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The fifty dollar baby and the smiling sisters

Photo of the baby that was offered to Tanner Wendell Stewart for $50 by a Bulgarian Roma Gypsy man (Credit: Tanner Wendell Stewart) I visited Sofia Bulgaria in 2012 and my life was changed forever. I was volunteering for The A21 Campaign, and on my last day I visited a small village to photograph some Roma Gypsy street portraits.

Upon entering the village I approached a group of people to take their photo. I snapped a group photo and I noticed one of the men was holding a baby. I asked him "May I photograph your baby? He's beautiful."

He said yes, so I took a picture. While I was shooting, the man said something in Bulgarian. Suddenly, my translator told me that it was time to go. I asked why and he responded that the man had just told me "If you think my baby is beautiful, you can buy him for fifty dollars." I thought it was a joke and looked up, smiling at the father. He wasn't smiling back. My translator was right, we needed to leave.

That moment changed my life forever.

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The Grammys: 3 ways Jesus would respond to 'Same Love'

Macklemore, Mary Lambert, Madonna, Ryan Lewis and Queen Latifah (L-R) perform 'Same Love' at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards held on January 26, 2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)The New York Times recently reported on anosognosia, which occurs when a person with a brain disability doesn't know he or she is sick.  People with anosognosia might drive with dementia and get lost, or walk after suffering a stroke.

Watching last Sunday's Grammy Awards, I witnessed moral anosognosia in prime time.  Rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who had already won the award for best new artist, appeared on a set made to look like a church sanctuary, complete with stained glass windows.  They performed their single, "Same Love," then rap star Queen Latifah announced that 33 couples would be "married" onstage.  Some were heterosexual, some were homosexual.

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Duck Dynasty: two things Phil Robertson did right

Phil Robertson of A&E's Duck Dynasty with his famous duck call (Credit: A&E via Facebook)Phil Robertson is one of America's pop icons.  It's an amazing story: college quarterback to barroom brawler to "Bible-thumping Christian" (as he calls himself) to duck call inventor to founder of a Dynasty.  His television program is the highest-rated cable reality show in history.  He and his family made Barbara Walters' "most fascinating people of 2013" list; you can't check out of a grocery store without passing their calendars and other paraphernalia.

Now Phil is in the news for a very different reason.  He gave an interview to GQ in which he expressed his views on homosexuality, sparking a backlash that has led to his "indefinite suspension" by A&E, the channel that airs his show.  The Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay-rights group in the U.S., called his statements "dangerous and revisionist."

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Janet's Blog

  • The gift of Easter

    The gift of Easter Last March, at the beginning of the Lenten season, I wrote a blog suggesting that my readers find ways to speak the name of Jesus to as many as possible, as a Lenten commitment.  Easter is about the great gift[…]


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