Sex and the Super Bowl

So the Super Bowl is a magnet for sexual slavery and child abuse. What can you do about it?

1. Pray. God honors our prayers.

2. Contact the NFL. Tell them you are going to skip the commercials.

3. Contact the sponsors Let them know that you plan to watch the game but boycott their increasingly violent, sexualized ads.

4. Tell your friends. I did not even realize this was an issue until a friend posted it on a social media site.

5. Contact the teams directly. Tell them you are concerned about forced sexual slavery in New Orleans surrounding the Superbowl.

6. Contact the NOPD Ask what they plan to do to fight sex trafficking during this event.

With the exception of prayer (free and universal), most of this personal activism can be made through online email forms or social media.

Just imagine what it would look like if we all raised our concerns on Facebook or Twitter to say let’s stop the abuse of children and the vulnerable this year at the Super Bowl.

There is an awful lot of money at stake. But one child saved is worth every penny.

And please….spread the word.

Midland Standoff

Right now around Midland, AL families are shaken, two are in shock, one praying for their stolen child, the other mourning a hero.

My heart and prayers go out to these families, knowing one clings to hope, the other has lost a loved one.

I don’t know anything about Mr. Poland but I know he was brave. I thank God for him and all the others who stand to protect little ones…when it costs everything.

To Mr. Dykes I would say, please, let the boy go home safe and now.

Nurture parenting

The agency told us they had been severely neglected, possibly abused, definitely exposed to awful stuff.

They were sent to us after a disrupted placement–their foster mother had had enough.

The sole piece of advice they gave us: be consistent, don’t give in to bad behavior.

Not bad advice, but not nearly enough. I am not sure that RAD and fetal alcohol issues are fixable….but if they can be mitigated then caregivers need to nurture.

I am an elementary school teacher– a nurturing type, so I know I tried. The children often did not respond to cuddling, hugs, or carrying the way other children do.

I spent hours carrying them on hikes and I have a rich store of memories of being hit, kicked, punched, and verbally assaulted for no other provocation than carrying them. Most young children have the sense to know that a good, patient Sherpa mama is worth something.

Not these two. A simple hug was never simple.

I think the explanation is that neglected children have a fight or flight instinct that kicks in when it shouldn’t.

Babies need a lot of love, a lot of cuddle time. Without that their brains get messed up–the coldness and hostility of a nurture-deprived babyhood translates to a lot of sturm and drang.

We gotta do better for these wounded souls. But my experience was brutal…

Wish I could have hugged them more.

Mary Elizabeth Williams and the politics of death

I read MEW’s screed about abortion today. It was a difficult read.

As a self-identified pro-life “wing nut” who actually believes that all life is precious, I found her unapologetic stance painful and tragic.

Ms. William’s candor and vitriol were difficult for me to read….because she reveals the selfishness and myopia at the heart of the abortion-on-demand movement. Make no mistake, abortion is a money industry, just like guns or drugs. But to aggressively insist that mother’s have an unfettered right to kill their own offspring at will? Her words reveal the desperate lack of value placed on the lives of the very young.

No society is civilized when it drops it’s protective force for the young and vulnerable. We are now a society that registers horror over the natural predatory nature of cats but congratulates itself on the termination of wee humans.

When children are openly treated as objects by their own mothers we are all lost at sea.

…our hearts as empty as our words.

More Herod…

So a few more thoughts on Herod:

He views John as a curiosity but never allows his message to infiltrate or transform him.

He does not really have the authority to murder John. John should have had the same rights to a Roman trial as Jesus did (not that that ended well either).

He could have just manned up and said no, a man’s life is worth more than a lust-drunk promise.

Hubris. Herod is all hubris. And he remains a buffoon and a bully until his miserable end is recorded.

He knows the truth now. Too late.

Herod and John

Mark 6:21-29 (NIV)
Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. [22] When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” [23] And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” [24] She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. [25] At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” [26] The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. [27] So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, [28] and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. [29] On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Not only do I hate this story, it creeps me out that C loved this story.

After I found out that C abused my kids, I raked through the Bible, questioning God– why didn’t He address pedophiles directly? Then I realized: this is the story.

