Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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Pro-lifers accurately predicted devastating results of Trudeau’s Charter of Rights

by Patrick B. Craine Wed Apr 25 18:12 EST Comments (21)

 
Signing of the Charter by Prime Minister Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth
Three key persons responsible for the passage of the Charter - Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Ontario Premier Bill Davis and Cardinal Emmet Carter

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As many Canadians celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms last week, cultural conservatives across the country remembered it instead as the document that paved the way for unregulated abortion, same-sex “marriage” and, most recently in Ontario, legalized brothels.

Though the Charter contains no explicit right to abortion and no mention of “sexual orientation”, pro-lifers accurately predicted its devastating effects leading up to its passage on April 17, 1982 and campaigned hard against it despite opposition within their own ranks.

In a 2006 obituary for former Catholic Register editor Larry Henderson, the Globe and Mail reported that he had caused a “furor” by accepting paid ads in 1981 from Campaign Life that warned the Charter would result in abortion-on-demand and homosexual “marriage” and adoptions.

Last week, Campaign Life Coalition re-released a brief that they had put out in 1981 arguing that the unborn were excluded from the Charter’s protections. “With over 65,000 abortions each year in our hospitals the Charter cannot be considered as neutral on abortion,” it reads.

Gwen Landolt, the national vice president of REAL Women Canada, who served as Campaign Life’s legal counsel at the time, wrote another brief for them at the time warning that the Charter would lead to social issues being decided by judges rather than the legislature.

“Being a lawyer, I could see what was taking place, which was the transformation of the decision making power into the hands of the appointed court,” she told LifeSiteNews. “In other words anything Parliament passed was subject to review under the provisions of the Charter.”

“But I could see the wording was so broad, so vague,” she continued. “It means anything the judges wanted it to mean. So I knew what was going to happen - we were losing control. Parliament was losing control and by Parliament losing control, the public was losing any say in any of these issues of the day.”

Landolt said Campaign Life was extremely successful at lobbying politicians against the Charter, with people coming in from all over the country - to the point that Catholic MPs were concerned that their vote for the Charter would be a vote for abortion.

In fact, former Liberal and pro-life MP Garnet Bloomfield, who was one of only two Liberals who actually ended up voting against the Charter, told Landolt that at the party’s Wednesday caucus meetings Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau would express his frustration at the pro-life movement’s success.

“The pro-life movement started to be just a little cloud on the horizon and now it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger like a huge storm cloud. It’s getting bigger all the time. We have to stop these pro-life people,” Trudeau would say, according to Landolt.

But, she said, the Charter’s success was unexpectedly guaranteed when Cardinal Emmett Carter of Toronto endorsed it - or ‘removed his opposition’ from it - after working quietly behind the scenes with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who had assured him that the Charter would not worsen the status of the unborn. Landolt said Trudeau had even given the Cardinal a verbal agreement that if the Supreme Court struck down the abortion law he would invoke the notwithstanding clause.

When they were first told of the Cardinal’s public endorsement, “the Catholic members of the Liberal caucus threw their papers in the air and said ‘hurray, now we can support it’,” explained Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition. “The many MPs who were very concerned about it now had this endorsement from Cardinal Carter.”

The previously successful, many months of intense pro-life lobbying efforts were derailed. Movement leaders were devastated, with many feeling deeply betrayed.

According to Hughes, the Cardinal eventually recognized his error, but too late. “He came back three days before the Charter passed and said Trudeau lied to him,” explained Hughes. “I guess he finally succumbed to all the material that we had sent him and he finally woke up and saw that it was wrong.”

Before the Charter passed, Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark reluctantly allowed his caucus members to put forward a motion stating that the Charter would not apply to abortion and capital punishment - on the condition that if the motion were defeated, the entire caucus would support the Charter anyway.

When the Liberal majority defeated the motion, pro-life PC member Doug Roche opposed the Charter anyway, said Landolt.

But the pro-life fight continued even after the Queen gave her royal assent to the new Constitution on April 17, 1982.

In 1986, the late pro-life Progressive Conservative MP Gus Mitges proposed a motion to amend the Charter to include the unborn, which would have afforded them total protection under the law.  Most speakers in the debate spoke in favour of the motion, but it ultimately lost the vote 62-89 on June 2, 1987.

The motion’s chances were damaged by a very unexpected letter to the Members of Parliament from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.  As The Interim reported at the time, the CCCB wrote that while they supported the protection of life from conception, the bishops “do not want their position to be understood as necessarily endorsing the constitutional amendment recommended by Mr. Mitges as the most suitable means to implement this right to life of the foetus.”

Pro-life leaders were once again bewildered and shocked by Canadian episcopal undermining of yet another very promising initiative to protect the lives of the unborn.

The effects of the Charter are still being felt across the country with its provisions brought to bear on social issues ranging from parental rights to euthanasia and much more.

In September, the Supreme Court of Canada approved drug injection sites by arguing that the federal government had violated the Charter’s protections of “life, liberty and security of the person” by targeting the Insite facility in Vancouver.

Landolt warned that in the coming years Canadians can expect the high court to rule on a slate of public policy issues that ought to be the proper domain of the elected legislature, including issues related to poverty, unemployment insurance, welfare, and mandatory minimum sentences for criminals.

“Nothing’s going to stop them now,” she said.

Canada’s abortion legislation was dramatically loosened in 1969 when Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberals passed an Omnibus bill that allowed a committee of doctors to approve the deadly procedure. The changed law, with its loopholes, weak safeguards and resultant rubber stamping of most abortions soon led to a practical abortion-on-demand situation across the country.

It was that law which the Supreme Court struck down in 1988 by arguing that it violated women’s equality rights under section 7’s protection of the “security of the person.”

Though the Supreme Court ruling called on Parliament to enact a new law that would address the Court’s concerns, the Mulroney government introduced vastly weaker legislation than was necessary. Pro-life leaders warned that the bill would likely not prevent any abortions from taking place. It was dramatically defeated in a tie in the Senate after having passed in the House of Commons. The lack of any abortion legislation since then has left a legal vacuum on the issue for 24 years despite numerous attempts to introduce various types of abortion restriction bills.

Parliament is currently considering a motion by Kitchener MP Stephen Woodworth to launch a special committee to discuss when human life begins. In particular, Woodworth is calling for a re-examination of section 223 of the Criminal Code, which states that a child only becomes a “human being” once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.

The motion is scheduled for debate on April 26.

