The plan asks students to think of “what comes to mind” when talking about the concept of fundamentalism in a religious context. Then, they are told to think about how “this type of fundamentalism” has played out in Islam, according to Fox News.
“Common traits that psychologists have found in terrorists are that they are often risk-takers and many suffer from low self-esteem,” the lesson plan states. “Sometimes joining a terrorist group provides these individuals with a sense of belonging.”
It then implies that Christianity may have influenced the violent nature of Islamic fundamentalism saying that the transition from Christianity to Islam “softly could imply Christianity may be affecting (therefore causing) Muslim extremism.”
“For example, some passages in the Bible could be used to justify the slaughter of men, women and children in ways we have difficulty understanding today,” the plan states. “Would anyone condone this now? How would you react to someone who insisted that holding these beliefs was fundamental to Christianity?”
Representatives from the internet-based high school told Fox that they are not trying to say there is link between Christianity and Muslim extremism, but that they are trying to help students better understand the impact of religious fundamentalism on global terrorism.
“Yes, the Bible is referenced, but only as an example of how some passages may no longer be compatible with the modern world, prompting students to think about whether the ideas would be condoned today,” said Tania Clow, a spokesperson for the school. “The lesson does not suggest that there is a link between Islam and Christianity as fundamentalist groups.”
Clow explained that teachers are supposed to help the students have a thoughtful debate on the issue although they are not permitted to change the text as it is written.
“Fundamentalist Christians pray for people, they pray for their own members who convert to another religion,” Donohue told Fox News. “Fundamentalist Muslims will kill you. So, right off the bat, the equation is pernicious.”
There’s a fascinating video put out by Dove—aimed at women—that explores the idea “You’re more beautiful than you think you are.” Before I continue, watch the video. (It’s really worth 6 minutes of your time.)
I’m not in the target audience for this campaign, but as a father it was eye-opening, for sure. I have to ask myself, If my daughter described herself for a sketch artist, how would that drawing turn out—and how would it be different if I described her?
I’ll probably never fully understand the pressures girls and women feel in our culture related to their appearance and how that affects their self-image. But a few things I know without a doubt.
First, physical appearance is a big deal to girls and women. And with the way they are portrayed in the media, they surely feel very little room to be less than perfect when it comes to their faces and their figures. Focusing on any perceived flaws impacts how they feel about themselves as people. None of us would want our wives or daughters to feel that way, but it’s easy to understand why they would.
I say it’s tragic, because appearances don’t reflect the real character of a person.
It also reminds me that our wives and daughters are probably less secure than what they may show. If they seem confident and cheerful, that doesn’t mean they don’t need plenty of affirmation from us! As husbands and fathers, we have a lot of influence on how the women in our lives view themselves, and we need to be all about affirming them—many times, every day.
I won’t say affirming their physical appearance isn’t important. It is, for sure. But we should focus even more on affirming our wives and daughters in terms of their character and what they mean to us. That helps to build them up inside and fosters the kind of inner strength that helps them maintain a high self-worth no matter what other signals they’re getting from the culture.
The Dove campaign is powerful and insightful, and as fathers it should motivate us even more to help our children focus on the right things. Ultimately, don’t we all want our kids to learn to place less value on a person’s appearance and more on what’s inside—a person’s heart?
We can play a big role in this area, and once again, let me point you to our ebook, 5 Things Every Child MUST Get From Dad, which goes into detail about five things your daughter needs from you and five things your son needs. One section in the ebook hits today’s topic very well:
“Go ahead and compliment your daughter when she has taken care to look attractive, just as you would a son who has intentionally spent time making sure he looks handsome. But more important is your ability to compliment her other qualities, like emotional strength, sense of humor, loyalty, intelligence, and courage. Make it clear that what you love most about your daughter are her non-physical qualities, and that even without her physical features, you would still love her just as much.”
If you haven’t yet, you should download the ebook and read more about ways to show love and affirmation to your daughter.
But don’t let your response end with reading something—this blog or our ebook or something else. Do something! Start a new habit in the way you express affirmation to your daughter—and your son.
