Georges Buscemi

Meet the Antigones: an antidote to breast-baring ‘terrorist’ group FEMEN

Georges Buscemi
By Georges Buscemi
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June 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The breast-baring, self-styled female “terrorist” group FEMEN, which has become known the world over for its provocative, often violent protests against “patriarchy”, fascism, prostitution and religion, seems to have met its match.

The Antigones, named after the woman of Greek mythology who in Sophocles’ play was sentenced to death for choosing to follow “Divine Law” in opposition to the “man-made laws” of a tyrant, consists of a group of 25 or so attractive French women clad in virginal white dresses. On their website they quote Antigones declaring “I was born to join in love, not hate,” a clear reference to their opposition to FEMEN’s breasts-and-placard, spittle-flecked protest style.

Seeming inversions of their infamous adversaries, but employing similar guerrilla marketing tactics, the Antigones scored a media coup when their de facto leader, 21-year-old Iseul Turan, announced through a video interview released on YouTube on June 1st that she had infiltrated the France division of FEMEN for a period of two months.

On the 30 minute video, Turan describes how what “frightened” her most about the Femen was the ideological “vacuum” behind the movement. “The only thing behind Femen is three words, and as for the rest you can do what you want– it’s an abyss, a vacuum.”

Femen’s motto, according to French Wikipedia, consists of three statements: “Get out, get naked, and win.”

The Antigones were officially founded in June of this year, following Turan’s undercover experience. Their website indicates that theirs is not merely “yet another movement”. “We’re a simple gathering of women … We advocate for our fundamental right and duty to be women, whole and complete. A woman has her dignity, which does not require exhibitionism or hysteria," the website’s mission statement reads.

In their first official act as a group, the Antigones attempted to film a face-to-face meeting between themselves and the Paris-based, French division of Femen. A Youtube video which has since gone viral shows how the Antigones, accompanied by a reported 150 female friends and sympathisers, approached the Femen’s HQ, only to be met with a barrage of police trucks, gates and riot police. The footage of the thwarted attempt at meeting with Femen was later overlaid with shots of the Antigones clad in white and reading from a sheet of paper a manifesto-style message to the radical feminist group:

“Femen, you affirm that a woman’s fight is feminist, we say that it is feminine.

“Femen, you affirm that women’s rights are defended with bared breasts, we say that they are acquired through dignity.

“Femen, you affirm that religion is alienation; we say that for many of us it is the way to freedom and self-realisation.

“Femen, you affirm that machismo dominates society and you combat men. We answer that it is only with men that we can truly become women, whole and complete.”

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Not everyone is happy, however, with the arrival of this wholesome alternative to Femen. Several French media outlets have darkly hinted at the “extreme” right-wing ties of some of its members. The Express, a French publication, titled their article on the Antigones phenomenon, “The Antigones: the anti-Femen activists with the Funny CVs,” implying that all was not well with the backgrounds of at least some of the Antigone membership. The Huffington post France edition stated that the Antigones path had been opened up by a counter-revolutionary Catholic women’s group who had, earlier this year, stormed the Femen headquarters to shout “Women but not Fem’hate” while holding aloft a banner. (video here) “Birds of a feather flock together?” the article’s author asked rhetorically.

On the conservative side of the spectrum, Richard Décarie, communications expert and long-time observer of French-language conservative movements, considers the Antigones’ decision to oppose Femen on their own terrain “a strategic mistake”. “When you confront media-hungry groups like Femen on their own terrain, you just give them more publicity, which is exactly what they want. What’s more, by pulling a stunt like trying to confront them, you allow them to play the victim card, which can only help their cause.” In opposition to the Antigones’ fire-with-fire approach, Décarie suggests that Femen and other provocateurs should be denounced, “but never imitated.”

On the Antigones website Young Iseul Turan states: “We want to peacefully but firmly intervene in the public debate, to make our views known and not allow feminists to monopolize [the debate]. Their time has passed … What we want is to give a pulpit to all these women who today contact us by the hundreds; to organise them and to produce original content to promote women’s dignity and integrity.”

Asked about what she sees down the road for the Antigones, Turan promises that her group reserves the right to “firmly” intervene in the public square. Their website indicates that they are actively recruiting: “You are welcome to join! … age, appearance, political or religious affiliation do not matter, as long as you agree with our fundamental principles.” Contrary to some feminist groups, the website indicates that men are also invited to join, albeit in a support role: “Daughters of our fathers, wives of our husbands, mothers of our sons, we do not reject men. To the contrary we are persuaded that it is only with men, in complementarity, that we can build our future.”

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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

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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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