All articles from January 10, 2013


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While more young women say that having a successful marriage is important, fewer men share that goal.
Hilary White

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Young men giving up on marriage: ‘Women aren’t women anymore’

Hilary White

Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center.

Pew recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. The number of young adult men saying the same thing dropped from 35 percent to 29 percent in the same time.

Pew’s findings have caught the attention of one US writer who maintains that feminism, deeply entrenched in every segment of the culture, has created an environment in which young men find it more beneficial to simply opt out of couple-dom entirely.

Suzanne Venker’s article, “The War on Men,” which appeared on the website of Fox News in late November, has become a lodestone for feminist writers who have attacked her position that the institution of marriage is threatened, not enhanced, by the supposed gains of the feminist movement over the last 50 years.

“Where have all the good (meaning marriageable) men gone?” is a question much talked about lately in the secular media, Venker says, but her answer, backed up by statistics, is not to the liking of mainstream commentators influenced by feminism.

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She points out that for the first time in US history, the number of women in the workforce has surpassed the number of men, while more women than men are acquiring university degrees.

“The problem? This new phenomenon has changed the dance between men and women,” Venker wrote. With feminism pushing them out of their traditional role of breadwinner, protector and provider – and divorce laws increasingly creating a dangerously precarious financial prospect for the men cut loose from marriage – men are simply no longer finding any benefit in it.

As a writer and researcher into the trends of marriage and relationships, Venker said, she has “accidentally stumbled upon a subculture” of men who say “in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married.”

“When I ask them why, the answer is always the same: women aren’t women anymore.” Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women “angry” and “defensive, though often unknowingly.” 

“Now the men have nowhere to go. It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry.”

“Men are tired,” Venker wrote. “Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”

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Feminism and the sexual revolution have simply made marriage “obsolete” for women as a social and economic refuge, but this is a situation that should not be celebrated by feminists, Venker says.

“It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.”

A cross section of research data from the Pew Research Center for the last months of 2012 shows the alarming trends for marriage and child-bearing in the US. One report published in mid-December said that the latest census data showed “barely half” of all adults in the United States are currently married, a “record low”. Since 1960, the number of married adults has decreased from 72 percent to 51 today and the number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by five percent between 2009 and 2010.

Moreover, the median age at first marriage continues to rise with women getting married the first time at 26.5 years and men at 28.7. The declines in marriage are “most dramatic” among young adults. Just 20 percent of those aged 18 to 29 are married, compared with 59 percent in 1960.

“If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years,” the report said.

Moreover, the link between marriage and childrearing has become disconnected in the minds of the so-called Millennial generation, those between 18 and 29. While 52 percent of Millennials say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, just 30 per cent say the same about having a successful marriage, an attitudinal survey found.

The gap, of 22 percentage points, between the value Millennials place on parenthood over marriage, was just 7 points in 1997. The research found that Millennials, many of whom are the children of divorce and single-parenthood themselves, are also less likely than their elders to say that a child needs both a father and mother at home, that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society.

OPINION: Why young Christians can’t grasp our arguments against gay ‘marriage’

John Jalsevac

News

Chicago drops ‘bubble zone’ charges against pro-life activist

John Jalsevac
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CHICAGO, January 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today, the City of Chicago dropped all charges against Anna Marie Mesia, a 64-year-old grandmother who was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly violating the City’s abortion clinic “bubble zone” law at the Family Planning Associates late-term abortion facility on the North Side of Chicago.

The abortion clinic had sought the charges against Mesia, but City prosecutors stated in court that the clinic now refuses to allow its employees to testify or even to produce surveillance videos and photos of the alleged crime.

The court had previously allowed Mesia’s attorney, Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel for the Thomas More Society, to subpoena the clinic for videos, photos, and documents related to the incident.

“Today’s dismissal marks our fourth client in three years who has been wrongfully arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, based on reports made by Chicago abortion clinics,” said Breen.

“Every single one of these arrests has resulted in a dismissal. These repeated false arrests and prosecutions, today of a 64-year-old grandmother, are an embarrassment to the City and make a mockery of the rule of law.

“It’s time for the City of Chicago to take the First Amendment seriously and stop arresting peaceful law-abiding folks protesting and providing assistance at the city’s abortion clinics.”

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In the past three years, the Thomas More Society has successfully defended four clients against disorderly conduct allegations based on their peaceful witness in front of Chicago abortion clinics.

