After his success with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Spielberg had instead set out to make a smaller, more personal film. “E.T. was about the divorce of my parents, how I felt after my parents broke up,” Spielberg admitted. “[It was] the first movie I ever made for myself.” The idea for E.T began to form while the director was on location in Tunisia for Raiders. A lonely Spielberg started picturing something of an imaginary friend. “It was like when you were a kid and had grown out of dolls or teddy bears,” he recalled. “You just wanted a little voice in your mind to talk to. I began concocting this imaginary creature, partially from the guys who stepped out of the Mother Ship for ninety seconds in Close Encounters .” He shared the idea with Melissa Mathison, Harrison Ford’s screenwriter girlfriend who had already penned two family films The Black Stallion (1979) and The Escape Artist (1982). Together Spielberg and Mathison fleshed out the story.
Spielberg researched for his upcoming film “Lincoln” for over 12 years and it is partially inspired by his reconciliation with his father.
He was the father of a nation in need of repair and in a sense the movies I’ve made recently have reflected the positive relationship that my dad and I have enjoyed for 20-25 years.
Oh, and it should be noted that it was Spielberg’s mother that filed for divorce, after having an affair with one of her husband’s friends. And Steven blamed his mother, not his father, for the subsequent breakup of the family.
When Spielberg was 19, his parents got divorced after his mother fell in love with one of his father’s best friends. “It’s still a mystery to me, but even though my mother was like an older sister to me, I kind of put her up on a pedestal,” Spielberg said. “And my dad was much more terrestrial, much more grounded, much more salt of the earth. And for some reason, it was easier for me to blame him than it was to someone who I was already — exalted.
All of this serves to demonstrate once again how important marriage is for children.
A friend of mine recently pointed me to this page where in the author crafts an argument against the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman. His argument is based largely on biological anomalies which give rise to odd situations where if we consider the person to be male or female depending on what aspects of the male or female biological makeup we choose to measure by (ie. testosterone, estrogen, physical features) we might end up “mandating and legally sanctifying exactly the sort of same-sex marriages they’re intending to ban”.
First off, it needs to be pointed out that no one is required to marry or procreate. They may have the freedom to or not depending on their physical characteristics, but they are by no means forced to marry anyone.
Additionally, since genetic abnormalities are quite common (ie. cancer) I fail to see why offering medical treatment to resolve these conditions would be less preferential than redefining the institution of marriage.
As to government’s involvement. I would agree with government’s non-intervention and I would argue that any attempt at redefining commonly used words would constitute a major intervention. If you want to strengthen contract law to rectify situations like visiting a loved one in the hospital or prison then I would be all for that. But you don’t need to redefine a word in order to accomplish that end. Likewise it makes no sense to say that a group of people are deprived of a right because the definition of words functions in an exclusionary sense in order to convey meaning. In order words, if we, as a society, start monkeying around with our language such that marriage is no longer biologically bound, then what we would have accomplished is the destruction of language and constructive discourse.
We would not, however, have done anything to increase freedom or equality.
“We are living at a time where some people, as my daughter used to say, they want to test whether the milk is good before they buy the cow,” he said. “For some people that’s where their journeys are.
Why should we condone this “Try before you buy” mentality? I, for one, will vociferously fight this trend among my own children if nothing else than on the personal experience of what it almost did to my own marriage.
The only thing that saved us is something I desperately hope happens for the Royal newlyweds. A radical change in heart towards the creator under whose eyes their respective vows were undertaken.
Without that, they are in serious danger of walking down the same road as Prince William’s father and late biological mother.
You point out that there is nothing to stop homosexuals from “drawing up contracts” and calling that a marriage; but their legal position on many issues would be quite different from actually legally married couples – eg inheritance rights, being forced to testify against eachother, tax issues etc.
Here’s my response:
I would be all for discussing legislation that discusses specific changes like those. In fact, I think a big help in regards to taxes would be the adoption of a flat tax system (paper here).
I’d be all for allowing the creation of contracts wherein both parties voluntarily agree to enter into agreements which provide things like testimonial coverage, (tax free) inheritance guarantees, and guaranteed access to one another in crisis situations (ie hospitalization). However none of that necessitates that we redefine the fundamental institution of marriage nor that we create a rival institution like “civil unions”. All of that can and should be accomplished through strengthening existing private party agreements.
Do you hear that? I think I just heard the minds’ of my liberal friends being blown.
California bill SB48 is touted as another step in combatting discriminatory practices by teaching students about the contributions to humanity made by gays, lesbians, and transgendered persons.
“Most textbooks don’t include any information about (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) historical figures or their civil rights movement, which has great significance to both California and U.S. history,” the bill’s author, state Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said during a news conference Thursday.
“This selective censorship sends the wrong message to all young people, and especially to those who do not identify as straight,” said Leno, who is openly gay.
Leno, however, begs the question when it comes to teaching GLBT issues in an age appropriate manner. As child psychologist Miriam Grossman testifies:
Personally, I think this whole situation underscores the need for robust voucher programs to empower parents to opt their children out of things like this.
