A man's car stalled on a country road. When he got out to fix it, a cow came along and stopped beside him.
"Your trouble is probably in the carburetor," said the cow.
Startled, the man jumped back and ran down the road until he met the farmer. He told the farmer his story.
"Was it a large red cow with a brown spot over the right eye?" asked the farmer.
"Oh, I wouldn't listen to Bessie," said the Farmer. "She doesn't know anything about cars."
Comment & Forward>>>
I don't watch the HBO series SEX AND THE CITY -- that graphic television show depicting the supposedly glamorous sexual escapades of four single women in New York. But enough people have told me about it that I'm glad I don't watch it.
Recently, in the excellent English magazine THE SPECTATOR, writer Mary Kenny made an unusual observation: "SEX AND THE CITY means family values" read the title of her article. You've got to be kidding, right? Explicit sex, graphic language, glamorized promiscuity -- where do "family values" fit in there?
Well, the truth we can't not know, to use the title of J. Budziszewski's recent book, can pop up in unexpected places -- particularly the truth about human nature. We're made for one another, and men and women were created with certain roles. And when we flout them, the way we're made will always come back to haunt us.
For example, the fact that homosexuals desire marriage actually betrays the "lifestyle" they extol. Of course they want to marry and have children -- they're human, and that's the way God made us. But two homosexuals "married" can't do that, which is why marriage and homosexuality can never go together. Gay "marriage" has always got to be a counterfeit, and gays know it.
"The 'forces of conservatism' always win in the end," writes Mary Kenny, "because it is the natural order." Though moral Darwinists would say otherwise, humans weren't meant to jump from mate to mate, or juggle multiple partners at once, because sex is not a recreational act. It is not, says Kenny, that "brash, competitive, and indeed consumerist" activity depicted on SEX AND THE CITY. Rather, she goes on to say, it's one that "evokes in human beings something both animal and transcendental."
Exactly. Sex is a procreational act, carrying the weight of life-bearing potential. And it works to promote spousal unity -- it's not meant to fulfill selfish desires, and if used for that end, it's ultimately unsatisfying.
And so when we see Samantha on the screen, the most uninhibited character in the show, hopping from one sexual partner's bed to the next, writes Kenny, we cringe. Nobody applauds such self-deprecation. Then there's Miranda, the lawyer and now a single mother, finding fulfillment in motherhood and wanting to cut back on her work to be with her child. She yearns for her child's father and for the stability and commitment of marriage.
Charlotte, the erstwhile WASP who always wanted marriage, converts to Judaism for her husband. And finally, Carrie, the center of the show, sums up the futility of the sexually "liberated" single life when she remarked to a friend, "I'm lonely. I'm really lonely." Later, at Charlotte's wedding, Carrie tells her, "I wish I had a man strong enough to catch me when I stumble."
Two are better than one, as Ecclesiastes says. We weren't meant to be alone, nor to give ourselves away to anyone and everyone. The way SEX AND THE CITY is ending up illustrates this truth. It tried to portray the glamour of the sexual libertine lifestyle, but it doesn't work -- even on TV.
Sooner or later human nature -- as created by God -- kicks in. And apparently the writers of SEX AND THE CITY found that out.
Unconstitutionally Effective Shutting Down a Program that Works
June 13, 2006
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.
Just six days after a federal judge in Iowa declared an effective, faith-based program for prisoners unconstitutional, a private commission of leading criminal justice experts released a report detailing the sad state of America's prisons.
The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons observed that "what happens inside jails and prisons does not stay [there]. It comes home with prisoners." To combat violence inside the prisons, the Commission says, we need effective programming because "[h]ighly structured programs are proven to reduce misconduct in correctional facilities and to lower recidivism rates after release."
So why in heaven's name would a federal judge shut down a highly structured program for prisoners that has been proven to lower recidivism? Why? Because that program, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, or IFI, a program launched by Prison Fellowship ten years ago, is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
You've heard me talk about IFI on "BreakPoint" in the past couple of weeks, how prisoners volunteer to participate, how they take educational classes and perform community service. I've also told you how independent studies have found that IFI drastically reduces recidivism rates.
None of that mattered to the federal judge, who ruled against Iowa, Prison Fellowship, and IFI in a lawsuit brought by none other than Barry Lynn and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Instead, the judge decided that IFI "coerced" prisoners into enrolling essentially because it offered them a quality program and the tools they need to succeed on the outside. As if drug treatment, job preparation, and general education are some kind of bait to lure unsuspecting prisoners into an evangelical Christian program where they could be converted!
But every single prisoner who testified at the trial admitted that he was not coerced into enrolling in the program. Nor are they coerced into staying in it or converting to Christianity.
To add injury to insult, the judge also ordered Prison Fellowship and IFI to repay Iowa $1.5 million—funds the state paid to IFI pursuant to a valid contract to perform needed services such as education and drug treatment.
Prison Fellowship and IFI will appeal the judge's ruling, and we certainly hope to be vindicated. And I should mention that the program will stay open during the appeals process.
But make no mistake—the judge's extreme and punitive ruling sends a clear message to any faith-based organization or church that provides needed social services: "Go away. Go away, even if your program is working and inmates are volunteering and asking for the services." That's the worst message any government could possibly send, especially as we look at our prison system and its 2.3 million inhabitants in need of transformation.
The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America 's Prisons concludes by saying, "We all bear responsibility for creating correctional institutions that are safe, humane, and productive. This is the moment to confront confinement in the United States."
Well, then it is certainly not the moment to exclude programs—faith-based or not—that offer "safe, humane, and productive" solutions.
And right now we desperately need your financial help to fight and win this battle. Can I count on you to help us today? Every gift you give today will go toward this court battle as together we take a stand for religious liberty here in this nation. Please call today with your donation at 1-877-322-5527. Or you can give a gift online. Thank you and God bless you for standing with us and for praying for us at this critical time.
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