SBC pastor: Patterson’s exit prelude to a ‘raucous’ convention

Southern Baptist ConventionReaction continues over the news that Dr. Paige Patterson is no longer president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. One Southern Baptist pastor suggests it’s an indication there’s something deeper going on in the denomination.

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After outcry that ‘Show Dogs’ scenes endorse ‘unwanted sexual touching,’ movie is getting recut

“Show Dogs” — a new “family comedy” that’s rated PG — has seen a growing wave of attention of late; but for all the wrong reasons.

What’s the issue?

The comedic flick about — what else? — show dogs features lead undercover police dog Max (voiced by rapper/actor Ludacris) learning to get comfortable with strangers touching his genitals for the dog show inspection. Critics have said such a plot line sends a dangerous message to kids.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation released a statement saying as much, noting that the movie “sends a troubling message that grooms children for sexual abuse … It contains multiple scenes where a dog character must have its private parts inspected, in the course of which the dog is uncomfortable and wants to stop but is told to go to a ‘zen place.’ The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this barrier. Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children — telling them to pretend they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort. Children’s movies must be held to a higher standard, and must teach children bodily autonomy, the ability to say ‘no’ and safety, not confusing messages endorsing unwanted genital touching,” Deadline reported.

Cineplex Australia pulled “Show Dogs” from its theaters, the outlet noted, and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation also asked the likes of AMC and Regal to do the same.

What’s being done about the scenes in question?

The movie’s distributor Global Road Entertainment on Thursday told Deadline in an exclusive statement that it’s recutting “Show Dogs” by removing two scenes:

“Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film ‘Show Dogs’ that some have deemed not appropriate for children. The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating. We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of ‘Show Dogs’ sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend.”

Global Road released a statement Tuesday regarding viewers’ concerns about the scenes, Deadline reported — but it defended the scenes’ inclusion and said they contain “no hidden or ulterior meanings.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“It has come to our attention that there have been online discussion and concern about a particular scene in ‘Show Dogs,’ a family comedy that is rated PG,” the statement read, according to the outlet. “The dog show judging in this film is depicted completely accurately as done at shows around the world; and was performed by professional and highly respected dog show judges. Global Road Entertainment and the filmmakers are saddened and apologize to any parent who feels the scene sends a message other than a comedic moment in the film, with no hidden or ulterior meaning, but respect their right to react to any piece of content.”

How one writer reacted to the original “Show Dogs” version

A writer whose piece appeared on Kirk Cameron’s faith-based website, The Courage, described taking her family to see “Show Dogs,” noting she was disturbed by the genital-touching plot line. Her daughter, however, said “her favorite part of the movie was when Max got his privates touched and the funny reaction he had.”

Terina Maldonado, the author of the piece, shared that she “decided to use that moment to help reinforce what we have taught our children since they were little, private parts are just that, private.”

“We talked about how I didn’t feel that part needed to be in the movie. We talked about how we never let anyone touch our private parts, and what they should do if anyone tries,” she added. “We reinforced that if anyone tries to touch their private parts or asks them to touch their private parts they should talk to us about that. We talked about different ways children can feel pressured to participate in those types of behaviors.”

You can read Maldonado’s entire piece here.

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He Had Been Away For Months, So When He Snuck Up And Surprised Her, The Reaction Is Priceless

It’s no surprise that dog videos end up receiving thousands of views in a matter of minutes, as they are often uplifting and solidify the fact that dogs are truly man’s best friend. There have been a wide array of dog videos that have become instantly popular from a cute pup who sounds like he is barking actual words to a more somber video of a dog who laid by his military partner’s casket during the funeral.

Regardless of the tone of the video, dogs always have a way of amazing us. In one of the most recent videos, it is the reaction of the dog that is causing a stir. After Freya the German Shepard was separated from her owner for months, she was overcome with emotion when the two were reunited.

