Kristen Walker Hatten

5 male celebrities I support, and why

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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December 21, 2011, (LiveAction.org) - Recently I wrote about five male celebrities I boycott for their pro-abortion views. Today, I’ll tell you about five famous men whose careers I can feel good about supporting, because they believe in and profess the sanctity of life.

Keep in mind I may disagree with them on other issues. But because I believe abortion is the ultimate moral litmus test, if they recognize the evil of abortion, I know their moral compass is pointed in the right direction.


5. Mel Gibson

Let’s kick things off with controversy! I want to be clear: there are things about Mel Gibson I do not like. He has made racist comments, and pleaded “no contest” to a domestic abuse charge. But he has also been dragged through the mud in the press, and not always fairly. The validity of the famous taped conversation with his girlfriend has been questioned by forensic experts, and his wife of 26 years claims she never experienced abuse. He has said his “no contest” plea was a way of ending the legal matter before it did more harm to his family, and he has maintained that he never harmed his girlfriend.

Still, Gibson himself admits he is a flawed man, and that’s one of the reasons why I support him. Because despite being a troubled, broken human being with a failed marriage, a failing career, and an ongoing legal battle with the girlfriend who bore his child, Gibson has never wavered on the issue of life.

In a Barbara Walters interview in 1990, at the height of his fame, Gibson said:

One can’t decide for oneself who comes into this world and who doesn’t. That decision doesn’t belong to us.

Later, he vocally spoke out against life destroying embryonic stem cell research. He said this on a television commercial:

In 23 years embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single human cure. All it has yielded is tumors, rejection, and mutations. See bad science doesn’t attract venture capital. So why should the taxpayers be bled dry? This is Mel Gibson and I’m voting NO on Prop 71. Creating life simply to destroy it is wrong.

In 2010, cast and crew members of the film The Hangover II objected to Gibson’s involvement in the film, so the producers rescinded his offer. The same cast and crew did not object — at least not loudly enough to make a difference — to the involvement of Mike Tyson in the film’s prequel. Mel Gibson has used strong, offensive words and pleaded “no contest” to threatening his girlfriend. Mike Tyson was convicted of and served time in prison for rape. It’s obvious the problem wasn’t that Gibson did something wrong, but the political and religious flavor of his opinions and offenses. Apparently, according to the Hollywood elite, it is more morally offensive to call someone non-politically-correct names than to rape a woman.

I support Mel Gibson not because I agree with everything he’s ever done, but because on the most important issue there is — whether or not it should be legal to kill innocent human beings, namely unborn babies — he has it figured out. That lets me know there is a good heart inside him. Maybe flawed, but good. And it lets me know that there is hope for him. So I choose to support him and his career. Because of the voice he has provided for the voiceless, I think he deserves it.

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4. Jack Nicholson

Here’s another guy with whom I probably don’t agree on every issue. A living legend in the cinema, Nicholson’s politics are full of contradictions. He called Sean Penn “the greatest living American,” but he refused to criticize President Bush, saying, “I support every president.” He calls himself a “lifelong Irish Democrat” and once spoke fondly of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Nicholson’s opinions on abortion were formed by personal experience. He was a grown man when he discovered the woman he thought was his sister was actually his mother, and the woman he knew as his mother was his grandmother. His mother became pregnant as a teenager and was encouraged to have an abortion, even back in 1937, but she chose life for her son. The revelation that his sister was his mom was understandably difficult for Nicholson, and had a profound affect on him. For one, it made him pro-life:

I’m very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I’m positively against it. I don’t have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life.

This short statement is full of humility, wisdom, and courage. Note that he says, “I don’t have the right to any other view.” He has understood, thanks to the knowledge that his own life almost never happened, that life is a gift for which we should all feel gratitude. His willingness to vocally oppose abortion in the face of Hollywood and his own political party is inspiring and should be encouraged.

3. Ben Stein

You may not recognize the name right away, but you’d know the voice. The familiar drone of “Bueller…. Bueller…” introduced him to Generation X, but before that he was a speechwriter for Nixon and Ford, Columbia honors graduate, and valedictorian of Yale Law School. Later he went on to have his own show on Comedy Central, “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” and to teach law, appear in films, and speak and write on various issues, including the sanctity of life. Here he is in 2009:

Every baby that is conceived has the right to be; that is a basic. And I will tell you something that I never felt before in my heart until this year: I feel strongly that the tide is turning in our favor… one of the best, most important ways to give your life meaning and to live a decent life is to value life when it’s old, when it’s infirm, when it’s a different skin color, when it’s a different race, when it’s a different sex, when it’s a different religion, whether it’s born or unborn – and if you value life when it’s unborn, you set a standard for valuing life and for giving dignity to life that will stick with you and the society forever.

