Friday, March 1st, 2013
San Diego Christian College fired Teri James last fall after it was discovered that James, who was not married, was pregnant. The school cited its policy against premarital sex in the firing, but James has nevertheless filed a lawsuit in San Diego County superior court, as Today.com reports:
She says she was fired because, as the termination letter included in the suit stated: “Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”
Speaking by phone with her lawyer, Gloria Allred, James said she felt humiliated.
“I had to leave right after the meeting. I had to go into the office with all of my co-workers and say I’m leaving,” James said. “I never came back so I don’t know what my co-workers thought, but for me, it was humiliating. I felt like I was in trouble.”
Also insulting, James said, was that after firing her, the school offered a job to her then-fiancé – they are now married – even though it was known that he, too, engaged in premarital sex. He did not accept the job, she said.
In filing the suit, James joins a group of women who in recent years have sued the religious schools that fired them for getting pregnant out of wedlock. In each case, the school pointed to moral codes, “community covenants” and handbooks that employees must sign, typically every year, promising to abide by school rules.
Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock
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Monday, October 22nd, 2012
A new Norwegian study has confirmed what many new parents already know: when transitioning into parenthood, the relationship between Mom and Dad often suffers. CNN.com has more:
“Researchers found that both married women and those who were living with, but not married to, their child’s father experienced similar decreases in relationship satisfaction during the transition into parenthood.
“It is striking that even in Norway, a nation in which there is a great deal of institutional support for parents through the transition to having children, the decrease in marital satisfaction with the birth of children that is typically seen in the United States and elsewhere still occurs,” said Jay Lebow, the journal’s editor. “It also is striking that this decrease occurs whether or not couples are married.”
This study supports earlier research: Another study from the University of Denver found that 90% of new parents experience a decline in relationship satisfaction, while a recent survey by the online magazine Baby Talk showed that fewer than a quarter of new parents were happy with their post-baby sex lives.
Said psychiatrist Gail Saltz, “Couples go from feeling that they are essentially taking care of each other to taking care of their children, and the loss of care taken from your partner leads to less relationship satisfaction. It is a psychological shift in the dynamic of the relationship that may not even be rooted in very much concrete action, or lack thereof, but more a feeling that your partner can’t take care of you like they used to.”
Experts urge parents to make a concerted effort to nurture their relationships while they are also nurturing their babies. Some tips include scheduling “play dates” with your partner while someone watches your baby, and keeping the bedroom a “sacred space” reserved just for you and your spouse to sleep or have sex.
Image: Couple with crying baby, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Over the next few months, the editors of Parents.com will report on hot-button election issues that American families face today, from healthcare to education. In the spirit of offering diverse perspectives on the election, we’ve chosen three moms from across the political spectrum to be guest bloggers on Parents News Now. Each one of them will offer a unique take on the topics that they–and you!–are most passionate about. (Read the entire blog series.)
By Suzanne Venker
The summer heat is squelching. Here in the Midwest, things are so bad our A/C won’t register below 78. My family hates–really hates–the heat. We’d rather be hiking Mount Tom in Vermont with perfect sixty-eight degree temperatures.
That’s what we were doing earlier this summer, when we took our first long vacation–a two-weeker. It began with a drive to see family in Pittsburgh and ended with a house rental in Vermont. From there it was a visit to see friends in the Boston area and then a quick jaunt (okay, detour) to Niagara Falls before heading home.
It was the quintessential American vacation–family travels cross-country by car while younger child asks “Are we there yet?” a gazillion times–taken by an old-fashioned American family: a mom, a dad, and a couple of kids. We felt like the Griswolds from National Lampoon’s Vacation. I even called my husband Clark.
We don’t talk much about the American family these days; we’re more focused on the economy. But according to a new report from the Social Trends Institute, a non-profit, international research center that studies the effects of emerging social trends on society, the wealth of nations depends in large part on the health of the family. They’re two sides of the same coin.
The report provides several links between the economy and the nuclear family. Here are just a few: One, children raised in intact families are more likely to develop the social capital they need to become productive citizens. Two, married men work harder and earn more money than their unmarried peers. Three, the industry of household products from insurance to groceries are more likely to profit when families thrive. And four, if a booming economy is the goal–and let’s assume it is–reasonable fertility rates must be sustained.
The authors of the report, including W. Bradford Wilcox, associate professor and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, suggest that in order to preserve families and strengthen the economy, leaders should encourage policy that supports marriage and responsible parenthood.
