Monday, April 16, 2012

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Strongly pro-life, pro-family traditional Anglicans enter Catholic Church in Canada

by John-Henry Westen Mon Apr 16 18:59 EST Comments (14)

 
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and other Catholic clergy welcome the new members of the Catholic Church.

OTTAWA, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At St. Patrick’s Basilica in Ottawa yesterday, dozens of members of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC), along with their bishop Carl Reid and a number of their priests, entered the Catholic Church.  They were welcomed into the Catholic Church with a Mass celebrated by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who in speaking with Vatican Radio about the event noted the Anglican community’s strong commitment to the pro-life cause.

In Victoria, British Columbia another group of the ACCC entered the Catholic Church with their Bishop Peter Wilkinson.  Masses at both locations were crowded with attendees. 

All the entrants, but especially both bishops and their priests, have made the move at great cost.  The clergy will be considered laymen until they receive Catholic ordination as priests, for which they have already received an initial clearance from the Vatican.  One of the ACCC bishops originally from Canada has already been made a Catholic priest. 

Reid, as a bishop of the ACCC, was a very prominent religious figure at the National March for Life in Ottawa.  He has participated in the March every year since 1998 except for 2006 and 2007, when he was made a bishop and was away in Europe. “As Church leaders we are responsible not only for defending and upholding the faith ‘once given for all’, but also to represent the same sort of steady beacon in an increasingly confused moral landscape,” said Bishop Reid in the ACCC’s diocesan newsletter in 2009

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“There could hardly be a more representative example of how morally bankrupt western society has become than that our political leaders, and those others who promulgate or influence public policy, have dulled the collective consciousness into a state of moral stupor that feels that it is quite acceptable to murder our posterity with apparent impunity.”

One of the members of the ACCC who came into the Catholic Church yesterday is very well known to Canadian Catholics – Canadian Catholic News reporter Deborah Gyapong.

“I’m overjoyed,” Gyapong told LifeSiteNews.com “It’s been a long time that we’ve been praying for this and hoping for this.  I’m glad that we have at least been able to come as a remnant of our community. … Even though we’re small in number we are a committed group, a group that’s willing to sacrifice. We’re bringing a beautiful patrimony with us an expression of English Catholic spirituality.”

A lengthy standing ovation greeted the newly received. “I commend the courage and fortitude of our brothers and sisters of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada,” Archbishop Prendergast said in his homily. “Your journey has not been easy. I commend your humility and your sacrifice; you have suffered much.”

“I commend your tradition and your zeal; you will bless and strengthen the Roman Catholic Church by your presence.”

Archbishop Prendergast added: “You are not just favoured guests. This is your home. We love you. I love you. May our public witness of unity draw many from the edges of faith into God’s Kingdom, no longer subject to judgement but to Divine Mercy.”

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Catholic parishes refuse to support effort to protect marriage in Washington State

by Christine Dhanagom Mon Apr 16 18:49 EST Comments (76)

 
Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

SEATTLE, Washington, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Several Catholic parishes in Seattle are refusing to participate in an effort to oppose same sex “marriage” legislation, despite the local bishop’s support for the campaign.

A bill legalizing homosexual “marriage” was passed by the Washington State legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Catholic Governor Christine Gregoire. Opponents are attempting to gather the 120,000 signatures necessary for a referendum, so that the state’s citizens will have a chance to vote on the legislation this November.

In a letter sent to parishes throughout the Archdiocese, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain authorized churches to gather signatures for the referendum, and reiterated his support for the measure. The archbishop has been an active opponent of gay “marriage” in Washington State, and testified against it before a State Senate Committee earlier this year.

At least three Catholic churches in the diocese are refusing to get on board, however, including St. James Cathedral, the seat of the archdiocese.

In an interview with King 5 News, St. James pastor Fr. Michael Ryan said that “nobody knows a community better than a pastor,” adding that St. James’ had “a lot of gay and lesbian people” and “many people who have great support and understanding for them.”

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An email attributed to Fr. Ryan was also published on the blog of a Seattle newspaper by gay blogger Dominic Holden. According to Holden, the email was sent to St. James parishioners to explain why the parish would not be participating in the signature drive.

“After discussing the matter with the members of the Cathedral’s pastoral ministry team, I have decided that we will not participate in the collecting of signatures in our parish. Doing so would, I believe, prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community,” reads the email.

Fr. Ryan notes in the email that the archbishop had left participation in the effort up to the discretion of individual pastors, and calls some media reports “misleading” in this regard.

Holden also published the full text of a letter addressed to parishioners at St. Mary’s in Seattle from Tricia Wittmann-Todd, the Church’s “pastoral life coordinator.”

Wittman-Todd says that she has decided against involving the parish in the signature drive “after much prayer and reflection.” She cites, as one of the “primary considerations” behind her decision, the fact that “inclusion and welcome” are one of the parish’s “highest values.”

“I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish. I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives,” she writes.

She also claims that the need for Catholics to form their own consciences is another reason for not participating, adding: “Many of our parishioners have not had sufficient opportunity to form their consciences and those who have represent a wide variety of beliefs.”

A third parish, St. Joseph’s in Seattle, announced in a statement on the parish website that the pastor, Jesuit priest Fr. John Whitney, “has decided that no petitioning will be permitted anywhere on the campus of St. Joseph.”

Holden also claims to have been told that St. Catherine, St. Patrick, St. Therese, and Christ Our Hope are not participating.

LifeSiteNews was not able to reach Greg Magnoni, the spokesperson for the Seattle Archdiocese, but Magnoni told ABC News that the “vast majority” of the diocese’s 170 parishes are participating in collecting signatures.

“I am confident that we will collect enough valid signatures to place it on the ballot,” he said.

Tags: gay marriage, marriage, washington

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Planned Parenthood moved to bar words ‘child’ and ‘baby’ from courtroom

by Kathleen Gilbert Mon Apr 16 15:33 EST Comments (18)

 
The criminal case against Phill Kline was brought forward by former Attorney General Phill Kline.

