A Rose by Any Other Name…

When I was 9 years-old I attended a private school in Pennsylvania. Stiff upper-lip teachers, uniforms, and all. We read a great deal of books while at school; in addition, we had to list off a number of books that we would read during the year at home. The part I hated most would grow to be the part I appreciate most now: comprehension tests. After each book we had a set of rigorous questions to answer, each pertaining to intricate details found within the book. With the glaring eyes of a teacher staring through you as you stumbled around for the answers to the multitude of questions, you quickly learned to actually pay attention when you took to reading your books.

Could my teacher have simply taken us through the areas that answered the questions? Of course. We would have passed the tests with flying colors, received a good grade, and the clouds would have opened up and beamed a heavenly glow around a highly approved teacher. But what good would it do for our actual education, not just the grades on a paper? Nothing. You can teach a child to pass a test, but the result will not be the comprehension of the materials.

Welcome to Common Core.

I could go on a six page tangent over the idea that classic literature and personal writing is somehow deemed irrelevant to those who add their approval to such poor standards, but alas, I won’t only focus on this one issue since it is simply one large missing portion of a widely flawed initiative. Okay, for the sake of being honest, I’ll probably focus a lot of this post on said portion. Our society would rather have kids droning on about vampires and Anastasia Steele than topics and stories that challenge the reader to create within their mind a space welcoming of creativity, and that’s the sad fact.

Common Core attempts to prepare kids for the workforce (emphasis on “attempts”), not for college. By high school, common core will place kids years behind the education level in other countries. Can schools do anything about that? They can modify the standards by an additional 15%, but the standards themselves are under a copyright by NGA Center, and the Council of Chief State School Officers; regretfully, they are the only group that has the legal right to change the standards. So if your school says “we modified and only partially adapted” in an attempt to bring levity to the change, realize that they are grossly misleading you, or they have no idea what they’re talking about – both of which should concern you.

Why did states welcome Common Core with open arms, many knowing the issues it would cause? The almighty dollar. Money trumps the future of your child’s education in today’s world, it’s as simple as that. Money and waivers are given to those that welcomed Common Core standards and testing.

Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform, had the following to say about Common Core standards when she refused to sign off on the standards:

“As empty skill sets, Common Core’s ELA “college readiness” standards weaken the base of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework, decrease the capacity for analytical thinking, and completely muddle the development of writing skills.”

She goes on to note that English teachers are being asked to teach on materials that are beyond their skill set. At minimum, 50% of the curriculum must be filled with informational nonfiction material (questionable material at best); reducing literary material to dismal levels, occasionally minor quotes and sections are substituted instead of allowing students to absorb the full material.

Maybe now is when you might question the importance of literature. “What’s the big deal?”… As infuriating as it is to even hear it be questioned, I believe that we should seize the opportunity to explain.

If not for the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, the original feminist movement may not have been born. No, not today’s feminist movement, the feminist movement that would be revolted by today’s feminists and their ultimate goal of objectifying women across the globe.

“…and women, intoxicated by the adoration that men (under the influence of their senses) pay them, don’t try to achieve a permanently important place in men’s feelings, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society…

…as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing.”  – Mary Wollstonecraft

Literature is an important key to understanding moral customs and cultural differences. We learn about the beauty of a free society and the struggles highlighted for our minds to analyze. We are forced to contemplate good and evil, acknowledge the differences between our fellow man, and imagine for just a time that we are struggling with the lost. Our emotions are challenged, and our compassion developed. It teaches us the benefits of metaphors, comprehension, and depth of character; every person, every stage, every smell, every scene is custom to the reader. Building it inside of our minds while the story unfolds. They are not just a people spoken about in our history books, the characters become a being that we know and care for; we develop a logical response to both good and bad actions through our connection to the character. You may choose to toss it out with the pile of what you deem to be useless art, but I fear that the societal decline that has accompanied the lack of reading and writing is of no coincidence.

Let’s also not forget that our failing vocabulary could use a substantial lift.

See “bling,” “twerk,” “cuz,” “totes,” “peeps,” “adorbs,” “realz,” “dat,” “haz,” “luv,” “YOLO,” “swag,” “outa,” “dat,” “whatevs,” etc…. I rest my case. Do you realize that many of those words won’t even be corrected by autocorrect? Dat should totes make you weep 4 humanity, Peeps, 4 realz.

