Why British Teens Have a Problem With Online Pornography

Why British Teens Have a Problem With Online Pornography

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Hint: It’s not because of irresponsible ‘Internet providers.’

In a parliamentary inquiry report released last week, British members of Parliament sounded the alarm about the consumption of online pornography by children and teenagers. Although the stats disclosed warrant a shocked gasp, it’s the raucous yet pitifully misguided reaction of the media and government leaders that’s most disheartening.

According to the government inquiry, four out of five 16-year-olds view porn online regularly. Meanwhile, one in three 10-year-olds have viewed similar content. The images these youths are viewing go way beyond mere nudity too. With the click of their fingers, they’re accessing the “whole history of human sexual perversion,” noted the authors. It’s a tragic discovery: millions of children viewing the vilest, most depraved perversions—images and scenes that would make many adults cringe.

In their report, the M.P.s expressed concern that porn-viewing among teens is corrupting an entire generation. They’re alarmed that children and teens will pervert their minds, saddling millions with selfish, twisted, often vile viewpoints in regard to sex, the role of men and women, and marriage and family.

There are also other concerns beside the subversion of an entire generation’s morality and inner values. In this tragic heart-to-heart, the mother of an 11-year-old boy recites her son’s imprisonment to online pornography. Much like a drug addict, “Charlie’s” affair with online porn transformed him from a wholesome, energetic and friendly “sunny sort of chap” into a withdrawn, moody, hollow-eyed, self-loathing recluse who could neither eat nor sleep normally.

Porn didn’t simply alter his “behavior, but his entire character,” his mother cried.

Naturally, these revelations have set off a national debate on the need to protect children from smut. But as is so often the case in today’s intellectually and morally muddled world, the conversation has quickly gravitated toward a side issue. The Daily Mail summed it up best, explaining last week that the solution to keeping porn from children and teens lies with Britain’s “Internet providers.” (This was the focus of the parliamentary inquiry too.)

If only the four companies that beam the Internet into British homes were more responsible, many argue, the problem would be solved. The best solution, we’re told, is the use by these companies of more filters and virtual gateways to make it tougher for children and teens to access online porn.

There’s no denying such features would have a positive effect. However, debating about the responsibility of Internet providers distracts attention from those ultimately responsible for this problem.

Parents.

After all, who’s paying for the computers, televisions, game consoles and the Internet service used by these youths? Who’s allowing their children and teens to slink into the seclusion of their screen-lit bedrooms? (More than half of children ages 7 to 16 have Internet access in their own room; among 11-to-16-year-olds, the figure is 61 percent.) Who’s purchasing the smartphones, then paying the monthly bill? And who’s allowing these youths to take these gadgets to private places where they can text, sext and surf to their heart’s desire?

Forget Internet providers, this inquiry reveals a crisis in British parenting.

From a practical standpoint, the solution to teens viewing porn is fairly straightforward. A few measures would include relocating computers and tvs to the living room; downloading free, easy-to-install Internet filters, and taking the time to regularly monitor a child’s online dalliances. The same applies to smartphones. If parents took them away after a certain hour, monitored texts and conducted spur-of-the-moment checks, teens would find nefarious activity much more difficult and much less enticing. What if the child goes to a friend’s home to engage in this behavior? That’s simple too: Sever the relationship.

These measures might sound harsh. But isn’t the moral, emotional and psychological damage inflicted by pornography, including the unnecessary sabotage of future relationships, ten thousand times worse? Talk to the family member of a drug addict; with the benefit of hindsight, many say there isn’t anything they wouldn’t have done to prevent the enslavement of their son or daughter. A fleeting fit, the angry slam of the bedroom door—these are small prices to pay to prevent a son or daughter becoming another “Charlie.”

These actions are simple, attainable without huge cost or state intervention, and will not deprive a child of his basic needs physically, mentally or emotionally. But they’ll never be considered viable, and never employed on a large scale. Why? Because they’re predicated on a social construct that today is virtually obsolete: the authority of the parent.

Most parents will never implement these measures because they’ve abdicated authority over their children.

To quantify this reality, visit a restaurant, mall or ballpark. Everywhere you look you’ll see parents willingly (often unknowingly) relinquishing control: from the 2-year-old who throws a temper tantrum to demand candy, to the child who refuses to eat his veggies and is never made to by parents who fear confrontation, to the rebellious scowls shot at Mom or Dad by children upset at being asked to take out the trash. It’s in the snippy remarks, slammed doors and silent treatment so common among teens. This is to say nothing of the millions of parents slaving night and day so their children can have Internet access, a smartphone and laptop, an iPhone and an endless wardrobe of designer clothes.

