Sapphire Sky

August 29, 2012

Re: The Gift of Life

Filed under: culture, Life!, video — Christ Ranger @ 12:50 pm

I agree with Travis’ highlighting how a culture that trashes life contrasts so much with the nature and character of the God of all Creation.  Of course, the trashing of human life is not just a metaphor, as Melissa Ohden’s powerful testimony explains:

The Susan B. Anthony List produced Ms. Ohden’s story, which story is tragically under reported.  SBA explains:

“In light of the recent national discussion over abortion, it’s important Americans know the President’s best-kept secret: his extreme record on abortion. Melissa Ohden’s powerful story draws a stark contrast to his unbending support of abortion and the abortion industry and reveals the human face to this debate.” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “President Obama’s appalling record on abortion is not just limited to his four votes to deny rights to abortion survivors but spans to his recent heartless refusal to support bans on sex-selection and late-term abortions. These actions fly in the face of mainstream American views and run counter to the President’s first term pre-election talk of finding common ground. Recent polling reveals the majority of Americans support bans on these horrific practices.”

Related, the President is reportedly funneling more than $400,000 of federal money to Planned Parenthood in North Carolina in response to the N.C. General Assembly voting to discontinue $340,000 of N.C. taxpayer money being paid to Planned Parenthood.  the NCGA felt it was inappropriate to use NC taxpayer money to underwrite the operations of the world’s leading abortion mill.  See here.

July 31, 2012

Nanny State Peach Milkshakes

Filed under: culture, politics, economy, etc. — Christ Ranger @ 6:12 pm

Over at The Corner today, Charles C.W. Cooke took issue with British police arresting an English teenager who broadcast insensitive Tweets about the Brit’s failure to medal in men’s synchronized diving.  Apparently, the teenager posted to Tom Daly that Mr. Daly’s father would be disappointed.  Mr. Daly’s father died earlier this year. Mr. Cooke notes:

Britain is now a country in which you can be arrested for writing racist tweets, for criticizing your local government on the Internet, for telling a policeman that his horse is “gay,” for shouting offensive things on a bus, for issuing leaflets condemning homosexuality, for evangelizing for Christianity on the street, for issuing leaflets evangelizing for atheism in an airport, and so on and so forth. And the press, as ever, is silent.

This should come as no surprise.  When the State takes on the role of primary caregiver and nanny to the population, it will act as such, to include parenting basic thoughts and speech.  Even in the United States, if you’re a nanny state totalitarian politician, you see it as a responsibility to punish businesses that do not adhere to your moral code, which code happens to be the current dogma of the secular humanist “intellectuals.”  How long until we start building re-education camps in the West?

Speaking of which, tomorrow August 1st is EAT AT CHICK FIL A DAY! Make sure to order an extra-fatty delicious peach shake, while they last. 

July 28, 2012

Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’

Filed under: culture, Ministry — Christ Ranger @ 2:38 pm

In a recent prayer letter to his supporters, Billy Graham explained the heavy burden he feels for the United States:

Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. …

Read the rest of this excellent letter and what Dr. Graham and his son Franklin are doing in response here.

July 21, 2012

Political Logic of the Nanny State, Illustrated

Filed under: books, culture, politics, economy, etc., video — Christ Ranger @ 1:47 pm

May 6, 2012

“Privatizing” marriage is not the answer

Filed under: culture, marriage and family — Christ Ranger @ 4:57 pm

“The cause of sexual freedom, meaning the legalization of same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, and unlimited access to contraceptives, is advanced under a single overriding principle, that individuals should be free to do whatever they want with whomever they want so long as all participants are consenting adults.  If that’s not freedom, what is?  It might be the opposite of freedom actually.” Janie B. Cheaney, Bedroom Politics

We see an inverse relationship in the last 50 years, particularly in the West — as the institution of family weakens, the need for and intrusion of government – welfare and criminal – increases.

Robert George reminds us, “Liberty is valuable not so much for its own sake as for the sake of something larger, namely, human excellence or human flourishing. And … liberty is sustained—if it is sustained at all—by virtues that themselves must be transmitted by healthy institutions of civil society, beginning with the marriage-based family and communities of religious faith.”

Marriage is a civil right and a civil institution.  The State’s interest in it is and always has been promoting the creation and nurturing of the next generation. See here.  Jennifer Roback Morse explains in Privatizing Marriage Is Impossible:

Marriage is society’s primary institutional arrangement that defines parenthood. Marriage attaches mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of any children she bears during the life of their union. These two people are the legally recognized parents of this child, and no one else is. The grandparents are not; the former boyfriend is not; the nanny who spends all day with the kids is not. These two hold their parental rights against all other competing claimants. This is an intrinsically social, public function of marriage that cannot be privatized.

You might reply, “Dr. Morse, your understanding of marriage is all about parenthood, and not about marriage itself. Not every marriage has children, after all.” And it is perfectly true: not every marriage has children. But every child has parents. This objection stands marriage on its head by looking at it purely from the adult’s perspective, instead of the child’s. The fact that this objection is so common shows how far we have strayed from understanding the public purpose of marriage, as opposed to the many private reasons that people have for getting married.

If no children were ever involved, adult sexual relationships simply wouldn’t be any of the state’s business. What we now call marriage would be nothing more than a government registry of friendships. If that’s all there were to marriage, privatizing it wouldn’t be a big deal. But if there were literally nothing more to marriage than a government registry of friendships, we would not observe an institution like marriage in every known society.

God created a man and a woman to create and sustain new life — not two women or two men. Two moms don’t equal two dads. If you don’t believe in God, substitute “evolution”. Either way, it’s not by happenstance that it takes one male and one female to create a child. It also takes one male and one female to have the best opportunity to raise a happy and productive child.  The state should not incentivize adults to deliberately create a child for purposes of raising the child without a father or without a mother. Those parts aren’t interchangeable.  Children, particularly boys, need fathers.  This isn’t just a point of theology or natural law, but is also demonstrable.

The pathology of fatherless homes in the country is staggering. Beyond poverty, there is an overwhelming connection between young men raised in fatherless homes and violent crime. Dr. Loren Moshen of the Nat’l Inst. of Mental Health analyzed US census figures and found the absence of a father to be stronger factor than poverty in contributing to juvenile delinquency. A group of Yale behavioral scientists studied delinquency in forty-eight cultures around the world and found that crime rates were highest among adults who as children had been raised solely by women. Dr. Martin Deutsch found that the father’s presence and conversation stimulates higher performance at school. John Hopkins researchers found that young white teenage girls living in fatherless families were 60 percent more likely to have premarital sex. Dr. Armand Nicholi’s research found that an emotionally or physically absent father contributes to a child’s low motivation for achievement, inability to defer immediate gratification for later rewards, low self-esteem, and susceptibility to group influence and to juvenile delinquency. We should be doing everything in our power to make sure children are raised by a mother AND a father.

Weakening the family inexorable leads to greater poverty, more crime, and poorer education.  These pathologies in turn lead to more government.  While it seems counterintuitive, the more the state supports and encourages strong families, the less prone we will be to larger and more intrusive government.

