop. Then I’m going to wait. Then you’re going to calm down. Then I’m going to encroach again, right to the point where you protest, then I’m going to stop. Then I’m going to wait..and I’m just going to do that forever. And before you know it, you’re going to be back 3 miles from where you started and you'll have done it one step at a time. And then you'll go 'Oh, how did I get here?' And the answer was, 'Well, I pushed you a little farther than you should have gone...and you agreed! And so then I pushed you a little farther than you should have gone again...and you agreed!" On whether he is a Christian Jordan Peterson is courageous, and when it comes to issues like gender, socialism, and resisting PC pressure, his stands have a lot in common with what we read in the Bible. And he also talks about the Bible a lot too, using phrases like “For all intents and purposes I believe that the Logos is Divine.” He also has a very popular video series devoted to delving into the Bible. And he has described himself as Christian. So is he? Is Dr. Peterson a Christian? When the question is asked, he has a hard time answering. The Spectator’s Tim Lott put it to him and wasn't satisfied with Peterson’s initial and hesitant “let's leave it at yes.” So Lott asked for clarification. The ellipses in the dialogue that follows indicate pauses of a few seconds each as Dr. Peterson considers the questions. Lott: “Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Literally?” Peterson: “…I find that I cannot answer that question. And the reason is because…okay, let me think about it for a minute and see if I can come up with a reasonable answer to that. The first answer is it depends on what you mean by Jesus?” Lott: “A historical human being that existed in a body.” Peterson: “It was a physical body, and it was on earth?” Lott: “Yes, that it was on earth, and it was literally came back to life, after death.” Peterson: “…I would say that at the moment I’m agnostic about that issue…which is a lot different from saying that I don’t believe it happened.” Dr. Peterson is not a Christian – he doesn’t know if Christ rose, and he is not turning to Jesus to pay for his sins. He is not a Christian. Is that important to know? It may well be. Peterson’s courage has made him a hero to many. And because he often talks like a Christian, some might well be confused into thinking that Dr. Peterson has more wisdom than he really has. So it is important to note that, even as we appreciate his courage, and his common sense in matters of gender, that he does have feet of clay. He is not standing on the firm foundation of God’s Word. Understanding that, we can also pray that God opens his eyes to the reality of the resurrection, and to his need for the Savior....

News

Have the MTV Awards set the stage for a transgender/feminist throw down?

At this year’s MTV Movie and TV Awards, actress Emma Watson was the proud recipient of what she called the “first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex.” Instead of the usual best actor and best actress divisions, MTV decided to have one mixed-gender category. This seemed to be a response to the actions of actress Asia Kate Dilon, who self-identifies as “non-binary” – she claims to be neither male nor female. She made headlines when she was considered for an Emmy award, and didn’t want to be placed in either the actress or actor category…though she eventually settled on actor, noting that “actor” can mean male or female. When MTV decided to do away with their own gendered acting categories, they asked Asia Kate Dilon to make the award presentation for their new, supposedly more inclusive, award. Her presence on stage underscored that MTV’s change was done for the wrong reasons – this was intended as a fist, shaken at God and his binary creation. But just as no one is perfect, not even MTV can manage to always be wrong. Even in the midst of their rebellion they may have hit on something sensible. Why do we need separate acting categories for men and women? It makes sense in sports, where gender-based differences in muscle mass mean men competing against women wouldn't be a fair competition. But as Arnold Schwarzenegger has shown throughout his cinematic career, more muscles don't make you a better actor. So why the separate acting categories? The Oscars have "non-acting" categories like Best Director and Best Cinematography that aren't divided by gender. And even before MTV did it, another group, the Television Critics Association (TCA), already handed out acting awards without gendered categories. But here's where the problems pop up. Asia Kate Dilon is attacking the binary nature of gender. Feminists, however, believe the two genders do exist, and the difference matters. While feminists don't acknowledged gender-based differences in abilities, or interests, or in roles they do believe the two genders differ in how they are treated. Feminists believe that the only accounting for why there are fewer female than male engineers, or fewer female than male Best Director winners is oppression. So every year again, when the Oscar nominations come out, a story will be done about how only one of the 91 Best Director Oscars has gone to a woman. An Atlantic article on the MTV awards noted that of the 20 drama acting awards given out by the Television Critics Association 15 have gone to men. And 13 out of 20 comedy acting awards have also gone to men. Feminists are keeping track. So what happens when feminists who demand equal outcomes for the two genders run up against transgender activists like Asia Kate Dilon, who want to dismantle the two gender? Which oppressed minority gets the win? Sure, this year they managed to get along. But what if, instead of Emma Watson, a man had won the MTV Awards' "first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex”? Would it have still been seen as a triumph of inclusivity? Or would it be seen as evidence of gender-based discrimination? The truce can't last.   Picture credit: JStone/Shutterstock ...

