Kristen Walker Hatten

5 male celebrities I support, and why

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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December 21, 2011, (LiveAction.org) - Recently I wrote about five male celebrities I boycott for their pro-abortion views. Today, I’ll tell you about five famous men whose careers I can feel good about supporting, because they believe in and profess the sanctity of life.

Keep in mind I may disagree with them on other issues. But because I believe abortion is the ultimate moral litmus test, if they recognize the evil of abortion, I know their moral compass is pointed in the right direction.


5. Mel Gibson

Let’s kick things off with controversy! I want to be clear: there are things about Mel Gibson I do not like. He has made racist comments, and pleaded “no contest” to a domestic abuse charge. But he has also been dragged through the mud in the press, and not always fairly. The validity of the famous taped conversation with his girlfriend has been questioned by forensic experts, and his wife of 26 years claims she never experienced abuse. He has said his “no contest” plea was a way of ending the legal matter before it did more harm to his family, and he has maintained that he never harmed his girlfriend.

Still, Gibson himself admits he is a flawed man, and that’s one of the reasons why I support him. Because despite being a troubled, broken human being with a failed marriage, a failing career, and an ongoing legal battle with the girlfriend who bore his child, Gibson has never wavered on the issue of life.

In a Barbara Walters interview in 1990, at the height of his fame, Gibson said:

One can’t decide for oneself who comes into this world and who doesn’t. That decision doesn’t belong to us.

Later, he vocally spoke out against life destroying embryonic stem cell research. He said this on a television commercial:

In 23 years embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single human cure. All it has yielded is tumors, rejection, and mutations. See bad science doesn’t attract venture capital. So why should the taxpayers be bled dry? This is Mel Gibson and I’m voting NO on Prop 71. Creating life simply to destroy it is wrong.

In 2010, cast and crew members of the film The Hangover II objected to Gibson’s involvement in the film, so the producers rescinded his offer. The same cast and crew did not object — at least not loudly enough to make a difference — to the involvement of Mike Tyson in the film’s prequel. Mel Gibson has used strong, offensive words and pleaded “no contest” to threatening his girlfriend. Mike Tyson was convicted of and served time in prison for rape. It’s obvious the problem wasn’t that Gibson did something wrong, but the political and religious flavor of his opinions and offenses. Apparently, according to the Hollywood elite, it is more morally offensive to call someone non-politically-correct names than to rape a woman.

I support Mel Gibson not because I agree with everything he’s ever done, but because on the most important issue there is — whether or not it should be legal to kill innocent human beings, namely unborn babies — he has it figured out. That lets me know there is a good heart inside him. Maybe flawed, but good. And it lets me know that there is hope for him. So I choose to support him and his career. Because of the voice he has provided for the voiceless, I think he deserves it.

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4. Jack Nicholson

Here’s another guy with whom I probably don’t agree on every issue. A living legend in the cinema, Nicholson’s politics are full of contradictions. He called Sean Penn “the greatest living American,” but he refused to criticize President Bush, saying, “I support every president.” He calls himself a “lifelong Irish Democrat” and once spoke fondly of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Nicholson’s opinions on abortion were formed by personal experience. He was a grown man when he discovered the woman he thought was his sister was actually his mother, and the woman he knew as his mother was his grandmother. His mother became pregnant as a teenager and was encouraged to have an abortion, even back in 1937, but she chose life for her son. The revelation that his sister was his mom was understandably difficult for Nicholson, and had a profound affect on him. For one, it made him pro-life:

I’m very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I’m positively against it. I don’t have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life.

This short statement is full of humility, wisdom, and courage. Note that he says, “I don’t have the right to any other view.” He has understood, thanks to the knowledge that his own life almost never happened, that life is a gift for which we should all feel gratitude. His willingness to vocally oppose abortion in the face of Hollywood and his own political party is inspiring and should be encouraged.

