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September
26th
  3:13:54 PM

THE BEST OF 2012

How to Get the Man of Your Dreams

tags : books, dating, relationships

dreamsRelationships have never been easy to navigate. In our highly sexualised culture, which insists on putting the self before others, they have become even more complicated. On top of this, most of the media push perspectives on relationships that are neither sincere nor fulfilling. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, she could read Jonathan Doyle’s book, How to Get the Man of Your Dreams, in which the Australian teacher turned author and motivational speaker calls on his experience and research to offer young women practical answers. It seems like a big promise and I had my doubts, so I pitched Mr Doyle some tough questions. He fielded every one.

 

You say to girls that "you'll get the man you think that you deserve". What do you say to a girl who is convinced that she does not deserve a good man because of the way she's lived her life so far?

The older I get the more I am convinced that our outcomes in life have a great deal to do with the stories we tell ourselves about how things are. Hitting your thumb with a hammer is an objective… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
August
23rd
  5:18:57 PM

THE BEST OF 2012

Why does the same-sex marriage debate seem so futile?

tags : philosophy, rhetoric, same-sex marriage

Why is it so hard to have a calm, rational debate about same-sex marriage? In the US, Australia and Britain it is becoming louder and more bitter by the day. But the torrent of words flows over stone, unabsorbed by the other side. What many people fail to grasp is that key terms of the debate are being interpreted in different ways. Unless these are clarified, there is little hope of a meeting of minds. Here are a few of the issues which need to be unpacked.

* * * * *

Morality. Are homosexual acts moral or immoral? Nearly all discussion of same-sex marriage tiptoes around this issue. But unless we agree, there can be no progress. If they are moral, it is quite hard to explain why a relationship based on them should not be allowed to bond a marriage.

The question is not whether homosexual acts are legally permissible. The law offers scant help in determining what is moral and immoral. In fact, in Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark 2003 case which declared that it was unconstitutional to ban sodomy, the US Supreme Court declared itself to be agnostic about the… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
August
17th
  2:56:14 PM

THE BEST OF 2012

Be fruitful and multiply and have 1.7 kids ... and a dog?

tags : contraception, Evangelical Christians, Protestantism

In Focus 02/17/12- Matt Trewhella with Dr. Allan C. Carlson; Godly Seed from VCY America TV on Vimeo.

The Protestant Reformation was in significant part a protest against the perceived antinatalism of the late Medieval Christian Church. It was a celebration of procreation that also saw contraception and abortion as among the most wicked of human sins, as direct affronts to the ordinances of God. This background makes the Protestant "sellout" on contraception in the mid 20th Century all the more surprising, and disturbing.

As the Augustinian monk, theologian, and "first Protestant" Martin Luther viewed his world in the second decade of the 16th Century, he saw a Christianity in conflict with family life and fertility. Church tradition held that the taking of vows of chastity -- as a priest, monk, or cloistered sister -- was spiritually superior to the wedded life. In consequence, about one-third of adult European Christians were in Holy Orders.

Tied to this, Luther said, was widespread misogyny, or a hatred of women, as reflected in a saying attributed to St. Jerome: "If you find things going too well, take a wife." Most certainly, the late Medieval Church… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
August
16th
  5:05:36 PM

THE BEST OF 2012

The Gray Lady learns how to genuflect

tags : 2012 elections, Catholic Church, New York Times

No one would have expected the New York Times to react favorably to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, most well-known for advancing a budget proposal, as his Vice Presidential running mate. On that score, the Times and the rest of his detractors are predictably portraying him as an extremist.

They cast Ryan’s budget proposal as “politically toxic”; it is nothing but a series of senseless cuts, cuts, and more cuts. Even if those sympathetic to Ryan’s ideas feel it could use some tinkering, for the Times it couldn’t possibly represent an honest attempt to diminish the serious peril the country now faces.

The reality is that President Obama is driving the country off a fiscal cliff, callously abusing future generations by saddling them with colossal debt. And for all the “stimulus” spending he oversaw, the economy still languishes in tatters. This is far from an abstract, impersonal reality.

Obama’s own budget proposal failed to gain one measly vote in either the House or the Senate. Not a single vote? This suggests something else besides hapless incompetence is at work here: cold calculation. He must see some advantage in not submitting a realistic… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
August
14th
  3:57:52 PM

THE BEST OF 2012

Chick-Fil-A and the one day that changed the world

tags : 2012 elections, Chick-fil-A, same-sex marriage

Nine Days that Changed the World is a book about Pope John Paul II’s nine-day trip to Poland in 1979.  The Pope’s pilgrimage laid the groundwork for the revolution of conscience that eventually brought down the Communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe. Thus those nine days really did change the world. Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day could very well be the One Day that changes our world this year.

During Pope John Paul’s first trip to his homeland after being elected Pope, he did not assemble an army.  He did not set up a network of spies. He did not give rabble-rousing speeches. He did not go to inspire a revolution.