Our education system is encouraging/forcing kids to waste much of their time on not using their mind to contemplate morals, use critical thinking, or build worlds inside their imagination. If time is the true currency, what our schools are doing is as frivolous as flushing your money down the toilet. In reality, it is more so. Once again Stotsky reiterates:

“Teachers and parents are regularly being told that more technical and persuasive writing will boost students’ critical thinking.  But little analytical thinking is apt to appear in letters to the principal about cafeteria food that kids are often encouraged to write in order to practice writing a “persuasive” letter. Reading researchers know there is absolutely no research to support the idea that increased study of “literary non-fiction” or “informational” texts in the English class, or increases in persuasive writing, will increase students’ level of analytical thinking.  There is every reason to believe they will, instead, lower the level.”

To read her full statement, click here.

I would be remiss if I also didn’t note that we had already experienced the failures of universal testing with NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Schools in low income neighborhoods became what Common Core wishes for all schools to become: test preparation programs. NCLB disciplined high performing schools and children on its war path to lift poor performers up. This never works. It has never worked. Why do we keep trying such doomed experimental programs with education AND economics???

So then we take billionaires and politically motivated organizations and give them the reins to dismantle a democratic institution that has done more to bring equality than any other democratic institution in the USA? We provided opportunity to those who made the choice to seek it out, now we are punishing those who strive for success. Since NCLB & Common Core, there have been an increase in charter schools; meanwhile, thousands of public schools have been forced to close. Public schools that while in poor neighborhoods were the bridge that offered hope and freedom to children that, despite their circumstances, created within themselves the ability to survive & accomplish. Years later we now have increased child poverty, and the continual widening of achievement gaps due to standards that were backed by both sides of the aisle.

Well done, Ol’ Chaps!

Back to Common Core – Not only will children suffer in their reading and writing, but in a world where comprehension is not a priority, math and various other studies will take a detrimental blow. We are already seeing arithmetic problems in grade school students turned into 100+ steps of wasted time. It is making children feel like failures, when in reality, their minds should be built to solve the problem in the most logical way. Horrifyingly, these practices have never even been tested! They’ve turned the United States education system into a giant experiment. The weakness of the Common Core math standards were even noted by the creators of the standards themselves.

But then it gets even better!

We have a nation of kids who have constant entertainment. Video games, television, movies, etc. fill their days. Constantly being fed the narrative. Constantly being mind numbingly entertained. Then we send them to school and expect them to pay attention to the mundane, the redundant, and the unimaginative, then drug them because they are “hyper.”

Historically we didn’t have the issues that we have, and many other countries don’t either, so what gives? Clearly changes in the last 50 years have led us to this point, what were they? Do they have to do with chemicals? Food Dyes? Education? Shouldn’t those be the first questions we respond with before we start pumping children with more pharmaceuticals than an 80’s rock band?

If you or your child exhibit 6 of the 18 ADHD behaviors, you/they can be labeled as an individual who suffers from a “biologic abnormality of the brain” and handed a prescription. Read the behavior list sometime, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion as me: every human being at some point has suffered from ADHD. Imagine the entire population of Nicaragua, that’s roughly how many children in the US alone are on Psychotropic drugs. Kids are diagnosed at an alarming rate. Once signs of a hyper personality are found, parents, teachers, and doctors flock to the easy out like starving castaways who have just come upon a Pizza Hut.

Maybe I’m just primitive in nature, turning from my cave art to watch the spectacle and shake my club in mumbled revolt, but those “symptoms” seem to me to be an epidemic of both the mind and the heart. I’m not a doctor, but I am an observer of society and the downhill slope it’s taking that leads directly to a lava pit.

In a world filled with sensory overload, we’ve lost a huge part of who we are. With every advancement made in video games, the entertainment industry, and now faulty school standards, we slam another nail into the casket of creativity and imagination.  Now I’m not saying that all movies, games, and shows are bad, I’m just saying that as time goes on, our hearts become more invested in things that require little thought process. God created our minds to be used, and when kids are scratching on the walls of conformity we’ve now decided they need a pill instead of a change. They don’t require self-discipline because it’s not expected any longer, and then we have to deal with ADULTS that have no self-discipline.

