All articles from May 8, 2017


Canadian archbishop: We are ‘not going to ignore’ reports that our charity supports abortion

'When these sort of allegations come out, clearly the Conference of Bishops is not going to ignore them.'
Mon May 8, 2017 - 5:28 pm EST
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Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith
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By Pete Baklinski

EDMONTON, Alberta, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s bishops have been dealing with allegations for “quite some time” that their foreign aid agency Development and Peace (D&P) supports abortion, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith recently told a Catholic women’s group.

“But when these sort of allegations come out, clearly the Conference of Bishops is not going to ignore them,” he said. 

Smith was responding to a question from the Edmonton diocesan’s Catholic Women’s League which held a convention on April 22. One member had asked about the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) response to allegations that D&P partners with pro-abortion groups. 

The question may have been fueled by a series of four investigative reports on D&P published on LifeSiteNews beginning March 28 that show the bishops’ charitable arm partnering with pro-abortion groups in poor countries. See list of recent reports here

Smith said that a “special standing committee of bishops was established to liaise with Development and Peace so that should these allegations ever come up, we have a place where they can be instantly addressed.”

“Let me just say this,” stated Smith. “If Development and Peace were in any way supportive of abortion, does anybody think that the Bishops of Canada would support the organization for any more than 10 seconds? Of course not.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the Archbishop and asked what was being done to address LifeSiteNews’ recent findings that D&P does partner with a number of groups who do support abortion.

The Archbishop’s Communications Officer, Lorraine Turchansky, responded that “out of respect for this process, Archbishop Smith will not be commenting at this time.”

When LifeSiteNews asked if the statement could be interpreted to mean that a process had, in fact, been begun, Turchansky suggested that LifeSiteNews contact the CCCB or D&P for comment. 

LifeSiteNews contacted René Laprise, CCCB’s director of media relationships, and asked if the bishops’ Standing Committee for Development and Peace has examined the allegations made by LifeSiteNews that D&P is currently partnering with pro-abortion groups. 

He responded that he did not know if the committee’s agenda from its most recent meeting included addressing the LifeSiteNews allegations. He said he would look into the matter and report back. 

“I can do some research and can get back to you if there is anything to report,” he said. 

In its May 2 investigative report on D&P, LifeSiteNews found that seven out of ten Latin American grantees listed on the charity’s website are linked to pro-abortion activism. 

The most recent investigative reports on D&P come eight years after LifeSiteNews began reporting on the charity funding over two dozen groups in the developing world that advocate for legal abortion, as well as contraception and homosexual “rights.” The Canadian bishops began a reform in 2010, when it established its D&P Standing Committee.

  abortion, catholic, cccb, d&p, development and peace, richard smith


Bermuda’s Supreme Court forces gay ‘marriage’ into law

Two men challenged the island nation's law and won.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 5:05 pm EST
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Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche led the fight for gay 'marriage' in Bermuda.
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

BERMUDA, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The British island territory of Bermuda legalized same-sex marriage on Friday after a long legal battle.

Two men, Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian partner, Greg DeRoche, took their case to the Supreme Court after Bermuda’s Registrar-General declined their application to marry on the island.

A crowded courtroom broke into applause when the judge ruled in in their favor, The Royal Gazette reported.

The couple contended that Bermuda’s Human Rights Act protected their right to marry.

“The ruling today is more than me and pieces of paper; it’s more than any of that, it is what it means for Bermuda moving forward,” Godwin said.

This is a big step in the right direction, he continued, with more to be done on LGBT issues.

“People are going to have their opinions about this and that is OK,” said Godwin. “I am not here to change people’s opinions or how they think. I just want them to respect me and my relationship and my marriage that will happen here.”

The law goes into effect immediately. Godwin said he and DeRoche will resubmit their marriage application to the Registrar-General “within days.”

The common law definition of marriage as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, and its reflection in existing matrimonial law “are inconsistent with the provisions of the Human Rights Act as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation,” Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said in her ruling.

“In so doing the common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage and more broadly speaking the institution of marriage,” she said. “On the facts of this case the applicants were discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation when the Registrar refused to process their notice of intended marriage.”

The pro-LGBT group Bermuda Rainbow Alliance praised the judge’s decision, calling the ruling a victory for “a brave young couple willing to fight for their love” and “all same-gender loving people in Bermuda.”

“Today, history has been made and love has won,” the group said in a statement.

The pro-marriage group Preserve Marriage in Bermuda criticized the ruling.

“Today a single judge, Justice Charles-Etta Simmons, of the Supreme Court of Bermuda has decided to redefine the institution of marriage,” the marriage group said in a statement. “By imposing this judgment, the court has ruled against many in the community of Bermuda.”

Bermuda voters overwhelmingly rejected same-sex “marriage” in a referendum last June 69 percent to 31 percent. The vote was null, however, since some three percent less than the required 50 percent of registered voters took part in the referendum.

  bermuda, homosexuality, same-sex 'marriage', supreme court


Science finds 1,500 genetic differences between boys and girls, destroys ‘transgender’ arguments

It's not just sex organs: a new study shows how deeply rooted gender truly is.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 4:12 pm EST
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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

ISRAEL, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Scientists have uncovered 1,559 genetic differences between males and females that relate not only to the sexual organs, but surprisingly to other organs such as the brain, skin, and heart. 

“Overall, sex-specific genes are mainly expressed in the reproductive system, emphasizing the notable physiological distinction between men and women,” the scientists found. “However, scores of genes that are not known to directly associate with reproduction were also found to have sex-specific expression (e.g., the men-specific skin genes),” they added.

The findings suggest to the casual reader that there is much more involved in the notion of changing one’s gender to the opposite sex than simply surgery and hormonal treatment. 

“Our results can facilitate the understanding of diverse biological characteristics in the context of [the male and female] sex,” the researchers stated in their conclusion. 

The study, titled The landscape of sex-differential transcriptome and its consequent selection in human adults, was published in BMC Biology earlier this year. 

In the study, researchers Moran Gershoni and Shmuel Pietrokovski of the Weizmann Institute’s Molecular Genetics Department mapped out thousands of genes — the biological databases of all the information that makes every person unique — from 53 tissues that are similar to males and females, such as the skin, muscle, and brain. 

The study was conducted to examine the extent to which genes determine how certain diseases target males and females differently. 

