Monday, December 23, 2002


My wife and I are off to see The Two Towers today. Yesterday was our anniversary but was also a Sunday and some of us had to work, so today is our belated celebration. I'll post some comments after I've seen it. In the meantime go read what fellow Kirkian Kevin Holtsberry had to say.

The latest in the prestigious Barbie line is the new Lingerie Barbie complete with garters and stiletto heels. Or as the promotional material has it:

Barbie exudes a flirtatious attitude in her heavenly merry widow bustier ensemble accented with intricate lace and matching peekaboo peignoir.

Ah, what every young girl needs.

The problem with this isn't hard to see as Deborah Roffman notes:

One 10-year-old in my class wasn't buying any of it. He told me last week he'd actually been given one of the dolls by a 5-year-old cousin who had tired of it. "She gives me lots of toys she doesn't want," he said. "Most of them I give to charity. But not this one, no way. I threw it in the river. No child should play with something like that. They'll get all the wrong ideas."

Wrong ideas, indeed!

We need to get back to letting children act like children, not like miniature adults. They need more teddy bears and fewer lace teddies.

Sunday, December 22, 2002


She's put up with me for eight years now. I pray she can stand a lifetime more.

Friday, December 20, 2002


Sakamuyo linked this quiz, which determines based on one's answers what denomination you ought to be in. Here are my results:

#1: International Church of Christ
#2: Church of Christ
#3: Free Will Baptist
#4: Mennonite Brethren
#5: United Pentecostal Church
#6: Assemblies of God
#7: Orthodox Quakerism
#8: Southern Baptist
#9: Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
#10: Reformed Baptist
#11: Episcopal/Anglican Church
#12: Evangelical Lutheran Church
#13: Methodist/Weslyian Church
#14: Presbyterian Church in America/Orthodox Presbyterian Church
#15: Reformed Churches
#16: Jehovah's Witness
#17: Mormonism
#18: Presbyterian Church USA
#19: Roman Catholic Churc
#20: Seventh-Day Adventist
#21: Eastern Orthodox Church
#22: Liberal Quakerism
#23: Unitarian Universalism
#24: Unity Church

Well, number 2 ain't bad. (Just a note, I have great problems with the practices of the International Churches of Christ. Also, I do not wish to be part of any 'denomination', but simply a Christian as those in the New Testament were.)

Irene linked the Belief-O-Matic quiz, which includes a variety of non-Christ based religions in the mix. Here's what I got there:

1. Eastern Orthodox (99%)
2. Roman Catholic (99%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (98%)
4. Seventh Day Adventist (87%)
5. Orthodox Quaker (81%)
6. Orthodox Judaism (77%)
7. Islam (69%)
8. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (63%)
9. Hinduism (62%)
10. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (60%)
11. Jehovah's Witness (55%)
12. Sikhism (50%)
13. Bahá'í Faith (45%)
14. Liberal Quakers (41%)
15. Reform Judaism (36%)
16. Jainism (33%)
17. Unitarian Universalism (32%)
18. Mahayana Buddhism (27%)
19. Theravada Buddhism (25%)
20. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (25%)
21. New Thought (20%)
22. Scientology (19%)
23. Neo-Pagan (18%)
24. Nontheist (16%)
25. New Age (12%)
26. Secular Humanism (7%)
27. Taoism (4%)

Hmmm, Eastern Orthodox. Well, they do have cool robes.

We've all been to church services or Bible class and been absolutely bored to tears. Those of us who grew up attending church and Bible class can certainly remember it as children. There were times that you dreaded going. Now that being said, I needed to go and am glad I did. But I would have learned more had the classes I attended been better taught. That's one extreme.

TIME tells us about the other in an article titled The New Funday School. The techniques are 'successful' (depending on how one defines success), but is this the way to approach Bible study:

So nowadays lesson plans are based on The Gospel According to the Simpsons, in which Homer stands in as Job, and The Gospel According to Harry Potter, in which the boy wizard's decision to walk through what appears to be a solid wall to get to the train that will take him to his magical school becomes a meditation on faith.

