Protecting your children: Media

You know we have enough difficulty protecting our children without big family media pushing a homosexual presence and agenda and trying to normalize the very dangerous and heartbreaking behaviors we want to shelter our kids from.

Disney has been pushing homosexuality for more than twenty-five years, now. They began with “Gay Day” back in 1991, and have gently, incrementally, been pushing the boundaries of propriety ever since.  It’s also an “open secret” that Disney has a big ol’ thick Gay “glass ceiling” in the company’s management, any more.

Disney used to be a wonderful, wholesome, educational family entertainment provider — now the “educational” component is NOT what most of us want for our children.



“If Daddy’s Gay, Am I?” — Protecting the Children, Part II

“If Daddy’s gay, then am I, too?” The girl asking the question was in her early teens, and the mother I heard the story from was caught off-guard, didn’t know how to respond.

The gay lobby still wants us to believe there is a biological cause for homosexuality, although no credible studies have verified it, yet. In fact, identical twin studies challenge the premise.

Moreover, there is a large effort underway to sexualize children at younger ages than before. I saw this in our local high school, fifteen years ago, and I”m seeing indicators on the internet of public promotions of homosexuality in billboards, public library story hours, and so on, now targeting young children.

For our teenagers, the question gets a bit trickier. The basis of the young girl’s question to her mother was that she was recognizing her dad’s homosexuality while also, simultaneously, recognizing that she loved her best friend, another girl. Does the one predicate the other? I suspect many in the gay community would encourage this young girl, at such a vulnerable point in her life, to see herself as lesbian and to embrace the identity.

The honest answer, however, is Probably not. We’ve lost sight, in our sophisticated, sexualized culture, of the fact that young girls develop very strong friendships during the early adolescent years. A hundred years and more ago, even up to the Second World War, if literature is to be taken as representative of the world it is set in, it was recognized that girls crush on teachers, on older girls, on best friends. You can think of Anne Shirley and Miss Stacey and Diana Barry. Rosamunde Pilcher writes of this during the years leading up to WWII, too, with several of her characters, primary and secondary.

I think boys go through something similar, only later – around the end of high school, or entering college. Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited is not about Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte’s homosexual relationship, whatever Hollywood’s latest incarnation wants you to believe. It is part of a time and place where physical affection between friends of the same sex was more open and — this is important – more innocent.  I remember interviews about the making of the miniseries, and Jeremy Irons (Charles Ryder) spoke of how a certain year in college marked the point where it became acceptable for young men to walk about arm in arm.  Another example is from the Lord of the Rings trilogy:  Frodo and Sam, or Pippin and Merry. This isn’t a sexual situation; it’s social.

These represent a love that is normal and nonsexual, a normal developmental phase that that prepares our hearts for other,  more mature loves a few years later. There is something insidiously evil about sexualizing these loves, about encouraging children to accept this phase as their identity; when young girls and boys act on these loves and they become sexualized, then our children can become trapped in behaviors and relationships that are toxic and even dangerous.

Again — talk to your children. Use story and movie characters, especially from older works (the earlier Canadian production of Anne of Green Gables, for instance) to point out how lovely and how good friendships are. Use them as an opening to discuss more delicate realities about dishonest sexualization and exploitation.

Protecting the Children – Part One

I’ve already spoken about one need of children, here, in regards to gay marriage. But there are other issues that we women, we mothers worry about, and after some hard consideration, I think it’s time to address them.

It was 1980. Early spring, one of those gorgeous days when I could put the windows up and let some fresh air blow into the house.  One of those days you dream about in January.  I was sitting in the rocker, cuddling my firstborn, when all of a sudden there was an explosion of profanity from the next-door back yard.  It was impossible, even with windows down, to miss what had happened:

My next-door neighbor was gay. He’d been married, his wife was absent, due to health issues that were never elaborated on, except that she was in full-time nursing care. He had a teenaged son and daughter. I liked George (another pseudonym) — cheerful, talented, creative, good-humored . . . and I liked the kids, too, although the boy seemed sullen at times and the girl was so shy I didn’t even know what her voice sounded like after almost a year of being neighbors.

