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Showing posts from 2015

A Plea to Supporters of Planned Parenthood

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For the purposes of this blog post, let’s forget the unborn. I won’t ask you to change your views on abortion. In fact, we’ll put that issue completely aside.
The reason I’m willing to do that is because we have more common ground than might be readily apparent. Our divergent paths cross at least on one point: the sexual abuse of minors. Pro-life and pro-choice advocates can agree that it is a despicable evil for anyone to exploit underage children.
What does Planned Parenthood have to do with any of this? The answer is sobering, and I will divide it into two separate points below. In short, I want to show how Planned Parenthood is habitually guilty of aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of minors.

1. STATUTORY RAPE (NON-CONSENSUAL)
The website Child Predators has documented over 50 cases in 22 states in which an underage girl was sexually assaulted, taken to a Planned Parenthood (or PP-affiliated) center for an abortion by the perpetrator, and was not reported to authorities. If you do …

INSIDE OUT (2015) – Film Review

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For those lamenting Pixar’s artistic decline, take heart: there is reason to celebrate. I’m even prepared to say Inside Out is Pixar’s best film yet. Granted, that’s just my opinion—but it’s true.

I’m thrilled about the movie’s opening weekend gross of $91 million—the best opening, actually, for an original story in cinema history, beating out James Cameron’s Avatar. To quote Entertainment Weekly, “Even though Inside Out ended the weekend in second place [behind Jurassic World], it’s the biggest No. 2 debut of all time, demolishing the $68.7 million record previously held by The Day After Tomorrow.” Yes, this movie is receiving the financial and critical accolades it so rightly deserves.
Oh, Pixar, how do I love thee? Let me recount the ways.
As a reminder, I rate movies based on three criteria: potentially objectionable content (C), artistic merit (A), and my personal opinions (P). (CAP. Get it?)
CONTENT (C): 10 out of 10 A typical Pixar film avoids trite platitudes and sophomoric …

Rap Music: When Comedy Meets Poignancy

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There are a couple things you may not know. First, this is Hip Hop Appreciation Week. Yes, it’s an actual thing. And second, hip hop is my second favorite genre of music. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true. Second only to my love of instrumental motion picture scores is my love of rap.

In fact, I’ve played around with the possibility of writing and recording some of my own rap music. If I did, you could then call me by my hip hop name: Skittles. (M&M is already taken…sort of.)
Rap songs have the unique ability to contain boatloads of information, which, depending on how the format is utilized, can lend itself well to either serious and weighty meditation or outlandish humor. I love both uses. So, in honor of Hip Hop Appreciation Week, I wanted to share some of my favorite rap songs/videos with you. I don’t necessarily think these are the cream of the crop from an aesthetic standpoint—only that I myself enjoy them immensely. I’ve divided my list into two groups: humorous ra…

Why Don’t More Christians Like “Fifty Shades of Grey”?

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Let me tell you about a film that’s garnered a lot of publicity. The story revolves around a wealthy and debonair businessman with serious control issues. His sexual tastes involve perverse fantasies, but he gets what he wants because he’s rich, powerful, and handsome. In telling this story, the movie doesn’t shy away from depictions of the sex act. The audience is inundated with sex, in fact. The debauchery is enough to make a lot of people sick, either with revulsion, pleasure, or a mixture of both.

Do you think I’m talking about Fifty Shades of Grey? Actually, I’m referring to The Wolf of Wall Street, which came out on DVD just last year.
Many prominent Christian critics loved WoWS, as I pointed out earlier. Fifty Shades of Grey, on the other hand, has been either ignored or condemned. And yet there are some glaring similarities in how both movies handle sex.
They both employ stylistic techniques that were labeled as hardcore porn just a few decades ago. These techniques involve …

Blog’s Not Dead

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We’re more than a week into March, the month in which I planned on resuming normal blogging. Alas, such a course of action was not meant to be. My working schedule is slowly morphing into a different animal, and all my free time has been snatched away like a piece of food dropped next to a group of ravenous seagulls.

