All articles from May 15, 2017


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Facebook quickly restores illegal abortion drug page after deleting it in ‘error’

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May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Some 24 hours after it deleted the Facebook page of Women on Web, which sells illegal abortion pills online, Facebook backpedaled, apologized, and reinstated the page.

The social media giant shut down Women on Web May 12, citing its policy against the “promotion or encouragement of drug use,” the Guardian reported.

The Amsterdam-based Women on Web mails abortion pills to women who are reportedly 10 or fewer weeks pregnant and in countries where abortion is illegal. It also will connect them with local doctors who will sell them the drug.

The abortion pill is a two-drug combination, in which one acts to starve the baby in utero and the other to expel the corpse from the womb.

Women on Web is the sister organization of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch abortionist Rebecca Gomperts. It runs an abortion ship in international waters so it can sell abortion pills with impunity to women from countries where abortion is outlawed.

Women on Waves raised an outcry on behalf of Women on Web, stating on its Facebook page: “We expect Facebook will undue [sic] this action soon enough, as access to information is a human right.”

Indeed, Facebook, which has about 2 billion users worldwide, reinstated the Women on Web page just hours later, reported the Telegraph.

It also apologized and explained the page was shut down “in error.”

"Facebook is a place for people and organizations to campaign for the things that matter to them," stated Facebook.

"Women on Web is an example of that. In this instance the account was disabled in error but has now been restored. We apologize for this and for any inconvenience caused."

Women on Web lauded the decision.

“After over 24h, we are back in Facebook! We appreciate so much all the support from many persons and organizations who have spoken up for freedom of expression and the human rights of women.”

But Campaign Life youth coordinator Marie-Claire Bissonnette says it’s “disconcerting” that Facebook reversed its decision, because shutting down Women on Web’s page “might have potentially saved lives.”

Formerly known as RU-486, the abortion pill has dangerous side effects for women, as well as being lethal for the unborn child.

Campaign Life has launched a social media education campaign, #RU486RUCrazy, a series of short videos in which Bissonnette documents the risks of the abortion pill.

RU-486 has been directly linked to more than a dozen of maternal deaths in the United States as well as to a number of deaths of women internationally.

But while the U.S. has so far banned the abortion pill, Health Canada approved the drug in July 2015, and it has been available since January.

The UK Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) also sounded the alarm on the drug, particularly when Women on Waves announced in June 2016 it was sending drones carrying the abortion pill into Northern Ireland.

SPUC derided the plan as an “outrageous publicity stunt” that could have deadly consequences  for women.

"Abortion advocates who promote the use of illegal abortion drugs are putting women's lives in danger, Liam Gibson, SPUC's development officer in Northern Ireland, said then.

“These drugs are known to have killed dozens of women worldwide, including Manon Jones (18) from Bristol and Jessie-Maye Barlow (19) from Staines in England,” he said.

“This campaign to convince the public that these highly dangerous drugs are actually safe shows a shocking disregard for the lives of the women who may be incited to take them.”

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Fr. Joseph Klee receives medical attention after his left hand was injured during an incident at a pro-life vigil.
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Abortion supporter hit a priest with a car, but won’t be charged for it

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – An abortion facility volunteer who injured a Catholic priest with her car while attempting to steal pro-life signs during a recent vigil will face formal charges but not for harming the priest.

Michelle Davis is charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct and is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Municipal Court on June 6, Created Equal said in a press release Monday. The Columbus City Attorney, however, declined to charge her with assault, saying, “There is insufficient evidence to support probable cause.”

“This decision was made by thoroughly reviewing the totality of the circumstances and applying the known facts to the applicable law,” the City Attorney Office’s May 9 letter to Father Joseph Klee stated.

Father Klee is appealing the City Attorney’s decision to not prosecute Davis for assaulting him, Created Equal National Director Mark Harrington told LifeSiteNews.

Father Klee, a priest for the Diocese of Columbus, was hurt and nearly run over by Davis on April 8 after she had taken his lawfully displayed signs from the public sidewalk in front of Founder’s Women’s Health Center and stuffed them in her minivan.

Father Klee’s hand became caught in Davis’ van grill when he was attempting to avoid being hit by Davis as she tried to drive away with the signs. Another vigil participant recovered the signs from her open vehicle as she prepared to flee.

Video from the incident that was shared with authorities clearly shows what occurred and that the priest was injured. Father Klee was treated at the scene and later in the ER.

Despite Davis not being charged with assaulting Fr. Klee, the group is pleased that she will face charges for her unlawful conduct. “Ms. Davis’ actions are representative of the increase in violent behavior at abortion centers across America,” Harrington said.

If a pro-life supporter had assaulted a pro-abortion protestor or worker, Harrington argued, the response would have been much different.

“If a pro-life advocate would have done similar thing to pro-abortion protester or clinic worker it would have been headline news and that person would have had the book thrown at them," Harrington told LifeSiteNews.

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President Trump gives the commencement address at Liberty University on Mother's Day weekend.
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Mother’s Day: Obama praised ‘transgender’ moms, Trump celebrated ‘incredible women’

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May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — President Trump celebrated Mother’s Day with a White House proclamation bereft of LGBTQ references in a departure from predecessor Barack Obama, who previously used the mom-honoring day to promote homosexuality and gender-confusion, including biological men claiming to be women.

“Today and every day, we honor the incredible women whose influence on the world is beyond measure. They brighten America's future by shaping the character of each new generation,” states the Trump proclamation. “They lead us through our deepest lessons about perseverance and hard work, preparing us for life's responsibilities.”

Compare that to Obama’s final Mother’s Day proclamation in 2016 in which he wrote: “Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, mothers have always moved our Nation forward and remained steadfast in their pursuit of a better and brighter future for their children.”

As LifeSiteNews reported at the time, Obama’s 2016 reference to “transgender” “mothers” was the “first-ever explicit reference to biological males acting as mothers in the history of the annual presidential message.”

WND.com Managing Editor David Kupelian, author of the book The Snapping of the American Mind, called the Obama statement “head-spinning LGBT madness.”

“With Obama, everything is political – employed to advance his perversely transformative agenda,” even Mother's Day, Kupelian said.

The year before that, in 2015, Obama again insinuated LGBTQ politics into the wholesome day honoring moms, hailing all mothers “[w]hether married or single, LGBT or straight, biological, adoptive, or foster.” Obama’s “usage appeared to highlight the mother's sexual orientation, not their underlying biology,” LifeSiteNews reported.

In 2014, Obama still went political but did not bring up homosexuality or transgenderism, declaring, “My administration is proud to fight alongside women as they push to close the gender pay gap, shatter glass ceilings, and implement workplace policies that do not force any parent to choose between their jobs and their kids.”

More than any president in U.S. history, Obama cheered on the “gay” and “transgender” sexual revolution, whether it was a pro-homosexual “marriage” light show turning the White House into the “rainbow flag,” or going out of his way to promote homosexual-led families at the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Trump has for the most part not used his bully pulpit in this manner, although he did disappoint social conservatives as president-elect by declaring the issue of homosexual “marriage” “settled law.”

