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Archive | Rebecca Hagelin

Physicians, Do No Harm

The headlines rightly call the medical research “outrageous and abhorrent,” a “horror” perpetrated on vulnerable people. U.S. government experiments in the 1940’s (run by the National Institutes of Health) intentionally and secretly infected Guatemalan prisoners, soldiers and the mentally ill with syphilis. It was a wrong-headed attempt to advance medical knowledge for the benefit of many but at great cost to a few.

The researchers’ purpose, in theory, was good: to test the effectiveness of a then-new drug, penicillin. So much vital information was at stake, for the good of so many.

Even more compelling, the pain and human suffering these experiments sought to alleviate was real—and devastating. Left untreated, syphilis causes vision and hearing loss, paralysis, mental disorders and even death.

So, why experiment on Guatemalan “patients?” Because they were far removed from American consciousness and laws. They were voiceless, vulnerable, and unprotected.

Kind of like human embryos are now.

The phrase “embryonic stem cell research” puts a scientist’s gloss on what really happens: our smallest humans, embryos, become subjects for experimentation. And when they’ve served their purpose, they’re done for. Living beings, now dead.

The rationale for embryonic stem cell research follows the same pattern present in the Guatemalan “horrors.”

The purpose is good, at least on the surface: take stem cells and find out how to make medical miracles happen. So much vital information is at stake, for the good of so many.

And, as it was for syphilis, the pain and human suffering the research hopes to alleviate is real—and devastating. The hope poignant. But destroying embryos can’t be the answer.

Like the Guatemalan patients of the 1940’s, embryos are voiceless, vulnerable, and unprotected. They live, “suspended” in storage, out of sight, too young to make the case for their own dignity and right to life. And the laws—well, the Obama administration has pushed relentlessly to undo the Bush administration prohibitions on embryonic stem cell research.

Medical “progress,” for the benefit of many but at great cost to a few, must go on.

At least that’s how NIH Director Francis S. Collins, reacted to a new method of creating stem cells. Medical researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute published breakthrough findings last week on a new technique that successfully creates stem cells from skin cells, with far fewer risks than any previous method.

It’s a game-changer, eliminating the “need” to continue embryo-killing research.

But not so at NIH (coincidentally, the same government agency that underwrote the evil in Guatemala). While the new methods “provide a substantial advance,” said Collins, they “must continue to be conducted side by side with human embryonic cell research.”

How to Save Your Family by Insisting on the Dignity of all Life

Educate your children about the beauty of all life, from beginning to end.

Show your children the amazing sonogram images of preborn children and teach them that, from conception, all the littlest embryo needs is time and a nurturing womb in order to be delivered nine months later as a newborn.

Keep them off the slippery slope that grants rights to the pre-born at one stage (say, 6 months) while denying it at another (like 6 weeks). The right to life rests on human dignity, not size or growth stage.

Know the facts about embryonic stem cell research. The Bio-Ethics Defense Fund and Do No Harm are good resources. The media profiles hard cases and focuses mainly on the sufferings of those with degenerative diseases. But destroying the embryo’s life can’t pivot on the heartfelt compassion we feel for others.

Pray for your own medical professionals to respect all life, including the tiniest. And encourage your own children to enter those professions – we need strong, ethical leaders in medicine who will indeed “do no harm.”


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Conditioned to Accept a Lie

A recent survey suggests that Americans are more accepting than ever of homosexual “families”. Although only about a third of Americans consider homosexual couples with no children to be a family, 68% say homosexual couples with children do indeed make a “family.”

Does growing acceptance make it right?

The more accustomed Americans become to the image of homosexual couples with children, the more likely we are to affirm them, mistakenly, as the same as families composed of one mom and one dad who are married to each other.

Not surprisingly, “gay families” have exploded into public view—thanks to the media and the entertainment industry–even though they represent only a small minority of homosexual couples. Not so long ago, “gay” characters were an uncomfortable novelty. Now they’re a mainstay of popular media. But the themes are less about the effeminate, promiscuous homosexual male (whose lifestyle doesn’t resonate with most Americans) and more about the cuddly, domestic “gay”couple with cute kids (inviting empathy for their parenting adventure). The popular show Modern Family, for example, features two homosexual men raising an adopted child– just another lovable equivalent to the traditional family. A bit dysfunctional, perhaps, but aren’t we all?

The media myth says that “gay families” are everywhere and just as beneficial for raising children as the traditional family. Some Americans steeped in these messages on a daily basis are likely to believe them. Others mistakenly “accept” gay families out of misplaced compassion. It’s crucial to recognize the deliberate strategy underway: homosexual couples with children are the perfect vehicle to drive acceptance for same-sex marriage.

How to Save Your Family with Honest Truth and Critical Thinking

The natural tendency is to think less critically about things we get used to—so gay advocates keep the spotlight on homosexual couples with children.

Our children must distinguish between what’s right, on the one hand, and what’s familiar, but dysfunctional, on the other.

Ground them in the truth: marriage is between one man and one woman and children do best when raised by their married mother and father. This biblical truth is proven by social science data, by history, and must be protected if America is to survive as a civil society. The Institute for Marriage and Public Policy has a treasure trove of research and information on the subject that you can access for free at www.MarriageDebate.com

It’s also critical to limit your children’s exposure to gay propaganda. Lies are seductive, so our children must be wary. How many episodes of Modern Family or Glee does it take before our children shrug at “gay families?” The other side knows that familiarity encourages acceptance; we need to recognize that too.

