gillette

By Darryl Budge and Caleb Stephen, FamilyVoice Australia

Proctor and Gamble is under fire for a Gillette ad pushing men to shave their “toxic masculinity”. The ad depicts men getting into fights, standing in front of barbecue grills, and verbally harassing women. The ad, dubbed “We Believe” also heavily features news clips discussing the recent #MeToo movement.

The once popular razor blade maker has hemorrhaged market share in recent years.

A decade ago, Gillette controlled about 70 percent of the U.S. market. However, last year, its market share dropped to below 50 percent, according to Euromonitor.

In an effort to salvage its plunging popularity, Gillette has jumped on board the #MeToo movement. However it makes unproven assumptions about what is going wrong. It assumes men are present and are guiding the lives of young men who commit crimes and who act in a sexist manner.

Today’s men are being raised by the sexist, pro-exploitation porn culture of Hollywood, which, through #MeToo, has tried to virtue signal away its unchanged on-screen ethics.

Many people are finding the ad offensive, as it paints with too broad a brush.

Certainly, when men (or women) do wrong, such behaviour should be called out.

But while it shows some men responding positively to misbehaviour, the ad comes off as a smear against all men, because it blames masculinity itself as toxic rather than asking what selfish men are imitating.

The lack of present or interested fathers, plus male teachers vanishing from schools, produces ever increasing aimlessness of each new generation of men.

Society must also ask itself why so many children are being raised in fatherless households. That is a problem created by men and women – since “it takes two to tango”.

Wider society must re-assert the value of commitment, as it is not only razors which have become disposable. Marriage and family are now routinely trashed.

What does a real man do? God our Father tells those who are courageous enough to humbly listen.

Boys and men need courageous and sacrificial masculinity – what super hero cartoons are based on –  the selfless love of Jesus, God the Son, who gave up His life for a lost humanity. In the New Testament men are instructed to lay down their life for others, especially their wives.

It is not surprising that the ad was ridiculed by disgusted customers who say they will no longer buy Gillette products.

Men must return to the image God made us to be: like Jesus, full of grace and truth, compassion and conviction. We are to be meek with bold strength under self-control, He says in Matthew 5.

Only Jesus can produce that kind of strength in us. We need Him.

Toxic masculinity isn’t the problem. Lack of masculinity is.

Darryl Budge (B.A. Justice Studies) serves as FamilyVoice's Western Australia Director. He has written in Christian media for 14 years, helping God’s church reach out through real life stories.  He also leads the Communications Team developing publications and responses to issues that arise in the nation.

Caleb Stephen manages the Digital Communications department of FamilyVoice Australia. With nearly a decade of experience in grassroots political activism, undercover journalism and news editing, Caleb is passionate about enabling young Christians to be an unashamed voice for change.

young people1

By Caleb Stephen, FamilyVoice Australia

Each of us has a part to play in changing our culture.  Look inwards to discover yours.

Young people today often find themselves disorientated and confused by the shifting tides of popular opinion to the point where they feel any kind of involvement in positive cultural change is pointless.

The truth is that if you are a member of Generation Y or the “millennials” you exhibit tendencies that can be strong catalysts for changing the culture around you.

Put simply, you are the leaders of tomorrow.

A significant part of the calling of God’s people is to embrace our responsibility to influence culture. This is found in the Great Commission in Mark 16:15-18 to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.”

Part of sharing the message of Jesus’ love and grace to the world is promoting values that are synonymous with the cultural message that the Gospel encompasses.

As Christians, we are given the task of being “salt and light” to the world around us. We read of this in Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Values determine culture. Culture determines behaviour. Behaviour determines outcomes. The question is: What outcomes do we want to see in our society? Positive or negative? And will you be a part of influencing those outcomes?

Ours is a post-modern, post-truth world in which Christianity is pushed into the realms of irrelevance and silence. Christians are now the underdogs and the name of Christ is dragged through the mud daily in media, politics and pop culture.

But it doesn’t have to be all dark and dismal. No matter how young you are, you have a voice that you can use for good. Don’t be silent! Speak even if your voice shakes.

Even though it seems to be an overwhelming task, Christians can and must make a difference.

Some of the greatest things in this world have been accomplished by young men and women who rose to the occasion, took a leap of faith and courage and made a difference.

And it doesn’t matter how small the difference is. It only takes one small crack to compromise a dam wall with millions of litres of water behind it. It only takes one small spark to start a blazing fire. It only takes one small seed for a towering tree to grow.

Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can make a profound rippling difference. Never despise the value of the small.

It’s all about attitude

You can’t have truth without love, nor love without truth. The two work together hand in hand. Something that we are all guilty of (me included) is preaching at people instead of coming alongside people and lifting them up with grace. We are all broken – just in different ways. And we all are in desperate need of a loving, merciful God who wants us to have a deep, personal relationship with Him.

You are never going to change the world just by rocking “Jesus freak” T-shirts or going to church (as though that somehow makes you a better person than anyone else). The only way we will change this world is by being the hands and feet of Jesus!

