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When my son died two years ago I was told 'It was just a miscarriage.' No, he was my son

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By Bryan Kemper
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TROY, OH, February 22, 2013, (Standing Tall) - On the morning of February 23, 2011, I awoke to the scream of my wife coming from the bathroom down the hall. I jumped out of bed and ran to her, finding her standing next to the toilet bleeding. In tears she pointed to the toilet where the body of my son (approximately 12 weeks into his development) was floating.

I stood in shock for a moment as we did not even know we were pregnant; the test we took weeks earlier came up negative. Then I noticed my wife was not steady and she was bleeding badly. I wrapped a towel around her to stop the bleeding and scooped my son’s body out of the toilet. I then loaded my wife into the van, as I knew driving her to the hospital would be faster than waiting for an ambulance.

When we arrived in the emergency room the attending doctor immediately called for a specialist, as he could not stop the bleeding; there was blood literally on the walls and floor. As the specialist came into the room he looked up and said, “Oh my God; is that her blood pressure?”  My heart stopped.  I have to say that was the scariest moment of my entire life as I thought for a moment I might lose my wife.

The doctor was able to stop the bleeding and my wife was stabilized. The doctor pointed to the container holding our son and said her would “take care of that.”  I told him, “No, we are going to have a funeral.” The hospital actually treated us extremely well.  They were very sensitive to our loss; I was surprised.

I called the pastor of the church we were attending at the time to tell him what happened and ask about a funeral service for our son. He did not know what to do as he had never had a funeral for a child who was miscarried.  I ended up doing all of the legwork and making the arrangements myself

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That Sunday as the pastor was announcing the funeral, I was shocked when he stopped mid-announcement to make a disclaimer. He mentioned that many women in the church had gone through a miscarriage but had not chosen to have a funeral and that it was “no big deal.”  “This is just something the Kempers chose to do.” I was appalled; I could not believe that this was being said as I sat there days after the death of my child, hearing how it was “no big deal.”

That Tuesday at the funeral, other than the Pastor, his wife, intern and one another couple, no one else from our church showed up to the funeral. I remember standing near the graveside wondering why no one was there; none of the elders and most of the deacons did not come.

Later when I called the pastor and asked him why no one else showed up, he said that people did not really knew my son. I replied, “But they know my family.” I then asked him if this had been his son or any other grown kid in our church, would they have been there?  He replied, “Yes, but this was not any other funeral; it was just a miscarriage.”

“Just a miscarriage.”

I really could not believe my ears; did he really just say that about my son? Mind you, this is a very pro-life church. This is a church which supported the work I do and even financially gave to this pro-life work. How could a pastor who was so pro-life say something like this?

The answer is simple. Even those who call themselves Christian or pro-life sometimes cannot 100% understand the full humanity, the full personhood of the child inside the womb. If we did, abortion would be over.

We still see some kind of difference between the children in the womb and the children running around the streets today. We still are more emotionally distraught over the shootings in a school then the dismemberments in abortion clinics. We have not actually seen abortion for what it truly is.

I will concede two differences between the children in the womb and the children running around today. First difference is their age, what stage of life development they are in. Zygote, Embryo, Fetus, Infant, Toddler, Teen, Adult…. These are all stages of the life of a human person.

The second difference is why I am writing this story, the reason I have given more than 20 years of my life to fighting for the abolishment of abortion. It is their voice. The children in the womb have no voice; they are in need of someone to do as Proverbs 24:11 commands us to do: Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.

When those who call themselves followers of Christ, Christians, begin to recognize that abortion is actually an act of homicide, the abolition of abortion will take place. When we show the same rage and intolerance that we have for things like child molestation, rape, school shootings or any other crime against humanity, we will end this holocaust that is now over 40 years running in America.

My wife and I sat down with our other children and looked at our son’s body and asked them to name him. We chose Benjamin Davis Kemper. Benjamin Davis Kemper is as much my child as any of our living children. Benjamin Davis is buried in a cemetery in Troy, OH where he was given the dignity he deserved with a funeral and burial.

This Saturday, February 23rd we will visit that gravesite and mourn the loss of our son. We will look to heaven and know that he is with Christ, waiting for our family reunion one day.

While I stand at his gravesite that day I know I will also be reminded of the 55 million gravesites that don’t exist for all those whose lives have been stolen by surgical abortion. I will shed a tear for my nation, a nation which has turned her back on the most innocent and venerable of her citizens. I will also renew my commitment to shining the light of Christ and truth on the evil of our age, the abortion holocaust.

Will you join me in this commitment? Will you Stand True?

This article originally appeared on the website of Standing Tall Ministries and is reprinted with permission.


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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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