April 20, 2012

The Meaning and Potential Legal Effects of North Carolina’s Proposed Marriage Amendment

Filed under: culture, marriage and family, politics, economy, etc. — Christ Ranger @ 8:11 am

As previously noted, on May 8th, voters in North Carolina will decide whether to add to the State’s constitution a provisions that provides:

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

Opponents claim that the proposed Amendment ultimately could deny domestic violence protections, child custody and visitation rights, and other legal benefits to thousands of unmarried couples in NC.  Their concerns are based on a legal analysis of the Amendment published by Maxine Eichner, a law professor at UNC School of Law and a leading academic on feminist and queer legal theory.

Campbell law professors Lynn Buzzard, William Woodruff, and Gregory Wallace have published a detailed reply to Eichner disputing the accuracy of her legal analysis and rejecting her stated concerns regarding how the Amendment might harm unmarried couples.  The Campbell professors’ purpose is to advance the public dialogue by addressing the flawed analysis of Eichner, whose misleading claims have provided the basis for the opposition’s ongoing scare campaign. The professors explain,

The reason for this paper is a narrow one. We do not endorse or oppose the proposed Amendment. There are thoughtful arguments on both sides, and we encourage a robust public debate about the Amendment. Our aim instead is to help clarify for North Carolina voters the Amendment’s legal meaning and likely effects. We believe that the Amendment debate has been distorted by concerns over certain legal consequences that are highly unlikely to occur. … We emphasize again that it is not up to us to tell anyone how to vote on the proposed Amendment. We offer this paper only as a modest attempt to explain the meaning and likely effects of the Amendment, should it pass. We believe that North Carolina voters are best served by having accurate legal information about the Amendment, so that they can properly consider the Amendment’s pros and cons and then vote their conscience.

The Campbell Law professors conclude that even if the Amendment passes, unmarried and same-sex couples still will be protected under domestic violence laws, would retain their current rights to child custody and visitation, and could continue to received public health insurance benefits.

The three professors state that because the Amendment applies to “legal unions” and not “relationships,” it bars only same-sex marriage and legal recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships that resemble marriage unions.  The flaw in Eichner’s arguments is that she does not give the term “legal union” its proper legal effect in construing the Amendment. (Eichner admitted to me in debate that even without the “domestic legal union” clause, she still would not support a prohibition against same-sex marriage.)

The law professors’ full, detailed analysis can be found here:  The Meaning and Potential Legal Effects of North Carolina’s Proposed Marriage Amendment

March 31, 2012

A Civil and Legal Case for the NC Marriage Amendment

Filed under: culture, marriage and family, politics, economy, etc. — Christ Ranger @ 8:41 pm

On May 8, 2012, North Carolinians will vote on whether to add the following language to the Constitution of North Carolina:

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.

Meanings often change with times.  The meaning of a word changes when people use it in a new and different way.

Gay.  Fifty years ago, if I told you I was gay, it would mean something quite different than what it means to people today.

Word usage by people determines new meanings.

Marriage.

It’s a word.  But it is also a civil, legal and religious institution.  I support the NC Marriage Amendment because I believe the legal and civil purpose for the institution of marriage is to protect and encourage the lifelong commitment between one man and one woman to raise a family. Marriage is the institution designed for the creation and nurturing of children.

I will offer the following four points:

1.  Some say that we do not need the Marriage Amendment because it already reflects the status of state and federal statutory law.  However, I believe that the Marriage Amendment is necessary to ensure that marriage is defined by the people of North Carolina, and not by a handful of judges. As a Constitutional amendment, the people of North Carolina would directly control the meaning and purpose of this institution.

2.  There are two views of marriage in this debate – the traditional view that the institution of marriage is the lifelong commitment between a man and a woman to create, sustain and raise a family. The competing view purposes the institution for adults to express and validate lifestyle choices.  Some have characterized this debate as “child centric” versus “adult centric” views on marriage or whether the institution is tied to promoting procreation.

3. The law is normative.  How you define the purpose for the institution of marriage has consequences. When the institution of marriage is no longer about a lifelong commitment to family and children – it stops functioning to produce commitment, family and children.  Accordingly, the countries that have been progressively redefining marriage to be about adult preferences, marriage and reproduction rates are plummeting to dangerously low numbers.  I find merit to the concerns expressed by some that the West is committing societal suicide by demographics.

4. The numerous and mutating objections about the Marriage Amendment causing harm to families, business and domestic violence protections are disingenuous and ignore what has happened in the 29 other states that have amended their constitutions to ban gay marriage.  Critics have failed to put forward credible evidence of these threatened harms occurring in these numerous states over the past several years.

This brings us to the first issue with the Marriage Amendment –

I.          Is the Marriage Amendment necessary? 

YES.  American’s have not redefined the word nor the institution of marriage.  The effort to redefine marriage has been spearheaded by lawyers, the legal academic elite and a handful of judges.

Institutions and morals can change with times.  When morals change, the law often changes to reflect the new values.  But there’s no evidence the meaning of the word has changed through popular usage nor the institution.

The black letter dictionary on law – Black’s Law Dictionary defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.  The second edition of the Oxford American Dictionary is the most recent, comprehensive lexical analysis of American English.  Completed in 2005, it defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

Similarly, our current statutes reflect the view that marriage is between a man and a woman.  The federal Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton states that “’marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife …) 1 USC § 7.  North Carolina General Statute § 51-1.2 establishes that same sex marriages are not valid in North Carolina.

However, the force for changing the definition of marriage to include gay marriage was a handful of judges and the power of their courts.  Eight states recognize homosexual marriages – the first three States in our Republic to do so – were the result of judicial decree.

Massachusetts: May 17, 2004, Court Order
Connecticut: Nov. 12, 2008, Court Order
Iowa: April 24, 2009, Court Order
Vermont: Sept. 1, 2009, Legislation
New York: June 24, 2011, Legislation
New Hampshire: Jan. 1, 2010, Legislation
Washington: Feb. 14, 2012, Legislation
Maryland: passed Mar. 1, 2012; effective Jan. 1, 2013, Legislation

This issue of marriage should be resolved by the people of North Carolina and not by attorneys or judicial decree.  Through the legislative process, only five states have adopted homosexual marriage.  In contrast 29 states have expressly prohibited homosexual marriage by Constitutional Amendment, and one state has passed a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to ban gay marriage.

10 States w/amendments that ban same-sex marriage: Alaska, Nevada, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona, California – whose ballot initiative banning gay marriage is presently enjoined by the 9th Circuit

18 States w/amendments that ban same-sex marriage & civil unions but not other contracts: Nebraska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Florida

2 States w/amendments that ban same-sex marriage, civil unions & related contracts: Michigan, Virginia

The people, not a judge, should decide whether we want to redefine what marriage means in North Carolina.  If the Marriage Amendment is passed by the voters, then under state law, it can only be changed by a vote of the people.

II.  The traditional versus the radical feminists and critical legal theorist’s theory of marriage

What’s the purpose for the institution of marriage?  Why do we have “marriage”?

Is marriage primarily about family or about the individual’s liberty of lifestyle?

How you answer this should largely inform your views on whether you think the institution of marriage ought to include homosexual partners.