Things a little dull at your building? How about this:

First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., paid $279,000 to Bruce Barry's Wacky World Studios, a set-design company in Tampa, Fla., that specializes in Sunday-school makeovers, to turn a room that had sometimes been used for funerals into a zany Toon Town where buzzers go off and confetti rains down during celebrations like baptisms.

I agree you have to start where people are, but equating Homer Simpson with Job takes things a bit far for me. Adding confetti and buzzers to a baptism turns a profound moment into something trite. What this boils down to is an appeal to carnality--you throw on some window-dressing on secular/worldly activities and call it a 'ministry' or 'Christian'.

Bible classes need to be exciting, interesting places for children (and adults). But we need to nourish people spiritually. They can get carnality anywhere.

[See an earlier post about useful, Bible-based material for teenagers. And thanks to my brother-in-law Mitch for the TIME link.]

Thursday, December 19, 2002


What Jesus looked like is not question of great import. If it mattered, the Bible would have described Him. But the popular image of a wimpy Jesus with long hair and light skin is certainly as far from the truth as can be. Much of that imagery is based on perhaps the wishful thinking of its portrayers and also the (ahem) questionable Shroud of Turin. A reasonable scientific reconstruction of a typical Galilean Semitic male of the first century has been prepared, with attention paid to known Biblical facts about Jesus. It helps clear up a lot of misconceptions certainly.

The important thing, though, is what Jesus said and what He did. His earthly image was simply that of a common man, but also 'the image of the invisible God' (Col. 1:15), an image I believe seen at the Transfiguration. But as the Word became incarnate He also reminded us that man was created in the image of God. In becoming a 'common' man He reflected that Godly image. His life, death and resurrection made it possible for us to again show that in our relationship with Him.

I also like Barry Moser's representation of Jesus in his Pennyroyal Caxton Bible (also available in a trade edition), although he falls into the annoying 'long-hair' trap that the scientific reconstruction specifically avoided.

[Link via The Sakamuyo Log]

Many of you have probably already seen the second installment in the cinematic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's magnificent Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. The first movie--I threw in my extended DVD last night and caught a few minutes--was almost as good as it could have been. Of course, the story is not only a good tale, but is illustrating great spiritual truths. Christianity Today has a nice discussion with two authors, Brad Birzer and Mark Eddy Smith, on the spiritual--and cultural--implications of the trilogy. From Mark Eddy Smith's book, Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues:

"When God does call us, it may be to a journey of danger and terror, with the possibility of no return, or it may be to the simpler danger and terror of confronting a boss whose practices seem a little shaky" (p. 21).

They even bring in towering thinkers, Christopher Dawson, G.K. Chesterton and Josef Pieper. I was introduced to Dawson, et al when I first read The Lord of the Rings while working for Russell Kirk in the wilds of Michigan. I can't imagine a better place or time to read it. Dr. Kirk teaches us that myth and imagination are powerful tools for conveying what he called the Permanent Things.

Jeffrey Overstreet also has a review of the movie with a look at its spiritual side. I'll report back after I've seen the movie Monday (the logistics of seeing a movie when you have a 2 year-old and a 4 month-old is comparable to the D-Day Invasion!).
Take a look at this interesting article I've been mulling on 'rebuking'.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002


Scientists have revived centuries old frozen microbes discovered in the icepack of Antarctica leading them to speculate on whether life exists within the polar ice on Mars. Years of watching sci-fi movies piques one's interest in this sort of thing (will it be like Mars Attacks ?) and quite frankly I hope they do find something there simply because it would be pretty cool. However, evolutionist types will fall all over themselves pointing to it as proof of their conjectures. It will be no such thing, of course. It's hard for me to imagine God creating this big ol' universe and not playing around with it some (that may be an indication of why I'm not God and not the Creator of the universe), but I feel as sure as anything I'm sure of that there will never be intelligent life found elsewhere. Man is the creature made in God's image, and man is the creature Jesus died for.

