Posts Tagged ‘politics’

The U.S. is now less than a year away from the most consequential election, and not one of the remaining presidential candidates has prioritized addressing child sexual abuse (CSA) as a platform issue. 

Many of these survivors of CSA are now adult voters and they aren’t just people looking for services. They are constituents looking for a change to the system. They are working people, taxpayers and consumers who push through their trauma every day— despite being erased by a world that tells them they aren’t as important as the economy and climate change. The MeToo movement began to shed light on the behavior of wealthy and powerful predators, but the media and politicians are more focused on sexual harassment in the workplace than on the sexual assaults on children taking place in our homes across the country! 

If it is traumatic for a grown woman to be groped or sexually assaulted by a man, how much more traumatic must it be for a 7, 8 or 9 year old to be sexually assaulted by someone they know and trust?

90% of victims of CSA know their abuser well. Many of them live in the same home with them. And even when a perpetrator is arrested and convicted, most judges only sentence them to probation and require them to register as a sex offender. But 23 states in America place no restrictions on child sex offenders. So many of them return to and continue their daily lives without much consequence or repercussions. 

Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13. 

This kind of early childhood trauma has been documented to cause life-long mental, emotional and physical health problems for victims well into adulthood. 

A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can even become suicidal. 

Adult intervention is key to saving children from this kind of abuse and giving them a chance at a healthier, happier outcome. Mandated reporting laws support this type of intervention by requiring certain adults to tell the authorities about suspected child abuse. But many times the mandated reporter is also the perpetrator! 

President Trump recently made animal cruelty a felony. But there is no federal law that places restrictions on convicted perpetrators of CSA. In fact, there are stricter restrictions on those who abuse animals than for those who abuse children!

With no presidential candidate that seems willing to publicly grapple with this bipartisan issue, we must raise our voices and demand that the men and women who want to represent us in the White House, as well as those in local political offices, speak directly to and respond to this national epidemic. And it is especially important that adult survivors of CSA speak out.

Many politicians often say that children are our future. But what kind of future will we have if millions of our children will be wounded adults who struggle with emotional and mental problems because of childhood trauma? 

Mahatma Gandhi once said “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” If this quote is to be believed, where does that leave us? We deserve a country that values the safety of our children, since our future well being and prosperity depends on it.

Recently, many have been voicing their fear while comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. This is strangely reminiscent to me of Barak Obama’s run for president.

Comparing someone to Hitler is as ridiculous as comparing someone to the Antichrist.

Every American president since George Washington has likely been suspected of being the one to usher in the end times. FDR, JFK, Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have all been named by various individuals and organizations as being potential Antichrists. And it most likely won’t be long before Donald Trump is added to that list.

Anyone who studies the Bible would know that the Antichrist will be not be revealed to the world until a great falling away happens first. (2 Thessalonians 2:1- 4)

One has to ask: What would cause a great many people fall away from their faith?

The apostle John states that if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God and has the spirit of the antichrist, which is already here. (See 1 John 2:18; 4:3)

Just as God poured out His spirit onto those who believed, Satan has also poured out his own spirit on those who have rejected God—the spirit of the Antichrist. And without a true repentance and surrender to God’s will, that spirit will continue to grow like a cancer until it destroys all who it infects.

The result of this spirit is people becoming lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (See 2 Timothy 3:1-9)

But it is not the same with those who profess to be followers of Christ. We are to be submissive to rulers and authorities (provided they do not rule against God’s word), to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2)

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray by various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us—not because of good works done by us, but according to his own mercy through Jesus Christ our Savior. (See Titus 3:1-6; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 2:1-15)

I can’t help but think how it must break God’s heart to watch His people, whom He created in His own image, argue amongst themselves about worldly matters. So instead of verbally attacking others who don’t happen to agree with your point of view and speaking slanderously about someone you don’t really know, perhaps we can follow the advice of Ephesians 4:29-31: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

But this will involve repenting of our own wickedness and turning over our own tables in our lives.

If everyone would do this maybe, just maybe together…we could make our country truly great again.

 

 

Many have been complaining about the recent scandals from Benghazi, to the I.R.S., to the overreach of the N.S.A. But in reality, much of the problem is the unrepentant Church.

Do not misunderstand. I am not saying that our government entities should not be held accountable for its actions. But WE are the ones who willingly gave the government its power that it now holds us in its grip.

Anyone who reads a local newspaper or watches the evening news will have to admit to the fact that America is in deep trouble. Just as Israel of old, we too, have forgotten God and replaced Him with our own golden calf. We have bowed down to the idols of humanism, secularism, and government control, and we have reaped the rewards of our actions.

