The Costs of Marijuana Legalization: A Colorado Snapshot

My children will grow up in a city with marijuana stores on what sometimes seems like every corner. Since Colorado legalized medical marijuana dispensaries back in 2006, a blooming industry in legal pot has blossomed—an industry that’s only continued to expand with the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014. Even though Colorado Springs has said […]

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Death to Comments: The Problem With the War on Flame Wars

Death to Comments: The Problem with the War on Flame Wars

The Internet, if you haven’t noticed, is something of a breeding ground for divisive opinions. If there is an opinion to be had and held in this world, you can be sure someone is having and holding it online… and defending it with the passion and zeal of a mama grizzly.  And that’s putting it […]

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Are Christian Films the New Roman Road? Woodlawn’s Jon Erwin Thinks So.

The Plugged In team has literally screened thousands of movies—and sometimes a moviemaker brings a film right to our very own campus. But when filmmaker Jon Erwin (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out) came to Focus on the Family back in July to screen his new film, Woodlawn, he made the decision to not show it—even […]

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Dealing With Death in the Digital Age

When I was growing up back in the 1980s, the whispering buzz among my peers would amp up when something particularly transgressive began to infiltrate our collective adolescent consciousness. Often it involved stories of friends who somehow managed to see R-rated movies that, theoretically, they shouldn’t have been seeing. But there was one franchise of […]

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‘This Christianity Thing Could Catch On’

“So it’s not just Kirk Cameron and Stephen Baldwin and the kid from Two and a Half Men.” With A-list stars backing Jesus, who knows? This Christianity thing could catch on.” Those two sentences ended an article that ran in the New York Post back in June. Film critic Kyle Smith had just finished highlighting […]

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Captive: When Being Taken Hostage Changes Your Life Spiritually

In 2005, Brian Nichols escaped from an Atlanta courthouse, broke into Ashley Smith’s apartment and took the woman hostage. He had nothing left to lose. But thanks to Smith and a copy of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life, he actually had everything to gain. And so, as it turned out, did Smith. The story—the […]

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P!nk Unleashed

P!nk got in touch with her inner Tipper Gore—the woman most responsible for getting parental advisory stickers slapped on music albums—after this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Even though the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) is hardly a stranger to racy, enveloping-pushing songs and videos herself, P!nk didn’t think much at all of this […]

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Miley, What’s Good?

Sunday’s MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards were, naturally, again all about Miley Cyrus. She hosted it and managed to dominate it as only a savvy, shock-centric self-promoter can. The online press spent yesterday talking about her outfits (their huge number and tiny size), her dizzying references to marijuana, her “accidental,” somehow-not-so-shocking-anymore wardrobe malfunction. But perhaps […]

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When Miley Met Hannah

We often talk about how pop culture—movies, music, video games, TV, the Internet—influences young people who consume it. But what about those who produce it? Especially if they’re quite young, how does being the at the epicenter of a pop-culture phenomenon influence them? One supernova star whose influence—for better, for worse—we’ve chronicled over the last […]

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Hang Up and … Walk?

By now, most of us know that texting while driving is a seriously bad idea. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving is actually six times more dangerous than drunk driving. But did you know that texting while walking can be deadly, too? And I’m not just talking about deadly to […]

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

The smartphone’s ascent from novelty to convenience to necessity has been swift. And as these handy little Dick Tracy-like devices have graduated to the latter category for so many of us, culture and commerce have evolved to accommodate our perceived need never to be far from our beloved phones. Even so, I was still caught […]

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