Rise of the Nanny State: 5-yo Boy Charged with Sexual Misconduct for Dropping Pants on Playground

Rise of the Nanny State: 5-yo Boy Charged with Sexual Misconduct for Dropping Pants on Playground

God help us and our “educational professionals” to correct their rectal-cranial-inversion problem!

5-year-old slapped with sexual misconduct after dropping pants in playground

RT.com
June 30, 2014

The mother of 5-year-old Eric Lopez, who signed a paper attesting to the act of voluntarily ‘depantsing’ in his school playground, is now fighting authorities to remove the stain from her son’s permanent school record.

Accused of the ‘lewd act’, Eric Lopez did not ask that his parents be present at the moment he was asked to sign the incriminating document inside the assistant principal’s office. The boy’s mother said her son had no idea he could make such a request.

“He did not know that he could ask for me,” the boy’s mother, Erica Martinez, told azfamily.com. “He’s five.”

The boy also received a detention from school in addition to the permanent sexual misconduct charge on his file.

Martinez, who says school officials failed to take her son’s age into account when they labeled his ‘depantsing’, has been locked in a legal battle for two months to have the charge scratched from her son’s record, arguing that Eric’s actions were simply the innocent behavior of a child.

Thus far, however, the Dysart Unified School District in Surprise, Arizona, has denied her appeal.

Assistant Superintendent Jim Dean said the actions taken by the school district are “age appropriate.”

“Even though the discipline labels are consistently used and the discipline form is consistent from grades K-12 to ensure all legal mandates are met, the discussion the administrator has about a situation and consequences are age appropriate,”Dean said in a written statement. “The discussion with a kindergarten student is focused on the specific action, not on the label that is used for classifying the infraction.”

Under Arizona State law, every school district is advised to consider the age of a student before painting any actions on the part of a child with the black brush of sexual misconduct.

Dean says Martinez has the right to include her objections to the report in her son’s permanent file. The other option for Erica Martinez is to move her son into a completely new school district, where his file will then become a clean slate.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/rise-nanny-state-5-yo-boy-charged-sexual-misconduct-dropping-pants-playground/#MlfiHWs1K8PzqC3g.99

Justices: Can’t make employers cover contraception

dM Buteau

HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC., ET AL., v. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. Opinion of the court.

Justices: Can’t make employers cover contraception

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

The justices’ 5-4 decision, splitting conservatives and liberals, means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under the health insurance plans of objecting companies.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion, over a dissent from the four liberal justices, that forcing companies to pay for methods of women’s contraception to which they object violates the 1993 Religious Freedom…

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Temperance

Temperance

Posted on January 9, 2014 by Universal Life Church Monastery
Temperance is control over excess and over-indulgence. As such, it has many applications in Chastity, Humility, Prudence, and other areas that involve restraining impulse. Since Temperance is related to many other virtues, it is considered one of the four cardinal virtues. After all, no virtue can be obtained if one is unable to control oneself. Along with it’s applications and uses in religion, Temperance has been studied by philosophers and psychologists.

Temperance in Confucianism and Taoism

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“The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.” -Confucius

Confucianism and Taoism are grouped together for the purposes of this article because they are ancient Chinese styles of living that originated at roughly the same time. Both are a religion and philosophy of Asia that stress humanities’ relationship with nature.

Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, advocated self-control and modesty for a humane life. The Analects, a collection of ideas and sayings from Confucius, speak of the virtuous as those who choose to live simply, refrain from boasting or extravagance, and value hard work as much as reward.

Another book central to Confucian canon is “The Doctrine of Mean.” The Chinese words for “mean” are chun yung, which means “constantly in the middle”; the avoidance of extremes. The guiding principle is a balanced temperament against overdose and overindulgence; too much of a good thing can be bad. The Doctrine of Mean asserts that pride should not be indulged, nor should the will be gratified to the full, pleasure carried to excess.

Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism, also encouraged a temperate life. He believed that those who are arrogant with wealth, sex, and power, sow the seeds for their own misfortune. People who boast of their own achievements harm their own credibility. These people do not grow in wisdom.

The object of Taoism is to align one’s life to Tao, or the way of the universe. The way is the norm and rhythm of life, the driving power in all nature, the ordering principle behind all life. The best way to achieve this is through Wu Wei. Wu Wei is a concept that when literally translated means “do-nothingness”. However, it does not actually mean complete inaction, but rather suggests a vacant attitude of abstention. In other words, it means avoiding extremes in favor of self-restraint and a balanced attitude. This balance is symbolized in yin-yang.

Temperance in Buddhism

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“Temperance is a tree which as for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace.” -Buddha

What Buddha means in this quote is that Temperance takes time before the benefits become clear. In the early stages, as one attempts to control themselves and their desires, it may bring difficulty. But, in time, Temperance will bear the fruit that brings peace.

One of the points in Buddhism’s Noble Eightfold Path is the point of Right Conduct. This point is synonymous with the idea of temperance, but it also involves a call to understand one’s behavior before trying to improve it.

The precepts within the point of Right Conduct are do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, do not be unchaste, and do not become intoxicated. The practitioner should reflect on their actions and determine the motives that prompt them. For example, if one was making an effort to drink less, that person should be mindful of what makes them want to drink in the first place.

Temperance is control over excess and over-indulgence. As such, it has many applications in Chastity, Humility, Prudence, and other areas that involve restraining impulse. Since Temperance is related to many other virtues, it is considered one of the four cardinal virtues. After all, no virtue can be obtained if one is unable to control oneself. Along with it’s applications and uses in religion, Temperance has been studied by philosophers and psychologists.

Temperance in Christianity

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“Gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” – Galatians 5:23

Temperance in Christianity is closely aligned with self-control. It is applied to all areas of life, and is clearly exemplified among the Amish, and the Old Order Mennonites. Self-control is not only important in our daily lives, but is critical to faith as well. The Apostle Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:5-8:

“Beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

From this passage, we see that temperance is a key part of living a virtuous and faithful life. This is self-evident, for without the ability to control ourselves we are prisoners to our own desires. Without control, we are at the mercy of the temptations that come our way. How can we resist the devil if we cannot even resist ourselves?

The ability to properly control ourselves is not easy, nor is it something that can be achieved overnight. To do so, one must begin by guarding their thoughts and desires. The mind is the source of everything we do and say. Controlling our actions and words must begin with the mind. Those who attempt to change their actions without changing their mindset will likely find themselves slipping back into old habits.

Temperance Across Religions

Like other virtues, Temperance is not limited to one religion or spirituality. Each of the religions described above provide valuable insight on why Temperance is important, and how to work towards better self control.

From Confucianism and Taoism, we learn that part of Temperance is constantly being in the middle: a balance that avoids extremes in both ends. Buddha also advocated for the middle path. He believed that in order to have better self control, we need to understand our thoughts and the motives behind our actions. In Christianity, Temperance is vital because without control, we are left at the mercy of temptation and our sinful nature. As with everything else, our best hope for achieving proper self control is to rely on Christ and his strength.

How to Practice Self-Control

Self-control means using willpower to block ourselves from something we want but don’t need. Without self control we are at the mercy of emotion and desire. Strengthening the will is not easy, and there are no short-cuts, but it is attainable with practice and diligence.

If you are in need of stronger willpower, you are already on the road to acquiring it. Think about areas where you lack control, and set a goal that is achievable. Brainstorm ways to achieve this goal, and get informed by reading books and looking things up online.

It is vital to remember that the best change comes slowly. Start small, and gradually work yourself in the direction you want to go. For example, if you are addicted to cheeseburgers, don’t suddenly swear off cheeseburgers forever. Slowly working them out of your diet gives you the best chance for success, as you will be changing your habits and thoughts.