I wish I could pinpoint when I will be able to resume my weekly blogging, but that is currently impossible. Which leads to the following question: Is this blog dying? Is it already dead? Or is it only mostly dead?
Or, to borrow from another movie script, I’d like to say this blog is not extinct—just dormant. As in sleeping. And sleeping things wake up.
My hope is that this will be more of a cat nap than a coma. Whatever the case, I may be able to post from time to time in the weeks to come. And if the Lord allows, I plan to resume normal operating hours within the next two or three months, or thereabouts.
So please don’t give up on me. I have a sneaking suspicion that M…

Fickle February

Due to various and sundry reasons (mostly involving a combination of scheduling, family expansion, and sicknesses), I won’t be able to update the blog regularly during the month of February—if I’m able to update it at all. Whatever the case, my plan is to get back to a regular posting schedule, or close to it, by the beginning of March. Thanks for your patience!

Five Myths About How Parenting Ruins Your Life

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Last week, I (Shannon, Cap’s wife) wrote to my past self, the self from two years ago who wanted to have children but also really didn’t. Too many articles, Facebook posts, and moms with screaming kids at Target had convinced me that parenting would drastically disrupt the life I enjoyed so much. I hope that last week’s post was encouraging as I addressed the faulty logic that played into my fears. This week, I’d like to “myth-bust” a few negative ideas I had about parenting and, in doing so, show a few tangible ways that parenthood has actually made my life better.

Before I begin, I’d just like to say that I did not immediately “take to” parenting. When Elanor was born, I didn’t experience that magical heart-change so many ladies predicted I would have. In fact, I suffered from low-grade postpartum depression for three months after she arrived. I didn’t find newborn care to be intellectually stimulating or rewarding. And even though Elanor nursed, and I cried when she was done, I st…

A Letter to My Former Self (Who Was Afraid to Become a Parent)

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By Shannon Stewart.

It was the fifth Facebook status like it I had seen that day. It read something like, “Naptime. All four kids awake. Poop in my hair.”

To me, happy in my third year of marriage, it made me feel sick inside. I wanted babies—but I didn’t want to “lose my mind,” as many Facebook statuses seemed to suggest I would. I have a Master’s degree in English Literature. I like my mind just the way it is, thank you very much.

So I was scared. And it wasn’t just because of Facebook statuses. I loved my life, my marriage, and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? I didn’t see how adding another human to our household could make my wonderful life anything but worse.

I know there are others like me who struggle with the same fears. There is little out there to encourage us. There are mommy blogs that talk about how hard it is, mommy blogs that practically have little hearts floating out of the screens as they revel in how much they adore parenthood (barf), mommy blogs whose sole…

Trillia Newbell and the Church’s Answer to Racism

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With memories of racially-tinged police brutalities still lingering in our minds from last year, and the release of Selma last weekend, the topic of racism is alive and well, which is both good and bad. It’s good that we’re talking about it, rather than ignoring it. It’s bad because…well, because it’s still an issue. We’ve come a long way as a country, but we still have a long way to go.

In an article for The Atlantic, Robert P. Jones proposed that “the chief obstacle to having an intelligent, or even intelligible, conversation across the racial divide is that on average white Americans live in communities that face far fewer problems and talk mostly to other white people.” Voluntary segregation is a problem, for many more of us than those who care to admit it.
What is the solution? My friend Trillia Newbell talks about it in her book United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. Through her own personal experiences, she shares how the gospel empowers interracial harmony.
Considerin…

Two Things You May Not Know About Whooping Cough

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Around this time last year, our infant daughter was in the hospital with pertussis (i.e., whooping cough). My wife wanted to write a blog post about this dangerous disease, which some countries call “The 100 Day Cough” (and they aren’t kidding, folks). I’ll let Shannon share our experience, and how it might help protect you and those you love.

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We were just getting over the flu (I had picked it up at Desolation of Smaug, which makes that film doubly worthless to me). My sweet two-month old Elanor had a few days off from coughing before she started again. Nothing too serious, really—just like a cold. But it never went away. I took her to the pediatrician, and he said it wasn’t bad enough to be pertussis; I should go home and lay my fears to rest. Two nights later we were in the hospital after Elanor temporarily stopped breathing during a coughing fit and gasped out several “whoops” just afterwards.
We had a mild case of pertussis, it turns ou…