Mom cheers lack of ‘special interest code’

At least one pro-family mom greatly appreciates Trump’s de-politicized approach to honoring America’s mothers.

“It’s so refreshing to have a president who doesn’t speak in special interest code, as Obama did. Thank you, President Trump, for appreciating the genuine role of mothers, not phony special interest agenda-driven rhetoric,” Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, told LifeSiteNews. “Our former president believed transgender 'mothers’ were really moms, when they are men posing as women.”

Harvey, who has two children and two grandkids herself, said, “Motherhood is a distinct biological reality, and for those moms who have adoptive children, being a female is still essential to authentic motherhood.” 

Trump’s apolitical proclamation states:

“Our deep appreciation for the strength and spirit of mothers and their resolve to do what is right for their children and families cannot be overstated.  They are often the first to lend a hand during hard times and the first to celebrate our proudest victories. The boundless energy of our mothers inspires us to be people of action, people who strive relentlessly toward our goals. Above all, they teach us the power and joy of unconditional love.”

A liberal site slammed Trump’s statement as “light on substance.” But Harvey, whose Christian group opposes LGBTQ activism, called the Trump approach a return to honoring “normalcy” and the “natural family,” i.e., a mom, a dad and their children.

"We need to return to a place where we honor normalcy and sanity in the natural family, and stop pretending that sexual immorality and deviance are OK,” she said. “No, kids are not OK with moms who proudly proclaim lesbianism or who deliberately exclude the presence of a father in a child’s life.”

“Kids are not OK with fathers who pretend to be second mothers, or with a mom who deserts that role to pose as Father No. 2,” Harvey continued. “No wonder so many young people are seriously troubled." 

Trump also tweeted Sunday: “Wishing @FLOTUS Melania and all of the great mothers out there a wonderful day ahead with family and friends! Happy #MothersDay”

Congress designated the second Sunday in May each year as “Mother’s Day” in 1914.

Meanwhile, Media Research Center’s NewsBusters blog reported that “Liberals are putting their loathing of Donald Trump into everything,” including Mother’s Day. It reported on an article in the liberal Huffington Post by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman headlined: "Resist Trump With These Mother’s Day Cards For Muslim And Immigrant Moms: And they’re made by queer and transgender artists of color."

MRC writer Melissa Mullins responded to the HuffPo article: “Leave it to the left-wing Huffington Post to take a day where mothers across America can get some recognition and gratitude, and turn it into just another occasion to denounce American bigotry and closed-mindedness, which they would surely argue includes millions of bigoted mothers.” 

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Pope Francis: I won’t judge President Trump before listening to him

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ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis said he will not try to convert U.S. President Donald Trump on man-made “climate change” and illegal immigration when the two meet later this month. The pope said he will focus instead on common ground between them.

The pontiff said as well that he never judges a person without hearing them out.

“I never make a judgment about a person without listening to them,” Pope Francis said. “I believe that I shouldn’t do this.”

The comment came on the plane ride back from Fatima, Portugal, over the weekend when an NBC journalist asked the Holy Father his opinion of Trump’s policies on “the need to act regarding global warming or on welcoming migrants.” It was posed on the premise of Trump being a “head of state who seems to think and act unlike” the pope. 

“Things will come up as we talk,” Pope Francis continued. “I will say what I think; he will say what he thinks. But I never, I have never wanted to make a judgment without listening to a person.”

Pope Francis coined the now infamousWho am I to judge?” phrase, also on the papal plane, early in his pontificate in regard to a priest serving in the curia accused of homosexual conduct. The expression has been exploited ever since to advance LGBT “rights” and to censure the Church’s teaching on homosexuality or those who uphold it.

At the same time, the pope has made innumerable negative statements about “rigid” or “fundamentalistCatholics.

The pope and Trump have had somewhat of a verbal sparring in the media over the two issues on which they clearly don’t agree.

Trump’s success in the election has been attributed in part to his promise to protect Americans’ security, and in particular build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico to help curb the tide of illegal immigration and shore up that option for entry by terrorists.

Pope Francis inferred during the U.S. presidential campaign that then-candidate Trump was not Christian because of his proposal to protect America by building a wall on its southern border.

“A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the pope said at the time.

Trump had responded in a statement via his campaign website, "No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith."

Then, in a speech given at the Vatican three days before the U.S. election, Pope Francis said Christians should not give in to the politics of “fear” by building “physical and social walls.”

On the day of Trump’s inauguration, the pope also warned against the rise of such populist leaders as Adolf Hitler, stating that “Hitler didn't steal power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people.”

The Vatican's deputy secretary of state, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, had said in February there was “worry” over Trump’s immigration actions, after Trump signed the first of two executive orders temporarily banning travel from a handful of Muslim-majority countries. Several U.S. bishops were sharply critical of travel ban.

Trump is skeptical of so-called man-made “climate change,” and signed an executive order negating much of the Obama administration’s environmental legislation.

Conversely, Pope Francis has promulgated an entire encyclical on “climate change,” accepting it as real and chiefly “a result of human activity.”

Trump and Pope Francis are set to meet in the morning on May 24 in the Apostolic Palace, just before the pope’s Wednesday audience.  

Aleteia provided a translation of the official transcript of the interview on the plane this past Saturday, specifically the questions surrounding the upcoming meeting between the Holy Father and Trump.

The pope said in regard to Trump that common ground could always be found.

“There are always doors that are not closed,” he said. “One needs to look for the doors that are at least a little open, enter in and speak about common matters, and go forward.”

He referred to the process as walking together to develop respect.

“Step by step,” the pope stated. “Peace is a craft: it is made day by day.”

“Friendship among people, getting to know one another, and esteem are also a craft,” he continued. “They are made every day. Respect for the other, saying what one thinks but with respect, walking together … Someone thinks about it in a certain way ... say that, be very sincere in what each person thinks.”

Thomas Williams pointed out in a Breitbart piece how Trump and the pope are actually coming into the meeting with common ground on numerous other issues besides the two Pope Francis was asked about on the plane.

They both oppose abortion and euthanasia, Williams said, and defend religious liberty and conscientious objection. Both also stress job creation, support the traditional family, and both have spoken strongly in defense of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere.

When the pope was asked on the plane whether he thought Trump would “soften his decisions” on “climate change” and immigration after their meeting, the pope said again he would not proselytize.

“This is a political calculation that I do not allow myself to make,” Pope Francis said. “Even on the religious level, I am not one to proselytize. Thank you.”

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Fresno State University professor Gregory Thatcher attempts to erase a pro-life chalk message on campus.
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Prof tries to stamp out pro-life free speech and now he’s getting sued

Fr. Mark Hodges

FRESNO, California, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A college pro-life group is suing a professor for violating their free speech.

Students for Life at Fresno State University filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Dr. Gregory Thatcher, a public health professor who attempted to destroy their sidewalk chalk messages and encouraged pro-abortion students to do the same.

