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News

Cardinal Burke: On dubia, I’m more concerned about Last Judgment than losing my title

Cardinal Burke has no fear of being 'persecuted for defending the truth' while seeking clarification from Pope Francis on 'Amoris Laetitia.'
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 6:48 pm EST
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Cardinal Burke at 2016 Rome Life Forum. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
By Lisa Bourne

January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke has again insisted that the four cardinals behind the Amoris Laetitia dubia are doing their Catholic duty in seeking clarity from Pope Francis regarding his ideas on Catholic Church teaching on marriage and the Eucharist.

In a new interview in the Italian newspaper LaVerita, Cardinal Burke notes that there are many more than the four Cardinals who are concerned about Amoris Laetitia, and also says there is no specific timeline for a formal correction.

For the cardinal’s part, on judgment day he would rather be able to stand in good conscience before God than take up concern today over the potential political repercussions against the cardinals for making the request of the pope.

While the idea has been floated that Cardinals Burke, Caffara, Meisner and Brandmueller could, or should, be demoted by Pope Francis — losing their cardinal rank — for what some mistake as disrespect in submitting the dubia, the thought neither troubles nor deters Cardinal Burke.

“I don't even think about it,” he said. “I mean, certainly, it's possible. It's happened, historically, that a cardinal has lost his title. But I don't think about it because I know what my duty is and I can't be distracted from it by these kinds of thoughts – you know, worrying about whether I’m going to be in some way persecuted for defending the truth.”

Cardinal Burke said he has been asked directly whether he is afraid to make an issue in this matter, responding that what he feared instead was having the wrong answer for God on the question of whether he’d defended the Lord and His teaching at the end of his life.

The cardinal stated, “And I said that what I'm afraid of is to have to appear before Our Lord at the Last Judgment and having to say to Him: ‘No, I didn't defend You when You were being attacked, the truth that You taught was being betrayed.’ And so, I just don't give it any thought.”

Critics of Amoris Laetitia have faced loud pushback from Pope Francis' defenders, but while there are those who question or criticize the cardinals for submitting the dubia,  many others are insisting that this was, in fact, their duty.

Ed Pentin, the respected Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Register, points out this week that there were in fact 30 Cardinals who submitted concerns to the Pope after getting a pre-release copy of Amoris Laetitia.

In the interview with LaVerita, translated by Andrew Guernsey, Cardinal Burke clarifies that there is “absolutely no deadline” on doing the formal correction of the Pope. He suggests that his former comments to LifeSite indicated that it could not happen until after Epiphany.

Moreover, the Cardinal said there is no disagreement among the four Cardinals. "In fact, I never said that a public confrontation ought to occur,” he said. “I agree with Cardinal Brandmüller, the first step would be to ask for a private meeting with the Holy Father to point out to him the unacceptable statements in Amoris Laetitia, showing how, in one way or another, they are not adequate to express what the Church has always taught."

In a recent interview with The Remnant, Cardinal Burke stressed the need to publicly present the dubia. He said that not raising the concerns would lead Catholics to believe that everything is OK in the Church when it certainly is not.

“But, no, that’s not sufficient (accepting ambiguity because it came from the pope),” Cardinal Burke explained. “Because everywhere I go — and I travel a lot now — everywhere I go people are saying: 'What's wrong with you Cardinals? There are these serious questions, and yet you remain silent. You don't say anything.'"

“And they’re correct,” he continued. “If we were to remain silent, it would most definitely give the idea to the faithful that everything is fine. But everything is not fine.”


  amoris laetitia, catholic, dubia, formal correction, four cardinals letter, pope francis, raymond burke

News

He supports forced abortion, sterilization. Next month, he’s speaking at the Vatican.

Paul Ehrlich, a proponent of sex-selective abortions and mass sterilization, will give a talk next month at an event sponsored by two Pontifical Academies.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 4:06 pm EST
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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

URGENT: Sign the petition to the Holy Father urging him to stop this scandal. Click here.

Update January 13, 2017: LifeSiteNews has published a reaction from life and family experts to Ehrlich at the Vatican here

VATICAN CITY, January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has invited the undisputed father of the modern, pro-abortion population control movement to present a paper at an upcoming Vatican-run conference.

Dr. Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb is scheduled to speak in Vatican City during the February 27-March 1 conference that will discuss “how to save the natural world.” The Stanford biologist champions sex-selective abortion as well as mass forced sterilization as legitimate methods to curb population growth.

In his 1968 book, Ehrlich went so far as to defend forced abortion, writing: “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

Titled Biological Extinction, the February conference will address what Vatican organizers call an unsustainable “imbalance” between the world’s population and what the earth is capable of producing. The event is jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Organizers of the Vatican-run conference predict that if effective steps are not taken to reverse so-called man-made “global climate change,” then up to 40 percent of “all biodiversity on Earth” will be destroyed “by the end of this century,” including a “majority” of species of plants.

“[T]here is no possibility of improving our situation without the widespread adoption of social justice, both as a matter of morality and as a matter of survival,” the event brochure put out by the Vatican states.

With the invitation of Ehrlich to address the conference, how the Pontifical Academies understand “social justice” takes on a sinister aspect.

In The Population Bomb, Ehrlich forecasted “an utter breakdown in the capacity of the planet to support humanity” that would result in starvation for hundreds of millions, predictions that have proved to be false while his theories have been debunked. The biologist predicted in 1968 that half of Americans would die by 1990. India and China would simply die out. By the year 2000, England would also cease to exist. Ehrlic mentioned in his book sex-selection abortion as a potentially effective tool for conserving the world’s resources by reducing population, a position he continues to defend.

In a 2011 interview with Mara Hvistendahl, Ehrlich defended sex-selection abortion, stating that “it would be a good idea to let people have their choice so that they could have fewer children and could have what they wanted,” adding that a sex-selection abortion and possibly even infanticide might be a better fate for females than what awaited them in an overpopulated world.

“You can be aborted as a conceptus, you can be killed at birth, or you can be sold into slavery and die in a slum someplace,” he said. “It would be interesting to know how many females you’re keeping out of hideous situations [when they are not] killed or infanticided.”

URGENT: Sign the petition to the Holy Father urging him to stop this scandal. Click here.

In the same interview, Ehrlich also defended the principle behind mass forced sterilization, a concept mentioned in a 1977 book he co-authored titled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, suggesting that mass sterilization working in tandem with sex-selection technology would be particularly effective for population control interests.

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, criticized the Vatican’s choice of Ehrlich as a suitable speaker.

“Ehrlich’s opinions on biological extinction rates are just as exaggerated as his failed predictions of a human population explosion. Why the Vatican should be giving a platform to this secular prophet of doom is beyond me,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“There are plenty of credible Catholic scientists around whose fact-based opinions should be highlighted by their Church. What's next? Inviting Raúl Castro to speak on human rights?” he added.

The Catholic Church not only condemns abortion but coercive population control methods as well.

Instead of seeing people as “mouths to feed,” “pollution producers,” or “carbon footprint makers,” the Church sees each person as a unique and unrepeatable gift from God. 

In his watershed 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae that taught about the moral evil of using contraception to space birth, Pope Paul VI warned rulers of countries against using illicit methods of birth control to solve the “demographic problem.”

“Do not allow the morality of your peoples to be degraded; do not permit that by legal means practices contrary to the natural and divine law be introduced into the fundamental cell, the family,” he urged at that time.

Paul VI warned the people of the world then that if contraception became a societal norm it would provide governments with a “dangerous weapon” to manipulate population sizes.

“Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider it necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious? In such a way men, wishing to avoid individual, family, or social difficulties encountered in the observance of the divine law, would reach the point of placing at the mercy of the intervention of public authorities the most personal and most reserved sector of conjugal intimacy,” he wrote.

Pope Francis has also explicitly rejected population control as a method to combat climate change, writing in his encyclical Laudato Si’ that to “blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some [for lack of resources] is one way of refusing to face the issues.”

Given the Church’s outright condemnation of abortion, contraception, and the use of coercive population control measures to curb demographics, it remains to be seen why the Pontifical Academies viewed the famed proponent of population control as a suitable speaker for their conference.

This is not the first time an advocate for positions contrary to the Catholic faith has been invited to attend Vatican conferences. The leaders of both Pontifical Academies have, under Francis’ pontificate, surprisingly given prominent platforms to some of the world’s foremost proponents of abortion and population control, including Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs.

In 2015, Professor Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, slammed the Centre for Family and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), an American pro-life research institute that monitors the United Nations, after it raised concerns about abortion and population control proponents being given a platform at a Vatican conference on climate change. “I am appointed by the Pope and responsible directly to him. I’m afraid that leaves you and your cohort out in the cold,” she told the organization at that time.

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, also has a history of inviting abortion and population control proponents to Vatican events. He has been criticized by pro-life advocates for unreservedly endorsing the United Nations’ controversial Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which pro-lifers warn include a not-so-hidden abortion and population control agenda. Last year, Sorondo defended inviting then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, an abortion advocate, to address a “social order” conference.

Also attending the Vatican conference is African Cardinal Peter Turkson, who in a BBC interview in 2015 said “birth control” could “offer a solution” to the impacts of climate change. Turkson, who has since become the prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, later revised his statement, saying that when he used the term “birth control,” what he actually meant was spacing of births or “responsible parenthood.”

