This is the first sermon in the summer session of 2017 at Faith Community. Over the summer Faith meets for only one service and has children as well as the parents sitting in the pews. This “kickoff” sermon discusses the issues of family and the roles of husband and wife, as well as the kids. A great connection is made to the roles of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
Dennis Prager theorizes about some of the negative affects of the “mother/son” relationship. I excerpt only a portion of the show with a couple calls that bring light to some of the issues of male maturity.
For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/ ~ see also: http://www.prageruniversity.com/
Family Wars! Via Barbara Boland:
“We oppose gay adoptions – the only family is the traditional one,” said legendary fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabanna in an interview with Panorama, reported The Telegraph.
Dolce told the Italian magazine that procreation “must be an act of love” and added, “You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be.”
Children born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children,” said Dolce. “Uteruses for rent, semen chosen from a catalog. Psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”
A statement that ordinarily would cause controversy has fanned vitriolic flames, because the pair making this statement are a gay couple who dated for 23 years (and broke up in 2005.)
“I am gay, I cannot have a child. I guess you cannot have everything in life,” Dolce said. “No chemical offspring and rented uterus: life has a natural course, some things cannot be changed. One is the family.”
Gabbana added: “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”…
A young woman called into the Dennis Prager Show and this call hit close to home… as my son is in Florida with his wife, far away from both their families via a duty to his country (a Marine). Not only that, but work may keep him back East longer than anticipated. So this call was both timely and uplifting to me as it will be to my daughter-in-law and son.
Thank you Dennis for being a beacon of reason and compassion in my [our] lives.
For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/
How Polygamy Hurts Society
by Making Girls/Women Chattel,
and Stopping Boys from Turning
into Healthy, Productive Men
In talking to a few people, I have noticed that they simply assume that polygamy is a valid lifestyle… that no harm, when compared to the ideal of one-man-and-one-woman in a marriage raising children. They do not know any history and why empires and countries have devolved in the past, nor do they follow logical arguments to their conclusions. (Here is the TinyURL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/k3o247o)
For instance, I had a conversation with a man I know (he is a man, but speaks on topics of importance as a boy) who simply stated, “I see no problem with it [being legalized], it doesn’t harm me personally.” He then asked what would “harm him.
A liberal society might, then, find it prudent to ignore homosexuality. It might well deem it unwise to peer into private bedrooms. However, this is not the issue before us. Today the demand is that homosexuality be endorsed and promoted with the full power of the law. This would require us to abandon the standard of nature, the one standard that can teach us the difference between freedom and slavery, between right and wrong…. (Read More)…. In Reynolds v. United States (1878) the Court rejected the Mormons’ free exercise argument on the grounds that even though “Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion,… [it] was left free to reach actions [such as polygamy] which were in violation of social duties or subversive to the public good.” What the Court meant by this is that certain institutions and ways of life, such as marriage and the family, are essential to the preservation of civil society. (Read More)
I made multiple points throughout the conversation that many things he does “harms him” that he would not think do. For instance, he knows people personally affected by legislating laws via a vote towards a specific party. He knows two people, personally, that he works with that because of Obamacare lost their policies. One can afford to pay substantially more for his new coverage (thus, having less capital to invest in the company), and the other cannot afford a new policy. The point being that any change in legislation (small or large) has direct consequences to many.
Let us say that single-motherhood brought on by the father walking out on his responsibility and is rewarded for this action by being subsidized for his choice (see Thomas Sowell’s classic 1980 debate about the dynamics of welfare with Pennsylvania Secretary of Welfare, Helen O’Banion). Now, we KNOW the many consequences of fatherless homes (crime, delinquency, drug use, not finishing education, etc), even Obama admits this… higher tax rates and land taxes are incurred to pay for the jails, these persons also creating at a higher rate fatherless homes, and the like. Our co-worker in the shop had his biological father killed at an ATM… any bets on the murderers family structure? The statistics are on my side. So the question becomes this: “which of the two should government support in order to have a society that is best for the safety, well being, productivity, of its citizens?”
