Jill Stanek

Former boy band member turned pro-life activist shares testimony

Jill Stanek
Jill Stanek
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May 25, 2012 (JillStanek.com) - Since yesterday liberal websites have been aghast at the news former Lyte Funky Ones boy band member Brad Fischetti is now a pro-life activist.

LFO was a pop/hip hop group that had several hits between 1998-2002, the most prominent of which were “Summer Girls,” “Girl on TV,” and “Every Other Time.”

In 2009 Fischetti announced the band’s break-up on YouTube.

And then something obviously happened in Fischetti’s life to bring him to where he is today, as chronicled by Buzz Feed’s lament

Fischetti has indeed been doing some pro-life sidewalk counseling at the Orlando Women’s Center abortion clinic in Florida. Here is a sampling of Fischetti’s tweets that is so disturbing the pro-abortion community…

After I read about Fischetti and perused his tweets last night, I started researching him, because honestly, I’d never heard of LFO.

What I learned made me even more curious. Fischetti is now the Director of Contemporary Music and New Media at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Celebration, FL. Here’s his hip hop arrangement of “Awesome God,” pretty cool.

Thanks to God for His amazing favors, I indeed got to speak with Brad a little while ago, with the help of pro-life activist John Barros.

Brad has an amazing testimony, which I’m just going to let him share it with you….

Brad Fischetti’s pro-life testimony

I look back now and regret having such a serious platform but not using it.

With LFO I was out there and recognizable, selling millions of records and playing in front of tens of thousands of people, but I didn’t have strong convictions about anything. I wasn’t able to stand up about anything that was really important to me.

Don’t get me wrong, when we were on top of the world I was very spiritual. I was baptized Catholic, and I grew up Catholic. I carried my Bible around with me on the road and lead prayers before concerts. As a group we were very spiritual.  But over the course of time, witnessing the horrible things that occur in this world, I could tell I was slowly losing my faith.

Then one day sometime in 2000-2001 I heard a terrible story about young boys getting kidnapped near their house by devil worshipers. Their genitals were mutilated and they were murdered. I decided right then that if there was a God, He wouldn’t let that happen.

And so I stopped believing.  I stopped praying, stopped reading my Bible, and just lived without faith. I didn’t work against those who believed, I just didn’t.  And my life seemingly continued to go well.  (Later I discovered that “things of this world” can never satisfy the human heart.)

I lived without a faith for two or three years.

U-Turn

Then one summer I decided to take a handful of my bands from my record label, 111 Records, on a tour. We rented a big RV and hooked a trailer to the back of it. One of the girls touring with us had cancer. It was a slow moving cancer and didn’t effect her daily life too much.

But one night she starting having difficulty breathing and couldn’t feel her hands, and I rushed her to the closest ER. We were in a little town in upstate New York in the middle of nowhere, and the hospital was very small. The ER doctor wanted to send the surgeons down to operate to remove the tumor then and there, but I said no way.  I told the doctor I would drive her to her cancer hospital, which was about seven hours away.  The doc gave her weak pain killers and sent us on our way.

I started driving the RV. It was late at night, raining, and we were in the mountains with slick roads and fog all around us. I felt like I was already dead, already gone.

I took a wrong turn trying to find a gas station.  I drove miles and miles down this two-lane road looking for a place to make a u-turn.  Finally I happened upon a state police station.  So I pulled in and attempted the u-turn, when suddenly the RV got stuck on a flat boulder.  So here I was at three o’clock in the morning, in the pouring rain, stuck, with this girl in the back of the RV in pain.

And so I stepped out into the rain.  I looked up to the sky.  And I prayed. It was the first time in years.  And I said, “God, if you can get me out of this I will never again turn my back to You.”

And yes, I got the RV unstuck and got the girl to her hospital. This was a pivotal moment in my conversion. But it didn’t happen overnight.

Grains of rice

Before my conversion I didn’t like abortion, but it didn’t affect me. It was just grains of rice being aborted, I thought.

But my faith became supremely important to me, and through that the abortion picture became clearer.

And when you learn, when you get to know what really happens in an abortion, it becomes atrocious.

I didn’t ask for this seemingly newfound platform.  And it’s hard to understand why people care so much about what I have to say when there are so many others who have fought longer and harder for the pro-life movement than I.  But if God is calling me to use what little platform I have left to help educate people, to help people understand what abortion really is, then – “Here I am Lord.  I come to do Your will.”

Many people don’t really know what happens in an abortion. Rarely is a girl only a couple of weeks pregnant.  Most women don’t find out they are pregnant until they are four or five or six weeks along.  And then they spend time trying to decide if they want an abortion, and by the time they get to the clinic, they are 12 or 13 or 14 weeks pregnant.  Their babies have fingers and toes.

And at the clinic in Orlando I’ve seen girls 24 weeks pregnant have abortions done.  And I’ve seen girls who are up to 30 weeks pregnant referred to the clinic owner’s secret abortion facility in the DC area, where he will abort babies well past 30 weeks of pregnancy!

The “pro-choice” concept is ludicrous. It makes no sense to me. “Pro-choice” is the choice to have sex or not to have sex.  And, yes, I do realize that a small number of abortions are performed on women who have been raped or are victims of incest.  And those crimes are as despicable as abortion.

But abortion is not the answer.  We should not punish the baby for the sins of the father.  And further, in a situation like that, the woman has already been violated enough.  An abortion will just serve to violate her further.


Bodies

I saw the “Bodies” exhibit in Las Vegas. They had a whole display on fetal development, and it was astounding how developed a baby is early in pregnancy. That’s when it dawned on me that abortion is not right under any circumstances. I believe a baby is a gift from God, and abortion is an atrocious sin and not acceptable under any circumstances.

I further believe when abortion was legalized it was never intended to be what it has become: Men who call themselves doctors go inside a woman’s womb and tear babies apart – or deliver them dead – or sometimes alive. It’s disgusting.

I really don’t care what people think of my stance against abortion. I may lose family and friends. But I am obligated to speak the truth. If I have a platform of 500 or 5,000, my job is to speak the truth. We have God on our side, and eventually abortion will be a sad chapter in our history.

Just because abortion is legal does not make it right.  There was a time in this country when denying a woman the right to vote was legal.  Was it right?  No.  There was a time in this country when slavery was legal.  Was it right?  No way.  To quote the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “Legality does not equal morality.”

Although I regret not having stronger convictions when I had a platform, I wouldn’t change anything.  I am content with who I am and where I am.

I haven’t read what the other side is saying about me right now, but I don’t care and I don’t judge them or anyone.  I only want people to know the truth, and I only want to help.  And I’m content doing so in my little bubble in Orlando, Florida.  But if God calls me to take a larger role, I will do His will.

I’m a man, I’m a father, I’m a Christian, I’m a human, and I’m pro-life.

Jill again

Pro-life community, please join me in praying for our new dear friend Brad as he walks down this unknown path of speaking out against abortion to pro-abortion peers and fans.  It won’t be easy for him. But we are grateful for his voice, and more than us, so are the babies.

Reprinted with permission from JillStanek.com


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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