All articles from May 31, 2016


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Canadian euthanasia bill passes final vote in Commons, heads to Senate

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

OTTAWA, May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The Liberal government’s controversial Bill C-14 legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide passed third reading Tuesday night by a vote of 186 to 137, and now heads to the Senate.

Four Liberals MPs voted against Bill C-14, including Rob Oliphant, co-chair of the joint parliamentary committee which recommended a wide-open euthanasia regime, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, and Robert-Falcon Ouellette.

Conservatives voting for Bill C-14 included Cathy McLeod, Scott Reid, Karen Vecchio, Michael Chong, David Tilson, Bruce Stanton, Peter Kent, Dan Albas, Larry Maguire, Pat Kelly, Ron Liepert, and Len Webber.

Meanwhile, a rally is planned for Wednesday noon on Parliament Hill to protest the coming euthanasia regime and the Liberal bill — which the Senate could amend but which Euthanasia Prevention Coalition executive director Alex Schadenberg has condemned in its present form as providing “legal cover for murder.”

The legislation is the Trudeau government’s response to the Supreme Court’s February 2015 Carter ruling striking down the current law as unconstitutional, which comes into effect June 6.

Bill C-14 had passed report stage Monday night by a vote of 192 to 129 — but not before MPs resoundingly defeated nine opposition amendments, six of which were put forward by rookie Alberta Conservative MPs Garnett Genuis and Michael Cooper.

Genuis submitted four amendments, among these: that individuals seeking assisted suicide or euthanasia be given information on full range of palliative care options; that the phrase “natural death” be changed to “imminent” death; and that requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide be verified by a competent legal authority.

Cooper proposed that individuals with an underlying mental illness or condition be required to have a psychiatric assessment to determine their capacity to consent.

He also put forward an amendment allowing healthcare providers and institutions the right to refuse to “provide direct or indirect medical assistance in dying.”

Opposition MPs used Tuesday’s third reading debate to slam the Liberals for refusing amendments to the bill, and using closure and time allocations to rush it through the House.

And they also repeatedly blasted the Liberals for not adding explicit conscience protection for health care workers and institutions to Bill C-14, and for dragging their feet on improving palliative care, including breaking a campaign promise to allocate $3 billion for that purpose.

“It’s extremely disappointing that so many reasonable amendments were presented by opposition and not one of them made it into the bill,” noted Manitoba MP James Bezan.

Bezan criticized the bill’s lack of conscience protection, noting that the World Medical Association has condemned euthanasia and assisted suicide as unethical, and stated he would work to improve palliative care.

“I do not believe we should institute physician-assisted suicide,” he said. “Expanding palliative care is by far the better option… As someone with very strong Christian values, I cannot support Bill C-14.”

“Time and time, this government has limited debate and tried to strong arm a flawed bill through,” said NDP Murray Rankin, whose amendment to broaden the bill’s scope had been defeated Monday.

The Victoria MP stated that the Alberta and Ontario courts recently ruled against the federal government’s approach, which restricts eligibility to euthanasia or assisted suicide to an individual who is suffering from an “incurable” disease, illness or disability, “in an irreversible state of decline” and whose “natural death is reasonably foreseeable.”

The Alberta court ruled a 58-year-old woman with a psychiatric condition was eligible for assisted suicide, and an Ontario court ruled that the Supreme Court’s decision did not limit eligibility to those whose death is reasonably foreseeable.

Rankin, co-chair of the joint parliamentary committee, submitted a last-ditch motion Tuesday to return Bill C-14 to the justice committee because the bill was “patently unconstitutional.” The motion was defeated by a vote of 267 to 54.

Manitoba Tory MP Ted Falk criticized the Liberal-dominated justice committee, of which he is co-chair, for not approving any “meaningful amendments” to Bill C-14, “despite the many concerns voiced again and again.”

Those were “missed opportunities” to improve what Falk described as a “significant social reengineering bill…because it changes how we view the sanctity of life.”

Falk, who stated he believed in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, blasted the Trudeau government for its tepid commitment to improving palliative care.

“When there is proper palliative care available, the need for assisted suicide just about falls down to nil,” he said.

He noted that C-14 was amended to add palliative care review after five years, when the bill itself is reviewed. NDP MP Cheryl Hardcastle criticized five years as far too long.

Meanwhile, the justice committee did add a clause requiring the government initiate reviews no later than six months after the bill passes on the questions of extending euthanasia and assisted suicide to mature minors, solely for mental illness, and the use of advance directives.

Tory MPs Mark Warawa, Harold Albrecht, Gerard Deltell, and Kelly Block also excoriated the bill’s lack of unequivocal conscience protection for individual health care providers and institutions.

BC MP Warawa, who observed that he’s had “more response on this than on any other issue in the last 12 years that I’ve been in Parliament,” pointed out that the bill amends the Criminal Code to allow, under certain circumstances, what is now homicide under the current law.

“We asked that all physicians, health care professionals, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, have the right to say no,” he said. “The government turned down that amendment.”

He also criticized the Liberals for engaging in partisanship by dominating the justice committee and invoking time allocations to close down debate, and warned the Senate would return the bill with amendments.

Any amendments passed in the Senate must go back to the House of Commons for a vote.

It is now generally agreed the bill will not pass the Senate by June 6, when the current law becomes void.  

For record of the May 30 votes on amendments to Bill C-14, go here.

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WATCH: This Tory leadership hopeful is so liberal he doesn’t care ‘if you want to marry a goat’

Steve Weatherbe

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Potential Conservative Party leadership candidate and TV personality Kevin O’Leary is not only in favour of same-sex “marriage,” he told TheRebel’s Ezra Levant at the party convention this weekend, he doesn’t even care “if you want to marry a goat.”

O’Leary cares so little about the social issues preoccupying the party and Canada currently that he’s happy to allow legalized marijuana, euthanasia, and even bestiality if that was what people wanted.

O’Leary himself raised the three issues to demonstrate his professedly “very liberal” approach and then delivered quickfire solutions to each. Marijuana? He would “legalize…and tax it.” Euthanasia and assisted suicide? Based on their success in Switzerland, he declared earnestly, “We must have it in Canada. It is a compassionate way for families to make peace with elders out of respect for them.”

But he reserved his most dismissive comments for the subject of marriage, which was being debated vigorously, as he spoke, on the floor and in the backrooms of the Conservative convention. “Anything to do with the happiness of individuals, the state has no right to be in your bedroom. I don’t care if you want to marry a goat. I am for it. I really am.”

Social conservatives said the interview revealed how truly un-conservative is the co-host of CBC’s O’Leary and Lang Report and regular on ABC’s Shark Tank

“This is clearly a man who swims in the moral relativist swamp of the culture of death, where everything is permissible so long as it brings you pleasure or personal satisfaction,” Jack Fonseca of the Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews. “The adverse consequences to broader society of legalizing and normalizing every personal choice one could possibly make isn’t even on his radar.”

Fonseca added that O’Leary’s comparison of marriage to “having carnal relations with a goat” revealed he had “no grasp” of the importance of the family as a building block of society “and no understanding that the institution of marriage between a man and a woman is its surest safeguard.”

It also showed no political sensitivity, Fonseca argued, to the many Conservative party members and voters who think more highly of marriage than he does.

Mike Schouten of the Association for Reformed Political Action and the director of WeNeedaLaw.ca, said the Rebel interview revealed O’Leary’s “shallowness,” because he “dismissed out of hand anything that wasn’t about the economy.” He saw O’Leary being interviewed by Reform Party founder Preston Manning recently where “Manning asked him about homelessness, protection of the environment and other social issues and he said improving the economy would take care of them all.”

“And to be so flippant about same-sex marriage, which had just been the subject of intense and serious discussion at the Conservative convention, with a joke about bestiality,” said Schouten, “well, it’s very disconcerting.” Schouten added that he did not see “how anyone with intellectual integrity could support Kevin O’Leary.”

O’Leary moved his interview with TheRebel’s Levant quickly to fixing the economy, which would be dealt with apparently just as easily as Canada’s social problems. O’Leary would, by methods unstated, simply replace all the country’s stupid leaders.

Such comments led National Post columnist Terence Corcoran to describe O’Leary as “a glib dispenser of bombastic cheap shots and putdowns designed to draw partisan cheers.” His ideas are too “incoherent” to call policy, but what could be made of them does not add up to small government staying out of the economy.

In fact, O’Leary proposed promoting economic growth with government support for both high tech companies and Bombardier, the chronically failing maker of airplanes and trains. Warned Corcoran: “The Conservative Party is at some risk of being hijacked by The O’Leary Factor. Conservatives should resist.”

Watch O’Leary’s interview with Levant:

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Planned Parenthood backs bill to silence David Daleiden, Live Action investigators

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SACRAMENTO, May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – After videos emerged showing that Planned Parenthood's program of harvesting and receiving money in exchange for aborted babies' organs and tissue is based in California, state legislators introduced a bill to crack down hard – on the those who shot the videos.