Another legislative act talked about in the shop after this conversation about polygamy took place, are politicians listening to environmental activists and legislating the regular light-bulb illegal. In January it will be officially against the law to sell most forms of the standard — incandescent — light-bulb (Breitbart). The idea is that if we use higher efficiency bulbs we will “save the planet” from those evil* fossil fuel emissions. (*I picture blood dripping from the word as well as evil laughter off in the distance somewhere.)
The problem? In every bulb that researchers tested they found that the protective coating around the light creating ‘phosphor’ was cracked, allowing dangerous ultraviolet rays to escape (RPT). You got it… through legislation, the power of government has made many people, in their own homes mind you, at a far greater risk for skin-cancer. A risk that this Irish-man knows all too well. What sounded good and altruistic, “saving the planet,” ironically has deadly consequences.
The question[s] coming from this event that made my home more dangerous is this: “Is a government big enough to tell me, the consumer, what light-bulb I can-and-cannot buy… is this good for liberty, or bad for liberty?”; “Is this a threat to or a bolstering of this experiment in freedom and self-governance the Founders started?”
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ~ CS Lewis
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.” ~ Ronald Reagan
I pointed out as well that society, while not outlawing same-sex relationships (see quote to the right), should not raise these relationships to the status of the ideal, that is, heterosexual, monogamous, marriages. Whether you believe in evolution or creation… the best environment for children to be raised is the hetero one [all things being equal]. This doesn’t mean there are not great single or gay parents… but there is an ideal that we know works… and was honed throughout mankind’s time on earth (naturally or Divinely inspired). We know. for instance, that polygamy increases “crime, prostitution and anti-social behavior. Greater inequality between men and women. Less parental investment in children. And, a general driving down of the age of marriage for all women” (Canadian study used in court, quoted more further below).
So the question becomes this: “which of the two should government support in order to have a society that is best for the safety, well being, productivity, of its citizens?” In other words, when society puts its stamp of approval on something, making other forms of “marriage” equal in worth to society as the hetero one, is that a net benefit to the health of society, or a net detraction from it?
I made a few points as found in my Cumalative Case against same-sex marriage which likewise apply to polygamy. In other words, we can see some detrimental aspects to relationships that are “less than” the ideal, and the results have different effects on society.
The conservative asks three questions the liberal, as we will see, does not ask:
1) compared to what?
2) at what cost?
3) what hard-evidence do you have?
I mentioned statistics of the jail population being from a less than ideal family structure, the jealousies in polygamous marriages and broken families. I asked as well if he (this person I know) knew about what philosophical/family structures the liberty he enjoys came from. After all this, I think he missed the point, because he told me, “this is MY belief… you can’t laugh [fault me] at my beliefs.” And the point is this:
A person may think polygamy (or other legislative rulings/laws) do not affect them, but when given evidence on how it can or does effect them AND the people involved — more negatively than the traditional family structure… you cannot then substitute your opinion in the place of facts. Society should support that structure that is best to raise children in, period. Same-sex “marriages,” single-motherhood/fatherhood, show devolution when compared to [everything being equal] the nuclear family structure.
Honesty is sometimes the best policy. One could say have said, “you know what, I never heard that before, let me think this over.” Or one can even say, “You are right… it does affect me, and it harms specifically the people involved… I don’t care.” So my friend should really have said this entering into to adults talking about a recent ruling in our United States:
“I see no problem with it [being legalized], it doesn’t harm me personally… and no matter what evidence you can show me of how the less than ideal family structure [traditional marriage] causes more incarceration, drug use, torn families, stresses on liberty, and the like… I am firm in ‘my opinion that opinion‘ trumps reality. MY reality IS fact. I do not wish to participate in possibly being wrong on a position [based only in my immediate understanding with no input from history, social scientists, statistics, or the like], or being mature enough to enter adulthood by taking in previously unknown evidence and testing it against my opinion, thus evolving or changing/challenging my previously held [actually — newly found] position based on evidence or differing points of conclusions based on others knowledge of history, social scientists, statistics, the cults, or the like.”
Or, put another way: “These are my unfounded, unassailable thoughts that I am sharing with you.” To engage in this type of conversation with a person who holds to this form of firm-absolutism is more a commentary on said person than the topic brought up in the shop.
