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Posts Tagged ‘health risks’

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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My left-leaning “sisters” claim there is a “war on women.”  They’re right about the war, but they’re confused about who is waging it and why.

John Stonestreet, writing for Breakpoint, quotes from The Screwtape Letters.  (It is, I believe, my most favored work of C.S. Lewis.) “In an especially prophetic chapter,” notes Stonestreet, “Uncle Screwtape explains to his demon nephew Hell’s strategy for using imagery to derail human sexuality: ‘We have engineered a great increase in . . . the apparent nude (not the real nude) . . . It is all a fake, of course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn; the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them appear firmer and more slender than nature allows a full-grown woman to be.  As a result we are more and more directing the desires of men to something which does not exist.’  If there’s a more perfect summary of how our culture views women,” writes Stonestreet, “I haven’t found it.”

Our culture’s perspective on women opposes God’s.  I sometimes trip over myself in the excitement of sharing the truth: We are creations of the holy God… real women in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Often, I quote from the book What A Young Woman Ought to Know written by Mary Wood-Allen, M.D.  I found it in my grandmother’s collection.   Dr. Allen, a physician in the late 1800s and early 1900s, wrote, “The reason we admire the tapering waist is because we have been wrongly educated.  We have acquired wrong ideas of beauty.  We have accepted the ideals of the fashion-plate rather than those of the Creator.”  Then, she detailed the corset, a hideous contraption worn by women — pre or post pregnancy — who coveted a 17 inch waist.

The corset shaped a woman’s body so that a man would be attracted.  But, at what price?   Dr. Allen wrote that Hiram Powers, a great sculptor, once attended an elegant party where he was observed watching a beautifully dressed and fashionable woman.  A friend noticed, and said to Powers, “What an elegant figure she has!”  “Well,” said Powers, “I was wondering where she put her liver.”  As a sculptor, Powers had studied the human body.  He knew that some internal organs, stomach included, had to be displaced in order to create that tapering waist.

A corseted waist made breathing so difficult it was not unusual for a woman to faint.   Yet, it was viewed by the culture as a way to increase beauty.  False beauty.

The corset.  How barbarous!  Now, think our culture.  Bulimia.  Anorexia.  Piercings.  Tats.  Cosmetic surgeries.  Girls pinched in, propped up, and covered only by fig leaves.  All of this is addictive.  All of this is false.

Focusing on sexuality, we mis-shape the image our youngest women have of themselves.  We deceive them into becoming “fake” women.

Only later in life did I realize that my Barbie doll, if a real woman, wouldn’t be able to stand.  Top heavy and with pencil-thin waist, she would fall face down.  How embarrassing.  More than that, what a sad and dangerous mistaken identity.

For many years, I’ve listened to women tell me about the sorrows and false hope of their abortion experience.  There is an identity issue long before the choice of abortion.   These women have helped me understand what happens when we see ourselves from the world’s perspective rather than God’s.

Wrongly educated and believing the lie, men and women are stripped of true identity.

More than sexual beings, we are human beings – male or female – with the attributes of our Creator.  We are each His special possession designed for the purpose of living a life that reflects those attributes.  We are more than bodies, but heads to think and souls that never die.

There is something wrong and potentially dangerous about being defined as a “sexual being.”  Yes, we have sexual thoughts and desires.  But, what if we never marry?  Are we less of a person?  No!  And, if we do marry, but our bodies don’t function as we think they should, are we “junk?”  No!

It is most certainly true that we procreate sexually, but again, what happens if we never marry or can’t have biological children of our own?  Are we mis-fits?  No!  Jesus tells us that there is no marriage in heaven.  Oh my!  Then, do we become floating, bodiless souls?  Angels?  No!  And no!  We maintain our identity as God’s magnificent and beautiful creation.  Our identity as His priceless possessions never changes.  From the moment God thought of us right through eternity.  Can this change the way we see ourselves?  Yes.  The choices we make?  Yes. The life we live?  Oh, yes.

Never once does God tell us to stop being a male or female, but He does tell us to guard against sensuality.  To not let sexual thoughts and desires determine every behavior.  God designed male and female to fit perfectly together in marriage, but He said: Have no other gods before Me.  Might it be that obsession on sexuality is putting something else before God?

There is a “war on women.”  (Therefore, on men, too.)  Dear parents!  Which of us wants to put a daughter at risk?  To sexualize her… and tantalize boys and men?  To distort both male and female ideas of what real women are actually like?  To deceive all the way to the pharmacy… the abortion clinic… or where after that?

Resources for you to consider:
Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up
(a ten-lesson Bible study for girls) (Available here)
Titus 2 for Life, a mentoring ministry

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Yesterday, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that requires the state’s schools to teach the contributions of people who are lesbian, bisexual, “gay,” and transgender.

S.B. 48 makes California the first state in the union to pass such a law.  It was authored by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, a homosexual.  The law requires textbooks be re-written to include information about LBGT Americans and “present them in a positive light.”

Students as young as six will be affected.  Parental notification is not required.  Parents cannot opt their children out.

The governor says the bill prohibits “discrimination in education.”  He stated that “history should be honest.”

