Monthly Archives: November 2008

Pop Culture’s Negative Influence on Our Kids

This is one of those times when one of your emails says it all.  The following email puts every parent on notice with respect to the proper protection of their children from influences which hurt their souls: 

“Hi Dr. Laura!  I type reports for some youth programs and typed a report a few weeks ago that has been on my mind. This report said that this particular teenager had been using very offensive swear words since the age of 5 when this person saw an R-rated movie. My first question was “What is a 5-year-old doing watching an R-rated movie?” Where is the parent? Another report indicated that one teenager had started inhaling cocaine after seeing it done in a movie. I see kids being influenced by the media all over.

As a teenager many years ago, I was taught that our minds are like a camera – i.e., taking a picture that you can’t get out–so be careful about what you put in it. Many people are concerned about the effects of violent video games and truly believe that these games will affect kids, but why don’t they use the same standard about movies that have sex (especially explicit sex) and vulgar language in them? That sticks every bit as much as violence. Once something has entered your mind, it is changed.

Today, I read in a local paper about a study that was done regarding teens and media (television and movies) containing sexual content. The teens who watched media with sexual content were more likely to engage in such behaviors than those who did not.

We would never invite a stranger into our home without knowing their purpose. Yet, every day we invite strangers into our homes when we turn on television or put a movie on. We think we know these people–they’re on the front cover of every magazine at the checkout. These people often, don’t have our best interests at heart or the best interests of our kids at heart. They are there to make money, and generally, that is their only purpose. I’m amazed at some of the talk show hosts and authors that have shared their infidelities, whether on TV or in books, like it is a badge of honor. They will certainly take credit for lending their influence in the [recent] presidential campaigns, but they certainly would not take credit for their influence in the lives of today’s teens in the terms of drugs and sex.

We have choices! We as parents need to be more judicious as to what we will allow in our homes and what we will allow our kids to be exposed to within our realm. We need to love our kids and ourselves enough to turn “that program” off and spend our time with our kids or developing ourselves. Our kids are influenced by a lot of other people away from the home, but when they return to the home, we do have the influence to reinforce the difference between good and bad, right and wrong.

 Thank you so much for all that you do to fight the negative effects on the family!”

When you’re so busy, busy, or have long given up on taking the leadership role in raising your children, or you’re way too easily dissuaded by popular culture from having moral standards and values by which you wish to raise your family, your children become prey and the predators are many.  Like vampires, they wait to suck the blood out of your children’s souls and psyches, leaving them to the forces of their immaturity and the allure of their impulses.

Your children need you to take stands…their futures depend on it!

Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day, I want to share with you a little bit of history from CNN Student News:

On November 11, Americans pay tribute to everyone who has served in the U.S. military. But why was this particular date chosen, and how does this holiday differ from Memorial Day?

“World War I, also known as “The Great War,” was fought from 1914 to 1918. During this conflict, Great Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Japan, the United States and other countries, which formed the “Allies,” defeated the so-called “Central Powers,” which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) and Bulgaria. On the “eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” of 1918, German leaders signed an armistice, or a halt to hostilities, with the Allied powers. On that date, November 11, celebrations were held in New York City, Paris, London, and in other cities around the globe. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as “Armistice Day,” a day to observe the end of World War I.

On June 4, 1926, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution asking President Calvin Coolidge to call upon officials to “display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” Twelve years later, on May 13, 1938, Congress passed an Act making the 11th of November Armistice Day, a federal holiday.

Initially, Armistice Day was supposed to honor veterans of World War I. But after the call to arms and human sacrifices during World War II and the Korean conflict, veterans’ groups urged Congress to consider a day to celebrate U.S. veterans of all wars. On June 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

Difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day

Veterans Day in the United States is a day to honor all Americans who have served in the U.S. military, both during wartime and in peace. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring Americans who have died serving the nation, especially those who died in battle or from wounds received during armed conflicts. On Veterans Day, Americans thank the living veterans for their service to the country and recognize all who have served the country.”