Finally, make certain your children know that it is important to show kindness to everyone. It’s also critical to teach our kids that just as past generations were wrong to stigmatize the innocent child born to unmarried parents, it is wrong to stigmatize a child being raised by homosexuals. At the same time, your children must know that it is wrong for others to intimate them into silence about sharing their own religious and moral views on the subject. Let them know that ugly tactics of homosexual activists or pressure to conform to what is “politically correct” are wrong and should be rejected.

As we struggle to preserve God’s design for the family – the design that is best for men, women and children – we will be persecuted, and so will our children. The sad reality is that if we don’t equip our sons and daughters stand for truth, the timeless definition of family will soon be destroyed. Your children are the targeted generation – how are you preparing them for the battle?


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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FAMILY VALUES; CULTURE: Culture Challenge of the Week: Spiritual Indifference

“I don’t take my children to church,” the young woman said. “I’ll let them choose for themselves what to believe in, when they’re older.”

Her casual approach to her children’s religious involvement will surely affect her children’s lives. Even more so, decisions like hers have unintended consequences for our moral culture and political future.

Children and teens who lack religious connections today will be the spiritually indifferent adults of tomorrow. A recent study found that religious involvement as an adult strongly correlates with attendance at weekly worship services as a child or “weekly or monthly” religious programs as a teen. Most “unchurched” adults never went to religious services or programs as children and, consequently, religion means less to them later. Only 16% of “unaffiliated” adults describe religion as “very important” in their lives.

In a 2010 survey, “Millennials” (18-29 year olds) describe themselves as more “spiritual” than “religious”—which really means they congratulate themselves for their “spiritual” inclinations while doing virtually nothing to live their beliefs.

Over one-third of millenials say they never pray alone and two-thirds never or rarely pray with others. They say they don’t read the Bible and two-thirds rarely or never participate in worship services.

The weight of a spiritually indifferent younger generation will be a heavy burden on us all because, on the most significant moral questions of our day, religiosity makes a difference.

For example, “almost seven-in-ten (69%) of the religiously unaffiliated (including 85% of atheists and agnostics)” support unlimited abortion. In sharp contrast, 82% of those who say religion is the most important influence in their lives believe abortion should be illegal. The religious influence is even stronger on same-sex marriage. Among those who say religion is the primary influence on their lives, 94% oppose same-sex marriage; only 6% favor it.

How to Save Your Family by Worshipping Together

Our American founders understood the importance of faith, not only to our families but also to our cultural fabric. George Washington’s First Farewell Address warned, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

Explain Washington’s words to your children and teens, so they will see the intimate connection between faith, worldview, religious practice, and moral decisions. Pray with them, for personal or community concerns and for America’s leaders.

As Americans, and as parents, we need to prioritize the time we give to family worship and particularly to educating our children in our faith traditions. Our children cannot drive themselves to church. They won’t devote time to religious activities as teenagers-when studies, sports, and busy social lives compete for every hour-unless we encourage them and offer the practical support to make it happen.

Look for a youth group or religious education team that connects with your teen spiritually to reinforce your religious and moral messages. A good youth pastor can work miracles, opening a young person’s heart to eternal truths.

And, most importantly, live your faith out in your daily life. You and your actions will serve to either help lead your children to or away from God.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Christine O’Donnell Must Be Punished!

Karl Rove’s message is clear in the wake of his losing battle to protect his establishment power: Anyone who dares to challenge the Good ‘Ole Boys Club will be punished – even if it means handing a senate seat to a liberal democrat.

In the wake of Rove’s diatribe against Christine O’Donnell, the Republican party leaders scrambled and may be supporting her after all. We’ll see how – and if – they actually do it.

But Rove’s remarks after O’Donnell’s upset victory over moderate-to-liberal Castle made it painfully clear that the GOP establishment first and foremost seeks to protect and preserve the GOP establishment at any cost. There has never been a more effective or more hungry power broker in Washington, DC than Karl Rove – and the rising tide of red-blooded Americans like the tea party activists and Christine O’Donnell have revealed what many have come to believe for a long time: The power brokers want to run the country. They want to protect their power. They think they are omnipotent and omniscient. And they will damn anyone who dares to challenge them.

There are two things that must be defeated in November: Big government advocates and power hungry operatives – no matter which party they fall into. Sadly, many Republican incumbents and long-time strategists fall into both camps.

The Christine O’Donnell/tea party phenomenon is an uprising of the people. Karl Rove still doesn’t get it. He thinks the war is about Republicans versus Democrats. What he still fails to see is that the war is over anyone in the Good ‘Ole Boys Club that believes they are the ultimate king-makers; that they get to run the country because they want to; that they are smarter than everyone else. That only they deserve to hold the reins of power over all of our lives. And, of course, it is also fundamentally about failed liberal, unconstitutional, big-government wolves – no matter what party clothing they wear.

So it took Christine 12 years to pay off her college debt. Welcome to the real world, Karl. You may be a person of personal privilege and wealth, but most Americans are not. Millions of students will spend years and years paying off college loans because that’s the only way they could have gone to college in the first place. Wake up and see America, Karl.