Assembly Bill 1671, introduced by Democrat Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles, would make it illegal to secretly videotape any “health care provider,” including abortionists. A first offense is a $2,500 fine per infraction and up to a year in the county jail. The fine swells to $10,000 per infraction for those labeled repeat offenders.

The bill would punish anyone who “intentionally discloses or distributes, in any manner, in any forum, including, but not limited to, Internet Web sites and social media, or for any purpose, the contents of a confidential communication with a health care provider.”

That includes but is “not limited to, videos or still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.”

Pro-life advocates say this bill, which was introduced this January, intends to stop the undercover investigations conducted by pro-life organizations like the Center for Medical Progress and Live Action.

"For years, undercover journalists have documented Planned Parenthood employees covering up for sex traffickers, failing to report child sexual abusers, and trafficking in baby body parts. Rather than be more transparent with the public, Planned Parenthood wants to make it a crime for the media to publish evidence that it might be doing something illegal,” said Lila Rose, the founder and president of Live Action.

"California legislators are willing to trample on the right to free speech to protect Planned Parenthood's financial interests," said Alexandra Snyder, the executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

"AB 1671 violates the First Amendment rights of all Californians, and we urge legislators to oppose this unconstitutional bill." “This outrageous bill is a direct attack on the freedom of the press and is blatantly unconstitutional,” Rose agreed. “This bill puts Planned Parenthood’s interests ahead of the First Amendment, its clients, and the public, and it would keep evidence of illegal or abusive activity hidden from nearly everyone's view.”

Both Rose and Snyder are based in California, as are CMP lead investigator David Daleiden and his fellow investigator Sandra Merritt.

Cheryl Sullenger, the senior vice president of Operation Rescue, warned in January that prosecuting Daleiden and Merritt would have “the effect of chilling the First Amendment freedom of the press and could scare crime witnesses away from coming forward for fear that they might suffer similar retaliatory prosecution.”

Planned Parenthood has thrown its lobbying weight behind the bill. The Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Action Funds' website lists Gomez's legislation as a “key improvement that closes a current loophole in privacy laws around illegal videotaping.” Its form letter asks elected officials, “Please support AB 1671 (Gomez) to prohibit the distribution of illegally obtained video tapes and protect privacy. The bill is modeled after similar statutes in other states that extend penalties to use and disclosure as well as taping without consent.”

One section of the amended bill says it does not apply to anyone attempting to uncover evidence of “any felony involving violence against the person, including, but not limited to, human trafficking.” However, state Attorney General Kamala Harris has opened a second prosecution of Daleiden in his home state, potentially for producing a fake ID and filing phony papers of incorporation for Biomax, in order to ensnare Planned Parenthood.

California already requires that all parties give their consent to the recording of a conversation that could be assumed to be private. CMP has said that since it recorded only inside public venues, such as a restaurant and an annual conference, where passersby could have overheard them, it kept the law. The matter is still being adjudicated. 

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#FlushTarget’s devastating ad viewed over 1 MILLION times online

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May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – More than 1 million people have viewed a devastating LifeSiteNews video depicting the dangers of Target’s new mixed-sex bathroom policy.

The video ad is part of LifeSiteNews’ “Flush Target” campaign, which consists of a billboard truck that is visiting every Target store in the company’s home state of Minnesota.

The combined 1 million views have been garnered from Facebook and YouTube, where the video is posted.

The video shows a little girl being shocked by a grown man in the women’s restroom and urges customers to “Flush Target” until the company reverses its policy.

LifeSiteNews announced last week that it purchased TV ad space so that the video will reach hundreds of thousands of people in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

There have been numerous instances of male predators abusing transgender policies.  In Canada, a man was jailed after sexually assaulting women in women’s shelters, which he had accessed by claiming to be transgender.  Shortly after Target announced its new bathroom policy, a man recorded a girl changing clothes at a Texas Target.  In May, a man was arrested for choking an eight-year-old girl in a Chicago public restroom.

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Powerful #FlushTarget ads blanket TV in Target’s home state

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URGENT: Sign the #FlushTarget boycott pledge here.

MINNESOTA, May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A powerful LifeSiteNews ad showing the dangers of Target’s new mixed-sex bathroom policy will reach hundreds of thousands of homes in Target's home state of Minnesota, and parts of western Wisconsin.

The 30-second ad is part of LifeSiteNews’ “Flush Target” campaign, which is urging customers to boycott the retail giant until it reverses its new policy allowing men, including registered sex offenders, to access women’s restrooms and changing rooms.

“Target’s new policy emboldens predators and threatens women by allowing any man on any given day, for any reason, to use the women’s bathrooms or fitting rooms,” said Claire Chretien, national spokeswoman for LifeSiteNews.com. “This is the opposite of pro-woman. It perpetuates rape culture and opens the door—literally—for attacks on girls.”

“We anticipate that the ads will motivate even more customers to join us in calling on Target to rescind its dangerous policy,” Chretien continued.

An online version of the ad has been viewed over 1 million times between YouTube and Facebook.

URGENT: Sign the #FlushTarget boycott pledge here.

The “Flush Target” campaign consists of a large billboard truck that is visiting every Target store in the company’s home state of Minnesota. LifeSiteNews was forced to use a billboard truck after all four billboard companies in Minnesota refused to print the anti-Target message. 

On Wednesday, the truck will have visited every single Target store in Minnesota.  It may expand to visit stores in additional states.

Target Corporation stock has dropped by 19 percent since the company announced its mixed-sex bathroom and changing room policy and more than 1 million people subsequently signed a petition promising to boycott Target.  CEO Brian Cornell has defended the policy despite public outcry, comparing allowing men in women’s intimate facilities with racial equality. Target has publicly blamed its poor performance on “damp and cool weather” and “skittish” customers.

“We will continue this public relations campaign until Target reverses its policy and puts the safety of women and young children ahead of its sexual ideology agenda,” Chretien concluded.

NOTE: Donations to the #FlushTarget campaign can be made online.

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A photo provided by Poland's Right to Life Foundation, which is running the petition drive, shows a sign destroyed.
Natalia Dueholm Natalia Dueholm

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Polish activists are facing unprecedented attacks as they campaign for abortion ban

Natalia Dueholm Natalia Dueholm

May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Those gathering signatures for the abortion ban in Poland have been the victims of verbal and physical violence. But this has not stopped the pro-lifers, who have already collected 100,000 signatures.

The proposed abortion ban in Poland has recently received much media attention. It involves a little-known legislative procedure that does not exist in the United States. According to Polish law, a group of citizens can propose a so-called civic bill to the Parliament after collecting at least 100,000 signatures of support within three months. These signatures must include a signatory’s full name, address, and the Polish equivalent of a social security number. The proposal came from a grassroots movement, and, contrary to what has been claimed, was initiated neither by the Catholic Church, nor by the government.

A few organizations are behind this legal proposition, but the lawyers from Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture wrote it. Ordo Iuris attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski explained to LifeSiteNews that this took about four months and involved four lawyers and an expert in bioethics. He added that the details of the bill were discussed with a vast group of pro-family and pro-life organizations and received support from the majority of them. Additionally, “many experienced social activists, doctors, ethicists and lawyers were involved in this process.”

In recent years, pro-lifers have introduced citizens’ bills many times, gathering more than 400,000 signatures each time, but the previous Parliament, ruled by the Civic Platform, was never sympathetic to these initiatives and rejected them all. Ironically, the party that has “civic” in its name, killed any kind of civic bill. The pro-abortion side also attempted to propose a citizens’ bill once, but admitted to receiving only 30,000 signatures, thus falling far short of the necessary threshold. This year they are trying to do it again.

Now the Parliament is ruled by the pro-life party PiS, and there are pro-life supporters in other parties, namely Kukiz'15 and the Polish People's Party. A few independent MPs and even a few Civic Platform MPs may also offer support for the legal protection of the unborn. There is much hope that this time pro-lifers will be able to change the law.

That is why a massive number of volunteers is currently on the streets gathering the highest possible number signatures for the ban, a process that began in April and will end July 6. About 3,500 people registered with the Right to Life Foundation, which coordinates the project. However, nobody really knows how many people are involved. As gosc.pl reported, during a recent pilgrimage for men in Piekary, 3,000 people signed. Among them was French Bishop Jean-Louis Balsa, who showed his support for the ban even though he is not a Polish citizen and his signature cannot be counted.

In some cities, signatures are collected almost every day. Mariusz Dzierżawski from the Right to Life Foundation explained that the gathering of signatures takes place in several dozen cities. Unlike in previous pro-life initiatives, however, opponents have responded with acts of violence.

This violence began in April. Some issues were minor, such as the destruction or theft of large posters showing aborted babies in Legnica. In Rybnik, a nicely dressed young woman holding the hand of a child accosted the activists and said she hoped they would be raped. Other pro-abortion supporters have shouted, “I hope your children will be handicapped,” at the pro-lifers.

