Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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Priests for Life Announce Pro-Life Liturgical iPhone App

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By James Tillman

STATEN ISLAND, New York, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)—Priests for Life has announced a new app for iPhone and iPad, giving priests easy access to three sets of resources to help them preach, teach, and pray about the pro-life message with their congregations.

The first resource is a set of General Intercessions, or "Prayers of the Faithful," for the Mass, composed according to the guidelines set by the Catholic Church and including a petition for the growth of the culture of life.

The second is a short snippet of text, drawn from Church documents, statements by bishops, or statements by popes, that can be included in a parish bulletin to educate the congregation about pro-life issues and to exhort them to take part in pro-life activities.

Finally, the app also provides pro-life homily hints based on the readings for that particular Sunday.  They are meant to help priests connect the Biblical themes of love, justice, and mercy to the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and other threats to human life and dignity. The app provides information for each Sunday of the year during all three liturgical cycles. 

The resources were written by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, based on his experience of preaching about abortion and euthanasia.

The app may be found by looking up "pro-life" or "Priests for Life" on the iTunes store.  It costs $1.99.

All of the resources that it contains may also be found for free on the Priests for Life website.  Priests may subscribe to weekly emails at clergy@priestsforlife.org; the emails arrive eight to nine days before the Sunday for which they were designed.

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Reagan-era Pro-Life Leader Anne Higgins, 70, Dies

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life leaders in the nation's capital today mourned the loss of Anne Higgins, a well-loved leader in the pro-life movement known for her work defending the life of the unborn as a member of the staffs of three U.S. presidents.

Higgins, 70, succumbed to a decades-long battle with cancer August 12. Her funeral was held at her parish, St. Stephen Martyr Roman Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., where Pat Buchanan delivered the main eulogy reflecting on her behind-the-scenes pro-life work as head of correspondence for Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

Connie Mackey of the Family Research Council, who had been on Higgins' staff, recalled that she "missed no opportunity to bring the President’s message on life to millions of people."

"[Higgins'] name may not mean much to people born after the Roe v Wade decision came down from the Blackman Supreme Court, but she was one of the most effective fighters for life this country has known," wrote Mackey. "Anne used her position to influence not only the President and his cabinet, but Congress and foreign dignitaries as well."

Dan Zeidler, who was present at the funeral, remembered Anne as a dedicated defender of the unborn who maintained a "wonderful positive spirit" even throughout her long battle with cancer.  Zeidler says he met Anne while serving as executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life about 30 years ago.

"She's a wonderful person in the movement, a lot of history, great dedication," he said, describing her primary qualities as "loyalty, great love for her faith and for the unborn, just total dedication to the unborn, and a tremendous heart for people, the vulnerable ... a very generous person." Outside her White House position, Zeidler said Higgins also came to the aid of the unborn and their mothers at pregnancy assistance centers.

Together with her husband George, Higgins was famous for her hospitality. She often allowed friends and young people to live at property they owned next door to their own home in the Foggy Bottom district of D.C., virtually free of charge for months at a time.

One of Higgins' jobs, according to Buchanan, was to select 30 letters to be handed on to the president at the end of each week to give a feel for the type of correspondence coming in. One letter she passed on was from a woman who had decided against an abortion 40 years ago - and, now dying, was being taken care of by her 40-year-old son.

While Higgins was no public figurehead, noted FRC's Mackey, her behind-the-scenes work was integral to building the pro-life movement, and her friendship with Congressman Harry Hyde "provided the needed platform to launch the fight for those who could not speak for themselves." 

"Anne showed us true activism and she never wavered on behalf of the innocent unborn, the infirm, and for creatures great and small.  She made a difference in this world," she wrote. "To paraphrase Henry Hyde, she will be met at Heaven’s gate by millions of babies yet unborn who will carry the message, 'job well done … good and faithful servant.'"

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Monsignor/Vatican Consultor Warns African Bishops against Dangerous Gender Ideology

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Hilary White

August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Gender ideology is the “most worrying sign of the current ideas about man,” Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a psychoanalyst, told an audience of African bishops in Ghana late last month. Speaking on the pope’s most recent encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” the French priest and consultor to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, said that a new anthropology, a new way of viewing the nature of human beings, has grown in the last fifty years that is deeply antithetical to traditional Christian thought and jurisprudence.