Herod had violated big ticket Mosaic rules when he poached Herodias from his brother.

Herodias is not a good mother. Salome performs an illicit and explicit dance for men. She is young and vulnerable and her mother is perpetuating the idea that her source of power is sexual. The end of this power is state-sponsored murder.

The tragedy is too much to bear. For Herodias to plot to murder the one man who wanted to raise and restore her value is so hard to face.

It is also hard knowing that Jesus, king of justice was in town, so close. Why didn’t he zap people? Free John?

But that is the point of the story: faith sees the rest of the story–thousands of us have mourned John the Baptist and faced this story as a reminder of real faith.

John’s life is secured to heaven. There is no chance for Herod. He is a man who made his own place secure in hell. He lived a wretched life and died a wretched death.

Fiction, of course

Mark 6:10-13 (NIV)
Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. [11] And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” [12] They went out and preached that people should repent. [13] They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Once there was a town. And in the town there were some kids. They were from another country. There was a family in the town who took the children to the beach, or to the park, the pool, or just to play at their house.

They loved the kids, but there were a lot of them. They filled the family’s van.

One night the family was stopped by a policeman. The police officer took a long time and decided to give a ticket for something fabricated.

The family fought the ticket, but the judge would not lift his head to make eye contact. He told them to talk to a fictitious character. A lawyer he dubbed, the municipal prosecutor.

The mama said, we have to go. I cannot take the children here or there if this is what happens when I am trying to follow the rules.

She misses the children. Worries about the paths they will traverse.

Wonders over how dust can cling to a body. Some testimony of love…

The Loneliness

When I was 35 I arbitrarily decided I was getting old. I ran a lot that year and I had a baby–so I ran early in the morning and late at night. I struggled with some deep loneliness that year even though I was surrounded by people.

One person I prayed for all the time was a young person I loved who was also lonely–struggling with not being able to tell the truth about who he really was (or what he really loved?)

There was a song I ran to a lot that year by Yaz(oo) called Mr. Blue

To me the song is a placeholder for Jesus. He is Mr. Blue and he promises to abide with us in our wasted, bombed out lives.

The baby is now a beautiful girl. She was hurt terribly by her adopted brother. When I faced the story I was broken that it happened at all, and scared for her. I did not want her to struggle with the sadnesses associated with being hurt by someone you trusted.

So I opted to listen to Jesus–the truth would set us free.

It did.
Free from a church.
Free from some family.
Free from a dear friend or more…
Free from easy trust or blind acceptance.

Despite our efforts we remain free of these things. But that is the point–had we tried to hide what was done to our children we could have kept the appearance of normal and allowed our children to pay for it.

Or we could all be lonely together. Alone, that is, with Mr. Blue.


Mark 6:6-13 (NIV)
And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. [7] Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. [8] These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. [9] Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. [10] Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. [11] And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” [12] They went out and preached that people should repent. [13] They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Ok! Today’s Bible study assignment is to do what Jesus commands.

Let’s review: you need a buddy. Who is going to be your discipleship buddy? I like the idea that the disciples went in pairs, but not all pairs are created equal. Imagine how it might have played out to be Judas Iscariot’s partner.

Why a staff? A staff is about support, authority, and protection. It was something one leaned on to walk through rough places, but it was also a weapon and a frequent aide in healing and other miraculous events–all those Mosaic miracles? Yep. A staff.

The staff was a symbol of God’s sovereign call. It conveyed power.

But then things just get tough and weird–no extra clothes? No snacks? No bag for your stuff? No stuff?!

Yep. No stuff. Jesus is promising provisions. No, this isn’t a traveling vacation–but when you need something pray, and you will get what you need.

And if the crowd is hostile and unwelcoming? Get out of there and take no souvenirs.

A parable for living…

The truth and the prophet

Mark 6:17-18 (NIV)
For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. [18] For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”


The Bible does not tell us how John felt about confronting Herod’s sin. He was a sold out guy–locusts and honey and desert not being the marks of a casual faith. But he must have know that criticizing Herod for incest might be dangerous.

For John, God’s law trumps Herod’s or Rome’s. And he is right.

It all depends on who is the king and for how long.

Revelation 11:15