Let the microbe search begin!

Monday, December 16, 2002


In an article on the fall of Catholic Cardinal Law, I ran across this quote about those who helped bring him down:

...parishioners with doctorates won’t be treated, as Muller puts it, “like sheep.” Post, the VOTF president, is a professor of management at Boston University and not one to be intimidated by authority any more than Muller is.

Now it was high time the 'laity' demanded a house cleaning in Boston, but this attitude is disturbing, particularly the way it's worded. I'm not a Catholic and have profound and fundamental problems with their doctrines and practices, but if you are a Catholic recognizing the authority of its hierarchy and institutions is what you signed up for. Either you believe the Pope is a modern day apostle or you don't. If you don't (I don't) it seems you have little business actually being a Catholic.

Now that aside, this attitude that those 'with doctorates won't be treated "like sheep"' is troublesome. Jesus very explicitly uses Shepherd and sheep imagery to describe Himself and His followers. 'I am the Good Shepherd,' He said. (John 10:11) He is the Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. But that entails that I be His sheep--I'm to put total trust in Him and His direction based on what He has done for me. A doctorate--or any other human accomplishment--doesn't obviate my dependence on Him. 'If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of the world is foolishness before God.' (1 Cor. 18-19)

If I am worthy to be called a sheep of Christ, then that's all I can ask.

AME churches in South Carolina have received part of a $12.6 million CDC grant from the Medical Center and University of South Carolina to promote fitness:

The program includes "praise aerobics" to the accompaniment of gospel music tapes, walking clubs, an eight-week course on fitness and seated exercises for older churchgoers. One person from each participating church will be trained to run local programs and pastors are asked to bring health into weekly sermons.

So not only are the churches becoming gyms, they are also having their sermon agendas influenced by the offer of outside money. This is one of the big problems when churches start losing their spiritual focus. When the whiff of money wafts in, it doesn't matter what they're asked to do to get it, just call it 'praise aerobics' and cash the check. (A similar problem presents itself with the new 'faith-based initiatives' money from Washington.) But isn't promoting health a 'good work'? It might be, but is it a church's job to promote it? 'For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promises for the present life and also for the life to come.' (1 Timothy 4:8)

Churches need to focus on what their job is--promoting godlines--and leave everything else to the world.

Saturday, December 14, 2002


There's really no one in our current society who has not been touched by divorce. Perhaps someone in your family is divorced, or a close friend--perhaps you yourself. Marriage just isn't taken very seriously by far too many people. But as Scripture records very directly: God hates divorce. (Mal. 2:16)

Jesus faced a divorce epidemic in His own day. He was asked about marriage law in Matt. 19. There He reaffirmed God's intention for man and woman 'from the beginning': 'What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.' (vs. 6) There is an exception for the cause of adultery (vs. 9), but in God's law there isn't a 'no fault' divorce. We have become all too tolerant of something God hates.

Recent studies have shown that there is no real difference in the divorce rate among those attending church and the society at large:

Church leaders attribute the discrepancy between belief and behavior in Christian marriages to the pervasive influence of the culture of individualism, narcissism and consumerism.

That sounds about right. George Barna, who conducted one of the studies had this to say:

"We haven't done a good job of helping people to know how to integrate their faith into every dimension of their life," said pollster George Barna.

"What we wind up with are people who know some of the principles and stories and platitudes, but when push comes to shove, it's survival of the fittest."

We've got to do a better job of teaching about marriage. Are God's laws on marriage 'hard'? Well, the disciples thought so. 'If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry,' they said. (Matt. 19:10) Jesus essentially answered, if that's the way you feel about it, then don't get married. No one's forcing you to--the kingdom is more important than any personal relationship.

It's time we all started taking marriage as seriously as God does.

