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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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkins’ statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

"It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities," Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. "Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

"While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born," she said. "Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection."

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, "People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society."

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the "difficult and confusing time" when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience "negative attitudes."

"What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information," the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the church they attend in New Jersey, "because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey , 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

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President George Bush takes the ice bucket challenge in a video released this week.
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What’s wrong with the viral ‘ice bucket challenge’? A lot, say pro-life leaders

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By Dustin Siggins

Pro-life leaders in the U.S. are warning about ethical problems with the viral "Ice Bucket Challenge" that has raised over $15 million for research into Lou Gehrig’s Disease since late July, making its way to the top of American politics, and the entertainment and business worlds in the process.

In recent days, former president George W. Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, TV hosts Oprah Winfrey and Jimmy Fallon, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have all had ice-cold water dumped on their heads in support of the effort.

They have been joined by many thousands of everyday Americans eager to do their part to raise funds to find a cure for the fatal neurodegenerative disease.

However, pro-life leaders from Patheos blogger Father Michael Duffy to the American Life League (ALL) are all pointing out that the ALS Association, which is behind the wildly popular fundraising effort, funds and otherwise supports embryonic stem cell research.

Instead, they are urging that pro-life people who want to participate in the ice bucket challenge send their donations to other charities that don't have similar ethical issues.

Embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of an unborn child. This is unlike adult and umbilical cord stem cell research, which are considered ethical.

A spokesperson from the ALS Association admitted to American Life League in an e-mail that while the organization "primarily funds adult stem cell research," they are "funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC)..."

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"It is noble to combat a deadly disease," Live Action president Lila Rose said in a statement provided to LifeSiteNews, but added that "it's such a shame that the ALS Association...chooses to support research that thrives from experimenting on and killing tiny, innocent human beings."

"Embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of pre-born people, is inherently unethical and a violation of fundamental human rights, and even materialists must admit that promises of its benefits have failed to deliver," continued Rose. "There is no good reason to condone this practice; in fact, all it does is taint the ALS Association, whom I'd otherwise be happy to support."

In the email to American Life League, ALS Assocation Spokesperson Carrie Munk defended the organization, saying that the embryonic stem cell research is being funded by an outside donor, and "the stem cell line was established many years ago."

She added that "under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future," and that currently "donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project."

At least one Catholic archdiocese has spoken up about the problematic relationship between ALS Assocation and unethical research.

"We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in the ice bucket challenge," said a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. "But it's a well established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit."

Both Fr. Duffy and the archdiocese have recommended money be sent to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa. It is an organization that exclusively researches with adult stem cells. 

One D.C.-area Catholic, Robert Vega, wrote on Facebook that "in light of the absolute dignity of human life and necessity to defend it...I have taken down my Ice Bucket video, untagged myself from my nomination video, and encourage anyone to whom I may have spread the Challenge to do the same."

Embryonic stem cell research, which was a major controversy throughout the presidency of George W. Bush, has quietly, although decidedly, become less popular after many of the exalted promises of its proponents failed to materialize. As LifeSiteNews reported, in 2012 California and Maryland funded a fraction of the embryonic stem cell research projects that they did in 2007. Likewise, Maryland funded nearly twice as many stem cell research projects in 2012 as it had in the prior year -- but only one of the grants was done for an embryonic research project.

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Catholic couple fined $13,000 for refusing to host same-sex ‘wedding’ at their farm

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By Kirsten Anderson
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Robert and Cynthia Gifford

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has ruled that the Roman Catholic owners of an Albany-area farm violated the civil rights of a lesbian couple when they declined to host the couple’s same-sex “marriage” ceremony in 2012.

Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who own and operate Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, were ordered by DHR Judge Migdalia Pares and Commissioner Helen Diane Foster to pay $10,000 in fines to the state and an additional $3,000 in damages to the lesbian couple, Jennie McCarthy and Melissa Erwin for “mental pain and suffering.” 

Additionally, the Giffords must provide sensitivity training to their staff, and prominently display a poster highlighting state anti-discrimination laws.

The Giffords’ attorney, Jim Trainor, told LifeSiteNews that the two-year-legal drama and resulting fines all stemmed from a single brief phone call in 2012 that caught his clients off guard.

“The entire interaction between the Complainants and the Giffords transpired during a two to three minute telephone conversation which, unknown to Mrs. Gifford, was being tape recorded,” Trainor said.

“After communicating the fact that they chose not to hold same-sex marriage ceremonies at the farm because to do so would violate the Giffords’ sincerely held beliefs (that God intended marriage to be between a man a woman only), Mrs. Gifford invited the couple to visit the farm to discuss handling their wedding reception, which the couple refused.” 

The Giffords draw a line, Trainor explained, between a ceremony that solemnizes a homosexual relationship and a reception that celebrates the union after the fact.  To participate in the former, they argue, would be a violation of their own religious beliefs, especially because marriage ceremonies on the farm typically take place in and around the couple’s home, where they live full-time and are raising their two children. 

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But the Giffords are willing to serve gay couples in other ways – for example, they allowed another lesbian couple to throw a birthday party for their adopted child on the farm.

Trainor said he believes the decision by DHR goes too far in that it seeks to regulate what the Giffords can or cannot do in their own private home, even though state law only requires “places of public accommodation” to adhere to anti-discrimination laws.

“They consider the farm their home,” Trainor said. “They live there, they work there, they raise their kids there.”

Trainor also said that the Judge and Commissioner should have taken into account the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, which came down weeks before the DHR notified the Giffords of their decision.

“We're disappointed that neither the Administrative Law Judge nor the Commissioner considered the Gifford's Constitutional (1st Amendment) rights, including the right not to be compelled to participate in a ‘marriage’ ceremony which violates their own religious beliefs,” Trainor said. 

Trainor said he and the Giffords are evaluating their options for further legal action.

The Giffords could simply ask the DHR to reconsider their decision, but Trainor said he doubts that approach would be successful. In order to formally appeal the ruling the couple would have to go to the New York State Supreme Court. 

But there is another option: The Giffords could file a fresh lawsuit in either state or federal court challenging the constitutionality of the DHR ruling.

While religious liberty has been a hot topic in federal court lately, Trainor said New York’s state constitution “actually offers a lot” of protection when it comes to religious freedom. “Many people view it as more expansive than the U.S. Constitution in terms of religious freedoms.”

However, Trainor emphasized that the Giffords have not yet decided which avenue, if any, they are planning to take in terms of pursuing further legal action.

In the meantime, the Giffords will continue hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions at the farm, Trainor said. However, they are considering hiring a dedicated employee to handle the ceremonies in order to avoid having to directly participate in any future same-sex “weddings.”

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