READ NEXT: ‘Scandalous,’ ‘shocking:’ Catholic experts blast Vatican invite to pro-abort ‘Population Bomb’ author


  abortion, catholic, paul ehrlich, pope francis, sex-selective abortion, the population bomb, vatican

News

New details emerge about controversial firing of three priests at Vatican doctrine office

More on Vatican authoritarianism?
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 3:29 pm EST
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Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

January 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – New details have begun to emerge about the pope's sacking of three priests at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

According to Vaticanist Sandro Magister, one of the priests is Father Christophe J. Kruijen. Kruijen is Dutch. Kruijen is an expert on the "four last things": death, judgement, heaven, and hell. Kruijen is an outstanding theologian, Magister wrote, and has served the Vatican's doctrine office since 2009.

Kruijen is a relatively young priest; he was only ordained in 2000. His master's thesis focused on St. Edith Stein, who converted from Judaism to Catholicism. She became a Carmelite nun and was killed in Auschwitz.

"In the public writings and remarks of Fr. Kruijen there is not a single word of criticism against Francis," wrote Magister. "But all it took was a tattle lifted from one of his private conversations to bring him into disgrace with the pope, who brought the whip down."

Magister's explanation matches the explanation Vaticanist Marco Tosatti gave of the sacking. Apparently, a "close collaborator" of Pope Francis heard Kruijen and another priest speaking of some of the pope's recent decisions. This collaborator then apparently told Pope Francis, who allegedly retaliated

"One of the two had freely spoken about certain decisions of the pope – perhaps a little bit too much," Tosatti wrote.

One of the priests, likely Kruijen, was "reprimanded harshly by telephone for having expressed criticisms against him, which had come to the pope’s ear through an informant," Magister wrote. 

In his initial report, Tosatti wrote that recently, a decision concerning an episcopal appointment was before the Congregation of Bishops. Someone from the Congregation presented to Vatican officials three possible candidates for the position: one great, one good, one about whom he had doctrinal concerns.

"But the third was a friend of someone; and another cardinal [of] the circle currently in power, lashed out at his colleague, accusing him of impropriety. The meeting was closed without further decisions. But the day after the personal secretary of the Pope [informed] the Congregation...that the choice fell on the third," Tosatti wrote.


  catholic, catholic church, congregation for the doctrine of the faith cdf, pope francis

News

Congressmen introduce bill to block DC assisted suicide

This could stop assisted suicide from becoming law in DC.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 1:50 pm EST
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US Senator James Lankford, R-OK. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., JANUARY 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma Senator James Lankford and Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup today introduced companion resolutions to overturn the District of Columbia bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the bill into law just before Christmas after it passed the city council twice. Congress now may review and block the legislation, as it has the authority under the US Constitution and the DC Home Rule Act to review actions by the District of Columbia. 

"America must be a nation that supports and cherishes human life, no matter the age, ethnicity or health of that life," said Lankford. "Washington, DC’s assisted suicide bill would erode our culture’s respect for life, and possibly lead to the mistreatment and exploitation of the disabled and most vulnerable among us. The District of Columbia has also not addressed the legality of their ability to create this law, since Congress has prohibited the use of government funds for purposes related to assisted suicide. This bill is about much more than dignity—there are far-reaching ramifications that could deteriorate America’s values regarding our foundational right to life."

"As a physician of over 25 years, access to quality healthcare for every American is a concern that is close to my heart. By authorizing doctors to violate the Hippocratic Oath of ‘do no harm,’ physician-assisted suicide undermines a key safeguard that protects our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and ensures our loved ones receive the best medical care when they need it most," said Dr. Wenstrup. "Under this new law, if D.C. residents are not able to pay for health care out of pocket, they may find their options severely limited when facing a new diagnosis, suffering from a chronic illness, facing a disability, or struggling with mental illness. If Congress fails to act on this, it will imply tacit federal approval of physician-assisted suicide -- and I firmly believe that is not the right path."

The DC "Death with Dignity Act" authorizes doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to patients with terminal illnesses they deem have no more than six months to live.

"There are concerns that the definition of 'terminal disease' is too broad, as many conditions—such as diabetes or leukemia—are terminal if left untreated," a press release from Lankford's office noted.

Lankford chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia. The Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, strictly forbids the use of government funds for purposes related to assisted suicide. 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has also said he will work to block assisted suicide from becoming law in the nation's capital. He chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which may review and send D.C. laws to Congress for reconsideration.

Opponents of doctor-prescribed suicide say doctors should help patients live rather than help them kill themselves. Disability rights groups have called assisted suicide a "deadly form of discrimination" because it sends the message that it's acceptable for the disabled or sick, but not able-bodied people, to kill themselves. 

Critics are also concerned that the vulnerable will face pressure to be killed because it will be cheaper for insurance companies to pay for one dose of death drugs than expensive, possibly lengthy treatments.


  assisted suicide, death with dignity act, end of life, james lankford, washington d.c.

News

DC radio station pulls ad exposing Planned Parenthood abortion business

The ad called out Planned Parenthood for selling baby body parts.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 12:43 pm EST
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Dave Bledsoe / Flickr
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A radio station that covers the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area stopped running a pro-life ad this week after the abortion lobby complained.

WTOP pulled an ad from the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), a political group that elects and supports pro-life women, after "abortion activists demanded [they] take it off the air," SBA List wrote in an email to supporters.

SBA List Press Secretary Nicole Stacy confirmed to LifeSiteNews that WTOP removed the ad "saying they received complaints."

"It's a fact: Planned Parenthood is America's largest abortion business," a female voice says in the 31-second ad. "Nearly a million abortions in the last three years. Its executives were caught on tape bragging about selling baby body parts. Under federal investigation, Planned Parenthood spent 30 million last election on political activism, not women's healthcare."

"It's time for Congress to act," the ad continues. "It's time to redirect Planned Parenthood's funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive healthcare to women, not abortions."

"Our ad exposes Planned Parenthood for the profit-driven, abortion-centered business it is," said Mallory Quigley, SBA List Communications Director. "This clearly hit a nerve with the abortion activists who complained. I understand it is stomach-churning to think of Planned Parenthood executives bragging about harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted children. What’s also sickening is that our taxpayer dollars go to the abortion business at a rate of $1.5 million a day. It is time to redirect that money to comprehensive health care centers that don’t end the lives of more than 300,000 children a year. We won’t be deterred by this censorship and will continue to urge Congress to act."

The radio ad is part of a new $500,000 campaign SBA List launched today to expose Planned Parenthood as America’s largest abortion provider and urge Congress to redirect the group’s tax dollars to comprehensive, whole-woman health care centers.

This week, SBA List is running a radio ad and digital advertising campaign targeting Washington, D.C. Upcoming efforts will include state-based mobilization in key states, the group said in a release. 

Last night, the U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution bill, the first step in the process to redirect Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding and repeal Obamacare using the budget reconciliation procedure.

Listen to the censored ad here.


  abortion, planned parenthood, susan b. anthony list, wtop

News

Judge: Pro-lifers can sue Chicago over law that keeps them from abortion clinics

Chicago’s 'bubble zone' law unconstitutionally constrains the peaceful work of counselors because police have selectively applied it against them, but not abortion clinic escorts.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 12:42 pm EST
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City of Chicago Shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) --  Chicago area pro-life advocates achieved a victory last week when a judge denied the City of Chicago’s motion to dismiss a federal complaint challenging Chicago’s abortion-protective “bubble zone.”

The ruling by United States District Judge Amy J. St. Eve was in response to the Thomas More Society’s challenge, on behalf of the Pro-Life Action League, Live Pro-Life Group and several individual pro-life counselors, that the ordinance denies life advocates their First Amendments rights and impedes their ability to share life-affirming alternatives with women seeking abortions.

Ann Scheidler, Anna Marie Scinto Mesia, David Berquist and Veronica Price are citizens who peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights on the public ways near Chicago abortion facilities by reaching out to women who are approaching the clinics.  These “sidewalk counselors” and their organizations inform these abortion-bound women of the dangers inherent in the procedures and share life-affirming alternatives. Their complaint asserts that Chicago’s “bubble zone” law unconstitutionally constrains the peaceful work of these counselors because police have selectively and erratically applied it against them, but not abortion clinic escorts.

Judge St. Eve ruled that the plaintiffs could proceed with the challenge to the “bubble zone” ordinance.  She decided that since the law was enacted in 2009, enough instances of discriminatory and inconsistent enforcement have been alleged to warrant a hearing. She deemed valid the need for a hearing on whether the Chicago police enforced the ordinance with “deliberate indifference” toward the rights of the plaintiffs.

The “bubble zone” law, which is exclusively applicable to abortion facilities, designates a 50-foot radius of an abortion clinic entrance as an area in which a pro-life counselor is prohibited from intentionally coming closer than eight feet to a person approaching the entrance, unless that person gives permission for the counselor to approach.

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Thomas More Society Senior Counsel and Co-Executive Director Thomas Olp explained, “Contrary to pro-abortion propaganda, pro-life counselors do not intimidate women approaching abortion clinics. That type of engagement would be ineffective.  Pro-life sidewalk counselors compassionately and calmly approach women, one-on-one, to offer them information about abortion alternatives. The Chicago ‘bubble zone’ ordinance is designed to impede -- and does impede -- this communication. This law is unconstitutional and it deliberately curtails our clients’ First Amendment rights.”

