as first published in First Things.
Don’t think about the freckles he, or she,
Might have, or how much hair, how big a grin,
Or whether swimming would come naturally,
Or whether–it?–might play the violin.
My son learned to say “byebye” a few months ago. Learned how to wave before he learned to say “byebye”, actually. It wasn’t long before we noticed that he would wait to say “byebye” to people.
Why are kids leaving church? This post suggests some very real possibilities that parents need to consider.
“I have heard all this before.
What miserable comforters you are!
Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air?
What makes you keep on talking?
I could say the same things if you were in my place.
I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
But if it were me, I would encourage you.
I would try to take away your grief.” (Job 16:2-5 | NLT)
I don’t have much to say that others have not said. What I would like to do is to direct you to some articles and blogs that I hope will help you, as they helped me, make sense of the tragedies at Sandy Hook and Chengpeng and remember what I should direct my mind and heart toward after it has passed.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers
[back to part 5: Foreign Policy]
“Civil Rights for the Unborn Class”
“Understanding what Abortion means to a Nation and a Community”
Take a moment to, no matter your opinion, erase as much as you can concerning the preconceptions of people who exist on the “abortion stance spectrum”, including the terms we use.
Now I want to tell you that I believe that a sound civil government respects a woman’s right to her body. I also believe that every person has a right to life, even those who are not yet recognized citizens. I know that slightly more than half of children conceived in the world are women, and they have a right to live. Because women and men are equal, I must conclude that all male children conceived in the world have a right to live. Therefore, I believe all children have a right to live. The government should not interfere with a woman’s body (or a man’s), but if a woman has another woman inside her, and she is trying to end that life, then the government is at a crossroads, having to make a decision between not interfering with one woman’s body, but also protecting the life of another.
We don’t really pay attention to Pat Robertson. Me and the people I know. Goobers that we are, we’re wise enough to know he is incapable of being trusted about anything remotely spiritual. In fact, one could create a guide on how to be a good Christian by merely saying, “don’t act like this man at all.”
But Pat Robertson isn’t Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist. WBB is rather benign, since there is a small number of them and nobody takes them seriously. No, Robertson is much worse. He commands a media empire, and countless people look up to him. Professed Christians are looking up to a servant of Shaitan.
Hear about those kids who bullied the bus monitor? I’ll let you read the full story below, which includes the harrowing video documenting the incident.
So here’s the thing: These kids have a lack of empathy. It’s primarily a parenting issue. Their parents are failing. That being said, here is what the school needs to do. We’ll call this the “shame and flame” deterrent:
1. The kids don’t ride the bus next year. Their parents have to take them to school. But, if they get a driver’s license, they have to ride the bus until they graduate.
2. Call an assembly in which every child on that bus (all of them, because in the recording none stood up for her) must apologize to directly to her, with their parents or guardians standing behind them, who will then apologize on their behalf as well. If a student refuses to apologize, they must refuse in front of the entire school so everyone knows
3. In that assembly, a letter will be read in praise of this woman and signed by every single other student in the school. Then the students who apologized have to write every word they said to her on a piece of paper and burn it. This last portion may be performed outside the assembly if necessary.
4. The school should beef up their anti-bullying endeavors according to how the PTA and student body see fit. This is primarily the parents’ jobs, but seeing as how you can’t rely on American parents to teach their kids how to nurture empathic intelligence, the rest of the community can pick up where they miserably left off.
5. And don’t give me any crap about good kids with good parents succumbing to peer pressure. They continued while the woman cried. “Kids will be kids” is a profane motto to utter in this scenario. Peer pressure is not a free pass to unleash evil.
God help us.