John Jalsevac

Pro-abort mom on IUD shocked to find out she’s 6-months pregnant: what happens next is amazing…

John Jalsevac

July 5, 2013 ( - The wildly feminist publication xoJane has published a remarkable story that, for all the pro-abortion views of its author, ultimately functions as an amazingly powerful argument in favor of the pro-life cause (though I'm sure the author would be appalled at the suggestion).

Caitlyn Beckner writes about how several months after her wedding she took a pregnancy test, fully expecting a negative result, since she was on the nearly (or so the manufacturer claims) “fail proof” method of birth control – the Mirena IUD. Instead, the test came back positive.

At this point, Beckner writes, she and her husband had myriad reasons for why it was the wrong time to have a baby: She had just started a new job, she and her husband only had one car and she rode her bike to work, there was the possibility of birth defects with a pregnancy while on the IUD, etc., etc. 

Accordingly, when Beckner went in to her ObGyn’s office for an ultrasound, she told the technician that she was considering terminating the pregnancy. The technician turned the screen away and began the ultrasound. 

“Then,” writes Beckner, “she chirped, ‘Well, you’re about 24 weeks along, dear, so it’s too late to terminate,’ as she swiveled the ultrasound screen toward me.” 

“I let out some sort of squawk. I saw a baby hand on the screen. I gasped that I felt dizzy,” she says. “Then I passed out on the fu--ing table.” 

But here’s the best part: When Beckner left the office she called her husband and told him (using some rather choice language) that they were having the baby. But when she got home, he met her there, “greeting me in our apartment complex with an ear-to-ear grin and tears of happiness streaming down his face.” 

That’s the first amazing thing. 

The second amazing thing is that despite the fact that Beckner had every intention of aborting her child, she confesses that she now loves her son so much “that sometimes I feel like my heart can’t hold it all in.”

Yes. Everything that she envisioned about an “independent life” with her husband has been turned upside down by the arrival of her son. And yet, she says:  “I love my life. I am happy. My son is an amazing little creature and I take great joy in watching him grow a little more and learn a little more every day.” 

Abortion activists oppose just about any restrictions at all on abortion, alleging that making abortion more difficult to obtain will lead to any variety of horrible consequences: Women will be killed in droves by brutal back-alley abortionists, or will be “forced” to give birth a baby they don’t want, won’t love, and that will ruin their marriages and their careers, etc. 

Pro-life activists point out in turn that statistics about back-alley abortions before abortion legalization were wildly inflated to the point of being made up out of the top of the heads of leaders in the abortion movement (as they have candidly admitted).  Instead, they say, the more likely result of restricting abortion is simply that more men and women will be spared the heartache and suffering that follows abortion, and will be given the chance to experience the joy of meeting and falling in love with their child.

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The fact is, legal abortion poisons the water from the get-go, silently spreading its nefarious influence through the whole experience of pregnancy and parenthood. From the first it conditions parents to view the unborn child as an antagonist, rather than a gift: as an inconvenience only to be welcomed when all the stars are properly aligned, when circumstances meet all of their subjective, and too-often arbitrary standards. It conditions them to respond to news of pregnancy not with hope, but with fear and with agonizing, impossible-to-answer questions about whether the “time is right" and what "choice" to make, despite the fact that the time for choosing has long since passed.

Legal abortion assumes the worst of people. It assumes that women are not strong enough to adapt to the unexpected. It assumes that men are not strong enough to support their partners. And it assumes that they believe murder is an acceptable means to escape from circumstances and their responsibilities. 

On the other hand, when the law restricts abortion and helps provide pregnant women with the support they need to have their babies, it is assuming the best of them. It is assuming that men and women have the strength to welcome and learn to love and provide for their child, even when everything is not exactly as they planned. 