And isn’t that a peach….

Welcome to the new America. Start standing up against the change, or conform to the new thought standards, perpetuating a system that creates robots that simply obey the government agenda. Educators & politicians can call what they are doing education, but indoctrination by any other name will destroy as swiftly.

“What appalls me most about the standards is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.” Dr. Anthony Esolen – Providence College

Defining a Hero

A while back I wrote Defining a Monster (click here for link to post), this is my follow up:

My 5 year-old nephew runs into the room slamming his fists to the ground, pretending as though he were the star of an action packed blockbuster. Our masked vigilante valiantly fighting the evils of the world that’s located inside his vivid imagination with his staggering height and built muscles, which also only exist in his vivid imagination. He’s still at the age where he thinks that finishing off his potatoes will bring instant results to his muscle mass. I remember being little and constantly thinking of stories in my head, I look at him and just think of the wheels that must be turning. The momentary bravery it takes to fight the elusive “bad guy” that he’s created, and then the innocence of the hero that suddenly needs milk with his brownie and pizza.

As we entered the new year, I noticed a lack of excitement that normally accompanies the determination that somehow gets harpooned into our souls when the clock strikes midnight. It was as if we spent all of 2013 sailing closer and closer to Cape Horn, and as we stood on the ship deck counting down the minutes to midnight we contemplated the dangers of the waters soon to be traveled. Instead of the ball dropping in time square, we saw the high winds, the sharp rocks, the daunting icebergs; all of the dangers ahead would surely find us to be inexperienced sailors in well over our head, and they would undoubtedly take advantage at every possible turn. I don’t think it’s a secret, 2014 is not a number known for its coming joys for America.

Since the new year we have faced insurance difficulties, as well as an updated projection from the CBO for what we should expect for future full-time job loss due to the ACA. The expected numbers more than doubled, and the part time epidemic is set to take hold due to insurance regulations.  Additionally, yet another poor job report was released last week that seems to prove the pessimistic economists to be prophets. I’ll definitely be talking about some of those issues in the coming posts, but today I wanted to do something different.

I am not always the most delicate in my deliverance of opinion. I find the truth to be best when it’s laid out bare; admittedly, concerns over the brittleness of eggshells rarely infiltrate my mind. Reason is of the utmost importance to me, to a fault I might add. There’s no denying that God has His hands full with me and my unbridled skepticism, I surely earn my place on the cross daily. Have you ever played 20 questions with a 5 year old? Now imagine your patience level by question 50. Now tack on a couple million questions and you might have a feeling for what God endures from this daughter of His.

Issues & debates are puzzles, puzzles need to be solved. Period. I have to shut that part of me down sometimes, followed by walking away due to the fact that shutting that part down is normally not a process I’m willing to perform twice. My tolerance level for discursiveness is not what one would note as “desirable“, for me it’s like taking the organized puzzle pieces and throwing them on the ground in an attempt to complete the puzzle. It doesn’t make sense. More so, I find that we are far too delicate in matters that call for unabashed truth, and often brash in matters that call for delicacy. It’s the human condition colliding with Christianity that I wrote about in my last post. So while some may charge me with being too critical of the Christian, “my own kind”, I’ve always been more apt to lean on the side of logic and ignore the social norms of Sunday night potluck positivity.

Growing up I loved things that glowed in the dark; stars on a ceiling, secret notes on black paper, etc. (Clearly I was meant to be a spy.) But I always remember those things being so dull when all of the lights were on. You couldn’t see them or admire their contributions to the dark in a fully lit room. We used to run and find a room that had no windows, the darker the better; every step into the darkness made the secret words on black paper easier to read, every bit of sun that disappeared made the stars brighter. Some may accuse me of dwelling on the negative, or obsessing with the world. That’s their opinion. I don’t dwell on the negative, I just care deeply about those swallowed up by the negative. I’m not obsessed with the world, I simply hurt for those in its grasps. And sometimes, I turn off all the lights and look in the darkness for that glimmer of light that refused to buckle in to the black. My admiration for those glimmers of light and how Christ used them outweigh any assumptions of my obsessions with the repugnance of the world in my mind. To be honest, I am filled with hope, overflowing with gratitude for my Savior, and breathlessly amazed at how He moves in this world. As the song goes, I pray that my heart continues to break for what breaks His.