We’ve replaced the Bible and prayer in our public schools with metal detectors and police security. We’ve given up our security of family values and replaced them with immoral ideas and attitudes. We’ve traded the value honest work for enslavery to a bureaucratic government system of relief. Sanctity of life is no longer fought for, and more often is legislated against. Our children have become uncontrollable beasts who murder without conscience. Pornography has been piped into our homes for us and our children to view at the push of a button on the remote control. Those who were designed and appointed to help us and be examples for us– from the local pastor on up to the President, have fallen and have led us to the brink of destruction.

In Galatians 6:7 we read: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Welcome to the harvest!

In his book, “Why Revival Tarries” Leonard Ravenhill writes:

“Solemnly and slowly, with his index finger extended, Napoleon Bonaparte outlined a great stretch of country on a map of the world. “There,” he growled, “is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.” That sleeping giant was China. Today, Bonaparte’s prophecy of some one hundred and fifty years ago makes sense. Today Lucifer is probably surveying the Church just as Bonaparte did China. One can almost behold the fear in his eyes as he thinks of the Church’s unmeasured potential and growls, “Let the Church sleep! If she wakes, she will shake the world.” Is not the Church the sleeping giant of today? Consider Samson’s fall. He didn’t get drunk; he didn’t commit murder; he didn’t steal. Samson fell simply because he succumbed to the natural, and fell asleep. That one small act put him into captivity, made a false god popular, and scattered the forces of the true and living God.”

I can’t remember any true outpouring of God’s spirit on His people in America since the 1970s. And I am not speaking of the emotional frenzies that occur in some Pentecostal-type meeting; but a TRUE spiritual awakening.

God has called us to arise from our slumber! To return to him! To repent of our wicked ways so that He can heal our land! (II Chron. 7:14) As believers in God and his son, Jesus the Messiah, it is the responsibility of us who have been justified by his death and resurrection to seek God’s face, repent of our apathy and pray earnestly for revival! Revival in our own heart first–as well as for those in our homes, our community, and our nation.

“I can give you one simple reason why we don’t have revival in America– Because we’re content to live without it. We’re not seeking God we’re seeking miracles, we’re seeking big crusades; we’re seeking blessings. In Numbers 11, Moses said to God, ‘You’re asking me to carry a burden I can’t handle. Do something or kill me!’ Do you love America enough to say, ‘God, send revival or kill me?’ Do you think it’s time we changed Patrick Henry’s prayer from, Give me liberty or give me death, to Give me revival or let me die?” -Leonard Ravenhill-

Read more about revival at:

http://www.ravenhill.org/index.htm

http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Voice/Revival.Lectures.html

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezek. 16:49)

Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith downplayed the impact of last week’s factory building collapse on his country’s garment industry, saying Friday he didn’t think it was “really serious” just hours after the 500th body was pulled from the debris. The government has recently suspended the mayor there and arrested an engineer who had called for the building’s evacuation last week, but was also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the eight-story structure. The building owner was arrested earlier. The official death toll from the April 24 collapse reached 512 Friday and was expected to climb, making it likely the deadliest garment-factory accident in world history.

The minimum wage for a garment worker there is only $38.00 a month! And that is only after being nearly doubled this year following violent protests by workers! According to the World Bank, the per capita income in Bangladesh was only about $64.00 a month in 2011!

According to data from Bangladesh’s commerce ministry and industry sources, Bangladesh ships about $15.6 billion of ready-made garments each year – about 80 percent of its total exports. Sixty percent of its garment exports go to Europe, the United States takes 23 percent, and Canada takes 5 percent. About 18 months before this tragedy in Bangladesh a fire killed 112 people in a textile factory in Tazreen in which locked doors prevented workers from fleeing to safety.

Shareholders at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the opportunity to weigh in on the safety question. By a nearly 50-to-1 margin, they rejected a proposal to require suppliers to report annually on safety issues at their factories. In arguing against the proposal, Wal-Mart’s management made its reasoning clear: “Having suppliers compile such reports could ultimately lead to higher costs for Walmart and higher prices for our customers. This would not be in the best interests of Walmart’s shareholders and customers and would place Walmart at a competitive disadvantage.”

Wal-Mart and Sears’ shares have moved higher since the Tazreen fire last November. That disaster did not appear to have any measurable impact on sales at Wal-Mart and Sears after both acknowledged their products were made there.

The larger tragedy I see is that consumers will continue to purchase products from brands like Wal-Mart’s Faded Glory and Loblaw’s Joe Fresh found in the ruins of the factory building this week. Many people justify it by saying, “I go there because it’s cheap.” Or, “I’m on a limited income and I can’t afford to shop anywhere else.”

The unemployment rate is down to 7.5 percent and we gained 16,000 non-farm jobs last month, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the Morgan Stanley report said “the current investment in U.S. manufacturing remains at depressed levels.” With the loss of 5.5 million manufacturing jobs this decade, and the residual impact (for every one manufacturing job there are five others created – truck drivers, accountants, research & development, clerical, etc.), the U.S. has seen a loss of over 30 million jobs.