Political correctness is the invention of Western intellectuals who feel guilty about the universal triumph of Western values and economic prosperity…. “In the long run of history, political correctness will be seen as an aberration in Western thought. The product of the uniquely unchallenged position of the West and unrivalled affluence, the comparative decline of the West compared to the East is likely to spell its demise. Finally, Western minds may be free again to reason rather than just emote, to pursue objective truth rather than subjective virtue.” ~ The Retreat of Reason, page 87
A person who practices this way of thinking is like a child telling the group of adults they like chocolate cake (or turtles). It is a form of emoting oneself to others. To which I would simply respond,
➯ “thank-you for sharing [emote, act-out] your unassailable position with us, but please, in the future abstain from adult conversation.”
Alternatively, if you do wish to emote, be prepared to not be taken seriously, ignored… or even derided a bit. (
What advice do I have? Cut down on video games and pick up a goddamn book! “…growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of pop-culture and shallow thinking…” (Ephesians 4;14, PapaG’s version).
An adult would formulate Sowell’s questions something like this:
The above is just an example of where “Stage-Two“ thinking can get you.
This thinking ~ thank God! ~ is the keystone to a healthy/well-balanced faith that is separate from but that interacts and can even change the culture it finds itself in (link in pic).
Lets see if we can shed some light on the history behind many freedoms assumed or freedoms not realized today, under-girded by the family structure via this “ethos” we speak of, Christianity:
Paul, who often gets a bad rap for his perceived low view of women, considered at least twelve women coworkers in his ministry.* Paul clearly had a high view of women: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The earliest Christians recited these remarkable, countercultural words as a baptismal confession. Widows, far from being abandoned, were cared for, and older women were given a place of honor. In light of all of this, is it any wonder “the ancient sources and modern historians agree that primary conversion to Christianity was far more prevalent among females than males”?
In recent history, Christians were responsible for the banning of three despicable practices inflicted upon women around the world. Christian missionaries pressured the Chinese government to abolish foot binding in 1912. This practice was done for the sole reason of pleasing men— “it made a woman with her feet bound in an arch walk tiptoe and sway seductively.” In 1829 the English outlawed the Indian practice of suttee, in which widows were burned alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands, because of Christianity’s teaching regarding widows and women. Finally, Western countries influenced by a Christian view of women and sexuality have condemned clitoridectomy (female genital mutilation), a gruesome practice that is still common in Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East.
- “But what’s more surprising than his conclusions is his speculation that monogamy is at the root of democracy and equality” ~ Canadian scholar Joseph Henrich
Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2010), 230-231.
Historian Alvin Schmidt points out how the spread of Christianity and Christian influence on government was primarily responsible for outlawing infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (in AD 374); outlawing the brutal battles-to-the-death in which thousands of gladiators had died (in 404); outlawing the cruel punishment of branding the faces of criminals (in 315); instituting prison reforms such as the segregating of male and female prisoners (by 361); stopping the practice of human sacrifice among the Irish, the Prussians, and the Lithuanians as well as among other nations; outlawing pedophilia; granting of property rights and other protections to women; banning polygamy (which is still practiced in some Muslim nations today); prohibiting the burning alive of widows in India (in 1829); outlawing the painful and crippling practice of binding young women’s feet in China (in 1912); persuading government officials to begin a system of public schools in Germany (in the sixteenth century); and advancing the idea of compulsory education of all children in a number of European countries.
During the history of the church, Christians have had a decisive influence in opposing and often abolishing slavery in the Roman Empire, in Ireland, and in most of Europe (though Schmidt frankly notes that a minority of “erring” Christian teachers have supported slavery in various centuries). In England, William Wilberforce, a devout Christian, led the successful effort to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself throughout the British Empire by 1840.
In the United States, though there were vocal defenders of slavery among Christians in the South, they were vastly outnumbered by the many Christians who were ardent abolitionists, speaking, writing, and agitating constantly for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Schmidt notes that two-thirds of the American abolitionists in the mid-1830s were Christian clergymen, and he gives numerous examples of the strong Christian commitment of several of the most influential of the antislavery crusaders, including Elijah Lovejoy (the first abolitionist martyr), Lyman Beecher, Edward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), Charles Finney, Charles T. Torrey, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, “and others too numerous to mention.” The American civil rights movement that resulted in the outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination was led by Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, and supported by many Christian churches and groups.
