Ladies for Life

Posts Tagged ‘books

The Next Christians: Creating Cultural Good at Breakpoint includes, among other things, info on efforts to help parents when they get a diagnosis of Down Syndrome for their unborn baby.

Today’s Family Talk broadcast was Sexuality & Singles -1, and featured Mrs. Elisabeth Elliot. Much of the interview covered topics and information also available (they said) in the book Passion & Purity, by Elliot. Mrs. Elliot offers hope and suggestions for helping today’s singles navigate in a world that falsely assumes that purity isn’t possible, or isn’t a blessing.

One of the highlights of the interview is where they talk about Mrs. Elliot getting a lengthy standing ovation after a talk calling college students to purity. There is, they note, a hunger for putting right above wrong, and a realization that the world’s way doesn’t deliver what it advertises.

…was actually the headline over a column in the New York Times yesterday. No, really. They dared print something that states that social conservatives might, after all, not be completely wrong about a contentious issue. Columnist Ross Douthat works off of a ‘results’ premise – i.e., the Sexual Revolution has resulted in unhappier women, etc. – so the column is still largely in moral relativity land, but, hey, it acknowledges some key facts about the inherent miseries of promiscuity. That’s progress.

I’m going to steer you there through the article that brought it to my attention, because I think it’s a good place to start: Cynicism, Vain Hopes, and Realistic Optimism about Pre-Marital Sex, by Julie Ponzi.

Both posts stress making a distinction between sex that is truly pre-marital (a man and woman on a path to marriage) and sex that is divorced from any idea of marriage. From a Christian perspective, that misses a crucial point or two, but, again, to notice that there is a difference between falling to temptation within the context of commitment, and just having sex to be having sex, well, this, too, is helpful.

While we’re on the subject, I’d like to recommend a book I just read, called Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals, by Trevin Wax. The chapter on sexuality I think has some really good ideas and information, and includes a clear call for church communities to be promoting chastity. Wax makes a clear distinction between abstinence and chastity, and even argues that all too many abstinence programs contribute to a warped view of sex by keeping the focus self-centered. (If teens are avoiding sex because of the dangers of sex outside of marriage, they are still thinking of sex only in terms of their own well-being, which isn’t getting them set up for good relationships.) Chastity, on the other hand, embraces a number of positives. Wax also asks that Christians and churches do more to publicly celebrate married love. One small way, for instance, would be to celebrate those couples in the congregation with decades-long marriages. It’s a thought.

Over at The Corner (National Review Online), Carl A. Anderson looks at The ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ and America’s Hidden Moral Consensus. An excerpt:

The introduction of this bill coincides with two other anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s inauguration (January 20) and the 100th anniversary of President Reagan’s birth (February 6). As they prepare to debate taxpayer funding of abortion, congressmen would do well to heed lessons from each of these men.

Though many politicians today compartmentalize their conscience and their beliefs from the way they legislate, President Kennedy laid out a different approach. In Houston, during his run for the White House, he said: “If the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.” There are always pragmatic reasons to compartmentalize one’s moral compass; one need look no further than C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. But Americans are tired of that — they want consistency of conscience from their elected officials. They want people of principle.

This brings us to the other anniversary those in Congress ought to consider, President Reagan’s. That the same man who had the moral courage to label the Soviet Union an Evil Empire and tell Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” also told us in his 1984 book Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation: “We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life.” Ronald Reagan understood that the American people wanted leadership that wouldn’t parse its moral compass based on pragmatic political criteria. As I point out in my latest book, the myth that key social issues evenly divide the American people is preventing us from finding creative solutions that the vast majority of the electorate would agree with.

Hat’s off to Bridget Boyle, singer Susan Boyle’s mother, for refusing to let doctors talk her into aborting her baby back in 1961.

My thanks, too, to Miss Boyle for bringing this to light in her autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To Be.

hat tip: I found the link on the Facebook page of Youth Defence


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