Thursday, October 10, 2013

Christian Persecution

Read an interesting and convicting article by Brian Mclaren. "Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Peace"

He explores the question of persecution and asks why is the western church so silent on this issue.
Brian offers six reasons

  1. Many Christians are too silent on the issue because they don’t want to add their voices to the growing numbers of Islamophobic voices in the Christian community.
  2. Some Christians are too silent on the issue because they already know that much anti-Christian violence is retaliation against hawkish American foreign policy.
  3. Many Christians know that a careless bias against Palestinians - many of whom, by the way, are committed Christians - has become a pre-requisite in some circles for being considered “pro-Israel.”
  4. American Christians - myself included - are part of a global oil-based economy, and as such, we are like addicts who depend on repressive Muslim governments for our carbon fix.
  5. Many of us have accepted superficial cliches (“They are evil” or “Their religion is evil”) and avoided the hard, often unsettling work of understanding how religious identity can be turned to violent ends - in any religion: Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, even atheist.
  6. We don’t know what can be done practically, so we remain silent.
He ends by saying "Each of these reasons for silence, I believe, is indefensible."

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Talking to our kids about sex

Interesting article about discussing the sexualized nature of our world.
For the full article - "Miley Cyrus: Dealing with the 'sexualization of childhood"

A couple of highlights:

  • But family and media observers say the whole Miley Cyrus episode is a reminder that open communication with children from an early age can help them learn how to interpret the frenzied media world around them. 
  • Spinks says, they’ll need help to “understand that what they see isn’t necessarily OK for them to mimic or OK for them to want to copy.  The key to doing that, Spinks says, lies in early and ongoing two-way communication with children, which includes "being clear on what’s negotiable and what’s non-negotiable.”
  • "As they get older, they’re able to make more and more complex decisions but the more you teach them how to make decisions, the easier it will be help them understand and interpret the consequences of their decisions going forward."
  • When it comes to children’s exposure to media and the choices made around what they watch or absorb online, Spinks says the conversations about what’s appropriate and not appropriate at home, school or in the community are much simpler if they begin at an early age.  "It is much easier to start having those conversations when your kids are six, seven and eight than when they’re 12 and 13 … when you’re starting to get into the ‘You’re-not-the-boss-of-me’ stage. Well, yes, as a parent, you actually are and there are limits that parents need to set."
  • "Besides controlling the content, which of course is good, you’re also modelling the idea that media use is an active choice, that you choose to watch a TV show or a movie rather than just sitting down and turning on the TV."