Freya’s owner can be seen sneaking around the back of the building while the dog sitter gets ready to release him and reunite him with the owner. As soon as she sees her owner, she races toward him and starts barking as if to ask him where he has been all this time. She wiggles, wags and jumps up on her owner, not holding any of her excitement back.

The excitement continues for quite some time and she squeals in delight. She even gets up on her hind legs and rests her front paws on her dad’s shoulders, while licking his face. Freya’s owner looks just as delighted to see her as she is to see him and it’s obvious the two have a deep bond. Her owner sits down on the ground and lets Freya snuggle up on his lap while she continues to squeal. She finally starts to settle down a bit when she rolls over on her back and gets some good belly rubs from her owner.

Dogs are true lovers and as long as they are taken care of and loved back, they will do anything to be with their owners. Known as the most loyal of all pets, dogs have a neverending desire to be with their people.

Commenters shared their thoughts on the adorable and uplifting moment…

“Did you hear her say I love you? Start the tape at 29 seconds and you will hear it several times. Beautiful. Did you hear?”

And proving that all pups are dedicated to their owners, one commenter shared a bit about the greeting that he gets from his pup every single day…

“My puppy does that when I come home from school.”

Others shared the deep dedication that they have for their own pup…

“What a sweet dog, she loves you…. mine does the same thing with me…I now have another ex because she was too jealous of my beautiful German Shepard…she gave me a choice…her or the dog. I thought for less than a second…I can always trust my dog and she would never betray me.”

There is a pretty good chance you would never see a cat showing such signs of affection and dedication to their owner, and it is for this reason that dogs are very special pets.

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NRA Opts To End Lawsuit Rather Than Reveal Defendants Names

Last week, we reported that a judge refused to allow a lawsuit filed by the NRA to proceed with the defendants’ names protected by a pseudonym. The NRA argued that the use of pseudonyms was necessary to spare these two young people, both of whom are over the age of 18 but under 21 and thus affected by the new law, from harassment that we all know would come about.

After all, look at what happens to a young girl who simply points out the inconsistency in the law. A famous comedian and actor decides to target her for hate and ridicule.

That didn’t matter to the judge, however. As a result, the NRA has decided to halt their lawsuit.

The National Rifle Association opted to stay a lawsuit challenging age restrictions for gun buying in Florida instead of revealing the identities of the plaintiffs in the case. With the case in limbo, the NRA appealed the court’s ruling denying the organization from using pseudonyms for the two 19-year-old NRA members serving as plaintiffs in the case.

“NRA is unwilling to sacrifice these young adults to the perverted filth, hatred and threats of violence from gun ban supporters,” said Marion Hammer, head of the NRA’s Florida affiliate and former NRA president, in a statement. “We must stand up for the First Amendment right to protect the Second Amendment in court without being exposed to hate and violence from gun ban supporters.”

Although the judge overseeing the case expressed sympathy for the NRA’s reasoning — plaintiffs facing ridicule on the Internet for their political beliefs — he explained the NRA’s request to use fictitious names lacked precedent. Federal law permits using pseudonyms in cases deemed sensitive and the plaintiff faces reputational or economic risk.

Florida lawmakers set restrictions for gun buyers under the age of 21 in response to a 19-year-old gunman with an AR-15 rifle entering a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February and murdering 17 people and injuring 15 others. The measure applies the same age restrictions for buying a handgun to buying a long gun.

I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed by this. I understand the NRA’s decision and even respect it, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wish the lawsuit would have proceeded. This was a knee-jerk reaction law that won’t really do anything to make anyone safer. It merely prevents legal adults from buying a gun for a few more years, which means citizens who are able to live on their own can’t purchase a firearm for self-defense.

Nothing about this is right.

But, again, I get the decision. I understand it and respect it. I just hate the results of that decision, which I’m sure everyone at the NRA hates as well.

This, however, is part of why there has been this push to stigmatize gun owners. The effort is to make it difficult for anyone to stand up for their right to keep and bear arms, just like this. These two young adults have a right to arm themselves, but because of the stigmatization that has gone on, they’re afraid to step into the light because they know what will happen. They know the hate and scorn they’ll receive.