OLATHE, Kansas, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Planned Parenthood in Kansas moved to silence certain details of their abortion business while facing accusations of aborting babies beyond the gestational age legal in the state, according to documents unsealed last week.

Judge Stephen Tatum unsealed the documents in a criminal case brought by Kansas state prosecutors against the abortion group involving 58 counts related to illegal late-term abortions. Planned Parenthood, who originally faced charges alongside Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller, is seeking dismissal of all charges.

According to records obtained by Operation Rescue, Planned Parenthood had moved to censor or cast doubt upon state prosecutors’ case under a long list of rationales.

Operation Rescue said that the abortion group had moved to ignore a 2005 law extending the statute of limitations, to question jurors about their religious beliefs, and to prohibit prosecutors from asking about the cost of abortions, handwriting discrepancies in abortion reports, or the weight of the unborn children aborted - and even from using the terms “late-term abortion,” “child,” “baby,” and “infant” in the courtroom, or referring to slain unborn children as abortion “victims.”

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Planned Parenthood is accused of failing to determine viability for at least 26 abortions in 2003. While they determined gestational age, they failed to apply more than a blanket designation of non-viability to babies 24 weeks and under. Kansas law at that time mandated a determination of viability at 22 weeks or later.

Operation Rescue speculated that Planned Parenthood moved to prohibit testimony about the weight of unborn children’s remains because it could prove the babies were well beyond viability, and questioned the motion to cross-examine jurors on religious beliefs.

“They want no one with a moral compass standing in judgment of them,” said Newman. “This leaves only those who support abortion eligible for the jury, and that is just as prejudicial to the state’s case. This motion exposes Planned Parenthood’s extreme bigotry against those whose faith differs from theirs.”

The charges are based on abortion records obtained through subpoena by former Attorney General Phill Kline after a grueling three-year legal battle with Planned Parenthood that also met with several obstacles from the administration of former governor Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves as federal Health and Human Services Secretary. Later in 2007, as District Attorney of Johnson County, Kline filed the criminal case against Planned Parenthood that originally consisted of 107 charges.

Forty-eight of those charges were dismissed by Judge Tatum after it was discovered that crucial evidence to support them had been destroyed by Sebelius appointee Steve Six during his tenure as Attorney General. A criminal investigation was ordered to determine who destroyed the evidence, but Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, who has expressed support for abortion, closed the investigation without a conclusion.

District Attorney Steve Howe, who is prosecuting the case he inherited from Kline, has yet to answer Planned Parenthood’s motions. A scheduling conference has been set for July 11, when the court will determine how much additional time might be needed for responses.

No trial date has been set and none is likely in the foreseeable future.

“Howe’s answers will be a great indication to us if he has the will to prosecute this case against the largest and most politically powerful abortion provider in the state,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “Will he do his duty, or allow himself to be cowed by political pressure? That remains to be seen.”

Click here for more information on the Kansas Planned Parenthood trial. 

Tags: abortion, operation rescue, phill kline, planned parenthood

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Life after lesbianism

by Dawn Wilde Mon Apr 16 14:35 EST Comments (142)

 
People who criticize me have an immature understanding of what love is. I watched Titanic along with everyone else, but all I could think about was how what Rose and Jack had was infatuation, not love.

Editor’s note: This article is a follow-up to Dawn Wilde’s Confessions of a Recovering Lesbian. It was first printed at Catholicsistas.com and is reprinted with permission.

In January, I wrote about my struggles with same-sex attraction (SSA), while living out my vocation as a Catholic wife and mother. The article was picked up by several Catholic websites and secular blogs. I wrote the article anonymously and considering the vitriol of the comments that followed, I’m glad I did. Especially after reading one man’s enraged, sentence-by-sentence dissection of the piece on a site called Face Punch.

There seemed to be three main objections to my testimony:

1. I’m not a “real” lesbian so I shouldn’t be calling myself one;

2. I’m living a false, inauthentic life that’s unfair to my husband and children and that’s bound to self-destruct; and

3. I’m harming people who struggle with SSA by suggesting they can overcome their sexual orientation.

I was struck by how important labels are to people. At times, multiple commenters were arguing over whether I was lesbian, bisexual, or straight. Some claimed I was never a lesbian (despite living as one) or that I hadn’t been with a woman long enough. Which begs the question–how long does one have to have to engage in homosexual acts before it’s acceptable to be called gay or lesbian? Because apparently, three years is not enough.

I’ll admit I titled the article “Confessions of a Recovering Lesbian” to get it in front of those who wouldn’t be interested in reading one titled, “Embracing Catholic Chastity.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there really isn’t a label that fits a person like me. I’m not attracted to men, so I’m not heterosexual or bisexual. I’m not living out my attraction to women, so I’m not a lesbian. What’s most accurate is to say that I’m attracted to women, but I’m most attracted to one man–my husband. And that the emotional, spiritual, and physical bond I have with him entirely eclipses the attraction to people of either sex. Is there a label that encompasses all that? I think so: married.

But even if detractors couldn’t agree on what to call me, they at least agreed I’m a fraud. The people willing to let me call myself a lesbian insisted I was just stifling my “real” self, which would inevitably emerge when I encountered “the next Nora.” Though we live in a culture that celebrates girl-on-girl pornography and threesomes, my poor husband is an object of pity because I’m attracted to women. No one wanted to consider what kind of amazing man it would take to inspire such loyalty in a woman.

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I think my biggest mistake was stating I struggle with SSA “on a daily basis.” This gave the impression my waking hours are consumed by the struggle to desire my husband and not to desire sexual union with a woman, which is simply not true. I’m a mother of nearly half-dozen children; like most women in that situation, most of my life is consumed by how I will be meeting the needs of my family, not how I can fulfill my sexual desires.

