Focus and CitizenLink

“We strongly believe societies that allow the free expression of ideas tend to be the most prosperous and the most peaceful.” — President George W. Bush, in Beijing

“There are certain policies that will attract the blessing of God on the nation.…We have to align ourselves with the Word of God.” Bishop Harry Jackson

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” — Jim Elliot, missionary

z19519753As Marriage Declines, Church Attendance Falls

‘Marriage is a gateway into family life, and family life, in turn, is often a gateway into church attendance.’

A dramatic decline in marriage, particularly among young adults, has led to a decline in church attendance over the last three decades, according to a study by Robert Wuthnow, a sociology professor at Princeton University.

Men are 57 percent less likely to regularly attend church if they are not married. Single women are 41 percent less likely to attend church than their married counterparts.

“It exaggerates only a little to say that Americans in their 20s and early 30s divide into two groups of about equal size: those who are married, the majority of whom participate in religion; and those who are not married, the majority of whom do not participate,” Wuthnow said at a conference at The Heritage Foundation.

Brad Wilcox, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, said the biggest factor driving the decline in church attendance is delayed marriage.

“Marriage is a gateway into family life, and family life, in turn, is often a gateway into church attendance,” he said. “The longer people postpone marriage, the less likely they are to attend church at a given age, and also the less likely they are to attend church down the road.”

Wuthnow estimates in his book, After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings are Shaping the Future of American Religion, that American churches would have 6.3 million more young adults today if young people started families at the same rate they did 30 years ago.

Wilcox said the Church needs to be more intentional about promoting marriage at an earlier age.

“One thing churches need to do is to really encourage their teenagers and their young adults not to buy into this culture of ‘hooking up’ and even the culture of dating or just hanging out,” he said. “(Churches need) to create a culture of courtship that puts them on a path to marriage, for those who are called to marriage.

“I think connecting young adults to families who have different priorities and different challenges and different joys would help them see the world a little bit differently, and hopefully grow in their faith at the same time.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Learn why marriage matters.

z19519753Good News: Adult Cells Help Scientists Study Genetic Disorders

Stem cells created from adult cells are allowing researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute to watch the development of 10 genetic disorders in a lab dish.

Scientists produced the stem cells by reprogramming skin cells and bone marrow from individuals with Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Down syndrome. The technique could speed efforts to find treatments.

“What you might not hear in the media is that this new development actually uses ethical sources,” said Dawn Vargo, bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action. “Ironically, some of the main proponents of life-destroying research are turning their attention to ethical alternatives.”

z19519753Faster, Higher, Stronger Human Rights:  The modern Olympic Games have always made politics and sport strange bedfellows. On one hand, the Games provide an opportunity for nations to cast aside their differences and compete on a level playing field. On the other hand, they often highlight the stark differences in the world’s geopolitical makeup. The Beijing Games of 2008 are no different. Though it boasts a massive population and booming economy, the Chinese government’s “improvements” on human rights have been miniscule. Forced abortion, censored speech, and religious persecution have been hallmarks of the communist regime. Even as government officials prepare to take President Bush on a tour of state-sanctioned churches, China Aid reports that House Church Alliance President Zhang Mingxuan, his wife and another pastor were arrested and detained this week — presumably for unregistered religious activity. Today in Beijing President Bush briefly addressed China’s human rights problem: “We must […] be candid about our belief that all people should have the freedom to say what they think and worship as they choose. We strongly believe societies which allow the free expression of ideas tend to be the most prosperous and the most peaceful.” We at FRC agree with the president, but as the Olympics seek to take us “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” the advance of human rights in China should live up to the same motto.

z19519753Good News: Christians Arrested in China Return to U.S. Safely:  Three Christians arrested in China on Thursday are back in the United States after being kicked out for speaking about oppression, according to reports from Operation Rescue, which provided support for the outreach.

The Rev. Pat Mahoney, Brandi Swindell and Michael McMonagle were detained when Chinese police broke up a press conference in Tiananmen Square where the group was attempting to address China’s forced abortion policies, religious persecution and other human rights violations.

“We are relieved that these brave Christians have returned to freedom safely,” Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said. “We are proud to stand with these courageous Christians, who were willing to risk their freedom to speak out on behalf of those who have none.”

The Christians were threatened with lengthy jail sentences, and authorities demanded they pay $2,000 apiece for plane tickets out of China.

