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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Gold Bands Showing Eternal Commitment

Recently, I was given the opportunity to respond to an 8th grade student who had written a paper for her American History class favoring same-sex “marriage.”  Anya began her defense of same-sex “marriage” by praising Harvey Milk, “an openly gay politician in California who was only in office eleven months before he was assassinated.  Harvey “opened the door for us to now be able to talk about gay rights issues.”  Anya explained that “Mr. Milk started a revolution . . . If Harvey Milk wouldn’t have fought so hard, gay marriage may not be legal.  It needs to be legal.  It is a basic human right to love and marry who you love.” 

In conclusion Anya wrote, “Love who you love, marry who you love, and love your life, because it is your Constitutional right. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’”

What follows is my response to Anya.

Dear Anya,

Thanks for letting me take this opportunity to respond to your paper on same-sex marriage.  I’m a woman who is involved in our present-day culture as a national speaker, author, and advocate for human life.  I respect people, no matter their differences of opinion.  I care enough to ask questions, listen to the responses, and remain someone’s friend even when we don’t agree.

As you are learning in American History, men and women—human beings in general—will always have differing perspectives on what we should and should not do.  Whatever the faith or worldview of a person might be, it should influence that person’s decision-making and actions.  Perhaps one of the best things about a nation like the United States is that it allows for different faiths or worldviews to be expressed, lived, and judged as helpful in building up—or tearing down—society and the nation.

America is truly “exceptional” because it defends the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  But what is the origin of those “rights”?  Did we give them to ourselves?  And from where does life come?  Is it an accident, or by design?  Who ultimately defines liberty and who grants it?  Does the pursuit of happiness mean that every citizen gets to do anything we darn well please, or does it mean that we have the opportunity to pursue right things for the benefit of not just ourselves, but our family and neighbors, too?

Sexual Revolutionaries: Good for Society?

As you report, Harvey Milk was an openly gay politician.  It is a crime against humanity that he was assassinated.  Someone took it upon themselves to deny him the “right to life.”   Murder—be it the murder of an adult man like Harvey Milk or a pre-born child residing in his or her mother’s womb—is never right.  Harvey has been remembered by some as the man who opened the door for this country to talk about “gay rights.”  But two questions should be asked by any critical thinker.  1) Is a human being defined by their sexual behavior, or something more?  And, 2) If homosexuality is “normal” and “good,” why is sickness and a shorter life span associated with its practice?  Harvey Milk may have had the freedom to express his thoughts and beliefs, but like all of us, he also bore the responsibility of proving why those beliefs would be helpful to himself, his neighbors, and the future of the country in which he lives.

No matter what one’s opinions or religion (i.e. secular humanism, atheism, Islam, New Age, Buddhism, or Christianity) might be, the holder of that belief bears the responsibility of allowing it to be put to the test.  When a person like Harvey Milk proclaims his belief, he must be open to discussing the consequences of that belief.  He must show why calling the union of two men or two women “marriage” when it was not instituted as that (nor ever could be that) is in the best interests of an entire society.

It is always appropriate for citizens to hear someone’s opinion or belief, discuss it, and choose to act or not act upon it.  Whether we agree or disagree, we owe one another the honesty of facts rather than emotion, kindness rather than meanness, general welfare of neighbors rather than “me, myself, and I,” and long-range perspective rather than “all I care about is right here, right now.”

Alfred Kinsey is another person in our American history who started a revolution.  It was the revolution, in fact, that opened the door for men like Harvey Milk.  Alfred Kinsey was a practicing homosexual, pedophile, and perpetrator of hideous crimes against humanity.  His theory was that “children are sexual from birth,” and to make that claim stick, he knowingly allowed convicted pedophiles to sexually abuse and experiment with children, ages six months to 14 years of age.  He took the “statistics” gathered from those experiments, called them “science,” and used them to prove that children and adults alike should be permitted to participate in any kind of sex if it brought them pleasure.  After 30 years of research and study of Kinsey, Dr. Judith Reisman and others proved that Kinsey had abused science in order to change public opinion on sex and the teaching of sex to children.  But it was too late.  Kinsey, a zoologist with absolutely no respect for women, had changed the way we view men, women, and children.