The 21st-century parent has little interest in maintaining control over the behavior and attitudes of his children.

As children grow, their disregard and disrespect for authority affects their other relationships. At school they lack respect for teachers, principals and administrators. In society, there’s little to no respect for police, government leaders and others in authority. The results of this authority-less upbringing surround us. Too many of our teachers work in fear of verbal and physical abuse. Malls and shopping centers, overrun by aimless youths, lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year to theft and property damage. Our streets are filled with gang violence.

Last summer, London, one of the largest, most enduring cities in the world, was brought to its knees amid violence and rioting—by teenagers with no fear of authority!

It’s time we faced reality. More than anything, the problem of porn addiction among teens, as well as most of the other social crises Britain faces—the plague of public drunkenness, the thuggery and gang violence, youth unemployment, single motherhood—is a direct result of family breakdown!

Traced to its origins, every social problem facing Britain (and America) is the result of some form of family dysfunction. Gang violence and general street crime; sexual perversion and promiscuity; unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease; rape and sexual abuse; fatherlessness/single motherhood and the resultant exploitation of the welfare system; divorce and its many costly byproducts—each stems from the dissolution of the traditional family!

Culturally, there has for decades now been a war on traditional marriage, on the roles of the mother and especially the father, and on the role of children within a family. Traditional laws and values regarding marriage and family, many of which were gleaned from the Bible, have been tossed aside and replaced with perverted values that undermine the family. The results are obvious. As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex, “Since it is a basic truism that a solid family structure is the foundational bulwark of any stable and permanent society, this fact means only one thing—civilization as we know it is on the way down—and out ….”

Is there a better way to describe a nation in which millions of teens are allowed to go online and in the privacy of their own bedrooms explore the “whole history of human sexual perversion”? Where are the parents? Where are the healthy, stable, law-abiding, morally sound families? Why isn’t there an authority—a father, mother, grandparent, elder brother or sister—putting a stop to this? Truly, as Mr. Armstrong warned, British “civilization as we know it is on the way down—and out.”

Not because of its irresponsible Internet providers, but because of its broken families.

Greece, Spain Continue to Weaken Eurozone

Greece and Spain continue to weaken the eurozone while Germany defends the policy of fiscal discipline it’s foisting on the member nations.

On April 24, the Bank of Greece warned that the country faces a worse-than-expected recession in 2012, with the economy set to shrink 5 percent. Tough conditions demanded for rescue loan deals have pushed Greece into a fifth year of recession and brewed widespread popular discontent.

On the same day, Spain raised nearly us$2.6 billion in an auction of short-term debt by paying much higher interest rates than normal, a sign of investor wariness.

In response, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Europe to stick with its pro-austerity policies in spite of the latest political uncertainty.

Financial markets in the eurozone were shaken on April 23 by concerns that an agreement on strict deficit targets agreed to by European leaders earlier this year was beginning to unravel.

French Socialist François Hollande, who has pledged to renegotiate the pact to give greater emphasis to growth, edged ahead in Sunday’s first round of presidential elections.

Every member of the 27-country European Union except Britain and the Czech Republic signed the treaty, but most EU members still have to ratify it, leaving the status of the treaty far from certain.

“This is the biggest issue of all, this is the issue that the Europeans have faced for the last two years, which is: Who is going to propel the eurozone out of this crisis and with what measures,” said economics analyst Peter Gumble in an interview with Associated Press.

While analysts and pundits may wonder, the Trumpet has always known which country will provide the leadership to propel the eurozone out of its crisis: Germany. Bible prophecy states this clearly. For a more detailed explanation, read our article “Europe Begs Germany: Please Rescue Us!

China, North Korea Confirm Ties Following Rocket Test

Chinese President Hu Jintao visited with a top North Korean official on Monday to reaffirm traditional ties between the two nations. The visit in Beijing came just 10 days after Pyongyang botched an attempt to test launch a rocket.

During the meeting, Hu sent congratulations to Kim Jong-un for being named the Workers’ Party first secretary. He also said that strengthening ties between Beijing and Pyongyang is a key priority for China’s ruling Communists.

Kim responded later on Monday, saying that North Korea wishes to “develop the traditional dprk-China friendship provided and cultivated by the leaders of elder generations of the two countries.”

Also on Monday, North Korea’s military said it is planning to launch “special actions” that will destroy the administration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. The statement said these “actions” would last 3 to 4 minutes and be carried out by “unprecedented peculiar means.” Meanwhile, intelligence shows that North Korea is digging a tunnel to prepare for the nation’s third nuclear test.

