Category : Children

Companies doing Good(II): Google equips buses with wifi and offers computers to South Carolina students who have a long ride daily

Eighth-grader Lakaysha Governor spends two hours on the bus getting back and forth to school each day. Thanks to a grant from Google, she can now use that time more productively and get her homework done.

The aspiring forensic anthropologist is one of nearly 2,000 students in rural Berkeley County who will ride to school on one of 28, Google-funded, Wi-Fi-equipped school buses unveiled Monday.

The technology giant also has given the school district 1,700 Chromebooks, the stripped-down laptops on which many schoolchildren now do their class and homework.

As more class assignments and homework migrate online, such long bus rides have generally counted as lost time in preparing for the next school day. But Google said it hopes to help expand the use of Wi-Fi on school buses in other rural areas elsewhere around the country.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Education, Science & Technology

Companies doing Good(I): Chevron Helps Father Preserve His Son’s Memory

When Chevron needed to fix up a property, it sought out the anonymous caretaker of a memorial that lie along the property’s fence, and helped that man make it a more permanent fixture.

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family

(Globe and Mail) Unnatural selection: Babies in the genetic technology age

The notion of tinkering with an embryo’s DNA – let alone creating designer babies – makes many of us recoil. But let us not forget the shock and horror at the news of the first “test-tube baby,” Louise Brown, in 1978.

After her birth, her parents received blood-spattered hate mail (and a tiny plastic fetus). Now we call it IVF, and no one bats an eye.

Technologies that allow parents to pick and choose embryos based on genetic testing are already a quarter of a century old. But the dawn of CRISPR, a technology that can “edit” mutated DNA at the embryo stage, has raised the spectre of Nazi-era eugenics and identikit babies out of a sci-fi thriller.

What if laws were in place to forbid scientists from using technologies to create the superrace we fear? What if we had consensus, and an ethical framework, to decide which embryos should live, and which should die?

Such questions are the beating heart of science journalist Bonnie Rochman’s new book, The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies are Changing the Way We Have Kids – and the Kids We Have, published in February.

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Posted in Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology

(WSJ) When the children crashed Dad’s BBC interview: The family speaks

Mr. Kelly describes his reaction as a mixture of surprise, embarrassment and amusement but also love and affection. The couple says they weren’t mad and didn’t scold the children. “I mean it was terribly cute,” Mr. Kelly said. “I saw the video like everybody else. My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could… It was funny. If you watch the tape I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down. They’re little kids and that’s how things are.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Kelly and his family plan to hold a press conference at his university to answer questions from the Korean media, which have a strong interest in the video. Most important to them is that people can laugh at the video as unvarnished but normal family life.

“Yes I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me,” Mr. Kelly said.

“I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars. It’s pretty ridiculous.”

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Posted in Children, Humor / Trivia, Marriage & Family, Media

(NBC) Three sisters run homelessness to track-and-field success

The Sheppard sisters are running sensations, but it’s what the three young girls are running from that makes them extraordinary.

Tai, 12, Rainn, 11, and Brooke, 9, run hurdles, distance, and high jump, respectively.

When the girls’ half-brother was fatally shot, their family fell on hard times and was evicted from their home. They have lived in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood since September of 2015.

Read it all (video highly recommended).

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Sports

Emma Green Wrestles w/ Rod Dreher's argument for communal religious life in The Benedict Option

There was a time when Christian thinkers like Dreher, who writes for The American Conservative, might have prepared to fight for cultural and political control. Dreher, however, sees this as futile. “Could it be that the best way to fight the flood is to ”¦ stop fighting the flood?” he asks. “Rather than wasting energy and resources fighting unwinnable political battles, we should instead work on building communities, institutions, and networks of resistance that can outwit, outlast, and eventually overcome the occupation.” This strategic withdrawal from public life is what he calls the Benedict option.

Dreher’s proposal is as remarkable as his fear. It is a radical rejection of the ties between Christianity and typical forms of power, from Republican politics to market-driven wealth. Instead, Dreher says, Christians should embrace pluralism, choosing to fortify their own communities and faith as one sub-culture among many in the United States.

But it is a vision that will not be easily achieved. Conservative Christianity no longer sets the norms in American culture, and transitioning away from a position of dominance to a position of co-existence will require significant adjustment, especially for a people who believe so strongly in evangelism. Even if that happens, there are always challenges at the boundaries of sub-cultures. It’s not clear that Dreher has a clear vision of how Christians should engage with those they disagree with””especially the LGBT Americans they blame for pushing them out of mainstream culture.

Read it all from The Atlantic.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

([London] Times) Muslim parents choose church schools because of the focus on faith

Many Muslim parents send their children to church schools because they prepare young people for “life in modern Britain”, a senior figure in the Church of England has said.

The Rev Nigel Genders said that church schools offered a “deeply Christian” education yet were attractive to families of other religions because they took faith seriously.

