What Tori Hope Petersen Wants You To Know About Being ‘Fostered’

What Tori Hope Petersen Wants You To Know About Being ‘Fostered’

The foster care system gets mentioned in discussions by people who have little to no knowledge of its reality. Tori Hope Petersen gives a firsthand account of the system and how it shaped her in her debut memoir, “Fostered.”

Petersen is a wife, a mother to three, and has also been a foster parent. She is also a former foster youth and foster care advocate. Over her years in the system and working with the system, her faith and passion have given her the strength necessary to serve these less-than-fortunate children.

Petersen took the time to talk with The Federalist during a short break from helping her younger sister move in. The sisters spent their early days together in foster care before being separated. This year, they were reunited and Petersen welcomed her sister into her home where they now live together. During a follow-up conversation, Petersen’s son hung out on the side while enjoying a bowl of spaghetti as the two sat in the summer sun. It was apparent her family is her everything.

Petersen talks about her upcoming book, “Fostered,” and how her journey through the foster care system and faith journey have shaped her.

Fostered” will be available for purchase on Aug. 30, 2022 on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, or Target.

Why did you initially decide to write “Fostered”?

I wanted to write the book because I wanted youth in foster care to understand that they weren’t victims, that they were victors, that they could overcome the hardest things that were set up against them through Christ. As I wrote the book, and as I began to write on social media, I realized that I was educating foster parents, child welfare workers, lawyers, people who worked in the child welfare space, and just people who have an interest in foster care. I didn’t intend for the audience to be what it is now. I just really wanted to write a book that was kind of like the book that I needed when I was in care. Now knowing my audience is broader than I anticipated, I now hope that the book encourages people to step into the hard parts of foster care and to love those around them in an unbridled, fearless kind of way. As people read, they will see that’s what was done for me by others.

What is your experience interacting with your audience who’s learning about your story and about the foster care system for the first time through your story?

It’s mostly just from my social media platform. When it comes to social media in general, the people who read and probably take the most from my posts are just the general population and people who have been interested in foster care, but I think have been scared. I get a lot of messages and I mean, it’s just like, so amazing, so many messages of people saying, “We’ve been interested in foster care for a long time. We’ve been scared or we haven’t done it because X, Y, and Z. Because of your post or your story, we’re getting involved.”

One of the themes that you taught and touched on in your book is just the importance of strong mother and father figures and a strong family. Could you talk a little bit more about that?

I don’t even know what to say about it. It seems so obvious that when we have those supports, the kind of unconditional love that parents give at home, that’s what a strong family is. Then, we don’t go searching for it in other places. When we don’t have to go searching for it in other places, it feels like there’s more stability around our self-worth and who we were created to be. And research shows there’s so much that supports this. I just think that a strong faith and family is really the foundation of a person, but that doesn’t mean a person can’t be strong if they don’t have a strong family either. That’s why it’s important that we have strong communities.

In your book, you recount when you met your father’s side of the family and you felt that sense of community even though you hadn’t really known them up until then. That, along with other things that you touched on in the book, was a very emotional and personal moment. What was it like revisiting those memories?

There were moments that it was hard, but honestly, it was so healing. When people say writing memoirs is cathartic, I didn’t really know what that meant. I always used to have this recurring dream that I was locked in someplace—in the post office or my house or jail—and I couldn’t get out and my mom was yelling at me like how she yelled at me when I was a kid. I’ve had that dream since I went into foster care, probably at least once a month. After I finished writing my book, I had that dream where I was locked somewhere and my mom was yelling at me, and I walked out. I’ve never had the recurring dream since, and I feel like that encompasses what this book has done for me. It’s just been healing. I think that’s kind of what counseling does for us. It helps us process things, and I think that’s what the book helped me do in a deeper way than I already had. It helped me process things all over again.

Unfortunately, not everyone can make that same peace with the past, and some people don’t even have the resources to rehabilitate their minds after traumatic experiences. This is especially true for children in the foster care system. What’s one of the biggest changes you would like to see in the foster care system going forward?