Most of the time, my SSA isn’t an issue because I’m spiritually fulfilled by God and intellectually, physically, and mentally fulfilled by my husband. But there are times, as I said, when I’m struggling to get “in the mood” (and show me a woman—lesbian or otherwise, who doesn’t) and it’s those times when I’m most vulnerable to the thoughts and images I know will get the job done. Just as straight people are vulnerable to infidelity when their marriage is floundering, I’m vulnerable to thinking about the easy camaraderie of a woman when I feel emotionally estranged from my husband due to a fight or just the daily grind of life.

People who interpret these temptations as evidence I’m suppressing my true self have an immature understanding of what love—especially married love—actually is. It’s true that love is often sparked by a sexual attraction, and ours was no exception. But love is ultimately expressed in action, not in feelings. I watched Titanic along with everyone else, but all I could think about was how what Rose and Jack had was infatuation, not love. Love is making dinner and doing laundry after a full day at work because your wife is puking her guts out from morning sickness. Love is sacrificing time to yourself so your husband can go on a retreat to get closer to the Lord. Love is wiping the vomit off your terminally-ill wife’s aged face…changing your comatose husband’s adult diapers…caring for her even after she has forgotten who you are. Love is the Cross.

I’m human and I struggle with temptation at times; who doesn’t? But I also accept that the Church speaks with the voice of Christ, so I accept that my homosexual desires are disordered and ought not to be indulged. I’m not especially disciplined or faithful, but I have an unshakeable trust that God will provide all the graces I need to resist SSA and build a happy, fulfilling marriage. Marriage and family life are the means by which God has chosen to sanctify me, with SSA just one of many afflictions He’s trying to rout from my soul. And not even the worst one, at that.

Which brings me to the third criticism readers of my testimony had: that by sharing that I’m happily married, I’m proposing marriage as an effective “cure” for SSA. I wasn’t and I’m not. Marriage is a call to lifelong union, not a “treatment,” and it’s not the answer for every person who struggles with SSA. One of the things I love about Catholicism is that it admits to multiple paths to holiness, or vocations. For people who have a deep revulsion to being intimate with the opposite sex, marriage is almost certainly not their vocation. But we are all called to a vocation; whether that’s marriage, religious life, or the single life is something only the person can answer through prayerful discernment.

Can a person be “cured” of SSA? Yes, sometimes. And sometimes not. Homosexuality is a complex pathology that has biological, psychological, and spiritual causes and only God knows the full extent of why and how a person experiences SSA. And only God knows why He calls some of us to greater holiness through marriage, while others are called to holiness in religious communities or as a single person within the world. To those who claim it’s cruel to deny those with SSA the joy of physical union, I can only point out that the Church does not force anyone into a life of chastity.

It’s rare to find a person today that isn’t broken in some aspect of his or her sexuality. But to be healed, we must first admit we’re sick. Most people, even most Catholics, are unwilling to admit that SSA is a disorder in the first place. In the past, those who suffered this affliction were victims of prejudice and violence. Now our sins are celebrated as an expression of our deepest selves. Few know how to offer the truth in love, as Jesus did. If Our Lord were with us today, we’d almost certainly find him in the gay bars—healing those willing to admit they need Him, with a final, gentle call to “go and sin no more.”

Tags: homosexuality, sexual orientation

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Canadian Bishops call on all Catholics to join National March for Life and local marches

by Patrick B. Craine Mon Apr 16 13:58 EST Comments (16)

 

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As pro-lifers prepare for the National March for Life on May 10th, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging bishops and the faithful across the country to join their local marches.

At the same time, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), which was co-founded by the Canadian Bishops and the Knights of Columbus, is calling on the faithful to join the March as part of their “obligation” to ensure Canada’s laws protect the right to life from conception.

“Every year in Canada, some 100 000 of our most vulnerable neighbors are sacrificed on the altar of ‘choice’,” writes COLF in a new statement issued Monday. “We should … work tirelessly to insure that our laws are reformed in order to reflect the humanity and the fundamental right to life of our tiniest neighbors.  This is our obligation as free and responsible citizens.”

The Canadian bishops’ recently-announced Pastoral Initiative for Life and Family includes having the CCCB participate in the National March for Life on Parliament Hill and encourages “all members of the Church” to participate in the Ottawa march or in a local event held on the same day in most of Canada’s provinces.

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As part of the initiative, passed at their October plenary assembly, the bishops also plan to host a National Week for Life and Family from May 12-19, 2013, immediately following the March for Life. They urge the use of bulletin inserts to promote the event, including using one that will “stress the importance of supporting – with our presence where possible but, in every instance, with our prayers – the National March for Life.”

“Ideally, each Bishop will join his flock for the March for Life,” the bishops add.

In COLF’s statement, they warn that a failure to protect the right to life of the unborn has dire consequences, even for civilization itself.

“A society which tolerates abortion is a society which makes the human being a mere means to an end,” they write. “A society which continues to tolerate the destruction of its weakest members is one which will inevitably tolerate the destruction of the relatively weak, the disabled, the sick, the marginalized and the inconvenient.  Can anyone be safe and truly flourish in such a society?”

Along these lines, they highlight the recent call by ethicists in an Oxford University journal for “after-birth abortion.” The article showed us “where the logic of a pro-abortion culture leads: Infanticide becomes acceptable,” writes COLF.

They end with a call for pro-lifers to unite behind Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth in his effort to pass a motion calling on Parliament to reconsider the humanity of children in the womb.

“Clearly, it is the time to bring pressure to bear on our legislators to reopen the public debate on abortion,” they say. “Let’s begin by making it clear to our Members of Parliament that we support the efforts of MP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) to have Parliament revisit the scientific evidence regarding the humanity of the unborn.”

Find the Catholic Organization for Life and Family’s statement: The Urgent Need to Build a Culture of Life.

Find info on the National March for Life and the regional marches in provinces across Canada.

Tags: abortion, canada, cccb, march for life

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Major pro-life organizations endorse Mitt Romney

by Ben Johnson Mon Apr 16 13:25 EST Comments (28)

 

Co-authored with John Jalsevac

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – With Rick Santorum having bowed out of the Republican presidential race, several major pro-life organizations have stepped forward to throw their weight behind Mitt Romney, while some other conservative groups have urged a “wait-and-see” approach to the likely nominee.

