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Costco Fires Catholic Who Denied Knights of Columbus Hall for Lesbian “Marriage”

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PORT COQUITLAM, BC, November 30, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A member of the Knights of Columbus who is in charge of renting the fraternity’s hall for weddings and other events alleges he was fired from his day job at Costco for his involvement in denying two lesbians the facility for their same-sex “wedding.” The human rights case in which the lesbian couple successfully sued the Knights of Columbus over the denial of the hall made international headlines. (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/nov/05113006.html )

LESBIAN WAS A CO-WORKER WITH KNIGHT OF COLUMBUS

David Hauser told LifeSiteNews.com in an exclusive interview that Tracey Smith, one of the lesbians involved in the human rights complaint against the Knights, was also a co-worker of his at Costco. Hauser related thatÂmany of the management at the Port Coquitlam warehouse were openly homosexual. He related that for months before Smith and her same-sex partner approached his wife for the hall rental,Âsome of his co-workersÂhad been asking him about his involvement with the hall, and knew that he was in charge of bookings.

“In retrospect, they picked a time when they knew I would be at work to call my wife Sandra, who shows the hall when I am unavailable,” Hauser said. He is convinced the entire fiasco was orchestrated before the event. However, in the human rights complaint against the Knights the lesbian couple claimed they did not realize the hall was affiliated with the Catholic Church.

Tracey’s partner, Deborah Chymyshyn, claimed to the Vancouver Sun in November that, “If they would have let us know up front who they were, we probably would have never even gone there.”

Terry Kidwell, State Deputy of the B.C. Knights of Columbus, told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview Dec.12 that Chymyshyn “said that ‘she just happened to be driving around and saw the sign’” for the rental of the hall. “Well, that’s a dead end street,” Kidwell said. He indicated “you don’t just happen to drive around” and find that hall and that one would have to deliberately drive to that location and stop to see the small 8 1/2 X 11 sign on the door.

“You can’t see it from the street,” Kidwell stated, adding “You would have had to get out of your car and go right up to the hall to see the sign. There is not a great big sign saying, ‘hall for rent.’”

A big question therefore is how the two women would actually have known that the hall was for rent.Â
Â
  Kidwell says these questions were probably not brought up in the human rights trial against the Knights because the focus of the defence was that, “because of our core religious beliefs we were entitled to not rent the hall to them.”

Hauser said he and his wife were not initially aware of the couple’s intention to wed each other, because the two had vaguely referred to a “wedding” without saying it was their own that they were planning. Hauser did not suspect anything when he read the names on the rental agreement, because he only knew Tracey at work by her first name.

Hauser alleges, “They [Smith and Chymyshyn] knew exactly what they were doing.” The three-acre parcel where the Knight’s hall is situated is also the location of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School. “There’s a huge cross on that Church,” Hauser said. “There’s a huge picture of the Pope in the hall . . . there’s no way they didn’t know we were connected to the Church.” (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120901.html )

FIRED BY HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST MANAGER

Hauser was fired from Costco November 3, 2004 - one year and two days after Smith and her same-sex partner Deborah Chymyshyn rented the hall.

Hauser’s very openly gay boss, Mike Checko,Âwho Hauser claims was a friend of Smith’s, fired Hauser. Hauser contends that his firing was completely without cause. He said his letter of release cited “violence in the workplace,” allegedly committed in early August 2004. Hauser related that he and his wife were on vacation for two weeks during the early to mid-weeks of August. Another homosexual co-worker alleged in writing that Hauser had said he wanted to meet a fellow worker outside after work for a brawl.

“The workplace was absolute trouble for me - the manager of the 225 employee Costco warehouse constantly badgered me about it [the hall issue].” Hauser said the homosexuals in management at the store “constantly tried to lure him into arguments.”

Hauser’s claims to unfair treatment are supported by other former supervisors at Costco. One letter, from co-worker Jared Gilles who was also Hauser’s former supervisor, dated August 4, 2004, said, “In my view, Dave was sunk before all this ever happened. Our management isn’t open and objective towards him,” Gilles explained. “They get hourly [employees] to write hearsay letters of certain instances - whether it’s true or not and whether they are witnesses or not. Dave’s guilty because he’s blacklisted. People can just write letters about people they don’t like and if management doesn’t like you, you’re in trouble. No one will support Dave’s views, whether he’s done something or not.”

