Kristen Walker Hatten

An open letter to Ann Coulter

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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Dear Ann Coulter,

Dammit, Ann Coulter.

I like you. A lot. I’ve read all your books. No, seriously, all of them.

When I was in my 20s, I thought you were maybe the Antichrist. I didn’t know why exactly I thought you were the Antichrist. All the other liberals did, so I did, too. It wasn’t hard. Liberalism is easy. It makes you feel smart and cool. When the other smart, cool people said your name the way some people say “cockroach,” I got the picture.

They really, really hate you. About a year ago, someone close to me who is a big liberal was at my house. I had one of your books sitting on the coffee table. While I was out of the room, he took a receipt and drew a speech bubble on the back, with the words “Hi! I’m a c**t!” And put it right above your head. Later on, I asked him why he thought you were a “c**t,” but he didn’t have a specific answer. I would bet you everything I own of value (this mainly consists of this laptop, my wedding rings, and my 2005 Ford Ranger, “Truck Norris”) that he has never read a single word you’ve ever written.

Neither had I when I hated you. I think I had read about one sentence of your writing, out of context (obviously), and decided you were in league with Satan. Except I didn’t believe in Satan, of course; that was a fairy tale for dumb Christians. I hated you for the same reason I hated George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill O’Reilly, and many others: because I was told you were the enemy. I would not have been able to defend my hatred of any of these people – including you – with much depth. But I “knew” you were evil. The Nation and Mother Jones told me so.

In 2010, I was pretty new to Catholicism and becoming aware of conservatism as something more than “being mean.” I began making my way towards it by reading, for the first time, our nation’s founding documents. I also became familiar with de Tocqueville, Hayek, and the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. I was delving into this because I was pro-life, and ObamaCare – which was in the process of being rammed into law – scared me. The more I learned, the more it started to scare me for other reasons, too.

See, my worldview changed when, for the first time in my adulthood, God convinced me of His existence. That was in 2008. I no longer saw man at the center of the universe, and everything was turned on its head. I tiptoed toward the other side. It took me a few years. I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. I didn’t want to be conservative until I was absolutely convinced that conservatism was right, because I was beginning to discover that being conservative kind of, um, sucks. Everybody hates you. It doesn’t matter how much you tell people that you’re not mean or that you have a good argument. They won’t listen to you.

But you know all this. You live it.

It was sometime in 2010 that I first started reading your columns. My conversion was picking up steam, and I decided that I’d read quite a bit – though not enough, never enough! – of the philosophy that underpinned conservative thinking. I was ready to go right to the fiery furnace that drove the locomotive of liberal contempt for conservatives. That would be you. I figured if I could read your writing, and agree with it, I was a conservative for really real. I didn’t expect that to happen, though. I figured I would scoff and keep you on the enemies list.

But I didn’t. I loved you. I loved your style. Yes, it was somewhat lacking in subtlety. No, it was not nice. But I’ve always thought subtlety is overrated, and I was never that great at “nice.” True kindness – true love – is a lot of things, but it is not “nice.” I am a Christian. “Nice” is for quasi-Buddhists who live in the Bay Area and drive Smart cars and secretly hate everyone east of Oakland. Being nice at the expense of being honest is not kind. It is not loving.

I had to look up the word “polemicist.” (I dropped out of college because rules were for Republicans.) It took me a while to understand what you were doing, but I got it. I started trying to explain to people that you’re honest and funny and nobody researches as well as you. Meanwhile, I was reading all your books and sharing them with people, or buying them as gifts. I pre-ordered your most recent one, Mugged, months before its release. If I hadn’t been in the throes of wedding planning, I would have read it in one day. It was brilliant, and everyone in America should have to read it because it is truth.

I like you because you are funny and you are not afraid. So many conservatives lack courage. They’re scared of being silenced and ostracized, and I don’t blame them. I’m scared of it, too. I’ve lost friends. I still lose them occasionally. It can be lonely.

Then the election happened. And your column, “DON’T BLAME ROMNEY,” came out.

Sigh.

You’ve written about abortion before. Sometimes when you write about abortion, it’s hilarious. That’s something I’m always trying to do: be pro-life and funny at the same time. It’s hard. Nobody’s expecting a knee-slapper on the subject of dead babies. But humor disarms people. It reminds them you’re sane. Only the crazy are deadly earnest all the time. It’s hard to change people’s minds about abortion, but on any subject, if you can make them laugh, you’re halfway there.

