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Letters to the editor

August 08, 2005

Every blog has its day


To the editor:

For those of you who are looking at the title to this article and silently wondering if it is some sort of rare disease, allow me to clarify; blogging is the latest craze among teenagers, and the newest form of mass communication sweeping the Internet.

Blogs are Internet journals on Web sites like Livejournal.com or diary.com, that are kept by everyday teens like me. There really is no deeper meaning or explanation that I can provide - it is exactly what it sounds like. It is exactly like keeping a regular journal - except that anyone can read it.

I can already see people wondering what the point of these blogs is (for those tragic few of you who still think that fads need a point, I have one word for you: Furby). I mean, isn't the whole purpose behind having a journal to be able to talk about things you're not comfortable sharing with anyone else? Parents also worry about who exactly is reading these journals that their little darlings are writing in sure, it may be written by a 16-year-old, but that doesn't stop some 45-year-old dude named Carl from reading it.

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But before people start thinking up all the different ways that blogs are corrupting America's youth, first consider a few things. To start with, the much-disputed point of blogs isn't something I can really put into words, except to say that it is a cool feeling to be able to have a terrible day, go home and rant in your blog as much or as little as you want, and discover that 15 people have left you comments offering you advice, consolation or just wondering if you are OK.

Blogs are also the closest most of us will ever come to being published writers. Though the material on the journals is far from high literary prose, much of it does make for interesting reading.

Another thing people forget is that what you write in blogs is completely up to you. Maybe you want to be extremely detailed and talk about every single thing you've done the past two days, or maybe you want to be so vague that no one besides you has any idea what you're talking about. The point is, you can do that with a blog, you can do whatever you want. It is one of the few things teens have that accurately represent who they are as individuals.

Katelynn McGinley

Hagerstown




Prudes are ruining girls' lives


To the editor:

Eighteen months ago the Washington County Health Department, Department of Social Services and the Washington County School system met to discuss pregnancy in teenagers.

This epidemic in high schools is not new to any school in any state in the country. Where have we been for the last 60 years? Printed and media material about sex education for teenagers has been available for 60 years.

Why are people so afraid to talk and learn about sex education, reproduction and family life? This is something, besides breathing and eating, that every living soul in the universe comes in contact with all of its life. The expense of this guidance teacher is as important to the schools as gym, football, basketball, music, movies and libraries.

If we wait until a child is in high school, it's too late. Start early, in seventh grade.

Why are you in Hagerstown so behind? Such "prudes." Get with the modern, progressive world we live in and save our girls from "a life sentence" of a baby at age 14. It's the girls who pay dearly for this sexual urge we are all born with.

Patricia Shaw

Hagerstown




How to spot spiritual abuse


To the editor:

I want to alert people to the concepts of spiritual abuse. Anyone in a power position in church can fall into spiritual abuse patterns. Members tend to trust persons in authority positions in churches to be honest.

A spiritually abusive leader can misuse that trust and become very destructive. An entire church can become spiritually abusive if members were previously exposed to spiritual abuse environments and may view them as acceptable. Targeted people can lose their faith. This is one of the most destructive forms of abuse.

Spiritual abuse patterns include:

  • Overly controlling leadership.

  • Warnings to keep secret about observed abusive behaviors in leaders.

  • Refusal to discuss or to acknowledge that there are problems.

  • Strong criticism of individuals or their loved ones.

  • Accusing members of sin to target them for removal.

  • Shaming members to give up positions by accusing them of pride.

  • Leaders with professional titles accusing someone of having mental health problems in an attempt to disguise reactions to being spiritually abused.

  • Refusal to address abusive behavior by affirming that God is using it for the good of the abused person.



God designed the church to be a place to find love, healing and hope. He must deeply grieve over abusive churches. Counselors state it is essential to expose the problem in a way that aims to provide relief for the abused and help for the abuser.

Redemptive exposure can protect others from being targeted. Christ suffered and died because of abusive behaviors. He calls church members to have equal love for each other.

Sharon Womack

Hagerstown

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