Since Santorum ended his primary fight, Romney has picked up endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the Susan B. Anthony List (which campaigned for Santorum during the primaries), and various state governors and pro-life and pro-family organizations and individuals, including a leading pro-life organization in Romney’s own state.

“It is now time for pro-life Americans to unite behind Mitt Romney,” said Carol Tobias, president of NRLC. “On pro-life issues, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama provide a stark contrast.”

In a statement endorsing Romney, NRLC said, “Mitt Romney has taken a strong pro-life position and is committed to implementing policies to protect the unborn, the medically dependent and disabled, and the elderly.”

“Now is the time to unite behind Governor Romney in order to defeat the most ideologically pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “It is the responsibility of all pro-life voters to now unite behind Governor Romney,” agreed Jane Abraham, Chairman of the SBA List Board of Directors.

The SBA List committed to spending $10-12 million in support of Romney on the general election.

A press release from Ohio Right to Life Society Political Action Committee President Mike Gonidakis noted, “Governor Romney is committed to protecting pro-life values. He supports the Hyde Amendment and ending federal funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. He is committed to upholding the sanctity of life and opposes the killing of human beings in the name of ‘science.’ Most importantly, he believes that Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned.”

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A number of Republican leaders who endorsed Romney also focused on the need to rally around the party’s standard bearer. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said, “It’s time for all Republicans to focus their energies on the fall campaign.” Florida Governor Rick Scott stated, “Mitt Romney will be our party’s nominee and it is critical that all Republicans coalesce behind Gov. Romney and focus on electing him as president.”

At the same time, some conservative leaders are urging caution with regard to Romney’s nomination, arguing that the presumed nominee – who famously underwent a conversion to the pro-life position - has alienated social conservatives in the past as well as during the primary race.

Richard Viguerie, longtime political activist and owner of ConservativeHQ.com, said that “conservatives should not be rushing to embrace Romney; Romney should be rushing to embrace conservatives.” 

Pro-life critics of Romney, including Viguerie, have taken issue with the fact that he skipped three pro-life debates and refused to sign a pro-life pledge signed by every other candidate except Jon Huntsman. “In fact, during the campaign, Mitt Romney sent every signal possible he wanted to get the nomination without owing conservatives or the Tea Party anything,” Viguerie said.

Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips has said bluntly, “The Tea Party is not going to coalesce around Romney. Most of us will vote for Romney, but we will not be out there with signs for him or in his campaign.”

“Romney has a huge problem with the conservative base of the GOP,” Phillips told The Daily Caller. “He had better do something about that ASAP or he won’t have to worry about that moving to the middle nonsense.”

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer told LifeSiteNews.com on Thursday, “These people provide the passion and hard work that are key to GOP election success. It is almost impossible to win without them. Just ask John McCain.”

Viguerie argued that pro-life, pro-family conservatives should imitate Rick Santorum, who “suspended his campaign without endorsing Mitt Romney. Like Rick, many other conservative activists and leaders are sitting on the sidelines waiting for some concrete actions from Romney to prove that he actually wants conservative support.”

Viguerie wrote, “My advice to my fellow conservatives is, ‘don’t be cheap dates.’”

At the same time, other leaders have argued that whatever reservations pro-lifers might have about Romney, it is important that they coalesce behind him in a bid to oust Barack Obama – widely considered to be the most radically pro-abortion president in history.

Others brushed aside questions about the sincerity of Romney’s much-debated pro-life conversation, arguing that he has adequately proved his pro-life credentials.

One prominent defender of Romney in this regard is a major pro-life organization in the candidate’s home state, the Massachusetts Citizens for Life Political Action Committee (MCFL).

“As the country’s most pro-abortion president, Barack Obama has pursued a radical pro-abortion agenda,” the organization said in its endorsement of Romney. “In contrast, as governor, Mitt Romney worked closely with MCFL. He takes a strong pro-life position and is committed to implementing policies to protect the unborn, the medically dependent, the disabled, and the elderly.”

In her endorsement popular pro-life blogger Jill Stanek argued that pro-lifers who have reservations about Romney should put them behind them. “I have a soft spot for pro-life converts, which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is,” she said. “I think pro-lifers could do a better job of supporting them. I think it is time for that to happen for some of us who have been reluctant about Romney. The fact that he used to be pro-abortion is the major hang-up.”

In her endorsement Stanek also quoted an e-mail from pro-life leader Eric Scheidler, who, writing in a private capacity, said: “Now that Santorum is out, it’s this man’s opinion we all need to cowboy up and help Romney beat Obama.

“And that starts, now, with avoiding all disparaging remarks about ‘holding one’s nose’ and the like, which I’ve been seeing on Facebook these last few hours. From now on, I’m nothing but thrilled I’ve got a good man to rally behind, and I’ll leave it to Team Obama to make Romney look like anything less.”

Tags: abortion, election 2012, mitt romney

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Reproductive coercion and the new eugenics

by Wesley J. Smith Mon Apr 16 12:42 EST Comments (8)

April 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Bioedge published a good article this week discussing the claim by some bioethicists that parents be required to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to eradicate unwanted heritable conditions.  From “Parents Have a Duty to Use IVF, Say Bioethicists:”

Janet Malek, of East Carolina University, and Judith F. Daar, of Whittier Law School, in California, argue that eventually the law should and will impose “a duty on IVF-reproducing parents to maximize the well-being of their future offspring by all reasonable means.” Why? The authors cite three reasons: increasing the child’s well-being, expanding his or her self-determination, and reducing inequalities.

If this reasoning evokes the notorious “after-birth abortion” article, this may be because the authors rely upon ground broken by Julian Savulescu, Guy Kahane and John Harris, three utilitarians working in Britain who influenced the authors of the previous article. The British bioethicists are pushing “procreative beneficence” — the notion that parents should endow their baby with the best possible qualities. Malek and Daar argue that this is morally good not only because it has good consequences (ie, stronger, healthier, more intelligent kids) but it also promotes fairness and autonomy.

