Friday, July 13, 2007

Week in review: Jl 8-14

Ok, so the week isn't done yet, but tomorrow is my wife's birthday and I plan on spending it on a beach, not blogging here. I hope you forgive me.

First a couple of headlines that are good follow-ups to my last post. A couple of days ago the Pew Research Center released a study showing more working mothers would prefer to work part time so they could be home with their children. The number that would prefer to stay home full-time has stayed pretty much the same. I'm a fan of the part-time option myself. As a personal testimony, my wife, a special education teacher, took a year off after our son was born. A year later, she didn't want to work full time. She changed districts hoping for a part-time opportunity. She had her doubts, I encouraged her to pray about it, and we prayed together. She went in to interview and was told right off that there weren't any part time positions available. Then one of the interviewers said, "wait you said you're special ed?" Then, "whisper, whisper, whisper" to the other interviewers. Then, "we do have this one opportunity if you're interested..." I'm confident God knows what is best for us. We need to trust him for the right opportunity and sometimes that means going out on a limb.

Today, I read that fewer teens are having sex and there are fewer teenage pregnancies. This is credited to safer sex, but that doesn't explain that fewer are having sex to begin with. I think both safe-sex education and abstinence education go hand in hand in this good news. Despite these programs though, we need to remember that the best place for our children to learn about sex is in our homes. And we, as parents, need to be open and frank with risks and consequences as well as realistic with the topic of contraception.

Finally, yesterday's session of the Senate opened in a Hindu prayer and a couple of protesters were thrown out of the gallery. I want to first call attention to a quote from Barry Lynn (Americans United for Separation of Church and State) that the protest, "shows the intolerance of many religious right activists. They say they want more religion in the public square, but it's clear they mean only their religion." I seldom agree with him, but he has a point. The Senate can open up in any prayer they want. What ruffles my feathers is the focus of the prayer, opening, "We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds." I don't mind non-denomonational prayers, Hindu prayers, Muslim prayers, ecumenical prayers, and on and on. But this prayer was instead a proclamation of faith. Very different than something like, "God bless this Senate and the United States of America" which is vague, can apply to any God and/or any faith. It can be argued that Christians can pray publicly in schools or in government if they left out "in Jesus' name we pray, Amen." But to call on a deity, describe him/her, and then ask for him/her to be glorified on the floor of the Senate seemed like nothing more than grandstanding. Contrast this with the memorial for the victims at Virginia Tech. Every minister of every faith called on the name of their own deity, except for the Christian minister. Religious political correctness has neutered even preachers of the Gospel. And that is sad. So instead of protesting a Hindu prayer, we need to more boldly proclaim the Gospel. Instead of being afraid of being politically correct, we need to pray with faith to our God, in the name of Jesus.

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