There was also strong influence from Christian ideas and influential Christians in the formulation of the Magna Carta in England (1215) and of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) in the United States. These are three of the most significant documents in the history of governments on the earth, and all three show the marks of significant Christian influence in the foundational ideas of how governments should function.
Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010], 49-50.
From My Book:
Social commentator and radio show host, Dennis Prager, takes note that males tend to be “rule oriented.” The implication being that Western culture is heavily influenced in the Judeo-Christian standards of moral code — this, he says, is ironic… that, in the name of feminism women are attempting to emasculate the God of Western religious morality. “For if their goal is achieved, it is women who will suffer most from lawless males.” This is seen in the history of pagan cultures and their tendency to crumble under the weight of licentiousness and the lowly place women had in it. Christianity raised women out of these “pagan cultures in which polygamy, arranged marriages, and oppression of women predominated, the church promoted the idea of monogamous marriage by free consent of both spouses.”
 Dennis Prager, Think a Second Time (New York, NY: Regan Books, 1995), 249.
 Harold Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 226.
…what [if any] are the negative affects of polygamy on society? Are there any secular, progressive, arguments against it? We will explore this a bit here as the main topic of this post. To wit, the later point is the first I wish to deal with right now… and it shows a lack of asking the above three questions any conservatively minded libertarian would. Take note that equality is the guiding force in this short — honest — look by a group of decidedly progressive persons:
That’s right. Trying to argue against something as arbitrary as a number (e.g., marriage is between two people) once you have argued against a clear delineation that nature has honed, such as gender… is useless. Gay Patriot eruditely explains that is one, then the other (take note the emphasized portion near the end):
Take note that religious freedom IS enumerated specifically in the Constitution, whereas… marriage between same genders and multiple partners is not. Why mention this? Because in order to get “equality” as the progressive left sees it, religious positions will need to be expunged. In doing so, one ends without liberty, freedom, and the like.
The American Trinity:
“Socialism values equality more than liberty” ~ Prager
Here you find agreement between people who you would assume would be at odds with each-other, but share a love for both:
✂ tradition of [all] cultures (“tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead” ~ G.K. Chesterton) [even Grecian thinkers argued for heterosexual unions];
✂ what made societies collapse in the past (our Founders were students of history);
✂ and what is the best ideal for our experiment in freedom.
This next great commentary comes from two people who you would never think would be in such agreement… a conservative evangelical apologist, and a libertarian gay-man. The commentary is about a different case, but is similar in many ways. Here is conservative apologist, Frank Turek, making a point about a similar case:
✶ “…imagine a homosexual videographer being forced to video a speech that a conservative makes against homosexual behavior and same sex marriage. Should that homosexual videographer be forced to do so? Of course not! Then why Elane Photography?….”
Now, here is the libertarian, conservative, guy[s] I know who blogs — GayPatriot:
✶ “…it’s a bad law, a law that violates natural human rights to freedom of association and to freely-chosen work. It is not good for gays; picture a gay photographer being required by law to serve the wedding of some social conservative whom he or she despises.”
Again, if “for ‘a’,” it must be applied to “b.” What comes from this ILLIBERAL EGALITARIANISM is a TOTALITARIAN view that all must think alike. But lets get to some of the harms this does to our society. Lets start with a well-known Canadian [gay] sociologist who is against raising same-sex marriage to that of equal status of heterosexual marriage. I am not here arguing against same-sex marriage, I do that elsewhere… but we are taking Paul Nathanson’s premise and applying it to polygamy:
Polygamy, likewise, breaks down this OH-SO-IMPORTANT aspect that is crucial to a healthy society.
This is from the documentary “Banking on Heaven: Polygamy in Heartland of the American West,” and is a small portion that talks about the harm of polygamy to boys. We know of the harm to women and girls… but this aspect is often not realized. Boys who have no fathers because the men need less boys to get more wives.