Restricting abortion actually frees men and women from having to make a choice that no human being has the right to, or should ever have to make: the false "choice" of whether an innocent human being should be allowed to live or not, so that we may live as we like. Legal abortion enslaves us to our fears: our fears that we do not have enough love, that the time is not right, that we are not sufficiently "prepared" (whatever exactly that means)...all the uncertainties of the future. Restricting abortion, on the other hand, frees us to rise to a higher standard of love, to be challenged by our circumstances, and to meet them.

Yes, there are some parents who will squander this opportunity. They will choose not to love, even in the face of innocence. But I think that experience shows that they will be a minority, that the heart that is not softened by the face of a newborn child is in the minority. And meanwhile, the vast majority of men and women will be spared the heartache that comes of having chosen death for another human being out of vain fear, or because society told them it was the "reasonable" thing to do. And they will be given the same opportunity that, thanks to abortion laws that prevented her from killing her child, Caitlyn Beckner was given: the opportunity to embrace her child, and to fall in love, to be stretched outside the too-comfortable box of her own plans and careful calculations, and to find the unexpected happiness that came from this experience.

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As I write, the headlines and my various news feeds are filled with images of some of the most loathsome barbarities we have seen since the end of World War II.


Pope Benedict was right about Islam at Regensburg. The world owes him an apology.

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

As I write, the headlines and my various news feeds are filled with images of some of the most loathsome barbarities we have seen since the end of World War II. The horrific images invading our internet space from Syria and (the country formerly known as) Iraq: Mass murders, crucifixions, beheadings – even of tiny children – torture, and systematic gang rapes; women and girls abducted en masse and sold into slavery; thousands chased out of their homes in terror, allowed to carry nothing with them; homes, ancient churches, monasteries and shrines looted and burned…

Beyond horrific, the images and the news they depict are bizarre and surreal, as though the violent chaos of the 7th century had burst insanely into a quiet Midwestern suburb. We are being shown, in graphic detail on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Google, some hint of what the Islamic conquest of those ancient Christian lands we now call the Middle East must have looked like. We are reminded now of the long centuries of darkness, of misery and oppression of non-Muslim indigenous populations by their Islamic overlords, that spurred Christendom to attempt their rescue in the Crusades.

We are close today to the 8th anniversary, September 12th, of the address given by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg in 2006, in which he quoted a long-dead Christian emperor who was facing similar reports. About a week ago, an editorial writer for the Catholic Italian newspaper Il Foglio, Camillo Langone, wrote that the world owed Pope Benedict – and Emperor Paleologus – an apology over their reaction to that speech. 

“Today, when the news from ex-Iraq is once more making history, and is showing to anyone who has eyes to see what the Koran translated into action truly is, they need to apologize to both of you.” But, Langone said, with obvious disgust, the modern secularized European “won’t do it”. Such a man, he wrote, “doesn’t believe in sacred texts…doesn’t believe in the Gospel.”

“For a European to believe that someone believes in religion is impossible… One who is no longer able to believe in God is not even capable of believing in reality, [and] does not even recognize a sword when it is pressing into his neck.”

Returning to that address with our current more graphic knowledge, it is hard to imagine a more mild response to Islamic extremism. Pope Benedict spoke about a discussion, a dialogue, “carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus” on the subject of Islam, the threat of which, in the form of the Ottoman Empire, was forcefully before him.

It is recorded that the Emperor, whom Pope Benedict described as “an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam,” asked, “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

The pope noted that the comment was recorded sometime “during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402.” The pope also noted that the Emperor spoke with “startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable.” But it is obvious that the emperor was also a man in a position to speak from personal experience.  

Since his talk, Pope Benedict has heard the constant accusations, endlessly repeated by the western press, that his “offensive” remarks, his “blunder” about Islam, caused the violence that followed.

But what did he say? He called quietly for a return to the supremacy of reason in religious discourse, and he politely asked Muslims to abjure violence.

The smug western secular media, busy with their attacks on one of their favorite targets, failed to quote the rest of the paragraph. But there can be found the thesis not only of Pope Benedict’s lecture, but of Christianity’s real response to both the uncontrolled violence of Islamism and to our own intellectually impoverished pleasure-obsessed libertinism: reason and faith, “fides et ratio” and their harmonious collaboration to create a moral and just civil order.