Indeed they should. But don’t hold your breath–preserving the American family is not on our President’s radar. Why would it be? The traditional family (and by “traditional” I don’t mean Ward and June Cleaver; I mean two married parents with kids, one of whom takes on the bulk of the childrearing and the other who brings home the bulk of the income, regardless of gender) negates the need for a large-scale government. And if there’s one thing Obama and his supporters love, it’s a large-scale government. They believe it takes a village, not a family, to make the world go ’round.
But don’t confuse the left’s village with the kind of tight-knit communities America used to have, the ones where family and neighbors helped each other out. That was a village of a different sort, and it comprised what economists call social capital.
Social capital refers to neighborliness and civic engagement, such as volunteering and philanthropy, religious and school participation, and the like. It’s necessary for a number of reasons: growth of the GDP, lower levels of crime, educational attainment, public health, and marketplace production. (In other words, all the things government claims to offer.) In order for social capital to thrive, however, we must have strong families.
But we don’t, and here’s why. Big government competes with the traditional family, thus undermining social capital. The government wants your hard-earned paycheck so it can decide how your money should be spent.
Remember Joe the Plumber? We need to “spread the wealth around,” Obama told Mr. Wurzelbacher. He reiterated this message several weeks ago when he took a stab at successful business owners: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” he said. “Somebody else made that happen.”
In other words, your earnings aren’t really yours. They belong to a whole group of people. As if the business owner hasn’t helped to employ and empower people along the journey. As if he took something that didn’t belong to him.
This President’s class warfare is shameful. And it’s destroying the American family. As Charles Murray, author of the new book Coming Apart, notes in the Wall Street Journal, capitalism has become a bad word–an “accusation.” Yet capitalism “is the best thing that has ever happened to the material condition of the human race. Capitalism has lifted the world out of poverty because it gives people a chance to get rich by creating value and reaping the rewards.”
And without the chance to create value and reap rewards, there’s less incentive for a man to settle down with a wife and kids and work hard on their behalf. Which means the President has engaged in gender warfare as well, by putting a dagger in the institution of marriage. Simply put, big government replaces the nuclear family by providing for women and children in ways that men have historically done. When a man’s role is usurped, he has less incentive to marry.
Men are already retreating from marriage. According to the Pew Research Center, the share of men ages 18 to 34 who say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives has dropped six percentage points since 1997, from 35% to 29%. For women, the opposite has occurred: the share voicing this opinion rose from 28% to 37%.
The American family is disintegrating as we speak. This may worry you and me, but it doesn’t worry our President. Indeed, he has a new plan for the women of America.
We’ll cover that next time.
Read more opinions from Suzanne Venker.
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Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
A North Carolina Baptist pastor has issued an apology for a sermon in which he encouraged parents to hit children who exhibit homosexual behaviors, news sources are reporting.
According to CNN.com, the Rev. Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, was preaching an unscripted sermon the Sunday before the state was to consider a constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman.
“The second you see your son dropping that limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist,” CNN reports Harris said in the Sunday sermon. “Man up. Give him a good punch.” “You’re not going to act like that,” the pastor advised parents to tell their children. “You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.”
Wednesday, Harris issued an apology on the church’s website, saying, “I apologize to anyone I have unintentionally offended. I did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community. My intent was to communicate the truth of the Word of God concerning marriage. My words were not scripted. It is unfortunate I was not more careful and deliberate.”
Image: Church, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, March 26th, 2012
Giving new ammunition to spouses who quarrel about the division of daily child-care tasks, a new study out of the University of Virginia is asking whether women “like” such jobs more than men. The New York Times reports on the response from the 181 heterosexual college professors with children 2 or younger who were surveyed for the study:
On 16 out of 25 child-care tasks — like changing diapers, taking a child to the doctor or getting up in the middle of a night to attend to a child — women reported statistically significant higher levels of enjoyment than men. The only parenting issue that gave women less pleasure than it gave men was having to manage who does what for the child. Over all, women’s scores were 10 percent higher than men’s.
Is it really true that women end up shouldering more of the parenting burden simply because they like it more — or at least dislike it less? Steven Rhoads, a University of Virginia political-science professor and the study’s lead author, surmised that some women may have inflated their enjoyment scores because of feelings of guilt or cultural pressure. But he also said some research suggests that a woman’s parenting skills are deeply rooted in biology. Women with high levels of testosterone, for instance, often show less interest in babies, while a father’s testosterone levels are known to drop when a new baby arrives, ostensibly a biological mechanism to encourage bonding with the infant.
Image: Mother changing diaper, via Shutterstock.
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