We know about the damages to women in these polygamous families (see some resources below), but these family structures have consequences for men as well. This “trickle up” negative affect, then, brings us to this larger question involved in this “rubber stamp of approval” by society on “less than” the ideal:
➯ “is polygamy good or bad for the liberty, freedom [and the like], for the following generations?”
There are many resources showing the deleterious effects of polygamy on men and women. Two resources not pictured in my resources are Sons of Perdition (which is a digital download and follows the lives of three boys) and a movie (YouTube) from a ministry I highly recommend, Sacred Groves. What is pictured above are:
- Escape, by Carolyn Jessop;
- Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs, by Elissa Wall;
- Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife, by Irene Spencer
Here is a great interview with a woman who was in a polygamous community for many years, it is long, but to understand why something is or may be bad to society’s “net goals,” one needs to spend time reading, watching, reflecting, and the like (see more interviews of people personally impacted by polygamy and the cults, here):
In a recent dealing with this in our neighbor to the north, well known Canadian scholar Joseph Henrich ponted out the following facts about this “net benefit” in regards to the traditional understanding of hetero marriages involving one-man-and-one-woman:
When the above debate was happening in Canada, our radio talk-shows here in the states discussed the matter in-depth. Here is one such show from Michael Medved on the topic:
I found this title of an article very myopic, ill-considered. You will see what I mean as we get into it, but first, here is the title of the article, “Atheists Have Stronger Family Values Than Evangelical Christians.” Not only is the title ill-considered, but the arguments wihin the article are as well. Divorce, crime, and the like are mentioned in the article, and as we will see later, the 2009 info is a bit twisted… but I will deal with some other issues first. Here is the crux of the article:
Mind you I realize I am stomping around “The Ecological Fallacy,” but this is a powerful cumulative case that the above is not just wrong, but very wrong. Also note this will turn out to be a battle between committed Christians, nominal Christians and the secular person. In the end you will see that if you were to have your taxes done, you would want them done by a committed Christian. That aside, one should also note that histories biggest mass murderers are atheistic in their cosmology, but conservative Christians who understand the ENTIRETY of their faith, commit less crime than all others in these stats. For instance, Prager did a show on these findings that shows that people who only believe in heaven (universalism, e.g., liberal theology) commit more crimes than those who believe in both heaven and hell.
But there are other parts of this article that interest me. It is this: “both liberalism and high levels of education correlate with atheism,” the far left site, Daily Kos, agrees as well. Higher education leads to a higher pay as well… this will become important in dismantling a popular myth. This fact disproves many mantras and myths that the political Left. So lets delve into my thoughts on this. And this begins the complexity of what “family values” are, and it is a myriad of positions. Okay, let us divide political positions firstly:
Keep in mind that when “Republicans” are mentioned below, they have a higher percentage serious Christians. Here we go. During the 2000 elections (I know these stats are old, but all of this holds true today) an interesting stat caught my attention:
This is important for the conversation. According to the very left leaning Daily Kos, most atheists vote Democrat now, harkening back to the 2000 election stats above, what does this mean? They are selfish? Stingy? You decide.
- When the Obama campaign released past tax returns for Biden in 2008, it was revealed that the Bidens donated just $3,690 to charity over 10 years — an average of $369 a year.
♦ 2005: $77,315 to charity out of income of $1.66 million (4.6 percent)
♦ 2004: $2,500 out of $207,647 (1.2 percent)
♦ 2003: $3,400 out of $238,327 (1.4 percent)
♦ 2002: $1,050 out of $259,394 (0.4 percent)
Why bring up the Blue State and Red State divide and recent elections? Because is shown in every poll by Gallop (since this category was started), that Republicans are happier than Democrats ~ Giving and helping increase happiness, not dependence on government. Now, how bout church attendance, how does this strengthen family and thus family values?
We know that the left/right divide is an indicator of church attendance, how does regular church attendance break down into crime, and a healthy, happy life? Here are some indicators:
(Also see 52 Reasons To Go To Church) These indicators are also mentions in a Heritage Foundation article, “Why Religion Matters: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability“
- The strength of the family unit is intertwined with the practice of religion. Churchgoers are more likely to be married, less likely to be divorced or single, and more likely to manifest high levels of satisfaction in marriage.