Beijing has used this high-profile reception of the North Korean delegation to show its dedication to Pyongyang. This comes in spite of North Korea’s threats to annihilate South Korea, its deplorable human rights record, its refusal to take on economic reforms, and its ongoing nuclear weapons program.

Beijing has criticized some of Pyongyang’s actions, but it has opposed any attempt by the United Nations to impose new sanctions on the rogue state for its missile program and its nuclear program. With China maintaining its role as Pyongyang’s protector, it is unlikely that the United States or any other nation will take decisive action against North Korea’s illegal nuclear development. As ties between Beijing and Pyongyang strengthen, China will increasingly use erratic North Korea as a proxy to intimidate its Asian neighbors and to antagonize the West.

The green light bulb insanity

How to clean up the new energy efficient light bulbs without killing yourself, costs for the economy, and other government-imposed lunacy.

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has banned Thomas Edison’s masterpiece. Stores have to stop selling incandescent light bulbs in 2014. But if you are one of the folks who have embraced the new, more expensive, energy-efficient cfl bulbs, you might want to reconsider.

The cfl light bulb, besides looking like a socket with a curly fry attached to it, is actually very deadly.

In short: Don’t sit near one, breath the air surrounding one—or worse yet, break one.

Yup, in the name of saving the environment, the feds are destroying the environment, and endangering people in the process. The Telegraph reports on the energy-saving light bulbs:

Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy-saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer-causing chemicals.Scientists claim that several carcinogenic chemicals are released when energy-saving light bulbs are switched on.Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin’s Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”

Later on, the article goes on to warn readers not to use these bulbs in poorly ventilated areas.

But perhaps an even greater risk to people is the bulbs breaking—and as anyone with children knows, eventually one will probably get broken.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (epa) details what to do to avoid mercury poisoning in such a scenario. Here are some of the steps. You can read the full set of instructions at the website. If you are overwhelmed by the instructions, or the possible health risks, you might consider hiring a hazmat crew—or moving. According to the epa, if a bulb breaks:

Have people and pets leave the room, and avoid the breakage area on the way out.Open a window or door to the outdoors and leave the room for 5-10 minutes.Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.Collect materials you will need to clean up the broken bulb: stiff paper or cardboard; sticky tape (e.g., duct tape); damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); glass jar with a metal lid (such as a canning jar) or a sealable plastic bag(s).

The stiff paper and cardboard is to carefully pick up the broken glass without having to touch it. The sticky tape is to collect any fragments from the floor that you missed. You don’t want to sweep hard surfaces because it could stir up the poisonous particles.

The glass jar with a metal lid is needed because plastic does not stop mercury vapor. Put the glass fragments into the glass jar before disposing.

But don’t dispose in your trash. Mercury is a hazardous substance, and most states require you to take it to a certified recycling center.

The Maine epa, under the heading “What if I accidentally break a fluorescent lamp in my house?” warns:

Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the breakage. This will spread the mercury vapor and dust throughout the area and could potentially contaminate the vacuum. …Ventilate the area by opening windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes before returning to begin the cleanup. Mercury vapor levels will be lower by then. …For maximum protection and if you have them, wear rubber gloves. …Continue ventilating the room for several hours.Wash your hands and face.

Finally, the Maine epa includes a couple of other warnings not included on the federally-sponsored site:

When a break happens on carpeting, homeowners may consider removing throw rugs or the area of carpet where the breakage occurred as a precaution, particularly if the rug is in an area frequented by infants, small children or pregnant women.Finally, if the carpet is not removed, open the window to the room during the next several times you vacuum the carpet to provide good ventilation.

Wow. What an example of bad government. Who in their right mind would mandate the usage of these types of light bulbs? In theory, a person might save money, but how many people can afford to throw out their carpet if a bulb breaks? Who wants to evacuate their children and pets from their home for 15 minutes while they are waiting for toxicity levels to drop? Who wants to have to ventilate their house for “several hours” in the middle of winter? Who wants to open up their windows every time they vacuum the contaminated area? What if you forget to turn off your air conditioning or heating unit and you suck up the mercury vapor into the vents?

And now scientists are warning that these “green” bulbs give off cancer-causing chemicals just by being turned on.

What about when you go to sell your house to an unsuspecting buyer? Do you need to disclose that you have had a potentially dangerous mercury spill?

If this green light bulb boondoggle isn’t bad enough, it is also an economic albatross. General Electric announced in 2010 that due to the new government regulations, it would close its last incandescent light bulb factory in the United States. The whole industry in the U.S. is now dead. Guess where the new, more expensive bulbs are manufactured? China.

