Many politicians do not want women having an abortion with “informed consent.” As a counselor who constantly lets clients know what to expect from therapy, I find this quite alarming. This is treating a woman with great disrespect and is not ethical. This issue has come up in Virginia where Republican lawmakers rewrote a bill to mandate that women have regular noninvasive abdominal ultrasounds before an abortion. Originally the bill called for an invasive procedure, a “transvaginal ultrasound,” but the Governor said that he wanted to change the terms of his support for this bill because he said he did not realize that the law would require an invasive procedure (the transvaginal ultrasound). Sadly, Democratic lawmakers were not even satisfied with the regular noninvasive procedure. Shouldn’t a woman ready to permit the removal of her baby from her womb have to look the child in the eye first before deciding? However the law doesn’t require a woman even to listen to the heartbeat. The law does say the woman has an “opportunity” to see exactly what she is doing. The crux of the problem is that people do not want to take responsibility for what they are actually doing. Why is it wrong to “upset” a woman when the life of an innocent child hangs in the balance? No one is taking away a woman’s right to end the life of her child. The bill in Virginia simply asked a woman to make “informed consent” meaningful by facing the truth. After listening to many stories from women who have had abortions, I have noticed a pattern of most abortions being knee-jerk reactions and hence an impulsive decision where the consequences are given little or no thought. Often the mother faces pressure from a boyfriend who is more than willing to have sex with her but has little desire for fatherhood. Women suffer emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually for years and even decades after an abortion. Had the decision been rationally formulated via informed consent there would be much less suffering amongst women. So many pregnant women just get scared and want to make the whole situation just go away. Abortion would appear to be the perfect antidote. When one is fearful one does not make rational or reasonable decisions. Those decisions are driven by emotions. A woman is not doing something noble by sacrificing her baby for some vague cause. She will become another victim only this time the truth will be very painful to face. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
The first path is “Build Solid Foundations.” To live is to relate and there really is no other alternative. From the moment of birth to the moment of death, a person deals with people in all sorts of relationships. No one cuts their own umbilical cord at birth and no one closes their own casket at death so we are dependent on others. Babies, for example, cannot survive even a few hours without the care and nurturance of other people. We are wired for relationships and have a natural drive for connection with others. Each of us has an inborn desire to reach out toward someone else. The experience of reaching out and connecting with others is what ultimately makes us human. No man or woman is an island. When we relate to others we develop and discover ourselves. Being human is a matter of how we relate and share ourselves with others. We need to love and feel loved. This does not mean interacting superficially. It means getting to know other people on deeper levels and building meaningful, lasting relationships. “Building Solid Foundations” means focusing on the perceptions, decisions, values, and actions that support and strengthen caring relationships over the long term. As an adult we are much more autonomous (able to act independently) than when we were younger. An individual can function on their own, live alone, work alone, and even play alone. But in spite of this so-called “adult” autonomy, there is a craving for a relatedness to others. There is a desire to connect with someone who will be a lifetime partner-someone who will be there through the ups and downs, share your dreams, who will give you a sense of meaning, and perhaps the person who will share the gift of parenthood during the child-rearing years. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, and President Obama assert that if one is against abortion, then one should be in favor of widespread distribution of contraceptives. On the surface there even seems to be a certain logic to this position. However the experience of over the last 40 years shows quite the opposite. There has been widespread availability of contraception and this has yielded more than one million abortions annually, one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world for the United States, and epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases. On the surface, contraception might have also been seen as a help to married couples who were overwhelmed and stressed out with parental and work responsibilities. It could also be seen as a panacea to combat the fear of overpopulation. However what was not seen was what happens when one separates the life-giving and love-giving portions of human sexuality. Both need to be present not only to have a strong relationship but one that fosters and promotes life in a family setting. We are called to love people and use things. Unfortunately contraceptives promote quite the opposite, which is using another person and loving what we think things can do for us. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Today (Monday, April 9th) is the day after Easter Sunday and thus it is the first day of creation for all Christians (and really even those who are indifferent or struggle with belief). We need to ask ourselves whether we have let things “soil our hearts.” The prophet Ezekiel (36:26) notes, “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you a natural heart.” Even though we have just passed through a time of spiritual renewal within the Church season typically referred to as Lent, we need to examine our hearts and be aware if we have become too preoccupied with ourselves, filled with concerns and complications. We need to beg God for a new heart because if we give a little, God will give a lot! Matthew 6:21 states, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” So we ask for a new heart by imploring, “A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm 51:12. Things that typically soil our hearts include resentment, anger, lust, comfort seeking, sluggishness, a critical spirit, and arrogance. This coming Sunday, April 15th is Divine Mercy Sunday and this time of year continues to be a “re-examination” of what holds us back from possessing that “clean heart.” Divine Mercy Sunday is a day for even the most hardened of hearts. The grace of God’s mercy is for all people and since we are all sinners and bear personal responsibility for our faults and failures, what better time to return to Church and ask for God’s unending gift of mercy and forgiveness. Christ’s first words in the gospel of Mark (1:15) are simply, “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
With the opening of the movie, “The Hunger Games”, we all have a chance to learn a new word, dystopia or dystopian. The word means a society characterized by human misery, such as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. There is nothing subtle about “The Hunger Games” though there are redeeming human virtues displayed throughout such as justice, fortitude, temperance, and prudence. These four virtues are commonly referred to as the “cardinal” virtues and serve as the hinges for all of the other virtues that come to mind such as patience.