- Church attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability and happiness.
- The regular practice of religion helps poor persons move out of poverty. Regular church attendance, for example, is particularly instrumental in helping young people to escape the poverty of inner-city life.
- Religious belief and practice contribute substantially to the formation of personal moral criteria and sound moral judgment.
- Regular religious practice generally inoculates individuals against a host of social problems, including suicide, drug abuse, out-of-wedlock births, crime, and divorce.
- The regular practice of religion also encourages such beneficial effects on mental health as less depression (a modern epidemic), more self-esteem, and greater family and marital happiness.
- In repairing damage caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, and marital breakdown, religious belief and practice are a major source of strength and recovery.
- Regular practice of religion is good for personal physical health: It increases longevity, improves one’s chances of recovery from illness, and lessens the incidence of many killer diseases.
So we can see that the above are important factors in a healthy, stable, family which would have the highest percentage or chance in a family situation to create “family values.” What about divorce rates and the 2009 data. This is dealt with well at Christian Action League, and shows how Barna and the Government can miss-categorize whole swaths of people and their affiliations:
…Wright did his own research using the General Social Survey; a huge study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and found that folks who identify as Christians but rarely attend church have a divorce rate of 60 percent compared to 38 percent among people who attend church regularly. More generally, he found that Christians, similar to adherents of other traditional faiths, have a divorce rate of 42 percent compared with 50 percent among those without a religious affiliation.
And his is not the only research that is showing a link between strong faith and increased marriage stability.
University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, concluded that “active conservative Protestants” who regularly attend church are 35 percent less likely to divorce than are those with no faith affiliation. He used the National Survey of Families and Households to make his analysis.
Glenn Stanton, the director for family formation studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been writing articles to spread the truth about the lower divorce rate among practicing Christians.
“Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes — attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples — enjoy significantly lower divorce rates that mere church members, the general public and unbelievers,” Stanton wrote in the Baptist Press early this year.
At issue in Barna’s studies is how he defined “Christian” and to what other groups he compared the “Christian” divorce rate. Apparently, his study compared what he termed “born-again” Christians — those who described their faith in terms of “personal commitment,” “accept as savior” and other evangelical, born-again language to three other groups, which included self-identified Christians who do not describe their faith with those terms, members of other, non-Christian religions and people of no religious beliefs.
Because his second group would have included many Catholics and mainline Protestants, Wright points out that Barna was, in many ways, “comparing Christians against Christians.” No wonder the rates were similar….
In USA Today, David Kinnaman, Barna’s president, said that “the statistical differences reflect varied approaches, with Wright looking more at attendance and his research firm dwelling on theological commitments.” Duh! The bottom line seems to be that the more seriously couples take their faith, the less likely they are to get a divorce. That seems like a self-evident truth, but it appears there is also evidence for it. In other words, this is a nominal, vs. committed Christian vs. secular person battle.
I can go on-and-on, but lets shorten what we have learned, and it all revolves around this:
- “There’s something about being a nominal ‘Christian’ that is linked to a lot of negative outcomes when it comes to family life.”
I realize that much of this can be classified broadly as “The Ecological Fallacy” — but it is an amassing of stats to show that in fact the committed Christian understands the totality of “family values” and commits to them more than the secular person.