In addition to Mesia, the Society successfully defended Joseph Holland and David Avignone, who were arrested for praying outside a clinic and whose cases garnered national media attention. Andrew Scholberg was also arrested last year, and the charges were dropped against him when abortion clinic personnel did not appear in court.

Mesia’s arrest on October 4, 2012, for disorderly conduct was her second arrest at Family Planning Associates in the past year.

On July 26, 2012, Family Planning Associates staff called the police and accused Mesia of touching the arm of an abortion patient the day before, despite the fact that Mesia wasn’t even at the facility that day.

All charges were dropped when abortion clinic personnel did not appear in court. Based on the July 2012, incident, Society attorneys were considering countersuit against Family Planning Associates for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

The Chicago disorderly conduct ordinance applies a “bubble zone” within 50 feet of the entrance door to an abortion clinic, forbidding pro-life picketers and protestors from approaching within eight feet of a person to speak to, present a leaflet to, or display a sign to that person.

John Jalsevac

News

Pro-lifers to protest Obama Inauguration in D.C. with graphic abortion images

John Jalsevac
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January 10, 13 (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Obama will be inaugurated for his second term in Washington D.C. on January 21, and two groups of pro-life activists have vowed to be there to “expose” the president’s extreme record on abortion.

Operation Rescue and Created Equal are co-sponsoring a protest that will see pro-life activists holding graphic abortion signs at two locations in the city. At the same time trucks plastered with pro-life billboards will drive through the streets of the city.

The billboards show a photo of an unborn baby aborted at 15 weeks accompanied by Bible verses reading either, “Rescue those being led away to death,” or “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

From 10:00am – 12:30PM, the protesters will be located at Union Station at the intersection of Delaware Ave NE and Columbus Circle NE. Then, from 1:30PM – 4:00PM, they will be at the US Navy Memorial Plaza, at 701 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC.

A statement from Created Equal observes that on Inauguration Day, President Obama will put his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

“That same Constitution that he is swearing to uphold reads that we are to ‘secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,’” says the statement. “Our posterity is a reference to our offspring – preborn children.”

“Because Obama supports abortion and infanticide, he will violate his oath of office the moment he puts his hand on the Bible,” continued the statement. “The irony is Obama will swear to protect the rights of future preborn children while at the same time defending the injustice of abortion.

“Many Americans have become numb to the fact that an entire generation has been lost to abortion.  We hear their cries for justice, and we will not be silent.  This hypocrisy will not go unnoticed.  We will expose it.”

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Pro-life activists have labeled President Obama the “most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.” The president has expressed his support for abortion-on-demand with taxpayer funding up to the point of birth, and has opposed any form of restriction on the procedure. In the Illinois senate he also voted repeatedly against a bill that would have protected babies born alive after failed abortions from being left to die. A federal version of that bill, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, later passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.

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Abortion politics leaving remedies for world’s worst killer diseases underfunded

Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.

NEW YORK, January 10, 2013 (C-FAM) - A just-released global study demonstrates that the diseases causing most of the world’s untimely deaths and illness, especially among children, are not receiving proportionate attention within international policy-making institutions.

According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD 2010) published in The Lancet medical journal in December, over 1.4 million people died from diarrhea in 2010.  Despite a 41.9% drop from 1990 levels, diarrhea remains a leading cause of death, particularly for children.  Yet diarrhea does not receive the same attention by the UN as more politically correct issues such as deaths from abortion. The GBD 2010 reported 37,100 deaths from abortion complications, yet advocacy groups promoting access to “safe” abortion are prominent and influential within the UN system and have gained traction by linking abortion to maternal mortality.

Abortion advocates attempted to prevent the Lancet publishing a previous report by GBD author Christopher Murray, which revealed the World Health Organization (WHO) was reporting nearly twice the number of actual global maternal deaths.

That maternal health report had important implications for many United Nations initiatives that relied on the erroneous numbers, as well as the case for their continued funding.  The new GBD 2010 reports a further reduction in maternal mortality to 254,700 deaths per year – not a trivial number, but more than five times fewer than those killed by diarrhea.

Dr. Murray, who worked at WHO before starting the GBD project, has taken issue with other statistics generated by his former employer: In February, he and his colleagues reported that malaria caused 1.24 million deaths in 2010, many of them children. This is twice the WHO estimate for the same year.

GBD 2010 was conducted by independent researchers rather than researchers connected to a policymaking institution.  Introducing the study, Lancet editor Richard Horton pointed out “the success of the GBD, then and now is that it provides a level playing field to assess independently (and dispassionately) the health priorities that face countries.”

