Tag Archives: Children

The School Success and Opportunity Act aka California’s Transgender Student Bill

ab-1266-dunk3Once again, my dear state of California has stepped out in what some call ground breaking legislation, paving the way for other states to follow.  It is ground breaking for certain, even earth shaking, which is apropos, coming from earthquake prone California.  Governor Brown has signed AB1266 into law, which “gives students the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.” This K-12 legislation will take effect in January 2014, but will face many lawsuits stemming from it implementation.

“They will be able to participate in activities, consistent with their gender identity…. rather than singling kids out specifically who are transgender identified, this is a way for them to feel like, they are just like their peers. They are treated exactly the same way” stated an advocate on a Foxnews.com interview.  Yet, this legislation, which helps such a small minority in comparison to the overall population of school children, does not in fact treat the students exactly the same but creates a legislative niche for the few, amongst the majority, whose voice has been muffled over the din of the organizations which have supported it.  For the transgender student who has had to deal with the struggle of which bathroom to use, the individual school district should make arrangements and not make it a big government mandate.

Proponents claim that this legislation will help with bullying, yet I submit that we have only seen the beginning of bullying that this legislation will ultimately foster.  Because the language of the legislation does not require bona fide evidence that one is transgender, any student may decide to be transgender for the day, giving them license to enter the opposite sex’ bathroom and locker room at will.  Bullying at it’s worst will happen.  I can imagine initiations and hazings to benefit from this law, where the perpetrators can cry protection under it’s umbrella, while the victim will be forever violated by what was supposedly meant to protect students.  Imagine showering after physical education, or a track meet with your fellow athlete, only to discover one’s body parts don’t match.  Imagine the junior high girl who has just gotten her period, walking out to find a junior high boy washing his hands in your once private sanctuary.  Imagine the 7th grade boy, hormonal, confused and naked with a bunch of girls, eager to humiliate the kid they are forced to shower with. The restroom, a place of escape and privacy, is now a facility of discomfort and embarrassment for all who don’t embrace this law. Bullying will take on an entirely new meaning.

According to Foxnews.com, Randy Thompson of savecalifornia.com, says the law would “damage” kids.

“This radical bill warps the gender expectations of children by forcing all California public schools to permit biological boys in girls restrooms, showers, clubs and on girls sports teams and biological girls in boys restrooms, showers, clubs and sports teams,” Thomasson said. “This is insanity.”

The very kids which this legislation was intended to “help”, will ultimately hurt all and the indoctrination of the youngest child “protected” by this law is perhaps the most heinous aspect.   What parent really supports telling their kindergarten boy that his gender identity, his penis, doesn’t matter now, and that if a little girl comes into his bathroom, he is just to be polite and ignore her?  The confusion that will occur at school for the elementary age child, a place where learning and play should be the priority, cannot be understated.  No longer is grammar school about reading, writing and arithmetic, but for the promotion of extreme propaganda, with the intent to inoculate young children to this radical agenda.

Parents of public school kids must have a new conversation with their children.  No longer is the golden rule enough, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but rather the new rule, “avert your eyes when your transgender peer comes into your locker room or bathroom”.   “It’s not polite to stare” takes on a new meaning under AB1266.  No longer does the benign question, “how was your day at school” have an equally benign answer, as parents could have in response “fine, until a six foot tall man walked into the bathroom while I was changing.”  This is what progress looks like?

The supporters of this law have cataracts that cloud their mental vision and ultimately their ability to see the unintended consequences of the legislation.  They blindly lead their followers to the answer the seems to be the best, without regard for the whole of society.  It is “all about them” and their desires, without reflecting on how to meet the need they represent with the least amount of damage and disturbance to the rest of society.  If the need is a bathroom for the transgender student, then give them a bathroom, like a family restroom one finds at a department store.  If the transgender student wants to play on the opposite sex’ sports team, then allow the districts to work it out at the local level.  The organizations that have pushed for this legislation don’t want to take into account the whole of society, but want to force society to revolutionize from the top down, in a mass power grab.

The majority is without a voice in California.   We speak, and the liberal courts over turn, at the beckoning of the radical few who scream the shrillest.  We protest and we are labeled as haters. The good of society as a whole is no longer what drives the legislature here, but rather the radical ideas propagated by the loudest and many times most politically connected voices.  Our school kids suffer for it, and ultimately, the fate of California lies in the ayes of it’s liberal leaders.