Another part of improving self-control is learning how to relax. Meditation is a great way to relax and improve willpower. The point of it is to discipline your mind into a state where it remains clear. During meditation, one’s thoughts are not anchored to anything and the mind focuses on nothing. Breathing exercises are also an effective way to calm oneself.

In the end, self-control comes down to reason versus emotion. You have to make yourself choose the right action, and each choice is a battle. If you give in once you will likely give in again, so don’t let yourself stumble, not even a single time! Each successful resistance builds momentum that will help you beat the habits you want to break.

Charity

Charity

Posted on December 6, 2013 by Universal Life Church Monastery

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“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Virtuous Charity is a sense of love and kindness towards all others. It is considered the ultimate perfection of human spirit because it both glorifies and reflects the nature of God. Charitable love comes from the will, and does not change regardless of what emotions it stirs up.

Christian Charity

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -1 John 4:8

In Christian theology, Charity is a form of love that resembles the love between God and man. This love is manifest in unselfish love of one’s neighbors. Jesus Christ was the ultimate expression and perfect example of this love.

In the book of Matthew, a Pharisee later asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (22:36-40)

Charity is a virtue that when ordered correctly unites us with God. Jesus’ words tell us that loving God and our neighbors is most important. Everything else in the bible depends on this commandment, and Christians can exemplify this love through generosity. In the book of Corinthians, the apostle Paul describes Charity and its importance:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away…
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:1-12

Paul’s meaning here is that no matter how strong, faithful, intelligent, or talented we may be, if we do not use these gifts to help each other it is a waste. Charity is virtue applied.

Islamic Charity

“Do not turn away a poor man…even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you…God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.”- Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376

In Islam, Charity is not recommended but required of every financially stable Muslim. One of the five pillars of Islam (five basic acts considered mandatory by believers) is Charity. The belief is those who have more than they need should help those who are less fortunate.

The Qu’ran gives specific instruction on how Charity should be implemented. Muslim law imposes a graduated tax on the wealthy for the benefit of the poor. The rate is 2 ½ percent, and this figure is applied to both income and current holdings. The poor do not pay this tax, but those in the middle and upper class should annually give some of their wealth to the poor.

Those who are charitable are looked upon with favor, especially those who give in secret. The Qu’ran says: “If you give charity in public, it is worthwhile (for it will persuade others), but if you hide and deliver it to the poor in secret that is better for you. And Allah will remove from you some of your sins due to this Charity.” (Al-Bawarah 2:271)

In Arabic, this kind of charity is called zakat. Zakat literally means “purification”, because it purifies the greed out of one’s heart. It is not wrong to be wealthy, but if one acquires wealth for it’s own sake and does not share it with others in need, his actions are condemned. People should acquire wealth with the intention of spending it on their needs of others as well as their own.

Those with wealth are obligated to respond to the struggling members of the community. In Islam, God is the true owner of everything. All wealth comes from God, it is not ours to hoard in greed, or to lend out on interest. Islam is the antithesis of this kind of attitude. Wealth is meant to be shared with those who need help getting back on their feet.

Hindu Charity

“Sanity-destined people have these character traits: Acts of charity, self-restraint, sacrifice, dedication to the study of scriptures, austerity and uprightness.” -Bhagavad Gita, 16.1

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Virtuous Charity is a sense of love and kindness towards all others. It is considered the ultimate perfection of human spirit because it both glorifies and reflects the nature of God. Charitable love comes from the will, and does not change regardless of what emotions it stirs up.

Charity Across Religions

Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism see Charity through a different viewpoint, and each religion brings out it’s different aspects. That all seem to agree that true Charity is given without any expectation of reward or recognition.

Christian Charity is synonymous with love. Love connects us with God, and loving God and our neighbor as ourself is the greatest commandment. We can follow Jesus’ example by giving from a place of love, and without any thought of reward.

Charity in Islam is implemented in a more direct way: it is law that the wealthy give to the poor and needy. Whatever wealth one may have comes from God, and that person has a responsibility to give some of it away. When we give without the desire for reward or recognition, we are purifying our souls.

