How Franklin Graham, One Million Moms, and other Christians are Killing our Youth

credit:Disney Channel

If you didn’t jump on the Disney boycott in March when Franklin Graham told people that they should boycott because the live version of Beauty and the Beast had a gay character, or back in 1997 when Southern Baptists called for a Disney boycott because of Disney’s pro-gay policies, then Franklin Graham and others like One Million Moms, are calling people to join another boycott.

The Disney Channel has a highly popular show called Andi Mack, and in a recent episode, one of the main characters came out to his friends. 

In a statement by the Disney Channel, “Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are. [Creator] Terri Minsky, the cast and everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity.”

This move by Disney has caused an uproar- because how dare Disney show that people will still be your friend if you are homosexual!

So most boycotts I’ve seen by Christians are pretty laughable. Boycott Starbucks because they make a red cup instead of the Christian symbols of Christmas holly, or gloves or sleds. Boycott Hamilton because the actors told Mike Pence what they wanted to see from the current presidency… Wait, that was a boycott called by #45. Never mind.

Did you know that LGB youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth, and they are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth? LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection. These facts and others can be found on The Trevor Project site. This site is focused on saving the lives of young LGBTQ kids.

It saddens me that we would even need a site like this, but the truth is that the lack of love shown toward this community of people by their own families and churches drive many to suicidal thoughts and actions every day!

Why do we need to acknowledge television characters who lead different lives than you may deem socially or religiously acceptable? I know several people who are LGBT personally. The stories they have told me about how they have been treated by so-called Christians have led me to the conclusion that attitudes from those of Graham and others are driving young people to commit suicide. Right now in Utah, there are numerous LDS young people taking their lives, and people who knew them confirming that they were LGBT, but their obituaries do not mention it.

Even if you believe homosexuality is a sin, I think Christians do a major disservice to young people when they teach them that LGBTQ people do not deserve to live as every other person on this earth.

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Body Shaming and #MeToo

I came across a post by someone in a Facebook group I am a part of. One more story of a girl who was sent home because her body was a “distraction.” Her crime? She was wearing a t-shirt with a little bit of cleavage showing. She happened to be a more well-endowed girl, so it didn’t really matter that her shirt was pretty modest. She didn’t have a low scooping neckline, but a tiny bit of line appeared at the top.

This girl was sent home because her collarbones showed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have been living under a rock lately, you may have missed the #metoo movement that has been spreading across social media that has women acknowledging that they have been raped, molested, or have received unwanted, unsolicited sexual advances from men. This is in response to the news of Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein, and the women who have come forward about the acts that he did.

There are some things in our American(and dare I say “Christian”) culture that I believe needs to change. One thing that we need to stop doing is shaming girls for what they wear. Now, I’m not saying that anything goes when it comes to school dress codes. There are reasonable things to expect students to wear. But when people accuse shoulders, legs, collar bones, and navels for causing boys to be distracted, I think we are sending the wrong message. First, we tell girls that they are responsible for how boys see them. Second, we tell boys that they can’t help themselves, and feed into the rape culture issue that has been brewing for years.

I have two young boys-one is a teenager, and I believe in teaching them that shoulders, legs, and midriffs aren’t a thing to be afraid of on women. How is it the male species can survive seeing girls and women in swim suits on a beach or at a pool, but the minute they step away from water, those shoulders and thighs become pornography? How are we teaching our young men that women should be respected, but then we body shame them and tell little girls they are immodest when they wear a sleeveless sundress?

Finally, we need to speak up against “locker room talk.” When Conservatives elected a man into presidency and dismiss his attitude toward women and things he has said as “locker room talk,” it sent a poor message to boys.

 

Donald Trump: The War on Christmas Starts Early

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Starbucks hasn’t announced their cup design and Halloween is a couple weeks away, but Donald Trump made sure to start the fires early at his speech at the Values Voter Summit today. This group, composed primarily of Evangelicals, gathers to discuss items like traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government.

Trump has made sure to fuel the “us vs. them” mentality, by telling attendees that, “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo- Christian values.”

He went on,”We’re getting near that season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word ‘Christmas’ because it’s not politically correct.”

He complained that department stores will decorate, and they’ll say other things. But guess what? Donald Trump says “we’re” going to say “Merry Christmas” again! Hallelujah and pass the potatoes!

Look, I like Christmas. I will wish you a “Merry Christmas” if I know you celebrate. I will wish people I don’t know “Happy Holidays” because it’s a nice thing to do. It doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped loving Jesus. I’m not embarrassed by him. I AM embarrassed by Christians who have to throw tantrums if people don’t celebrate the way they think they should. I am embarrassed that this season that is supposed to be about love is becoming a season of “This is a Christian nation, and we are persecuted because people are being politically correct.” I AM embarrassed by the leader of the free world acting like a twit, and Christians fawning all over him.

Trump is not bringing Christmas back to America. It’s always been here. Our last president celebrated Christmas and, no, he didn’t call them holiday trees like the internet rumors say.