“The anthropological heresies that we are having to face, once again in history, are in need of a new evangelization,” said Msgr. Anatrella. (See full talk here - in French)

“The Church,” Msgr. Anatrella said, “has always supported freedom of speech and action, and autonomy with regard to the political power, and it intends to respect and ensure respect when [the political power is] serving the common good and when civil laws honor the natural law.”

“However, sometimes there are laws that are contrary to the objective moral [law] and cannot be accepted.” He quoted the late Pope John Paul II who called for conscientious objection “when the law is immoral, including on contraception, abortion, euthanasia and falsification of marriage and affiliation with persons of the same sex.”

Msgr. Anatrella teaches at the Facultés libres de philosophie et de psychologie and at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris. He came into the international spotlight in 2005 when he penned an article explaining the Church’s teaching that men with strong homosexual inclinations may not be ordained to the priesthood.

In his lecture, “Caritas in Veritate: the Family and the Theory of Gender,” Msgr. Anatrella said that the encyclical addresses this new ideology “which, under the guise of science … suggests that man is the result of culture and it is built independently of human nature and universal laws inherent in his condition.”

“The theory of gender is the most problematic sign of current ideas about man,” and has its roots in the 18th century “Enlightenment” that started to “deconstruct the concepts of man with a different religious anthropology.”

This new set of theories rejected the “religious dimension” that “was intrinsically related to the meaning of rights” in law.

Gender theory proposes the concept that human beings have no inherent nature, but have only characteristics, including sexuality, that are molded by environment and upbringing. Thus “gender” becomes a malleable “social construct” and a person can be male or female, or neither, at will.

He said that precisely the “moral and anthropological” social destabilization warned of by John Paul II has come about in recent years.

“How can we not see that we create here a new form of violence?”

These theories, he said, are “well worn by UN agencies, NGOs, the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Brussels Commission.”

These ideologies, he said, “take over from the secular religions that were Marxism and Nazism ... An ideology replaces another ideology, stubbornly in denial of human reality by saying that man creates himself.”

At last year’s Synod for Africa at the Vatican, one of the persistent messages from African bishops was the threat posed by anti-family and anti-human ideologies that were being imposed on the continent from outside. Buti Joseph Tlhagale, Archbishop of Johannesburg and president of the bishops’ conference of South Africa, was one of the many voices warning against these ideologies that he called a “second wave of colonization” that was both “subtle and ruthless,” pushed by lobbyists who “squat at the United Nations.”

Archbishop Tlhagale warned that the “moral values embedded in the diverse African cultures” are “threatened by the new global ethic which aggressively seeks to persuade African governments and communities to accept new and different meanings of concepts of family, marriage and human sexuality.”

Archbishop Robert Sarah from Guinea, and Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, called gender theory a “lethal ideology” that is “contrary to African culture.”


Read related LSN coverage:

Interview With Babette Francis on the UN’s Destruction of the Concept of Gender
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/mar/040323a.html

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German Court Orders Government to Give Homosexuals Equal Inheritance Rights

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

BERLIN, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that the country's inheritance tax law discriminates against registered homosexual partners and has ordered the government to produce new legislation to rectify the "unconstitutional" disadvantage by December 31.

"While married couples were put in the most advantageous tax group I and regardless of the amount inherited had to pay between seven and 30 percent tax, life partners, as 'other beneficiaries' in tax group III, had to pay between 17 and 50 percent tax," the ruling stated.

The judges said that although heterosexual marriage still enjoys a unique status under the German Basic Law, it was unconstitutional for same-sex couples who had registered as "life partners" to pay inheritance taxes equivalent to that of distant relatives of the deceased.

"The Constitutional Court ruled that there was not a significant enough difference between married spouses and registered life partners to justify discrimination against the latter," court spokeswoman Judith Blohm told Deutsche Welle.

The constitutional court ruling came in response to two cases brought by a 70-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman whose respective homosexual partners had died in 2001 and 2002 shortly after they entered civil unions.

While Germany has stopped short of allowing same-sex "marriage," in 2001 the country allowed homosexual couples to register as "life partners," under which they gained the same inheritance rights as married couples.

The homosexualist movement in Germany has used the courts a number of times to advance their agenda.