That’s a very real part of it.

So, again, it’s a shame, but it’s also understandable.

The post NRA Opts To End Lawsuit Rather Than Reveal Defendants Names appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Their Whole Routine Changed 3 Seconds Into Their Audition, And Left The Judges In Disbelief

When three glamorously dressed women stepped onto the stage in Britain’s Got Talent, you could see Simon Cowell’s eyes light up with lust. They wore tight, short, sequined dresses and stood in high heels. And as he examined their bodies with his eyes, the women stood tall and confident and were ready to show Cowell their talent. They were not going to let him intimidate them into a lackluster performance. However, as the music starts, the three women shock the judges when they transform before their eyes.

The group of three singers came from the Philippines and performed under the group name of Miss Tres. They told Simon that their goal in life was to become the next girl group sensation. Because Simon Cowell is known for his passion for boy bands, Miss Tres hoped he’d see their potential and help push them into stardom.

“We would like to be like Destiny’s Child. Girl power!”

Cowell could not deny that Miss Tres looked the part. He found them very pretty. But could they sing? Did they have good voices? That’s what he was eager to discover about this singing group from the Philippines.

Before they start their performance, the group chats with the judges and tells them all about their high aspirations. And they described how they were willing to do what it took to get to the top of the charts and the hearts of a worldwide audience.

After the introductions are complete, Cowell wishes them luck, and they pick up their microphones and prepare to perform for the strict judges.

“Well, good luck,” Cowell says with a smirk. “Hope it goes well.”

Suddenly, the song “Sex Bomb” blasts from the speakers. The song has a quick beat, and the audience instantly feeds off the group’s strong feminine energy. But as they open their mouth to sing, everyone – but most especially Simon Cowell – cannot believe the way their voices sound.

The performance delivered a twist they could never have predicted. Miss Tres was not comprised of what people had expected. They were a transgender women group.

But as the immediate shock wears off, the judges get into the performance. They enjoy the sound of their voices and their stage presence. And one judge even rises from his chair to dance around the judge’s booth. He’s into Miss Tres. And so is Cowell.

Although this was not a traditional audition for Britain’s Got Talent, Cowell loved that they were not what he had expected. Because he has seen “everything,” he is always excited when he gets surprised or when his assumptions are proven very, very wrong.

If you enjoy a good performance, this audition is a must see. You’re going to love seeing Cowell’s reaction as well as the other judges when they realize Miss Tres is not the group they expected to step on their stage. The performers in the group are between the ages of thirty-five and forty-three. But they seem much younger. Just take a minute and watch this 2-minute talent audition.

What do you think about this international singing group’s performance?

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Conversation With A Conservative Father In Law

“We shape our opinions to conform to the views of the groups with which we most strongly identify. The more threatened we feel, the more we circle the wagons to keep ourselves safe.  So the next time someone stubbornly refuses to see the light of day on an issue, throw them a bone. They’re only trying to stay alive.”

(Professor David Ropeik, Harvard Univ, in Psychology Today)

_________________________

After last Friday’s 7:30 AM “Rough Rider’s” meeting at the Minneapolis Club, an acquaintance and I went next door to the Hen House restaurant on 8th Street in Minneapolis for breakfast.

After some small talk he made it clear that he wanted to tell me of the difficulty he is having with his new (6 months ago) daughter-in-law.

He said, “She wants to lecture everyone on her Leftist politics, but is unwilling to debate any of her pronouncements. And her politics is all philosophy – what ‘a perfect world would be like’ – without recognizing that there’s has been a great deal of real-world experience showing that many of her ideas have been tried and turned out badly.

“When she told me socialism is looking better than capitalism, I mentioned Venezuela’s catastrophic experience with socialism.  Her response was to tell me that I don’t respect her views because she’s just a ‘young woman.’”