A.  The traditional definition of marriage.

In his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster defined marriage as follows:

The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life.  Marriage is contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them.  Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.

Webster’s definition reflects the traditional, Judeo-Christian perspective on marriage. This is the definition to which the people of the Carolinas have regulated the legal institution for over 343 years, since the original royal charter of the Province of Carolina.  It is the view held uniformly throughout the West for the past 2000 years, until about 20 years ago.

Under this traditional view, marriage is a life long commitment between a man and a woman and is the foundation of the family.  The family is the foundation of society as it is the family that creates, nurtures and raises the next generation.  In this view, marriage is a sacred bond between the man and woman, in the presence of the family, friends and before God.  The family is the foundation of any and every society.

The traditional view on marriage is premised on the idea that marriage and raising children are hard work that requires a lifetime of largely selfless commitment.  The institution of marriage is to encourage and protect that union and labor for the benefit of the children.

The traditional view of marriage is also premised on the idea that society should promote and protect children being raised by their biological mothers and fathers who are committed and legally obligated to the well being of the family.  There is great and ancient wisdom in this sentiment that we should all recognize.  There is an overwhelming common pathology in our prisons and on our welfare roles: children raised without their fathers. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 35 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering. Marriage drops the probability of poverty by 80%.

Decades upon decades and hundreds if not thousands of empirical studies repeatedly demonstrate that children raised in a home with their married mother and father are substantially more healthy, wealthy, happy, and productive than their counterparts who were not. 

Under the traditional view of marriage and family – the self is subordinated to the good of the family, particularly to the good of the children.  Through the traditional institution of marriage, adult society protects, promotes and encourages a child’s right to be raised in a secure environment by his or her biological parents. The traditional view of marriage is child focused.

B.  The radical feminist and critical legal theorist’s view of marriage.

The moral and legal theory behind the gay marriage effort finds its genesis in radical feminist and queer legal theory[1], the scholars of which are not laudatory of the traditional institution of marriage.

The motto of the feminist legal theorists and sexual revolutionaries of the late 60s was “smash monogamy”.  Marriage was portrayed as an institution of suppression. Now, a generation later, they are fighting for homosexuals to be admitted into the legalized institution of monogamy – marriage.

This isn’t irony.  It’s intentional.  It’s a deliberate and ongoing effort to redefine how society views and lives marriage.  From this radical perspective, the primary purpose of the institution of marriage is to fulfill and validate the individual’s liberty of lifestyle, be it heterosexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, polygamous, or polyamorous.  Same sex marriage repurposes marriage from a child-focused institution to an institution focused on validating and facilitating the expressive desires of adults.

Under this individual liberty view of marriage, marriage exists as an institution through which adults live and express themselves on the issues of family and sex.

This radical individualism and radical egalitarianism is not something new.  In fact, it’s not even new to the institution of marriage.  Starting in the 1970s, we began redefining marriage.  Now if marriage doesn’t make you happy, end it. The no fault divorce – divorce rates since the 1980s have vacillated between 40 to 50%.

Instead of a lifelong commitment to the family, we began changing the institution of marriage into a perishable commodity.  The institution is still focused on family and children, but only for so long as we feel like it.

The youth of today are the first generations raised in the culture of disposable marriage.  It also shouldn’t be surprising then for us to find that a majority of these youth attach little moral, legal, or emotional significance to the institution of marriage being extended to gay adults who want to “enjoy” this celebration of individual liberty.

I respectfully suggest, and having lived through it personally can testify, that this concept of marriage as a disposable commodity is not at all healthy for children nor for the future of this Republic.

The proper view of marriage in a healthy society is that marriage is a life long union between a man and woman for purposes of raising a family together.  Marriage should remain child focused.

The underlying issue pertaining to the Marriage Amendment is not about homosexuals raising children.  It’s about the purpose of marriage: is it an institution to celebrate individual liberty, or is it a lifelong commitment between a husband and wife for the purpose of raising their children?

Marriage should not be an institution for validating sexual preferences.  The institution of same sex marriage would change the institution of marriage from a child-focused institution to an adult-centered institution.

Deliberately conceiving a child with the life plan that he or she will never have a relationship with his or her father is unjust and cruel to the child.  Sex is not an irrelevant category for parenting. All else being equal, children do better when there is both a mother and father in the home dedicated to raising them.  Further, there is already a crisis of absentee fathers in this country.

The West has led the world in redefining marriage to be about individual liberty interests.  There has been a pronounced and undeniable impact, and it has not been family or child friendly.

III.  There are serious consequences to redefining marriage to be about the wants and needs of adults.

When marriage stops being primarily about commitment to and raising a family, then marriage stops producing commitment and family.

We talk a lot about the importance of education for equipping the next generation for tomorrow.  But there is a more important, a more fundamental imperative for our children’s future:  the future first belongs to those that show up.  Our Western liberal democracies are showing an ever fading interest in showing up for tomorrow.  To the contrary, there is compelling evidence that we are in a demographic death spiral, particularly in Europe, which spiral appears to have started with our redefining the institution of marriage to be about the wants and needs of adults instead of the creation and sustenance of families, i.e. children.

The family in the West is crumbling and our reproductive rates are plummeting.

1. Netherlands in 2001 legalized gay marriage – the public debate there and lawsuits started in earnest in 1989.  I was there in 1990.  A funny thing happened. Starting in the 1990s, the institution of marriage began to crumble.  In 1995, 15% of births were out of wedlock.  By 2009, out of wedlock births increased to 41% of births;– fertility rate of 1.78 children per couple. A healthy country requires a fertility rate of 2.1 to sustain its population;

You cannot prove causality – however, free and open sexual expression and treating marriage as a validation of lifestyle choices has not produced more families or more children.  The opposite has happened.

The law is normative.  It counsels what is acceptable conduct.  Gay marriage is about validating the liberty of lifestyle choices. When the institution of marriage is no longer about commitment, family and children – it stops functioning to produce commitment, family and children.

2. Belgium legalized homosexual marriage in 2003 – from 1995 to 2009, out of wedlock births increased from 18% to 42% of births out of wedlock; fertility rate of 1.65

3.  Spain legalized homosexual marriage in 2005 – from 1995 to 2009 – out of wedlock births increased from 10% to 32%; fertility rate of 1.48

United States – we presently have a fertility rate of 2.06; our births out of wedlock were 41% in 2008 according to the CDC.  Within that, for Asian’s the rate is 17% of births out of wedlock, 28% for whites, 52% for Hispanics, and 72% for blacks.  Marriage and procreation are already under great duress in this country. The collapse of the institution in the United States coincides with the advent of the “no fault” divorce here. Making the institution of marriage even more adult and expressive centric will likely only lead to what we see in Europe – a collapsed institution and unsustainable level of procreation.

Procreation is the most fundamental function of a healthy society.

How do these fertility rates compare with countries that have not followed the lead to make marriage about adult expression?  You need 2.1 fertility rate to sustain.

Brazil has a fertility rate of 2.2.
Mexico has a fertility rate of 2.5
India – 2.58 fertility rate
Egypt – 2.94 fertility rate
Pakistan – fertility rate 3.52

The nations that have openly and aggressively redefined marriage to be adult focused are perhaps not surprisingly, not having children. Examining the countries that have led the way on gay marriage, we find fertility rates from 1.48 to 1.78.  That’s not family friendly.

To the contrary, the West is in a demographic death spiral.  This will result in declining and aging populations; changed social relations, economic pressure from shrinking populations; and if given large immigration patterns with disproportionately higher birth rates persist (which is the case in Europe with robust fertility rates within the immigrant Muslim demographic) – we will have entirely changed cultures/societies within a few generations.

When the institution of marriage ceases to be about children, sustainable reproduction dies and you have a dying country.

The institution of the family is in duress across the very Western liberal democracies that have taken it upon themselves to redefine the purpose of marriage.  We should not redefine the institution further.  Marriage should be about the life long commitment of a man and a woman for the purposes of raising their biological children.

IV.       Subterfuge Arguments

There have been numerous allegations that this Amendment would have countless unanticipated ramifications that would hurt children and families.

Most of these claims lack merit.

1.  The Amendment cannot be both unnecessary and too dangerous?  On the one hand, critics claim the Amendment is unnecessary because it doesn’t change the current status of the law.  On the other hand, we’re told that the Amendment will harm heterosexual couples. If the amendment does not change the legal status quo, it should have no affect the day after enacted.  The only difference the day after enactment is that the people of North Carolina will control the definition of marriage in North Carolina.

2.  What’s the motive?  This debate is not about the wording of the Amendment.  The people raising these arguments do not want to fix imprecise wording.  The wording is not imprecise.  The people making these arguments object to the traditional notion of marriage being the institution through which one man and one woman raises a family. They object to the fundamental moral dispute.  Not the wording of how it is enacted.  They do not support a more carefully worded restriction.

3.  We’re not the first.  We’re looking at being the 31st State to pass a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.  The critics’ unintended consequences arguments might be more persuasive if we were the first state to pass such an Amendment.  Or maybe if we were the second, third or even fourth state.  We’re not.  This Amendment was based on studying the 30 current amendments already on the books and enforced in other states.  This is a well-worn path.  From the 30 prior iterations, the critics have not produced any meaningful evidence of these harms.  Our Amendment is nearly identical to Idaho’s amendment, which was passed in 2006.  Critics cannot point to one adverse resulting event there.  Our Amendment is far less restrictive than Virginia’s, yet again, there is not one example of harm there.  Despite amendments in dozens of states for many years, there is no pattern or evidence of adverse, unintended consequences. Critics claims to the contrary are unsubstantiated.

4.  Based on a 2011 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Marriage Amendment should not adversely affect North Carolina’s economy. A 2011 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked states by economic performance between 1999 and 2009 and by economic outlook. Eight of the top ten economically performing states have amendments banning homosexual marriage. None have legalized same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. Nine of the 10 states forecasted to have the poorest economic growth have legalized same-sex marriage, civil unions and/or domestic partnerships.

5. The amendment should not affect the enforcement of domestic violence laws. This is perhaps the most spurious of arguments.  Out of 30 states having already amended their constitutions, the opponents rely upon an instance in Ohio where a trial court refused to enforce a domestic violence statute based on the Ohio Marriage Amendment.  What the critics don’t tell you is that the trial court was reversed by the Ohio State Supreme Court in 2007.  The critics rely upon a reversed decision that has nothing to do with North Carolina’s domestic violence statutes. For lawyers, the trial court’s decision is called bad precedent.  See Ohio v. Carswell, 871 N.E.2d 547 (Ohio 2007)

6. The amendment will not nullify medical powers of attorney (MPOAs) wills and trusts if the parties are homosexual partners. Under G.S. 32A-18 “any competent person who is not engaged in providing health care to the principal for remuneration, and who is 18 years of age or older, may act as a health care agent.” The relationship between the patient and the designated agent does not matter. The intent of the testator and trustor is the “gold standard” in N.C. for interpreting wills and trusts. The amendment does not change the intent of the testator in either type of these instruments. The amendment explicitly states that it will not affect the rights of parties to enter into private contractual agreements.

7. The Marriage Amendment will not determine the custody and visitation rights of unmarried parents unless their behavior affects the child. Custody orders are based on the parent/child relationship, not on the domestic relationship between the parents. Courts have based custody and visitation on the “best interest of the child.” NCGS 50-13.2(2007) The sexual behavior of the party petitioning for custody or visitation is not determinative except as it affects the child. The “de facto parenting doctrine” was applied in 2010 in Boseman v. Jarrell, 704 S.E.2d 494 (N.C. 2010). The Supreme Court refused to allow adoption to an unmarried same-sex partner but did award joint custody and visitation rights to that non-biological same-sex partner who had become a de facto parent to the child.

8. Homosexual couples will still be able to visit each other in the hospital.  I don’t believe there are visitation restrictions currently against homosexual couples in North Carolina, and we have not legalized gay marriage or civil unions.  Further, I don’t think a public or private hospital could refuse the designation of an unmarried partner and remain in Medicare. the final rule from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding hospital visitation, which can be found here:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-11-19/pdf/2010-29194.pdf, is a broad provision that, from my reading of it, basically says that if you want to participate in Medicare you must inform patients of their right to receive visitors and the hospital may not limit those visitation rights based on sexual orientation.  I haven’t been able to find specific statistics on the percentage of that accept Medicare funds, but it must be extremely high.

CONCLUSION

All citizens of North Carolina, gay and straight, are respected and welcomed and they have the right to private commitment ceremonies as they choose.  But, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for our State.

Marriage is the foundation institution for creating, sustaining and raising the next generation.  When the institution of marriage is no longer about a life long commitment to family and children – it stops functioning to produce commitment, family and children.

For these reasons, I will be voting in favor of the Marriage Amendment.


[1] “Queer Legal Theory” is not a term of derision but is the term of reference used within academia to refer to a particular school of jurisprudence and its scholars.  The leading academic proponent of same sex marriage in North Carolina, UNC Law Professor Maxine Eichner is a well known legal feminist in academia who is well versed in critical legal theory.  Her most acknowledged work is a review of feminist and queer legal theory with regard to “sexual citizenship.”  See Eichner, Feminism, Queer Theory, and Sexual Citizenship.  The paper can be downloaded at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1451059

December 25, 2011

“Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” (HD)

Filed under: culture, video — Christ Ranger @ 1:01 pm

December 16, 2011

Christmas Town

Filed under: culture, entertainment, video — Christ Ranger @ 12:04 pm

Last Saturday, we visited Christmas Town at the Creation Museum.  This all volunteer production by Answers in Genesis was fantastic – fun, interesting, and well planned.  Our kids particularly enjoyed it.  True to the AiG brand, the fun is blended with God honoring content.  It’s the first time I’ve watched a live manger scene coupled with an archeologist explaining the circumstances surrounding Christ’s birth and the evidences for believing the Bible.  The lights display is beautiful. The presentations and shows are entertaining and true to Scripture, with one exception that was glaring to our southern sensibilities – the 27 degree Northern Kentucky weather once the sun went down.  Many shows are, however, inside, and even in the arctic-Bethlehem outside, there are fires, heaters and lots of hot chocolate with which to keep warm.  Christmas Town is well worth the trip.

Catch a glimpse of the amazing events that surrounded the wonder of our Savior’s birth when you visit the Creation Museum during the annual Christmas event, “Christmas Town.”

Featuring a live nativity, dazzling lights, and live dramas, Christmas Town is becoming an annual tradition for families all across the region (17,000 visitors came in 2009 and 22,000 in 2010).  All of the wonderfully made presentations are free and there were substantial discounts on AiG products being offered for sale.  See schedule here.

Merry Christmas!

November 23, 2011

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Filed under: culture, praise — Christ Ranger @ 6:07 pm

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
By the President of theUnited States of America.

 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

 I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of theUnited States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

 In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of theUnited Statesto be affixed.

 Done at the City ofWashington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of theIndependenceof the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

 By the President: Abraham Lincoln

See also, Refuting the Seven Myths of the Radical Left About Thanksgiving By Douglas W. Phillips and Elijah Brown, November 23, 2011

 

November 12, 2011

Our Best Days Are Ahead

Filed under: culture, politics, economy, etc., praise — Christ Ranger @ 5:00 pm

As an undergraduate at Purdue in 1987, one of my Professors, Harry Targ, lectured on the Cold War.  He had just published his book Strategy of an Empire in Decline, in which he explained his belief in the moral, economic and political superiority of communism viz capitalism.  In his mind, the USA Would not long withstand the inexorable and inevitable expansion of the Soviet Union.  He was right regarding the collapse of an empire but wrong about everything else.

While Professor Targ is a run of the mill exemplar of the Marxist-Socialist bias in secondary education, he illuminates a larger point.  He was a full-time academic on the Soviet Union.  In 1986, there wasn’t serious discussion or analysis regarding the forthcoming USSR implosion.  Notwithstanding his expertise on the Soviet Union, Professor Targ didn’t see the collapse coming in a relatively few years.  None of us did.

Life works like that.  Major historical events rarely appear obvious or inevitable as they happen. They are only clear in retrospect, if ever.

In contrast to the failure to foresee the swift and surprising nature of the USSR’s collapse, there are serious red flags that Western liberal democracies in general and the USA in particular have become financially, politically, and morally unhinged.  Spending well beyond the available means is the norm not the exception for governments and families throughout the West. No leading political figure in any way advocates significant spending cutbacks.

We’re politically dysfunctional as the federal government divides fairly equally between those wedded to socialist statism and those that prefer corporate and military statism (while occasionally mouthing traditional conservatism).

Post-modernism has supplants Judeo-Christian beliefs as our moral foundation.  Regarding sex, sexuality and marriage, what had been regarded as immoral, perverse and often illegal in the 1950s, is now acceptable and often routine and laudatory.  When the highly accomplished Coach Paterno was fired for harboring a child molester on his coaching staff, thousands of students at one of our most esteemed Universities protested … not over the sexual improprieties that had occurred between Paterno’s subordinate and boys, but over the fact Paterno was fired over it.  These outraged students are some of our most gifted minds and the future of this country.

There are clouds on our national horizon.

We should however fear and fret not.  One kingdom will last forever, and it’s not our beloved USA.  The everlasting kingdom will provide perfect justice and governance.  As much as I love the USA and what we stand for, that future perfect government has not yet been established on Earth.

The future King of nations will not be delivered via an election.  He will arrive with the sound of trumpets.  Instead of water, he will baptise with fire, providing terribly perfect justice and loving grace.  Under his perfect reign, the curse will be lifted and a new world reborn.  Death will no longer sting and eternity will be a reality.  That day should be our hope for the future.  In Christ and not the works of mankind should we place our faith. Jesus Christ return and his perfect reign will endure forever.  Pray soon.  Amen.

November 2, 2011

Would Elaine Marshall Eat the Rich?

Filed under: culture, politics, economy, etc., video — Christ Ranger @ 8:03 am

Listening to the Occupy Wall Street crowd, I feel like I’m back in my undergraduate days, taking notes down from the lecture of yet another tenured, self-proclaimed Marxist professor.  In attempting to explain the OWS motivation, the self-proclaimed Communist website Kasama explains,

It’s not that we don’t have demands; it’s that we speak them in a different language. We speak them with our struggle. Our movement is made up of people fighting for jobs, for schools, for debt relief, equitable housing, and healthcare. We are resisting ecological destruction, imperialism, racism, patriarchy, and capitalism.

See here. The only thing missing from this traditional Communist rallying cry is resistance against deism.  In listening to the OWS crowd and trying to read what this somewhat inchoate mass puts out, it sounds just like a rehash of what the radical egalitarian, hardcore statist left-wingers have been advocating since at least 1917.  Pajamas Media has compiled a list of those endorsing and supporting OWS, and it reads as a Who’s Who of the hardcore lefties, communists, socialists, and nationalist socialists (NAZIs).  See here. Robert Laurie observes,

[A]ll of these disparate forces view capitalism and the United States as broken, deeply flawed constructs. The thing that unites them, no matter how unlikely their alliance may seem, is the idea that America needs to be undone and reconfigured as a country most citizens would scarcely recognize. As President Obama himself put it, America needs to be rebuilt ‘from the ground up.’

I was therefore surprised when I recently received an email from the North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall campaign bragging about her support for OWS. In her words and emphasis:

There are a lot of politicians trying to cozy up to Occupy Wall Street – but very few are actually hitting the streets to stand with them. That’s why I’m proud to be working for Secretary of State Elaine Marshall – someone who hasn’t just embraced the OWS protests, but has actually joined with them on the streets of Raleigh!

See Marshall OWS rally “pep talk” here. She concluded her OWS email endorsement with a request for a campaign contribution.  It’s not a good time for the USA when mainstream, southern Democrats take the stage to endorse a movement of hardcore communists and other statists.

 

.

October 30, 2011

Happy All Saints Day!

Filed under: culture — Christ Ranger @ 8:51 pm

Not being big fans of pagan Celtic rituals, witches and goblins, or of copious consumption of cheap candy, my wife and I are always less than enthusiastic about Halloween.  We enjoy our children’s imaginations and encourage them to dress up and pretend, however, Halloween is just soo dark and gross.

In recognition of and support for the church’s past efforts to convert this pagan holiday to All Saints Day, my wife and I challenged our four children to each select a “saint” to write about today.  They each picked a famous Christian, with the youngest picking first. Several of our children wanted to select our nation’s most famous martyr, Nate Saint (1923-1956). Our five year old selected him with the first draft pick. Fitting that Saint was our first saint selected. One of the founders of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Cameron Townsend (1896-1982), was picked second. Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), the Irish girl who wanted blue eyes, but whose brown eyes allowed her to serve as a missionary in India for 55 years, was third; she saved countless girls.  In response to a letter enquiring what missionary life is like, Ms. Carmichael responded simply, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.”  The Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1586) for whom we should celebrate October 31 each year was selected by my eldest. I hope to write soon regarding my “pick.” Following are the All Saints Day reports written by our children, ages 5, 7, 10, and 11:

Nate Saint

Nate Saint was a missionary in Ecuador who was very brave. He told the Auca indians about Jesus. Auca means “savage.” Mr. Saint had a bright yellow airplane. The Auca indians really liked him. Then one day they got mad at Nate and his friends. They killed him and his friends.

Then the Auca women invited Nate’s sister named Rachel to live with them. She told them about Jesus just like Nate had and they listened to her! They became Christians and were baptized! I think this story is sad because Nate and his friends were killed but I also think it is happy because the indians became Christians.

I think we should celebrate Saints Day instead of Halloween because Halloween was started with the Celts thinking that dead people came out of their graves on Halloween and they had to dress up as scary as they could to scare away the ghosts. Then the missionaries tried to turn it into a holiday called Saints Day to celebrate the saints and missionaries. But then people didn’t listen and started celebrating Halloween again.

Cameron Townsend

As a boy, Cameron Townsend loved to figure things out.  He was nicknamed Cam. Life was not easy.  He helped his father farm.  They were poor but well fed. They thanked God for their lives and they worked hard.

Their father read the Bible to them. They sang hymns and prayed.

In college, Cam had the opportunity to give a Bible to people in need in the Guatemalan countryside.  When he gave a Spanish language Bible to a native villager, the man said he could not read Spanish.  The man then asked if your God is so great, why can’t he speak my language?

From then on, Cameron dedicated his life to translating Bibles for people who had never had Bibles in their native languages. He also taught them how to farm and care for themselves.  The President of Mexico helped him.  Cameron started Wycliffe.

Martin Luther

One day the pope said to a bunch of people that if you dropped a coin into a bucket your sins would be forgiven. Then he said your dead relatives in purgatory will also go to heaven as soon as you dropped that coin into the bucket. Then all the people ran forward and dropped all the money they had into buckets and ran home excitedly. One of those people didn’t run home; he ran to his friend who was a Christian monk named Martin Luther and told him how he freed his relatives and how his sins were forgiven.

Martin Luther was very mad at the pope so he made a list of 95 reasons why the Catholic church was wrong to do that and nailed his list on a church on October 31. Then Luther published the reasons and told a bunch of people about it. Lots of people believed him and Luther wrote lots of books. Then the pope brought Martin Luther to court. Luther said if they showed him in the Bible where he was wrong he would burn all the books he had written. Lots of people got mad and chased him out of the court house. Then some men on horses ran out of the woods and rescued him and brought him to a old castle where he translated the Bible into German so people could learn about Jesus.

When he was 67, Luther got sick and died. Martin Luther was a saint and I think we should celebrate Saints Day instead of Halloween because Halloween was started with the Celts dressing up as bad and as nasty as they could because they thought that ghosts came out of graves and would haunt their bodies so they had to scare them away buy dressing up scary. The saints tried to change Halloween to a Christian religion but it didn’t work. In Austria people still leave bread and water out to welcome dead people back for Halloween. In Sweden they celebrate all Saints Day. There are lots of other countries like Austria that honor their dead relatives for Halloween but Sweden celebrates all Saints Day instead of bad things.

Amy Carmichael

One day, a little Irish girl who loved sweets, was sitting in a tearoom by a window eating small cakes and drinking tea.  She noticed a hungry little girl about her age looking through the window.

Amy’s memory of the girl just wouldn’t go away. She thought that God had a plan for her because she couldn’t forget that girl.  Little Amy felt very sorrow for that girl and decided to write a note saying, “When I am older, I will build a safe place for little girls.”

A long time passed and Amy loved to go on walks. She usually invited local children to her house to sing, clap, and dance and she would read them Bible stories. One morning Amy decided to visit the local Irish slums. She passed out bread and read Bible stories. She felt sad for all the sights of poverty around her. She saw a girl with blue eyes, Amy had always wanted blue eyes instead of brown. The girl was dressed in rags so Amy gave her a piece of bread. She looked so pale and was so small. A women with a shawl instead of a hat, came by a picked up the girl. The women turned and walked away. As she turned, the shawl fell from her face. Amy gasped, surprised.

The woman looked so worn and bent, but SHE was really quite young. Amy discovered this women was known as a “shawlie”. Shawlies covered their head up with shawls instead of hat because the hats cost to much. Amy felt sorrow. It wasn’t long after that visit with the “shawlie”, when she came up with an idea. She began to do a Bible study for the poor, in her own church. But many people in her church did not like that idea. They told Amy that these shawlies would come in their church with dirt, lice, and fleas. Amy did not care what other people thought about the shawlies. She would love, care, and help them like God would want her to. A couple of years passed and Amy’s work soon grew very big. She had a bigger building planned, and made so she could have singing, Bible studies, prayer, and sewing clubs in the building.

Things soon changed for Amy. Her family had to move to England. But she did not know that God had a plan for her to tell more people from different places about him. It was hard for her to leave her family and friends, but she knew God was with her and he would never leave her. When she arrived in India, she learned the Hindus worshiped idols and gods. The rich ladies wore silk but Amy chose wear white cotton like the poor. She told them about Jesus and how nice he was. She told them to burn their idols and love Jesus.

Most Hindus disliked Amy. They also disliked her God. But one girl, named Arulai, chose to like Amy. She would sneak out of her house and meet with Amy when her family didn’t know. When her family found this out, they forbade her right away to see Amy ever again.

After months, Arulia was able to get to Amy again. She quickly ran to Amy but when she got there she was very weak and sick. She slept in Amy’s bed, so sick she could hardly speak. Her father came to take here back to their house but then he found she was too weak and sick. For a long time he came and visited his daughter. Every time he came he found Amy being loving and kind and caring for his daughter. So, when Arulia was healed, her father let her stay with Amy for as long as she wanted.

Another girl, who was Hindu, decided she would like to be Christian and not tell anyone because if they knew she believed in the stuff they hated, her life could be in danger. After three years, she decided she would have to find her way to Amy’s house. At evening, she crept outside, tiptoeing across the road. Soon she saw a Christian banner in sight. “That is probably Amy’s house.” she thought to herself. She came up to the house and knocked on the door, and  Amy let her in, just like she had to the other girls who wanted to be a Christian.

Now, since most of the Hindu girls were becoming Christian, and going to Amy’s house, they locked them up in the Hindu temple and made them work instead of play. One girl’s father died and her mom was too weary to take care of her and had to send her to the temple saying, “At least you will be fed.” The girl was only five and named Preena and at the temple at night she felt very sad and cold. She was never able to go outside or see her mom. Because Preena was not loved, sometimes she hid and cried.

Finally she was able to escape and see her mother. But when her mother saw her she said, “You cannot stay here. Go back to the temple.” The Hindu priests punished her and taught her to obey. But Preena kept dreaming of being free from the temple.

Two more years were passed and Preena was still at the temple. But one day she overheard some people talking, saying there was a woman who lived nearby. Her name was Amy. She was a Christian and was helping other Christian girls to become more like Christ. She heard the people say how this lady was willing to help girls who had no good place to live. So Preena thought to herself, “I wonder if I could escape and I wonder if I escaped if Amy would help me.” So, at night, she crept through the temple, being careful not to make a sound. She tried the door, it was unlocked. So she tiptoed through the streets to find Amy’s home.

She went to the church, and found a women who would help her find the Christian lady, Amy. Being carful for danger, the two set out in search for Amy’s house. Soon they found it and Amy was sipping English tea, with a smile on her face. Her smile looked so loving that Preena felt safe, and at home. She felt so safe, she climbed right on Amy’s lap.

Amy kept this young girl and taught her about Jesus. Soon Preena loved Jesus.

A lot of other Children at the temple were rescued and safe with Amy. They soon learned all about Jesus. As Amy kept getting more and more children, there ended up being no room in the house for them to live, sleep, eat, and hide. Amy moved the children to the country. There was room there for the children to live, sleep, eat, and hide. Amy built a hospital also for the children so they could stay healthy.

Amy loved those children and saved them just like she had promised as a child.

(Based on Renee Taft Meloche, Amy Carmichael Rescuing the Children (YWAM Publ. 2004) (part of Heroes for Young Readers series).

October 29, 2011

The Sexiness of Marriage and Family

Filed under: culture, marriage and family — Christ Ranger @ 5:38 pm

Kate Bolick created a bit of a buzz with her recent article “All the Single Ladies” published in Atlantic Magazine.  Through this long and data-filled narrative, Ms. Bolick argues the modern feminist case against traditional marriage and family roles and justification for the sexual “revolution.”  Ms. Bolick is a talented writer and thinker and interweaves her personal narrative through her polemic against traditional female roles.  In fact, the candor of her narrative keeps the reader turning the pages.  But through her candor, Ms. Bolick raises serious doubt about just how good this “modern” feminist ethics has been for women.

Ms. Bolick embodies the modern feminist lie life – pursuing self and professional fulfillment at the expense of marriage and family.  She is talented, successful, attractive.  She’s reached the top of the professional and social fields in New York City.  By any “modern” feminist standard, Ms. Bolick is accomplished.  She has more former boyfriends than she can recall.

But no love.  No family.  No children.  At no point does she attempt to persuade that her choices brought happiness or fulfillment. Doubt, not happiness, pervade her writing.

In reviewing this illuminating essay, Maggie Gallagher observes,

Who exactly are the new enemies of Eros?

Sex has been divorced from meaning. Men are not being raised to be good family men, and women are not being raised to appreciate good family men. And men are failing to become the kind of men women want. Porn is available for all as a substitute for life.

So Kate, facing a future without children or marriage, wants to celebrate singleness and to kill her youthful idealization.

“Everywhere I turn, I see couples upending existing norms and power structures,” she says, citing a friend who fell in love with her dog walker, a man 12 years younger, with whom she stayed for three years “and are best friends today.”

Well, everywhere I turn in Kate’s essay I see women doing the best they can to celebrate the best they feel they can get, and it’s unbearably sad.

The truth is celebrating singleness—i.e., celebrating “not doing something”—makes no sense. Loving is better than not loving. Choosing to love and commit to a husband or a child is a much higher ideal than choosing not to; that’s why it needs to be celebrated and idealized.

Of course, not everyone marries or becomes a mother, and of course every human life has other possibilities for meaning, and other forms of love to give.

But all of these other loves—the aunt, the grandparent, the best friend—came into being because somewhere some woman gave herself to the independence-shattering act of making a family.

See Maggie Gallagher The New Singleness

Mona Charen commented:

There is a great deal of interesting data in this piece. According to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of Millennials and 43 percent of Gen Xers think marriage is becoming obsolete. As of 2010, women held 51.4 percent of all managerial and professional positions, compared with 26 percent in 1980. Women account for the lion’s share of bachelors and masters degrees, and make up a majority of the work force. Three quarters of the jobs lost during the recession were lost by men. “One recent study found a 40 percent increase in the number of men who are shorter than their wives.” Fully 50 percent of the adult population is single, compared with 33 percent in 1950.

The resulting decline of marriage has been a disaster for children, a deep disappointment to reluctantly single women and unhealthy for single men, who are less happy, shorter-lived and less wealthy than married men. The sexual revolution has left a trail of destruction in its wake, even when its victims don’t recognize the perpetrator.

See Charen, Blame the Sexual Revolution, Not Men

At about the same time Ms. Bolick was making headlines, there was another, shorter story in the news, a counter-narrative to Ms. Bolick.  This story was about traditional marriage.  It was not filled with data and in-depth analysis.  The story was about Norma and Gordon Yeager.  They were not nearly as attractive or successful as Ms. Bolick. They were from Marshalltown, Iowa.  In the eyes of the world, they were until recently entirely obscure.

Mr. Yeager had promised his wife he would never leave her.  In late October, the Yeagers were in a car accident.  Rushed to the hospital, they lay side by side in critical condition, holding hands.  Mr. Yeager died, still holding his wife’s hand, with their family around them.  Though dead, his monitor still indicated a beating heart. It was his wife’s heart picked up through their holding hands.  An hour later, she died, still holding his hand.  Mr. Yeager was 94; Mrs. Yeager was 90.  They had been married 72 years together.  The Yeager’s son said, “They just loved being together. He always said, ‘I can’t go until she does because I gotta stay here for her.’ And she would say the same thing.”

The Yeager’s testimony on marriage, love and family is compelling.  RIP

As more generations continue to eat the poisonous fruits of the “sexual revolution,” we can only hope and pray that the old becomes new again.

October 1, 2011

30 Minute Power Movie – Must See

Filed under: culture, video — Christ Ranger @ 11:39 pm

Hitler.  Comfort.  Finish this sentence ….  Blue mohawk.  Holocaust.

September 12, 2011

Choose Life from NC DMV

Filed under: culture, marriage and family — Christ Ranger @ 4:42 pm

“Choose Life NC”

Now Available

 

Here is a quick and easy way to provide resources for women with an unplanned pregnancy: The application form for the “Choose Life” plate is available HERE for download.

 To apply for the “Choose Life” plate you must fill out the application form and return it along with the applicable fee ($25 for a regular DMV-issued “Choose Life” plate or $55 for a four-character personalized “Choose Life” plate) to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (CPCF) at P.O. Box 3888, Charlotte, NC 28278.

 The DMV requires a third party-in this case the CPCF-to collect the initial 300 applications and fees. Once the CPCF submits all the applications to DMV, the plates will be made and sent to applicants. After the 300 threshold has been met, new applications for the “Choose Life” plate should be directed to the DMV directly.

 This specialty license plate will cost drivers that opt to purchase the plate an extra $25 per year for the DMV issued “Choose Life” plate or an extra $55 per year for a personalized “Choose Life” plate. This fee is in addition to the regular DMV vehicle registration fee. Of the additional $25, $15 goes to the CPCF, a nonprofit group that will distribute the funds to the state’s Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs). PRCs are non-profit, pro-life organizations located around the state that provide compassionate alternatives to abortion and help for women facing unplanned pregnancies, including counseling and other free-of-charge services.

August 19, 2011

Tax the rich more! What’s wrong a little more immorality?