See the March 14, 1981 Campaign Life ad warning about the dangers of the Charter.

See the second Campaign Life ad urging Ontario Premier Bill Davis to withdraw his support for the Charter.

Tags: abortion, charter of rights and freedoms, homosexuality, trudeau

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Canadian pro-family group files human rights complaint over ‘homophobia’ accusations

by Peter Baklinski Wed Apr 25 17:48 EST Comments (15)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An organization in British Columbia that champions the natural family, parental rights, and the sanctity of life has filed a human rights complaint against the Vancouver School Board (VSB) for using in its meetings, policies, and schools what the group calls “hateful, defamatory, and demeaning terminology.”

Culture Guard filed the complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal last Wednesday claiming that the school board’s use of the terms “homophobe, homophobic, and homophobia” is “offensive” and discriminates against beliefs and values held by certain groups.

“Such terms are designed to promote hatred and contempt,” stated Culture Guard president Kari Simpson in a press release. “They are used to isolate, marginalize, and belittle individuals and groups that hold opinions at variance to those of the sex activists within the education establishment.”

Simpson told LifeSiteNews that the complaint was filed not only on her own behalf but on behalf of Chinese Christians residing in Vancouver who, according to Simpson, were verbally assaulted when they raised concerns over the ‘anti-homophobia’ policies that were being enacted in their school district.

The VSB defines homophobia as “the irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals,” adding that such fear and hatred is “dangerous to individuals and communities.”

Simpson told LifeSiteNews that the term “phobia” is suggestive of a severe mental disorder that requires medical treatment. She pointed out that while terms such as homophobia gives one the impression of medically sanctioned nomenclature, in reality, she says, “they are simply slurs invented for hateful propaganda purposes.”

Simpson pointed out that the concerned Chinese parents had asked the VSB for policies aimed at making their schools safe that would apply to all children, not policies that “singled out certain groups identified by sex-activists as worthy of protection.”

In the complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal, Simpson stated that “these made-up words are designed to demean, demoralize and foster hatred and contempt for those who acknowledge the scientific, medical and economic harm associated with certain sexual practices.”

“If terms like ‘niger’ are no longer allowed or considered to be proper, then to label someone as a ‘homophobe’ as if they have a mental disease should not be tolerated,” she said to LifeSiteNews.

Simpson proposed in the complaint that she and the group she is representing would be redressed if the VSB “immediately cease all use of references and resources that project, advise, counsel and/or indoctrinate students, staff or the broader community, in any manner, that the terms homophobe, homophobia, homophobic are acceptable.”

Simpson has furthermore asked that the VSB issue a public apology to the individuals and groups who she says have been “harmed, belittled, and demeaned” by the VSB’s “failure to respect … religious beliefs and practices.”

Culture Guard has also proposed an early settlement meeting with the VSB before pursuing further legal action.

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Media and nuns colluding in deception, says expert: Vatican’s reform no David and Goliath battle

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Wed Apr 25 16:56 EST Comments (52)

 
Donna Steichen spent 10 years researching feminism in the Catholic Church, and the results of her studies were published in the seminal book, "Ungodly Rage."

ROME, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite few in the western world having seen any in the last four decades, the image of the nun as the sweet, selfless and courageous “bride of Christ” is remarkably enduring. And according to U.S. Catholic author, researcher and expert on Catholic religious life in the U.S. Donna Steichen, this “classic” and noble image is now being used knowingly by the LCWR sisters and their supporters as a means of generating public sympathy in their fight with the Vatican.

Last week the media and the “progressive” end of the Catholic Church reacted with outrage to the announcement by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is to be reformed after a doctrinal investigation found that their focus had turned more towards radical feminist politics than their Catholic religious foundations.

The picture being manufactured by sympathetic media, including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Independent, closely following the lead of the National Catholic Reporter and America, the two main organs of the extreme Catholic left in the U.S., is that of an epic struggle between a tyrannical, overbearing, “out of touch,” Vatican, and a group of plucky, underdog sisters, fighting a guerilla battle for intellectual and moral liberty: a theme one Catholic blogging wag has described as an endless recap of the plot to Star Wars.

That this shopworn theme is a deliberate falsehood, Steichen says, is what Catholics should first understand when reading either the secular mainstream coverage of the affair or the sisters’ own comments.

“This spin,” she said, “is omnipresent, always interesting, and often unintentionally comic. But however maliciously intended, I think it contains an element of nostalgia. It proves the irresistible attraction of goodness. Not even the liberal mainstream media can fail to see its beauty.”

Dressed in a flowing habit and devoting her life to educating children and building hospitals, or gliding serenely down spotless convent hallways and singing Gregorian chant in Latin: the classic image of the nun is less stereotype than it is archetype, a cultural icon of everything good and holy and true, and it is as much beloved by media as it is by Catholics.

Steichen told LSN that the only trouble with this picture is that the “good sisters” made in the image of this archetype are mostly an artifact of U.S. history and are now nearly extinct. LCWR represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 religious sisters in the U.S., with an average age of 74 and climbing. With the exception of a handful of young, deliberately faithful, countercultural, and largely recently-founded communities, the LCWR nuns and sisters have abandoned not only the habit that symbolized their devotion, but the faith that defined it, she said.

Donna Steichen spent 10 years researching feminism in the Catholic Church, and particularly in the Catholic religious life since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. The result was what many consider the definitive book on the political and philosophical origins of the collapse of the U.S. religious life, entitled Ungodly rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminisim,” published by Ignatius Press in 1991.

The religious core of Catholic sisterhoods was replaced decades ago, she told LSN, by an extreme left political ideology manifested in a feminism that has grown increasingly radical and bizarre, and in recent years, infused with New Age and occult practices that have nothing to do with Catholicism.

Starting in the 1960s and ‘70s the sisters leaped on the bandwagon of the broader social and sexual revolution, attending workshops in the Human Potential Movement and “alternative” spirituality, taking classes in Marxist theory, abandoning their customs as well as the habit, and taking up the mantras of the Esalen Institute and, most significantly, of academic feminism.

Even worse, the sisters then took these ideologies and practices and started feeding them through the conduits of their educational institutions to infect the mainstream of Catholic Church in the U.S. The result, Steichen said, has been “the suffering of innocent people, in injustice, lost faith, and collapsed institutions.”

The Vatican’s attempt at reform is 40 years overdue, but unlikely to rescue either LCWR or the communities it represents from impending extinction, she said. The good news is what sounds like bad news: “It is evident to all observers that the feminist contingent of women religious is indeed dying out, what with that mean age of 74.”