According to a UN source, Dr. Murray became “persona non grata” within some parts of the UN system when he left the WHO to form a competitor organization aimed at challenging WHO data and UN health policy priorities.

While GBD 2010 boasted a greater number of diseases and risk factors in its assessment than previous editions, it contained one surprising omission.  Unsafe sexual practices were not examined as a risk factor for HIV/AIDS.  The authors explained the exclusion as due to “the absence of robust estimates of exposure or available approaches to determine the proportion of HIV infection that is attributable to unsafe sexual practices by country over time,” adding that “if quantifiable, unsafe sexual practices would probably account for a large fraction of global health burden.”  The authors, however, measured these practices in a previous comparative risk assessment.

According to UNAIDS, HIV drugs are saving lives but risky sexual behavior continues to derail efforts to prevent new infections, The Guardian reported last November.  Just 5% of HIV funding in the most affected countries went to behavior-change programs, a figure that becomes much more difficult to increase in the absence of quantitative risk data on sexual behavior.

Thaddeus Baklinski

News

Stable marriage linked to lower mortality in midlife, study shows

Thaddeus Baklinski
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DURHAM, NC, January 10, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Research conducted at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina has found that not being married during midlife is linked to a higher risk of premature death during those midlife years.

The study by Dr. Ilene Siegler and colleagues looked at the effect of marriage history and the timing of marriage on premature death during midlife, taking into account premarital personality traits, socioeconomic status, and health risk behaviors.

The researchers analyzed data for 4,802 individuals who took part in the University of North Carolina Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS), an ongoing study of individuals born in the 1940s.

While they found that being in a stable marriage during middle age is linked to a lower risk of premature death, they discovered that those who never married were more than twice as likely to die early than those who had been in a stable marriage throughout their adult life.

Being single, or losing a partner without replacement, the researchers found, increased the risk of early death during middle age and reduced the likelihood that one would survive to be elderly.

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Dr. Siegler noted that even when personality and risky behaviors were taken into account, marital status continued to have a major impact on lifespan.

“Our results suggest that attention to non-marital patterns of partnership is likely to become more important for these Baby Boomers. These patterns appear to provide different levels of emotional and functional social support, which has been shown to be related to mortality. Social ties during midlife are important to help us understand premature mortality,” Dr. Siegler concluded.

The study, titled “Consistency and timing of marital transitions and survival during midlife: the role of personality and health risk behaviors,” was published online in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

An abstract is available here.

John Jalsevac

News

‘Little Emperors’: One Child Policy produces less trusting, more pessimistic adults, finds study

John Jalsevac
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January 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “Little Emperors.” That’s what the generation of only-children born under China’s One Child Policy have been called by Chinese media and sociologists.

The label isn’t a complimentary one, referring to concerns that in the absence of siblings, China’s younger generations are growing up spoiled by doting parents and grandparents. China Daily has dubbed the demographic the “spoiled generation.”

And according to the authors of a new study that attempted to put this stereotype to the test, these concerns may well be valid.

The study, published this week in Science, found that children born after the implementation of the One Child Policy are significantly less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic, and less conscientious individuals than those born before.

If the findings hold true on a national scale, say the researchers, they could point to significant negative consequences for China.

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The One Child Policy was introduced in 1979 and has been strictly enforced using often-brutal methods such as forced abortion, forced sterilization, and crippling fines.

Researchers recruited 421 subjects from Beijing born shortly before and shortly after the One Child Policy was implemented. The subjects answered personality surveys and were put through a series of economic games that were designed to test personality traits such as risk-taking and trustworthiness in a laboratory setting.

Professor Lisa Cameron of the Monash Centre for Development Economics said that the negative effects were noted whether the single children had significant contact with peers or not.

“We found that greater exposure to other children in childhood – for example, frequent interactions with cousins and/or attending childcare – was not a substitute for having siblings,” Professor Cameron said. She speculated that in the case of children with siblings, opportunities to learn to work together and to build trust “arise naturally.”

However, she added, “There is some evidence that parents can influence their children’s behavior by encouraging pro-social values.”

The researcher also noted that the findings were more stark than she expected. “Largely [the study] mapped into what we expected, although we were surprised by the magnitude and the strength,” she said.

The researchers also considered a number of possible other factors such as participants’ age and whether they might have become more capitalistic over time to explain the findings, but concluded that the One Child Policy best explained the results.

As well as the obvious social implications of the study, the researchers said the results of the study may have economic implications.

“Our data show that people born under the One Child Policy were less likely to be in more risky occupations like self-employment. Thus there may be implications for China in terms of a decline in entrepreneurial ability,” Professor Cameron said.