Yes, Kinsey had freedom to express his beliefs.  But he did not have the freedom to abuse science, use deceit, or do harm.  The duty of the American public was to question Kinsey.  Not to call him names, or belittle him, or deny him the right to speak, but to ask him to show the source of his “science,” reveal the methods used for research, and verify his data.

The same is true with same-sex “marriage.”  Anyone who demands that marriage become what it was never intended to be should be asked to give evidence of why non-traditional, two men or two women, and intentional non-procreative marriage is healthy, sustainable, and in the best interest of family, society and civilization.  In Rome, it was common for a man to have a sexual relationship with a young boy, but even Rome never legalized same-sex “marriage.”   Why?  Because Romans knew that marriage, and the stability of the family, was foundational to Rome’s existence.  For this reason, when a boy was old enough, he was expected to marry a woman and father children for whom he would be responsible.

Marriage: To Anyone I Love?

Marriage does not intrinsically mean uniting oneself to someone you love and who makes you “feel good.”

That brings us to the now popular thinking that “as long as you love someone, you should be able to marry them.”  I love my dad.  I love my brother.  I love my son.  I love my niece.  I love my best friend, Jane.  Can I love them so much that I want to marry them?  Maybe.  But is it in your best interest that my “right” to marry my son becomes the law of the land?  Is something in jeopardy here?  And what will be the cost?

Marriage is not founded on someone’s concept of love.  Human concepts and ideas of love are changing all the time.  Today, I love you.  Tomorrow, I don’t.  Or, I love you because you make me feel good about myself.  But when you don’t make me feel good about myself, I won’t love you anymore.  And so on and so on.

Here’s where love needs to be put to the test, too.  Love is about more than feelings.  It is about patience, kindness, selflessness, and perseverance in good and bad times.  Marriage requires this kind of love.  Marriage also requires one man and one woman, two different genders, because it makes biological sense!  Not only do male and female fit together perfectly to create new little humans, but they also mentor male and female characteristics… both needed by a son or daughter.  Even if two men or two women (who call themselves “married”) don’t have children of their own, but adopt or use a surrogate mother or in vitro fertilization, it is unfair and actually quite selfish to intentionally deny any child the right of both a mother (female) and a father (male).

For many years, I have kept a file of the testimonies and true stories of women who thought they were in love with another woman and so took up the lesbian lifestyle, or men who thought they were in love with another man so took up the gay lifestyle.  The relationships did not last.  Why?  Because they were built on an idea of love, and not the truth and faithfulness of love.

Have you ever noticed that even in a same-sex relationship, one plays the role of “husband” (or the male) and one plays the role of the “wife” (or the female)?  It’s true!  A young friend of mine “married” a woman.  Her partner took on the role of the “man” and she took on the role of the “woman.”  My young friend became pregnant by way of in vitro fertilization and she stayed home to be the “mom.”  Her partner went outside the home to play the “male” role of “provider.”  Now, years later, my young friend is hurting.  She is in conflict with herself, with nature, and with the God she says she believes in.  She might be wondering: What am I teaching my little boy about the value of becoming a man?  How can I help him learn about manhood when he’s being parented by two moms?

Alfred Kinsey and Harvey Milk may be commended for their courage in speaking up about things they believed to be true.  But can we see the consequences of what happens when all ideas are considered “equal” and valid?

People are equal, yes! 

People of different colors, nationalities, and cultures are equal, yes! 

But not all ideas, desires, and practices (sexual or otherwise) are equal.  They must be questioned and put to the test.

Anya, that is the responsibility of people like you and me.  It is ok to differ in thought and behavior.   But with concern for more than just ourselves, we must wisely consider the consequences of each thought and every behavior.

With sincere respect for you as a person,

Linda

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My husband and I believe in exercising our minds while enjoying a meal.  If at home, Paul grills.  I steam veggies, broil some garlic bread, and mix a salad.  Plates in hand, we settle by a window overlooking a forest of hickory and oak.  Or, on a less humid day, we move out onto the deck.  We discuss matters of family, theology, and culture.  At some point, we slip on our worldview glasses.  There are only two pair: God’s — and any other.

Family, theology and culture take on a different perspective depending upon one’s worldview.  The same is true with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This Saturday is the Iowa Straw Poll.  I plan to go, not so much to cast a vote, but to meander through the crowd.  To listen.  Watch.  Learn which pair of glasses the people have chosen to wear.   Most eyes are focused on the economy.  But, my worldview tells me that our economic problems have deep moral roots.  America may be collapsing on itself because its worldview of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is hopeless.

