What Time Is It for Your Child?

family time child orthodox christianby Fr. Athanasios Papagiannis –
John weighed seven pounds, seven ounces on the day he was born. His first days of life were highlighted by bouts of crying and long periods of sleeping. On the drive home from the hospital, a few days later, John’s mother glanced down, looked at her new baby, and for a moment she smiled.

Then she looked ahead.

“Honey,” she began, as she stared at her husband, “I know we decided to keep our careers so that we can be financially secure, but now I’m having second thoughts. I want to give our son the most attention we can. I want us to reconsider having me stay at home with him.”

Her husband shook his head in frustration. “We discussed this, remember?” he shot back. “We can’t afford to have one of us at home all the time. It doesn’t make sense.” For the next few minutes the proud new parents shared their thoughts and uneasiness of leaving their child in the care of someone other than his parents. Conversations like the one above are common among new parents. Every parent wants the best for their child, yet mapping out how to exactly deliver that parenting has become more and more difficult. [Read more…]

Finding America: Our History Flows From our Belief in Self-Evident Truths

America Freedom Creed Truths by Peg Luksik –
What, exactly, makes this nation “America”? It’s not economics. Economic conditions are always the result of a nation’s culture and policies, not the cause. We need to ask what created the culture and policies that made us the most prosperous nation in history.

The answer tells us what we, as a nation, believe. Our Founders began by saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.

Our entire history flows from our belief in those self-evident truths. In modern language, the truths of America’s heritage are:

God exists and is the highest authority. The American Revolution can only be justified if there was an authority above the King – an authority whose standards the King was violating. A government can only be wrong if there is something higher to measure its actions against. [Read more…]

The Emperor’s New Clothes, Breaking the Spiral of Silence

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson
by Chuck Colson –
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” researchers Rob Willer, Ko Kuwabara and Michael Macy devised a set of ingenious experiments that showed how distressingly easy it is to make people go against what they believe to be true.

One of the experiments involved wine-tasting, in which participants evaluate both the wine and one another’s wine-tasting skills. The participants were given three samples of wine. In reality, all three samples were from the same bottle. One had even been tainted with vinegar!

Before they delivered their evaluation, they listened to other participants, who were plants, who praised the vinegar-laced wine as the best. Half of the participants went against their own taste buds and joined in praising the vinegary concoction.

Even more interesting is what happened next. Another participant, who was also a plant, told the truth about the wines. But when it came time for the participants to evaluate each other, some of them were permitted to do so confidentially, and the others had to do so publicly.[Read more…]

Take the Children to Church

Orthodox Children church by George Strickland, Ph.D. –
Based on new studies conducted by Baylor University, children from more religious families and from families with higher rates of religious attendance are better behaved and more well adjusted at home and at school. Better educated people generally had parents who attended church services twice or more a month. Among people with graduate level educations, two-thirds had mothers who were from frequent church attenders, compared to just under half of people with only a high school education. The difference is just as significant when looking at the frequency of church attendance by both parents and even larger when looking at fathers’ attendance. This evidence is highly correlated with other studies that show church attendance during adolescence helps reduce a number of the damaging long-term risk factors of disadvantaged children and leads to better education success overall.

There are a number of reasons why parents’ religious attendance might improve children’s educational and developmental outcomes. First, children may be more likely to learn wholesome values and moral commitment if they go to church. [Read more…]

Archbishop: New York Times, CNN, MSNBC can’t be trusted on abortion, faith

Archbishop Charles Chaput
Archbishop Charles Chaput
by Jeremy Kryn –
When it comes to finding information on vital issues like abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and faith, the mainstream media simply can’t be trusted, the incoming archbishop of Philadelphia told a group of youth in Spain last week.

“Being uninformed about the world and its problems and issues is a sin against our vocation as disciple,” Archbishop Charles Chaput told his audience during a special World Youth Day session in Madrid. And yet, he went on to note, the Christian believer is faced with a unique challenge in finding accurate sources of information on key issues.

“In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex marriage, and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only of Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers,” he said. [Read more…]

Embracing the Moral Order – Jane Austen’s Marital Advice

Sense and Sensibility Jane Austenby Chuck Colson –
The experts have a lot of ideas about why marriages crumble. But one of my favorite answers comes from someone who gave literary marriage advice — some 200 years ago: Jane Austen.

Miss Austen had a delightfully satirical eye — an approach to life that was reflected in her novels. But as Benjamin Wiker points out in his new book, 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, Austen, the daughter of a clergyman, also had a strong and biblical core of common sense — especially when it came to romantic relationships. Her books reflect the moral order, and celebrate marriage itself.

Wiker notes that Austen lived during the early Romantic movement. The Romantics were lived a life “defined by the passions of the moment. For them, to feel is everything.”

In her novel, Sense and Sensibility, Austen describes the inevitable consequences of this approach to life. It’s the story of two sisters, both of whom fall deeply in love. [Read more…]

Moral Matters – It’s Up To Us To Teach Our Kids

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson
by Chuck Colson –

As turbulent as the late 1960s were when my children were in school, I’m almost glad I don’t have to raise kids today. Yes, the sexual revolution, questioning authority, rolling around in the mud at Woodstock — all the hallmarks of ’60s culture — were bad enough. But they were just the seeds of a sad harvest our culture is reaping right now. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that many of today’s political, academic, and media elites are products of the ’60s and that they are in the vanguard of the assault on traditional marriage, traditional morality, and the traditional family.

Look around you. The courts are now routinely overturning the will of the people concerning marriage. The Administration refuses to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court — and for specious reasons. And schools are constantly bombarding our kids with moral relativism and pro-gay propaganda. Students are now being taught that all like choices are equal, so you simply decide which one you choose, how you want to live any way you want. It’s madness! [Read more…]

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…]