Posted 3/31/15 at 8:20 AM | Karen Kramer
Social media battles lines have been drawn. Profile pictures of rainbow decals accompany caustic tweets and posts about gay discrimination because of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act.
But shouldn't we have the liberty to exercise our religious beliefs—most notably when it pertains to gay weddings—supplying cakes, flowers, and performing gay marriage ceremonies?
American businesses average $1.3 trillion in annual retail transactions—and the existing federal religious freedom law has never been used to deny service to a LGBT individual. But that same federal law didn’t protect the baker in Oregon or the florist in Washington or the photographer in Colorado. They all were unjustly sued for refusing service for gay weddings. It should be their decision, not cause for discrimination lawsuits.
But this isn’t a problem with Indiana, or a religious freedom law; it’s a problem with Christian Americans (supposedly the majority in the nation) who have stood idle while a vocal minority has placed unfair burdens on us. We’ve lost the battle of marriage being just between a man and a woman. The next conflict will be gay “hiring discrimination” in religious businesses, religious non-profits, and religious schools. Closely thereafter will be gender-distinction battles. Minnesota activists are currently seeking to eliminate any gender distinction in high school sports. It would allow either sex to play on either team and use the locker room of his/her choice. FULL POST
Posted 3/27/15 at 8:22 AM | Karen Kramer
Winners and losers—that’s life, but who we become afterwards, that’s up to us.
My newly divorced dad was trying to connect to me, his teenaged daughter. Munching my breakfast cereal, Dad placed the sports section of the Seattle Post Intelligencer in front of me. He quickly explained how the NCAA basketball tournament worked. The Seattle PI was offering a contest—the best bracket would win a trip to Hawaii. Basketball didn’t enthuse me, but scanning the prizes, I thought, why not?
Folding the paper, Dad said we’d begin our research that evening. Research? I had real homework to do. How hard could it be to pick winners and losers? But that was all part of the fun according to Dad.
This was before the Internet, so researching college teams wasn’t easy. FULL POST
Posted 3/25/15 at 8:17 AM | Karen Kramer
After sponsors pulled their financial support of NBC’s The New Normal, producers went to work creating another television program designed to desensitize America. Executive producer and openly gay Ellen DeGeneres and NBC writers recently premiered One Big Happy (airs Tuesday 9:30 ET).
Lizzy and Luke, childhood friends, are now adults seeking to start a family—but not in any traditional way. Lizzy is a lesbian and wants to get pregnant. Luke has a quick romance with Prudence who is heading back to England in a few days. As Lizzy announces her pregnancy, Prudence and Luke get married—and this cozy group decides to be a family together. Besides containing far too much pixilated nudity, the show’s vulgar jokes glamorize one-night stands, foul language and homosexuality. One Million Moms email campaign helped end The New Normal after one dismal season. They hope to do it again. Click here for an easy-to-send email to the show’s sponsors. It does make a difference. Speak up for decency and make the One Big Happy another flop.
Posted 3/20/15 at 7:58 AM | Karen Kramer
College is obscenely expensive and with a nearly 50% unemployment rate among graduates, is it worth it?
College debt tops ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. That is more than American’s house/car/credit card debt combined. College costs have increased 1000% in my lifetime.
And bankruptcy isn’t an option with college debt. Where you go, the debt follows.
Luke was a high school graduate without finances for college, so he decided to volunteer for an African mission—digging wells and running food shelters for displaced refugees.
He didn’t make any money, but he learned management skills, first-aid on the fly, how to fix a generator with altered parts, and gaining a worldview that living in a tin hut provides.
Arriving back in the states, he still couldn’t afford college, but he found a job stocking grocery shelves. Rather than settling in with the reasonable salary and benefits, he used his free time to take online college courses. Why pay for what you can get for free? Luke tapped into economics courses offered through Stanford University. He took an MIT financial theory course offered through iTunes University. FULL POST
Posted 3/17/15 at 4:25 PM | Karen Kramer
Men who consider themselves women are welcome to shower and dress in the women’s locker room at Planet Fitness. In a corporate decision, all fitness locations will allow locker rooms to be fair game for sexual predators. Here’s their statement:
Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.
So in case you’re a member of Planet Fitness you shouldn’t be surprised if the opposite gender shares your private dressing quarters. Male sexual predators (disguised as gender-identifying women) can have an open season on unsuspecting females.