Every foster kid has a file, and that file follows them everywhere they go. It usually says the worst things that have ever happened to them and the worst things they’ve ever done. We know that first impressions are so important, right? Like when we go into a job interview and we have a bad first impression, we think, “Oh how do I fix that?” When a kid has a file, they can’t fix that. It’s just the same things that get brought up to the person that they want to form a deep relationship with. They never get a new start. They never truly get a new beginning. I think how we see children is so valuable for how they’re going to see themselves. I think that we need to do something with the file so that children don’t have that following them around in a way that plagues their identity, because healing really begins and ends with identity.

Poor conditions in the foster care system are a big part of the pro-abortion argument. What is your response to that?

My response is that any real social justice advocacy or any real social justice movement, it aims to end the suffering, not the potential suffering.

What do you hope your readers walk away with after reading through “Fostered”?

My greatest hope behind the book is that youth who read it, parents who read it, and people who read it understand the value that each individual has, that there’s a purpose and plan for their life, and that no matter what they’ve been through, God loves them. And knowing that, they love others. People and God loving me is my motivation to love others the best I can. I want that love to just continue. I think it goes back to that piece of identity that no matter where you come from, no matter what’s been done to you, no matter how you were conceived, you have value, you can be loved, you can love. There’s a plan and purpose for your life. I just want people to know who God is and who God has created us to be.


Elise McCue is an intern at The Federalist and student majoring in multimedia journalism and professional and technical writing. She also reports on the Southwest Virginia music scene for The Roanoke Times. You can follow her on twitter @elisemccue or contact her at mccueelise@gmail.com

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Is This the End of Chaplaincy in State Schools?

Is This the End of Chaplaincy in State Schools?

The chaplaincy programme in state schools throughout Australia is now under threat from the new Labor government. This will be to the detriment of student wellbeing. Chaplains provide vital support for our children, particularly those in disadvantaged circumstances.

Jane Caro recently wrote an article expressing how offended she was at the chaplaincy program in state schools. Unfortunately, Caro is happy to impose her irreligious atheism on the majority of her fellow citizens while denying them the freedom to have their own beliefs. Little wonder so few Australians voted for her in the election, as the following graph illustrates:

2022 election

Since John Howard introduced the chaplaincy program in 2006, it has spread to 3,000 schools across the country, with people of all faiths contributing chaplains. Anecdotally, my own observation in talking to non-religious parents is that the program has done much good, for which they are deeply grateful.

Labor Diktat

FamilyVoice is now reporting though, that less than a month of being in power, the Albanese Labor government “has announced a change to the National School Chaplaincy Program that will effectively see the end of school chaplains.”

Significantly, the new Prime Minister is seeking to “dump the compulsory religious requirement for the program”, thus making sure “thousands of schools will be vulnerable to pressure from radical activists demanding that they dump their chaplains in favour of a secular alternative.” As social researcher Amy Isham recently wrote regarding the parameters and benefits of the program:

The chaplains I know haven’t had an opportunity to teach much religion at all. They have committed themselves to working to build positive relationships at school and have helped in a difficult high school where many children are in cycles of problematic choices.

One of my friend’s main focuses has been teaching communication and relationship skills while encouraging educational aspiration. Caro seems to be referencing the chaplaincy from her youth and has literally no empirical knowledge of current chaplaincy programs.

Victorian Developments

This is what we’re in danger of losing if the current government gets its way. Sadly, the Labor government at both federal and state levels are showing every sign of continuing its discrimination against people of faith. For instance, the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday:

The Andrews Labor Government is today making the biggest single investment in student mental health in Australian history — delivering the support young Victorians need to grow up happy and healthy, and catching mental health concerns earlier so children aren’t slipping through the cracks of the system.

