Thursday, February 25, 2016

Boko Haram in Cameroon: Porn as a public health crisis....more

Is pornography a public health crisis? The evidence is piling up ...Michael Flood, the Australian academic, approaches it from a feminist perspective. At a recent conference at the University of New South Wales organised by Collective Shout, a lobby group “for a world free of sexploitation”, he listed some well-documented harms.

Pornography is becoming a primary sex educator for boys and young men, displacing explanations from parents, formal instruction in schools, and even conversations with peers. However, what they learn from pornography websites is kinky practices which strip sex of intimacy, loving affection and human connection. And they learn that women are always ready for sex and have insatiable sexual appetites.

Women feel betrayed by men who use pornography. Most often men conceal their use of pornography. When a partner discovers it, she often feels as if he was having an affair. Pornography use decreases intimacy and makes women feel less attractive and more like mere sexual objects.
Pornography may become an addiction. Flood is cautious about analogies to drug addiction. He points out that attachment ranges from recreational users to compulsive and self-destructive users. However, as with other addictions, some people experience social, work or financial difficulties because they use pornography...

How to Slay the Dragon of Pornography
...So many resolutions to avoid porn fail with this first question. The how question is the easier one—we can quickly identify steps such as Internet filters or a friend willing to ask us tough questions. It’s the why where we get tripped up. We need biblically persuasive reasons to stand firm when the hard questions and justifications come.

And they will come:

•Why bother? It doesn’t hurt anyone.
•If my wife were sexually more available or adventurous, I wouldn’t need this.
•If I had a wife, I wouldn’t need this.
•All men look at porn. It’s how we were created. How can God give me the desire and then expect me to fight it?
•This next time will be the last time...

 Planned Parenthood head: I appreciate Trump's 'kind words' Planned Parenthood's president on Wednesday thanked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for saying the women’s healthcare organization does “good work” outside of abortions, even as she criticized him as wrong on most issues...

Boko Haram Attacks Christians Almost Daily in Cameroon  Christians in Cameroon say they suffer persecution from the Islamist terror group Boko Haram on a near-daily basis. “Every day there are suicide bombers, there is theft of cattle, there are killings and kidnapping of people and theft of goods,” a source in Cameroon told Christian humanitarian agency Barnabas Aid.

Barnabas ran an article headlined “Cameroonian Christians suffer in almost daily Boko Haram attacks on February 24, 2016. They reported that just last Friday, “two female suicide bombers attacked a marketplace in the village of Mémé” in Cameroon. The attack killed 21 people, three of them Christians.

After ramping up its violent jihad in 2009, Boko Haram has committed extraordinary bloodshed in an effort to establish an Islamic state. The group has killed 20,000 people, kidnapped 2,000 women and children, and displaced 2.8 million residents, according to Barnabas....

The Refugee Hostel: Germany's Islamist Hell ...In fact, life in German refugee hostels has now become so unbearable thatreligious minorities, women traveling alone or with children, and homosexuals are fleeing their accommodations. For them, according to one paper, the word "hostel" has become synonymous with ‘"defenselessness".

The constant harassment and mistreatment at the hands of Muslim male refugees is not only becoming intolerable and dangerous, but, for some, life-threatening.

“Torn bibles and insults, ripped off crosses and even blows to the face, the complaints about violence in the refugee centers do not let up,” the German newspaper, Die Welt, stated recently...

The Day I Saw Jesus I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so I didn’t grow up hearing about the God I now call Father. To me, God was just an abstract concept or idea, and church was mostly a place where Korean families got together to gossip about college acceptances and share strategies on conquering the SAT.

My parents never told me about the God who says “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” but, like many children, I certainly knew what it meant to be forsaken.

At the age of 9, my father left our family and wouldn’t return (besides an annual visit or two) for the next twenty years. His absence became the new normal, and I came to idolize the idea of the “picture-perfect” family...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A.S. Haley: Three Sobering Reads

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Convergence? You decide.

From Patrick Deneen, Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame, writing at Front Porch Republic ("Res Idiotica"):
My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their minds are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten its origins and aims, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference about itself....