He just preached the love of Jesus Christ, the person who is Truth personified.  And literally millions of people came to listen. Those millions of people looked around and saw that they were not alone.  The Polish people had been living in an oppressive regime since the end of World War II.  The Communist regime created fear.  The fear created a spiritual isolation: people not speaking their minds, not trusting each other, consuming a constant diet of lies.  People became accustomed to not speaking truths… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
July
19th
  10:22:12 AM

THE BEST OF 2012

The link between rented wombs and gay marriage

tags : bioethics, same-sex marriage, surrogacy

A TV show called The New Normal will have its premiere on NBC in the US soon. It's about a gay couple and the single mother they engage to have their baby.

"She's just like an easy-bake oven except with no legal rights to the cupcake," the surrogate-mother broker tells Bryan and David. This is a hard-nosed description of the woman's role in gay marriage and child-rearing, but it sums it up accurately.

In heterosexual relationships, the birth rate rises when couples are married. One would expect similar dynamics to apply to same-sex couples. For lesbian couples, this is not a huge problem; all they need is a sperm donor. But male couples need surrogate mothers.

Where will these women come from?

Unless the law of supply and demand is repealed, the answer is: where wombs are cheapest. At the moment, this is India, where surrogate motherhood has become a $2.3 billion industry, with the enthusiastic encouragement of some state governments. A recent investigation by the London Sunday Telegraph found there were only 100 surrogacies in Britain last year, but 1000 in India for British clients. The proportion in Australia and elsewhere… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
June
12th
  11:17:44 AM

BIRTH CONTROL

Life in Colombia: what's wrong with this picture?

tags : abortion, Alan Guttmacher Institute, Colombia

Colombia

 

The Guttmacher Institute is at it again.

In tandem with the Fundación Oriéntame, its new report “Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Colombia: Causes and Consequences” claims that there were exactly 400,412 illegal abortions committed in 2008 in Colombia, with 132,000 experiencing complications that required medical attention in a health facility. It also claims that one-fifth of all women needing medical care for abortion complications go without such care. This means that, according to Guttmacher, a total of 158,400 abortions were botched in Colombia in 2008 ― an incredible 40 percent of all abortions performed in the country.

The Guttmacher Institute also claims that 99.9 per cent of all abortions are illegal in Colombia, with only 332 of the abortions being legal.

Examination of AGI’s claims

In 2006, Colombia’s Constitutional Court legalized abortion to save the life and health of the woman, for fetal birth defects (eugenics), and for rape and incest.

The World Health Organization definition of “health” is, “A state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. … a resource which permits people to lead an individually, socially and… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
June
12th
  11:13:15 AM

BIRTH CONTROL

Contracepting America: the real war on women

tags : Catholic Church, contraception, HHS mandate

contraceptive pill

Last month dozens of Catholic institutions in the United States filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, challenging the constitutionality of its contraception mandate. There can be little doubt that requiring employers to provide a drug that violates their conscience is against the First Amendment. It violates one of the main reasons for the founding of our country: religious freedom.

But the underlying problem is far deeper than a constitutional or historical issue. The fact is that the federal government has absolutely no right to mandate a drug that is really not a health benefit for anyone, but a health danger -- for the woman, and certainly for the little human life inside of her.

The truth is that the contraceptive pill actually alters a human organ and destroys its natural function within the reproductive system of a woman. It is completely different from cancer treatment, or medicines for bodily diseases. It is not medicinal, or health-giving. Other drugs exist to restore or strengthen the organs of the body, or eliminate a toxic element. Not so the contraceptive pill.

Though in the past contraceptives were prescribed for regularizing women’s cycles… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
June
11th
  9:32:54 AM

BIRTH CONTROL

Just enough of me – way too many of you

tags : birth control, New Zealand, welfare

Paula BennettThe idea of using birth control to prevent undesirable populations being born and burdening society has been around for a long time. It goes back to the founding godmother of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, who wanted “More from the fit, less from the unfit,” or words to that effect. By the late twentieth century, however, the job was not quite finished. A new class of undesirables, the welfare dependent, was proliferating.

Enter Norplant, the long-acting contraceptive that would relieve welfare mums of the bother of taking a daily pill and give them a strong hint that, paraphrasing Lady Bracknell, “To have one child without visible means of support may be regarded as a misfortune, but having two looks like carelessness.” As for three… A Kansas legislator seems to have been the first in the US to suggest that states could actually give mothers on welfare an incentive payment to get their implants. The idea of incentivising birth control for the poor is de facto policy in most western countries.

Now it’s New Zealand’s turn. The conservative National Party led government has announced a policy of granting free long-term contraception to… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
May
18th
  3:50:06 PM

THE BEST OF 2012

Too much information, too little thought

tags : communications media, silence

meditate

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is an anniversary whose purpose is, to quote the United Nations body responsible for it, “to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.”

That must have sounded like a very ambitious and exciting goal 30 years ago. But if, having seen pictures of African villagers and Indian slum-dwellers wielding cellphones, you have the strong impression that the digital divide was bridged a while back; if the possibilities of the internet seem to you to have gone about as far as sanity will permit; and if your dearest wish is to unplug your laptop and bury your smartphone in a deep drawer -- the hedonic centres of your brain may not be lighting up at the idea that there is an unfinished communication agenda.

There is unfinished business there, of course, but mere talk has become cheap -- literally; just think of Skyping people around the world, for nothing. The bottom has dropped out of the information market; there… click here to read whole article and make comments



 

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