Category Archives: Parenting

A somewhat schizophrenic message by Jim Wallis

From the giving credit where it is (sort of) due category, see Men and Boys Behaving Badly: Where Are Their Fathers? – Jim Wallis | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.

Wallis rightly notes the obvious role of fathers in guiding their boys.  The father of one of the Steubenville rapists even admitted that his absence from his son’s life was a big part of the problem.  Roughly 90% of the men I meet in prison ministry had bad or absent fathers.  So hey, we agree that fathers are extremely important!

But it is the political policies of Wallis et al that encourage fatherlessness.  The “war on poverty” had the opposite effect.  Liberal media and entertainment make fathers appear to be bad or superfluous.

And why don’t Wallis and his organization speak out against oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” that repeats ad nauseum the foundational lie that gender is paramount for couples (e.g., a gay guy must have sex with another guy and not just a butch female) but gender is completely irrelevant when it comes to parenting?  Wallis has just now switched sides to support SSM — conveniently at the tipping point where he benefited by it.

You can’t have it both ways.  Wallis is right about the importance of fathers but a huge part of the problem in how their role is minimized.  Shouldn’t the Left be screaming about what a homophobe he is?

P.S. OK, Wallis is a false teacher, so I knew not to expect coherence from him.

Answer: More than Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot combined.

Question: How many females have been killed by gender-selection abortions since the 1970’s?  The total is estimated to be 163,000,000.  Yes, 163 million.

Gender-selection abortions tie pro-legalized abortionists in knots.  Deep down they know how wrong they are, but they can’t really say so without conceding that it would also be wrong to kill them “just” for being generically unwanted rather than being unwanted because of their gender.  After all, once you establish that you shouldn’t kill unborn girls because of their gender, it makes it hard to say that it is OK if they are boys, or will be an economic burden, or have Down Syndrome, etc.

Also, it takes away one of their favorite sound bites, namely that pro-lifers are anti-women.  That fails on many levels, but especially so when you ask them, “So, do you think gender-selection abortions, which kill females for the sole reason that they are female, should be illegal?  I do.  It is the ultimate misogyny.  Now tell me more about how anti-women I am . . .”  Watch them freak out after that.

The consequences go beyond the deaths of the innocent.  I encourage you to read it all, but here are some snippets from The War Against Girls, a review of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men By Mara Hvistendahl:

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

Amniocentesis and ultrasounds led to the dramatic increase in gender-selection abortions.
But oddly enough, Ms. Hvistendahl notes, it is usually a country’s rich, not its poor, who lead the way in choosing against girls. . . . Even more unexpectedly, the decision to abort baby girls is usually made by women—either by the mother or, sometimes, the mother-in-law.

If you peer hard enough at the data, you can actually see parents demanding boys. Take South Korea. In 1989, the sex ratio for first births there was 104 boys for every 100 girls—perfectly normal. But couples who had a girl became increasingly desperate to acquire a boy. For second births, the male number climbed to 113; for third, to 185. Among fourth-born children, it was a mind-boggling 209. Even more alarming is that people maintain their cultural assumptions even in the diaspora; research shows a similar birth-preference pattern among couples of Chinese, Indian and Korean descent right here in America.

Hvistendahl notes how these imbalances result in all sorts of societal problems, such as increased violence.

Today in India, the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income but sex ratio.

. . .

And to beat the “marriage squeeze” caused by skewed sex ratios, men in wealthier imbalanced countries poach women from poorer ones.

. . .

A 17-year-old girl in a developing country is in no position to capture her own value. Instead, a young woman may well become chattel, providing income either for their families or for pimps. As Columbia economics professor Lena Edlund observes: “The greatest danger associated with prenatal sex determination is the propagation of a female underclass,” that a small but still significant group of the world’s women will end up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage.

. . .

Ms. Hvistendahl also dredges up plenty of unpleasant documents from Western actors like the Ford Foundation, the United Nations and Planned Parenthood, showing how they pushed sex-selective abortion as a means of controlling population growth. In 1976, for instance, the medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Malcom Potts, wrote that, when it came to developing nations, abortion was even better than birth control: “Early abortion is safe, effective, cheap and potentially the easiest method to administer.”

The following year another Planned Parenthood official celebrated China’s coercive methods of family planning, noting that “persuasion and motivation [are] very effective in a society in which social sanctions can be applied against those who fail to cooperate in the construction of the socialist state.”

Did you catch that?  One more reason to be disgusted by Planned Parenthood: They push abortion as birth control and supported China’s coercive one-child policy.

Then it takes a turn . . .

Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the “right wing” or the “Christian right”—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful aborting of female babies or it could lead to “feminists’ worst nightmare: a ban on all abortions.”

Now that is ironic!

It is telling that Ms. Hvistendahl identifies a ban on abortion—and not the killing of tens of millions of unborn girls—as the “worst nightmare” of feminism. Even though 163 million girls have been denied life solely because of their gender, she can’t help seeing the problem through the lens of an American political issue. Yet, while she is not willing to say that something has gone terribly wrong with the pro-abortion movement, she does recognize that two ideas are coming into conflict: “After decades of fighting for a woman’s right to choose the outcome of her own pregnancy, it is difficult to turn around and point out that women are abusing that right.”

Yep.