We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders. What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, historyless free agents, and educational goals composed of contentless processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.” Our students are the achievement of a systemic commitment to producing individuals without a past for whom the future is a foreign country, cultureless ciphers who can live anywhere and perform any kind of work without inquiring about its purposes or ends, perfected tools for an economic system that prizes “flexibility” (geographic, interpersonal, ethical). In such a world, possessing a culture, a history, an inheritance, a commitment to a place and particular people, specific forms of gratitude and indebtedness (rather than a generalized and deracinated commitment to “social justice”), a strong set of ethical and moral norms that assert definite limits to what one ought and ought not to do (aside from being “judgmental”) are hindrances and handicaps. Regardless of major or course of study, the main object of modern education is to sand off remnants of any cultural or historical specificity and identity that might still stick to our students, to make them perfect company men and women for a modern polity and economy that penalizes deep commitments. Efforts first to foster appreciation for “multi-culturalism” signaled a dedication to eviscerate any particular cultural inheritance, while the current fad of “diversity” signals thoroughgoing commitment to de-cultured and relentless homogenization.
the rest- Excellent!

Uganda to boycott ACC meeting in Lusaka

24 Feb 2016
George Conger

The Church of Uganda will boycott the April meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka. In a letter dated 23 Feb 2016 the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley said comments made by ACC chairman Dr. James Tengatenga -- first reported by Anglican Ink -- that the Americans could not be kept away from the meeting, and statements by Episcopal Church leaders that they would pay no heed to the primates’ call that their church withdraw from pan-Anglican bodies for three years inevitably led to this outcome

Distrust over the efficacy of American promises of good behavior were a long standing problem in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Ntagali said. He cited the 2003 incident where Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold promised not to consecrate Gene Robinson, an undertaking given at the emergency primates meeting held at Lambeth Palace, and his decision shortly thereafter to serve as Robinson’s chief consecrator.

The primates “felt so betrayed. We wondered how the TEC Presiding Bishop could agree that their consecration should not proceed – how he could agree that if he presided at that consecration that it would tear the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level – and then immediately turn around and announce that he would do it anyway. It was a double betrayal – betraying the clear message of the Bible and betraying an agreement the Primates had made unanimously... the rest

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Adjusting to the Pass/No-Fail of Lent; Little Sisters Of The Poor Prepare To Defend Themselves...more

Adjusting to the Pass/No-Fail of Lent When I’m Used to All “A”s   I thought maybe I’d found a Lenten sacrifice cheat sheet this winter when I was reading The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, 1973-1983. In an entry dated Tuesday, Jan. 20, 1981, Fr. Schmemann considers what instructions he would give someone eager to be part of a monastic revival. He lays out a rule of daily living:
• always go to the same church, and try to be a real helper, not by lecturing about spiritual life or icons, not by teaching but with a “dust rag” (cf. St. Seraphim of Sarov). Keep at that kind of service and be — in church matters — totally obedient to the parish priest;

• do not thrust yourself and your service on anyone; do not be sad that your talents are not being used; be helpful; serve where you are needed and not where you think you are needed;

• if friends and acquaintances invite you because they are close to you, go, but not too often and within reason. Never stay more than one and a half or two hours. After that the friendliest atmosphere becomes harmful;

• be always simple, light, joyous. Do not teach. Avoid like the plague any “spiritual” conversations and any religious or churchly idle talk. If you act that way, everything will be to your benefit...

Muslim takeover of campus all-faith quiet room causes uproar at German university ...Visitors complained that Muslim students blocked off more than half the room and had used a large picture hanging on the wall to do so. This, apparently, was done to segregate the sexes. The noise from the Muslim students’ praying also kept the “Quiet Room” from being quiet. Besides prayer rugs, Korans were also stored there with one left out in the open. Besides the Koran, “flyers in Arabic and instructional pamphlets in German” were displayed. Calling the rearrangement of the room “highhanded,” Prost said “foot washing possibilities” were also present...

little sisters
Little Sisters Of The Poor Prepare To Defend Themselves Before The Supreme Court   ...But as Matt Bowman pointed out in National Review, that’s simply not the case: “The government deliberately added more language to the Little Sisters’ form. Because their plan is ‘self-insured,’ in addition to stating their religious objection, the government requires their form to also specifically tell their insurance administrator that he has ‘obligations’ to provide the abortifacient and contraceptive coverage himself.”
Some of the other key facts included in the website are as follows:
  • 1 in 3 Americans do not have a plan that is subject to the mandate HHS is fighting so hard to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to follow.
  • Exxon, Chevron and Pepsi as well as other large corporations are exempt from the mandate.
  • The US military, which employs millions offers a family insurance plan exempt from the mandate.
  • There is an easy solution that protects the Little Sisters’ religious freedom and the right of the government to offer these services to women who want them.  Rather than trying to force religious plans to offer these services, the better solution is for the government to provide these services through the ACA healthcare exchange to any employees who want them but can’t get them through employer plans...

A year of dad and baby dubsmashing