The pro-life student group creates chalk messages on campus sidewalks after first obtainsing permission from school administration and Student Involvement. The messages are meant to help new parents and women in crisis pregnancies.  

When pro-abortion students began erasing the chalk creations, Students for Life Fresno president Bernadette Tasy asked why. She was told, "We have a teacher that's telling us to get rid of it."  

The teacher was Thatcher.

Thatcher himself approached the pro-life students and used his shoe to wipe out their messages while giving them a tongue-lashing. He told them that they could only express themselves in a "free speech zone," an area the university eliminated years ago.

"College campuses are not free-speech areas," Thatcher angrily said while blocking the pro-life messages from being seen. "Obviously, you do not understand."

Thatcher’s rebuke of the pro-life group’s members and defacing of their messages was caught on video.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has taken up the Students for Life cause and filed the lawsuit.

Fresno State Students for Life v. Thatcher claims the professor violated the students’ freedom of speech through censorship, harassment, intimidation, and recruiting others to do the same. The lawsuit asks that Thatcher and his pro-abortion students no longer interfere, disrupt, or alter lawful free speech.

“Fresno State Students for Life received full permission to chalk pro-life messages near the library," Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins explained. "Rather than countering with his own message, Dr. Thatcher took the illegal approach of censoring speech and inciting students to help.”

“No students should have to endure this kind of intimidation and harassment for simply expressing their views," Hawkins added, "especially not those who want to help the women betrayed, and the preborn children killed, by the abortion industry.”

ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox said faculty members should practice what they preach. "It's important that university professors model the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students," Mattox said.

“No university professor has the authority to ... silenc(e) any student speech he happens to find objectionable,” ADF Legal Counsel Travis Barham added. “Professors have an obligation to respect students’ free speech rights. ... The professor’s actions here represent a flagrant violation of the First Amendment.”

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Chris Maragos with his sons, Micah and Mason
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Pro-life Super Bowl star: Mom considering abortion ‘needs Jesus’

Jay Hobbs

May 15, 2017 (PregnancyHelpNews) -- While his upcoming appearance at a kickball tournament isn’t likely to help Philadelphia Eagles free safety Chris Maragos get ready for the 2017 NFL campaign, he still considers it among the most important things he’ll do this offseason.

Maragos, who won a Super Bowl ring with the 2013 Seattle Seahawks and is entering his fourth season on the Eagles, is set to participate, along with his wife, Serah, at a fundraiser for AlphaCare’s “Kick It for Life” fundraiser May 27 in Philadelphia.

A pro-life pregnancy help center that operates a mobile medical unit, AlphaCare began serving women just a wall away from the shuttered abortion clinic of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell this January, with the ultimate goal to purchase and repurpose the clinic itself.

Supported by the community since 1981, AlphaCare’s latest fundraising endeavor will go toward a $25,000 goal to fuel the mobile unit, which offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and social services to women in need.

Maragos, an outspoken Christian, said he and his wife were drawn to partner with AlphaCare because of its distinctly Christ-centered approach to meeting the needs of women who feel that abortion is their only way out of a desperate situation.

“Each mother with doubt in her heart needs all of us,” Maragos said. “She needs us, she needs Jesus, to rally around her, to soothe her pain and lift her spirits. She needs to know that she is not alone.”

Pregnancy, Maragos pointed out, is challenging enough even under ideal circumstances. By every measure from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, for example, most women who resort to abortion do so because they feel alone and abandoned by their families and—most prominently—the father of their unborn babies.

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Recalling the joy he and Serah experienced in finding out they were expecting each of their two sons, Micah and Mason, Maragos reiterated the need for organizations like AlphaCare, which come alongside women facing unexpected pregnancies in over 2,500 communities around the U.S. and all over the globe.

“Even if you're joyful about your pregnancy, there are questions and doubts,” Maragos said. “Now, imagine if you took all of those burdens onto yourself and kept your pregnancy a secret from the father, from your parents, and from your friends. If you don't believe, you bear all of those burdens yourself. It must be crushing. No wonder so many women decide that it is too much. It's no wonder that they think the solution to rid themselves of their ‘problem’ is their child.

“Today, more than ever, AlphaCare goes wherever a woman needs the love of Jesus, as well as the AlphaCare services that go with it.”

Reprinted with permission from Pregnancy Help News.

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ABC dumps conservative ‘Last Man Standing’ but renews LGBT-promoting ‘Modern Family’

Fr. Mark Hodges

BURBANK, California, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Fans of television's only sitcom with a conservative bent are not happy that the ABC network cancelled Last Man Standing despite strong ratings and a loyal fan base.

Comedian Tim Allen’s comedy is ending after six successful seasons, and online petitions and boycotts emerged this past weekend protesting the decision.  

A petition at Change.org received almost 10,000 signatures overnight. It read: "Last Man Standing is one of the only shows on broadcast television, and the only sitcom, that is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers. And sadly, that is likely the real reason the show has been cancelled."

Another protest at PetitionCongress.org offered: "With a plethora of ultra-liberal shows available on television, this show stood out from the rest and motivated conservatives who voted for President Trump. Please demand that Congress investigate whether LMS was cancelled for political reasons." 

Even Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker weighed in on Twitter:

Last Man Standing consistently won its difficult 8 p.m. time slot on Fridays. Just this year, Deadline reported Last Man Standing was "the top program on Friday for adults 18-49 for a fourth consecutive week." In fact, the show was so strong that it actually "anchored" the night for ABC, giving popularity to shows that followed it.

ABC’s second-most-watched comedy this season (barely behind the blatantly pro-homosexual Modern Family), Last Man Standing was also the third-most-watched scripted series on the network (behind Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family).

Furthermore, Last Man Standing was a hit in syndication, the rights for which bring in huge profits to the network.

Disappointed fans say Disney-owned ABC caved to pressure from the Left.  

Unique among television shows today, Last Man Standing took pot shots at liberals, including Hillary Clinton. Tim Allen's character, Mike Baxter, is a Christian who is outspokenly conservative.

Baxter (Allen's character) ridiculed "snowflakes" whining on college campuses, mocked political correctness, took jabs at Democrats, and defended gun rights. In one episode, Baxter jokes at Clinton's expense repeatedly:

During last year's presidential campaign: “Wow. Hillary Clinton's asking us for money. Will her string of mistakes never end?”

Baxter's daughter Eve replies: “The hits keep on coming, but she'll never top Benghazi. That's her Stairway to Heaven.”

And Baxter comes back with: “Yeah, that's the kind of screwups that happen when you spend all your free time deleting e-mails.”

Later on in the same episode, Eve seeks to dissuade mom from supporting Clinton: “Mom, I know you love the show 'Scandal,' but do you really want to watch it every night for four years?”

And again from Eve: “I just don't think Hillary's that strong. I feel like Congress could cheat on her and she'd just look the other way.”

The Wrap speculated that Last Man Standing's cancellation may be due to Allen's conservatism. "Hollywood is a liberal playground, and Allen very publicly doesn’t roll that way."

BizPac Review put it bluntly: "The cancellation was more than likely political as Tim Allen’s character greatly resembles a Republican."

