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thumbnailScarlett O’Hara, in the movie Gone With the Wind, believed her figure would be perfect only if she had an 18 inch waist.  Every day, Scarlett instructed her “mammy” to push, prod and tightly lace her into a corset.  The experience was literally breath-taking.  (It was no wonder that women of Scarlett’s era fainted so easily.)  Scarlett may have been a story-book character, but the fashionable corset was a cruel reality.  Thousands of American women attained the so-called perfect figure, but at a high price.  The following true story explains.

When Hiram Powers, the great sculptor, was visiting in the U.S., he attended an elaborate party.  A friend observed Mr. Powers watching a beautifully dressed and fashionable woman.  The friend said, “What an elegant figure she has, don’t you agree?”

“Well,” said Mr. Powers, “I was wondering where she put her liver.”

You see, Mr. Powers had studied the human body, and he knew that in order to shape a female body in the outline of the woman he was watching, some internal organs would have to be forced out of their properly functioning place.

A physician during that same era, Dr. J.H. Kellogg, examined thousands of women in a year’s time.  He stated that it was almost impossible to find a woman whose stomach was where it belonged.  This was a serious matter because no organ can function efficiently when it’s out of its proper position.

Dr. Mary Wood-Allen, a physician and the author of a series of books for young women growing up in the early 1900s, wrote: “The reason we admire the tapering waist is because we have been wrongly educated.  We have acquired wrong ideas of beauty.  We have accepted the ideals of ‘fashion’ rather than those of the Creator.” (Purity and Truth: What a Young Woman Ought to Know, Vir Publishing, 1898)

In the late 1950s, a toy company defined the so-called perfect figure by creating the Barbie doll.  Almost every American girl not only wanted a Barbie, she wanted to look like Barbie.  But Barbie’s figure is abnormally out of proportion.  A real girl with Barbie’s measurements would fall over on her face.

Perhaps we, too, have fallen over on our faces and caused our brains to stop thinking.  In what ways do we put our health dangerously at risk in order to have a “perfect” figure?  Who determines the “perfect” skin color?  How many piercings and tattoos are enough to suit the trend-setters?

Why do we let fashion designers (who don’t know us) tell us how we should look?  Why do we let department stores (who profit from our purchases) tell us what to buy?

We’ve listened to the world long enough.  Don’t you think it’s time to hear what the Creator of our bodies has to say?

Take a breath.  Pick up your Bible.  What does God say to you in Isaiah 43:1, 7; 45:9-11; 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Peter 3:3-5; and 1 Corinthians 6:18.

From Lesson Eight: “Beauty at Any Price?”
Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up
A Bible Study by Linda Bartlett
(Lutherans For Life or Concordia Publishing House)

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bride & groom at altarDefenders of marriage at the Family Research Council recently posted a blog entitled “Why Marriage Should Be Privileged in Public Policy.”  What follows is a brief excerpt.

Marriage is the most important social act, one that involves much more than just the married couple. To begin with, extended families are merged and renewed through a wedding. It is also through marriage that the community and the nation are renewed. A new home is formed when a couple marries, one open to the creation of new life. These children are the future. Marriage also has beneficial social and health effects for both adults and children, and these gifts benefit the community and the whole society. Conversely, it is through the breakdown of marriage that society is gravely harmed. The future of the nation depends on the creation of good marriages and good homes for children.

Among marriage’s many benefits to society is an increased respect for and protection of human life, since married women are less likely to abort their children than are unmarried women. Married-parent families contribute to safer and better communities with less substance abuse and crime among young people, as well as less poverty and welfare dependency. Also, married parents help prevent young people from engaging in premarital sex and having out-of-wedlock births; they are also likely to produce young adults who view marriage positively and maintain life-long marriages. Marriage brings many health and economic benefits to society and helps citizens to be more involved in communities.

Because marriage serves a public purpose–namely, procreation and the benefit of children and society–government can legitimately privilege marriage and seek to strengthen it in its policies. Other relationships such as cohabitation and homosexuality do not benefit children and society, and, therefore, should not be supported by government. There is no evidence showing that these relationships have the same positive effects as marriage. In fact, there is considerable evidence that they have detrimental effects on both children and adults.