Life.  Abortion fails to see the value of life created by God and redeemed at high price.  Abortion is about “me.”  “My” fears.  “My” needs.  It sees no future.  It acts in desperation.  Legalized abortion is a root cause of our social security and health care woes.  I have long been concerned that the babyboomers who ushered in abortion will be ushered out by euthanasia.

Liberty.  To worship at the altar of sexual freedom is to eventually loose religious freedom.  “Righteous” folk who “tell me” that I have no “right to liberated” behavior, but must instead practice self-control, are “bigoted” and “must be silenced”.

Pursuit of happiness.  Some Americans think we are entitled to happiness or the right to instant gratification.  But, wearing his worldview glasses, former Senator Rick Santorum disagrees.  We are, he says, “gifted with the pursuit of happiness.”

Santorum, speaking in my town earlier this week, asked, “What is the pursuit of happiness?  Is it doing what we want, or doing . . . .”  He paused, waiting for someone to finish the sentence.  From my place in the back of the room, I did so:  It’s doing “what we should (ought).”  Correct answer.  I think many in the audience agreed.  But, as citizens, have we correctly pursued happiness?

America has given its citizens the freedom to pursue happiness.  But, believing happiness to be “my right to do whatever I want,” leads us to pursue wrongly.  Selfishly.  Dangerously.  Right down a slippery slope into despair.

So, my husband and I remind each other to polish our worldview glasses.  Clarify hope and change.  Look for leaders who pursue not what they can, but what they should.  And, correct our own pursuit of happiness.

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My friend and mentor, Joanie, knew she was engaged in daily spiritual battle.  Her soul and the souls of those around her were targets for the enemy of our lives.  It was for this reason that Joanie tightly grasped the Sword of Truth.  “God’s Word is all I need.”

Once, while walking through a deep valley in her life, Joanie asked me to write out the words of Lamentations 3:21-23 (KJV):  “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”  I wrote out a second copy for myself.

One of Joanie’s favorite authors was Oswald Chambers.  His book, My Utmost for His Highest, is in our home library.  At a time when I was feeling insignificant and unappreciated, my husband asked me to read a page he had marked in the book.  There, Chambers quoted Philippians 2:17 (NIV):  “But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.”  Chambers’ commentary reads:

“Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer — to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others?  Or do you say, ‘I am not willing to be poured out right now, and I don’t want God to tell me how to serve Him.  I want to choose the place of my own sacrifice.  And I want to have certain people watching me saying, ‘Well done.’ ”

Chambers had my attention.  I was compelled to read on.

“It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a ‘doormat’ under other people’s feet.  God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, ‘I know how to be abased . . .’ (Philippians 4:12).  Are you ready to be sacrificed like that?  Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket — to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served?  Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted — not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister?”

I am thankful that my husband was drawn to this particular commentary from Chambers’ book.  I reflect on it whenever I’m tempted by my human nature:  Does anyone notice my hard work?  Does anyone see how “poured out” I am?  Will I be credited for my help?  Then I think about Joanie.  She was always pouring herself out for others.  She was my hero, but the life marked out for her required becoming a doormat.

Joanie was willing to be insignificant — to give and minister to others — all the while calling attention to the Savior Jesus Christ.  In turn, something amazing happened.  Joanie was never poured out to empty.  God’s Spirit filled her with enough for each day.  His compassions never failed.  They were new every morning.

Poured out?  Unappreciated?  Used up?  God sent me Joanie whose life assured me: “Great is Thy faithfulness.”  As I pour out to His glory, He is faithful to fill up.

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For centuries, the rule of the sea was “women and children first.”  Survivors of the sinking ship, Titanic, remember men who gave their lives so that women and children might live.  Whether Christian or not, these men were influenced by a teaching that had shaped their thinking and behavior.  Their sacrifice modeled that of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:25).

In 1996, another ship sank off the coast of Indonesia.  Men on board this ship saved themselves first.  Women and children died that men might live.  This is the inevitable consequence of forgetting or rejecting Jesus Christ.

Jesus did more than speak about humility and service.  He demonstrated it (John 13:12-17).  With His example, He established a pattern for men and women to follow.  A hero of titanic proportions is a man who practices self-control for the sake of a woman.  A husband who covers his wife with his name.  A father who rescues his child from death.