The night before, George had had a party.  George, Jr. was screaming obscenities at his father because other gay men at that party had been hitting on him, and his dad had looked on and done nothing.  The friends mattered more.  He hadn’t protected his son from unwanted sexual advances.  All it would have taken would have been a good-natured, “Hey, if he doesn’t want to, leave him alone.” But evidently that was not what had happened. I couldn’t fathom it then, being so protected, myself, growing up, but it sounded as if George had actually found the whole thing perfectly acceptable.

George, Jr. was furious at his father. He was confronting his father with the strongest possible expressions of rage for a horrible breach of parental responsibility,  and with an ultimate betrayal — and George laughed.  He laughed at his son.

I told DH about it, when he came in for lunch. “Just keep quiet about it,” he told me. “Don’t say anything, not to anybody.”  I didn’t know, then, that DH had been seduced, himself.

This was at a time when an adult, even a parent, could be brought up before a judge for what was called moral turpitude.  I don’t know what would make that definition, any more; the courts more and more are favoring the gay parents in custody issues.  The protection of minor children from irresponsible and immoral behaviors is getting harder over the past few years.  Even 20 years ago, when I worked for a lawyer, today’s (im)moral climate wasn’t even on the radar.

Frankly? having girls, there was a limit to what I had to worry about. If I’d had any boys, I don’t know WHAT I would have done. Even then, you couldn’t change custody and visitation over what MIGHT happen; something had to have already happened before you could deprive a parent of custody or visitation rights. Now the definition of endangerment, in court, has become so watered down as to become very nearly meaningless.

One thing you can do — TALK TO YOUR KIDS.  No matter their age, even preschoolers can know that it’s wrong to be touched in areas a bathing suit would cover, and that they can ALWAYS talk to you if someone says or does something that makes them uncomfortable. They can be told that it’s okay to say “no,” that just because a person is an adult, “respect”  only covers so much territory.

Being age-appropriate is key. And you don’t have to point a finger to Daddy or Daddy’s friends.  Kids are at risk now in school from teachers and coaches. School sex ed classes cover matters most of us do not want to have brought to our children just yet, and certainly not without our own values (like chastity and reverence) being included in the conversation. A huge item in the news this week is a 10-year old in California being raped by a “transgender” in a public bathroom.

So it’s not just us who have to worry — everyone needs to worry, now; no one can afford to be complacent. But we have a higher risk factor.  I’m putting feelers out to see if there are any studies about rates of molestation for children of gays as compared to children from heterosexual households.  So far, nothing. We’ll see.

But there are risks. Maybe your gay ex-spouse is a jewel who wouldn’t dream of hurting anyone (I believe DH is in this category), but you can’t be sure all his friends are going to be so conscientious.

Forewarned is forearmed.


Tough decisions

When a woman loves a man with SSA (Same-Sex Attraction), she takes on a lot. If that isn’t the understatement of the year, I don’t know what is.  But she does – and she does it willingly because she sees so much more of that man she loves than his SSA.

Some of them will say, “This is not who I am, and I don’t want to be trapped here,” and they do a lot of hard work to get beyond  . . . to discover a stronger and better, more whole self — because although it’s not a popular thing to say, SSA is a soul wound.  That probably deserves a lot more consideration than I have time for right now, but I’ll say it again: SSA is a soul wound.

And so often, the man she loves too often hangs his identity on that SSA.

So this woman, she loves her man. And she sees in him a nobility of spirit and a beauty not only of form but also of soul that goes well beyond the physical, and she believes in him, and she invests herself in him –because that’s how women do things – and she looks for ways to help and support and encourage him —

Sometimes those ways aren’t wise. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to shelter the people we love that we can start to treat them like our child instead of our equal.  He has these struggles, these anxiety issues on top of everything else, how can I help him? and meaning to do the best, she sends the message that, in her eyes, he is small and weak and can’t do it without her . . . which is part of that soul wound, to begin with, that he’s small and weak.

“He’s got all these struggles and I’ve got to support him — I’ve got to take care of all this other stuff so he can take care of himself.”  I hear it said with a raw panic in the wife’s voice. “I don’t know what to do to help him, but he needs my help. I have to help him!”

