Thursday, April 12, 2012

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Author: I was ‘blown away’ by Pope Paul VI’s accurate predictions about the sexual revolution

by Ben Johnson Thu Apr 12 18:43 EST Comments (20)

 
Mary Eberstadt

April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Author Mary Eberstadt recently released her book Adam and Eve After the Pill, a study of the effects of the sexual revolution. LifeSiteNews recently spoke to Eberstadt about the book. You can also find a LifeSiteNews.com review of her book here.

BJ: Your book, Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, could not have come at a more opportune time. How did you manage to orchestrate the national debate on contraception to coincide with your book’s release?

EB: If it is timely, it is probably the only timely thing I’ve ever done, and it’s got nothing to do with my calculations. I’ve actually been working on the book on-and-off for four years, and I had no way of knowing it would coincide with a truly important moment in time.

BJ: It certainly underscored the importance of everything you’re talking about. Your book does not discuss health care but renders a more valuable service, which is to talk about the ramifications of widespread recreational sex and its effects. You pick up the baton from none other than Pope Paul VI, as you mention. You flesh out the predictions of his encyclical Humanae Vitae in your book’s last chapter very well. What did you find prophetic about it, and were you surprised it was as indicative as it turned out to be?

EB: I was indeed surprised. I did not read Humanae Vitae until just a few years ago, just a few years shy of its 40th anniversary, and when I finally read the document through I was just blown away by its understanding of what the world would look like if the sexual revolution proceeded.

The main thing that surprised me was its understanding of what would happen to the relation between the sexes. Humanae Vitae predicted that in a world of contraceptive sex, men and women would not get along as well, that once you sever procreation from recreational sex men would look down on women. He also advanced the idea that there would be a lowering of standards of conduct between the sexes. All of this, I argue, has come true, and yet the secular world has refused to acknowledge its truth. That to me is a paradox, because if you were to ask which document of modern times was the most unwanted and reviled document it would have be Humanae Vitae, right? Across the world, it is seen as a laughingstock in some places, as a profoundly undesired testament in others, yet this document contains more truth about the sexual revolution and the world it would usher in than any other document. We’re left here with a great paradox – I really believe that – that something that contains great truths has been almost universally reviled. And that in itself was justification enough to undertake this book.

BJ: Speaking of paradoxes, you point out in what I consider the most powerful two chapters of the book that we live in a world that is bathed in sexual images yet devoid of actual sex within marriages. What has ubiquitous porn use done to intimacy, particularly between married couples?

EB: This is a great paradox. In the chapter called “What is the Sexual Revolution Doing to Women?” In that chapter, I went through a bunch of sources in the secular world, primarily .... fashionable literature, much of it consumed by women and made for women. What I am pointing to in that chapter is the level of unhappiness that comes through these accounts. I have in mind several articles in The Atlantic magazine that are dissected in some detail, one article arguing that marriage is over, that it’s impossible to put the sexes back together again – a very sad piece by a very talented writer. What strikes me is that the women making these complaints seem never to connect the dots between our post-sexual liberation world and the unhappiness they describe.

What I’m arguing is that sexual liberation contributes to this unhappiness in several different ways. First of all, we live in a world where pornography is supposed to be off limits for discussion, at least in the secular world. Many people are laissez-faire about it. They don’t think there is any proof of negative consequences from it. I disagree with that for reasons cited in the book that have to do with social science studies. But pornography is obviously something that gets in the way of intimacy between the sexes. If you live in a world that says pornography is victimless and harmless, you then bring a great deal of confusion to the question, Why am I not happy in my relationship?

These are the kinds of paradoxes I’m trying to unearth in my book, because I think there’s a great deal of misunderstanding – including willful misunderstanding – about what the sexual revolution has wrought.

BJ: You also focus on what has happened to men, which I thought was an interesting coin-flip. I read recently from someone more on the Left that – with static wages that have not increased in real terms since 1972, men’s declining prospects both educationally and commercially in terms of their value in the workplace – the rootless lifestyle of someone who has children by several women but doesn’t support or live with any of them was a rational undertaking. If intimacy has broken down, men would not work to support a promiscuous woman he does not love. If sex is simply recreational, there is no need to engage in an extraordinary undertaking with his declining commercial value.

EB: That’s very well put, and that is an insight that I think was overlooked by our intellectuals and social scientists for the most part. There were a few exceptions. There were a couple of people who early on predicted if the sexual revolution took hold, what would happen was that men would be marginalized from family life. If you give women full reproductive power, the result will be that men – who are generally speaking less attached to the domestic unit than women are – would become even more so. They would become marginalized, and their interest in providing a home or their stake in keeping a family going would be commensurately less. George Gilder said this, and the sociologist Lionel Tiger said this. Most of conventional social thinkers and social scientists did not take them up on this challenge. Again we live in a world where, for the most part in the secular realm, the sexual revolution is seen as beyond criticism. But I think Gilder and Tiger and some other people I mention in the book, who are perfectly secular social thinkers, were perfectly right as Humanae Vitaewas right about what would happen in the world once contraception was the coin of the realm. Those consequences, some of them, have been pretty dark, and I think it’s time we turn our attention to that side of the record, as well.

BJ: In researching Adam and Eve After the Pill, you encountered some hopeless-looking data. I know this can be a challenge, because we deal with similar material at LifeSiteNews. Are you tempted to despair or are you driven more to find a solution?

EB: No, I think there are grounds for hope. First of all, let’s put this in historical perspective. The sexual revolution when put against the sweep of human history has not been with us very long. It’s been 50-plus years into this experiment, and the fallout is only just beginning to be assessed. I wanted to write this book because I wanted to be part of that assessment. I wanted to push the idea that we need to assess this fallout going forward. But once people see and understand better the consequences of this social experiment, I think they are more likely to take a different view, a dimmer view of what sexual revolution has done to the world.

I’ll give you an example, Ben, not from the religious world at all but from the point of view of demography. We all know that in Western Europe today, especially if we read the financial pages, there’s a crisis –  it’s a crisis of employment and it’s a crisis of the welfare states, which are vast and can’t be supported by the younger workers. Why? Because of the sexual revolution. Because there aren’t enough younger workers to support the older workers. Now I’m not saying people should have babies to support the advanced Western welfare state. But what I am saying is that in Western Europe you see on a very grand scale – financially, socially, and otherwise – what has happened because of the sexual revolution.  It’s entirely thinkable that down the road Europeans will go back to the family unit, as the welfare state’s inability to replace the family unit becomes more and more evident. So that’s a reason why knowing what’s going on out there I think points toward an ultimate diagnosis for hope and not despair.

