Planned Parenthood is about to bring a mammoth new abortion facility to Queens, New York City, sometimes called the abortion capital of the world because of its high abortion rate.
Planned Parenthood official Joan Malin told The New York Times that the facility, which will cost $9 million to build. Malin also said that Planned Parenthood's patient visits in the city's other boroughs have gone up by 26 percent since 2008.
More than 10 percent of Planned Parenthood's "patients" come from Queens, according to Malin. The new Queens location will make the fifth Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in the city, not including numerous other abortion facilities.
In 2012, 73,815 abortions took place in New York City, with black children making up over 42 percent of the city's unborn victims. More than 31,000 black babies were aborted that year, compared to more than 24,000 black babies born.
Idaho ministers face fines, jail time for refusing to perform same-sex ‘marriages’
'Our clients should not be compelled by law to violate their faith when people in Idaho desiring a same-sex marriage ceremony have a plethora of options,' ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco told LifeSiteNews.com.
Ministers in the state of Idaho are facing fines and potential jail time for refusing to perform same-sex “marriages,” even though homosexuality violates their religion.
In 2013, the Idaho city of Coeur D'Alene passed a law that forces all businesses to consider homosexuals the same as racial minorities when it comes to housing, employment, and "public accommodation," regardless of religious beliefs. Religious institutions are exempt from the ordinance – but according to the city, the ministers who run The Hitching Post, a wedding chapel, do not qualify for an exemption because their business operates for profit.
The battle came to a head earlier this year, after Idaho's marriage law was overturned by a federal court. At the time, a deputy attorney for the city said that The Hitching Post would have to follow the ordinance because it charges what the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)calls "a small fee" to conduct the ceremony and provide marriage materials with a Christian theme.
Last week, after Idaho declined to defend its state marriage law, a man called the proprietors of The Hitching Post about "marrying" another man. Donald and Evelyn Knapp declined to provide him that service, and immediately sued the city to prevent the ordinance's punishments – including fines and imprisonment – from applying to them. Fines could total as much as $1,000 for each day the Knapps do not follow the ordinance, and jail time could total 180 days.
ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco told LifeSiteNews that while The Hitching Post's owners are conducting a service that is required by the state -- all weddings require "solemnizing" -- "people don’t forfeit their First Amendment rights just because they are somehow involved with the government."
"For example," said Tedesco, "the Supreme Court has held that attorneys cannot be forced to abandon their political views to become a member of a state bar. Neither can the government force ministers to abandon their religious beliefs when solemnizing weddings."
"In fact, the Idaho solemnization law lists 16 broad categories of persons who may solemnize marriages," explained Tedesco. "Our clients should not be compelled by law to violate their faith when people in Idaho desiring a same-sex marriage ceremony have a plethora of options.”
UCLA professor and conservative legal blogger Eugene Volokh wrote that the local ordinance may violate Idaho's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). According to Volokh, "compelling them to speak words in ceremonies that they think are immoral is an unconstitutional speech compulsion."
"I think the Knapps are also entitled to an exemption under the Idaho RFRA," continued Volokh. "The Knapps allege that 'sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit them from performing, officiating, or solemnizing a wedding ceremony between anyone other than one man and one woman'; I know of no reason to think they’re lying about their beliefs. Requiring them to violate their beliefs (or close their business) is a substantial burden on their religious practice."
Volokh also says the Free Speech and Establishment Clauses of the U.S. Constitution could be violated if the city forces the Knapps to follow the ordinance.
The office of Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmeyer did not return multiple requests for comment from LifeSiteNews about the case.
Judges overturn marriage protection amendments in Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said it is "deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences, and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than 200 years.”
Friday was a rough day for supporters of true marriage in Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming, as all three states saw their marriage protection laws struck down by activist judges in the wake of the Supreme Court’s refusal to review similar decisions by federal courts around the country.
In Arizona, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ruled that the state’s marriage protection law violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by defining marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman, and excluding homosexual couples.
While state Attorney General Tom Horne said he personally disagreed with the ruling, he said any attempt at appeal would be a dead end, since the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex “marriage,” and the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to review similar decisions.
“The probability of persuading the Ninth Circuit to reverse today's decision is zero,” Horne said in a statement. “The probability of the United States Supreme Court accepting review of the Ninth Circuit decision is also zero.”
But Governor Jan Brewer slammed Judge Sedwick for his decision, saying, “It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences, and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than 200 years.”
Arizona’s constitutional amendment upholding natural marriage had been in place since 2008, and was approved by more than 56 percent of voters. Because of Sedwick’s ruling, however, the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Friday.
Republican State Senator Michele Reagan, who is running for Secretary of State, celebrated the decision in a press release, saying, that the ruling “should be a proud day for Arizona as we celebrate equality.” She also said that because of the state’s previous defense of true marriage, “We need to repair our image and reputation.” But Democrats in the state were quick to point out Reagan had previously voted in favor of the state’s gay “marriage” ban and in favor of a religious protection bill allowing business owners to opt out of participation in same-sex “weddings” if they believe their faith demands it.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, state officials had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court decision striking down its marriage protection law.
“The issue presented in this case is of overriding national importance," Alaska argued. Since last year's Supreme Court ruling overturning key portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), “the urgency of the issue has grown by orders of magnitude.”
But as in other cases where states have asked the high court to intervene and make a final call on the legality of marriage protection laws, the Supreme Court refused to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision. The court is not expected to agree to review the issue until at least one federal appeals court issues a contradictory ruling upholding the legality of same-sex marriage bans – something that has yet to happen.
Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage, passed in 1998, had been the longest-standing in the nation. Due to a state holiday, Alaska put off issuing marriage licenses until Monday. Meanwhile, Governor Sean Parnell vowed to continue his efforts to appeal the ruling.
“In 1998, Alaska voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman,” said spokeswoman Sharon Leighow. “When they did that, it became part of the Alaska Constitution, which Gov. Parnell has sworn to uphold. [Friday’s] denial of the stay doesn’t change that and the State will continue with this appeal to the Ninth Circuit. … The State will be filing its request for en banc review next week.”
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Alaska executive director expressed his surprise that Parnell planned to continue the fight for marriage protection in the state. “I'm surprised Parnell has not chosen to listen to the wisdom of fellow governors, all of whom may disagree with the court's decision but have said 'the courts have spoken, this is what the law is,’” Decker told the Alaska Dispatch News.
In Wyoming, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl reluctantly struck down that state’s marriage protection law on Friday.
“The preferred forum for addressing the issues presented by Plaintiffs in this case is the arena of public debate and legislative action. However, that ship has sailed,” Skavdahl wrote. “It is not the desire or preference of this Court to, with the stroke of a pen, erase a State’s legislative enactments. Nonetheless, the binding precedent of [the Tenth Circuit’s decisions] mandate this result, and this Court will adhere to its Constitutional duties and abide by the rule of law.”
Skavdahl immediately stayed his own ruling to give Wyoming state officials a chance to appeal, but at the same time, he said if the state issues paperwork indicating they plan to drop the case, the stay will be lifted immediately.
Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael announced Monday that the state intends to do just that. He said in a press release that Wyoming will notify the court at 10 a.m. Tuesday that the state will no longer move forward with its appeal.
Wyoming had banned same-sex “marriage” by statute since 1977, and passed even stronger legislation in 2003, defining marriage explicitly as a union between one man and one woman. The state now plans to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples as soon as it formally drops its appeal Tuesday morning.
Friday’s court rulings bring the total number of states allowing legal same-sex “marriage” to 32. Out of those, 20 were the result of state or federal courts overturning state law.
In a newly-released memoir widely seen as an attempt to shore up public support before the Canadian federal election in a year, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has said that gay “marriage” and abortion are among his “core principles.”
Trudeau, who is Catholic, says that when speaking to those who were “opposed to gay marriage, abortion, and legal reform on marijuana” he cannot “simply pander to their position” but has to “adhere to my own views.”
“My response would be to say, ‘We disagree on this, and since we are both arguing from what we regard as our core principles, there is probably little room for compromise. I hope there is enough common ground on other issues, however, for you to consider voting for me.’”
