Ben Johnson

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Rick Perry drops out, endorses Newt Gingrich

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA,  January 19, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - After seeing his once-promising campaign going nowhere, Texas governor Rick Perry pulled out of the Republican presidential race http://www.fitsnews.com/2012/01/19/rick-perrys-speech-withdrawing-from-presidential-race/ this morning, endorsing Newt Gingrich. “I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path to victory for my candidacy in 2012,” he said. “Therefore, today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for president.”

Invoking first Texas governor Sam Houston, he referred to the move as a “strategic retreat” and reminded his followers his ultimate objective “is not only to defeat President Obama, but to replace him with a conservative leader who will bring about real change.”

“Our party, and the conservative philosophy, transcends any one individual” he said. He described the former House Speaker as “a conservative visionary who can transform our country.”

It proved a disappointing ending for the candidate, who shot to frontrunner status upon announcing his bid in South Carolina last August. But a string of gaffes in debates had voters questioning his ability to take on President Barack Obama. After two last-place finishes and another on the way, he pulled out with pride. “A calling never guarantees a particular destination, but a journey that tests one’s faith and character,” he said.

“Rick Perry’s decision to suspend his campaign for president is the right thing to do and his decision shows something rare in politicians today - a patriotic and honorable commitment to rebuilding America that transcends ego and personal ambition,” longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com and posted on his website, ConservativeHQ.com.

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Viguerie took part in a Texas meeting of 150 evangelical and conservative leaders that voted to endorse Rick Santorum last week.

Viguerie described Santorum as “the more natural fit for the values voters that are Rick Perry’s core supporters.” He predicted, “Rick Perry’s departure from the campaign will help Santorum lock-up the social conservative vote and add fuel to his South Carolina and Florida campaigns.”

The Santorum campaign also viewed Perry’s announcement as an opportunity to fill the void as the anti-Romney candidate. Communications Director Hogan Gidley said, “The narrative that Governor Romney and the media have been touting of ‘inevitability’ has been destroyed. Conservatives can now see and believe they don’t have to settle for Romney, the Establishment’s moderate candidate.”

It should have been a good day for the former Pennsylvania senator. Earlier in the day, GOP officials reported Santorum had won 34 more votes than Mitt Romney in the Iowa Caucus, with eight precincts not reporting. That reverses original reports that Romney won the state by eight votes. James Dobson personally endorsed Santorum later in the day.

Instead, Perry’s withdrawal bolstered Newt Gingrich, whose campaign has been fueled by well-received performances in several debates. “I am humbled and honored to have the support of my friend Rick Perry,” Gingrich said in a statement shortly after the announcement.

The endorsement comes at a pivotal time, just 48 hours before the South Carolina primary, when polls show Gingrich surging in that state. The most recent American Research Group poll shows Gingrich in the lead with 33 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney came in second, one point behind him. Ron Paul garnered 19 percent, and Rick Santorum came in a distant fourth with nine percent. 

“The increasing momentum for Newt Gingrich got a big boost when Gov. Rick Perry put the nation’s interests above his own and endorsed Newt for president,” Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, wrote in a statement to LifeSiteNews.com. Staver broke with other Christian leaders at the Texas meeting by publicly backing the former speaker. “We are facing the most important election of our lives, and I believe Newt Gingrich is the right man for this critical moment.”

Perry’s endorsement may also serve to blunt fallout from an allegation that Gingrich asked his second wife, Marianne, to have an “open marriage” before the two divorced twelve years ago. Her interview with ABC’s “Nightline” is scheduled to air tonight.

“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?” Perry asked. “The fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek God, and I believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central tenet of my own Christian faith.”

Despite his electoral misfortune, the governor’s faith in his country remained undaunted. “Americans are down but we can never be counted out,” he said. “What’s broken in America is not our people. It’s our politics.”

He promised to continue promoting for his agenda of restructuring government, reclaiming states’ rights under the Tenth Amendment, enhancing domestic energy security, and introducing a 20 percent flat tax.

Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas history. His third term expires in 2015.

Perry thanked his wife, Anita, for standing by him during the sometimes painful campaign, kissing her in mid-speech.

“With a good wife, three wonderful children, and a loving God in my life, things will be good no matter what the future holds.”

Related article:
8 votes: but Romney spent $1.47 million compared to Santorum’s $22,000


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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