The Labor Government will invest $200 million to expand the successful Mental Health in Primary Schools program to every single government and low-fee non-government primary school in Victoria — 1800 school campuses.

Scaling up across the state from 2023, by 2026 every school will employ a Mental             Health and Wellbeing Leader to implement a whole-school approach to wellbeing.

This will support individual students, help teachers better identify and support at-risk   students, and build relationships and referral pathways to local mental health services.

Not only is two hundred million dollars a massive financial investment, but it overlooks the excellent work that thousands of people of faith already do. Much like military chaplains in the armed forces, school chaplains provide more holistic care for the person that includes — but also goes beyond — the psychological.

Superficial

Sadly, we are increasingly losing our soul as a nation, especially when we fail to understand people as having been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:28). We’ve been made to worship Someone greater than ourselves, as well as relate to one another in a way that reflects this reality.

If the chaplaincy program loses its religious focus though, then our children will not be encouraged to explore deeper issues of faith and meaning. And that will ultimately be to everyone’s loss. As Stephen McAlpine argues in Third Space:

Here’s the thing: societies are at their healthiest when there is freedom ‘for’ as opposed to freedom ‘from’. They just are. The history of the 20th century has proven this to be so. The 21st century continues to prove it.

Liberty of conscience — to practice faith publicly and allow it to inform your civic life — or indeed not to practice a recognisable faith at all — is a freedom we should not take lightly. Confident governments that will look after their citizens’ interests have proven to be secular in a most pluralistic manner.

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska.

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YouTuber Demolishes Dutch National Broadcaster’s Abortion Propaganda: “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings”

YouTuber Demolishes Dutch National Broadcaster’s Abortion Propaganda: “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings”

The pro-life movement in the Netherlands is experiencing a resurgence among its youth. In response, a Dutch National Broadcaster NOS published a slickly-produced mini-documentary to persuade young people to change their views on abortion. A young Dutch Christian YouTuber responded with a video shredding the false claims and manipulation in the NOS’s ad.

The Pro-Life Resurgence in the Netherlands

Since 2016, the ‘March for Life’ in the Netherlands has grown enormously, attracting consistently over 10,000 participants (before the COVID-19 pandemic struck). This is despite stringent opposition in a country that is considered one of the most socially progressive in the world.

Researchers from Tilburg University found that Dutch young people between 20 and 40 are more likely to be pro-life than the older generations. This is despite abortion being fully legalised in the country since 1984, almost four decades ago.

Tragically, young people in the Netherlands have no memory or experience of their country before the murder of unborn babies was made legal. Now, almost 30,000 babies are killed each year in the country.

In response to the rise in pro-life young people, one of the Netherlands’ government-funded public broadcasters, Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, produced a blatantly ideological mini-documentary clip attempting to explain and dissuade young people from their pro-life stance.

The video claimed to present the “truth about the abortion debate”, while actively stigmatising and maligning young people who disagreed with the dominant pro-abortion narrative.

Young People Leading the Pro-Life Charge

But Carel de Lange (a.k.a. The Thinking Dutchman) was quick to call out the broadcaster’s blatant propaganda.

De Lange has degrees in both science and philosophy, and, last year, he started uploading videos to his YouTube Channel, The Thinking Dutchman, where he presents “thoughtful commentary on anti-Christian content”.

In response to the NOS documentary, he uploaded a video entitled “The Real Truth About the Abortion Debate (Response to Dutch Documentary)” in which he systematically debunked the NOS propaganda piece.

Throughout his video, he showed that the NOS documentary was guilty of Bulverism — a term coined by C.S. Lewis to refer to a particularly dangerous rhetorical fallacy.

De Lange also demonstrated that the anti-life side was sloppy with — and sometimes outright inaccurate — in their usage of terminology and that they consistently let people’s feelings get in the way of the truth. He borrows the now-famous line from US cultural commentator, Ben Shapiro: “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings”.

Some in the pro-abortion camp argue that, while unborn babies are humans, they cannot be considered “persons”. De Lange also responds to this claim.

