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Abby Moore

Opinion

The day my kid found hardcore porn on his iPhone

Abby Moore

I never thought it would happen to me.  I’m technologically savvy, hyper-vigilant about parental controls, and frequently check the search and browser histories of my kids’ electronic devices.  As a writer for LSN, I’m more aware than most people of the filth that’s out there and the harmful effects it can have on a developing brain (not to mention a developing soul).  So that’s why I was surprised and heartbroken the day I discovered my ten-year-old son had been watching hardcore pornography on his iPhone.

It was the first day of final exams.  At the bus stop that morning, my son suddenly tossed me his phone. “Hey, I forgot, I can’t have this at school during testing week,” he said.  “Can you go put it on the charger for me?” 

As I caught the device, I realized that it had been a couple of weeks since I had checked his searches.  With a busy senior in the house cramming for her AP exams and getting ready for prom, a fourth-grader frantically trying to bring up his Geography score after a failed state capitals test, and a kindergartener whose math homework consists of the sort of activities that eat up an hour of your night (Make a cutout of your foot.  Use it to measure every room in your house in “feet.” No, I did not make that up), it had simply slipped my mind. 

And I really felt I had no reason to worry – previous spot checks of his search history had turned up things like “what is the worst tasting drink in the world,” “why are farts so awesome,” and “giant ship from star trek into darkness.”  This is a boy who blushes at the mere mention of the girl he likes, and who I was pretty sure was in danger of fainting the first time she grabbed his hand to hold.  So, what I was expecting to find in his search history was a peek into the mind of an innocent and slightly geeky ten-year-old boy with an affinity for fart jokes.

What I found was a lot darker than that.  As soon as I brought up the history, my stomach sank.  The search terms told the story in stark, broken phrases – most of which I can’t even print here because they’re too explicit.   

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said, between gasping sobs.  “I wish I had never seen any of those things.  I can’t get them out of my head.  I want them out of my head.  I don’t know what to do.”

It all started innocently enough – he apparently searched for an “underwear mod for Minecraft,” presumably because he thought it would be hilarious to see Steve walking around in his underpants.  That seemingly innocuous search obviously brought up tangentially related results he wasn’t prepared to see, and his search terms quickly shifted in a more disturbing direction.  “Naked people.”  “Naked boys.”  “Naked men.”  “What is gay?”  The browser history was even worse – search terms like that naturally led him straight to the bowels of the internet – including a porn video that traumatized me just by reading the title.  I didn’t have the heart to watch it, but knowing my little boy probably had – I was shattered.

My heart broke for him as I realized what must have been going on in his innocent young mind.  It all started with a relatively innocent search, and his curiosity took him from there.  Unfortunately it took him to places he never wanted to go, and he was left wondering about his own sexuality just because he’d stumbled across some naked pictures on the internet.

When he got home, I sat him down and confronted him, gently, about what I’d found.  He instantly broke down in tears, heaving sobs of the kind I hadn’t seen him cry since he was small enough to climb up onto my lap for comfort.  At five feet-plus and 75 pounds, lap-sitting wasn’t an option, so I just gathered him into my arms and held him until he was calm enough to speak.  What he told me broke my heart all over again.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said, between gasping sobs.  “I wish I had never seen any of those things.  I can’t get them out of my head.  I want them out of my head.  I don’t know what to do.”

We talked for a long time.  I told him that what he had seen wasn’t normal, wasn’t real sexuality.  I explained, for the first time, in explicit but appropriate terms, exactly what sex is and what it is for, and that it’s something God wants us to save for marriage so that all the babies who come from sex will have moms and dads to love them and raise them.  I asked him if he thought he was gay.  He said he didn’t know.  I pointed out that all his crushes have been on girls, and that seemed to reassure him.  I told him it was normal to be curious about people’s bodies and about sex, but that if he ever has questions, he needs to ask me or his dad, not Siri or Google. 

He begged me not to tell his father – he was so sure he would be angry.  I promised him he wouldn’t be.  (My husband has had his own struggles with pornography in the past, and I knew he, of all people, would be sympathetic while also being able to convey just how damaging porn can be.  Later that evening, they went for a walk and had their own long talk.  It seemed to help.) 

I told him that he was absolutely not in trouble, but that I would be taking his phone away until I could figure out how to protect him from ever seeing those things again.

It turns out that in iOS7, you can block explicit searches, so I upgraded his software from iOS6 and activated the stricter parental controls.  (He has an iPhone 4S and hadn’t previously wanted to upgrade out of concerns about possible performance issues.  That hasn’t been a problem, FYI. iOS7 runs fine on the older device.)  I also installed a new browser on the phone that sends me daily reports of every site he’s visited, and double checked that his laptop computer’s safety controls were similarly up to snuff.  (The laptop, surprisingly, has not been a problem – it turns out it’s much easier to control what he can access there than it is on a phone.) 

Finally, I told my son that for at least a little while, I’d require him to be in the physical presence of a parent in order to use any internet-connected device, just so we can keep an eye on him and make sure he’s safe.  To my surprise, he was absolutely fine with that – he seemed comforted, even.

The last thing I did was hand him a copy of The Boy’s Body Book.  I explained that his body and feelings are about to start changing in big ways, and that the book would help him know what to expect.  I told him we could read it together, or he could read it on his own, but that I would always be available to answer any question he has about sex or his feelings, and I will always tell him the truth, and he’ll never be in trouble for asking.

It’s been a little over two months now, and all is well.  He’s gradually earned access back to his devices, although, I still require him to be in a public area while using them.  I doubt he’ll go looking again for naked people for a long, long time. 

That doesn’t mean I won’t keep constant vigilance, though.  I’ve learned my lesson. 

For a good introduction to keeping kids safe online, check out “How to Childproof the Internet” at PCWorld.

Note: Abby Moore is a pseudonym for a LifeSiteNews writer who wishes to protect her family's anonymity.



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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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News,

Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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