Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Sexual Revolution

posted by Ruth Graham

 

When women complain about men who can’t commit, they can thank — or blame — two people: Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Hefner and the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown, who died this week at age 90.

Brown was the flip side of Hefner, offering women permission, even encouragement, to embrace a female version of Hefner’s freewheeling “Playboy philosophy” of unrestrained sexual pleasure. Brown and Hefner offered one-way tickets to fantasyland, a journey supposedly without cost to a destination seemingly without consequence.

I confess to pausing at the supermarket checkout each month to read Cosmo’s enticing headlines and to notice the cleavage of the “cover girl” — both Brown’s signature. It is something like slowing down to view a multicar pileup. Yet the “damage” Brown’s philosophy of sexual liberation caused (or reflected) is far more severe.

A sampling of Cosmo headlines included: “75 Sex Tricks (Warning: They Are So Hot That This Magazine May Burst into Flames)”; “Surprising Stuff They Don’t Want From You in the Sack”; and “Guys’ Sex Confessions.” There is also raunchier stuff not suitable for those with gentler sensibilities.

In any revolution — political, or the sexual one championed by those like Hefner and Brown — there are casualties. No one wants to talk about the casualties of the sexual revolution because that wouldn’t sell magazines or seduce a new generation of young people. Sex sells, but it also brings misery when it’s misused.

There was a time when words served a purpose. They were once used to discourage bad behavior that was thought to be harmful to individuals who practice it and to societies that tolerate it. “Fornicator” was one such word. We changed the word so as to appear less “judgmental,” but the behavior that word describes didn’t change. “Sexually active” is now the preferred phrase that describes what the word used to. It seems more tolerant — and that’s the problem.

I recall reading an interview in the 1970s with Xaviera Hollander, who was promoting her memoir “The Happy Hooker.” As I remember it, the interviewer asked Hollander a penetrating question, the gist of which went something like this: What’s the difference between you and what used to be called a “tramp”? Hollander’s answer didn’t matter. The question answered itself. This was before “anything goes” replaced self-control as a worthy goal.

Just as there are laws in nature that, if violated, bring repercussions, so too are there moral laws that, if violated, cause physical, emotional, social and spiritual consequences. It is one reason we have preachers to remind us of such things, but fewer of us listen to them and more suffer as a result.

Katherine Kersten, chairwoman of the Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis and a commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” wrote about Brown’s “seductive philosophy” of unfettered freedom in 1997 for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It has a catch: “For if ‘freedom’ is women’s birthright, it is also men’s. And as the last inhibition bites the dust, women are finding they don’t much like some of the things men do when released from social constraints and expectations. The result? A new breed of ‘Thou shalt nots’ — from sexual harassment policies in the workplace (‘No compliments on hair or dress, if you know what’s good for you’), to the mandatory ‘date rape’ seminars that greet unsuspecting college freshmen.”

Having abandoned a code of conduct that has served humanity well for millennia, Brown and her followers were forced to write a new code to deal with the predictable result of bad male behavior that previous constraints had worked well to limit. Men wanted their cake “and Edith, too,” to paraphrase a country song, and women didn’t like the end result.

Brown sowed the wind, to borrow a biblical phrase, and millions of women who ingested her poison continue to reap the whirlwind. What a legacy.

Update on My Father’ Health

posted by Ruth Graham

Many of you have heard in the news that my father is in the hospital. He was admitted Saturday night – actually Sunday morning early – for a bronchial infection. It isn’t life threatening but at 93 any issue is treated seriously. He is on antibiotics and is resting well. My sister and her husband and son visited him; they report to me that he is alert and looking good!

He watched some of the closing ceremonies last night and as he saw the different nations’ flags he was remembering the ministry he had in those countries over the years – a walk down memory lane for him. He is also keeping up with national news and interested in Romneys’ VP pick.

I thank you for your prayers – they are an encouragement to me – to my whole family. We know He is dearly loved.

We also know he is in God’s hands – that is a comfort and security.

 

I am intolerant!

posted by Ruth Graham

The word “tolerant” is used a lot these days. We are supposed to be tolerant of a wide range of things and if we aren’t were are deemed “racist” or some other ugly label. Well, I’VE HAD IT!

We are in a mess in this country because we have tolerated too much. We have tolerated the government spending more than it takes in…we have tolerated disrespect of authority…we have tolerated foul language…we have tolerated our borders being assaulted…we have tolerated bad behavior in public figures…we have tolerated the 10 Commandments being removed from halls of  justice…we have tolerated prayer being removed from our schools…we have tolerated immorality…we have tolerated “dirty” politics…we have tolerated immodesty….we have tolerated double standards….we have tolerated revisionist history…

I am intolerant of the intolerable. I am not ashamed to say it! Oh, I know there are those that would argue that everyone interprets things from their own paradigm. Phooey! We used to have standards that everyone understood. Having standards today is “intolerant”.  I, for one, miss the standards. It is like having  the painted lines on the highway. You know in which lane to be so things don’t get chaotic. What if the Olympics said everything is relative and we want to be “inclusive”? The games would soon be irrelevant. Our society is becoming irrelevant. 

We need standards. We thrive in that enviornment – our society is dying in this “tolerant” and “inclusive” age. We can stop it but it’s up to us – we need to become more intolerant.

 

 

 

Why do we do what we do?

posted by Ruth Graham

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I do that?” These days with ubiquitous video cameras there is a good chance your behavior was captured digitally. Have you ever watched America’s Funniest Home Videos? Some of them are really funny and cute but some just reveal the stupidity of people.

You may have done something silly like eating that 3rd donut or something really big like making a bad choice that has deep ramifications in your life. Repeating a mistake like a vicious cycle. It’s almost like you can’t help yourself.

When you ask, “Why did I do that?”, what answers do you get? If you are like me you get a lot of answers that involve blame, shame, “You are so stupid.”, “You did it because of her/him.”, “What got into you?”. Statements with shoulds and oughts in them, “You shouldn’t have said that.”, “You ought to know better.”

(Of course there are always those who don’t feel badly about what they did and they never ask that question of themselves.)

But when you examine those statements, that kind of thinking, they are not very helpful. They heap on the guilt and shame but we fall into them every time. They only increase how badly we feel about ourselves and they don’t address the real issues involved.

We need to ask that question and then tell ourselves the truth. It helps to get some objective input from a trusted friend. Often it is important to go back to move forward. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand ourselves so that we can stop self-destructive behaviors.

A good case of someone who made repeated bad decisions is Samson for the book of Judges in the Bible. The first wife he wanted was someone not of his people and therefore not wise. But He is stubborn and insists because she looks good to him. After nagging him he reveals to her the answer to a riddle which she in turn gives to his enemies.  He chooses another wife just like the first one – but Delilah was more conniving. She tries to trick him into revealing the source of his strength. He resists until her nagging gets to him. He finally tells her the answer to yet another riddle and she blabs it to his enemies. He is captured and blinded by his enemies and was made to perform for their amusement.

As we read that we may well ask, “You should have known better Sampson, didn’t you learn the first time?” Apparently not. We don’t know what transpired after he was captured and blinded. But I would assume he had time to think and make changes. In the end God used Sampson in a mighty way to destroy the enemies of Judah. God redeemed Samson for His purpose.

God does redeem our choices and use them for His glory if we take them to Him.

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