Maybe Trump should stop fueling wars on his home territory. I worry about the real wars we are facing.

 

Toast Cases for the iPhone 8 and Microsoft Surface Pro 2017

By now, I have reviewed at least three Toast products in the past few years, and it stands to reason that they would put out covers for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as the new Surface Pro 5 (2017). I feel very fortunate to have a chance to review both of these, as I enjoy the Toast products, made in Portland, Oregon.

Toast Real Wood Cover for the iPhone 8

At first, I didn’t think it was necessary, because most iPhone 7/7 Plus products can accommodate the latest models, but it looks like the Toast iPhone 7 model has been replaced with an iPhone 8. In this case, the wooden cover is more than just than just an aesthetic quality with its “designed with heart and cut by lasers” design, but offers at least some protection as well.

Toast iPhone 8After all, that new iPhone 8 has glass on the front and back of it, as we reported upon its initial announcement. I was, of course, warned that putting on the iPhone 8 cover was going to be only slightly difficult, and it is even described by the website as origami-esque. Well, origami is always fun, isn’t it? Putting it on feels like some fun project that is from a kid’s toy kit.

My one concern was that this cover would somehow block the Qi Wireless Capability, but I have been told that this won’t be a problem.

All that, plus you can custom engrave the thing. You should definitely head over to the Toast site and Pay about $34.00 for it in Walnut, Ash, and Ebony.

Toast Real Wood Cover for the Surface Pro 2017 (Pro 5)

So, it looks like Microsoft has the new Surface out, and the laptop/tablet also has a great cover similar to that of Apple’s flagship product. It has what you would expect with the wooden crafted cover, and it is something as well.

Toast Surface Pro 2017I have to admit that I was surprised that it was able to cover the Surface Pro 5, but it does cover them very well, and has all the side wraps and buttons covered. It is made with the same peel-and-stick process for easy application, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise. It is awesome to see that it has four holes in order to show off that Microsoft Log.

There isn’t much more that I can say about this that I haven’t said before. It is available in four types of wood like Walnut, Bamboo, Ebony, and Ash. It is available for about $49.00 on the Toast site.

BSA Officially Announces Girls to be Welcomed Into the Program

Kyrie participated in the ATV program at BSA summer camp

Kyrie participated in the ATV program at BSA summer camp

Rumors have been swirling over the past few months that the Boy Scouts of America program was testing the waters to determine if families would like to allow girls into the program. Today, the Board of Directors announced that they have unanimously voted to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program, and that older girls will have the chance to earn the Eagle rank.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Starting next year, parents will be able to sign Cub Scout aged girls up to join as well as their boys. Dens will be single-gendered, though, so boys will still be learning their stuff with other boys and girls with girls. Packs already in existence can choose to integrate the girls, or keep them separate. Many Cub Scout Packs already involve the whole family, so allowing the girl dens to participate doesn’t seem much of a stretch.

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The program to allow girls to earn the coveted Eagle rank isn’t slated to be available until 2019. I don’t suppose that my own daughter who is already part of the co-ed Boy Scout program of Venturing, will be able to attain that rank, as she will be 16 when that rolls around. She hasn’t had the opportunity to earn merit badges- even though she has taught the classes at Boy Scout summer camp.

Teaching the Canoeing Merit Badge

Teaching the Canoeing Merit Badge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyrie went rappelling with our Boy Scout troop and Venture Crew

Kyrie went rappelling with our Boy Scout troop and Venture Crew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl Scouts’ president is not likely to be thrilled about this announcement, as Kathy Hopinkah already sent a letter to the BSA in August accusing the Boy Scouts of stealing recruits from their program.

This new announcement, I believe, is another step in the right direction, as many girls want to be included in what their brothers are doing. In some areas, the Boy Scout program is more enticing than Girl Scouts because the program is geared to do more adventurous things(although, some Girl Scout troops also do exciting things-depending on leadership).

The question now is when will they allow Atheists and Agnostics into their program?

You can read the official story from the Boy Scout Newsroom here.

Mike Pence Protests the NFL on Taxpayers’ Dime

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Vice President Mike Pence attended Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and his hometown Indianapolis Colts briefly, in what appears to be a planned protest of kneeling football players.

Well, he says that he was attending the game specifically because Peyton Manning was being honored, but instead of focusing on honoring Manning, it seems that he has taken the focus off that and turned it into a political statement.

It doesn’t appear that Pence had planned on staying for the entire game, as the journalists with him were told to stay in their vans- that there might be an early departure from the game. Donald Trump tweeted that he told Pence to leave if there were any players kneeling during the national anthem.

This obviously reeks of a planned PR stunt.

Yahoo Sports columnist, Dan Wetzel was right on the button that “this is nothing more than political grandstanding.”

“Next up, Mike Pence will attend an R-rated movie and walk out in protest if there is any foul language, violence or adult situations,” he quipped.

This political grandstanding has been estimated to have cost around $242,000 for the use of Air Force 2 alone. Part of that is paid by the RNC, since he flew to a fundraiser in Los Angeles after that. The cost has not factored in personnel like Secret Service, or anything else needed to support his visit to the stadium.