Late in “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl makes some suggestions as to how such “abuse” might be curbed without infringing on a woman’s right to have an abortion. In attempting to serve these two diametrically opposed ideas, she proposes banning the common practice of revealing the sex of a baby to parents during ultrasound testing. And not just ban it, but have rigorous government enforcement, which would include nationwide sting operations designed to send doctors and ultrasound techs and nurses who reveal the sex of babies to jail. Beyond the police surveillance of obstetrics facilities, doctors would be required to “investigate women carrying female fetuses more thoroughly” when they request abortions, in order to ensure that their motives are not illegal.

Yeah, that’ll work!  By which I mean, it won’t work at all.  How sad that after she diagnoses the problem so well she fails on how to solve it: Make it illegal to kill unwanted human beings.

. . .

Despite the author’s intentions, “Unnatural Selection” might be one of the most consequential books ever written in the campaign against abortion. It is aimed, like a heat-seeking missile, against the entire intellectual framework of “choice.” For if “choice” is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against “gendercide.” Aborting a baby because she is a girl is no different from aborting a baby because she has Down syndrome or because the mother’s “mental health” requires it. Choice is choice. One Indian abortionist tells Ms. Hvistendahl: “I have patients who come and say ‘I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.’ “

This is where choice leads. This is where choice has already led. Ms. Hvistendahl may wish the matter otherwise, but there are only two alternatives: Restrict abortion or accept the slaughter of millions of baby girls and the calamities that are likely to come with it.

Exactly.  Gender-selection abortions are legal in this country because abortions are legal.  They happen because of radical feminism, and wimpy or fake Christians who vote for pro-legalized abortion politicians.

No wonder men don’t want to get married

wedding-rings2.jpgI love being married and wouldn’t trade it for anything (Best. Wife. Ever.).  But I can see why young men today are so fearful of marriage. 

Go read Jennifer Roback Morse evaluates the economics of no-fault divorce by Wintery Knight.  It is a major reason for men to be scared of commitment.

It is especially important for unmarried women to understand how no-fault divorce laws and activist family courts dissuade men from marrying. My concern today is that the feminist ideology has become so entrenched that young women will drag themselves through the muck of the sexual revolution without even reflecting on how a string of drunken hook-ups destroys their innocence, vulnerability and capacity to trust and love.

This is not just bad for men, who will increasingly face financial ruin, and loss of access to their own children. No-fault divorce opens the door to totalitarian control of men, women and children by the state. Women who wish to marry and have children will find it increasingly difficult to find men willing to take the risk of marrying and raising children. Women need to consider the incentives created by a Marxist-feminist state.

And besides, when radical feminism convinced women that out-of-wedlock sex (and the inevitable abortions) were evidence of their equal worth to men, the men got the sex they wanted with little if any commitment or responsibility.  Something like Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? comes to mind.

If  you combine a godless worldview with our current divorce laws, why would any guy take the risks?

There is still a better way, people: Follow God’s plan for sex and marriage — one man, one woman, for life.  Easy?  No.  Worth it?  Yes!

Manners

homer-doh.gifMarge: Whatever happened to “please” and “thank-you?”

Homer: I think they were killed in one of those murder-suicide things.

Manners still count, partly for the obvious reasons but also for the impact they have on the confidence of children. 

When kids display good manners they get lots of positive reactions and feedback from adults.  It kicks off a virtuous reinforcement cycle. 

Contrast this with the reactions kids get when they are sullen and disrespectful (and are then surprised that adults treat them like kids). 

Parents who don’t instill manners do a disservice to their children.

Mmmmm . . . PIES

pie.jpgOK, not those kinds of pies.  This is what I call the parenting PIES.  I have found that most of the areas we want our kids to mature in fit into this handy acrostic:

P – Physical – Our bodies were made to last a lifetime.  Do something physical – anything!  We figured our girls would try all sorts of things, but they quickly gravitated to ballet.  That was fine with us.  As long as they are doing something on a regular basis we’re happy.  I hope they keep up a fitness lifestyle their whole lives, even if it is just walking.

I – Intellectual– This category is often overdone.  It is certainly important, but getting a 3.5 GPA instead of a 3.3 probably won’t have a radical impact on your success in life.  If kids are intrinsically motivated then you don’t need to push them about grades.  Other kids will need more coaching and motivation.

E – Emotional– Based on what I’ve read and experienced, people with higher EQs (“emotional quotients”) often do better than people with high IQs.  Emotional maturity helps people avoid all kinds of problems in life.  I’ve seen many people who were the smartest ones in the room, but they couldn’t relate to people well or lead them. 

S – Spiritual – This is the most important and most often neglected. Eternity is a mighty long time.  Being a success at life is all about being wise, and wisdom comes from God.  If you haven’t read Proverbs this would be a good day to start!

If the pieces of the pie are imbalanced then problems occur.  You can be really smart and really athletic, but if you are emotionally and spiritually immature then you will suffer for it.

Basic resources on fatherhood from a Christian worldview?

I’m looking for some materials for a class I’ll be teaching at Care Net Pregnancy Center on fatherhood.  The students will like be a broad mix – everywhere from non-believing, unmarried ex-cons to believing, married, upstanding citizens and everything in between.  Most of them come from broken homes and have not had good role models for being fathers, and many haven’t heard the Gospel.  We’re praying to be able to address both of those needs.

We found some materials from the National Fatherhood Initiative (it sounds made up, but it isn’t). They weren’t bad, but we are looking for something with a stronger link to a Biblical worldview.  I know of some more detailed resources, but they are too much for this kind of class.  We need something fairly basic, preferably with some questions and class exercises built in.

If you know of any good resources, please email me at neil@4simpsons.com or post a comment.