In a 2009 case involving a dispute over pension benefits for a homosexual man in a registered partnership, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that all the same rights and obligations of marriage be extended to same-sex registered partners.

The same court ruled in July 2008 that a married man suffering from gender confusion, and who had undergone “gender reassignment” surgery, could remain married to his wife while changing his legal gender to female. The court ordered the legislature to change the law to accommodate such cases in the future.

However, a test case brought to the court earlier this year by two homosexuals "married" in Canada failed to force the court to legalize same-sex "marriage."

In this case the court ruled that marriage can only be between one man and one woman and that same-sex “marriage” contracted abroad is to be legally considered a civil partnership in Germany.


See related LSN articles:

No Gay ‘Marriage’ in Germany, Court Rules
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jun/10061602.html

EU to Force Poland, Malta, Italy to Recognize Gay “Marriages”
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/may/06050204.html

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British Social Services Pays for Prostitutes and Lap Dancing under Labour Gov’t Scheme

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Hilary White

LONDON, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The British social services system is coming under heavy criticism after it was revealed last week that a mentally disabled man is to be provided with the services of a prostitute at public expense. The Sunday Telegraph revealed that the trip is part of a national care program instituted by the former Labour government that also provides funding for lap dancing clubs, holidays abroad and subscriptions to internet dating services to people with disabilities.

The unnamed man’s social worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, defended the decision, saying that “refusing to offer him this service would be a violation of his human rights.” The social worker told the Telegraph that social services are there to “identify and meet the needs” of clients, and described the young man as “angry and frustrated.”

The 21-year-old man with developmental problems is scheduled to go to the Netherlands next month for the visit to an Amsterdam brothel. The social worker said that the visit to the brothel was only one part of the planned trip: “He’s planning to do more than just have his end away (have sex) – he’s having a holiday,” he said.

The man has attended two “sexual health and sexual awareness courses” and now wants to “try it.” He added, “The girls in Amsterdam are far more protected than those on UK streets. Let him have some fun - I'd want to.”

“Wouldn’t you prefer that we can control this, guide him, educate him, support him to understand the process and ultimately end up satisfying his needs in a secure, licensed place where his happiness and growth as a person is the most important thing?”

The £520 million scheme, called “Putting People First: Transforming Adult Social Care,” was touted as a means to provide elderly people and those with disabilities additional help with mobility devices and home assistance. A document published in 2007 said that the plan was to “put people first through a radical reform of public services, enabling people to live their own lives as they wish… and promote their own individual needs for independence, well-being and dignity.”

Freedom of Information requests revealed that four local council authorities admit to “condoning” the payment of “sex workers” by disabled clients. Trafford council, in Greater Manchester, said that budgets for disabled care can be spent on anything so long as it is not illegal, “or anything that would bring the council into disrepute.” A spokesman for Knowsley council in Merseyside said requests for funding for sex would be “looked at on a case by case nature.”

A campaign group that promotes paid sex for people with disabilities found that 53 percent of councils have a strategy that “explicitly empowered” disabled people to pursue sex. The group, called the TLC Trust, says it works to “find appropriate sexual and therapeutic services” for people with disabilities, by “inviting responsible sex workers, striptease artists, massage therapists and tantric teachers to list themselves on its website, for the benefit of disabled men and women who may wish to hire them.”

The group said, however, that the practice is not yet widespread. Most councils said they would not “condone” transfer of their funds to pay for sex. Of 121 councils who responded, 97 percent said they had no policy on the topic, leaving discretion in the hands of local social workers and junior managers.

Three years ago, a British hospice for the disabled run by an Anglican nun had arranged for a disabled man to have sex with a prostitute. The Douglas hospice in Oxford was revealed by the Telegraph to have actively cooperated to find a “sex worker” for 22-year-old Nick Wallis, a patient suffering Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It was not widely understood at the time, however, that the practice was considered part of normal operations by government funded social services.

Matthew Elliot, chief executive of The Taxpayers’ Alliance said it was “deeply worrying” that public money had been spent this way. He said, “Many taxpayers will be appalled and offended that money intended for social care has been used in this way.

“What's more, it’s deeply worrying that this scheme has been so vulnerable to these abuses. It’s essential that where public funds are involved, there are the sort of checks and balances in place that prevent money being wasted in this way.”