BJ: You also deal in your chapter entitled “Toxic U” about what’s going on on college campuses. Anyone who has not spent time on campus does not understand these are centers of the revolution broadly speaking – not simply the sexual revolution but also the left-wing revolution, the identity politics revolution, and so on. To the extent anyone is going to have an identity as someone on the Left, or a raging secularist, this is where one is going to develop it. You go through the initiation rituals that one can slip into and, with great practice, slip out of, that permanently scar young people (binge drinking, STDs, etc.). If someone were going to college, what is the best way he or she could avoid falling into these pitfalls?

EB: Usually I get questions regarding the parents, what would you tell the parents? But I think directly addressing the young people involved is probably a better idea.

I think if I were a young person going to college now, I’d want to know what’s going on with sexual assault on campus and I devote several pages of the book to looking at studies discussing that topic. I think the problem is there has been a tendency to dismiss it and to say it’s just a matter of sowing wild oats: Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. What do you expect? But actually the Department of Justice commissioned a study of many thousands of college women, and one in five claims to have been sexually assaulted on campus. As you would expect, usually alcohol or drugs are involved. It usually takes place at night between people who know each other. There’s a lot of gray area in encounters like that, obviously. To me the meaningful statistic is that number, one in five, which is horrendous if you think about it. Even if everybody does not completely agree about what you mean when you say “sexual assault,” it means there’s a whole lot of unwanted or retrospectively unwanted sexual activity going on that people regret and would take back if they could.

What would I want to know if I were going to college? I’d want to know that almost everyone who says something like that happened to them say that it happened in their freshman or at the latest their sophomore year. Which is to say that they have to be extra vigilant during the first year of college. I think that’s important statistical information to have. It was amassed by secular social researchers.  Again, we’re talking about the fact that secular social science confirms and validates and confirms things that people in the Judeo-Christian tradition have been saying for many years.

I hope that’s what’s new about this book: that it brings social science research to bear on all these questions, so the questions get taken out of this realm in which it’s just religious folks talking to religious folks, and we finally have a way of translating them to the public square for everybody to debate.

BJ: What has happened since the book’s publication that you feel has most vindicated or authenticated your book? What has given you the greatest sense of happiness for having written it?

EB: Happiness is too strong a word. I don’t attach any feeling of happiness to this book. It is not altogether a dark book, but but a lot of it deals with difficult stuff. But that said the fact that we’re having this ongoing discussion about the HHS mandate is itself a kind of vindication of the book’s thesis.

The book’s thesis is that the legacy of the sexual revolution, contrary to what secular thinkers say, is not settled in the mind of the West. We have not reached some kind of consensus about this. It’s still on the table. The question of whether it’s been good for society or bad for society is still up for grabs. I think the fact that we’re having a national argument about funding birth control goes to show that we haven’t settled this question at all.

To the extent that the book means to put that question about the sexual revolution and its legacy back on the public table, I think this is a good moment to do it and that the HHS debate goes to show as much.

BJ: I’m certainly grateful someone has marshaled the data and made such a compelling case, as you have in this book. Thank you for your outstanding work. I hope it continues to be successful.

EB: Thank you very much, and best with your own very important work. I know LifeSiteNews, and it’s great.

BJ: Thank you. We’ll see one another out on the front lines.

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Lack of funding a major reason for campaign end, says Santorum

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Apr 12 17:48 EST Comments (14)

 
Rick Santorum

April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Rick Santorum has pointed to a serious lack of funding as one of the major reasons for wrapping up his presidential campaign this week.

Santorum told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council Thursday that, although he had originally cited the health of his 3-year-old daughter Bella as a major reason for leaving the trail, his campaign had brought in practically no new funding since early this month.

“For the first time the campaign had a debt, the debt was from my perspective a little bit more substantial than I was comfortable with,” Santorum told Perkins in a radio interview. “And I’ll be honest with you, Tony, in the last week after Wisconsin we basically raised almost no money.

“We had solicitations going out and people were just emailing back saying the race is over and you gotta join the crew, and there were others who would say not, but it was a very, very small trickle of funds that were coming in.”

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Santorum had been routinely outspent by Mitt Romney by excessive margins: Romney ran laps around Santorum’s spending 55/1 in the latest contest in Wisconsin. As of the end of February, Santorum’s campaign had spent $19.6 million, while Romney’s had spent at least $103 million.

The former senator from Pennsylvania also said that the media played a powerful role in drying up his support. Santorum had grown increasingly critical of the conservative news giant Drudge Report for consistently framing Romney as the presumptive nominee.

“The media does drive this a lot more than people realize, they do in fact have the ability to drive a narrative beyond the campaign’s ability to really to do much about it,” he said. “In that respect I give Governor Romney a lot of credit in that he was more able to effectively spin the media effectively to drive his narrative than we were, and that’s, that was just the reality of the situation.”

However, he admitted that it “seemed unlikely, not even unlikely but reaching to the point of impossible” to stop Romney, who has more delegates than all his competitors combined, from reaching the 1,144 delegates needed to net the nomination.

Perkins, appearing on CNN, had said earlier in the week he was a “little surprised” at Santorum’s bowing out, and said that Romney would need to embrace his former rival’s message if he hoped to unify conservative Americans behind him. 

“I think Rick would admit this himself — this was not about Rick Santorum,” Perkins said the day after Santorum bowed out of the race. “I mean Rick would say he probably was not the best messenger to articulate the message that he had. But that emphasizes the power of the message that he had.

“That’s what energized and enthused people, so I think, first off, if Mitt Romney wants to capture some of that support that Rick Santorum gained with very little money based solely upon his message, then Mitt Romney needs to pick up that message.”

Tags: election 2012, rick santorum

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Romney faces ‘enthusiasm gap,’ must embrace strong pro-life/family message: conservative leaders

by Ben Johnson Thu Apr 12 17:08 EST Comments (11)

 
Mitt Romney

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite the fact that Rick Santorum has dropped out of the presidential race and his next leading rival, Newt Gingrich, has called Mitt Romney “far and away the most likely nominee,” the former Massachusetts governor still faces a serious problem, conservative leaders warn.

“There is a huge enthusiasm gap among grass roots conservatives that must be addressed by the Romney campaign,” former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, now president of American Values, told LifeSiteNews.com.

A deficit with the party’s conservative base, especially its pro-life and pro-family base, will prove costly in November, he warned. “These people provide the passion and hard work that are key to GOP election success. It is almost impossible to win without them,” Bauer said. “Just ask John McCain.”