You can watch the full video below:

In his concluding remarks, de Lange argued that the “mini-documentary is a manifestation of the post-truth culture we live in”.

“The focus is not on the truth about abortion itself, but on people’s beliefs about it. The makers of this video are guilty of Bulverism because they assume that the pro-life side is wrong and then they give psychological reasons as to why more and more young people become pro-life. This is completely backwards because you must first show that someone is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong.”

Thank God for people like Carel de Lange as well as ​​Eva Vlaardingerbroek, whom Bill Muehlenberg highlighted in his recent article. These Christian champions continue to fight in spite of the fiercest opposition.

If they can do it in one of the most anti-Christian western countries in the world, how much more should we be courageous in standing for righteousness here in Australia.

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Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash.

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Suffer the Little Children of Alice Springs

Suffer the Little Children of Alice Springs

In the town of Alice Springs and surrounding communities, there are children in need, not always receiving the things we consider basic human rights.

In our Sunday service recently, a couple of young boys worshipped Jesus, singing with all their hearts, and two little girls around the age of four danced with actions in worship! It was so glorious!

Neglect

Also recently, a three-year-old boy went missing, from his remote community one evening. He was found the next morning, but soon after died due to injuries incurred by camp dogs (the mixed breed dogs that roam freely around most communities.) A four-year-old girl was flown into town from a remote community, needing all her baby teeth removed as they had rotted from having too many sugary drinks.

We see lots of children who don’t always have adequate food and hygiene. We have seen very tiny babies and children with problems such as failure to thrive, and heart problems such as rheumatic heart disease, flown to the capital cities for treatment.

The parents of these little ones are indeed grown-up children who suffered the same neglect and poverty, facing many barriers to health, education, and meaningful occupation, now lost in addictions to alcohol, gunja, and gambling. It’s often the grandmothers who do the parenting and caring, despite their own failing health.

Nightlife

My husband recently drove through town at 2am in the morning. He was shocked at how many children were roaming the streets of Alice Springs, ranging from teenagers down to young ones around the age of eight.

His passenger, an Aboriginal Pastor, explained that since the Intervention, the children’s reply to any form of discipline was “we’ll call the police”.  There is a lack of respect from young adults for their parents and elders, and a lack of parental authority and discipline by the parents. We know of cases where adult children steal money from their own parents who are less technologically aware.

During the night, adult family members drink together, while their children roam the streets together in groups, and the reputation of Alice Springs continues to dive as people get weary of the repeated vandalism of their businesses and property.

The neglect and abuse of children, which goes so strongly against our natural God-given desires to love and protect our offspring, is evidence of shattered and broken parents.

Trauma Upon Trauma

Levels of domestic violence and sexual abuse are very high here, and the little ones are witnesses. We have heard about some cases of very early sexualisation of children. We see many very young mothers. Then there is the high rate of youth suicide and the highest rates in the country of sexually transmitted diseases. The prison here holds hundreds of young men.

Similar problems are widespread in the communities in Central Australia. So sad and shocking — we ask, how can this be in modern Australia? Problems that no one seems to have solutions for. Money has not, so far, been able to pay for solutions.

There are many wonderful people here working hard to help, in the hospital and health system, and in social services, easing the pain and symptoms, while not addressing the causes. Change is slow. But please let us not say it’s all too hard.

Without a vision, the people perish — I think this is at the heart of the matter. There is very little vision for a future for the next generation, caught between two cultures. When there is no meaningful purpose for life and for suffering, bitterness, anger, and destructiveness follow, as the youth of Alice show us.

Attempts to change (not a traditional value) can leave people open to accusations of wanting to be like whitefellas, and means to be different from family, which means everything to Aboriginal people.

But God

God, interrupt the cycles that begin when little ones are open books and are being so damaged emotionally and physically, that they are being set up for all the problems and addictions of their parents. We know how crucial the first five years of a child’s life are.