Other pro-abortion attempts at sabotage have reeked of desperation. In Cracow, some feminists have tried unsuccessfully to destroy the pages with the signatures by deliberately pouring juice over them. In Poznan, a group of feminists chanted anti-life slogans and lies about the abortion bill and tried to disrupt the gathering of signatures. Fortunately, the police intervened in both cases.

Danuta Kęsik from the Right to Life Foundation explained that her organization often asks the police for protection, with mixed success. The police presence ranges from frequent to non-existent. “Their presence deters the potential attackers from striking,” Kęsik added.

Unfortunately, the need for the police protection is increasingly obvious. The first major assault on the pro-lifers happened in Cracow. Three activists from the Right to Life Foundation, a pregnant woman among them, were setting up an exhibit when a large man approached and began swearing loudly at them. He threatened to burn the exhibit if they didn’t take it down. After the pro-lifers explained that this is a legal exhibit, he tried to tear the poster down and then attacked Adam Kulpiński, one of the activists. He brought him to the ground and tried to strangle him. Fortunately, Kulpiński fought back against his much larger assailant, and received help from another activist. They were able to escape and wait for the police in a safe place.

In another instance in Cracow, a man assaulted another pro-life activist gathering signatures for the abortion ban. The assailant hit him in the face, destroying his eyeglasses. He also spat on the papers containing the signatures and insulted the pro-lifers.

In Gdynia, a passerby insulted seven activists and destroyed the sound system. Fortunately, the police arrived soon enough to catch him. Unfortunately, the gathering of signatures was more difficult without the loud speaker. Maciej Wiewiórka, who coordinates the activists in Gdynia, said that previous gathering was also more difficult than it should have been. “A police officer forced us to turn off the loud speaker under the pretext that some people did not like our presence there.”

In Warsaw, a man also grabbed and smashed a loud speaker on the ground, effectively destroying it. Dawid Wachowiak, a pro-life activist who tried to stop him from fleeing was punched several times and was forced to defend himself with mace. Thankfully, a person who had just signed his name in support of the ban helped to apprehend him. Finally the police took him away. Wachowiak also had to spend an hour on the police station explaining what happened.

The next day, Wachowiak was again assaulted. Another man first tried to discuss the abortion issue with him and his companions, but quickly became vulgar and aggressive. He wanted to overturn the table with the papers and signatures. Once again, another recent signatory came to help. After some pushing and shoving the police came. The perpetrator continued his verbal assaults until the police took him away.

“During the fight for life, we should expect the enemy to strike,” the two-time victim said, “but we can count on people’s help. This helps me put up with everything… and I am very grateful for it.”

The lawyers from Ordo Iuris explained that they will act every time the law is broken. They emphasized that the law protects not only free assembly, but also the citizens’ initiative itself. People who interfere with the gathering of signatures by threat or violence can by punished from 3 months to 5 years in prison.

Dzierżawski commented that aggressive behavior, lies and hysterics show fear and helplessness of the enemies of life. “They know that most Poles are against abortion always and no matter the circumstances,” he said. “All the signs show that our victory is close.”

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WATCH: Hollywood outraged over killing gorilla, not Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts: Ingraham

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May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The nation was riveted over Memorial Day weekend by the story of a 17-year-old endangered gorilla shot in the Cincinnati Zoo for fear he would injure a three-year-old child who fell into his enclosure. Some celebrities, including rapper Ice-T, have been outraged that the primate, named Harambe, had been killed.

But one conservative, pro-life commentator said their outrage would be better directed at Planned Parenthood, which kills one-third of a million babies a year.

“We have Hollywood celebrities who emit a collective yawn when we find out what really goes on in the abortuaries across this country, Planned Parenthood clinics, other abortion clinics,” conservative pundit and talk show host Laura Ingraham told “Fox and Friends” this morning. “The way women are routinely lied to. We have about a million babies a year who are not born. We sell off their body parts like it's nothing.”

“You hear nothing” from celebrities and animal rights activists, who have raised an outcry over Harambe, she said. “I mean, in fact, they celebrate it.”

“Hollywood is, like, having a candlelight vigil over one gorilla tragically having to be shot in this situation,” she said, in order “to save a child's life. So again, the child's life is secondary; the gorilla's life comes first.”

The child's parents, Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson, have received death threats over the incident.

The George Soros-funded website Media Matters featured Ingraham's comments as an example of an outrageous story.

The exchange ran in full:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Hey, Laura, we do want to mention the parents in that gorilla story that we've been talking about all morning. The parents, we just learned, will not be charged. But a lot of celebrities are just in outrage over the story because they say that this gorilla's life matters too. What was your opinion of all of this?

LAURA INGRAHAM: When I first saw this story broke, I knew that this exact reaction is what we'd see. And I would preface this by saying I'm such an animal freak that I actually am planning a trip to Rwanda to go see the great apes. And you can take that trek up the mountain and you can go see them. So I'm like a wild conservationist. I love safaris, photographic safaris, done it a bunch of times in Africa. So I preface all this by saying, hey, any time you see an animal having to be shot in a situation like that, it's horrific.I will also say that this is now becoming the Cecil the Lion story of 2016.

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Yep.

INGRAHAM: We have Hollywood celebrities who emit a collective yawn when we find out what really goes on in the abortuaries across this country, Planned Parenthood clinics, other abortion clinics, the way women are routinely lied to. We have about a million babies a year who are not born. We sell off their body parts like it's nothing. And you hear nothing. I mean, in fact, they celebrate it. Not only we hear nothing, they celebrate that. But this happens, and it's a tragic, horrible situation. Of course the Cleveland Zoo would rather have not have done this, but the idea that this rises to this fever pitch level, really is just, it's typical. It's the same thing with the dog commercials and the cages. You know, it's heart-breaking to see an animal that is not adopted, but it's also heartbreaking that we have millions and millions and millions of children around the world who aren't adopted. And yet the advocacy for children, either abandoned in this world or children who don't have the privilege of being born, they don't even discuss it. So that's the kind of way I look at it. I think it's horrible and sad. I'm glad the child is OK. But really, we have veterans on the streets who are eating out of garbage cans, and yet Hollywood is like having a candlelight vigil over one gorilla tragically having to be shot in this situation.

EARHARDT: To save a child's life.

KILMEADE: Right.

INGRAHAM: Yes, to save a child's life. So again, the child's life is secondary, the gorilla's life comes first. But, again, you can predict that this exact thing was going to happen, so it doesn't surprise me at all.

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Catholic bishop: transgender activists have turned common sense ‘on its head’

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Sign the petition demanding that Obama withdraw his transgender school mandate. Click here.

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—A Catholic bishop in Illinois condemned gender ideology and asked that in diocesan facilities, people use bathrooms that correspond with their biological sex.

In a video message to the faithful, Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, a well-known defender of Catholic orthodoxy, said transgender activists have turned “common sense…on its head in our culture” by insisting that subjective feelings about gender be given preference over biological reality.

Paprocki listed recent national and local instances of the clash between transgenderism and bathroom privacy.  He cited examples from around Illinois of schools granting students access to restrooms and intimate facilities designated for the opposite sex and the Obama administration’s Department of Justice warning North Carolina that its new law preventing men from accessing women’s bathrooms and vice versa violates civil rights law and could result in a loss of billions federal dollars.

Paprocki is no stranger to the clash between faith and LGBT activism.  In 2002, his former secretary was murdered by a gay activist after she urged him to change his gay lifestyle.  Paprocki said “she died as a martyr for her faith.”

In 2013, with “great reluctance,” Paprocki held a rare public exorcism as the governor of Illinois signed a law redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.  He said he didn’t want the spotlight in which the public exorcism put him, but he felt God was asking him to speak out and offer prayers against same-sex “marriage,” which he said is a tool of the devil.  During the state’s fight over same-sex “marriage,” Paprocki stopped a group of homosexual activists from praying a “blasphemous” pro-gay rosary inside a Catholic cathedral.

Paprocki has also enforced Canon 915 prohibiting individuals who have committed “manifest grave sin” without repenting  from receiving Holy Communion.  He publicly corrected Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich after the prelate contradicted Church teaching by insisting that those in a state of serious sin may receive Holy Communion and stood by the decision of a priest in his diocese to refuse to give Holy Communion to a pro-abortion senator.

“The transgender activists would have you believe that their politically correct ideology is based on science,” said Paprocki.  “However, the American College of Pediatricians has pointed out that transgenderism is classified as a mental illness and therefore has warned legislators and educators that conditioning children to accept transgenderism as normal is child abuse. They advised, ‘When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind, not the body, and it should be treated as such.’”

Paprocki pointed to the experience of Dr. Paul McHugh, the psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, who ceased the hospital’s practice of sex-reassignment surgery.  McHugh says that the practice “brought no important benefits” and has condemned the widespread phenomenon of doctors and therapists encouraging children to embrace the notion that they can change genders by mutilating their bodies.

“The Catholic Church has some clear teachings on transgender issues,” Paprocki continued.  “Catholics are called to treat everyone with compassion. Yet the church maintains that people may not change what Pope Benedict XVI called ‘their very essence.’ In a speech at the Vatican on Dec. 23, 2008, Benedict directly addressed transgender issues by cautioning Catholics about ‘destroying the very essence of the human creature through manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices.’”