Hawaiian Democratic Senator Brian Schatz tweeted his criticism that many are feeling:

Am I alone in thinking that it as disrespectful to use the national anthem to make your own anti-protest political statement, as it is to some to kneel during the anthem? Our nation is hurting after hurricanes, mass shootings, and healthcare uncertainty, and instead of listening to those they are supposed to be uniting, the leaders in our White House are throwing tantrums and pulling expensive publicity stunts? Is this real Christianity put forth by those touted to be good Christian men?
What do you think could be done to unite our country? Leave a comment below.

AOL Says Goodbye to Instant Messenger

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Many of us older people began our internet memories with the sounds of screeching and humming, and after glorious connection finally appeared, the famous “You’ve got mail!” announcement.

AOL Instant Messenger was integrated in the AOL program. Remember when you could get free hours of internet with a simple CD sent in the mail? The little yellow running man greeting us on the screen? Ah, fond memories of the late 90s.

There were competitors to the chat app, though. ICQ, and Yahoo! IM were some big rivals. When Facebook came along, there wasn’t much use for the app anymore, but there have still been users on a platform with some bare bones support.

From their blog on Tumblr, Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath announced,“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed. As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017. We are more excited than ever to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world.”

Thanks for the memories, AOL!

Moscow, Idaho Joins the Movement to Change the Name of Columbus Day

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The first city in the state of Idaho to do so, Moscow City Council members voted on Monday to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The vote was in favor of changing it 5 to 1.  This just in time- as Columbus Day happens on October 9th.

The Moscow Human Rights Commission Chair, Ken Faunce, was in attendance at the city council meeting to explain why the name change needed to happen.

“Columbus is a symbol to Native American groups of slavery, massacres, genocides, violence,” Faunce stated. “All of these kinds of things, so we want to change it for that symbolic reason, that it honors Native Americans.”

Moscow sits on Nez Perce land, and other tribes lived in the area as well.

“We wanted to show that this was Native land first, and we came here second, so we wanted to honor them for that.”

 

“The other reason we’re pushing it is Columbus himself,” explained Faunce. “He shouldn’t have a holiday. He shouldn’t be a hero because he was a mass murderer, he was an abuser, he was a slaver, a sexual slaver, selling people as young as age 10 into the sex trade.”

Not all area residents are thrilled with this decision. Comments on the article on the local radio news page has comments such as ” Very poor move it changes nothing just a bunch of liberal left wing Democrats wanting to revise history,” and “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of, what’s wrong with You people! 

The Oatmeal has a great cartoon lesson on Columbus Day for those who want a challenge to the lessons they learned about in elementary school.

I wish I had clips from the ABC show Blackish. Tonight’s episode fit right in with the subject matter at hand, as the characters were upset about the way the kids’ Columbus Day was inaccurately portrayed. They came up with a new holiday “Juneteenth” to fill in the void in the lack of “black holidays.”

So what do you think? Join in the discussion with your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Massacre in Las Vegas Kills at Least 58, More Than 500 Wounded

Flags are at half-mast today in the wake of this tragedy

Flags are at half-mast today in the wake of this tragedy/PublicDomainPhotos

People are mourning, speculating this morning, as late night news broke over a mass shooting at a Country music concert last night in Las Vegas, Nevada. The current count is 58 dead, 515 injured. This latest terrorist attack adds to the heartbreak our nation faces as more and more people die every day.

The facts are that the shooter was a sixty-four year old, Caucasian male. Although ISIS has made claims that this shooting was attributed to them, there has not been any indication that is the truth. The gunman shot at the concert-goers with an automatic rifle from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. He was found dead in his hotel room with 10 other guns. The brother of the shooter said that he wasn’t aware of any mental illness.

So now we come to the questioning of what can we do. Has our nation become numb to this kind of event anymore? Wringing our hands and offering our prayers and condolences. Prayer seems to work only as much as giving us something to do when we don’t know what else to do, but it hasn’t stopped the other 272 mass shootings in 2017. 

Jeff Sessions, U.S. Attorney General, said in a statement, “The investigation into the horrific shooting last night in Las Vegas is ongoing.” He added,“To the many families whose lives have been changed forever by this heinous act, we offer you our prayers and our promise that we will do everything in our power to get justice for your loved ones.”

I can’t begin to fathom what kind of justice their families are going to get. The man who committed the act has killed himself. Will Congress step up and put limits on guns? I can’t imagine that is likely. Note, I do not believe all guns should be banned.  I believe we need to see limits.  I allow my kids to shoot rifles and shot guns at Scout camp. Guns are not inherently evil, but I believe that our culture has lifted them as idols, and I would hope to see something done. Other countries have seen their gun violence go down as a result of their gun bans. For sure, there are always people who say that criminals will find a way. Maybe so, but perhaps we can decrease the rates. No one needs a gun that can mow down 50 plus people in 10 minutes or less.

How can we resolve this problem we face in America? Leave your comments below.