Please read the entire post on FRC’s blog.  There are a great many reasons for the government to guard marriage.  All of them have to do with the health, welfare and defense of our nation and civilization as a whole.

(Thanks, Bob, for being part of the FRC team!)

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Why do we too often go along with the crowd, even when we know it’s wrong?  Instead of voicing what we know to be true, we remain silent when we should speak up.  Is it because we’re afraid of being different?  Ridiculed? Ill-equipped to defend the truth?

Polls reveal that the majority of people don’t like abortion, but let it be a “private matter.”  Biology proves that human life begins at conception, but the majority of people resist asking the questions that help make other people think.  A national silence has denied over 53 million babies the right to life and left their mothers in denial, depression, shame, unhealthy lifestyles, and grief.

Once we have seen, however, it is difficult to un-see. Abby Johnson’s conscience wouldn’t let her deny the facts any longer. As the director of a Planned Parenthood (PP) clinic in Texas, she had seen too much. Her book, Un-Planned speaks to everyone willing to hear.  Abby is not alone.  Sue Thayer managed a PP clinic in Storm Lake, IA., about two hours from where I live, until 2008.  Her clinic was scheduled to start doing telemed abortions.  Sue voiced her concern even though, as a single parent, she was uneasy with the possibility of losing her job and the benefits and health insurance that came with it.  Sue couldn’t be silent.  So she was fired.

Sue became a PP center manager in 1991.  It was required that she and staff observe at least one day of surgical abortions.  She did just that at the Central PP Clinic in Des Moines.  During that eight hour day, the doctor performed about 30 abortions.  Some of the women were further along in their pregnancies than they had reported.  “Contents of the uterus” were placed in glass bowls, then examined under a light.  Sue explained, “One bowl clearly contained three perfect, tiny arms.  I asked why there would be a third arm.  ‘Twins’ was the response and because it might upset the mother, this information wasn’t shared.”

Sue set about trying to prevent the need for abortion during her next 17 years at PP in Storm Lake.  But, in 2008, PP of Greater Iowa announced that all PPGI clinics would be offering telemed abortions.  Sue said, “A doctor in Des Moines would be connected via webcam with a patient at any one of the PPGI’s 17 centers.  According to PPGI, this constituted a doctor’s visit.  After speaking briefly via webcam, the doctor would push a button in the Des Moines office whereupon a drawer in front of the patient at the remote center would open.  Inside the drawer were two different medicines — one to kill the baby, taken immediately at the clinic, and a second one to take later at home which would cause contractions and eventually expel the dead baby.”

Sue continued. “PPGI ordered that all staff, medical and non-medical alike would be required to do vaginal ultrasounds.  I asked what qualifications were required to perform this invasive procedure and was told that ‘if you are breathing, you can do a vaginal ultrasound’ . . . I asked if they would be notifying doctors and hospitals in each community and was told that they definitely would not be sharing any information . . . PPGI wanted to establish a ‘standard of care’ with the goal of 500 to 1000 [telemed]abortions completed before any public announcement was made.”

Telemed abortions, Sue was told, would be done through 63 days from conception. “We were all familiar with using the morning after pill (“Plan B”), but this was only given up to five days after unprotected intercourse.”  Now, patients seeking abortions wouldn’t have to drive to a surgical center.  And, no waiting. Sue was told “forty five minutes, in and out.”  She remembers one PP manager commenting, “It’s about time women can get an abortion whenever and wherever they want.  It’s no different than getting a Pap smear.”

Sue was concerened about safety — for the patient, staff, and herself.  What would the complication rate be?  Would women be alone when they took the second pill at home?  Sue continued to insist that “we were all about preventing abortions.”  Now, she was being forced to be involved in every aspect of an abortion.  There were more questions for Sue.  What about the local doctors who might have to attend to women coming in with symptoms of an incomplete abortion?  Sue’s boss explained that telemed abortion patients are told that if they do have to go to the ER, not to mention the two pills they’ve taken.