Mr Genders, chief education officer at the Church of England, which has about 4,500 primary schools, said that they would never drop their religious character even though more children from non-Christian families were attending them.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Economist) Gene editing, clones and the science of making babies

It used to be so simple. Girl met boy. Gametes were transferred through plumbing optimised by millions of years of evolution. Then, nine months later, part of that plumbing presented the finished product to the world. Now things are becoming a lot more complicated. A report published on February 14th by America’s National Academy of Sciences gives qualified support to research into gene-editing techniques so precise that genetic diseases like haemophilia and sickle-cell anaemia can be fixed before an embryo even starts to develop. The idea of human cloning triggered a furore when, 20 years ago this week, Dolly the sheep was revealed to the world (see article); much fuss about nothing, some would say, looking back. But other technological advances are making cloning humans steadily more feasible.

Some are horrified at the prospect of people “playing God” with reproduction. Others, whose lives are blighted by childlessness or genetic disease, argue passionately for the right to alleviate suffering. Either way, the science is coming and society will have to work out what it thinks.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology

(CT) Rod Dreher–The Benedict Option's Vision for a Christian Village

In my 2006 book, Crunchy Cons, which explored a countercultural, traditionalist conservative sensibility, I brought up the work of philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, who said that Western civilization had lost its moorings. MacIntyre said that the time is coming when men and women of virtue will understand that continued full participation in mainstream society was not possible for those who want to live a life of traditional virtue. These people would find new ways to live in community, he said, just as St. Benedict, the sixth-century father of Western monasticism, responded to the collapse of Roman civilization by founding a monastic order.

I called the strategic withdrawal prophesied by MacIntyre “the Benedict Option.” The idea is that serious Christian conservatives could no longer live business-as-usual lives in America, that we have to develop creative, communal solutions to help us hold on to our faith and our values in a world growing ever more hostile to them. We would have to choose to make a decisive leap into a truly countercultural way of living Christianity, or we would doom our children and our children’s children to assimilation.
Today, Christians who hold to the biblical teaching about sex and marriage have the same status in culture and, increasingly, in law, as racists. The culture war that began with the sexual revolution in the 1960s has now ended in defeat for Christian conservatives. The cultural left””which is to say, the American mainstream””has no intention of living in postwar peace. It is pressing forward with a harsh, relentless occupation, one that is aided by the cluelessness of Christians who don’t understand what’s happening.

I have written The Benedict Option to wake up the church, and to encourage it to act to strengthen itself, while there is still time.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Children, History, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

Movie recommendation–"Lion"

We finally went last night for Valentine’s Day–loved it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Australia / NZ, Children, India, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television

(Guardian) Rowan Williams–It remains Britain’s moral duty to help refugee children

Last week’s announcement from government that it will close the route opened for some of the most vulnerable refugee children to Britain by Lord Dubs falls far short of our better selves and the example set by those before us.

The route was opened by Lord Dubs to enable a safe passage to Britain for the most vulnerable refugee children. His amendment last year drew exceptionally wide cross-party and public support. Lord Dubs was himself a survivor of the Kindertransport efforts to save Jewish children fleeing the Nazis on the eve of the Second World War.

Those efforts typified something of the best in us. A steadfast and quiet determination to protect children and the most vulnerable and to do so in time when the threat is urgent.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

[Ian Paul] Is evangelical theology abusive?

..But is Andrew Watson right? Or does evangelicalism have a particular problem in this area? It is important to put such a question in the context of other tragic examples of abuse. Bishop Peter Ball was firmly in the sacramental tradition, and was convicted of child sex abuse. John Howard Yoder fell from grace in the Mennonite/Anabaptist tradition. And how quickly we forget the case of Chris Brain and the Nine O’Clock service in Sheffield, firmly in the progressive/’original blessing’ theological tradition. What these situations have in common is a powerful, charismatic figure who attains a status and a following where both victims and ”˜observers’ find it difficult to ask the appropriate questions, and where structures of accountability fail or simply do not exist.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children

A Survivor writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear Archbishop,

I am sure that we will meet one day. You have expressed your deep regret about how the Church has treated myself and my fellow victims since John Smyth’s abuse was uncovered. And besides, we have a lot in common. We are pretty much the same age. You went to Eton, I went to Winchester College. We have shared a university education.

We were both at the Iwerne Trust Christian camps at the same time, although I was there as a boy, you were there as an Iwerne Officer. Crucially, however, we both personally knew John Smyth, the subject of Channel 4’s news reports last Thursday & Friday. He was my abuser…

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children

[Giles Fraser] Like John Smyth’s accusers, I bear the scars of a muscular Christian education

..The moral formation I received from my school beatings was almost entirely the opposite of what was intended. They gave me a lifelong problem with authority and a kneejerk identification with victims. Which is probably why I am prepared to be a little unfair about the archbishop and his proximity to these horrible Christian camps. He is a decent man.

But my problem is with the whole idea of evangelical decency. It takes me back to the so-called decency of the man who caned me, and the sickness I felt in my stomach as a little boy, waiting outside that chapel in a gloomy wood-panelled corridor. This was more than 40 years ago ”“ but I still don’t have it in me to forgive him for what he did to me.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children

(Babylon Bee) Family Exiting Worship Unable To Find Minivan In Sea Of Identical Minivans

Read it all–LOL

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Humor / Trivia, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Travel