“The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul,” Pope Benedict said.

How can this be happening in a “globalized” world? What has happened to our “global village”? Hasn’t modernity, with all its comforts and distractions, friendly, western secular Coca Cola imperialism, succeeded in civilizing everyone and taming the whole world?

He quoted Paleologus: “God…is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...”

Given the images burning like acid into our minds now, how mild, how utterly calm and reasonable do the words now seem. And how plainly wicked the demands that he retract and apologize because of the “offence” they had caused Muslims: how feigned and deceitful, how self-serving the manufactured “outrage”.

When we can work up the nerve to look at these images coming from the new Islamic State, the new “Caliphate”, we are stunned and overwhelmed, and wonder if indeed this could possibly be happening in the age of near global market saturation of western consumables. How can this be happening in a “globalized” world? What has happened to our “global village”? Hasn’t modernity, with all its comforts and distractions, friendly, western secular Coca Cola imperialism, succeeded in civilizing everyone and taming the whole world?

One photo stands out this week, of a boy, about eight years old, reported to be the young son of one of the “Islamic State” terrorists, dressed in a blue Polo For Kids t-shirt, plaid checked summer trousers, what look like Birkenstocks and baseball cap, proudly holding up a decapitated head. Heads must be heavy, since the little boy needs two hands to hold it up by the hair. The Sydney Morning Herald, that carried the photo, with the boy’s face pixeled out, ran the caption, “A boy believed to be Australian Khaled Sharrouf’s son holds the decapitated head of a soldier.  From Khaled Sharrouf's Twitter account.” One does not usually imagine an apocalyptic dystopia featuring so many name brands.

In the face of this terrifying modern resurgence of the ancient threat, of such gross and unnatural barbarities, it is getting harder for western intellectual liberals to continue echoing the old mantras. The hard truth must be faced eventually, even by the most determined; not everyone in the world thinks the same way we do, holds the same values, has the same goals. Not every culture is of equal value. Not all men are equally “right” in what they believe.

And if the message of the photos and videos were not getting through our thick western skulls, we have today a direct warning from the leader of the ancient Christian community that has been decimated by ISIS. The Chaldean Catholic Church traces its heritage to St. Thomas, the doubting Apostle of Christ. A few days ago, we all saw the headline saying that, for the first time in 1600 years, Mass was not being said in the ancient Christian town of Mosul because all the Christians, all the Chaldean Catholics, had been either killed, expelled or kidnapped, to be sold later into chattel slavery.

Speaking from his exile in the dubious and perhaps temporary safety of the northern Iraqi town of Erbil, the head of this lost and grieving community, Archbishop Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Mosul, told us quite bluntly, and without the niceties required by Pope Benedict’s civilized academic audience, that the time for indulging our comfortable liberal fantasies is over.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those that you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future,” said the archbishop in an interview with Corriere della Sera. “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

“Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims.”

He warns us, “Also, you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.”

Erbil is 55 miles east of Mosul, in territory currently holding off IS attackers, but it is certainly in their path. Corriera della Sera reports that the bishop has asked for material aid for the exiles huddling in shock there. “8,000 people, many elderly, a disproportionate number (for us Westerners) of children, babies of a few months, many dehydrated with diarrhea. A septuagenarian asks for insulin. Others write on scraps of crumpled paper the names of medicines that nobody knows where to find. 

“Tens of rusty wheelchairs were donated by humanitarian organizations for the sick and are used as chairs for the old. The local Christian organizations together with UN agencies have improvised a canteen service that distributes white rice, bread, bottled water. The toilets are almost useless.”

The archbishop continues: “You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”

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The Giver gives us the secret to fighting the Culture of Death

Melanie Pritchard Melanie Pritchard Follow Melanie
By Melanie Pritchard

I remember reading The Giver in junior high school and even as a child I knew there was something wrong with living in a world with no freedom. The main character in the story named Jonas empowered me as a youth to have courage and be protective of my free will.