But, once you have seen, it is difficult to un-see.  The new ultrasound machines, Sue explained, “were so high-tech that even little fingers and toes could be seen.  Long time surgical staffers struggled when they would see images of the baby they were about to abort . . . [yet] this amazing image of the baby is never shown to the mother.”  Sue voiced what she knew to be wrong.  She expressed serious concerns.  She was willing to be different.  To take a risk… for life. 

There are many like Abby and Sue.  Several years ago I invited Joan Appleton,  a former abortion nurse, to tell her story during a national conference.  Joan and hundreds of soul-weary and sick-at-heart men and women like her are part of the Society of Centurians.  They left the abortion industry to speak up.  Contrast right with wrong. Today, former abortion doctors and nurses, PP employees, and women who’ve had abortions are silent no more.  They know that the truth sets people free.

The Lighthouse, a caring pregnancy center that I co-founded with two other moms, is a place where we do more than speak up.  We walk with young women in times of difficulty.  Why?  Because once we see, it is difficult to un-see.   Then, it is time to help.  Shed light into darkness.  Equip with truth.  Risk being different…. for the sake of another.   

For more information on PPGI and Sue’s story, please visit Iowa Right to Life

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Some of you have great respect for C.S. Lewis.  The men in my family have been greatly impacted, most especially, by his book Mere Christianity.  As for me, I read portions a little at a time.   I chose to take the book with me on a recent flight and turned to Lewis’ chapter entitled “Sexual Morality.”  Here’s what Lewis had to say in 1943:

. . .[F]or the last twenty years [we] have been fed all day long on good solid lies about sex.  We have been told, till one is sick of hearing it, that sexual desire is in the same state as any of our other natural desires and that if only we abandon the silly old Victorian idea of hushing it up, everything in the garden will be lovely.  It is not true.  The moment you look at the facts, and away from the propaganda, you see that it is not.

“They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up.  But for the last twenty years it has not been hushed up.  It has been chattered about all day long.  Yet it is still in a mess.  If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it right.  But it has not.  I think it is the other way round.  I think the human race originally hushed it up because it had become such a mess.  Modern people are always saying, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.’  They may mean two things.  They may mean ‘There is nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that the human race reproduces itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure.’  If they mean that, they are right.  Christianity says the same . . . Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body — which believe that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy.  Christianity has glorified marriage more than any other religion . . . But, of course, when people say, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,’ they may  mean ‘the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of.’

“If they mean that, they are wrong.  I think it is everything to be ashamed of.  There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips . . . There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us.  Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance.  God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome.  What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.

“. . . Our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so ‘natural,’ so ‘healthy,’ and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them.  Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humor.  Now this association is a lie.  Like all powerful lies, it is based on a truth — the truth . . . that sex in itself (apart from the excesses and obsessions that have grown round it) is ‘normal’ and ‘healthy,’ and all the rest of it.  The lie consists in the suggestion that any sexual act to which you are tempted at the moment is also healthy and normal.  Now this, on any conceivable view, and quite apart from Christianity, must be nonsense.  Surrender to all our desires obviously leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment, and everything that is the reverse of health, good humor, and frankness.  For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary.

“. . . Many people are deterred from seriously attempting Christian chastity because they think (before trying) that it is impossible.  But when a thing has to be attempted, one must never think about possibility or impossibility.”

“. . . Virtue — even attempted virtue — brings light; indulgence brings fog.”

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GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) has been awarded an annually renewable grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This will allow GLSEN to “partner with 20 targeted school districts across the country” and to reach “14,500 school personnel and 4 million students.”

So, at taxpayer expense, homosexual activism may be coming to a school near me… or you.