Instead, through the power of the gospel, the gift of Christ, bring forgiveness and peace, freedom from addiction, fear, violence, and trauma. Instead, bring safety, and change, to the heart, and good fruit will follow.

We are excited to see a few more men coming along on Sundays, asking for prayer to be strong, and sharing their testimonies in our meeting, saying “it’s all about Jesus”. Like the cloud on the horizon, we are hopeful that it’s the beginning of real change, one family at a time. Please pray, especially for the children. God can do what may seem impossible to us!

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Communism is a Fashion Accessory for the Young Woke

Communism is a Fashion Accessory for the Young Woke

Teen Vogue’s recent article on abolishing private property is utterly wrongheaded. The columnist has no concept of basic economic principles.

Envy used to be one of the deadly sins. But it is no longer a sin, it’s a virtue. And it’s no longer called envy. It’s now called “social justice”.

Teen Vogue featured an article entitled: “Abolish Landlords. Housing is a Human Right” by which the editorial team really mean, “Give Us Your Place to Live Rent-Free”.

Teen Vogue - cancel rent

Communist, er, columnist Kandist Mallet wrote:

“While we’re working to abolish the police, we must also work to dismantle what the police were put here to protect: property. What is more evident of the legacy of settler colonialism and its violence than the idea of the ownership of land?”

Ignoring the fact that it’s disingenuous to argue against the abuse of indigenous people’s property rights while simultaneously arguing for the abolition of property rights in general — reading this, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking: “Wow, there’s free stuff up at the offices of Teen Vogue! Ignore security and the hipsters pedalling at their cycle desks, they want you to have that iMac Retina 5K.”

I’m not sure how Teen Vogue’s advertisers feel about the magazine encouraging its readers to eschew possessions, but if Kandist Mallet feels so strongly about abolishing the idea of private property, why doesn’t she lead by example and reassign her property to the collective?

Oh wait — Kandist doesn’t own any property!

Suddenly “abolish the police” makes sense.

Property Wrongs

Kandist wants to abolish police who, by her own admission, are the only ones standing between her greedy hands and your hard-earned property.

She writes:

“We need a housing movement based on a rejection of the construct that any one person should own this earth’s land.”

Her use of the phrase “housing movement” is revealing. She is arguing for a world in which your house moves to her. “Give me your stuff” was always the goal of Marxism.

I’m not sure when Teen Vogue — which is supposed to be a fashion magazine for young people with a cervix — became the Romper Room edition of Pravda, but Kandist Mallet is a typical collectivist, by which I mean, lazy, envious and entitled.

Unwilling to work and save so as to own a property, she demands that others who have worked and saved have their properties taken from them and given to her. Because “fairness”.

Wait until Kandist finds out that state-provided housing for all doesn’t mean luxury condos with pools and gymnasiums, but three families per unit with bedsheets to divide among them and elevators that don’t work.

Cancel Everything

Warming to her theme, the Teen Rogue writer continues:

“We should cancel rent outright as this pandemic rages. And we should work toward a world where landlords no longer hold this sort of power over people’s lives.”

Good idea. We should also cancel rental car fees and work toward a world where Hertz no longer holds that sort of power over people’s lives.

We should cancel grocery prices so we can work toward a world where Woolworths no longer hold that sort of power over people’s lives.

And let’s cancel room rates at the Hilton because five-star hotels shouldn’t hold that sort of power over people’s lives.

When Kandist argues that one group of people shouldn’t have power over another group, what she really means is that no one should be able to deny her anything she wants.

Illogical Equation

Kandist promoted her article on Twitter by asking:

“If my rent money is paying for my landlord’s mortgage, shouldn’t I be part owner?”

No, Comrade Kandist.

Your landlord owns the property because your landlord took the risk to build the house and your landlord lives with the responsibility to maintain the house. As a reward, your landlord gets to make a profit.