Neil Coyle, director of policy at Disability Alliance, said, “Public bodies don’t exist to find people sexual partners.”

“When people go to councils for help, they are looking for essential services to maintain some level of dignified existence – help to dress and wash.”

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Cardinal Has Proof Mexican Justices Were Bribed for Gay ‘Marriage’ Vote: Archdiocese

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

GUADALAJARA, August 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara yesterday told reporters that the Cardinal Archbishop of that city has proof to back up his contention that the justices of the Supreme Court were in some way "fed" by backers of homosexual "marriage" and adoption in order to gain their votes in favor of the policies.

Responding to threats from Mexico City Governor Marcel Ebrard to file charges against Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez for "moral damage," archdiocesan spokesman Antonio Gutiérrez Montaño expressed little concern, and said that the archbishop would prove his charges if necessary.

"Mr. Ebrard has the liberty to proceed as he wishes," said Gutiérrez Montaño to the Mexican newspaper Milenio, reportedly adding that if a lawsuit were filed, the cardinal would reveal the proof he has for his statement, and "will not retract nor apologize" for what he has said.

"There is no fear from this threat," said Gutiérrez Montaño.  "He [the cardinal] also has the right to exercise what he thinks he should do if any calumny is raised against him."

Sandoval Iñiguez made the bribery charges in a press conference on Monday while in the state of Aguascalientes.  He accused both the governor of Mexico City and international pro-abortion groups of having "fed" the ministers with "gifts" in order to obtain the approval of homosexual "marriage" and adoption.

Catholics and socialists close ranks

Following the remarks, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Mexico has closed ranks in defense of Sandoval Iñiguez and the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City, Norberto Rivera, who also made strong statements condemning homosexual unions following the decision imposing such unions on all 31 Mexican states earlier this month.

"We express our solidarity and our feelings to Cardinals Norberto Rivera Carrera and Juan Sandoval Iñiguez regarding this delicate topic," the leaders of Mexico's bishops' conference wrote in a communiqué issued on Tuesday.

"The bishops of Mexico, sensitive to the majority opinion not only in Mexico City, but in the whole country, express, in the exercise of the liberty of expression guaranteed by our democratic political regime, our total disagreement with the verdict issued by the SCJN [Suprema Corte de Justica de la Nación]" the bishops also stated, adding that "we believe that equalizing these unions with the name of matrimony is a lack of respect, both for the very essence of marriage between a man and a woman, expressed in the Constitution of the country in its article 4, as well as the customs of the culture itself that has reigned over us for centuries."

Jesús Ortega, leader of the socialist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), of which Ebrard is a member, expressed support for Ebrard said that the party "is calling on Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez to retract the accusation that the local leader [of Mexico City] bribed the ministers of the Suprme Court of Justice of the Nation."

Ebrard has stated that at 12 noon today, he will file charges against the cardinal in a local court. "He knows perfectly well that he is lying, that what he is saying is false and he is going to have to confront that process," Ebrard told the national media.

Ebrard has also called for investigations by the Secretariat of Governance and the Federal Electoral Commission against the cardinal.

"Worse than narcotrafficking"

Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico, added his voice to the chorus denouncing the Supreme Court's recent decisions yesterday, stating that "[Marcelo Ebrard] and his government has created laws that are destructive to the family, that cause worse damage than narcotrafficking.  Marcelo Ebrard and his party, the PRD, have endeavored to destroy us."

Ebrard responded to Valdemar's statements by asking the federal government to prosecute him as well as Cardinal Iñiguez, for violating the Constitution. 

Mexico's Constitution, created in 1917 by leftist revolutionary forces, prohibits any participation in politics by the nation's clergy.  Although its anti-clerical provisions are rarely enforced, they remain a potential weapon to be used by the government against prelates who challenge its actions.

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D&P Sending Haiti Earthquake Funds to Pro-Abort Group

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Patrick B. Craine

HAITI, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace (D&P) is using funds collected for Haiti’s post-earthquake emergency relief effort to give an extra boost to at least one of their pro-abortion partners in the country.

The information surfaced in a report by the Catholic Register’s Michael Swan at the end of July, and was highlighted by John Pacheco at his SoCon or Bust blog.