News

Why euthanasia restrictions fail - "safeguards” become “barriers to access”

Canada’s doctor-assisted suicide law is barely a year old, and already the safeguards in it are being challenged. The most recent challenge was this June when two Montrealers – Jean Truchon, 49, and Nicole Gladu, 71 – who have degenerative diseases but don’t seem anywhere near death, went to the courts to ask that euthanasia no longer be limited to only those for whom death is “reasonably foreseeable.” As Mercatornet’s Aubert Martin noted, their lawyer is arguing that this safeguard is actually a “barrier to access.” Does that terminology strike you? One man's safeguard is another's barrier to access?  Here is our country's problem in a nutshell: our government no longer views death as an enemy to be fought, but rather a treatment to be offered. So we can talk safeguards all we want, but if assisted suicide is mercy, why would we withhold mercy from some? Why would we set up these "barriers to access"? In turning our back on God’s law and his unchanging, fixed standards, we are not only rejecting what's eternal, but leaving ourselves with only the ephemeral. Instead of absolutes, our law is now based on opinions. And opinions can be changed. So yes, right now minors can’t request assisted suicide. But how long before some 16 or 17-year-old, or maybe even a 5-year-old asks why we’ve put up barriers to his access? If death can be merciful for an 18-year-old, why would we deny that mercy to a 5-year-old? Another “safeguard” is that a person needs to be “capable and consenting.” But this excludes anyone with Alzheimer’s, and will the public stand firm when they're asked: “Why are you withholding this treatment – why are you putting up barriers to access – for these poor people?” The warning cry Christians need to share with the world is this: it’s either God’s way, or chaos. Either we recognize that all life is valuable or we won’t be able to find a good, fixed, unchallengeable, reason to stop anyone from committing suicide....

News

“Gender confirmation”? Why words matter

In a May article FoxNews.com used a new term for what it has to this point commonly called “sex change operations.” In reporting on a 20% American increase for such surgeries from 2015 to 2016, they described them as “gender confirmation surgeries.” Why is this notable? Because the terms used in a debate can have a big impact on how the public perceives it. Just consider: The liberal media label us as “anti-abortion” rather than “pro-life” because, after all, who wants to be anti? While “homosexuality” is still in use, the term is clinical, cold, thus the adoption of “gay” with its much more innocent vibe. The switch from "global warming" to "climate change" means that should the planetary warming stop, the doom and gloom doesn't need to because "change" is a catch-all phrase that can be applied to any sort of weather. We lost the marriage debate when it was commonly accepted as being between those for and against “gay marriage.” Then even those defending traditional marriage were speaking of “gay marriage” as if it were a real, possible, thing, which was the very point in dispute. What’s notable in the Fox News article is how this new terminology takes things one step further. “Sex change” and “gender confirmation” both presume that it is possible to surgically alter what God has irrevocably assigned (Matt. 19:4). So both are lies. But the latter also asserts that what is happening is not so much a choice, as simply a “confirmation” of what needed to be done. That’s why you can expect to hear this change in vocabulary much more moving forward. As servants of the Truth, we need to think through the terminology we are going to use – there is a need for accuracy, but considerations also for being winsome (Col. 4:6). So, for example, in LGBT  discussions, truth is why we might use “homosexual” rather than “gay” and winsome is why we might use “homosexual” rather than “sodomite.” And when it comes to the climate, it is more accurate and yet still winsome to describe the debate as being about "cataclysmic global warming" rather than "climate change" or even "global warming" because it is primarily whether the warming will be cataclysmic that is the real point of contention. However, when it comes to these surgeries, the most accurate description would be “genital mutilation”....but those are fighting words! Perhaps we could go with Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Paul McHugh who described it as “surgically amputating normal organs.” Still accurate and a little less contentious…but probably too long for general use. So is there anything we can use that is accurate and winsome? It would be good to try, in this case it may not be possible. When it comes to genital mutilation it would seem the truth is unavoidably brutal....