It is many years later and the message of The Giver seems ever so relevant. The threat of a totalitarian society never seemed so imminent as it does today. As Christians, we are in a constant battle fighting for our freedoms.

I had the great opportunity to attend a pre-screening of the movie The Giver, starring Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and even a short appearance by teen icon Taylor Swift. This dynamic cast made my childhood memories reading The Giver come alive.

In case you are unfamiliar with the book and film, the movie’s plot summary reads

The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas, a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver, who is the sole keeper of all the community's memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community's secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined - a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all - a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.

Each member of the society is protected from the truth and reality of history, yet one person in the community is chosen to receive the memories of the past in order to inform the elders in their decisions. The society uses compulsory morning medication to numb the feelings and emotions of their people. Infanticide and euthanasia are how they maintain “sameness” and a “perfect” society.

That is until one person has courage to expose the truth.

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This perfect society demands that no one ever tell a lie, but the method they use to get their people to conform is through a series of lies; at best, willful ignorance.

One of the lines in the movie that stands out to me is when Jonas, the main character, says, “We haven’t eliminated murder, we just call it by another name.”

Is all of this sounding familiar? We live in a world where, although information is at our fingertips, people don’t seek to know the truth about our history in order to inform their decisions. News programs and politicians saturate us with lies in order to get people to conform to their biases. In the United States of America, for example, our government has just taken our choices in healthcare away and is chipping away at our other freedoms of choice and conscience. Yet, they continue to defend the choice of abortion. They haven’t eliminated murder; they just call it by another name….CHOICE. And, abortion/infanticide and euthanasia are how our culture weeds out the unwanted as well just like in The Giver.

One of the other restrictions of freedoms in the movie requires the characters to speak with “precision of language.” I imagine a pro-abortion person seeing this film and clinging to the story of the main character fighting for the freedom to choose, and naively thinking this movie supports their agenda. They will most likely miss the fact that the word “choice” has been hijacked and robbed of its actual meaning and purpose. Abortion advocates have successfully contorted that word to mask what they are really asking for in this so-called freedom of choice. Pro-abortion leaders have mastered the art of using “precision of language” to convince people that abortion is about choice rather than about a mother killing her unborn child.

So how do we turn this around? The answer is in The Giver. We think for ourselves. We allow love to guide us; instead of selfishness and false compassion. We seek truth in the past and do not be afraid of knowledge. We stop allowing people to distort our language and demand that people call things by what they really are. And, we have the courage to stand up against our friends and even family members who have been brainwashed into conforming to a type of “sameness” that is destructive to democracy.

This movie opened on August 15th and I imagine some people will walk out missing the point, but I hope it will be an awakening to what happens when we give others too much power over our freedoms and our thoughts.

Check out the trailer and information about the movie here.

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To play or sing real music, good music, not music to cut your throat or curdle your soul by, is like playing ball in the fresh air with friends, only better. Shutterstock

Why doesn’t anyone play music any more?

Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony
By Anthony Esolen

“I am never merry when I hear sweet music,” says the sprightly Jessica to her husband Lorenzo. They are young and wholly in love with one another. It is night, and they're waiting on a balcony for the return of their friends, including the noble lady of the house. Lorenzo has called for music to welcome her back.

Jessica doesn't mean that sweet music is a damper upon her soul. She means that when she hears it, she no longer feels like jesting; it is too moving for that. Lorenzo replies, “The reason is, your spirits are attentive.” Music in its “touches of sweet harmony” raises a sympathetic resonance within. But be wary, says Lorenzo, of “the man that hath no music in his soul,” because his imaginations are dark, and he is fit only for stratagems and spoils.    

For Shakespeare, music has a healing power. The doctor orders soft music to be played while Lear, the “child-changed king,” comes back to consciousness, his loving daughter Cordelia looking on in prayer. Paulina orders music to strike when she commands Hermione, or is it a statue of Hermione, to “be stone no more,” to descend, for dear life has redeemed her from death. The good old loyal servant Adam, dying of hunger in the forest of Arden, is restored to life with food and wistful music.  