For paying rent, you get to live in a nice place without any risk that property prices might fall and without any responsibility for rates or maintenance.

And if you don’t like that, you could always try owning something.

But using Kandist’s logic, if for some crazy reason I used my money to buy a copy of Teen Vogue, shouldn’t I be her editor?

She ought be careful what she wishes for.

An article in Teen Vogue calling for the abolition of private property just goes to show that communism is a fashion accessory for the young woke. Hopefully, it goes out of style soon — like before we get to the millions of state executions part.

The good news for Teen Vogue and its journalists is that jellyfish have survived for millions of years without a brain.

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Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.
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Photo by RODNAE Productions.

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Transgender Truth Bender

Transgender Truth Bender

The media pushes a one-sided view of transgender ideology. Let us turn to scripture to discover our true identity, created in the image and likeness of God.

One morning I came across a TV program on the ABC called My Life. Made by the BBC, it was described by the ABC as “a BAFTA-winning unscripted documentary series where children and young people speak entirely from their point of view about their lived experience.”

Out of interest, I continued watching. The focus of this program was a twelve-year-old named Leo. It wasn’t long before I heard him say, “I am a boy stuck in a girl’s body.”

Simplistic Bias

The rest of the program explored first how his mum reacted to Leo’s disclosure and then followed his attempt to have his name and gender on his birth certificate and passport changed to represent his perceived real identity. Along the way, he was introduced to another transgender youth and an adult who had transgendered years earlier.

What shocked me most was how the content was presented.  It validated the boy’s perception of himself without question. There was no exploring the journey that brought him to that conclusion about his identity. It was obviously a series that schools could include in their curricula for discussion.

I wrote to the ABC with my concerns over the content:

“The program is biased towards transgender people and should not be aired on a children’s channel as the issue of gender confusion is so complex. There is no single answer to this issue and the ABC is being irresponsible in presenting a one-sided view in the transgender debate.”

Their response to my complaint can be summarised by the following comments:

“The ABC provides the voices and stories of as many children and young people from around the world as possible, so that young Australians can see and better understand the world as it is. There is no position taken by the ABC or the BBC on the issue of gender identity in this episode” and “this program is not making a statement.”

I disagree with their view, as the program unquestionably and I believe intentionally sought to normalise the transgender idea.

Vulnerable Youth

As a retired teacher, I am quite aware of how impressionable young people are. We were all in their shoes once — as Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Questions and sometimes confusion over identity are common experiences as we develop and mature. Unfortunately, in our present culture, young people are bombarded with mixed messages about what is right and wrong.

More than anything, they are being told directly or indirectly that it’s OK to do whatever you feel like doing or being. It’s your human right. Sounds like ancient Israel’s problem hasn’t left us:

“There was no king in Israel. Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
~ Judges 21:25

Other issues come into play as well. Our family environment, life experiences, peer influences, school curriculum and personal choices can all affect how we see ourselves and subsequently behave. Let us never be fooled into believing that transgendering can ever fix a person’s gender identity problems.

True Identity

The truth is,

  • Many who have transgendered in the past now regret what they did.
    Charlie Evans, aged 28 years, from Newcastle, UK, says hundreds of people who want to return to their original gender have contacted her since she announced her detransition and stopped taking her hormone therapy. The number of young people seeking gender transition is at the highest it has ever been, but little is reported about how many of them regret the decision later, finding they are unhappy with their new gender.” (news-medical.net, 23/3/2022)
  • God created our gender. The Bible says,
    So God created man[kind] in His own image; in the image of God, He created him [mankind]; male and female He created them.” ~ Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)
  • Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead to give us abundant life. The Bible says,
    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son [born into the world like us], that whoever believes in [trusts, relies upon, surrenders to] Him should not perish [live in fear and confusion] but have everlasting life [know your loved by God, joy, peace, forgiveness, confident in who God made us]. ~ John 3:16 (NKJV)

Finally, let God help you become the person He created you to be. The Bible says,

“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
~ Romans 12:2 (NLT)

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Our Culture Grooms Youth for Abuse

Our Culture Grooms Youth for Abuse

Since the Sexual Revolution, Western pop culture has saturated society with material that grooms our children for sexual abuse.