3. Ben Stein

You may not recognize the name right away, but you’d know the voice. The familiar drone of “Bueller…. Bueller…” introduced him to Generation X, but before that he was a speechwriter for Nixon and Ford, Columbia honors graduate, and valedictorian of Yale Law School. Later he went on to have his own show on Comedy Central, “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” and to teach law, appear in films, and speak and write on various issues, including the sanctity of life. Here he is in 2009:

Every baby that is conceived has the right to be; that is a basic. And I will tell you something that I never felt before in my heart until this year: I feel strongly that the tide is turning in our favor… one of the best, most important ways to give your life meaning and to live a decent life is to value life when it’s old, when it’s infirm, when it’s a different skin color, when it’s a different race, when it’s a different sex, when it’s a different religion, whether it’s born or unborn – and if you value life when it’s unborn, you set a standard for valuing life and for giving dignity to life that will stick with you and the society forever.

In 2008, Stein was involved in a controversial documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, that accused members of the U.S. scientific and academic elite of blind allegiance to Darwinism and unscientific rejection of theories of Intelligent Design which have been put forward by respected scientists such as those at the Discovery Institute.

The documentary sought to show how a materialistic view of the world — in the philosophical sense — leads to treating human beings as expendable. Denying the innate worth of human life led to Nazi eugenics and concentration camps. According to Stein, only in recognizing the God-given worth of every human being, born and pre-born, can we guarantee each other liberty and be truly free.

Ben Stein is a remarkable and gifted man and an unapologetic warrior for life. I’m proud to support him however I can.

2. James Caviezel

Caviezel became the favorite actor of just about every Christian in the world in 2006 when he played Jesus of Nazareth in Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ. Like Gibson a Traditionalist Catholic, Caviezel told Catholic Digest he was challenged by a pro-choice colleague to act with the courage of his pro-life convictions and adopt a child with special needs. So in 2009, Caviezel and his wife adopted their second child, a five-year-old Chinese girl with a brain tumor. Caviezel said it didn’t change the colleague’s mind, but it did strengthen his own convictions that every life is precious.

I was listening to Johnny Mathis the other day and I said, “What an amazing voice.” I have yet to hear another person sound like Johnny Mathis… Look, I am for helping women. I just don’t see abortion as helping women. And I don’t love my career that much to say, “I’m going to remain silent on this.” I’m defending every single baby who has never been born. And every voice that would have been unique like Johnny Mathis’. How do we know that we didn’t kill the very child who could have created a particular type of medicine that saves other lives?

According to LifeSite News, he has “compared the injustice of abortion to the mistreatment of women in some Arab countries.” One of his recent films, The Stoning of Soraya M., is based on the true story of an Iranian woman stoned to death for adultery.

For living his convictions, in his art and his life, I proudly see every movie featuring James Caviezel, even if I don’t particularly want to see the movie.

1. Eduardo Verastegui

You may not have heard of him yet, but give him a break; he’s had to go it alone. This Mexican actor refused to accept roles that conflicted with his strong Christian, pro-life beliefs. He was told he would never work, so he decided to create his own work. Along with Alejandro Monteverde and others, he founded the production company Metanoia, and their first film, Bella, took the world by storm in 2006.

Winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2007, Bella was a beautiful film with a pro-life message of subtlety and spirit that surprised the world with its success. With a budget of only $3 million, it made about $40 million worldwide and put Metanoia on the map.

In January of this year, Verastegui pledged to build the largest pro-life women’s clinic in the U.S. His organization, Mantle of Guadalupe, raises funds for a pro-life pregnancy resource center of the same name in east Los Angeles, just miles from ten abortion clinics. A devout Catholic, he also promised, “I will not use my talents except to elevate my Christian, pro-life and Hispanic values.”

This year, Verastegui launched a website, IAmViable.com, which celebrates the lives and unique abilities of people born disabled. His production company Metanoia is currently working on several important projects with uplifting messages that affirm the dignity of all human life.

It may be safe to say that even in the few short years of his career, no actor has done more to promote the cause of the unborn than Eduardo Verastegui and his Metanoia Films. I will make it a point to support their work.

We shouldn’t let the trends or prejudices of celebrity affect our lives. None of us should make any decisions based on what the Kardashians do. But every time we turn on the TV or go see a movie we choose to support the actors and artists who created it. What we spend money on makes a powerful statement. I make sure to further, in any way I can, the careers of these men, because I want them to keep working and keep speaking out for life.

Who do you choose to support, and why?

Reprinted with the generous permission of Live Action.


