Moral police have been disarmed

The Daily Telegraph

After a lengthy investigation into criminal behaviour among young people, the committee reached the following conclusions: the main causes were the “improper conduct of parents”, the “want of education” and the “want of suitable employment”. Moral guidance and civilised order were seen as the remedies.

Sound familiar? This was the opinion of a report from the Society for Investigating the Causes of the Alarming Increase of Juvenile Delinquency in the Metropolis, established in 1815, just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The circumstances then, of course, were very different. When a police chief spoke recently of gangs of “feral” children in our towns and cities, his grasp of history was somewhat tenuous. In the 19th century, some children were literally feral, wild and untamed, with no family to return to, no social workers to look after them, no welfare state to provide for them.

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A culture awash in porn

Town Hall Rebecca Hagelin April 29, 2005

“Porn is just another form of entertainment now.”

The speaker, an 18-year-old concession-stand worker named Ben Meredith, was explaining to a Los Angeles Times reporter why virtually no young people were trying to get in to see “Inside Deep Throat” at an Orange County, Calif., theater.

Given the rating (NC-17) and the subject matter (the making of the notorious 1972 movie “Deep Throat”) one might expect to find some curious teens infiltrating the theater — or at least trying to. Instead, the Times reporter writes, the audience was “overwhelmingly middle-age” and “not a young person was in sight.”

Which didn’t surprise Ben, a freshman at the University of California-Irvine. “I mean, porn is really easy to get now. It’s like, who cares?”

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You won’t read it in the papers

Town Hall Mona Charen April 29, 2005

Last month, the leading lights of journalism reported (with a trace of smugness) the results of a study showing that adolescents who took a pledge of sexual abstinence were almost as likely as those who took no pledges to contract sexually transmitted diseases.

The Washington Post noted that the report “sparked an immediate, bitter debate over the wisdom of teaching premarital abstinence.” Bill Smith, vice president of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, crowed, “Not only do virginity pledges not work to keep our young people safe, they are causing harm by undermining condom use, contraception and medical treatment.”
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Sexual indoctrination of children

Boston Globe
Arrested father had point to make. Disputed school’s lesson on diversity

CONCORD — For David Parker, the first alarm went off in January, when his 5-year-old son came home from his kindergarten class at Lexington’s Joseph Estabrook School with a bag of books promoting diversity.

Inside were books about foreign cultures and traditions, along with food recipes. There was also a copy of ”Who’s In a Family?” by Robert Skutch, which depicts different kinds of families, including same-sex couples raising children.

The book’s contents concerned Parker and prompted him to begin a series of e-mail exchanges with school officials on the subject that culminated in a meeting Wednesday night with Estabrook’s principal and district director of instruction. The meeting ended with Parker’s arrest after he refused to leave the school, and the Lexington man spent the night in jail.

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Silenced priest warns of gay crisis

If this is true the Catholic Chuch is in grave trouble.
By Julia Duin THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Starting today, 290 of the nation’s Catholic bishops will meet at the Capitol Hyatt for their yearly business meeting and to tie up loose ends on the massive sexual-abuse crisis that has shaken the U.S. Catholic Church to its core in the past two years.

Although it’s been less than a year since the church revealed that there were 10,667 cases of abuse committed by 4,392 priests in a 50-year period, the message at the meeting will be that the crisis is under control.

Read the entire article on the Washinton Times website.

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Reader comments on my review of “Epidemic: Teen Sex is Killing our Kids”

I was doing some research and came across your review of Meg Meeker’s Epidemic: Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids. Your advice to parents that they “should listen to the music their children hear, watch the same television shows, read the same magazines, and rent the same movies” is essential.

I would add one more thing. READ THE BOOKS YOUR TEEN IS CHECKING OUT OF THE PUBLIC AND SCHOOL LIBRARIES. The number of books classified as “young adult” that are filled with explicit sexual descriptions of oral sex, homosexual sex, sex between teens and adults, sex between children, lewd and vulgar language, profanity, sexual violence, etc. is staggering. There are two websites that are detailing some of this information for parents: pabbis.org and librarypatrons.org We need to get the word out. Thanks.

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Stability for Tragic Kosovo

By Paul M. Weyrich CNSNews.com Commentary

Many Americans’ view of Kosovo — if they have one at all — is shaped by the tragic stories they see on CNN.