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If he is interested in uniting the party around his candidacy, Romney must not take social conservatives for granted, Bauer said. “Every time an anonymous Romney advisor or GOP insider says these voters will ‘fall in line’ because they can’t stand Obama, it is like finger nails on a chalkboard,” Bauer told LifeSiteNews. Assuming right-leaning voters will simply show up at the polls out of fear of Obama – much less become active in his campaign – “would be a huge mistake. ”

“If Mitt Romney wants to capture some of that support that Rick Santorum gained with very little money based solely upon his message, then Mitt Romney needs to pick up that message,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told LifeSiteNews.com.
 
Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times stating it is “critically important that [Romney] name a trusted social conservative” as his running mate. “I would encourage him to break with tradition and pick a running mate well before the convention and have them begin campaigning as a team as early as possible,” he wrote.

Dr. Land also advised Romney to articulate “a strict constructionist, ‘original intent’ judicial philosophy.”

Bauer agreed. “Governor Romney has three opportunities” to reunite his party’s conservative wing, he told LifeSiteNews: “VP selection, party platform and acceptance speech to send the right message. He also has to signal early that he won’t be shy on fighting Obama on cultural/values issues.”

He noted Hilary Rosen’s attack that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life provided a perfect starting point.

“To the degree that one candidate or another aligns with the core moral issues in addition to fiscal conservatism, they’re going to find support,” Perkins said. “If they don’t, they’re not going to get the unbridled enthusiastic support that Rick Santorum enjoys.” 

 

Tags: gary bauer, mitt romney, newt gingrich, tony perkins

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Adam and Eve after the Pill: the devastating fallout of the sexual revolution

by Ben Johnson Thu Apr 12 17:05 EST Comments (5)

 

Note: Read a LifeSiteNews.com interview with author Mary Eberstadt here.

Occasionally, a book perfectly marries expert insight with the tone and interests of its audience. Mary Eberstadt’s Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Ignatius Press) is just such a serendipity. In a rejoinder to decades of sexual liberation barbs and sexually libertine behavior, Eberstadt’s thin but illuminating volume introduces female audiences to the well-researched pitfalls of the sexual revolution in a language they will find most engaging.

That is not to say this is merely a book for women – far from it. Adam and Eve After the Pill takes a kaleidoscopic view at each dark angle of a nation that has abandoned the nuclear family. In noting the harms of recreational sex outside marriage and sexual barrenness after, Eberstadt devotes at least a chapter to each group oppressed through liberation: women, men, young adults, and children. Each segment of society, which had been promised freedom from the constraints of forced fertility, has found itself cheated of a devoted husband, a contented wife, an intact family unit, or a young adulthood free from sexual exploitation. At each turn, Eberstadt supports her argument with the rigorous citation of social science research. 

She notes that so many refuse to believe anyone could dissent from hedonism. Likening this to Communism’s true believers, she says today’s apologists for domestic decline share what Jeane Kirkpatrick called “The Will to Disbelieve.” Those who promote promiscuity, pornography, and the preludes to pedophilia as harmless find themselves switching places with the religious extremists they once derided, reciting articles of faith as the evidence mounts that their God has failed.

Her dual chapters on the effects pornography has had on men and women are perhaps the easiest to connect with emotionally. However, her decision to frame the chapter on women with an analysis of two essays on marriage by Sandra Tsing Loh and Caitlin Flanagan seemed at first unusual. Did this not unnecessarily date the book and lower its academic appeal?

The result of the spread of pornography is a nation bombarded with sexual imagery, of the most explicit and grotesque variety, yet increasingly “sexually barren” in terms of sex between married people. One telling anecdote occurs on page 51, about a joyless, intimacy-devoid marriage whose “tension over marital sex leads finally to an amicable solution: She has her chocolate, and he has his Internet pornography.” As a result, two Wharton School economists conducted a survey finding that female happiness has fallen throughout the industrialized world for the last 35 years – a period coterminous with their putative “liberation.” Eberstadt connects the dots between increasing male reliance on pornography, the market of women of all ages and descriptions readily available for no-strings-attached sex, the rise of the “man-child” mired in perpetual adolescence, and female dissatisfaction at the fraying family unit.

She outlines a dangerous picture on campus, where binge-drinking and emotion-free “hook-ups” have replaced dating. She tells those attending “Toxic U” there is a way to opt-out, citing such institutions as Christendom College, Patrick Henry College, and Hillsdale. And barring that, responsibility and heightened vigilance.

Two chapters explore what Friedrich Nietzsche called “the transvaluation of values” – specifically, that the moral opprobrium that fell upon pornography a generation ago now falls upon tobacco. No fashionable human being would consider lighting up in public, much less inducing a child to do so, yet many consider teen porn consumption harmless, if not instructive. Similarly, the overconsumption of food or indulgence in poor dietary choices have replaced a prior generation’s concern over rootless, meaningless sexual hookups. As Eberstadt points out, modern sexual ethics are worse than those envisioned by Nietzsche, the author of The Antichrist.

These paradoxes inflict real and meaningful harms. Her conscientiously footnoted book documents how young people who have been exposed to pornography are “more likely to have multiple lifetime sexual partners, more likely to have one sexual partner in the last three months, more likely to have used alcohol or other substances at their last sexual encounter, and…more likely to have scored higher on a ‘sexual permissiveness’ test.” They are more likely to have sex at a younger age, to engage in riskier sex, and to have forced another into non-consensual sex. In the process, she cites such very unconservative sources as Naomi Wolf, Lori Gottlieb, and Lionel Tiger.

The last chapter, on the vindication of Humanae Vitae, proves the prescience of the most derided missive in the history of the sexual revolution. Here she ends on a positive note, referencing Dr. Albert Mohler among other evangelicals and conservative Protestants who are re-evaluating their stance on contraception in wake of the fallout the sexual revolution has created.

That development in itself signals a potential way forward in the culture wars. The meek may inherit the earth, but the fertile make a more powerful voting bloc.

At first, this author found Eberstadt’s decision to center much of her narrative around such fashionable literature as Loh, et. al., irksome. However, even someone as wedded to heavy social data and research as myself must recognize it as a wise decision. The book’s target audience is women, who from Lysistrata to their overwhelming leadership of the pro-life movement have proven they have the ability to affect social mores when they stop tolerating poor behavior. They, far more so than men, maintain an emotional connection to family and an inherent aversion to anything that threatens the well-being of their homes.

This book has the unique ability to unite a woman’s heart with her mind. It should be used as an antidote to anyone who has read Cosmopolitan or Vogue and as a vaccine for those who wish to avoid a life of emotional bankruptcy.

Read a LifeSiteNews.com interview with author Mary Eberstadt here.