“Men and women differ in obvious and less obvious ways – for example, in the prevalence of certain diseases or reactions to drugs. How are these connected to one’s sex? Weizmann Institute of Science researchers recently uncovered thousands of human genes that are expressed – copied out to make proteins – differently in the two sexes,” a report from the Weizmann Institute about the findings stated.  

  male-to-female, sex change


Emma Watson receives ‘gender-neutral’ award for pro-gay Beauty and the Beast

Asia Kate Dillon said it was a 'victory' to present an acting award 'free of any gender distinctions.'
Mon May 8, 2017 - 4:04 pm EST
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By Lisa Bourne

LOS ANGELES, California, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Actress Emma Watson received what’s being called the first genderless acting award over the weekend for her role in Disney’s recent Beauty and the Beast remake.

The non-gender specific “Best Actor in a Movie” was the first award Sunday night at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. Actor Asia Kate Dillon, the first "gender-neutral nonbinary performer" to be cast in a major TV series, presented it to Watson.

“It’s so cool to be here presenting the first acting award ever that celebrates performance free of any gender distinctions,” Dillon said before introducing Watson.

Dillon plays the Taylor Mason character in the Showtime series Billions. After the actor questioned best actor and actress categories for Emmy submissions to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences earlier this spring, MTV opted to distribute non-gendered awards.

“The fact that MTV has the first non-gendered acting award in history is a victory, especially at a time when we’ve seen so many losses,” Dillon told the New York Daily News.

“It was important that ‘actress’ was entered into the award system binary when it was,” Dillon continued, “because that was the change that needed to happen then, but I think ultimately separate is not equal."

Dillon was identified as “she” in the Daily News report. The actor is being referenced as the gender-neutral “they” in other reports.

Dillon continued, “And you know, ‘actress’ is a band-aid for a wound, and I’m excited to be a part of the uncovering of the wound, so we actually get to talk about why women and people of color and gender nonconforming people have been historically underrepresented in film and television. That’s the conversation we really need to be having.”

Watson told the audience the award was very meaningful. Then, regarding Dillon, she said, “Both to be winning the award, and to be receiving it from you, Asia. Thank you for educating me in such an inclusive, patient, and loving way.”

Watson opened her acceptance speech by saying the first acting award to not separate nominees based upon gender “says something about how we perceive the human experience.”

“MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone,” she said. “But to me it indicates that acting is about the ability to out yourself in someone else’s shoes, and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories. Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits.”

“I’m so proud to be part of a film that celebrate diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy and love the way that this one does,” said Watson.  

The Beauty and the Beast remake made headlines just before its release after director Bill Condon’s revealed the film would include a gay subplot. There was some backlash from Christian and family groups, as well as among some countries overseas, for Disney’s use of a fairy tale previously understood to be family friendly as a vehicle for normalizing homosexuality.

The month before its release, Watson, a professed feminist, was filmed in a video for the Vanity Fair publication in which she praised the nation’s largest abortion chain.

Watson was offering advice remotely in the video to commuters in New York’s Grand Central Station. The proceeds from her advice booth went to the abortion giant.

“Oh, my god, the money! It has to go to Planned Parenthood,” Watson said at the time. “Planned Parenthood, they’re the best.”

The actress who gained fame in the Harry Potter film series received MTV’s Trailblazer award in 2013.

  abortion, asia kate dillon, beauty and the beast, disney, emma watson, mtv, planned parenthood


‘It is an indictment upon us’ if we allow abortion: Pro-life teacher spreads truth about abortion

The objective of the 'Red & White' ribbon campaign is to 'end violence against unborn babies.'
Mon May 8, 2017 - 3:23 pm EST
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Caleb Stephen Caleb Stephen

ADELAIDE, South Australia (LifeSiteNews) — A new pro-life campaign bringing awareness to the barbarous practice of abortion is kicking off in Australia.

Red & White Ribbon, a Christian human rights organization working to protect mothers and babies, is encouraging pro-lifers to “wear their support” for the unborn and “end violence against unborn babies” by purchasing a ribbon pin, wristband, or bumper sticker.

The advocacy group also provides postpartum support to women (especially migrants who are often not covered by government healthcare programs) and their babies through its sister organization Pregnancy Help South Australia.

"The whole idea of the ribbon is to create awareness and make people realize that abortion is going on," Trevor Grace, a Christian high school teacher and the organization’s co-founder, told LifeSiteNews. "We're trying to create conversation with it by bringing the issue to the forefront and making young people aware of what's going on."

The campaign is in part a response to what Grace calls the "hypocrisy" of the country’s multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded White Ribbon domestic violence campaign. Grace said few people are aware that the organization supports and endorses full-term abortion.

While White Ribbon (which is being worn by public figures, media personalities, politicians, and social justice advocates) claims to be "the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls," Grace said, "The irony there is that 50 percent of the children killed in the womb are female."

The Red & White Ribbon was born after Grace's school made the decision to order White Ribbon pins to hand out to student and staff on campus. Concerned about the hypocrisy of the program and knowing little could be done after the order had already been purchased, Grace met with the principal and hatched a daring plan to modify the white ribbons. They added red dots using a red marker to symbolize the blood shed in abortion while also raising awareness of violence against females. Soon students and staff were wearing the pins and starting conversations with friends, family, and colleagues.

"It starts a conversation that is otherwise not there," Grace said, adding, "I've seen it work in action on a personal level and we've tried many, many things."

"I've known kids with [the Red & White] wristbands go home and have a conversation with their parents," he said noting that it invites interesting responses, including the flawed notion that abortion is OK in cases of rape or genetic and physical abnormalities.

Grace has 20 years of political activism experience raising awareness about the harmful effects of abortion on both women and children. Together with wife Robyn, they have helped persuade 70-80 women to keep their babies in the last seven years even if it meant going inside an abortion clinic to make their appeal.

He noted the alarming rise in the use of abortion as a contraceptive among young people after making wrong choices.

"The killing of babies is being sidelined and quieted," he said, adding that the word "abortion" is a clinical term that doesn't do justice to the real horror that goes on.

Grace explained that the ribbon's red is a symbol of the child’s blood killed by abortion that cries out for justice while the white represents the child’s purity.

"The blood of these babies is on the hands of our nation and God's grace won't be extended [to us] as this keeps happening," he said.

"We can talk about terrorism and how horrendous it is. In this case, there are no bombs going off, but there's murders going on with little babies being killed. This is a continual affront to God that this is being perpetuated behind closed doors. The abortion industry is trying to make what is really happening a secret. It is an indictment upon us if we allow this horrific secret to be perpetuated."