“He told me to watch out because this guy was after you from the day you walked in,” Hauser added.

Events at Costco following Hauser’s firing suggest that there was some problem with the supervisor who fired Hauser. Checko was demoted two weeks after Hauser’s firing, “from a $120,000 per year position, to a checkout clerk,” Hauser said.

On November 23, 2004, Human Resources Canada, after initially refusing Hauser’s claim for employment insurance payments, responded to Hauser’s appeal of the refusal. After HRC asked for clarification from Costco, a letter was returned that stated a different reason for Hauser’s dismissal than the one given on his dismissal letter.

“[Costco’s] statement contradicts the letter of dismissal,” stated L. Bell, an insurance benefit officer with HRC, in a letter in Hauser’s possession. “In the letter of November 3, 2004, the employer states that the employee was dismissed because of an incident that occurred in August. The incident involved allegations of threats made by the claimant to a co-worker. The employer has not provided detail of the alleged incident.”

“Given the lack of clarification from the employer, we’ll conclude that the claimant was dismissed due to a series of minor incidents. Some of the incidents may have been genuine violations of company policy, but there is also a sense that there was some friction between the claimant and the employer. Fault is sometimes difficult to define, but it is often mutual. Clearly the employer was not happy with the claimant, and although the violations of company policy may or may not have been genuine, there is an indication that they were looking for reasons to terminate his employment. It is not even clear what the final incident was that ultimately led to the claimant’s dismissal and therefore we cannot conclusively prove there was misconduct involved in the final incident. Under the circumstances, we have no choice but to allow the claim.”

Hauser further explained that he “was fighting a 90-day demotion for allegedly driving a fork-lift at a guy’s head,” in June-August of 2004. “I should have been arrested for something like that,” Hauser said. “I got three fellows to write statements who had seen the whole thing. I then went to the regional manager, Patrick Noon - Mike Checko’s boss.”

The suspension was over-ruled by Costco’s regional office.

“The day I walked in [Checko] wanted me out,” Hauser emphasized. “It went on and on - he treated me terribly. When Hauser went into workÂthe day afterÂthe two women were told that they could not have the hall, Hauser says Checko ordered him to re-book the hall for them, stating, “Get those people back in there now!” In the end, claims Hauser, “heÂfired me for kicking them out [of the K of C hall].”

CAN’T FIND OTHER WORK WITH DISMISSAL ON RECORD - MAY LOSE HOME

Hauser said he had hoped his 14 years at Costco would lead to life-long employment. “The company is doing very well,” he said. Because of the circumstances of his firing, Hauser has been unable to find other work. “It’s hard to get a job when your reference letter says you were fired for violence in the workplace,” he said. He has focused on home painting, something he did part-time to support his stay-at-home wife and three young children before. His business is called “Passion for Painting.”

Hauser, who initially re-financed his mortgage after the job loss, faces the prospect of losing his home if nothing changes in the next few months. “It’s pretty degrading and humiliating for Sandra and I . . . and all for that cause.”

Michael A. Wagner, the lawyer representing Mike Checko, had his office call to say Checko was unable for comment.

Several calls put into Costco for comment were not returned. Calls placed to Costco’s lawyers were also not returned.

To express concerns to Costco:

General Customer Service: 800-463-3783

E-mail address: service@costco.ca

Costco Canada Corporate Office
  Mailing address: 415 West Hunt Club Road Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5
http://www.costco.ca/en-CA/CustomerService/EmailUs.aspx?secure=1

SeeÂmost recent LifeSitenews.com stories on thisÂissue

Photos of Port Coquitlam, B.C. Knights of Columbus Hall Dispute Lesbians’ Claims
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05121302.html
  Justice in British Columbia Knights Case also Decided Against Christians Kempling, Brockie
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120801.html
  British Columbia Lesbians Determined to Extract More From Knights of Columbus
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120201.htmlÂ

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Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian Bishops' Conference http://chiesacattolica.it
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Church ‘discriminates’ against ‘unconventional couples’: leader of Italian Bishops’ Conference

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By Hilary White

The secretary general of the Italian Bishops’ Conference has said that “unconventional couples” suffer “discrimination” and “prejudice” from the Church.