CLICK ‘LIKE’ IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE!

I remember when you said this:

I wouldn’t kill an abortionist myself, but I wouldn’t want to impose my moral values on others. No one is for shooting abortionists. But how will criminalizing men making difficult, often tragic, decisions be an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the shootings of abortionists?

That was in 2009, in your column “49 Million to Five,” when you pointed out how absurd it is to call the pro-life movement violent. Anti-life zealots went insane over this, failing or refusing to notice that you were satirizing a pro-abortion argument. To anyone with a brain and a sense of humor, it was obvious that you were pointing out the hypocrisy of those who wept for the abortionist while condoning abortion.

This is just one example of the many times you have championed and defended the pro-life cause.

Then you wrote this:

The last two weeks of the campaign were consumed with discussions of women’s “reproductive rights,” not because of anything Romney did, but because these two idiots [Akin and Mourdock] decided to come out against abortion in the case of rape and incest.

After all the hard work intelligent pro-lifers have done in changing the public’s mind about a subject the public would rather not think about at all, these purist grandstanders came along and announced insane positions with no practical purpose whatsoever, other than showing off.

While pro-lifers in the trenches have been pushing the abortion positions where 90 percent of the country agrees with us — such as bans on partial birth abortion, and parental and spousal notification laws — Akin and Mourdock decided to leap straight to the other end of the spectrum and argue for abortion positions that less than 1 percent of the nation agrees with.

In order to be pro-life badasses, they gave up two easy-win Republican Senate seats.

No law is ever going to require a woman to bear the child of her rapist. Yes, it’s every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape. But sentient human beings are capable of drawing gradations along a line…

The overwhelming majority of people — including me — are going to say the law shouldn’t force someone who has been raped to carry the child. On the other hand, abortion should be illegal in most other cases.

Is that so hard for Republicans to say?

Purist conservatives are like idiot hipsters who can’t like a band that’s popular. They believe that a group with any kind of a following can’t be a good band, just as show-off social conservatives consider it a mark of integrity that their candidates — Akin, Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell — take wildly unpopular positions and lose elections.

Ann. Oh, Ann. This hurts.

I am not going to make the case in this column for being pro-life without exceptions. I’ve done it before, and you know the argument anyway.

What hurts is that you would question our motives. This isn’t an issue of tactics – graphic images vs. no graphic images; incrementalism vs. all-or-nothing. This is about the actual lives of actual children. How could you think for a second we are interested in being ”pro-life badasses” when what we are really interested in is not abandoning any children - no matter who their fathers are? Those “gradations along a line” are human lives. If we don’t believe that, what are we doing here? Why are we wasting our time writing and speaking and marching and praying and helping women and making our friends hate us?

If any lives are worth abandoning for votes, why not all of them?

It also needs to be understood that what Todd Akin said was stupid and what Richard Mourdock said was said stupidly. Todd Akin, bless his heart, made a truly idiotic comment out of total ignorance. Richard Mourdock said something totally true – that the child born of rape is wanted and loved and intended by God – in a way that made it sound like he thinks God likes it when ladies get raped. Todd Akin should have left the race. Mourdock should have clarified his statement.

I keep hearing all these Fox News pundits talk about how my party needs to start pandering to special interest groups and being “nicer.” And I think: no. Nice is not kind. We have to keep being honest. We have to be who we are, and then we’ll win.

Same thing here, Ann: until we explain and competently defend our belief that all children deserve life, without exception, those children will never have a chance. They will never be protected. There is no one else to do it but us. I am not willing to let even one of them go. I am not willing to win an election by abandoning the children of rape. I know you think it’s better in the long run to get pro-life people elected, but we can’t do it by lying and saying that babies conceived in rape and incest aren’t worthy of life. They are. If we don’t protect them now, we can’t ever. And I’m not okay with that.

Lying is for them, not us.

I freakin’ love you, Ann. You’re smarter about politics than me. You’re smarter than me, period. But you’re wrong about this. I don’t know if I’ve ever disagreed with you, but I have to now. (And not just because you compared me to a hipster. I can’t stand hipsters, although I like European beer and I wear really cool glasses and hero-worship Jack White.)

I am going to continue to be 100% pro-life, without exception, and encourage others to do the same. If that makes me a pro-life badass, fine. If it makes me an annoying purist, fine. But it also makes me right.

Your friend,

Kristen

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Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org


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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

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
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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