In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 19, 2009 / 23 Teves 5769

Respect the earth by respecting your body

By Kathryn Lopez

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | According to a survey commissioned by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com, 20 percent of teenagers say they have sent nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves by e-mail or posted them on the Internet. Who knows how accurate that figure is?

Presumably most kids won't actually admit to an adult that they have engaged in such behavior. But a recent piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer caught my attention. "If I were to go through the cell phones in this building right now of 1,500 students, I would venture to say that half to two-thirds have indecent photos, either of themselves or somebody else in school," one high-school resource officer told the reporter. A principal at another school thought about half at hers had.

Kids are supposedly using the pictures as pickup lines. (We've come a long way from "Happy Days.") Unsurprisingly, the national study also revealed that 44 percent of teens say it's common for "sexually suggestive text messages" — sexting — "to get shared with people other than the intended recipient."

In the Enquirer article, one high-school senior who understands this is not a good thing says: "And when a guy gets a picture like that, he's not just going to keep it between him and the girl. He's going to take that and show every guy that he knows that knows that girl. And every time somebody looks at her, it's going to be a loss of respect for her." R-E-S-P-E-C-T has not penetrated the psyches of these teenagers — or the adults who are aware of what they're doing.

Worried about losing scholarships and being rejected from jobs after a potential employer does a Google search, "many kids have 'wised up,' taking photos of body parts, but not faces, to avoid detection," the Enquirer article explains.

Wising up, of course, involves much more than leaving your face out of the picture. One can't help but think of the whole debate over sex-ed again. When young people have no context for understanding their own sexuality other than "sex is something you are programmed to do, so adults will provide mechanisms to help prevent the consequences and eliminate those consequences should they occur," it's not surprising that dignity doesn't have a place in their worldview. If abstaining from the exploitation of their own sexuality is not understood to be a normal, responsible, self-respecting thing to do — and instead seen as only for prudes — it's a wonder there are any limits to their behavior at all.

Odds are, the public-high-school kids who are sexting are not anxiously awaiting an evaluation of their behavior from the pope, but that's exactly who made a point recently that is remarkably relevant to their lives. Pope Benedict XVI talked about respecting the "ecology of man" — our very selves: "The rain forests certainly deserve our protection, but man as creature indeed deserves no less."

It's about respecting the natural order of things. He recalled Pope Paul VI's prescient 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which warned that disrespect for our bodies, and manipulation of our sexuality, would lead down a slippery slope.

As the pope was saying this, I happened to glance at the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Britney Spears — no model of self-respect, sexual or otherwise — was featured. So was a teaser for "Green Sex Toys" — a story about sex-toy recycling programs.

Everybody wants to save the world, but what about man and woman? How about we stop toying around with this most beautiful gift we have, as precious as our lives?

While we get all apocalyptically worried about saving the earth, we give little thought to ourselves, beyond looking perfect. We could afford to put some more thought into the fundamentals of our existence. Love and marriage are a good building block. Figuring out this ecology is the stuff of religion, which is why we hear about it from Rome: Why are we here, and what are we here to do? But you don't necessarily have to follow the pope to get with the program.

Later in the Enquirer article, the director of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's Postponing Sexual Involvement program observes: "Teens are trying to figure out how to express their sexuality appropriately. They are learning, and they are learning from adults."

If adults engage in sexual acts with little regard for the context of love, marriage and family, or casually keep pornography around the house, there's going to be little respect inculcated in children for sexuality. There's going to be little reason for them not to exploit and manipulate it — instead of respecting themselves enough to honor their bodies and one another.

Comment by clicking here.


© 2009, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.