Critics of the One Child Policy argue have long pointed to the long-term negative effects of the policy, both social and economic. With hundreds of millions of Chinese either aborted or never having been born since the late 70s, the country is now facing an underpopulation crisis, with a large number of aging and elderly Chinese being supported by a dwindling number of young workers.

As well, the traditional preference for boys in China’s culture has led to a dramatic gender imbalance, which is in turn leading to negative consequences such as a rise in human trafficking.

But despite recent reports that the Chinese government may be considering easing up on the policy, experts on human rights in China are not convinced. Activist Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights without Frontiers told LifeSiteNews.com in November that she believes the One Child Policy will not end until the Chinese Communist Party’s regime ends.

Littlejohn said that in the beginning the policy had been “genuinely instituted” as a way to control the population. But now, she said, the “terror” involved in enforcing the law has become an integral part of the Party’s approach to staying in power.

“I don’t think that they will be abandoning the one-child policy anytime soon,” she said.

Peter Baklinski

News,

Quebec bishops slam court decision forcing private school to teach ‘neutral’ religion/morality class

Peter Baklinski
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MONTREAL, Quebec, January 10, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Quebec’s Catholic bishops have taken issue with a court decision that would force a Montreal private Catholic high school to cease teaching its Catholic course on religion and morality and switch to the “secular” and “neutral” Ethics and Religious Culture course (ERC) provided by the province’s government.

“For our part, we believe that the minister could have used [ministerial] discretion to recognize the value of the approach adopted by Loyola High School in its program,” stated Archbishop Pierre-André Fournier, president of the Quebec Catholic Bishops’ Assembly (AECQ) in a December 21 press release.

The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a lower court which had ruled that any attempt to force Loyola High School to teach the strictly secular religion and morality course would be a violation of their freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Rights.

The December 4 ruling upheld the initial 2008 ruling of the province’s education minister who, at that time, forbade the Jesuit run Loyola High School from covering the mandatory curriculum by means of an already developed equivalent course, but from a Catholic perspective.

The Court of Appeal ruled that “exposing students to the global study of religions in a neutral perspective without requiring them to adhere to it, is not an infringement of freedom of religion.”

But the bishops pointed out that the ruling would require the Catholic run school to put the “confessional nature” of its educational approach in “brackets” every time the ERC course was taught.

Instead of the government forcing disintegration on its citizens, the bishops would like to see the government make efforts accept and respect religious differences.

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The bishops stressed that “everything possible” must be done to make “everyone feel recognized and respected” in their religious differences as well as their religious and conscience rights.

“A society like ours, open to pluralism and to relevant modulations, cannot escape [this task],” they said.

Loyola principal Paul Donovan said in a December 14 YouTube video that his school did not go to court “just to get our way” but because the issue involved “society as a whole.”

Donovan said that at the heart of the issue is the “ministry saying that as a confessional institution, we are unable to teach the recognition of others — tolerance, understanding — and the pursuit of the common good.”

“From the perspective of the Ministry of Education, of the Quebec government, and affirmed by the Court of Appeals, we can only [teach these things] as secularists, from a secular perspective,” he said.

Donovan said that the court decision does not “bode well” for a society that values religious diversity, particularly in terms of the “richness that religions of all types have to offer, and in particular the contribution of Catholicism in schools like Loyola that have contributed so much to our society, and to the well being of society.”

Loyola High School has until February 2 to decide whether to appeal the Court of Appeal decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Kirsten Andersen

News

Washington National Cathedral to perform same-sex ‘marriages’

Kirsten Andersen
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Washington National Cathedral, which has long been called “the nation’s church” for its prominent role in the religious life of presidents, lawmakers and other famous leaders, will begin celebrating same-sex “marriages” effective immediately, officials said Wednesday.

The Cathedral will be among the first Episcopal churches to begin celebrating a new rite of “marriage” for its homosexual members added by Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Washington diocese in December. Budde’s diocese includes D.C. and a large part of Maryland.  Same-sex “marriage” is now legal in both jurisdictions. 

This diocesan expansion of the church’s definition of marriage is permitted under a “local option” granted by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention. At least for now, each priest in the diocese will have the freedom to decide whether to perform same-sex unions.

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The century-old cathedral has long held center stage in the spiritual symbolism of the United States, hosting presidential inaugural services, state funerals, and televised memorial services during times of national tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the cathedral each year. 