Thursday, December 12, 2002


This time of year we are surrounded by nativity scenes and Christmas plays. Every good creche or play has the obligatory three wise men. Of course, the Bible doesn't say anything about three wise men. And it's highly unlikely the wise men were there at the manger in the first place. (My favorite is the kneeling Santa in front of the manger.) A church in Wales has chosen to base its play on the actual text of the Bible:

[M]embers of the Porth Christian Centre at Elim Pentecostal Church, in the Rhondda, south Wales, dispute several points in the traditional interpretation of the birth of Christ.

They range from the visit by the three wise men to the belief that Mary rode into Bethlehem on a donkey.

Three cheers for a Biblical representation. Now if we can only find a Biblical mention of the church celebrating the birth of Christ in the first place we'll be set.

[Link via Christianity Today]

A far cry from Harry Potter or Sabrina (or my sister's favorite, 'Bewitched'), is the current movement toward the Wiccan 'religion'. Lehigh University allows students to miss class on Wiccan holidays. Wiccans are using the Syracuse University chapel. The real draw is explained by one of its practicioners:

Anthony Paige, a recent SUNY Purchase College graduate who started a pagan student group there, said Wicca appeals to some college students because "there is no sense of sin."

"There is a karmic law, but there's no scorn or condemnation," said Paige, who was raised a Roman Catholic and whose book Rocking the Goddess, Campus Wicca for the Student Practioner profiles college-age pagans.

Ah, no sense of sin. Of course that's the problem with our society at large. 'I'm okay, you're okay, and could you pass the eye of newt?' I really have strong doubts that these kids believe in a lot of this nonsense. But they can cast cool spells, call themselves witches and engage in whatever hedonistic activity they want all in the name of their 'religion'.

Thomas Wolfe, dean of Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse, well states,"There is a cultural shift with college students identifying themselves less as religious and more as spiritual." The same can be said of the current rise in popularity of Eastern religions. It all gets back to what Paul explained of the pagan world in Romans 1. This vague 'spirituality' helps fulfill the innate longing that man has for the eternal. But it substitutes a lie for the truth of God. Such a substitution might make us feel better, but as Paul explains, the end result won't be very pretty.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

A great post on a first trip to the gym over at The Sakamuyo Log. Now that's how it's done!

The inside buzz in the Vatican, according to TIME, is that the current scandals involving the American Catholic Church--and particularly the Boston archdiocese--are to blame on media manipulation:

German Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, perhaps the most powerful policymaker in Rome besides the Pope, told a Catholic news wire that the U.S. sex-abuse scandal was an "intentional, manipulated ... desire to discredit the church" by the media. The conservative Ratzinger offered a virtual Vatican seal of approval for recent comments by two Latin American Cardinals — each considered possible papal successors — who also blamed the pedophilia crisis on the American press.

Now that the media has sensationalized the situation goes without saying. The American media generally targets the religious in an effort to denigrate them. But the recently released documents in Boston show the truth behind the scandal; the press didn't make it all up.

Another (and more realistic viewpoint) in Rome is that the problem can be blamed on the high percentage of homosexuals in the American Catholic priesthood:

A growing number of officials in Rome have become convinced that the cause of the U.S. crisis is the prevalence of gay priests in American parishes. In his letter, Medina Estevez called the ordination of homosexual men "inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky." A Vatican official told TIME the letter "represents the mind of the church" and hints that a watershed document on rules for seminary admission, expected next year, will bar gays from entering the priesthood.

I have it on good authority from a former Catholic who studied for the priesthood that a common (but hushed) practice over the years has been for Catholic men seeking religious counseling to deal with homosexual feelings to be encouraged to seek a celibate life in the priesthood. Certainly such a policy on its face seems doomed to disaster.

Swinging the pendulum from encouraging a homosexual priesthood (I realize all priests are not homosexuals) to actually banning homosexuals is problematic, it seems to me. Someone who may have homosexual desires or tendencies is not a sinner. One who acts on the desires, i.e., engages in homosexual conduct, is.