SO, in honor of the approaching sharp rocks, I couldn’t think of anything more fitting than to write about a few men that saw danger and met it with heroic determination. In a world where Iron Man is idolized and Thor is worshiped, sometimes the most heroic of men go unnoticed. Right now I’m content with my nephew’s infatuation with Captain America and his powerful shield that brings down the evil that stalks the world, but someday I hope his adoration and interests are held by men who didn’t need a shield; men with hearts that shook the world more than The Hulk’s mighty fists ever could. The logic that appealed to the natural instinct of self-preservation in these men was trumped by the logic of human worth and hope, which is itself an act that defies the idea of a Godless world and speaks to the greatest form of proof for Him that we can experience daily. That is why sometimes it’s a good thing to acknowledge the dark.

We do not know what a Jew is, we know only men.” – Words spoken by Andre Trocme when asked by the Nazis to produce a list of Jews. Andre lived in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France during the Holocaust. He, along with his wife, were responsible for helping what is believed to be over 4000 Jewish refugees find homes in his city. He, as the “spiritual leader”, encouraged the townspeople to do the work of God. He continued to tell his followers that when the Nazis came and took him away – for his refusal to provide a list – that they were to continue in the effort to save as many as they could. He woke up every morning to the realization that his life could end, or that he would be imprisoned, and everyday his ethical convictions drove him to continue. Thankfully, he survived the war and passed away in 1971.

Giovanni Palatucci was an Italian Police Official and chief of the Foreigners’ Office. He was put in charge of the Adriatic seaport of Fiume (Croatia). In 1938 the anti-Jewish laws were put into place, and he disobeyed said laws. He forged travel papers for hundreds of Jews so that they could flee persecution. In 1943 the government fell and was occupied by the Nazis. He was ordered to arrest the Jews and have them deported to concentration camps. Simply defying orders would have led to his termination and be of no help to the Jews, so he devised and executed a plan to have over 5000 Jews sent to a refugee camp that was managed by his uncle. He then destroyed records of all the refugees, and they were saved from the imminent doom that would have met them in Nazi concentration camps. He died at the age of 35 after being arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp for his actions. He knew what his actions would cost him if exposed, and yet he charged ahead with a bravery that would put us all to shame.

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese Diplomat. As vice-consul for a Japanese consulate in Lithuania, he kept his country updated on the actions of both the Nazis, and the Soviet troops. Once the Nazi invasion of Lithuania began, the Jews were scrambling for ways to escape the Nazis that were rounding them up like cattle. It is unknown how many Jews Chiune saved, some speculate that it was 5000, others believe a more accurate number to be 10,000. He was issuing visas to anyone that came to him, writing them for 18 hours a day, violating direct orders in the name of human compassion. Even while he was en route to the train station after being reassigned, he was handwriting visas and throwing them out the car window for desperate Jews. Many of the passports in the crowd were still unstamped when he boarded the train, so he threw his official stamp into the crowd for them to use. Hence why the number of Jews he saved is impossible to even try to calculate.

“I cannot allow these people to die, people who have come to me for help with death staring them in the eyes. Whatever punishment may be imposed on me, I know I should follow my conscience.” – Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara was finally recognized in 1985 for his heroic rescue of so many Jews. He passed away in 1986.

Does it not concern anyone else that these men disobeyed direct orders, put their lives on the line, one actually losing his life, and yet we don’t speak out about issues because we don’t want to be “divisive” with our dinner party friends? Does that not get to anyone else? Slavery, persecution, etc. are taking place all over the world, and who we vote for decides if we’re going to continue financially supporting those acts. You don’t even have to hide persecuted individuals in your home and disobey the laws of your country, you just have to say the truth! You just have to speak! Educate! Stand up for what is right!