The Daily Wire pointed out that Allen "has created a popular, sympathetic and likable television personality who holds the beliefs and values our entertainment and media elites want to tell us can only belong to Nazis."

ABC says it was just cutting costs, citing Last Man Standing’s multi-camera production and Allen's large salary. However, the network just renewed Modern Family for two more seasons and "significant salary increases" for all six of the liberal show's stars — half a million each for every episode.

The Daily Wire: "Weird how ABC was totally comfortable doing for the left-wing Modern Family exactly what it wouldn't do for a show that appeals to the other half of the country."

During its run, Allen expressed wariness regarding his show. Earlier this year while guesting on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Allen criticized the industry for its "intolerant elitism."

“You’ve gotta be real careful around here," Allen said. "You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes.”

“If you’re not part of the group, ‘You know what we believe is right,’ I go, ‘Well, I might have a problem with that,’” Allen added.

Going even further on Kimmel's show, Allen assessed, “This is like ’30s Germany. I don’t know what happened.”

The Wrap speculated further that that quip may have been ABC's last straw. "That didn’t go over so well with many, in and outside of Hollywood."

In an interview on Fox News, Allen called celebrity Trump critics "hypocritical" political bullies.

“What I find odd in Hollywood is that they didn’t like Trump because he was a bully,” Allen said. “But if you had any kind of inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied for doing that. And it gets a little bit hypocritical to me.”

Meanwhile, fans are not laughing:

  • "Just like ABC to pull a good decent show because it didn’t please the perverts that run the network. Need some more sicko shows in the line up."

  • "If this was a show that bashed Trump, ABC would probably put it in the most-watched time slot. But, since this show appeals to the more conservative viewer, naturally it doesn’t fit ABC’s political agenda and obviously had to be cancelled. That’s the distorted mindset of bed-wetting liberals!!"

  • "...the Rulers of their network are leaning towards creating an Orwellian world order with only approved thoughts allowed to be broadcast to the public as a means to sedate us into submission..."

  • ABC, "Please continue to produce your anti-Christian, anti-American values, and anti-conservative, programming options so that eventually everyone that makes up the majority of these United States of America will turn your network off."

  • "Cancelled because ABC is so in bed with the left that they couldn’t handle a comedian that was showing how out of touch they were."

  • "More proof that the Left wants to silence any and all alternate views. Far Left ideas can not survive the light of day and they know it."

  • "This should shock no one. Networks have shifted away from providing entertainment to full-time political indoctrination."

  • "Once again progressives show us who the real bigots are."

In the end, columnist John Nolte summarized:

"ABC television network is owned by Disney, a rabidly left-wing company run by Bob Iger, who, for years, has been a huge supporter of both Bill and Hillary Clinton ... No one better understands the power of popular culture than those who work in it. They know that if even one is allowed to get through, a 'Path to 9/11,' a 'Last Man Standing,' a 'Duck Dynasty,' a 'Passion of the Christ,' a '13 Hours,' a Fox News, that it must be crushed, toxified, or memory-holed out of the fear that those brainwashed by popular culture might discover another side to the story.  And then there is the intolerable risk that a success might breed more of them."

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Cardinal Collins addressing the National March for Life, May 11, 2017. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal tells pro-life march: We must pray and fast ‘to remove evils that afflict our land’

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OTTAWA, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s top Catholic cleric said at the March for Life that prayer and fasting are needed to end abortion and euthanasia.

“It is by the hand of God that the sanctity of human life will treasured once again in our sad land,” Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto said in a homily at St. Patrick’s Basilica during Mass on the morning of the March.

“We need prayer and fasting if the evils that afflict our land are to be removed,” he said.

“We offer up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for that intention, and we pray for the saints to intercede to bring about the change of hearts that is needed in all of us.”

Added Collins: “We must especially pray for those who are convinced of the rightness of abortion and euthanasia. Only love triumphs, not contentiousness.”

The March for Life is Canada’s biggest annual pro-life demonstration and marks the legalization of abortion on May 14, 1969, under the Liberal Omnibus bill. That law was struck down in 1988, leaving Canada with no law regulating abortion.

Since then, upwards of 3.5 million unborn children have been killed by abortion, with a toll of 100,000 pre-born lives ended every year.

Canada also legalized euthanasia in June 2016, after a Supreme Court 16 month earlier that struck down the ban against it as unconstitutional.

Since then, 1,324 Canadians have been reported as killed by euthanasia or assisted suicide.

“The courts and legislatures of our country have authorized lethal injection as a supposed form of merciful healthcare,” noted Collins, “seeking to disguise the grim reality under the false language of medical assistance in dying.”

The background of “these malign judicial and legislative actions is the fact that many of our fellow citizens, including many Catholics — perhaps most Catholics — have been led to believe that it is quite legitimate, even praiseworthy, to seize control of the gift of life and to kill,” Collins said.

“These are things which bring shame upon our country and a great sadness to our hearts, ” he told the pre-March rally on Parliament Hill. “We do not own life, we are merely entrusted with that gift.”

Collins stressed to those at Mass at the downtown Basilica that they have a mission.

That mission is to “use what talents God has given us to help our fellow citizens to realize that human life is a gift from God, to be cherished from the first moment of conception until natural death.”

This year’s 20th annual March for Life coincided with Canada’s 150th birthday.

It’s also the 100th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, where her messages included an urgent entreaty for prayer and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners.

“We learn from Fatima,” Collins said in his homily.

Fatima is a “reminder to us as we struggle against the culture of death that in a dark time of ruinous war, God sent a sign of his provident care for his people, a call to repentance and an assurance of his love for suffering humanity.”

Moreover, at Fatima, “God chose little children to be the recipients of a vision of Our Lady,” observed Collins.

“It was children in their innocence and weakness in a world caught up in the deadly power games of cynicism and brute force … who were the perfect human instruments of God’s will.”

Yet another anniversary marked this year is 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, Collins said.

Martin Luther provides a lesson as well, “in a sort of reverse way.”

Although Luther was “strong on divine providence,” he had “a weaker understanding of the goodness of human nature” and that “divine providence acts in harmony with human capability.”

So for Luther the question was “which is it, faith or works? Well, it’s works, faith acting together.” Similarly, Catholics see God’s providence working together through Scripture and the traditions of the Church.

“This is the Catholic ‘and,’ the harmony of the divine and the human, faith and reason,” the cardinal said.

The mission of divine providence needs both the prophet and the sage, he explained.

The prophet uplifts and encourages believers by proclaiming the truth to them and the sage persuades unbelievers to accept the truth by reaching out to them through reason, wisdom, and natural creative gifts.

“So we need the Catholic ‘and’ to be prophetic sages and wise prophets together. Both are needed.”

And “we keep our prophetic vision fresh through adoration of Our Lord through the Blessed Sacrament,” noted Collins. “It it is God’s will, not ours, that we proclaim with clarity and charity.”

“We must pray in silence too,” he said.

Collins recommended “reading the wonderful meditations of the great Cardinal Robert Sarah on The Power of Silence.”

