Peter Baklinski

Family of 10 loses custom-built vehicle at border: cries ‘discrimination’

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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LAMPMAN, Saskatchewan, May 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A large family in Saskatchewan is crying foul after government officials at the Canadian border impounded their Canadian purchased vehicle after it had been modified in the U.S. so that it could safely accommodate their entire family of ten.

Owners Edwin and Alison Morris say that despite the legal entanglement they are facing with Customs and the Ministry of Transportation, the situation for them is very clear: “They are discriminating against large families, plain and simple.”

Last year, the Morris family grappled with the problem of how to travel safely with their three boys and five girls on the back roads in their rural area. They looked into all the options, from traveling in two cars to using a 12 or 15 passenger vehicle. Two cars meant that they could not travel together as a family, and they felt compelled to rule out a large passenger van because of safety issues.

“If you do your research on those vans, they are not safe,” said Mrs. Morris who spoke by phone from her home to LifeSiteNews.

After much research, the Morris family believed they had finally hit upon a promising solution to their transportation conundrum. They discovered Tim Huskey, owner of Custom Autos by Tim in Oklahoma, who custom-builds stretch SUVs for large families. Huskey converts two SUVs into a single vehicle by welding the frames together according to recognized industry standards.

“We went to the USA because the only qualified business we could find in Canada was not willing to invest the time into the process,” the parents said. “We could have done it ourselves but thought it was more prudent to have someone with many years of experience doing the work.”

Before Edwin and Alison took another step, however, they consulted an official with the Canada Border Services Agency, who they say told the parents that a Canadian purchased vehicle that had been modified in the U.S. would still be considered certified in Canada and that they would have no difficulties bringing their vehicle back home.

But six months later when the family arrived at the Canadian border to bring their custom-built stretch SUV home, they were horrified to learn that their vehicle would not be allowed to enter the country.

Transport Canada told LifeSiteNews in an emailed statement that “bringing back a Canadian certified vehicle after having it altered in another country constitutes importation.”

“If a vehicle is subsequently modified after the manufacturer has certified it, the secondary manufacturer or company that performed the modifications, must demonstrate, by way of re-certification, that the vehicle still complies with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” the department said.

“In general, in a case where an individual imports an inadmissible modified vehicle, Transport Canada will review the U.S. modifier’s certification documents (if such documents are made available to us) on the private importer’s behalf and will correspond with the U.S. modifier about certification questions if necessary.”

But the Morris family says that in Canada it is legal for individuals to modify their vehicles and that Transport Canada has no jurisdiction after a vehicle has been sold at the first point of retail sale. The Morris family pointed out that if they had paid a contractor in Canada to do their custom work, their vehicle would be licensable anywhere in Canada.

Edwin and Alison are now exasperated, arguing that the government policies that are working against them in this case have “nothing to do with safety.”

“Modified vehicles exist across the country,” Mrs. Morris pointed out, arguing that many of the “hotrods” displayed at car shows are licensed even though they have never met the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

“We live in a country where standards can be avoided and ignored if it’s for pleasure and luxury but not if it’s for practical use for a family,” she said.

The Morris family is hoping that media attention will help the appropriate federal officials fight for the safety of their family by allowing them to take possession of their modified vehicle. CTVNews in Regina aired a video report about the family’s predicament last week, but Mrs. Morris said that the legal doors to their vehicle still remain tightly closed.

“I totally believe we are going to get our vehicle back, but its not going to come easily, and they are not going to bend easily unless they have public pressure on them,” said Mrs. Morris.

“Everyone has the right to security, but we don’t,” she continued. “We are being forced to endanger our kids’ lives because of governmental bureaucratic rules. They are compromising our right as parents to keep our own children safe.”


Contact information:

Hon. Denis Lebel, P.C., M.P., Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Ph: (613) 996-6236, (418) 275-2768 (Constituency Office)
E-mail: denis.lebel@parl.gc.ca

Hon. Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Ph: (613) 995-1547, (905) 353-9590 (Constituency Office)
E-mail: rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca

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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

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Spanish bishop: Pope Francis said Synod will not change Church teaching on marriage

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By Hilary White

Another bishop has contested the idea that Pope Francis may allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Bishop Demetrio Fernandez, the head of the diocese of Cordoba in Spain, has said that Pope Francis told him the change, widely anticipated in the secular media for the upcoming Synod of Bishops, would not be possible.

Bishop Fernandez told the newspaper Diario Cordoba that Francis said the indissoluble nature of marriage “was established by Jesus Christ, and the pope cannot change it.”

