AFA, AACC host marriage conference
and American Association of Christian Counselors will host the first
Marriage America Conference April 12-24 in Orlando, Florida. Sessions
will offer resources, support, research and networking opportunities for
couples, pastors, marriage and family advocates, students, counselors
and researchers, said Tim Clinton, AACC president.
subjects include “Marital Stress and Money,” “The Faith Factor and
Spiritual Intimacy,” “Sexual Addiction, Infidelity and Marital
Recovery,” “Marriage and Family Ministry” and “Premarital Counseling.”
Gary Smalley, Mark and Deb Laaser and Ken Canfield will be among
“We want this conference to
equip couples and family advocates with tools to build stronger
marriages across the nation,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. For more
information, watch for the February issue of AFA Journal, visit www.aacc.net or call 800-526-8673.
Home Depot boycott grows
More and more customers are refusing to buy what Home Depot is selling, as AFA’s boycott of the company enters 2012 with growing numbers.
More than 589,000 people have signed a petition agreeing to boycott the home improvement company over its promotion of same-sex marriage and other aspects of the homosexual agenda.
According to Randy Sharp, AFA director of special projects, the boycott began in July 2010 because Home Depot was giving its financial and corporate support to open displays of homosexual activism. The company chose to sponsor and participate in numerous gay pride parades and festivals as well as give financial support to homosexual activist groups whose primary purpose is to advance same-sex marriage laws in America.
“We’re disappointed that Home Depot continues to ignore customers who are offended that it is engaging in the culture war and taking a position in favor of gay marriage,” Sharp said. “All we’ve asked of the company is that it remain neutral on a very controversial matter.”
AFA has set up a Web page (www.boycottthehomedepot.com) to provide information for those who want to know more about the ministry’s reasons for responding so strongly to the home improvement retailer.
“Because of 180
I was able to turn around the entire class opinion about abortion. By the end of the class 25 of the 25 students and my teacher had all raised their hands agreeing that abortion should be illegal. It was such a blessing to see that there is hope.”
defended her class paper using arguments presented in 180 (www.180movie.com), a short pro-life film by Ray Comfort and featured in the December 2011 AFA Journal. Weeks is a 17-year-old senior at Cabell Midland High School in Ona, West Virginia.
Republican governor in Democratic state
Columnist Cal Thomas: “[Louisiana Gov.] Bobby Jindall’s electoral and economic successes should serve not only as a model, but also as an inspiration to Republican candidates for president and Congress.”
Jindall’s first-term record:
▶ 26% ($9 billion) – reduced state budget
▶ 45,000 new jobs announced
▶ $10 billion in capital investment
▶ 4th year more people moving into Louisiana than out
▶ 68.5% – re-elected in October with this percentage of votes
“We make the distinction that if a child is living life as a girl and the family brings the child to us and says, ‘My daughter wants to be a Girl Scout,’ we welcome her.”
Rachelle Trujillo, vice president of communications with Girl Scouts of Colorado, explains
GSA’s decision to allow a seven-year-old boy to join its ranks.
WWII Memorial lacking prayer
On June 6, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt prayed with the country as allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are trying to get his prayer etched into the WWII monument in Washington, D.C.
The words are: “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon the mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”
Ohio Christian Alliance president Chris Long said most memorials in the capital reference God, but there is no such message at the WWII Memorial. He said, “That’s not gone without notice to many of the WWII veterans who have gone to the memorial.”
A recent nationwide survey of 1,000 likely voters found a large majority to be pessimistic about the nation’s future. When asked, “Is the United States in decline?” 69% said yes.
The results were reported in The Hill, a congressional newspaper that commissioned the survey. It was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, an independent polling firm.
“Additionally, 83% of voters indicated they’re either very or somewhat worried about the future of the nation, with 49% saying they’re ‘very worried,’” according to The Hill’s Mike Lillis.
The negative view of America’s future was also apparent when people were asked about the nation’s status in the world. Fifty-seven percent said they believe the U.S. is the most powerful nation on earth, but only 19% said that would be true 20 years from now.
Antidepressant use soars
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the use of antidepressant drugs has skyrocketed almost 400% since 1988.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, the CDC found that antidepressants were the drug most frequently used by people ages 18-44, according to an article in USA Today.