So you want to make an issue out of the fact that the IRS went after Christine – but you fail to mention, oops, that the IRS later admitted they had made an error. Welcome to the real world, Karl. Countless decent Americans are hounded by the IRS every year. Have you forgotten the painful congressional testimonies several years ago by honest, hard-working Americans who were nearly destroyed by mistakes of the Internal Revenue Service? Or did you never really care?

Americans are sick and tired of the big government programs that you advocate. We haven’t forgotten that you were the “architect” of the Medicare?aMedicaid expansion that saw the biggest government growth in decades and that is now strangling all of us and threatens to totally bankrupt this great country. We haven’t forgotten that you and Teddy Kennedy’s staff were the “architects” of the proposed massive amnesty for illegal immigrants program, that, thank God, failed.

You say Christine O’Donnell and her like aren’t going to win in November, because you don’t want them to win. You have shown that your true intent is to hang on to power – to keep the here-to-now impenetrable establishment party system from being invaded by those you think are unworthy. Yes, you have advocated some very good policies, Karl. But it seems now that you are more concerned with protecting your “system” than you are with protecting the Constitution or the system of government that our Founding Fathers designed. Quite frankly, their architecture is superior to yours.

I’ve got big news: the Good ‘Ole Boys on both sides of the aisle are going down. The red-blooded, hard-working Americans of both parties have had enough. We want our government back. We want our financial freedoms restored. As you seek to destroy Christine O’Donnell and the tea party movement across the country, it’s time to realize that your era is over. Yes, you still control the establishment purse strings, and you and your cronies have now made it very difficult for Christine and others like her across the country to win. But win we must. Because America belongs to the people – not to a handful of back-slapping, “architects” who care more about their kingdoms than they do about liberty.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Culture Challenge of the Week: Two Minutes of Fame

When a diminutive Florida “preacher” threatened to burn a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9-11 it had an international impact for one reason: the media fell into his hands as they lavished attention on the little man looking his two minutes of fame.

While he ended up calling off his absurd stunt, fame-seekers in Tennessee, Kansas, and Wyoming, quickly scrambled to the waiting spotlight by making similar threats. In the process, they – and the media that was so eager to give them the spotlight – threatened the lives of military and intelligence personnel and fanned the flames of hatred both here and abroad. For what? Instant celebrity? To increase ratings?

It’s ironic that these high profile cases of bad example threatened to eclipse the legacy of selflessness, courage and perseverance given by the quiet heroes of 9-11 nearly a decade ago. In the days and months following that tragic day, America was inspired by the bravery of firefighters, the self-sacrifice of exhausted medical and rescue workers, and the generosity of ordinary Americans driven to ease the suffering of fellow citizens. They labored, and they gave, unmotivated by press attention or personal gain. And their goodness inspired others to become better people. The negative lessons of the past weekend are many: the “power” of the media; the craving for instant celebrity; the idiocy of making “stars” out of idiots. But the positive lesson of the power of personal example is one which must not be lost.

The heroes of 9/11 and the glory-seeking villans of the past week illustrate how our daily choices will have an impact on others. As the book of Proverbs reminds us, “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Prov. 12:26, ESV).

How to Save Your Family by the Power of Example

Mindful of the stark contrast between the media-hungry Koran-burners and the quiet, persevering heroes of 9-11, what should we teach our children about the power of example? Three things come to mind.

First, a good example doesn’t need a spotlight to be influential. Our celebrity culture makes it easy for our children to assume that they need fame if they want to achieve something good. We need to remind them that doing good does not require a celebrity platform. It starts in our own circles of influence, in our daily decisions.

Second, our example is most powerful when it’s consistent over time. It’s not hard to search our own memory banks for the consistent witnesses who inspired us to be better. I remember glimpsing my own father, on his knees by his bed, praying for his patients — an image so profound it continues to inspire me to practice my own faith to this very day.

Finally, as parents we need to remember that being a good example starts with us. While friends and the media have a tremendous impact on our teens, guess who they name as the most powerful influence in their lives? You. A recent study found that one of the strongest predictors whether a young adult will participate in volunteer work or charitable giving is whether their parents did. I can’t think of a better way to honor the legacy of those who perished in 9-11 than by claiming the power of good over evil. It begins in the hearts of each one of us, and spreads by the power of a good example.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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FAMILY VALUES: College-Bound: Turning Your Child Over to the Campus Liberals

College-Bound: Turning Your Child Over to the Campus Liberals

Last week we headed south to launch our daughter on the next phase of her life: college. It was wonderful to see her eyes twinkling with excitement and expectant hope for the future. We have confidence in her strength of character and strong sense of vales, and know she chose her college for all the right reasons. But we still worked hard to prepare her for the reality that, on most college campuses, the prevailing orthodoxy seeks to challenge and even opposes both Christian values and conservative principles.

Let me give you a few examples of what your son or daughter might encounter.

A recent survey at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. found that in the last election 92% of faculty donations were to Democratic candidates. The professors


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Forever Mother

Thank goodness I spotted the embroidered pillow on my mother-in-law’s couch well before I had children of my own. It read: “A mother holds her children’s hands for a little while; their hearts, forever.” That simple truth has come to mind many times throughout my 22 years of mothering.

It has caused me to reach for my child’s hand in times when she was frustrated or lonely. To take the initiative to embrace the sullen teenager that, on the surface, appeared aloof. When I hugged him tight, he started hugging back and I knew that the reassurance of my love for him through physical touch was exactly what he needed – in fact, it was what he had been craving, but didn’t even realize it himself until it happened.