But just what is so bad about feminism? One lady commenting on last week’s LSN story about the Vatican’s doctrinal assessment accused Cardinal Levada of outright lies: “HOW could a nun be an extreme liberal feminist? It doesn’t seem likely.”

“The misunderstanding arises from failure to define the term ‘feminism,’” Steichen said. “Feminists themselves avoid clearly defining it, so the general public accepts the rosy impression cultivated by advocates in media and academia; that the term simply means recognition that women are full and equal members of the human race who can do anything men can do.”

But this is a bit of public relations sleight of hand, she said. “Feminism is an ideology, and it is designed to destroy the family as the basic unit of society.” That ideology, she said, encompasses an entire universal outlook that, once adopted by an individual, ultimately totally eclipses any religious notions about the nature of human life, sexuality, family, the purpose of the state and finally, the nature of God.

Anyone interested, Steichen said, in investigating the origins of academic and radical feminism have to look no further than the social writings of Freidrich Engels, colleague of Karl Marx, who wrote that ultimately, the communist view of the family as a sub-unit of the state, would overrule the traditional Judeo-Christian view. Its ugliest fruit, she said, is abortion, which the ideology regards as an absolute necessity to separate womanhood from motherhood.

Feminism, Steichen said, is “detestable” because it is “so demeaning of women.”

“It denies the value of their natural role, urging them to trade it for the shabby substitutes of paid participation in the work force.

“Religious feminism is worst of all, because it further demands that women cease to recognize God’s eternal order. Like [Planned Parenthood founder] Margaret Sanger, it commands women to serve ‘no Gods, no masters’. Which somehow comes to mean ‘except feminist ideology’.”

Steichen suggests that those who are outraged at the Vatican examine some of the speeches made by speakers at LCWR’s annual conferences, many of which are available on their website. These speakers were specifically cited in the CDF’s document as problematic. One, Sr. Laurie Brink, was particularly noted as flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ when she gave the LCWR keynote address in 2007, telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they needed to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

The CDF, Steichen said, is echoing the long-deferred feelings of many U.S. Catholics when it noted that these types of statements, endorsed many times by LCWR, “is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life.”

Set to offer the keynote address at this year’s assembly in August is Barbara Marx Hubbard, a New Age guru, who is scheduled to speak on the theme, “Mystery Unfolding: Leading in the Evolutionary Now”.

A sample of Marx Hubbard’s writing gives a flavour of what the LCWR is looking for in a speaker:

Although we may never know what really happened, we do know that the story told in the Gospels is that Jesus’ resurrection was a first demonstration of what I call the post-human universal person. We are told that he did not die. He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did. The new person that he became had continuity of consciousness with his life as Jesus of Nazareth, an earthly life in which he had become fully human and fully divine. Jesus’ life stands as a model of the transition from Homo sapiens to Homo universalis.

Despite the evidence being available at the click of a mouse, Steichen said, a great many Catholics still refuse to believe that the nuns have gone so far off the deep end.

Asked whether the Vatican’s reform plans will have the desired effect, Steichen remains dubious. “Will this process ‘work’? As a matter of fact, I do not expect mass repentance and re-conversion. In my experience, repentance is rare among ideologues of religious feminism.

“And I would be more hopeful about the prospect of institutional reform if the implementation were to be directed from the Vatican, or if the bishops assigned to head the USCCB ‘reform’ were men with sterner reputations. We need to pray for everyone concerned.”

She noted, however, that the mere fact that the attempt is being made at last “serves important purposes.”

“After decades of leniency toward them, it puts the Church officially on record as condemning the errors of radical feminism, New Age monism, and general doctrinal defiance. It must succeed in warning Catholic educational and professional institutions and organizations to enforce doctrinal orthodoxy even from women in positions of power.

“If the attempt fails, their continued defiance will be so salient as to force the Vatican into further disciplinary action. In either case, it is another signal that the era of post-concilar upheaval is over.”

As for the prediction, made by the UK’s Independent, that Rome is facing a “PR disaster” with the reform attempt, Steichen said, “Hostile voices in media will do their best to make it so, but among faithful Catholics, it is more likely to be a PR triumph.

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Western Kentucky U student: No, I didn’t apologize for desecrating pro-life crosses with condoms

by Ben Johnson Wed Apr 25 16:50 EST Comments (37)

 
Elaina Smith's
Elaina Smith's "art project."

BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY, April 25, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The student who placed condoms over 3,700 crosses at Western Kentucky University as part of an “art project,” has told the media she has not apologized for the desecration, as university president Gary Ransdell publicly claimed she had done. The girl’s art professor has also admitted she approved the vandalism.

The crosses made up a university-approved pro-life display, the Cemetery of the Innocents, erected by the pro-life group Hilltoppers for Life. Last Friday,WKU student Elaina Smith placed condoms over each cross as an “art” project. Campus police made no effort to stop her.

After the event became a national story, WKU President Gary A. Ransdell released a statement. “The offending student has apologized,” he wrote. “This matter has been dealt with properly, decisively, and brought to a conclusion.”

But a local television station reports, “Contrary to Ransdell’s statement, Elaina Smith told WBKO that she has not apologized to anyone yet.”

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On Monday, Smith told local media, “I had worried that my idea might offend some. However, after giving it a lot of thought, I came to believe that it is no more or less offensive than the original installation.”

On Tuesday night Smith’s art professor, Kristina Arnold, told WBKO she gave Smith her approval for the vandalism.

“Learning and debating are not always pretty or polite processes,” Arnold wrote in a statement. “If we are asked to introduce our students to all the tools of debate and engagement, they will use these tools,” she wrote. “The use and discovery of tools, and the use and discovery of voice is exactly what is occurring on our campus, on both sides of this current discussion.”

“The faculty could use a refresher on how discourse is conducted in a free society,”  Robert Shibley, senior vice president of the academic watchdog group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education,(FIRE) told LifeSiteNews.com.

“It’s a form of vandalism and should have been dealt with in that way,” Shibley said.

“Considering the faculty member told the student it was OK to do that, I think the student might be able to be excused for thinking it was fine. But if the president left the impression that doing this sort of thing is fine from now on on Western Kentucky’s campus, then I think that’s a real problem.”

Pro-life leaders around the country have their own questions about WKU’s commitment to freedom of speech.