Read U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve’s January 4, 2017, Memorandum Opinion and Order handed down in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division in the case, Veronica Price et al. v. The City of Chicago et al.here.


  abortion, bubble zone, chicago, sidewalk counseling, thomas more society

News

British equalities czar: ‘It is not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage’

Dame Louise Casey called 'religious conservatism' a problem in a report on the country's 'Trojan Horse' controversy involving Muslims.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 11:39 am EST
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Dame Louise Casey
Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

LONDON, United Kingdom, January 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Britain’s equalities czar has equated Christian schools with Islamic extremists for teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Dame Louise Casey, a prominent bipartisan expert on social problems who just finished a review for the British government on “opportunity and integration” of isolated communities, told a parliamentary committee this week that Catholic schools were “homophobic.”

Casey said, “We have got to be careful that people can choose, obviously, to live the lives that they want to live, but that they cannot condemn others for living differently.”

This prompted a tweet from MP Edward Leigh: “Equalities czar says we ‘can't condemn others for living differently’ then condemns Catholics for living differently.”

Casey’s remarks came after she said the so-called “Trojan Horse” scandal involving Muslims taking over Birmingham public schools was being repeated in more schools elsewhere.

“Do I think that some of the dynamics that happened in Trojan Horse are at play in other areas of the country? Yes, I do,” she said before moving on to her general indictment of Catholic educators and then all orthodox Christians.

In a reference to how Birmingham students were told by their Muslim teachers to boycott certain activities, she said, “I do not really have any view on which religion it is that it is promoting those sorts of views, but they are not OK, in the same way that it is not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage. That is not OK either — it is not how we bring children up in this country.”

At least one commentator suggested Casey took her swipe at Catholics so as not to seem to be picking on Muslims. Indeed, Casey went on, perhaps so that she would not seem to be picking on Catholics, to include all Christians who were passing on traditional moral teachings.

“I have a problem with the expression ‘religious conservatism,’ because often it can be anti-equalities,” she said. (“Equalities” is a British catchphrase for social justice or human rights.)

Later, she tried again to broaden the direction of her report, cautioning, “It has to be balanced. We easily want to condemn racists, and so we bloody should! So we should, but we should also condemn people who have other extreme views.”

Nonetheless, the thrust of her report, released last month, is the growth of self-contained and self-sustaining Muslim communities where Sharia law is enforced especially against women aspiring to rights accepted in the rest of the country.

Groups created to defend heterosexual marriage protested Casey’s widely publicized remarks. The Coalition for Marriage called them “astonishing” and “one of the clearest indications” the country’s equalities leadership saw those teaching Christian sexual morality as extremists.

“Believing that marriage is between one man and one woman doesn't make you homophobic or an extremist,” the Coalition emphasized. “It's Dame Louise Casey's comments which are extreme.”

Anglican theologian Adrian Hilton took to his Archbishop Cramner blog site to say, “Louise Casey – whose whole political mission is virtuously dedicated to integration and social cohesion – has just jabbed another finger (not quite the middle one) at all those who call themselves religious conservatives, for ‘often’ they invoke that very term to cloak their anti-equalities bigotry in a shroud of holiness.”

Hilton continued, “In fact, all faith-based schools are now tarnished with the ‘Trojan Horse’ association, for what do religiously conservative teachers seek to do but propagate religious bigotry? And so religiously conservative groups are only free to ‘do God’ in free schools provided they don’t propagate a robust apprehension of moral orthodoxy.”

Casey’s comments have reminded some of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s recent observation about the government’s “religious illiteracy.” Said the archbishop: “The Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defense, our government generally, is desperately trying to catch up, to understand a world in which they have no grip on what it is to be religious at all.”

He continued, “They can’t see really the difference between an extremist Muslim group like the Muslim Brotherhood and a sort of conservative evangelical group in a Church of England church.”

RELATED

UK government mulls 'crackdown' on homeschoolers

Former UK Chief Rabbi warns of collapse of Western civilization


  catholic, christians, islam, louise casey, trojan horse, united kingdom

News

Pro-life feminists, activists unfazed at cold shoulder from Women’s March on Washington

Pro-lifers are going to the Women's March on Washington to say abortion kills children and Planned Parenthood doesn't speak for all women.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 11:17 am EST
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Pro-life citizens join a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2014 as the court releases its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. American Life League
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By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A diverse lineup of individuals and groups will be spreading the pro-life message at a national feminist anti-Trump rally the day after the president-elect's inauguration. 

Ranging from "consistent-life-ethic feminists" to students to activists bringing images of abortion victims, the pro-life participants in and protestors of the "Women's March on Washington" seek to spread the message that Planned Parenthood doesn't speak for women, not all feminists are pro-abortion, and the right to life is a basic human right.

"It's been quite interesting watching the Women's March evolve from first an anti-Trump protest planned in the wake of the election, to a women-centric event dedicated to diversity, to now an event overrun by pro-abortion-rights co-sponsors and endorsers," Aimee Murphy, executive director of Life Matters Journal, told LifeSiteNews.

Murphy said she finds it confusing that the event organizers promote abortion even though their website states, "We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. ... We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. ... women's rights are human rights, regardless of ... age or disability." 

"And then they added the cherry on top: the Kingian principles of non-violence," said Murphy. 

However, "when it became clear that the women's March on Washington was going to have major 1 percent-er corporate co-sponsors the likes of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Emily's List, I was frankly confused," Murphy explained. "These organizations are inconsistent with true adherence to non-violence due merely to the way that they promote the violent act of abortion. Despite these abortion-promoting organizations becoming official partners, we believe that pro-life feminist voices absolutely must be represented at this event. The term 'women's rights' is already synonymous with access to abortion in our culture."

"But the pro-abortion side does not own women's rights. It is vital that our voices be counted, and that our holistic perspective in support of human rights for all human beings be included," Murphy continued. "It is necessary both for pro-life women to be represented, but also that we point out the inconsistency of this position that touts non-violence on the one hand but promotes abortion on the other. As pro-life feminists, we embrace non-violence, knowing that true peace cannot be attained through the oppression of any members of our human family. We believe that our movement is the future of an honest and holistic feminism."

Planned Parenthood is using the event to try to shore up support for the tax dollars it currently receives. Congress may redirect half of its income to women's centers that don't commit abortions.

Organizers ignore pro-life women's groups

Life Matters Journal, New Wave Feminists, and Students for Life of America (SFLA) all reached out to the event organizers about co-sponsoring it, but none received a reply.

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A sign from New Wave Feminists

"I'm pro-life because I'm pro-woman and I believe abortion is the ultimate form of oppression," Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists told LifeSiteNews. "For far too long women were treated as property and for some bizarre reason now we are fighting for the right to treat our children in the same way. I am participating because I refuse to let the abortion lobby co-opt this march for women. Not all feminists support abortion, and we must be there to represent the vast and growing number of pro-life feminists."

"I mean, are we really shocked that a feminist rally only wants to include abortion activists?" asked Herndon-De La Rosa. "I'm not. They're trapped in this old school way of thinking that says, in order to be a feminist you must be pro-choice. All the more reason for us to be out there showing them otherwise."

Michele Hendrickson, SFLA's Eastern Regional director, is leading a group at the march "to educate the women who are there about the ultimate act of violence – abortion," she said. "We care deeply about women and families, their rights as human beings, and we want to be a voice in defense of all human rights, including the most vulnerable and innocent in society, the preborn. Women’s rights do not automatically equally abortion-on-demand."

"Students for Life of America has asked to sponsor [the event] several times, even before Planned Parenthood became involved, and we have received no acknowledgement of our desire to join the women’s march," said Hendrickson. "Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby have once again taken over an event centered on the women’s movement, just like they did in the 1960s. ... They are bulldozing their message of free abortion-on-demand for any reason at any time over other, valid messages that women want to talk about." 

"Telling women that they need abortion to succeed in life is the opposite of empowerment" and is "insulting, demeaning, and deceptive," she said.

Created Equal is sending a contingent of interns, former Justice Riders, and staffers to the march to display images of women and children killed by abortion.

Upon hearing of the event, "we immediately decided we were coming," Created Equal's National Director Mark Harrington told LifeSiteNews. "Our message is women and children first. ... Abortion kills children, and because abortion kills children, abortion harms women. We wanna make the connection between the act of abortion and how that harms or betrays women."

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A sign Created Equal is bringing to the women's march.

Harrington said it's possible Created Equal will set up a jumbotron showing the victims. The Created Equal team are all trained in pro-life apologetics. 

"We cannot cede the moral, philosophical and scientific high ground just because some women are now shouting their abortions," said Sarah Jimenez, communications director of Created Equal.

'Abortion isn’t feminist at all'

"Originally, I wanted to participate to remind President-elect Trump that even though he won, we were still watching and still hoping that he would treat women, minorities, the disabled, and those of other religions with the respect due to all humans," pro-life attorney and activist Deanna Wallace told LifeSiteNews. "Now, I’m participating in order to show that pro-choice extremist groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL do not represent all women. I’m proud to be a pro-life feminist, and I won’t be quiet about it."