D&P programs officer Debra Bucher told Swan that D&P is using their current partnerships in Haiti to take a long-term approach in rebuilding the country.  “Our specialty is not emergency relief where we go and buy 20,000 tents and feed 500,000 people for three months,” she said. “Our forte is in the partnerships we have with local organizations. Our forte is much more in the area of reconstruction.”

D&P collected $20 million from Catholics in the months after the earthquake.  Much of the funds have been given to Caritas Haiti for much-needed emergency relief, providing things like food, health care, shelter, and clean water.  D&P is also supporting agriculture programs, and helping religious groups set up schools and orphanages.

But Swan also reported that D&P has allocated some of the funds to a partner called Femme Desidé, which is a women’s “rights” group that has advocated the depenalization of abortion.  Swan’s article indicates D&P is specifically supporting the group’s effort to employ women in planting saplings.

Last March LSN reported that on its website, Femme Deside offers a PowerPoint presentation explaining the activities of the group, which include "organizing days of reflection and sensitization on the advancement of the state of women," including one scheduled for September 17 on the "depenalization of abortion"

It is unclear whether Kay Fanm, another pro-abortion D&P partner in Haiti, is also receiving extra funding.

Controversy has swirled around the Canadian bishops’ development arm since at least the spring of 2009, when LifeSiteNews began reporting on D&P’s support for projects undertaken by groups that advocate abortion and other causes contrary to Church teaching.  The Canadian bishops are currently reviewing the organization and are expected to discuss its future at their upcoming plenary assembly in October. 

D&P’s support for pro-abortion organizations does not appear to be explained by a lack of groups aligned with Church teaching in the Third World.  A representative of the much larger Catholic Relief Services, D&P’s American counterpart, told LifeSiteNews in April 2009 that CRS has no problem finding good Catholic groups to support.

“I can't stress how large and how valuable the work that the Catholic Church, and the Christian churches do in the developing world. It's huge,” said Tom Price, CRS’s senior communications manager.  Price noted, for example, that the Catholic Church cares for a quarter of the world’s AIDS victims.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Development and Peace by press time.


Contact Information:

Contact information for every Canadian bishop: http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/bishops/list-of-bishops

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops 
2500 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1H 2J2
E-mail:  cecc@cccb.ca
Phone: (613) 241-9461
Fax: (613) 241-9048


See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

"Development and Peace" Supporting Two Pro-Abortion Organizations in Haiti
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09033008.html

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Pro-Life ‘Dream Cruise Tour’ Commemorates Slain Jim Pouillon

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Peter J. Smith

LANSING, Michigan, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life advocates in Michigan are dedicating this year’s “Dream Cruise Tour” to slain pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, an elderly man gunned down almost one year ago while protesting abortion in his hometown of Owosso.

Pouillon was fondly remembered by pro-life advocates for his tireless witness to the sanctity of life, even as his health was failing and he needed an oxygen tank to help him breathe. In Owosso, he gained the moniker “the abortion sign guy” for his peaceable protest of abortion, often with signs depicting aborted babies.

On September 11, 2009, Harlan Drake gunned down Pouillon in cold blood as he stood outside of the Owosso High School, later admitting that he killed Pouillon for his pro-life witness. Drake was sentenced to life in prison in April for Pouillon's murder and that of another man he killed the same day.

This year’s “Dream Cruise Tour” will also be known as the “Jim Pouillon Memorial Tour” to honor the courageous witness of Pouillon with stops all over Michigan.

The tour, sponsored by the Wisconsin-based Missionaries to the Preborn starts Wednesday and concludes Saturday and concludes with a drive in Detroit for the Woodward Avenue “Dream Cruise”, which features classic cars from the 40s, 50s, 60s.
Poignantly, pro-life advocates remember that Pouillon was slain just three weeks after the last “Dream Cruise Tour”, and expected to participate again in 2010.

Jim Soderna, a spokesman for the Missionaries, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the “Dream Cruise" was heading towards Lansing, the state capital. There, the Missionaries will drive the “Truth Truck”, which features both images of aborted and living unborn children, while others pass out literature on the street. 
 
At least two stops are planned for Owosso, Michigan from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. outside the Planned Parenthood facility on at E. Main St. & N. Hintz Rd. where Pouillon used to carry on his pro-life witness. Another stop is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Main St. (M-21) & Shaiwassee St., where Pouillon was also regularly seen speaking out for the rights of the unborn child.