How will GLSEN use the grant money (up to $285,000 per year)?  It plans to start “internal Implementation Teams” and training programs based on their Safe Space Kit.  Here’s a “quick review” offered by Candi Cushman (CitizenLink 6-23-11).  The Kit:

  • Promotes GLSEN’s controversial book list for schools
  • Encourages teachers to display homosexual-themed materials from “LGBT organizations” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender).
  • Recommends that schools “celebrate LGBT events” and incorporate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender themes into curriculum and school literature.  “Whenever possible,” the guide tells educators to give examples of “same-sex couples” and “LBGT parents.”
  • Gives teachers an “LGBT-Inclusive School Checklist” to see if their school has a “gender-neutral dress code” and “gender-neutral” bathrooms.

Cushman explains that GLSEN wants educators to avoid using words like “husband,” “wife,” or gender-specific pronouns in the classroom.  The Kit includes a vocabulary sheet that includes “zie” rather than “he” or “she” and “hir” rather than “him” or “her.”

Is GLSEN’s goal to render meaningless the concept of “male?”  “Female?”  Traditional marriage?  Basic English pronouns?

This doesn’t have to happen.  GLSEN doesn’t have to prevail.  Why?  Because God says that children are entrusted to their parents.  Parents have both the right and obligation to raise sons and daughters in a moral, healthy, and God-pleasing way.  The homosexual lifestyle brings nothing good.  Right.  Or true.  It is empty self-gratification.  It brings confusion.  Heartbreak.  Disease.  Hopelessness.  Separation from God.   A parent’s duty is to lead sons and daughters away from danger.  And, if a son or daughter is tempted into harm’s way, a parent is to rescue.  Love unconditionally.  Patiently re-connect to God’s Word for male and female.  Exodus International is one of several ministries helping parents do just that.

Parents, not the government, are to raise children.  The government may express controversial opinions and even fund those opinions with taxpayer money.  But, parents still have a voice.  They must use that voice.  Be a voice of reason.  Unite voices.   And, if their voice is not heard, they need to seek other school choices if possible.

Resources for parents are offered from Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, The American Family Association, Vision Forum, and The Alliance Defense Fund.

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Not many people I know like abortion.  Those who support it as a “choice” or “right” claim they want to make abortion “safe, legal, and rare.”  Seems to me they’ve failed with two of their three goals.

They’ve failed to make abortion “safe.”  Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leroy Carhart and other abortion providers have certainly not made abortion any safer than it was when so-called “back-alley” abortions were performed.   Abortion is, after all, either a surgery or chemical.   The littlest person involved is always sacrificed by way of death.  I fear women are sacrificed as well, some dying and many others placed at risk emotionally and/or spiritually.

They’ve failed to make abortion “rare.”  Planned Parenthood and other so-called “health clinics” that promote sexual intimacy among teens are certainly not making abortion rare.  Doubt me?  Visit TeenWire, Planned Parenthood’s site for teens, and come to your own conclusion.  Do you think the message of “do whatever feels right” would decrease or increase not only abortion but sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and AIDS?  Set young people up for a fall?  Create a self-perpetuating business… for certain federally-funded “women’s health clinics”?

Ahhh… but Planned Parenthood and their associates in business have certainly been successful in making abortion legal.  But, who stands to gain?  Who loses?

I don’t subscribe to the belief that women need abortion to bring some “control” to their lives.  The highest percentage of women who become pregnant choose to engage in the procreational act of sex.  Nor do I subscribe to the mantra that “teens are going to do ‘it’ anyway, so let’s make it safe.”  This is foolishness!  What school principal would inform students how to steal without getting caught?  Binge eat and purge?  Drink, do drugs, or smoke responsibly?

I believe each person is of great value in God’s sight; therefore, deserving of my protection and honest words of warning.  Contrary to what Margaret Sanger and Alfred Kinsey believed, human beings are capable of self-restraint.  We don’t have to be ruled by emotions and desires.  We aren’t, after all, made in the image of animals.  We are capable of thinking.  Reasoning.  Dreaming.  Building relationships.  Serving others.  Bearing burdens.  Preparing for the future.  Being patient.  And making choices that lead away from despair and, instead, toward hope.