"I was so disappointed to have this unifying experience marred by partnering with a group like Planned Parenthood that profits off scared and desperate women experiencing unplanned pregnancies," she continued. "I’m participating in the Women’s March on Washington in order to spread the message that abortion isn’t feminist at all."

Wallace said abortion is anti-woman because it treats women's bodies and fertility like they are "the problem" instead of accommodating "our inherent feminine qualities, such as our tremendous power to create life."

Jeanne Marie Hathway, a Catholic University of America student, is firmly anti-Trump and identifies herself as a "consistent-life ethic feminist." She said that even though she opposes Trump and much of what he stands for, she hopes he will keep his promise to defund Planned Parenthood and that the money will be redirected to federally-qualified community health centers.

"Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby do not speak on my behalf simply because I am a woman," she told LifeSiteNews. "I feel that this makes my participation [in the march] that much more imperative."

Wallace was "part of the Never Trump movement" but hopes he will "prove us wrong" by promoting a culture of life. She said she hopes the new administration will "continue to support diverting federal funding away from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and sending it instead to the thousands of Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide low or no cost health care to millions of patients every year."

"Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best," said Herndon-De La Rosa.

"We are hoping that, despite differences during the campaign, pro-lifers from all views can come together to make abortion unthinkable," said Hendrickson. "This is our moment, right now. Planned Parenthood is on their heels, still reeling from the Center for Medical Progress videos and having been referred for criminal prosecution by both the House and the Senate. Millennials are trending more anti-abortion than previous generations. This is a generation that believes in social justice and helping others, which we see every day on college campuses from our pro-life students."


  abortion, created equal, feminism, new wave feminists, planned parenthood, women's march on washington

News

British TV naturalist believes fewer humans will make the world a better (eco-friendly) place

Chris Packham contends that unless there is zero population growth the world is 'doomed.'
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 10:53 am EST
Featured Image
British TV naturalist Chris Packham supports zero population growth.
Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

LONDON, January 12, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A leading promoter of depopulation is telling Britons they cannot only preserve biodiversity by having fewer children but they can avert traffic jams.

Chris Packham, a host of TV nature programming and a patron of Population Matters, the country’s leading promoter of zero population, found the London Times eager to publish his op-ed piece, evocatively titled “Population growth is stifling our green and pleasant land.”

Packham cites Population Matters research showing, he claims, that humans are destroying the environment, so there needs to be fewer of them. First, he argues pounds and pence: “In 2013, the National Ecosystems Assessment placed the worth of insects pollinating our crops at £430m per year.” These insects are being deprived of habitat by human expansion.

Packham then appeals to his readers’ higher natures. Human fertility must be throttled and unborn babies terminated because “we are intrinsically connected with the natural world, woven into its fabric and complexity and as one very small part of it – entirely dependent on it. We must readjust our thinking to know this, because if we don’t we are doomed – pure and simple.”

But Packham and Population Matters don’t ignore lower natures. If population growth isn’t controlled, traffic will get worse, they argue. “We know that every car, every truck and every railway carriage adds to the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. … More congestion also means more pollution – combustion engines are getting cleaner but when we put more of them on the road, we are chasing our tails.”

Population Matters projects the UK’s population to grow by 10 million by 2025 and cost the country $23 billion for roads, trains, cars, etc.

The solution abroad is to empower women politically, and with power they will practice family planning and reduce their output of children, Packham promised. In Britain, he then acknowledged, this hasn’t actually worked, because people keep having children.  

“We have to recognize that the more of them we have, the more difficult it will be for them to [enjoy nature]," he said. "We all need breathing room: animals, plants, human beings. We shouldn’t have to compete for it, and we don’t have to.”

But Dr. Anthony McCarthy of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children commented to LifeSiteNews that “evidence-free predictions of population controllers come back again and again despite their consistent failure to relate to reality.”

In the 18th century, British economist Thomas Malthus wanted his countrymen to let Indians, who were beset by famine, to starve rather than overburden the British Empire. In the 20th century, American insect expert Paul Ehrlich was so horrified with conditions in India that he called for similar tough mindedness in The Population Bomb, predicting virtually every natural resource would be exhausted by 1990.

Such warnings, McCarthy said, have “been used to coerce people throughout history, which is unsurprising given that such fears emanate from a devaluing of the human person and pessimism about the value of human lives.”

But more fact-based economists have “for a long time realized that economies can be damaged by population decline and have been proved right on this.”

McCarthy added, “It is curious that Population Matters, in praising ‘Nature’ and her fruitfulness, seems to despise the fertility of men and women whose existence is a great blessing for the human family at one with nature.”

Previous advocacy for population control has found ready opposition in Britain. In October 2014, Russell McCarthy of Spiked noted in an article titled “We Need More, Not Fewer, People” that the news media like to illustrate overpopulation stories with “pictures of people clinging to clapped-out, overcrowded trains.”

“When a Malthus-minded individual,” he continued, “looks at such an image they [sic] see too many people, not too few trains.” What is really a problem of economic and agricultural development, said McCarthy, Malthusians see as one of “one of too many mouths to feed.”

Two months later, London Telegraph columnist Charles Moore likened Britain’s shortage of young workers to the UK described in the P.D. James novel-turned-film The Children of Men. In this mis-utopia, a disease has rendered every woman infertile, immigrants do all the work but are deported at age 60, and the elderly “are herded onto boats readily singing ‘Abide with me,’ and pushed out to sea” to die.

Switching from fiction to fact,  Moore writes, “In the world in 1980 there were 10.2 old people for every 100 working ones. Today, there are 12.1. In 2050, the UN projects, there will be 24.7. … In Britain … the old are living longer – a good thing in itself but also, in a society with fewer workers, a problem.”

Moore then explains the wrong-headed thinking behind overpopulation concerns. “Because we tend to think of wealth as a static lump, we assume that people will get poorer if there are more of them to share it. The truth is almost the opposite: wealth is the product of activity and exchange. More people working, more activity, more wealth: fewer people working, less activity; eventually, more poverty.

“The economic and moral message to our supposedly Christian society at this season of the birth of Jesus,” Moore concludes, “is make more babies.”

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  chris packham, depopulation, population control, population matters, united kingdom

News

WATCH: Kentucky governor rips state AG for refusing to defend pro-life laws

It's not the Attorney General's 'prerogative' to pick and choose which laws to defend, says Matt Bevin.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 10:51 am EST
Featured Image
Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

KENTUCKY, January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin unleashed a blistering critique this week of the state's Attorney General, Andy Beshear, for refusing to defend a new pro-life law protecting pre-born children from painful abortions.

"Our attorney general apparently is under the impression that he gets to pick and choose when he does his job," Bevin said in a Facebook live video. "He was elected and is in fact being paid by you, the taxpayers of Kentucky and the voters of Kentucky, to defend the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He’s not allowed to just pander to his base" and "liberal pro-abortion supporters of his and his party’s."

This is not Beshear's "prerogative," Bevin said. 

Beshear, a Democrat, said he would defend Kentucky's new informed consent law (HB2), which requires mothers to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. It doesn't require mothers to look at the ultrasound or listen to the baby's heartbeat. An ultrasound is standard procedure before an abortion so that the abortionist can ensure he is removing the baby and not dealing with an ectopic pregnancy.

However, Beshear said he would not defend the newly-passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB5) because "my duty is to the law." 

Beshear said his job is "to enforce the constitution and to defend laws where the constitutionality is questionable and finality is needed." 

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act "is clearly unconstitutional based on our review of numerous federal appellate rulings, which state that identical statutes in other jurisdictions are illegal under numerous Supreme Court decisions," he said.

The ACLU has challenged the informed consent law and says it may challenge the 20-week ban.

Pain-capable abortion bans are law in 19 states, including Kentucky. Court rulings are blocking the law in only three of those states.

In his Facebook video, Bevin promised to "do what I’ve unfortunately had to do for the last 13 months – my job as governor and also the attorney general’s job when...he drops the ball, as he has promised to once again do."

"I had to defend you as it related to the federal government trying to dictate who used which bathrooms and locker rooms in your children’s schools," Bevin noted, explaining Beshear wanted nothing to do with the issue. "I had to defend the commonwealth of Kentucky….when the federal government tried to...dictate that doctors would, against their own advice and their own will, be forced to perform sex-change operations, whether or not they wanted to. I had to defend the doctors of Kentucky."

"We won all three of those lawsuits," said Bevin. "Shame on our Attorney General for playing partisan politics rather than doing his job."

Kentucky's new law protecting pre-born children more than halfway through pregnancy from being painfully dismembered in the womb is "widely popular," said Bevin. "This bill banning abortions in Kentucky after 20 weeks was passed with nearly 80% of support in the legislature, including 20 Democrats."


  abortion, kentucky, matt bevin

News

Virginia school board rejects bid to give special protections for ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’

The board voted unanimously to add a paragraph stating the school system hires based on excellence and merit, and values diversity in employees and students. Virginia school board rejects bid to give special protections for 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity'
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 9:17 am EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

ASHBURN, Virginia, January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In a 5-4 vote Tuesday night, the Loudoun County School Board rejected a proposal to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the protected characteristics listed in its equal employment policy.