In the next year many families will face financial turmoil. They’ll take on an insurance payment that is equal to, or possibly exceeds, the cost of a mortgage payment. They’ll cut, scrimp, and will no longer save. Is being low on money the worst thing to happen to a person? FAR from it. But this is just the beginning. Families will not be able to afford their deductibles, people will go without healthcare. Healthcare will continue to decline as it becomes less care and more of a conveyor belt health service. People will become numbers, elderly will be declined the care they desperately need. Businesses will start preparing for the ACA, jobs will be cut, unemployment compensation will be insufficient. Families will lose their homes or get creative in their living situations. These are just the facts that we have to step back and recognize them for what they are.

How many of us have heard (or said), “God is in control, I’m not going to concern myself with worldly issues.”?? I know I have heard it PLENTY of times.

The problem: The bible is full of action against evil.

God is in control, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless. As I said earlier about my need for rationality, I look at the world and ponder the theory that silence from Christians is what’s needed, but I find that ideal lacking in any evidence that would substantiate its viability. I’m not asking you to spend this year hiding Jewish refugees in your walls, I’m just asking you to have conversations, to try and educate those around you. Speak the truth. If you don’t know what to speak of, then research the issues plaguing this nation, connect with those who know about those issues and ask questions so that YOU can spread the word. What our government is doing to healthcare has happened elsewhere. What our government is doing to guns has happened elsewhere. What our government is doing with police power has happened elsewhere.

All of those attempts to “reduce crime”, “increase affordable healthcare”, and “make the streets safer” don’t work. In all actuality, those supposed “efforts” make things far more dangerous, careless, and elitist. If you pointed to a wolf and said “that’s a sheep, trust me!”, I still wouldn’t approach the “sheep” because common sense says that it will kill me. Pointing to the ACA and saying that it’s affordable healthcare doesn’t make it affordable, nor does it guarantee that my family will receive healthcare; as a matter of fact, it does the opposite for many hard working families.

Prepare yourself for the midterm elections, learn about your candidates. Don’t just research their opinion on one topic that will benefit your wallet, research what they stand for and how it will affect the rest of the world. The powerful governments “elsewhere” were strengthened by a populous that only cared about themselves, let’s not be that populous. I’m going to make a good number of blog posts about some of the candidates. If you live in a state and would like specific information on candidates, please message us.

Take a moment to thank God for men like Trocme, Palatucci, and Sugihara. Our world can be a dim place, it can be filled with overwhelming hatred and a callousness that makes us weep for the innocent lives that become trapped within its grip for reasons unanswered. But there are heroes that forge through the darkness regardless of what lies wait in the shadows, those men exist in our world today as well. Would you have the fortitude to be one of them?

Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign in sabotage.” – C.S. Lewis

–  MB

Hero

Animal Instincts

Once upon a time, an average woman made a controversial blog post and made everyone mad.

The End.

Well, it’s been over a month since the last blog entry, and that’s because I’ve been busy thinking of ways to revamp the site. But alas, here I am to spread my Super Bowl & Grammy Awards cheer to the world.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

There’s two camps (euphemism?) in the Christian world today, and while I adore following Facebook posts and Twitter debates that involve both camps, I feel the need to toss my hat into the ring today. But first, let’s look at the two schools of thought:

Camp 1: No, they’re not the Westboro Baptist Church, but their tongues are almost as sharp. (Don’t worry, I’m not suffering from a lack of self-awareness concerning my own Ninjatō that I’ll be wielding for this very blog post.) This camp knows exactly how warm the fire pits of hell are, and they’ll warn all sinners where they are headed if they continue on with their lifestyle. All that Gospel stuff is for the Pastor to preach, the stone tossing is for the neighbors.

“They told me I was going to burn in hell because they love me! Really, that’s why.” – No Unbeliever. Ever.

Camp 2: They have puppy kisses and rainbow confetti. I went there once, but after they braided my hair and made me wear flowers, corduroy, and a bohemian inspired velveteen skirt, I ran. This camp disagrees with any “judgmental” notions whatsoever. We are all sinners, so don’t judge, just love. Politics? Social issues? There’s only one answer: Love. And as for the actual definition of “judgmental”, it’s irrelevant.

DISCLAIMER: I’m going to hold both camps accountable in my comments below, if this offends you, grab your velveteen skirt, or your picket sign, and take the emergency exit known as the small “X” in the top right corner of your screen. Or stay and challenge my thoughts if you so desire, I welcome it.