I have seldom seen anything so lovely, and so normal and healthy, than a family of young children playing Celtic music together on their fiddles, enjoying one another's company, and for that time separated from, or elevated above, all the crass stupidities of the world about us.  

Shakespeare did not invent the notion that music helps to tune and order the soul. It's something we all know, deep down. Plato says that a true education for youths is a musical one, in the broadest sense: an education in harmony, decorum, and beauty. Bad music, at its most innocuous, is background noise that trains the ear in not hearing; the best you can say about it is that you learn to ignore it. At its most noxious, bad music corrupts the soul; its rhythms, not to mention its lyrics, may be those that submerge us in brutality. I see in my mind's eye a young man, lonely, angry, shooting pool at a drinking hole, listening to that dark genius Jim Morrison singing about a woman, not in love but in furious desire to possess and consume.

But if you wish to form a sweet and wholesome imagination in your children, music, good music, is one of the mightiest allies that nature and human ingenuity can provide. 

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This is especially true when children learn to play music. I've heard that 1961 was the first year in which sales of records in the United States outpaced sales of sheet music. I'm surprised it took that long; but if you rummage about in antique shops, you'll see that there used to be many companies whose sole business was to print sheet music, not usually in books, but rather by the song.

There's all kinds of indirect evidence to suggest that every family had somebody who played an instrument, in school, for a local band, in church, or for family gatherings. Perhaps a majority of these music-makers were self-taught and played by ear, as did Laura Ingalls Wilder's father, Charles. They played folk songs like “Old Dan Tucker” and “Loch Lomond,” the works of folk-style composers, like “I Dream of Jeannie” (Stephen Foster), and folk hymns, like “In the Sweet By and By.” They played hundreds of melodies, and people who didn't play might sing along. They often did so in harmony. For Protestants had long experience of singing harmony parts in their churches, since their hymnals were scored for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.  

Sometimes a whole community would come together to make music. I have in front of me a little book, by no means unusual for the time, called Twice 55 Community Songs, published in 1917 and probably reprinted fairly regularly; my copy, an edition especially for Canada, is no earlier than 1924. What's in it? Jaunty patriotic anthems: “The Maple Leaf Forever,” “Men of Harlech,” “Rule Britannia,” “The Marseillaise.” Sweet love songs: “Juanita,” “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes,” “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton,” “Annie Laurie.” Songs of faraway places: “Aloha Oe,” “The Volga Boatman.” Spirituals: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Steal Away.” Hymns: “Lead, Kindly Light,” “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” Silly songs and rounds: “Reuben and Rachel,” “Alouette.” Dvorak and Mendelssohn are next to “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.”    

There's something for every sort of mood or whimsy, and every sort of love and loyalty for things dearly held or fondly remembered. The songs no more sound all alike than the steppes of Russia look like the hills of Scotland, or a lullaby sounds like a march to battle. They are songs meant for everyone, men and women, old people and young parents and small children.

Why do I write about this? To play or sing real music, good music, not music to cut your throat or curdle your soul by, is like playing ball in the fresh air with friends, only better, because it sends its roots far more deeply down into the memory. I have seldom seen anything so lovely, and so normal and healthy, than a family of young children playing Celtic music together on their fiddles, enjoying one another's company, and for that time separated from, or elevated above, all the crass stupidities of the world about us.  

Such music is more akin to the gentle silences of nature than to the noise of airports, television commercials, and mass-produced auditory jitters. It is more akin to laughter than to shouting, to the natural movement of an animal in its home than to the rattle and rasp of a machine. It is a prelude to love, not a lubricant for dispirited fornicators. When it is not at the threshold of the church, it is still within sight of the steeple.

It is our friend, because it is natural and therefore aims ultimately toward God Himself. Mark the music.

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