Kristen Walker Hatten

I thought porn was perfectly ok…and then I saw some

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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April 2, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - When I was a teenager and well into my 20s, Kurt Vonnegut was my favorite writer. I still appreciate his work, although now when I revisit it, I find things that bother me.

One particular passage (I forget in which novel) found Vonnegut describing a porno shop. For those of you who are significantly younger than I and/or don’t read ancient history, this was a place that existed before the internet, when in order to acquire pornographic materials one had to go out in public and purchase them. With money. Dark, scary times.

Anyway, Vonnegut described the shop as “a silly place, all about love and babies.” (I am relying on memory, but I believe this is far more accurate than not.)

I remember being blown away by that. I was struck by how enlightened and how true it was. How Vonnegutian. He was right, I thought. Porn wasn’t about shame or hurting people. It was a natural consequence of the fact that men found women desirable and lovely. It meant that men loved women and wanted to participate in baby-making acts with them. That was what porn was about.

I felt a smug sense of righteousness that I was so enlightened now. I understood porn, while most people grossly misunderstood it. It wasn’t porn that was perverse; the real perverts were the people who didn’t realize that it was, deep down, “all about love and babies.” They were the real perverts – those who, instead of indulging their natural, healthy, loving, lusty natures, twisted something beautiful and simple into something negative and mysterious and even ugly.

“Porn keeps families together,” I used to say, half because I believed it and half to shock people. I would explain that pornography kept people’s marriages alive. Couples could watch porn together and get turned on and then have healthy consensual sex. Men could watch porn and indulge fantasies without “actually” cheating. Meanwhile, the people acting in the pornos could make a living and do something fun and healthy and not at all perverse.

Porn was natural. Porn was necessary. Porn was, in a way, wholesome. I believed all this.

Then I saw some porn.

You have to remember that the internet, around this time, was dial-up. It consisted of AOL Instant Messenger and e-mail, and a fraction of what we now call at the internet. Each page was delivered to you at roughly the speed at which water boils at medium heat. And it was difficult to log on secretly in the middle of the night because the sound of the modem dialing up (don’t worry about what this means) was a cacophony of screeches, blips, and hisses, sometimes lasting several minutes, guaranteed to wake everyone in your home, and possibly your neighbor’s home.

Also, if I’m not mistaken, you still had to pay for porn back then. With money.

So I was about nineteen years old when I first saw actual porn. And that whole business about porn being all about love and babies? Yeah, not so much.

I was with a bunch of friends at my boyfriend’s house when someone put in a VHS tape (you can google that if you need to) of some porno. There was a time not so long ago when a young man could never have imagined playing a pornographic video in a room full of young ladies. Those days are gone. Because FEMINISM. Because women are no different from men, right? And we are expected to look at the porn and shrug and be “cool” with it.

This is the new thing. This is what is expected of post-feminist women. We must be “cool” with porn, or, at the very least, “okay” with it. To be anything else would be hypocritical as feminists. We want “equality,” right? Well, there it is: women behaving just like men. Namely, by wantonly having sex with whoever. And by finding nothing at all disgusting about watching another woman be assailed by unfamiliar genitals for money.

So I sat there and I looked at the porn. I didn’t see love or babies. I didn’t really even see sex, not as I understood it. I saw violence.

I immediately thought back to the pornographic magazines I’d found in my friend’s dad’s closet when I was a kid. I remembered the violent imagery, the disgusting jokes, the little cartoon that made light of rape. I thought I’d stumbled upon something from the fringe, something dark and out of the ordinary. And I was surprised when, years later, I found out that the magazine – Hustler – was considered pretty mainstream and had about a zillion subscribers.

Later, I put it out of my mind. I was enlightened and Vonnegutian now.

Except the reality – the actual porn – was proving Vonnegut wrong. These weren’t beautiful ladies being caressed lovingly by men with passion in their smoldering eyes. These were 19-year-old girls with fake breasts and zero body hair being pummeled like desirable pieces of willing meat.

You know that saying, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”? This looked like humiliation. It quacked like humiliation.

But what does abortion have to do with porn? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s column.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews. 

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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