It needs to be pointed out that their attitude towards sex as a sterile, recreational activity unconnected with any biological consequences combined with their view of children as parasites are not unique. These are the predominant views of our society, pushed in all facets from politics to education to entertainment.
The future looks very bleak for any children produced and raised in the homes the people above will provide (when they choose to provide it, of course). One protester even had a sign “would you trust me with a child?”
What the above video shows is how it is socially acceptable, indeed fashionable, to spurn our biological design in pursuit of unbridled hedonism.
In late March, 2007, a spate of articles and news releases were released from Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron purporting to demonstrate that the life expectancy of homosexuals is 20 to 30 years lower than that of straights. Behind this flurry of activity was a poster session presented at the March, 2007 Eastern Psychological Association convention in Philadelphia.
In it, the often criticized methods of Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron are discussed. Specifically the objection given by Morten Frisch:
Since, as noted, age is a strong determinant of openness about homosexuality, the study groups of deceased homosexuals in Cameron and Cameronís report were severely skewed towards younger people. Consequently, the much younger average age at death of these openly homosexual people as compared with the average age at death in the unselected general population tells nothing about possible differences between life expectancies in gays and non-gays in general. All it reflects is the skewed age distribution towards younger people among those who are openly homosexual.
Paul Cameron responds with a couple of points:
it has been shown that homosexuals are more likely to respond to surveys
Further, in that study, analysis of the patterns of missing answers among respondents showed that those with homosexual interests were more, and not less, likely than those with only heterosexual interests to respond to questions about sexually non-conforming behavior.
no one, on either side of the issue,
knows for sure how often people deliberately lie when they respond to sex surveys, or how many individuals simply refuse to respond in order to hide their sexual preferences. We also donít know whether refusals of that particular sort are more common among the older. All we know is that several well-funded research teams have not found many differences along behavioral dimensions ó including items about sexuality between the first responders and those who eventually responded after repeated visits or call-backs.
the death of older homosexuals would be difficult to simply cover up. But even so, no one can know this with any certainty either.
It was partly because of the uncertainties in self-report that we decided to examine other kinds of data. Obviously, obituaries depend upon human reporting but are not ‘self-reports.’ To keep oneís past sexual behavior secret after death can be difficult unless no one else knows, presumably even oneís own partners. As Ben Franklin wisely said, ìthree can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead.î Again, neither Dr. Frisch nor anyone else knows whether in fact the older are disproportionately less often represented than the young among obituaries in gay newspapers.
the report also used data from public records
That is why it is of more than passing scientific interest that three rather different sources and kinds of data ó sex surveys, obituaries, death registries all indicate fairly similar declines in homosexual prevalence with age.
Its interesting to also note that Dr Frisch apparently mentioned “in an email that no more than 5% of Danish gays take advantage of the marriage laws there.”
In his response, Warren Throckmorton cites the following report
In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday. (Hogg et al, 1997, from the abstract)
There is a lot more in the paper, and I highly encourage anyone interested in engaging others in a rational discussion regarding homosexuality to read it. One thing to note, however, is that all sides agree “that there may some difference in life span”. The only difference seems to be that those who are sympathetic towards the homosexual agenda are unwilling to speculate on how much that difference is.
Ayn Rand is famous for arguing for a political stance wherein men were seen as sovereign beings. While this view has merits, one of its pitfalls comes when discussing man’s relationship to other men. It seems that any appeal to community is lampooned by her and her followers as “collectivist”. Rand centered her philosophy in the rationality of the mind. However, I believe that it is precisely the mind where we find the strongest reason we have to believe that man is made for community.
When I pressed one of Rand’s followers what reason we have for believing the mind to be an accurate source of true beliefs, I was told:
The reason I trust my mind is due to a long road of trail and error. Started as a baby with simple concept formation.
The process of trial and error is only valid once you have information and a mechanism for evaluating truth from falsehoods. Babies rely on external agents to provide them with information AND the ability to sort out truths from falsehoods.
For example, I jokingly told my kids that landsharks would get them if they didn’t stay in bed a while back. My daughter firmly denied their existence based on prior argumentation of there being no such thing as monsters. My son, however, has been convinced they exist. Both of them have also subsequently been exposed to “evidence” for landsharks in the form of a shark ride at a local park and a youtube clip from SNL (its pretty funny too). Now, how are they supposed to find out, without me or some other external agent telling them, that landsharks are, in fact, not real?
I would agree that a man’s mind is essential to his survival. But the mind alone does not produce information. Like logic, all the mind can do is process what is already in it.
If you maintain that the mind is merely a physical chunk of meat I would wager that your burden of explaining how true beliefs are formed even more difficult since, under such a view, the mind would merely be a slave to the stimuli in the environment around it. This would also further call into question the mind’s design (or lack thereof) of producing true beliefs for it’s owner.
In opposition to this, I would maintain that true beliefs require the intervention of intelligent agents external to ourselves. This condition indicates that man is not complete in and of himself but rather is dependent on others, on the community.
No man is complete in himself, and children are a prime example of this fact.
Here is an excellent video which I believe summarizes what the Bible teaches with regard to leadership in the Body of Christ:
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”