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A twisted Web of morality

December 03, 2005

Are there less severe alternatives? Probably. The schools could provide families with Internet filtering software. They could require that students use the Internet only while under direct parental supervision. But however they address the problem, the Lakewood Jewish community must trust its parents to willingly comply. And that brings us to the heart of the issue. It's an issue of the heart.

Jesus said, "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." (Matthew 15:19). God answers this problem with a wonderful promise: "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it" (Jeremiah 31:33). People of faith can adopt all kinds of rules, but our behavior will not change unless there is a change in our hearts.

So let's seek God from the heart, and trust Him to direct us into proper daily conduct.

JON BARTA

Valley Baptist Church

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The Web is a tool -- a means -- by which information is passed along. It is like asking, what is the effect of a hammer on a wall. It depends on the person using it, the place of impact, type of nail and so on. The Web is a means by which good and bad information comes to us. The critical issue at hand is that the Web is vast, global and the "bad" is no longer a subjective issue. So its use by vulnerable children should be monitored.

The community in New Jersey is exercising its voice on matters of morality.

They should be commended for doing so whether we agree or disagree with the policy. As orthodox Jews, this community is saying that their standard is different and does not have a place for the trash that pollutes the mind of so many. This is where the religious community (not government) should be.

And ultimately it is the followers of that religion that will decide whether to belong. Hence, it is up to parents (again, not government) to accept or reject those guidelines as it pertains to their children.

For me, the opportunities afforded by the Internet are tremendous in terms of evangelization and communication. Every rose has thorns but with proper pruning and care, you can preserve and present the

beauty of the flower without damaging its integrity. As with all of life, the challenge for us is to use and not abuse the wonders that are around us.

FATHER VAZKEN MOVSESIAN

Armenian Church

Youth Ministries

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