Christina Martin

Unsung heroes and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life”

Christina Martin
By Christina Martin

January 4, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - Early Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I drove to an abortion clinic in a nearby city. It was his first time coming with me to pray outside a clinic and do sidewalk counseling. The weather called for a blizzard later in the day, so we went all bundled up. I filled my coat pockets with pamphlets describing the beauty of life and the dangers of abortion. When we arrived at the clinic, there was one pro-life man standing outside. The snow was lightly falling, and the streets were bare.

Gradually people began to come by. A few faithful Catholic prayer warriors joined us in our stand. The clinic sadly brought in its business. Men and women walked by us, hurrying to enter their doors. We gave out literature, pleaded with them to listen, but to no avail. We earnestly prayed. I asked God to save the lives of the children and soften the hearts of the parents. I prayed for the doctors, nurses, and staff workers to let truth prevail over the lies.

I had the pleasure of talking with a woman who was waiting for her friend to have an abortion. When I asked why she came, her response was, “To support my friend.” I told her that a far better way to support her friend was to tell her to let her child live. I spoke of the purpose of her child’s life and how valuable she was in the eyes of God. The woman promised to go into the clinic and talk with her friend.

Towards the end of our time, I met two older pro-life women in their seventies. Betty and Della had both been reaching out to people outside abortion clinics for over thirty years. Della had been doing it for thirty-seven years. Betty told me of her husband of over 50 years, who is no longer on the earth. She looked at my boyfriend and told us her husband had always supported her in pro-life work. Betty shared with us the story of a baby she helped save over twenty years ago. Betty was able to take the mother to the hospital when she was in labor, and she was one of the first people who got to hold the child. Betty stayed a part of the child’s life, and now this 21-year-old man considers her a family friend. When Della found out my name was Christina, it brought to mind the name of a baby girl she helped save many years ago. Christina is now a nurse who works at a nearby hospital in the city.

I cherished the stories these courageous women told me. For over thirty years, they have sacrificed early mornings, received harassment, endured bad weather conditions, and done it all with hearts of love. What 70-plus-year-old would stand outside in 30-degree weather for hours trying to reach strangers? Betty, Della, and other older pro-life warriors are my heroes. Their lives are a lesson about commitment, devotion, and persevering faith. It’s not about politics, money, fame, or an agenda for these humble saints. They do it all for love.

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Later in the day, as the blizzard came down upon us, my boyfriend, mother, and I watched It’s a Wonderful Life. We’d tried to watch it before Christmas but never got to it. Since we were trapped in by the snowy weather, it was a perfect time to watch this beloved holiday film.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a story of George Bailey, a hardworking, loyal man who sacrifices his personal dreams to help the lives of others. When the cares of life overwhelm him and despair grips his heart, he attempts to take his life. An angel named Clarence intervenes, and George tells him that he wishes he had never been born. George’s prayer is answered, and he gets to see a world where he never existed.

Watching George get a glimpse of life without him is a sobering reminder of the millions of lives that have been lost through abortion. George realizes that his life has touched the lives of so many in his family and community. After seeing the negative effects of a world without him, he asks Clarence to bring him back to his normal life. The movie closes with George holding his daughter, embracing his wife, and receiving the support he needed from the ones who love him.

After the movie ended, my mother extended her arms to me and gave me a big hug. The movie made her shudder, as she imagined what life would be like if she had aborted me. She expressed her gratefulness for having me in her life.

MSN news released an article titled “Those we lost in 2012.” The article gives a list of “notable” deaths that includes Whitney Houston, Neil Armstrong, and Arlen Specter. As a nation, we love to remember and mourn the loss of the famous, talented, and beautiful among us.

What if we mourned all the unborn who have been lost in 2012? Let’s think about the children who never had the chance to make their mark on the world. If only mothers and fathers could understand the message It’s a Wonderful Life brings. If only the citizens of our nation could take action, like Betty and Della have done for thirty years.

Every life is valuable and precious. We can never measure the impact an individual will have on this earth. Like Clarence said to George in the film, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” I agree with the angel. With over 55 million lives lost in America alone, we are missing more than we’ll ever know. Let’s follow Betty’s and Della’s example and do what it takes to save lives.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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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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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
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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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