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Tags: humanae vitae, mary eberstadt

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Pro-life youth spearheading Letters4Life campaign threatened with rape and molestation

by Peter Baklinski Thu Apr 12 17:03 EST Comments (26)

 
Alexandra Jezierski

KINGSVILLE, Ontario, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-life campaign initiated by a 17-year-old woman to send 100,000 letters or e-mails to Prime Minister Harper by May 10th that “speak out against abortion” is gaining traction, but not without controversy.

Alexandra Jezierski, who began the Letters4Life campaign at the end of March, told LifeSiteNews that radical pro-abortion advocates teamed up last week on her Letters4Life Facebook page to intimidate and verbally assault her team of pro-life supporters.

One abortion advocate had posted on the Letters4Life Facebook page some graphic images of aborted babies and proceeded to mock and deride them. A young woman, one of Alexandra’s friends, defended the dignity of the unborn, commenting that mocking images of aborted babies was a “sick thing to do”.

In an extremely graphic, sexually explicit and disturbing rant, the abortion advocate threatened to mutilate, rape, kill, and then cannibalize the young woman.

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Alexandra says she was deeply disturbed by the hate-filled content that was appearing on her Facebook page, but she told LifeSiteNews, “it’s good to know this campaign is having an impact, even in the pro-abortion circle.”

“Yes, it’s really sad. I don’t know how someone can have the heart to laugh at pictures of bleeding, aborted babies, and then to write such a comment.”

The Letter4Life campaign has gotten off to a decent start with almost 500 letters sent to the Prime Minister in just two and a half weeks.

The purpose of the letter writing campaign is to tell the Prime Minster that if Canada is to be held up as a free and just nation, then the rights of even the youngest and smallest of human persons must be upheld first.

“I stand, as a voice for the voiceless, demanding justice for the unborn. For the sake of the unborn, for the sake of justice, for the sake of Canada, I will continue to fight for and uphold the basic human right of the most vulnerable and most innocent ones of our society,” one of Alexandra’s form letters states.

Another form letter asks the Prime Minister to support Motion 312 put forward by conservative MP Steve Woodworth that calls for Parliament to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins.

“We cannot uphold a law that is at odds with science, medicine, and truth,” the form letter states. “It is time to accept the facts. Life begins at conception. And from the moment of conception, we need to protect it.”

Alexandra told LifeSiteNews that one family has set a goal of writing 100 letters. One lady has promised to send 100 letters written by hand. Another women has set a goal to write 200 letters.

Alexandra has contacted Right to Life groups and Knights of Columbus councils across the country with the hope of gaining support in her quest to flood Harper’s office with pro-life letters.

One abortion advocate was exasperated by Alexandra’s pro-life initiative: “Where do these people keep coming from? Go away!,” he wrote.

Alexandra says she is unfazed by the degrading rhetoric of those who oppose her initiative.

“As long as abortion continues, we will fight to end it,” she responded. “As long as the rights of the unborn are denied, we will stand up for them. As long as children are killed, helpless and vulnerable, we will defend them.”

“As long as abortion continues to snatch away the lives of thousands of babies, we will NOT go away.”


Join Alexandra and her letter/e-mail writing campaign:

1. Write your own letter/e-mail, or use one of Alexandra’s form letters.

2. Letters may be mailed (postage is free) to:
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

E-mails may be sent to: pm@pm.gc.ca

3. Submit number of letters or e-mails sent to Alexandra’s data tracker.
IMPORTANT: Alexandra cannot keep track of number of letters sent unless they are reported to her through her data tracker.
If you have sent a pro-life letter or e-mail to Prime Minister Harper but have not reported it, please do so now.

Website: Letters4Life.ca
Letter4Life Facebook page

Tags: abortion, letters4life

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Accused vandals of pro-life campus display say destruction was ‘free speech’

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Apr 12 16:37 EST Comments (37)

 

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Kentucky, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of youths arrested and charged with vandalizing a Kentucky pro-life campus display said that destroying the display was an expression of their “right to free speech.”

Pro-life leaders of Northern Right to Life at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) say they first set up the display on Monday morning. It consisted of tiny onesies hanging on a line with red “X” taped onto every fourth outfit to symbolize a life lost to abortion. The display included a sign explaining its significance and citing the Guttmacher Institute.

But after the display was torn down twice within the first two days, members of the pro-life group began taking night shifts to watch for the vandals. On Friday morning around 1am, they say they spotted four young men beginning to cut down the line and throwing the clothing, which was to be donated to needy local children, in the trash.

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“When the perps realized that they had been seen, they started running. Too bad for them, one of the students guarding the display is in great shape and was able to chase them half way across the campus (Yelling ‘Run you cowaaarrrds’),” reported Northern Right to Life president Sarah Piron via an email message from Students for Life of America.

“Thankfully it didn’t take long for the campus police to respond, and our vandals were caught.”

Both Piron and the Kentucky Post report that the three suspects police caught - Travis Black, Steven White and Montez Jenkins Copeland - have been charged with Criminal Mischief. 

“Though the vandals don’t think they deserve to be faced with consequences, we at NRTL believe that it’s important for people to understand that they cannot just rip down a display simply because they disagree with its message,” said Piron.

A fourth suspect who had turned himself in, Kyle Pickett, agreed with pro-lifers that they had a right to display the clothing as free speech - but justified the vandalism as equally protected.

“Tearing it down was expressing our right to free speech,” he said, according to the Post.

Piron said that, in any event, the vandals’ attempt at silencing the display has backfired: the pro-lifers have fueled campus discussions with their own Internet images poking fun at the attempted vandalism.

“The joke is really on them. They were trying to silence our message, but all they really did was start a buzz on campus about the issues of abortion and free speech,” said Piron.

Tags: abortion

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U.S. seminary confronts abortion mill head-on through weekly prayer invasion

by Peter Baklinski Thu Apr 12 16:05 EST Comments (76)

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Seminarians from the only Pontifical College in the U.S. have an awe-inspiring approach for confronting abortion head-on. Dressed in full regalia of a black cassock, a traditional red sash, and armed with a rosary, the seminarians descend in a powerful show of force every Saturday on a local abortion facility to confront with prayer what the seminary’s rector calls the “poison of abortion.”

Father James Wehner, rector of the Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, says he believes that seminarians need to “see visibly the forces of evil at work, and respond with an act of faith in which prayer becomes the greater force.”

“American culture is a blessing, but it is also poisoned,” he said. “The clergy, particularly priests, need to be able to confront that poison, not run away and hide from it. That means we have to confront it head-on.”

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The Josephinum encourages its seminarians to pray at one of two nearby abortion facilities every Saturday. The young future priests alternate every week between each facility. Once each semester, the entire community, including priests, faculty, and staff — nearly 200 people — descend upon one of the abortion centers for an all-out prayer invasion. Fr. Wehner personally leads these prayer crusades.