“Silence should above all be the sign of the March for Life, not vain chanting of slogans, but silent prayer, or praying the rosary,” said Collins.

“Silence speaks louder than noise. Noise is the way of the world, the way of darkness. Silence is the world of God.”

He added: “We’re not just another lobbying group. We’re not a lobbying group at all. We walk in prayer. For it is not our mission but the mission of the Lord in which we are engaged … we must diminish, God must be there.”

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, papal nuncio to Canada Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi; Bishop Brendan O’Brien of Kingston; Bishop Christian Riesbeck, auxiliary bishop of Ottawa; and Bishop Scott McCaig of the Military Ordinariate were also at the March for Life, as was Bishop Charlie Masters of the Anglican Network in Canada.

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Pierre Lemieux and Brad Trost at the National March for Life, May 11, 2017. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Pro-life candidates attend March for Life two weeks before Conservative leadership vote

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OTTAWA, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership race will be over in two weeks and the critical contest loomed large over this year’s March for Life.

Two of the 13 contenders, Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost and former Ottawa MP Pierre Lemieux, spoke at the March.

A third, Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer, sent a message via Alberta MP Garnett Genuis.

Conservative members are voting for their new leader on a ranked ballot that allows 10 choices. The results will be announced at the party’s Toronto convention on May 27.

The race is seen as crucially important for pro-life advocates because the other two mainstream parties, the ruling Liberals and the New Democrats, are officially pro-abortion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as Liberal leader, in 2014 barred anyone with pro-life convictions from running as a candidate in the Liberal Party. The national New Democratic Party has long done the same.

Thus it was no surprise that all MPs and senators who spoke at the March for Life were Conservative, and that many emphasized the importance of the leadership race.

Leadership contender Trost, 42, is a familiar face at the March for Life, Canada’s biggest annual pro-life demonstration.

“I’ve been coming out here for 12 years,” the MP for Saskatoon-University and father of a two-year-old daughter told the crowd.

“I want you to remember three things today, why we are here,” Trost, a Baptist Mennonite, said in his brief address.

“We often use the words from Corinthians about faith, hope, and love at weddings, but that verse applies to us here today, too, ” he said.

“We come here because we have faith that we can change, that Canada will return to its roots. … We’re here because we hope, because we want to give hope to those who are suffering, because we want to give the hope of life.”

“And finally, we are here for the greatest of these three things, for love, because we love those who cannot speak for themselves,” added Trost.

“So remember that the reason you are here to celebrate life is faith, hope, love ...  the greatest of these is love,” he said. “Thank you and God bless.”

Contender Lemieux, 54, who lost his Ottawa-area seat in the Liberal sweep of October 2015 after nine years as an MP, spoke while surrounded by his wife and five children.

“We have such a unique opportunity in this race to make our voices heard,” Lemieux said. “You are making it heard by being here today, make it heard as well by how you vote in this Conservative leadership race.”

Lemieux asked Conservative Party members to put his name “in that number one spot” on the ranked ballot.

“I am pro-life, I am social conservative, I am pro-freedom of speech, and I am Canadian, and these are Canadian values,” said Lemieux, a Catholic and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.

“And you and I who share these values with millions of Canadians across our country. We have a rightful place in our Canadian society, and we have a rightful place in the Conservative Party of Canada.”

Added Lemieux: “And if you share these values and you are not in our party, our party is too small … In this race you need to be politically engaged in order to stand for life in all of its aspects.”

He concluded by thanking the cheering thousands on the Hill for “standing with me, standing with my family, all of us standing together for life. We stand on guard for life!”

Alberta MP Garnett Genuis read a brief statement from Saskatchewan MP Scheer, 37, a Catholic father of five who has maintained a perfect pro-life voting record since he was elected to Parliament in 2006.

“I’m sorry I cannot be with you in person today,” Scheer said in his statement.

“Our right to speak, to march, and to be heard is fundamental, and as someone who is pro-life, I thank each and every one of you for being here today at the seat of our government to make your views known.”

Under Scheer as leader and prime minister, “all Conservatives would be welcome in my caucus,” in contrast to Prime Minister Trudeau, who permits only “pro-choice” Liberal candidates, his statement read.

Canadians “need a prime minister who will support bills like Molly’s law,” Scheer’s message said. The private member’s bill put forward by Saskatchewan MP Cathay Wagantall “would have amended the Criminal Code to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from violent attackers.”

Scheer has also “spoken clearly and decisively against” Trudeau’s “spending $650 million tax dollars to export his ideological agenda,” his statement read.

Trudeau announced on International Women’s Day that Canada had earmarked the $650 million over three years to promote and provide access to abortion in developing countries.

A number of MPs urged the Conservatives in the crowd to vote for a pro-life candidate in the leadership race, which Alberta MP Arnold Viersen described as “somewhat of a pivotal moment in our party.”

Lemieux and Trost have been endorsed by Campaign Life as supportable candidates, based on their voting records and campaign statements.

Campaign Life chose not to endorse Scheer because he has said he would not “reopen the abortion debate” as leader of the party.

To see Campaign Life’s voter guide for the Conservative leadership race, go here.

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Lemieux: Pro-lifers must stop giving up ground in Canada and join the Conservative Party

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Baby Walter was placed in his mother's arms after delivery.
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Miscarried baby’s ‘short life of just a few minutes ... touched more lives than I ever could have imagined’

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A photo of a mother holding her just-miscarried son effectively offers a poignant look at unborn life.

The picture, recently shared on Facebook, shows a crystal-clear shot of the perfectly formed child in his mother’s arms.

Then, in descending clarity, Mom’s hand and face are shown, with the blanket wrapping her son, and the part of her hospital gown over her heart where he lies. In the distance, the hospital bed railing is seen, rounding out the setting.

But none of it is so clear as the child in her arms.

Along with the moving image of her fully formed son, mom Lexi detailed the account of losing her child in the post shared by Save the Storks.

"Friday, June 14th did not turn out as I expected,” she began. She was at 19 weeks and three days pregnant when she lost her son.

Lexi went on to tell how she had some spotting the week before but considered it normal. However, she opted to call her midwife, who said it was best to be checked, so they headed for the ER.

“They found a heartbeat right away,” Lexi recalled. “Hearing the heartbeat immediately put me at ease.”

But she began to feel some pain, and soon it was clear she was in labor.

Lexi shared her reaction in the post, knowing it was too soon for her to deliver. 

“I was bawling my eyes out because of the pain and all of the emotions,” said Lexi. “I was not mentally prepared for labor and everything in me was fighting it.”

The ultrasound tech could still locate her son’s heartbeat but wasn’t able to tell her anything else. At that point, her contractions were intense, with no breaks.

“I wouldn’t give up hope yet,” she said, “but I knew that I was losing my baby.”

Everything became blurry. she said. The doctor sat down on the bed alongside her and told her they were going to deliver the baby.

“I immediately started bawling and asked if there was any other option,” Lexi stated.

The doctor was kind, apologizing again and again.