Many mothers aren’t quite prepared for that moment when their grade school child suddenly instructs, “Mom, don’t hold my hand in public.” It is a universal, natural transition signaling that our little boys and girls are growing up.

Separation. Pulling apart. A growing need for freedom. They are healthy, important parts of becoming an independent human being who can eventually make their way in the world without you.

But don’t let the modern culture twist that truth into a lie that says your teenagers or adult children don’t need mothering. They do. There is no such thing as temporary motherhood.

No matter how hard society tries to devalue the role of active mothering, the fact is that God caused children to be born of mothers. When a child is separated from her birthmother the obvious need is for another woman who has that calling to become the mother. It’s inescapable: children need moms. And there’s also no escaping that mothers have a tremendous impact on us well beyond our childhood years.

I still need my own mother. Although she died some eight years ago and I have adult children of my own, I so treasure the wisdom and love my mother poured into me when I was a child.

When I recount the comforting warmth and deep happiness I felt from her approving smiles; the sting and jolt of shame that overcame me when I was righty reprimanded; or the stability I have known as an adult because she grounded me in biblical teachings, I realize just how powerful a force my mother remains in my life.

An important element of her lingering power rests in the memories of her physical touch. I’ve had to remind myself often that my children will recount my interactions with them throughout their lives, and those actions will shape the way they pass on a blessing or a curse to their own children.

We were all created to be held. When it is no longer appropriate or even possible for a mother to hold her child’s hand, it is always important for them to be certain of our love.

If you are lucky enough to still have young children who are totally dependent on you, make it a point to reach for their tiny hands, to cuddle with them often, to be affectionate and fill their need for loving, human touch.

As our children grow older and the expressions of our love morph into new ones, it’s important to silence the shrill voices that devalue the continuing role of mom.

And, as your children become adults, the wise mother knows she must begin to fade into the background; but she also understands that fading does not mean disappearing. Allowing your adult children to live their own lives is a critical part of mothering. And so is letting them know that you are there when needed, and that the values you taught them when they were young will be true throughout their lives.

Yes, the time will come when you will no longer hold your children’s hands; but you will always continue to mold and be felt in their hearts. You are a Forever Mother.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Family Values: Children at Risk

Where do children best learn to be loyal, honest, dependable, generous, and selfless? Where are they most likely to develop a sense of identity, security, confidence and joy? Where are they safest? In what setting are they most likely to achieve academic success and enjoy financial stability? Where do they have the greatest likelihood to be free from a life of alcohol or drug abuse? Where are the healthiest in every single way?

In a loving, intact family unit, with a mother and father who are married to each other and committed to their marriage for life.

The overwhelming majority of the societal problems that we are so desperate to fix through massive government programs, huge expenditures of tax money, and a criminal justice system, could have been avoided in the first place had men and women been more responsible in their personal lives.

Because America has become a land where divorce is rampant, “living together” is acceptable, out-of-wedlock births are common, and even the very definition of marriage is being redefined, America – even with all its affluence, material goods and modern conveniences- has created a generation of children at risk.

All the counseling, programs and money in the world can never come close to replacing the impact that faith and commitment to marriage have on the developing hearts, souls, and minds of our little ones. The Nanny-State is no substitute for a loving mom. Food stamps cannot buy the long-term security of having a loving father. Therapy can’t possibly fill the void in our hearts designed for a loving God who longs to fill us with his peace.

Yet, America keeps putting band-aids on deep wounds and broken spirits. Until we address the root of our social and cultural illnesses, we will always suffer from them – and our children will suffer most.

This is not rocket science. It is not magic. Creating an atmosphere that offers the very best opportunities for our children to flourish in every way simply takes two things: 1) adult males and females deciding to put aside their selfish, immoral whims and choosing to marry for life 2) A commitment to the values and practice of a Judeo-Christian faith.

The social science data is clear: men, women and children are all better off in every way in an intact family unit – especially one that is part of a faith community that practices Judeo-Christian values.

In the new book, Children at Risk: The Precarious State of Children’s Well Being in America by Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, the facts and solutions are presented for the review and benefit of the entire world.

Dr. Crouse poured over hundreds of studies and compiled massive amounts of research that proves what we instinctively know to be true: that the practice of faith and a strong family are the two greatest indicators of success for all human beings. Dr. Crouse’s amazing book is must- reading for anyone who truly seeks to create a better world for children, and to make America happier, safer, and more productive. (Children at Risk is available at the website of Concerned Women for America, www.cwfa.org)

As we read and learn from the much-needed book, we must ask ourselves what we, as individuals, need to do if we have failed to practice faith or failed in our own marriage.

The greatest news that mankind has ever known is that redemption and restoration are possible. Christ makes “all things new” in our lives when we invite him to. He can turn even the most selfish and self-centered among us into “new creatures”. And he can heal the broken-hearted, dry the tears from our eyes, and provide us the opportunity to receive and practice forgiveness.

A broken society is created from shattered lives. As we pledge to rebuild our own lives through the practice of a strong faith in God and an undying commitment to our families, we will begin to rebuild our nation too.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Narcissism and Your Family

Deeply embedded in today’s culture, narcissism has crept into our children’s mentality like a thief in the night, actually robbing them (and everyone around them) of much dignity and happiness.