The issue is probably going to be the most high-profile topic of discussion at the Synod, as it has been in the press in the lead-up since German Cardinal Walter Kasper made the “suggestion” at February’s consistory of cardinals that while the teaching cannot be changed, the practice of the Church may. Kasper’s suggestion has met with strong opposition from some of the Church’s highest-ranking prelates, including the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

Bishop Fernandez said, “We asked the Pope himself, and he responded that a person married in the Church who has divorced and entered into a new civil marriage cannot approach the sacraments.”



“I say this because sometimes people say that ‘everything is going to change,’ and there are some things that cannot be changed. The Church answers to her Lord, and her Lord remains alive,” Bishop Fernandez added.

“The Church is continuously telling us to be welcoming, that people not feel excluded, and we can always find ways to be more welcoming.”


Bishop Fernandez’s comments have joined those of other bishops and cardinals who have said that a change in the teaching is impossible. The Catholic teaching on the nature of marriage, and the non-existence of divorce, has remained unchanged since the words of Christ Himself were recorded in the Gospels.

Speculation exploded that the Synod would change the Church’s teaching following the warm endorsement by Pope Francis of Cardinal Kasper’s address at the consistory. Francis, who has called Kasper his favourite theologian, praised the German prelate’s “serene” theology, though he stopped short of openly endorsing the controversial recommendation.

Recently, in addition to the many public statements of such prelates as Muller, Cardinal Raymond Burke, and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, the theological journal Communio published a paper by Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, that repudiated the idea of a change. Scola, one of Italy’s leading “Ratzingerian” bishops, also recommended that the Church’s doctrine be better articulated to correct the “significant disconnect” between the faithful and the teachings.

Scola, along with the Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, also recommended making the process of “annulment” be made more efficient and timely.

At the same time, some bishops, including Pope Francis and Cardinal Kasper, have referenced the practice of the Orthodox Churches of “tolerating” second marriages as a “solution” for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. In the first of his series of public, off-the-cuff interviews on the plane following World Youth Day in Brazil, and long before the announcement of the Synod, Pope Francis made the aside, “The Orthodox have a different practice.”

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“They follow the theology of what they call oikonomia, and they give a second chance, they allow it. But I believe that this problem…must be studied within the context of the pastoral care of marriage.”

In response to this suggestion, an Orthodox monk who is converting to Catholicism has called into question the legitimacy of the Orthodox practice. Earlier this month, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, a prominent Catholic blogger and columnist, quoted the priest, identified as “Pater Augustinus,” who warned against the Catholic Church following the eastern model.

The Orthodox, Pater Augustinus said, may “attempt to pride themselves” on their fidelity to the traditions of early Christianity, but they have “come adrift from basic Christian doctrine on marriage and sexuality.”

“This is a matter of doctrine, not mere practice,” he said, adding that it would be “tragic” if the Catholic Church were to follow the Orthodox practice, since the “crystal-clear Patristic and Apostolic (and Scriptural) teaching that marriage is forever and excludes contraception, cannot [be debated] (at least, not by honest, above-board people).”

On the question of the Orthodox practice, the Italian Vaticanist, Sandro Magister, wrote that historically, in the Orthodox Churches it is the result not of superior theological understanding or a more “merciful” pastoral practice, but from a longstanding tradition of compliance “toward the bullying of the civil tribunals, from the times of the Byzantine empire.” In other words, the secular legal authorities first allowed divorce and the religious leaders have bowed to political pressure to recognize subsequent unions.

“The commonly held idea is that second and even third marriages are celebrated sacramentally in the Orthodox Churches, and communion is given to the divorced and remarried.” Those endorsing this as a “solution” for Catholics claim that it was also the practice in the Latin Church in the early centuries. “But the reality is very far from these fantasies,” Magister writes.

Magister quotes Archbishop Cyril Vasil, secretary of the Vatican congregation for the Oriental Churches and an expert in canon law, who wrote that when Byzantine Christianity arrived in Russia “the provisions of Byzantine law regarding divorce were incorporated into its laws.”

Archbishop Vasil continued, “In the so-called synodal period (1721–1917), a fixed number of reasons for divorce was established and clarified by State authorities in collaboration with ecclesiastical authorities.

“In 1917–1918 the Pan-Russian Council…of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted new regulations concerning divorce, reacting to recent secular laws established by the Soviets."

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Janna Darnelle

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My husband divorced me for his gay lover - then took our children

Janna Darnelle
By Janna Darnelle

Every time a new state redefines marriage, the news is full of happy stories of gay and lesbian couples and their new families. But behind those big smiles and sunny photographs are other, more painful stories. These are left to secret, dark places. They are suppressed, and those who would tell them are silenced in the name of “marriage equality.”