Soderna said that it was important for pro-life advocates to remember Pouillon’s witness in this tour, and that ultimately, “even though they may kill the body, there are others that will take your place to speak up for the pre-born children.”

He added there were approximately 30 people traveling with the tour, and they expected more local people to join them at their stops along the way.
 
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:

Pouillon Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/apr/10042309.html 

Well-Known Local Pro-Life Activist Gunned Down in Michigan
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091101.html 

"Jim the Sign Guy": Slain Pro-Lifer, Father of Two, Remembered by Friends as Cheerful, Peaceful Activist
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091104.html 

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Second Pro-Life Freedom Ride Announced for Tennessee

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

STATEN ISLAND, New York, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)—Priests for Life has announced that the second pro-life Freedom Ride will occur in Tennessee on October 15 and 16. For those who are unable to attend the ride in person, the group has set up a host of activities to help everyone take part in the fight to end abortion and bring about a culture of life.

The pro-life Freedom Rides are patterned after the Freedom Rides engaged in by civil-rights activists, who rode buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961.  They were often arrested and brutally attacked by opponents for purposefully disobeying signs segregating whites from African-Americans in public bus terminals, as they had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

"Like the Freedom Rides of five decades ago," said Fr. Frank Pavone, leader of Priests for Life, "these freedom rides symbolize the principle of the greater movement of which they are part, namely, that justice and equal protection of human rights belong to each and every human being, regardless of size or age or any other condition."

The first pro-life Freedom Ride occurred on July 23-24, and began at Birmingham, Alabama before concluding at Atlanta.  Riders had intended to end with a prayer vigil at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but were unable to do so because they were turned away from the King Center.

Nevertheless, Priests for Life still considered it a resounding success, with more than 150 Freedom Riders.

The second pro-life Freedom Ride is starting in Knoxville with Fr. Frank Pavone and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It will feature prayer, addresses, and song on the evening of Friday, October 15. 

The next morning, participants will pray at the local abortuary and then board a bus to ride to the National Memorial for the Unborn at Chattanooga.  There they will hold a ceremony calling for nationwide repentance and healing, featuring testimony from women who have undergone abortion.

Even if they cannot come to Tennessee, Priests for Life is asking people to pray a nine-week novena of Prayer for Our National Elections, from September 1 to November 2.

They are also calling on people to register voters at their local parishes on Sunday, September 12, 2010, "Voter Registration Sunday."  The Freedom Ride, taking place just a few weeks before the national elections, is meant to call for citizens to take an active and informed part in advancing the culture of life.

Individuals may register to take part in a national webcast on September 7 to discuss how to participate in the Freedom Rides and promote the culture of life in their own communities.

Fr. Frank Pavone says he believes the work of building a culture of life is one with the work of promoting civil rights.

"The civil rights movement and the pro-life movement have the same heart and soul: a longing for equal justice for everyone, based on the inherent dignity of every human life," he said.

See related stories on LifeSiteNews.com:

Pro-Life Freedom Rides Launch in Alabama
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jul/10072308.html

Pro-Life Freedom Rides Announced for This Summer
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/apr/10043005.html

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After 30 Years on Air, Dr. Laura to End Radio Show

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Kathleen Gilbert

BROOKLYN, New York, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Dr. Laura Schlessinger, America's top-rated female syndicated radio talk show host, relied on by countless listeners for sound relationship advice and moral guidance, has announced that she is ending her radio talk show and pursuing new venues after becoming fed up with what she says are attempts to silence her message.

The announcement came during the pro-family radio star's appearance on Larry King Live that aired Tuesday, and was prompted by a controversy that ensued after Schlessinger used the N-word on air to make, in Schlessinger's words, a "philosophical point" on the use of the term.

Schlessinger has fallen victim to intense opposition for previous comments: in 2000, Schlessinger met with an immense backlash after calling homosexuality a "biological error" and linking homosexuality to pedophilia. The remarks prompted over 170 sponsors to turn against her and helped precipitate the demise of her short-lived television program.

Schlessinger's stance against homosexuality even caused the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to rule her "abusively discriminatory," saying that her views "fertilize the ground" for "brutality," and the radio personality was subsequently kicked off Canadian airwaves.