Instead, the board voted unanimously to add a paragraph stating the school system hires based on excellence and merit, and values diversity in employees and students. The ACLU and others had asked the board to go beyond the requirements of Virginia and federal law and add additional categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” These categories would have violated Virginia’s “Dillon rule” which requires local nondiscrimination laws to not be more stringent than the state law. State law does not include “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression.”

“This is good news that the Loudoun County School Board is not caving to radical activists regarding its employment policy,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Individuals should be hired according to qualifications and merit. The law already protects employees from discrimination based on race, age, biological sex, and religion. The Constitution does not protect a person’s choice of sexual lifestyle.”

In neighboring Fairfax County, the School Board changed its nondiscrimination policy and added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” to its policy and student handbook. Virginia civil rights laws explicitly prohibit local governing bodies from altering the state’s nondiscrimination policy; Liberty Counsel filed an appeal against Fairfax County to the Virginia Supreme Court. 

WTOP reported, "Several board members said they should wait for guidance from Virginia courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, before considering whether they needed to update the protected groups to include sexual orientation and gender identity."


  fairfax county, homosexuality, lgbt, liberty counsel, loudoun county, loudoun county school board, virginia

News

Supporters praise Sessions’ record, opponents bash him as racist during second day of confirmation hearings

Racism was a common theme among those who testified for and against the Attorney General nominee.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 8:57 am EST
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The second day of the Sen. Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing for Attorney General saw some witnesses testify that the Alabama Republican is completely unfit and other witnesses testify that he is a perfect candidate for the Trump administration post.

President-elect Donald Trump's pick has become the most controversial of his proposed cabinet, with Democrats and fellow liberals organizing a "Stop Sessions!" campaign across the country to pressure senators on the Judiciary Committee into either denying Sessions or delaying a vote.

On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, claimed “400 different civil rights organizations, 1,400 law professors, 1,000 law students, a broad task force of organizations that oppose domestic violence, 70 reproductive health organizations and many, many others” sent letters against Sessions to the committee.

The charge of racism was a consistent thread throughout the day, with civil rights leaders saying Sessions would not fight for equal justice for all. Countering those accusations were black leaders who worked closely with Sessions, testifying that the former Alabama Attorney General "doesn't have a racist bone in his body."

African-American leaders who have worked personally with Sessions vouched for his character. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Willie Huntley said he believes Sessions will act "even handedly, equally and with justice for all.” Huntley recalled that while he worked under Sessions in the U.S. attorney’s office, "He provided a great deal of support in everything that I did.”

Former U.S. Marshal Jesse Seroyer, who worked as an investigator for Sessions in the U.S. attorney's office, characterized him as "a decent and honest and respectful man" who "believes in law and order for all the people." Seroyer emphasized that it is "without any question" that Sessions is "fit to serve" as U.S. Attorney General.

Attorney William Smith, former chief counsel to Sessions on the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, assured the committee that "After 20 years of knowing Sen. Sessions, I have not seen the slightest evidence of racism, because it does not exist."

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Sessions is "principled, intelligent, thorough, (and) modest."

Larry Thompson, a black former deputy U.S. attorney general who has known Sessions for 30 years, says the nominee holds a "strong record of bipartisan accomplishment" regarding issues within an Attorney General's purview.

Attorney Peter N. Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, took on the charge of racism Sessions endured in a 1986 judicial confirmation hearing that he lost. Sessions was criticized for prosecuting alleged voter fraud by "the Marion Three," who were black. Kirsanow said it was not a case of racial bias.  

"If he had failed to prosecute the Perry County case, that would have been an extraordinary dereliction of duty," Kirsanow explained, because there was "copious evidence" against the defendants, despite the fact that in the end they were acquitted.

Kirsanow added that Sessions has sponsored bills advancing civil rights, and concluded that he would make an "outstanding" attorney general.

Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury said the nominee was "a true partner of law enforcement." Jayann Sepich praised Sessions for sponsoring a bill calling for DNA to be collected at the time of an arrest. Sepich's daughter was the victim of a brutal murder.

Witnesses against Sessions included NAACP President Cornell Brooks, who last week staged an illegal sit-in "Occupy" protest, taking over Sessions' Mobile, Alabama, office until police arrested him and his NAACP cohorts.

Brooks claimed that Sessions' record shows "disregard, disrespect, and even disdain for the civil and human rights of racial and ethnic minorities, women, the disabled, and others who suffer from discrimination in this country.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, confronted Brooks, directly challenging the NAACP's political bias.  

Graham asked the NAACP president what Sessions' score was on his organization's legislative tally of allies and enemies. When Brooks answered that Sessions scored very low, Graham countered with the fact that every Republican on the committee got a failing grade and every Democrat but one got a 100 percent perfect score.

Graham commented to Brooks, “I hope that doesn’t make all (Republicans) racist and all (Democrats) perfect on the issue.”

Graham followed up his commentary by asking Brooks if he could name one Republican whom he thought would make a good Attorney General.

Brooks couldn't.

Another “against” witness, ACLU Legal Director David Cole, accused Sessions of only going after black voter fraud, but Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, said that accusation is unfair because the case of the Marion Three was in response black voters' complaints of fraud.

After a lunch recess, the final witnesses called were three black politicians: Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ; Rep. John Lewis, D-GA; and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-LA, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Booker became the first serving senator to ever testify against another currently serving senator up for a cabinet post.  Booker claimed that Sessions' history “demonstrated a hostility toward (civil rights) convictions.”

Booker's testimony against his peer resulted in other senators complaining that Booker is grandstanding in anticipation of a presidential bid in 2020. "I’m very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AK, posted on Facebook.

"This disgraceful breach of custom is especially surprising since Senator Booker just last year said he was 'honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions' on a resolution honoring civil-rights marchers," Sen. Cotton continued on Facebook. "Senator Sessions wants to keep criminals behind bars, drugs off our streets, and amnesty from becoming law. (Sen. Booker is) welcome to oppose these common-sense policies and vote against Senator Sessions’ nomination, but what is so unique about those views to require his extraordinary testimony? Nothing. This hearing simply offers a platform for his presidential aspirations."

Lewis, who is often called an "icon" of the civil rights movement, talked about Southern racism in the 1950s. He said he didn't think Sessions would protect civil rights. “It doesn’t matter how Senator Sessions may smile, how friendly he may be, how he may speak to you,” Lewis said. “We need someone who is going to stand up, speak up and speak out for the people that need help for people who’ve been discriminated against.”

Richmond, the Congressional Black Caucus chairman, besides saying Sessions will be a "co-conspirator in taking our country backwards," complained that he and Lewis and Booker were taken last. Custom calls for politicians to give testimony before, not after, other witnesses.

Richmond implied that the Judiciary Committee was racist to schedule them at the end of the two-day hearing. “To have a senator, a House member and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all this is equivalent to being made to go to the back of the bus.”

But Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said the reason for the timing is because the trio made a tardy request late last week to testify. "The request came in (from Sen. Feinstein) after ... the agenda was already set, so the (only) place to put them is where they are now,” Grassley explained.

On the first day of the hearing Tuesday, Sessions calmly answered questions, standing by his pro-life views. In one exchange, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, grilled Sessions on the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and Sessions responded that he would enforce the FACE Act for people seeking abortion care, even though “I’m not in favor of that — I am pro-life.”

Blumenthal also falsely accused Operation Rescue of murdering infamous and illegal late-term abortionist George Tiller. The pro-life organization has since demanded a retraction for the lie and an apology for slander.

A vote on Sessions for Attorney General is expected by the end of January. In the meantime, Grassley, R-IA, said he will leave the record open, at least for the next week.


  attorney general, cedric richmond, confirmation hearings, cory booker, donald trump, jeff sessions, john lewis, lindsey graham, ted cruz, tom cotton

News

Would you like an abortion with that? Maryland diner sells $20 burgers to fund Planned Parenthood

The diner didn't realize the backlash its abortion fundraiser would cause.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 8:31 am EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

BETHESDA, Maryland, January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Maryland restaurant named "Community" is selling hamburgers that reference a urine-soaked sex act to raise money for Planned Parenthood.

On January 11, Community began selling a "Golden Showers" Burger. For every one of these $20 burgers sold on January 11, Community donated $5 to Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion business.

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The hamburger is called "Golden Showers" to mock rumors that President-elect Donald Trump hired prostitutes to urinate in front of him in Russia.

When pro-lifers gave Community one star reviews for donating to an organization that commits 897 abortions per day, the restaurant called them "lunatics" in response. Community promised to increase their donations to Planned Parenthood.

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"I like to feel welcome at restaurants, but this place clearly hates their pro-life customers," wrote Terry Schilling on Community's facebook page. "Can't believe they are openly fundraising for abortions. Such an odd thing to do. I hope your employees all make a living wage and that there isn't a significant wage gap between the owners and staff. I don't think any extra funds should go to killing preborn children until the wage gap is eliminated. So odd."