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Counter Argument to Spanking Linked to Mental Illness

Misleading. The American Academy of Pediatrics shared its findings in a July 2, 2012 press release stating evidence that: Spanking (is) Linked to Mental Illness.  The article would have been more accurately titled:  Of those with Mental Illness, Only 2-7% Were Exposed to Harsh Physical Punishment based on the data collected by the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions during the years 2004 and 2005.   There is a definite angle to the press release and without reading the entire article, as well as the linked study, one would jump to the conclusion that the Bleeding Heartland blog opined in Evidence mounts against spanking children. However terms are ill defined and manipulated to make the case against spanking in the Bleeding Heartland blog, as well as in the study’s results articulated in the in the press release.

The study states, “The current research investigated the possible link between harsh physical punishment (ie, pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, hitting) in the absence of more severe child maltreatment (ie, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, exposure to intimate partner violence) and Axis I and II mental disorders.”

The results of the study according to the AAP:  “Harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and family history of dysfunction.”

The conclusion gleaned from the study:  “Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.”

The aim of the study was to investigate a possible link between harsh punishment and mental disorders, such as, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders.  The result of harsh punishment, defined by the study as “pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, hitting” was increased odds of having an Axis I or Axis II disorder.

The following is a description of these type of disorders found in the DSM-IV.

Axis I lists most major mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. In general, researchers view these disorders as acute problems that are superimposed on individuals’ preexisting functioning.

Axis II lists personality disorders and mental retardation, which ostensibly differ from Axis I disorders in their greater persistence over time. Personality disorders are extremes of personality traits, such as impulsivity, dependency, and anxiety, that are inflexible, maladaptive, or both. Mental retardation is characterized by an IQ (intelligence quotient) of approximately 70 or below, severe deficits in adaptive functioning (e.g., inability to cook or dress oneself), and onset prior to adulthood.

According to a 2005 study, conducted by Ronald Kessler and his colleagues, it was found that “between 25 percent and 30 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders such as phobias, about 20 percent suffer from mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, and about 15 percent suffer from substance-abuse disorders such as alcoholism.” The survey also revealed that there are “important gender differences in the prevalence of some mental disorders, as well as some notable race differences found is specific psychopathologies such as post traumatic stress syndrome and alcoholism.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics findings of “possible link and increased odds” states that 2% to 5% of Axis I and 4% to 7%  of Axis II disorders reported experiencing harsh physical punishment.  In context of the numbers found in Kessler’s report of 25-30% Americans who sufferer from these disorders, the results are very small.  To conclude that “These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders” is misleading and erroneous.  To make the leap that spanking is the cause of these disorders is also an egregious error, with an obvious agenda tainting the findings of the report.

Many have argued, including the American Association of Pediatrics that spanking should not be practiced and they utilize any evidence that helps support their claim.  However there are a great many people who have properly and sparingly used spanking as a way of discipline and have children who model the very essence of a well brought up child, secure in the love of his parents and able to live well in society.

Child abuse is heinous. No child should ever endure harsh physical, emotional or mental punishment.  Children need love and consistency in their lives to grow into well adjusted citizens.  Children also need discipline, wise and loving guidance that many times include penalties for behavior that is unacceptable.  Chip Ingram, pastor and author says, “The discipline should fit the misbehavior and the age and understanding of the child.  Sometimes, spanking does come into use, but only in a calm and loving manner, after a clear warning to help lead the child away from danger and a clear understanding that the action was not a mistake, but a case of disobedience. The discipline of spanking should always include these seven steps, or it should not be used.”

  1. Clear warning- Your first interaction with your child about a situa­tion should be verbal. It should always be preceded by a clear warning, both for her sake and for yours. You want to know whether your child deliberately crossed a line or made an honest mistake. A clear warning will help her steer clear of danger and will help you know you’re correcting intentional disobedience.
  2. Establish responsibility- It’s important for your child to own up to his misbehavior.Remember that your child can’t learn without being able to own up to his responsibility. No one can. When you put your child in a position of having to do that, you’re preparing him for responsible adulthood. Remember to always keep your focus on the child’s behavior, not his identity.
  3. Avoid embarrassment- Never embarrass your children in front of their friends, siblings, or even strangers. Embarrassment can do a lot of damage that you’ll have a hard time undoing later on.
  4. Communicate grief– Let your children  know that more than being angry, you are disappointed and heartbroken when they disobey. Early on in their lives, let them know that you trust them and when that trust has been violated, they need to know that the relationship is wounded.
  5. Provide a sting as a deterrent- Remember the point of a spanking: It’s to sting, to provide a painful deterrent to misbe­havior, not to injure.
  6. Sincere repentance– Help them clearly relate the discipline to the behavior, not to them as a person. Tell them how special they are, both to you and to God, and that they were disciplined to correct mis­behavior, not because they were a bad person.
  7. Unconditional love– after disciplining your child, let me encour­age you to take him in your arms and pray, give him a big hug and go do something fun. He’ll know he’s still accepted and that there’s absolutely no barrier between the two of you.  (Taken from: The Biblical Approach to Spanking, Seven Steps to Disciplining Your Child, by Chip Ingram)