Well, there might be a bit more to consider.  If he’s getting appropriate professional help with some of these issues —

I think it’s got to be one of the hardest things a woman can do, to look at her man, to see his wounds, his fears, his weakness . . . and take her paws off the things she could so easily fix for him if only he’d let her . . . and let him deal with it.

Because that’s what a man needs to do. He needs to deal with it – whatever “It” is.  He needs to know he’s competent and capable. That he’s strong. And that’s really the best way a woman can tell her man that she sees him as a Man, simply by backing off.

“Well, I know you can handle this. I believe in you.”

But it only works if she backs off, detaches, and lets him fight it out by himself — whether it’s anxiety disorder or depression or the plumbing crisis under the kitchen sink.

Even when it feels as if the roof is going to collapse over her head and the earth is going to open up beneath her feet, she’s got to keep her paws off.  Even when she sees just what he ought to be doing but he isn’t seeing it and she wants so badly to get in there and fix it for him . . . she’s got to turn her back and get about her proper business and let him struggle.

A woman can’t fill the need a man has to be validated by another man (ideally his Dad), but she can meet his need to be respected as a man. Even when he can’t see that need, it’s there. We can’t replace the absent masculine affirmation every boy needs, ours has its own value.

And if we withhold that respect, we can do a whole lot of damage.

Sometimes the best support we can give a man is just to get the heck out of his way.  Make a safe place for him to collapse when he needs it, maybe —  safe from humiliation and belittling or patronizing — but basically stay out of his way and let him be and do the normal things men do as a matter of course.

The Bible and Divorce — Part III — Dr. Dennis Sheppard

The real problem comes from later interpretations of this text. For example, the Puritan emphasis on moral purity meant that any moral failure was scandalous and divorce was considered a moral failure. When you combine that Puritan ethic with Fundamentalism’s insistence on a literal interpretation of Scripture in the early 20th Century you get a formula for the “sine-qua-non” of scandals. What made divorce so scandalous in this milieu was that it was public.

It was not until the sexual revolution of the sixties that the divorce rate began to rise, aided by the new laws on “Irreconcilable Differences,” and No-Fault Divorce. Among the fundamentalists the primary reaction was an enforced legalism where they refused to marry divorced people and excused their behavior by calling “remarriage” a sin. Some churches, who have a congregational form of government (where they make their own rules), even passed policies that no divorced person could get married in their Church to further enforce this legalism.

This creates several biblical and theological issues. First, even if a divorce was a sin, God forgives sins and therefore we should not hold the divorce against a person. Second, it puts more emphasis on the second marriage than it does upon divorce itself. Third, it punishes people who come out of untenable marriages. An untenable marriage is one where one spouse is abusive physically, emotionally, or sexually. An untenable marriage is one where one spouse is continually unfaithful. An untenable marriage is one where one spouse comes out and declares his or herself to be gay or lesbian and therefore feels alienated from the straight spouse.

When fundamentalists argue that adultery is the only reason for divorce they are (intentionally or not) punishing people who get a divorce for all of these other valid reasons. Going through a divorce is hard enough without having additional pain heaped on you by a Church that has embraced legalism rather than the love of Jesus for hurting people.

Divorce is a tragedy in any circumstance. It is a failure of a marriage covenant that hurts the divorcees, their families and friends. It also breaks God’s heart. However, God’s will is for a marriage to be fulfilling and life-giving. It is meant to be joyful and sustaining. So, remarriage is not a sin, it is an opportunity to have the marriage God intends for people to have.  [NOTE FROM LAURA:  In the Catholic Church, we have to go through a tribunal to determine whether a first/former marriage can be declared Null before we can be married in the Church, and without that Declaration of Nullity we are required to abstain from the Sacraments — Not as horrible a process as it sounds in this statement, but that’s a topic for a future post — L. ]

If two people are meant to be one (unity of relationship) that means that they forsake all others for their spouse and therefore they both must be committed to this understanding. This means that their hearts, their lives, their faith, and their love is joined together. It is no longer “me”, it is now and always will be “we.” We do not lose our individuality as human beings, we merge it into a new relationship where our individuality takes a lesser priority and our marriage becomes the number one priority of our lives.

Paul Stookey poetically captured the essence of marriage in “Wedding Song’ (There is Love).