A comment from Barbara O'Quinn Williford said, "As a business you must maintain good customer relations. Calling people names, patronizing customers and making extreme political statements to ostracize the majority of people is detrimental to a business. Mixing politics with burgers will only hurt your business. Your establishment is 'Community' shouldn't you focus on that? Take steps to build a community not tear it down. This is not a place I desire to support financially. **sidenote: I have read previous comments and someone with a little more maturity needs to run your Facebook page. Most restaurants try to resolve any bad review not continue to insult customers."


  abortion, bethesda, community diner bethesda, donald trump, hamburgers, maryland, planned parenthood

Opinion

Trump says he’ll announce Supreme Court nominee ‘within two weeks’ of inauguration

'I think it’s one of the reasons I got elected, I think the people of this country did not want to see what was happening with the Supreme Court.'
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 6:48 pm EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Dave Andrusko
By Dave Andrusko

January 12, 2017 (NationalRighttoLifeNews) -- If you have 48 minutes, go to YouTube and watch pro-life President-elect Donald Trump spar with reporters at his first formal press conference since he was elected. It no doubt foreshadows what we will see for the next 4-8 years.

Here’s what the President-elect said today when asked about making an appointment to the Supreme Court. (The High Court is currently short one member due to the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia.)

I’ll be making the decision on who we will put for justice of the United States Supreme Court, a replacement for the great, great justice Scalia, that will probably be within two weeks of the 20th. … I’ll be making that decision, and it’ll be a decision which I very strongly believe in, I think it’s one of the reasons I got elected, I think the people of this country did not want to see what was happening with the Supreme Court, so I think it was a very, very big decision as to why I was elected.

The importance of the Supreme Court to his victory is hard to exaggerate. As NRL News Today has discussed on numerous occasions [for example, here and here], the electorate knew where Mr. Trump and pro-abortion Hillary Clinton stood on abortion, particularly because of what Mr. Trump said at the third debate and his pledges to the pro-life community, and because the political arms of the Abortion Movement trumpeted Clinton’s absolutist position.

One of the exit poll question asked how important the Supreme Court was in people’s vote. The graph below is startlingly revealing.

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56% of those who voted for Trump said it was the most important factor, compared to 41% for Hillary Clinton–a whopping 15 point advantage for Trump.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

In addition to pledging to nominate only pro-life justices to the Supreme Court and filling his cabinet and White House staff with pro-lifers, Mr. Trump also vowed to retain the life-saving Hyde Amendment, sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide, defund Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocate their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.

Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News.


  abortion, donald trump, hillary clinton, hyde amendment, pain-capable unborn child protection act, planned parenthood, supreme court

Opinion

4 reasons Planned Parenthood must be defunded (and how we can do it in 2017)

Pulling the financial rug out from under Planned Parenthood will be a huge and important step toward ending legal abortion in our nation.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 1:19 pm EST
Featured Image
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock, Inc.
Bradley Mattes
By

January 12, 2017 (LifeIssues) -- Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced that Congress would fast track the reallocation of about 80% of Planned Parenthood’s (PP) tax funding to community health centers. Unlike PP, these centers actually provide healthcare services to women, with the exception of abortion.

Planned Parenthood is literally making a killing — monetary and otherwise — from abortion, so they’re going to be fighting for their lives. Is there a strong enough case against this abortion giant to deflect tax dollars from their coffers?

Absolutely! And I’ve got just the thing to help you convince others.

We’re in for a royal battle when it comes to diverting PP’s funding, but the evidence in our favor has grown to the height of Barack Obama’s ego. Further, it provides an excellent tool to communicate our pro-life message. This brief summary makes sharing that information easy and effective.

Planned Parenthood is corrupt. Last year the undercover videos inflicted a public relations nightmare on PP by exposing prevalent illegal selling of aborted baby body parts. A recent, major congressional investigation validated these revelations. The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives just released key findings regarding PP:

  • Several PP abortion facilities illegally sold aborted baby body parts. In one case StemExpress, a baby body parts middleman, paid PP $55 for a baby’s intact brain and then sold it for $3,340 to a customer — a profit of 2,800%. When an investigator asked a PP executive if this troubled her, she responded, “It’s none of my business. It doesn’t bother me.”
  • Both PP and the middleman were claiming the same expenditures to demonstrate they lost money with the transfer of body parts. It’s a federal violation to sell human body parts for profit.
  • PP abortionists routinely huddled each morning with procurement staff to get a wish list of body parts.
  • PP abortionists illegally altered abortion procedures to increase the saleable inventory.
  • PP consent forms to procure the body parts falsely and outrageously claimed that fetal tissue has been used to find cures for Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and AIDS.
  • PP “routinely” violated patients’ privacy rights spelled out in HIPPA.

Planned Parenthood is political. By their own estimate, PP spent nearly $30-million to elect Hillary Clinton and other like-minded pro-abortion candidates during the 2016 campaign.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America, doing one-third of all abortions in the nation.

Planned Parenthood is the most aggressive lobbyist for abortion on state and federal levels for any reason throughout pregnancy.

In spite of these recent developments, many Americans still believe Planned Parenthood is a force for good, which means our efforts to educate them must continue.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Applying pressure on Congress to stay the course in the face of withering, well-funded opposition is key. Share this vital information on your social media sites and through email. Encourage others to join our pro-life mobilization taskforce by signing up to get these email alerts at the “Stay Updated” section of our homepage. I’ll notify you when the PP funding bill comes before Congress for a vote.

Planned Parenthood is aggressive and enormously well-funded, but we have the facts and justice on our side. If we mobilize enough Americans to contact their congressional leaders we can win this essential battle.

Pulling the financial rug out from under Planned Parenthood will be a huge and important step toward ending legal abortion in our nation. Get everyone to engage in the battle!

Reprinted with permission from Life Issues Institute.


  abortion, center for medical progress videos of planned parenthood, congress, house select panel on infant lives, paul ryan, planned parenthood, stemexpress

Opinion

Our son died in the womb. This is how God made his short life count.

Isaiah will forever be part of our family, and we can’t wait to see him again.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 11:42 am EST
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Courtesy of Stephanie Anderson
Stephanie Anderson Follow
By

Jan. 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - Early last year, a pregnancy test revealed a big surprise for me and my husband: ready or not, baby number three was on the way! There were a lot of things to think through. How were going to fit three car seats, let alone the gear necessary for three kids, in our car? Where was baby going to sleep? How would our two year old adjust to being a big sister?

One thing we never thought about was, “What if something is seriously wrong with our baby?”

Though I was looking forward to our routine anatomy ultrasound and finding out whether we were expecting a girl or a boy, I had also been feeling anxious. But after having our two beautiful, healthy girls, I figured my worries were just the product of an overly zealous imagination. 

No one expects to be planning their child’s birth and death at the same time, but that is where we found ourselves.

Things started out normal enough. But after a few minutes, the ultrasound technician grew silent. “I’m going to be quiet now, and just make some measurements,” she announced. She never did turn the screen for me to see the baby. Abruptly she announced she needed to step out. Several minutes passed, and my heart began to sink.

Eventually, she returned with the radiologist, who took more measurements and said he was seeing some highly concerning things, including a club foot, abdominal abnormalities, and the baby was measuring small. We were told the next step was seeing a fetal medicine specialist (though we had to wait several agonizing days to be seen).

Based on the limited information we had, I started doing some research to prepare myself for the worst. One real possibility seemed to be Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13, very serious conditions where the baby’s body contains an extra copy of a chromosome. (Trisomy 21, or Down’s Syndrome, is the most common trisomy.) I read a lot of blogs and articles and wrote down some questions.  Together, Dan and I grieved, worried, spent sleepless nights, and wondered what in the world to pray for.

At the specialist’s office, we received another ultrasound. As we watched the screen while the technician took measurements, we could tell that things just weren’t right. This little one didn’t move or look like our previous babies did.

After reviewing our scan, the perinatologist talked with us about all she was seeing. From the bottom of this little one’s feet to the top of their head, so much was wrong. Our baby did indeed have restricted growth and club feet, as well as an omphalocele (some of the baby’s bowels are outside the body), an abnormal head shape, heart defects, brain defects, scoliosis of the spine, facial abnormalities, and a cleft palate. She also didn’t detect that the baby’s legs were moving.

We had so hoped that she could at least tell the gender so we could name him or her, but she couldn’t determine that because of ambiguous genitalia. We were told we’d have to wait for the results of our amniocentesis.

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Her feeling was that yes, this was either most likely Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13, though she couldn’t be positive without the amniocentesis results. (Because we felt that the benefits of finding out what issues our baby faced so we could plan his or her care at birth outweighed the risks, we decided to go ahead with the test.)

We were able to share with her right away that abortion is not an option for us. Our desire was to honor the gift of this baby’s life, and allow God to take him or her home when He deemed right.

After that, we met with the genetic counselor, and it was encouraging to find out that our hospital has a wonderful perinatal hospice program. They work frequently with families like ours facing terminal diagnoses for their unborn children, and had an experienced coordinator who could help us with everything from forming a birth plan to planning for special memory keepsakes. (In a culture that embraces abortion, we found it oddly encouraging that enough families are choosing life for their unborn children that there is a need for a comprehensive perinatal hospice program!)

No one expects to be planning their child’s birth and death at the same time, but that is where we found ourselves.

After several more days of waiting, I received the call with the results of the amniocentesis and the news we’d already anticipated—our baby had Trisomy 18.  It was a de novo occurrence, not caused by anything in either of our genetic makeups. While Trisomy 18 is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities, it still only occurs in 1 in 5,000 births. As Dan put it, it’s like we “won” the genetic lottery. Yet we knew God was still sovereign, no matter how grim the diagnosis.