He continued, “Most frustrating to me is that she is so very confident in her views.  When I tactfully tried a different approach, and asked her ‘what are the best arguments of those that disagree with you on ‘climate change,’ she just shrugged and answered there are none.”

I asked him what his son’s reaction was to his wife’s one-sided and uninformed certainty.

He answered, “My son has learned that her views are so strongly held that she considers even a question about them to be a personal criticism. So he doesn’t question her, but I think she knows he is unlikely to agree.  But he did tell me that they no longer go out with many of his former conservative friends.”

“What a pity,” I replied.

The post Conversation With A Conservative Father In Law appeared first on Alpha News.

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Why Don’t Catholics Care So Much About the Ben Op?

As an addition to my post about Os Guinness and the Benedict Option, in which I query readers as to why Guinness and so many other Evangelicals keep misconstruing the argument I make in The Benedict Option, I want to ask a related question about Catholics, or at least American Catholics:

Why are Evangelicals generally more interested in the Ben Op than US Catholics?

In my personal experience here in the US, significantly more Evangelical institutions have invited me to speak about the Ben Op than have Catholic institutions. I have no way of knowing the religious affiliation of the book’s buyers, but judging from the personal reader engagement, the book has been more interesting to Evangelicals than to Catholics. This is interesting to me because though I deliberately chose not to be sectarian in writing the book, its arguments flow more naturally within a Catholic way of thinking. In Europe, young Catholics really like this book; I haven’t heard much from Protestants there. But here in the US, the interest seems to have been stronger among Evangelicals, judging only by the number of invitations I’ve had to speak to either Catholics or Evangelicals.

Why is that, do you think? Is it that most American Catholics don’t feel any meaningful conflict between what they profess and the direction of American culture? That is, they don’t see what there is to worry about? After all, polls show that US Catholics, despite the authoritative teachings of their church, are much more assimilated to the broader culture on matters of sex and sexuality than are US Evangelicals. And the other, non-sexual aspects of the Benedict Option’s claims, they just don’t see what the big deal is — could that be it? If that’s true, then for all the mis-readings of the Ben Op among Evangelicals, at least they grasp the reason it came to be.

I dunno, I’m just spitballing here. What do you think? I’m asking Catholics (and others) in a friendly way, just trying to get a handle on reaction here. I understand the point many of you make about many Evangelicals staying away from the book because it sounds Catholic. But why haven’t more Catholics than Evangelicals embraced it, then, at least in terms of outreach to have me speak at their institutions?

(Here’s something interesting: America magazine is run by the Jesuits, who, given their liberal bent, would naturally be opposed to the book’s claims. But I have to say, gratefully, they’ve given the book an amount of coverage I consider to be unusual, given that they probably, as an institution, disagree with its message.)

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The school shooting epidemic as a slow-motion riot

At least 10 people were killed today in a school shooting at a Texas high school. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the shooter and his motives. No doubt we’ll still be writing about that for days or weeks to come. But today National Review’s David French steps back from this particular instance and takes a look at the pattern of shootings. French is relying heavily on a piece written by Malcolm Gladwell back in 2015 which attempted to offer an explanation for the pattern of shootings over the past couple decades. Gladwell starts by introducing some social science on the topic of riots and what drives them:

In a famous essay published four decades ago, the Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter set out to explain a paradox: “situations where outcomes do not seem intuitively consistent with the underlying individual preferences.” What explains a person or a group of people doing things that seem at odds with who they are or what they think is right? Granovetter took riots as one of his main examples, because a riot is a case of destructive violence that involves a great number of otherwise quite normal people who would not usually be disposed to violence…