Of course, the reverse could be true with women entering the male dressing room domain. FULL POST
Posted 3/13/15 at 8:27 AM | Karen Kramer
On the same channel featuring the faith-driven Duck Dynasty, A & E will soon be premiering, Neighbors with Benefits. Perhaps the title leads you to suspect what this reality show offers—wife-swapping with no shame and all the sexual favors. As the promo explains, this is just your average suburban community, but behind the doors of some well-kept homes, weekend parties are opportunities to hook-up with the neighbor’s husband or wife.
Once illegal, this swinger lifestyle is now glorified in ways that defy logic. Why even be married? There is no faithfulness, or promises for sharing a unified partnership, or much of a future beyond the next party. It’s hard to imagine this happening in a typical neighborhood, but having this lusty group willing to make it a reality show says a lot about them. Even more telling is what it says about our culture.
Maybe I’m just getting too old. Or maybe I’m disheartened with entertainment that deliberately confuses lust and love. Making adultery a game can only lead to disappointment then disillusionment and eventually divorce. A game where everyone loses. FULL POST
Posted 3/10/15 at 8:15 AM | Karen Kramer
Lowering the bar even further, A & E will be premiering a new reality series, Neighbors With Benefits. As the title implies, neighbors attend parties as married couples with the intent on switching partners—for sex. As A & E explains, it’s an original real-life series that follows residents in an average suburban community—where some couples maintain a “not-so-average” way of life. Neighbors are often more than just friends in this seemingly ordinary neighborhood that has become home to the controversial, yet surprisingly common, ‘swinger’ lifestyle.
The show will air at 10:00 pm ET (Sunday, March 22). Do viewers really need another program glamorizing cheating?
Posted 3/6/15 at 8:13 AM | Karen Kramer
In 1979, as I neared college graduation, an anthem swept the nation—Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. It quickly soared to the top of the charts with students shouting the lyrics:
"We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control."
It protested rigid schooling and government control.
We’ve come a long way since then—in the wrong direction. In the past forty years our schools have transitioned to meet increasing government demands.
With tax dollars funding schools, accountability is needed, but our kids and their teachers are the ones paying for it.
In the final months of the school year a slew of tests are scheduled in classrooms across America. You can go cross-eyed reading various reports on school performance, testing, and education reforms. FULL POST
Posted 3/3/15 at 8:18 AM | Karen Kramer
Returning from a business trip, her husband unexpectedly announced he wanted a divorce. No counseling, no arguments, no trial separations, he just wanted out—after years together. Shocked speechless, the woman gripped the chair and slid into it.
In the immediate aftermath, she vacillated between despair and hysterical crying. Nothing made sense, except that her heart had been broken in two. In her emotional anguish, she experienced very real pain in the pounding of her own heart.
While it doesn’t happen to everyone, there have now been enough cases that doctors are on the alert for heart attack symptoms seen in those in the midst of severe emotional trauma. It’s called stress cardiomyopathy, which in layman’s terms means broken heart syndrome. It is triggered by the acute stress that can be brought on by the death of a loved one, or a divorce.
As the body responds to the severe shock, adrenaline levels spike and the heart is literally stunned—causing the left ventricle to fail to move properly. Victims feel intense heart pounding and have difficulty breathing. Yet, in the emergency room, blood tests most likely indicate that it’s not a heart attack. Usually, the diagnosis is called a panic attack. FULL POST
Posted 2/27/15 at 8:10 AM | Karen Kramer
Measured by some of the curt replies I received, I could tell last week’s post riled some folks. Why should I finger President Obama for posting selfies, when everyone else does too? Who really cares?
Another reader complained:
"He can't enjoy himself during his term? You must be a Christian that believes entertainment is wrong. Do you resent him sleeping at night too? Why are you so priggish?"
Okay. Point taken. I am priggish. President Obama was merely reaching out to those who appreciate a good selfie.
Someone else said to stop playing the blame game. Another reader suggested, I should really be pointing the finger at myself and asking how am I helping this sorry world?
So, please accept my apologies—and I extend apologies to President Obama. Since it’s hard for this unelected, small town American to change policies on immigration, ISIS, or our fledgling economy, I’m focusing on what I can do: FULL POST