His book titled “Common Ground” hit bookstores today.
Since taking the helm as Liberal leader last year, Trudeau has stoked controversy by openly stating his “admiration” for China’s “basic dictatorship,” has barred pro-life candidates from running in the party’s “open” nominations, and has marched in various homosexual parades.
Trudeau's dedication to abortion-on-demand is so complete that he has vowed that the Liberal party would not even consider banning sex-selective abortions, while he has said in the past that he would support Quebec sovereignty if the federal government ever attempted to restrict abortion.
In the memoir, Trudeau writes that support for abortion is what makes the Liberal Party “liberal.”
“We made the Liberal Party a truly liberal party when delegates decisively endorsed a motion defending a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion,” he wrote.
Regarding religion and Catholicism, Trudeau writes that while he believes in the “existence of God and in the values and principles universal to all major religions,” it was the “dogmas of Catholicism that I struggled with, particularly the idea that someone who was not a sincere and practicing Catholic could not gain entrance to heaven.”
“That seemed strange and unacceptable to me,” he writes.
Trudeau writes that for him, faith in God and public duty have nothing in common.
“As someone who was raised Roman Catholic, and who attended a Jesuit school, I understand that it is difficult for people of deep faith to set their beliefs aside in order to serve Canadians who may not share those beliefs. But for me, this is what liberalism is all about. It is the idea that private belief, while it ought to be valued and respected, is fundamentally different from public duty.”
Ending his book with a 2012 speech given in Toronto at an Islamic convention, Trudeau writes: “Let us pledge ourselves to building a country that brings people together; that finds the highest virtue in compromise, moderation, and common ground.”
Fifteen weeks into her third pregnancy, doctors advised the mom of baby Danny that she should abort him or they both could die, but Lisa Davison said she refused the advice based on an inner confidence that things would turn out well for both of them.
Now, seven months after his birth, Danny is a healthy and happy little boy and the apple of his mother's eye.
“When I look at him now, I really can’t believe it. He shouldn’t be here but he is, and he’s a joy to look at everyday,” Lisa told the Newcastle Chronicle.
The first sign that the pregnancy would not go smoothly came when doctors discovered that Danny's amniotic sac was not attached to the wall of her womb. They later found a blood clot.
“I was losing a lot of blood and they were really worried for me. I was in hospital for three months because I was bleeding so much, and everyday I was being told the baby wasn’t going to survive."
But despite the advice to abort, Lisa said, "something in my head told me to keep him. Somehow I was always sure he was going to be ok. Somehow I just always had the feeling he would make it.”
Danny was born by emergency Caesarean section at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, well known for its Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) that has helped numerous premature and at-risk babies survive and thrive.
Lisa was in her 33rd week of pregnancy and Danny weighed 4lbs, 4oz at birth.
After his birth Danny immediately needed help to breath and soon developed necrotizing enterocolitis, a post-natal bowel infection that affects premature babies and can lead to death.
“He was so ill he had to be resuscitated and then had blood transfusions," Lisa said. Following intensive care and surgery at SCBU Danny slowly began to recover and grow.
Lisa noted that a peer support group at the Special Care Baby Unit called the "Buddy Group" has been of tremendous help to her by giving her the opportunity to meet with other parents of preemie babies who have had similar problems.
“They have been incredible. Everyone has been so supportive,” she said.
"This has been an incredible journey - and a very hard one," Danny's mom said, adding, “When I look back, I’m so happy I made the decision I did.”
The "Buddy Group" is run under the auspices of the Tiny Lives Trust, a registered charity that helps to care for premature and sick newborn babies, their mothers and families, in the Special Care Baby Unit of the Newcastle Neonatal Service of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
While Cardinal Walter Kasper has issued an apology to the African bishops who may have been offended by comments he made in a controversial interview last week, the Catholic journalist behind the interview has told LifeSiteNews that the episode shows the power of social media in changing the dynamics of Vatican deliberations.
“If one of my observations was considered disparaging or insulting of Africans, then I’m truly sorry for that,” Kasper said today, according to the German language online magazine, Kath.net.
“This was and is not my intention and totally not my view. The fact that the culture of Africa in some respects is different from Europe, no one will deny. But I was far too often in Africa to not have witnessed the African culture, which I highly esteem.”
In the interview last Wednesday, Kasper had told Vatican journalist Edward Pentin that Africa “is totally different from the West… especially about gays.” When asked if African Synod Fathers are listened to on the subject, Kasper replied “no,” adding “they should not tell us too much what we have to do.”
The remarks were widely interpreted as dismissive of the African bishops’ contributions at the Synod on the Family.
Today’s qualified apology for the remarks follows an initial outright denial last week that he ever said the recorded comments. On Thursday, Kasper issued a statement saying he was “appalled” by his remarks as they were reported, saying, “I have never spoken this way about Africans and I never would.”
His interview with Pentin was the most talked-about topic in Rome, apart from the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops itself.
Pentin, who has worked in Rome as a highly respected Vatican journalist for 12 years, published a statement in response to Kasper’s allegations. “I was simply doing my job as a reporter, following well established and acceptable journalistic practices,” he said. “I was with two other reporters and we all introduced ourselves as journalists, as can be heard on the audio of the exchange. At no point did His Eminence say he was speaking off the record.”
Pentin, who like most Vatican journalists writes for several different publications, added that he had approached Kasper as the cardinal was leaving the Synod meetings, and that his comments therefore were essentially an impromptu press conference, a normal practice in Vatican journalism. “It depends on the context, but normally in such a situation, comments are considered on the record unless otherwise requested,” said Pentin.
Kath.net quotes Sean-Patrick Lovett, director of the English language section of Vatican Radio with whom Pentin worked when he first arrived in Rome over a decade ago, and Fr. Federico Lombardi, the head of the Vatican’s Press Office. Lovett praised Pentin as a “talented, sensitive and professional” journalist. Fr. Lombardi said, “I appreciate the seriousness and the balance of the work of Pentin.”
As of this writing, Zenit has not replaced the original interview, which they pulled from their website after Kasper’s initial denials, or issued any statement.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews on Friday morning, Pentin said that however difficult it was, the incident serves as a lesson in the power of social media and the Internet that has influenced the outcome of the Synod that closed on Sunday.
“It’s good for freedom. It helps to allow people to challenge the establishment,” he said.
Pentin said that the instant availability of information on the Internet, and the ability of the public to verify information, has been a game-changer, making it harder for special interest groups within the Vatican, even inside the Synod’s own administration, to manipulate its message. He cited the “instant uproar” on Twitter and Facebook following the release of the Synod’s mid-point Relatio on Monday as “really useful” in thwarting the plans to “steer” the Synod in a particular direction.
“They know they can’t get away with this kind of manipulation any more.” Social media, he said, “gives voice, probably for the first time to the silent majority. That silent majority has until now been so easy to ignore.”
Michael Voris of Church Militant TV, a service produced exclusively online, also told LifeSiteNews that mainstream secular journalists had frequently commented to him on the explosion of “conservative” Catholic news outlets in recent years. “They told me that until five years ago, they were the only ones here, so yes, the Internet has changed everything,” Voris said.
When Pentin started as a journalist in Rome in 2002, the world, he said, “didn’t have Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and no iPhones. It does have a way of uniting a group, doesn’t it, in a way that media didn’t before. It makes everything more participatory. Everyone can get a word in and have a say.”
In the last week of the Synod, Pentin was talked about in Rome due to his analysis that the Synod had been “engineered” by its own administrators in order to bring about the appearance of a change in the Church’s teaching or approach to sexual issues, including homosexuality. He argued that had it not been for the huge public scrutiny made possible by social media, those efforts would have gone unnoticed.
Pentin noted that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Synod’s secretary general and the individual who he said had emerged as the lynchpin of the efforts to control the Synod’s message, gave orders to the bishops that there was no Tweeting allowed of the remarks heard in the Synod hall.
“So, he knows the power of it,” Pentin said. But as for Kasper, “I don’t think he understands [how powerful social media is]. But definitely there is a power there, but the other thing is the speed. I don’t think he understood how fast it would be.”
