Ben Johnson

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Obama calls homosexuality one of our ‘fundamental freedoms’ in statement slamming Ugandan bill

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Barack Obama has elevated the right to have sex with a member of the same sex to the level of universal “fundamental freedoms” in a new presidential statement criticizing Uganda. But critics say his promotion of homosexuality in a continent that overwhelmingly opposes that behavior amounts to a form of liberal “cultural imperialism.”

Obama wrote on Sunday that he opposed a proposed bill in Uganda that would criminalize same-sex “marriages” and impose life imprisonment for repeated homosexual acts, among other provisions, because “as a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights.”

Obama said the bill represents “a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice, and equal rights.”

He added that he had “conveyed” the message that “enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda."

His reaction came after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said last Friday that, after nearly two months deliberation, he would sign legislation that makes conducting a same-sex “wedding” punishable with seven years in prison. Infecting others with AIDS, having sex with minors, or repeated homosexual acts may earn life imprisonment. An earlier version of the bill called for the death penalty, but the provision was removed.

According to a spokesman, Museveni decided to sign the bill after scientists told him "there is no definitive gene responsible for homosexuality.” He added that homosexual prostitution is “what the president wants to prevent,” especially after Presidential Adviser on Science Dr. Richard Tushemereirwe said that all homosexuality had “serious public health consequences.”

American observers said, while they may take a different approach than Museveni, President Obama's remarks are an act of cultural hubris.

“His arrogance is breathtaking,” Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, director and senior fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, told LifeSiteNews. The “president repeatedly insists that his personal values and beliefs are equated with the nation's values and beliefs. When he insists that those controversial ideas constitute a human right, the president is saying that the deeply-held religious beliefs of many Americans are irrelevant.”

He is also disregarding the views of most Africans, they say. An estimated 72 percent of all African nations have passed or are in the process of passing laws restricting public homosexual behavior.

Crouse told LifeSiteNews that President Obama's actions are a form of “cultural imperialism – exporting the sexual crusade of a very small minority of Americans with outsized influence,” who have tried “to tear down the moral foundations of our nation as well as the rest of the world.”

Museveni's spokesman, Ofwono Opondo, said, “This bill is very popular both within the parliament and Ugandan society,” something they see “as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants.” Opposition to homosexuality is a pan-African concept held by Christians and Muslims.

"Obama of all people should realize how offensive his position on homosexuality is to devout Muslims,” Dr. Crouse told LifeSiteNews.

President Obama has frayed relations with African leaders before. During his $100 million African trip last summer, President Obama provoked a clash with the president of Senegal, Macky Sall, over whether gay “marriage” should be legal. In August, Obama told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show that nations like Russia, which forbid same-sex “marriage,” “are violating the basic morality,” adding that he had “no patience for countries” that do not affirm “gays or lesbians or transgender persons.”

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Just last month Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for signing a bill that imposes a 14-year prison sentence on anyone involved in a same-sex “wedding,” as well as prohibiting public displays of homosexual behavior.

President Obama put his bully pulpit, and the full weight of the U.S. government, behind promoting the homosexual agenda worldwide. In 2011, Western nations withheld nearly $350 million from Malawi because the nation banned homosexual activity. Wikileaks revealed the Obama administration coordinated with homosexual activists to promote the LGBT agenda in Sierra Leone.

African leaders have responded with sometimes pointed criticism of the president and, sometimes, the United States.

In April 2012, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said that his people would “rather eat grass than accept this ungodly evil attitude,” even if it meant foregoing Western aid.

Last summer the deputy president of Kenya, William Ruto, rebuffed Obama by saying his nation is “sovereign and God-fearing,” and Obama's promotion of homosexuality “goes against our customs and traditions.” Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, said that those, like President Obama, “who have already ruined their society ... let them not become our teachers.”

“It is unseemly for an American president to dictate to other countries what their cultural, moral and religious traditions ought to be,” Dr. Crouse told LifeSiteNews. “And it is hypocritical for him on the one hand to say America is unexceptional and bow to other national leaders and then on the other hand, seemingly from a position of moral superiority, tell other nations that their beliefs are inferior to his supposedly enlightened, exalted views.”

“The homosexual activists are not content with acceptance and respect as human beings,” she said. “They, and now our president, are forcing the world to approve and mainstream their homosexuality.”

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
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 millions 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.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

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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