“We are there to pray. I am teaching our men to be men of prayer and to lead other people in prayer. That is our primary and first responsibility,” he told LifeSiteNews.com.

The young seminarians are taught to consider their prayer as a spiritual challenge to unjust laws that strip away the lives of the most vulnerable, and morally destroys the lives of others who participate in the gruesome business of killing human life in the womb.

“The point of all of this is that wherever man is suffering — in this case, an unborn child, a woman who is having the abortion, those who are facilitating the abortion — the Church has to be present to these people, primarily by prayer,” said Fr. Wehner.

Fr. Wehner explained to LifeSiteNews that the “overall theology that we are promoting with the seminarians is the New Evangelization, [which] moves us into the promotion of an authentic humanism and a culture of life.”

“The New Evangelization means that wherever we find a new situation — good or bad — the Church must be able to be present in that situation…and the Church is an expert in humanity. So, when man or society finds itself sick, the Church needs to be present.”

“So, if we are killing the unborn, the Church needs to be present.”

“For too long, I think, we Catholics turned in on ourselves. We were comfortable in our ghetto neighborhoods to the point where we became intimidated by others who are very vocal. Now we need to open our mouths.”

Fr. Wehner pointed out that the high percentages of Catholics contracepting reveals the failure of leaders in the Church to pass on authentic Catholic teaching. “It’s not enough to say ‘well, that’s wrong,’” he said, “but you need to be able to explain why.”

“We are training our future priests to convincingly and catechetically bring to our people the Gospel in a way that people can receive it and understand it so that their lives can be changed by it.”

“We are forming new evangelizers. These [will be] priests who not only know the Gospel, but who will be able to teach it and articulate it to people who live in a pluralistic society.”

Since Fr. Wehner became the rector of the Josephinum in 2009, the enrollment has shot up by 53 percent. There are now 180 seminarians who are being trained to fearlessly engage the culture. They are being trained to be what the Josephinum calls “renaissance men” who can draw from the culture all that is consistent with the Gospel of Life.

Seminarians from the Josephinum attended the recent March for Life in Washington, with more then 80% of their community participating.

“This is just one manifestation of what we are going to be seeing in the next generation of priests,” said Fr. Wehner. “Every generation makes a contribution to the Church. I am very excited and very enthusiastic about what the next generation of priests is going to bring to Catholics in the United States.”

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Pro-abort bill proposed in Ireland: 1 year in prison for pro-life counselling

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Thu Apr 12 14:56 EST Comments (42)

 
Pro-lifers participate in a demonstration today against the pro-abortion bill.

BELFAST, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A private member’s bill in Ireland proposes to overturn the Republic of Ireland’s constitutional protections for the unborn, and includes a provision penalizing pro-life sidewalk counseling with one year in prison.

The so-called Medical Treatment Bill, tabled by Socialist Party Teachta Dála (TD) Clare Daly, is the first ever private members’ bill backing abortion to be introduced in the Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament). It would legalize abortion up to birth in cases where the woman’s life is in danger, or if she is threatening suicide.

Pro-life advocates have pointed out that there is no evidence that abortion is necessary to protect women’s lives, and that life-saving treatment for pregnant women is already available.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the Bill was based on a “fundamentally dishonest claim that abortion is needed to protect women’s lives. This claim amounts to the worst type of scaremongering, and polls show that it is rejected by the majority of Irish women.”

“The record shows we are safer without abortion,” she said, “so why are this group of politicians trying to introduce abortion in our name? It’s unacceptable to misrepresent Irish women - and the truth about abortion - in this way.”

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Bernadette Smyth, the head of Precious Life, the group that has fought the UK government’s attempts to impose abortion by stealth in Northern Ireland, has called on all Irish people, north and south, who want to keep abortion out of the islands, to oppose the bill.

Smyth and other Precious Life members, as well as the Irish groups Youth Defence and the Life Institute, joined hundreds in a demonstration today in Dublin demanding the defeat of the Medical Treatment Bill.

“Clare Daly is attempting to hoodwink the public that her Bill isn’t actually about legalising abortion,” Smyth said.

She warned that the bill is “even worse” than the 1967 Abortion Act that ushered in the current abortion regime in the UK.

Its provisions, Symth says, would even allow doctors to perform an abortion without the woman’s consent and allow abortions on underage girls without their parents’ or guardian’s consent. It would also force doctors to refer women to abortionists.

It attacks democratic freedoms as well, she says, in targeting pro-life groups or individuals who want to talk in public to abortion-minded women. The bill would make it an offense to talk to a woman going for an abortion with the intention of changing her mind, imposing prison terms of up to a year and fines of up to £2000.

Rebecca Roughneen of Youth Defence, said the demonstration was an effort to bring before the parliamentarians the fact that the majority of Irish women were sick and tired of being misrepresented by small groupings of pro-abortion campaigners.

Youth Defence has launched a campaign against claims by the abortion industry lobby that because of the current law, women are being refused “life saving medical treatment.” Women in Ireland, she said, are never denied genuine medical treatment during pregnancy, even in those cases where it might have the unintended secondary effect of causing the death of the child, however rare those cases may be.

Tags: abortion, northern ireland

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What if Plato, Aquinas and Sartre met in the womb?: A womb with three views

by Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. Thu Apr 12 13:51 EST Comments (2)

 

April 12, 2012 (HLIAmerica.org) - It did not happen. But it could have happened. It is a matter of historical record that Plato was born in Ancient Greece, Aquinas in the Middle Ages, and Jean-Paul Sartre in the Twentieth Century. Yet it would not have been impossible, in the lottery of life, for all three of these talented thinkers to have been conceived by the same woman and, to stretch the imagination to its outer edge, to have been united in the womb as fraternal triplets.

What thoughts might these three extraordinary individuals have shared in their close quarters if they were as precocious in the womb as they were prolific in the world! As philosophers in the world, each of them dominated the intellectual climate of his day; each was a milestone in the history of Western thought. Together they summarize three radically different views of God and life: Plato represented pagan acceptance; Aquinas, Christian reception; Sartre, atheistic rejection.

If the notion of three embryonic philosophers dialoguing in the womb seems a bit fanciful, it may be worth noting that the small world of the womb has often been regarded as a prototype of the larger world outside. An ancient Jewish proverb states that in the womb man knows his cosmic connection, and after he is born, must rediscover it. Psychotherapist Rollo May claims the womb provides “a state of we-nests” which makes language and communication possible. Media guru Marshall McLuhan remarked that all our senses may very well be “specialized variants” of “womb-wise” touch. Thomas Merton compared the child in the womb with the cloistered religious when he referred to him as “Planted in the night of contemplation/Sealed in the dark waiting to be born.”