The immediate concern is what to do for parents who are carriers of a severely disabling disorder like autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. It seems clear enough to Malek and Daar that these parents are morally obliged to sift through embryos to find one which does not have the disease:

“prospective parents who make an independent decision to reproduce using IVF and who know or reasonably should know they are at substantial risk for transmitting a serious genetic anomaly to their offspring may be subject to legal liability for failing to utilize PGD to avoid birthing a child who suffers grave harm from the heritable condition.”

Here we have been told that the proposed new eugenics would be okay, unlike the bad old eugenics, because it would be based on “choice” rather than societal coercion.  Right.  You know the saying about a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you…

Bottom line: Once we deny human exceptionalism and presume the right to “improve” the human herd, it may start with “choice” but that is not where it ends.  Nor, would the practice be limited to extreme genetic conditions.  That’s just the launching pad.  Indeed, in matters such as this, diversity, true equality, and freedom are the last things that matter.

This article is re-published courtesy of Wesley Smith’s blog, Secondhand Smoke.

Tags: bioethics, eugenics, ivf

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Protests against McGuinty gay-focused ‘anti-bullying’ bill gathering momentum

by Thaddeus Baklinski Mon Apr 16 12:19 EST Comments (21)

 
Some 2,000 people attended a previous rally against Bil 13 at Queen's Park.

KITCHENER, Ontario, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The protest against the Ontario Liberal government’s controversial gay-focused anti-bullying legislation, Bill 13, is gathering momentum as a second rally is set to take place in Kitchener on Saturday April 28 at 10:00 a.m.

The rally will be held at the constituency office of Kitchener-Centre Liberal MPP John Milloy, 6C-1770 King Street East, from 10:00 to 11:00 in the morning. It seeks to defend parental rights and religious freedom against what critics have called deeply flawed legislation.

“This proposed legislation by Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario government will subvert parental rights and freedom of religion. It will cause schools to teach children controversial sex ed theories that violate the religious and moral convictions of many parents about human sexuality,” said rally organizer Kim Galvao, head of Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario (CCPO).

CCPO is a group of parents and other Catholics who believe that the state is increasingly trespassing on parental rights and pushing programs in our schools which undermine the Christian values parents instil in their kids at home.

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“The state must not be allowed to take away our rights with Bill 13,” Galvao said. “Let’s tell McGuinty and all MPPs to vote NO to Bill 13. We support genuine efforts to reduce bullying, but Bill 13 is a veiled attempt to push a sex ed agenda, under the guise of anti-bullying.”

The controversial bill, called the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, would impose tougher consequences, including expulsion, for “bullying and hate-motivated actions.”

However, though it deals with bullying in general, the government has laid a clear emphasis on homosexuality-related bullying, with the bill mandating that schools support students who want to start gay-straight alliances. Premier Dalton McGuinty has said he aims to reform the province’s “attitudes” on homosexuality, a process he says “should begin in the home.”

A rally (http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/boisterous-ethnically-diverse-crowd-at-ontario-legislature-demands-bill-13) held at Queen’s Park in Toronto on March 29 drew an estimated 2,000 concerned parents from a wide range of ethnic and faith communities.

At that rally Kim Galvao said that she organized the protest because the government was not responding to her serious concerns about the legislation.

“There was just silence and so I just felt I needed to do something,” Galvao stated.

“I am alarmed to see a sexual agenda imposed on our schools by the Liberal government. ... As a mom I do not want my children taught that there are seven different genders. As a mom, I do no want my young children taught the disputed theory that a person’s gender is not connected to their physical anatomy,” Galvao said.

Video footage of the Queen’s Park rally is available here.

Galvao is calling on “all people concerned about Bill 13, and the undermining of our values, to please join us for the ‘Stop Bill 13’ protest rally at John Milloy’s Kitchener-Centre Electoral District Office, 6C-1770 King Street East, on April 28 at 10:00 a.m.”

The CCPO asks that homemade signs for the rally be respectful and use only the following slogans:
No to Bill 13
Protect our Children
Protect our Parental Rights
Protect Religious Freedom
Bill 13 Bullies Parents

“We hope that you will all come and make your voices heard,” Galvao concluded.

Two Facebook pages have been set up: The official Stop Bill 13 Facebook fan page is available here. The official Stop Bill 13 Facebook Event page is available here.

Find contact info for Members of Provincial Parliament here.

Tags: bill 13, dalton mcguinty, homosexuality, ontario

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Laughing at abortion?

by Nancy Flanders Mon Apr 16 11:35 EST Comments (35)

 
How can a parent regret this choice?

April 16, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Remember when Prince Harry dressed in Nazi attire for a party? Or when comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted pictures of himself dressed as Hitler? How about when Michael Richards went on a racial tirade at a comedy club? As I recall, most of us heard only crickets, because making light of the outright torture and destruction of a group of people or the days when African-Americans were thought of as less than human is never funny. It’s disrespectful. It’s cruel. It’s discrimination. Apologies are usually handed out rather quickly when someone does something as foolish as these three well-known men did. But when it comes to abortion, we aren’t quite there yet. It seems the extermination of unborn children is something we should all be laughing at. Am I the only one who isn’t?

Just as droves of people once celebrated Hitler or whipped their slaves, pro-abortionists see no reason why abortion shouldn’t be anything but legal for any reason, at any time. Just as any racist would have found Richards’ words or the Nazi attire appealing, abortionists find humor in jokes made at the expense of defenseless babies. In fact, they find it to be the best way to relax after a long day of killing. According to The Abortioneers:

We all need to laugh a lot. It’s good for you. Even the Mayo Clinic says that it helps relieve stress not just in the short-term, but also the long-term. Doing frontline abortion work has its inherent stress. So, our gift to you, our fab readers, is some cartoons to make you laugh.

