Archive | Culture

The Abortion Spa: Rebranding Infanticide

What do abortionists do when they are losing the abortion argument? When their “blob of cells” trope has collapsed under the moral weight of ultrasound images? When everyone can now see that the humanity of the unborn is as plain as the nose on their face? What do they do? They double-down on deception.

In what will no doubt be the most disgusting thing you read today, The Washington Post reports on an “abortion spa” that has opened up in the “tony” neighborhood of Friendship Heights in Washington, D.C. The point of the facility is to destigmatize abortion by providing a spa-like experience to women seeking to end the lives of their unborn children. From the report: Continue Reading →

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Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her lesbian partner, and Barwick loves them both. Nevertheless, she says that her childhood left her “hurting.” In a poignant piece for The Federalist, she writes:

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

I predict that we will be hearing more stories like these going forward. The sexual revolutionaries have been telling us that there is no need to worry about kids growing up apart from their mother or father. “Nothing to see here. Move along.” And I am sure that they really believe the line they have been selling.

But thinking doesn’t make it so. And no matter how much the revolutionaries protest to the contrary, children do still need a mom and a dad. As surely as water will wet us and as fire will surely burn, children need what same-sex parenting by definition deprives them of. And it is a fool’s errand to think that our culture can somehow sow to the wind without reaping the whirlwind. Articles like this one are but the initial breezes of a looming storm.

[World Magazine featured Barwick in a recent story about the impact of same-sex parenting. Read it here: “The Kids Are Not Alright.”]

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An exercise club allows men into women’s locker rooms, and vice versa

This is one that you will likely have to see to believe. So I encourage you to watch the video above.

In short, here’s what the report says. Yvette Cormier was in the dressing room at her exercise club “Planet Fitness” last month when she saw a man enter the women’s locker room. Cormier was unsettled about this, so she immediately informed management. After hearing her concerns, Planet Fitness explained that the man is transgender and identifies as a woman. They told her that Planet Fitness allows any man who sincerely self-identifies as a woman to make use of the women’s locker room. Continue Reading →

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Our deepest cultural problems are spiritual, not political

David Brooks’s column in The New York Times today is a must-read. Brooks grapples with the ubiquity of broken families in our culture. The stats on the number of children living without fathers or mothers is a cultural calamity that cannot be solved by any government program. Brooks writes:

The first response to these stats and to these profiles should be intense sympathy. We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching an anarchy of the intimate life.

But it’s increasingly clear that sympathy is not enough. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms. The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.

Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary. These norms weren’t destroyed because of people with bad values. They were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another. People got out of the habit of setting standards or understanding how they were set.

Brooks is right that we can’t get this genie back in the bottle through government programs. The problem is beyond the competency of Caesar. Nor can we simply hope for a moral renewal to appear out of thin air. The old taboos—much despised as they have been—did actually provide some protection for women and children. Their disintegration has left the weakest and the most vulnerable exposed to the sexual whims of lecherous men. The old norms won’t be reinstated easily—if at all.

The sexual revolution seemed freeing and sexy at the beginning, but it really doesn’t wear well over the long haul. Why? Because no matter how much we’ve tried to sever the ancient connection between sex and childrearing through birth control and abortion, the connection still persists. Where people pursue sexual expression outside the covenant of marriage, you will eventually find children born to parents who are not married. The sexual revolutionaries promised freedom by casting aside the old norms. But what they have delivered is two generations of children from broken homes. The human condition has always been desperate. It has only become more conspicuous in the aftermath of the failed promises of sexual liberation. As a culture we have sown to the wind, and now we are reaping the whirlwind.

As Christians, we really do have a more hopeful vision for humanity. Yes, it is counter-cultural now, but it does meet our deepest needs. It provides redemption. It gives the power that weak people need for bona fide moral renewal to take place. It is the only force with enough power to accomplish the renewal of families that Brooks is calling for. If I didn’t know any better, I might say that Brooks is beginning to see that.

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Do Liberals Stifle Intellectual Diversity on Campus?

NPR hosted a fascinating debate at George Washington University on this proposition: “Liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on campus.” All four debaters were liberal, but two of them argued in favor of the proposition (Greg Lukianoff, Kirsten Powers) and two of them against (Angus Johnston, Jeremy Mayer). Students in the audience were polled before and after the debate about their agreement with the proposition. This allows everyone to see what people’s views were coming in and whether they were persuaded to adopt a different view as a result of the debate. Here are the results:

Continue Reading →

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How has “The Breakfast Club” aged after 30 years?