Grace has set his sights on the international scene, saying he intends to launch the ribbon in the U.S. in the near future. He is also working on expanding his campaign product lineup to include t-shirts, baseball caps, and mugs.

Red & White products ship internationally from Australia. The website is All proceeds from the ribbons and associated products will go into pro-life advocacy work, pregnancy help support, and funding the expansion of the campaign to include billboards with the words "fatherhood begins in the womb" and other similar outdoor advertising.

"We want to encourage churches and Christian schools to purchase boxes of the ribbons, distribute them and educate their young people about abortion," Grace said.

"We'd like everybody to wear them: mums and dads, business people and particularly politicians — the groundswell makes them listen," he said.

Caleb Stephen is a widely-published Christian freelance journalist, columnist and social commentator based in Australia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Caleb, the oldest in a family of nine, has been an active pro-life advocate for a number of years participating in rallies, political campaigns, multimedia promotion and public events. He is a staff writer with one of Australia’s leading Christian advocacy organisations. Caleb is thankful for the opportunity to be one of LifeSiteNews’ Australian correspondents. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @CalebSOfficial.

  abortion, australia


Saskatchewan premier will override court ruling that pulled funding from Catholic schools

A judge determined that non-Catholic students will not be able to attend Catholic schools by 2018.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 1:39 pm EST
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Premier Brad Wall Brad Wall's Flickr page
Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

REGINA, Saskatchewan, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he will invoke the “notwithstanding clause” of the Constitution to protect the province’s Catholic schools from losing thousands of students.

Wall will use the clause to override a controversial court decision two weeks ago. He ruled as unconstitutional the common practice across Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories of allowing non-Catholics to attend publicly funded Catholic schools, with their per-student funding following them.

One of Canada’s leading constitutional experts, Mary Anne Waldron of the University of Victoria’s law school, called the ruling “peculiar” and “perverse.”

Justice Donald Layh of the Court of Queen’s Bench ruled two weeks ago that only Catholics could attend locally governed, publicly funded Catholic schools established in 1905 by the same federal legislation that set up the province itself.

The law allowed both Catholics and Protestants to establish their own school boards in each community, but did not require it. If the minority did not want their own, they could attend the other one.

But in the case before Layh, the town of Theodore had only one public school. It was closed more than a decade ago. Rather than subject their children to long-distance busing to the nearest community with a public school, the parents persuaded Theodore’s Catholics to demand the right to attend their school. Once they got it, the non-Catholics made it financially viable by filling it with their children.

The public school district sued. Last month, Layh ruled so sweepingly in its favour that he required an estimated 10,000 non-Catholic students across the province to leave their Catholic schools by 2018. Layh required that Catholic baptismal certificates be presented to gain admission to Catholic schools, in an arcane touch reminiscent of the dark days of the 1930s when Saskatchewan had 40,000 Ku Klux Klan members.

(A Conservative government eager for KKK votes ordered religious pictures taken down from the walls of Catholic schools and habits removed from the nuns who taught there.)

Layh cited the Constitution’s protections of religious freedom in reverse to justify his ruling. Those protections were meant only for Catholics. Therefore, only Catholics can attend the schools.

The Catholic School Board Association promised to appeal. Premier Wall vowed to override the ruling.

“We support school choice, including public, separate and faith-based schools,” Wall said in a press release. “We will defend school choice for students and parents. By invoking the notwithstanding clause, we are protecting the rights of parents and students to choose the schools that work best for their families, regardless of their religious faith.”

The notwithstanding clause — clause 33 of the Charter — is an important feature of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was a concession demanded by western Canadian premiers to win their agreement to the Charter, but it has only rarely been used.

It allows any provincial government to protect a law from a court ruling declaring it unconstitutional. A provincial government must renew the override with another vote in the legislature every five years.

Saskatchewan’s opposition leader, Trent Wotherspoon, responded carefully, supporting the Catholic appeal and declaring the use of the notwithstanding clause at least worthy of “consideration.”

Others with no need to appease Catholic school parents were more critical.

“This strikes me as a troubling overreaction,” University of Saskatchewan law professor Ken Norman told the CBC. “Instead of respecting the judicial process, and doing what everyone else has to do and take its case up to the appeal court ... instead of that, we have a premier saying, ‘If need be, we’re going to shift into Defcon mode here.’”

But John Carpay, head of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, said the notwithstanding clause was put in the Constitution to be used as “a healthy part of our Constitution,” he told LifeSiteNews. “We would not have the Constitution without the notwithstanding clause.”

Carpay said the current situation is a perfect example of what the clause was designed to address, which is “a judicial ruling so bad it is important for the legislature to reject it.”

Before the Constitution and the Charter came into force in 1982, judges possessed little authority to overrule laws. But since then judges have thrown out longstanding laws against abortion, same-sex marriage, and euthanasia. Western Canadian premiers who feared that judges would attempt to “legislate” from the bench put in the notwithstanding clause as preventive measure.

“The people of Saskatchewan have seen a court decision so wrongheaded they are using their power reject it,” said Carpay. “It is a deliberate part of Canadian democracy.”

The University of Victoria’s Waldron told LifeSiteNews, “A decision on religious freedom that protects no one's religious freedom but rather provides a financial benefit to a secular school board strikes me as a perverse use of the religious freedom protection.” She called the decision “very peculiar.”

Waldron, who is the author of “Free to Believe: Rethinking Freedom of Conscience and Religion in Canada,” told LifeSiteNews that the judge overlooked that “It is the school that is protected by the Charter — the separate Catholic school — and once that is taken as a given, it seems to me that as long as the school falls within the category of protection, it is entitled to carry on providing education to anyone its doctrines would permit, which includes non-Catholic students.”

Waldron added, “There is no protection for the rights of anyone here, indeed, the effect of the decision is to limit religious choice.”

Paul Bennett, an education professor at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, weighed in on the controversy in the National Post to stress that “robust” alternatives to the public system could only benefit such values as diversity and pluralism. He noted that that Alberta provided public funding for public, Catholic, public Francophone, Catholic Francophone, Protestant, and secular private schools.

Alternative systems provide at least the opportunity for healthy competition in education approaches, he said.

