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CULTURE DIGEST: ‘A Life of Faith’ dolls serve as alternative to American Girl; reports of N.O. euthanasia investigated

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–As news reports indicate proceeds from bracelets connected with the popular American Girl dolls are going to support homosexual and abortion-rights causes, many parents are searching for alternatives for daughters who treasure the doll collections that come with life stories and multiple accessories.

A Life of Faith dolls, which are growing in popularity among Christians, provide role models that help girls imagine and experience a lifestyle of faith. This line of dolls features four main fictional characters: Elsie, Millie, Violet and Laylie, who are ordinary girls with extraordinary faith encountering inspiring adventures that make them intriguing heroines.

Similar to the American Girl dolls, A Life of Faith dolls emerge from different periods of American history and accompany books that chronicle their experiences and, in this case, testify to their devotion to Jesus.

In addition, A Life of Faith Clubs are being launched in churches, bookstores and neighborhoods across the nation in order to provide an environment for mentoring and discipling young girls, primarily ages 8-14.

“We believe parents are legitimately concerned because a brand they have trusted as wholesome has aligned with a group that supports abortion and lesbianism and all those things that parents see as harmful,” Sandi Shelton, president and publisher of Mission City Press, which makes the A Life of Faith dolls, told Baptist Press.

“What’s going on here is a battle for the hearts of children, and our company treasures the hearts of young girls,” she added. “We are all about helping girls love God and His Word because that is the only sure compass that there is in this world. Our line is designed to help mentor girls in their life of faith.”

For more information, visit www.alifeoffaith.com.

PROM CULTURE MARKED BY DECADENCE — A growing trend among students and their parents today is to arrange for the utmost indulgence to accompany the rite of passage known as the high school prom, and the hedonism had gotten so bad at one Long Island school that the principal decided to cancel the event altogether.

“It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity’s sake — in a word, financial decadence,” Kenneth Hoagland, principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, N.Y., wrote in a 2,000-word letter to parents this fall, according to the Associated Press.

“Each year it gets worse — becomes more exaggerated, more expensive, more emotionally traumatic,” he added. “We are withdrawing from the battle and allowing the parents full responsibility. [Kellenberg] is willing to sponsor a prom, but not an orgy.”

In addition to pre-prom cocktail parties, chartered party boats and thousand-dollar dresses, students at Kellenberg last year made a $10,000 down payment on a $20,000 rental in the Hamptons for a post-prom party before the school found out about it and forced a cancellation of the deal, AP said.

“A lot of people have lamented the growing consumption that surrounds the prom,” Amy Best, author of “Prom Night: Youth, Schools and Popular Culture,” told AP, adding that it is not uncommon for students to pay $1,000 on expensive dresses, tuxedo rentals, flowers, limousines and parties.

But parents, she said, are largely responsible for the lavishness because they are often willing to pay for anything their children demand.

“It is a huge misconception that the kids themselves are totally driving this,” Best said.

Hoagland said he has received feedback from around the nation supporting his decision.

“We’ve received a thousand or so phone calls or e-mails expressing support because the prom culture is sick,” he said.

The school is working with students on a compromise.

“They originally talked about moving the prom to the night before either graduation or graduation practice,” Robert Lawson, a student at the Roman Catholic high school, said on CBS, “because if you don’t show up to practice, you’re not allowed to walk, which I thought was understandable. We’d have our prom, the next day show up to practice.”

CORONER INVESTIGATES EUTHANASIA IN NEW ORLEANS — As New Orleans flooded and looters roamed the city and supplies ran out, desperate medical workers at Memorial Medical Center secretly discussed the option of purposely ending the lives of those patients struggling to survive.

About three hours after the idea was mentioned, Dr. Bryant King told CNN, two doctors and a hospital administrator gathered with patients in a triage area and the administrator asked if they wanted to join in prayer. Then one of the doctors revealed a handful of syringes.

“I don’t know what’s in the syringes. … The only thing I heard the physician say was, ‘I’m going to give you something to make you feel better,’” King said in a CNN report.

King chose to leave the room at that moment because he did not want to take part in what he believed was about to happen. He boarded a boat and left, CNN said, and now the Louisiana attorney general’s office is investigating allegations of euthanasia or “mercy killings.”

Forty-five patients died in the hospital, and the Orleans Parish coroner has attempted to determine the cause of death in each case but because of the deterioration of the bodies has had a difficult time determining the presence of lethal medications.

PASSION 06 RETURNS TO NASHVILLE — Thousands of college students worldwide are already registering for Passion 06, which is returning to the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tenn., for the second consecutive year with speakers including John Piper, Beth Moore and Louie Giglio and worship leaders Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and the David Crowder Band.

The collegiate event, slated for Jan. 2-5, promises to build on the success of Passion 05 when 11,000 students converged to worship God and be challenged toward a more vibrant daily walk with Him.

“Not only are we thrilled and humbled by the growing number of students making their way to join us in Nashville, we are excited about the possible impact of these four days on the collegiate culture as a whole,” Giglio, founder and director of the Passion conferences, said. “Millions of students are searching for a meaningful encounter with their Creator and we are praying Passion 06 becomes fuel for a generation that will amplify the name of Jesus to the world.”

Students are registering many times faster than last year and space is limited. Early registration ends Dec. 1, and more information is available at www.268generation.com.

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  • Erin Curry