Paprocki also cited Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment Laudato Si’, in which he wrote that men and women should acknowledge their bodies as a gift from God and not manipulate them, and his recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in which he condemned gender ideology as an “attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.” 

Paprocki asked that people respect the teachings of the Catholic Church in their use of facilities in the Diocese of Springfield’s schools and churches.

“People who are confused about their gender identity — especially children and adolescents — should be treated with compassion and provided counseling rather than being further confused by activists promoting their political ideology,” Paprocki concluded.

The Diocese of Springfield already has policies in place in its schools that ensure children will be taught the fullness of the Catholic faith regardless of their parents’ lifestyles.

Watch Bishop Paprocki's comments here:

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Maya Dillard Smith, former executive director for ACLU Georgia, says her children were 'concerned about their safety.'
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State leader quits ACLU after daughters were ‘visibly frightened’ by men using women’s restroom

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ATLANTA, May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The African-American woman who leads a state chapter of the ACLU has resigned, citing her own daughters' “frightened” reaction to biological males using the women's restroom.

The organization's increasing focus on legislating the transgender lobby's concerns pushed Maya Dillard Smith, interim director of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, to tender her resignation.

“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults, over six feet [tall] with deep voices, entered,” she wrote.

“My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer,” she continued.

In a statement, she said that the ACLU has become “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but certain progressive rights.”

The “hierarchy of rights” the ACLU chooses to defend or ignore, she wrote, is “based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities." She did not elaborate on the group's funding.

Dillard Smith is no conservative. She earned a degree in economics from Berkeley and a masters degree at Harvard, while working for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court.

She is a 2003 graduate of the program Emerge America, which states its “goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.”

But this self-described “progressive” who called herself “unapologetically black” cannot go along with the ACLU's transgender legal agenda.

Georgia was one of first 11 states suing the Obama administration over its controversial federal guidance requiring public schools and universities to allow transgender students to use the restrooms, showers, and overnight accommodations of the opposite biological sex.

The ACLU's North Carolina chapter is suing Gov. Pat McCrory for signing H.B. 2, which requires individuals use the restroom of the biological sex noted on their birth certificates in the lawsuit Carcano v. McCrory.

RELATED: Sexual predator jailed after claiming to be ‘transgender’ to assault women in shelter

The liberal legal group's opposition to the bill – which otherwise leaves restroom policies up to business owners – proved the ACLU holds a legal philosophy Dillard Smith says she can no longer support.

“I found myself principally and philosophically unaligned with the organization,” Dillard Smith said.

“I understood it to be the ACLU’s goal to delicately balance competing rights to ensure that any infringements are narrowly tailored, that they do not create a hierarchy of rights, and that we are mindful of unintended consequences,” she said in a statement.

“I believe there are solutions that can provide accommodations for transgender people and balance the need to ensure women and girls are safe from those who might have malicious intent,” she said.

Numerous sexual assault survivors have shared how transgender restroom laws render women vulnerable and stir painful memories of abuse in a video released by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Dillard Smith has already started a new website, Finding Middle Ground, dedicated to creating a “safe space” to discuss the new, red-hot national issue.

RELATED: I used to be transgender. Here’s my take on kids who think they are transgender.

“How can we ask these kinds of questions without being called a homophobe?” the video asks. “How do we prevent predators from preying on kids in bathrooms?”

The website features a young black girl standing near a swing set, clasping its chain as she shares her own feelings. “I don't want him to be uncomfortable in the boy's bathroom, either,” she said. “I don't want them to be uncomfortable anywhere. But what about me, too?”

A transgender activist, a biological male who goes by the name Cheryl Courtney-Evans, responded to the resignation by calling Dillard Smith “lazy,” “ill-educated,” and a “b--ch” who needs to sit down and “STFU.”

"What am I doing in a men’s room looking as luscious as I am, putting myself in danger?" the transgender activist asked.

Dillard Smith's departure will leave the ACLU shorthanded in the state and even shorter on diversity nationwide.

As of last November, she was one of the youngest ACLU directors in the nation, and one of only three African-Americans employed in that role in the progressive organization. 

URGENT: Sign the petition demanding that Obama withdraw his transgender bathroom mandate. Click here.

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Voice of the Family

Opinion,

Voice of the Family launches rosary campaign for Church and family in ‘crisis’

Voice of the Family

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May 31, 2016 (Voice of the Family) -- Voice of the Family is launching a rosary campaign to obtain the deliverance of the Catholic Church and the family from the errors and dangers that gravely threaten them today.

We are launching this great crusade today, on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This feast was established by Pope Pius XII in 1954 “so that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and maternal sway of the Mother of God.” In his Encyclical Letter Ad Caeli Reginam, by which he established the feast, Pius XII taught:

“From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.”

In this hour of crisis for the Church and the world Voice of the Family considers that no action can be more efficacious for the restoration of Christian civilisation, which is the essential prerequisite for the full flourishing of the family, than to turn to Our Lady with absolute trust in the power of her maternal intercession.

NOTE: To sign up to participate in the rosary campaign, click here

Pope Leo XIII taught in Adiutricem that:

The mightiest helper of the Christian people, and the most merciful, is the Virgin Mother of God. How fitting it is to accord her honours ever increasing in splendour, and call upon her aid with a confidence daily growing more ardent.

He continued:

It has been her unremitting concern see to it that the Catholic Faith stands firmly lodged in the midst of the people, there to thrive in its fertile and undivided unity. Many and well known are the proofs of her solicitude, manifested from time to time even in a miraculous manner. In the times and places in which, to the Church’s grief, faith languished in lethargic indifference or was tormented by the baneful scourge of heresy, our great and gracious Lady in her kindness was ever ready with her aid and comfort.

The same Pontiff urged in Iucunda Semper Expectatione that given “the disastrous condition of the Church and of Society” and “the extreme necessity for signal aid from God” it is “manifest” that:

aid should be sought through the intercession of His Mother, and by the express means of the Rosary, which Christians have ever found to be of marvelous avail. This indeed has been well proved since the very institution of the devotion, both in the vindication of Holy Faith against the furious attacks of heresy, and in restoring to honor the virtues, which by reason of the age’s corruption, required to be rekindled and sustained.

We therefore invite you to pray the Holy Rosary with us for the following intentions, whether monthly, weekly or, best of all, daily. Please let us know that you will be joining us in prayer by signing up here. By letting each other know that we are praying we will be strengthening one another in our resolve to keep imploring Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary, until her prayers bring about the deliverance of the Church and the family from the current crisis that is inflicting temporal and spiritual devastation on men, women and children across the world.

Voice of the Family prayer intentions for each decade of the Holy Rosary

  1. For the pope: that he faithfully hand on the “deposit of the faith” and correct the errors that are now widespread in the Church, and which have been furthered by recent ecclesiastical documents
  2. For cardinals: that they courageously fulfill their responsibilities as advisers of the pope, give heroic witness to the Catholic faith and follow the inspirations of the Holy Ghost in the next conclave
  3. For bishops, and for the priests, deacons and those of other orders, who assist them in their ministry: that they may courageously teach the Catholic faith in all its integrity, offer true worship to Almighty God, and govern the Church according to God’s holy will
  4. For persecuted Catholics: that all who suffer persecution for the Catholic faith, whether from within ecclesiastical structures or from forces without, may, through the mercy of God, be delivered from all those who assail them
  5. For the family: that all families throughout the world, and especially their most vulnerable members, may be protected from all assaults, whether spiritual or temporal, that threaten them

An Act of Reparation (taught by the Angel of Peace to the children at Fatima)

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

Prayer of St John Fisher for good bishops

Lord, according to Thy promise that the Gospel should be preached throughout the whole world, raise up men fit for such work. The Apostles were but soft and yielding clay till they were baked hard by the fire of the Holy Ghost. So, good Lord, do now in like manner again with Thy Church militant; change and make the soft and slippery earth into hard stone; set in Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labours, watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold and heat; which also shall not fear the threatening of princes, persecution, neither death but always persuade and think with themselves to suffer with a good will, slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and laud of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout all the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church.

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Judie Brown Judie Brown

Opinion,

Don’t wait for some special day. We must fight to reject the culture of death TODAY

Judie Brown Judie Brown

Babies lost to the slaughter of abortion, contraception, and in the science lab should not be remembered on just one day a year. If we want to change hearts and minds—and save lives—we must remember them each and every day.

May 31, 2016 (ALL) -- The American people are in dire straits, and that means that pro-life Americans must remain focused on what is truly important. Our struggle is not about partisan politics; it is about the dignity of the human being from his biological beginning until his death.

Now more than ever is not the time to satisfy ourselves with holding on to the status quo. The struggle between good and evil is already in high gear, and we are the watchmen noted in Ezekiel 33:6 who hold the lamp glowing with the light of truth that will lead the way.