“Zenit took the interview down, pretty quickly, but it was too late because everyone had tweeted it, it had got out on Facebook… There’s no pulling it back, once it’s out there, as [Durban’s Cardinal] Napier said.”
Pentin also commented on the “strangeness” of this Synod, saying he has covered five previous bishops’ synods: “This one is so different.” “With the subject matter, it’s so contentious, of course. But the other thing is the way it’s being steered. I’ve never known any synod to be steered like this one.”
Pentin said he had spoken to a “lay expert” participating in the Synod: “I asked him if the Synod was being controlled, and he said there is absolutely no doubt that it’s being engineered to a particular end, that of putting forward the same message as that in the Relatio” of greater acceptance of cohabiting and homosexual partnerings.
The Kasper/Pentin controversy last week hit the Church at a moment of intense international media scrutiny, since Kasper was the cardinal who, in February suggested that Catholic “pastoral practice” could be altered to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion in some circumstances. Kasper has spent the intervening months promoting the idea in media interviews. Cardinal Burke, who has been Kasper’s principal opponent in the media, told Catholic World Report in an interview that it was “profoundly sad and scandalous” that Kasper had made the remarks about the African bishops.
Burke called it “a further indication of the determination to manipulate the process of the Synod to advance Cardinal Kasper’s false positions, even by means of racist remarks about a significant and highly respected part of the Synod membership.”
Dean Bailey, 50, is not afraid to tell anyone he is living proof that ‘sexual orientation’ can in fact be changed. But he prefers to use the word ‘restored’ rather than ‘changed.’
Bailey remembers how from an early age he felt different from other boys. He felt he did not fit in and thought of himself as awkward, out of place. He remembers never feeling treasured or affirmed by his dad who was an alcoholic and who consumed pornography. Bailey believes this began a pattern of turning to other males to find the affirmation he never received from his dad.
When a new outgoing boy began to attend school when Bailey was in grade three, he remembers trying hard to become the boy’s friend. It was during a sleepover at the boy’s house that Bailey was introduced to sexual play, including streaking and oral copulation. The experience not only robbed him of his childhood innocence, but awakened in him a sense of sexual curiosity.
From here, Bailey became preoccupied with images of male nudity and with taking more daring sexual risks with different boys. As he grew older, the sexual acts Bailey performed with other boys became as a source of comfort to him, making him believe he was being loved and accepted. But while such acts would make him feel good for a while, he says they were never able to help him overcome the constant theme of emptiness and brokenness he felt inside. The sexual activities quickly became addictive.
When a schoolgirl refused to go on a date with him that seemed to signal to the now-teenage Bailey that he was not a normal guy. Then, a few years later, a sexually awkward one-night stand with a woman seemed to confirm to him that he did not have what it took to be a man.
Bailey was now a young man in the military. Although in the meantime he had gotten married, he continued to crave male intimacy and experience gripping same-sex attractions. An intimate but non-sexual encounter with a military male friend whom he greatly admired eventually led to explicit homosexual behaviors.
The encounter severely damaged the relationship Bailey had previously enjoyed with his wife as she felt she could no longer trust the man she had married.
Having experienced homosexual acts, Bailey now struggled inwardly with intense homosexual desires that could only be allayed through carnal gratification, or so it seemed to him. Feelings of insecurity only intensified these inclinations.
His previous homosexual experiences drove him to seek answers to his insecurities through further homosexual encounters. A downwards spiral ensued as Bailey attempted to satisfy his desires, but only saw them grow in intensity the more he indulged them. Looking back, Bailey now realizes how homosexual acts had become an addiction for him.
Bailey credits God for acting powerfully in his life to save him from himself, change his life for the good, and ultimately bring about his deliverance from homosexual attractions. God led him on a journey of trust that ultimately led to the heart of Jesus Christ. Here Bailey experienced the love, acceptance, and affirmation he had always craved.
To put it simply, says Bailey, he fell in love with the person of Jesus. He experienced Him through prayer and through reading the Bible. All Bailey wanted now was to become more like Jesus, more Christ-like. As he began acting more and more on this desire, Bailey noticed a transformation begin to take place in his sexual desires. The homosexual desires began to decrease. For the first time in his life, Bailey began to see himself differently, this time through the eyes of a Savior who — he now realized — loved him unconditionally.
Looking back on his past, Bailey says he now sees that he has been brought out of what he calls the “sexual confusion of homosexual behaviors” to a sexual clarity in mind and heart. He has left behind what he calls the “self-defeating environment of my own, very negative self-image” and moved into an unshakable understanding of his value and self worth as a beloved child of God.
Bailey wrote about his entire journey in his 2011 book titled “Beyond the Shades of Gray.” Most of the book is available online at his website. He speaks publicly about his struggle with homosexuality, telling audiences that homosexuality is a “sexual addiction and dependency,” not a condition to be socially accepted and celebrated. “It is merely one of the many evidences of the broken, spiritual condition of our human race,” he tells people.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews from Texas where he lives with his wife Della and his two college-aged daughters, Amber and Amanda, Bailey spoke about what he has gained by leaving behind the homosexual identity, the role of God in bringing about sexual healing, about his views on the Christian understanding of homosexuality, and about why stories like his are shunned by the mainstream.
The following interview has been condensed.
LifeSiteNews: What happens to someone when they abandon a gay identity? Is the pain, the loss of friendships, and the total switching of inner gears worth it?
Bailey: When a person abandons their inward belief that it was homosexual behaviors that define them as a person, then they must set out to rediscover what it is that actually does define their personhood. They must learn to embrace and give those higher human ideals a greater value and meaning within their own character and existence, than they gave to the homosexual addictions which they allowed to dominate their thinking and reasoning in the past.
Is it all worth it? I would answer with an emphatic “Yes, of course it is!” But not everyone will agree with me.
Gay activists, for example, vehemently insist that this journey I've taken is harmful. They have even managed to get bills passed in California and New Jersey which outlaw counseling for persons desiring help toward becoming free from their homosexual behaviors and addictions.
I freely admit that this freedom I've found is a journey that could very well involve a lifetime, rather than a simple transition of just a few short years. “We didn't end up in this mess overnight, and we shouldn’t expect to remove ourselves from it overnight, either,” I will often tell people.
I also acknowledge that this journey will cause some inward conflict, pain and emotional discomfort at times, even when it is chosen as a path. But I do believe that sexual restoration is ultimately a very healthy choice in the end, and not a harmful one. Nothing of extraordinary value is ever going to be easy to achieve, after all. So it is on purpose that I call this journey a “restoration” rather than a change or a conversion.
There is no way to fully comprehend or predict the personal cost, effort and sacrifice involved for any individual, until that person embarks upon this journey by personal choice, by his or her own free will. Society should not be expected to make any accommodations for those who therefore refuse to take this journey, and remain trapped in the self-serving cycle of their own dysfunctional sexual behaviors. Nor should responsible parents be denied the lawful ability to seek out the professional help that their children may desperately need and desire. The reality of this entire issue is that homosexuality is a harmful behavior pattern, and not a human identity or a human “right.”
People often wonder why would the gay activists be trying to outlaw professional means of therapy and counseling for the pursuit of freedom from unwanted homosexual behaviors, if they truly embrace the “tolerance” that they preach? What is it that they are actually so afraid of? I will tell you that what they fear the most is the breakdown and destruction of the inward lies that form the foundation of their own “gay” identity, and everything that the “gay rights” movement has been built upon. That is why gay activists will always insist that this form of dysfunctional sexual behavior is “who” they are. It is the only way for them to remain secure in the falsehood.
LifeSiteNews: What does someone who leaves the gay lifestyle have to look forward to in the years to come? What have you gained the most?
Bailey: I see myself differently. I see other people differently. And I see the world around me quite differently. That doesn’t mean that everything in my life is now blissful and stress-free. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel the human pangs of loneliness and depression on occasion.
But I see my insecurities as identifiable weaknesses that can all be understood and overcome with time, in light of my own proper acknowledgement and truthful recognition of my individual human weaknesses. I now understand that homosexual behavior is not the legitimate answer for the pain that I may still feel inside of myself during rough or low times.