Another key advantage, Bennett argued, was that parents who could not afford private school tuition could use publicly-funded alternatives such as Saskatchewan’s Catholic schools to access “ethical, philosophical, linguistic or disciplinary traditions that accord with their views.”

  brad wall, catholic schools, charter of rights and freedoms, court of queen's bench, donald layh, notwithstanding clause, saskatchewan


Nine Catholic colleges to honor opponents of Catholic teaching at commencement ceremonies

By holding up those who publicly oppose Catholic teaching as role models for students, administrators at these Catholic colleges violate the mission of Catholic education.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 1:17 pm EST
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Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, a Catholic who dissents on same-sex marriage, will speak at the commencement ceremony at Boston College and will receive an honorary degree. George Sheldon /
Mallory Nygard

May 8, 2017 (CardinalNewmanSociety) -- This spring’s commencement honorees at nine Catholic colleges include pro-abortion politicians, a dissenting priest, and advocates for same-sex marriage, according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s annual review of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients at more than 200 Catholic colleges in the United States.

“It’s important to note that these colleges are going in the opposite direction of Catholic education generally, as Catholic identity continues to improve nationwide,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Still, these colleges seem intent on perpetuating the public scandals that we have seen on Catholic campuses for many years. It’s an affront to faithful Catholics when a Catholic college honors politicians like Maria Vullo and Xavier Becerra, who just this year took strident actions to defend and promote abortion.”

In 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a document requiring Catholic institutions to withhold honors and platforms from public opponents of Church teaching. “Catholics in Political Life” stipulates:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions. [emphasis in original]

By holding up those who publicly oppose Catholic teaching as role models for students, administrators at these Catholic colleges violate the mission of Catholic education.

The Cardinal Newman Society has identified concerns about commencement honorees, including commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients, at the following Catholic colleges:

Boston College

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, a Catholic who dissents on same-sex marriage, will speak at the commencement ceremony at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., on May 22. College President Father William Leahy, S.J., will present Casey an honorary degree.

When Sen. Casey was asked to give a lecture at Alvernia College in Reading, Penn., in 2013, the Diocese of Allentown opposed the invitation, noting that the public supporter of same-sex marriage was “increasingly in disagreement with the Church on issues involving Church teaching.”

Also, although he has repeatedly proclaimed himself to be pro-life, Sen. Casey visited a Planned Parenthood in March and has voted against defunding the abortion provider.

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, will receive an honorary doctorate and give the commencement address at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, N.Y., on May 20.

Vullo has worked to force insurance companies to provide free coverage for contraceptives and “medically necessary” abortions. “New York will not tolerate any impediments or impairments of women’s rights and access to reproductive health care,” Vullo declared.

Vullo’s legal work has included fighting parental notification for minors seeking abortions.

DePaul University

DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Ill., will honor attorney Paulette Brown as its commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient on May 14.

One of Brown’s signature achievements while president of the American Bar Association was a rule tightening prohibitions against attorney “discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” which poses a serious threat to the religious freedom of Christian attorneys. Brown advocated including “gender expression” as an additional protected class.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago will honor Mary Frances Berry, former chairwoman of the Commission on Civil Rights and professor of American Social Thought and History at the University of Pennsylvania, as speaker at the May 9 commencement exercises for the Graduate School and Institute of Pastoral Studies. Berry has publicly advocated (see also here and here) the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Regis University and University of Notre Dame

Father Greg Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries which focuses on gang member intervention and rehabilitation, will deliver the commencement address at Regis University’s ceremonies in Denver on May 7. He will also be honored on May 21 by the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., with the Laetare Medal, the university’s highest honor for an exemplary Catholic. (The medal was given to pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden last year.)

The Sycamore Trust, an organization committed to enhancing Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, reports that while Fr. Boyle has done “admirable work in Los Angeles with men and women who have been in prison and with gangs, but he has also repudiated the Church’s teaching on gay marriage as contrary to God’s will and has ridiculed the Church’s bar to ordination of women and its withholding of Communion from Catholics married outside the Church.”

University of San Francisco

Xavier Becerra, California’s pro-abortion attorney general, will deliver the School of Law commencement address at the University of San Francisco on May 20.

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During his tenure as U.S. Congressman for the 30th District of California, Becerra earned a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL for his votes against a ban on partial-birth abortion, supporting funding for abortions overseas, against a ban on human cloning, and in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

Becerra also recently brought felony charges against the pro-life activists behind the Planned Parenthood undercover videos.

Villanova University

Michael Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, will speak at Villanova University’s commencement ceremonies on May 19 in Villanova, Penn., and will receive an honorary degree.

Bloomberg is strongly pro-abortion and has been critical of pro-life Democrats, saying, “Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right, and we can never take it for granted,” and adding, “On this issue, you’re either with us or against us.”

Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana will honor a public advocate of abortion, U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond from Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, as its commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient in New Orleans, La., on May 20.

Congressman Richmond supports legal abortion: “Every woman has been guaranteed the right to dictate her own reproductive health by the Supreme Court and no one should have the ability to make that decision for her.”

Reprinted with permission from Cardinal Newman Society.

  abortion, bob casey, boston college, catholic, cedric richmond, college of mount saint vincent, depaul university, homosexuality, loyola university chicago, michael bloomberg, same-sex 'marriage', university of notre dame, university of san francisco, villanova university, xavier becerra, xavier university of louisiana


‘Meaningless’ or ‘vigorous’? Conservatives divided on Trump’s religious freedom order

Some called the executive order 'woefully inadequate' and others said it's just the 'first step.'
Mon May 8, 2017 - 11:19 am EST
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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative groups have mixed feelings about President Trump's religious liberty executive order. Some claim socially liberal "Ivanka and Jared won" because it's weaker than the original leaked draft, and others have praised the order as a historic step in the right direction.

The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is of the opinion that the order doesn't contain much they need to worry about.

The "executive order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement. 

"The directive to federal agencies to explore religious-based exceptions to healthcare does cue up a potential future battle, but as of now, the status quo has not changed," said Romero. "What President Trump did ... was merely provide a faux sop to religious conservatives and kick the can down the road on religious exemptions on reproductive healthcare services."

The executive order, which is on "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty," grants churches more freedom to speak about political issues and elections. It also tells federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services to "consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate" that requires religious employers like the Little Sisters of the Poor to participate in the provision of contraceptives.

"It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce federal law's robust protections for religious freedom," the executive order declares.

Some Little Sisters of the Poor were present at the signing of the executive order, as was Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. The Little Sisters of the Poor expressed hope that this may be the beginning of the end of the government persecution they began to face under President Obama.

"Today's action by the government confirms that the government never needed to create this false conflict between women and religion," Sister Loraine Marie Claire Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, said Thursday. "The government never needed the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide these services. We are grateful for this positive step. We Little Sisters look forward to the government finally ending its unnecessary conflict so we can return our full attention to serving the neediest in our society."