Regarding Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted of sex trafficking and grooming minors for sexual abuse, Ruth Institute President Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., said,

“The Maxwell case isn’t just about a depraved woman and her equally depraved partner and lover, Jeffrey Epstein. He is dead, and Maxwell will likely spend the rest of her life in prison. The real story here is that our culture sets up young women for abuse. Every day, in so many ways, our culture grooms minors for sexual exploitation.”

“As an ally of the Sexual Revolution, the culture takes every opportunity to convince youth that casual sex is natural, healthy, and risk-free, and those who oppose it are uptight Victorians.”

“Through public education, entertainment media, Drag Queen Story Hour, movies like ‘Cuties‘, and even half-time Super Bowl shows, there’s a steady drumbeat. Behaviour that can only be described as indecent or aberrant is offered to minors as a natural part of life.”

Mainstream Entertainment

Fr Mark Hodges, an Orthodox priest and producer of the Ruth Institute’s Dr. J Show, criticised the 2021 Super Bowl half-time show for including “a series of bumps and grinds, which offered flashes of crotch, and brazenly featured the performers’ buttocks.”

The objective, said Morse, was “convincing prospective victims that overtly sexual displays are normal and empowering, and so, softening up victims to ‘consent’ to illicit sex more readily. These are the hallmarks of sexual grooming.”

In other words, our culture grooms youth for abuse.

Public School Libraries

In September, the Institute decried an attempt to silence a mother who appeared before the Fairfax, Virginia School Board to complain about books promoting gay sex in school libraries. Morse noted:

“The passages Stacy Langton tried to read push pedophilia. They include oral and anal sex acts, some with minors.”

Twittersphere

Big Tech also shares the blame. In 2019, Twitter changed its rules to allow discussions by individuals who are sexually attracted to minors, “provided they don’t promote or glorify child sexual exploitation in any way.” Morse noted,

“To believe those who are sexually attracted to minors can discuss their attraction without promoting or glorifying it is beyond naive.”

Prominent Abusers

Morse concluded:

“The case of Jeffrey Epstein (who died in prison under mysterious circumstances) shows that there are rich and powerful people who want to have sex with children. The culture grooms youth for abuse. They’re more likely to be victimised.”

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Originally published at The Ruth Institute. Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels.

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Straight Talk About Casual Sex

Straight Talk About Casual Sex

Research shows that the consequences of casual sex are long-lasting and extremely damaging, even with the use of contraception. We owe it to our youth and their progeny to reinstitute the value of sex within the sacred bonds of marriage.

It’s not news to anybody these days — not if they watch any television or glance at the covers of the magazines lining the checkout counters at the grocery stores — that we live in a sex-saturated society where supposedly the majority of young people are “doing it,” more often than not without “benefit of marriage.”

The Playboy Philosophy and its derivatives are trumpeted by a thousand voices that glamorise casual sex, while most of the shrinking mainline churches present pitifully watered-down messages about morality that confuse rather than clarify.

Academic institutions, particularly the women’s studies programs, promote the idea that marriage is optional and young people are advised to “just do it!” The secular mantra, heard from middle school on up, is that sex will make you popular and happy; it’s great recreation that is free and fun.

There is a mountain of media out there promoting a phony philosophy about the joys of casual, risky sexual experimentation; one need look no further than the junk advice featured in magazines like Cosmopolitan to see just how pernicious it is.

Even the relationship advice columns in many daily newspapers spread the expectation of sexual activity even for the youngest of our teens. This assault will not be neutralised until a brigade of those who know better find their voices to convince today’s Sex in the City generation of young women that only discipline and restraint — it is having an attitude that says, “I won’t mess up my tomorrows by fooling around today” — will open the gateway to achieving their dreams and ambitions.