1a) Those who attend church more are to be found in the Republican Party;
1b) Those who do not, the Democratic Party;
2a) Those in the Republican Party donate much more to charitable causes;
2b) Those in the Democratic Party, are much more stingy;
3a) Republicans earn less and give more;
3b) Democrats earn more and give less;
4a) Conservative Christians and Jews (people who believe in Heaven and Hell) commit less crimes;
4b) Liberal religious persons (universalists) have a higher rate of crime;
5a) Regular church attendees have a lower drug use rate;
5b) Irreligious persons have a higher rate;
6a) Moral “oughts” are answered in Christian theism (one “ought” not rape because it is absolutely, morally wrong);
6b) Moral “oughts” are merely current consensus of the most individuals, there is no absolute moral statement that can be made about rape;
7a) Republicans are happier than Democrats;
7b) Democrats are more depressed;
8a) The sex lives of married, religious persons is better/more fulfilling;
…According to psychotherapist and couples’ sex expert Esther Perel, marriage is when your sex life really begins…
8b) The sex lives of the irreligious person is less fulfilling;
9a) The conservative is more likely to reach orgasm [conservative woman I assume];
9b) The liberal woman is not;
10a) They are less likely to sleep around, which would also indicate lower STDs;
10b Democrats are more likely to have STDs through having more sex partners;
11a) Republicans are less likely (slightly, but this is so because of the committed Christians in the larger demographic) to have extra-marital affairs;
11b) Democrats more likely;
12a) Republicans over the last three decades have been reproducing more…
12b) Democrats abort more often and have less children through educational/career decisions
13a) Christians are more likely to have children and impact the world;
13b) Skeptics replace family with pleasure and travel.
For these and other reasons not mentioned here I reject the study referenced at the beginning of this post. You can see from the above why this blog is called “Religio-Political Talk,” separating the values of religion from politics is an impossible task. As Wayne Grudem points out:
(FamilyFacts.org) Religiosity is associated with better family outcomes as well as positive social outcomes. For example, religiosity is connected with stronger marriages and parent-child relationships, as well as greater community and civic participation and better health practices for individuals.
- Divorce. Marriages in which both spouses frequently attend religious services are less likely to end in divorce. Marriages in which both husband and wife attend church frequently are 2.4 times less likely to end in divorce than marriages in which neither spouse attends religious services.1
- Mother-Child Relationship. Mothers who consider religion to be important in their lives report better quality relationships with their children. According to mothers’ reports, regardless of the frequency of their church attendance, those who considered religion to be very important in their lives tended to report, on average, a higher quality of relationship with their children than those who did not consider religion to be important.2
- Father-Child Relationship. Fathers’ religiosity is associated with the quality of their relationships with their children. A greater degree of religiousness among fathers was associated with better relationships with their children, greater expectations for positive relationships in the future, investment of thought and effort into their relationships with their children, greater sense of obligation to stay in regular contact with their children, and greater likelihood of providing emotional support and unpaid assistance to their children and grandchildren. Fathers’ religiousness was measured on six dimensions, including the importance of faith, guidance provided by faith, religious attendance, religious identity, denominational affiliation, and belief in the importance of religion for their children.3
- Well-Being of High School Seniors. Among high school seniors, religious attendance and a positive attitude toward religion are correlated with predictors of success and well-being. Positive attitudes towards religion and frequent attendance at religious activities were related to numerous predictors of success and wellbeing for high-school seniors, including: positive parental involvement, positive perceptions of the future, positive attitudes toward academics, less frequent drug use, less delinquent behavior, fewer school attendance problems, more time spent on homework, more frequent volunteer work, recognition for good grades, and more time spent on extracurricular activities.4
- Life Expectancy. Religious attendance is associated with higher life expectancy at age 20. Life expectancy at age 20 was significantly related to church attendance. Life expectancy was 61.9 years for those attending church once a week and 59.7 for those attending less than once a week.5
- Drinking, Smoking and Mortality. Frequent religious attendance is correlated with lower rates of heavy drinking, smoking, and mortality. Compared with peers who did not attend religious services frequently, those who did had lower mortality rates and this relationship was stronger among women than among men. In addition, frequent attendees were less likely to smoke or drink heavily at the time of the first interview. Frequent attendees who did smoke or drink heavily at the time of the first interview were more likely than nonattendees to cease these behaviors by the time of the second interview.6
- Volunteering. Individuals who engage in private prayer are more likely to join voluntary associations aimed at helping the disadvantaged. Individuals who engaged in private prayer were more likely to report being members of voluntary associations aimed at helping the elderly, poor and disabled when compared to those who did not engage in private prayer. Prayer increased the likelihood of volunteering for an organization that assisted the elderly, poor and disabled, on average, by 20 percent.7
- Charity and Volunteering. Individuals who attend religious services weekly are more likely to give to charities and to volunteer. In 2000, compared with those who rarely or never attended a house of worship, individuals who attended a house of worship nearly once a week or more were 25 percentage points more likely to donate to charity (91 percent vs. 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer (67 percent vs. 44 percent).8
- Voting. Individuals who participated in religious activities during adolescence tend to have higher rates of electoral participation as young adults. On average, individuals who reported participating in religious groups and organizations as adolescents were more likely to register to vote and to vote in a presidential election as young adults when compared to those who reported not participating in religious groups and organizations.9
- Ethics in Business. Business professionals who assign greater importance to religious interests are more likely to reject ethically questionable business decisions. Business leaders who assigned greater importance to religious interests were more likely to reject ethically questionable business decisions than their peers who attached less importance to religious interests. Respondents were asked to rate the ethical quality of 16 business decisions. For eight of the 16 decisions, respondents who attached greater importance to religious interests had lower average ratings, which indicated a stronger disapproval of ethically questionable decisions, compared to respondents who attached less importance to religious interests.10
- Vaughn R. A. Call and Tim B. Heaton, “Religious Influence on Marital Stability,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 36, No. 3 (September 1997): 382-392.
