Morality Is Not Hate

Orthodox Marriage Weddingby Fr. Mark Hodges –
This week, U.S. Attorney General Holder announced Obama’s decision not to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed by a bipartisan overwhelming majority and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. Significantly, the Attorney General described anti-sodomy beliefs as “animus,” which means “vehement emnity,” “hatred” or “ill will.”

This echoes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s anti-Christian view, stated in a Supreme Court decision upholding the ejection a Christian legal group for not allowing open homosexuals in leadership positions, that “Condemnation of same-sex intimacy is, in fact, a condemnation of gay people,” and “Our (Supreme Court) decisions decline to distinguish between status and conduct.” (By this reasoning, if you don’t support gluttony, you “condemn” overweight people.)

The ACLU has hailed the Obama Administration’s decision as “the tipping point in the gay rights movement.” Indeed, it may be. It is certainly yet another turn toward moral insanity, as the Fathers and Mothers of the Church predicted, when the world calls evil “good” and good “evil.” [Read more...]

Abortion Greater Threat to Europe than Islamic Terrorism

12/20/2010 – Hilary White –
Legal abortion is “the single most grievous moral deficit in contemporary life” and its proliferation will exact an as-yet unknown social price for the countries that have adopted it, said Lord Nicholas Windsor, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, this month.

“The granting to ourselves of the right wantonly to kill, each year, millions of our offspring at the beginning of their lives: This is the question of questions for Europe,” he said.

“The practice of abortion is a mortal wound in Europe’s heart, in the center of Hellenic and Judeo-Christian culture.” [Read more...]

Digitally Dangerous, Rewiring Our Minds

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

12/13/2010 – Chuck Colson –
Spending too much time in the digital world, which hurts our ability to focus, is going to make it hard to engage in spiritual disciplines, which require concentration. And our minds will not develop as God intended them to. [...]

Vishal is a bright high school senior who hopes to study filmmaking in college. There’s just one problem: Vishal is rewiring his brain in such a way that he may never enjoy the career he dreams of.

As Matt Richtel reports in the New York Times, like many teens today, Vishal spends a big chunk of his day on his computer–on Facebook, playing video games, creating digital films, or sending text messages to friends.

Richtel writes that the digital world—cell phones and computers—may actually be changing how developing brains work. He notes that many kids do homework at the same time they’re texting friends. Others talk on the phone while texting other friends at the same time. And they all spend many hours every week surfing the Internet. [Read more...]

Homeschooling and Socialization

Homeschooling and Socialization12/7/2010 – Mark T. Mitchell –

Recently my wife and I stepped into a new wine shop in a town near where we live. The shop was very small and we were the only patrons. The young lady minding the store was friendly and talkative. We chatted about various wines and about the fact that in our state people tend to favor beverages with names like Bud and Coors over Merlot and Chardonnay. As the conversation drifted away from wine, the young lady, Kate was her name, told us that her fiancé owned the shop but he was occupied that day with his primary job. Her summers were free because she taught at a local elementary school. My wife then mentioned that we homeschool our three boys.

I’m always interested to watch the reaction of people when they learn this fact. Quite often the response is enthusiastic. Once my neighbor sadly shook his head and told me that my wife and I were lucky that we were educated enough to teach our kids at home and keep them out of the local schools. Kate, for her part, smiled and nodded and then she asked the question that I sometimes think has been put to rest but for some reason lingers on as one of the central criticisms of homeschooling: “What about their socialization?” [Read more...]

Give Childhood Back to Children

6/13/2010 – Jeffrey Eckert –
Children are being dragged into adult situations on a more frequent basis. A child’s age of innocence is diminishing, and children are now living extended versions of young adulthood due to the immature actions of the adults responsible for raising them. Parents should be a buffer between their children and the world. All too often, children are becoming the person the parent goes to for emotional relief. The parents involves the child in the particulars of their messy divorce, money problems, health problems, and even sexual relationships.

In generations past, these problems occurred, but the children were kept out of the discussion. Adults spoke to other adults (family members, peers, professionals) about their problems. [Read more...]

Our Heartless Inattention to the Collapse of Marriage

5/24/2010 – Jennifer Marshall –
It’s hard to imagine the unemployment rate rising steeply for decades without public outcry. But that’s exactly what’s happened in the case of another significant indicator: the unwed birth rate.

Hardly anyone noticed this spring when new data showed 40% of all births are to unmarried mothers. That’s way up from 7% in the mid-1960s, when a young White House appointee named Daniel Patrick Moynihan tried to sound the alarm. [Read more...]

Five Myths About Same Sex Marriage

Townhall | by Janice Shaw Crouse | 3/9/2010

March 9, 2010, is the first day that same-sex couples in District of Columbia (D.C.) will be able to have legal marriage ceremonies. More than 100 couples — some coming from nearby states — have licenses for ceremonies. So-called same-sex “marriages” are legal in five other states — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont — where the words “bride and groom” are replaced with the names of the individuals, who are each called “spouse” or “Person A” and “Person B.”