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering (NCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers to make theChampionship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes every child needs a dad they can count on, and it uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father-figures their children need. Subscribe to Casey’s weekly email tip by clicking here: I want tips on how to be a great dad who loves, coaches, mentors and inspires my children.
But the longer I lead in ministry, the more I realize there is truth to this well-known phrase.
One of my spiritual goals for this year is to purposefully not pick up an offense.
Though there are plenty of opportunities to be offended, I don’t actually have to be offended unless I allow it. That’s an interesting truth. If I never pick up the offense, then my heart doesn’t suffer from the effects of it.
Easier said than done.
Recently I heard some words spoken about me that hurt—really hurt. And for a few hours, I allowed them to continue to hurt. At some point, God reminded me of my commitment—the choice to pick up an offense or not. Then I realized what I’d done.
It took some time to reconcile within myself, but at the end of the day, I could see the event for what it was: a ploy of the enemy to create divisiveness and disrupt the work God is doing. I don’t want to take part in that.
So even though sticks and stones can break my bones, words don’t have to hurt me … unless I allow them to.
As leaders, we lead well when we choose not to pick up offenses. We lead well when we give others the benefit of the doubt and walk in grace. We rise above the drama and see situations for what they truly are: distractions from the goal.
I know you by name and you have found favor with me. —Exodus 33:12
I heard Gigi Tchividjian give a talk in which she admitted to low self-esteem. She said, “Whenever I was introduced, I was referred to as Billy Graham‘s daughter, the wife of a Swiss psychiatrist, or the mother of six children.” She concluded that she had no identity of her own, but she sought it and found it in Christ.
As God earmarked you for a work in the future, I would urge you to get your sense of self-esteem from knowing you please God alone. Just Him. He isn’t hard to please. First, the blood of Jesus washed all sin and imperfection away. Second, Jesus is at the Father’s right hand and is moved with compassion over our weaknesses. Third, the Father, in any case, “knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14).
It is true that God will refine you so that when your time has come you will be ready and trustworthy of a greater anointing. But you won’t be perfect. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). God isn’t waiting for you to get perfect before He can use you. Otherwise He wouldn’t use anybody—ever.
Do you have a heart after God? Do you yearn to honor Him? Do you aspire to seek not honor and glory from your peers but the honor that God alone can bestow? If so, God will find you. Your parents may not see in you what is there, however well they think they know you, but God does. He will find you. He will discover you. Someone said, “It takes fifteen years to become an overnight success.” God’s time has come when someone who knows all that is needed to know about you steps in without your raising a finger.
This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. —Isaiah 66:2
It is a powerful and wonderful thing to have God‘s esteem. The word esteem means to think highly of; it means respect or favorable opinion. Can anything be more fantastic than to have God esteem you—to think highly of you? This is possible not because of your profile, your importance, or performance, but because you want it more than anything else. Profile does not mean that God is pleased with you. There are people who are rich and famous, but they will never experience God’s commendation or hear “well done.” For these things mean little in heaven. All that is required is to want it—more than anything. That’s all. This means that you—whoever you are—can have God’s esteem.
What is required of you is not perfection, but seeking—making an effort to obtain—His praise and esteem. You don’t have to be the prophet Daniel. Three times the Lord said to Daniel, “You are highly esteemed” (Dan. 9:23; 10:11, 19). Daniel was called highly esteemed not because he was a prophet, but because he loved God more than the approval of people (Dan. 6:10). It was his love for God’s honor that put him where he was; he could be trusted with a high profile because it meant less to him than God’s honor.
How much time and energy is required on our part? It all depends. If we want His esteem, then we are going to walk in any ray of light He gives to us along the way. We prove we want His esteem by the decisions we make. The honor of God is therefore at our fingertips. It is closer than our hands or our feet, closer than the air we breathe. It is centered in the mind, heart, and will. One could say, therefore, that to have the esteem of God is the easiest thing in the world to achieve because He is eager to show it. And yet to feel and hear His “well done” comes to those who show that it is really what they want by their words and deeds. The reward is pure joy.
When we began The Protectors freedom-from-bullying movement about eight years ago, a unique movement in that it works within both faith-based and values-based organizations, some thought it was a good but not necessary creation–like places that change your vehicle’s oil.
