Ben Johnson

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Sen. Cruz: Democrats support ‘abortion no matter what the consequences, no matter what the context’

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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DALLAS, June 28, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Senator Ted Cruz had strong words for Democrats this morning, lambasting them for turning a blind eye to forced abortion and the crimes committed by late-term abortionists like Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen, and favoring a policy of abortion "no matter what the consequences, no matter what the context."

The media and the Obama administration follow a “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy when it comes to late-term abortion atrocities, the senator told an enthusiastic crowd of pro-life activists at the National Right to Life Convention in his native Texas.

Referencing Gosnell, Cruz said, “I was proud to stand with Senator Mike Lee condemning those horrific crimes and calling for an investigation in the Senate for other late-term abortionists in this country committing similar atrocities.”

The senator also referenced late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, whom former staff members have accused of twisting newborn babies' heads off, someone Cruz noted works “in Houston, my hometown.”

Senate Democrats cowered away from a motion to condemn Gosnell's atrocities, because it mentioned abortion. Instead, they sought a bland general condemnation of unsanitary conditions in any medical environment, such as denist offices.

“Apparently a physician having an unsanitary clinic that passes on disease in their mind is morally equivalent to” the actions of “Kermit Gosnell as he took the lives of living, breathing children outside their mother's womb,” he said. “What a sad statement of moral equivalence.”

The senator told the crowd that the right to life is the cornerstone of all governance, one that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are undermining through an extreme policy that places abortion-on-demand above all other goods – including religious freedom.

The first-term senator called on attendees to reflect on the Declaration of Independence just before the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

“Without life, there is no liberty. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness,” he said. “The ability to take life is the ultimate power, and the ultimate deprivation, of our God-given rights.”

Referring to the pro-life and Tea Party movements, he said, “I am inspired that we see Americans standing up – standing up for life, standing up for liberty...standing up for the Constitution.”

One of those first liberties enshrined in the First Amendment is the freedom of religion, something Cruz said the Obama administration undermined by “ordering those who disagree to disregard their rights of conscience, disregard their faith and provide abortifacients or contraceptives” to their employees.

“It wasn't long ago that the Democratic Party was proud to nominate the first two Catholic candidates for president,” he said. “What do you think an Al Smith or a John F. Kennedy would say to a president who says to the Catholic Church, 'Change your faith, or we will shut down your...hospitals'?”

The conservative favorite took advantage of the three-day-long national meeting, which is taking place in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, to burnish his own pro-life credentials.

Cruz contrasted the actions of a mob of angry protesters in Austin, and of legislator Wendy Davis, who waged a 13-hour filibuster against a pro-life bill, to his own filibuster with Rand Paul and Mike Lee against the use of drones.

“We were filibustering to protect the sanctity of life from arbitrary government destruction,” he said. “When Austin Democrats stood together in their filibuster, they were standing together to protect the ability to carry out late-term abortions, to protect the ability to take yet more lives. What a contrast.”

“If you listen to the media – well, that's your first mistake,” he joked. “But if you listen to the media, those rowdy protesters were adopting a popular view. Yet the simple reality is 62 percent of Texans oppose late-term abortions after 20 weeks. Over 80 percent of Americans oppose abortions in the third trimester. And one of the sad consequences of the Culture of Death we have seen is that the policies in this country are extreme.”

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Cruz, whom NRLC says has earned a 100 percent pro-life voting record in the Senate, also rapped Senate Democrats for refusing to condemn forced abortion in China.

“China has aborted some estimated 300 million children – 300 million, the population of the United States,” he said.

“Regardless of your views on the right to life,” he stated, “you should be united against the horrific evil that is the practice of forced abortions, that is the practice of the government saying to a mother, 'We will force you to abort your child.'”

Cruz lamented, “When that came to the floor of the senate, it was defeated, as the Democrats stood together embracing their policy of abortion no matter what the consequences, no matter what the context.”

Despite these positions, many Democrats tell their constituents they are moderates on the issue of life, Cruz said.

“As you know, Harry Reid does not like for Senators to vote,” he stated, “because he wants to prevent his Democrats from having to make uncomfortable votes.”

“Truth and light has a way of counteracting those representations back home,” he said.

In concluding his speech to the conference – built around the theme “Winning for Life in 2014” – Cruz saluted the work of crisis pregnancy centers and 40 Days for Life specifically, for “explaining the consequences, explaining it not in anger but in love.”

He said the task facing the pro-life movement is to win the national argument over abortion and instill a “culture of life” against the reigning “culture of death.”

“There's nothing we need to do more than persuade our fellow Americans that there is nothing more precious than an infant child, and that every infant child has a right to life, a right to breathe, to live, to work towards a better tomorrow,” Cruz said. “In Texas last year, 80,000 children were aborted. That will change only when we persuade our fellow Americans to embrace an historic culture of life.”

In an announcement released on the same day as his NRLC speech, Senator Cruz confirmed he will be speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., in October. 

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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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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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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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