Speaking at a conference on the liturgy in Orvieto organized by the Liturgical Renewal Centre, Bishop Nunzio Galantino gave a clear signal when he said, “The burden of exclusion from the sacraments is an unjustified price to pay, in addition to de facto discrimination.”

“Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” he said, according to the Italian bishops' newspaper, Avvenire.

Bishop Galantino stopped short of openly advocating that the prohibition be dropped, saying, “With sincerity, we should also recognize that other believers perceive the discipline of the Church as an exclusion of these brothers and sisters, and, at times, observe them with a look of injury,” an attitude he called “de facto discrimination.” Although, he added, “they cannot receive Eucharistic communion.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Bishop Galantino's office for clarification by phone and e-mail but did not hear back by press time.

A number of prominent clerics have recently placed themselves in a growing camp of supporters for the suggestion that the Church should simply drop its prohibition on distributing Communion to Catholics 'remarried' outside the Church. At February’s consistory of cardinals, German Cardinal Walter Kasper argued the Church should allow Communion for those who have undertaken a “period of penance” but who have no intention of regularizing their situations. The cardinal claims that this would have no impact on Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

The Catholic Church, taking its foundation from the words of Christ in the Gospels, teaches that divorce is impossible and that a person who undertakes a civil divorce and then “remarries” is in reality committing adultery. Adultery being a grave, or “mortal” sin, those in such situations cannot receive Communion until they have been sacramentally absolved and have changed their living situations.

According to Galantino, “Eucharistic celebration should be ‘a place where everyone feels at home,’ including migrants, faithful in irregular marriage situations, the disabled, the sick, the poor, the elderly and children.” 

Paraphrasing the title of one of Pope Benedict’s encyclicals, Caritas in Veritate, Bishop Galantino said that the key was an “attitude of charity in truth.” In dealing with those in irregular marital situations, he said that in the Church “we must honestly admit that we have no longer insisted on the truth when we haven’t exercised charity.”

“I speak of that pastoral charity,” he said, “which is the primary responsibility of the pastors of the Church, but also other members and the Christian community as a whole, that pastoral charity which for people facing marriage and family difficulties means acceptance, understanding, accompanying and support.” 

He said that those who live in such “irregular” situations “live their condition with great suffering” and “perceive the discipline of the Church as very strict, not inclusive, if not punitive.” 

Zenit news service also noted that Galantino said the Christians should follow the example of Pope Francis and adopt the attitude of a Church that “goes out” and “takes the initiative” to be “friendly” and “close the gap.” He held up Cardinal Kasper and the Dominican priest Yves Congar as theological leaders, saying that in the past the Church has looked up on people who were divorced and civilly remarried as “adulterers,” but added that the world has moved on from such opinions.

Cardinal Kasper’s suggestion immediately unleashed a storm of controversy after he presented in February. His keynote address at the consistory received scorching criticism both from lay commentators and high-ranking clerics who have said that such a practice would be “impossible.” Kasper’s speech was intended as a prelude to the deliberations on the various issues surrounding the family at the upcoming Synod of Bishops, set for the Vatican in October.

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Kasper, a prominent and very public theological opponent of Pope Benedict XVI, has given interviews in the US and elsewhere promoting his idea of allowing Communion for divorced and remarried people as a matter of “compassion.” The issue has long been a “hot button” one for the Catholic Church in Germany, whose bishops have spearheaded the movement in the face of falling Church revenues.

Bishop Galantino was hand picked by Pope Francis to fill the position of secretary of the powerful Italian Conference of Catholic Bishops in a country where the Church still wields considerable influence in secular politics.

In May this year, Galantino angered pro-life advocates around the world when he told an interviewer that he does not “identify” with those Catholics who pray the Rosary outside abortion facilities.