Not forgetting our veterans means more than putting up your flag, getting a day off from work, or even marching in a parade. What more? Those veterans who sacrificed limbs, hearing, and vision are still sacrificing for their country every single day of their lives. Their supportive families are also still sacrificing: keeping the family going while tending to the needs of their injured loved one and offering emotional support, all while holding themselves together.

We – all of us – need to really show these families how much we appreciate their commitment to every person and family in America by lightening their burden. OPERATION FAMILY FUND – with absolutely no overhead (that is, no monies kept for even a telephone bill) has been helping veteran families with financial support so that they can keep their homes, the family car, have food on the table and clothe their children…maintaining their dignity in the face of potentially life-long physical problems which make wage-earning even more difficult than it is in our current climate.

Our military is all voluntary…so remember that these folks chose to protect their fellow Americans knowing it could mean life and limb. The rest of us should choose to protect our vets and their families.

Go to OPERATIONFAMILYFUND.ORG and make a contribution…yeah, I know…money is tight…but never let that stop you from lightening the load on someone else’s back. OPERATIONFAMILYFUND.ORG.

Hate Mail

I’ve had a liberal commentator on live television in Canada suggest that someone should slit my throat because of my support of traditional marriage.  He was not countered at that moment, nor criticized later.   I, however, had to have bomb-sniffing dogs case a Canadian stadium before I gave a charity fundraising talk because of some nasty threats.
 
A fellow in West Hollywood didn’t see the irony in showing hatred towards Sarah Palin by hanging her in effigy…after all, if it’s not one of “us,” then it’s explained or excused as simply funny or an exercise of free-speech.
 
Calls to my radio program come from people of both genders, all age groups (5 to 81), the spectrum of races and those of various socio-economic standing, liberals and conservatives, and “straight” as well as “gay.”  It would seem that socio-political positions be damned, since most all people have an interest in the well-being of their children, their intimate, family, work, or community relationships, their inner struggles, as well as morals, values, ethics, and principles. 
 
When I helped a young male caller with his “boyfriend” problems – which are no different in their content from “girlfriend” problems: common sense, fears, communication, – I got a spate of letters like this

“I can’t stand it anymore! I know Dr. Laura can’t refuse to help people who call in, but I am SO sick of homosexuals being crammed down our throats. I can’t even turn on Dr. Laura’s show and get away from it.

“Decent, moral, religious, family-oriented people listen to Dr. Laura’s show and don’t want to listen to that crap. I feel like gay people are trying to throw their sexual preferences in our face more and more all the time with calling in to radio shows, lawsuits against people who don’t bend over backwards for them, children’s books, greeting cards, etc. The world really is going to HELL!  I would really have a hard time answering calls like that if I was Dr. Laura.”

The station that aired my radio show dropped it because “She talks to homosexuals as though they were human.” 

These comments are generally more than balanced by ones like the following:
“I’ve been a listener… for years and years. I’ve always enjoyed your show and appreciated your approach. One of your conversations today prompted me to write you. I am gay, and have had a long and challenging process in accepting my sexuality. Not only am I gay, but I’m a Christian, and generally hold conservative beliefs. Many of my friends have bought into the “victim” mindset that our community is told we have to fall into.  In my opinion, all this seeks to do for anyone is to separate and divide. They believe that everyone needs to completely accept and support gays.
 
“While I personally believe that this is how I was born and how God made me, I also realize that many people do not share my view. While I disagree with them, I respect their right to hold that opinion. You made an excellent point today when you highlighted the difference between tolerance and acceptance. Right or wrong, good or bad, It’s simply unreasonable for anyone to demand complete acceptance of anything from anyone else.

“I wish with all my heart that my gay and lesbian friends would get past their biases and listen to what you have to say about right and wrong, healthy behaviors and appropriate ways of handling conflict. Thank you for being you, standing up to those who cowardly try to tear you down and silence you, and for coming into my radio every day. You have helped me more than you will ever know!!”

Speaking of hate, there’s a new television series (ABC, Thursday, 10 PM) called “Life on Mars.”  A New York City police detective goes spinning back in time from the year 2008 to 1973 – where he is stuck.  The 1973 cop he teams up with and he have interesting “cultural” differences.  For example, the 2008 cop describes an assault that just happened as “a hate crime.”  The 1973 cop mockingly retorts – “As opposed to an “I really, really like you crime?” – pointing out the absurdity inherent in such classifications – as though all men and women were not created equal nor equal in the sight of the law.