Questions about the Johnson Amendment
The executive order instructs the government to ensure that "adverse action," such as retaliation from the IRS, isn't taken against churches or individuals associated with them for preaching "about moral or political issues from a religious perspective."

A regulation called the Johnson Amendment currently prevents churches from endorsing political candidates without risking the loss of their tax-exempt status. Scrapping the Johnson Amendment was one of the promises Trump made during his campaign.

National Review's David French blasted the way Trump chose to address this issue.

"An executive order cannot repeal a statute, and legal restrictions on political activity by churches are statutory," wrote French. The Johnson Amendment must be either overturned in court or by repealing the statute, he argued.

"This order does neither," French continued. "In fact, a lawyer will commit malpractice if he tells a pastor or director of a nonprofit that this order allows a church or nonprofit to use its resources to support or oppose a candidate. Even if the Trump administration chooses not to enforce the law, a later administration can tear up Trump’s order and begin vigorous enforcement based on actions undertaken during the Trump administration."

"President Trump’s prior assertion that he wished to 'totally destroy' the Johnson Amendment with this order has proven to be a textbook case of 'fake news,'" Romero alleged. 

"Americans cannot rely on the discretion of IRS agents, some of whom have abused that discretion for years to silence pastors and intrude into America’s pulpits," said Gregory S. Baylor, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom. He echoed French's point that there's nothing "to prevent a future, hostile administration from wielding its power to penalize any church who dares exercise its constitutionally protected freedoms in a manner that displeases those in authority."

"A legislative problem like the Johnson Amendment demands a legislative solution like the Free Speech Fairness Act," said Baylor.

'Betrayal' or the first step toward restoring religious liberty?

Perhaps the most-criticized element of the executive order is its lack of specific protections for Americans who live their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. 

The leaked draft promised to protect people who believe, speak, act, or decline to act based on their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman and "sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage." It would have protected those who believe "male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life."

The draft also contained language guaranteeing religious freedom for all "when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with federal, state or local governments."

"The order is just as notable for what it omits as for what it reportedly includes," wrote French. He noted the "threat" of the Johnson Amendment "pales in comparison to the comprehensive assault on religious organizations on federally funded campuses, the threats to the religious freedom of Christian educational institutions, and the attack on the rights of conscience of dissenters from the new orthodoxies on marriage, the family, and even the definition of male and female."

The executive order provides "no specific relief" to families like the Vander Boons in Michigan, Baylor said. The Vander Boons were threatened with the effective closure of their family-run business for placing religious materials in their breakroom. The materials said marriage is between a man and a woman. The U.S. Department of Agriculture deemed the materials "offensive" and asked the Vander Boons to permanently remove them.

Marriage, human sexuality, human life, and gender ideology aren't named at all in the final executive order. The original promised specific protection for people who believe in marriage and protecting all human beings, no matter young or old. 

The order is "woefully inadequate" and "rather weak," marriage scholar Ryan Anderson determined. The first leaked draft "protected the religious liberty rights of all Americans in very tailored ways that addressed the problems of today," wrote Anderson.

Anderson's research and writing over the past few years has highlighted the increasing persecution of bakers, florists, and photographers who don't want to participate in same-sex "weddings" and ceremonies.

Religious freedom and pro-marriage advocate Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University tweeted that the executive order contains no substantial conscience protections. He suggested Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are known for supporting the LGBT cause, "won" and "we lost."

Some pro-family advocates are more optimistic.

"President Trump's willingness to address the concerns of millions of religious women, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, instead of ignoring and minimizing their deeply held religious beliefs, as we saw during the previous administration, is a breath of fresh air that gives us great hope for the future," said Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America. "There is more work to be done, for sure.  But President Trump has set a very different, and a very welcomed, tone in support of religious freedom that will surely bear much fruit in the future."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was at the White House Rose Garden for the signing of the order. 

"The President’s executive order is a clear reflection of his campaign promise to protect the religious freedoms of Americans," said Perkins. It "starts the process of reversing the devastating trend set by the last administration to punish charities, pastors, family owned businesses and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith."

"We support President Trump in this effort, and we commit to working with his administration to strengthen religious freedom for all Americans, regardless of faith," said Nance.

"The open season on Christians and other people of faith is coming to a close in America and we look forward to assisting the Trump administration in fully restoring America’s First Freedom," Perkins concluded.

"I know that some of my fellow evangelicals are a bit uneasy because the executive order does not go far enough – but be patient," Todd Starnes of FOX News wrote. "This is the first of several steps to protect religious liberty."

And the ACLU plans on monitoring the order's outcome and possibly taking legal action.

"In the event that this order triggers any official government action at all, we will see Trump in court, again," Romero threatened.

  abortion, donald trump, little sisters of the poor, religious freedom, religious liberty executive order, same-sex 'marriage'


Atheists shut down school Bible club for 1st and 2nd graders

The kids met before school started, but the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened to sue a Tennessee elementary.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 10:57 am EST
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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

BARTLETT, Tennessee, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A popular student Bible Club has been shut down after a complaint from atheists.

Dozens of first and second graders at Altruria Elementary chose to be a part of "Bible Club," which met before school. Participation was elective for the club that met on school grounds but not during school hours.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation objected and sent a complaint letter threatening to sue, arguing that it is unconstitutional for school employees to participate.


The Bartlett City School District acknowledged that the Bible Club was being led by Christians who work for the school district, and that religious clubs must be sponsored by someone outside the school. The district disbanded the popular club.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) issued a statement saying it was "pleased" that the Bible Club was shut down, characterizing the club as "really just religious instruction by public school officials."

FFRF called the move "a victory not only for reason and the law but for the inviolable right of a captive audience of first- and second-grade students to be free from indoctrination in a public school setting."

Several families expressed disappointment and anger to local TV station WATN. They pointed out that the club was elective and took place before school, outside of school hours.

The school district shared that they are seeking an outside group to lead Bible Club for the next school year. A Bible Club for third-to-fifth graders at Altruria is run by an outside Christian group.

“The message they are sending these kids is there is something terribly wrong with you wanting to meet and discuss the Bible,” Center for Religious Expression attorney Nate Kellum said.

“Whether it’s the Cub Scouts, whether it’s the chess club, or whether it’s a Bible club, they should be able to do it.”

The Supreme Court has ruled that the U.S. Constitution allows “equal access” for religious groups.