“Does the President [of WKU] support Professor Arnold’s statement?” asked Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life, which is assisting the WKU students. “Additionally, the student was armed with enough condoms to cover all the crosses, 3,700 of them. Who paid for the condoms – were they obtained from the student health center or a nearby abortion clinic? Did the school help pay for these ‘art’ supplies?”

Hawkins has asked for a public apology from Smith, another apology from WKU campus police for their inaction, and an assurance that Smith will not receive academic credit for what the students regard as an act of vandalism.

Arnold, who has also served as visiting faculty at Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, told WBKO no decision had been made about granting Smith credit yet.

Shibley said students whose rights are violated may have to resort to legal remedies. Barring that, they can fight in the court of public opinion.

“You can go to local media or national media and tell your story and get the story out there. Universities are averse to controversy,” Shibley told LifeSiteNews. “They don’t want people to know when controversial things happen on campus, but in a free society, sometimes there’s gonna be controversy.”

Contact
President Gary A. Ransdell
Office of the President
1906 College Heights Blvd., #11001
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-5394
FaceBook page

Kristina Arnold, Assistant Professor of Art
kristina.arnold@wku.edu
(270) 745-2314

WKU Police Captain of Professional Standards, Joe Harbaugh
joe.harbaugh@wku.edu
(270) 745-2543

 

Tags: gary ransdell, kristan hawkins, kristina arnold, western kentucky university

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Ontario school board bans Gideon Bible distribution after parent complains

by Thaddeus Baklinski Wed Apr 25 16:08 EST Comments (12)

 

CHELSEY, Ontario, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Public school trustees in southwestern Ontario’s Bluewater District board have voted to ban the free distribution of Gideon Bibles to grade 5 students under their jurisdiction.

Bluewater has over 18,000 students in 53 schools in Ontario’s Bruce and Grey counties.

According to a Canadian Press (CP) report, when Bill Donovan, a father with one child in the Bluewater District board, discovered the board had no policy on the issue, he complained that the distribution of free bibles “undermines the secular nature” of public schools.

The 8-3 vote last week ended a decades-old tradition in schools in the Bluewater board of giving the bibles free to grade 5 students with parental consent.

“I feel most pleased, though, that the decision derived from the law of the land, administered by an elected board, in a secular fashion,” Donovan said, according to the CP.

The Gideons, an evangelical Protestant association based in Nashville, Tennessee, have been placing Bibles containing the New Testament plus the Psalms and Proverbs from the Old Testament in Canadian public schools since 1936.

“Even if [students] read the scripture to kill free time between classes, their thoughts will be impressed with Jesus Christ rather than with thoughts of negative, unconstructive influences of the world that surround them today,” the society states.

Rev. Mark Koehler, pastor at First St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Hanover, Ontario, responded to the decision, telling CP, “I’m not even a Gideon. I’m just a concerned Christian parent in a country that’s still 70 per cent Christian.”

“We’ve taken prayer out of school. We can’t say certain greetings at Christmas time. We don’t want further erosion of our Christian faith and heritage to happen,” Rev. Koehler said.

A spokesman for Gideons International in Canada said his organization will not push to have the bible distribution reinstated.

Contact information:

Bluewater District School Board
P.O. Box 190, 351 1st Avenue North
Chesley, Ontario N0G 1L0
Phone: (519) 363-2014
Fax: (519) 370-2909
Email: communications@bwdsb.on.ca

Jan Johnstone, Bluewater Trustee Chair
Phone: (519) 396-1467
Email: jan_johnstone@bwdsb.on.ca

Tags: bible

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Spanish bishop publishes ex-gay testimonies on diocesan website after attacks from homosexual groups

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Wed Apr 25 15:49 EST Comments (52)

 
Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Plà

April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Juan Antonio Reig Plà, the Catholic bishop of the Spanish diocese of Alcalá De Henares, has responded to recent attacks by homosexual groups by posting testimonies on his website of individuals who rejoice in their abandonment of the homosexual lifestyle.

“I want to thank especially those who feel, or have felt, Same-Sex Attraction (SSA), and have seen fit to send me your testimonies; more than one hundred of you have written your experiences up to now,” writes Reig Plà. “I must thank you because I have seen in them the hand of God and I have learned much from your suffering and your hopes.”

He adds that those who have written “are collaborating in this way to break the barrier of silence regarding the possibility of change for those who freely wish to do so, and that’s why it’s important to publish and spread them!”

The letters were published following a controversy created by a sermon given by Reig Plà on Good Friday, in which he compared the misery of those who are living the homosexual lifestyle to hell. He then generated outrage from homosexual and socialist groups by recommending therapy for homosexuals in a follow-up interview. The testimonies the bishop published speak of the suffering entailed in the homosexual lifestyle, as well as hope for overcoming homosexual tendencies.

“I was 18 years old when I became entangled in the first SSA relationship,” writes a 22-year-old woman whose name, like that of the other writers, is withheld. “It all began through curiosity, and to do something different, but it ended up in a sea of confusion.”

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The woman states that, following her first homosexual experience, she attempted to get help, but “sadly the psychologist at my university urged me to accept myself as I was because ‘I was born this way.’” She states that although she went to a priest for confession and did work with a group of nuns, she still felt “empty and alone.”

Following an abusive and obsessive relationship with another lesbian, the woman says that she finally found the help she needed in a Catholic organization called “Hope is Possible,” which supports homosexuals in their quest to overcome the gay lifestyle.

An 18-year-old anonymous man writes to confirm the bishop’s statement comparing the homosexual lifestyle to an inferno. “Effectively, Same-Sex Attraction has been, for me, a hell. Because the homosexual tendency does not consist only of the attraction, but behind it are hidden a series of factors and wounds that have conditioned that tendency,” he writes.

“I suffered the rejection of my peers when I was little. I didn’t have friends. In high school they would bully me, I was bad at sports…this made me develop feelings of inferiority, loneliness, self-pity, sadness, anxiety, confusion, and to feel different from the other kids. In addition, I developed a strong addiction to masturbation and pornography, with which I evaded reality. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t respect myself. That is a hell.

“However, since beginning to work to escape that attraction towards the same sex, my life has changed dramatically,” he writes. “I began to struggle against those feelings of self-pity, negativity, and the victim mentality.” He says he began to participate in sports and to force himself out of his social isolation, making friends and learning to see other males in a realistic way, “without idealizing,” which has often caused his attraction to “disappear,” he writes.

The teen congratulates Bishop Reig Pla for his fight against the “gay lie.”

