Guest Post: Is Spanking Child Abuse?

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Upset toddler boy

It seems like, more and more, the use of spanking as a form of child discipline is being questioned by parents. Focus on the Family recently had an opportunity to address the issue in TIME Ideas. Dr. Jared Pingleton, the director for our counseling department, wrote the piece. –JD

Spanking Can Be an Appropriate Form of Child Discipline

NFL running back Adrian Peterson’s recent arrest for allegedly abusing his 4-year-old son has once again sparked the debate over whether spanking is an appropriate form of discipline.

University Christian Clubs Not Allowed to Require Leaders to be Christian

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Female university grad

It’s a disturbing trend taking place on university campuses around the nation. Thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, state universities are now allowed to restrict “belief organizations from requiring belief.”

The way this is playing out in real life is that Christian clubs are no longer allowed to require their members and leaders to be Christian.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having the club, doesn’t it?

And yet, in the name of inclusiveness, some state universities (like the California State University system) are choosing to impose this nonsensical restriction, and private schools like Vanderbilt University are following suit.

Guest Blog: Hollywood Gets It Right Sometimes, Like Right Now

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Two dolphins

Today’s post comes courtesy of Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus’ Plugged In department. -JD

I’ve been accused of seeing the glass half empty when it comes to today’s movie releases. For example, during a recent meeting, a colleague who helps with Pluggedin.com shared the reaction of a potential advertiser to my rating a film 4.5 out of five for family friendliness: “Really?!Bob never gives a film that high of a score!”

Although far from the truth, I laughed along with the rest of the folks in the room who enjoyed the punchline.

Ray Rice, Domestic Abuse and the Quest for a Chivalrous Society

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Crying Angel

The release and indefinite suspension earlier this week of (former) Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice has stirred up a robust discussion about domestic violence.

A videotape of the 27-year-old running back punching his then-fiancee, Janay, inside an Atlantic City casino hotel elevator surfaced on Monday. The incident occurred in March, and was reported to both NFL and team officials. Rice pleaded not guilty to third-degree aggravated assault and agreed to enter a rehabilitation program and get counseling.

Remembering Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy

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Truett Cathy

By now you likely know that S. Truett Cathy, the beloved founder of the popular Chick-fil-A restaurants, died this morning. He was 93.

With more than 1,800 stores and $5 billion in annual sales, Truett will be remembered by many as an entrepreneurial genius, a fast-food pioneer and an astute man of business. His rags-to-riches story should inspire anyone. Opening a diner in Hapeville, Georgia, in 1946, Mr. Cathy launched the now iconic brand on a shoestring.

Are Youth Sports Coddling Our Kids?

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Two children watching a sports practice

You’ve likely seen the nostalgia-laced posts comparing life as a kid “back then” to life today, from school to the playground and everywhere in between.

For example, a recent list contrasted a 1970s school lunch with the typical fare of a child in 2014:

1970s: “Spread yellow mustard on bread. Slap baloney on bread. Unwrap American cheese slices and put on top of baloney. Put top on sandwich and wrap sandwich in tin foil or wax paper.

Christian Women and Porn

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Black & white photo of a woman reading a book

Does it surprise you that, in a recent poll, Christian women voted Fifty Shades of Grey to be their favorite book of the year?

In some ways, we shouldn’t be shocked, after all, we have an Enemy who is determined to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). Because his desires are rooted in his hatred for the image of God, he attacks our most intimate and meaningful relationships with fierce intensity. After all, the union of husband and wife potentially produces more human life created in God’s image.

Of Girls and Boys and Baseball

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Mo'ne Davis on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Like many of you, I’ve been fascinated this past week by the rise of Little Leaguer Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old female pitcher for the Taney Dragons of Philadelphia. At 5-foot-4 inches, the eighth-grader became the first girl to ever throw a shutout in the Little League World Series.

For her accomplishment, she was also featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, another first for any Little League player.

Pitching last night, though, Mo’ne proved mortal.

Guest Post: Have You Heard About the “Fire Challenge”?

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Teen boys walking while silhouetted by sunset

As I was driving home from work the other day, I heard a disturbing news story on the radio that instantly grabbed my attention.

A new and life-threatening social-media trend has gone viral among teens.

It’s called the “fire challenge.”

In short, teens are daring one another to use flammable liquids to set themselves on fire, quickly douse the flames and then post a video of the entire incident on YouTube or Facebook.

As this story reports, the trend has become so popular that it has resulted in tens of thousands of horrifying “fire challenge” videos appearing online—in addition to emergency room visits across the country.

Could Robin Williams’ Faith Have Prevented His Suicide?

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Comedian and actor Robin Williams performs at the 2008 USO World Gala

The death of comedian Robin Williams has reignited something of a nationwide conversation about suicide and mental health. After all, most know someone whose life has been touched or severely impacted by depression. My own wife, Jean, lost a brother to suicide and Jean herself has shared that she struggled with bouts of depression earlier in our marriage.

Here at Focus on the Family our counselors talk with severely depressed people every day. In fact, suicide-related calls have skyrocketed in the past few years.