Ironically, atheism would be disqualified under FFRF's criteria. An Oregon federal court ruled that humanism is a religion.

In 2014, Senior District Judge Ancer Haggerty defined humanism as a "philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces" that should be legally recognized as a religion (American Humanist Association v. U.S.). The case was brought by a prison inmate who wanted to start a humanist study group.

“The court finds that secular humanism is a religion for establishment clause purposes,” Haggerty ruled.

  bible club, elementary school, freedom from religion foundation, religious liberty, tennessee


Company receives backlash for turning frozen embryos into ‘jewelry’

The founders plan to continue despite the moral and ethical repercussions.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 9:19 am EST
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Belinda Stafford had her unused embryos turned into jewelry. kidspot
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Australian company that says it has pioneered a process to make frozen human embyros into jewelry is facing backlash after a story on it went viral last week.

Baby Bee Hummingbird, started by midwife Amy McGlade in 2014, has “crafted” 50 pieces of jewelry from “embryo straws,” which it preserves and cremates, making an “embryo ash” that can be preserved in resin, according to a report in Kidspot.

“I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewelry from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world,” McGlade told Kidspot.

The jewelry costs “$80 to $600, depending on the piece, and can be sent worldwide.”

The article featured couple Belinda and Shaun Stafford, who used IVF to conceive a son, now four, and a twin boy and girl, who are almost two. They didn’t know what to do with the seven frozen embryos they had left.

“Donating our embryos wasn’t an option for us and I couldn’t justify the yearly storage fee,” Belinda told Kidspot. “I’d heard others had planted them in the garden, but we move a lot, so I couldn’t do this.”

So they opted to have the babies made into jewelry — in this case, a heart-shaped pendant.

“My embryos were my babies — frozen in time. When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them,” Belinda told Kidspot. “ Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”

Baby Bee Hummingbird’s Facebook page says it is “offering 15 percent off all Embryo Ashes Jewelry. We hope this will make the process more affordable & easier on families.”

It’s clear the company has been dealing with backlash from the Kidspot story.

Wesley Smith decried the practice in National Review as “illustrating the crassness of our age.” Matthew Archbold wrote in the National Catholic Register that he “had to read this headline twice (or three times) because I thought it had to be a twisted joke. Sadly, it's not.”

Added Archbold: “The more I read the more horrified I became.”

A post on Baby Bee Hummingbird’s Facebook last Wednesday said it was “taking a small break and going offline until tomorrow” after “a very draining 48 hours.” Two days later came the following response:

• t r u t h • l o v e • r e s p e c t •

Truth • Many of you would be aware of the traumatic & soul destroying week we have endured. The truth is we have received thousands of vile, cruel & unimaginable emails & messages. Death threats & hate have flooded our accounts ( & yes it will take a long time to delete & filter true enquiries ).

Those that have chosen to spread hate are not our people. They are not the people we would create for. They are uneducated in our craft or the many reasons behind our " why".

We have chosen not to respond to a single word. We will continue to ban & delete.

It wouldn't help or ease their destructive paths. Those that know us & understand my passion for capturing all memories are our people - you are our beloved tribe & the reason I do what I do.

We will not stop.

Love • We always craft & create with love. It's simple. We follow our hearts & those that seek our service.

Respect • We have literally built this business from the ground. We have sacrificed & given everything we have. We are respectful to those who opinions differ.

We will not respond.

We will create a safe place for ourselves & the families we create for.

We invite you to join our • CLOSED GROUP •

This will be a highly monitored, nurturing & safe environment.

We truly can't thank you all enough for your words of wisdom, support & love. We hope you continue to follow our journey. As of Monday we will be back doing what we love ( with some help, so we can quickly filter our mail ).

Comments on the page defended the company’s “exclusive concept.”

Reads one post: “Unless you've been the IVF route SHUT YOUR UNEDUCATED MOUTH! If you've no part of this journey, You don't know anything. You don't know, Unless you live this horrific journey.”

Says another: “It’s not a baby yet, it's a bunch of cells. ... I'm also infertile and relied on donor eggs for me to have my family. …I personally would rather wear my embryo around my neck then it get thrown down the sink (because that's what happens believe it or not).”

And another: “How do you get the embrio's? Would we have to give you permission? I'm interested as we have 6 frosties we are still paying storage for.”

According to Pope Saint John Paul II: “A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object for use.”

Ultimately, IVF turns the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, into a commodity.

The “problem is so evidently apparent and sickening that it’s hard to know where to start,” says Marie-Claire Bissonnette, youth coordinator at Campaign Life Coalition.

That parents would make jewelry from the human embryos they created by in vitro fertilization is “emotional, narcissistic, unnatural and utilitarian,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“There’s no consideration for the babies, just how the parents feel. This is the antithesis of parenting: killing your children and using their bodies to create frivolous tokens in the name of ‘keeping them close,’” she added.

“When I consider where we are as a culture and how confused we are, in the end it really is so simple. Do we believe God created each and every human being? Do we believe life is sacred? Not just important. Sacred. Priceless,” wrote Archbold.

“There are no good solutions in cases like these for what to do with frozen embryos. Even when one of those solutions is on sale,” he added.

Healing “comes from Christ, not a keepsake.”

  baby bee hummingbird, frozen embryos, in vitro fertilization, jewelry


MTV gives ‘Best Kiss’ award to two men for gay scene

Praise for Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome points to the perversion of a culture that celebrates homosexuality.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 4:38 pm EST
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MTV 'Best Kiss' award winners Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome
Peter LaBarbera Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter
By Peter LaBarbera

May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — No shocker here: The MTV Awards last night gave a male homosexual kiss from the “gay”-themed movie “Moonlight” its “Best Kiss” award for 2017.

Liberals like the homosexuality-oriented “news” site BuzzFeed oohed and aahed with approval at the politically correct selection.

“THIS IS IMPORTANT!” shouted Buzzfeed’s Australian correspondent, Jemima Skellay, in a piece with a GIF of the indecent Moonlight movie kiss between Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome.

“It's pretty exciting that a young audience voted for two black men to win Best Kiss, and people are understandably over the moon,” said the Buzzfeed writer using extra-large font, just in case you missed the significance of this momentous event.

In another reminder of the shallowness and depravity of Western pop culture, a hyperventilating Lindsay Marie tweeted:


We know why the Sexual Left thinks the celebration of All Things Perverse is so earth-shaking — it’s all about breaking down cultural norms and rationalizing people’s bad choices and behaviors. Sin loves company.