Hinduism is much like Christianity in it’s approach to Charity. Charity should come from a place of love. When we love with our whole being and act with generosity and benevolence, our minds are purified. By continuing this path, one may reach God.

How Can I Be Charitable?

Donate things you don’t need. Some of the easiest items to donate include clothes, books, utensils, shoes, and toys. Charities with thrift stores will sell these items to raise cash for their charity. Day cares, hospitals, and churches may also accept donated items. Donating older items you don’t need anymore is a great way to practice charity for those who have a tight budget.

Volunteer. Our time can be as valuable as money or donated items. As a volunteer, you are working to further to goals of whatever organization you choose. Often times, volunteers are needed for community projects and by helping, you are helping your community. Volunteers can also serve those in need more directly by working with children, in soup kitchens or in retirement homes.

You can also be charitable in your everyday life. If you see someone who needs a hand, help them out. This may include giving someone a battery jump, helping someone move, or helping someone with directions. These situations happen at random, but by keeping an eye out we can find instances where we can demonstrate Charity.

By:
Lewis F.

Chastity

Chastity

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Universal Life Church Monastery

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“‘Purity?’ they ask. And they smile. They are the ones who go on to marriage with worn-out bodies and disillusioned souls.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

In this day and age, when someone hears about Chastity they may think of abstinence, modesty, and celibacy. Those who practice these things are guarding themselves from certain aspects of sexuality. They resist the over-sexualization that is happening in American culture and are sometimes looked down on because of it.

Being Chaste does not necessarily mean shying away from sex. Chastity is sexual behavior of a man or woman that is in accordance with the moral standards of their religion and culture. In many religions, acts that are sexual in nature are prohibited outside of marriage.

Christian Chastity

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“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” – Ephesians 5:3

In Christian traditions, Chastity is identical to sexual purity. This means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also includes loyalty to one’s husband or wife during marriage. When God created humans he declared that we were good and that we should be fruitful and multiply. After the fall, humankind’s sexual desires were distorted and became impure. The Bible is clear on the dangers of an impure heart:

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

According to the Bible, any voluntary sexual arousal or act outside of a union between husband and wife is sinful.

To an oversexed world this is outrageous. After all, sex feels good and is necessary for the continuation of our species. How can it be bad? People who believe this don’t understand why Chastity is important to keeping a true and virtuous soul. Impurity and lust are sicknesses, and when uncontrolled are precursors to other more serious problems such as unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Christians struggle with lust just as much as anyone else. Being Chaste is very difficult because it tests our will. As humans, we fail constantly because resisting our urges is like resisting our desire to eat or drink. Christian Chastity means fleeing from temptation and being mindful of the way we speak, think, dress, and the places we go.

Buddhist Chastity

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“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” -Buddha

Buddhism prescribes Chastity through the Noble Eightfold Path. This path is a treatment for life through training, designed to release one from ignorance, impulse, and the desire for sense pleasures. One of the points on this path is that of Right Action.

According to the concept of Right Action, practitioners should train themselves to be morally right in their activities. To achieve this, one must follow the five precepts: do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, do not become intoxicated, and do not be unchaste.

For monks and people who are not married, Chastity is continence. For the married it means restraint in proportion with one’s progress along the Path. If change is needed, the person should reflect on their actions with an eye on what prompted the action in the first place. Change should then proceed in the direction of selflessness and charity.

If a person is unchaste, they are still trapped by tanha, the desire for private fulfillment. This kind of desire seeks fulfillment in the ego and senses, which are temporary and hollow. Tanha is the cause of life’s dislocation, but if a person follows the Path, which includes being Chaste, they can escape the selfish craving which keeps them from achieving true happiness.

By practicing Chastity, one is moving closer to escaping the self-cage. When we escape the desire for sexual satisfaction, we are no longer shaped by that craving and it’s narrow limits of self-interest. When we are free of that craving, our mind becomes more pure, and that purity leads to joy.