Every human being goes through challenges and pain. But the homosexual ideology seems to reason that this particular challenge makes a person different from everyone else in some way, in much the same way that a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder will often see the world around them as the real problem — rather than themselves — and choose to stop taking their prescribed medication because of that false and distorted reasoning. That is where this whole “gay identity” thought process evolved from.
LifeSiteNews: Your journey seems inherently linked to discovering the person of Jesus Christ in Christianity. People in the culture will tend to write you off as a Christian nutcase because of this. What role has Jesus played in your journey away from same-sex attraction? Do you think Jesus has a role to play in the life of anyone seeking to leave the gay identity behind?
Bailey: Most people assume that, because I do support counseling and professional “conversion therapy” as avenues to consider within this journey, I myself have been through some sort of therapy. But that is not the case. Jesus Christ was my counsellor in every aspect of my own journey. After all, he is referred to as “Wonderful Counselor” in the biblical writings that tell us about him.
God desires to have a personal relationship with me — with each of us — and to become involved in every intricate detail of our lives, in our daily walk and fellowship with him. Christianity is a way of life that reveals God as a loving Father who deeply cares about all that we do as his children in this earth.
I credit Jesus with lifting my spirits during the low points of my journey, and with sustaining me through the high points of it. I credit him with sending the right people into my life at just the right time, so that they could love and support me along the way. I credit him with leading me to the right places when I had inward questions and confusion that I could not overcome with just the faith of a simple “Christian” prayer – and, by the way, I do believe that Jesus wants to know our deepest questions.
The fact is that I don’t know that I could have made such a journey without Jesus walking beside me through it. And I am still on that lifelong journey with him, in spite of what criticisms people will choose to make toward that statement. But I will say this: Jesus has kept the promise he made his disciples, that he would never leave them alone in the journey. I may have felt alone at times. But looking back, I see today that I was never alone.
LifeSiteNews: How do you now see Christian/Catholic teaching on homosexuality? Is it hateful, discriminatory? Is a Christian being a bigot when he says he loves the same-sex attracted person, but hates what he does when he acts on those desires?
Bailey: If by “discriminatory,” you mean, “to be selective in such a way that maintains the Christian integrity of our faith,” then yes, we are certainly “discriminatory.” In fact, I believe that we are called to be discriminatory in that way. But what we are not is hateful—and certainly not as the gay activists regularly accuse and imply to their own, and to the rest of the world, that we are hateful.
We live in a world today where avoiding offense is given a higher standard than the concept we have of love itself. But that is because we have lost our biblical understanding of love, and we mistakenly think that if we truly “love” people, then we will not risk offending them. And many well-meaning, “born again” Christians have adopted the world’s view of making this mistake within their human reasoning.
The gay activists know all of this, of course, and they play upon it well to further advance their movement. They demand “tolerance,” for example, but then they self-justify their own vehement intolerance of Christian beliefs and views by comparing our Christian beliefs to bigotry, and bringing lawsuits to force Christian business owners to support homosexual events in ways that blatantly violate their faith and beliefs within their Christian business ethics.
What Christians do is point to the truth of our broken and sinful human nature, not out of condemnation but because of the depth of Christ’s love within us. Christians can look to Jesus for an example. Was Jesus suddenly being unloving toward the woman caught in the sin of adultery, for example, when he plainly told her, “go now, and sin no more” (John 8:11)? The truth will not always be pleasant to hear or to stomach. But that does not make us bigots for pointing out the obvious.
People need to better understand what biblical “love” actually is. And, as Christians, we need to also offer the solution. We can’t just say, “Homosexuality is a sin,” and then leave it at that. To be honest, I believe that every homosexual already inwardly knows that what they are doing is inherently contradictory to “who” God created them to be. But they need to be reminded of that fact along with the genuine hope that Christ also offers to each one of us, as we turn to him to overcome all of our human weakness and brokenness, not just the homosexual brokenness.
LifeSiteNews: What is the one thing faithful Christians need to keep in mind when dealing with the issue of homosexuality?
Bailey: Christians need to know that this is by no means an uncomplicated issue. But that is no reason to fear engaging it purposefully and directly either. This idea of “live and let live” is not how Christ was in the business of loving people. He engaged them directly, and he never avoided talking about the real “issues” that were involved.
For those people like myself who see the clear distinction between what we were doing, and “who” we are or desire to be, there is a very present guilt and fear of rejection when turning to ask people in the Christian community to help us — to help us to understand our own brokenness and sin in a biblical way that leaves a person feeling loved by Christ, rather than condemned by his followers.
Christians should do this by realizing that homosexuality is just another human brokenness, just like our own individual brokenness in so many ways. There should not be this stigma where some “sins” are acceptable to talk about openly and deal with, while things like homosexuality are not. The Body of Christ should be a place of healing for issues like homosexuality, not a place of fear.
LifeSiteNews: Why do so many people — especially those engaged in the gay lifestyle and those representing left-leaning media — loathe to hear about people like yourself who have left same-sex attraction behind? Do they fear something about your experience? What?
Bailey: What they fear about people like me is that our existence and credibility only destroys the very foundation of their own beliefs about themselves, and the reasons behind their own immoral behaviors.
LifeSiteNews: What do you think is really at the heart of the push for homosexual “marriage.” Who is behind this push? Is it really same-sex attracted persons fighting for ‘equality’ or do you think this group is being used by someone else for some other purpose?
Bailey: It is clear to me that a seeming majority of homosexuals actually do believe and adhere to a personal inward ideology that they are fighting for some sort of distorted “equality.” Albeit, their idea of equality could more accurately be described as homo-fascism, because of the way it has become an agenda of forced acceptance and inclusion within our society.
Spiritually speaking, however, I believe that Satan is the ultimate deceptive force and mastermind behind not just the marriage aspect of their agenda, but also behind the entire distortion that somehow managed to turn a dysfunctional human sexual behavior into a “civil rights” cause.
A longtime associate of abortionist George Tiller, who is now the CEO of her own Wichita abortion facility, has thrown her support behind Greg Orman in his bid to defeat Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas.
“As CEO of South Wind Women’s Center, an organization that provides reproductive health care to Kansas women, I am disheartened that, once again, the lives of women are up for debate,” Julie Burkhart wrote in The Wichita Eagle. “We live in a time when access to abortion is dangerously limited in many parts of this country.”
Burkhart praised Orman's recent debate with the three-term incumbent last week. Orman said discussing abortion “prevents us from talking about other important issues,” and that Americans needed to start focusing on “big problems.”
"Get past the rights of the unborn?" Roberts responded. He called Orman's statement “unconscionable.”
But Burkhart said Orman is “correct that we have focused far too much time and energy on this topic. Abortion access is a life-or-death issue for women, but it’s not something that we need politicians to spend any more time legislating.”
“We need politicians who are willing to step away from abortion and spend their time working to make the lives of Kansans better,” she concluded.
“The fact that abortion clinic operator Julie Burkhart is championing Orman for Senate proves that he is radically pro-abortion and out of touch with the majority of Kansans,” Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy analyst at Operation Rescue, told LifeSiteNews.
Sullenger, whose organization is based in Wichita, said her fellow citizens “want to see less abortion in our state and support common-sense safety standards that Burkhart's clinic ignores. With Orman, we will only see less accountability for abortion facilities like Burkhart's, and unfortunately, that means more lives lost to abortion.”
“I feel, of course, positive about that,” Burkhart said. “We have women coming to see us.”
One of SWWC's out-of-state abortionists, Cheryl Chastine of Illinois, told the left-wing news program Democracy Now! in June, “If I allow myself to be deterred during this work, then I am allowing a victory for terrorism.”
Roberts faces a tough re-election bid. He won his primary with just 48 percent of the vote, facing off against Dr. Milton Wolf, a Tea Party conservative with no prior political experience. Roberts was powered over the finish line by the strong support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the American Hospital Association, the National Rifle Association, and National Right to Life.
He was expected to crush Democrat Chad Taylor, but instead Taylor and Orman have formed a political alliance committed to abortion rights.