Every January 22, on the infamous memorial of the 1973 United States Supreme Court decisions that decriminalized the most heinous acts of terror against preborn children ever witnessed in any civilized nation, we remember the millions of children who have died, the mothers who have been maimed for life by their abortion experience, and the families who suffer, even now.

Yet we know that thousands of preborn children are criminally assaulted daily, their human dignity is ignored daily, and there is no way that America’s moral standing can be restored as long as our government sanctions the murder of innocents on our own soil. So why is January 22 the only Memorial Day we acknowledge to honor the memories of the dead? Shouldn’t every day be a day of remembrance of action—of doing more to protect the innocent and the uneducated from the horrors of the culture of death?

Of course, you may say. But first we have to understand something about the majority of those we are helping to see that light. We know there is a fundamental disdain for truth among the majority of media; we understand that there is an ongoing effort to create confusion by choosing rhetoric designed to sell abortion not as the act that kills a preborn child, but as a constitutional right that every female in America can count on when she wants it and for whatever reason.

This is indeed our biggest challenge in 2016. And no amount of political mumbo jumbo or the language of tolerance is going to change it. Only the light of truth will do so.

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When the press tells America that protecting the preborn means that in vitro fertilization and most forms of birth control would also be affected in a negative way—as in outlawed—we have to explain why this is so. We must not back away from the hard truth that abortion does occur in an IVF lab and it does occur because of the way most chemical forms of contraception work. After all, there is no preborn child who is less important as a member of the human family, whether he lives in a laboratory or is fighting to make his way to his mother’s uterine wall so that he can implant and grow.

Only truth cures ignorance.

In 1998, Pope John Paul II told a group of American Catholic bishops:

Above all, society must learn to embrace once more the great gift of life, to cherish it, to protect it, and to defend it against the culture of death, itself an expression of the great fear that stalks our times. . . .

[T]here are signs of an almost unimaginable insensitivity to the reality of what actually happens during an abortion, as evidenced in recent events surrounding so-called "partial-birth" abortion. This is a cause for deep concern. A society with a diminished sense of the value of human life at its earliest stages has already opened the door to a culture of death. As pastors, you must make every effort to ensure that there is no dulling of consciences regarding the seriousness of the crime of abortion, a crime which cannot be morally justified by any circumstance, purpose or law.

These profound words apply to each of us no less than they do to every pastor in the nation.

Each of us has specific talents that will contribute to the refining of conscience that has to take place in America. Each of us has an obligation to make time for using those talents in a positive way. We must start by teaching the most basic truth of all: Every person is vested by God with dignity, and therefore no person—born or preborn—is disposable. We must not tolerate anything less than recognition of and a restoration of respect for all human beings.

Today is the best day to begin using our talents and our time to bring about total rejection of the tenets of the culture of death. Yes, we are intolerant of their agenda! No, we will not back down!

Reprinted with permission from American Life League.

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Roberto de Mattei

Opinion

The significance of the new Fatima-Vatican controversy and Ganswein’s ‘two popes’ talk

Roberto de Mattei

May 31, 2016 (Rorate Caeli) -- The centenary year of Fatima was opened on Pentecost Sunday to news that caused quite a sensation.

The German theologian Ingo Dollinger revealed to the “OnePeterFive” site that after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima, Cardinal Ratzinger had confided to him: “Das ist noch nicht alles!”, “We didn’t publish everything”. The Vatican Press Office intervened with an immediate denial in which it stated: “'Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares never to have spoken with Professor Dollinger about Fatima’, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter ‘are pure inventions, absolutely untrue’, and he confirms decisively that ‘the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete.”

The denial doesn’t convince those like Antonio Socci who had always sustained the existence of an undisclosed part of the secret, which would refer to the abandonment of the faith by a part of the Church’s hierarchy. Other scholars like Dr. Antonio Augusto Borelli Machado, think the secret disclosed by the Vatican is complete and tragically eloquent. On the basis of the information at our disposal, today we cannot affirm with absolute certainty, either the entirety of the Third Secret text nor its incompleteness. What appears absolutely certain is that the prophecy of Fatima is unfulfilled and that its fulfilment concerns an unprecedented crisis in the Church.

Regarding this, an important hermeneutic principle needs to be borne in mind. The Lord, through revelations and prophecies, which add nothing to the deposit of the faith, at times offers us some “spiritual direction” to guide us through the darkest periods of history. Yet if it’s true that the Divine words cast light on dark times, the opposite is also true: historical events, in their dramatic unfolding, help us to understand the significance of prophecy.

On July 13th 1917, when Our Lady announced at Fatima that if humanity didn’t convert Russia would have spread its errors throughout the world, these words appeared incomprehensible. It was the historical facts that revealed their significance. After the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917, it was clear that the expansion of Communism was the instrument God wanted to use as a punishment to the world for its sins.

Between 1989 and 1991, the evil empire of the Soviet Union apparently crumbled, but the disappearance of its political packaging allowed for the diffusion all over the world of Communism, which has its ideological nucleus in philosophical evolution and moral relativism. The “philosophy of praxis,” which according to Antonio Gramsci sums up the Marxist cultural revolution, has become the theological horizon of the new pontificate, outlined by theologians like the German Cardinal, Walter Kasper and the Argentinean Archbishop, Victor Manuel Fernàndez, inspirers of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

In this sense it’s not the Fatima Secret we need to start from in order to understand the reality of a tragedy in the Church, but from the crisis in the Church itself in order to understand the ultimate meaning of the Fatima Secret. A crisis which goes back to the 1960s, but with Benedict XVI’s abdication and Pope Francis’ pontificate, has seen a shocking acceleration.

While the Vatican Press Office was making haste to defuse the Dollinger case, another bomb exploded with an even greater impact. During the presentation of Prof. Don Roberto Regoli’s book, Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI (Lindau, Turin, 2016) held in the auditorium at the Gregorian Pontifical University, Monsignor Georg Gänswein highlighted Pope Ratzinger’s act of renunciation with these words:

From February 11th 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before. It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict has profoundly and lastingly transformed by his exceptional pontificate.

According to Archbishop Gänswein, the Pope’s resignation is “epochal” as it introduced into the Catholic Church the new institution of “Pope emeritus” transforming the concept of munus petrinum - “the petrine ministry”. “Before and after his abdication, Benedict intended and intends his task as a participation in a 'petrine ministry' such as this. He left the Papal Throne and yet with his step on February 11th 2013, he did not entirely abandon this ministry. Rather he integrated the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a shared ministry (...). From the election of his successor, Pope Francis—on 13 March 2013—there are not then two Popes, but de facto an enlarged ministry with an active and a contemplative member. For this reason, Benedict has not renounced either his name or his white cassock. For this reason, the correct title with which we must refer to him is still 'Holiness.' Furthermore, he has not retired to an isolated monastery, but [has retired] within the Vatican, as if he had simply stepped aside to make space for his Successor, and for a new stage in the history of the Papacy.(...). With this act of extraordinary boldness he has instead renewed the office (even against well-meaning and undoubtedly competent advisors) and in a last endeavour has strengthened it (as I hope). This certainly will only be demonstrated by history. However, in the history of the Church, 2013 will remain the year that the renowned Theologian on the Throne of Peter became the first 'Pope Emeritus' in history.”

This discourse is of an explosive nature, and, by itself, demonstrates how we are not “over” the crisis in the Church but more than ever in it. The Papacy is not a ministry that can be “enlarged”, since it is an “office” given personally by Jesus Christ to a sole Vicar and a sole successor of Peter. What distinguishes the Catholic Church from every other church or religion is precisely the existence of a unitary and indissoluble principle in the person of the Supreme Pontiff. Monsignor Gänswein’s discourse (it is difficult to understand where he wants to go with it) suggests a two-headed Church and adds confusion to a situation already far too confusing.

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One sentence connects the second and third part of the Fatima Secret: “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be kept.” Our Lady is talking to three little Portuguese shepherds and assures them that their country will not lose the faith. But where will the faith be lost? It has always been thought that Our Lady was referring to the apostasy of entire nations, but today it seems increasingly clearer that the greatest loss of faith is occurring among churchmen.

A “bishop dressed in white” and “various other bishops, priests and religious” are at the centre of the Third Secret, in a setting of death and ruin, legitimate to imagine as not only material, but spiritual. Before writing the Third Secret, the revelation that Sister Lucia had at Tuy on January 3rd 1944 confirms this, and is hence indissolubly linked to it. After the vision of a terrible cosmic catastrophe, Sister Lucia recounts that she had heard in her heart “a soft voice that said: ‘in time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity Heaven!'”

These words represent a radical negation of any form of religious relativism which the heavenly voice contradicts with the exaltation of Holy Mother Church and the Catholic Faith. In history the smoke of Satan can invade the Church, but whoever defends the integrity of the Faith against the powers of hell will see, in time and in eternity, the triumph of the Church and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, definitive seal of the dramatic but fascinating Fatima prophecy.

Translation: Francesca Romana

Reprinted with permission from Rorate Caeli.