The counselor also told us we were having a boy. Knowing our baby’s gender was hugely important to Dan and me, because we both felt like it would allow us to name this baby and make him part of our family. We didn’t want our son be viewed as an unfortunate episode in our family’s history that we don’t talk about. We wanted our daughters both to know that they had a brother, however briefly, and that they will meet him eventually. Above all, we want them to know that his life was just as precious to their Creator as anyone else’s.

We decided to name our son Isaiah. When we began blogging about our experience, a verse of Scripture popped into Dan’s head: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). We both felt that this was a wilderness we found ourselves in. At the same time, we believed God was charting the course for our family. He had proved faithful in every challenge we’ve met over the years, and we knew this wouldn’t be an exception.

Still, living in the unknown was crushing. It was impossible to plan for the future. Would I go into labor early, or would Isaiah die in utero? If he survived to full-term and was delivered alive, would he die shortly after birth, or would we bring home a baby who would die within a few days, weeks, or months?

Reading blogs and articles from other families who also had babies with Trisomy 18 gave me something solid to hang onto in a sea of unknowns. I saw that other people had indeed walked this road before us, and it gave me hope that we would be okay through whatever happened.

Several days later, I realized I hadn’t felt Isaiah move since the previous evening. Even though he was tiny, he had a pretty regular pattern of movement, and it felt like something had changed.

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The next day, a nurse at our doctor’s office performed an ultrasound. “I’m sorry, I can’t detect a heartbeat,” she told us. I’ll never forget seeing his still little body and that flat heartbeat line.

The doctor talked with us about our options: we could either do a D&C, or go through a labor and delivery. There was no question in my mind what I wanted: to deliver a baby to hold and see, both to honor Isaiah and to give closure to us.

They sent us home with a plan to come back the following evening to start the induction. We were warned that the labor and delivery process could take one, and quite possibly two, full days. (A woman’s body just isn’t ready at 27 weeks to deliver a baby, for good reason.)

It actually was a gift to have that evening and most of the next day to prepare our hearts and get our bags packed. In fact, Dan and I both slept better that night than we had slept in weeks. Though our hearts were still heavy, and we were saddened to know our baby had died, the unknowns of the previous few weeks were now known.

Right after we checked into the hospital, they started me on meds to induce labor. Thirty-six very long hours later, my water broke, and with just a couple of pushes Isaiah was born.

At our request, our nurse first took Isaiah to clean him, wrap him in a blanket, and put a hat on his head. It was a marvel to see just how little he was, weighing just a touch over a pound and being 10.5 inches long. He was so tiny and fragile, and we spent some bittersweet moments holding him.

It was tough to decide whether to have our daughters see Isaiah. We didn’t want to traumatize them, but we did want to give them closure. In the end, we decided to have them see him briefly. We explained to our oldest daughter that Isaiah didn’t look like a normal newborn, that he was very tiny with dark skin, and that his lip had a boo-boo on it (cleft lip). When the nurse brought him in, she just wanted to look and observe, while our two year old was fascinated. She wanted to give her baby “Isa” love pats.

Soon afterwards a wonderful volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep came to take some pictures of our family and of little Isaiah. We are incredibly grateful for the gift of those photos she gave us.

I would sum up our experience of that weekend at the hospital with the word carried. We felt carried through the difficulties by our friends and family who showed us love through their words and tangible acts of service; by the caring and compassionate labor and delivery staff; and ultimately by the Lord. I love how the prophet Isaiah pens God’s tender promise: “I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4).

With the love and support of our church and our friends and family, two weeks later Dan and I buried Isaiah at a local cemetery and had a small service to honor his life. Though his time on earth was fleeting, we know that Isaiah taught us both how to be grateful for what we do have—family, friends, church, home, and health. He taught us to empathize with the suffering and hurt of others, what to say and what not to say to those who hurt, and how to just listen.

Isaiah taught us how to be bold in the face of what seems to be impossible circumstances. He taught us to recognize how God answers prayer even in the deepest and darkest of nights, and that He provides for us in every circumstance.  Most importantly, he taught us that every life, no matter how small, can make an impact. He will forever be part of our family, and we can’t wait to see him again.


Opinion

I was just like the ‘trans’ 9-year-old in National Geographic. Now I know it’s pure fantasy

National Geographic’s cover photo is exploitation. The health and well-being of a child are being sacrificed to advance a political and cultural crusade.
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 9:00 am EST
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Walt Heyer
By

January 12, 2017 (ThePublicDiscourse) --  Psychiatrist Richard Corradi calls transgenderism a “contagion of mass delusion.” As a former transgender, I can tell you that Dr. Corradi is correct. Yet National Geographic magazine selected a trans-activist boy named Avery Jackson for the cover of its special January “Gender Revolution” issue—an image and publication that will only help promote this “contagion of mass delusion” around the globe.

Like it or not, there are two sexes: male and female. Man and woman join to form the foundation of family. National Geographic apparently felt the need to give the LGBTQ movement a helping hand in redefining gender and family.

If you’re an LGBTQ loyalist, you will love the “in your face” cover photo of the boy Avery. But for me, one who was restored after living for eight years as a female transgender, the cover photo is a sad and painful reminder of a lost childhood, a family ripped apart, and a marriage that did not survive. To me, the cover is a glossy reminder of the brokenness of transgender ideology.

The cover photo of Avery, like all photos, shows one moment in time. What it does not give us is a long-range perspective of the consequences of Avery’s choices and those of his parents. It cannot show us his future.

I lived “the life,” just like Avery. I was a cross-dressing boy at age nine, but—after years of pain and self-delusion—my cross-dressing stopped decades later, when I realized that the idea of changing sexes is pure fantasy. Cross-dressing initially felt zany, fun, exhilarating, and wonderfully affirming of my belief that I should have been born a girl. But after many decades of trying to comprehend the gender confusion that persisted even after my sex transition, I came to understand that my grandmother’s cross-dressing of me was emotional child abuse. The psychological harm grew as years went by.

Suicide

The transgender promotional cover photo of Avery fails to address the 41 percent of the transgender population who will at some point attempt suicide. Even when affirmed, accepted, and loved, transgender individuals attempt suicide, which indicates that the issues they struggle with run deeper than a change in gender identity can rectify. Sex reassignment has not proven to be effective in resolving gender dysphoria for nearly half of this diverse population of gender-troubled individuals.

review of 100 research findings concludes that sex changes are not effective, and many transgender people after surgery remain traumatized to the point of suicide.

This National Geographic cover is slick work, as it attempts to legitimize cross-dressing. Calling it “transgenderism” sounds more current than “cross-dressing,” but the reality remains the same.

Avery is simply a cross-dressing boy. Cross-dressing affects outward appearance only; what you do not see are the deeper long-term psychological consequences. No sex is changed; no biological transformation takes place.

Interestingly, in the glossary of the “Gender Revolution” issue, no mention is made of cross-dressing.

Yet, to promote their misguided ideological mission to deconstruct gender norms, the author-activists include the recently invented term for all of us non-transgender people, who number about 99.7 percent of the population: “cisgender.” In this way, the sexual activists are engaging in nihilism—dismissing human nature and observable reality itself.

Fantasy and Delusion: What “Feels Right” Isn’t Always Right

Transgenderism is interesting in theory, but slicing up bodies and injecting hormones is pure Frankenstein 2.0. To treat gender dysphoria, a surgeon operates on a man and makes a “woman.” To keep up the façade, cross-gender hormones are prescribed for life.

Is the surgeon’s transgender female equivalent to a biological female? This argument requires some intellectual parallels.

Let’s compare a real diamond with a manmade cubic zirconia. Which one is a real gem? Or take a 20-dollar bill printed by Treasury Department of the United States and compare it with a counterfeit $20 made in the back room of Lefty’s bar. Which one is genuine?

Surgically created sex changes and cross-dressing boys are as fake as a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill or a cubic zirconia. Yet, if we are to be politically correct, we should call a cubic zirconia a diamond and accept a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill as legal tender. We don’t want the zirconia or the counterfeit currency to feel sad because we call them fake.

With the extreme emphasis on political correctness and safeguarding people’s feelings, we are abandoning all ability to call what is fake “fake” and what is real “real.”

Yes, I enjoyed cross-dressing. Yes, the cross-dressing feelings were strong, delighting me when I slipped on that soft, full-flowing purple chiffon evening dress Grandma made especially for me. Yes, strong feelings of wanting to be a girl grew from seeing myself in the mirror. I believed I should have been born a girl and desired to be one. As a young person, I did not doubt I should have been a girl.

My delusional pursuit progressed over forty years from cross-dressing to cross-gender hormone therapy to surgery. I sought out a gender therapist who specialized in diagnosing gender dysphoria and approving people for gender reassignment surgery. But seeking him out was a mistake, because a gender therapist’s vision of treatment is narrowly focused on one destructive path: sex change.

In hindsight, I can see more clearly today than ever before.

I can see from my experience that transgenderism is fantasy motivated by strong feelings. When it comes to gender, people can change clothing and other aspects of the public persona, but biological sex will always remain fixed.