Thomas Peters, spokesman for the National Organization for Marriage, said the cathedral’s decision was “disappointing but not surprising,” since the Episcopal church has moved steadily leftward during recent years.

“The message here is that conservative Episcopalians are being pushed out,” Peters told the Washington Times.

Cathedral officials say it will probably be at least six months before the first same-sex ceremonies are performed due to the cathedral’s already booked schedule and their requirement that couples undergo pre-marital counseling. They said they had not received any requests for gay ceremonies prior to Wednesday’s announcement.

 

John Jalsevac

News,

Pro-life sidewalk counselor, U.S. Attorney General settle lawsuit

John Jalsevac

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a three-year legal process, a pro-life sidewalk counselor has settled with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who filed suit against him under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE).

David Hamilton was arrested in January 2010 after crossing through a line of pro-abortion protesters who had blocked the sidewalk in front of a downtown Louisville abortion clinic. He was speaking to an abortion-bound woman at the time.

According to the original complaint filed by Holder, Hamilton had “grabbed and pushed a volunteer clinic escort” – a charge that the pro-life activist has denied. While local police initially dropped the charges, Holder filed suit against Hamilton a year later.

The Attorney General asked for a $15,000 fine against Hamilton and $5,000 in compensation. He also sought an order preventing the pro-life activist from approaching within eight feet of women seeking abortions.

Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, who provided legal assistance to Hamilton, says the pro-life activist decided to settle for a “nominal amount” to bring closure to the case. She said the settlement also prevents further attempts by Holder to pursue an injunction against Hamilton.

“This case has been dismissed without an injunction, without a fine, and for a nominal amount,” she said.

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Cody has argued from the beginning that the charges against Hamilton were baseless, and part of a “campaign of intimidation” by the Obama administration. Eric Holder’s pro-abortion connections are well known.

“The initial charges against Hamilton were appropriately dismissed by the local police,” said Cody. “This case is just one of many lawsuits [Holder] has filed against pro-lifers in minor situations.”

She pointed out that many of the FACE cases filed by Holder have already been resolved or decided in favor of pro-life advocates, although at the cost of considerable taxpayer money and the infringement of citizen rights.

The agreed-upon settlement will go to pro-abortion protester Jane Fitts, who the Attorney General contends Hamilton jostled while crossing the protest line. However, according to Cody, Hamilton denied being the jostler and no witnesses, including Fitts, ever identified him as such.

In September of last year, a federal judge hit the brakes on the case when the Attorney General’s office petitioned for a summary judgment. The judge denied the petition, saying that the Attorney General had not sufficiently proved his case.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation provided support for attorneys Michael Hirsh of Atlanta and Vince Heuser of Louisville, who represented Hamilton.

Last year a federal judge issued a strong rebuke against the Justice Department for its aggressive actions against one pro-life activist. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp wrote in a scathing ruling that he was “at a loss as to why the Government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place.” The judge went on to speculate that the case was the result of a conspiracy between the government and a Florida abortion clinic.

The Justice Department subsequently dropped the charges in that case and agreed to pay $120,000 in attorney’s fees.

Patrick Craine

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Pro-family pastor withdraws from Obama inauguration after backlash from gay activists

Patrick Craine
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Rev. Louie Giglio, the pro-family pastor picked by President Obama to deliver the benediction at his Jan. 21st inauguration, has backed out after a pressure campaign by homosexual activists.

Rev. Giglio, who heads Atlanta’s Passion City Church, said he did not want the inauguration to “be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point.”

Immediately after Giglio announced his withdrawal, Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers tweeted: “The intolerant Left claims another scalp.”

Obama’s choice of Giglio on Tuesday quickly came under attack by activists who highlighted a sermon the pastor delivered in the 1990s offering a “Christian response to homosexuality.”

In the sermon, the pastor expressed Christian teaching that homosexuality is a sin and that it is possible to leave the homosexual lifestyle “through the healing power of Jesus.” He said Christians must “lovingly but firmly respond” to an “aggressive agenda” by some in the homosexual community.

“We’ve got to say to the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me … it’s not easy to change, but it is possible to change,” the pastor said.

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According to Obama’s Presidential Inauguration Committee, they were unaware of the sermon when they selected Giglio. They said he was chosen for his work in combatting human trafficking.

“As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans,” said spokesperson Addie Whisenant.

Giglio’s acceptance of Obama’s invitation had been the cause of some concern from pro-family Christians. Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, said on his radio show that he would have declined, according to OneNewsNow.