Eventually, the Chinese government paid for the tickets and put them on a flight to Los Angeles. Their luggage remains in China.

Additional Resources  China Aid: House Churches Ready to Welcome President Bush; Deeply concerned over President Bush’s Second Visit to Government Sanctioned Church
The White House: Remarks by President Bush at Dedication of United States Embassy Beijing

z19519753CDC: HIV Rate in U.S. Higher than Estimated

Transformation and personal responsibility are keys to stopping the AIDS epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently said it had underestimated the HIV rate in the U.S. over the past 12 years.

The U.S. saw approximately 56,000 new HIV infections in 2006, 40 percent more than the estimated 40,000.

The CDC said a better blood test and new statistical methods led them to revise their numbers.

Male-to-male transmission accounted for almost 60 percent of new infections in 2006, with 4 percent of those men also engaging in intravenous drug use. About one-third occurred among people ages 13-29, according to the CDC.

“I feel great compassion for these men, because I’ve had different friends who are HIV-positive, friends who have died with AIDS,” said Jeff Johnston, gender issues analyst for Focus on the Family Action. “Outside of a faithful marriage between a man and a woman, there is no ‘safe sex.’ It is irresponsible to teach people that you can have ‘safe sex’ or ‘safer sex’ outside of marriage.”

Linda Klepacki, sexual health analyst for Focus Action, said: “Our health is not just physical health. It’s also mental, emotional, spiritual and social. In order to be healthy, we have to take personal responsibility for our behaviors.”

She said the numbers will not improve as long as businesses are forced to normalize homosexuality and grant gay employees special status.

Johnston added: “For years, the gay community has been calling for approval of gay relationships, for promotion of homosexuality as a person’s core identity, and for so-called sexual freedom.

“What they are finding is that there is a cost. Gay activists want the public to bear the cost of their behavior. People must take personal responsibility for their actions.”

Johnston said the church can provide a safe place.

“It has been a transforming community for many,” he said, “including those living with HIV and AIDS.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out ministry offers hope to those with unwanted same-sex attractions.

z19519753CBS’ Big Brother Airs Profanity During Prime Time:  The Parents Television Council (PTC) criticized CBS for allowing profanity onto this week’s Big Brother 10, which airs during prime time.

 “There is absolutely no justification for allowing an ‘F-word’ like this to air unedited on prime-time broadcast television,” PTC President Tim Winter said in a news release. “There can be no question that this was an intentional act on the part of the network; someone actually had to edit the scene with the word into the show.”

Last year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that television networks essentially can air profanity at any time of day. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case in November.

“Last week, CBS said they wanted indecency laws overturned, and today we found out why,” Winters said. “Based on their behavior, it would appear they feel the law no longer applies to them, anyway.”

TAKE ACTION If you witness profanity and/or indecency during prime-time television, you can file a complaint with the FCC.

z19519753Social Issue Insecurity:  A new Rasmussen Reports poll released this week found that 40 percent of voters trust Republican candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.) over Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on the issue of abortion. Earlier polls suggested that Obama was ahead on the abortion question. The same poll found 26 percent of voters unsure, which means that a large number of voters are unaware of the candidates’ pro-abortion record. Rumors are now circulating that Obama will allow Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Calif.) to speak at the Democratic convention in Colorado. His father, the late Gov. Robert Casey, Sr., was barred from speaking at previous conventions because of his pro-life stance. Sen. Casey, Jr., however, is not identical to his father on the issue of life and has voted in the past to use taxpayer funds for programs that support coercive abortions. In marriage news, the Illinois senator has just reiterated his stance for “equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights” for homosexuals. He did this in a letter to the Family Equality Council, a homosexual advocacy group heavily funded by Rosie O’Donnell and Tim Gill’s foundation. Sen. Obama’s support for same-sex “marriage” makes him the first leading presidential nominee to support this radical redefinition.

z19519753Beer Ads Continue to Ale NCAA:  College sports and alcohol make a bad mix. If you watch college sports on TV, you know the pitch. Just buy some Bud, sip some Sam Adams, chug some Coors-and you’ll be the funniest and most popular guy around. The women will swarm and swoon. Drink responsibly, the ads say, after they’ve shown the fridge stocked wall to wall with beer bottles. These ads are a charade, but they’re big money to college sports-and that’s a scandal. Now more than 100 college coaches are petitioning the NCAA to phase out alcohol ads on sports telecasts. Athletic directors and college presidents are signing up too. It’s the right move. Alcohol abuse takes lives on our college campuses and on our highways. The NCAA can’t stop all of this, but it can stop glamorizing it. This fall college football should kick-off something else-the sleazy beer ads that pollute a great game.