In the end, a separate 'priesthood' is a practice unsupported by Scripture and thus illegitimate. No amount of tweaking the rules will fix that.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002


George Barna has released a survey of the opinions of adults who do not consider themselves 'Christian'. Evangelicals rank ahead of prostitutes, but just behind Republicans.

Jesus condemned the Pharisees and scribes--citing Isaiah--for 'teaching as doctrines the precepts of men' (Matt. 15:8-9). They had obscured God's revealed word with their own traditions, opinions and preferences. Man has a way of doing that. God's word is our anchor; the further we move from it the quicker we're going to get into trouble. A trend in sermons is to do just that: discuss pop psychology or engage in sensitivity training instead of featuring God's word. It sounds nice, but it doesn't do anybody any good in their relationship with God.

The returning Jewish exiles discovered that in the day of Ezra when he read the Law of God. They wept as they realized they hadn't been doing what God expected. They were told, don't mourn but be joyful! Now is the time to return to godly practices. The result was the Festival of Booths was observed for the first time since Joshua's day. Some today dismiss the usefulness of restoring New Testament practices in the modern organization and work of the church. But Nehemiah's record shows us how important it is to base what we do on God's word. Each generation has the responsibility to investigate its own practices in light of Scripture and make changes accordingly. Do we really know what we're saying when we dismiss the Word of the eternal God as irrelevant for today?

Ben Patterson's article 'The Word Unplugged' has a nice discussion of letting God's word speak for itself. Patterson and two other men memorized Revelation and recited it before the church they attend. Amazingly, people sat there and listened. Often we don't give people enough credit; and often we don't have the faith in God's word we ought to have.

Memorization of Scripture is something I've focused on lately. I have primarily worked on passages teaching foundational doctrines, but I intend eventually to work toward lengthier passages. When we read the teachings of Jesus we see the amazing command of Scripture He demonstrated. If we want to be pleasing to God, it all starts with what He has revealed.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Some speculation on the burning question of What Would Jesus Drive? My favorite:

Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but preferred not to discuss it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel in which Christ tells a crowd, "For I did not speak of my own Accord."

Based on a similar exegetical approach, we also know what cigarettes were smoked in the Bible: 'And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the Camel.' (Genesis 24:64, AV)


From the 'Your Lottery Dollars at Work' file, Michael Woods Nash--a junior at Baptist affiliated Cumberland College in Kentucky--has been receiving a state lottery funded Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship. Nash is a 4.0 student and has qualified for the state money each semester he's been in college...until now.

Now Nash is suing the state because they have denied him a scholarship he qualifies for, except for his choice of a new major--religion. It seems that if one pursues a religion degree at a religiously affiliated college--but not a state one--the law prevents the monies from being issued. Perhaps the state recognizes the irony of funding religious education with lottery money, but I doubt it. It's a blatant exercise in religious discrimination.

May the whole house of (lottery) cards come falling down around them on this.

Filipino police will soon be carrying pocket-size Bibles (well, Korans, too, but nobody's perfect) as standard equipment, issued by the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jose Lina. Why?

Lina cited the need for the "spiritual cleansing" of policemen to rid the service of scalawags and misfits. This he added would be part of efforts to review the recruitment of new law enforcers to weed out undesirables.

Policemen will also go through 'spiritual renewal seminars'. (Beats sending them through sensitivity training one would think.) Of his new spiritually aware constabulary Lina said, 'Soon, the Philippine National Police would become Pulis ng Panginoon (Police of God).'

I take it there is no ACLU in the Philippines.

[Link via Drudge]

Friday, December 06, 2002


Regional school superintendent Bruce Dennison, tired of not collecting the student attendance bounty, has begun sending out squad cars to check on homeschoolers in Illinois. He says, "My responsibility is to enforce the compulsory attendance law." Illinois homeschooler Carol Severson answers, "He says that he is worried they are not getting a quality education. I would tell him to look in his own backyard."