News

Crass comedian challenges pro-choice allies…and pro-lifers too

Louis C.K. is a vulgar, blasphemous and very pro-abortion comedian whose latest comedy special is certain to have upset many of his pro-abortion allies. He opened the show with ten minutes about how abortion was either like “defecating” (i.e. an unimportant removal of something from the body) or “murdering a baby.” He mocked that complete lack of logic behind Hillary Clinton’s “safe, legal, and rare” abortion stance. "Why rare if it should be legal? If it should be legal, it’s… … If it should be rare, it’s murdering babies." To finish the segment he gave two arguments for why, while abortion is “100% killing a baby” it should still be allowed: “I don’t think life is important.” “abortion is the last line of defense against people in the species.” Both arguments don’t dispute the humanity of the unborn; both simply devalue all life – if these justify abortion, they justify killing anyone. From the laughs it was clear his audience wasn't shocked. Of course, abortion advocates couldn't have been pleased. They don’t want abortion presented so clearly; they want to hide what this “choice” really involves. Interestingly C.K both defended and challenged pro-lifers, arguing that if someone thinks abortion is killing a baby that “means you should be holding a sign in front of the place.” He told his audience: "People hate abortion protesters. 'Oh, they’re so shrill and awful.' They think babies are being murdered – what are they supposed to be like? 'Uh, that’s not cool. I don’t wanna be a about it, though. I don’t want to ruin their day as they murder several babies all the time.'" Now, we could question why isn’t C.K. – who acknowledges abortion is “totally the killing of a baby” – out protesting in front of Planned Parenthood? But we shouldn’t be surprised when the world isn’t consistent. The better question is, what about us?...

News

Porn and the smartphone: parents should be freaking out

In a May 2 piece in the American Conservative, journalist Rod Dreher said that when he goes to speak at Christian colleges, the professors, staffers and campus ministers he’s talks with tell him that “pornography is a massive problem.” How massive? “A campus minister who works with young undergraduates headed for professional ministry told me that every single one of the men he mentors has a porn addiction. Every. Single. One.” Parents who grew up with the Internet might think they understand the temptation their kids face. But this, the smartphone generation, is facing something new. While their parents could put their desktop computer in a public place, our children now have a portal, in their jeans pockets, that allows them access to porn everywhere and always. Dreher’s solution? It’s not as simple as any one thing. But he doesn’t like smartphones. What concerns me most of all right now is the horrifying complicity of conservative, even conservative Christian, parents in the spiritual, moral, and emotional ruin of their children and of their moral ecology because they, the parents, are too…afraid to say no, my kids will not have a smartphone, I don’t care what they and society think of me. Now Dreher isn’t advocating an anti-technology lifestyle. He knows we can’t just bubble-wrap our kids and ban them from the Internet for the first 18 years of their life. If we did, then, when they move out and get their first smartphone, it won’t be much better for them than if we just handed one to them at age 10. So no bubble-wrap, and no technology bans. But we also shouldn’t hand our children tools without first figuring out if they have the character and knowledge to use them properly. We wouldn’t hand our son or daughter a chainsaw without some lessons and precautions and it isn’t hyperbole to say we should be much more cautious about handing them a smartphone. After all, the chainsaw can only hurt or kill them; pornography can enslave them. To conclude his piece Dreher shared a conversation he had with a two readers who lead a Christian school. He told these men about how, in the article he was writing, he wanted to help parents understand just how “serious this situation is regarding kids, porn and smartphones” but that he didn’t “want to freak them out.” “Freak them out,” he was told, “They need to be freaked out.”...

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New "Anne" of Green Gables TV series doesn't improve on the old

In March, CBC Television debuted a new TV series based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. The show, titled Anne, received rave reviews from some quarters, getting a remarkable 8.3/10 on the movie database site IMDb.com But many parents are not so enthused. The series has unwanted adult fare, such as in Episode 3, when Anne Shirley delivers sex education to her classmates, explaining that fellow student Prissy Andrews and the teacher, Mr. Phillips, are having “intimate relations,” and therefore, “must be making a baby.” She goes on to further educate her classmates, saying that all men have “a pet mouse in the front pocket of their pants,” and that “when the woman has made the mouse's acquaintance and pets it, babies are made.” Clearly CBC is attempting to incorporate some humor into the TV series, but parents are upset with the questions their children are raising because of this episode. Considering that the original Anne of Green Gables book is clean and suitable for young children, as is the original movie, one would expect that this remake would be the same. But no. Later on in the same episode Anne is described as someone who should be pitied for knowing what no child should have to know. One parent offered up on an ironic thank-you to CBC, via Facebook, for “telling my children something no child should have to know.” What CBC should’ve known is something Christians have known for centuries: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place” (Ephesians 5:4a)....

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