But why is this particular Hollywood shoutout to deviance important to parents, families and people of faith who agree with our Creator that sex belongs in a committed, lifelong marriage between a man and a woman?

It’s critically important — like all in-your-face, youth-corrupting homosexual advocacy — because propaganda works. After all, this is MTV, which draws children and young viewers who don’t really get that they’re effectively getting brainwashed on sexual issues, because they’re so rarely exposed to counter-arguments and facts that might “open their mind” to the Truth.

Egalitarianism, not “equality”

Radical egalitarianism masquerading as nice-sounding “equality” is harmful to society, and especially impressionable children. Even after the height of the AIDS crisis, we are starting to see more carnage of the LGBTQ Revolution, including DNA-denying “transgender” teenagers destroying their developing bodies, with the help of activist professionals and their duped parents. (To be fair to the parents, many self-styled “transgender” kids threaten to commit suicide if they are not allowed to pursue their opposite-sex “identity.”)

We forget all the evil that has been done in the name of “equality” and self-righteous revolutions, most of which have led to tyranny. Way too many young people are unaware that communism, which is predicated on government-imposed “equality,” is the most murderous system of government in history.

Mainstreaming deviance

What the LGBT Left is doing now is mainstreaming deviance and perversion by gradually getting as much homosexual behavior in front of young people as they can — demanding that we treat it as “equal” to love expressed in normal relationships.

It’s not. Homosexual behavior is unnatural, wrong and against God — something that people in simpler and less profane times used to take for granted. The Western world is built on a foundation of biblical (Judeo-Christian) values. The Apostle Paul’s letter in the Book of Romans (Chapter 1) in the New Testament condemns both male and female homosexual practice (“degrading passions”).

(Misinformed “progressives” deny the latter pertaining to lesbianism and claim that Romans is actually about male prostitution, but to do so they have to twist Scripture into a pretzel. Thank God for righteous Bible teachers like Prof. Robert Gagnon who debunk leftist theological nonsense.)

The Catholic Church’s Catechism, too, condemns homosexual behavior as an “intrinsic moral evil,” and the inclination toward same as “intrinsically disordered,” and an “objective disorder.”

High-risk homosexuality

Beyond moral considerations, there are the immense health risks of homosexual and now “transgender” behaviors.

Every week, it seems, brings new evidence of just how “unequal” homosexual sex is to normal sex between man and woman, hopefully united in marriage as God intended. For example, on April 25, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that “Gay and bisexual men accounted for 83 percent (29,418) of the estimated new HIV diagnoses among all males aged 13 and older and 67 percent of the total estimated new diagnoses in the United States.”

The CDC report followed up that statistic with another equally devastating to counterfeit LGBT “equality” advocates: “Gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 92 percent of new HIV diagnoses among all men in their age group and 27 percent of new diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men.”

So more than nine out every 10 new HIV cases for young men and teenage boys is linked to homosexuality? Is that just a coincidence? Hardly.

A new Mass Resistance book, “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality,” documents the massive medical and psychological research case against homosexual (LGBTQ) lifestyles. I suggest you order a copy, although it certainly is not easy reading.

MTV, Hollywood, and the LGBTQ cheerleaders otherwise known as “the media” don’t like to talk about such “inconvenient truths,” as they continue their rush to glamorize homosexuality in the name of “civil rights” (a huge insult to black Americans). What was it that Christ Jesus said about those who lead children astray? “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke, 17:2).

We need the ‘ick factor’

Perhaps all this is why God wants people to be naturally repulsed by homosexual behavior. Yes, the “ick factor” — something even pro-“gay” liberals had in spades just a few years ago (and many people who voice politically correct LGBT platitudes still secretly possess today).

Homosexual activists condemn it as socially constructed “stigma,” because to sustain their self-rationalizing delusions they are forced to reject “nature and nature’s God.” But we know better. Who is his right moral mind would equate a husband and wife in a loving kiss with two dudes locking tongues? If you are fine with that, check your soul, because you are not in a good spiritual place.

We must always remember that any man or woman (or child) can turn away from homosexual behavior and LGBTQ lifestyles, as people like David Pickup and Robert Oscar Lopez have. We as Christians are not about condemning people to Hell (God is our fair Judge), but we should guide people to embrace age-old wisdom over societal fads.

Part of that wisdom is the Christian “good news” (gospel) that sinful people can become a “new creation” through the power and grace of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God works through nature and true marriage to continue the chain of humanity, one generation after the next. “Heterosexuality” (normalcy) is productive and procreative. Homosexuality is a dead-end. Homosexuals cannot create children by themselves. They must “acquire” them, relying on the overwhelming, heterosexual majority — you know, the men and women whom “gay” militants once maligned as “breeders.”

Diversity? Inclusion?

When will we see EX-“gays” and former “transgenders” like Walt Heyer portrayed sympathetically on the big screen? C’mon, creative Hollywood entrepreneurs, this is one of the “Greatest Stories NEVER Told”! Have at it, if you can muster up the courage.

It may be some time yet, but what America’s pro-life resurgence shows is that someday — after the wreckage of the chaotic LGBTQ agenda is revealed and everyday people see all the high-risk insanity that has been encouraged in the name of that word “equality” — these stories will be told.

And the dam of LGBT-enforced groupthink will come crashing down.

Then we will see some real “diversity,” and healthy and wholesome “inclusion,” for a change.

  gay kiss, homosexuality, moonlight, mtv, mtv awards


Maybe y’all should’ve mentioned the graphic sex scenes in ‘Homeland’

That’s not normal. We should stop pretending it is.
Mon May 8, 2017 - 2:24 pm EST
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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John
By John Jalsevac

May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - For years everybody’s been talking about the TV show Homeland, mostly in glowing terms. Sure, there’s been some controversy about how the show treats some of the thornier issues of foreign policy and religious-based extremism. But Homeland is pretty much universally acknowledged as one of the best and most popular TV dramas available.

So, a couple Fridays ago, I decided to give it a try.

The first episode started out intriguingly enough. But then, a few minutes in, without any warning whatsoever, there were two naked people on the screen having sex.

The scene was extremely graphic, showing everything but for genitals. As mentioned, there was absolutely no leadup. The camera simply cut right into the middle of the scene, leaving me scrambling for the fast-forward button.

Everybody, it seems, has decided to play a game together, wherein we all pretend that viewing naked people simulating sexual intercourse on camera is as neutral an activity as watching the sun rise or contemplating the lotus flower.

