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Earlier this month, a German teen-ager was forcibly taken from her parents and imprisoned in a psychiatric ward. Her crime? She is being home-schooled.The situation is no better in Europe as a whole. Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld Hitler's schooling bill, saying that "schools represent society, and it is in the children's interest to become part of that society. The parents' right to educate does not go so far as to deprive their children of that experience."
Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938 and ordered all children to be sent to state schools. The home-schooling community in Germany is tiny. As Hitler knew, Germans tend to obey orders unquestioningly. Only some 500 children are being home-schooled in a country of 80 million. Home-schooling families are prosecuted without mercy.
Last March, a judge in Hamburg sentenced a home-schooling father of six to a week in prison and a fine of $2,000. Last September, a Paderborn mother of 12 was locked up in jail for two weeks.
All German political parties, including the Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, are opposed to home-schooling. They say that "the obligation to attend school is a civil obligation, that cannot be tampered with." The home-schoolers receive no support from the official (state funded) churches, either. These maintain that home-schoolers "isolate themselves from the world" and that "freedom of religion does not justify opposition against the obligation to attend school." Six decades after Hitler, German politicians and church leaders still do not understand true freedom: that raising children is a prerogative of their fathers and mothers and not of the state, which is never a benevolent parent and often an enemy.
We already know that the American political left believe that the government should raise our children, how long before those thoughts become majority opinion in this country as they obviously have in Europe?
To modify Dylan Thomas, the world has gone gently into that dark night.
This is the way the world ends, with childish jingles of "Food Not Bombs," the anarchist chic of Emma Goldman anarcho-rock, and a mournful experimental cello obbligato.
Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.It's kind of funny how Christian principles keep being proved correct.
"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."
[Co-author W. Keith] Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies.
"Permissiveness seems to be a component," he said. "A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting. Less indulgence might be called for."
When we think of character traits we rightly think of honesty, integrity, moral courage, and acts of altruism. Few people include happiness in any list of character traits or moral achievements.
But happiness is both.
Happiness -- or at least acting happy, or at the very least not inflicting one's unhappiness on others -- is no less important in making the world better than any other human trait.
The pursuit of happiness is not the pursuit of pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure is hedonism, and hedonists are not happy because the intensity and amount of pleasure must constantly be increased in order for hedonism to work. Pleasure for the hedonist is a drug.
But the pursuit of happiness is noble. It benefits everyone around the individual pursuing it, and it benefits humanity. And that is why happiness is a moral obligation.
People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged: “The cops shouldn’t have shot him.” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said if you get caught with it you’re going to embarrass your mother." Not, "You’re going to get your butt kicked." No. "You’re going to embarrass your mother." "You’re going to embarrass your family." If you knock that girl up, you’re going to have to run away because it’s going to be too embarrassing for your family. In the old days, a girl getting pregnant had to go down South, and then her mother would go down to get her. But the mother had the baby. I said the mother had the baby. The girl didn’t have a baby. The mother had the baby in two weeks. We are not parenting.
What’s the point of giving them strong names if there is not parenting and values backing it up?
Therefore, you have ... these sweet beautiful [children] born by nature -- raised by no one.
When you go to the church, look at the stained glass things of Jesus. Look at them. Is Jesus smiling? Not in one picture. So, tell your friends. Let’s try to do something. Let’s try to make Jesus smile. Let’s start parenting.
Alas! And did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Isaac Watts penned these words in 1885 for the hymn, "At the Cross." Since then, "worm" has been replaced with nicer, more seeker-friendly words. Now many churches are more likely to sing the lyrics "I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, you call me friend." While somewhat Scriptural, the song ignores the fact that Jesus calls us friends ONLY if we obey Him and follow Him. However, crooning that Jesus is our friend fills the pews a lot more easily than singing that we are maggots. Which leads me to this "review" of Friends of God, a recent documentary by Alexandra Pelosi. While I don't agree with everything the reviewer, Michael Linton, has to say (for instance, he neglects to mention that Focus on the Family primarily took issue with how stay-at-home mothers are portrayed in the film and he tends toward legalism), he makes some very good points about the spiritual loss of perspective in the Western evangelical church. Today, many Christians in this country appear to care more about finding worldly fulfillment and purpose in their lives and much less about following God's commandments, being content with their lives, and reaching the lost. As the writer of Ecclesiastes put it after spending his life pursuing worldly things,
Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot...He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.Jesus expounded upon that Solomonic idea of simple living, applying it to Christians: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." He DID NOT say, "Once you find a purpose for your life and feel happy, let me know, I might be able to use you." The Christian life involves sacrifice and contentment. The only purpose we are called to have: Live like this isn't our only life to live.
UPDATE at 2/15/07:
Confirmed, the Utah shooter was Muslim. However, the FBI has ruled out his religion as a possible cause of his actions while still saying they have no idea why he did what he did. The PC police must be on the prowl.
UPDATE at 2/16/07:
It's sounding more like the shooter was just a troubled kid. Of course, the family calls him a "good boy." And the media neglected to mention what his "four prior minor juvenile offenses" were. One included threatening to cut a girl's throat with a knife. Yeah, sounds like a good boy to me.
Either way, the fact remains that the media will do everything in it's power to not mention the M-word. All I'm asking for is some journalistic honesty. I know, I know, that's become an oxymoron.
Ok, seriously now, the hysteria about global warming is really getting annoying. The science behind it is junk, and the main proponents of it are the who's who of moral idiots and political class clowns. Unfortunately, I fear that many Christians and conservatives are being led like sheep to believe that it's the greatest threat to mankind. Last year, a bunch of Christian leaders, including media darling Rick Warren, signed the "Evangelical Climate Initiative," which basically called for legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Thankfully, other Christian leaders, including Dr. James Dobson and Chuck Colson, wrote a rebuttal letter asking them to not sign the initiative. They are not necessarily disagreeing with the premise of global warming, but that human beings are the main cause and that the ideas put forth thus far to combat it would actually benefit humanity.
That leads me to Mark Steyn's most recent article. In it, he points out how "global warming" is not really global at all. And just because someone feels that their little nook in the world is feeling warmer these days doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the world at large. Just as me saying that this week's sub-zero temperatures here in Minnesota were evidence against global warming is crazy, so is the claim that a snowless January in a northern U.S. state proves climate change. Yet I hear this all the time from friends and co-workers. "It's 20 degrees over the normal temp today, must be global warming."
From Steyn's article...
A few years ago, the little old lady who served as my town's historian for many decades combed over the farmers' diaries from two centuries ago that various neighbors had donated to her: From the daily records of 15 Januarys, she concluded that three were what we'd now regard as classic New Hampshire winters, ideal for lumbering or winter sports; eight had January thaws, and four had no snow at all. This was in the pre-industrial 18th century.As always, test everything to see if it is of God. Whenever popular opinion is leaning one way, almost always lean the other way, as we are told repeatedly in Scriptures that man's wisdom is NOT God's wisdom.
Today, faced with eight thaws and four entirely snowless Januarys, we'd all be running around shrieking that the great Gaia is displeased. Wake up and smell the CO2, people! We need to toss another virgin into the volcano. A virgin SUV, that is. Brand-new model, straight off the assembly line, cupholders never been used. And as the upholstery howls in agony, we natives will stand around chanting along with High Priestess Natalie Cole's classic recording: ''Unsustainable, that's what you are.''
1 John 4:5
Here's a sample of what he wrote...
We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It’s supporting our President, our troops and our cause.Go to the above link and read it all for yourself.