John Hughes’ classic “The Breakfast Club” turned 30 this year. To put this in perspective, we are as far removed now from “The Breakfast Club” as the “The Breakfast Club” was from James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause” (let that one sink-in, GenXers).

Daniel Drezner asks in The Washington Post how “The Breakfast Club” has held up after three decades. Drezner says that he watched “Rebel Without a Cause” in 1985 and found it completely outdated and unrelatable as a teen-angst drama. He wondered if that’s how teens would view “The Breakfast Club” now. So he decided to watch “The Breakfast Club” with his 14-year old son to gauge whether the movie still communicates now as it did back then.

What happened? His son was genuinely engaged in the story and with the characters, and he watched right through to the end. But his son also thought much of it to be laugh-out-loud corny. Some of it has aged well, and some of it… not so much. You can read the rest of it here.

Over the years, my wife and I have re-watched some of the iconic films from our teen years—”The Breakfast Club” among them. What always strikes us is not so much how dated the movies are but how much we have changed since the time when we were originally engrossed by such films. The big drivers of so-called “teen angst” don’t seem so big 30 years on. Also, after you get some years under your belt, you find that the easy immorality and self-regard endemic to the whole genre doesn’t wear well in real life. You’ve seen too many friends and loved ones wrecked by those things to be enthralled by them like you were 30 years ago.

In short, as you grow up, so do your tastes. Yes, there are still some things to appreciate. But it is impossible to watch these films with the same eyes that you had 30 years previous. What once put stars in your eyes now often leaves a tear. And that is a good thing.

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Researchers claim same-sex couples may soon be able to produce biological children together.

This seems kind of important. PhillyMag.com has the story:

Researchers at Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science say they have discovered a way to “create human egg and sperm cells from the stem cells in the skin of two adults.” Which means, for instance, an egg can be created from the stem cells of two men, and sperm cells can be created from the stem cells of two women… Researchers in the study say that we could be seeing same-sex couples producing children together in as little as two years.

Read the rest here. Continue Reading →

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If everyone consents, why not “50 Shades” or incest?

At this point in our culture’s sexual devolution, the only recognized boundary on sexual expression is consent. If two or more persons are of age and if all parties agree to a given sexual activity, then that activity is deemed acceptable—no matter what it is. Any attempt to suggest moral obligation beyond consent is treated as repressive and as a throwback to puritanical austerity. That’s simply where we are right now as a people.

Certainly Christians would agree with our secular counterparts that consent is a necessary moral condition for sexual expression. No one disagrees with that. The problem we have is with the suggestion that consent is the only necessary condition. Nevertheless, our culture has been experimenting with the “consent only” norm for many decades now. How is this working out for us? Is it really true that anything consenting adults agree to is acceptable? Continue Reading →

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Why “50 Shades” is not the same as biblical submission

I hadn’t planned on contributing anything to the 50 Shades meme that appears to be taking over the internet. In fact, I was studiously avoiding it. I changed my mind this morning after watching a CBS News package that deals with female “submission” in relationships (see it here).

The report compares the sado-masochism of 50 Shades of Grey to the submissive roles of two well-known wives, Candace Cameron Bure and Gabby Reece. By the end of the piece, the CBS journalists seem scandalized by Bure and Reece, but it is not clear whether they are equally troubled by 50 Shades of Grey. Continue Reading →

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A Klansman with liberal admirers

“This American Life” recently featured the little-known backstory of Forrest Carter, author of the book The Education of Little Tree. The book has become a modern classic and is read in high school literature classes across the country.

“The American Life” traces the genesis of this book through the dark past of its author Forrest Carter. The result is a riveting piece of Southern history. But it is also a story about hermeneutics. Perhaps what it illustrates above all is the central role that authorial intent plays in our interpretation of texts. Is The Education of Little Tree a story of humanity and conservation, or is it a thinly veiled tribute to Jim Crow racism? I don’t know if we know the answer to that question. But the answer really does come down to what the author intended when he wrote it. Once you hear the author’s story, there is more than a reasonable doubt about his good intentions.

You can listen to the story below beginning at 7:15. Highly recommended.

Continue Reading →

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