A much better movie and perhaps more disturbing because it rings so true is an adaptation of a PD James novel written in 1992 called, “The Children of Men.” This 2006 movie is set in England and centers on the results of mass infertility, where the women can no longer conceive a child. However in the midst of a steadily declining population in the United Kingdom is a group of resisters who do not share the disillusionment of the masses of people who have lost hope. Among this group is a woman who is found to be capable of conceiving and giving birth to a child who in essence will save mankind. Somewhere I think we have heard this story before. Check out the book and the movie and tell your friends to ignore the prophets of gloom and doom. All is well and life is worth living! Check out Natural Family Planning (NFP). If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
According to a study done by “Scientific American” birth control pills have structural effects on regions of the brain that govern higher-order cognitive activities and the pill seems to adversely affect a woman’s ability to choose the most biologically and emotionally compatible mate. It seems reasonable to suspect that anabolic steroids would do the same with a man’s ability to choose the most compatible mate.
Both anabolic steroids and birth control pills may be taken for legitimate medical reasons including helping with hormonal imbalances. Both are not being used for truly medicinal purposes in that they have little or nothing to do with alleviating or curing disease. Both are being used to force the human body to do something it was not designed to do. The reward for using anabolic steroids is fame and fortune. For birth control pills the supposed “reward” is not having a baby. What is dramatically different about anabolic steroids and birth control pills is our reaction to them as a society.
With regard to anabolic steroids society has clearly come to the conclusion that steps should be taken to keep individuals from using them in ways that are truly not medicinal. But in the case of birth control pills society has gone exactly in the opposite direction. As a society we try to ensure that everyone has easy access to birth control pills, even to have them paid for by insurance. Many would like them available over-the-counter. It has even gotten to the point that the president of the US is mandating that health insurance must cover the pill free of charge and violate the First Amendment in the process. So why do we have such polar opposite views of these two types of “steroids” in our society? If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Anabolic steroids pose many documented and significant risks to an individual’s life and health. This can include changes in the way the brain functions, a weakening of the immune system, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, increased aggression (so called “roid-rage”), heart enlargement, breast enlargement (in men), breast reduction (in women), heart attacks, stroke, sexual dysfunction, renal failure, and possible liver cancer. For those who take anabolic steroids it would seem that the natural human instinct for self-preservation is overwhelmed by the promise or reward of potential wealth and fame. For those individuals the potential reward is immediate and concrete while any risks are perceived to be in the distant future and thus, vague.
Within the pharmaceutical industry there is another controversy that at first glance may seem entirely different: the birth control pill. But if fact, anabolic steroids and birth control pills share a great deal in common. Both are “steroids.” Anabolic steroids are the synthetic version of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Birth control pills are the synthetic version of the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Both involve significant risk to life and health.
Birth control pills cause decreased libido, even after a women stops using it, and can cause mood changes, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, heart disease and heart attacks. According to a study published in the “Journal of Sexual Medicine”, the pill may have adverse “long-term, sexual, metabolic and mental-health consequences.” The birth control pill is listed as a “Group 1 Carcinogen” alongside of asbestos, tobacco and formaldehyde by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society! Birth control pills are associated with a significant risk of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer called “triple negative,” increased rates of breast cancer in general and increased rates of liver and cervical cancer in general. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.