Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

“Legitimate” Rape

posted by Ruth Graham

I am all fired up!  Congressman Akin makes me mad. The very idea that when a woman is raped and her body shuts down so that she doesn’t conceive is ludicrous. The Congressman said he had consulted doctors…I’d like to know which ones. There is no scientific evidence for such a stupid claim.

He clearly does not know what he is talking about…what else is he confused about? I wouldn’t want him to represent me! And he does not reflect the Republican Party’s stand on pro-life as the Democrats are now trying to say. Mr. Akin should step aside…his comments are muddying the water. He does not represent pro-lifers.

I am as pro-life as they come. I have earned the right to be so. My daughter had two babies out of wedlock – the first just after she turned 17 whom she released for adoption and the second one at 18 whom  she parented. She could have chosen an abortion. She did not. She lost something of her reputation, her figure, her friends, her school…but she took a stand for life. Three years ago she she gave birth to a baby with serious birth defects due to a medication she was on for a thyroid problem before she know she was pregnant. She could have aborted him. She chose life. Her son has on-going issues and is often rushed to the hospital for emergency intervention. She has handled life-changing, difficult situations in a courageous way – I am proud of her.

But I will not condemn those who have had abortions. There is healing and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Rape is a terrible thing. And unfortunately, all rape is legitimate. I know there are some who claim rape when they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions and perhaps that is what the Congressman was thinking. But his explanation was totally off the wall. A woman’s body does not shut down. The great Broadway actress, Ethel Waters, was the result of a rape. Her mother’s body did not “shut down”. The world is richer for having had Ethel Waters in it. No life is a mistake…There are no illegitimate children – only illegitimate acts. God has a plan for each one. He made each one and loves each one. He died for each one.

Thanks for letting me sound off!

Qualifications

posted by Ruth Graham

The title of this blog space is “A Safe Place with Ruth Graham”. I chose that title intentionally. I want people to feel safe with me. I am just a pilgrim on this unpredicatable path called life. And I know there are fellow pilgrims who struggle as I do. Devotion doesn’t come easily to me. Often I have more questions than answers or feel as if I sit in the dark waiting for someone to light a candle. Often I feel marginalized because of my mistakes. Misunderstood. It’s easy to get stuck there.

I was reading Hebrews 5 this morning and read something that just jumped out at me. The writer is talking about human priests acting on another’s behalf. “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness…” (NAS) In other words, their weaknesses qualify them for service. They can identify with the weak ones, the ignorant ones.  I recommend a book by Dan Allender, Leading with a Limp. He addresses this whole idea with clarity.

In the King James Version the word for “misguided” is “out of the way”. Ignorant is in both versions but if you look at the dictionary “ignorant” means “lacking in knowledge or training; uninformed; unaware”. It doesn’t seem to mean willful ignorance but more the idea that they just haven’t been taught.  So we have a group of people out of the way and unaware. Who can minister to them?

Those of us who have felt sidlined, out of the loop and are unaware can minister gently with those of “our kind”. We are not disqualified. Far from it. We know that it has to be a minstry of kindness becasue we know how desperately the lost and unaware need kindness. We’ve been there.

Who will you minister kindly to today?

 

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.

 

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