While many who read this will try to blame this problem on Democrats or Republicans, this is NOT a political problem! This is a spiritual problem!

I am reminded of James 5:4-6 that says, “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.”

We have lost our moral compass and have become like Sodom–arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; refusing to help the poor and needy.

But what can we do?

Repent of our selfishness and arrogance! Then refuse to purchase goods that are sold on the backs of slave labor with the wages covered in the blood of the poor!

This has had a huge impact on not only our economy and national security but also on our very survival! Since government has not provided a solution, it is time for us to take action before it’s too late.

American Made Products Directory:  http://www.americansworking.com/

On his HotBedInfo blog Kyle Trottier wrote that he believes that America may be on the same path of destruction as the doomed Roman Empire. He is not alone in his assessment. There are many voices sounding the same alarm…And they may be right.
According to research, eight specific patterns of behavior have signaled the downward spiral and imminent demise of every culture:
• Marriage lost its sacredness; it was frequently broken by divorce.
• Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony was lost. Alternate forms and definitions of marriage arose, and traditional marriage vows were replaced by individual marriage contracts.
• Feminist movements appeared, and women lost interest in child bearing and mothering, preferring to pursue power and influence.
• Public disrespect for parents and authority in general increased.
• Juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion accelerated
• People with traditional marriages refused to accept family responsibilities.
• Desire for and acceptance of adultery grew.
• Increased tolerance for sexual perversions of all kinds, particularly homosexuality, with a resultant increase in sex-related crimes.

Sound familiar? If this research data is taken seriously, one can only conclude that America is a civilization in rapid decline—a nation in serious, imminent danger.

You would think that this data must have been generated by some radical, far-right religious organization with a serious political agenda. So who was it that released this startling indictment? Focus on the Family? Promise Keepers? Alex Jones? It may surprise you that the author has no religious affiliation or conservative political perspective. The author was noted Sociologist and Historian Dr. Carle Zimmerman. His book, “Family and Civilization,” is a scholarly work of pure history, sociology and science. Far from being current rhetoric from the religious right, the book was published in 1947.

Regardless of their credentials, when a conservative person of faith speaks out for family values in today’s troubled society, their statements are quickly discounted by some as right wing religious propaganda. But how do these people respond to the almost prophetic writings of this respected man whose work predates the beginning of many of today’s problems?

That America is a nation in decline is undeniable. So is it too late to reverse that decline? I don’t think so. But such reversal will require men and women of God who are willing to stand tall and strong for the moral and ethical values laid out in God’s Holy Scriptures. It will require us to be willing to place God above everything else in our lives: Integrity before personal gain, families before career and job promotions, and children before personal entertainment. It will require all of God’s people to humble themselves before God, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways.

“At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14-15 NIV)

Many Christians today look at what’s happening in our world and may feel that the end is so near that they think, “Why bother to try to change things? Why not just wait for the eminent return of our Lord Jesus?” But remember that Jesus himself said,“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matt. 24:6)

Change will not be easy, but it is possible—if we truly take our future, and the future of our children and grandchildren, seriously. Do you?

A new study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) revealed that “cool” kids in middle school had a tendency to participate in bullying more than others. Bullying defined as “either starting fights or pushing other kids around or spreading nasty rumors about other kids”, the UCLA psychology study found that bullying could help improve an individual’s social status and popularity among middle school students. In addition, students who were already considered popular utilized these forms of bullying. The study’s lead author Jaana Juvonen, a professor of psychology at UCLA, discovered that, “The ones who bully more are seen as cool.”

In the project, the researchers observed 1,895 ethnically diverse students from 11 Los Angeles middle schools. The students were dispersed across 99 different classes, with investigators conducting surveys at the start of the seventh grade, the fall of eighth grade, and the spring of eighth grade. During each of the three surveys, the students filled out questionnaires asking them to name the students who were thought to be the “coolest”.  Students who were considered “coolest” at some time during the study were also found to be the most aggressive, and individuals who were named the most aggressive had a higher likelihood of being considered the coolest. So it seems that the simple message of “Bullying is not tolerated” is not likely to be very effective.

Are some students naturally aggressive ?

I do not believe that children are naturally aggressive or ‘born to bully’. Human beings are not ruled by instincts like animals. Aggressive impulses come mainly from responses learned during upbringing. Parents that express anger through physical aggression will likely produce children who tend to express anger the same way. Children from homes where there is domestic violence tend to over or under-estimate violence, which often affects their relationships with others and later with their own children. Unfortunately, adults often unknowingly set a bad example to their children.

What can the Church do?

