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Cameron renews ‘gay marriage’ pledge as party spirals down the drain

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By Hilary White

LONDON, July 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The UK’s Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister is “killing” his own party, and therefore the coalition government, through his “obsession” with gay “marriage” according to political columnist Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail. Despite the plummeting fortunes of the Conservative Party, and the increasing disaffection of its base, David Cameron announced at a Downing Street reception for homosexualist lobbyists on Tuesday that he remains “absolutely determined” to see the country’s definition of marriage abolished by 2015.

“The promise I can make you is that this coalition government is committed to both changing the law and also working to help change the culture and the Conservative party absolutely backs that. This is something ... I personally feel very passionately about,” Cameron said.

The comments came in spite of recent assurances to MPs and Cabinet members that Conservative MPs would be allowed a free vote in Parliament should legislation make it that far. Cameron is also reported to have told his party that he would not attempt to force the shaky coalition government to go along, and would be campaigning only privately.

The Prime Minister’s plan to force the re-definition of marriage “at any cost” is costing the party plenty according to Pierce. Huge numbers of voters and even senior MPs are abandoning the party as Cameron continues his “updating” project.

Pierce wrote that the numbers do not lie, and Cameron’s whole campaign to “modernise” the party has led it to the brink of political extinction. He quotes figures released by the party showing the number of Conservative members “has fallen below 130,000, a drop of around 60 per cent since he took over in 2005.”

“The bitter and ineluctable truth is that, far from increasing numbers, Mr. Cameron has presided over the sharpest decline in membership in the Conservative party’s history,” writes Pierce.

The “gay marriage” push, he said, has been “the single biggest factor” in the party’s decline, but it has also only been the last straw for angry party supporters. “U-turns over a referendum on Europe, its failure to reform the loathed Human Rights Act and the Tories’ infuriating tendency to give ever more ground to [far-left coalition partners] the wretched Lib Dems have contributed to the decline.”

And there can be no doubt that it is specifically “gay marriage” that is killing the party’s chances with voters. Pierce quotes ComRes polls showing that the issue could cost the party as many as 1.1 million votes and 30 parliamentary seats, with many long-time Tory supporters saying they would either switch to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) or not vote at all. Fifty-six per cent said that it is the plan to re-define marriage that has driven them away from the party.

Party members who through the Blair years watched in horror the near annihilation of the traditional family in Britain are also “enraged” that the Prime Minister has, in another “sop to the Lib Dems,” reneged on campaign promises to increase tax breaks for married couples.

At a “tense” meeting last month Cameron was warned by 20 of the party’s most senior members that the party’s “membership will plunge below the psychologically crucial 100,000 mark if there were no change of heart on same-sex marriage,” Pierce wrote.

A party source told the Daily Mail, “The Prime Minister was told bluntly that gay marriage was causing membership to hemorrhage. Cameron was unmoved and said the members were out of step with the country.

“He doesn’t seem to care that it’s the party members who canvass on doorsteps across the country in all weathers. They lick envelopes, hold fundraisers and at elections drive our older supporters to polling stations. These people are our mainstay and they are abandoning us. Our party is dying on its feet.”

In spite of these warnings, Cameron used the same uncompromising language at his friendly reception on Tuesday, as he has since the party’s last convention. Praising the government of Tony Blair’s New Labour Party for bringing in civil partnerships for homosexuals, he said that “gay marriage” will be a continuation of that tradition.

“I make that point not only as someone who believes in equality but as someone who believes passionately in marriage,” told his audience. If marriage was “good enough” for heterosexual couples, it should be extended to homosexuals, he said.

“I think marriage is a great institution – I think it helps people to commit, it helps people to say that they’re going to care and love for another person. It helps people to put aside their selfish interests and think of the union that they’re forming.

“Its something I feel passionately about and I think if it’s good enough for straight people like me, its good enough for everybody and that’s why we should have gay marriage and we will.”

Some religious observers were also alarmed by the Prime Minister’s comments about the opposition to the plans by churches, wondering if they constituted a veiled threat. Comparing their opposition to that of the Tory party before his recent reforms, he said the Church should not be “locking out” homosexuals from its ministries.

The Church, he said, has “got itself on the wrong side of this argument.”

“It locked people out who were naturally conservative from supporting it and so I think I can make that point to the Church, gently,” he said.

Churches, he said, should not “be locking out people who are gay, or are bisexual or are transgender from being full members of that Church, because many people with deeply held Christian views, are also gay”.

“And just as the Conservative Party, as an institution, made a mistake in locking people out so I think the Churches can be in danger of doing the same thing,” he added.

In the face of such comments, and others by government officials, religious leaders continue to be sceptical about assurances that, should the change be made, they would not be forced to cooperate. Last month, the Catholic bishops’ conference of England and Wales said “gay marriage” would likely lead to legal action against ministers who refuse to participate.

John Smeaton, head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, the country’s leading political pro-life and pro-family group, wrote that the attempt to re-define marriage is biting Cameron because it is “beyond his remit as a political leader.”

Cameron’s “understanding of marriage and religion is woefully simplistic and ignorant. His mantra of ‘equality’ totally ignores the nature, history and role of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman ordered towards the procreation of children.”

Smeaton promised that the Cameron Conservatives would pay a heavy political price: “SPUC and its colleagues in many pro-family, Christian and Muslim groups, representing countless thousands of supporters and activists up and down the country, will ensure that same-sex marriage becomes a big general election issue, especially in marginal constituencies.”

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

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
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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