Friday, December 20, 2013

Cancelling Christianity

In the wake of the GQ interview given by Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Commander emotion has run high. In short Phil explained his Biblically based beliefs that homosexual behavior (not inclination for the millionth time) will prevent one from attaining heaven. Plenty of people believe this and even  some very influential people.

But Phil Robertson has something they haven't got. A #1 cable television show which was on track to become the most watched show of all time ever. And political clout.

Clearly he and the Robertson clan had to be stopped.

But what was at issue was not personal. It was not even political. It was an attempt to silence Christianity whenever it reared its ugly belief system that somewhere and somehow might make someone feel guilty.

This issue of whether or not Christians have to not only tolerate a lifestyle they do not believe but participate in it and condone it and never ever disagree with it is the crux of what is at stake.

And in the ultimate act of hypocrisy, A and E is airing the Duck Dynasty marathon as scheduled. Their fine sensibilities did not extend to cancelling the marathon. Not when there is money to be made.

Final thought- make sure when you purchase duck products this weekend that you get Duck Commander brand and not Duck Dynasty which is owned by the hypocritical A and E.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What Boys Need?

After reading yet another article about the things “that boys need” which contained zero substance and fighting frustration that that author was being linked, lauded and probably paid, I decided to write my own, possibly also nonsubstantive post about what I think boys need.

I don’t have a PhD in child development or behavior so consider myself supremely qualified to write such an authoritative piece. 

1.      An understanding and example of masculine spirituality. Outside of certain venues this is almost impossible to find in the United States. The last 40 years of devastation in the Church have resulted in, if not been driven by a demasculinization of the Faith. St James beheading the Moors- denounce it. Our Lord confronting and trouncing the money lenders in the Temple- ignore it. Cue in Altar girls. Female Eucharistic “ministers”. Girly, feel good music. All standards, rules and rubrics dismissed as “unpastoral”.  Sometimes letting your sons see a movie with bad language is worthwhile when it exhibits masculine sacrifice and builds up the Faith. Gran Torino is a great movie that every young man (15 and above) should see. I won’t spoil it but it speaks to boys in a way that their mother’s preaching cannot.

2.      Sacrifice in action by their father. Boys need to see their fathers work hard, and give up personal comforts for their family. My husband loves to gives the last piece of meat on his plate (his favorite part of the meal) up to one of the children. It’s commonplace to see someone in the family give up what they want for someone else. This is due to the example of their father. They see his joy in giving up what he wants to make them happy. This is simple and unfortunately rare. If a boy  never learns the joy of sacrificing for others it become extremely difficult for him to function as a father, husband, priest, religious brother, employee, or an adult for that matter.

3.      Hard physical work, home repair projects and sports. I don’t care how old your son is- he can hold a piece of sand paper, a paint brush and when older run a floor sander. The results won’t be perfect but he will learn to work in the home and operate tools. The sense of accomplishment sets the tone for his confidence in approaching new tasks. I remember a mother telling me that she would never force her sons to play sports. I on the other hand have “forced” my sons to do things that are good for them. Go to Church. Play a sport. Do their homework. They are not autonomous until they are outside the home and independent. In this economy you will have plenty of time to “force” your children to do all kinds of good things.

4.      To protect others. When I had a snake in my kitchen not long after we moved into our charming field stone foundation farmhouse the boys knew it was their job to smite the snake. When our beloved Saint Bernard dog died my oldest son knew he was the man of the house and he buried a dog that he dearly loved. When I fell on my back while ice skating, though well padded by my coat and ahem other things, the 3 boys rushed to me to help me and worried that I was hurt. It was very sweet. This makes boys feel manly and helps them assume their role as protector.

5.      To understand that they can express their emotions and that their emotions do not prevent them from acting. I was very touched when in one of the final scenes of “The Help”, and the maid and nurse of the little girl has to leave the little girl she has cared for since birth that all three of my boys cried in spite of the fact that they were 19, 18 and 15. It’s okay for boys to cry, be sad, worry and care about what others think of them. But it’s manly to be able to act in the way that is right, just, caring, courageous in spite of their feelings. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Half Broke Horses

I've been reading Half Broke Horses : A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls. Great book and in it mentions this famous sculpture called "Madonna of the Trail" a tribute to the pioneer women of this country.

It's a book about courage, hard work, ingenuity, starting over, having nothing, scraping by, loss and aboe all about the dignity of women.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Banned by Bully Ex-Husband

11 on My Own

COLUMBIA, Conn. — (May 12, 2010) Below is an abridged copy of a press-release to promote my book, 11 on My Own. This morning I received a phone call from the publisher claiming an email from my ex-husband threatening to sue them was going to halt publication on my book. They are not going to make it available for purchase until they can contact him on the phone and straighten out the situation. I was not served with papers, they were not served with papers, and a court of law has not ruled my book libelous. In fact, an attorney was consulted on my behalf before publication to ensure there were no issues of libel. I used my maiden name to publish, and I changed my ex-husband’s name, as well. There are no pictures of him included.

This book was doing extremely well in the three weeks since it had been released. It is factual and truthful, and the sole means of supporting the nine minor children I am still raising. One of the issues in the book was the fact that my ex-husband does not pay child support. Now I will not receive royalties, either.

In the world of reality television, producers and directors would have you believe that raising large families is one big, fun circus, perhaps laden with some pitfalls but somehow a fairytale nonetheless. Debut author Kristin Luscia candidly shares the realities of raising 11 children as a single, divorced mother in her new memoir, 11 on My Own (published by WestBow Press), a story that highlights her struggles, joys and journey towards renewal.

