“Keep your beliefs out of your business!”

This is not the first case of its kind, but it certainly is causing a stir, especially with the boldness of the statements made by the justices involved. In New Mexico, the State Supreme Court has ruled that a Christian couple may not conduct their photography business according to the dictates of God’s Word.

Here is the article: N.M. Supreme Court: Photographers Can’t Refuse Gay Weddings

In short, the court has determined that if you run a business and someone lifestyle runs in opposition to your faith, your faith has to get out of the way. “Keep your beliefs out of your business!” Claims Justice Bosson, “it is the price of citizenship.”

“You! Shall not! Stand up for your faith!!”

Since when?

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Good thoughts from bad role models?

A member sent me a message in response to last night’s blog post with some concerns. She feels strongly that Ashton Kutcher is a very bad role model for teens and that, as such, being chosen for the Teen Choice Award and having his speech circulating on the internet is not a positive thing. She was likewise concerned about our church leadership appearing to promote him. I want to state without reservation that I agree with her entirely, and her concern is well founded. I don’t know much about Ashton Kutcher’s personal life, and I don’t really watch his shows. I’ve seen a few movies with him. I’ve caught a couple episodes of Punk’d and laughed. But I learned just today that he apparently recently had a fairly messy divorce with Demi Moore, and his track record before that is maybe not so hot either. So, I appreciate that my member chose to bring this up to me, and gave me a chance to address it.

To be clear, I did not intend to put Ashton Kutcher on a pedestal. If what I learned today about him is true, he is exactly the opposite of the kind of person I would point a young person to as an example to follow. His personal life aside, what he had to say was pretty good. However, good words from a bad role model need to be taken with some amount of caution.By the same token, a good role model does not always mean wise words.

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What is the difference?

“Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.”

“Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.”

“Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. They are and always will be different.”

Of course, we all know that’s a bunch of bunk, right? We live in a more enlightened age, where we understand that there is nothing a boy can do that a girl cannot, and there is nothing a girl can do that a boy cannot. We have moved beyond archaic views of gender roles and gender stereotypes. Right? Right?!

Maybe I’m being a little bit crass. After all, people don’t really believe that. I’m clearly simplifying the debate to the level of the ridiculous, and thus making a straw man argument. But wait! According to this poll on Debate.org – and the many ensuing comments – nearly 50% of people who respond to the poll believe that gender equality is possible, and when you look at their comments, many are saying exactly what I said in the last paragraph!

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We weren’t meant to do it alone

The other day my wife and I were having a conversation at the dinner table about our collective ignorance in dealing with our boys in their current stage of life. Meltdowns seem to be an almost daily occurrence as they try to redefine themselves and assert their individuality, most of which involves them choosing not to do what Mom and Dad ask them to do. Having sought some wisdom in a book on parenting yesterday, I found this saying:

“Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Sagacious though that saying is, we both had to chuckle at the fact that it gives little comfort to struggling parents. Why? Well, let me paraphrase a little:

“Parenting is a long, hard, grueling process that you’re really only suited to undertake if you have undergone extensive training and years of hard work. And even then, if you mess up at some point along the way, it will only make the rest of the process that much harder. And by the way, you won’t see the end or know how well you’re doing until you get there, so you can’t be sure if you did it right until it is too late to fix it.”

See what I mean?

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