There are no lab tests or medical findings that can even prove the existence of transgenderism. The only way to diagnose it is when someone self-identifies as transgender. No amount of hormones or cosmetic surgery can effect a biological change of sex. Feelings, no matter how strong, cannot change sex. To pretend anything else is only a masquerade. At best, transgenderism is Mardi Gras, not reality.

Child Exploitation

Even if young Avery is willing to be used in this way, National Geographic’s cover photo is exploitation. The health and well-being of this child are being sacrificed to advance a political and cultural crusade.

Avery may not realize that his feelings and photos are a revenue source for National Geographic and a strategic tool for the LGBTQ lobby. Yes, the bright lights are squarely on Avery. He is today’s poster child—a hero, at least for now. But Avery’s male sex is unchangeable, while feelings do change. What will surface eight, ten, or even thirty years from now? Anyone who thinks that affirming his transgenderism can undo Avery’s innate male sex has caught the contagion of mass delusion.

Avery’s mom surely thinks she is helping her son, just as my grandmother thought she was “helping” me. Today, my body bears the scars from all the unnecessary surgeries I endured because as a young boy I was enabled, encouraged, and provided opportunity to act out such a fantasy.

It is naïve to believe there are no negative outcomes from using this young boy as a symbol and presenting him as an activist. National Geographic’s irresponsible imagery of a cross-dressing boy on the cover will no doubt ratchet up the spread of the contagion that is transgenderism.

Notably, the magazine does not include any interviews with individuals who have had their lives destroyed by the long-term consequences of cross-dressing and gender confusion. Cross-dressing eroded my true gender which in turn ruined my teen years, ripped apart my marriage, and ended my career.

There Is a Way Back

Avery and I have something in common: the strong belief starting in childhood of being a girl.

What makes me different from Avery is seventy years of life experience dealing with the transgender fantasy. Experience is a great teacher. I learned that sex-change surgery and living the life of transgender female didn’t deliver the serenity I was promised. Instead it complicated matters. Every day I had to confront the reality that I was not a real woman.

Many do not have the desire or courage to admit that transgenderism is delusional and was never required medically to resolve their gender conflict. I, on the other hand, wanted my sanity restored. Admitting my regret made me rare in trans-land.

I turned to Christ and away from transgenderism. I wanted to be obedient to the Lord. Obedience is giving up what I want, in order to live the life Christ wants. I had to stop living in defiance of God and stop demanding that the church, God, and everyone else make accommodations for my delusions. Demanding that people use my preferred female pronoun was childish.

I must have been right about obedience, because once I gave up what I wanted, He drew me to a new level of sanity. Through prayer and counseling, I was unshackled from my transgender female life and restored to life as male.

One passage that guided my steps and gave me hope comes from the book of Matthew, where Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

The LGBTQ movement and their co-conspirator, National Geographic, throw open the wide gate that leads to transgenderism and seeks the destruction of gender persona. But gender acquired through hormones and surgery is a delusional pursuit, and the delusion is contagious. Promoting Avery’s situation as a success story will hurt others who are struggling, because it advances the false idea that embracing transgenderism will solve the issues they face and heal the pain they feel.

I determined to be one of the few who find the narrow way that leads to a redeemed life. My faith was rewarded with a redeemed life in my male gender, far better than transgenderism. Yes, that makes me very different—and very richly blessed.

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute.


  gender identity, gender reassignment, homosexuality, national geographic, sex-change surgery, suicide, transgender

Blogs

Pope yet again derides defenders of Church teaching as not like Christ

The Holy Father equated so-called 'doctors of the law' with the Pharisees and called them 'hypocritical.'
Thu Jan 12, 2017 - 11:48 am EST
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John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews.com
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

ROME, January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis took aim at Catholics concerned with Church doctrine again Tuesday, preaching at Mass that “doctors of the law” were incoherent, hypocritical, clericalist, and lacking in real authority.

Christ’s authority was derived from His service and proximity to people and the fact “he was coherent,” the pope said in his morning Mass homily at Casa Santa Marta.

But his frequent and repeated derision of doctors of the law and Pharisees closely resembled negative assessments he has leveled at Orthodox Catholics at all echelons with ever-increasing frequency.

The doctors of the law considered themselves princes, the pope said, and they are the opposite of Christ, who had authority, was coherent, and close to people.

“These doctors of the law … these had a psychology of princes: ‘We are the masters, the princes, and we teach you. Not service: we command, you obey,’” Pope Francis stated. “And Jesus never passed Himself off like a prince: He was the servant of all, and this is what gave him authority.”

The Pharisees were detached from the people, he continued, and despised “the poor people, the ignorant. They liked to walk about the piazzas, in nice clothing.”

He said the doctors of the law were also guilty of clericalism, a pejorative term he has frequently used for traditional prelates.

“Those detached people, these doctors, had a clericalist psychology: They taught with a clericalist authority – that’s clericalism,” he stressed.

Citing Blessed Paul VI’s 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, he said, “One sees the heart of a pastor who is close [to the people]: that’s where you find the authority of the Pope, closeness,” going on to say “the head is the one who serves, who turns everything upside down, like an iceberg.”

Then Pope Francis stated, “one who considers himself a prince has a ‘clericalist attitude’ – that is, hypocritical.”

Jesus counseled His disciples not to do what those with a clericalist attitude tell them, the pontiff said.

“They were incoherent. And the attitude Jesus uses of them so often is hypocritical,” Pope Francis said. “And it is understood that one who considers himself a prince, who has a clericalist attitude, who is a hypocrite, doesn’t have authority! He speaks the truth, but without authority.”

Obliquely referencing the current conflict in the Church between her eternal teaching and proposed changes in pastoral practice, fueled by his populist pontificate, the pope said Jesus’ authority came from His being humble, close to people and coherent.

He said, “And this is the authority that the people of God senses.”

The pope’s homily remarks come amid growing concerns of a climate of fear at the Vatican under his reign, as well as increasingly frequent reports of an autocratic leadership style.

The climate of fear was observed by LifeSiteNews representatives this past November  during a semi-annual Rome visit. LifeSite’s co-founders and Rome correspondent witnessed for the first time ever “a consistent pattern of widespread anxiety and very real fear” among Vatican prelates and staff.

There was fear of being removed from their positions or fired from their jobs in Vatican agencies, and also of facing severe public or private reprimands and personal accusations from those close to the pope or even from Pope Francis himself. There is also fear over the damaging direction of the Church and helplessness to stop it.

“One can sense the fear,” they were told by a high-level cleric. “It is tangible.”

There were reports of police state-type monitoring of Vatican workers and clerics, and LifeSite personnel saw hostile and obstructive handling of the press after the November consistory when probing questions of issues related to Francis were asked.

During his annual Christmas address to the Curia in late December, the pope pointedly criticized those who resisted his reforms, dividing them into categories, listing “good cases of resistance,” “open” and “hidden” resistance, and in a thinly veiled shot at traditional individuals resisting his agenda, he used the term “malicious resistance.”

This “malicious resistance” “springs up in misguided minds,” he said, and comes forth “when the devil inspires ill intentions.”

He went on to say the resistance “takes refuge in traditions, appearances, formalities, in the familiar, or else in a desire to make everything personal, failing to distinguish between the act, the actor, and the action.”

This holiday assailing echoed his past Christmas addresses where he would present his papal vision while panning unnamed opponents.

The remarks demonstrate a pattern of verbal assaults on orthodox Catholics so well established that a list titled “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults” was compiled in recent years.

Pope Francis closed both the 2014 Extraordinary and 2015 Ordinary Synods on the Family with backhanded critiques of those Synod fathers who resisted the idea of tacit allowance of Holy Communion for those in irregular unions such as the divorced and civilly remarried, common law and same-sex couples.

In both Synod closing addresses, Pope Francis took shots at those among the Synod fathers who had stood strong for marriage.

After those who sought to uphold the indissolubility of marriage had been better organized and vocal at the 2015 Synod, the pope gave a scathing censure to conclude the contentious gathering, condemning “the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality … ”

The pope further said, “The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit … ”

The year before in his closing Synod address, Pope Francis spoke of “traditionalists” with their “hostile inflexibility,” and who would not allow themselves to be “surprised by God.”

He also indicted those concerned with upholding Church principles as creating “unbearable burdens” and “casting stones at sinners and the weak.”

Criticisms from within the Curia of a climate of discomfort and conflict in the Francis Vatican were surfacing as early as several months earlier in May of that year. Orthodox prelates were already weary of the effects of the “Whom am I to judge?” tagline attributed to the pope and wary of the brewing storm between liberal and orthodox cardinals and bishops at the forthcoming Synod.

Tuesday’s homily also closely follows the pope’s personal Christmas-time sacking of three longtime and accomplished priests from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The removal is part of a Francis pattern with orthodox and traditional groups and individuals; it’s justification remains unknown. But reports have indicated the pope’s explanation revealed continually emerging dictatorial tendencies.

The Congregation’s Prefect, Cardinal Gerhard Muller inquired with Pope Francis, “These persons are among the best of my dicastery … what did they do?”

The pontiff is said to have abruptly ended the meeting with Cardinal Muller but not before replying, “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.”


  catholic, doctors of the law, gerhard müller, homily, orthodoxy, pope francis, vatican