Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Archive for the ‘Borrowed Articles’ Category

Money and Power – Power and Money

teens-smiling.jpgFrom the Washington Post this morning:

CHICAGO — At least one in four teenage girls in the United States has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a first-of-its-kind federal study that startled some adolescent-health experts.

The overall STD rate among the 838 girls in the study was 26 percent, researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/) found. They released the results at a Tuesday conference.

Disease rates were significantly higher among black girls — nearly half had at least one STD, vs. 20 percent among both whites and Mexican Americans.

Some doctors said the numbers might be a reflection of both abstinence-only sex education and the teenagers’ own sense of invulnerability.  Because some sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility and cancer, U.S. health officials called for better screening, vaccination and prevention.

Only about half of the girls in the study acknowledged having sex.

 

Now … let me get this straight.  If a girl practices abstinence, then she has a 26% chance of contracting an STD?

I know that’s not what the article is saying.  What it is saying is that abstinence-based sex education sets a girl up for failure because (1) she won’t have protection (condom) or be on the pill when she’s out on a date, and (2) even though she might hope to avoid sex – wishing to wait until marriage – having sex is unavoidable because no girl can just say, “No.”  Intercourse is inevitable according to abstinence opponents.

I served on the Chesterfield County (Virginia) Community Involvement Team for Family Life Education curriculum development in the early 90’s.  The CIT was heavily weighted with Chesterfield County school system representatives, and along with a powerful ally they fought with all their might to keep abstinence-based information from students.  They didn’t even want abstinence to be mentioned as an option, much less promoted as a viable alternative to “safe sex.”

Their ally?  The Virginia division of Planned Parenthood.  The chairman of VPP, Ben Greenberg, sat on our CIT. 

No vested interest there, right?

Planned Parenthood will say that their motives for engaging in Family Life Education in our school systems are all noble.  They will say they want to provide information to teenagers so that they will NOT get pregnant.  They are proponents of the philosophy that all teenagers and twenty-somethings will have sex at some point in their pre-marriage, adolescent life.  They say they just want our young people to be “safe” from an STD or they want our kids to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.  PP will advocate that these young people should be adequately “protected” from the consequences of the choice to be sexually active.

Researching for this blog, I went to the Chesterfield County Health and P.E. instruction web link and discovered that the FLE “opt out” and instructional guidelines PDF file for Family Life Education no longer exists.  Why?  Why is it so hard for a parent to opt their child out of FLE?  Just asking.

Planned Parenthood has a vested interest – a HUGE financial stake – in making sex-before-marriage appear safe.  They get multi-million dollar subsidies from manufacturers of birth control pills.  They are supported by a wide range of politically liberal entities because it serves the social agenda (read “power base”) of such entities.  It’s all about power and money folks!  Making sex-before-marriage attractive serves a twisted end – to stay politically powerful because money follows power.

That Planned Parenthood is the leading provider of surgical abortions in America also smacks of questionable motives for providing information on “safe sex” because there’s really such thing as completely safe sex.  Completely “safe sex” requires abstaining from sex.  Abstaining means no STDs, and no unwanted pregnancy.  

I googled “Planned Parenthood” on Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com/) and up came “Need An Abortion?”  Hmm.

Abstinence is not being fairly debated today in the public square because “choice” advocates refuse to do so.  People in the American media (Rush Limbaugh’s “drive-by mainstream media”) long ago bought into the liberal “sexual freedom” agenda because they, too, believe their power to shape our society and culture would be at risk were they not to.  Hollywood has a vested interest in seeing that sexual promiscuity sells, too.  Look at the “video-on-demand” offerings on cable and you’ll see what I mean.  It’s all about promoting “Porky’s” (1982) all the way to “Good Luck Chuck” (2007).  It can’t be about art, can it?  No.  It’s about money … and money buys power … and power buys money.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases?  Liberals and their allies see STDs as the unfortunate but acceptable consequence for holding on to power.  So, if 26 out of 100 girls get the clap/gonorrhea/syphilis/HIV/genital herpes or warts, so be it.  (Liberals can’t sell their ideas of how our culture should look in the public square except by deception.  So, on school campuses of every ilk, from public school [elementary, middle, and high schools] to university campuses, dishonest and power/tenure-driven people spread the lie of “safe sex.”)

Money and power.  Power and money.

This Should Make US Think!

mug_hinkle.jpgIn an editorial entitled, Why Should This Advocacy Group Get State Taxpayer Funding?”, Bart Hinkle of the Richmond, Virginia newspaper – The TIMES Dispatch – raises eyebrows and raises some good points.  When I read this editorial today I thought you – my readers – should see it, too.  I want to commend Bart for making some great points about taxpayer funding.
 Friday, Feb 29, 2008 – 12:09 AM 
By A. BARTON HINKLE
TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST

Why in the world is the Commonwealth of Virginia giving taxpayer money to the National Rifle Association?

Even passionate defenders of the right to keep and bear arms — includ ing yours truly — might be shocked to learn that Virginia has been shoveling money into the pocket of the gun lobby for years. Law-abiding citizens have a right to own firearms. But that doesn’t mean the state should be underwriting a political advocacy group.

Gun-rights activists say the money isn’t being spent on political advocacy; they say it subsidizes the NRA’s many other valuable services. Those include its Eddie Eagle Gunsafe program, which teaches children in elementary schools, “If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.” (And, yes, that is indeed an extremely valuable message.) The NRA’s Law Enforcement Activities Division hosts tuition-free seminars for police officers and sheriff’s deputies; the program is so popular participants must be chosen by lottery. Then there is the educational work performed at the National Firearms Museum, which features (among many other things) muskets and pistols from Colonial times. All very commendable.