For the sake of honesty:

  1. What is the driving force behind this law?  What is the desired outcome?  Who does it benefit?
  2. To whom are children entrusted: their parents or the school?
  3. If parents teach God’s Word to their children because it protects them from harm, why would the governor, teacher’s association, or school want to contradict parents?
  4. Why does the bill prohibit teachers and textbooks from telling students that homosexuality is a risky lifestyle?  The practice of homosexuality carries with it the highest rate of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, high cancer rates, and earlier deaths.

It has always been a good thing to teach young people about the contributions of earlier Americans.  But, honestly, where is the textbook describing the contributions of George Washington the heterosexual?  Clara Barton the heterosexual?  Martin Luther King, Jr. the heterosexual?

Apparently S.B. 48 is California’s eighth school sexual indoctrination law forcing itself on parents and children.  What will this trend in sexual trail blazing leave behind?

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Early in June, the White House spent two days addressing LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) topics.  The first-ever federal LGBT youth summit is one of Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jenning’s last acts before he leaves his position next month.

“How interesting,” notes Candi Cushman (CitizenLink, 6-7-11), “that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) chose this particular moment to release an important study that tells us a lot about what’s really safe for youth — that is, if one looks at the objective facts, rather than view them through a political filter.”

The CDC reports that gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are at a greater risk for unhealthy and unsafe behaviors.  Students who identify themselves this way are significantly more likely than heterosexual students to engage in high-risk behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, actions that lead to violence, suicidal behavior, and sexual experimentation that can expose them to diseases.  [1]

Focus on the Family, CitizenLink, and others have been pointing to such well-documented facts for some time.  [2]

Why does the Obama administration seem to be ignoring those facts and, instead, recommending more homosexual advocacy for children in public schools?  Does this have anything to do with the influence of Kevin Jennings?  (Remember, he’s the one who founded GLSEN, one of the nation’s largest homosexual activist groups.)  The CDC, for example, wants to help establish more gay straight alliance clubs in schools.  Such alliances were founded by GLSEN.   GLSEN encourages students to lobby for gender-diversity materials in schools and events such as a “queer-friendly prom.”  [3]

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promoted GLSEN as a national model for schools, reports Cushman in CitizenLink.  Sebelius said that “we know” the risky behaviors warned about in the study actually “are a result of the discrimination.”  A CDC review of its own study cited “stigma, discrimination, family disapproval and social rejection.”  Cushman notes a problem.  “It’s a mystery how they [the CDC] reached those conclusions — because the study itself does not address or measure the causes of risky behavior.”

Children should be protected from harm.  Parents are the ones entrusted by God to do that.  Cushman also notes that “fact-based studies should not be allowed to be twisted into furthering a political agenda at the expense of our  nation’s children.”

Parents need to be aware.  They need to work closely with teachers who really want to teach students not one-sided messages from sexual advocacy groups, but math, science, English, and history.  Parents who present factual medical and health information to teachers and administrators need to be heard and respected.

Parents need to be heard because they — not the school and not the government — are ultimately responsible for their sons and daughters.

[1] news release
[2] truetolerance.org
[3] to reduce health risks

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Was Dr. Mary Wood-Allen, the author of my grandmother’s book, able to see into the future?  No, but when she wrote about taking care of the body, I believe she was thinking generationally.  Let’s fast forward to the words of another woman physician.

Miriam Grossman, M.D., also believes that the body deserves respect and care.  That’s because she sees — up close and personally — how complex the human body really is.

Dr. Grossman is a campus psychiatrist who meets with countless young women.  It is the fear, anger, and depression of these young women that motivated her to write the book Unprotected.  This short and politically-incorrect book is a must-read for young women in high school and college.  It is a must-read for young men who hope to someday marry a woman.  It is a must read for parents.

Consider the topic of sexually transmitted diseases, HPV in particular.  HPV (human papilloma virus) often catches young women by surprise.  There is emotional fallout.  Trauma.  What is a girl to do?  Damage control kicks in at student health centers.  Pamphlets explain that “HPV infection is very common . . . almost everyone gets HPV at some time . . . having only a single lifetime partner does not assure protection . . .  anyone who has ever had sexual relations has a high chance of being exposed to this virus . . . most men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives.”

With these “calming” words, observes Dr. Grossman, young women with a serious and possibly life-threatening disease are led to believe that “everyone’s in the same boat,” so “chill out, and welcome to the club.”

But, writes Dr. Grossman, “these reassurances are inaccurate, and do no favor to women: in fact, infection with HPV is completely preventable.  It is not an inevitable consequence of becoming sexually active.  It is not something that will happen sooner or later.  Even if well-intentioned, to imply otherwise is misleading.

“This may not be popular to talk about, but there exists a population of young women and men who do not have to worry about HPV.  Or, for that matter, about herpes, chlamydia, or HIV.  They are safe because they wait, and marry someone else who waited.  Yes, it can be done; people have been known to survive and tell others about it.  Medicine should be studying them, and how they avoid risky behaviors, then applying that knowledge to our reproductive health education campaigns.  Instead, there is an odd approach in sexual health: instead of asking our youth to strive for self-control and smart choices, we assume they’ll make poor choices and have multiple partners including some they hardly know.  Why else would every pamphlet and Web site advise them, ‘First, talk with your partner.’  It’s as if whoever’s composing this material has given up on standards, and expects the behavior of the lowest common denominator.”