Young people spend hours every day updating their Facebook pages, post and e-mail countless pictures of themselves, and plug their ears with music to create a self-indulgent existence shut-off from everyone around them. I recently went online and viewed the page of a friend-of a-friend-of a-friend-of my daughter’s on Facebook and discovered literally hundreds of pictures of the girl posing like a super model.

Where are our children learning to be so obsessed with self? From adults, of course.

In 2006, Time Magazine voted “You” as the “Person of the Year”. And why not? Peruse the popular magazine covers and they are all about indulging in your own desires and fantasies. Just watch television for a couple of hours and you’ll walk away feeling as if you owe it to yourself to have an affair, spend lavishly on yourself, and be your “own man” at the expense of everyone else.

And then there’s the American obsession with pornography – the ultimate objectification and degradation of other human beings. Men, women girls and boys are all there for your personal pleasure in millions of websites, advertisements, shows and publications.

Just look at the economic mess we are in. Too many spent way beyond their means on trinkets and toys and demanded the best when their budgets could afford what was “only” good enough. They bought homes and cars and gadgets a plenty, with the swipe of an interest-only loan or a “special low introductory rate” credit card. America is largely an entitlement society where we demand that the government provide us with health-care, retirement, and a comfortable life, with no concern of who will pay for Utopia.

And then there is the phenomenon of abortion on demand, without apology, through the ninth month of pregnancy. Have all the sex you want, with whomever you want, and if you get pregnant, just “terminate” it regardless of how the father may feel. And the baby? What baby? It’s just tissue – remember? How convenient.

Our kids see our selfish, irresponsible ways and learn the lesson, ‘It’s all about me.”

When our culture is all about “My body, my career, my choice, my, my, my, what is a parent to do?

Thankfully, we’ve known the answer all along: Practice the Golden Rule.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The wisdom in this biblical admonishment is so self-evident that it is universally admired – but tragically, rarely followed. It is the basic tenant for successful human relationships, the economy, personal finances, you name it. Imagine the good that could accomplished, the human suffering that would be replaced with human achievement, if we treated others with the dignity and thoughtfulness we ourseleves crave.

The two greatest gifts we can give our children are to teach them to love God with all that is within them, and to love their neighbors as they love themselves.

Here are five easy ways to start:

– Invest time in your kids, rather than being obsessed with your own career, hobbies or whims.If your kids see that you are not concerned about them enough to sacrifice your own desires and pour into their lives, how will they ever learn to pour into others?

– Be a role model. Considerate, well-mannered, thoughtful children come from parents who exude those behaviors themselves.

– Share stories of kindness. Start seeking media that teach what is highest and best, that glorify human decency instead of depravity.

– Be generous. You may not be rich, but everyone can be generous with their time and talents. There’s nothing more selfless than giving to someone who can’t possibly ever repay you.

– Practice ‘Random Acts of Kindness”. Think of something nice to do for someone else – and then do it. Consistently.

Narcissism eventually leads from self-love to self-loathing. But living the Golden Rule is a powerful way to spread joy, improve the human condition, and develop true self-respect.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Dooming Minority Girls

Last week the American Medical Association (AMA) published a report that shows abstinence education works. Tragically, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi had already pandered to dishonest groups like Planned Parenthood, who profit from teen sexual activity, and took the unbelievable action of terminating government funding of these successful abstinence programs.

The results are clear: When adults take the time to tell children what is right and what is wrong, and teach them how to avoid sex, the majority of them actually do. But when a young person is constantly bombarded with sexual images, taught by those in authority that he can freely engage in sex if he wants to, and is presumed to be unable to control himself, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he will most likely become sexually active.

In the AMA’s Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a study of sixth and seventh graders reveals a stark contrast between kids who are taught Obama’s preferred sex education and those who receive abstinence education. When students are told that abstinence is best at the same time that the educator is telling them how to use a condom, nearly half of the teens end up having sex within two years. But when teachers give a consistent abstinence only message, equip children with practical methods to say “no”, and relay the full expectation that they can control themselves, only about a third of those children become sexually active in the next two years.

While many in the policy and education world are shocked at the revelation that abstinence education works, Robert Rector and Christine Kim of The Heritage Foundation have known this truth for years. In 2008, Heritage analyzed 21 different studies done on abstinence education programs. Researchers “found that in 16 of the 21 reports there were significant positive results in delaying early sexual activity and initiation.”

In addition to eliminating all chances of becoming pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease, Rector also reports that the research reveals that teens who practice abstinence, “will be happier and less depressed than their permissive peers. Abstinent teens also do dramatically better in school. They are half as likely to drop out as their sexually active peers. And teens who abstain until at least age 18 are twice as likely to attend and graduate from college as those who become sexually active while in high school.”

The worst consquence of the president’s actions is that for those groups of teens where pregnancy is highest – blacks and hispanics – Obama has pretty much obliterated any chance of these young girls ever receiving the education they need to avoid pregnancy, contracting STD’s and all the other complications that go with young girls having sex. Given that the vast majority of black and hispanic teens attend public schools, striking funding for abstinence education programs and instead funding only programs with an inferior record certainly ensures that their teen pregnancy and sexual activity rates will stay the worst. Of coures, that does ensure that they will continue to line up at the abortion mills and thus line the pockets of Planned Parenthood and others who thrive off of keeping them in dire circumstances. It sort of reminds me of the stupidity and racism shown by liberal groups when they work to quash school choice programs in order to keep these kids captive in failing inner city public schools. The puzzling part is that there is still no public outcry at the injustice of sentencing these minority groups to lives of poverty, teen pregnancy and using abortion as a means of birth control. Is the president so tied to special interest groups who profit from government programs that he would doom young minority girls in such a blatant manner for political expediency? He is. So much for hope and change.