Well a man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home
They shall travel on to where the two shall be as one
As it was in the beginning is now until the end
A woman draws her life from man and gives it back again
And there is love, there is love

So many people have been wounded by the legalistic interpretation of these texts; but that was never Jesus’ intent. He loved people no matter what had happened in their lives and he sought to love and heal people who have been hurt by life.

We should love people who are going through a divorce and support them as they work through to pain and hurt from the death of a marriage and the transition to a single life. If they do choose to marry again we should encourage and support them in their new marriage.

There is no place for condemnation or accusation for divorced persons. Rather we should care about them and live out the Scripture that calls us to love our neighbor. Remember, whatever we do to the least of these, we do also to Jesus. (Matthew 25:45)


Scripture and Marriage – Part II – Dr. Dennis Sheppard

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus does a marvelous side-step and turns their question on its head. Jesus is in effect saying that they are both wrong because they started the debate with the question of divorce rather than with Biblical understanding of what marriage is supposed to be. Jesus then quotes from Genesis 2:24, and added the prohibition that what God joins together human beings should not divide. Jesus is therefore indicating that marriage was both a physical and spiritual relationship. It is a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman and God and therefore is a sacred relationship and not just a human one. (In Mark’s version Jesus reacts in the style of a wisdom teacher and asks what Moses said about divorce in the law.)

In response to Jesus’ compelling words the Pharisees posed the obvious question, if marriage is so sacred why did Moses (the great Law Giver) permit divorce as long as a man gave his wife a “Writ of Divorce? Jesus explained that while it was not what God intended, Moses made a concession to the hard hearts of the people. You see the men were going to divorce their wives anyway and the “Writ” was the only protection the women had. Without that writ to prove they were divorced they could not marry again.

Jesus also made it clear that divorce should not happen where two people are one unless there is unfaithfulness. The word used here is the Greek word “porneia” which can mean any moral failure including fornication, unfaithfulness, incest, sodomy, and adultery. The main idea being that if one spouse has sexual relations (and that includes any sex act) with someone other than their own spouse and shatters the unity of the marriage then divorce may be an acceptable option. However, the Biblical teachings on marriage make it clear though that unfaithfulness does not end a marriage people end marriages. In other words, unless two people are willing work together toward healing and restoring the unity of the marriage covenant then the unity of the marriage is irreparably broken. One person cannot make a marriage work no matter how hard they may try.

Jesus was saying, that when a person divorces their spouse, just to be with someone else, then they commit unfaithfulness of the highest sort because they are going against God’s intent for marriage. He is not saying, that when a divorce person remarries it is automatically adultery, although it has wrongly interpreted this way. Jesus does not under any circumstances condemn divorce or remarriage. He rather seeks to correct the notion that divorce is an acceptable way to get rid of your spouse so you can live with someone else. Marriage is to be taken seriously and sacredly but God does not condemn us for failure; God forgives, God heals, and God restores.


The Bible and Divorce – Dr. Dennis Sheppard (Part 1: The Gospel Passages)

Matthew 19:1-12

1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
3Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”  4“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’5And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’6Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
7“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.  8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.” 10Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”
11“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps.
12Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”


Mark 10:1-12

1Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River. Once again crowds gathered around him, and as usual he was teaching them.
2Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?”  3Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?” 4“Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.”5But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. 7‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,
8and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, 9let no one split apart what God has joined together.” 10Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. 11He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. 12And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.”

The issue of divorce was brought to Jesus in an attempt to trap him into saying something controversial that could be used against him. However, Jesus used this issue as a teaching moment and in so doing provided us a clear picture of his understanding of marriage and divorce. (

Marriage and divorce was a hot topic of discussion and debate in the time of Jesus. There were two Rabbinical Schools that had staked out an argument on either side of this hot-button issue. The first of these was the Hillel School. This school was very liberal in their teaching on marriage and divorce. Hillel taught that a man could divorce his wife for any offense (not having a son soon enough, burning a meal, losing her looks, etc. The Shammai School, on the other hand, was very conservative and taught that a man could divorce his wife only for unchastity (adultery). This debate was brought to Jesus and the Pharisees were basically asking Jesus which side he was on?