NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – An income inequality panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference agreed that the 50-year "War on Poverty" has failed to enrich the poor and that family breakdown is contributing to the problem.
"The most important cultural bulwark to getting ahead in America is marriage, which is increasingly an institution just for the well-educated," said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review. Lowry argued in a panel on Thursday that the poverty problem has less to do with income inequality than with income mobility, "the question of whether people on the bottom are getting ahead." He declared that if Mark Zuckerberg lost all his wealth tomorrow, that would help no one.
Lowry summed up the path to prosperity in two words: liberty and responsibility. If someone has the liberty to create value in the economy and the responsibility to live prudently, they will get ahead. "The research shows it's very easy" to escape being poor, he explained. "If you graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and get married before you have kids, your odds of being poor in America are extremely slim." more >>
Kenya churches are speaking out against western criticism of anti-gay laws and attitudes in African countries, with some comparing homosexuality to colonialism and slavery.
A news conference last week led by Bishop Arthur Gitonga of the Redeemed Church in Kenya apparently included comments such as "homosexuality is equivalent to colonialism and slavery," "we feel it's like a weapon of mass destruction" and "it is not biblical and cannot bring blessing to Christians," Religion News Service reported on Thursday.
The director of the upcoming Bible epic "Noah" shot down rumors that the movie had caused a hullabaloo for himself and Paramount Pictures.
"There isn't really a controversy," Darren Aronofsky told Variety on Thursday, at "Foundations of the Deep: Noah and the Flood," an art exhibition with work inspired by the story.
The director of "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler" added that he made the film for both "believers and non-believers" and was especially interested in challenging any preconceptions that the latter group might have about attending a religious film. more >>
Over 400 Mayans have reportedly decided to become Christians after screenings of the "Jesus" film. The outreach was held in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula in three villages on three nights.
Erick Schenkel, executive director of The Jesus Film Project, which alongside their partners, The Message for Mayans, also played the films "The Story of Jesus for Children" and "Magdalena," shared in a blog post that the showings, presented in the Mayan language, attracted between 250 and 500 residents each night during a recent trip.
"We were especially touched on the third night by two tiny, wrinkled, old Mayan ladies sitting on chairs in the very front row just behind the children. They both leaned forward, captivated from the first moment by this film, shown on the big screen and featuring actors speaking their own language. When Jesus was arrested, the two ladies leaned forward, their eyes glued to the screen, hands covering their mouths," Schenkel wrote. more >>
USA Today recently published the results of a national survey among 18 to 31-year-olds regarding cohabitation. A whopping 76 percent of young Americans said living together before marriage is fine. The stark reality is that 65 percent of "altar – bound" singles--many of who identify as "Christians"-- now live together before marriage, a euphemism for lifestyle fornication.
Recently the Pope made reference to cohabitation in a statement that is leaving some confused. Pope Francis stated, "matrimony is between a man and a woman but that moves to "regulate diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care." Multitudes are uncertain regarding the extent of what he was suggesting or saying in this statement.
Add to the conversation on people "living together" are people making statements like the following: " Look, times have changed. We have to face certain realities of living in the 21st-century. We're older… more mature… been divorced… not ready financially… providing parents to a child… benefiting from tax incentives...have peace that God understands our unique situation...after all, look how many celebrities and even 'Christians' are doing it." more >>
I spend a good bit of my time around teenagers. At times it is to deliver a message on good choices at youth groups, and middle or high schools. At other times it has been in my capacity as a youth athletic coach. Sometimes, as it was a few weeks ago, it is just to "hang out" or "chill." From my youthful days I believe the word has now evolved to chillax, chillmatic, chillin, chillaxing, and more from the original "relax".
Have you figured out how to motivate your pre-teen or teenager to live upright consistently? A variety of studies point to the profitable involvement of parents and other ancestral family relations. Those relationships provide great stability in life. Framing the life of your teenager to desire leaving a powerful legacy empowers them to take personal ownership for their actions. It also elevates their level of maturity and personal responsibility. Legacy transfers family values and systems which allow parents and children to live moral and productive lives.
I watched a college basketball game with a few 15-year old boys a couple of weeks ago. We decided to grab a bite after. As our conversation flowed I was struck by their frequent use of the phrase "our generation." It appeared to be a clue of an expression frequently used about them in dialog by authority figures in their lives. To be exact, one such reference was "Adults believe our generation is more about recreational drug use than concrete choices." more >>