But I refuse to be silent.

I represent one of those real life stories that are kept in the shadows. I have personally felt the pain and devastation wrought by the propaganda that destroys natural families.

The Divorce

In the fall of 2007, my husband of almost ten years told me that he was gay and that he wanted a divorce. In an instant, the world that I had known and loved—the life we had built together—was shattered.

I tried to convince him to stay, to stick it out and fight to save our marriage. But my voice, my desires, my needs—and those of our two young children—no longer mattered to him. We had become disposable, because he had embraced one tiny word that had become his entire identity. Being gay trumped commitment, vows, responsibility, faith, fatherhood, marriage, friendships, and community. All of this was thrown away for the sake of his new identity.

Try as I might to save our marriage, there was no stopping my husband. Our divorce was not settled in mediation or with lawyers. No, it went all the way to trial. My husband wanted primary custody of our children. His entire case can be summed up in one sentence: “I am gay, and I deserve my rights.” It worked: the judge gave him practically everything he wanted. At one point, he even told my husband, “If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.”

I truly believe that judge was legislating from the bench, disregarding the facts of our particular case and simply using us—using our children— to help influence future cases. In our society, LGBT citizens are seen as marginalized victims who must be protected at all costs, even if it means stripping rights from others. By ignoring the injustice committed against me and my children, the judge seemed to think that he was correcting a larger injustice.

My husband had left us for his gay lover. They make more money than I do. There are two of them and only one of me. Even so, the judge believed that they were the victims. No matter what I said or did, I didn’t have a chance of saving our children from being bounced around like so many pieces of luggage.

A New Same-Sex Family—Built On the Ruins of Mine

My ex-husband and his partner went on to marry. Their first ceremony took place before our state redefined marriage. After it created same-sex marriage, they chose to have a repeat performance. In both cases, my children were forced—against my will and theirs—to participate. At the second ceremony, which included more than twenty couples, local news stations and papers were there to document the first gay weddings officiated in our state. USA Today did a photo journal shoot on my ex and his partner, my children, and even the grandparents. I was not notified that this was taking place, nor was I given a voice to object to our children being used as props to promote same-sex marriage in the media.

At the time of the first ceremony, the marriage was not recognized by our state, our nation, or our church. And my ex-husband’s new marriage, like the majority of male-male relationships, is an “open,” non-exclusive relationship. This sends a clear message to our children: what you feel trumps all laws, promises, and higher authorities. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want—and it doesn’t matter who you hurt along the way.

After our children’s pictures were publicized, a flood of comments and posts appeared. Commenters exclaimed at how beautiful this gay family was and congratulated my ex-husband and his new partner on the family that they “created.” But there is a significant person missing from those pictures: the mother and abandoned wife. That “gay family” could not exist without me.

There is not one gay family that exists in this world that was created naturally.

Every same-sex family can only exist by manipulating nature. Behind the happy façade of many families headed by same-sex couples, we see relationships that are built from brokenness. They represent covenants broken, love abandoned, and responsibilities crushed. They are built on betrayal, lies, and deep wounds.

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

This is also true of same-sex couples who use assisted reproductive technologies such as surrogacy or sperm donation to have children. Such processes exploit men and women for their reproductive potential, treat children as products to be bought and sold, and purposely deny children a relationship with one or both of their biological parents. Wholeness and balance cannot be found in such families, because something is always missing. am missing. But I am real, and I represent hundreds upon thousands of spouses who have been betrayed and rejected.

If my husband had chosen to stay, I know that things wouldn’t have been easy. But that is what marriage is about: making a vow and choosing to live it out, day after day. In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, spouses must choose to put the other person first, loving them even when it’s hard.

A good marriage doesn’t only depend on sexual desire, which can come and go and is often out of our control. It depends on choosing to love, honor, and be faithful to one person, forsaking all others. It is common for spouses to be attracted to other people—usually of the opposite sex, but sometimes of the same sex. Spouses who value their marriage do not act on those impulses. For those who find themselves attracted to people of the same sex, staying faithful to their opposite-sex spouse isn’t a betrayal of their true identity. Rather, it’s a decision not to let themselves be ruled by their passions. It shows depth and strength of character when such people remain true to their vows, consciously striving to remember, honor, and revive the love they had for their spouses when they first married.