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James D. Agresti

Opinion

Fetal pain facts and falsehoods

James D. Agresti
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May 31, 2016 (Just Facts Daily) -- The legislatures of Utah and South Carolina recently passed bills concerning abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization. This is the stage of development shown in the photograph on the right.

Before performing abortions, the Utah bill requires physicians to anesthetize or give a painkiller to the “unborn child” once he or she reaches 20 weeks. The South Carolina bill bans abortions from this point forward. Utah’s governor has signed the bill into law, and South Carolina’s governor has stated she will sign it. Both of the bills contain exceptions for the life of the mother or if she has a “serious risk” of “irreversible” harm to “a major bodily function.”

According to the text of these bills, “substantial medical evidence” indicates that developing humans can feel pain by 20 weeks. This conclusion is supported by the following facts from medical journals and textbooks:

  • By 7 weeks, pain “sensory receptors appear in the perioral [mouth] area.”

New England Journal of Medicine

  • By 10 weeks, “All components of the brain and spinal cord are formed, and nerves link the stem of the brain and the spinal cord to all tissues and organs of the body.”

Encyclopedia of Human Biology

  • By 12 weeks, “Electrical activity of the nervous system is discernible” and “attempts to suckle” are observed “in utero and in aborted fetuses.”

Encyclopedia of Human Biology

  • By 14 weeks, “limb movements … become coordinated.”

Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects

  • By 14 weeks, preborn humans exhibit conscious “motor planning” and “social behavior.”

PLoS ONE

  • By 14 to 22 weeks, “a physiological fetal reaction to painful stimuli” occurs.

Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy

  • By 18 weeks, pain sensory receptors spread to “all cutaneous [skin] and mucous surfaces,” and the cerebral cortex (the portion of the brain responsible for higher functions like reasoning and language) has the same number of nerve cells as a full-grown adult.

New England Journal of Medicine

  • By 18 to 20 weeks, the human fetus “elaborates pituitary-adrenal, sympatho-adrenal, and circulatory stress responses to physical insults.”

Anesthesiology

  • By 20 weeks, the fetus “now sleeps and wakes and hears sounds.”

American Medical Association Complete Medical Encyclopedia

These scientific facts collectively show that by 20 weeks, humans have pain receptors, consciousness, and physical responses to painful events.

Nevertheless, many media outlets have recently reported that humans cannot feel pain by 20 weeks. This includes but is not limited to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Slate, and the Daily Beast. To support this claim, all of these outlets cited a single paper published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2005.

Neglecting the journalism standard to “make it clear to the audience” when sources “are associated with a particular viewpoint,” none of the outlets mentioned that at least three of the JAMA paper’s five authors have been involved in the abortion industry, including:

  • Susan J. Lee, the lead author of the paper, who worked as a lawyer for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, which is now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.
  • Eleanor A. Drey, the medical director of an abortion clinic.
  • Mark Rosen, the last author of the paper, who worked in an abortion clinic. (In biomedical research, the last author “is assumed to be the driving force, both intellectually and financially, behind the research.”)

These media outlets also violated journalism ethics, which require them to not omit “facts of major importance or significance.” They did this by failing to reveal that the JAMA paper’s central argument was refuted by medical journals less than two years after it was published. The authors of the paper declared that “fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester” because:

  • “pain is a psychological construct” that requires “conscious perception.”
  • there can be no “conscious recognition or awareness” until there are functional connections from pain receptors to the brain’s cortex.
  • these connections don’t “begin appearing” until “23 to 30 weeks’ gestational age.” (This equates to 21 weeks to 28 weeks after fertilization.)

Debunking the above, a 2006 article in the journal Pain: Clinical Updates documented through “multiple lines of evidence” that the “key mechanisms” of consciousness and pain perception “are not dependent” on the cortex. Consistent with this fact, the authors determined that pain perception begins in the “second trimester” and “well before the third trimester of human gestation.”

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Likewise, a 2007 paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences showed that children born with little or no cortex (a condition called hydranencephaly):

  • “are conscious,” “awake,” “often alert,” and “show responsiveness to their surroundings in the form of emotional or orienting reactions to environmental events.”
  • “express pleasure by smiling and laughter, and aversion by ‘fussing,’ arching of the back and crying.”
  • behave so normally that they “may initially present no conspicuous symptoms,” and “occasionally the condition is not diagnosed until several months postnatally, when developmental milestones are missed.”

Concluding, the author noted that these findings have “ramifying implications for issues in medical ethics,” including “pain management in children” who lack a cerebral cortex.

False arguments aside, the vast weight of scientific evidence indicates that preborn humans can feel pain by 20 weeks or earlier. While this does not rise to the level of 100% certainty, it rests upon factually solid ground.

Like many media outlets, some prominent “fact checkers” have also misled the public about this issue, including FactCheck.org and the Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a nonprofit institute dedicated to researching publishing verifiable facts about public policy.

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Carolyn Moynihan

Opinion

Even a silver-backed gorilla is not worth more than a child

Carolyn Moynihan

May 31, 2016 (MercatorNet) -- A gorilla named Harambe has been shot at the Cincinnati zoo to prevent harm to a toddler who fell into its enclosure. A Huffington Post headline reads, “RIP: Captive gorilla shot”. Rest in peace? It was the gorilla that died, and animals, so far as we know, don’t need that kind of obituary.

It could have been the four-year-old boy instead of the gorilla -- in which case an RIP headline would make sense, because the child is a human being with, according to one mainstream belief system, an immortal soul which, all going well, is destined for heavenly rest. Then again, given his innocence, such pious wishes may be superfluous even for him.

I digress. The point is this: why is there more lamentation on the internet for a gorilla than for the 700 refugees who drowned earlier this week in the Mediterranean? Where are the vigils? Where are the stuffed toys? Where are the flowers? Why have 277,000 people (so far) signed a Justice For Harambe petition which demands that the parents of the child be charged with negligence?

There are people who think Harambe should have been given the benefit of the doubt – at least the few minutes, or even seconds, that it would take for a tranquiliser dart to work. But a few seconds more of intimate contact with the 400-pound Harambe might have been fatal for the little boy, who was already being dragged around the enclosure moat with his head banging against its concrete sides.

This is an animal which can crush a coconut with one hand. It could kill a toddler, even inadvertently, in a heartbeat. No doubt the zoo staff was thinking of the time a two-year-old fell into an enclosure in the Pittsburg zoo in 2012 and was torn to pieces in a flash by African wild dogs.

Shooting Harambe was unfortunate, but the right thing to do if we value the lives of children more than the lives of animals.

It was an accident. Period. But Huffpo blogger Bernie Shine sees it as the result of almost criminal negligence on the part of the parents and the zoo -- and behind them the whole quasi-criminal enterprise of keeping animals in captivity.

Great apes are magnificent animals and their uncanny likeness to us commands a certain respect as well as delight (God’s joke on the human race?). I am sorry that Harambe, a member of the endangered western lowland gorilla species, had to be shot. But to portray the animal as “the only innocent character in this tragedy”, as Shine did, is going a bit far.

I am inclined to agree with him that zoos are rather dismal and unnecessary places in these days when everything can be seen in 3D movies – but there’s a time and a place for everything. And the saving of a child is not the time for an animal rights manifesto.

And yet there are highly respected intellectuals who might agree with him. Princeton philosopher Peter Singer famously wants legal rights conferred on great apes. With leadership like that spreading confusion about the relative value of human life, we can hardly be surprised that among the protestors at the zoo was a child holding up a sign reading, “Protect the Animals, Keep Brats out of the Habitats!”

If you don't have a moral compass, you end up in some pretty strange places.

Reprinted with permission from MercatorNet.

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Steven Mosher Steven Mosher

Opinion,

The Donald proposes a stellar list of Supremes

Steven Mosher Steven Mosher

Editor’s note: The following article, along with another article published today opposing Trump’s candidacy, is published in the spirit of encouraging discussion on this important issue. LifeSiteNews aims to report the facts on candidates for elected office as they impact life, family, and the moral renewal of culture, but we do not endorse specific candidates. As such, this article does not necessarily represent LifeSiteNews’ views or those of its editors.

May 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Everyone in the pro-life movement knows that abortion was imposed on America not by the U.S. Congress but by the nine judges of the Supreme Court. 

And they are equally aware that, if that injustice is ever to be undone, if Roe v. Wade is ever to be overturned, it will take the votes of at least five of those justices.

With two, maybe three, of the sitting justices ready to retire over the next few years, the November election will determine the direction of the Supreme Court for many years to come.

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia has not just left the Court short one member, it has created an intellectual void that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will fill sometime next year.

Clinton’s judicial preferences are well known. She does not have to release a list of her potential nominees to the Supreme Court for us to know that her picks will be judicial activists of the worst kind, eager to write their prejudices into law.

Trump, on the other hand, is a blank slate, which is why it is so important that he recently released a list of 11 people who he would nominate to the Supreme Court to take Justice Scalia’s seat.

I think that the list is striking not only in the caliber of the people on it—more about this in a moment—but for the sheer speed at which it was assembled. 