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The Romanian Orthodox Church's Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest Wikimedia Commons
Bogdan Stanciu

Romanian news outlet sanctioned for discrimination in attacking pro-life initiative

Bogdan Stanciu
By Bogdan Stanciu

BUCHAREST, Romania -- A decision of CNCD, Romania's Council Against Discrimination, has recently become definitive, recognizing the right to dignity of all Orthodox Christians in the country.

Last year, PRO VITA Association - Bucharest branch, one of the main nonprofits in Romania defending life, family and religious liberty, filed an official complaint with the Council, showing that a blog post dated May 17, 2013 and hosted on the Adevarul.ro platform prejudiced the image of Christian Orthodox believers.

The article, signed "Alex Dumitriu," challenged the support given by the Romanian Orthodox Church to the “One of Us” European initiative, which required a ban on public funding for the destruction of embryos during research and medical procedures.

The blog post described the Romanian Orthodox Church as an “anti-human, criminal and anti-life organization, whose purpose is spreading suffering and abjectness, mysticism and ignorance for their own profit.”

The applicant argued that these allegations created a degrading and hostile atmosphere for Orthodox Christians in Romania, thus harming a whole community.

The Council agreed that the affirmations in the article referred to both the clerics and the simple believers and discriminated against the Christian Orthodox community. It concluded it was discrimination, infringing upon the right to dignity granted to persons of Christian Orthodox confession.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

The council cited the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that freedom of expression is not an absolute right in Europe, carrying with it duties and responsibilities. Also, the Adevarul.ro platform was fined a symbolic sum of 2,000 RON (approximately 445 EUR).

It is for the first time in Romania that a media institution is sanctioned for discriminating against Christians.

As a brand, the Adevarul newspaper has continued the tradition of a title established in the 19th century, but after 1989 it took over the infrastructure and human resources of the recently-deceased communist newspaper Scanteia, the official propaganda channel of the Romanian Communist Party. Today it has also developed Adevarul.ro, an online platform that is one of the most popular media channels in Romania.

Adevarul.ro has recently made it a habit of harassing the Romanian Orthodox Church with almost daily frequency, presenting negative aspects in the church and tendentious articles of opinion about this institution and about Creationism and Christianity in general, in what looks more and more like an ideological guerrilla warfare.


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Paul Russell

Nitschke heads a suicide cult that must be stopped

Paul Russell
By Paul Russell

Following The Australian's news story today about another young life lost that was related to Philip Nitschke and the Exit organisation, senior journalist, Angela Shanahan says that Nitschke and Exit must be stopped.

Shanahan opens: 

PHILIP Nitschke, contrary to his claims as an advocate of euthanasia for the terminally ill, is the chief mover of something resembling a suicide cult.

The case histories of Lucas Taylor, 26, and Joe Waterman, 25, who committed suicide after being in contact with Nitschke’s group, Exit, leave little doubt of that.

Lucas Taylor was the subject of the other article in today's paper while Joe Waterman's story was covered earlier in the ABCs 7:30 Report that created the original furore leading to the medical board suspending Nitschke's practicing licence today.

Covering the information Judi Taylor found on her son's computer after his death the story adds: 

His heartbroken mother realised that her son was not the only young person on this site. Nor was anyone on the site interested in the motivation for his thoughts of suicide, nor in helping Lucas to overcome his feelings.

“They were only interested in the ‘endgame’,” she said, including detailed advice about where and when and how to go about it.

Again, this destroys any pretence that Nitschke and Exit are only involved in advising sick and dying people about how to commit suicide. This is a macabre and clandestine death industry. Hope joins with Angela Shanahan in calling for this organisation to be stopped and is joined now in our call for a National Inquiry into Exit and other euthanasia organisations by the mothers of both of the young men mentioned in this article.

Shanahan closes by saying: Nitschke’s claim of political persecution is risible. He and his organisation must be stopped.

Reprinted with permission from NoEuthanasia.org.au.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

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Leaving the Matrix: what is the cost of conversion?

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By Hilary White

What do you do when you decide to leave a sexually disordered lifestyle? What do you do, when all the people you have contact with, all your friends, even your family, have accepted and embraced a way of living and thinking about life that you have realized is harmful, psychologically and morally destructive, and which you know you must leave? What is the cost of conversion?

