Archive | Culture

Gay marriage hailed as “wholesome” in graham cracker ad

The video above is a Honey Maid Graham Cracker commercial that features a pro-gay marriage message. I guess I missed this one when it came out last April, so it is entirely possible that many of you have already seen it. In many ways, it is unremarkable. Those of us who hold to natural marriage are in the minority in this country. It was always only a matter of time before mainstream advertisements began to reflect the opinions of the majority. There’s nothing new about that. It would be unrealistic to expect anything less. Still, there are a number of items worth reflecting on in connection with this ad. Continue Reading →

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What the Bible teaches about spanking

I can imagine that recent events may drive a fresh conversation in our culture about the morality of spanking. Americans have widely divergent views on the matter. Even evangelical Christians have seen some division over the issue in recent years. In light of this, Christians need to be ready to engage this discussion in a biblical way, insisting on the protection of children from abuse while also pursuing biblical truth concerning discipline.

For Christians, the key texts on this issue are in the book of Proverbs. Here’s a sample: Continue Reading →

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Regretting Surrogacy


Jennifer Lahl was recently interviewed by ABC News about women who regret being surrogate mothers. A surrogacy agreement is when a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child for someone else. In some cases, the pregnancy occurs through in vitro fertilization so that the baby is genetically unrelated to the woman who carries the child. In other cases, the woman who carries the child becomes pregnant naturally or artificially so that the child is genetically related to the woman who carries the baby. Usually, a woman agrees to receive a sum of money in exchange for being a surrogate. Continue Reading →

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How will gay marriage impact your marriage?

If you’ve ever been in a debate with someone about gay marriage, one of the conversation stoppers that proponents often throw out is this: “How does gay marriage hurt traditional marriage?” Or more personally, “How does my gay marriage corrupt your straight marriage?” The thinking goes like this. What two people do in the privacy of their own home ought not concern you, even if they choose to reinvent society’s most basic institution. After all, who are you to judge someone else’s pairing? If some people want to call gay unions a “marriage,” what’s that to you?

[read the rest at ERLC.com]

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NY Times reporter calls for incivility

I have been watching with some interest the ongoing Twitter conversation between Ryan Anderson and New York Times reporter Josh Barro. Anderson supports the traditional marriage position, and Barro has been arguing that those who hold Anderson’s view are not worthy of civility. Barro says that such persons should be treated with the same intolerance that we would give to segregationists.

For anyone paying attention to the current cultural climate, none of this is surprising. Still, it is jarring to see such a bald expression of intolerance from a New York Times reporter. I encourage you to read Ryan Anderson’s two blog posts chronicling the conversation (here and here). Anderson is simply arguing that we ought to treat one another with respect and civility. Barro rejects this proposition in no uncertain terms. He says traditional marriage supporters do not deserve respect or civility and will not get any from him. Some of the conversation is below. Continue Reading →

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50 Shades of Strange

I have not read 50 Shades of Grey, nor do I plan to. The book is a bona fide publishing phenom, but every description I have read is that the story amounts to literary pornography. For that reason, I can’t imagine anything helpful coming from the film version set to be released later this year. I’ll be sitting that one out too. So I have great sympathy for the concerns Aimee Byrd expresses about the reception of the forthcoming movie. She writes: Continue Reading →

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When the Transgender Comes Home

Josh Bishop has a really helpful article at The Gospel Coalition telling how he and his family responded to the revelation of his sister’s transgender identity. He writes:

Jessah is 19 years old, 12 years younger than I am. I was in the hospital when she was born. I spent my middle-school years changing her diapers. She beamed with pride and excitement when my then-fiancée Becca asked her to be a bridesmaid at our wedding, and during the ceremony she looked just as beautiful and twice as proud as the older girls. Becca offered advice when she was learning to put on makeup, when puberty arrived, when she first started noticing and crushing on boys.

Today, though, Jessah identifies as a man. “I am not female,” she declared in her coming out announcement. She is legally changing her name to Jace and plans to undergo hormone treatment therapy and gender reassignment surgery as soon as possible. In the meantime, she is presenting herself as a male.

What was once a distant and theoretical discussion—How do Christians respond to the transgender issue?—suddenly became immediate and practical. Abstract became concrete; impersonal, personal. This isn’t just the cover of Time magazine, it’s Christmas dinner. It’s e-mails and phone calls, weddings and funerals, kids’ birthday parties and Mother’s Day luncheons. This big question facing me and my wife is wrapped up in a hundred smaller questions:

Do we speak of my sister or my brother? Jessah or Jace? She or he? And what exactly is the Christian witness on gender issues, anyway? How do we affirm a biblical sexual ethic and our love for my sister at the same time? Even more difficult: How do we resolve the tensions between loving my sister on the one hand, and, on the other, training up our children in the way they should go?

This piece is very practical. Read it here.

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Is it cruel and harmful to acknowledge your baby’s gender?

Christin Scarlett Milloy says calling a baby a “boy” or a “girl” at birth is like playing Russian roulette with your baby’s life. Why? Because what if your baby grows up to disagree with the gender they were assigned at birth? Milloy says that such children grow up depressed and perhaps suicidal. Milloy’s argues, therefore, that we should not risk a child’s well-being by assigning him/her a gender at birth. Instead, we should just let them figure it out for themselves. Continue Reading →

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