Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

‘Captain Coward’: Behold our brave new sexually emancipated world

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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SANTA MARINELLA, Italy, January 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – What kind of man sneaks away under cover of darkness from his own sinking ship, leaving nearly 4200 passengers and crew to fend for themselves? What kind of men knock aside old ladies, little girls and young mothers to get to lifeboats first? Why, modern men, sexually emancipated men who have been raised on the tenets of feminism and our “contemporary” mores.

What can an expression like “women and children first” mean to modern men who have been taught all their lives that women are nothing more precious than sexual playthings, and children nothing more than a disposable burden?

The capsizing of the Costa Concordia, one of the biggest cruise ships plying the Mediterranean, filtered into the English language press a week later and everyone has now heard the recorded phone conversation in which coast guard captain, Gregorio De Falco, furiously orders the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, to return to his vessel. Schettino replied by repeatedly lying, while trying to flee in a lifeboat.

Passengers were left to rescue themselves aided by hired entertainers and a few crew members. One woman was quoted saying, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats.” Another passenger, a grandmother, said, “I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls.”

In the first days after the Costa Concordia tipped over in shallow water 300 yards from shore, all of Italy was gripped by shame at reports of Schettino’s behavior. He was arrested after he got to shore and charged with involuntary manslaughter and abandoning his ship. He was caught trying to get into a taxi, having reportedly asked the driver to “get me as far away from here as possible.”

Nicknamed “Captain Coward,” Schettino has become the focus of national fury for Italians fed up with the all too frequently accurate stereotype of Italian men as vain, feckless, irresponsible, selfish and untrustworthy permanent adolescents.

But the problem is not limited to Italy. It seemed apropos that the same week bad-boy American Catholic apologist Michael Voris was doing a series of videos on the emasculation of men and the effects of feminism on the Catholic Church and the world in general, a topic few in the Church dare to broach.

In one video, Voris mentioned the type of men who are approved by the feminist-controlled media: weak, stupid and ineffectual, who need to be ruled over by strong, hip, intelligent women. In the last 50 years, the Catholic institution has followed the world in adopting the feminist model. That ideal, Voris says, has driven strong men out of the Church and out of family life, pushing them to find a channel for their masculinity in unhealthy avenues like criminality and the objectification of women.

After watching one video, I sent Michael an email asking that he remember to talk about the flip side of feminism’s misandry, its vilification and demonisation of masculine strength. According to the tenets of the ideology, strong men are violent, evil and terrifying. Instead of heroes protecting women and children, feminism depicts strong men as brutal monsters, wife-beaters and child abusers.

The Costa Concordia disaster brought into the limelight the effects on men of feminism, and her strumpet daughter, the Sexual Revolution. Feminism has killed the cultural priority of men protecting and being responsible for women. In one video, Michael Voris spoke of the “hero’s journey,” the traditional western cultural archetype of the boy who leaves home, faces and overcomes adversity and becomes a man capable of protecting a family. But our feminist-inspired anti-culture, coupled with a soul-deadening consumerist materialism, has tossed these concepts out.

By telling women they don’t need men, by demonizing the value of masculinity, feminism has at the same time told men that they never need to grow up. If feminism has told women they can sleep around “like men,” it must be remembered that this implies that men may do the same right back. Instead of insisting that men grow up, marry a woman and protect and care for their children, it has offered men women as toys while offering women the Pill, abortion and family court as the back-up plan. Feminism defines “equality” as men and women competing equally in the labour market and using each other equally as objects.

A while ago, I read an interesting, though deeply frightening, website that claimed to be in support of men against the feminist world. In one article, the clearly angry men pointed out an unjust double standard in family law. The legal system, now held firmly in the feminist claw, holds them financially responsible for the children they father when they split from the mother. The article pointed out, however, logically enough, that at the same time feminism demands that contraception and abortion be freely available. Why then, if women are now allowed to use men as sexual objects, should a man ever be held responsible for fatherhood? Why should men be routinely financially ruined by family courts when abortion is legal, a lot cheaper and easy to get?

Why indeed? Feminism, because it is essentially dishonest, childish and self-serving, will never own up to the logical conclusions of its premises.

Recently, the popes have written against the kind of feminism that promotes abortion and contraception while hammering a wedge of hostility between men and women. Universal promiscuity, contraception, legal abortion, easy divorce, together with a youth-worshipping, madly materialist culture, they have said, has created an atomized society of isolated consumers for whom all relationships routinely end in abandonment. A vast cultural catastrophe that leaves children without fathers, tells women they don’t need men, and men they can remain happy, care-free adolescents their whole lives.

This message seems to have come through especially loud and clear in Italy where it is only too easy to find men who are the embodiment of the self-indulgent stereotype. The effeminate man-child is a plague in Italy; vain, self-important, shallow and self-seeking mamma’s boys who live in their parents’ house into their thirties and forties.  The once-family oriented Italians are increasingly either divorcing or refusing to marry in the first place.

Italian journalist Rosaria Sgueglia writes in the Huffington Post that the former master of the Costa Concordia is one of those Italian men who match the stereotype point for point. Italians are “furious,” she wrote, at “people like Mr. Schettino [who] do nothing but compromise the already damaged image the rest of the world has of Italian people.”

“The average Italian man is said to be narcissist, egomaniac, coward, selfish, unable to follow basic procedures and unable to follow the rules. True or not, it’s a stereotype, a stereotype which is strongly proved by the latest, tragic events in Italy.”

While Italians vent their fury on Francesco Schettino for being everything they hate about themselves, it must be remembered that many countries were represented in the crew roster of the Costa Concordia. The disaster has the fingerprints of our poisoned and dying western culture all over it.

Reading the reports of the Costa Concordia, I could not help but recognize the results of our society’s new priorities. Many observers made the comparison with the Titanic disaster. One hundred years ago, 1st class men lifted steerage class women and children into lifeboats in the full knowledge that they were giving their lives. The captain of that ship was last reported seen holding a child in his arms seeking a way to save her. A hundred years later, we have a coast guard officer shouting at “Captain Coward” to “Vada a bordo, cazzo!” … Get on board, damn it!

Behold our brave new sexually emancipated world.

Voris episodes referred to in this story:
Why Men Don’t Go To Mass
Masculinity and Catholicism
Catholic Men and the Church
‘Catholic’ Women’s Lib
Young Catholic Men

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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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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.

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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

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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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