Furthermore, our imaginative dialogue is not altogether without historical foundation. Let us recall the Visitation recorded in Luke’s gospel, when Elizabeth’s child “leaped in her womb” at the recognition of another child in the womb—Jesus.

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It is late in the prenatal development of our precocious and prolific trio. They have slumbered deeply for several months and now, having awakened from that long period of peace, begin to make observations, raise questions, and draw certain personal conclusions. The one who will be known as Plato proposes a most ingenious theory. He judges the womb to be a deprived environment where shadow has been separated from substance. He argues that the womb is but a prison and that outside it is a world infinitely richer and more real. “There is a being who is good and who sustains and nourishes us,” he reasons, “but we must find the courage to get out of our cave-like dwelling and enter the light so that we may come to know this being. If we continue to feast on shadows, we will remain entirely oblivious to reality.”

Aquinas listens intently as Plato waxes eloquent. But he is more patient. There is such a being, he agrees. And the life that awaits us when we are delivered from this exile is indeed more beautiful and more satisfying than anything we can imagine. “We must have hope. These ‘shadows,’ as you call them,” he explains to Plato in a confident tone, “are also real and have their own value and purpose. We must wait and hope, and in due time we will be delivered. We will finally meet the being who sustains and nourishes us, but only when the time is propitious.”

The third occupant, having listed attentively to the other two, shakes his head angrily. “Neither of you are being realistic in any sense! You do not have the courage to face the brute fact that this is a squalid and hopeless place. Because you cannot admit to the absurdity of our existence in this dismal and congested chamber, you imagine beautiful places that simply do not exist. You must accept the absurdity of your fate. Only then will you be free. Your wishful fabrications can only prevent you from being truly yourselves.”

Plato and Aquinas try very hard to explain the doctrine of cause and effect to their cynical sibling. They reason that since we are not the cause of our being, and since we are not the authors of our own life, spirit, and capacity to think, there must be some higher cause that produces these effects. If you follow the law of reason, they advise, you too will conclude that there must be an order of reality that transcends this gloomy confine and our humble mode of existence.

“All I know is what I see,” Sartre replies. “I can do without superstitious nonsense.” Then Aquinas, speaking very gently, says that he understands his brother’s doubts and that he has many doubts of his own, but whenever he is plagued by uncertainties, he prefers to believe in more reality than in less.

Upon hearing this, Sartre becomes even more enraged and shakes the umbilical cords so vehemently that he momentarily shuts off the air supply. “Don’t do that,” gasps Plato, after regaining his equilibrium. “You are acting like a being without reason.”

Aquinas antagonizes Sartre even further by lecturing him on the virtues of commutative justice and fraternal charity.

“Let me put it as bluntly as I can,” Sartre snaps. “There is no exit from this place. And what is more, I do not owe either of you anything. I belong to myself alone. And frankly, after listening to your verbal inanities, I am convinced more than every that man’s greatest trial is other people. In fact, if I may coin a phrase, ‘Hell is other people.’ And one more thing! These cords you seem to think are so important are really fetters. I shall cut them; only then shall we be free.”

“No!” Aquinas bellows. “These cords connect us with the source of our nourishment and love. We are dependent beings. If we sever our connections with the being who sustains us, we shall surely die.”

“If we remain attached to another,” Sartre retorts, “we cannot be ourselves, we cannot be the masters of our own destiny.”

“Our freedom lies in obedience,” Aquinas answers, “and in the wisdom to love and serve the one who is our Master.” “Knowledge will be our freedom,” adds Plato. Yet Sartre remains adamant: “Faith in anyone else is bad faith. I believe in myself. Now please leave me alone.”

Plato, in a more reflective mood, calls attention to the low, steady beats that reverberate throughout the womb. “These rhythmic sounds,” he muses, “are the footsteps of the demiurge who assisted in our creation. He lingers awhile to be assured that we are all right.”

Sartre reproaches him one again: “These endless, repetitious sounds I hear overwhelm me with a feeling of nausea. They are as senseless as life itself and serve only to announce our impending doom.”

“I beg to differ with you,” Aquinas states, almost apologetically. “I believe these ever-present beats are a sign that we are under constant protection. Moreover, I believe that this protection is a natural emanation from a source of continual love.”

More time passes. The triangular dispute remains unresolved. Then the hour arrives when spasms occur and jostle the embryonic trinity. The walls of their fleshy incubator contracts and convulses with increasing severity. The trio are now tumbling and careening into each other. “What is happening?” they exclaim in unison. “We are dying!” answers Plato. “This is absurd!” shouts Sartre. “Have faith!” urges Aquinas.

Soon the spasms become more frequent and intensify to the point that they expel the three philosophers from their tiny hermitage and force them down through a narrow corridor.

“You see,” says Sartre. “It is just as I have maintained; life is utterly absurd and can lead only to even greater absurdities.” “Truly we are dying,” Plato moans. “No,” says Aquinas calmly: “In death we are born to life; the seed must die so that it may live to a higher life.”

The discussion is ended. With one last great spasm, the three are forced out into the world. They are chilled by the cold and confused by their first experience of weight. As they cry, air fills their lungs for the first time. And then they meet the being whom they both sought and denied, the being who sustained and nourished them.

Her name, however, is not “freedom,” or “first cause” or “demiurge,” but mother. And she is more tender and more beautiful and more loving than they could possibly have imagined. Now the philosophers live in an extra-uterine environment that none of them can possibly deny. Yet their quarrel persists and follows a familiar pattern. Plato is anxious to find his way out of this world of earthly shadows, while Sartre insists that this new environment is all there is. But Aquinas, still patient and full of faith and hope, continues to believe in even more reality.

This article appears in the most recent issue of Human Life Review.  To learn more about the Review or to subscribe, visit www.humanlifereview.com. Donald DeMarco, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow of HLI America, an educational initiative of Human Life International. He is Professor Emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario and adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He writes for the Truth and Charity Forum.

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‘Historic’ drop in teen birth rate, says CDC report

by Christine Dhanagom Thu Apr 12 13:19 EST Comments (6)

April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New figures released this month by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicating a recent drop in the teen birth rate has ignited a fierce debate over the reasons for the change. While liberal groups are claiming the drop in birth rate is thanks to increased use of contraception, abstinence proponents say that the evidence points to the impact of abstinence education.

According to the report, data from the National Vital Statistics System Natality Data File indicates that the teen birth rate dipped to 34.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2010.

The CDC called the shift “historic,” noting that the decline represents a 9% drop from 2009, and puts the teen birth rate at the lowest it has been since 1946.