One such cartoon image the blogger speaks of is that of a girl telling her father that she has some information that might just make him change his opinion on abortion. One can assume it means that the girl is pregnant and her father will want her to abort the baby. And one can assume this is funny because apparently no pro-lifer has ever been faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and if any of us were, then we would suddenly realize the apparent error of our ways and begin supporting abortion. These abortionists don’t get us at all. Any disappointment a pro-life father might feel when his teenage daughter tells him she is pregnant is usually, hopefully, and rightly wiped away by the love that father now feels for his grandchild. Real pro-lifers live their words.

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

While another cartoon depicts a couple with the words, “This abortion is the best thing that’s ever happened to us,” yet another shows a woman holding two babies. It’s this one that hurts my heart the most. It reads, “What the f*** was I thinking? I could have had an abortion and 9 months of nonstop drinking.” The worst part about this “joke” is that the abortionist who posted the cartoon had the audacity to say this about it: “Anyone who is already a mother might recognize this passing thought!”

As a mother, I have often thought about my worthiness to be a mother. I doubt my abilities. I fear that I am not doing the best job I can. I often wonder if I am even cut out to be a parent. And I hope that I am not doing my children any disservice. But I have never wished I had killed my children instead of giving birth to them, especially not in favor of drinking alcohol.

Perhaps it’s just me, but mocking the deaths of over 54 million innocent lives isn’t amusing. It’s a serious indication of just how far we have to go to defeat the notion that unborn children aren’t worthy of their basic rights. It was 240 years before slavery was outlawed in the U.S., and over a hundred more years before African-Americans were granted rights. I look forward to the day when a joke about the murder of a child is cause for outrage rather than celebratory giggles.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

Tags: abortion

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Interview: Horrors of Nazism gave Pope courage to stand for life despite opposition

by John-Henry Westen Mon Apr 16 10:57 EST Comments (4)

 
The Ratzinger family

REGENSBURG, Germany, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On this 85th birthday of Joseph Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - LifeSiteNews interviewed Michael Hesemann, who worked with Msgr. Georg Ratzinger on the fascinating new book My Brother, the Pope.

Hesemann told LifeSiteNews how growing up in the Ratzinger household led Pope Benedict and his brother Georg to be able to stay true to the hard Catholic teachings of life and family despite their unpopularity.

“In their youth, both experienced the power of a healthy, deeply religious family. They learned to appreciate family values even more when their family became a kind of fortress against the temptations and errors of their time, the Nazi ideology,” Hesemann told LifeSiteNews.com. “In this time, the model of a strong Catholic family – a family that stays together, prays together and supports each other – became a contrast to an evil ideology that tried everything to rip the families apart.”

The Ratzinger brothers, Hesemann explained, grew up in a situation where all around them the culture opposed what was taught by their faith and practiced in their family.

“During the Nazi dictatorship, children were told to denounce their parents at school in case they did not follow the Nazi ideology, listen to foreign radio stations, etc.,” said Hesemann.

“The Nazis tried everything to take control over the children at earliest time; that was the idea behind youth organizations like the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) for boys or the Bund deutscher Mädchen (Union of German girls). This system frankly horrified the Ratzinger family.”

In addition, Hesemann noted, the Ratzinger family was personally confronted by the anti-life mentality. “Also, they were confronted with the Nazi euthanasia when a mentally handicapped cousin was forced into a Nazi institution where he was killed, as they later learned.”

The Ratzinger brothers believed, said Hesemann “in the dignity of human life because they experienced the horrors of a ‘culture of death’ at a rather early age.”

In My Brother the Pope, Msgr. Ratzinger provides Hesemann with the only living witness to the early days and formation of brothers who were ordained as Catholic priests together on the same day in 1951.

Asked from where both Ratzinger brothers came to the strength of faith needed to give themselves to the priesthood, Hesemann replied unhesitatingly, “From the deep faith of their parents!”  He added, “The religious life – the common daily prayer, when the whole family was kneeling down on the kitchen floor and prayed the rosary together; went to Church regularly; celebrated the feasts of the Church calendar.”

“When you ask today how it comes that a rather simple family, a small town policeman and a hotel cook, raised two boys who are both geniuses of their kind - Georg Ratzinger as a world famous choir leader and composer, Joseph Ratzinger as Germany’s greatest theologian and eventually successor of St. Peter,” said Hesemann. “The answer, the ‘Ratzinger family secret,’ is very simple: it was their Catholic faith that inspired them in all its beauty and depth.”

Is there any jealousy?  What does Georg feel about having his brother be the Pope?

Hesemann: “Well, there was a time when the theologian Joseph Ratzinger was just ‘the little brother of the famous choir leader.’ For Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, nothing has changed in his inner relationship to his brother since he became Pope; only that as Benedict XVI, he became less available and less free to travel.

He learned to arrange himself with the new situation; he got a second phone with a number only known to his brother, who calls him every other day, since Georg Ratzinger does not want to disturb his brother, the Pope, in his busy schedule. He visits him up to four times a year, each time for 8-10 days.

More information on the book is available here.

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Pregnant? ‘Congrats, now clean out your desk.’

by Christina Martin Mon Apr 16 10:43 EST Comments (36)

 

April 16, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Disdain for pregnant women in the workplace is at a record high in our nation.  Pregnancy Discrimination cases are on the rise. In the past ten years the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC  has resolved pregnancy discrimination cases totaling $150.5 million in damages for over 52,000 women. Some say this is because of a competitive labor market that shows little mercy to moms.  I believe this is yet another tragic byproduct of our acceptance of abortion.

While abortion does not cause this discrimination, it has lead to a widespread devaluing of motherhood in society. How can we expect a nation that encourages women to kill their children to also respect the vocation of motherhood? Motherhood is being mocked, belittled, and demolished with every baby sacrificed at the altar of convenience.  Abortion is an evil root that bears the fruit of dishonor towards women. Women are continually pressured to choose abortion to enable them to continue pursuing education and career goals. Children are thought of as burdensome, unworthy investments that hinder productivity.  If mothers think that way, why wouldn’t employers and bosses do the same?

