Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

50 shades of greyold fashioned movieIt has been said that good is opposed to evil in such a way that a good thing always eliminates evil as far as it can.

This Valentine’s weekend, we have the opportunity to choose a good thing and, in doing so, help eliminate evil as far as we can. I can promise you that our sons, daughters, and grandchildren will be better for it.

Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the book trilogy, will be showing this weekend in theaters across the country. But, in my hometown (and perhaps in yours), so will the movie Old Fashioned. The contrast between the two is black and white. The one slides into evil. The other strives for what is good.

The contrast, I think, is best illustrated by the leading man in each story. Men fascinate me, perhaps because I believe that God has created them to be the defenders of life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve carefully listened to men and watched what they do. Do they lead women and children to the edge of the abyss or keep them far from it? In Fifty Shades, Christian Grey uses manipulation, jealousy, intimidation and violence to control Ana. In Old Fashioned, Clay Walsh gives up his reckless carousing of college days to practice the patient and self-disciplined love of God and, in so doing, honor Amber Hewson.

Ideologies and behaviors are in contrast all the time. This weekend, ticket sales may tell us a lot about the ideology we claim and the behavior we choose to mentor. Choices have consequences. In this case, Hollywood is glamorizing violence and abuse, then tacking on an unrealistic fairy-tale ending. There is evidence to prove that real life is different.

A study published last year in the Journal of Women’s Health shows the relationships between health risks and reading popular fiction depicting violence against women. Researchers from Michigan State University studied more than 650 women aged 18-24. Compared to participants who didn’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, those who did were 25 percent more likely to have a partner who yelled or swore at them; 34 percent more likely to have a partner who demonstrated stalking tendencies; and more than 75 percent more likely to have used diet aids or fasted for more than 24 hours. Those who read all of the books in the Fifty Shades trilogy were 65 percent more likely than nonreaders to binge drink—or drink five or more drinks on a single occasion on six or more days per month—and 63 percent more likely to have five or more intercourse partners during their lifetime. (Excerpted from “Reading Fifty Shades linked to unhealthy behaviors,” by Carolyn Moynihan, http://www.mercatornet.com, 3 February 2015)

Society pays a price when we teach men to inflict pain and sexualize violence. It pays a price when women are taught that abusive sex is “normal.” Remove the glamour and deception from Christian and Ana’s relationship. What is left but hopelessness?

The price is too high, especially for children and grandchildren. It is a price that does not have to be paid. I wonder. With its aggressive marketing campaign and unashamed attempt to romanticize sexual violence, has Hollywood unintentionally challenged parents to do the right thing? To help their child resist evil and seek what is good? Miriam Grossman, M.D., thinks so.

“Don’t underestimate [Hollywood’s] hard sell on your kids,” writes Dr. Grossman. “Even if they don’t see the film, they are absorbing its toxic message, and need your wisdom and guidance.” She explains that even with the darkest of clouds, there can be a silver lining. “While the ideas promoted by Fifty Shades of Grey are vile,” she observes, “they present a precious opportunity: to explain truths your children must know, but won’t hear anywhere else. Every image of those handcuffs and each TV trailer hold that chance.”

Dr. Grossman is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. She considers it her professional responsibility to help parents deal with the implications of Fifty Shades. I encourage you to visit her website where you will find a series of blogs exposing what might become a blockbuster film. Dr. Grossman includes talking points for every mom and dad who wants to keep their child from harm. She notes that parents talk to their children about junk food, cigarettes, and bullies. Parents, she says, need to warn children about dangerous ideas, too.

Dr. Grossman guarantees “you will have a significant influence on your child. What you believe matters. Your expectations matter. This is so regardless of any poor choices you may have made through the years. Even if your teen shrugs off everything you say with a roll of her eyes, I promise you, she hears every word.”

There is nothing grey about physical or emotional abuse. It is never ok. “A relationship that includes violence is disturbed,” explains Dr. Grossman. “The people involved have emotional problems. A psychologically healthy woman avoids pain. She seeks a relationship that is safe, supportive, and trusting; she wants to feel cared for and appreciated. If there is any hint of danger, she runs.”

There are those who consider Fifty Shades a “romantic love story.” But, “when Ana agreed to be abused, she made a terrible, self-destructive decision,” says Dr. Grossman. “Only in fiction would such a ‘romance’ end happily. In the real world, Ana would pay for her poor choice of a partner.”

It doesn’t have to begin—or end—this way. There are, well, old fashioned thoughts and behaviors that have always led to a much safer and more hope-filled life.

This Valentine’s weekend, some people are daring to bring these old fashioned ideas to the polling place of a theater near you. You have the opportunity—as parents, high school and college students, dating couples, and newlyweds—to “vote” with your ticket in favor of patient, kind, and selfless love (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).

Will it matter? I think so. Good is opposed to evil in such a way that even choosing Old Fashioned can be the good thing that helps eliminate evil as far as it can.

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The word “male” (Genesis 1:27), from the Hebrew word zakar, could be translated: “the remembering one.  Isn’t this a strange description for the male?   What is it that God wants man to remember?

God’s wants man to remember His Story (history).  His instructions for life.  His warnings away from death.  Just as Adam passed on God’s Word to Eve, so is man to pass on God’s Word to his family today — sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters.  Whoa.  Stop.  Adam passed on God’s Word to Eve?

Based on Genesis 1:27, I used to assume that God made man and woman at the same time.  That God instructed them both not to eat of the one tree.  That in choosing to do so, they would know good and evil… and die.  I was ignorant of God’s Word.  I was guilty of reading one passage, but not another.  God uses the first part of Genesis, chapter 2, to give more detail on His creation.  God didn’t create man and woman at the same time — or in the same way or for the same purpose.  Eve had not yet come to be when God gave the man His instructions for life and warnings against death.  She learned of God’s Word from man.  And, in God’s order of things, she would be privileged to help him remember it.  Trust it.  Use it.

One day, Satan slithered right past the man to deceive the woman.  The twister of Truth knew that Adam was entrusted with the responsibility of remembering God’s Word so he flattered the woman.  Put her in the role of leader.  Perhaps intoxicated by this attention, she disobeyed God and doubted His Word.  In doubt, she was foolishly emboldened to not only speak for God but add her own words as if they were His.  Eve’s words should have been to her husband.  She should have beseeched him to remember God’s Word and use it to engage the enemy.  Instead, she chose to tempt man to also eat of forbidden fruit.   Adam could have resisted.  Turned Satan on his tail.  But, failing to remember God’s Word and use it, the man was ill-equipped to cover his wife.  Lead away from danger.  God held man responsible because he failed to remember.  To act.  To engage the liar with Truth.  To bring order out of chaos.

It all could have ended there.  But, God’s love for His creation endures forever.  He promised that another Man would come.   The Man who would remember the Word and use it to cover every sinful man, woman, and child.  That Man is the Word.  The Word sent from the Father to be the Savior from sin.  In Jesus Christ, man has new opportunity to remember the Word and use it.  And woman remains privileged to help man remember.

How does she do this?

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tear it down (Proverbs 12:1).

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life . . . she opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue . . . the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31).  (Note: She deserves to be praised not because she is so amazing, but because she is not deceived by the world.*)

She is reverent in behavior, not a slanderer or slave to much wine.  She teaches what is good, and so trains the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands [as to God], that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5).

Even if her husband doesn’t obey the Word, she may win him by her behavior when he sees her respectful and pure conduct . . . when she lets her adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious . . . likewise, her husband lives with her in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since she is an heir with him of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:1-7).  (No offense here!  God expresses care, not disrespect, for women because physically, women are typically smaller in size and weaker in strength which could make them vulnerable to abuse.  Husbands are not to exploit their size and strength in unkind ways.*)

A husband needs a wife who will patiently help him remember God’s Word.  Use it and pass it on.  On this earth, there is no more powerful union — for the benefit of children.  Society.  A future of hope.

*With appreciation for commentaries
from The Lutheran Study Bible

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My personal “tour guide” at Planned Parenthood was friendly.  I did not doubt that she genuinely believed she was part of an organization that wanted to help women.  However, two-thirds of the “tour” was was spent explaining where the client has her abortion and how long it takes her to recover before leaving by way of the side door.

So, Planned Parenthood: “Fess up!  You benefit from multiple private donors, yet you fight tooth and nail for my tax dollars.  Why is it so important that government fund and, thereby, endorse you?

My “tour” of Planned Parenthood was many years ago.  It — and countless conversations with women who left your clinics by the side door — influenced me to warn mothers and daughters away from your place of business.  I have read your brochures, become familiar with your recommended textbooks and classroom topics, studied your reports, and visited your web site for teens.  You do not view men, women, relationships, marriage, or family as God does.

So, come clean Planned Parenthood and “fess up!

If you’re all about women’s health care, why do you:

  • Teach the “art and science” of premarital sex to elementary, middle and high school children?
  • Encourage boys and girls to “test their sex savvy” and engage in interactive games such as “Jim Dandy and His Very Gay Day”?
  • Tell boys and girls that even though their parents may not understand, any sexual activity is “normal” as long as the two people involved “give” and “receive pleasure”?
  • Teach the “ABCDs of LGBT Dating” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)?
  • Help child predators by covering up illegal sexual activity, child abuse, and statutory rape?
  • Drive a wedge between parents and children?
  • Promote promiscuity and sexual disorders?  (Note: My conscience does not allow me to include quotes or paraphrases from Planned Parenthood publications and web sites.  I invite my readers to do their own research and have included sources.)
  • Mislead adolescents and teens with the idea of “safer sex”?
  • Perpetuate the lie that you are a “health care” organization when, in one year alone (2001), you dispensed 458,892 emergency contraception kits (“morning after pill”), performed 213,026 surgical abortions and 25,000 chemical abortions, but in your nearly 900 “health centers” saw only 15,618 clients for prenatal care (1 for every 13 abortion clients) and made only 1,951 adoption referrals (1 for every 109 abortion clients)?