It was only two months ago, following Scalia’s unexpected demise, that the presumptive nominee told Fox News that his pick would be “someone as close to Scalia as I could find. It will be a conservative person, a person with great intellect.”

A professional politician would have left it at that: a quick sketch of the kind of nominee they will be looking for, followed by a slick segue into studied vagueness.  Every politician understands that naming names can be a dangerous business.

The last Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, understood this, and so never released such a list.  Romney did not have a conservative judicial record while governor of Massachusetts.  He appointed many liberal judicial activists to the state bench during his term in office, and probably didn’t want to remind people of that fact

But, as we all know by now, Trump is not a politician, at least not in the traditional sense.  He is, rather, a builder.  He has spent a lifetime drawing up plans, breaking ground, and watching his buildings rise into the sky--to be completed on time, if not ahead of schedule.

That’s the thing about construction. A building is either completed on schedule or it is not. And if it is not, all the words in the world will not change that fact

With Scalia gone, I believe that Trump recognized that he had to convince conservatives that his pick for the Supreme Court would be a Constitutional conservative.  And, to help heal the divisions within the party, he had to convince them in a hurry.

I have to believe that the words, “You’re fired!”—the phrase he made famous on “The Apprentice”—concentrate the minds of those who surround the businessman. This is a phrase, after all, that gets results. Buildings rise in record time, and lists of possible Supreme Court nominees get vetted and approved within a few weeks.

So what, say the skeptics.  Trump knows he needs to unite the Republican Party behind him to win the election. And of course the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society can easily put a good list together in record time. But the list itself, they intimate, is simply a ploy to dupe conservatives into supporting him.

After all, as one Trump critic pointed out to me, didn’t he originally suggest, way back when, that his sister, a federal judge who has defended partial birth abortion against a New Jersey pro-life law, would be a good pick for the Supreme Court?

Well, no. If you read the transcript, Trump didn’t bandy about his sister’s name; the interviewer did. And all he said in response was to make several nice, bland, ultimately noncommittal comments about her. 

Did anyone really expect Trump, who by all accounts is devoted to his family, to instantly rule out the possibility of her nomination? I certainly didn’t.  Like Trump, I have a sister who is pro-abortion. And had I been in The Donald’s shoes, I wouldn’t have dissed one of my closest blood relatives on national television either.  Least of all in response to a gotcha question from a critical interviewer.

Not that Maryanne Trump Barry’s nomination was ever a realistic possibility.  Her age alone—she is in her seventies--would be enough to get her crossed off any short list for the Supreme Court.

Still, the episode created the perception in the minds of some, helped along by RedState and other anti-Trump sites, that she was Trump’s top pick.

I actually agree that it isn’t surprising that the Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation could come up with a list of good candidates on short notice.  After all, they’ve been working on judicial nominations for years. 

But what is surprising--and encouraging--is that they were asked at all. I mean, if Trump had turned to, say, the left-leaning American Bar Association for a list of potential nominees, we would be seeing a very different list, one that I can virtually guarantee would include the name of not a single conservative jurist.  There would have been ten Kagan-Sotomayor-Ginsberg clones, with one David Souter thrown in for “balance.”

Instead, the businessman went in the other direction.  Following the advice of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, one of his earliest supporters and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, he turned to conservative groups.  And the list that Trump came up with—because it is his list now, not anyone else’s--consists of eleven of the most qualified constitutional conservatives in America.

They are:

  • Judge Steve Colloton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Iowa)
  • Justice Allison Eid of the Colorado Supreme Court
  • Judge Raymond Gruender of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Missouri)
  • Judge Thomas Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Pennsylvania)
  • Judge Raymond Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Michigan)
  • Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court
  • Justice Thomas Lee of the Utah Supreme Court
  • Judge William Pryor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Alabama)
  • Justice David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court
  • Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Wisconsin)
  • Justice Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court

Just how good are these picks from a pro-life, pro-family point of view? A judge is only as good as his opinions, so let’s get down to cases:

Steven Colloton and Raymond Gruender, who both serve on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, voted in 2012 to uphold a South Dakota law requiring doctors to advise women seeking abortions that they face an increased risk of suicide after the procedure.

In fact, Judge Gruender wrote the 27-page opinion in the case, which laid out the evidence that women who had suffered abortions had a higher risk of suicide.

Judge William Pryor, who serves on the Eleventh Circuit, was viciously attacked by the Left at the time of his nomination for his unabashedly pro-life stance.

About Roe v. Wade, Judge Pryor said, “I will never forget January 22, 1973, the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children.”

For pro-lifers, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Two of the judges on the list have opposed the contraception mandate imposed by Obamacare.  Diane Sykes, who sits on the Seventh Circuit, issued an opinion striking down the contraception mandate imposed by Obamacare. Thomas Hardiman voted to rehear the contraception mandate case, although he was not on the original panel.

Sykes did come under some criticism from pro-lifers for an opinion blocking part of an Indiana law that cut public funding for abortion providers.  She wrote a narrow opinion arguing that the new law prevented Medicaid patients from exercising their existing right to obtain medical care from providers of their choice, including Planned Parenthood. At the same time, she wrote that the law did not “impermissibly burden” those seeking an abortion, as Planned Parenthood had argued.

Clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas is another thing that several of those on the list have in common.  Judge Allison Eid is a Thomas alum, as are Judge Thomas Lee and Justice David Stras.  Eid was once a speechwriter for William Bennett, while Lee is the brother of Utah Senator Mike Lee and the father of six children, which probably tells you just all you need to know about their originalist leanings and pro-life convictions

If you are looking for judges in the mold of Antonin Scalia, perhaps the only thing better than clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas is clerking for Scalia himself, into which category Judge Joan Larson falls. "I don't think that judges are a policy making branch of government, and our role is to serve the people by enforcing laws," she has said.

Another commonality that many in the group share is the Catholic faith.  We all know that those who declare themselves to be Catholic can be orthodox or nominal, practicing or lapsed.  The five Catholics currently on the Supreme Court are obviously not all equally schooled in, and certainly not equally respectful of, the Natural Law.

But it is interesting to note that, of the names on Donald Trump’s short list, at least five--Pryor, Sykes, Gruender, Hardiman and Colloton--are Catholic

As far as the state judges are concerned, they are generally harder to pinpoint on the originalist spectrum, since they haven't ruled on federal constitutional issues, but they appear to be solid.

Don Willett, an evangelical Christian who serves on the Texas Supreme Court, is reportedly its most conservative justice. 

But neither Christian charity nor judicial restraint have stopped the “Tweeter Laureate of Texas” (as he describes himself) from tweeting out a couple of dozen put-downs of the man who now, it turns out, would nominate him to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last year Willet, a Tea Party favorite, even tweeted out a haiku that read:

Who would the Donald

Name to #SCOTUS” The mind reels

weeps—can’t finish tweet

The former rodeo bull rider might like to have that one back.

I am pretty sure that Judge Willet was astonished to find his name on the list.  So were a great many liberals, not least Hillary Clinton, who complained on her campaign website that “Donald Trump opposes abortion and Roe v. Wade.”

Nearly all pro-life, pro-family social conservatives, on the other hand, have been cheered by the caliber of the names on the list. Even the neocons at the National Review have embraced the list, which they grudgingly admit has “a number of solid conservative names on it.”  (I would say that they are all solid conservative names but, as we will see, NR is not inclined to err on the side of generosity where Donald Trump is concerned.)

Actually, to call the #NeverTrump types skeptical is an understatement.  And the list, superb though it is, has not been enough to bring them around.

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National Review itself has come so unhinged at the thought of a President Trump that they have virtually endorsed two-time loser Mitt Romney for President.  Never mind that he isn’t running, that he couldn’t get on the ballot in many states, that he couldn’t possibly win, and that his candidacy would virtually ensure that Hillary Clinton would win the election.  At least Trump would be stopped. 

Even worse is the position taken by other NeverTrumpers, such as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who has suggested that he would vote for Clinton over Trump.  Anyone who intends to vote for Hillary, it seems to me, has read themselves out of the pro-life, pro-family movement, and their views on Trump—or on anything else—should henceforth be ignored.

National Review dismisses The Donald’s list as “too little, too late.”  Why the list should be “too late” when the general election is still six months away is beyond me. Why it should be “too little” when it contains no fewer than 11 names for what will, at most, be two or three vacancies on the Supreme Court over the next presidential term escapes me as well.

But NR is just getting started: “[T]he timing of the list’s release smacks of [Trump’s] desperate pandering to conservatives.” In the real world--as opposed to the imaginary world of overheated ideological rhetoric--Trump is anything but desperate.  Instead, the presumptive nominee is calmly winning primary after primary and is coasting into the Republican convention next month in Cleveland having cleared the field. If anyone is feeling “desperate” it is Clinton, who has now fallen behind Trump in the latest national polls.