“There's no more hiding behind a phony 'independent' designation for Orman now that he has come out of the closet and sided with liberal, pro-abortion Democrats and the abortion cartel,” Sullenger told LifeSiteNews.
The Senate race is a toss-up. The Real Clear Politics average shows the two in a dead-heat.
Pro-life club takes University of Victoria to the B.C. Supreme Court
At stake is whether the University of Victoria student society (UVSS) has the right to punish student clubs for pro-life activities.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 1:01 pm EST
By Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe
Does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply to Canada’s university students, even if they are pro-life?
That was the question before the Vancouver the Supreme Court last week, as it heard a petition from the pro-life Youth Protecting Youth club and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association targeting the University of Victoria.
At stake is whether the University of Victoria student society (UVSS) has the right to punish student clubs for pro-life activities and whether the University of Victoria has the right to enforce those punishments.
While the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is officially pro-choice, it is supporting YPY because it believes universities have to obey the Charter.
“Are those of us who are pro-choice so frightened of civil, peaceful speech against our conviction, that we must take refuge in quasi-legal antics to harass, frighten, and ultimately punish those who dare to challenge them?” asked BCCLA spokesman John Dixon, when the BCCLA first took the case last year.
Anastasia Pearse of the National Campus Life Network told LifeSiteNews that repeated experience has shown that when supporters of abortion gain power on campus, they use it to silence advocates for life.
“It happens across Canada,” she said. “They will do or say whatever they think they can get away with to silence us.”
The conflict between the club and the university broke out after YPY hosted a “Choice Chain” along one of the campus’s busiest walkways, during which members held large pictures of aborted and healthy unborn babies, and invited comment from passersby.
The first time this happened, the UVSS received three complaints. The second time, in 2012, there were 90.
“I think that speaks to the escalation of the situation,” Tara Paterson, UVSS chairperson, told a local newspaper at the time. “Obviously their tactics and the reaction to their tactics are escalating.”
The student society ruled that YPY had “harassed” many students, and denied the club the prized “booking privilege” which all student society-endorsed clubs enjoy, which allows them to use university property for events at no cost.
YPY nonetheless requested permission from the university for another Choice Chain and received it, until UVSS informed the administration of its ruling revoking the club’s booking privilege.
The administration promptly revoked its permit one day before the Choice Chain was scheduled. However, YPY went ahead with the event anyway, bringing threats of academic discipline from the administration.
As far as YPY and the BCCLA are concerned, this showed a complete disregard for “YPY’s members’ rights to free expression, assembly and religion.”
While the Charter allows reasonable limits on freedom of expression (i.e., no protests in the middle of the road without a permit), YPY and the Civil Liberties Association argue that the university and the student society never considered the group’s rights.
The petition from YPY and the BCCLA also argues that the University of Victoria should be bound by the Charter, because the university is created and funded by government, a majority of their governing board members are selected by government and any board members can be fired by the government.
The petitioners are seeking the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Charter applies on U Vic campus, and has been violated.
“The decision should affect students across British Columbia whichever way the decision goes,” said Pearse. “We should respect people with different viewpoints than ours enough to dialogue with them rather than censor them.”
Synod final document reaffirms Church teaching: 3 contentious paragraphs remain
Nevertheless, although contentious among the Fathers, it calls for easing of the process of annulment, and consideration for communion for Catholics remarried after divorce in restricted circumstances.
The final document of the Extraordinary Synod was released Saturday as the Synod Fathers voted to approve all 62 paragraphs, but with three paragraphs not receiving the normally required two-thirds majority vote.
The three paragraphs, which in the past would not have been included in a final synod report, speak of: 1) permitting certain remarried divorced Catholics to receive communion after a period of penitence, 2) invoking a deeper call to understanding of the issue of spiritual communion for the divorced and remarried and 3) receiving homosexuals "with respect and gentleness." However, the document has removed the much-criticized language that spoke of "valuing" the homosexual orientation.
With obvious input from cardinals who objected strenuously to the midterm report, and insisted on the publications of the summaries of the ten working groups, the final document contains several very positive developments.
It notes for instance that “Openness to life is an intrinsic requirement of conjugal love.” And in that context promotes natural fertility regulation. It also urges a rediscovery of the encyclical Humanae Vitae.
The final document or Relatio Synodi addresses parents' freedom to “choose the kind of education to be given to children according to their beliefs.” It notes that the Church plays a supportive role to parents in the education of their children, especially in faith.
Some of the language criticized as ambiguous by Synod Fathers in the original Relatio, including the use of the term "gay" and that spoke of unqualifiedly "welcoming" homosexuals while "valuing" their orientation, is no longer present. Rather the document speaks of the “pastoral care” for “people with homosexual orientation.”
While the document stresses accepting persons with homosexual tendencies and avoiding “every sign of unjust discrimination,” it says clearly “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.”
Moreover, the Relatio Synodi calls it “totally unacceptable” that some pastors of the Church suffer pressure from international bodies who make financial aid to poor countries conditional upon the acceptance of “'marriage’ between persons of the same sex.”
The document notes that the Church recognizes the family as the basic cell of human society.
It quotes at length Jesus’ words reaffirming the “indissoluble union between a man and a woman” in marriage. It recalls the approach of Christ to sinners, to approach them with love, but always to lead them to repentance and conversion.
Nevertheless, although the proposal is contentious among the Fathers, it calls for easing of the process of annulment, and consideration for communion for Catholics remarried after divorce in restricted circumstances.
The voting numbers of each of the paragraphs has been published by the Vatican.
Dear Synod Fathers, please listen to the African bishops
Our unflinching hope is that all the synod Fathers will listen to us and consider the devastating effects that will be unleashed upon millions of faithful families in Africa if our world is redefined and reshaped.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 11:33 am EST
By Obianuju Ekeocha
By Obianuju Ekeocha
By Obianuju Ekeocha
A RESPECTFUL OPEN LETTER TO A SYNOD FATHER - PLEASE LISTEN TO THE AFRICAN SYNOD FATHERS
Many Africans have been prayerfully following the reports from the Extraordinary synod. As I say this I think of my seventy-year old mother who is living out her faith in the small city of Owerri, Nigeria. She has assured me that many of the women in her small parish are fervently praying for all the synod Fathers, that they may be strengthened and sustained by the Holy Spirit during this important synod.
Many of these women in my home parish where I grew up are materially poor but spiritually rich with tremendous love for the Church. And it is such a marvel to me that the Catholic Church is so universal that it embraces people of every race, nation, culture, tribe and tongue.
So imagine my shock as I read the words of one of the most prominent Synod Fathers who implied that the views and values that our African Synod Fathers have expressed on certain issues will not or have not been listened to (probably by the synod fathers from the Western and more wealthy parts of the world).
He also went further to say: "the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops' conferences to solve their problems but I'd say with Africa it's impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do."
Reading this interview brought tears to my eyes - and much sadness to my heart - because, as an African woman now living in Europe, I am used to having my moral views and values ignored or put down as an "African issue" or an "African view point".
I have had people imply that I am not sophisticated or evolved enough in my understanding of human sexuality, homosexuality, marriage, sanctity of human life from conception, openness to life and the so called "over-population".
So as a result, in many circles, any contributions I make in discussions are placed in second or third rung.
How can Africa stand shoulder to shoulder with other cultures if our views are considered uncouth or uncool by a standard strictly scripted by Western, worldly and wealthy nations?
This is touching and troubling to me but in spite of this unfair reality, I have always been confident that the one place where there is true universality and unity is within the Catholic Church. The one place where the standard is scripted by God Himself through the Scriptures and Magisterium.
I am a third generation Christian and the Gospel has been accepted and handed over to me from my Grandparents through my parents. I, and millions of Africans like myself, have been raised to love the Church and to trust that the Church will always hold up the unchanging truth of the Gospel. That she will hold up this truth high enough for every Christian in every part of the world to see, even the most far-flung, uneducated and poorest ones in the most rural parts of Africa.
Yes. I know many people where I come from who cannot read the actual words of the Gospel, but they have heard and embraced the good news brought to them by the Church. Some of them could have chosen polygamy but because the Church has taught them what true marriage is they have resisted and overcome this lifestyle.