Planned “Un-Parenthood” Strikes Again

The organization “Students for Life of America” has released yet another undercover video of a nurse at a New Jersey Planned “Un-Parenthood” facility describing how an abortion would be performed on a 22 week-old unborn child and admitting that some babies survive such abortions.  “It does happen,” the nurse said.

Well, here we are again with another YouTube.com or Eyeblast.tv video (www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?v=e46UqG8zSU) demonstrating either the illegality (i.e., not reporting minor girls pregnant by adult men) or immorality of Planned “Un-Parenthood” Clinics.

In the SFLA’s video, the nurse explains the late-term abortion procedure to the pregnant woman, while the woman questions the nurse about the details.  “Is the baby alive?” asks the pregnant woman.  “Usually not,” the nurse replies.  The woman asks if the baby could be born alive, to which the nurse responds: “Usually, for the most part no, but it does happen.  It’s an actual delivery,” her explanation continues, “but it wouldn’t be able to survive on its own, so eventually the baby does die.”

According to the Catholic News Agency, Kristan Hawkins, SFLA Executive Director, commented on the video: “I was absolutely stunned when the Planned Parenthood nurse revealed that allowing a baby to die after being born alive is a common practice for abortionists.  This is outright infanticide.”

SFLA has called on Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood, which reportedly receives about $300 million in taxpayer funding each year.  Apparently, there is not a law protecting those who survive abortions.  Critics of such a bill claim that such a law or requirement – to tend to the life birth – would burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.

Oh my gosh, when a human being survives the attempt to destroy them, they are left to die in order not to burden a physician and an almost-mother?  What kind of civilization thinks this way?

I’ll tell you what this is really about: if Planned “Un-Parenthood” saved the lives of babies who survive their abortions, then women would less likely come to them for abortions, and that would hurt Planned “Un-Parenthood’s” bottom line. 

According to National Right To Life (www.nrlc.org/News_and_views/july07/nv071907.html), the dedication of Planned Parenthood to abortion is…apparent: “against 264,943 abortions, Planned Parenthood saw just 12,548 prenatal clients. This means that it was 21 times more likely that a pregnant woman coming into a Planned Parenthood clinic would receive an abortion than receive prenatal care.  In 2005, in its entire nationwide network of over 860 clinics, Planned Parenthood saw just 248 infertility clients.  Put another way, this means Planned Parenthood Federation of America  treated just one infertility patient for every 1,068 abortions it performed.  Adoption services or referrals aren’t even mentioned.”

Planned “Un-Parenthood” is always screeching in its fundraising warning letters that it is about protecting women’s reproductive choices, but what one of its latest service reports shows is how rarely Planned Parenthood’s plans involve parenthood, and just how often they involve abortion, which is why I call it “Planned Un-Parenthood.”

Quote of the Week

The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion, because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me?  There is nothing between.
               – Mother Teresa

Parental Notification Laws

There have been innumerable skirmishes all over America concerning whether or not parents should get notification, much less a say, in whether their kids can visit the museum of natural history during school hours (usually yes), get their ears pierced (also yes) or have an unborn baby scraped or sucked out of their bodies (ahh…that would be a “NO” if you ask Planned Un-Parenthood, the ACLU, and a host of other ultra-liberal, feminista organizations).

Generally, the concern these organizations present have to do almost solely with the imagined sociopathy of America’s parents: that they will savage or murder their pregnant daughters, or toss them bodily from their homes into the murky night and swampy streets. They have not, however, ever come up with any instances of that happening – but what do facts matter when you want to make sure an abortion is always available when a kid wants one?

For the third time in the last four years, California voters were asked to weigh in on teen abortion, determining whether doctors would be required to notify parents at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor…you hear that?  ON A MINOR CHILD!

There are those who think abortions are so important to the well-being of children that they believe that children are capable of making that decision on their own.  That’s why a piece by Kenny Goldberg (KPBS-FM radio in San Diego) is so blatantly clear on the limitations of the thinking of children.