Government school administrators are attempting to up the ante on homeschooling. They're losing money and credibility as the movement spreads. California has made noises that homeschooling is essentially illegal there.

The Fox article notes,

Ironically, one of the earliest reasons for the public school system was to spread a Christianity-based morality. These days, many homeschool parents decide to keep their children at home to infuse their education with religious ideals.

Homeschoolers are opting out of a government run system that increasingly seeks to inculcate kids with a secular, anti-religious worldview. The government schools rightly see this as a threat. Parents are asserting their rights as the primary source of learning in contradistinction to a government set agenda. Homeschoolers also are well-organized and highly active in protecting their rights as the primary educators of their children, which means they are also stand as a growing political force.

Are all those involved in government schools militant atheists? That would certainly come as a surprise to my father, a retired elementary school principal and recently elected school board member. I come from a family of teachers and received all my education from 'public' schools. And I've seen kids who were being homeschooled who didn't need to be. Homeschooling isn't for every child nor every parent.

But my wife and I have made a decision to homeschool our children. Like many (most?) homeschoolers, religious belief has played a role in that decision. The societal zeitgeist is hostile to that. But everytime hostility against homeschooling increases, it only confirms my decision that it's the right thing for us to do.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


We've all heard the lecherous stereotypes over the years: priests and nuns engaged in all sorts of sexual devilry. A powerful organization maintaining outward respectibility while behind the scenes systematically thwarting the law. As more and more records come to light we find the stereotypes--in Boston anyway--are largely true.

Over the past decades the Catholic Church hierarchy in Boston has been involved in just about everything imaginable. Their impending bankruptcy is already complete on the moral ledger.

From affairs with women seeking marital counseling, to using cocaine to lure young boys for sex, to recruiting nuns in order to sexually exploit them, the list goes on and on. I understand there are runaway priests. But the diocese itself knowingly and systematically played musical chairs with the offending priests in an effort to cover up their misdeeds rather than face up to them and clean out the bad leaven:

Plaintiffs' attorneys and victims advocates say the documents show that Law continued to transfer problem priests until recently.

"It's not ancient history, it's very, very recent," [David] Clohessy said, [national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP].

And some of the offenders remain unrepentent to say the least.

In the late 1960s, the Rev. Robert V. Meffan allegedly recruited girls to become nuns and then sexually abused them, according to 1993 letters from Sister Catherine E. Mulkerrin to her boss, the Rev. John B. McCormack, who was a top aide to Law. Meffan allegedly would counsel the girls to perform sexual acts as a way of progressing with their religious studies.

Meffan allegedly engaged in sexual acts with four girls in a Cape Cod rental, one of the girls told Mulkerrin, according to the 1993 memo.

"They were all young girls planning to be nuns," said attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., who represents 247 plaintiffs suing the archdiocese.

Meffan told The Boston Globe the allegations in the documents were true, and that he still believed his sexual relationships with the teenage girls were "beautiful" and "spiritual," and were intended to bring them closer to God.

"What I was trying to show them is that Christ is human, and you should love him as a human being," said Meffan. "I felt that by having this little bit of intimacy with them that this is what it would be like with Christ."

Sin is not limited to Catholic leaders; I certainly understand that. I know preachers personally who have been engaged in sexual misconduct. But when that comes to light there ought to be a loss of responsibilities, at least for a time. And usually there is. The type of thing the Boston diocese has been involved in--and who thinks they wouldn't still be doing it had they not been caught?--is inexcusable. Did the Borgias immigrate to Boston?

The current scandals aside, I have profound Scriptural problems with the Catholic church--its structure and beliefs. In fact, I think that its organization principles are the very thing that's allowed this to go on. It is, as they say, an institutional problem. But I also have dear friends whom I respect and love who are devout, sincere Catholics. I know they can't approve of this. How long will the laity tolerate it?

