Steve Jalsevac

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Spirited, diverse crowd at Ontario Legislature demands Bill 13 defeat

Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac
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* See follow up report with video highlights.

TORONTO, March 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A crowd of an estimated 2000 or so concerned parents from a wide range of ethnic and faith communities demonstrated outside Ontario’s legislature Thursday demanding the defeat of the Liberal government’s “anti-bullying” Bill 13. The speakers and spirited, chanting crowd, many with homemade signs, expressed fears of a dangerous loss of freedoms from the government bill and its imposition on all Ontario schools of a sexual culture radically opposed to their own beliefs.

Kim Galvao, the main organizer from Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario, expected just a few hundred but was overwhelmed to see the far larger number of protesters show up with hundreds of signs. Galvao told LifeSiteNews that she started organizing the rally only two weeks ago and networked with several other groups to get the word out.

Galvao said she is “just a mother” and decided to to try to get a rally going because the government was not responding to her serious concerns about Bill 13. “There was just silence and so I just felt I needed to do something.”

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

There were notably large numbers of participants from the Chinese Catholic, Chinese Protestant and Korean Christian communities. The rally was attended by Christians of several denominations and the many ethnic and religious communities represented included Sikhs, Muslims, Koreans, Chinese, Somalians, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Portuguese, Spanish communities, Filipinos, and more.

Several speakers gave passionate speeches warning of the loss of liberty, parental rights and freedom of religion that would result from what they claimed is the unconstitutional proposed legislation.

Speakers included: Kim Galvao, Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario; Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Catholics; Dr. Charles McVety, Institute for Canadian Values; Reverend Dominic Tse, North York Chinese Community Church; Teresa Pierre of Parents As First Educators; Allan Tam, Chinese community leader and School Trustee at York Region District School Board; Phil Lees, Family Coalition Party leader and several religious leaders from various Christian denominations, as well as a Sikh speaker.

Charles McVety, holding a copy of Bill 13 and a copy of the resource guide from the Toronto District School Board titled, Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism, said there were three main things he strongly rejected: the violation of parental rights, the attack on religious liberty and the restriction that any person or group renting schools would also have to abide by the new legislation.

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Catholic charged that “McGuinty’s Bill 13 is about social engineering. It is about indoctrinating kids to reject the moral and religious beliefs of their parents on human sexuality, in favour of the government’s ideology.” He added, “that’s why the bill contains bizarre things like the 7-gender theory.”

Fonseca continued: “Dalton McGuinty is requiring the Catholic church to violate its religious beliefs. ... Where does he think we are? The former Soviet Union?”

Dominic Tse, pastor of North York Community Chinese Church accused the Liberal government of using Communist totalitarian tactics similar to those those used in the Communist China that many in his community fled from.

Tse told the crowd to loud cheers, “What do we call these things? We call them dictatorship. We call it totalitarianism. Where we come from we know what that means, right? We are not going to allow the government to Bill 13 us, to dictate to us what we need to do and what we need to think.”

Theresa Pierre call Bill 13 “a grave violation of our conscience rights” and that is “going to cause social upheaval”.

Phil Lees shouted in his speech, “We will not allow the rights of responsible, principled Ontarians to be taken away”.

A pleasant surprise to the organizers was the number of MPPs who came and joined the rally. At least four PC MPPs mingled with the parents, listening to the speakers and chatting with demonstrators. Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Essex, received enthusiastic response to his brief speech commending the parents for their strong, public opposition to Bill 13. Several other MPPs were spotted coming to the steps of the legislature to watch the large, very determined crowd and to hear what they were saying.

At one point during the rally, former Education Minister and homosexual activist Kathleen Wynn came outside and walked past the huge parents group. She then went over to the small group of 40 counter-protestors who had gathered nearby to demand that Dalton McGuinty force the Catholic Church to violate its religious beliefs. She also spoke to Omni TV in favor of Bill 13, downplaying the concerns of parents.

One MPP told organizers that the parents could be heard shouting “Stop Bill 13” inside the chamber. Coincidentally, lawmakers were at the time debating Bill 14, the alternate anti-bullying bill initiated by Progressive Conservative MPP, Elizabeth Witmer. Her bill, without the sexual agenda of Bill 13, is not opposed by the demonstrators.

All speakers at the rally expressed support for legitimate anti-bullying legislation that targets genuine causes of bullying, of which body image was said to be by far the most common target.

Near the end of the rally a moving prayer was presented by Korean pastor, Rev. Soo. He humbly pleaded in his prayer, “Please grant wisdom to our leaders and support them as they make changes to our laws affecting our families and especially our precious children. Children are our future.”

Several mainstream media outlets were present, although rally organizers reported what so far appears to be a news blackout on the event in all the local television media - CBC, CTV, Global and CP24. Local newspapers and talk radio were said to have given at least some coverage to the event.

Rally organizers strongly encouraged Ontario parents to email, write, phone and visit their MPPs and to urge them to vote against Bill 13.

* See follow up report with video highlights.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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