Some of them could choose infidelity but the Church lovingly has taught them that this choice is contrary to the Gospel. Some of them may have wanted to get into a convenient and cheaper arrangement of cohabitation but the Church says that is not consistent with the Gospel.
Through this fidelity to the teachings of Christ, African churches have flourished and blossomed even in the midst of the most difficult tragedies, even in the most extreme conditions and in the face of a growing cultural imperialism from the Western nations.
When Africans lose everything, they still have their families and they have their faith. And this is how we remain resilient even in the darkest and most turbulent times by leaning on the unchanging Faith preserved at the heart of the Church and by clinging to our unbroken families protected by the heart of the Church.
So I respectfully turn to your Eminence and to all the Western synod Fathers who may not want to listen or consider the African contributions at the synod, and I appeal to you as a woman raised in the world of the poor and faithful ones. Our moral views and values are not irrelevant to the universal church.
Even when we express views that are considered counter-cultural and politically incorrect by the preeminent worldly and western standards, our unflinching hope is that all the synod Fathers will listen to us and consider the devastating effects that will be unleashed upon millions of faithful families in Africa if our world is redefined and reshaped.
Our heart-felt appeal for Gospel values to be upheld is indeed a cry for survival for our people. Because in this year alone many African nations and leaders have been terrorized and threatened by powerful and well funded homosexual lobbying groups who have tried to bend us or break us into acceptance of their lifestyle.
We have seen humanitarian aid withdrawn by Western nations at the insistence of these totalitarian groups. We have seen a new brand of "comprehensive sexuality education" targeted at our African children. We have suffered the scourge of abortion lobbyists from the West. We have been forced to welcome extremely rich western philanthropists bearing the unwanted "gift" of contraception.
All of these have become a heavy cultural noose around our neck which could very easily enslave us or destroy us if we resist. And this is why we weep and cry at the feet of all the synod Fathers to hear and respect the voices of our African synod Fathers on these issues that have been blown into Africa by a powerful wind from the West.
No, these are not just "African problems", they are global problems that have violently ravaged many western societies with an unacceptably high toll on marriages and families.
If the structure and stature of marriage and family life is to be protected everywhere for peoples of all cultures, all races, all nations, tongues and tribes, if this, our Catholic Church, is truly a universal church where the poor are considered the "treasures of the Church", then all the Fathers of the Synod should protect us by unanimously and heroically rising in defense of these "unsophisticated", "un-evolved" and "uncool" Gospel views and values that are still being proclaimed loudly and clearly from the Altar of the tiniest and poorest parish church in Africa. For we are the Church Universal.
Respectfully and humbly I lay down my appeal at thy feet your Eminence.
Consider the tears of the poor who confidently turn to you.
Euthanasia and the slippery slope: You can’t kill just one
Once you relax the law on euthanasia or assisted suicide, steady extension will follow as night follows day.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 11:04 am EST
By Eric Metaxas
By Eric Metaxas
By Eric Metaxas
When abortion was made the law of the land, critics predicted that the number of “procedures” would multiply across America, that many would treat it as a form of birth control, and that millions of unborn babies would die.
“Nonsense,” said abortion supporters. Abortion would be just for the “hard cases” so that a women would be safe from so-called “back-alley abortions.” Abortion supporters accused pro-lifers of using a “slippery slope” argument.
Okay—40 years later which was right? Well, it’s pretty obvious: fifty-six million unborn children have been legally aborted since Roe v. Wade in 1973, precisely what pro-lifers predicted. Sometimes the slope actually is slippery.
Now let’s talk about euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, which is making headlines here in the U. S. with the decision of a “vibrant” but terminally ill 29-year old Oregon woman to take her own life.
Will her decision be another step down the slippery slope? Let’s look at what is happening in the Netherlands, which legalized euthanasia, supposedly just for the “hard cases.” Critics there warned the pressure to kill would spread throughout society, that the so-called “right to die” would become a “duty to die,” and that many people not thought to be at risk would face the final kindness of euthanasia.
What happened? According to the Daily Mail, the number of those euthanized in Holland has risen by 151 percent in just seven years, from just under 2,000 to nearly 5,000, with most of the “cases” involving people with cancer. Ninety-seven people, however, were helped to die by their doctors because they had dementia.
“What we are seeing in the Netherlands,” says Dr. Peter Saunders, Campaign Director of Care Not Killing, “is ‘incremental extension’, the steady intentional escalation of numbers with a gradual widening of the categories of patients to be included.”
What Saunders calls an “incremental extension” is, I think it’s fair to say, a slippery slope! The Daily Mail also reports that in 2012, 14 people with “severe psychiatric problems” died by lethal injection. Last year, the number was 42. Similar statistics are coming to light in Belgium and Switzerland. “The lessons are clear,” Saunders says. “Once you relax the law on euthanasia or assisted suicide, steady extension will follow as night follows day.”
Saunders says assisted suicide is impossible to control. That seems petty clear. And who is next? Well, protectors of human life are worried about trends—shall I say “the slippery slope”?—in Great Britain, where it is not yet legal. But a bill is being considered this fall to make it law. Saunders, who also represents the Christian Medical Fellowship, points to a 2005 study from the House of Lords that estimated that a Dutch-type law in Britain would lead to more than 13,000 cases of euthanasia annually. And assisted suicide advocates are doing all they can to make it a reality in the country.
Exit International has actually opened a euthanasia “club” in London. At this “club,” members pay to attend workshops on suicide methods and to access certain online information. Saunders says, “[These] activities present a real and present risk to vulnerable members of the British public.” Indeed they do.
Of course, all this is happening because people have swallowed the false worldview that we control our lives, and that our lives only have meaning if we’re happy and healthy and protected from suffering.
But there’s a reason every Christian tradition condemns euthanasia and suicide. God is the author of life. Our lives—and our bodies—are not our own. We’re stewards of them. And every human life taken intentionally undermines the dignity of all human life. In other words, every life discarded is one more step down the slippery slope. We see it in the Netherlands. Let’s pray we don’t see it here.
God’s love must be shown in the Church’s treatment of homosexuals
Unfortunately, the Synod has seen many bishops, Cardinals, and gay rights groups advocate for Church to change its teachings on homosexual relationships. This is the spiritual equivalent of parents telling a child to put their hand on a hot stove or run into traffic.
Since its inception, the Catholic Church has promoted the principles of love and truth for all people. For the last several decades, however, its guidance on the importance of chastity, especially for persons with homosexual attractions, have been misconstrued as hatred or bigotry.
This misunderstanding of true love — based upon God’s truths, not our limited human perceptions — is one reason why the Extraordinary Synod on the Family is so important. It is an opportunity for the Church to take a 21st-century approach to the age-old problem of presenting difficult truths in the most loving way.
Unfortunately, the Synod has seen many bishops, Cardinals, and gay rights groups advocate for the Church to change its teachings on homosexual relationships. This is the spiritual equivalent of parents telling a child to put their hand on a hot stove or run into traffic....
I live in a quiet subdivision in rural Ontario. I mean very quiet—all summer long, I rarely saw any kids outside biking or playing street hockey or running flimsy lemonade stands or just roughhousing around. Then, the day school started, I was shocked when I left my house in the morning and I saw kids everywhere, backpacks in tow, heading to bus stops and walking to the nearby school. This many kids live in my neighborhood? I thought to myself. Where were they all summer?
There are a number of possible answers, of course. Some were probably on vacation. Some were probably shipped off to camp by their parents. But many of them were likely inside the house, glued to screens. One recent Canadian overview found that, “10- to 16-year-olds in Canada get an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes of screen time per day. The largest source of screen time is television (2 hours and 39 min) followed by computers (2 hours and 7 min) and video games (1 hour and 51 min).”
I’ve met more teens than I can count whose first exposure to porn—and not just “normal” porn but dark, violent porn that in 2014 is now mainstream—was at the ages of ten or eleven.