The Vista Community Clinic in California sees hundreds of teens a month for reproductive health issues.  Mr. Goldberg interviewed some of those teenage girls to see what their opinions and concerns were regarding their parents’ knowing about their abortion appointments.  Here is a typical example: “I don’t think I would tell my parents, because I feel like they would look at me as someone who’s already messed up – like early in my life, and I’d feel like I was a disappointment.”

Hey – that sounds like a valid reason to terminate the life of a baby in one’s body without a parent to talk to about alternatives or to help.

By the way, most of these parental notification initiatives allow for children who come from abusive families to notify another adult relative – like a grandparent or aunt/uncle – or ask a judge for a waiver.

With respect to those options, another teen says “Pregnancy already weighs on you enough.  So to even add court issues to that – that would just be insane – I mean, it would be so much harder to deal with.”

Come on folks – kids who worry about parental disappointment, and the burden of dealing with judges or other adults, clearly are not mature enough to make life-and-death decisions for another human being.

I do know, from my years on the air, that there are many parents who would wholeheartedly support their child’s abortion so that they would get that problem out of the way so their kids could just get on with school and sports.  Unfortunately, they leave their child with a legacy of always knowing they eliminated their first child because of an inconvenience.  That’s better than facing some disappointment or legal procedure?

I believe parents ought to be with their children to help them through any and all crises…from not making the basketball team or cheerleaders, to facing the reality of having created a human life.

Kids and Media Exposure to Sex

A listener labeled his email to me:
 
“The Newest Movie “Trash” Banned in Utah! Go Utah!” 
I read recently that some parts of Utah had banned the release of the new film “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”. The film is about a guy and girl who have nothing better in their dull lives to do but to produce a pornographic film together just for the fun of it. I, for one, am sick and tired of films that exploit women AND men!!! Whatever happened to going to the cinema and watching a good movie?

Thank God that Utah, a state that won’t forfeit its values and morals, stands up to films such as these, and won’t let them play in theaters there. I am a high school teacher, and believe me, Dr. Laura, our kids are craving to be taught values and morals. They want direction. They need direction. Films like these are teaching them that sex is just something that can be played with. I teach a student who has been sexually abused by his own stepfather, and I’m trying to guide him and show him a bit of comfort that he has never received….It breaks my heart to know what he has suffered, and it also breaks my heart to see students being exposed to trashy sex and stupid behavior on film. This kind of sick mess makes our jobs much more difficult in the teaching arena…. it’s time that we did something about this trash that’s being shown to our children. “

This email coincided with a US News and World Report study that sounds like “yes/no yes/no” silliness. The new research suggests that teens who spend the most time watching sexually charged television shows are twice as likely to become pregnant or impregnate someone else.

No kidding.  My generation grew up on The Flying Nun and Leave it to Beaver.  I never knew anyone who knew anyone who got pregnant in high-school. 

Here’s where the back-and-forth nonsense begins.  First, the report says that these findings don’t prove that sexy programming causes pregnancy – well, of course it doesn’t “cause” pregnancy.  But it is clear that a permissive media has a huge influence on impressionable teens, opening them up to behaviors which are not in their best interests, emotionally or medically. 

Interestingly, the researchers refused to “name names” with respect to which television shows they considered “sexually charged.”  I guess they don’t want to be open to lawsuits for suggesting that there are specific programs on the air that hurt children by opening them up to behaviors which could lead to unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, or the psychological trauma of sexual abuse.

Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington who studies kids and television says that these findings “add to the growing body of evidence that what children see on screen affects their behavior in real life.”  I’ve always gotten a laugh from much of what psychological research – a soft science at best – finds.  They state the obvious like it was a revelation and they get grant money to do it. 

Let’s see, if we didn’t think that media impacted how people behave in real life, how long would the advertising business last?  Oh please, they pay millions for product placement movies…to influence you,   They pay millions for seconds of promotion on SuperBowl Sunday…to influence you.  It must work.  So to be “surprised” at the impact of images and behavior the media immerses our children in has got to be some kind of joke.

Back to the beginning… hooray for Utah.  Parents who want to expose their children to “trash” can always buy it on the Internet.