In 2008, Stein was involved in a controversial documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, that accused members of the U.S. scientific and academic elite of blind allegiance to Darwinism and unscientific rejection of theories of Intelligent Design which have been put forward by respected scientists such as those at the Discovery Institute.

The documentary sought to show how a materialistic view of the world — in the philosophical sense — leads to treating human beings as expendable. Denying the innate worth of human life led to Nazi eugenics and concentration camps. According to Stein, only in recognizing the God-given worth of every human being, born and pre-born, can we guarantee each other liberty and be truly free.

Ben Stein is a remarkable and gifted man and an unapologetic warrior for life. I’m proud to support him however I can.

2. James Caviezel

Caviezel became the favorite actor of just about every Christian in the world in 2006 when he played Jesus of Nazareth in Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ. Like Gibson a Traditionalist Catholic, Caviezel told Catholic Digest he was challenged by a pro-choice colleague to act with the courage of his pro-life convictions and adopt a child with special needs. So in 2009, Caviezel and his wife adopted their second child, a five-year-old Chinese girl with a brain tumor. Caviezel said it didn’t change the colleague’s mind, but it did strengthen his own convictions that every life is precious.

I was listening to Johnny Mathis the other day and I said, “What an amazing voice.” I have yet to hear another person sound like Johnny Mathis… Look, I am for helping women. I just don’t see abortion as helping women. And I don’t love my career that much to say, “I’m going to remain silent on this.” I’m defending every single baby who has never been born. And every voice that would have been unique like Johnny Mathis’. How do we know that we didn’t kill the very child who could have created a particular type of medicine that saves other lives?

According to LifeSite News, he has “compared the injustice of abortion to the mistreatment of women in some Arab countries.” One of his recent films, The Stoning of Soraya M., is based on the true story of an Iranian woman stoned to death for adultery.

For living his convictions, in his art and his life, I proudly see every movie featuring James Caviezel, even if I don’t particularly want to see the movie.

1. Eduardo Verastegui

You may not have heard of him yet, but give him a break; he’s had to go it alone. This Mexican actor refused to accept roles that conflicted with his strong Christian, pro-life beliefs. He was told he would never work, so he decided to create his own work. Along with Alejandro Monteverde and others, he founded the production company Metanoia, and their first film, Bella, took the world by storm in 2006.

Winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2007, Bella was a beautiful film with a pro-life message of subtlety and spirit that surprised the world with its success. With a budget of only $3 million, it made about $40 million worldwide and put Metanoia on the map.

In January of this year, Verastegui pledged to build the largest pro-life women’s clinic in the U.S. His organization, Mantle of Guadalupe, raises funds for a pro-life pregnancy resource center of the same name in east Los Angeles, just miles from ten abortion clinics. A devout Catholic, he also promised, “I will not use my talents except to elevate my Christian, pro-life and Hispanic values.”

This year, Verastegui launched a website, IAmViable.com, which celebrates the lives and unique abilities of people born disabled. His production company Metanoia is currently working on several important projects with uplifting messages that affirm the dignity of all human life.

It may be safe to say that even in the few short years of his career, no actor has done more to promote the cause of the unborn than Eduardo Verastegui and his Metanoia Films. I will make it a point to support their work.

We shouldn’t let the trends or prejudices of celebrity affect our lives. None of us should make any decisions based on what the Kardashians do. But every time we turn on the TV or go see a movie we choose to support the actors and artists who created it. What we spend money on makes a powerful statement. I make sure to further, in any way I can, the careers of these men, because I want them to keep working and keep speaking out for life.

Who do you choose to support, and why?

Reprinted with the generous permission of Live Action.

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Are you praying for the upcoming Synod on the Family? You should be, and here’s why

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By John-Henry Westen

Catholics, and all Christians who value family values, should be praying earnestly for the Catholic Church as a struggle over critical family issues is coming to a head in the run-up to the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which takes place October 5-19. 

Augmenting the concerns is the fact that some of the cardinals closest to Pope Francis himself are increasingly in public disagreement over crucial matters related to faith and family. For some, the concerns reach right to the pope himself.