The United States is one of the most religious nations in the developed world yet it has the highest murder rate. When the greatest amount of violence is found in a country that was founded on biblical principles, it is no wonder that the unbelieving world is asking, “What kind of influence is Christianity having?”

I know that violence will continue to be a problem until Jesus returns and sets all things right. And although we can’t eliminate violence in this age, God has called us to influence the world as “salt” and “light”. (Matthew 5:13-16) But if we lose our saltiness; our Christianity isn’t good for anything. And if we hide our light; the world will remain in darkness. The time is now for the Church to repent from our wickedness and pray for God to send revival!

The great modern revivalist Leonard Ravenhill in his book, ‘Today’s Sleeping Giant’ wrote:

Solemnly and slowly, with his index finger extended, Napoleon Bonaparte outlined a great stretch of country on a map of the world. “There,” he growled, “is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.” That sleeping giant was China. Today, Bonaparte’s prophecy of some one hundred and fifty years ago makes sense.

Today Lucifer is probably surveying the Church just as Bonaparte did China. One can almost behold the fear in his eyes as he thinks of the Church’s unmeasured potential and growls, “Let the Church sleep! If she wakes, she will shake the world.” Is not the Church the sleeping giant of today?

I pray that she will wake before it’s too late.

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., many are considering whether changes to America’s gun laws are needed.

I realize this may be controversial to some, but I believe we should be more concerned about the type of people who commit these heinous acts than the type of weapons they use to commit them.

When I grew up in an age when it was socially acceptable for a parent to occasionally use physical punishment to correct their children. There were a few times that I felt my dad’s belt on my backside and I can’t remember a single time that I was afraid of my dad’s belt. But I can clearly remember my fear of my dad when he became angry at something I had done to invite his wrath.

Why is it that we fear an object or thing more than we fear the one in control of that object or thing? Many are deathly afraid of tornados and hurricanes but have no fear of God, who controls them.

According to the FBI Crime Stats, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and knives far outnumbers murders committed with a rifle. A handgun is the weapon most often used in crimes. But of the 6,220 murders committed with handguns, most were likely obtained illegally.

According to reports in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, millions of mentally ill people could pass a gun background check today, because many states simply don’t bother submitting mental-health records to the FBI.

Consider the following  stats:

  • Virginia Tech: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, who killed 32 people and wounded 17 in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007 before killing himself, had a long history of mental illness. Cho was diagnosed with severe social anxiety disorder as a teenager. A judge in 2005 found that Cho presented “an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness” and ordered him to receive outpatient psychiatric treatment.
  • Tucson: Jared Lee Loughner, 24, who is serving a life sentence without parole for killing six people and wounding 19 others in 2011, was diagnosed with schizophrenia by a court-appointed psychiatrist. He also suffered from depression in high school.
  • Aurora: James Eagen Holmes, 24, who is accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 people at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in July, has been described as mentally ill by his defense attorney. Prosecutors presented their case against Holmes at a preliminary hearing Monday.

Police have not revealed whether Adam Lanza had additional mental health problems. Yet the scale and nature of the shooting lead many to the inescapable conclusion that mental illness will be a large piece of the puzzle, as it has been with other mass shootings.

Mental health screening, early intervention, evidence-based mental health treatment and services, and family education and support will be a great help in alleviating this type of violence. But more concern should be placed on a bigger problem:

As is common for this type of evil, some have asked questions like, “Why did God allow this to happen?” or “Why didn’t God stop this evil?” The answer is that God has allowed mankind to reap the consequences of sin. Anyone who has had to deal with a rebellious son or daughter will tell you there are times when you just throw up your hands and say, “ Since you refuse to listen to me, just go and do what you want!” I sometimes imagine God doing the same thing with us.

This is not to say that the staff or the children killed in Newtown were in any way guilty of any particular sin that led to their deaths. The tragedy of sin is that the innocent often suffer due to the wickedness of others – As in the cases where children suffer abuse at the hands of their parents.

Romans 6:23 declares, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Sin always brings death – spiritually, and sometimes physically. Only Jesus Christ can truly transform a person and bring true peace and purpose to their life.

The problem is not just guns or mental illness. Disarming law-abiding citizens or institutionalizing everyone with a mental illness will do little to protect the public. Some people will still find a way to kill others.

What then is the solution to gun violence? Pray for God’s guidance and protection. But we must also pray for a true spiritual revival and return to God’s standard of morality. People who follow Biblical principles do not commit mass murder. The Bible teaches in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” It is ludicrous to expect God to bless us when we as a nation have rejected Him and embraced sin. While not every disaster will be adverted, as mankind is inherently wicked, but if we, as a nation, returned to God and followed His principals for living, much suffering and death could be avoided.

For more information on Mental Illness click HERE