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The decline occurred across racial lines, although certain minorities continue to have much higher rates of teen birth than the general population. Birth rates also continue to vary in different states.

The national figures, however, represent an overall trend of decline in teen pregnancy and births in recent years. A study released earlier this year by the Guttmacher Institute showed the 2008 teenage pregnancy rate at the lowest it had been in nearly 40 years.

The organization, which has ties to Planned Parenthood, issued a press release along with the study claiming that “a large body of research has shown that the long-term decline in teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates was driven primarily by improved use of contraception among teens.”

A statement on the CDC website accompanying the Center’s report on the 2009 decline also connected the trend to increased contraceptive use among teenagers, as well as “the impact of strong pregnancy prevention messages directed to teenagers.”

However, Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association, told LifeSiteNews that it was “disappointing” that the report’s authors did not give “adequate credibility” to abstinence education as a key factor in the trend.

Huber pointed to recent research which has tracked a decline in teenage sexual activity corresponding with the decline in pregnancy over recent years. Currently, according to the CDC’s own figures, nearly 75% of 15 to 17 year olds have never had sex, Huber said.

”Taken together, both the fact that we’re seeing precipitous drops in teen birth rates and precipitous drops in teen sexual activity rates, the public policy calculation should be pretty simple,” she added.

Huber noted that abstinence educators are wary of the possible agenda behind the report, which she said was “well timed with the FY 2013 budget negotiations,” at a time when the Obama Administration has “virtually done away with most of the abstinence education funding.”

Tags: abortion, abstinence, contraception, planned parenthood

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Dem advisor slams Ann Romney for staying home to raise 5 boys

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Apr 12 12:05 EST Comments (54)

 
Mitt and Ann Romney

Updated: 04/12/2012 at 2:59 pm EST

April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After a Democratic advisor bashed Ann Romney for never having a job, the wife of the GOP presidential frontrunner lost no time defending her choice to raise five boys rather than pursue a career outside the home - a choice one of her own sons jumped to defend as well.

ABC News reports that Mrs. Romney, mother of five and grandmother of 16, made a well-timed debut on Twitter only moments after Democratic National Committee advisor Hilary Rosen bashed Ann Romney’s lifestyle choice. “Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Mrs. Romney’s response on Twitter, the first statement on the new account @AnnDRomney, was swift.

“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” Ann tweeted, in a message the Romney campaign confirmed as authentic.

In response, Rosen tweeted several messages defending her statements. “I’ve nothing against @AnnRomney. I just don’t want Mitt using her as an expert on women struggling $ to support their family. She isn’t,” stated one tweet.

Mrs. Romney wrote in her second tweet, “all moms are entitled to choose their path.”

ABC notes that the Twitter spat arose as Mr. Romney finished a round of campaigning highlighting the Obama administration’s “war on women” through the president’s economic policies.

One of Ann’s sons, Josh Romney, also took to Twitter to let the world know he was proud of his mother and grateful for her choice.

“@AnnDRomney is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know,” Josh, who is the second oldest, tweeted. “Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me.”

Meanwhile, both Republicans and the Obama campaign condemned Rosen’s remarks, with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina calling the remarks “wrong” and saying the Democrat should apologize.

Rosen, who has raised twins with her now-estranged lesbian lover Elizabeth Birch, responded to the blowback against her remarks by saying that she has also had children and “it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.” “It’s strategic to attack me rather than talk about the issues,” she said.

Rosen is a former executive director for the Human Rights Campaign, which she led for eight years.

In an interview on Fox News on Thursday, Mrs. Romney expanded on her remarks, saying that, “We have to respect women in all the choices they make,” and that Rosens’ suggestion that Romney does not undrestand women’s needs bothered her.

“Raising children, it’s for me the most important thing we can do ... Mitt said to me more times then you can imagine, Ann, your job is more important than mine.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review notes that, despite the distancing by Obama’s staff, Rosen is very closely linked to the White House, which has logged 35 visits from her. By comparison, the Secretary of Defense has visited 12 times.

A Washington Post reader poll on Thursday found 97% agreeing that Rosen’s criticism was out of line.

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UK Cardinal urges Christians to wear crosses

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Apr 12 11:15 EST Comments (11)

 

EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the UK government fights Christians’ right to wear a cross at work, Britain’s top Catholic prelate has responded by calling on the faithful to wear the cross “each and every day of their lives.”

In his Easter Sunday homily, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien of Edinburgh said wearing the cross regularly is a sign of the Christian’s desire to imitate Christ and “should not be a problem for others.”

“Rather they should see in that sign an indication of our own desire to love and to serve all peoples in imitation of that love and service of Jesus Christ,” he told the congregation at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The prelate’s comments come as David Cameron’s Conservative government has opposed the case of two women—Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin—who have gone before the European Court of Human Rights seeking the right to wear a cross in their workplace.

Though Prime Minister Cameron has said that he personally believes citizens should be free to wear the cross, lawyers for his Foreign Office have argued that wearing the cross is not a “necessary” aspect of the Christian faith and so employers ought to have the right to fire workers who refuse to remove the ancient symbol.

“In neither case is there any suggestion that the wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was a generally recognised form of practising the Christian faith, still less one that is regarded (including by the applicants themselves) as a requirement of the faith,” wrote the Foreign Office in its submission to the European Court.

But Cardinal O’Brien disagrees, and decried the growing “marginalization of religion.”

He quoted an address by Pope Benedict at Westminster Hall during his Sept. 2010 visit to Britain.

“Religion is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation,” said the Pope. “In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.”

The Cardinal observed that “when the Pope addressed those leaders in Westminster Hall, his cross was visible over his robes – as indeed the cross is visible over the garments of every Cardinal and Bishop.”

“Why shouldn’t each and every Christian similarly wear proudly a symbol of the cross of Christ on their garments each and every day of their lives?” asked the prelate.

“I know that many of you do wear such a cross of Christ – not in any ostentatious way, not in a way that might harm you at your work or recreation, but a simple indication that you value the role of Jesus Christ in the history of the world, that you are trying to live by Christ’s standards in your own daily life and that you are only too willing to reach out a hand of help to others, as did Jesus Christ when he was on earth,” he continued.

“Whether on a simple chain or pinned to a lapel, the cross identifies us as disciples of Christ and we should wear it with pride,” he added.

Reacting to the Cardinal’s comments, Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Chaplin at the European Court, told the BBC that it is “time for Christians everywhere to mark their allegiance to the cross.”

Find Cardinal O’Brien’s full address here.