Granovetter thought it was a mistake to focus on the decision-making processes of each rioter in isolation. In his view, a riot was not a collection of individuals, each of whom arrived independently at the decision to break windows. A riot was a social process, in which people did things in reaction to and in combination with those around them. Social processes are driven by our thresholds—which he defined as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them. In the elegant theoretical model Granovetter proposed, riots were started by people with a threshold of zero—instigators willing to throw a rock through a window at the slightest provocation. Then comes the person who will throw a rock if someone else goes first. He has a threshold of one. Next in is the person with the threshold of two. His qualms are overcome when he sees the instigator and the instigator’s accomplice. Next to him is someone with a threshold of three, who would never break windows and loot stores unless there were three people right in front of him who were already doing that—and so on up to the hundredth person, a righteous upstanding citizen who nonetheless could set his beliefs aside and grab a camera from the broken window of the electronics store if everyonearound him was grabbing cameras from the electronics store.

The important point here is one that Gladwell reaches later: “the longer a riot goes on, the less the people who join it resemble the people who started it.” Sure, at the start, the people breaking windows are probably the kind of hotheads who would do that on any pretext. But as the riot spreads, eventually the people participating are people who are only doing so because everyone else around them is doing it. They are people who would never have thrown the first rock.

Gladwell’s idea is to apply this concept to the kind of misfit losers who commit school shootings. I won’t go into all the details (you can read his entire piece for that) but he posits that the Columbine shooting created a kind of social script for others to follow. And people have been following. It’s very common for school shooters to be people obsessed with previous school shooters, especially the Columbine killers. Even the shooter in the Texas high school today appears to have been fond of wearing a black trench coat to school.

Now imagine that the riot takes a big step further along the progression—to someone with an even higher threshold, for whom the group identification and immersion in the culture of school shooting are even more dominant considerations. That’s John LaDue…LaDue is a scholar of the genre, who speaks of his influences the way a budding filmmaker might talk about Fellini or Bergman. “The other one was Charles Whitman. I don’t know if you knew who that was. He was who they called the sniper at the Austin Texas University. He was an ex-marine. He got like sixteen, quite impressive.”

So if you imagine the series of school shootings as a kind of slow-motion riot spread out over years, then as more cases make the news, more people reach the threshold for participation. People who would never have been the first to do something like this are willing to be the 10th or 20th. And as this progresses, some of the people involved become less identifiable as the kind of obviously troubled kids who might consider something like this.

In the day of Eric Harris, we could try to console ourselves with the thought that there was nothing we could do, that no law or intervention or restrictions on guns could make a difference in the face of someone so evil. But the riot has now engulfed the boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.

I would point out that Nikolas Cruz, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooter, seems like the kind of low threshold person who would throw the first brick in a riot. So it’s not necessarily the case that with each new school shooting we’re getting kids who seem less obviously prone to this sort of thing. We’re still seeing kids who were obviously troubled (and should have been stopped). Does that mean Gladwell’s thesis is wrong? Maybe it just means that, as the riot expands, everyone below the current threshold joins in, not just those at the highest limit. If five people are throwing bricks and someone else walks up who is a zero (i.e. prone to throw the first brick even if alone) he’ll simply join in with the other five without hesitation. There can be more than one person at each level so the progression won’t be always upward.

Finally, based on Gladwell’s analysis, David French recommends a solution to the problem:

it’s the pattern of elaborate preparation and obsession with the subculture of mass shooters that has led in part to my own advocacy of the gun-violence restraining order. While we don’t have sufficient details about today’s shooter in Texas to know if it would have made a difference, it’s a fact that large numbers of mass shooters broadcast warning signals of their intent to do harm, and it’s also a fact that family members and other relevant people close to the shooter have few tools at their disposal to prevent violence. A gun-violence restraining order can allow a family member (or school principle) to quickly get in front of a local judge for a hearing (with full due-process protections) that can result in the temporary confiscation of weapons from a proven dangerous person.

This sounds like the sort of thing that might help in some instances, but remember that in the case of Nikolas Cruz, police had been to the house many times but never took any firm action. And the people he was living with just prior to the shooting say he never betrayed any signs of troubling behavior. So even if this program had been in place, it’s not clear it would have been used against Cruz.

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