While Synod preparations have been going on for a year, Sunday’s weddings of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Francis presented a figurative, and perhaps foreboding launch.

In a press release prior to the ceremony, the Rome diocese inexplicably went out of its way to highlight the fact that some of couples the pope was going to marry were cohabiting. "Those who will get married Sunday are couples like many others,” it said. “There are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children.”

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream press took the bait and seized upon this statement to run headline after headline pushing the confusing notion that the event was a prelude to, or evidence of, a change in Church teaching on marriage.

Headlines like: 

All I can do is pray that the public fallout from these wedding ceremonies does not foreshadow the public outcome of the Synod. If so, we could be headed for a tragedy akin to the tragedy of the late sixties when, despite the proclamation of the truth of Humanae Vitae against contraception, the effect among ordinary Catholics was a near universal rejection of the teaching in practice.

What to expect at the Synod

The official list of those taking part in the Synod includes 114 presidents of Bishops’ Conferences, 13 heads of Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, 25 heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, nine members of the Ordinary Council for the Secretariat, the Secretary General, the Undersecretary, three religious elected by the Union of Superiors General, 26 members appointed by the Pontiff, eight fraternal delegates, and 38 auditors, among whom are 13 married couples and 16 experts.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of Cardinal Kasper’s intervention at the Consistory of Cardinals earlier this year, in which he laid out a contentious proposal to allow Catholics who have been divorced and then ‘remarried’ outside the Church to receive Communion. 

Since then a bevy of heavy-hitter cardinals have fought that proposal, including:

Today, however, Cardinal Kasper said the “attacks” from these cardinals were not so much directed at him but at Pope Francis, since, claims Kasper, he discussed his intervention with the pope and gained his approval.

The claim has some basis, since the day after Kasper made the proposal, before it was made public, Pope Francis praised it publicly.  According to Vatican Information Service, the Holy Father said:

I read and reread Cardinal Walter Kasper's document and I would like to thank him, as I found it to be a work of profound theology, and also a serene theological reflection. It is pleasant to read serene theology. And I also found what St. Ignacius described as the 'sensus Ecclesiae', love for the Mother Church. ... It did me good, and an idea came to mind – please excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you – but my idea was that this is what we call ‘doing theology on one's knees’. Thank you, thank you.

Of note, Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard, writing for France’s La Croix, reports today that Pope Francis is “irritated” by the release of a book containing criticisms of the Kasper proposal by five cardinals.

As LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday, one of those authors, Cardinal Raymond Burke, is being demoted from his headship of the Apostolic Signatura. The only post planned for the 66-year-old cardinal thus far is patron of the Order of Malta. 

Cardinal Burke’s pre-Synod interventions go beyond the divorce and remarriage question and into the matter of homosexuality.  In a recent interview Cardinal Burke gave a clear refutation of the misuse of Pope Francis’ famed ‘Who am I to judge’ quote to justify homosexuality.

While the issue of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality is seldom raised in reference to the Synod, with most of the emphasis being placed on the question of divorce and remarriage, it is mentioned in the working document, or ‘Instrumentum Laboris’, of the Synod.

As with the matter of divorce, no doctrine regarding homosexuality can be changed, but much confusion can still be sown under the auspices of adjustments to “pastoral” practice. Without a clear teaching from the Synod, the effects could be similar to the shift in “pastoral” practice among dissenting clergy after the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, which led to the use of artificial contraception by most Catholics.

Already and for many years there has been de facto broad acceptance of homosexual sexual practices in many Catholic schools, universities and many other institutions, with many staff being active homosexuals in open defiance of Catholic moral teaching.

Regarding the Synod’s deliberations on homosexuality, it does not bode well that one of Pope Francis’ personal appointees to the Synod is retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels.  The selection is remarkable because of Danneels was caught on tape in 2010 urging a victim who had been sexually abused by a bishop-friend of Danneels, to be silent.  Then, only last year Danneels praised as a “positive development” that states were opening up civil marriage to homosexuals.

Then, just this week, as reported on the Rorate Caeli blog, one of the three Synod presidents gave an interview with the leading Brazilian newspaper in which he said that while stable unions between homosexual persons cannot be equated to marriage, the Church has always tried to show respect for such unions.