“I do not identify with the expressionless faces of those who recite the Rosary outside the clinics who practice interruption of pregnancy,  [‘l’interruzione della gravidanza’] but with those young people who are opposed to this practice and strive for the quality of life of the people, for their right to health, to work,” he said.

He added, “In the past we have concentrated too much on abortion and euthanasia. It mustn’t be this way because in the middle there’s real life which is constantly changing.”

His comments were strongly criticized by Fr. Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life in the US, and by John Smeaton, the head of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Fr. Pavone responded, “When somebody says that the Church has ‘concentrated too much on abortion and euthanasia,’ I take it as a compliment for the success of ministries like Priests for Life, which have called and will call upon the clergy, and indeed the entire Church, to sound the alarm about these atrocities more loudly and clearly than ever. Nor will we stop calling for that until the killing stops.”

John Smeaton, in an open letter addressed to Galantino, said, “I thought I would let you know that I do identify with the person outside the abortion clinic praying their rosary, whether or not the person is expressionless.”

“It’s probably fair to say that tens of thousands of unborn children, each one made in the image and likeness of God, are killed every day throughout the world. For example, there are 500 killed daily in Britain, thousands in the US, thousands upon thousands in China, to name just three of the world’s 193 countries.”

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Julie Ralph

My 7-year-old son found porn on his iPod, even with a filter

Julie Ralph
By Julie Ralph

A few weeks ago an article went viral on my Facebook feed entitled “The Day My 10-Year-Old Discovered Hardcore Porn on his iPhone.”  As one Mom after another shared and commented about how frightening and horrible it was and wondered what do we do to prevent it, I commented on several of those shares (perhaps a little smugly and proudly) that WE had installed an excellent filtering program on all of our devices that even filters YouTube.  I most likely left the impression that WE have no worries in this house, that our kids can watch their iPods and kindles, even those annoying Minecraft how to videos on YouTube, and WE don’t have to worry about them seeing filth. 

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG.

I could have entitled this blog post “The Day My 7-Year-Old Discovered Porn on His iPod” but it might look like I’m trying to one-up that other Mom.  Which I’m not.  Because, trust me, this is one Mom competition I’d rather lose. 

This is no longer a battle friends, it’s an all-out war.  It’s a war we’re fighting for the minds and futures of our children.

So YES we have this supposedly great and awesome filter on all of our devices and we pay about $70 a year for it.   Look, I’ve been on my computer trying to shop for a swimsuit at Lands End and the filter blocked me.  Annoying, yes.  But assuring.  I remember thinking wow….if I can’t even get on here and see the tummy-sucking-miracle-fat-hiding-mawmaw-swimsuits, my boys will NEVER be able to discover Victoria or her Secret.   And I’ve been on YouTube trying to see how to quickly defrost CHICKEN breasts, and it blocked several videos AND ads that probably had nothing to do with fowl or a thawing method.  Again I remember thinking, good.  This is really good.  Nothing to worry about.

Then last night happened.

My youngest son was visibly shaken as he was getting ready for bed.  I knew something was wrong when I saw he was wearing his flannel pajamas with the mountain bears printed all over them on one of the hottest August nights this month.   He seemed almost disoriented and I asked him if he was sick as he was trying to quickly crawl into bed and pull the covers over his head.   He then reached over to the bedside table, grabbed his little iPod, and tossed it to me saying he doesn’t deserve it anymore because he is bad.  “I’m bad, so bad….I saw bad things.”  My heart started racing and I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  Because I knew where this was going.  Very calmly and quietly I assured him he was not bad and there was nothing in the world he could ever tell me that would make me think he was bad.  “What did you see, sweetheart?” I asked.  After about ten minutes of me coaxing it out of him, with a wobbly still-tiny-smidge-of-baby-left voice he told me he was searching for a word he had heard and he spelled it for me.  T-t-i-s.  (I quickly unscrambled and knew what he meant).  He went on to tell me he searched for this on YouTube (the app is not even on his iPod….he must go through the “filter” app to access it!).   He told me he saw pictures and videos.