When I think about the millions of teens who will be left emotionally scarred by sexual encounters they are not mature enough to handle, or the millions of little girls who will become pregnant because adults shamefully encourage them to be sexually active, or the youngsters who will contract and carry a serious STD for life, it makes me angry that we have a president who is more concerned with satisfying the special interest groups than he is advocating for the safety of all of America’s children.

In most states, parents have the right to opt their children out of the sex education classes. But you have to take the action to make that happen. Contact your school counselor and find out what the options are, and then sit down with your children and explain why you are choosing a better way. Make certain that the teachers do not belittle or punish them for not taking the classes. Find other parents in your child’s classroom who dare to take a stand, and support each other.

Secondly, be proactive in teaching abstinence to your children. Check out sites like www.family.org, www.abstinence.net, www.sexrespect.org, www.awareprogram.net and www.heritage.org for great abstinence education resources. Do your homework, take action and be committed enough to your children to teach them the truth. Since the president abandoned what works and is even funding programs that make your job harder and your children more vulnerable, your sons and daughters are more reliant than ever on you to show them the way.

And, if you happen to be fortunate enough to have resources to fund abstinence-based programs, please do so. You may be the only real hope vulnerable teen girls have.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Teen Pregnancy Hype

The mass media is a-buzz over the Alan Guttmacher Institute’s “news” on teen pregnancy. Guttmacher and those who advocate free sex for teenagers seem almost gleeful as they misuse the statistics in an effort to destroy abstinence education programs and promote their condom cure-all mantra. To cause as much public panic as possible, the pro-teen-sex activists would have you believe that the teen pregnancy rate has increased across the board for all teenagers ages 13-19. But it is not so.

In their latest attempt to kill abstinence education, Guttmacher activists use sweeping statements to intentionally mislead the media and general public that they know will never peruse the full report of the latest statistics. Thank the Lord for Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation. He actually read the study (as did I) and provided analysis from a deep knowledge of what works. Rector calls their bluff when he wrote in the National Review Online, “In the decade after the federal government began its meager funding of abstinence education, teen pregnancy fell steadily. Safe-sex experts never linked that decline to abstinence education. But when the news went bad, they swiftly identified abstinence programs as the culprit.”

Here are a few of the key stats missing from the Guttmacher “sound bites”: When they make the sweeping statement that “teen pregnancies have increased by 3 %”, what they aren’t telling you is that among girls 14 years and younger, the pregnancy rate actually continues to decrease. When they say that the pregnancy rate for 15-19-year-olds has increased for the first time in a decade, what’s missing is the fact that the sharp increase was actually for 18 and 19 year-olds. (Not coincidentally, that is the precise time many in that age group head to the great world of relativism and free-sex known as “college” where abstinence education is non-existent.)

After ten years of falling teen pregnancy rates that correspond to the rise in the teaching of abstinence education, there was a slight rise in teen pregnancies among 15-17 year-olds in one twelve month period – from 38.2 per thousand in 2005 to 38.9 per thousand in 2006. But such a small increase in a one-year period after a decade of success isn’t enough to garner massive media attention or justify throwing abstinence education out the window, is it? So that’s why they employ the hype – to make it sound as if the sky is falling.

It is critical to realize that Guttmacher, et al preach “sexual rights” for teenagers. That is their worldview, and it is what drives their policy agenda. They are not interested in reducing teen sexual activity – they want teenagers to be free to have sex yet somehow magically escape the biological consequences that often come with living a life of promiscuity. And their magic wand is the condom.

For the record, here’s my worldview on the subject: If we truly love our teenagers, we will equip them to say no to sex until marriage. I believe that our teens should be absolutely free from the fear of getting pregnant, or from suffering with a sexually transmitted disease, and from the psychological and emotional trauma that comes with having out-of-wedlock sex. I believe that our young people are capable of self-discipline and great displays of maturity when they are encouraged to develop them.

I also believe that teens are getting a wee-bit tired of the “free love”, aging hippies who control the pop culture, and of the Planned Parenthood/Guttmachers of the world pushing their morally bankrupt 60’s self-centered lifestyle on this intelligent and thoughtful younger generation. Our teenagers know they are capable of greater things – and they are waiting for someone – anyone – to tell them that.

Let that someone be you. Recently I asked a beautiful teenage girl I know about what motivates her to remain sexually pure, she said simply, “My sense of morality, which is based on my faith and the values my mother and father have taught me.” When I asked if there are any other reasons she said, “Respect. I know that I will have more respect from my peers if I uphold high standards.”

There you have it in a nutshell. To learn how you can teach this superior lifestyle to your teens and encourage educators to back your efforts by using abstinence education materials in the classroom, visit abstinence.net.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Screenagers

The latest report on media consumption by pre-teens and teenagers shows that young people ages 8 – 18 spend some 7 hours and 38 minutes per day watching television, surfing the net, playing video games and using other media. That’s 53 hours per week. When you add another 1 hours per day on texting, it means that more than half of their waking hours are spent with personal electronics. If you consider what else they could be doing with that time it is downright immoral that we are allowing them to waste their lives adrift in the e-world. 