The Dr. Laura Program has consistently rated among the top 5 radio shows in America, and Schlessinger has published numerous books, including the highly successful Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.

Although Schlessinger issued an apology immediately after the N-word incident, negative media coverage began hounding Schlessinger; King listed several sponsors of The Dr. Laura Program that have begun reviewing their relationship with the show.

Schlessinger told King that she has decided not to renew her radio contract for The Dr. Laura Program at the end of this year, and that her last show would air just before Christmas 2010.

"The reason is: I want to regain my First Amendment rights," she said. "I want to be able to say what's on my mind, and in my heart, what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent, and attack affiliates and attack sponsors."

Schlessinger stressed that, although she immediately and sincerely apologized for the remarks without being asked to do so, her opponents refused to call off their manhunt, with some insisting that she is secretly racist and that the apology wasn't sincere. "I didn't wait to be threatened. I took responsibility for what I did," she said. "And to imagine that there are people who refuse to accept an apology because they have an agenda and would like me silenced is - I'm done with that. I'm just done with that."

However, Schlessinger insisted that did not mean she's backing down. "I'm not retiring. I'm not quitting," she said. "I feel energized actually, stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country." She indicated that she hoped to continue broadcasting her message via her website, DrLaura.com, as well as her blog, and possibly writing more books.

Although Schlessinger reduced religious input on The Dr. Laura Program after disavowing her Orthodox Jewish faith in 2003, she has continued to serve up an unabashedly conservative viewpoint on modern moral controversies. For example, in 2009, Schlessinger defended Pope Benedict XVI's widely-denigrated remark that condoms would not solve the AIDS problem, asserting that the pope is correct to point out the superiority of sexual abstinence. "The naysayers all have one thing in common:  they refuse to want, believe or accept that human beings can commit to a higher spiritual state of thought and behavior.  The Pope believes in us more than that," she wrote.

The pro-life Schlessinger has also stood up for the use of graphic abortion images. "Yes, they are disturbing … and they should offend … the act is offensive," she noted in 2008, when the Center for Bioethical Reform drew criticism for its tour showing the images in Florida.

In a recent entry on her blog, Dr. Laura pointed out how disagreement on the public forum has turned to a spirit of retribution over the past decades.

"When I first started out in radio, people would disagree … they DISAGREED … they didn’t HATE," she wrote. "They didn’t try to censor, they didn’t try to destroy an opposing point of view.  Instead … they just argued and debated, and argued and disagreed, and debated and argued. 

"But our society has changed dramatically.  Self-appointed activist types breed hate, breed anger, breed destruction should anyone hold up a mirror or dare to disagree," she wrote.  "This environment, as you know, is not only in radio and television … it is in politics; it’s in every area of our society… in your neighborhoods, in your school districts, at work."

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GOP Rep. Charles Djou Fails to Get Right to Life Backing in Hawaii

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By Peter J. Smith

HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – GOP Rep. Charles Djou, who won Hawaii’s special election in May, will not be getting the endorsement of Hawaii Right to Life in his bid for two more years in Congress.

The Associated Press reports that while the state pro-life group said Djou shared many of their pro-life goals, the deal breaker was Djou’s support for embryonic stem-cell research. For that reason, they said they could not endorse his candidacy.

Janet Grace, Hawaii Right to Life executive director, told the AP that they also took issue with Djou’s statements that Roe v. Wade is “settled law.”

"We don't believe the abortion issue is finished," Grace continued. "That's why we need strong men and women in our local and national governments to work toward repealing these laws that harm innocent people." 

Djou captured the House seat, vacated by Neil Abercrombie, in May’s three-way special election. Djou won with 39 percent of the vote, with his Democratic opponents, Hanubasa and Ed Case, splitting the rest.

Democrats are looking to recapture Hawaii’s First Congressional District, which includes Honolulu, President Obama’s hometown. Obama actually polled 70 percent of the vote, when he won that district in the 2008 presidential election.

However, Djou believes he has a chance to hold onto his seat. A poll from his camp shows him leading Democratic challenger Colleen Hanabusa, 50 percent to 42 percent. The poll taken July 26 – 27 by the Tarrance Group surveyed 400 likely voters with a margin of error of plus/minus 4.9 percent.