“Fess up, Planned Parenthood!  If you’re all about women’s health care, why don’t you:

  • Show expectant moms the ultrasound of their baby?
  • Inform women that abortion may be legal, but it is not necessarily safe?
  • Applaud the work of caring pregnancy centers that affirm the physical, psychological, and spiritual wellness of girls and women before, during, and after pregnancy as well as to mothers grieving their aborted children — all without government assistance?  (In 1997, I co-founded one of these caring pregnancy centers in my community and continue to serve as a volunteer, mentor, and board president.)
  • Warn women about the connection between abortion and breast cancer?
  • Help build relationships between girls and their parents rather than circumventing parental notification laws?
  • Admit that you practice a form of eugenics even today by intentionally setting up your clinics in the more impoverished parts of town and, percentage-wise, aborting more black children than white children?
  • Admit that you actively lobby for abortion rights and pursue your own interests?  (In 2006, PP hired Cecile Richards [the daughter of Ann Richards, former governor of Texas] as president.  Her experience is not in health care at all, but in political action.  Her previous work as as a union organizer, as the founder of “Texas Freedom network” [formed to battle pro-life groups in Texas], as director of pro-choice projects for the Turner Foundation, and as founder and president of America Votes, a coalition of 32 of the biggest and richest unions and liberal interest groups in the country.)

Planned Parenthood, one of your own clinic directors has been quoted, saying, “If Planned Parenthood had no abortion, it would see its soul unravel.”  (Thomas Webber, former director of PP of Minnesota/South Dakota, The (St. Paul) Pioneer Press, July 27, 2000).

SOURCES: Teenwire.com, Planned Parenthood, Childpredators.com, Pro-Life Action Ministries, STOPP International, Life Dynamics, The Eliott Institute, Silent No More, Word of Hope, The Lighthouse, Ramah International, Lutherans For Life, and Concerned Women for America, Dr. Joe McIlhaney, Dr. Miriam Grossman, and Dr. Meg Meeker — for starters!

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The television commercials sponsored by the Humane Society of the U.S. are emotional tear-jerkers.  How could the sad eyes of an abused or abandoned puppy not touch one’s heart?  Visiting the web site of the Humane Society, I learned how dedicated “humane” people are to saving the animals.

But, what would happen if Lutherans For Life, National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, or any other pro-human life organization would try to run televised commercials of abused and aborted human babies?  It has not been allowed.  Abortion, after all, is “legal.”  The abuse and killing of human babies is also profitable — even though it is biologically proven that human life begins at conception.  Even though ultra-sonography gives us a window to the womb.  Even though there is medical proof that pre-born babies feel pain.  Even though the brutality of partial-birth abortion is documented.

The Humane Society exists to “rescue animals from disasters,” “outlaw puppy mills,” and “end euthanasia of pets.”  This organization pleads with the American people to “Become a humane hero.”  They remind us that, for 50 years, Jane Goodall has persisted in a battle to save the chimps.  Even a caterpillar is valuable because, the Society says, “Size doesn’t matter.”

I am very fond of puppies.  I like chimps.  And, because I agree that size doesn’t matter, I am tender with caterpillars.  Intentional abuse of any of God’s creatures is wrong.  That’s why for 30 years, I’ve persisted in a battle to save the babies and bring hope to their moms and dads.  So, here’s my question:

If it is appropriate to passionately and graphically raise awareness of the abuse of puppies, why is it not also appropriate to raise the same kind of awareness concerning abuse of human babies?

My worldview tells me that a human is the “crown of God’s creation.”   Humans are called by God to be good stewards of the rest of creation.  We are held accountable for the protection and care of God’s world and all that live in it.  With this worldview, I maintain that all of life is safer.

From that perspective, it is a stain on humanity when many of the same people who defend a helpless puppy refuse to defend a helpless human child.  It makes no difference if the person is a Christian or not.  If a non-believer speaks up to defend a chimp, why would he remain silent when a child is pulled from her mother’s womb in pieces?  If a non-believer cries out when a puppy is left untreated by a vet and exposed to the elements, why would he keep silent when an aborted but still living child laid on a stone-cold counter is left untreated and exposed without cover or comfort?

The Humane Society wants to “end euthanasia of pets.”  But, where was their voice in defense of Terri Schiavo when her husband demanded she be euthanized?  Where is their voice in states like Oregon where euthanasia is legal for those who suffer depression or battle cancer?  Are not fathers, mothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and children more precious than pets?

The Humane Society defends the rights of our pets.  It does not place the right of the owner over the pet.  Why, then, don’t they join with pro-lifers who defend the lives of both mother and child rather than the rights of the mother over the child?

Heart-wrenching, graphic commercials of abused puppies leave a visual imprint on our minds and we are moved to compassion.  Why, then, doesn’t the Humane Society also support a televised partial-birth abortion to move hearts and minds to compassion?

The public and impassioned plea of the Humane Society on behalf of innocent puppies rings in our ears.  It is not considered strange or cultish.  Yet, when those of us who are pro-human life make sounds of biological and reasonable sense, we are told to silence our “religious” views.

Might there be room for one more on the protected list of the Humane Society: the human child?

Seems sane and sensible to me.  Does it you?

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