The statement matches that of another prominent Synod participant, Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who in 2010 spoke of giving more consideration to ‘the quality’ of homosexual relationships. “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships. A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous,” Schönborn said.

In the end, while there is currently a public battle in the Vatican that is unprecedented in modern history, the faith will not and cannot change.  As faithful Catholics, and Christians, we must cling to the Truths of Christ regarding the family and live them out in our own lives first and foremost.  That is difficult, to be sure, especially in our sex-saturated culture, but with Christ (and only with Him) all things are possible. 

Plead with heaven for the pope and the bishops in the Synod.  LifeSiteNews will be there reporting from Rome, and, with your prayers and support, be of service to those defending truth.

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Poet: I ‘would’ve died’ for my aborted daughter’s ‘right to choose,’ just ‘like she died for mine’ (VIDEO)

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By Ben Johnson

What kind of mother asks her baby to die for her? And what kind of media outlet celebrates that?

To take the second question first, The Huffington Post is promoting a video featuring Scottish “poet” Leyla Josephine, celebrating her decision to abort her daughter. The video, “I Think She Was a She,” was uploaded to YouTube a month ago.

In the video Josephine, decked out in military camouflage, justifies herself in part by saying that she would have been willing to serve as a sacrifice to abortion just as she offered her daughter to the idol of “choice.”

“I would’ve supported her right to choose – to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine,” she said.

In the next rhyming line, she addresses her unborn daughter: “I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.”

“I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed," she continues – a phrase she repeats a total of six times. She repeats the phrase "This is my body" three times. (She also takes the Lord's name in vain once.)

In the early part of the video, she describes her belief that her child was a girl and imagines a life where she had given birth to her daughter.

“I know she was a she,” she says. “I would have made sure that there was space on the walls to measure her height,” she adds. “I would have made sure I was a good mother.”

At one point she appears to describe the emotional aftermath of her choice as “a hollowness that feels full, a numbness that feels heavy.”

But she later calls the idea that her child was a girl or a boy “bull---t” and affirms, yet again, she is not ashamed.

This provokes a few observations:

1. If she knew her child's sex, she must have had a late-term abortion. Our gentle, healing restoration is needed in a world marred by so much aggression and anger in the name of political orthodoxy.

2. Fr. Frank Pavone has written, ”Did you ever realize that the same four words that were used by the Lord Jesus to save the world are also used by abortion advocates? 'This is My Body.'” To paraphrase him, he notes the difference. One, by surrendering His life on the Cross, gave life to the world. The abortion industry uses this phrase to impose its will on the bodies of separate, living human beings who have not harmed anyone.

3. The most chilling phrase in the video is her statement, “I would’ve supported her right to choose...I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine.”

First of all, her daughter did not die for the “right to choose.” Her daughter was not sacrificed for the inalienable “good” of keeping abortion-on-demand legal (and, in the UK, taxpayer-subsidized). Politicians are bribed to maintain it; no baby needs to die for it. Josephine's child died because HuffPo's hero of the moment chose not to carry the baby to term and place him/her in the hands of loving adoptive parents who would have cherished her baby – whether it was actually male, female, or intersex.

Josephine describes the emotions that actually led to the abortion only metaphorically – e.g., she compares the abortion to chopping down a cherry tree – but that angst is the root (so to speak) of the abortion, not the great and grand cause of assuring that other women have the right to go through the same soul-crushing grief.

That intimation that her daughter died for “choice” – that she offered her baby as a living sacrifice on the altar of abortion – confirms the darkest rhetoric of the pro-life movement: That for some in the movement, abortion is sometimes regarded as an idol.

And that raises one other, more universally held question: What kind of parent asks his son or daughter to die for the “right” to abortion? Parents are supposed to be the one who sacrificially care for their children, who forsake their own comfort, who do whatever is necessary – even die – to keep their children safe, healthy, and well. Josephine's blithe, “Sorry, but you came at the wrong time” sounds as hollow as a gangland assassin's apology to the family caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. Abortion severs the love that God, or Mother Nature, or evolution, or whatever you choose to believe in placed within every pregnant woman to link the mother to her child.

The abortion lobby's rhetoric, which increasingly disregards the value of unborn life, is untethered by the bonds of human compassion, is fundamentally selfish and cold-blooded, and lacks a sense of humanity and brotherhood to the point of obliterating maternal love itself.

“Will a woman forget her child, so as not to have compassion upon the offspring of her womb?” God asks through the prophet Isaiah. “But if a woman should even forget these, yet I will not forget thee, saith the Lord.”

