Peter Baklinski

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‘You’re promoting hate’: Toronto police shut down preacher at Gay Pride parade

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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TORONTO, Ontario, July 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Christian preacher spreading God’s word on a sidewalk in Toronto during the Gay Pride Parade on Canada Day was verbally assaulted by homosexual supporters as police watched, and was later surrounded by as many as 12 officers who forced him to vacate the area.

“I felt a bit threatened by the Law Enforcement violating my rights,” preacher David Lynn told LifeSiteNews.

“It was really hurtful, because if that’s what happens when Christians stand up and exercise and practice their faith, then we’re not far from being imprisoned or even killed for the faith.”

Lynn and his ministry team had set up a portable microphone system on a small cart, near the corner of Yonge and Wellesley, from which they preached and handed out religious tracts and free bibles.

Attached above the cart was a banner which read, “Free info about Jesus.”

A rainbow colored banner nearby the cart displayed the message, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18.”

Lynn told LifeSiteNews that he was there at the parade to preach to the LGBT community about the love of God.

“Jesus died for the entire world,” he said. “Everybody has an opportunity to be saved, including people at the Pride parade. There is no difference between them and me. I am a sinner just like they are. I wouldn’t have wasted my time if I didn’t think God’s loves them, if I didn’t think that there is hope for them.”

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But Lynn’s Gospel message of love was seen as confrontational by some. Video cameras captured Lynn’s peaceful interactions with participants at the event and subsequent police intervention.

“You’re being disrespectful by showing up and spewing your Jesus sh*t at a f***ing pride event,” shouted a woman in a tight pink t-shirt wearing sunglasses.

Next a man walked up with a water bottle and doused the preacher and the young man who was filming the event.

After this Lynn offered to share his mic with those who had surrounded him so that they could have a back and forth conversation. However, at this point police officers arrived on the scene wearing Gay Pride rainbow stickers. They asked the preacher if he had a permit for what he was doing.

Lynn said that he did not need a permit to preach.

“You are causing a disturbance right now,” officer T. Adams responded.

Lynn then appealed to the Charter’s rights and freedoms saying that there was nothing wrong with him having a conversation with people and “preaching what I believe”.

“You don’t have a permit for that; so that’s [the mic] off,” the officer said.

Lynn turned off his portable mic system and began to preach again.

But police began to surround him, effectively cutting him off from the people he was addressing.

“Guys, everybody, by staying listening to it you’re helping him get his message across. If you ignore him, it all goes away,” shouted officer Adams to the crowd.

Lynn then accused the officer of “taking sides.” By now six officers had surrounded the preacher.

“This is Canada Day, and I have freedom to believe whatever I want to believe and to preach what I want to preach,” said Lynn to the gathering police force.

One officer shouted at the cameraman “Hey, you’re blocking the sidewalk now”, and forcefully grabbed for the camera. Other cameras that caught the action show a police officer manhandling Lynn’s cameraman, pushing him along the sidewalk.

“Pack it up,” officers repeatedly said.

By now Lynn was surrounded by as many as 12 police officers.

“I don’t need a permit to preach,” Lynn said. “You’re discriminating against me because I’m preaching the Gospel.”

“You’re promoting hate,” staff sergeant R. Pasini said. 

Police finally compelled Lynn to leave amid shouts of “Thank you Toronto police” from pro-homosexual spectators.

“What really disturbed me the most was to see the police assault our 17-year-old cameraman,” Lynn said to LifeSiteNews.

Lynn also says he was flabbergasted by the “hate” that was shown to him and his ministry team by the homosexual paraders.

“To see Christians hated so aggressively by members in that community…I haven’t seen that level of hatred. And there were cheers for that kind of hatred and that kind of discrimination. If that’s what that parade is about — hatred towards Christianity — that’s scary.”

Lynn was also distraught that the police were “supporting them and their hatred and their discrimination and their assault when all I was doing was saying ‘Jesus loves you.’”

Despite all the hostility, Lynn says that his street ministry that day was not in vain.

“Over 100 free bibles were voluntarily picked up.” An estimated 5000 tracts filled with Gospel messages were also picked up.

“We were expecting that people would come to faith in Christ, be saved, be set free, and feel the love of Christ. Despite opposition, we reached our goal,” he said.

Lynn says it is “possible” that he might pursue legal action against the Toronto Police Force if it will “help the Gospel message to be spread and help people on the streets who preach the faith to feel safe”.

“I think I was violated. I don’t think that’s how the police should treat people. That’s bigotry at its worst. That’s hypocrisy. That’s using a double standard.”

Seemingly unfazed by the Pride Parade confrontation, an optimistic Lynn was back preaching on the streets of Toronto on Tuesday with his portable information booth stocked full of “Free info about Jesus.”

See video of confrontation here, here, and here.

Editor’s note: Lynn’s cameraman made a point of approaching the officers and obtaining their names and badge numbers. Officer D. Sinclair, 9678, refused to give his name, insisting that he had already given it. The cameraman nevertheless caught his name and badge number along with the names and badge numbers of a number of other officers who were in Lynn’s immediate vicinity.

Names and badge numbers of Toronto police officers identified by footage captured by Lynn’s cameraman:  

T. Adams, 9114
Staff Sergeant R. Pasini, 4528
D. Sinclair, 9678
D. Rubbini, 6346
M. Duffy, 1095


Contacts:

Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Ph: (877) 411-4773
Complaint against police form

Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto

Office of the Mayor
Toronto City Hall, 2nd Floor,
100 Queen St. West,
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Ph: (416) 397-3673
E-mail: mayor_ford@toronto.ca


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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