If the goal of the study, “Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative U.S. Sample,” was to help those with mental disorders live a well rounded life, or even to determine how actual child abuse can be prevented in these types of living situations and scenarios, then the findings could lead to better ways in which to help this percentage of the population.  But the desire and driving motivation came with an agenda and a misinterpretation of the findings. In the authors own words, the reduction of physical punishment and therefore spanking is the desired end.

Study authors conclude pediatricians and other health care providers who work with children and parents should be aware of the link between physical punishment and mental disorders. From a public health perspective, study authors conclude reducing physical punishment may help decrease the prevalence of mental disorders in the general population.

Once again, all forms of abuse are never acceptable.  We should be looking for ways in which to help those with mental disorders. But for the scientific community to make a connection between a possible link and the increased odds of mental illness as related to harsh physical punishment, while manipulating the terms and statistics to push an agenda, is insincere.  Spanking has not been proved to be linked to mental illness in this report, but rather the facts were manipulated with the intent to build a case for opponents of spanking. When a child misleads his parents he or she is taught not to lie.  When a scientific community misleads the public they too should be reprimanded.  Perhaps a spanking is what is needed.


Heavenly or Hellish Creatures

The small choices matter.  One will reflect, plan, worry and generally count the cost when big decisions must be made, but it is the daily, moment by moment decisions that build the landscape of one’s life.

“[E]very time you make a choice you are turning into the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.”
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

The choice to take a break and spend time with my kids these past few weeks, walking away from the blogosphere and reconnecting  with my children in the sphere in which they live, may appear to be a small choice but it has been one of significance.   My youngest son just had a birthday and though we spent the day together, it didn’t feel like we truly spent time with each other.  It wasn’t until two hours before worship practice that same day, that he came to me, with tears in his pre-teen eyes and said, “Mom, could you re-schedule band practice and spend time with me?  Aren’t I more important than practice.”

Ouch.  I swore I would never let ministry and “my stuff” come before my kids and I had.  So, I made the right choice in that moment and quickly called everyone, pushing practice back a few nights and demonstrating to my boy how much he truly means to me.

Daily choices make lifelong impressions on those in one’s life.  To choose poorly may have ramifications years down the road.  I may, through the choices I make not only be slowly turning into a hellish creature, but by my very decisions, I may be helping lead my own children in the same hellish direction.  Conversely, when I am making decisions that are in harmony with God’s plan, I am showing those I love the most, my kids, how to love God through my choices and in turn I am becoming a heavenly creature, demonstrating to them how also to live like Christ, the only example of a truly heavenly being.

Today may not present a life altering decision, but one’s daily choices when weighed en masse, may in fact bring one closer or farther from the image of God’s Son.


Love = Vulnerability

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” — C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)

Tears have fallen today, though we knew this day would come. Our “Arnold Bean”, the once chubby beagle had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of thirteen. The pain that loving brings is climaxed upon the death bed and perhaps purest in the tears of a child. Yet would we choose to not love, even an animal, in order to avoid such pending hurt, as death comes with life? Would we avoid affectionate attachment, so as to not feel inevitable anguish?

My daughter’s good bye offering to her beloved pet was a video montage which she made from the last pictures of today. Heart felt and tear invoking, her thirteen year old heart morned in an innocent and truthful way. My son, who chose to go with us to put the “old man” to sleep, made some deeply profound statements, as he rubbed his “best friend’s” head. Even in his eleven year old mind, he understood that both Lucifer’s fall and man’s fall were affecting his lovable beagle Arnold, and that because of sin, even the animals must pay the price and die. The sweet little boy that he is, said, “I am going to weep and weep for my best friend.”

Life means death and there is no escaping the pain that it brings.  As C. S. Lewis stated, “Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.” In order to live the highest joys, one must experience the lowest lows. Loving an animal, especially for a child, is the first steps of experiencing life and death, joy and pain.  These may be the baby steps that help prepare for the loss of a grandparent or friend and should not be discounted and avoided, but embraced as part of growing pains that go along with life in a fallen world.