“He was born at 9:42 PM and was handed right to me,” said Lexi of her son. “I was crying so hard at this point, but he was perfect.”

She went on to describe her baby and how she and his father held him, and how crucial that time was.

“He was fully formed and I could see his heart beating in his tiny chest,” said Lexi.

“Joshua and I both held him and cried as we looked at our perfect, tiny son,” she said. “I held him and cuddled him while his heart was beating and will always cherish those memories.”

Like so many others who have lost a child through miscarriage, Lexi and her family felt the real human loss, and she expressed the impact this has for those who experience it.

The loss also brings home the reality of unborn life, and Lexi displayed this certainty through conveying the knowledge that her child is still alive eternally.

“We still don’t know why or how this happened, but in his short life of just a few minutes he has touched more lives than I ever could have imagined,” said Lexi.

“Just because the child within cannot be seen by us does not mean that it is a blob of cells,” she said. “Walter was perfectly formed and very active in the womb. I may never know why, but it is a comfort to know where he is and that I will see him again.” 

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NHL player Kyle Turris and Christian Ouimet
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‘The strength that he has is so inspiring:’ NHL star befriends disabled boy who was almost aborted

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OTTAWA, May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Ice hockey star Kyle Turris and his wife Julie have had a relationship with a young man that is mutually inspiring.

Doctors said Christian Ouimet’s parents should abort him because of an adverse prenatal diagnosis. He had developmental disabilities and wasn’t supposed to survive the first trimester of his mother’s pregnancy.

Christian overcame serious obstacles to survive and even play hockey. And while he has been thrilled to be friends with the sports celebrity, Kyle and Julie Turris are clear about the effect that Christian has had on them.

“The strength that he has is so inspiring,” the center for the Ottawa Senators stated.

“We want our son to grow up with similar character traits to that of Christian,” Kyle Turris continued. “The strength that he has, the attitude that he has, are the things that we would like to instill in our son.”

“He’s overcome so many obstacles to get to this place,” Julie Turris added, “And you would never know that because he’s so happy and positive.”

It was early on in the pregnancy that doctors suggested an abortion, Dorothy Ouimet said in a re-released video from Canada’s SportsNet network.

Christian’s father, Richard Ouimet, said the couple had no idea upon getting the diagnosis what the future was going to hold. “I remember vividly just saying, ‘What are we doing, why are we even considering this?’” 

Christian has a rare chromosome disorder resulting in numerous physical and mental abnormalities.

When he was born, there were only 25 known cases worldwide. The young man had two heart surgeries by the time he was 10 months old, and had been declared clinically dead twice during surgery.

“The heart was disconnected,” explained Dorothy Ouimet. “They literally told me that they took his heart out of his chest. They had to put his body on ice.”

He made it through, but challenges remained. His heart has worked with the help of a pacemaker, he has only one kidney, and he is legally deaf and blind. Christian Ouimet had endured 26 surgeries by age 14, with more likely.

None of this has hampered his love of hockey. His family thought it would never be possible for him to play and that Christian would simply have to watch his brother and others on the ice.

But then his parents got him involved with the Capital City Condors, an Ottawa group of hockey teams for children with developmental disabilities.

Christian began being pushed on the ice in a chair, then he skated pushing the chair, before working up to skating on his own.

When Christian decided he was going skate on his own, and did so from red line to blue line, the stands erupted.

“You’re crying looking at that, going this boy wasn’t supposed to walk, and there was a chance that this boy would never live,” Richard Ouimet recalled. “But there he is on the ice, thinking he’s an NHL star.”

Turris has helped the Ottawa Senators reach the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Senators defeated the defending NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in overtime in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Game 2 is Monday night.

It was through Kyle and Julie Turris’ involvement with the Condors organization that they became friends with Christian, developing a bond.

Kyle Turris kidded with Christian in the video about Turris forgetting to perform a special celebration move that Christian asked him to do after a goal. It resembles an Elvis Presley move where Presley shakes his leg.

“You’ve got to show me how to do it to remind me,” Turris told Christian. “See, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do that on the ice, though.”

“I’ll show you,” Christian replied.

It’s a running joke between the two.

Christian explained in the video the simple way the hockey star has inspired him.

“I really like Kyle Turris because he plays hockey with me,” Christian said. “Kyle Turris is my best friend. I just love him.”

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Dr. Paul McHugh
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LGBT activists slam ‘the most important psychiatrist of the last half-century’ because he debunks transgender ideology

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May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The homosexual-transgender pressure group Human Rights Campaign has declared political war on world-renowned psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh, the leading mental health expert speaking out against radical “gender ideology.”

McHugh, whose many honors include receiving the top award of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Institutes of Medicine, is the target of a special HRC attack-website, “McHugh Exposed,” which accuses him of peddling “junk science.”

It is an odd accusation to make against one of the most celebrated mental health professionals and researchers alive today. McHugh is credited with major research discoveries, including being “the first to describe increased cortisol secretion associated with depression, an accomplishment that led to the development of a test to identify serious depression by physical means,” according to the NAS.

“His extensive work studying the control of food intake revealed how gastrointestinal and neurophysiologic mechanisms regulate caloric intake in primates and are disrupted in people with eating disorders,” states the NAS release.

Last year, the editors of The New Atlantis, in publishing a special edition on sexuality and gender in their journal co-written by Dr. McHugh, called him “arguably the most important psychiatrist of the last half-century.”

Many honors, stellar pedigree

Dr. McHugh’s professional biography reads like a Who’s Who of American psychiatry and medicine. A Harvard College and Harvard Medical School graduate, Dr. McHugh was Henry Phipps Professor and Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1975 to 2001.

He is the author many books, including The Perspectives of Psychiatry, described by the NAS as “a treatise on practice methods and principles, [which] has been lauded as one of the most influential psychiatry texts in the last century.”

In 1998, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, rated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top medical schools in the world, named Dr. McHugh the University Distinguished Service Professor. In 2015, it named a new program after him, as he became the inaugural Director of the Paul R. McHugh Program for Human Flourishing, located within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,” according to the school’s website.

Dr. McHugh was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in 1992, and in 2008 received its Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health for “outstanding achievement in improving mental health.”

In 2001, he was appointed by President Bush to the President’s Council on Bioethics and in 2002 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, investigating the homosexual sex-abuse scandal.

McHugh also served as Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University School of Medicine, Clinical Director and Director of Residency Education at the New York Hospital Westchester Division, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Oregon Health Sciences Center, according to his Johns Hopkins bio.

‘Amused’ at HRC slander

In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, McHugh, 85, said he was “amused” by HRC’s online attack-site demonizing him, and said he will not be intimidated from speaking out against the current “craze” of transgender surgeries and hormone therapies pursued by gender-confused people seeking to “become” the opposite sex.

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved,” he said, noting in particular his election to the prestigious National Academy of Science’s (NAS) Institute of Medicine, and the recognition and honors he has received from colleagues in the psychiatric and medical fields. “I’ve been a part of American psychiatry for more than 50 years.”

“These are things they [HRC] wouldn’t even understand,” he said. “They want to portray me as some kind of crank.”