We can easily get caught up in the tumult of the ever-escalating legal, political, and cultural war against the traditional worldview and anthropology, so much that we forget that the “issue” is about real, individual human beings and how they should, concretely, order their lives. We culture warriors must remember that what we are asking people to do is difficult, that it can incur huge sacrifice and loss and will often require enormous upheaval and change. We are asking people to leave not only a “lifestyle” of sexual activity, but an entire world, populated with family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, and an entire global culture that embraces and aggressively promotes it.

I include not only the experience of leaving the “gay lifestyle,” but of leaving a worldview, a cultural paradigm that accepts and promotes sexual license of any kind in general. It is more than the questions surrounding the so-called “ex-gay” movement, and more than the issue of living chastely in an increasingly sexually obsessed world.

How ought a person who experiences same-sex attraction react when it begins to dawn on him that, for whatever reason, he cannot continue to live according to the world’s paradigm? We know how the homosexualist movement says he ought to react, and we know that the secular world (nearly all the world, therefore) is in more or less complete agreement. He should reject such self-negating thoughts. He should embrace his “orientation” and start to seek out same-sex sexual relationships, and carry on in the way that they tell us life is now normally lived.

He should engage in sexual encounters with various people, sometimes setting up “relationships” for varying lengths of time, breaking up, moving on, finding someone else, perhaps cohabitating, and maybe, some day, “settling down” with one person, either in “marriage,” or not, as the mood strikes. This is what the world now presents to us as normal. Nearly every television show and movie set in our times says this is just how people live nowadays. 

It is only too easy for those of us who live out here in The Real to forget how totally different our lives are from that of the majority of our fellow men. We shout, “jump!” because we see a whole other lush, green and happy world, but they see nothing but the shadows on the cave wall.

But those few of us left who think this is not a very good way to live, that it is morally and psychologically destructive, have in large part to forge our own way in life, figure out a set of rules and standards to live by alone, all the while fighting the pressure to conform. Even for those of us not plagued by sexual feelings towards people of the same sex it isn’t easy.

It is particularly not easy for those of us who have decided later in life to try to embrace a different path, but who had previously followed the world’s advice, and who had never known any other way of living. What does it take to totally change a worldview, a method of organizing one’s life and all social relationships? How hard is it to reinvent a way of life that the world has not only abandoned, but aggressively rejected and condemned?

The cost will usually be, at least, the loss of nearly all one’s friends, sometimes even very close friends. Very often it will include alienating, sometimes permanently, one’s own family. Since the Sexual Revolution’s paradigm has now been embraced by three or four or more generations, it will often mean alienation from parents and siblings.

It will sometimes mean the loss of good relations with co-workers and colleagues, and sometimes even the loss of jobs and careers. I know a man, a previously highly respected author, who was totally rejected by the entire literary establishment of his home country, a heavily secular nation, when he embraced Catholicism, including its sexual moral teachings. He told me that he expected he would never be published again outside the Catholic niche press. None of his previous friends would speak to him and for the first two years his mother had refused to take his calls.

He had been asked again and again why, if he felt he had to become a Christian, he could not have become an Anglican. And why this “sudden obsession” with “outdated” and “retrograde” sexual morality? He said that, in essence, he was treated as he would have been in the 19th century had he “come out” as a homosexual. Chastity, in other words, is the new perversion.

It is a momentous decision to leave that world, and people who make that transition compare it to leaving the Matrix: a painful, shocking and revelatory experience of a totally new and previously unguessed-at world that can leave the person disoriented, feeling as though he is now living in a kind of “parallel universe” in which he is alone and alienated from friends and family and fellow citizens.

There is an increasing number of us “converts” to a more morally sane life, who often find that once we have made the transition we are alone again. And even when we find others, a new community and friends – usually in a church – we learn that we must keep the door to the past closed. It’s not that we fear rejection, far from it, and it is not even a matter of shame.

But we understand that in a civilized society, no one wants to hear about barbarity, and we learn that to keep our past life closely in mind is to allow it to continue to rule the present. Close friends will know about our past, but, outside the most intimate circles it is passed over silently. We have reinvented ourselves and moved on, but the price is sometimes to become people with no past. To be wholly remade, it is necessary to leave behind the person we were.