The magazine, which in the past I have contributed to, even manages to find fault with Trump for including in the list Ted Cruz supporters like Judge Thomas Lee, the brother of Senator Mike Lee, and Judge Sykes, ex-wife of Wisconsin talk-radio host Charlie Sykes, not to mention out-and-out critics like Judge “Haiku” Willet.  But where I see this as a laudable attempt by Trump to unify the party—even a willingness to move on beyond some of the nastiness of primaries--National Review sees only “trolling” or “targeted pandering.”

But National Review cannot have it both ways. If it is “pandering” for Trump to include well-known critics of his to his own Supreme Court list, then he cannot at the same time be accused of “petty vindictiveness”—which NR actually accuses him offor leaving Ted Cruz’ name off.

Those who say that the presumptive nominee “only published the list because he wants to win in November” are perfectly correct.  But what’s wrong with that?  Should Trump not want to win?  Or is it just that his remaining critics do not wish him to win?

It should give his conservative critics pause to learn that this is essentially the same complaint that the Washington Post has levied against Trump and his supporters.  In a recent editorial entitled “The rank nihilism driving the GOP’s acceptance of Trump”, the left-leaning paper criticizes Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for saying, “We want to win in November, and Donald Trump is someone who has been winning.” 

The fact that Trump and his supporters actually want to win seems to be upsetting a lot of people, who seem to forget that is why we have elections.

I understand that, after the hapless campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney, it has come as a shock to those of Progressive bent to have a Republican candidate who actually wants to close the deal.  But why any pro-lifer would be upset at this prospect is beyond me.

Some of the NeverTrump types may never come around, of course. They are so convinced that Trump is a congenital liar that there is simply no way to convince them that, in matter of judicial appointments, he is telling the truth.  Their views are already set in concrete.

Now let me interject here that, in the lying sweepstakes, my money is on Crooked Hillary.  After all, her entire political life has been based on Saul Alinsky’s cookbook of political deceptions, served over and over again to the American public by her and her husband, and seasoned with a healthy dollop of calculated evasions, misstatements, and outright lies. There are, one might say, lies, damned lies, and--then there are the Clintons.

Success in business, on the other hand, requires building networks of interpersonal relationships based less on written contracts than on personal trust.  And despite his occasional financial setbacks, and regardless of questions about his exact net worth (which varies from day to day), Trump has been heroically successful.  He is, like it or not, a real-life John Galt, a heroic figure in a free market drama of his own making.

To those social conservatives who are still open to rational argument, I say that it is time to take the Trump version of Blaise Pascal’s famous wager.

Let’s call it the “Trump Wager.”

If Trump is telling the Truth (i.e., if God exists), then we wind up in judicial Heaven. We get two or three new Supreme Court justices cut from the same cloth as Scalia. We can add to this number a couple of dozen conservative appeals courts judges, and maybe a couple hundred federal judges over President Trump’s term in office. 

If Trump is not telling the Truth (i.e., if God doesn't exist), then we would still get better judicial appointments from a Trump White House than from a Clinton one. Perhaps we wind up with another Anthony Kennedy or, worse yet, another David Souter. Both justices, of course, are living testaments to the miserable job that past Republican presidents have done in vetting candidates.  At least Trump is starting the vetting process early, and is talking to the right people.  Whatever his personal intentions, that bodes well for the process.

But with President Hillary, on the other hand, we get a straight run of black-robed tyrants, as Judge Robert Bork referred to those judges who believe that the law is merely a social construct of their own making.  We also get the Clintons’ trademark pandering to their progressive base. Can anyone doubt that Hillary is eager to make history by naming the first openly Gay Justice and the first Transgender Justice to the Supreme Court?  Or that such justices would be eager to write their personal sexual predilections and pro-abortion sentiments into settled law?

What this means is that, even if Trump issued his stellar list for purely political reasons, the choice is clear: Pro-lifers can either opt for judicial purgatory with Trump, or they can go to judicial Hell with Hillary. 

As for me and my house, we vastly prefer purgatory. While hoping, of course, for Heaven.

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute.

Featured Image
Main characters Will Traynor and Louisa Clark in Me Before You
Stephanie Gray Stephanie Gray

Opinion

‘You before me’ is better than ‘Me Before You’

Stephanie Gray Stephanie Gray
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URGENT: Sign the boycott of 'Me Before You.' Click here.

May 31, 2016 (Stephanie Gray) -- “Wait for it…It’s going to make you raaaaaaaage.”

That’s what my friend texted me who had told me about the book, and soon-to-be-released movie, “Me Before You.”  She suggested I read it, not because under normal circumstances it would be worth my time (or hers), but rather because she had just attended a pro-life apologetics presentation I gave on assisted suicide and euthanasia and she thought I should be aware of the story as my future audiences might bring it up.

So on the weekend, as it poured rain, I curled up and got caught up in the world of the main characters Louisa Clark and Will Traynor.  So would I recommend it?  Absolutely not.  It’s dangerous—very dangerous.  Setting aside the obvious problems of blasphemous language and sexual references, the storyline supports assisted suicide—but it does so in a sneaky way, making it all the more dangerous.

Initially Louisa, hired to be a companion and helper to wheelchair-bound Will, was my hero.  She was from a family that, while it had its own dysfunctions, overall lived a self-less philosophy:

Louisa worked so as to help provide for her poverty-stricken family.  You before me.

Her parents welcomed her sister home when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and helped care for their grandson.  You before me.

Her mom quit work to care for the family’s ailing grandfather.  You before me.

But the world of you before me was about to collide with another world—the ugly world of me before you.  The Traynor family had it all—by the world’s standards: unlimited wealth and the ability to go wherever and do whatever.  But they were all miserable because they lacked love:

Mr. Traynor was having an affair (not his first).  Me before you.

When Will’s sister Georgina visits and learns of his plan to have assisted suicide in 6 months she gets angry that he would do it, but instead of using the 6 months to give him the gift of time, attention, and love, to try to convince him he’s valuable and should stay alive, she returns to Australia saying, “…this was just a visit…It’s a really good job…the one I’ve been working toward for the past two years…I can’t put my whole life on hold just because of Will’s mental state.” Me before you.

Will himself, pre-accident, lead a life of self-indulgence.  Me before you. 

So why was Louisa my hero initially? When she learns that the parents have agreed to assist Will in his suicide in 6 months’ time, she quits because she doesn’t want to be part of killing.  Louisa, you’re my hero.  Then she decides to return to work, realizing she can spend the next few months trying to make Will’s life as incredible as possible so he doesn’t choose suicide.  Louisa, you’re my hero.  Then she takes Will on a life-creating and spirit-building vacation and tells him she wants to devote her life to loving and serving him, but he refuses saying he still plans to commit suicide, so she cuts him off in a decision to remove herself from the killing.  Louisa, you’re my hero.

But then it all goes downhill.  And I understood why my friend said “It’s going to make you raaaaaaaage.”  Almost every single character caves.  Mr. and Mrs. Traynor, Georgina, Mr. Clark, Louisa’s sister. And Louisa herself.  They all cave.  They all encourage, facilitate or are actually present at Will’s suicide the way he wants it. 

URGENT: Sign the boycott of 'Me Before You.' Click here.

And a morally un-formed reader will think, “Maybe it’s not so bad after all. Maybe, by being present, that was the loving thing to do.”  No, no it’s not.  Would they have been present if Will was killing a child?  Then why would they be present when Will killed himself?  His life is just as unrepeatable, and just as irreplaceable, as a child’s.  Life, whether our own or someone else’s, is not ours to take.  Moreover, Will couldn’t have gotten to the suicide clinic without their help.  So his act of suicide actually turned into their act of homicide.  Had they refused to “help” him, especially when, as a result of Louisa’s involvement in his life, he admitted those were the best 6 months of his entire life, Will may have gone on to thrive in a world of human connection and a world of you before me.  But we will never know.  Because he’s dead.  And they helped kill him.

Will was obsessed with control, and argued he needed to end his life because it was the one thing he could control.  But he could control more than death—he could control his perspective.  Holocaust survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”

When someone is despairing so much that they can’t see they can choose their attitude, it’s the job of people who care to help them see this, not to feed into despair.  As one palliative care website says for why they don’t allow or encourage assisted suicide, “In our experience, the issue of physician-assisted suicide often arises as a response to a complex set of problems which we help people sort through and address.”  If only Louisa et al had helped Will sort through and address his problems.

So when the movie is released this Friday, and unsuspecting movie-goers who’ve seen the trailer may have no clue it’s actually about assisted suicide, please boycott the film and encourage others to do the same.  And when someone asks why, you could begin by explaining, “You before me is better than me before you…”

Stephanie Gray is an international pro-life speaker who has presented in Costa Rica, Latvia, Austria, England, Ireland, and across the United States and Canada (where she resides in the Lower Mainland of BC).  She has debated abortion doctors and professors at universities across North America and in England, and is faculty at Blackstone Legal Fellowship, training law students from around the world about conversing persuasively on abortion.  Stephanie is author of “Love Unleashes Life: Abortion & the Art of Communicating Truth."  Learn more at www.stephaniegray.info. This article is reprinted with permission.

URGENT: Sign the boycott of 'Me Before You.' Click here.

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