The time for some straight talk about casual sex is long overdue. Every young person needs to know the following three truths:

Truth #1: Casual sex impairs the ability to establish a lasting emotional bond.

When natural human emotional responses are repeatedly denied, the person is hardened and the capacity to bond is weakened. Dr Donald Joy published groundbreaking research in the early 80s and has updated it periodically in the intervening years.

He chronicles the ways that intimacy produces bonding. His research indicates that human beings respond to sexual intercourse by bonding, and they are driven to make that bond permanent and exclusive.

Dr Joy reported on the work of a researcher at a hospital clinic in Detroit who worked with 1,000 couples for 10 years studying their marital problems and recording their sexual histories. He concluded that sexual intercourse is constructive only within marriage.

His evidence is overwhelming that one or the other of the partners in casual sex (usually the girl or woman) experiences immediate emotional pain even in the absence of acknowledged injury.

The experience of casual sexual intimacy produces memories that can contaminate future relationships and create lingering problems later on, when the person eventually marries. When the married couples in his research had problems, he said, “The pain in the marriages was rooted in their promiscuity.”

Truth #2: Casual sex leaves young people alone and lonely.

Counsellors tell us that sexually active girls are three times more likely to be depressed than their abstinent peers. Among the boys, sexually active ones are depressed twice as often. Sexually active teens are more likely than their abstinent counterparts to attempt suicide (girls 15 per cent to five per cent and boys six per cent to one per cent).

But the most telling fact is that the majority of teenagers, 72 per cent of the girls and 55 per cent of the boys, acknowledge regret over early sexual activity and wish that they had waited longer to have sex. So much for the cultural mantra that “sex is no big deal!”

On another front, replacing marriage with casual sex is especially harmful to young women’s long-term well-being. The marriage rate in the United States has dropped by nearly 50 per cent since 1970. In 1940, less than eight per cent of all households consisted of people living alone; now more than a quarter do. The number of unmarried couples living together temporarily in the U.S. is 10 times as large today as in 1970.

Truth #3: The so-called “Sexual Revolution” has produced dramatic increases in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Sadly, 65 per cent of STDs appear in young people under age 25, and fully 20 per cent of all AIDS cases are among college-aged young people. In the U.S., over 15 million new cases of STDs appear annually, a number that is triple what it was six years ago. Having three or more sexual partners in a lifetime increases a woman’s odds of cervical cancer by 15 times.

The National Center for Health Statistics analysed data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and found two startling facts. Among young women who used contraception at first intercourse, the probability of giving birth at each age is roughly half that of those who did not use contraception. Further, the probability of a sexually active female giving birth approximately doubles between 18-20 years of age whether the young woman uses contraception at first intercourse or not.

A young person’s choices about sex reveal his or her attitudes about others. Is sexual activity merely fun and games? No. Treating sex as something casual can never actually make it a casual matter. The Scriptures raise the age-old question, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27, NKJV)

Sexual intercourse can be an intense and pleasurable experience, but it is more — much more. Sexual intimacy triggers the strongest and deepest, most exhilarating passions in life. Its purpose is to bond a man and a woman into “one flesh” in the deepest intimacy that human beings can share.

Further, sex is designed to both create life and build a strong relationship to protect and provide for that life. Little wonder that the Creator fashioned the means of creating life in such a way that it is one of the most awesome forces in our lives and then linked it to marriage so as to signify to us, “Priceless. Handle with great care.”

It is impossible to ignore or dictate to nature. Young people need to choose carefully. Sex can never be free; choices always have consequences. We cannot expect young people to act responsibly when adults — whose thinking is sometimes clouded by their rationalisation of their own hurtful and toxic sexual experimentation — are irresponsible by not providing the best possible information to encourage self-discipline and self-control, which are the surest keys to young peoples’ long-term well-being.

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Originally published at American Thinker. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

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