You know I don’t tweet much.. But Bruno Mars deserves one. What a singer and performer.” – Chris Tomlin

*Grabs popcorn, sits back, waits for verbal WWE match.*

Instantly Chris was called out for being OF the world and how evil *spoken in my Ork voice* his comment was, and then those that called him out were being labeled – branded – as “judgmental”, and told that we all need to learn how to love and be thankful for the gift of Bruno’s voice, silly zealots! It was like a bowl of self-righteous organic sunflower soup. With flax.

So let’s analyze the situation and see what the REAL issue was:

Bruno Mars has a beautiful voice, which I’ll agree with Camp 2, was given to him by God. AND he also has a hit song out right now with the lyrics, “You and me, baby, F****** like Gorillas.”… SO, Camp 1, you get 5 points for accuracy, with a 3 point deduction for delivery. What would the world look like if we approached issues like this from a logical stand point (which some did) instead of infusing it with empty emotional arguments that just make us all out to look like irrational spineless religious imps?

NOTE: There is a balance between standing for what you believe in, silence, and accountability. I am far from perfect, but we should all strive for that balance.

The interesting part about both the Old Testament AND the New Testament is that faith was made evident by actions, not words, in both. Ok, it’s not abundantly more interesting, it’s just a cold hard fact. So should we go along in agreement (also known as silence) with evil in the name of meeting people halfway, like many in Camp 2? No. Should we hatefully tell people that they are going to hell like many in Camp 1? No. Is it biblical to hold other Christians accountable for their actions in correlation with their proclaimed faith? YES! Is it biblical to openly disagree with the mainstream narrative while still loving those that agree with said narrative? YES!

This brings me to my issue for the day: Animal instincts.

Whether it be a study on the bite strength of an alligator vs. a crocodile, or the pecking order in a lion pride, my nephew will watch it if it involves exotic animals. In other news, due to his interest in said exotic animals, I now know too much about them as well; but, thankfully, remembering a few episodes actually helped me today in the break room when I attempted to assert my dominance and fight for the last cup of coffee.

And then I drank Tea.

I digress. One thing is always certain, those in the animal kingdom always go after the easiest food. Now that’s not to say that a lion would choose a rabbit when an antelope is on the menu, but if there are five antelopes, it’s going to seek out the weakest and annihilate it. Facts are, the lion is hungry, and it isn’t focused on the thrill of the kill, it’s focused on the need for nourishment. Even if that means taking one of the young! While watching wildlife shows, we find the idea of an adult lion ripping apart the flesh of an innocent and weak baby animal to be grotesque; but the facts are, that is their survivalist instincts working naturally. Because they’re animals.

So my question: Do Christians have a similar approach?

Today we live in a society that pushes sex from every level of entertainment. Not wholesome biblical sex; but objectifying, casual, consequence filled sex. It fuels an industry that annihilates the gift that God gave, and trivializes the worth of a human being. Women are sold like cattle in our own country, stripped bare of their dignity to the highest bidder with the strongest hand. Like animals. Sold to men who view women as nothing more than a tool for their pleasure; an empty, soulless existence, put on this earth for them to consume. Whether it’s in person, photo, or pornographic movie, men who involve themselves in the industry, or support it, all look at women the same.

It didn’t just “happen”. Yes, there has always been indecency, promiscuity, and abuse. But it is nothing compared to what we see today. A woman in Afghanistan was forced to marry her rapist. Another woman in a Middle Eastern country was gang raped as a court sentence. A child bride died after her violent wedding night. So many others taken to their streets to be tried as whores for being raped. In America, women are sold as sex slaves, probably in your very city. Could it be that the shock value has dissipated because men and women are indoctrinated on a daily basis to believe that women ARE objects?

Yes.

But don’t worry, after you’re used as an object, you can get the results removed at your nearest Planned Parenthood. Why wouldn’t men support this? Objectification without consequence. Girls walk around their high school thinking that it is ok for them to be used with a level of approbation that for most teenage boys is equal to that of their IPod. Why? Because Katy Perry & Beyonce said so. Why? Because Akon wants to “tap that”, and so does Billy, and Billy “makes me feel special”. Why? Because they’ve been taught by the entertainment industry that what’s under their clothes is what gets you places, not what’s inside your mind. And as for the boys? Well…Those ladies on the XXX movie want them, and the girls in the photos want them, and the girls singing about wanting them want them. They’re all empty vessels of fun, why not the girls at school? Unrealistic expectation break down the family unit, the respect, and the plans that God had for us.