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30% of web’s total traffic is for porn: tech magazine

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Apr 12 10:14 EST Comments (9)

 
An estimated 30% of web traffic is related to porn, according to ExtremeTech

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Anyone who uses Google knows that porn is all over the web. But how pervasive is it really?

After an investigation, the popular technology magazine ExtremeTech estimates that porn websites account for as much as 30% of the web’s total traffic. The largest porn sites out there outpace everything but the “Googles and Facebooks of the internet,” writes Senior Editor Sebastian Anthony.

Xvideos, the world’s largest porn site, gets 4.4 billion page views per month – about three times as many as CNN.com. But there are dozens of porn sites on the web’s top 500 destinations, writes Anthony.

And page views are only just the beginning.

“It’s only when you factor in what those porn surfers are actually doing that the size and scale of adult websites truly comes into focus,” Anthony writes.

Each of those visitors spends vastly more time on porn sites than others: an average visit is around 15 to 20 minutes, compared to three to six minutes for a news website.

And the amount of data transferred is “astronomical,” Anthony says, because while most websites are just text and images, porn sites are mostly streaming videos.

While loading a news article might involve 500 kilobytes, a video is more like 100 kilobytes per second, or 90 megabytes over 15 minutes. At this rate, considering the number of visitors, Xvideos is likely averaging around 50 gigabytes per second, or 29 petabytes per month, says Anthony. Later in the article, he admits it’s probably closer to 35 or 40 petabytes per month.

For comparison’s sake, he notes that an internet connection at home normally only transfers a couple of megabytes per second.

“In short, porn sites cope with astronomical amounts of data. The only sites that really come close in term of raw bandwidth are YouTube or Hulu, but even then YouPorn is something like six times larger than Hulu,” he writes.

YouPorn, the second most popular porn site on the web, alone accounts for around 2% of the web’s traffic, he says.

“There are dozens of porn sites on the scale of YouPorn, and hundreds that are the size of ExtremeTech or your favorite news site. It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet,” Anthony writes.

“The internet really is for porn.”

Check out the full ExtremeTech report: Just how big are porn sites?

Tags: pornography

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Why homosexuals think they are hated

by Dale O’Leary Thu Apr 12 09:00 EST Comments (55)

April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI and others have recently drawn attention to the fact that simply putting forward the Church’s unchanging teachings on marriage and sexual morality puts a person in the position of being accused of “hate.” In particular, GLBT (gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) activists are demanding that Catholics and those of other religions change 4,000-year-old teachings about marriage and sexual morality. When believers answer that they are not authorized to make such changes in what God has revealed, the GLBT activists accuse them of “hate,” even going so far as to charge them with “hate crimes.”

It doesn’t matter how gently the words are spoken or how carefully the message is phrased, the GLBT activists only hear “hate.”

Although there is no one cause for same-sex attraction (SSA), in many instances it can be linked to childhood gender identity disorder — the failure to identify strongly with one’s own same-sex parent or peers in the first two years of life. Some persons with SSA as children wanted to be other sex or pretended to be the other sex, while others simply felt ‘different’ from their same-sex parent and peers.

Very often the child’s relationship with the father was seriously deficient. Not having a positive, healthy relationship with one’s father affects the way a person deals with authority, rules, and rejection. Often persons with SSA were rejected by peers, who did understand their ‘different’ behavior. Every time the unhealed adult with SSA feels rejection, faces discipline, or is confronted with rules, he remembers the pain of his relationship with his father or peers. He transfers these feelings to those who oppose him and screams in pain “You hate me, you hate me.”

The only real solution in these cases is for persons with SSA to forgive their fathers and to be reconciled with their father God. Until that happens we cannot take their anger personally. We must speak clearly about the need for healing and repentance — but remember that the sexual sin is the fruit of a developmental disorder and often the first sin that must be repented of is the sin of resentment.

I had an opportunity to see this work with a woman who had been involved in lesbian activity. While the healing process was long and difficult, it began when she forgave her parents. From that moment on, she never returned to the same-sex activity.

Some persons with SSA are themselves filled with anger and ‘hate’ and they project that on anyone who opposes their demands. They assume we must be as angry as they are. We must constantly remind ourselves that under their anger and their hate, persons with SSA are wounded men and women. As small children they accepted the lie that they were different. They were unable to embrace their true identities as sons and daughters of God. In spite of their anger and false accusations, we must continue to speak the truth. Only by this means can we help them find their way out of the lies in which have been trapped. And most of all we need to pray for them.

This article was originally published on the Crisis Magazine website.

Tags: homophobia, homosexuality

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US Bishops: It’s an ‘obligation of faith’ to fight contraception mandate and other unjust laws

by John-Henry Westen Thu Apr 12 08:31 EST Comments (22)

 

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A committee of the US Bishops Conference has called it an “obligation of faith” for Catholics to refuse to obey unjust laws. Topping the examples of unjust laws listed in the 12-page statement, released today, is the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate, which seeks to force religious employers to cover contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs. The list also includes the forcing of Catholic agencies to permit homosexual adoption and foster care.

“It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices,” says the document. “If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them. No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.”

The Bishops say that through Obama’s contraceptive mandate, “in an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are ‘religious enough’ to merit protection of their religious liberty.”

In addition, the same section notes that “Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the state of Illinois have driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services—by revoking their licenses, by ending their government contracts, or both—because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit.”

The Bishops call on all Catholics to pray, fast and take action in the face of such threats to freedom and also to hold fast to the teachings of the faith.  They exhort politicians to stand up for religious freedom.

They specifically address Catholic health care workers telling them: “It is you who may be forced to choose between the good works we do by faith, and fidelity to that faith itself. We encourage you to hold firm, to stand fast, and to insist upon what belongs to you by right as Catholics and Americans. Our country deserves the best we have to offer, including our resistance to violations of our first freedom.”

The document urges priests to preach forcefully about religious freedom and even engages bloggers in the same task. “The Catholic Church in America is blessed with an immense number of writers, producers, artists, publishers, filmmakers, and bloggers employing all the means of communications—both old and new media—to expound and teach the faith. They too have a critical role in this great struggle for religious liberty. We call upon them to use their skills and talents in defense of our first freedom.”

The document proposes a special “fortnight for freedom,” from June 21 to July 4 in which bishops in their own dioceses arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom.  The fortnight begins significantly on the feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More who were martyred for holding to the faith under “persecution by political power.”

The Bishops suggest the following prayer to be used by all to implore God for His help in the battle.

Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty,
the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.
Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;
By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live
in this blessed land.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness,
and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The full statement: Our First, Most Cherished Liberty

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Don’t miss your chance for a free ticket!

by Fidero Wed Apr 11 20:18 EST Comments (0)

 

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