“We have to act and propagate this information,” he writes, so that people “know the ‘gay lie,’ so that they know that change is possible, so that they know that there is help for all people who do not want that life of suffering, that hell.”

As LifeSiteNews reported last week, Bishop Reig Plà has had criminal complaints filed against him for his comments, which were made based on official Catholic teaching on the issue.

Reig Plà has also received the support of many individuals and organizations, according to his website, including the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, the Spanish Family Forum, the Catholic Union of Reporters and Journalists of Spain, and the World Congress of Families.

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Custody battle ensues after single mom who conceived with help of ex-boyfriend dies

by Peter Baklinski Wed Apr 25 14:56 EST Comments (5)

MONTREAL, Quebec, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A single woman’s decision to conceive a child with the help of an ex-boyfriend has led to a chaotic court battle over who possesses parental rights over the child, after the mother died from cancer.

The unmarried Montreal woman, 36, whose identity is subject to a publication ban by court order, desired to raise offspring a few years ago, reported the National Post. The woman reportedly explored the option of using the services of a fertility clinic that would artificially inseminate her with sperm from an anonymous donor. But when the expensive procedure proved beyond the woman’s budget, she turned to her ex-boyfriend and employed his services to help make a baby.

The woman reportedly paid the ex-boyfriend $1400 for what she considered to be a sperm donation, a service that he rendered to her through sexual intercourse. The woman considered herself a single mom, but allowed the father of the child to visit his daughter occasionally.

Three years after the child’s birth, the mother succumbed to cancer and left her young daughter in the legal care of grandparents.

The ex-boyfriend of the deceased single mother then entered the scene to make a parental claim for the young girl, arguing that he was her legal father. The case appeared before a Quebec court. The ex-boyfriend won a paternity ruling from the Quebec Court of Appeal last year, and that ruling was upheld last month when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of the case.

Michael Lubetsky, the lawyer who represented the girl’s grandparents at the appeal court, told the National Post that it is a parent’s “worst nightmare” that a biological parent can “show up and start asserting rights over the child.”

“That’s incredibly disruptive…. It’s an attack on the family structure,” he said.

But Andrea Mrozek, manager of research and communications at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, told LifeSiteNews she believes the real “attack on the family structure” happened years ago with the breakdown of the once widespread cultural understanding that sexual activity happened within marriage and naturally led to children.

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“If that breakdown hadn’t occurred so substantially and profoundly perhaps we wouldn’t have this circumstance where people are entering into this type of huge moral responsibility [through artificial reproductive technologies] quite as lightly as they do.”

While Mrozek said that she sympathizes with women who desperately want to have a child, she pointed out that the means that the woman employed to achieve her desire was “profoundly child-unfriendly.”

“Research shows that a child fairs best with a father and a mother — his or her biological parents — in a stable relationship for life,” she said.

Mrozek lamented that many Canadians are simply ignorant of the vast amount of research that confirms that children do best when they are raised by married parents who have created a strong family environment.

She lauded the biological father of the young girl whom she believes “did the right thing at the end of the day when he manned up and said ‘this is my child.’”

Maria Reilander, a teacher at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, who has a masters in Theological Studies, agrees with Mrozek’s assessment that the breakdown of the traditional family structure has resulted in what she believes is a moral chaos that threatens the unity and stability of society.

“Lawyer Lubetsky’s comment on what he believes is the ‘attack on family structure’, namely that a sperm donor won the parental right to his biological child, entirely misses the target,” said Reilander to LifeSiteNews.

“What a case like this highlights is the overall attack on the traditional meaning and dignity of marriage and the family that results from it. The case only demonstrates how marriage and family have been ripped asunder, to the detriment of the child, through the aid of unnatural procedures such as artificial insemination and IVF.”

Reilander pointed out that “it is ultimately the children who suffer when the unitive and procreative dimensions inherent in the sexual act are removed from within the context of marriage.”

“In the case of that poor child in Montreal,” she said “we are simply seeing the devastating repercussions of ignoring the moral order that really goes hand-in-hand with human procreation.”

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Don’t blame the social conservatives

by David Krayden Wed Apr 25 10:35 EST Comments (1)

 

April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Whenever a conservative political party goes down to electoral defeat in Canada, social conservatives are inevitably blamed for the result.  The surprise resurgence of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives at the expense of the Wildrose Party has mystified some political observers, been cited as a stunning example of “strategic voting” by others, and led many pundits to point their fingers at the apparently anachronistic social policies of Wildrose, or, at the very least, some of its candidates.

To address the reason why a party that was leading in the polls by seven to nine percentage points a mere 24 hours prior to election day would lose by that same margin the next day, it would seem apparent that Liberal and NDP voters did vote PC in a concerted effort to block the election of Wildrose candidates.  To view the number crunching on a riding by riding basis, there is a clear case of the liberal vote coalescing against Wildrose.  Whether that collusion was orchestrated by left-leaning institutions like labour unions or merely a reflexive response by like-minded voters who vowed to elect Anybody But Wildrose, it was a consequence that enforced a stark political reality on Monday night, shocked many commentators even as they watched the numbers coming in and led to a PC majority government.

The question is why did these voters opt to staunch the growth of Wildrose; did it have something – anything – to do with social policies?  Moreover, did social conservatives, who might have voted overwhelmingly for Wildrose, decide to stay home and refrain from casting a ballot because they took offence at recent comments from Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, who declared herself pro-abortion, in favour of same-sex marriage and unwilling even to consider de-funding abortion because she considers it a constitutional right?

These same questions arise every time that a conservative party is defeated in an election where the fire of social policy is lit by a party candidate and then quickly extinguished by the party leader, who usually declares such talk off limits and unwelcome in the Canadian public square.  Inevitably, social liberals – from throughout the political spectrum – will announce that Canadians neither want to talk about social issues like abortion, that these issues are “settled” and that candidates or parties who raise these issues “scare” voters.  Concurrently, social conservatives will raise the specter of disaffected faith-based voters who decide to register their disapproval of the party hierarchy by not voting at all.

So which is it?  Without some degree of scientific polling and analysis, the question will remain the purvey of punditry that will continue to present conjecture as political cause and effect.

What can be said of this week’s election is that Danielle Smith, whether unwittingly or not, may have further eroded the presence and influence of social conservatives in Canadian political life.  Not only has the liberal media insisted that she lost the election because of “alarming” comments by social conservative candidates, but during the election Smith herself took the completely unnecessary and detrimental step of declaring that de-funding abortion would be contrary to the Charter of Rights and thus not a legitimate or obtainable political goal for the pro-life movement.  So while she allegedly lost the election by being remotely associated with social conservative issues, she consciously attempted to reduce the opportunities to reduce or restrict abortion in this country.