Trouble is, you can’t corral money that easily — any more than you can pour water into the shallow end of a pool without raising the level in the deep end, too. Giving the NRA taxpayer dollars for its other services enables the NRA to spend more money on . . .

WHOOPS! HOLD ON a second. Got my notes mixed up. It turns out Virginia hasn’t been giving money to the NRA for years. It’s been giving money to the abortion-rights group Planned Parenthood for years. And now Republican lawmakers want to bring the practice to a halt.

On Wednesday the State Senate narrowly voted for a budget amendment introduced by Ken Cuccinelli of Fairfax to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood. The House of Delegates has long been on record opposing such funding, but this is the first time the Senate has concurred.

Abortion-rights supporters are, of course, up in arms (pardon the expression). They say the taxpayer money goes to programs that enable Planned Parenthood to prevent teen pregnancy, screen for cancer, test for STDs, and walk on water.

Listening to its friends, you would never know Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider. According to State Sen. Janet Howell, the group provides “contraceptive planning which prevents abortions . . . . Planned Parenthood probably prevents more abortions than any other organization in the country.” Uh-hunh. That’s like saying that because the NRA supports instant background checks, it probably has done more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals than any other organization. But the NRA is the nation’s leading gun-rights group — just as Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading abortion-rights group. Indeed, it was a principal litigant in the major abortion-rights cases before the Supreme Court such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Gonzales v. Carhart (which incorporated Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood).

THERE’S NOTHING inherently wrong with that, either: Women have a right to reproductive autonomy — up to a point. Gun rights stop short of the right to harm innocent persons, and abortion rights ought to do likewise. The precise location of that point is debatable, but it certainly should preclude partial-birth abortion — a grisly procedure whose purpose is to guarantee not a healthy woman, but a dead baby. Planned Parenthood has vigorously fought against any attempt to circumscribe such infanticide. Its stance regarding abortion is even more extreme and absolutist than the NRA’s stance on guns.

All of which is, in the end, irrelevant. The real question isn’t whether Planned Parenthood’s position on a particular question is correct.The real question is why it gets taxpayer funding in the first place.

Doing good works is not sufficient reason. Every group in existence, from the Catholic Church and the Girl Scouts to Hezbollah and the Hell’s Angels, claims to be doing some good, somehow. If good works alone justify state funding, then all of them — and the NRA, too — deserve state funding. But they don’t — and neither does Planned Parenthood.

“My thoughts do not aim for your assent — just place them alongside your own reflections for a while.”  – Robert Nozick. 

If you appreciate Bart’s observations, why don you contact him at:  A. Barton Hinkle  bhinkle@timesdispatch.com.

 

 

Larry Norman – Dead at 60 – The Man Who Introduced Me to Christian Rock

I found a fantastic article on The Huffington Post – an Internet newspaper and blogging site.  The following is writtenlarry-norman.jpg by Mark Joseph, and appeared in today’s Huffington.  When I was a brand new Christian I discovered Larry Norman for myself.  His music thrilled me – it was an outlet for my soul.  I hope you will discover or re-discover Larry’s music yourself.  He’s so interesting.  But be ready to be offended or bowled over by his candid observations.  He doesn’t pull any punches. 

 “Larry Norman, the most amazing artist you’ve never heard of has died. I found Norman’s 1976 record ‘Only Visiting This Planet’ on vinyl when I was a kid and was amazed at Norman’s creative genius-later I wrote a chapter on him in my book The Rock & Roll Rebellion.

“Norman will be mentioned in obits as the Father of Christian Rock, but that’s a misunderstanding of who he was. Someone once said “I’m too saved for the Sinners and the Saved don’t want me around” and that best described Norman’s amazing life and career.

“He first cracked the pop charts in the late 60’s with his band People and their smash hit ‘I Love You,’ but became disgruntled when Capitol Records wouldn’t let him call his album “We Need A Whole Lot More Jesus and A Lot Less Rock & Roll” and put a painting of his Master on the cover. That led Norman to quit the band and go solo, recording for MGM Records, but they too tired of his religious imagery and Norman soon formed his own label, Solid Rock Records. The Christian world was freaked out by the blond hippie and had little use for his music and despite his association with the term “Christian Rock” he was always an outsider and always strived to make his records for everybody.

“While Christian Rock is sometimes assailed as formulaic and derivative, Norman was anything but and his admirers included Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Pixies, Van Morrison, John Mellencamp and Sammy Davis, Jr. among others.

“Martin Luther, no slouch of a songwriter himself once said ‘Why should the Devil have all the good tunes,’ and Norman took that line and wrote a memorable song ‘Why Should the Devil Have All The Good Music’ which included these lines:

“‘I want the people to know that He saved my soul but I still like to listen to the radio/They say rock and roll is wrong give you one more chance/I say I feel so good I gotta get up and dance/There’s nothing wrong with playing blues licks/If you gotta reason tell me to my face/Why should the Devil have all the good music’

“Norman further alienated many churchgoers with his song ‘Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus’ which went: ‘Gonorrhea on Valentine’s Day/You’re still looking for the perfect lay/You think rock and roll will set you free/But honey you’ll be dead before you’re 33’

“And only the eclectic Larry Norman could write a song about his Master Jesus, comparing him to a U.F.O. and singing this memorable line: “If there’s life on other planets than I’m sure that He must know and He’s been there once already and has died to save their souls”

“Norman gave the world one last gift as he lay dying dictating these words shortly before his heart gave out. Who wouldn’t want to go out like this?

“‘I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home… I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone…My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside… I want to say I love you. I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort…Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again Somewhere beyond the sky. I pray that you will stay with God. Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.'”