Archive for the Culture Category

4 Reasons You MUST Talk to Your Kids about 50 Shades

  With the 50 Shades of Grey movie releasing soon (a worldwide release date of 13 February), our culture is ablaze with controversy and debate over sexual issues once again. But this one is a little different than controversies of the past. 50 Shades takes pornography – particularly a violent and abusive form of sex – and glorifies it. People (women in particular) are falling for it on an alarming scale. Even Christians are succumbing to the enticement of 50 Shades. In short, it, and the topic of BDSM, is in our faces now like never before. “BDSM is an acronym for Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism. In psychiatry, the terms sadism and masochism describe a personality type characterized by a person deriving pleasure and gratification from inflicting physical pain and humiliation. The terms specifically refer to one who either enjoys giving pain (sadist) or one who enjoys receiving pain (masochist).” This definition is from Pulling Back the

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2014 Tech Buying Guide

If Christmas weren’t daunting enough, the overwhelming amount of tech ads (especially on Black Friday) can be enough for any parent to throw in the shopping towel. Given the massive amounts of technology available for our children, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices. Our goal is to take out some of the mystery of available technology, especially the ones most promoted for gifts during the next few weeks. While you’ll see a lot of sales on these items, it’s important to be informed about what exactly you’re buying for your kids. Read on. Tablets Cheaper, lighter weight and generally trendier (think fun cases and multi-colored keypad options) than laptops or traditional desktops, tablets like the ones listed above are often considered great gifts for children and teens. It’s important for you to realize that a tablet is capable of doing anything a computer does, and because

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Hooking Up, Shacking Up, and Saying “I Do”

By Rachel Sheffield  | Most young people want a happy marriage and family life. As a new report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia shows, the choices people make in their relationships prior to marriage matter. Unfortunately, the laissez-faire sexual practices embraced and promoted in our culture today don’t build a strong foundation for marriage. According to the report, authored by Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley of the University of Denver, individuals with more sexual partners and cohabitation experience tend to report poorer marital quality, as do couples with children from prior relationships. And yet, today the average person reports five sexual partners prior to marriage. Less than one quarter (23 percent) have only had sex with the person they marry. Cohabitation is also common, with the majority of people cohabiting prior to marriage. And more than 40 percent of all children are born outside

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Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future

by  Mark Regnerus   | As mainline Protestant denominations increasingly accept the ordination of gay clergy and publicly affirm same-sex unions, the sociologist in me wishes to understand what this development means for people in those denominations. I’m not talking about subtle linguistic shifts. While the difference between speaking of marriage as a “civil contract between a woman and a man” and as “a unique commitment between two people” is obvious to those who pay attention to church documents, the impact of such changes on congregants’ attitudes and internalized paradigms—their hearts, I suppose—is seldom considered. What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages? Some questions naturally arise. Does adultery mean the same thing for both same-sex and opposite-sex unions? Does it make sense to speak of premarital sex in such a context? Historically, the fear of pregnancy was enough to scare many

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6 Reasons a “Social Media Contract” Will Make Your Life Easier

Most adults know breaking a contract is a messy business. Recently I made the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, but as I was still under contract with AT&T, was forced to pay a hefty fine for leaving my contract a year early (hey, T-Mobile has killer international data plans. Spread the word). Recently my husband and I moved into a home where the previous tenants had broken their contract by having multiple pets. In the end, to avoid a lawsuit, they had to pay for re-carpeting the entire house. Contracts are binding, and when broken, always have consequences, often expensive. When it comes to social media, you need a contract with your teens. Why do I only say “teens”? Because many of the most popular social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) require users to be at least 13 years of age, due to the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act”, which doesn’t

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Breaking the Silence: Redefining Marriage Hurts Women Like Me – and Our Children

by  Janna Darnelle  | Every time a new state redefines marriage, the news is full of happy stories of gay and lesbian couples and their new families. But behind those big smiles and sunny photographs are other, more painful stories. These are left to secret, dark places. They are suppressed, and those who would tell them are silenced in the name of “marriage equality.” But I refuse to be silent. I represent one of those real life stories that are kept in the shadows. I have personally felt the pain and devastation wrought by the propaganda that destroys natural families. The Divorce In the fall of 2007, my husband of almost ten years told me that he was gay and that he wanted a divorce. In an instant, the world that I had known and loved—the life we had built together—was shattered. I tried to convince him to stay, to stick

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“LOOK AWAY” – 3 Ways To Keep Your Teens From Porn

  In the world we live in today, it’s a likely reality that your children will inevitably see porn one day – but whether or not they take a second look, or ever seek it out, is a decision only they can make. There is so much you as a parent can do to equip them to make the choice to look away. Here are our top 3 things every parent needs to do with their teens. 1. Teach them to avoid soft porn 2. Study the effect pornography has on the brain 3. Dialogue Soft porn How do you define soft porn? Partial sexuality and nudity. It’s literally everywhere. This includes some of the newest Guess brand ads, teen flick sexual encounters and even the lyrics of roughly half the top 40 songs charting the billboards. The trouble with soft porn is quantity and availability, and that it’s a precursor

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Do You Really Need Filtering Software?

  Well yes. And…no. But mostly, yes. And when do you need it? Yesterday. The internet has never been more dangerous for kids. Researchers are a little uncertain as to how much of the worldwide internet usage is to view porn, but the numbers go between 30-50%. And while Google made some great changes to their Adwords program by not allowing porn in their advertising, you can still find porn in the search results (just not in the ads on the side). The average boy sees pornography for the first time at 10 years old – but we’ve met more parents than we can count whose child saw it closer to 7. Here’s the scoop on children and pornography: kids are curious, and they usually see inappropriate things for the first time by accident.  But what’s really sick, is the content is typically created to be addictive, and young kids are

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Why Modesty Matters to Boys Too

Ok, so let’s face it. When perusing the shelves for books or articles on modesty- the majority are aimed at teaching girls- young and old. Showing them why modesty is important, how dressing modestly helps the guys around them, how they can help their Christian brothers from lusting after them, etc. And, while these teachings have their place, I believe we MUST address the issue with our boys. Modesty is not just a girls’ issue- it has to be both. We have to teach our boys that modesty matters to them and it’s more than just a clothing issue, it’s a matter of the heart. We can’t let a generation of boys grow up thinking that modesty is all about the way a girl dresses. They have to understand from the very start: modesty means behaving in an appropriate manner, and that absolutely relates to them. When teaching my boys

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Childhood Sexual Abuse

By Harmony R. Moore     | You and I need to have a conversation about the incidence, prevalence and danger of childhood sexual abuse. We need to have this conversation not just with ourselves, but with our spouses, with our friends, and with our children. I realize this is not a fun conversation; it’s the kind of talk that riles our nerves and puts fear in our bellies. But insofar as knowledge is power, as well as is half the battle, the conversation must be had.* The reality is, when it comes to sexual abuse, our children are not automatically as safe as we’d like them to be. We may build around them a fortress of protection, but I want to argue that we have to build within them a defense every bit as strong as the defense without. I also want to emphasize that danger lies not at

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