- Lisa D. Pearce and William G. Axinn, “The Impact of Family Religious Life on the Quality of Mother-Child Relations,” American Sociological Review 63, No. 6 (December 1998): 810-828.
- Valerie King, “The Influence of Religion on Fathers’ Relationships with Their Children,” Journal of Marriage and Family 65, No. 2 (May 2003): 382-395.
- Jerry Trusty and Richard E. Watts, “Relationship of High School Seniors’ Religious Perceptions and Behavior to Educational, Career, and Leisure Variables,” Counseling and Values 44, No. 1 (October 1999): 30-39.
- Robert A. Hummer, Richard G. Rogers, Charles B. Nam, and Christopher G. Ellison, “Religious Involvement and U.S. Adult Mortality,” Demography 36, No. 2 (May 1999): 273-285.
- William J. Strawbridge, Richard D. Cohen, Sarah J. Shema, and George A. Kaplan, “Frequent Attendance at Religious Services and Mortality over 28 Years,” American Journal of Public Health 87, No. 6 (June 1997): 957-961.
- Matthew T. Loveland, David Sikkink, Daniel J. Myers, and Benjamin Radcliff, “Private Prayer and Civic Involvement,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 44, No. 1 (March 2005): 1-14.
- Arthur C. Brooks, Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide, (New York: Basic Books 2006), 31-52.
- Michelle Frisco, Chandra Muller and Kyle Dodson, “Participation in Voluntary Youth-Serving Associations and Early Adult Voting Behavior,” Social Science Quarterly 85, No. 3 (September 2004): 660-676.
- Justin Longenecker, Joseph McKinney, and Carlos Moore, “Religious Intensity, Evangelical Christianity, and Business Ethics: An Empirical Study,” Journal of Business Ethics 55, No. 4 (December 2004): 371- 384.
(Drudge Report h/t) Democratic strategist and DNC adviser Hilary Rosen lobbed an insult at Ann Romney, suggesting that the 64-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 16 had never held a job.
“Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” said Rosen, who was being interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the “war on women.”
Choosing to mentor and raise 5 boys is a yeoman’s task. Funny though, because in 2003, Hilary Rosen took time off to be with her boys:
On January 22, 2003, Rosen announced that she would resign as head of the RIAA at the end of 2003, in order to spend more time with her partner, Elizabeth Birch, and the couple’s twins (a boy and a girl).
She didn’t stay home long and I am sure she really lives out these motto’s:
“But the true feminist deals out of a lesbian consciousness whether or not she ever sleeps with women.” ~ Audre Lorde
“…in theJanuary 1988 National NOW Times, the newsletter for the organization, said: “The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist” ~ Gnostic Feminism
If one does not adhere to the left’s gender/orientation beliefs, and are a stay at home mom… yur assed out!
UPDATED: While saying the Democrats are not using the word “war on women,” Hilary Rosen commits the act of “waring on women”: