The Bathroom Wars: Part II

It remains to be seen whether the North Carolina Legislature has dug its state’s economic grave with the shovel of bigotry and hatred for transgender individuals–or whether they are seeking to avoid a trap others have stumbled into.
The controversial law prohibits transgender people from using the bathrooms designated for the gender they identify with. Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina have laws that prevent local municipalities from passing nondiscrimination legislation. (The bill in North Carolina came in response to a local ordinance in the city of Charlotte.) Twenty other states and the District of Colombia have employment protection laws in place regarding “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
We as a nation are at odds with each other.
A social media conversation about my previous blog on the issue got me thinking about the issue in a new light. How enforceable are bathroom regulation laws? How enforceable is the law that gives transgender people access to the bathroom of their choice? How enforceable is the law intended to keep them out? Continue reading “The Bathroom Wars: Part II”

Toilets: A New Frontier for Freedom

North Carolina is a front in a new Civil War. The state legislature just passed a law, and the governor signed it, that designates rest rooms for those whose sex matches that of their birth certificates.
Passing a law that says men should use the men’s room and women should use the women’s room has caused an outcry of monumental proportions.
The New York Times calls North Carolina a “Pioneer in Bigotry.”
Up in arms is not only the Times, but also PayPal, cutting back plans to expand its business and add 400 jobs in NC (even as it plans to expand its business in Cuba). And several states and cities, so far, are banning travel to North Carolina because of the law.
Even Charles Barkley has weighed in–decrying the new law. Continue reading “Toilets: A New Frontier for Freedom”

The Unsettled Nature of Settled Thoughts

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you,” Matthew 17:20b.
It was a chance meeting at the grocery store. A friend I know from pro-life activities.
We first met on the bus for the March for Life in 1979. I don’t remember the date of our grocery encounter. But what she said that day would change how I would see my own efforts for life ever since.
“Abortion will become like smoking. When we were kids, everyone smoked. Even if you didn’t, you had ashtrays for anyone who did. It’s not like that any more.”
Smoking rates are down from more than 42 percent in 1965 to 12 percent in 2014. What changed? The hearts and minds of Americans.
Our experience regarding tobacco taught us it is bad. We can avoid it. We can live without it.
The “choice” perspective regarding abortion is divided between three audiences. One group regrets the experience. Another group reluctantly embraces it. A third group celebrates it.  Continue reading “The Unsettled Nature of Settled Thoughts”

Pushing Back Against Pornography

“A growing number of young men are convinced that their sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually marinated in porn when they were adolescents. Their generation has consumed explicit content in quantities and varieties never before possible, on devices designed to deliver content swiftly and privately, all at an age when their brains were more plastic–more prone to permanent change–than in later life.” TIME
Two interesting discussions of the effects of pornography appeared this week. One is an article in TIME magazine (discretion advised). The other is in Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine. One gives reason to celebrate. The other one warns of a serious problem bigger than we ever dreamed possible–even within the Church itself.
The TIME article tells the story of Alexander Rhodes who got started on porn as an 11-year-old. As he grew older, he realized the damage porn had on his ability to connect sexually with a woman. He currently runs two websites that offer support and counseling to those hoping to overcome addiction to pornography. His sites have 200,000 members.
But seeking help isn’t always easy. Continue reading “Pushing Back Against Pornography”

Is America Waking Up to the Truth about Unborn Life?

Since the old [Judeo-Christian] ethic [of the sanctity of life] has not yet been fully displaced [by the new ethic which places relative rather than absolute value on human lives] it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death, Qtd by Reardon. 
Between 2010 and 2014, abortion rates in the US went down 12 percent. Rates went down in states where restrictions made it harder to get an abortion. But they also went down in states where abortion remained easily available. In a couple states, rates went up, but that was largely because facilities in nearby states had shut down.
Rates were declining before David Daleiden released his undercover videos of Planned Parenthood operatives negotiating the price of unborn children’s body parts. And before Cecile Richards admitted before Congress that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms and gets a large part of its revenues from abortion.
(Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report of 2014-2015 shows that PP’s client numbers are down by 200,000 and abortions are down 1.1 percent.) Continue reading “Is America Waking Up to the Truth about Unborn Life?”

He Is Risen Indeed!

When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it , He began giving it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.  They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”  
And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
Luke 24: 30-35, NASB, from Biblegateway.com
He is risen indeed!


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BLOGPOEM: For Us, For Him

Broken, unleavened bread,
Crushed grapes.
The bread and wine that He was,
Flesh and blood, a sacrifice of agony,
For us.
 
The prayer,
Asking His Father
To take away the cup.
Then His will set aside,
For us.
 
The arrest,
A voluntary prisoner whose “I am He”
Knocked them down.
Then He went with them,
For us.
 
It was cold.
They taunted and beat Him.
They drove nails into Him,
And He let them,
For us.
 
Today, we follow,
For Him,
A meager offering compared to His,
For us.


Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 
 

From Memory Springs Hope

If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you, (Matthew 17:20b). 
My mother hid eggs for us. And she hid our Easter baskets too. I don’t know how she managed it, but I don’t remember finding my basket until the end. It was as if she orchestrated the journey from egg to egg to basket. The crescendo always came at the right moment.
Eventually, the egg hunt fell by the wayside. But we loved our baskets, so they kept coming. Milk chocolate bunnies every year, the solid ones with the basket on the bunny’s back. Continue reading “From Memory Springs Hope”

Martyrdom Today: Genocide

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Julia Ward Howe, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

It’s officially genocide now. What ISIS is doing to Christians in the Middle East is, according to the US Congress and the Obama Administration, genocide.
“One element of genocide is the intent to destroy an ethnic or religious group in whole or in part,” [Secretary of State John] Kerry said. “Its entire world view is based on eliminating those who do not subscribe to its perverse ideology.”
That philosophy puts Christians in the crossfire. Murder, slavery, rape. They sound like vestiges of marginally civilized peoples of the past. But they are the reality of today for our brothers and sisters across the Middle East. Continue reading “Martyrdom Today: Genocide”

The Lost Art of Respect

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” II Timothy 3: 12
There is a strange ethic today, one of disrespect. It springs from a demand for respect. But it’s a tunnel vision respect–a one way street. But it goes in two directions. Let me explain.
It’s a mentality that says, “I don’t have to respect you because you don’t respect me. Or my cause. Or the ax I am grinding today. Or [fill in the blank].” It doesn’t matter if you lean left or right in your politics. If you reject faith in God or hold to it. There are two roads of discourse and only those who agree are allowed on a highway.
Continue reading “The Lost Art of Respect”