Five years ago Kaiser Family Foundation researchers, who conduct the study on a regular basis, thought kids had reached the ceiling on amount of time spent on media per day. At 6 hours, they declared that it couldn’t possibly get any worse. Surprise, surprise- with all the “advances” in high-tech gadgets and television programming and the lack of parental involvement, teens spend more time with the boob tube and gadgets than anyone thought possible.

It seems that this generation of teenagers could more accurately be called “screenagers.” 

Not surprisingly, the more time children spend in front of the screen – whether it is on a computer, television or cell phone – the lower their grades, the more they report feeling sad and depressed, and the more likely they are to get into trouble. 

Ok parents, the good news is that the answer to this horrid new way of living is..you!!

When 71 percent of teenagers say that they have a television in their bedroom, it’s not difficult to figure out that mom and dad are the ones to blame. We’re also the ones that permit unfettered access to the internet behind closed doors – which brings us to another problem: It’s not just how much media they are consuming that is at issue – it’s also the content that is of concern.

Only 28 percent of the youth surveyed said their parents have set rules on television viewing. Kids also report that their parents have no idea what shows they are glued to. Or who they are texting, or what internet sites they visit, or what movies they watch. The fact is that most screenagers are consuming violent, sex-oriented programming filled with raunchy life lessons.  Thanks to a robust online sex industry that actually stalks our teens, this is the first generation of youth in all of history that is being raised on a steady diet of pornography.

Oh, and so much for an economic crisis – when even older teenagers spend more time with media each week than their parents do at work, it seems we just might have a ready-solution to many family financial problems. Cut down on the cell phone, internet and cable TV bills and then put those kids to work to help make ends meet. Novel approach, eh?

Seriously, what is a parent to do? Set limits. Engage in conversation. Stop being too lazy or too busy or too whatever and interact with those precious children God gave you.

The subject of media obsession by our screenagers is truly one that rankles me, because the solutions are easy for any parent who cares enough to be involved with their children.  That’s why I’ve spent years and much energy researching the subject and compiling action steps you can take to reclaim your home. You can find them in my latest book, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. You can also receive tips each week, for free, on how to build a stronger relationship with your children, grow their faith in God, and equip them to tower above the pop media culture. To subscribe to my weekly free e-newsletter, just visit http://www.HowToSaveYourFamily.com. But once you’ve subscribed, power down your PC so you don’t risk becoming a screenager too!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
**Link to this article alone ** Posted under the categories(s): Rebecca Hagelin Joel Johannesen on TwitterFollow Joel Johannesen on Twitter

Make Family Your New Year Priority

As we begin the New Year it’s time for America to face the fact that the modern American family is in crisis. With the pressures of dual careers, often no one is keeping the home fires burning. What families gain with an additional bread-earner, they often pay for with a loss of nurturing.

Many of our nation’s children spend more time with an endless flow of randomly-assigned teachers and “care givers” than they do with their own parents. This trend has left children of all ages hungry for the richness and depth of fully developed parent/child relationships. Family members are often like ships that pass in the night. Many get lost in the fog of a busy life, crash on the reefs of loneliness and end up split apart. Everyone suffers, and children suffer most.

Analysts at The Heritage Foundation combed through massive amounts of social science research and found that kids whose parents spend time with them are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs, drink or engage in sex. Study after study shows that the healthiest environment for men, women and children is in a loving, close knit family. (You can access the research at www. FamilyFacts.org.) This isn’t rocket science – our need to be in a loving family unit is as basic as our need for oxygen. As some call on yet more government programs to “fix” the many problems caused by absentee parents and broken families, the real solutions rest in the hands of each of us, starting with our own families.

What’s the first step in saving your family? Create more family time.

Yes, it’s difficult to find time to spend with your children in today’s world. But the bottom line is, if you want to help your children avoid a host of problems and live more secure and happier lives you will make the time.

One place to begin the transformation of your family relationships is to gather around the dinner table.

Nearly gone from our culture are the powerful yet simple family dinners and the important conversations that went with them. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reports that children who don’t eat dinner with their family on a regular basis are more likely to smoke, drink and use illegal drugs. As The Heritage Foundation has reported, “Compared with teens that have frequent family dinners, those who have dinner with their families only two nights per week or less are at double the risk of substance abuse.”

Just your “being there” also helps. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that, “teenagers were less likely to experience emotional distress if their parents were in the home when they awoke, when they came home from school, at dinnertime, and when they went to bed, and if they engaged in activities with their parents…”

And, don’t worry about the grumbling that you might hear from your teens when you make them reschedule their lives so you can be together. They really do want to be with you, but they need you to help them make it happen. Guess what one recent study by the Associated Press revealed: The number one activity that kids between the ages of 13 and 24 said makes them happy is spending time with family.

Make it a point to look for help in creating family time. A great website containing a wealth of free tips is www.FamilyLife.com. At FamilyLife.com you will also discover practical help for conquering the most common parenting issues – it is a comprehensive resource for any parent who wants to have a closer relationship with their spouse and children.

Mom and Dad, you are vital to the happiness and well-being of your sons and daughters. The modern culture won’t tell you that, but your gut, the facts, and your children’s’ lives testify of your power. Your opportunity to enjoy and shape them when they are in your home will disappear before your eyes. Don’t let another year go by without making them the priority.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Carrie Prejean, Sexting and a Lost Generation

Carrie Prejean is, in many ways, representative of today’s young women.

