Archive for category Teens

Legislating Morality: A Trip To The Dentist

Over the years my behavior has gotten me into loads of trouble usually with my parents. Even more my mouth has gotten me into trouble so I usually keep my mouth shut when not invited to speak. Yesterday April had a follow up dentist appointment and I went with her. In the waiting room in a dentist office is most definitely a place to keep to myself. This couple had two very cute children and the kids spoke to me first. I passed the time playing and joking around with them.

Finally April was called in and about ten minutes later the two children were called in simultaneously. The mother took them back and that left just the father, myself and a teenager. I told the man he was lucky to have such a wonderful family. How we got from that to discussing politics and morality, I don’t know but we did. The man made it a point to let me know he was a liberal democrat and that from his perspective on one has the right to tell him how to live his life.

I should have just listened and made it a one sided conversation, but I asked him if he meant there should be no rules, no laws at all? He went further into his beliefs and told me he was a humanist. He believed himself to be the master of his domain and the god of his existence. Believe me, the man said so much more, but what struck me was when he told me he had the right to decide what was moral. He and only he, had the right to determine what was right and what was wrong.

I was half listening to him and half trying to order my thoughts for a question. He was all over the place with his rhetoric. From Christians to Muslims to Republicans to the Tea Party and George Bush. Somehow he even managed to throw Tony Dungy in the mix. Finally when he took a breath, I asked him if I had the same right to think the way he did. “Most certainly!”, was his response.

I thought of something clever to say because I didn’t agree with his thinking even though I agree that he has the right to think what he wants. Before I could respond, the teenage girl interjected herself into the conversation. “So you wouldn’t have a problem if this man decided he had the right to kill your wife and kids when they are finished getting their teeth cleaned”, she asked.

The man turned to the maybe 16 or 17 year old girl and with a look of indignation said in a very course tone, “Of course I would have a problem if this guy (me) touched my family in any way!”

The girl asked, “But you freely admit if he wanted to do it, as the master of his own world, he has the right — and if he had the right lawyer, judge and jury that thought as you do, he might get off without any sort of punishment.” Believe me, what she said was far more eloquent than I worded it.

The man rolled his eyes, crossed his legs and rustled through the stack of magazines and didn’t speak another word. I moved closer to the young lady. I learned her name was Nicole and she was a sophomore at the high school. I shook her hand and thanked her for ending a conversation I didn’t want to be in anyway. She told me she had written a paper on legislating morality. She had been told by her teacher that you cannot legislate morality. She said, “Abortion, rape, theft and murder are all moral issues and were all legislated. Then she left me with a quote. I forgot the exact quote but thanks to the library and the book she used to do some of her research, The Family Under Siege, I found it.

She said our founding fathers built morality into our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I told her I had a blog and asked if she minded if I blogged about this conversation. Obviously she didn’t mind and obviously I didn’t tell her the name of the blog. What do you think about all this. April just laughed and reminded me to keep my mouth shut next time.

Morality is the only thing you can legislate. That’s what legislation is. It is the codification in law of some particular moral concern — generally so that the immorality of a few is not forcibly inflicted on the rest of us.
~ Dr. D. James Kennedy

Galen Sterling-Smith from KVGess’ Blog will be guest blogging on November 6, 2010. Galen is Jelisa’s husband. She was a guest blogger earlier this year and I thought it would be a great idea, since both had blogs, to have Galen guest post as well. He agreed and we will be able to read his post in one week. In the meantime, stop by Galen’s site and check it out.

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AOL’s SafeSocial

Many kids will find this intrusive as will many adults. I however, as a concerned hope to be a parent someday I find it essential. What am I talking about? SafeSocial by AOL is what has me grinning ear to ear. There are some real shady characters out in cyberland and whats worse is outside of cyberland is the real world. The creeps you try to protect your family from just might be your next door neighbors.

What does SafeSocial do? SafeSocial makes keeping your child’s online experience a safe one without you having to stand over them like a guard in a prison. With your children’s permission you will be able to monitor their friends, their behavior and conversations. A summary of their online activity will be sent to parents for each child listed.

What child in their right mind would agree to something like this? For a parent the conversation might go something like this. If you want a Facebook account you have to agree to allow us to monitor your activity via SafeSocial. If the child wants a Facebook account they will agree to it.