Now according to a recent Harris Poll, bullying is the #1 concern among both parents and students–surpassing sex, drugs and gang activity.
Hardly a week goes by when bullying does not make it into our nation’s media and our collective mind and worry, reminding me of that ominous phrase: You might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. More and more studies reveal that this intentional form of abuse affects most everyone the way a stone creates waves through water. It’s as if we’ve been re-introduced to an old enemy that we thought we knew but didn’t, leading to anxiety, and hardly know how to resist, leading to paralysis and even more anxiety.
But there is a way out, which is what this fresh blog is all about. This path toward freedom, justice and the defense of human dignity is forged by helping all four “characters” in the “Theater of Bullying” (Bullies, Targets, Bystanders and Authority) change their role. Because life really is a movie. And when it comes to bullying, the ultimate question is: What role will adults as well as children play?
And let me leave you with this distilling insight, which will help you understand the primary goal and orientation of this new blog: Knowledge alone will not transform this problem any more than consuming one lone vitamin leads to health. Knowledge alone does not set captives free. We have plenty of knowledge about bullying–some of which is conflicting. Our children, their parents and their teachers don’t need another Ph.D. to tell them that bullying is wrong and harmful. This is confirmed within the blacksmith of our troubled souls. What we lack and what we need as a people is the will, courage, conviction and indignation to confront it and diminish it. This will require sacrifice and for some, suffering. Some will rise to this noble, life-affirming challenge and some will not–just like the characters in our favorite movies.
So welcome. Let’s change history within history, and in the process grow courage, character and leadership for life, not just for the children in our lives, but for the adults as well.
FRIDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) — Move over, tiger moms. Dads can play an even more significant role in the development of happy, well-adjusted children than do mothers, a new study indicates.
Just in time for Father’s Day, findings from a large-scale review of research shed light on how parental acceptance and rejection can affect the personalities of progeny well into adulthood.
“In our 50 years of research in every continent but Antarctica, we have found that nothing has as strong and consistent an effect on personality development as does being rejected by a parent — especially by a father — in childhood,” said study co-author Ronald Rohner, director of the Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.
The study, published recently in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, analyzed 36 studies, from 1975 to 2010, involving almost 1,400 adults and 8,600 children in 18 countries. The children ranged in age from 9 to 18, and adults were between 18 and 89.
Those traits — aggression, independence, positive self-esteem, positive self-adequacy, emotional responsiveness, emotional stability and positive worldview — were evaluated using self-report questionnaires. Participants were asked about their parents’ degree of acceptance or rejection during their childhoods and about their own personality characteristics or tendencies.
“The study shows a strong relationship between those seven traits and the experience of feeling accepted and cared about by your parents,” said Dr. John Sargent, a professor of psychology and pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center, in Boston.
“What’s really important to kids is to know they’re accepted by their parents,” Sargent said.
Study author Rohner said fathers may have a greater impact on a child’s personality because children and teenagers pay more attention to the parent who seems to have greater interpersonal power, or influence, in the family’s power hierarchy.
He explained that when a father is perceived as having more power, even if he spends less time with the children, he can have a greater impact. That’s because his comments or actions seem to stand out more notably. This is despite the fact that, all over the world, mothers tend to spend more time with kids than fathers do.
While not being accepted causes identifiable personality issues, acceptance doesn’t necessarily confer particular benefits. “Unfortunately, humans respond more dramatically to negative things,” Rohner said. Rejection predicts a specific set of negative outcomes — such as hostility, low self-esteem, negativity — while feeling loved and accepted is not as closely associated with particular positive outcomes, he explained.
There was no difference seen in the importance of a father’s love for girls versus boys.
The study does not establish a causal connection between respondents’ personalities and perceptions of being accepted or rejected.
Rohner said the research shows that society tends to place too much emphasis on the impact of mothers on children, often blaming them for troublesome personality traits or behaviors, even into adulthood. “We need to start giving greater acclaim to dads, and put them on an equal footing with moms in terms of their impact on children,” he said.
“Our work should encourage dads to get really involved in the loving care of their children at an early age,” Rohner said. “Their kids will be measurably better off.”