If we are going to poison Americans and our environment, can’t we at least keep the manufacturing jobs here in America? But no. Instead, in our green energy hypocrisy, we will pay the Chinese to employ thousands of workers to manufacture environmentally harmful products that poison us.

Isaiah 3 anyone?

Vatican Cracks Down on U.S. Nuns

Vatican Cracks Down on U.S. Nuns

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An unprecedented act of correction reveals the Catholic Church’s increasingly assertive direction.

The Vatican announced on April 18 a major reform of an association of American nuns to ensure its adherence to Catholic doctrine in areas including euthanasia, abortion, women’s ordination and homosexuality. The reform marks an unprecedented exertion of Vatican force on a U.S. Catholic organization, and reflects the Catholic Church’s increasingly assertive posturing on the global stage.

The Vatican’s ire is against “radical feminism” pervasive in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (lcwr), which represents 80 percent of the U.S.’s 57,000 nuns. In an eight-page “doctrinal assessment” of the lcwr, the Vatican accused the lcwr of numerous grave breaches of doctrine, and made clear that it will forcefully correct the group’s “serious doctrinal problems.”

The report, four years in the making, said the “current doctrinal and pastoral situation of lcwr is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the lcwr exercises on religious congregations in other parts of the world.”

The Vatican says it discovered that “public statements by the lcwr that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.” The report berated the nuns for broadcasting discussions about the ordination of women, and ministering to homosexual people. It also lambasted them for devoting excessive time to “promoting issues of social justice” while neglecting to comment on “issues of crucial importance to the life of the church and society,” such as homosexual “marriage” and abortion.

Bent on purifying the sisterhood of “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith,” the Vatican appointed Seattle’s Archbishop J. Peter Sartain to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work” of the lcwr in order to reform the group. The correction process could last “up to five years,” and will include review of the lcwr’s liturgical practices, revision of its statutes, supervision of its meetings, and the establishment of formation programs for the lcwr’s congregations. Sartain’s group will also investigate the lcwr’s relationship with various politically active groups.

The lcwr has said it was “stunned” by the conclusions of the report and by the plans to forcefully reform it, calling it “a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church.”

The Vatican’s condemnation of liberalism among American nuns is significant because it represents perhaps the most assertive crackdown on U.S. Catholicism in history. As the lcwr said, it is a move with great significance for the wider church. The Trumpet has long proclaimed, based on Bible prophecy, that, as Europe becomes more unified, the Roman Catholic Church will become increasingly assertive on the global stage, and will become the guiding force of the European bloc. Six of history’s bloodiest chapters illustrate the devastation that ensues when a unified Europe is steered by the Catholic Church, and the seventh iteration of this unholy union is prophesied to be by far the bloodiest. The Vatican’s crackdown on American nuns highlights the church’s increasingly assertive stance, and its attack on liberalism will only become bolder in the months and years ahead. To understand more, read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

Sudan at War—the Ominous Religious Dimension

Sudan at War—the Ominous Religious Dimension

Isam Al-Haj/AFP/Getty Images

This blood-soaked region is descending into violence once again. This time it threatens to explode well beyond national borders.

Sudan has been one of the bloodiest blots on the planet for most of the past half century. The last civil war—which lasted more than two decades, killed nearly 2 million people and displaced 4 million more—only ended in 2005. Finally, after six years of brittle peace, South Sudan declared its independence last July in a wave of hope for a peaceful future.

However, unresolved issues between north and south still lay on the table. Now, after just nine months of South Sudan’s existence, those issues are exploding into yet another regrettable conflict.

Already innocent people are dying. But the situation threatens to blow up into a much larger crisis, even to add fuel to a looming large-scale religious war.

Sudan has become a radical Islamist state. Carving the Christian and animist South away from the north removed what religious diversity the country had; what remains is avowedly Muslim. Since the South’s secession, President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to increase the power of sharia law, and his government’s persecution of non-Muslims is becoming increasingly bold.

One region in Sudan home to many Christians is the Nuba Mountains. For several months, Khartoum has been bombing its half a million inhabitants—with some of the air strikes specifically targeting churches—and blocking humanitarian aid to them. Consequently, a famine looms, and large numbers of refugees are fleeing.

Throughout Sudan, Catholics are facing a marked increase in threats, harassment and attacks. Imams preach weekly anti-Christian messages in the country’s mosques. Local media stir up hatred and demand that the government deport the predominantly Christian South Sudanese. The daily Al Intibaha newspaper, for example, has described them as “cancer cells in the body of Sudan, the land of the Arab and Islam.”