Some may even remember that our country, as part of NATO, participated in bombings there in 1999 to protect Albanian refugees as part of a war that lasted for over two months. Most Americans pay Kosovo little mind, viewing it to be the staging ground of a conflict that holds no important consequence for the United States.
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From Touchstone Blog – Fr. Robert Hart

http://www.touchstonemag.com/merecomments.html
One sample paragraph:

Responding to a pro-life Kerry voter:

On the other hand, she may just be an old fashioned Maryland voter, the type who enters the voting booth in the spirit of the three monkeys who stopped ears, eyes, and mouth, saying “see no evil”, “hear no evil”, “speak no evil.” Mr. Kerry has already told us that he will only appoint as federal judges and Supreme Court justices, people who “will protect a woman’s right to choose,” meaning that a pro-abortion prejudice is going to be his litmus test. He would probably be able to appoint at least four Supreme Court justices, enough to seal the fate of unborn children for several more decades. The ban on Partial Birth Abortion would be dead, and Roe vs. Wade could never be challenged. Furthermore, we could expect such a Supreme Court to uphold every anti-life ruling some judge might hand down in the lower courts, defeating every legislative effort to prevent tax money for paying for these abominable procedures, or to in any way lessen the number of abortions.

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Is the Church “Too Political?”

Fr. Frank Pavone (Roman Catholic)
National Director, Priests for Life

Like many Catholics, I’ve been troubled for years at the fear that is so prevalent within the Church about addressing matters of politics. I am very familiar with the legal limitations that the Church chooses to accept under IRS and FEC regulations. But the fear I refer to takes matters further than the government ever dares to take them. This fear literally paralyzes perfectly legitimate activity.

What activity, you ask? Take, for example, the internal legal directive that was sent out a few months ago to dioceses around the country, telling them not to quote the President of the United States speaking about the “Culture of Life,” because after all, this might be interpreted as support for his re-election.
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U.S. religious leaders decry violence against Christian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija

ERP KIM Info Service Gracanica, August 12, 2004

Twelve members of a delegation of U.S. religious leaders headed by Joseph K. Grieboski, the chairman of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy arrive in the monastery of Gracanica on Wednesday evening at about 8:00 p.m. accompanied by Mr. Damjan Krnjevic-Miskovic, the special advisor on Kosovo and Metohija to Serbian president Boris Tadic, and Rev. Fr. Irinej Dobrijevic, consultant to the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. They were welcomed in front of the church at Gracanica by Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and his associates. The bishop greeted the guests from the U.S. in carefully chosen words and spoke of the tragic life of the Serbs and their holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija during the past five years.
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Michael writes…

A great challenge to state(ing) our ideas in a more positive way (is to) describe positive moral/spiritual praxis rather than just decry moral/spiritual lapses.

Briefly, the Church has always stood for freedom, the healing and restoration of the person, the formation of loving, serving, worshipping communities centered on the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. She has always taught us to practice self-sacrificing love and aceticism. What that has traditionally meant in practice is to help people in their daily lives overcome physical, mental, emotional, and economic challenges in a way that enables people to heal, grow, and stand on their own. We are encouraged to show great compassion and understanding for the sins of others while at the same time examine our own failings without ceasing.

Such practice brings about an unearthly joy, not just for ourselves, but for those with whom we come in contact. That is the ideal.

One note, the freedom is not simply or even primarily the existential freedom to choose between two or more beliefs, attitudes, or actions, but the freedom from the slavery of sin which allows the healing power of the Holy Spirit to be active and effective. We strive to live a sacremental life. Most of us fail miserably, yet most Orthodox that I know truly do have such a life as their goal.

The political culture in the United States despite is purported democracy has become essentially nilist and materialistic in its content whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or whatever. No party is able to articulate, much less enact a political vision that uplifts the human person in any but the most material way.

Our challenge as Christians is to witness to the unique vision of man bequeathed to us the Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and all the Saints throughout the ages. In order to accomplish that we must confront all politicians. That being said, right now the Democrats seem to be the focus of the most egregious affronts to the integrity of man in society.

The vision of the Orthodox Church is not one that can be articulated in political terms, but it can and it should have an effect in the political realm since the vision deals with the very essence of who and what man is, how he is to believe and act.

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Bar might tell judges to quit anti-gay groups (including the Boy Scouts)

Orlando Sentinel, Saturday, August 7, 2004, Gina Holland

Atlanta — Judges are on the front line of battles about legal rights for same-sex couples and should never belong to an organization that discriminates against gays, supporters of a proposed change to American Bar Association ethics rules argued Friday.

Judges are already prohibited from joining clubs that discriminate based on race or sex. An ABA panel is debating whether to make groups that discriminate against gays off limits as well.

The ABA, the nation’s largest lawyers’ group, with more than 400,000 members, writes conduct rules for judges and lawyers. States and federal courts generally adopt them, with some changes.
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