Dr. Grossman quotes a doctor who, on an HPV support site, is trying to provide words of comfort.   He put it this way:  “. . . Sex is simply one of the many ways in which humans interact with one another.  All those interactions involve sharing bacteria, viruses, etc.”

“What?” asks Dr. Grossman.  “One of the many ways in which humans interact with one another?  Is that the message we want to give to young people?”

Dr. Miriam Grossman, like Dr. Mary Wood-Allen before her, doesn’t want young women (or men) to be at risk.  She doesn’t settle for risk reduction but presses for risk elimination.  And, lest you missed it, neither of these women physicians of 1898 or 2011 seems to find benefit in tiptoeing around or worrying about “judging.”   If we talk to young people about healthier eating and not smoking, using drugs, or drinking and driving, then shouldn’t we also talk to them honestly about the consequences of sexual bonding outside of faithful and Biblical marriage?

Unprotected is a quick read.  Please toss political correctness to the wind and purchase a copy.

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On October 7, 2010, I posted a blog entitled “Breast Cancer & Abortion.”  Here are a few more quotes to ponder:

“I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate.”  (Dr. Janet Daling, a cancer epidemiologist who supports legal abortion, quoted in Breakpoint, 10-28-10)

“In 2007, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that women who have an abortion increase by 40 percent their risk of breast cancer.”  (Breakpoint, 10-28-10)

“Many Americans who buy those pink bracelets may not be aware of the strong links between Planned Parenthood and the Komen Foundation.  Komen founder Nancy Brinker once served on the advisory board of Planned Parenthood of Dallas.  One Komen Advisory Board member, Eve Sanchez Silver, resigned when she found out just how strong the link was between Komen and the nation’s number one abortion provider.  Shockingly, Silver says the Komen Foundation’s “Concern for the health of women is now parallel to Planned Parenthood’s concern for the health of the children they abort.”  Those are strong words.  The Komen Foundation also endorses embryonic stem cell research which kills human embryos.”  (Breakpoint, 10-28-10)

If you want to help decrease the breast cancer risk and support research, check out the Polycarp Research Institute or the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.

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In Iowa, debate continues on the so-called “telemedicine” or “webcam abortions.”  What’s this, you ask?  A doctor does not see the woman in person, but consults by webcam.  Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa offers no appointment, walk-in abortions at its clinics without a physician on site.  How?

By offering dangerous RU 486 chemical abortions at all of their locations with a Des Moines-based abortionist consulting by webcam.  Rep. Steve King notes that this practice breaks with Iowa Code requiring an abortion to be done by a licensed physician.  The chemical abortion, RU 486, may be less messy for Planned Parenthood but it is more traumatizing for the woman because she is forced to deal with the blood and the dead baby at home — alone.

“Nine women have died in less than ten years since the drug hit the market,” reports Concerned Women for America (CWA).    How many more have died or suffered unreported complications?  The process of detecting and testing can be difficult, and families and doctors may be reluctant to report casualties from abortion.

CWA notes that the “FDA approved RU 486 without adequate trials and under intense political pressure from abortion groups and politicians.  In a tragic case of ‘ideology trumping science,’ the FDA neglected its mission to ensure drugs are safe.”  Is death preferable to pregnancy?  Is the “right to choose abortion” a priority over women’s health and safety?

Strangely enough, the FDA recently released a warning to stop using infant sleep positioners because 12 infants died in 13 years.  RU 486 is responsible for at least 9 deaths in less than 10 years.  According to their own standards, the FDA needs to warn people not to use RU 486.

So, here’s my question: Is Planned Parenthood the deceiver… or the deceived?

Satan is the deceiver of all.  Jesus called him a liar.  Jesus should know.  Jesus was there at the beginning when Eve was deceived.  He knows how desperately cunning Satan is.  Satan wanted Eve to be the mother of death.  But, even after she had sinned, God named the woman “Eve” which means: Mother of all the living.  The Triune God is the God of life, not death; hope, not despair.

Today, the deceiver is using his well-honed tactic.  He works long and hard to convince abortion providers that they are “helping” women.  Lest they forget, he reminds Planned Parenthood employees that this “choice” is legal, taxpayer-funded, and endorsed by many churches.

The liar slithers up to the woman with an unplanned pregnancy.  He senses her fear and desperation.  He has no need of a new game plan, but tempts with the same question he used with Eve.  “Did God really say . . .?”  In that moment of doubt, mother is pitted against child.  When the deed is done, the tempter becomes the acuser: “Look at what you’ve done!  Can God ever forgive you?”

Oh, yes, God can… and does.  Even as He grieves the taking of a life He has created and redeemed, God also reaches out with merciful and forgiving love.  Perhaps this is what the deceiver hates most of all.  A God who welcomes repentent sinners.

(Psalm 32:3-5; 147:3; Isaiah 61:1; 1 John 1:8-9)

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