Her generation is “star struck”, into all-things Hollywood, and programmed to use their bodies and sexual power to get ahead.

In other ways, Carrie is remarkably different from her peers: She is “coming of age” in front of the entire world, with an army of enemies determined to seize upon her every error in order to destroy her. Young, beautiful “stars” are not allowed to challenge the status-quo and speak their own minds. If you want the fame and fortune that Tinseltown offers, you must play their game. Or else.

Carrie’s book, “Still Standing” reveals a courageous woman whose Christian faith is still in its infancy. She was thrust into the national spotlight and all too quickly became a heroine for those who are sick and tired of Hollywood and the thought police. Unable to yet see the disconnect between her desire to be a “Victoria’s Secret Angel” and the biblical morality she professes, Carrie is painfully discovering truth as she goes. Eager to support a young woman so viciously attacked, many supporters also missed the disparity between the sexy image Carrie loves to be and the virtuous woman she seems to want to become. As Carrie matures and becomes more sensitive to which behaviors reflect her faith and which ones tarnish it, she is learning the difference under glaring lights, scowling faces and an unforgiving media.

I wrote about a nation of “Carries” in my book, “30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family” long before this Carrie became a household name. Today’s young women are so immersed in a sexual media culture that they don’t see the tragic consequences that come when they confuse Hollywood’s lies with real life. In fact, national surveys reveal that some 20 percent of teenagers have sent nude or semi-nude photos or videos over their cell phones. The personal pages of MySpace and Facebook are filled with images of young girls and guys in compromising situations. Young women, in particular, think that the sexier their sites, the better. Why on earth are they eager to post x-rated images? Three reasons: 1) They are simply copying the explicit media they see all around them, 2) They have no sense of personal modesty or decency, 3) They mistakenly view their sites and communications as personal diaries, of sorts.

As Carrie Prejean continues to suffer, “grow up”, fall and stand back up in front of the entire world, parents should discuss with our own children the many truths that Carrie’s drama reveals. Among them: 1) If you dare to challenge what is “politically correct”, you will become a target. 2) In today’s high-tech world, “Be sure, your sins will find you out.” 3) If your life is marked by modesty, honesty, and decency, your enemies’ attacks will be far less effective.

Carrie Prejean is still young enough to recover from her deep wounds – both the self-inflicted ones and those caused by her hateful enemies. My prayer is that she will remain courageous, and will be humble and wise enough to use her mistakes to help awaken her generation to the pernicious lies of the pop culture. I also pray that God will send Carrie a mentor who truly cares for her and can help her grow into the mighty woman she has proved many times over that she is capable of becoming.

We must do everything in our power to build our own daughters into women of inner strength, virtue, beauty and modesty so that they too can stand up for what is right; and so that when they do, they will be fully equipped to win.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Maria Shriver Misses the Point

A recent report by Maria Shriver on the status of women in America calls on the government to provide more day care, require more flex time, and grow programs across the board to accommodate the needs of what she calls, “A Woman’s Nation”. The report celebrates the economic success and power of women over the last few decades, yet totally fails to acknowledge that the family unit has disintegrated during those exact same years. Shriver misses what should be the central goal of any effort to help women and families: How can we as a society restore our belief in, and national commitment to, marriage?

Look at just how far the American family has disintegrated: In 1950 for every 100 babies that were born, 12 were born to a broken family; they were either born out of wedlock or to a family that would soon suffer divorce. Fast forward to the 21st century and we find a gross tragedy: For every 100 babies that are born in America, 60 are born to a broken family.

Divorce and out-of-wedlock births are wreaking havoc on both individuals and our nation. Single motherhood is the greatest source of poverty in the nation, driving moms away from the growing children who need them and into jobs. Divorce causes our sons and daughters to be raised by someone else while single moms and dads work more hours to maintain to separate households. As adults have focused on our selfish desires to be independent of an enduring commitment to a spouse, we have created an entire generation of children who are suffering from brokenness. Yet, you read very little about the tragic outcomes.

Noted family researcher Dr. Pat Fagan, a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, has reported, “The children of parents who reject each other suffer: in deep emotional pain, ill health, depression, anxiety, even shortened lifespan; more drop out of school, fewer go to college, they earn less income, they develop more addiction to drugs and alcohol, and they engage in increased violence or suffer it within their own homes.”

Unless we restore marriage as our national foundation we will not save this country.

Being part of an intact family unit with a mother and father who are fully committed to each other is the single greatest indicator of success in every area of life. The social science data is clear: women, men and children are all better off emotionally, psychologically, and physically in an intact family unit.

A growing economy will not save us. Women’s advancement in the workplace and in education will not save us. Greater flex hours will not save us. All of those things are wonderful advancements that contribute to a better society. But if we continue to destroy and “reinvent” the basic building block of every single civil society since the beginning of time – the family unit – we will fail as a nation.

John Podesta, said in his preface to the Shriver report, “…our policy landscape remains stuck in an idealized past, where the typical family was composed of a married-for-life couple…”

The reason that a family composed of a “married-for-life” couple is idealized, is because it is the ideal basis for a family. So why aren’t we doing everything possible to promote the ideal, rather than spending so much time, effort and money treating the natural consequences of failed families?

While we bind up the wounds of children and broken families, we must be working on the cure. Start by focusing on your own marriage, and then help others understand the beautiful treasure that is “marriage”. You can learn more about how to do both at www.FamilyLife.com.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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