z19519753Speaker Pelosi’s Energy Embargo  (From Aug. 6):  Today marks the House Republicans’ fourth day of protest over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) refusal to deal with high gas prices and America’s growing energy problem. Politico reports that Pelosi is providing cover for vulnerable Democrats, allowing them to say one thing about energy, while knowing full well that she won’t allow a vote on proposals to ease the current crisis. Yesterday, Senior Vice President of FRC Action Connie Mackey and Vice President of Government Affairs Tom McClusky visited the House floor to watch democracy in action. They reported back that it was inspiring to see so many members sacrifice time from their vacations to address issues important to the American people. Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) told onlookers how the protest began. He said that a handful of Republicans approached C-SPAN about broadcasting after the normal session was closed but were informed that C-SPAN could not, by order of the Speaker’s office. In the past, it’s been routine to allow such speeches from the floor. President Bush, perhaps distracted by the Olympic Games, has refused to call a special order of Congress. As a result, the decision now lies with Speaker Pelosi. Please contact her today at (202) 225-4965 and ask her to let the House vote!

z19519753Happily Never After:  Jim Henson once said, “Television is…teaching whether you want it to or not.” Unfortunately, the majority of networks aren’t teaching kids the values that most parents would prefer they learn. Primetime vulgarity is skyrocketing, as are lawsuits to keep the FCC from regulating it. While liberals focus on shutting down the government’s watchdog, the Parents Television Council (PTC) is doing its best to warn families about the latest trends in programming. The newest research shows that the networks have very little to be proud of. This week, PTC announced the findings of its latest study, “Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity over Marital Intimacy…” In the first month of the 2007-08 television season, PTC watched over 207 hours of “scripted entertainment” on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and the CW. It became obvious that “network TV likes sex, but not in marriage.” The glorification of adultery and other misbehavior was almost universal. On every network, PTC found that the references to non-marital sex outnumbered the references to marital sex by nearly 3 to 1. Hollywood’s assault on morality wasn’t reserved for late-night viewers either. “The Family Hour-the time slot with the largest audience of young viewers-contained the highest frequency of references to non-married sex (3.9 to 1). On NBC alone, the remarks about “incest, pedophilia, partner swapping, prostitution, threesomes, transsexuals, bestiality, and necrophilia combined outnumbered references to married sex by a ratio of 27 to 1.” Is it any wonder that we’re fighting to save marriage when most Americans are ingesting a steady diet of Hollywood’s contempt for it? The networks’ fascination with this sexual revolution should bring nothing but sexual revulsion.

 

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20 thoughts on “Focus and CitizenLink

  1. I WOULD HAVE BEEN MARRIED A LONG TIME AGO IF IT HAD BEEN UP TO ME.  I FIRMLY BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE.  BUT THE YEARS HAVE PASSED ME BY AND I NEVER EVEN HAD A PROMISE OF A DATE UNTIL 4 YEARS AGO AT THE AGE OF 45.  I KNOW THAT SOUNDS PRETTY PATHETIC. NOW I DON’T KNOW IF I’LL EVER BE MARRIED, BUT I THINK A LOT THESE DAYS ABOUT WHAT’S THE USE NOW, I’M TOO OLD AND POOR TO HAVE A FAMILY OF MY OWN, PLUS PARTIALLY DISABLED.   ACCORDING TO THAT ARTICLE ABOVE, IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I’M NOT DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.  THAT ARTICLE IS WRONG ABOUT SINGLE WOMEN BEING LESS LIKELY TO GO TO CHURCH, AT LEAST FROM MY PERSPECTIVE.  I LOVE GOING TO CHURCH AND I’VE ALWAYS BEEN SINGLE.    FORGIVE MY PITY PARTY, THIS IS A SORE SUBJECT WITH ME.  I GUESS I FEEL LIKE AN ODDBALL.   AT LEAST I KNOW GOD LOVES ME AS AN ODDBALL SINGLE WOMAN THAT I AM. SURELY HE WOULD HAVE BROUGHT THAT SPECIAL ONE INTO MY LIFE IF IT WERE HIS WILL.  SO UP TO NOW I’LL HAVE TO LET IT BE JUST ME, AS A SINGLE PERSON.      