The problems apparent in these numbers go far beyond stunted creativity, childhood obesity, and, I would argue, the fact that these children are being deprived of a childhood by zoning out in front of screens. The problem is that many, many of these children will end up finding and looking at pornography. That pornography will shape the way they view sex as they grow older. Those views will shape how they treat themselves and others. Keep in mind that the average boy, for example, is first exposed to pornography at the age of eleven.
I speak on sex and pornography in high schools quite often, and every time I do I’m faced with a dilemma: The adults in the room are likely to be shocked, horrified, and upset when I confront the students with the reality of what online porn is and why it is so dangerous. However, the teenagers for the most part are not even remotely shocked. Most of them have seen the things I’m talking about. Increasingly, and chillingly, they have even been coerced or pressured into trying the dark perversions they see unfolding on their iPad, computer, and smartphone screens. It’s gotten to the point where I’m relieved when teenagers are shocked by one of my presentations—it means that they’ve heard the information in time to avoid the clutching webs of the Internet porn industry.
I’m quite often accused of being an alarmist by adults and church leaders who can’t quite believe just how pervasive porn use and porn exposure is among the very young. I’m often told that this is the reason that having a presentation on pornography would be “too controversial.” Quite frankly, I wish they were right. But consider just a few of these statistics:
35% of teen boys say they have viewed pornographic videos “more times than they can count.”
15% of boys and 9% of girls have seen child pornography.
32% of boys and 18% of girls have seen bestiality online.
39% of boys and 23% of girls have seen sexual bondage online.
83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online.
I’ve met more teens than I can count whose first exposure to porn—and not just “normal” porn but dark, violent porn that in 2014 is now mainstream—was at the ages of ten or eleven. I’ve met parents who tell me how relieved they are that their children never had a porn problem, when I’ve spoken to their children and I know that their children did, in fact, struggle with porn. After one presentation, I even had an anonymous letter sent to me by a wife and mother who revealed that throughout my presentation on pornography, she felt relieved that her husband would never look at such things. She found out a short time later that he had been looking at pornography for a long time.
It is not alarmist to say that this problem is everywhere. It’s a grim fact.
Last week I spoke at a high school conference for Christian schools. One of the things I like to do to show the teachers and other adults just how essential it is to provide teens with the truth about pornography is to hold an open forum—let the students write down any and all questions they have about the topic and submit them to be answered. Every time, teachers are shocked by what the students are asking as they realize just how far this menace has spread and how badly it has infected our schools.
At the last conference, for example, I had a fourteen-year-old girl ask me what girls should do when their boyfriends pressure them into anal sex (hugely popular in mainstream porn right now.) I had teen boys asking me how to deal with their masturbation problems. I was asked why porn sites were so addicting. I was asked by one girl why so many boys were demanding oral sex. And I was even asked questions about bestiality in porn, questions I even had a hard time believing teens of that age could be asking.
With access to the Internet everywhere, it is not simply enough to filter the Internet in our homes and install accountability software on our electronic devices, although all of these steps are absolutely essential. In today’s day and age, where kids and teens are going to find porn if they want to or if they’re curious, they have to be spoken to honestly about what pornography is and why it will destroy their minds, their relationships, and their souls. They need to know why so much of what they see in porn is dark and evil, and why these things have no place in the context of a loving relationship.
I read a column from Anthony Esolen called “What they will never know” a few years back, and he beautifully highlights what the teens of today are being robbed of: “Our teenagers who know so much about the mechanics of copulation miss the sweetness of simple humanity. People used to sing merrily about holding a girl’s hand while walking home from the dance—holding a hand. With that touch, they knew the thrill, perhaps for the first time, of being deemed worthy of love. What is it like, to be a boy or a girl who could be made dizzyingly happy by so simple a touch? We will never know.”
The porn plague has spread far and dizzyingly fast. But if we talk to teens openly, and show them not only why the darkness of pornography is so dangerous but why the alternative of healthy human sexuality is so beautiful, then this generation will still have a chance. It is up to us to provide that chance.
Meet Chloe: planting more positive seeds in 11 years than most human beings do in a lifetime
Chloe, who has Down syndrome, has shown countless people that all life is a priceless, precious gift to be embraced, protected and cherished.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 12:43 pm EST
By Kurt Kondrich
By Kurt Kondrich
By Kurt Kondrich
During the month of October we celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Since the birth of my beautiful daughter Chloe in 2003, I have become very aware of characteristics and behaviors these amazing individuals with an extra chromosome possess.
Shortly after Chloe’s birth and Down syndrome diagnosis we were told all the things Chloe could not do. After our family connected to awesome families and professionals in the field of Early Intervention we soon began to see all the incredible things Chloe could do.
She has planted more positive seeds in 11 years than most human beings do in a lifetime.
When Chloe was born I was a city Police Officer. I had spent almost 20 years dealing with misguided people trying to hurt and deceive others in our lost culture of death. As I watched Chloe grow and spread her bright light, I have often asked God what I did right to be blessed with such a pure child who will never intentionally hurt anyone and who is not capable of malice or evil.
During my career as a Police Officer I never recall an individual with Down syndrome being arrested or sought after for committing a crime. I have never seen a news story of a person with Down syndrome involved in a heinous act.
Chloe and individuals like her are filled with unconditional love, kindness, and empathy. I would go so far as to suggest that if the world were filled with people with an extra chromosome we would see a dramatic drop and probable ending to crime, hate, war, prejudice and violence.
I speak and present frequently to large groups of students, professionals, families and community members, and I tell them if I want to see someone who is disabled, broken and in need of intervention I just go to the mirror.
Chloe meets frequently with policymakers and leaders to show the abilities and purity of children with Down syndrome. She has shown countless people that all life is a priceless, precious gift to be embraced, protected and cherished.
I recently asked an elected official this question: “How do you know Chloe and individuals like her are not looking at the rest of us and thinking ‘What is wrong with these humans who are filled with anger, violence, hatred, depravity and despair and why can’t they fix themselves'?” Who are the truly defective, broken, disabled ones in our culture of death?
During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, please take time to connect with one of these very special, unique people.
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Like nearly all abortion clinics, Everett’s clinics had “recovery rooms” where women could stay after their abortions until the anesthesia wore off or they felt well enough to leave. Everett says there were two main reactions among women right after their abortions:
…[T]here are two reactions in the recovery room. The first one is: I’ve killed my baby. And even then, it amazed me that that was the first time they called it a baby and the first time they called it murder. But, you know, as bad as that sounds, that’s probably the healthiest reaction. That woman is probably going to have the ability to walk out of there and deal with it, and perhaps be healed and go on.
These women may have been going through their abortion procedures in a state of denial. Afterwards, they could no longer sustain that denial and were forced to face the truth about what they had done. Everett believes that by facing reality instead of repressing it, these women may be on the path to healing.
But she goes on to talk about the second group of women:
But the second reaction is: I am hungry, you kept me in here for four hours and you told me I’d only be here for two; let me out of here. Now that woman is doing what I did. She’s running from her abortion. She’s not dealing with it; she’s choosing to deny it, and she’s the woman that we read all the statistics about, post-abortion syndrome. They say now it’s an average of five years before people actually deal with the fact that, yes, they did kill their baby. And yes, they do have to deal with that. You know, I go back to my own personal healing, which just started a year ago. I was making deals with God. I didn’t want to talk about my own abortion. Then when I finally did deal with it, I cried nonstop for five months because, you see, I killed my baby, and I’m still not through that. And how difficult it is for all these women because, you see, I believe that every woman, even if she’s not physically harmed, is harmed by abortion.
Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the clinicquotes.com website. She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. You can reach her at https://www.facebook.com/sarahl.terzo. Reprinted with permission from Live Action News.
What ‘The Walking Dead’ taught me about the evil of the abortion cartel
The slaughters were done without emotion and maybe with a tinge of boredom. Cold. Brutal. Just another day on the job.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 12:25 pm EST
By Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
The brutality of the scene was tough to watch.
During this season’s opening episode of the hit AMC show The Walking Dead, the “good guys” had sought refuge from the Zombie Apocalypse at a settlement called “Terminus,” which lured in survivors with the promise, “Those who arrive survive.” But instead of finding sanctuary, they had walked into a trap.