“Louie Giglio did not say I endorse or embrace President Obama’s political agenda—[but] if I were Louie Giglio, I would say ‘This could hurt my credibility within the Christian community because it seems to be an implicit endorsement of President Obama by participating,’” said Wildmon.

In his statement, Giglio explains that speaking on homosexuality “has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

Giglio is perhaps best known for his involvement in the Passion Conferences, which annually attract tens of thousands of university students. The conferences have been heavily focused around opposition to human trafficking and slavery, with the most recent event drawing over 60,000 to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome and raising millions of dollars towards combating trafficking.

“Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation,” he said. “I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.”

“Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need,” he added.

“Are all orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith’s teachings about marriage and sexual ethics?” asked Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “Are only clergy from declining liberal denominations now acceptable according to hyper political correctness? Will the same standard also apply to Muslims and members of other faiths who don’t subscribe to the views of western secular elites?”

Elise Hilton

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Weekend of prayer: end human trafficking and slavery

Elise Hilton
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January 10, 2013, (Acton Institute)—January 11-13, 2013 has been set aside as a Weekend of Prayer to end human trafficking and slavery. This ecumenical event is meant to not only shed light on the issue but to also pray for victims, slave traders, “johns” and any affected by human trafficking.

According to the Weekend of Prayer website:

- Human Trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world with an estimated 32 billion dollars made annually.
- There are 14,500 and 17,500 people trafficked into the U.S. each year.
- Out of the victims of human trafficking 70% are female and 50% are children.
- Common places where pimps recruit women and children in the U.S. for sex trafficking are parks, playgrounds, homeless shelters,bus stations, junior high and high schools.
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports an estimated 100,000 children are at risk of being commercial sexually exploited annually.
- The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is between 12 to 14 years old in the United States.
- The average cost of a slave is $90.00.

>There are many state and regional organizations that offer aid to victims of this crime. However, one of the two national organizations that received federal funding, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently lost $15 million in federal funding because of the Church’s pro-life stance, and refusal to provide and administer abortions, artificial birth control and sterilizations. Those funds allowed agencies across the U.S. to offer educational programs, shelter, food, and other necessities to victims. The bishops continue their anti-trafficking efforts, but without any federal funding.

The Weekend of Prayer website states, “In our opinion, God calls his people to lead efforts to eradicate this modern day slavery just as religious leaders in the nineteenth century led the fight to end slavery in their age.”

Reprinted from the Acton Institute.

Dave Andrusko

News

More than four in five Americans support major limitations on abortion, poll shows

Dave Andrusko
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January 10, 2013, (National Right to Life News)—A new Marist poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus reveals that 83% of Americans favor significant limitations on what is now essentially abortion on demand. That is up 4 points from last year.

A total of 56% of respondents believe either that abortion should never be permitted (10%), allowed only to save the life of the mother (12%), or only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother (34%).

The telephone survey of 1,246 adults conducted in early December found that 27% would limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy, at most.  Another 6% would allow abortion during the first six months of pregnancy while only 11% would allow abortion at any time.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58%) also believe abortion is “morally wrong.”  And in many ways perhaps most important of all, a full 84% of Americans say laws can protect both mothers and unborn children.

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“After four decades of legalized abortion in this country, Americans have had ample time to understand that abortion has terrible consequences,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.

“They understand abortion’s true legacy – a child loses life, and parents lose a child. And after witnessing the effects of abortion for the past 40 years, Americans are not legally or morally comfortable with that legacy. It is time for our country to chart a new course on this issue – a course that protects both the mother and the child.”

Lee Miringoff of The Marist Poll observed,  “For years polls have found that Americans divide on labeling themselves as pro-life or pro-choice.” He added,  “By asking more detailed questions about their specific views on abortion, we have been able to go beyond those labels to get a more complete picture of what Americans actually think about this issue.”

Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News.

Cardinal Newman Society

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Judge Dismisses HHS Case from Colorado Christian University

Cardinal Newman Society
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January 10, 2013, (The Cardinal Newman Society) - Timing is everything. Once again, the federal government has been successful in having a lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it is not ripe for review as the Obama administration has, once again, waved a promise to issue new regulations to accommodate religious objections to the HHS mandate.

The Christian university, which was the first inter-denominational college to file suit against the HHS mandate, falls under the safe harbor provision which reportedly delays enforcement of the mandate against it until next year. When the University filed the lawsuit, CCU President Bill Armstrong called the HHS mandate an “unparalleled attack” on religious freedom.