Women who bravely balance family and career responsibilities are struggling because of scrutiny in the workplace.  Dr. Mary Beamer is a chiropractor who was fired from her job after missing 11 days of work because of “Hyperemesis Gravidarum” – a severe case of morning sickness that causes dehydration. Beamer’s employer was given documents from her emergency room and doctor’s appointments. Before returning to work, Mary got an unpleasant phone call from the practice’s owner. She was told, “I don’t want you coming back to the office because I don’t like how you are running it.” Mary was fired and her health insurance benefits were canceled within days.

In an attempt to get justice, she sued for pregnancy and sex discrimination in 2007. Her employer counter-sued for $50,000, claiming that Beamer was required to pay for lost patient services and training per her employee agreement.  In May 2012, her case will finally be brought before a judge. Beamer told ABC News that she “lost almost everything.” Her family lost their home and had to move into her sister’s basement. She is now living with her husband and daughter in another city, awaiting trial.

We have laws that protect pregnant women in the workplace. Mainly the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act provides some employees with three months of unpaid leave to care for their child. Last month, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a public meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss pregnancy discrimination. A question was raised as to why pregnancy discrimination continues to increase after the Act was passed to prohibit it. Joan Williams, director of the Center for Work Life Law at the University of California-Hastings, said it may be because the stereotypes regarding gender and caregiving are very strong. “Although nobody says, ‘This is not a suitable job for a woman,’ they say, ‘This is not a suitable job for a mother.’”

Mary Beamer’s lawyer told ABC News that pregnant women are losing their jobs because they might need to use the bathroom more frequently than “normal,” pump breast milk, or sit down periodically.

Donnicia Venters claims she lost her job because she asked if she could pump breast milk in the backroom. She called the company president to talk about her return to work. After mentioning the breast pump, He said, “Well, we filled your spot.” When she questioned, he replied, “Well, we thought you were not coming back.” Venters said she was willing to pump at home if necessary. Her case was brought to court, and a Texas judge ruled in favor of her employer, stating that “firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping is not sex discrimination.”

Some cases are even stranger. A pregnant nursing home activities worker was fired for not being able to lift a table, and a retail worker was fired because she needed to drink water on the job.

Physically weaker, pregnant women are being mistreated. Companies are prioritizing production over people. Loyal workers are being pushed out with little or no remorse from their employers. Women wonder if announcing their pregnancy will cost them their job. People cling to contraceptives and silently head to abortion centers because of fear.  What type of culture has Roe v. Wade produced? A selfish, individualistic, money-hungry, unjust nation.

A society that allows abortion is one that unwittingly suffers the consequences of generations of disempowered and devalued women. The fight for women’s rights begins in the womb.

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

Tags: abortion, pregnancy

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Comedienne Sarah Silverman creates outrage with cruel abortion ‘joke’

by Susan Michelle Tyrrell Mon Apr 16 09:59 EST Comments (65)

 

April 16, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - Despite the fact that sarcasm takes little genius, it’s often hailed as a pinnacle of humor. But unlike satire, which displays genuine wit, plain old sarcasm is more a display of anger. It’s really not that hard to make fun of someone, which is why comedienne Sarah Silverman took an easy route to offer her commentary on abortion and pro-life laws. What she did was offer up a cruel take on a genuine fear the abortion industry has—that Roe v. Wade might actually be overturned soon. Left without actual argument, Silverman and others have resorted to tactics like her joke which she chose to make public to well over two million followers this weekend when she tweeted:

Got a quickie aborsh in case R v W gets overturned.

The tweet was accompanied by a hoax picture which was supposed to show a pregnant Silverman with a baby belly, then a “post-abortive” Silverman with a flat belly.

While a quick review of Silverman shows her to have years of tacky abortion jokes, this one crosses the line. Many pro-abortion folks hailed her as witty and one broadcast labeled it as heroic, but the truth is it displays fear and cowardice, at best, and insensitivity at worst.

Consider this: Those of us who are pro-life believe that an unborn baby is a person, but also many women on both sides live with regret for their abortions. I have friends who have had abortions and still defend the right to have them, but who live in pain from having done it.

Silverman’s “joke” is cruel. Disguised as an attack on Republicans, it is actually a display of intolerance and prejudice, the likes of which would never be lauded if she made a joke about taking in an African-American slave or pulling off a Muslim hijab (the head covering). Can you imagine the backlash if she’d said:

“Quickie slave purchase in case Emancipation Proclamation passes”?

It’s a baffling and disturbing thing that we have a society in which it’s okay to display such hatred toward not only a group but an unborn baby because of a fear.

However, it also shows that there is a very real threat to Roe v. Wade. Jokes like this emerge from fear. Silverman reveals her real heart in her crass language and shock factor comments.  She may be a famous comedienne, but the truth is, there’s nothing funny about abortion, even, usually, for those who support it. Her comment does a disservice even to her own side. It shows abortion as a birth control method and a lightly made decision. While those who support her argue it actually hows how “ridiculous” the thinking of pro-lifers is to accuse those who support abortion of those motives, there isn’t enough wit or satire contained in the tweet to carry the message she hoped to convey. Instead it falls as flat as her post-abortive stomach in the picture.

It’s a sad testament of a society that tolerates intolerance because it supports the cultural norms of a vocal group, but this is what we have here. If it were any other people group targeted for such mockery, the media would be all over her to apologize. While that’s not likely to happen, it remains tragic that society can embrace such “humor” without regard for either the babies who are the object of the jokes, or, worse yet, the women who have lived in pain and regret as a result of abortion.

Truly, Silverman has chosen to pick on the most helpless even as she claims to be picking on legislators. She certainly has a right to free speech and open tweets, but likewise, we have a right to call it what it is, mockery of sacred life which displays her lack of value for life in general. By its very definition, tolerance must run two ways, and, for Ms. Silverman, clearly there’s no room for that.

