So, naturally, I agree with this.
If anything can be said of our generation, it’s this: We want sexy back. Our parent’s generation, well, they lost it. They delivered to us a world with sky-high rates of divorce, abortion, and STDs; a world bored with sex and bored with romance; a world in which more and more people are turning to pornography to find sexual satisfaction; a world in which 1 in 5 women report being sexual assaulted, and the human body — the sexiest thing in the universe — is used to sell cars.
After extremely little consideration, we decided we don’t want that. We want awesome relationships and mind-blowing sex lives. We want women and men to be respected and loved for who they are, to the very depths of their being. We want sex free from fear, love free from use, and a world of people who love and respect their own bodies. In short, we want sexy back. In fact, we demand it.
So we got together — a group of college kids — to find the root of this mentality. (aka what the hell happened!?) Well, though any cultural change contains all sorts of contributing factors, we think we’ve narrowed all the wackness down to its primary cause: The widespread use of artificial contraception.
This is a dangerous idea. It’s dangerous because artificial contraception is heavily promoted by big pharmaceutical companies — like Bayer Corp. — and contraception providers — like Planned Parenthood. It’s dangerous because it’s not an idea supported by those in power. But most of all, it’s dangerous because it’s true.
We found, by looking at the best available analysis from sociology, medicine, philosophy and economics, that the widespread use of artificial contraception has failed to decrease STD prevalence, increased the global rate of HIV, seriously harmed the environment, screwed up relationships, and is strongly correlated with increased divorces, abortions, and unplanned pregnancies. We found that hormonal contraception significantly increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, heart disease, and may very well be lowering her sex drive. We found that the safety and effectiveness artificial contraception is often falsely advertised by pharmaceutical companies, and that the health benefits of hormonal contraception are totally exaggerated.
So we were all like,
"The Church is not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognize their need for God's love, their need to be purified through the cross of Christ."
The Presbyterian Church in America's General Assembly on Thursday approved resolutions that criticize Wycliffe Bible Translators new Bible translations geared toward Muslims that omit "Father" and "Son" from the Trinity. PCA delegate Rev. Travis Hutchinson reports the resolutions "passed almost unanimously."To "water down" the Scriptures is not the way to get Muslims to convert to Christianity. The denominations pushing back are correct in this debate.
Not even Wycliffe's move to submit to a World Evangelical Alliance's review could stop PCA from expressing its concern over Wycliffe's translation practices. At issue is Wycliffe's contention that in certain "Muslim contexts" where "a literal translation of 'Son of God' would communicate wrong meaning, an alternative form with equivalent meaning may be used."
PCA joins the Assemblies of God, which also has expressed serious reservations in its document about Wycliffe's translation philosophy. The Assemblies of God World Missions has threatened to sever ties if "Father" and "Son" are not translated literally.
Wycliffe has had a long and respected history of Bible translation, but the public rebuke from these denominations could have serious financial implications. The PCA resolutions recommend churches to cut funding not only for questionable Wycliffe translation projects but also for "persons advocating problematic approaches to translation."
“Catholics can proclaim the Gospel through their acts of service for others…. Charity must be a kind of evangelization - not direct evangelization, but to make each one know who Christ is, and know the love of God.”This is exactly the philosophy of the Catholic ministry ‘A Simple House’; they spread the Gospel through what they call “friendship evangelization” performed through words, actions, and relationships.
These days, families come in all forms - single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors... It's 2012 and anything goes.Try out the trailer:
Bryan and David are a Beverly Hills couple and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed and loving partnership, the one thing missing is a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie, an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother, Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious eight-year-old daughter. Desperate and broke - but also fertile - Goldie quickly becomes the guys' surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams. Surrogate mother, surrogate family.
“he taught them as one with authority” -Mt. 7:29The dictionary defines authority as “the power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge”. God Himself is our ultimate authority. He has the authority to command us, and it is right and just for us to obey. Obedience to God is a virtue! Without it we cannot reach our full human potential. The people recognized in Jesus’ teaching the authority of God Himself. There was a supernatural weight behind His words. He affirmed this Himself on the day He ascended into Heaven, declaring
“all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” -Mt. 28:18-20St. Paul describes the charism which animated his entire preaching mission as
“grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of the faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” -Romans 1:5The obedience of faith.
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices; as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” -1 Samuel 15:22-23Jesus too tells his disciples that loving Him is equivalent to obeying Him:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” -John 14:15.The beloved disciple in turn testifies to this mark of true discipleship, stating
“for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." -1 John 5:3But what about obeying people? Frail sinful human beings who (unlike Jesus) are not God? In what sense is it ever good to obey them? Here is where the Catholic Church makes a radically unpopular claim. Our Lord has shared His authority with human beings, and we have an obligation to obey them when they command within their jurisdiction. In so doing, we obey God.
“let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” -Romans 13:1This needs to be read with the understanding that God’s authority (which must always be obeyed) is only present when those in power rule according to His law. Laws must therefore respect the inalienable dignity of the human person to be binding. For St. Thomas Aquinas, laws are only valid when they are in accord with natural law, God’s truth written into the universe and capable of being understood by all (The 10 Commandments are a great summary of much of the content of natural law). Legislators exercise authority rightly when they rule for the sake of the common good of all, and not just certain groups (such as those outside the womb). Legislators have the authority to set the speed limit at whatever speed they want (within reason), and those laws are binding upon us. However, when governments command violations of human dignity, such as forced abortion, forced sterilization, and the violation of conscience, they step beyond their rightful authority and subjects are not bound to obey. God’s authority is never present when sin is commanded.
“give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” -Mt 16:19All who heard these words would have known that Jesus was referring to the conferring of authority over the kingdom spoken of in Isaiah 22:22. These keys of authority belong rightly to Our Lord Jesus, who assures us He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and yet He tells Peter that He is entrusting them to him so that he might rule in His name. When Peter was set free of his office on earth, he passed them to his successor.
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained” -John 20:28This authority too has been passed on to all their ordained priestly successors, so that we today are able to take advantage of this wondrous gift in the sacrament of confession. How can we ever thank Our Lord enough for giving our priests His own authority to cleanse us of sin in His name?
“have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ”. Romans 1:5-6 (emphasis mine)
"You should meet this guy with the SIO. He's sort of this kind of social entrepreneur thinking outside of the box in the sustainability space and working on these ideas around sort of web-based social media, and he's in a round two capital raise in the VP space with the people at SVNP."If not, then you are a normal human being who has trouble with business buzz-words. They drive me nuts and according to this article, I am not alone. A snip:
I'd say that in about half of my business conversations, I have almost no idea what other people are saying to me. The language of internet business models has made the problem even worse. When I was younger, if I didn't understand what people were saying, I thought I was stupid. Now I realize that if it's to people's benefit that I understand them but I don't, then they're the ones who are stupid.If you think his article is a bit of a stretch, then you must either be an undergrad or have a job that doesn't expose you to such verbal mish-mash. Below is an example, though I doubt you will make it through the entire video (and that is perfectly normal):
There are at least five strains of this epidemic.
We have forgotten how to use the real names of real things. Like doorknobs. Instead, people talk about the idea of doorknobs, without actually using the word "doorknob." So a new idea for a doorknob becomes "an innovation in residential access." Expose yourself repeatedly to the extrapolation of this practice to things more complicated than a doorknob and you really just need to carry Excedrin around with you all day.
While the nation discusses and debates the attacks on religious freedom, a high school junior in Florida has put her academic reputation on the line to stand up for her faith. Margeaux Graham was selected this year to participate in The American Legion Auxiliary's prestigious 9-day leadership event, the "Girls State" program. When Margeaux learned she would not be allowed to attend Sunday mass during the event, she decided to decline the honor.
The country's parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
Denmark's church minister, Manu Sareen, called the vote "historic".
"I think it's very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married. Today, it's only heterosexual couples."
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church.
The far-Right Danish People's Party mounted a strong campaign against the new law, which nonetheless passed with the support of 85 of the country's 111 MPs.
"Marriage is as old as man himself, and you can't change something as fundamental," the party's church spokesperson Christian Langballe said during the debate. "Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman."
Karsten Nissen, the Bishop of Viborg, who is refusing to carry out the ceremonies, has warned that the new law risks "splitting the church". Continue Reading.
The whole problem with our culture can be summed up by the coffee we drink. The science, nay the art, of drinking black coffee revolves around enjoying that which is not enjoyable. The phrase “acquired taste” means just that – the acquisition of tastes we do not have: the taste for bitterness, the taste for harshness. Learning to love a dark cup of coffee means loving the unlovable, which is the definition of Christian charity. It does not mean ignoring the bitterness and choking the stuff down. That’s the mere toleration of the unlovable – which is the definition of cowardice, lameness and current American liberalism.
Our culture has worked to eradicate the cup of black coffee. Before there was a War on Christmas, before there was a War in Iraq, there was the far greater and far viler War on Joe. Lead by the hulking behemoth of diversity-in-coffee, Starbucks, the virtue of bitterness was all but spat upon. There is no end of foam, chocolate, corn syrup, chipped ice and vanilla cream you can drown a noble quarter cup of coffee in. There are, as we speak, growing mountains of plastic cups smeared with the remnants of whipped cream and flavor shots — stuff used to hide the bitterness of coffee.
In this sad state of affairs, people are less than likely to learn to love the unlovable.
Is this not a perfect parallel to our world’s view of suffering? Suffering is evil, it is confusing, we’ve no taste for it, so we do whatever we can to disguise it, to hide it. Oh, to be sure, there will be the broadcasting of well-dressed celebrities telling us to aid those suffering, but our slums will remain as far away from our suburban developments as we can get them. There will be laws passed to ensure that the homeless cannot beg where we don’t want them, or sleep where we can see them. When entire nations fall to the grip of AIDS epidemics, we haven’t the taste for walking among them, but we’ve enough moral fiber to send them billions of condoms with a “Hope for the Best!” card attached. We want the sweetness of sex without the reality of children. We want good health without having to diet and exercise.
“The less tangible implication of incorporating this level of information into pre-natal decision-making raises many ethical questions that must be considered carefully within the scientific community and on a societal level.I don't see how it won't lead to more abortions. Currently, about 90% of prenatal children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.
“As in other areas of clinical genetics, our capacity to generate data is outstripping our ability to interpret it in ways that are useful to physicians and patients.”
These principles are most often applicable to discern about a course of action, but many of them can also apply to discerning the promptings and urges that the faithful often sense in their walk with God, and which cause them to wonder, is this of God or just me?
Disclaimers. – None of these principles should be read in an absolute sense. They all admit of limits and distinctions. They are merely principles that guide further reflection. In a brief blog, not everything can be said about them, and you may wish to use the comments to elaborate some of your own thoughts and distinctions. Secondly, while not every principle applies to every situation, as a general rule, these principles ought to be used together and in tandem. It would be wrong merely to use one principle, and think discernment is complete. Generally these are all part of a process and their evidence should be considered collectively.
Principle 1 – State of life. There are many different states in life, some permanent, some long-lasting, some only temporary. We may be single, married, a priest, a religious, young, old, healthy, or fragile in health. We may be a student, a parent, rich or poor. Being clear about our state in life can help us discern if a call is from God or not.
For example, a young woman may sense a call to spend extended hours before the Blessed Sacrament. Of itself this is surely a good and fine thing. But what if she is the mother of four young children? Would God ask this of her? Probably not. Perhaps one hour will be more in keeping with her state in life. On the other hand a single woman, may be free to do this, and it may even be a part of her learning of her vocation to the religious life. Other things being equal it is more likely we can be open to this call being of God in her case.Continue Reading.
State in life helps to do a lot of sorting out. A priest is not going to hear from God to leave the priesthood and marry the pretty woman in the front pew. An elderly and feeble man is not going to hear a call to go to walk the Camino in Spain, etc. We can be pretty clear that such notions are not of God. Yet other calls that seem to be in keeping with one’s state in life are something to remain open to, and apply other principles that follow.
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District have teamed up in an unusual collaboration to reduce the number of unplanned teen pregnancies at Roosevelt High School.
Students can visit the on-campus health clinic to get free birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling and screening for sexually transmitted diseases – the first program of its kind in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Birth rates among teenagers are down throughout California and Los Angeles County, but certain areas within the county, like the heavily Latino and low-income neighborhood around Roosevelt High School, buck that trend.
The school’s health center is separate from the school nurse’s office and also serves as a primary care clinic, according to the Times. However, about half of the visits this school year have been for reproductive health.
Roosevelt High School started offering contraception and counseling in 1997, but in 2006, that support from a local hospital ended and the school could no longer provide free contraceptives.
Nurse practitioner Sherry Medrano reached out to Planned Parenthood, which now provides a medical assistant, contraceptives, pregnancy and STDs testing. The organization bills Family PACT, a public program that provides family planning to low-income and uninsured California residents, the Times reported.
Students are also trained as peer advocates to talk to their classmates about STDs and pregnancy prevention.
The effective separation of sex from procreation may be one of the most important defining marks of our age–and one of the most ominous. This awareness is spreading among American evangelicals, and it threatens to set loose a firestorm.Further Reading:
Most evangelical Protestants greeted the advent of modern birth control technologies with applause and relief. Lacking any substantial theology of marriage, sex, or the family, evangelicals welcomed the development of “The Pill” much as the world celebrated the discovery of penicillin — as one more milestone in the inevitable march of human progress, and the conquest of nature.
At the same time, evangelicals overcame their traditional reticence in matters of sexuality, and produced a growth industry in books, seminars, and even sermon series celebrating sexual ecstasy as one of God’s blessings to married Christians. Once reluctant to admit the very existence of sexuality, evangelicals emerged from the 1960s ready to dish out the latest sexual advice without blushing. As one of the best-selling evangelical sex manuals proclaims, marital sex is Intended for Pleasure. Many evangelicals seem to have forgotten that it was intended for something else as well.
“She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” -Gen 39:122. Submit your thoughts to God. He knows better than we do what is good.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Phil 4:83. Overcome your selfishness. True Love doesn’t know selfishness. Because, if you love Jesus you don’t belong to yourself
“and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” -1 Cor 3:234. Expect and be ready for temptation. We need to be prepared for Spiritual battle.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” -Eph 6:135. Remind yourself of the consequences of sin.
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Gal5:19-216. Memorize God’s Word. Filling our minds with the thoughts of God and having them readily available to us is very wise.
“He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:287. Cultivate a sense of God’s presence But don’t just listen – obey.
“Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey.” -Deut 5:278. Frequent confession heals us and we start over spiritually healthy.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” -James 5:169. Accountability helps us avoid sin. When we are accountable to both man and God it helps us overcome temptation.
“Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.” -Genesis 4:9-10