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Eric Baxter, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty which is representing the University, told The Cardinal Newman Society that CCU is still considering its options for an appeal. But there’s a precedent for hope as Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic college in North Carolina, saw its lawsuit dismissed on similar grounds last year but recently an appellate court reinstated the case.

Baxter did add, however, that the “burden is now on the government to come up with a rule that will relieve the burden on religious freedom as they have promised to do.”

Reportedly, the government has indicated that there will be some announcement about that in March. “We remain skeptical,” said Baxter. “But now we wait to see what the government does.”

Reprinted with permission from The Cardinal Newman Society.

Albert Mohler

Opinion

The Giglio Imbroglio - the public inauguration of a new moral McCarthyism

Albert Mohler
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January 10, 2013 (AlbertMohler.com) - A new chapter in America’s moral revolution came today as Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. In a statement released to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Giglio said that he withdrew because of the furor that emerged yesterday after a liberal watchdog group revealed that almost twenty years ago he had preached a sermon in which he had stated that homosexuality is a sin and that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle … is through the healing power of Jesus.”

In other words, a Christian pastor has been effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer because he believes and teaches Christian truth.

The fact that Giglio was actually disinvited was made clear in a statement from Addie Whisenant of the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection, and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part because of his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

That statement is, in effect, an embarrassed apology for having invited Louie Giglio in the first place. Whisenant’s statement apologizes for the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s failure to make certain that their selection had never, at any time, for any reason, believed that homosexuality is less than a perfectly acceptable lifestyle. The committee then promised to repent and learn from their failure, committing to select a replacement who would “reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance.”

The imbroglio over Louie Giglio is the clearest evidence of the new Moral McCarthyism of our sexually “tolerant” age. During the infamous McCarthy hearings, witnesses would be asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”

In the version now to be employed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the question will be: “Are you now or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality (or bisexuality, or transsexualism, etc.) is anything less than morally acceptable and worthy of celebration?”

Louie Giglio, pastor of Atlanta’s Passion City Church, is also founder of the Passion movement that brings tens of thousands of Christian young people together to hear Giglio, along with speakers such as John Piper. They urge a rising generation of young Christians to make a passionate commitment to Christ. In recent years, the movement has also sought to raise awareness and activism among young Christians on the issue of sex trafficking. It was that activism that caught the attention of both President Obama and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Note carefully that both the White House and the committee were ready to celebrate Giglio’s activism on sex trafficking, but all that was swept away by the Moral McCarthyism on the question of homosexuality.

Two other dimensions of this story also demand attention. First, we should note that Louie Giglio has not been known lately for taking any stand on the issue of homosexuality. To the contrary, Giglio’s own statement withdrawing from the invitation made this clear:

“Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration. Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

A fair-minded reading of that statement indicates that Pastor Giglio has strategically avoided any confrontation with the issue of homosexuality for at least fifteen years. The issue “has not been in the range of my priorities,” he said. Given the Bible’s insistance that sexual morality is inseparable from our “ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ,” this must have been a difficult strategy. It is also a strategy that is very attractive to those who want to avoid being castigated as intolerant or homophobic. As this controversy makes abundantly clear, it is a failed strategy. Louie Giglio was cast out of the circle of the acceptable simply because a liberal watchdog group found one sermon he preached almost twenty years ago. If a preacher has ever taken a stand on biblical conviction, he risks being exposed decades after the fact. Anyone who teaches at any time, to any degree, that homosexual behavior is a sin is now to be cast out.

Second, we should note that Pastor Giglio’s sermon was, as we would expect and hope, filled with grace and the promise of the Gospel. Giglio did not just state that homosexuals are sinners — he made clear that every single human being is a sinner, in need of the redemption that is found only in Jesus Christ. “We’ve got to say to the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me … It’s not easy to change, but it’s possible to change,” he preached. He pointed his congregation, gay and straight, to “the healing power of Jesus.” He called his entire congregation to repent and come to Christ by faith.

That is the quintessential Christian Gospel. That is undiluted biblical truth. Those words are the consensus of the Church for over 2,000 years, and the firm belief held by the vast majority of Christians around the world today.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House have now declared historic, biblical Christianity to be out of bounds, casting it off the inaugural program as an embarrassment. By its newly articulated standard, any preacher who holds to the faith of the church for the last 2,000 years is persona non grata. By this standard, no Roman Catholic prelate or priest can participate in the ceremony. No Evangelical who holds to biblical orthodoxy is welcome. The vast majority of Christians around the world have been disinvited. Mormons, and the rabbis of Orthodox Judaism are out. Any Muslim imam who could walk freely in Cairo would be denied a place on the inaugural program. Billy Graham, who participated in at least ten presidential inaugurations is welcome no more. Rick Warren, who incited a similar controversy when he prayed at President Obama’s first inauguration, is way out of bounds. In the span of just four years, the rules are fully changed.