When Jesus called us to be a witness for Him, He never intended for His message of light, love and hope to be confined to the four walls of a church. He had every intention of that message to be lived out in daily life, at coffee shops, at work, at uni, at the gym, in the car – with friends, family and strangers alike.

Harnessing the power of social media

We live in a unique time - never before in the history of Western civilisation has there been a greater opportunity for reaching out to millions of people around the globe.

We’ve all seen how a single Twitter hashtag has created awareness among millions about a social or political issue.

Jump on those social networks of yours. Get posting, tweeting and sharing personal thoughts and multimedia content that provoke deep thought and conversation.

Once those conversations get rolling, jump in and engage with more thoughts and questions that are catalysts for challenging well established opinions. Everyone enjoys a good worldview challenge.

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and be prepared to come back with truth-based opinions. Often this is the simplest way to change someone’s view on an issue they have simply adopted by default as opposed to weighing the evidence on all sides and coming to their own conclusion.

Take a collective approach

You don’t have to do this on your own.  In fact, get your youth group involved in culture-changing activities and actively seek opportunities to be involved in making a difference.

Subscribe to FamilyVoice emails to get the latest updates on what’s happening socially and politically. Network with other young people over coffee or lunch to discuss trending cultural trends. Take action collectively as a group. Pray together. Inspire each other.

MP's want to hear from their constituents and what they’re interested in – that’s their job! However, they can’t tackle social issues singlehandedly – what they really want is to know what they can personally do about it.

Write to them, or even ask for a meeting with them, and show them what you as young people think they should be focusing on. The more you collectively make your voice heard, the further your reach goes.

Leading by example

Change starts through the small things. We don’t need to be famous or powerful or rich in order to positively influence the culture that we live in. By being an example of excellence we can set the standard by which our generation looks up to rather than looks down upon.

If you want to make a powerful and lasting impact on the culture, you’ve got to do more than just consume it, critique it, condemn it, or copy it. The only way to truly change the culture is to create something radically new for it – something that will inspire people enough to reshape their world. 

Unleashing your inner creative

God has given each of us unique talents that we can use to serve Him.  Why not use these to further His plan.  Stop looking for someone else to be the change. Look in the mirror. Think about where your strengths lie.

Can you write? Are you a good organizer? Do you have design skills? Are you prepared to get those boots of yours on the ground and start assumption-blasting conversations wherever you go? You've only got to look on the inside to discover your inward hidden potential.

And to the person reading this who may be already doing the above (and perhaps even a whole lot more), I take my hat off to you. Thank you for making a difference. You are truly a part of shaping what tomorrow's world looks like. Keep up the fantastic work!

Caleb Stephen manages the Digital Communications department of FamilyVoice Australia. With nearly a decade of experience in grassroots political activism, undercover journalism and news editing, Caleb is passionate about enabling young Christians to be an unashamed voice for change.

Swiss Parliament2

By Darryl Budge

Swiss people risk three years jail for criticising sexual preferences.

The Swiss parliament voted 118 to 60 to punish people who speak or act in a discriminatory manner based on sexual orientation, but stopped short of criminalising criticism of gender identity. The law was passed in October and came into effect in December.

During the debate, some MPs questioned whether extending the list of crimes of discrimination had unintended consequences. "If you agree to this, it will never stop," said Senator Andrea Caroni of the centre-right Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Senator Caroni  rhetorically asked whether discrimination against disabled people, linguistic regions, nationalities or political opinion should also be included in the law.

Senator Caroni’s questions could now be criminal speech.

The move threatens Christians and other religious people with  jail sentences for espousing an orthodox belief about human sexuality.

This uncritical acceptance of victimhood status is what led to weaponised anti-discrimination law.

Peter Kurti of the Centre for Independent Studies has rightly pointed out that: “Anti-discrimination laws have been weaponised. Today, when we talk about discrimination against LGBTQI people, the underlying assumption is that they are weak, fragile, and vulnerable.”

Groups pushing transgender ideology have claimed that the decision to exclude gender identity “marginalises intersexual and transsexuals”.

"[The law] will only be complete when it condemns discrimination based on gender identity," said Alecs Recher, a lawyer with Transgender Network Switzerland (TGNS).

According to Swissinfo.ch, Swiss Auxiliary Bishop Marian Eleganti of Chur would be in legal trouble today if he stated again that 90%” of instances of sexual abuse committed by the American Catholic clergy “are directly linked to homosexual tendencies”.

The site also suggested that Florien Signer, party strategist for the Swiss Nationalist Party PNOS (Partei National Orientierter Schweizer), would be prosecuted if she restated that homosexuality “has degenerated into a quasi-religion.”

Austria, France and Denmark have also criminalised criticism of sexual orientation.

 

choice 42 abortion word euphemisms

Canadian pro-life group Choice42 has released another video in their popular “Just Saying” series. In their latest satirical video, the group takes aim at the abortion industry’s refusal to utter the word “abortion.”

In the video which has garnered just under 6,000 views at the time of writing, pink-wigged Choice42 executive director Laura Klassen says, “When you’re talking about [abortion], whatever you do, don’t straight up say what it is.”