Ninety-three percent of the abortions performed in the U.S. are for convenience.  Studies show the top three reasons for abortion are:

  • “A baby at this time would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities.”
  • “I cannot afford a baby.”
  • “I do not want to be a single parent,” or “I’m having problems” with husband or partner.  (Source: The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1/97, A. Torres and J.D. Forrest, “Why Do Women Have Abortions?,” Family Planning Perspectives, 1988)

When it appears the ship is sinking — and life hangs in the balance, God desires that men step forward.  Engage deceit with Truth.  Do battle for the honor of women and lives of children.  Adam, the first man, failed.  He was silent.  Unwilling to engage.  Lead away from death.  His passivity left woman vulnerable.  His rib exposed.  A target.  At risk.  When he joined with her in sin, he forever changed the course of history.  Children would pay the highest price.

Indeed, they do.

But, must they continue to pay with their lives?

No.  God brought hope to Adam and Eve with a promise.  The promise was kept when Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross.  Became the Savior of the world.  Proclaimed victory over Satan.  Gave men and women authority over lies and deceit.  Jesus Christ  removed all reasons for any parent to sacrifice the life of their child.

Today, men bring order out of chaos every time they remember and use God’s Word.  Choose life over death.  Involve themselves with the teaching and disciplining of children.  Deny themselves for the mother of their child.  Lead away from danger with a servant’s heart.  Deposit sin baggage at the Cross of Christ.  Forgive as they have been forgiven.  Re-build.

This is titanic love.

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Maura and Nichole don’t know about oxytocin.  But, Matt doesn’t know about vasopressin.  Women are not the only ones who bond during sexual intimacy.

Vasopressin is the neurochemical responsible for the male brain response and synaptic change.  It plays a role in regulating blood pressure and, through its influence on kidney function, regulates fluid in the body.  In relationships, vasopressin works to bond a man to a woman and create attachment to his offspring.

Vasopressin is often referred to as the “monogamy molecule.”  Why?  Because it appears to be the primary cause of a man’s attachment to a woman with whom he shares close and intimate physical contact.  The God who creates and loves life has provided a way for the human race to survive.  This “monogamy molecule” is important not just to create a bond with a woman, but with the children that come from that bond.  In the healthy and selfless bond of husband and wife, children have a greater chance of being raised by two biological parents — both of whom are attached to those children.  Such attachment provides sons and daughters with an increased chance of better health and a more hopeful future.

If Matt is physically intimate with a woman — wisely or unwisely — he can bond with her.  If Matt is unwise in his choice, the bond may lead to a long-term, but unhealthy and destructive relationship.  Bonding may tie Matt to a woman who disrespects or abuses him.  It wouldn’t be unusual for Matt to keep going back to a woman who treats him poorly and, if asked, he wouldn’t know why he does it.  Simply put, vasopressin floods a man’s brain (just like oxytocin floods a woman’s brain) and produces a partial bond with every sexual partner.

Men, like women, can become addicted to the “rush” of sexual intimacy.  But, being sexually intimate with many women places at risk the vital ability to develop a healthy, long-term attachment to one woman.  Studies show that the brain can “mold and gel” so that, in time, it begins accepting that particular sexual pattern as normal.  Such a pattern, however, “seems to interfere with the development of the neurological circuits  necessary for the long-term relationships that for most people result in stable marriages and family development.  The pattern of changing sex partners therefore seems to damage their ability to bond in a committed relationship.”  (p. 43 of Hooked by Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., M.D., and Freda McKissic Bush, M.D.)

“The inability to bond after multiple sexual encounters,” writes Drs. McIlhaney and McKissic Bush, “is almost like tape that loses its stickiness after being applied and removed multiple times.”

Matt’s brain is the most powerful sexual organ in his body.  But, in keeping with God’s design, the brain needs to be used, molded and adapted in the right ways — for life — or, with wrong behavior, parts of it will wither and die.  Perhaps, for this reason, God’s Word says in Deuteronomy 30:19-20:

I set before you life and death, blessing and curse.  Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him . . .”

Shame on adults who tempt Matt.  Who open the gates to adventures in sex, but fail to explain his “monogamy molecule.”  Who keep from Matt God’s Word for life.  Who ignore the lesson of the sticky tape.

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