During the special election campaign, Djou positioned himself as a pro-family candidate who opposed same-sex “marriage” and pseudo-marriage unions for homosexuals in contrast to his opponents. Yet in Congress, Djou also cast a vote to scrap the 1993 law banning homosexuals from military service, which is commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” although DADT actually refers to a Pentagon policy, not the law.


See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:

Hawaii Democratic Primary for Governor Splits Over Same-sex 'Marriage'
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jul/10072015.html

Hawaii Bids Farewell to Same-Sex Unions as Governor Vetoes Bill
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jul/10070706.html

Pro-family Candidate in Obama’s Home District Wins House Special Election
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/may/10052401.html

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Expert: Prop 8 Trial Based on False or Dubious Statements about Homosexuality

by LifeSiteNews.com Wed Aug 18 11:15 EST Comments (0)

By James Tillman

August 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Judge Vaughn Walker built his decision overturning Proposition 8 on many “findings of fact” that to a great extent came from experts supplied by the opponents of Proposition 8.  But according Dr. Walter Schumm, professor of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University, many of these so-called facts are either false or doubtful.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com (LSN), Dr. Schumm explained that, contrary to the findings of Judge Walker, homosexual parents are more likely to raise homosexual children; that scholars are often biased in favor of research friendly to the homosexual agenda; and that legalizing homosexual “marriage” places an unjust burden upon heterosexual families.

(To read the entire interview, which covers material not included in this summary, click here.)

The 71st finding of fact in Judge Walker’s decision states that children raised by homosexuals are just as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be “healthy, successful, and well adjusted.”

But according to new research by Dr. Schumm, “children of GLB [gay, lesbian, or bisexual] parents were more likely to either have identified as GLB or to have at least experimented with nonheterosexual behavior.”

The abstract of his study states that according to one of his analyses the percentage “of children of gay and lesbian parents who adopted non-heterosexual identities ranged between 16% and 57%”

Schumm also said that the studies indicating that the children raised by homosexuals are as well adjusted as those raised by heterosexuals, may be flawed.

“Many of the studies have set up questionable comparisons of GLB and heterosexual parents,” he said. “Often, the GLB parents have higher education, higher incomes, fewer children, as well as a likely desire to present their children in a socially desirable manner for the sake of ‘the cause’.”

He continued: “I have yet to see any study that has controlled for or taken into account per-capita household income when comparing children from both types of households.”

“One recent study used gay fathers from households earning an average of $190,000 annually, which put them easily into the top 5% of all U.S. households for income.  Generalizing from the top 5% of all households to all households is simply not appropriate scientifically.”

Those who wish to critique such methodologically flawed studies, he continued, often have difficulty finding a hearing.

“My own research has shown that articles featuring ‘pro-gay’ outcomes are much more likely to be cited scientifically than those featuring ‘anti-gay’ results, even if the authors, timeframe, and journals are the same,” he said. “I have also found that sometimes, the worse the quality of the research in this area, the more likely it is to have been cited in major reviews of the literature.”

He continued: “If a journal is willing to publish adverse outcomes for GLB parenting it is at risk of being blackballed and deemed ‘unscientific’; thus, editors of journals must have tremendous courage to buck the current of political correctness and allow fair peer review of such research.”

The 48th finding of fact in Judge Walker’s decision states that same-sex "couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions."

According to Dr. Schumm, however, it is becoming “increasingly clear from research that lesbian mothers tend to have less stable relationships than heterosexual mothers and fathers, an issue seldom considered by researchers.”  Because children raised by single-parent households generally do worse than those raised in two-parent households, children raised by lesbians may be adversely affected by less-stable lesbian relationships.

Furthermore, he said that researchers have found that “gay men are much more likely than heterosexual men to engage in and approve of ‘extra-marital’ sexual affairs.”

Finally, Dr. Schumm also addressed the flawed argument that it is “simple justice to afford equality to same-sex couples.”

“In my opinion,” he said, “this is a case of focusing on equality of outcomes rather than taking into account equality of inputs.”
 
“My point,” said Dr. Schumm, “is that by treating unequal relationships (unequal in terms of costs and risks) as if they deserve to be equal in terms of societal benefits, the court is actually establishing a great inequality, the very opposite of what it may think it was doing.”

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