Objectification? Yawn.

Sex Slavery? Yawn.

Destroyed marriages? Yawn.

Girls with eating disorders? Yawn.

Thousands of children aborted daily? Yawn. I’ll handle that with a bumper sticker.

Bruno Mars singing about F****** a stripper like a gorilla? Because that’s what the ladies are good for, right? Yawn.

Homosexuality? Get out your pitchforks, tar, and feathers. Us Christians are burdened with glorious purpose and will see this evil to its demise! (Yes. In my head I sounded like Loki.)

Yes. That’s the reality. Why? Because it’s the easiest target, and requires absolutely NO sacrifice on our part. We run our mouth about homosexual marriage, and then we feel good about the persecution because then we can post a quote on Facebook about how Jesus was persecuted first.

As for Chris Tomlin & Mercy Me giving their accolades to Bruno Mars, I didn’t throw a fit when they did it, but when Bart, the lead singer of Mercy Me, returned fire to those who disagreed with his praise, he actually used the words “I’m a huge fan of sex, so is my wife, and so is God…” Well then. Glorifying Bruno Mars, a contributor to the objectification of women, is totally cool. Is music not one of the difficult subjects that all Christians have to face? It guides our youth, manipulates our thought process, and has a power unknown to any other field of entertainment. And let’s be honest, Bart… When he was talking about sex taking him to paradise, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about sex between a husband and wife. So groove to the soulful tunes if you like, but making such a defensive post smells, well, like a guilty conscience.

In my above comments I’m not saying that I agree with homosexuality, or that it aligns with my faith…And I’m guessing that they don’t agree with my faith, and that my faith doesn’t align with their worldview. Well, I’ll be…People with differing opinions, stop the presses ol’chap, I think we’ve found an anomaly. I also have a friend that likes to drink. A lot. I don’t agree with the lifestyle, and she calls me a prude because I won’t go drinking with her, and then we go shopping and I continue to do my best to show her who Christ is living in me.

You see, standing up to an industry that is doing more damage to the sanctity of marriage is, well, hard work. Christian men who “dabble” and “innocently admire” the bikini clad model would have to face their proclivities. People would have to stop listening to some stuff, and watching some stuff; So, it proves to be the strong antelope and rather uncomfortable for the super edgy and world savvy Christian to stand up against. But those homosexuals who are lost sinners and don’t hold themselves accountable to our standards? Well, they’re the young, they’re the antelope with a weak leg that some in the Christian nation have decided to capture and devour for the sake of feeling faithful.

Bravo, Christians. Slow clap.

When you earn your living from a platform supportive of sexual purity, respect, and dedication to God’s word, be prepared to have people question your support of such artists. So we praised Christians for leaving the Grammy’s and those that turned off their TV during the “abomination at the end”, but yet saying anything to a Christian star that should be held to a higher standard about their, possibly unintentional, approval of Bruno Mars is somehow off limits? Because look, he can do the splits and has a good voice… Don’t we realize that those at the Grammy’s wouldn’t have such a platform if we didn’t give it to them in the first place? But Bruno’s voice was “God given”. Yep, and a woman’s body is God given, that doesn’t mean Bruno Mars should objectify it through his music.

So to the hypocrites like myself, maybe we should go through our ITunes library again, maybe we should sacrifice a show that clearly doesn’t show women that they are treasured. Maybe we should find a medium between thinking that “Mercy Me & Chris Tomlin did nothing wrong” and “Mercy Me & Chris Tomlin are evil sinners”. Maybe we should not only love more, but love and respect human beings through our actions. Turning off that song, turning off that show, they are acts of love. Love for the women bound by the chains of objectification, love for the generations of kids that shouldn’t think any of this is acceptable. Love the celebrities, love the homosexuals, love the listeners, love the viewers…That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act against the narrative by supporting those that support your values, and not supporting those that don’t.

Thanks for reading. – Mb

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