Tuesday, December 03, 2002


The good folks over at the Supreme Court (who was it that commented the book of Judges is followed by the books of the kings?) are set to decide whether or not each and every one of us has a Constitutional right to engage in sodomy with same sex partners. They have accepted a Texas case for review, which could also affect sodomy laws in 13 other states. The FoxNews article states, 'States argue that the laws, some dating back more than 100 years, are intended to preserve public morals. The laws are rarely enforced.'

Now I've read the Constitution before, and I've missed each and every reference to sodomy as a protected right (I think it's in the same amendment with abortion). This is a state matter and the court needs to uphold the law (quite frankly, I don't really think the Court has the right to strike it down, but I'm radical that way). If you don't like the law, here's the answer for you: 'William Delmore III, an assistant district attorney in Texas, said people who don't like the law should take it up with the Texas Legislature, not courts.'

But should there be such laws in the first place? I think it gets back to the issue of normalizing an aberrant behavior and protecting a societal standard of decency. Although the laws are seldom enforced (which the article admits), it makes a statement that society does not view that behavior as acceptable.

Aha! (you say) There you go--trying to 'legislate morality'!

Yes, I admit it. But what, pray-tell, else does one legislate? We legislate against murder, rape and robbery. Those are immoral acts. The fact is our civilization is held together by a foundation of Christian morality. Decadence occurs in direct proportion to our abandonment of those. Ask the avowedly atheist communist states. Those who argue for individual liberties in the face of clear moral precepts attempt to undermine the very foundation on which legitimate rights and liberties are based. We have been living off the moral capital of our ancestors for at least three generations now (probably more). It's time we started building up some of our own.

Monday, December 02, 2002


Sexual activity among teens has reached a point of widespread societal acceptance. Schools are busy having younger and younger kids practice with condoms on bananas for the inevitable 'coming of age'--you can't stop it, you know. Kids are gonna do it and only religious extremists with their heads in the sand could possibly argue otherwise. Hand in glove with this attitude is opposition not only to parental permission, but also even parental notification for an underage girl's abortion.

Against this state and societal sponsored promiscuity is some encouraging news reported by Newsweek. The Center For Disease Control finds that there has been a 10% rise in the number of teens stating they have not had sexual intercourse over the past decade. Newsweek takes a look at several teens who have decided not to have sex until marriage including some 'renewed virgins', those who have had sex but vowed not to again until after marriage.

Some seem to tempt fate, such as Daniela, the Miss Hawaiian Tropic El Paso who also cheerleads professionally and models at Harley-Davidson 'fashion' shows:

Daniela knows about temptation: every time she walks out onstage in a bathing suit, men take notice. But she doesn’t see a contradiction in her double life as virgin and beauty queen; rather, it’s a personal challenge. “I did Hawaiian Tropic because I wanted to see if I could get into a bikini in front of all these people,” she says. “I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to win.’ But I did, and I got a free trip to Houston’s state finals. I met the owner of Hawaiian Tropic. It’s like, wow, this is as good as it gets.”

Do they make burkas for 2-year olds?

But many couch their reasons for remaining chaste in utilitarian terms rather than religious ones. Alice Kunce, self-avowed feminist and Christian, still speaks out strongly against religious opposition to sexually active teens. Kunce feels empowered by the feminist movement to resist sex, and 'If anything, she feels a need to speak up for those being coerced by aggressive abstinence groups.'

Certainly, many teens are motivated by religious reasons, and that really steams folks who are opposed to anything like 'values' in education. (Well, unless it's values like tolerance, 'choice' or free sex for people who can't drive.) The only acceptable way to teach abstinence is to do so on solely utilitarian grounds. Now that teens need to know the real-life consequences of teen sex--STD risk, pregnancy, emotional consequences--goes without saying. But utimately unless their actions are based on a firm moral choice, their 'purity rings' won't matter a whit.