According to the National Academy of Sciences website, “NAS Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.”

In addition to the NAS prize, McHugh “has received many professional honors, including the Paul Hoch Award of the American Psychopathological Association, Joseph Zubin Award of the American Psychopathological Association, and the William C. Menninger Award from the American College of Physicians,” NAS stated.  

HRC and other pro-LGBTQ organizations are trying to discredit McHugh because he is the most respected medical and psychiatric authority debunking transsexual “gender change” ideology, which includes recommending “sex reassignment” surgical reconstructions — even minors —of healthy sexual organs to imitate body characteristics of the opposite sex.  

“McHugh's effort to give a veneer of academic integrity to transphobic junk science is part of a broader disturbing trend: the use of misleading, badly designed or completely unscientific ‘research’ to attack LGBTQ people and their families,” says HRC on its anti-McHugh site.

HRC, the world’s largest and best-funded homosexual-transgender lobby organization, has a long history of demonizing socially conservative opponents of LGBTQ activism, as well as researchers like McHugh who do not line up with LGBT goals.

This is only the latest iteration of the LGBT movement’s successful, ongoing strategy — honed over nearly five decades — of assailing and demonizing dissenters from pro-homosexual ideology as “bigots,” irrational haters, “homophobes” and, now, “transphobes.”

For example, in 2014, HRC viciously slammed leading pro-family advocates who have spoken outside the United States in opposition to homosexual and “transgender” activism. Relying on factually inaccurate and distorted information to smear the social conservatives as “Exporters of Hate,” HRC even used darkened, photo-negative-type drawings of its targets’ faces to make them appear sinister.

Dr. McHugh a ‘Transphobe’?

As for Dr. McHugh, this is hardly the first time he has been disparaged by critics, or even labeled a “transphobe.” Two years ago, Zack Ford, the “LGBTQ editor” of the leftist Think Progress, wrote a hit-piece in which he applied the trendy “transgender” attack-term “transphobe” to McHugh. (Like the invented term “homophobe,” its cousin, “transphobe,” wrongly suggests that people who oppose accommodating extreme gender confusion “fear” those afflicted.)

In response, Ryan Anderson, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, tweeted, “Dr. McHugh is an accomplished medical professional completely devoted to the health of his patients. Liberal attacks on him are disgusting.”

Anderson followed up on that tweet with another, “Attacks on Dr. McHugh are amazing: It's not the man who thinks he's a woman who has mental issues, it's the doctor who dares speak truth.”

After McHugh and co-editor Lawrence Mayer published their widely-circulated Fall 2016 New Atlantis Special Report on “Sexuality and Gender,” nearly 600 “experts on LGBT health” published a letter opposing the document, stating that it “does not represent prevailing expert consensus opinion about sexual orientation or gender identity related research or clinical care,” the Daily Beast reported.

However, whereas the 143-page New Atlantis report was documented by 25 pages of endnotes, the opposing letter from the outraged pro-homosexual and pro-transgender “experts” was short and failed to point out where his New Atlantis report was wrong, McHugh said. 

Even the liberal Daily Beast seemed embarrassed by the lightweight, pro-LGBTQ counter-response, noting the opposition “letter is indeed short, clocking in at under 300 words.”

Devastating Wall Street Journal op-ed

McHugh’s popularity on the national stage among conservatives grew after The Wall Street Journal published his op-ed, “Transgender Surgery Is Not the Solution,” in 2014. The Journal piece is cited regularly by opponents of “transgender” activism the world over. McHugh writes:

“[P]olicy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention. This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken — it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

Pro-“transgender” ideologues bristled at McHugh’s comparison of, say, a gender-confused man who looks at the mirror and says to himself, “I’m a woman,” to a gaunt, anorexic woman who looks in the mirror and says, “I’m so fat.” Writes Dr. McHugh:

“The transgendered suffer a disorder of ‘assumption’ like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists. With the transgendered, the disordered assumption is that the individual differs from what seems given in nature — namely one's maleness or femaleness. Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight. …

McHugh writes that changing your sex is “biologically impossible:”

“People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is a civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

In his WSJ essay, Dr. McHugh notes that a follow-up study in LGBT-tolerant Sweden found that people who had “sex reassignment surgery” had a suicide death rate “almost 20-fold above the comparable non-transgender population.”

He compares pro-transgender school “diversity counselors” who encourage “transgender” students to embrace gender-confused identities to “cult leaders,” noting that 80 percent of “very young, often prepubescent children” who believe they are in the wrong-sexed body “would abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated.”

Regarding these very young, supposedly “transgender” children, McHugh writes, “Misguided doctors at medical centers including Boston's Children's Hospital have begun trying to treat this behavior by administering puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous — even though the drugs stunt the children's growth and risk causing sterility.”

He said transsexual “medical interventions” on children “come close to child abuse. A better way to help these children: with devoted parenting.”

Pro-family leaders defend McHugh

A pro-family leader and doctor who, like McHugh, is under attack from the pro-LGBT Left has similarly called performing “sex reassignment surgeries” and puberty-blocking “transgender” hormone therapy on gender-confused children “child abuse.”

Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the conservative pediatricians group American College of Pediatricians (AcPeds), has high praise for the Johns Hopkins psychiatrist.

“Dr. Paul McHugh is a highly accomplished academic researcher and clinical psychiatrist. I am an ordinary licensed general pediatrician who practiced for 15 years before dedicating myself full time to motherhood and evidence-based child advocacy in the American College of Pediatricians. We became good friends in part because we have the same enemies,” Dr. Cretella told LifeSiteNews.

Among those shared enemies is the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which labeled Florida-based AcPeds a “hate group,” along with dozens of other conservative, pro-natural-family organizations — lopping them in with truly hateful groups like the racist Aryan Nation and KKK as a way to destroy their credibility. The media often report the false SPLC description as fact.

In its attack-site against Dr. McHugh, HRC, echoes SPLC’s tendentious labeling, referring to Dr. Cretella’s group as “a recognized hate group that attempts to impersonate the legitimate American Academy of Pediatrics.”

Dr. Cretella said the HRC’s attacks “are most often ad hominem, or else they are misrepresentations of science and of what we have actually written or said.”

“They are factually baseless. A quote attributed to George Orwell sums it up best: ‘In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’ Such is the current state of medicine — indeed of our entire culture — on all matters sexual,” she said.

“Truth is the enemy of the sexual revolution,” Cretella said. “Reality itself must be suppressed for the full sexual agenda to be realized. Therefore, those who proclaim it will be relentlessly attacked until they are silenced.”

Former “transsexual” Walt Heyer of SexChangeRegret.com, who went through the body-destroying, “male-to-female” “bottom” surgery before realizing that adopting a female identity was not the solution to his problems, agrees with Dr. Cretella and said it will be very difficult for the LGBT Left to “take down” the esteemed McHugh.

“The problem for HRC is that Paul McHugh is the brightest, most well-informed psychiatrist on the issue of transgenderism in the world. He knows the science,” Heyer told LifeSiteNews.