The pro-life movement exists precisely to set this upside-down order aright, to reinstate the natural love and compassion everyone should have for all of God's creation – most especially that between a mother and the innocent child she has helped create and fashion with her own DNA.

Cross-posted at TheRightsWriter.com.

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Cardinal Dolan greets worshipers and guests on the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan after Easter mass on April 8, 2012 in New York City. Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic leaders criticize Cardinal Dolan’s defense of gay group at St. Patrick’s Parade

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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New York Cardinal John O'Connor on the cover of the New York Post on January 11, 1993. http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended his decision to serve as grand marshal for the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Wednesday, in the wake of widespread criticism from Catholics after he praised the organizing committee for allowing a homosexual activist group to march.

“If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object,” Dolan stated in his weekly column. On the contrary, he argued, “The committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, was not impressed with the cardinal’s argument. This is precisely about publicizing advocacy contrary to Catholic teaching,” he said.

“As a Catholic father I find there is rapidly contracting space where this shameful agenda is not stuck in the faces of my children,” Ruse told LifeSiteNews. “The Church should be protecting our children rather than abetting those who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of innocent souls."

Pat Archbold, a popular blogger at the National Catholic Register and who runs the Creative Minority Report blog, lambasted Dolan for suggesting the embrace and promotion of “gay identity” can be separated from the sin of homosexuality.

“This identity is not a morally-neutral God-given attribute such as male or female, black or white,” he said. “The identity is with the immoral choice to engage in immoral behavior.”

“The best that can be said in this situation is that these people choose to proudly identify themselves with an intrinsic disorder.  But in reality, it is worse than that,” he continued. “The people find their identity and pride in sin.  Either the Cardinal knows this or he doesn't, either way Cardinal Dolan reveals himself unequal to his responsibility as a successor of the Apostles.”

The parade committee changed its longstanding policy on September 3 after decades of pressure from homosexual groups. Upon being announced as the parade’s grand marshal later the same day, Cardinal Dolan said he had no trouble with the decision at all, calling it “wise.”

The organizers had never prohibited any marchers, but did not ban issue-focused banners and signs, whether promoting homosexuality or the pro-life cause.

Cardinal Dolan stated in his column Wednesday that he did not oppose the previous policy.

“This was simply a reasonable policy about banners and public identification, not about the sexual inclinations of participants,” he explained.

“I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching,” he said as well, “but simply identifying themselves as ‘Gay people of Irish ancestry.’”

The homosexual activist group that will march is called OUT@NBCUniversal, which describes itself as the employee resource group for LGBT & Straight Ally employees at the media giant.

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The network held the broadcast contract for parade coverage. Reports indicated the contract was about to expire, and that NBC joined in pressuring on parade officials.

Cardinal Dolan conceded in his column there were many thoughtful reasons for criticizing the parade policy change, and noted that he shared some of them.

“While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision,” he said. “You observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an ‘aggressive Gay agenda,’ which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality.” 

However, he said, the most important question he had to ask himself was whether the new policy violated Catholic faith or morals.

In stressing that homosexual actions are sinful while identity is not, Cardinal Dolan said, “Catholic teaching is clear: ‘being Gay’ is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals.”

Making opinion paramount, the cardinal offered that the parade committee “tried to be admirably sensitive to Church teaching,” and even though the original policy was not at all unfair, the committee was “realistic in worrying that the public perception was the opposite, no matter how often they tried to explain its coherence and fairness.”

“They worried that the former policy was being interpreted as bias, exclusion, and discrimination against a group in our city,” Cardinal Dolan wrote. “Which, if true, would also be contrary to Church teaching.”

When the decision was announced and Cardinal Dolan named the parade’s grand marshal, Philip Lawler, director of Catholic Culture and editor for Catholic World News, called it a significant advance for homosexual activists, and a significant retreat for the Catholic Church.

Pointing out in his column that the media will be correct to concentrate on that narrative at next March’s event, Lawler identified what he said is almost certain to be the result of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Next year there will be only one story-line of interest to the reporters who cover the annual parade in the world’s media capital: the triumph of the gay activists,” Lawler wrote.

“Photographers will be competing for the one ‘money’ shot: the picture of the contingent from OUT@NBCUniversal marching past the reviewing stand at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, under the benign smile of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.”

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