John Jalsevac

500,000+ signatures opposing gay ‘marriage’ presented to UK prime minister, Home Office

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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Co-authored with John Jalsevac

LONDON, June 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A petition by the UK’s Coalition for Marriage opposing the government’s proposal to re-write the definition of marriage, which has been signed by well over half-a-million petitioners, was delivered in a gift-wrapped box to the Home Office and to Downing Street this week.

The petition, one of the largest in the history of Parliament, was presented by recently married couple Rhys and Esther Curnow, both 23. The couple were joined by Conservative Party MPs Fiona Bruce and David Burrowes, Labour MP Jim Dobbin, and campaigners from the Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart and Dr. Sharon James.

Dr Sharon James, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Marriage, said: “We’ve got over half a million people who are saying they believe in marriage, and this isn’t just religious people but people of no faith, gay people and straight people.

“We believe passionately in marriage. It’s much bigger than the church and the state and it goes back to the beginning of human history.”

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

The debate about the Conservative government’s proposal remains fierce. On Wednesday, a Conservative Party cabinet minister delighted homosexualist campaigners when he said that excluding religious organizations from performing the “marriages” may be “problematic” should a law be brought forward.

“It may be that proscribing all religious organizations who have a licence to carry out marriage from carrying out same sex marriages – that may be rather more problematic legally than trying to give a protection for those religious organisations that do not wish to do so and making sure that they do not have to do so,” said prisons minister Crispin Blunt.

The comments were welcomed by the ultra-liberal Unitarian church, which has long been at the forefront of the religious representation of the homosexualist movement’s political agenda. Derek McAuley, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches said, “We do not believe any religious group should be forced to undertake same sex marriage, however, we would claim the right to do so in line with our own deeply held convictions about the inherent worth of all individuals and for public recognition of relationships.”

Minister Blunt has described the current law as one of the “remaining examples of inequality that everyone now accepts are unacceptable.” He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group and in August 2010 left his marriage of 20 years to Victoria Jenkins in order, he said, to “come to terms with my homosexuality.”

Since the local elections in May that were disastrous for the Conservatives, the government has indicated it may be trying to back quietly away from its insistence on introducing “gay marriage,” an unpopular proposal with an already angry electorate. The party has already announced that MPs, including cabinet ministers, will be allowed a free vote on the subject, with Prime Minister David Cameron widely expected to agree soon to drop the unpopular push from the party’s official business and to campaign for it separately.

MPs remain divided on the issue, with a poll published by the left-leaning Independent newspaper showing that 63 Tory MPs would vote for gay marriage and 44 against, with the House of Commons overall being in favor by four to one.

Many opponents have objected that the government has specifically refused to hear arguments against changing the definition, restricting the formal public inquiry only to how the change could be made.

“The most outrageous thing today is that Mr Cameron said they are a Government who are going to prevail and they are going to introduce same-sex marriage. The consultation hasn’t even closed yet,” said Dr. James.

“It’s undemocratic and I think people up and down the country are saying ‘what an arrogant Government’.”

Paul Goodman, the executive editor of the influential Conservative Home website and a former Conservative MP, wrote that the Tory party has got itself into a “mess” with its push for “gay marriage”.

“From the viewpoint of practical politics, rather than conviction one way or the other,” Goodman wrote, “it is usually bad politics to seek to force through change which a majority or plurality of voters favour tepidly but a significant minority oppose passionately.”

The issue is uniquely set to divide the party, at a time when unity is essential for a strong showing in the upcoming election cycle.

Calling the move “a gambit straight out of the Blair textbook” Goodman said, “The only strategic reason for seeking to introduce gay marriage, therefore, is to seek to win younger, and doubtless new and urban-based voters at the expense of older and more rural-dwelling ones who tend to vote Tory.”

“The crux of the matter for many is whether the churches or other faith communities could be forced to conduct gay marriages against their will. I am not convinced this would be the case but the Church of England thinks otherwise,” Goodman added.

He pointed out that the proposal never appeared in any Conservative, or even Liberal Democrat election material or manifestoes, and that following the institution of civil partnerships, even the homosexualist lobby was not interested in pursuing a change to the definition of marriage.

With one day left in the consultation, the party’s leading policy analysts remain puzzled why Cameron has led them to the current pass.

“Regardless of one’s views on the matter it looks as though the Tory end of the Government has rushed into this one without thinking it through,” Goodman wrote. 

Concerned UK residents still have a chance to sign before the close of the government’s “Equal Marriage” consultation closes at midnight on Thursday, June 14. In addition, short messages from citizens explaining their support for the traditional meaning of marriage may be submitted to the Home Office via their website, using their online form, until Thursday’s deadline.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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