My Children Deserve Better

Our two young children were willfully and intentionally thrust into a world of strife and combative beliefs, lifestyles, and values, all in the name of “gay rights.” Their father moved into his new partner’s condo, which is in a complex inhabited by sixteen gay men. One of the men has a 19-year-old male prostitute who comes to service him. Another man, who functions as the father figure of this community, is in his late sixties and has a boyfriend in his twenties. My children are brought to gay parties where they are the only children and where only alcoholic beverages are served. They are taken to transgender baseball games, gay rights fundraisers, and LGBT film festivals.

Both of my children face identity issues, just like other children. Yet there are certain deep and unique problems that they will face as a direct result of my former husband’s actions. My son is now a maturing teen, and he is very interested in girls. But how will he learn how to deal with that interest when he is surrounded by men who seek sexual gratification from other men? How will he learn to treat girls with care and respect when his father has rejected them and devalues them? How will he embrace his developing masculinity without seeing his father live out authentic manhood by treating his wife and family with love, honoring his marriage vows even when it's hard?

My daughter suffers too. She needs a dad who will encourage her to embrace her femininity and beauty, but these qualities are parodied and distorted in her father's world. Her dad wears make-up and sex bondage straps for Halloween. She is often exposed to men dressing as women. The walls in his condo are adorned with large framed pictures of women in provocative positions. What is my little girl to believe about her own femininity and beauty? Her father should be protecting her sexuality. Instead, he is warping it.

Without the guidance of both their mother and their father, how can my children navigate their developing identities and sexuality? I ache to see my children struggle, desperately trying to make sense of their world.

My children and I have suffered great losses because of my former husband’s decision to identify as a gay man and throw away his life with us. Time is revealing the depth of those wounds, but I will not allow them to destroy me and my children. I refuse to lose my faith and hope. I believe so much more passionately in the power of the marriage covenant between one man and one woman today than when I was married. There is another way for those with same-sex attractions. Destruction is not the only option—it cannot be. Our children deserve far better from us.

This type of devastation should never happen to another spouse or child. Please, I plead with you: defend marriage as being between one man and one woman. We must stand for marriage—and for the precious lives that marriage creates.

Janna Darnelle is a mother, writer, and an advocate for upholding marriage between one man and one woman. She mentors others whose families have been impacted by homosexuality.

Reprinted with permission from the Public Discourse.

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Stevie Nicks confirms she wrote hit song about baby she aborted with Don Henley

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By Ben Johnson

Stevie Nicks is no stranger to rumours. She finally confirmed longstanding conjecture that she wrote one of her best-known songs partly about the child she conceived with Eagles frontman Don Henley, then aborted.

Henley said more than 20 years ago that the Fleetwood Mac song Sara, which hit number 7 on the Billboard charts in 1979, was about the baby they never saw.

“I believe, to the best of my knowledge, [that Nicks] became pregnant by me. And she named the kid Sara, and she had an abortion – and then wrote the song of the same name to the spirit of the aborted baby,” he told GQ magazine in 1991. "I was building my house at the time, and there’s a line in the song that says, ‘And when you build your house, call me.'”

In a special interview with Billboard magazine on Friday, Nicks said their baby inspired many of the song's lyrics.

“Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara,” she said. But Nicks said the song – which was originally 16 minutes long and included nine verses cut from the album – also dealt with Mick Fleetwood's wife, Sara, and other aspects of the band's disintegrating relationships.

The revelation sheds light on the song's lyrics:

Wait a minute, baby
Stay with me awhile
Said you'd give me light
But you never told me about the fire...

Sara, you're the poet in my heart
Never change, never stop
And now it's gone
They say it doesn't matter what for
When you build your house, call me…

All I ever wanted was to know
That you were dreaming
There's a heartbeat
No, it never really died
You never really died

Four years after the song's release, she said, “Sara was my favorite, for that kind of song. Sara was, and is, the love of my life.”

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Nicks and Henley's torrid two-year affair had been no secret, and the subsequent abortion had been well-known. According to Eagles biographer Marc Eliot, Nicks “was deeply upset about what she considered his fast and easy consent to her decision. Nicks took it as Henley's way of saying he wasn't interested in any type of serious long-term commitment.”

But Nicks had never acknowledged that the song was dedicated to her child until last week, 35 years after its release. The closest she had come was a statement in 1979 that “If I ever have a little girl, I will name her Sara. It's a very special name to me.”

Nicks never had children, something she blamed on her cocaine addiction.

Sara cast a shadow over her life for years to come. When she entered the Betty Ford Center in 1986 – doctors said she had come dangerously close to a brain hemorrhage – she used the name “Sara Anderson” and commemorated the experience in the song Welcome to the Room...Sara for Fleetwood Mac's last album, 1987's Tango in the Night.

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