  2. @DKT1978 – Oh, Debbie….you are not an oddball. There are many women who simply never marry. I can’t say whether it was God’s will for you to marry or not. I would think if He wanted you to, He would have led you to that person. But I don’t know for sure. A lot of factors go into a person marrying or not.
    I have an aunt who never married. She was my grandmother’s sister, and she was the only sibling that did not marry. The man she probably would have married was killed in WWII, and she never fell in love with anybody else. Other men tried to get her to date them, but she simply wasn’t interested. Now she lives by herself in the old family farmhouse in Wharton County. But she is happy.
    Yes, you do love to go to church. And we are glad you do. You add a lot to our small group. You are cheerful and happy to be there. Being partially disabled, you have a reason to not be there sometimes, but you are there often, and you want to be. And that says volumes about your attitude. There are so many who don’t bother to show up, eventhough they really have no excuse. You want to serve God, and you do.
    The article is talking about statistics, and on average, single people are less likely to attend church. So that means you can consider yourself above average. You have not abandoned church attendance like so many people have. You have remained faithful, and we are glad for it. And God will certainly bless for it, too.
    This article talks about the tendency of young people (those in their 20’s and 30’s now) to delay marriage because they want to…you name it….work to accumulate more things, play around and not commit to anyone in particular, see the world, or any number of other reasons. You are not even included in this group, because our generation did not tend to delay marriage. If anything, our generation tended to jump into marriage before they were ready. And then they have to deal with divorce.
    Please don’t feel like you are too old and there is no point in marriage. Having children is not the only reason for marriage. Ask Emma….she and her husband, Norris, never had any children. She sure wanted them, though. I don’t know why they didn’t adopt. Marriage is also about companionship.
    I kind of think the statistics work the other way, too, but I don’t know if any good studies have been done on it. I think less church attendance by young people probably means more have abandoned the social norms of earlier generations, as well as the morals. It use to be that the place you met your marriage partner was in church. It was at our church. Many families intermarried. My parents did. Now there are way less young people in church to meet. Definitely less in ours.
    We love you.

  3. I GUESS I READ TOO MANY CINDERELLA TYPE STORIES GROWING UP AND ALWAYS DREAMED THAT ONE DAY MY PRINCE WOULD COME (NOT JUST SAYING THIS, I REALLY DID).   I MUST STICK TO REALITY.   SORRY ABOUT BEING TOO HORMONAL IN MY POST. 

  4. @DKT1978 – 😉 Not a problem. I know what you mean. We grow up expecting to meet that handsome prince that also just happens to be perfect. 🙄 And we want to live happily ever after.
    I have often wondered why you did not meet someone in college.