That might be deemed the worst of both worlds.

Furthermore, despite fielding candidates who were pro-life and opposed to advancing the homosexual agenda, Smith made it abundantly clear that a Wildrose government would act no differently than a PC government in the realm of social policy.  In reality, to many voters there would have seemed no difference between the two parties as far as actual policy was concerned.  Ergo: how can anyone legitimately blame social conservatives for losing the election?

What is really occurring in the left-wing analysis of this election is the insistence that social conservatives just cease and desist from speaking altogether.  There should be no discussion, no dialogue, no debate, no diversion, no dissent – just accept the social status quo and like it.

But that is not going to happen.  Social conservatives need to ensure that no issue is settled in this country – or in any democracy for that matter – and that until the conservative movement embraces a holistic philosophy that includes a culture of life and a recognition of traditional values alongside a commitment to free markets, we will continue to erode free speech, preside over moral decay and lose elections.

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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Ready to fight the real ‘war against women’?

by Janet Morana and Georgette Forney Wed Apr 25 09:48 EST Comments (31)

 

April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Rallies are planned across the country this Saturday to give women a chance to stand united in opposition to the much-heralded “War against women”.

But is there really such a war being waged in the United States?

You bet there is. This war is evident nearly everywhere we look.

Turn on your television and you can see it raging on MTV and VH1 and CMT, where rappers, rockers and even country crooners spew misogynistic lyrics while provocatively dressed women degrade themselves with their dancing. The war is on in Hollywood, where the most common role for an actress is that of hooker with a heart of gold, and where at least one movie out of three includes a completely gratuitous scene in a strip club. It rages in the entertainment media, which delights in getting women to take their clothes off for the camera. Why do we have such a hunger to see accomplished, talented, beautiful women naked? Because it devalues them.

The war on women is waged in the tastefully appointed offices of plastic surgeons, who reap the rewards of a culture that values only large breasts and unlined faces. Did you know that most breast implants will leak or break over time, with sometimes devastating consequences? Should it matter? Does it?

Does is matter that hormonal contraceptives - the Pill and its descendants — are indisputably linked to increased risks of cardiovascular disease, cervical, liver and breast cancer, blood clots, elevated blood pressure, decreased desire, sexual dysfunction and stroke?  The Pill began its war on women in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s when it was tested on unsuspecting women - some of whom died. “Why would you want to put a Class 1 carcinogen in your body three out of four weeks, when you’re only fertile 100 hours a month,” asks Angela Lanfranchi, a New Jersey oncologist. “The Pill is bad.”

The war is carried on in the media, where female politicians - liberal and conservative - are subjected to endless critiques of their clothing choices and hairstyles that no man in the political arena has ever faced, except perhaps John Edwards and his $400 haircut.

The war against women is particularly vicious in strip clubs and on porn sets, where many of the women twirling on poles or being violated in sometimes unspeakable ways have been trafficked from distant parts of the world—places where desperation trumps common sense and women accept a stranger’s offer of a good job, only to find themselves enslaved, abused and addicted. Brothels and nude bars are full of women whose right to choose, if they ever had one, was surrendered at the border crossing, and men whose sense of entitlement enables them to overlook the humanity of the women they are victimizing.

While battles are raging on many fronts, abortion is the nuclear weapon in the arsenal of the war against women. Nowhere is the war waged as effectively, and as horrifically, as it is in the abortion clinic, where there is no “doctor-patient relationship” and where every abortion stops one heart and breaks another.

The women’s movement of the 1960s and 70s set out to prove that women can do anything men can do, and in many, many ways, that’s true. But somewhere along the way, women began to devalue their unique gift, the ability to conceive and give birth to new life. They have thrown it away in exchange for sexual liberation and a “get out of jail free card” if an “unplanned pregnancy” should intrude.

What a terrible trade-off that has turned out to be for millions of women, and their babies.

“I wish that in the 70s, when I was pro-choice and believed the jargon ‘My body My Choice’ that someone would have told me that ‘my choice’ would haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Leslie Brunolli of San Diego, a regional coordinator in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. “That choice left a devastating imprint on my life that no other choice I have ever made compares too.” Thousands of women join Leslie every year to say they regret that choice, and millions more still suffer in silence.

The diabolical tragedy of this war on women is that we wage it, very often, on ourselves. Like Chinese women in an earlier age insisted on binding their daughters’ feet, even though they themselves were crippled; and women in some African cultures still hold their daughters down to allow the same barbaric genital mutilation they endured, many American women insist that abortion be kept legal and accessible for their daughters.

We would love to stand with our sisters on Saturday to fight this war against women, but the truth is, we are on opposite sides of the battle line.  A grass-roots effort known as UniteWomen.org is rallying troops for nationwide rallies, but for them, the enemy is the GOP, Christians and Catholics, paternalistic white men who want to keep women barefoot and pregnant, and pro-lifers. They see an abortion clinic and they think choice. We look at the same clinic, and we see the ultimate exploitation of women.

Until we can all recognize the true nature of this war, we will remain a nation divided.

Here are some of the organizations that are part of the UnitedWomen.org coalition’s “War Against Women” activitites:
Americans United For Separation of Church and State, Catholics for Choice, Feminist Peace, National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Rock the Slut Vote, The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women, This Slut Votes

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, are the co-founders of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

Tags: abortion, feminism

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Bishop Jenky deserves appreciation, not condemnation from Notre Dame faculty

by Charles E. Rice Wed Apr 25 09:46 EST Comments (56)

 
Dr. Charles Rice

Editor’s note: Charles E. Rice is a professor emeritus of law at the University of Notre Dame, and the author of several books on faith and the right to life.

April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On April 14, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., of Peoria, Illinois, delivered a courageous homily at Mass during “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.”  Bishop Jenky said, “This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down.  Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”

Forty-nine members of the Notre Dame faculty denounced Bishop Jenky in a Letter to the University President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Richard C. Notebaert.  The Letter called on them to “definitively distance Notre Dame from Bishop Jenky’s incendiary statement.”  The signers, said the letter, “feel” that Bishop Jenky should resign from the University’s Board of Fellows.