Those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are called by derogatory labels: bigot, narrow-minded, hate-filled among the nicest. Such name-calling obscures the very real problems associated with watering down and denigrating traditional marriage. [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church Leaders Defend Marriage

Pat. Kirill
AOI | Feb. 5, 2010

Russian Orthodox Church leaders called on Christians on Thursday to be firm in defending traditional marriage and lamented the family crisis in the country.

According to some estimates, over half of the marriages in Russia end in divorce. Women in the 140-million-strong country undergo some 1.5 million abortions annually.“We, Christians of different denominations, should profess the inviolability of the evangelic norms on the holy matrimony between man and woman,” Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in a welcome message to participants of an inter-Christian forum for former Soviet republics held in Moscow. [Read more...]

Domestic Disturbances

Touchstone | by Patrick F. Fagan | Jan. 5, 2010

The Rising Polyamorous Culture Is Out to Get Your Children

The culture of the traditional family is now in intense competition with a very different culture. The defining difference between the two is the sexual ideal each embraces. The traditional family of Western civilization is based on lifelong monogamy. The competing culture is “polyamorous,” normally a serial polygamy, but also increasingly polymorphous in its different sexual expressions. [Read more...]

The Gift Delusion

American Spectator | by Christopher Orlet | Dec. 21, 2009

What kind of Grinch would recommend parents tell their toddlers that Santa Claus isn’t real? If you guessed a liberal arts professor at a prestigious east coast college, give yourself a grade-inflated A plus.

What is it with academics? Don’t they ruin enough of childhood with their dull lectures and reams of homework without trying to do in Christmas too? Is there no end to their sadistic need to spoil everything? Prof. David Kyle Johnson thinks not. [Read more...]

Education Normal

Touchstone Magazine | by Mark T. Mitchell | September 2009

“Are you ever afraid that homeschooling your kids will make them, um, oddballs?” We were staring into the campfire. The kids had all been tucked more or less comfortably into their sleeping bags, and we parents were savoring the opportunity to talk. With the cool night crowding us closer to the fire, the conversation was lively, though tinged by a reflective mood.

As anyone who is the parent of small children will know, the conversation eventually turned to kids. Soon we were talking about how to raise godly children in a culture that, in many ways, seems intent on undermining their faith. And not only their faith. Many of today’s cultural forces create impediments to a sound education as well as a solid faith. These must be resisted. But that persistent question remains. [Read more...]

Keeping Students Connected to the Orthodox Church

AOCA | Fr. Kevin Scherer | Summer 2009

“Keeping Our College Students Connected to the Church” is a tagline for Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF). You’ll find it throughout our literature and even on our stationery. It says concisely what we believe to be our primary mission. I’ve spent hours thinking about it, talking about it, and wrestling with it. To be honest, I think it needs some unpacking, some clarification.

When I see the word “keeping,” I wonder whether some people unconsciously expect OCF to handcuff students to the church pew—because we know what’s best for them! The word “keeping” conveys the idea of preservation. The question is: What are we preserving? It’s helpful, I think, to reflect on the why, what, how, and who of keeping students connected to the Church. [Read more...]

Save the Planet, Get Married!

OrthodoxyToday | Jonathan Price | June 2009

Environmental activists want us to change our lifestyle to save the planet. We must drive less, fly less, eat less meat, and take fewer baths. Green political parties and activist groups such as Greenpeace design policies to stimulate green choices, and to tax polluting ones. Bookshops are full of cheerful little guides which tell us how to reduce our carbon footprints by growing our own vegetables, using shampoo but not conditioner, and going on one long holiday instead of several sort ones.

Yet amidst all this detailed advice, these green knights remain silent on two of the most important ecological catastrophes: the explosive growth in singles, and divorce. In other words, the decline of the bourgeois family both as cultural ideal and reality. [Read more...]

Divorced from Reality

Touchstone | Stephen Baskerville | February 2009

“We’re from the Government, and We’re Here to End Your Marriage.”

The decline of the family has now reached critical and truly dangerous proportions. Family breakdown touches virtually every family and every American. It is not only the major source of social instability in the Western world today but also seriously threatens civic freedom and constitutional government.

G. K. Chesterton once observed that the family serves as the principal check on government power, and he suggested that someday the family and the state would confront one another. That day has arrived. [Read more...]

The Great Myth

BreakPoint | Allan Dobras | Jan. 7, 2009

A December issue of Newsweek featured a cover story entitled “Our Mutual Joy” that purported to offer a “religious case” for gay “marriage.” Author Lisa Miller claimed, “Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.” Really?

It is interesting that apologists for the homosexual lifestyle typically say, on the one hand, that religious conservatives don’t really understand Scripture; if they did, they would see that there is no prohibition against homosexual love or marriage. On the other hand, they tell us the Bible is not to be trusted as a modern-day commentary when it speaks on moral issues—particularly sexuality. As Miller put it, “the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history. In that light, Scriptures give us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be married.” [Read more...]