Filed under: culture, politics, economy, etc. — Christ Ranger @ 3:58 pm

Over at NRO, Peter Kirsanow suggests Today’s Questions for the President and presents the following facts:

  • The top 1 percent of income earners pay 38 percent of all federal income taxes. They earn 20 percent of all (adjusted gross) income.
  • The top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes. They earn 55 percent of all income.
  • The top 25 percent of all income earners pay 86 percent of all federal income taxes. They earn  67 percent of all income.
  • Approximately half of U.S. households pay no federal income taxes whatsoever

In response to President Obama’s recent suggestion that the gross budget deficits could easily be erased if more Americans were simply more willing to engage in “shared sacrifice.”  Mr. Kirsanow poses the obvious question which the feckless US press corp hasn’t, whom does the president have in mind?  Certainly not the bottom half of earners that pay effectively nothing. 

But these statistics are more than just rhetorical push back points.  In my opinion, the current distribution of burden for sustaining the federal behemoth is fundamentally immoral.  A plurality of government spending is now entitlement spending, meaning that these spending patterns reflect a massive redistribution of wealth.   We don’t all share in the burden of sustaining our civic government. 

I can hear the standard refrain already – our impoverished shouldn’t be required to pay.  Foremost, half our population isn’t impoverished, even by our “standard” of defining “poverty.”  Second, our standard for defining “poverty” is suspect, particularly by historical standards.  Most of whom we define as impoverished “suffer” air conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox.  Our “impoverished” suffer the highest rates of obesity.  Obesity is a serious health risk, perhaps the most serious modern epidemic, however, never before in history and almost nowhere in the world where true poverty is still known is “obesity” a symptom of poverty.  There are some truly poor and downtrodden in the United States, however, it’s a small fraction of those “labeled” as in “poverty” in this country.

The vast majority of Americans can and should financially contribute to our shared form of government.  It’s immoral to shift the burden onto a minority while conveying advantages without any payment to those that have the ability to pay. 

The popular sentiment, however, remains that “the rich should pay more.”  The United States is quickly becoming a land of “From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need.”  Unfortunately, too few appreciate just how fundamentally un-American and illiberal is such sentiment and how dangerous it proved to be in the 20th Century when played out in places far away.

August 18, 2011

POISONING OUR YOUTH—OR PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM?

Filed under: Atheism, agnostic, evolution, etc., culture, entertainment, homeschooling — deborahlawyer @ 2:40 pm

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that violent video games enjoy First Amendment protection—even when sold to our youth.  Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 113 S.Ct. 2729 (2011).  The Court struck down a California law that prohibited the sale or rental of these games to children under 18.  At first glance this might sound like a victory for those who want to poison our young people.

Not so fast!  Decisions like this cut both ways.  The First Amendment protects a lot of speech that we as Christians find highly offensive.  But it also protects our right to
preach the gospel—to people of all ages
.  I used to live in California, where I participated in volunteer ministry to children.  I volunteered for Child Evangelism Fellowship, an organization that directs its efforts to children at state fairs and other public places.  On Sunday mornings, I accompanied other volunteers from Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries to a county facility for children removed from their homes for neglect and abuse.  We held chapel and Sunday School for those children.  I was also part of a large chaplaincy program at Olive Crest, a private nonprofit that operates group homes for abused children.  If atheists in America had their way, there would be laws prohibiting this type of religious evangelism to minors.  Look at what the Supreme Court just said in the Brown decision:

And what is good for First Amendment rights of speech must be good for First Amendment rights of religion as well: It could be made criminal to admit a person under 18 to church, or to give a person under 18 a religious tract, without his parents’ prior consent.

Modern atheism has taken on an “evangelistic” fervor.  Atheists do not merely reject religion for themselves—they insist that religion is dangerous.  Authors like
Christopher Hitchins, Richard Dawkins, and Samuel Harris are on a rampage to stamp out religion.  In the legal arena, atheists have removed prayer and Bible reading from our public schools and filed a multitude of lawsuits to eject religious expression from the public square.  Meanwhile, anti-Christian materials corrupt school curriculum—evolution, sex education, homosexuality.  Parental complaints fall on deaf ears in the courts of “Christian America.”

Parents have the constitutional right to direct the upbringing of their children in their homes and schools.  They should be able to opt out of objectionable programs and actively participate in decisions about what the schools are teaching their children.  Government ought to support them—not cram corrupted teachings down the throats of our families.   The recent Brown decision affirms this, observing that

…the state has the power to enforce parental prohibitions — to require, for example, that the promoters of a rock concert exclude those minors whose parents have advised the promoters that their children are forbidden to attend. But it does not follow that the state has the power to prevent children from hearing or saying anything without their parents’ prior consent.

If the government starts making it illegal to present certain material to minors on the basis of content or viewpoint – the results won’t necessarily be what Christians would want, especially in today’s secular climate.  Christian parents must be vigilant.  If they don’t want their children playing violent video games, they need to supervise them—bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  It isn’t the government’s job to do that for them.

August 11, 2011

Laws of Tyranny

Filed under: biz, legal, and professionalism, culture, video — Christ Ranger @ 6:07 pm

Derived from the same worldview as the laws that sanctioned and recognized the institution of slavery, the ultimate form of tyranny.

~ Tea Party activist, author, and motivational speaker Frantz Kebreau comparing a 1662 slave law to current abortion legislation via his Facebook page, August 8

(Check out his wife’s updated pro-life clothing line at Life Rocks)

Hat Tip: Jill Stanek

August 9, 2011

Remember

Filed under: culture, politics, economy, etc. — Christ Ranger @ 10:57 pm

Remember all those times Newsweek went out of its way to make candidate Obama look like an inexperienced empty suit by their photo selections of him?  And how the “mainstream” pubs treated him and Gov. Palin the same?  Oh yeah, forgot.  That never happened. See Andrew Cline’s The Newsweek Bachmann Cover

Remember all those times NPR went out of its way to make evolutionary zealots look bad and gave even voice to biblical Christians?  Never happened.  Never will. NPR dedicated a piece during prime drive time this morning to parroting the recent Christianity Today cover article showcasing the leading evangelical compromisers on human origins.  NPR phrased the issue as whether evangelicals were going to rely upon the authority of science or lose all intellectual credibility and stick with the authority of scripture – the classic science v. Bible false dichotomy.  The only positive in the coverage was that they did take a few seconds to talk to one Biblical evangelical, Dr. Mohler, which is more than I recall Christianity Today having done.  NPR also gave Dr. Mohler the last word and he used his soundbite well, stating “The moment you say ‘We have to abandon this theology in order to have the respect of the world,’ you end up with neither biblical orthodoxy nor the respect of the world.”

Societies that jettison God’s truths devolve into moral bankruptcy.  Systemic economic bankruptcy is typically tied directly to moral bankruptcy.  Pray we turn this mess around here and in Europe.  Interestingly, the church is thriving in the east, particularly in China and South Korea and their economies are booming.  So far, the 21st Century is foreshadowing that 2100 will be more different from 2000 than 2000 was from 1900. Like the last century, technology will continue to transform cultures and societies, but it appears a significant geo-political and economic shift is occurring.  Head West young man, so far you go east …

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