What’s causing Americans to be so unhappy? Some mental health professionals said they believe the economy’s troubles since the start of the recession of 2008 may have contributed to some of the spike. Others suggested that more and more Americans have come to see taking pills as a shortcut to mental health and happiness.
“Unfortunately, some families are looking for a quick fix, but a pill is never going to get to the root of the problem,” psychologist David Palmiter said.
USA Today, 10/19/11
Small screen, big problems
Researchers at the University of Bristol in England discovered that kids who spent more than two hours a day in front of a TV were 61% more likely to have increased psychological effects than kids who spent less time, even if they’re physically active.
Children with more than two hours in front of the computer were 59% more likely to have those deleterious effects.
Psychological consequences included things such as emotional troubles, attention problems, difficulties with social interaction and behavior issues.
Even if the children engaged in “moderate or vigorous physical activity” for an hour or more each day, they were still more likely to suffer from these effects, although the numbers were somewhat lower (54% for TV watchers, 48% for computer watchers).
The results were published online by Pediatrics in October 2010.
Divorce afflicts kids
A new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison adds to a growing body of evidence that the pain of divorce troubles not only the adults breaking up, but also their children.
Study author and sociologist Hyun Sik Kim indicated that the children of divorce suffer through three categories of consequences: damage to interpersonal social skills, math test scores and emotional well-being.
In the latter category, Kim said kids of divorce “show enhanced risk of internalizing problem behaviors characterized by anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness.”
These results don’t show up until the divorce process is under way, and while Kim said the harmful consequences do not worsen, “there is no sign that children of divorce catch up with their counterparts, either.”
The study is published in the June issue of the American Sociological Review.
USA Today, 6/4/11
Alabama’s Lauderdale County school district is receiving threats of a lawsuit from Jeremy Green, a member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Humanists of the Shoals and American Atheists. Green’s complaint is that the school allowed prayer over the loudspeaker at a recent football game. He said, “It is illegal for any public school to organize, sponsor or lead prayer at public athletic events. The Supreme Court … has continually made rulings which strike down this practice as illegal.”
David McKelvey, pastor at nearby First Baptist Church, said it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Christianity is under attack. He said, “It’s going on all over the place. You just hate for it to be coming to your doorstep.”
You lost me
Barna, a Christian research and resource organization specializing in cultural surveys, recently completed a five-year study that included 1,296 young adults who were current or former churchgoers.
The study identified six significant reasons (below) why three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.
Findings of the research are included in a new book by David Kinnaman titled You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith.
1 Churches seem overprotective.
2 Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
3 Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
4 Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic and judgmental.
5 They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.
6 The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.
PepsiCo linked to aborted fetal cells
A shareholder resolution objecting to PepsiCo’s contract with Senomyx was filed with Securities and Exchange Commission on October 25, 2011. Senomyx uses human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) cells from aborted fetal tissue to test flavor enhancers, despite the availability of other non-objectionable cell lines.
In response, the shareholder resolution requests a “corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards … in research agreements.” The resolution will be submitted for a vote at the company’s annual meeting. It emphasizes the right and responsibility of shareholders to be aware of this controversial practice.
Debi Vinnedge of Children of God for Life hopes the attention drawn by the PepsiCo shareholder resolution makes it more difficult for companies to use aborted fetal cells in research. Children of God for Life is among two dozen pro-life organizations boycotting PepsiCo.
ELCA church OKs paganism
In November 2011, a California congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America held “guided meditations” by Loreon Vigne, a high priestess of the pagan fertility goddess Isis.
Vigne said, “Guided meditation is where the audience closes their eyes and you take them on a little journey. Their main concept is to know thyself, know thy heart, know thy soul and know thy purpose.”
The church has also caused controversy by its heavy promotion of a female identity for God with banners saying “God/dess loves all her children.” They also prefer to call God names such as Mother, Shaddai, Sophia, Womb, Midwife, Shekinah, She Who Is.
An outspoken defender of the event is Megan Rohrer, the first transgender person ordained by ELCA. Rohrer responded to those who are concerned about mixing paganism with Christianity by saying, “Christians that say that probably don’t know what paganism is.”