The faculty Letter claims that Bishop Jenky “described President Obama as ‘seem[ing] intent on following a similar path’ to Hitler and Stalin.”  They accuse Bishop Jenky of “ ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment.”  The astonishingly simplistic and defamatory character of those accusations can be appreciated only by looking at what Bishop Jenky actually said:

Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.

In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.

Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.

In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama—with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

The immediate antecedent of that last quoted sentence refers to the fact, which not even a liberal academic could deny, that Hitler and Stalin, like Bismarck and Clemenceau, “would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.”  It was not “incendiary” but simple truth for Bp. Jenky to say that the trajectory of the Obama regime is along a “similar path” in regard to “education, social services, and health care.”  His faculty detractors misread Bishop Jenky’s homily, assuming that they actually read it before they distorted and denounced it.  The strident tone of their letter, moreover, draws into question their own judgment and balance.

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Bishop Jenky properly drew attention to the impending dangers to religious and personal freedom.  The Obama regime, the leader of which was elected with 54 percent of the Catholic vote, is substituting for the free economy and limited government a centralized command system of potentially unlimited jurisdiction and power.  Its takeover of health care was enacted against the manifest will of the people, in disregard of legislative process and by a level of bribery, coercion and deception that was as open as it was unprecedented.  The HHS Health Care Mandate imperils not only the mission of the Catholic Church but also the right of conscience itself.

The faculty Letter outrageously claimed that Bishop Jenky’s limited and appropriate reference to Hitler and Stalin showed his ‘insensitivity to victims of genocide.”  The Hitler record, however, is relevant in another respect.  It provides an example, comparable to the Obama record, of the rapid concentration of executive power by a legally installed regime. 

Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor on January 30.  Over the next few weeks he consolidated his power.  The decisive event was the Reichstag’s approval of the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933, by which it ceded full and practically irrevocable powers to Hitler.  That was the point of no return. 

The Enabling Act received the needed two-thirds vote only because it was supported by the Catholic party, the Centre Party.  (Eliot Barculo Wheaton, The Nazi Revolution: 1933-35 (1969), 286-93; William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959), 88, 276-79).  The gullible Catholics voted themselves and the German people into persecution.  America’s Catholics may be about to follow their example. 

With good reason, Bishop Jenky prayed: “May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.”

Bishop Jenky deserves appreciation for so urgently reminding Catholics of their civic duty.  He spoke the Truth as a Bishop ought to speak.  And his judgment and courage reflect the finest tradition of a Notre Dame that has gone missing.  Pray for Bishop Jenky, for Notre Dame, for our Church and for our country.

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Dad rescues ‘brain dead’ son from doctors wishing to harvest his organs – boy recovers completely

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Wed Apr 25 09:27 EST Comments (110)

 
Stephen Thorpe, who four doctors had declared brain dead

LEICESTER, England, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - According to the Daily Mail newspaper, a young British man owes his life to an insistent father who would not allow his son’s organs to be removed from his body, despite assurances from four doctors that his son could not recover from the wounds he had suffered in a recent car accident.

The Mail reports that Stephen Thorpe, then 17, was placed in a medically-induced coma following a multi-car pileup that had already taken the life of his friend Matthew, who was driving the vehicle.

Although a team of four physicians insisted that his son was “brain-dead” following the wreck, Thorpe’s father enlisted the help of a general practitioner and a neurologist, who demonstrated that his son still had brain wave activity.  The doctors agreed to bring him out of the coma, and five weeks later Thorpe left the hospital, having almost completely recovered.

Today, the 21-year-old with “brain damage” is studying accounting at a local university. “‘My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very happy that my father wanted a second opinion,” he told the Mail.

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The case is similar to dozens of others LifeSiteNews has reported in recent years, in which comatose or otherwise unconscious patients are declared to be “brain dead,” or hopelessly incurable. In many cases, aggressive doctors seek the organs of the patient for harvesting.

In 2011, the Quebec Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville sought permission to extract the eyes of a patient who had choked on hospital food in the absence of a nurse, claiming she was “brain dead.” After the family demanded proof from physicians of her alleged condition, she regained consciousness, and recovered most of her faculties. The family declared its intention to sue the hospital.

In 2008, a 45-year-old Frenchman revived on the operating table as doctors prepared to “harvest” his organs for donation, following cardiac arrest. In the subsequent investigation by the hospital’s ethics committee, a number of doctors admitted that such cases, while rare, were well known to them.

That same year, a “brain dead” 21-year-old American, Zack Dunlap, was about to have his organs harvested when his two sisters, both nurses, decided to test the hospital’s theory that his brain was no longer functioning. Family members poked his feet with a knife and dug their fingernails under his nails, provoking strong reactions by Dunlap and proving he was conscious. He recovered completely. He later related that he was conscious and aware as doctors discussed harvesting his organs in his presence.

The term “brain death” was invented in 1968 to accommodate the need to acquire vital organs in their “freshest” state from a donor who some argue is still very much alive.

While death had previously been defined as lack of respiration and heart activity, “brain death” was judged as compatible with an otherwise living patient. “Brain death” has never been rigorously defined, and there are no standardized tests to determine if the condition exists.

Dr. John Shea, a medical advisor to LifeSiteNews.com, points out that patients diagnosed as “brain dead” often continue to exhibit brain functions.

In “Organ Donation: The Inconvenient Truth”, Shea states that the criteria for “brain death” only “test for the absence of some specific brain reflexes. Functions of the brain that are not considered are temperature control, blood pressure, cardiac rate and salt and water balance. When a patient is declared brain dead, these functions are not only still present, but also frequently active.”

See important related story:
Critical organ donation warnings and guidance in new pamphlet: “Do not do an Apnea test!”