Muslim Chastity

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“For men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God’s praise, for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward.” – The Qu’ran 33:35

Muslims take special care to abstain from what is forbidden. They do this in part by promoting virtuous behavior, and by distancing themselves from animalistic desires. The Qu’ran is very specific that sexual indecency is sin. Chastity is necessary for preventing human behavior from sinking into despicable desires.

In today’s largely secular society, it seems that people have trouble seeing the significance of Islam’s norms and values surrounding Chastity and modesty. To Islam, the world is predominantly licentious, and we are in danger if we are not diligent in guarding our Chastity.

Unchaste behavior can have disastrous, even devastating consequences. Islam’s teachings about unchaste behavior seek to educate and reform before that behavior leads to disaster.

This does not mean someone will experience a catastrophe that ruins their life as a result of unchaste behavior. Yet this is no excuse to be unchaste. Men and women should practice chastity because Allah commands it, and if they love God they will want to obey His commands. As a person would want to be clean, have nice clothes, and a great smile when they meet their beloved, so should that person enhance their spiritual attraction in order to appropriately approach God. One way to do this is by nurturing Chaste behavior.

Such things are not easy, nor will change happen overnight, but Allah assures his people, “Those who strive in Our path- We will surely guide them in Our ways.” (Qu’ran 29:70).

Connecting the Definitions of Chastity

Christianity and Islam closely relate to one another in their teachings on Chastity, while Buddhism differs slightly. All agree that chastity is vital to working towards a virtuous soul, and ultimately salvation.

From these three religions, we learn the following about Chastity: Sexual misconduct is a sin against the body and God. If we try to resist or fight it by ourselves, we will fail. We need to flee from it towards Christ, who is our strength and hope (Christianity). Chastity is necessary for escaping the selfish desires of the flesh, which blind us from truth and cause us to suffer. If we can escape this cycle, our minds become purified, which leads to happiness (Buddhism). Chastity is abstaining from improper sexual action, which is forbidden, along with other animalistic desires. Key to this is focusing our minds on God, and keeping ourselves busy with healthy and constructive acts, so there is less room for unchaste behavior (Islam).

How Can I Practice Chastity?

In order to practice Chastity, one must focus on improving self-control. This is a test of will and is never easy for anyone. In order to change, one must change the way they think about themselves and about other people. This is accomplished in part by changing our behavior; you cannot just flip a switch and be more chaste. It takes time.

Get in touch with your faith. The most important factor behind change is how much you want that change. If you’re not in it all the way, it will be much harder to accomplish the goal. This is where faith and spirituality play a critical role. If you believe in God, spend time in prayer and meditate upon the Holy texts. Whatever you believe, lean on that and others who share your belief. Let their strength be yours.

Practice Modesty. True modesty extends to our speech, our actions, our thoughts, and the way we dress. Therefore, dress appropriately, be aware of your thoughts as you think them, watch your body language, and be attentive to what you say. Often times in social situations we try to act “cool” and participate in jokes or conversations that are sexual or inappropriate. Resist the urge to be like everyone else, and stand firm to what you say. Modesty sends a message, and others are more likely to be inspired rather than offended by what you say.

Avoid sexual temptation. This involves staying away from situations where you might be enticed into the behavior you’re trying to avoid. If you’re dating, refrain from situations like the back of a car, a bed, or being alone together. These settings set us up for failure; a person trying to lose weight shouldn’t go to the candy store. Just stay away.

Know how to resist sexual pressure. Sometimes at work, or home, or out in the world, we find ourselves in situations where the atmosphere becomes sexually charged. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up, be ready with comebacks to defend yourself. This won’t always be necessary, but it’s important to keep guard.

By practicing, avoiding, and resisting, you will gradually change your thought process, and by doing so will become more Chaste. Temptation is not a force you can defeat by direct combat, just like you cannot slay a tornado by charging right towards it. Since temptation can only exist in the mind and hearts of people, we can defeat it by starving it. In its absence Chastity will grow.

By:
Lewis F.