The “Termites,” as they have become known, had resorted to the horrifying practice of cannibalism as a means of survival, adopting the credo, “If you’re not the butcher, you’re the cattle.”
In a scene so disturbing one had to fight the impulse to turn away, the “Termites” bound and gagged several men – including the story’s heroes – and lined them up along a trough, ready to beat them in the head and cut their throats like animals being butchered for meat.
It was all done without emotion and maybe with a tinge of boredom. Cold. Brutal. Just another day on the job.
Everyone in the colony had their assigned tasks. For the guys with the baseball bat and knife, dispatching hapless folks that wandered into their lair had become simply a routine matter of putting food on the table. It was how things were done. It was how they made their living. Any moral compunctions against murdering innocent people faded in the daily normalcy of it all.
As series writer Scott M. Gimple noted in discussing the episode on The Talking Dead after-show, in Terminus, evil had become institutionalized.
The episode carried with it an object lesson that I could not help applying to the abortion cartel and beyond.
In the abortion clinic, women are lured with the promise that their problems can be solved with a simple procedure. Their lives can be better. “Those who arrive survive.”
Innocent children are then killed with cold brutality with little thought or soul-searching on the part of those who conduct their grisly trade day after day. Everyone at the clinic has a job to do. Some answer the phones, some prep the women, while others dispatch the innocent. Killing babies is nothing personal. It’s just another day on the job. Just part of the routine.
Yes, in the abortion clinic, evil has been institutionalized.
There is little difference between this mindset and those of the German concentration camp operators during World War II. The Jews were loaded into cattle cars and transported to the camps where guards ushered them to the gas chambers. It was a daily routine. Just part of the job. “If you’re not the butcher, you’re the cattle.”
In that episode of The Walking Dead, the good guys fought back. At one point, Terminus Mary told one of the protagonists, Carol, who was determined to rescue the trapped heroes, “You could have been one of us.” But Carol rejected the safety of the colony and saved her friends, even though it meant that she would continue to live a precarious life, exposed to the ever-present dangers of her Zombie-occupied world, because some lines were just never meant to be crossed.
When evil becomes institutionalized, it takes on a normalcy and acceptance of an act that would otherwise appall us. Certainly, our nation has become accustomed to coexistence with the evil of abortion.
Make no mistake, it is an evil we must resist. We must fight back. We must rescue the innocent.
Instead of using the Zombie-fighter’s post-apocalyptic weapons of war, we use the law and our God-given rights to oppose abortion. And it’s working.
Just in the past three months, abortion facilities have closed, two very dangerous abortionists have had their medical licenses revoked, and Planned Parenthood’s experimental webcam abortion pill distribution scheme was dealt a fatal blow by the courts.
In Texas alone, abortions dropped a significant 13 percent in the last year because new laws reigned in abortionists who were unqualified for hospital privileges.
The years of exposing the evil of abortion and working peacefully and legally through the system are paying off, and we are beginning to see an increase in the respect for life in our nation. While we still have a long way to go to fully restore a healthy loathing of child-killing to society and end the brutality of abortion once and for all, the resistance is winning. The momentum against the institutional evil of abortion is steamrolling ever toward victory.
And this is a battle we must see through to the end, for the sake of our humanity.
Cecile Richards: Getting my abortion ‘wasn’t a difficult decision’
Richards joins the chorus of pro-abortion voices who are straying from calling abortion a difficult but needed choice to boldly praising the act of killing.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 11:17 am EST
By Susan Michelle
By Susan Michelle
By Susan Michelle Tyrrell
In the name of ending the “stigma” about abortion, the president of Planned Parenthood says aborting her baby “wasn’t a difficult decision.” In a story written for Elle, Cecile Richards says abortion isn’t an issue that should be stigmatized, and sometimes it’s what’s “right” for people.
“I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me and my husband, and it wasn’t a difficult decision. Before becoming president of Planned Parenthood eight years ago, I hadn’t really talked about it beyond family and close friends. But I’m here to say, when politicians argue and shout about abortion, they’re talking about me—and millions of other women around the country.”
Richards joins the chorus of pro-abortion voices who are straying from calling abortion a difficult but needed choice to boldly praising the act of killing. But Richards says abortion should never have been an “issue” in the first place.
“If a woman says that she’s relieved after having an abortion, she may be judged for being heartless or unfeeling. If she says that she feels regret, anti-abortion activists use this to push for laws that restrict access to abortion or laws that assume women are incapable of making their own decisions without the interference of others.
“So instead, we just don’t talk about it. That’s how abortion came to be discussed as an “issue” instead of an experience.”
That’s not true, however, because abortion is an issue because it compromises the rights of one in the name of rights of another. It’s an issue because it devalues life. It’s an issue because it kills what was living before the act. Richards, predictably, uses euphemisms to shroud the truth. In playing the sympathy for women’s need for health care card, she writes:
“At Planned Parenthood, we see the impact of abortion stigma firsthand, in the women who delay getting reproductive health care because they fear they’ll be labeled and judged.”
What she’s saying is “women who delay getting an abortion.” That’s the only thing she’s talking about, but Richards’ salary depends on using terms such as “reproductive health care” and “women’s health” in place of “we want more abortion.”
She also speaks falsely when she asks the question:
“How can something that one third of women in the United States experience be the focus of intense public debate for decades, with hardly any real firsthand experiences at the center of the discussion?”
Here, what she means is “firsthand experiences that agree with me so the money can keep flowing.” In fact, there are many, many stories of women who have had abortions and profoundly regret them. A myriad of firsthand experiences join the discussion, but Richards has her fingers in her ears, singing “la, la, la” to block them out unless they agree with the benefit of abortion.
Lately, the abortion industry is moving toward the celebratory end of the pendulum. Increasingly, it’s calling for celebrations of abortion rather than declaring it as difficult. In the past few weeks we’ve seen writer Sady Doyle pronounce abortion as “great.” We’ve seen a mom write a tender letter to the baby she’s planning to kill. Richards is at the helm of the ship that proclaims the societal good of killing its young.
281 babies saved from abortion during 40 Days for Life…so far!
All credit and glory go to God alone, who has heard your prayers … and answered them! Here are just a few examples.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 10:40 am EST
By Shawn Carney
By Shawn Carney
By Shawn Carney
It’s Monday and that means good news! After almost four weeks of this 40 Days for Life campaign, there have been 281 babies saved from abortion – that we know of!
All credit and glory go to God alone, who has heard your prayers … and answered them! Here are just a few examples.
“We heard about a young woman who came out of the abortion clinic crying,” said Ken in Manassas. As she drove past the prayer volunteers, she stopped the car, got out and came running toward them, happily shouting that she had decided to keep her baby.
“She was embraced with great joy and then she surprised everyone by grabbing a sign, holding it up proudly … and praying with her new friends,” he said. “As you can see, your presence out there is powerful … and you never know what good might happen!”
Volunteers were able to speak to a woman in her 20s who had just come out of Planned Parenthood after learning she was pregnant. She was in tears.
“Her boyfriend had just gotten out of jail,” said Marcos, the 40 Days for Life leader in Fresno, “and she was told by the Planned Parenthood staff that in her situation, abortion was the best alternative and would make everything better.”
The vigil participants, however, shared information about the help that is available in Fresno.
“I also talked to the boyfriend and let him know that the child is also his … and he is just as responsible for the child as she is,” he said. “We talked for a while and at the end of our conversation they seemed more at ease.”
She had intended to make an appointment for an abortion … but after hearing that she can find real, life-affirming help, she would not be going back and would keep her baby.
Marcos said, “Women often just need to know that they are not alone.”
John in Manchester says vigil participants give out information envelopes. The exchange can be a conversation starter … and there can be very positive results.
A woman and man arriving at the abortion facility took one of the envelopes … and when they left the building a short time later, they told the volunteers they would not be going ahead with the abortion.
“Our volunteers also gave out client envelopes and had friendly discussions with two teenagers coming for abortions,” John said.
“Feeling already uncertain, they finally wanted to keep their babies. One of the girls blew a kiss to the volunteers as she was leaving,” he said. “These saves were a welcome new experience for these particular volunteers.”