  5. @SingingMom – I WAS 28 WHEN I WENT TO COLLEGE.  I LIVED IN THE DORMS WITH ALL THE TEENY- BOPPERS.  THEY THOUGHT I WAS AS OLD AS THE HILLS.  THE ONLY BOYS THAT CAME TO THE DORMS WERE TEENS AND EARLY 20 BOYS.  THEY WERE OH SO IMMATURE.  THE OLDER BOYS THAT I KNEW WERE LIVING IN MARRIED HOUSING OR ENGAGED.  NO CHANCE THERE.  WHEN I HELPED OUT IN BSU WEEKLY BIBLE CLUBS THOSE BOYS WERE ALREADY DATING OTHERS AND WERE STILL TOO YOUNG.  THERE WAS NO RING BY SPRING FOR ME.  NOT TO MENTIONED MY EVENINGS WERE SPENT STUDYING FROM AFTER SUPPER TO AFTER 12PM MOST NIGHTS.  I DIDN’T PARTY LIKE THE TEENY BOPPERS DID.  I DON’T KNOW HOW THEY EVER GOT THEIR WORK DONE.  I KNOW SOME OF THEM WERE JUST NATURALLY SMART, BUT NOT THE MAJORITY, THEY WERE AVERAGE LIKE ME.  THE ONES IN SOME OF MY LITERATURE CLASSES NEVER READ THEIR ASSIGNMENT.  REPORT AND RESEARCH PAPERS BY THEM WERE OFTEN WRITTEN THE NIGHT BEFORE THEY WERE DUE.  OH MY,  THAT WOULD DRIVE ME CRAZY.  I STARTED ON MINE RIGHT AWAY AND SPENT ALL KIND OF TIME IN THE LIBRARY. 2-3 WEEKS BEFORE IT WAS DUE I WOULD EDIT, EDIT, EDIT THE PAPER TO PIECES.  BUT THEN THAT MAY BE WHY I GOT GOOD GRADES OF MOST OF THEM.  HOWEVER, NO DATES, UNLESS YOU CALL GOING WITH A LOAD OF KID’S TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY.  MY FIRST TWO YEARS THERE I HAD NO CAR SO I HAD TO TAG ALONE WITH SOME OF THEM. TO NO AVAIL, NO BOYFRIEND.
    I DID HOWEVER MAKE SOME NICE FRIENDS THERE AT COLLEGE.  I ALSO AT DIFFERENT TIMES HAD TO COUNSEL GIRLS.  THEY CAME TO ME FOR ADVISE.  I TRIED TO GIVE THE MOST BIBLICAL ADVISE THAT I COULD.  I ALSO HAS 2 ROOMMATES AT 2 DIFFERENT TIMES, TRY TO KILL THEMSELVES IN MY DORM ROOM.  ONE TOOK A PACKAGE OF DIARECTICS.  I HAD TO GET THE RA TO CARE FOR HER.  ANOTHER ONE TOOK TOO MANY PAIN PILLS.  BOTH THESE TIMES WERE VERY STRESSFUL.  I TRIED TO BE AS UNDERSTANDING AND SENSITIVE AS I COULD.. I GOT ONE OF THEM TO GET COUNSELING FROM OUR PROFESSOR AND ADMINISTRATOR AND ALSO FROM THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR.  
    ALL MY COLLEGE SUMMERS WERE SPENT WORKING IN SBC HMB STUDENT MISSIONS.  EACH SUMMER WAS DIFFERENT…. * 10 WEEKS IN HOUSTON BAPTIST MISSION WITH MILDRED MC WHORTER IN THE SPANISH BARRIO OF HOUSTON,   * TEACHING VBS AND BYBC FOR 10 WEEKS ALL OVER N. EASTERN NM. * 10 WEEKS IN CLEVELAND, OHIO TEACHING VBS AND BYBC IN VARIOUS PLACES IN NORTHERN OHIO AROUND CLEVELAND, HELPING IN A GHETTO CHURCH        * 10 WEEKS IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY TEACHING VBS     *  8 WEEKS IN BOSTON AND BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS DOING SOME BIBLE SCHOOLS AND A LOT OF BYBC.     *10 WEEKS IN NEW ORLEANS, LIVING IN A MISSION CENTER.  LEARNING TO DO THE THINGS THAT THEY DO.  A LOT OF PHYSICAL LABOR.  FEEDING HOMELESS MEN, HANDING OUT VOUCHERS FOR CLOTHES AND SHELTER.  TEACHING AN OLD LADIES BIBLE CLASS.  DOOR TO DOOR INVITATIONS TO COME TO THE CENTER, VISITING THE ELDERLY.  iI STAYED ON AT N.O. FOR 9 MORE MONTHS AND HELPED TEACH AN AFTERNOON CLASS AND HELPED CHILDREN WITH THEIR HOMEWORK.  PLUS I HELPED CLEAN AND THE CHURCH THAT MET IN THE GYM HAD ME TEACH SOME BIBLE LESSON TO THE ADULT CLASS.  I REALLY FELT OUT OF PLACE THERE, BUT I DID THE BEST I COULD.  :whew: I GUARENTEE I WAS WAS STRETCHED WHILE I WAS THERE.
    NO TIME FOR ROMANCE ON THE MISSION FIELD IN THE INNER CITIES.

  6. @DKT1978 – :what: 😮 Wow…you have done a lot, Debbie. I did not realize you went to all those places. You truly have been in the mission field!
    We knew Mildren McWhorter. Our youth group use to go over to the mission to help out some. That was back around 1975-75. We had a fairly good sized youth group then, probably 25 kids.

  7. Great post Cindy!
    Thanks for stopping by, great wedding pics by the way….also thanks for commenting about the video,, if there is a longer version, I will have to catch it, our Pastor showed this one, I guess short youtubes get viewed more than longer ones so I am glad it was this length…..It’s all about Him!  Jesus!!
    Blessings to you,
    Mike

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