Utilising costumes commonly seen at "pro-choice" rallies, Klassen advises, “Stick to more uplifting terms, such as ‘self-care,’ ‘healthcare,’ ‘repro rights,’ or my favorite, ‘choice.’ Brilliant, really, so simple and yet so void of anything truthful. Love it!”

Klassen concludes the video saying, “Don’t call it what it really is, because that’s just too much. Nobody wants to think about that. Come on!”

 

REFUGEES

By Charles Newington, FamilyVoice Australia National Director

A serious infection that is common globally is now starting to manifest in Australia. It accounts for the death of 250 people every month and the suffering of 215 million people globally last year. However, the mainstream media and most political leaders don’t think it is important enough to report or comment on.

Occasionally something will appear like the BBC’s report recently that the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered a review into the plight of persecuted Christians around the world and how much help they get from the UK.

The review, led by the Bishop of Truro, will look at government efforts to help some of the 215 million Christians who faced discrimination and violence last year, according to the UK Foreign Office.

Foreign Office officials noted that violence against Christians is rising dramatically and Mr Hunt said the UK "must do more". "Britain has long championed international religious freedom," he said. It may seem un-Christian to restate his comment as it sounds in our ears: “Britain has long (ago) championed international religious freedom (but not for a while as it creates difficulties with some trading partners and in marginal electorates.)”

Mr Hunt also made this helpful observation: "So often, the persecution of Christians is a telling early warning sign of the persecution of every minority."

The UK Foreign Minister describes the growing violence against Christians as the canary in the coal mine to warn that people other than Christians may soon be targeted. It may seem an un-Christian inference again but it sounds like Christians suffering is unfortunate but not as politically important as the suffering of other minorities.

The victimisation of the Rohingas, Yazidis, Ahmadis, Gypsies, Jews, Tibetans, Uighurs and others is totally unacceptable. It seems that the world has stopped listening for the canaries. In all the nations implicated in the suffering of the minorities listed above they have been beating up on canaries for some time with hardly any international media or political concern.

So often the ongoing abuse of millions only gets attention when one individual suffers in a headline worthy manner. In this case the UK Foreign Office intervention came after the outcry over the treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who faced death threats after being acquitted of blasphemy in Pakistan.

Ms Bibi spent eight years on death row until her conviction was reversed by Pakistan's Supreme Court earlier this year. Large crowds took to the streets to protest against the court's decision, as her husband pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada, saying the family were in danger.

The BBC article mentioned that UK Prime Minister Theresa May defended herself in Parliament after being asked whether she had intervened to stop the UK government offering asylum. Mrs May told Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith he "shouldn't necessarily believe everything he reads in the papers", adding "the absolute prime concern" was the "safety and security" of Asia Bibi and her family.

We are to read between the lines that the UK and other governments in the Free World were having private conversations in order to minimize the potential for Islamic or other repressive government reprisals. It’s the script from yet another monster movie coming to a theatre near you – try and rescue the maiden but whatever you do, don’t wake the monster.   

Christians are also being targeted in other parts of the world. The BBC also reported that in China there has been a recent surge of police action against churches, raising concern that the government is getting tougher on unsanctioned Christian activity. The Chinese government insists that Christians in China register and submit to the restrictions of the State.

The list of repressive governments is long - it has to be in order to make the daily lives of 215 million people unbearable by Australian standards. They burn or destroy church buildings and resources, arrest and imprison Christian leaders, deny Christians equal opportunity in the workplace and intimidate them into silence and subservience.  But the Australian public must be very attentive if it wants to catch a glimpse of any reference in our media or Hansard.

If this seems ‘victimesque’, why then is the ALP so concerned to make sure that the Australian refugee policy shows no favour to the most persecuted minorities (Christians) in the Middle East?  And why is there such a beat up about the as yet unproven injustice of Christian schools against students who identify as gay?

I see another canary getting wobbly on its perch.

Of course in today’s marketplace of social and political ideas, religious freedom has been discounted. The big ticket items are gender and sexual preference. But that’s obvious to everyone except the far right wing of the Christian movement – who it is hoped will stop poking the bear and accept that they are second class citizens now.

If only we hadn’t burnt all the (older) history books that have so many examples of how tyranny begins with what seems like justice. Surely our national educators were not deliberately wiping the national memory clean in order to scrawl misspelt revisions on the farmyard wall?  With a voice like honey we are told that there is no need for either the historical or empirical facts. Australia is evolving into a more tolerant, equal, inclusive and diverse society - soon to be free of reactionary attitudes like religious freedom (for Christians…)   

Political correctness has seeped into every aspect of life. Everything is valued in terms of its politically correct currency – even the suffering of human beings.  Apparently the suffering of some people is much more importance than the suffering of others. Despite the massive and endemic abuse of Christians globally, attempts to deny them freedom of religion in our country raises very little protest. In our own national conversation about religious freedom Christianity is being characterised as a flock of vultures and not a canary in a coal mine.

The canary analogy is very pertinent however, because the bird sings not just for itself… Selah.

Reference: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46682411