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com

Tags: abortion, sarah silverman

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And a little child shall lead them

by Kristi Burton Brown Mon Apr 16 09:49 EST Comments (24)

 

April 16, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Her chubby hands clutched the two tiny babies as she lifted them to her chest, as if guarding them from harm. She swayed back and forth, just as any expert mother would do. My daughter had just found her two new favorite babies. In the moment, nothing was more important than them. She refused to climb the stairs and get ready with Daddy – one of her favorite activities – without her new babies.

Four years ago, when I worked as the spokesperson on Colorado’s first Personhood campaign, I was given a treasured gift: two tiny babies, made of polymer clay, complete with their own blankets, hats, and bottles. The babies are no more than an inch in size, but they are perfectly formed. To me they are the perfect symbol that “a person is a person, no matter how small.” Last night, my toddler daughter discovered them.

Isn’t it amazing how babies seem to feel an instinctive need to protect other babies, specifically those smaller than them? I know my daughter is absolutely enthralled by babies. She often mimics what my husband and I do when she cares for her little ones. She wraps them in blankets, dances to music with them, rocks them in a chair, and feeds them. You can tell she is convinced that babies exist for one reason: to be loved and cherished. Sometimes the first word she speaks in the morning is “baby.” To her, babies are all-important creatures that must be cared for.

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

I showed my daughter this picture of a 7-week-old unborn baby. Babies this age are not as fully formed as the little polymer clay babies she held and cradled last night. They are even smaller…measuring in at less than half an inch in length. But when I showed this baby to my daughter, she quickly proclaimed the name of her cousin (who is a baby…she thinks all babies share his name) and stated that he needed “nummies.” To her, this was a baby like any other who needed food – right now!

It breaks my heart to think that there are grown adults all across our nation who do not have the compassion for babies that mere children have. When was that compassion and love, that nurturing heart ripped out of us? When did we decide that our own convenience and desires are more important than choosing to save the life of a small, helpless baby? How have we become so callous?

I pray that our nation will one day welcome each child – both in our laws and in our hearts. We must indeed pass laws so that every innocent baby is protected from death. We must reform our foster care system. We must make adoption easier and cheaper, while still keeping it safe. We must provide further training for parents who want to keep their babies but are unsure how to raise them.

However, we must also realize that every baby deserves the right to life right now - not only when our systems are perfect. I do not believe that a day will ever come when we will find that all of our systems have been 100% reformed. We will always find something to work on. But faulty systems are not an excuse to prevent a child from entering this world, just as inconvenience and the lack of finances are not excuses.

A child would rather be given away through adoption than be killed. A child would rather live in poverty than be torn apart. Even babies know that other babies should be loved and cared for by whoever can do that best. Let us let the little children of our world lead us…

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

Tags: abortion, adoption

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Doing damage to the pro-life cause

by David Krayden Mon Apr 16 08:54 EST Comments (7)

 

April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Make no mistake, if I were living in Alberta I would be voting Wildrose this election and supporting an old friend, Danielle Smith, for premier.  Make no mistake again, Smith has done tremendous damage to the pro-life movement through her recent comments that essentially aim to elevate abortion to the sanctified level of sacrosanct human right.  This is vitally ironic, as Smith leads a socially conservative party base in the most socially conservative province in Canada.

But let us examine what she said.

“When our members elected me they knew they were electing a candidate that was pro-choice and pro-gay marriage,” Smith was quoted this week at an all-candidates forum in her riding in Okotoks. “The only way we’re going to be able to become a mainstream, big-tent conservative party capable of forming government is to focus on the issues that matter to Albertans. If I am elected premier, a Wildrose government will not be legislating in areas of morality.”

OK, Smith has every right to declare her personal views on abortion and same-sex marriage.  She might even be applauded for her honesty.  But she merits no congratulations for declaring that a “mainstream party” must be pro-abortion or that this issue doesn’t matter to Albertans, or most Canadians for that matter.  Then she makes an even more grievous error by declaring that her potential government will not legislate in “areas of morality.”

Really?  You will lead a government that refuses to make moral decisions?  Shouldn’t morality be the basis of every government decision in one form or another?  Should politicians, premiers or prime ministers be promulgating policy in a moral vacuum?  To rule in favour of abortion is just as much a moral decision as to rule in favour of life.  We would argue that the morally preferable choice is to support life.

However, Smith went even further by declaring that she would not even consider de-funding abortion as a medical procedure.  With this commitment and her concomitant declaration that any such de-listing would constitute a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Smith has gone way beyond the usual parameters of a conservative politician pledging allegiance to socially liberal policy in a craven attempt to neutralize negative media reaction.  She has nullified an issue that might well have been the starting point of at least placing some restrictions upon abortion in Canada.

Moreover, she has struck down a point of unity between social conservatives and libertarians, neither of whom think the government should be paying for abortions.  And besides the whole issue of whether abortion is right or wrong, is it not simply prudent to de-fund an elective procedure that is entirely unnecessary when the health care system is so overly burdened as it is?

If abortion is to be effectively addressed in Canada, many of us believe that it must be incrementally challenged.  Surely the weakest link in the abortion chain is the public funding that is extracted from (some) unwilling taxpayers.  The state must stop this coercion and the provision of free abortions.  To suggest that we must fund abortion because it is a certifiable human right enshrined by the Charter is not only counterproductive but destructive, especially as federal Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth has managed to provoke a debate in the House of Commons with a bill that would recognize the fetus as a human being.

Smith will probably win the provincial election next week.  I hope that she does.  But this political posturing was wholly unnecessary.  Liberals will not vote for her no matter how passionate her support for abortion or gay rights.  But on the flip side, many social conservatives will simply stay home and not vote because they feel betrayed.

This was not responsible policy making.

David Krayden is the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, an independent, not-for-profit institution dedicated to the advancement of freedom and prosperity through the development and promotion of good public policy.

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