The Bashir government declared that as of Easter Sunday of this year, April 8, all South Sudanese still living in the north would no longer be considered citizens: They needed to move to South Sudan or apply for “alien residency.” Remarkably, this ruling broadly defined “South Sudanese” as anyone with even one great-grandparent born in the south—of which there around 700,000 in Sudan, many of whom have lived in the north all their lives and don’t even have South Sudanese citizenship. But Bashir says they have no place in a “strictly Islamic state.”

Facing strong international arm-twisting, when April 8 rolled around, the government gave these ethnic southerners another 30 days to register as foreigners or get out. But the pressure on these “foreigners” only got worse on April 9. It was reported that on that day, all flights and land routes to South Sudan were closed, and no word was given on when they would resume. The same day, an Islamic mob drove a bulldozer to demolish a Bible school in Khartoum, arguing that the Southern Sudanese were no longer legal citizens and saying the land should be returned to “the land of Islam.” Reports have emerged of ethnic southerners feeling trapped and fearing where the growing hostility will lead.

Amid this bubbling religious tension, the contentious issue of oil has given rise to even greater violence.

When the South seceded, it took with it over three fourths of the formerly united nation’s oil supply. Given this tough economic blow to the north, you can imagine how controversial the subject was in secession talks. Negotiators, in fact, never did agree on oil revenue sharing, nor over the exact border between the countries in some places.

Trouble has arisen in one particularly strategic border oil town, Heglig. About half the north’s oil production comes from oil fields in the Heglig area, making it economically vital to Khartoum. The International Court of Justice has ruled that it belongs to Sudan, and President Bashir has vowed to “never give up” the region. Last month, clashes broke out between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces. After two weeks of heavy fighting, South Sudan’s forces emerged with control over the disputed area. Both sides blamed the other for starting the conflict, but given the area’s importance to Khartoum, the South’s occupation essentially constituted “a military aggression with the obvious aim of weakening Sudan and threatening its existence,” in the words of German-Foreign-Policy.com. The United Nations declared it an illegal capture and told the South to evacuate its troops.

Last Friday, South Sudan’s forces pulled out. They claimed they did so in order to comply with the UN, but Sudan claimed it had forced them out—and then officially declared war. President Omar al-Bashir vowed to overthrow the government and “liberate” the South Sudanese.

On Monday, Sudanese warplanes carried out air strikes on towns near Heglig that killed and wounded several people. (One Sudanese military commander claimed over 1,200 South Sudanese had been killed.) “There will be no negotiation with the South,” Bashir said Monday in Arabic on Sudanese government radio. “We have spoken to them now with guns and bullets. … We will teach the government of South Sudan a lesson.” The bombing continued into Tuesday.

Now, the bbc is reporting that the South is building up troops near the border. Satellite images confirm that the north is amassing military strike aircraft at two air bases. The descent into a broader war seems likely.

In all these clashes, religious undertones are never far from the surface, and life for Christians in the north keeps getting worse. This past Saturday, a mob reported to be around 300 Muslims torched a Catholic church in Khartoum.

These events are just one part of an unmistakable trend across the Middle East and North Africa: a mounting Muslim offensive against Christianity. Christians are increasingly suffering personal assaults, attacks on churches, forced conversions, thefts, sexual abuse of women, murders and executions. Places of worship are being bombed or torched, sometimes with Christians inside. Last month, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” Nigeria’s Christian population has almost entirely fled the country after facing slaughter at the hands of the terrorist group Boko Haram. Half of Iraq’s Christians have left. Egypt has experienced an exodus of at least 100,000 Christian Copts. Violent anti-Christian incidents have also been reported in Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Uganda, Somalia, Algeria and several other nations in the region.

It all adds up to a huge poke in the eye of the Vatican. This is no minor development.

In fact, it points directly to one of the Bible’s most shocking end-time prophecies.

The Catholic Church has had considerable influence in South Sudan. In a nation fractured by tribalism, the church is practically the only functioning institution that can bridge the divisions and help stabilize the country. It was deeply instrumental in bringing about South Sudan’s vote for independence last year. The reasons for the Vatican’s—as well as Germany’s—interest in the country are robust, as Ron Fraser explained in the September 2011 Trumpet issue. In fact, these two entities’ robust support for dividing Sudan was aimed specifically at weakening Muslim, Arab Sudan. Thus, these European players have already demonstrated their willingness to use South Sudan as something of a pawn in accomplishing their own broader aims.

The perspective supplied by biblical prophecy helps us place the growing conflict in Sudan in the context of end-time events. It is part of a provocation that will ultimately rouse the Vatican to mount a European political and military beast and lash out against those who are persecuting its flock.

We are witnessing nothing less than the build-up toward an epic religious clash between Muslims and Catholics—a modern repeat of the Crusades that will lead directly to the most destructive war in history!