On the website they spell out why their service is an important one. Do you wonder whether your children are safe on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace? Are you curious who their online friends are, or if they’re talking about sex, drugs, or violence? AOL SafeSocial can help address these worries while giving your children the independence to explore social networking at an age-appropriate level. With AOL SafeSocial, you get a complete view of your child’s online social networking activities: sites where your child has accounts, who your child is friends with, and what content your child is posting online and what’s being posted about them. We also let you know when you need to get involved, be it an inappropriate photograph that has been uploaded on your child’s account or an online “friend” who may not be trustworthy.

Internet privacy policy’s designed to make website users safe also inhibits and prohibits a parent from enforcing household rules. If my child sneaks off to a friend’s house and sets up a MySpace or Facebook account, by law I cannot get either site to close the account. If my child orders pornographic material like Penthouse or Sweet Action, I can write a letter to the publisher, tell them my child ordered the magazine, that they are under 18 and they had no right to send it to a minor. They would apologize and remove the charges from the account and then close it.

This is the message from Facebook:

We appreciate your concern for your child’s use of our website, but unfortunately we cannot give you access to the account or take any action on the account at your request. We are generally forbidden by privacy laws against giving unauthorized access to someone who is not an account holder. Please note that all users ages 13 and older are considered authorized account holders and are included in the scope of this policy.

We encourage parents to exercise any discretion they can on their own computers and in overseeing their kids’ internet use. If you are a parent, you might also consider using software tools on your own computer in order to do so. Please do a search for computer-based Internet control technology on your preferred search engine to discover options that you may wish to pursue.

Please also talk to your kids, educate them about internet safety, and ask them to use our extensive privacy settings.

Something needs to be done to help good parents be good parents. If a parent tells their child they are unable to have a certain account whether it be with Blogger, MySpace, Club Penguin or iCarly, they should be able to enforce their house rules. Something needs to be done but until then there is SafeSocial. Weigh in with your thoughts, especially any teenagers reading this.



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Some Good Teen News

In the wake of a horrific tragedy comes a ray of hope. People are always getting on teenagers for all the bad things that they do. In most cases rightly so. I read a letter that one teenager wrote in response to the hostage drama on a Filipino bus earlier this week. I found it a good read and you know when that happens that I force you, the reader of my blog to decide for yourself. This letter has received almost 20,000 Facebook likes from the iCNN news page.


As you are reading this letter, I bet that you have seen/heard about what happened earlier in our country.

Tourists were hostages of a policeman here, Rolando Mendoza. After a few hours of the horrible crime, some of the victims were dead including the hostage-taker.

I wrote this letter not just to apologize but also to let everyone know that we Filipinos are not all like Mendoza. We are loving and good-hearted people.

For so many years, our country has been standing tall and surpassing every dilemma; be it small or big. Years ago (back when I wasn’t born yet), you have watched us fight for what we think is right. We fought for the democracy of our nation.. The EDSA revolution. But that’s just one out of many.

Second. We Filipinos have been serving other countries for our families and we treat you as our own as well. With all due respect, I thank you all for giving us the trust through the years. For helping us to become what we are now.

The Philippines is more than just a group of islands. We are a nation of strong and remarkable people. A country of beauty and love known to be hospitable and well-valued. I humbly apologize for what happened tonight. No one in this world would want something like that to happen for life should be valued.

I politely ask the attention of the world. Please do not judge and mistreat us just because of what happened tonight. I have been searching the net and found terrible things. Hong Kong advices to avoid travels here, China and HK bans Filipinos and that Philippines is the worst place to go.

I can’t blame you for what you have decided but I hope that you could understand. Our country is now in a sea of problems. And I know for sure that we helped you in a way or another. Let peace and understanding reign this time.

I know that this letter will just be trash but I wish that you would understand. On behalf of the Philippine population.. WE ARE SORRY.

As a song puts it…

And I believe that in my life I will see an end to hopelessness, giving-up and suffering. And we all stand together this one time then no one will get left behind. Stand up for life. STAND UP FOR LOVE

Sincerely yours,

Reigno Jose Dilao


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