I choose life over death.  Therefore, I choose not to send boys and girls out into the street to play or herd them toward the edge of a cliff, but instead, stand in their way saying “No!”  “Stop!”  “Turn around!”  I choose not to help them find holes in protective fences, but instead, repair the broken gate.

I choose not to squelch the natural rebelliousness of youth, but to use it to resist everything that is wrong in this world.  Including Planned Parenthood.

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Mr. “Not a Scientist” said he values substantive information, not vague claims or opinions.  To accomodate, I’m offering a few selected resources.

Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist who is a graduate of MIT, Harvard, and the University of Texas and has lectured at both Yale and harvard, reports some of the medical harm that is typically associated with male homosexual practice:

  • A twenty-five to thirty-year decrease in life expectancy
  • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease — infectious heptatitis
  • Inevitably fatal immune disease including associated cancers
  • Frequently fatal rectal cancer
  • Multiple bowel and other infectious diseases
  • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide

Satinover also points out a significant contrast in the sexual behaviors of heterosexual and homosexual persons.  Among heterosexuals, sexual faithfulness was relatively high: “90 percent of heterosexual women and more than 75 percent of heterosexual men have never engaged in extramarital sex.”  But among homosexual men the picture is far different:

  • A 1981 study revealed that only 2 percent of homosexuals were monogamous or semi-monogamous — generally defined as ten or fewer lifetime partners . . .
  • A 1978 study found that 43 percent of male homosexuals estimated having sex with five hundred or more different partners . . . Seventy-nine percent said that more than half of these partners were strangers.   (Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth by Jeffrey Satinover, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996)

Society should encourage and reward marriage between one man and one woman.  All societies need babies to survive, and Biblical marriage is the best environment for having babies.  Societies should encourage an institution that provides this best kind of environment for raising children.  A married man and woman raise and nurture children far better than any other human relationship or institution.  The benefits that husband and wife (father and mother) bring to their children are numerous.  Children who live with their own two traditionally-married parents:

  • Have significantly higher educational achievement. 
  • Are much more likely to enjoy a better economic standard in their adult lives and are much less likely to end up in poverty.
  • Have much better physical and emotional health.
  • Are far less likely to commit crimes, are less likely to engage in alcohol and substance abuse, and are more likely to live according to higher standards of integrity and moral principles.
  • Are less likely to experience physical abuse and more likely to live in homes that provide support, protection, and stability for them.

Children who live with their own two traditionally-married parents are more likely to establish stable families in the next generation.  Traditional marriage:

  • Provides a guarantee of lifelong companionship and care far better than any other human relationship or institution.
  • Leads to a higher economic standard and diminished likelihood of ending up in poverty for men and women.
  • Provides women with protection against domestic violence and abandonment far better than any other human relationship or institution.
  • Encourages men to socially beneficial pursuits far better than any other human relationship or institution.
  • Provides a healthy environment for sexual faithfulness (men and women have an innate instinct that values sexual faithfulness) far better than any other human relationship or institution.
  • Provides greater protection against sexually transmitted diseases than any other relationship or institution.
  • Honors the biological design of men’s and women’s bodies that argues that sexual intimacy is designed to be enjoyed between only one man and one woman.  (The above is documented by Wayne Grudem in Politics According to the Bible (Zondervan, 2010, pp 224-225). 

God created marriage between one man and one woman.  We cannot change the “fit” and still call it marriage.  Now, it is something else.  Marriage is the building block of any stable society.  Any society that wants to remain healthy and stable must have governments that encourage, protect, and reward marriage between one man and one woman.  In turn, marriage and family give back to society in immeasureable ways. 

There are countless resources for the curious.  I value the following:

Joseph Nicolosi, President of the National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality

Exodus International, a ministry for those leaving the muck and mire of homosexuality and starting new lives

Stand to Reason, apologetics for both Christian and non-Christian 

The Family Research Council (click on:  “Marriage and Human Sexuality”)

Focus on the Family

Unwanted Harvest by Mona Riley and Brad Sargent

A Strong Delusion: Confronting the”Gay Christian” Movement by Joe Dallas

The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today by Alan Sears and Craig Osten

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