Brian Clowes

Population control advocates target East Africa

Brian Clowes
By Brian Clowes

September 19, 2012 (HLIWorldWatch.org) - The sights in Africa are beautiful and exotic. Think Tanzania, with its snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro; plains and waters populated by zebras, wildebeest and hippos; and with the Milky Way splashed over unimaginably dark skies at night. But the best part of Africa has always been her people. Tanzanians place a premium on politeness, and if a conversation does not begin with “How is it?” or karibu (“welcome”), things can get very awkward indeed. Meals are usually chicken with ugali (blanched maize paste with mild sauce), served with a side dish of endless and pleasant conversation. And the dusty days end with a surprisingly refreshing cold shower followed by a deep and dreamless night of sleep.

Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, some people just can’t leave a good thing alone.

Tanzania has only about 120 people per square mile, but the population controllers talk endlessly about overpopulation in the country, claiming that more people means more poverty. Yet England has a population density eight times greater than that of Tanzania — over one thousand people per square mile — and nobody talks about overpopulation there.

My fourth trip to Tanzania took place during the last week of August and the first week of September. My primary message for Tanzanians was that people are a source of power, and that corruption, not population, causes poverty in Africa. After all, Japan and South Korea have population densities about ten times greater than Tanzania, and their gross domestic products (GDPs) per capita are 87 and 43 times greater than Tanzania’s, respectively.

Unfortunately, the population control cartel is immune to such logic. It has its sights set on Tanzania, because it has one of the highest population growth rates on earth at 3.1 percent annually. It is an extraordinarily young nation where the median age is only 17, and women still average 5.5 children. About $3 billion have been spent since 1991 trying to convince people to have fewer children, but the message is falling on deaf ears. The total fertility rate, or TFR, has only fallen by one child per family since 1950. Still, gigantic billboards advertising condoms are everywhere. And harmful birth control drugs are easy to find.

At a dinner event I attended near the beginning of my trip, everyone seemed to personally know young women who had experienced the severe side effects of powerful birth control drugs, which are usually administered without even the most basic precautions—such as taking a medical history. During a press conference organized by my friend Emil Hagamu, Human Life International’s (HLI) regional coordinator for English-speaking Africa, four such local women spoke publicly about the harm caused to their personal health from taking birth control. Their stories were tragic, and equally as heartbreaking was that the effects on their health were completely avoidable but for the disinformation leading them to take those drugs.

I spoke to local media about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “No Controversy” campaign for Africa and the rest of the developing world, and how it is aggressively and insidiously undermining the pro-life values of the African continent. While wrapped in the language of “development” and health, Melinda Gates’ plan to increase contraception use will do nothing more than make large poor families into small poor families, while actually endangering the health of millions of women.

My journey to Africa also took me to Malawi, where I gave presentations at a week-long seminar on pro-life issues for about 40 seminarians at the Kasina Spiritual Formation Centre near Dedzu. While speaking with these seminarians, I again emphasized the harmful population control plan of Melinda Gates, but I also covered condoms, homosexuality, assisted reproduction and the wisdom of God’s plan for our lives.

At one point, I asked a question that Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, the founder of Human Life International, used to ask seminarians: “How many brothers and sisters do you each have?” Most of the seminarians had more than four siblings, and the average was about five. Only two of the 41 seminarians were sole children. This proves once again that generosity sown in the hearts of the children by the example of their parents always bears much fruit.

As always, I was sorry to leave beautiful nations like Tanzania and Malawi, with their warm and friendly people, but was equally anxious to get home to my family. Emil and other pro-life leaders in Africa do not have the billions of dollars Melinda Gates and her partner anti-life international organizations have, but they have God on their side, and the truth of the Gospel of Life. Through much prayer and sacrifice, the struggle to protect the dignity of life in Africa continues.

Brian Clowes, PhD, is the director of research for Human Life International, from which this is reprinted.

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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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