A list of articles by LifeSiteNews on comotose and “brain dead” patients who unexpectedly recovered follows:

* Brain dead’ woman recovers after husband refuses to withdraw life support
* Woman Diagnosed as “Brain Dead” Walks and Talks after Awakening
* ‘Brain dead’ Quebec woman wakes up after family refuses organ donation
* Doctor Says about “Brain Dead” Man Saved from Organ Harvesting - “Brain Death is Never Really Death”
* Doctors Who Almost Dissected Living Patient Confess Ignorance about Actual Moment of Death
* New study questions “brain-death” criterion for organ donation
* Coma Recovery After 19 Years Poses Questions About Terri Schiavo
* Polish Man Wakes from 19-Year “Coma”, Talks and Expected to Walk Soon
* Man Wakes from Two-Year Coma – was Aware and Remembers Everything
* Boy in “Hopeless” Vegetative State Awakens and Steadily Improves
* Commentary: The Significance of that Case of the Man Trapped in a “Coma” for 23 Years
* Girl Once Comatose and Scheduled for Euthanasia Will Testify against Attacker
* ‘Comatose’ UK Man Chooses Life by Moving Eyes
* Woman’s Waking After Brain Death Raises Many Questions About Organ Donation
* Russian Surgeons Removing Organs Saying Patients Almost Dead Anyway
* Denver Coroner Rules “Homicide” in Organ-Donor Case

Related link:

The boy who came back from the dead: Experts said car crash teen was beyond hope. His parents disagreed

Tags: brain death, euthanasia

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Alienating social conservatives: The real reason Danielle Smith lost Alberta

by Patrick B. Craine Wed Apr 25 09:03 EST Comments (40)

 

April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Alberta’s April 23 election results were disappointing for the Wildrose Party, winning only 17 seats out of 87 and returning Alison Redford’s increasingly liberal PC Party to hang onto a majority of 61 seats, down from 67. This was especially disheartening for small-c conservatives given that Wildrose was leading in the polls until the final week and a half when the race suddenly tightened. Despite the tightening, it was still expected to be a victory for Wildrose.

So what caused Smith’s dramatic meltdown of support?

If you read the mainstream media reports this morning, you’d be convinced that it was because the pro-life and pro-traditional marriage views of some Wildrose candidates turned off Alberta voters.  As a Globe & Mail headline stated, “Fear of Wildrose drove some voters to Alberta PCs”.

Was fear of social conservatism the only possible explanation for the meltdown? Does this hypothesis make sense for the most ‘small-c’ conservative province in Canada?  Does this theory (which by the way is not grounded in exit polling data but mere conjecture) make sense for what has been called part of “Canada’s Bible Belt”?

There is a more likely explanation for the meltdown, but one which the mainstream media is loath to acknowledge.  Polling data suggests that Danielle Smith seriously alienated her natural base of social conservative and religious voters when she began to publicly reject pro-life and pro-family views in early April and ultimately announced, “I’m pro-choice and pro-gay marriage” on April 10th. It was a slap in the face to traditional values voters.  Many so-cons probably decided then that since the Wildrose party would not provide a home for them, they in turn, would stay home on voting day, or even to vote for the devil they knew.

Flashpoint moments for so-cons and religious voters

To support this hypothesis, we highlight the polling numbers before and after two flashpoint moments in the campaign, which were important for ‘values voters’.

The first flashpoint was the discovery around February 23rd that the PC Ministry of Education, through amendments to the Education Act, planned to ban homeschooling families from passing on their religious and moral beliefs about homosexuality to their children, even in their own homes.  Up until that point, according to a Feb 16th Forum Research Poll, the PCs were leading Wildrose 37% - 30%.

The outcry against the PC bill culminated in massive rallies in mid-March at Alberta’s legislature against the PC plan. Homeschooling families and many other religious families, including Catholics, strenuously protested the government’s unwelcome foray into family life and against religious freedom.  The Wildrose supported them with candidate Rob Anderson backing two amendments to the Education bill, to protect religious freedom and parental rights. He also spoke at the March 19th protest rally in support of the thousands of parents who were there.

Guess what happened to Wildrose numbers during this period? They shot up dramatically past the PCs. By March 25th, the polling firm Think HQ, had the WR up by 3 percentage points over the PCs. Forum Research had WR up 10 points.  Was this pure coincidence? This massive mobilization of concerned families and religious voters certainly played a major role in Wildrose’s ascent in the polls.

Wildrose numbers continued climbing and peaked around April 2, to a 13 percentage point lead according to Think HQ (see figure 1).  The second flash point occurred April 4th when PC Leader Alison Redford began a fear mongering campaign about abortion and gay “marriage”, pointing to a conscience protection policy in the Wildrose Platform.  From then on, there was a steady drop in Wildrose support which continued right through to Election Day.

To use football terminology, this is where Danielle Smith began to ‘fumble the ball’. She started to distance her party from these views, indicating that she supported the status quo on abortion, and putting out messaging that she opposed the traditional view of marriage. This strategy culminated with her proclamation April 10th that she is “pro-choice” and “pro-gay marriage”, and in the end likely demoralized a significant part of her social conservative base.  Not surprisingly, after that unfortunate April 10th announcement, the Wildrose poll lead shriveled even faster through the final week and a half of the election campaign. Then, she shut the door on so-conservative hopes for the future by adding, “A Wildrose goverment will not be legislationg in areas of morality”.

The mainstream media will not admit to a correlation between Smith’s moving away from pro-life and pro-family positions, to her massive loss of support from her natural base. However, in the absence of scientific exit poll data to the contrary, it’s a valid hypothesis.

The Rob Ford lesson that Danielle Smith should have learned

Danielle Smith should have learned a lesson from Rob Ford’s campaign for Mayor of Toronto.  As a candidate, Ford was similarly attacked in 2010 by his pro-homosexual opponents and the pro-homosexual media, over his belief in the traditional definition of marriage.  The contempt they poured out on him was vitriolic. But unlike Smith, Ford did not react by apologizing for his principles, or by appearing to run away from them.  That would have deflated his critical base of so-con support and quite possibly cost him the election.

Instead, he very calmly and simply responded “I support traditional marriage. I always have”.  When the media kept badgering him, he very consistently repeated it calmly and unapologetically. In the end, Ford confounded all his critics and won the election by a large margin, defeating the openly-homosexual George Smitherman who was a media darling.

Here’s the point that Smith didn’t get.  In order to lead a small-c conservative movement to victory, you need the social conservative branch of that movement to show up at the ballot box (even if you don’t agree with them).  By alienating ‘values voters’, demoralizing them, and causing them to stay home on Election Day, it’s very difficult to win.

In conclusion, if Wildrose hopes to achieve victory in four years, they must learn to ignore the mainstream media, establishment political advisors, and to respect the values of all Albertans, including the millions who are pro-life and pro-family.

This Alberta post-election synopsis was produced by Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life and pro-family movement. To view the original article on CLC’s website, click here. CLC is a non-partisan organization involved in all levels of political elections including school board, municipal, provincial and federal, working to help elect pro-life/family candidates.

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LAST CALL for Gala registration!

by Steve Jalsevac Tue Apr 24 20:50 EST Comments (0)

 

Click Here to Register

Bid Online Today! (Click Here)

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