Surprised at the explicitness of the scene, and how soon into the first episode it occurred, I looked up the “parents’ guide” for Homeland on IMDb. Turns out that similar scenes are routine, with roughly one sex scene or instance of nudity per every episode and a half.

In recent years, HBO has gained a reputation (and a lot of free press) for creating shows that deliberately push the boundaries of what’s acceptable in terms of graphic nudity and violence (Game of Thrones, Westworld, etc). If it’s an HBO show, you basically expect it at this point. Which is why I don’t watch them.

Homeland, however, is not an HBO show. While broadcast on premium cable, it’s comparatively mainstream, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, and airing on Showtime. It’s also available for streaming on Netflix in Canada – which is where I was watching it.

I didn’t expect the graphic sexuality. Nobody has ever mentioned it, and I’ve never run across any articles warning about it. Depressingly, this isn't surprising. We are now at a point where the occurrence of graphic sexuality in mainstream TV shows and movies is so ubiquitous that it no longer merits comment, let alone outrage or controversy.

Occasionally, it’s true, when a new show comes out that pushes the envelope just a little bit further (say, by depicting a sex orgy, a la Westworld), the newspapers feign shock and horror. But really, everybody knows they’re just glad for the opportunity to run an article with a titillating headline, a barely blurred screenshot of the offending scene(s), and the suggestive trailer for the show.

These days, as long as the sex scene is vaguely germane to the story line, it is defended as “artistic,” and to question its appropriateness is to invite inevitable accusations of prudishness.

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Everybody, it seems, has decided to play a game together, wherein we all pretend that viewing naked people simulating sexual intercourse on camera is as neutral an activity as watching the sun rise or contemplating the lotus flower.

If, on the other hand, you violate the rules of this game by confessing your unease, then the game dictates that everybody contemptuously dismiss your concerns with the barely concealed suggestion that your unease reveals a troubling lack of self-control and possible latent psychopathic sexual tendencies. After all, goes the game, if you can’t watch people having sex with the coolly impassive objectivity of a seasoned gynecologist performing an annual exam, you’re definitely not a well-adjusted, mature adult, and quite possibly a latent sex fiend.

Denying self-evident facts about human nature has become a bit of a cottage industry of late. And so I suppose that if people can successfully pretend that there's no intrinsic difference between boys and girls, they can also fool themselves into thinking that video footage of people having sex isn't an extremely powerful stimulus that, in the case of any healthy adult, involuntarily leads to certain predictable, potent and morally fraught responses in the person watching it.

Which is why the totally non-pornographic, and very artistic sex scenes from these mainstream TV shows inevitably end up on the big porn sites. Because, as high-brow as these TV shows consider themselves, there are few discernible differences between hardcore porn and the sex scenes these shows feature – beyond, perhaps, a half-hearted attempt at providing context, and a lingering hangup (in some cases, but not all) about showing the actual locus of the sexual act.

I'm just going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that maybe, just maybe, watching this kind of stuff isn't a good idea for anybody who takes seriously the call to live a life of virtue. I know, Jesus never did say, "Thou shalt not watch hardcore sex scenes on TV," but I'm guessing He took it for granted. 

It’s astonishing to think that a generation ago, even to suggest that married couples were sleeping in a common bed on TV was to invite the wrath of the censorship boards. Maybe that was an unreasonable extreme. But I’m pretty sure that the far more unreasonable extreme is to fill our movies and TV shows with graphic nudity, and then demand that everyone pretend that this is normal.

This past week, a production of a play put on by the Boston Children’s Theatre was cancelled in the final days of its run due to the fact that the director had included a scene of full-frontal male nudity…in a children’s play. Do that on the street, get arrested for indecent exposure (Unless, I suppose, you’re marching in a gay pride parade…but that’s another story for another day). Include it in a play, and it’s “art.”

How do we even get to the point where a play aimed at children featuring nudity actually goes to production without anyone in authority pausing and suggesting that maybe that’s just not a good idea. The answer is the frog in boiling water: the absolute pervasiveness of graphic sexuality in our entertainment, and the unprecedented (to put it mildly) ubiquity of hardcore porn use, and the consequent death of the public conscience.

Netflix has a “children’s section,” which limits choices to kid-friendly material. But that section is aimed at very young children. Most teenagers who have a Netflix account won’t be browsing the children’s area. They will have access to any number of TV shows and movies, including Homeland, featuring pornographic content so graphic that, only a few years ago, it would have required a subscription to a hardcore porn channel, or a visit to the local porn shop to find.

That’s not normal. We should stop pretending it is. 

Follow John Jalsevac on Facebook

  homeland, pornograpy

The Pulse

Netflix censors classic Bill Nye show that says chromosomes determine gender

The 'Science Guy' goes against human biology and now calls gender a 'kaleidoscope.'
Mon May 8, 2017 - 11:45 am EST
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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SCOTTS VALLEY, California, May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — "Bill Nye the Science Guy" has apparently approved of censoring scientific facts.

The video streaming service Netflix features several of Nye's educational children's shows. One explained how XX and XY chromosomes determine gender. But extremists consider this scientific truth taboo and view gender as self-chosen and in flux. And so Netflix simply altered the segment.

The original 1996 Nye program explained the facts: "Inside each of our cells are these things called chromosomes, and they control whether we become a boy or a girl,” a teenage girl taught. “Before you’re born, your mom gives you one of her chromosomes, and your dad gives you one of his. Mom always gives you an X, and if dad gives you an X, too, then you become a girl. But if he gives you his Y, then you become a boy."

"See, there are only two possibilities: XX, a girl, or XY, a boy," Nye’s show taught.

See the original video here:


Netflix has cut out the biological facts, apparently because Nye now teaches something contrary to the science he once taught.

In his new show, "Bill Nye Saves the World," the TV star hosts an episode called "The Sexual Spectrum." In it, Nye teaches that one's gender is not binary. "Gender … is on a spectrum."

“Female or male, gay or straight, pink or blue — we were taught to see these as binary," Nye's latest science-for-children concludes. “Now we’re realizing it’s more like a kaleidoscope.”

“What makes someone male or female isn’t so clear cut," Nye claims, without sharing any scientific evidence. “By three or four, most kids identify with a gender … and it doesn’t always match the sex they were assigned at birth.”

Movie star Rachel Bloom then performs a dance song, “My Sex Junk.” During the episode, a cartoon mocks reparative therapy for unwanted homosexual feelings.

It seems that not only is gender in flux, but so are scientific facts for the politically correct.