In 11 on My Own, Luscia provides a brief background about the choices she made in selecting men and chronicles the difficulties of enduring family court with her latest ex-husband, a controlling and manipulative man. In her memoir, she discusses her older children and how they contribute to the family. She tells of the trials she’s had in maintaining food, clothing and shelter without any support from her ex-husband or the court enforcing any orders. She also gives testament to her Catholic faith and how it has sustained her in the last 15 years.

Appealing to those who have witnessed a divorce and its trauma in their lives, 11 on My Own speaks to women who are in relationships with controlling, devious and selfish men, and it speaks to those women who see themselves as alone in the world. Luscia provides encouragement for women whose husbands have abandoned them with a larger than normal number of children.

About the Author

Kristin Luscia is a single, divorced, Catholic mother of 11 children who range in age from 4-years-old to 25. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and is pursuing a master’s degree in dogmatic theology. Luscia has been a practicing Catholic for almost 15 years. She enjoys reading and spending time with her children, and writes on her blog about raising children as a single Catholic mother. This is her debut book.

About WestBow Press

WestBow Press is an alliance of Thomas Nelson, the world's premier Christian publisher, and Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI) - the world leader in the fastest-growing segment of publishing. They can be reached at 866-928-1240.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

13 Year Old to Attempt Everest

California 13-year-old to attempt to climb Everest
By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON (AP) – 8 hours ago

LOS ANGELES — A 13-year-old California boy plans to try to climb Mount Everest in a quest to reach the summits of the highest peaks on all seven continents.

If Jordan Romero succeeds, he'll become the youngest person to conquer the world's highest mountain.

Jordan will attempt the ascent to 29,035 feet with his father and his father's girlfriend, both experienced outdoors people who have helped train the teenager for top-level mountaineering.

When Jordan was only 9, a school mural of the seven summits inspired his ambitious goal.

"I told my dad about it and he didn't say no. He just explained the difficulties and what I'd have to do. We started training right away," said Jordan, who was scheduled to depart for Nepal Monday night.

At age 10, he became the youngest American to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. He's steadily checked off four of the tallest peaks since then, including Alaska's Mount McKinley, which many climbers consider to be a more technical climb than Everest.

Despite his penchant for tall mountains and thin air, friends and family describe Jordan as unusually grounded for a 13-year-old. He said he understands the risks of climbing Everest, which kills climbers almost every year.

"Mountain climbing requires a lot of mental training and making smart decisions. It's a metaphor for life," he said, sounding wiser than his years.

The teenager's planned Everest ascent is making the mountaineering community think hard about how young is too young to climb such a dangerous mountain.

Jordan's father, Paul Romero, said he wants nothing more than to make his son's dreams come true.

"It's his quest and we're just along for the ride," said Romero, a helicopter paramedic who lives in the San Bernardino Mountains ski town of Big Bear Lake. "We may or may not reach the summit this time. It might be a dress rehearsal."

Romero and girlfriend Karen Lundgren are adventure racers, competing in weeklong endurance races that combine biking, climbing, paddling and climbing through wilderness areas around the world.

Jordan's mother, Leigh Anne Drake, said she supports her son but she also sees her ex-husband's influence in the project.

"He went to his dad's for a weekend and came back with a new goal," to be the youngest to reach the top of Everest, she said. "If you're going to do it, you have to foot the bill. But if you set a record, you can get sponsorship."

The trio's Everest expedition is costing $150,000. Jordan, his father and Lundgren will be making the ascent with three sherpas.

Temperatures at the summit can plunge to 100 degrees below zero and hurricane-force winds blow much of the year. Atmospheric pressure at the peak is about a third that of sea-level, which can lead to breathing difficulties, mental sluggishness and other serious medical problems. Climbers usually use bottled oxygen.

The extreme cold, lack of oxygen, falls, exhaustion and avalanches have killed hundreds of climbers. Many of their bodies remain beside the trail.

Guides who have experience with Everest say Jordan will probably be safe, as long as he and his team pay close attention to how their bodies are reacting to the high altitude and low oxygen conditions near the peak.

"After doing five of those peaks — I've done them, it's hard — that means he's a tough kid," said Jason Edwards, a guide with the Seattle-based International Mountain Guides. The outfitter has a minimum age limit of 18 for Everest expeditions because of liability issues.

But Gordon Janow, a guide with Alpine Ascents International, also based in Seattle, said there's not a lot of research on the short- and long-term effects of high altitude on children, whose brains and bodies are still developing.

"We're in a day and age where parents are pushing kids to extremes so much. It's very hard to disentangle the parent from the kid these days," he said. "But with mountaineering, the kid can't just go through the motions. They have to do a lot of physical training and really want it."

Janow has turned down 14-year-olds who wanted to climb Kilimanjaro without their parents.

"Jordan's probably a better bet than some 68-year-old guy who's only done two mountains," he said. "These days it's moving so fast, it's a 10-year-old sailing around the world this year and an 8-year-old the next. What's reasonable anymore?"

During the frenzy of packing, Jordan's mother said she is bracing herself for two long months when the only news of her son will come from a blinking dot that represents his GPS device on a topographical map of Everest.

"I'm on a roller coaster," Drake said as her voice cracked with emotion. "From the second he leaves my arms until he's back, it's like I can't breathe and I can't cry. But at the same time, I'm so overjoyed that's he's getting the chance to do and see all of these amazing things."

She said her son is taking two months of homework to Nepal so he can keep up with school.

The current record holder for the youngest to climb the peak is Temba Tsheri of Nepal who was 16 and lost five fingers during his ascent due to frostbite.