Friday, June 20, 2014

All Around the Web - June 20, 2014

Joe Carter - 9 Things You Should Know About Transgenderism
7. When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic, 70-80 percent of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25 percent did have persisting feelings, notes Dr. McHugh, but what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned. Despite such studies several states—including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts—have passed laws barring psychiatrists, even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor.

8. A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery (191 male-to-females, 133 female-to-males) from 1973 to 2003. The overall rate of death was higher than expected, with suicide being the leading cause. Those who had the sex-change surgery were almost 20 times more likely to take their own lives than the non-transgender population. They were also more likely to seek in-house treatment for psychiatric conditions.

9. At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered, says McHugh. "'Sex change' is biologically impossible," he adds. "People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."

The Weekly Standard - The War on Christians
For at least three reasons, the contemporary persecution of Christians demands attention: It is occurring on a massive scale, it is underreported, and in many parts of the world it is rapidly growing.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that Christians are suffering persecution in more places today than any other religious group; between 2006 and 2012, Pew says, they were targeted for harassment in 151 countries—three-quarters of the world’s states. Similar findings are reported by the Vatican, Newsweek, the Economist, and the 60-year-old Christian support group Open Doors. Most people in the West are unaware of these facts, though that may be changing.

A few cases do get press coverage—the desperate plight of Meriam Ibrahim, for instance, who gave birth in a Sudanese prison just the other day. She was raised a Christian, but after officials learned that her long-absent father was a Muslim, she was sentenced to death for apostasy—for leaving Islam. And since in Sudan a Muslim woman may not be married to a Christian, her marriage to her American husband was declared void, and she was convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes to be administered before her execution. These punishments will be dropped if she renounces her Christian faith, which she steadfastly refuses to do.

Another case receiving attention is North Korea’s sentencing of a South Korean missionary, Kim Jong-uk, to life with hard labor. On May 30, he was convicted of espionage and trying to start a church. North Korea also still holds Kenneth Bae, an American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor on charges of trying to use religion to overthrow the political system.

Tim Challies - Making the Case: Abortion
Sometimes I know what I believe about a moral issue, but I find my position difficult to explain or defend. It’s not that I don’t have convictions, but that I have difficulty explaining those convictions. I would imagine you sometimes struggle in the same way. Over the next while I want to enlist the help of some experts to help me look at some of these issues to see how I, as a Christian, can make the case. And I’d like to start with abortion. How can Christians convince others that abortion is wrong? I asked my friend AndrĂ© Schutten for help. AndrĂ© is Legal Counsel and Ontario Director at the Association for Reformed Political Action here in Canada.

Arguments against abortion that are based on the Bible are important and simple to make, but ultimately require assent to the authority of God through his Word. Because most people deny such authority, we will leave aside the Biblical arguments and show how you can convince others through science, logic, history and human rights.

We begin with logic.

Christianity Today - Thousands Flee as Terrorists Take Over Iraq's Christian Heartland
Thousands of Christians have fled Iraq's second-largest city as an Islamist terror group solidifies its control over Christianity's main remaining stronghold in the struggling nation.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an Iraq and Syria-based Sunni offshoot of al-Qaeda, took over Mosul (pop. 1.8 million) earlier this month, the BBC reports.

Most of Mosul's remaining Christian population of 3,000 fled for safer areas, according to World Watch Monitor.

All of Iraq is under a state of alert, according to the Iraqi government. Mosul itself is in a state of "anarchy," with armed patrols on the streets and families holed up in homes. During the takeover, everything collapsed suddenly and "people entered without any problems or opposition," Msgr. Shimoun Emil Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, told AsiaNews.

Mark Moore - 5 Ways to Know if You’re Playing Sports through Your Child
1.  You’re too competitive.  This is a win-at-all-costs mentality.  You’ll do anything to make sure your player is successful and performs better than those around him.  This means more practice, more games, more gadgets and lessons at the expense of time and money, just so your player can get better – no, be the best – than any other player out there.

2.  You brag way too much on your player.  It’s one thing to be a proud parent, yet it’s another to extol the merits of your player so much so that people find it tiresome and offensive.  If your player is good, people know it.  You don’t have to tell them.  Besides, it embarrasses your child.

3.  You’ve been angry.  This is shown in a couple of ways.  First, you’ve shown anger at your player for not performing well, or practicing hard enough, or not doing it right.  Second, you’ve expressed anger toward your child’s teammates or opponents because they performed better, or had more success over the course of the season.  The anger you feel is the result of a feeling of failure on your part, and on the part of your player.

4.  You have unrealistic expectations.  Your child is in the process of developing physically over the course of being a child and teenager.  Some things are just not possible until they mature.  Incessant practice and repetition won’t make it better.  It’ll just make your child dread the sport they’re playing.
Too, your player may not be the kind of player you think he is.  His ability to make a certain team, or be chosen for an all star team could be because, well, your player isn’t that good.  So, when your player doesn’t get chosen, you get angry…see #3.

5.  You’re a bully.  When your player doesn’t perform, or doesn’t want to practice, you become a bully.  Your anger and disappointment manifests itself in ugly words and actions, and guilt.  This is almost a sure-fire way to make your child hate the game, and resent you.

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