Kristi Burton Brown

Leading our children to life: what’s a pro-life parent to do?

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown
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September 17, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Unfortunately, as pro-life parents, we know all too well that our children are not being raised in a culture that values life. Babies are aborted left and right, often with no reason other than that they simply weren’t “convenient.” Elderly people are no longer honored and respected. In some cases, they are left to die while we call ourselves “merciful.” Our culture is, in many ways, self-centered and apt to enjoy violence while freely supporting the destruction of those things or people we don’t agree with. What’s a pro-life parent to do? How do we encourage our children to value life and speak out for it?

First of all, there is good news for this current generation. The tide is turning in the hearts of young people – they are choosing the pro-life side. Many wonder if it was truly right for their potential friends, cousins, and neighbors to have been aborted. Many understand that the peace they so desperately seek cannot be found on the side of death. But there is still peer pressure. There is still the idea that to be successful, you cannot have a baby “dragging you down.” There is still the societal idea that we ought to think of ourselves and our own dreams ahead of anyone else – including an innocent, helpless baby. There is still a great lack of personal responsibility and the willingness to accept the consequences of the choices we make.

Well, fellow pro-life parents, there is hope! We are not left without a way to lead our children to life. First, I believe that it will speak volumes to our children that we chose life for them, regardless of our circumstances or the timing of their conception. I also believe that we must start educating our children at a young age on the worth of every person and every person’s equal right to life. Children are never too young to learn that life is precious. And teaching our children the value of life will lead them not only to reject abortion. It will also lead them to reject suicide and other unnecessary violence. If life is precious, no one has the right to destroy it to make his or her own life easier.

In my personal opinion, young children do not need to be shown photos of aborted babies to understand the seriousness of abortion. Sometimes, those photos – while realistic – are too much for little minds to handle. We do not want to scare our children by showing them everything violent that happens in this world and not allowing kids to be kids. Kids ought to experience peace and fun and not be exposed to too much evil too early on.

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As pro-life parents, we need to be creative. How can we show children the value and preciousness of life without exposing them too early to the violence and destruction that goes hand-in-hand with abortion? We should never lie to our children – some are ready earlier than others to know the entire truth. But rather than showing them dying, bleeding, cut-up babies, perhaps we should focus on an unborn child’s development and beautiful photos of life in the womb so our children never doubt the scientific realities of life. If we show them life at its earliest stages, they will not be persuaded so easily that an unborn child is only “potential” life. Expose children to these kind of amazing true stories. Check out these sites for photos, information, an amazing book, and videos that might be helpful for children.

My mother always taught me to have compassion for the women who have abortions and not to condemn them. Several people in my extended family and some of my mom’s good friends have had abortions. Yet instead of condemning these women, my mom sought to help them through their pain. I have always admired her for that and have believed that it is much better to care for women and the babies. Pro-life parents should never compromise on the truth, but we should never neglect compassion, either.

I believe that it is very important to bring our children along and involve them in pro-life work. Here are a few ideas. Please share any you have in the comments below.

  1. Conduct a diaper, formula, blanket, or other drive for your local pregnancy center. (Just look up “pregnancy center” along with your city and state on Google or Bing.)
  2. Go together to your church and pray for abortion to end. When you make a special point to go somewhere to pray or have a special family meeting, your children are likely to remember.
  3. Create a pro-life video or graphic together.
  4. Write a letter to unborn babies and imagine what they need to hear from someone who loves them.
  5. Make a poster about the development of unborn children.
  6. Pass out flyers for a pro-life campaign.
  7. Write a letter, thanking your local pregnancy center or pro-life organization for their work.
  8. Get involved with Babies of Juarez.
  9. Raise money for or otherwise help Save the Storks.
  10. Write a story or essay about why life is precious, no matter its age, circumstances, or condition.
  11. Ask your local pro-life organization for ideas.
  12. In the end, if pro-life parents are truthful, passionate, creative, caring, prayerful, and active, I believe we will go a long way in leading our children to life.
  13. One last suggestion: order the book Justice Love Babies for your children!

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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