The gauntlet was thrown down yesterday, and the axe fell today. Wayne Besen, founder of the activist group Truth Wins Out, told The New York Times yesterday: “It is imperative that Giglio clarify his remarks and explain whether he has evolved on gay rights, like so many other faith and political leaders. It would be a shame to select a preacher with backward views on LBGT people at a moment when the nation is rapidly moving forward on our issues.”

And there you have it — anyone who has ever believed that homosexuality is morally problematic in any way must now offer public repentance and evidence of having “evolved” on the question. This is the language that President Obama used of his own “evolving” position on same-sex marriage. This is what is now openly demanded of Christians today. If you want to avoid being thrown off the program, you had better learn to evolve fast, and repent in public.

This is precisely what biblical Christians cannot do. While seeking to be gentle in spirit and ruthlessly Gospel-centered in speaking of any sin, we cannot cease to speak of sin as sin. To do so is not only to deny the authority of Scripture, not only to reject the moral consensus of the saints, but it undermines the Gospel itself. The Gospel makes no sense, and is robbed of its saving power, if sin is denied as sin.

An imbroglio is a painful and embarrassing conflict. The imbroglio surrounding Louie Giglio is not only painful, it is revealing. We now see the new Moral McCarthyism in its undisguised and unvarnished reality. If you are a Christian, get ready for the question you will now undoubtedly face: “Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexuality is a sin?” There is nowhere to hide.

Reprinted with permission from AlbertMohler.com

Patrick Craine

Blogs

Could this year’s March for Life be bigger than Obama’s inauguration?

Patrick Craine
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Every four years, DC’s annual March for Life follows mere days after a presidential inauguration.

Based on past numbers, we might expect the March to be a mere blip in comparison, and certainly it is in the eyes of the media, which loves to ignore it. In 2009, Obama’s inauguration drew an estimated 1.8 million while the March for Life attracted around 200,000.

Still, with support for the March growing every year and Obama’s popularity waning, could it be that this year’s March for Life on Jan. 25th might actually be larger than Obama’s Jan. 21st inauguration?

The Washington Examiner seems to think it’s a possibility. Paul Bedard writes:

The march, expected to attract tens of thousands more than the record 400,000 two years ago, could rival President Obama’s Inauguration Day crowd, propelled by the growing youth support of efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, which the president has embraced with open arms. Obama drew 1.8 million in 2009. Just 600,000 are expected January 21st.

One critical sign of how big the march will be: Hotels pre-booked for participants sold out a month ago while many Washington hotels report lukewarm interest for rooms during the Inauguration. In 2009, hotels sold out months in advance as an excited nation readied to welcome the first black president.

Whether or not the March is actually larger, the fact that an annual rally could rival an event like the inauguration is certainly a major feat for pro-life organizers.

The events surrounding the March for Life start Jan. 24th with youth rallies and prayer vigils, and the main rally is on Jan. 25th on the National Mall beginning at 12:00 p.m. Get a full schedule of events here.

Get updates from Patrick Craine on Facebook and Twitter.

Secular Pro-Life

Blogs,

Pro-abortion leader caught soliciting 12-year-old for sex

Secular Pro-Life

Scott Richard Swirling, a former executive director of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), has been arrested for attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with a twelve-year-old girl.

According to the Washington Examiner:

Scott Richard Swirling, 61, thought he was discussing plans to meet a District man who was offering to let him have sex with his preteen daughter, authorities said.

It turns out Swirling was dealing with an undercover D.C. police officer.

Swirling, of Gaithersburg, was arrested Tuesday and charged with traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct, a crime which carries a penalty of up to 30 years.

Swirling is the third white-collar worker—including an FBI analyst—to be arrested in the sting in less than six weeks.

Swirling served as executive director of the American School Counselor Association and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association before starting his own law firm construction business 10 years ago, according to his website’s biography.

Sexual predators who impregnate underage girls rely on cooperative abortion clinics to cover up their crimes.  As Live Action, Life Dynamics, and others have documented, Planned Parenthood abortion clinics frequently fail to comply with mandatory reporting laws.

The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association strongly supports taxpayer funding for abortion clinics.  Many Planned Parenthood affiliates are NFPRHA members.

There is no mention of Mr. Swirling on the NFPRHA website.

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