Click "like" if you say NO to porn!

My stomach turned.  I ran through all the “How To” files I’d stored away in my mind.  You know those files….situations you’ve thought about as a Mom and how you’d handle…you file them away for another day.  Usually one you hope will never come.   Turns out I didn’t have a file for this.  Because I honestly thought we had done everything on the front end to keep it from happening. 

I ran my fingers through his hair and pulled him close and started talking to him from my broken heart.  I asked him if he knew what that word meant before he searched for it.  He said no.  I told him it is a very crude and ugly word for something that is not crude and ugly.  I told him what the proper word is and I asked him if he knew why God made them like that on women?  He said no.  I told him it was the miraculous and wonderful way that God made women able to feed their babies.  I told him how every woman who has those is made to feed a baby, and those women in those pictures and videos are either already someone’s Mommy or they will be one day.  And what God meant for a beautiful purpose is twisted and made into something very wrong and ugly by those pictures and videos.

Don’t trust some computer geek working for a software company to care a flip for or protect your kids.

We continued to talk and then we prayed together and I left him to sleep as I walked back to my room for a sleepless night.  I cried for the ugly, messed up, twisted, and sick world out there that I can’t protect my children from.  I cried for what he had seen that I couldn’t un-see for him.  I cried because I had abdicated MY parenting duties to some stupid computer software that I thought would protect my children.  I cried because I can never get back that bit of innocence he lost way, way too early.  I cried as I went onto YouTube, put in that same search and saw just the thumbnails of what he had to have seen.  I just can’t bring myself to actually click on the videos.  I cried because, when I went in to check on him later, he was curled up with Big Bear in one arm and his little blue and white checked blanket in the other.  He’s still a baby. 

I’m mad now.  And I really hope my anger continues to burn because I need it to fuel my diligence.   I need my guard to be up and to stay up.  This is no longer a battle friends, it’s an all-out war.  It’s a war we’re fighting for the minds and futures of our children.  I know there are those who would say I’m being overly dramatic, that I can’t put my children in a bubble, blah blah blah.  I don’t care.  I will do whatever it takes to protect my children until their minds, bodies and emotions are better prepared to grasp, filter, and sort through the warped and ugly parts of our world that are pulling on them.  I will continue to pull back and hold on for dear life.   Don’t do as I did, friends.  Don’t trust some computer geek working for a software company to care a flip for or protect your kids.  Do as I am doing now.  Uninstall any and all browsers or video apps on your kids’ personal devices and set the restrictions where they can’t install apps anymore without asking you first.   Have one central computer in a public area of your home that they may use, with permission, and still with filter software installed.  But remember that’s not the first line of defense in this war.

You are.

Julie Ralph blogs at Mommy, Esquire, where this piece was originally published.

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Sen. Ted Cruz's wife douses him with water as part of the Ice Bucket challenge for ALS research. Youtube
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Sen. Ted Cruz: Do the ALS challenge, donate to pro-life institute

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By Dustin Siggins

One of the nation's most prominent senators is doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- but encouraging donations to a pro-life ALS research institute.

In the last month, the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, sponsored by the ALS Association, has raised tens of millions of dollars for research for the disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. However, in mid-August pro-life leaders raised awareness that the Association supports embryonic stem-cell research.

Embryonic stem-cell research includes the destruction of a human embryo, and is thus condemned by pro-life advocates as an abortion. The Association has said it currently has one project that uses embryonic stem cells, funded by an outside donor.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Cruz -- who took the challenge last week -- said that he and his wife "are proud to personally support the John Paul II Medical Research Institute the Home of Give Cures (http://jp2mri.org), which conducts groundbreaking research into curing this terrible disease, without using embryonic stem cells."

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

"The JPII Institute respects human life, and is working to improve the lives of all of us," said Cruz. 

The ALS Association has said donors may specify their dollars not be used to fund embryonic stem-cell research. However, critics note that donated funds are fungible, meaning they potentially free up funds the Association can then direct to illicit research.

At least two Catholic dioceses have encouraged Ice Bucket Challenge participants to donate to the JPII Medical Institute.

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