It works. I can say that it is possible to be radically morally rebuilt, that one can reconstruct an entire personality, consciously dismantle past habits of thought and approach to life and replace them with better ones. The damage from the previous life, whether physical or psychological, can be permanent, but it is possible to construct a way of living that is morally and psychologically and physically healthy, and reorder a life in such a way that the damage does not rule your present. 

But it’s expensive. For me, it started when I was still living in British Columbia. I felt something new beginning in my mind and felt a yearning spring up that could not be satisfied by anything I’d experienced… the usual convert’s tale.

I’d been aware all my life that the kind of world we lived in, and the kind of life we lived in it, was somehow just not right. I loved old films and television shows that depicted a totally different way of living. I was close to my grandparents and wondered why we no longer lived that way. When I moved to the mainland in my early 20s, I somehow started going to Mass again, and that was when the real struggle began. I knew full well that the way I lived and thought about life was deeply at odds with the Church.

But I was alone. None of my friends were Catholic and none of them could begin to understand what it was I had begun to talk about. And I had made no friends at the large inner city parish I attended. I had tried to join a few things, and had volunteered a bit, but I could see that I had nothing in common with them. It seemed as though these people lived in another universe, one I could not even want to enter. A priest suggested I get involved in the pro-life movement, and I rejected this idea out of hand as totally absurd.

I thought I could only ask God for help. I prayed for “Catholic friends.” This brought no change, so I scaled down and said, “All right then, just one. Just one Catholic friend.” In the end, I simply got up and left one day. I’ve written elsewhere that I just got in a car and went “on holiday” out east, and never returned. When I landed in the far-eastern Canadian town where I was to undertake my own radical conversion, I only stopped there because I had run out of continent.

And it was there I discovered a whole new world, a moral universe of whose existence I had been previously totally ignorant. I met my “Catholic friends,” and was able to start the painful task of first deconstructing and then rebuilding my entire worldview, my character, my beliefs, my total understanding of life, the universe, and everything.

“Painful”? I barely survived. It took a year but I emerged a new kind of person in a new kind of world that I had never suspected existed. I met a group of other people who had undergone the same experience and we traded war stories. We agreed that it was like living in a parallel universe, and we bonded over the loss of previous friendships and family relationships. We helped each other, this little group of Catholic refugees on the rain-washed East Coast, to figure out a way to live in a world to which we no longer belonged. 

We talk about the programs set up by various individuals and groups that propose to help people, (mainly men) leave the homosexual lifestyle. We defend the right of psychotherapists to offer healing and help for people who have been damaged by their own choices and by the violence and sins of others. We lobby our Parliaments, we write articles, we even argue in comment boxes on the internet. We sometimes get brave and give talks and engage in public debates where we confront our ideological opponents in public venues. In all this, we rightly speak against the New Paradigm that the world has embraced and we urge people to reject it. It’s a form of evangelization.

But I think we need to keep in mind, while we are doing this good work, that what we are asking people to do, concretely, is momentous. Indeed, from the point of view of heaven, it is of cosmic significance. In less exalted terms, however, we are asking something almost unimaginably difficult of people ensnared in a way of living and thinking that they may not even completely understand themselves.

So much of our anti-culture, our death-culture, has been simply absorbed unconsciously, so much of it has been fed to us with our Fruit Loops and Saturday Morning Cartoons from earliest childhood, that we often have no way of knowing anything else exists. We have become people trapped in Plato’s Cave, knowing only the vaguest shadows of reality.

It is only too easy for those of us who live out here in The Real to forget how totally different our lives are from that of the majority of our fellow men. We shout, “jump!” because we see a whole other lush, green and happy world, but they see nothing but the shadows on the cave wall.

Ultimately, the Matrix is not only unreal, it is designed to make men miserable, but in such a way that they are hardly aware of being miserable. It not only enslaves, but tortures its victims. There is a reason that suicide, divorce, drug use, violent crime, self-harm, eating disorders, depression, … misery, in short, have grown to such colossal proportions in our societies.

If I may make a suggestion, maybe we could start writing and talking about how much better it is to live in The Real. How much happier it is possible to be when living a morally integrated life of self-control, not being pushed around either by lust or by the merciless demands of a lust-worshipping culture...a life of real freedom, in other words. It might help make the jump less frightening.


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