“This is disordered thinking,” said Heyer, who has become a friend of Dr. McHugh. “It’s people trying to escape the pain” of past traumas, usually in their childhood.

Heyer himself was sexually and physically abused as a boy, and when he was very young, whenever his grandmother babysat him, she dressed him up in a purple dress like a girl. That undermined his masculinity and helped create a false, alternate female personality, “Laura,” in his mind.

Johns Hopkins resumes body-disfiguring “transgender” operations

Under pressure from HRC and transgender activists, Johns Hopkins announced last year, “We have committed to and will soon begin providing gender-affirming surgery as another important element of our overall care program,” as LifeSiteNews reported. It did so as part of its “unequivocal and profound commitment to the LGBTQ community.” 

That was a big setback to Dr. McHugh, who in 1979 famously put an end to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine performing “sex reassignment surgeries” (now called “gender reassignment surgeries” by “trans” advocates) after he took over as the hospital’s chief of psychiatry.

Dr. McHugh argues that body-disfiguring operations do not solve the “problem” of “transgender” individuals.

“A doctor who prescribes a treatment should understand the nature of the problem he is treating,” he told LifeSiteNews. “It’s not a biological problem. It’s a psychological problem needing psychological treatment.”

McHugh said he was “not shocked, but disappointed” that Johns Hopkins chose to resume doing the “sex reassignment” operations. He said there are a different set of outside pressures on an institution like Johns Hopkins compared to a mere individual like himself.

Nevertheless, he told LifeSiteNews, “Johns Hopkins doesn’t have to kowtow to these activists. … I keep telling them that they will come to regret it someday.”

HRC ‘Orwellian’?

In an age of “don’t judge me” liberal “snowflakes,” McHugh is refreshingly old school, one who fights for his convictions but welcomes debate and opposing arguments as part of a free, yet civil, exchange of ideas.

As the Baltimore Sun reported, McHugh used his prestige and influence at Johns Hopkins to secure a rare, formal, institutional affirmation of the right of researchers and professors to disagree with prevailing ideologies — a rarity in today’s academia.

In a letter titled "Johns Hopkins Medicine's Commitment to the LGBT Community," Johns Hopkins published a letter stressing "’strong and unambiguous’" support of the LGBT community and made clear that when ‘individuals associated with Johns Hopkins exercise the right of expression, they do not speak on behalf of the institution,’" the Sun reported.

But the letter also affirmed what was once a universal value of American higher education, the Sun reported: “the freedom to express contrarian views. ‘Academic freedom is among our fundamental principles,’ it said, ‘essential to the self-correcting nature of scientific inquiry, and a privilege that we safeguard.’"

McHugh told The New York Times in 2002, “What I am looking for is a conversation,” “a broad-ranging conversation in which all the doors are expected to be open. And if they’re closed, we’re going to open them.”

But civility with moral opponents historically has not been a hallmark of the LGBTQ movement, nor the Left in general. Rather than engaging their opponents freely and fairly in the public square, HRC, GLAAD and other homosexual and transgender activist groups often have resorted to name-calling against their foes, or lobbying the media not to publish “anti-gay” (or now “anti-trans”) viewpoints.

Usually, LGBT activists employ a tactic called “bracketing” in which they equate people with sincerely-held moral beliefs opposed to homosexuality and gender rebellion to anti-social “haters,” “bigots” and “phobes.” They also compare moral-minded opponents to racists. But the late Ken “Hutch” Hutcherson, who was black, responded, “Don’t compare you sin to my skin.”

In 2007, an HRC staffer threatened to pull out of a corporate “diversity” discussion if the lone Christian conservative on the panel was not disinvited. The panel organizer buckled and apologetically disinvited the pro-family advocate.  

With such intolerance in mind, Dr. McHugh told LifeSiteNews that the Human Rights Campaign is “Orwellian” because, in the name of “rights,” it seeks to shut down and demonize opponents, all the while extolling “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “equality.”

“They call themselves the Human ‘Rights’ Campaign as they take our rights away!” Dr. McHugh said.

Noting that HRC is on the “warpath” against him, and “trying to send me down the memory hole,” he said, “I don’t think they can do too much to me.” He said he believes his position is safe at Johns Hopkins.

And he remained confident that the media-hyped “fad” of transgenderism will fade as more and more Americans realize that performing radical operations on the bodies of self-described “transgender” men, women — and especially children — to match their confused “feelings” is “mistreatment.”

“This craze is going to come apart, as crazes always do,” he said.

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Fr. Shenan Boquet

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Why Fatima matters in the battle for life and family

Fr. Shenan Boquet

The message of Fatima is, in its basic nucleus, a call to conversion and repentance, as in the Gospel. This call was uttered at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it was addressed particularly to this present century.  … The call to repentance is a motherly one, and at the same time it is strong and decisive. (Pope Saint John Paul II, homily given in Fatima on May 13, 1982)

May 15, 2017 (HLI) -- On Saturday the universal Church remembered and celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the miraculous events at Fatima, recalling the wondrous appearance of Our Heavenly Mother and the life-giving message she brought. In considering the meaning of her message as it pertains to us today, I am reminded of something Sister Lucia wrote in a letter to Cardinal Caffarra:

[T]he final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue… however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.

In my many travels, I experience firsthand the prophetic words of Sister Lucia concerning marriage and the family. These sacred institutions are at the heart of the battle because they touch upon the very pillar of creation, which is the truth about the relationship between man and woman, who are made in the likeness and image of God. If these heavenly created institutions are compromised, then the entire building collapses.

We should not view the message of Fatima as merely a historic moment, but rather as a living message purposely spoken to this age. The moral crisis we see in the world demands continued prayers, penance and sacrifices. Our response to the perverse secular culture is our ongoing conversion and spiritual renewal. We are being called to holiness.

We are prompted by the example of the visionaries, Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, to offer acts of mortification with heroic virtue. At the height of their innocence, the two younger children, Francisco and Jacinta, offered themselves as expiatory victims. Sister Lucia, told she would live a long life, would exhaust her life in the service of prayer and mortification for the salvation of souls. Lucia asked Our Lady if she would take them to heaven. Our Lady answered:

Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. You, however, are to stay here a longer time. Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish the devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by me before His throne.

When Lucia asked if she were going to be left alone, Our Lady responded:

No, my daughter. Does this cause you to suffer a great deal? I will never leave you, my Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.

Our Lady’s appeal for prayer and penance made to the children, to which the children responded with joy and complete obedience, also applies to us. Striving for holiness and mortifying our senses enables us to be fervent in prayer, gives us interior strength in resisting temptations, helps us to detach from worldly concerns, and unshackles our hearts from earthly vanities and attachments. Seeking holiness increases clarity of thought, making us more sensitive to the discernment of what is holy and what is abomination.

The evil one also knows the significance of marriage and the family. This is why he attacked our first parents and continues his assault today upon marriage and family. Marriage is the only institution that unites parents with their children, that recognizes the natural right of a child to have a mother and father. The family is the first cell of society, the domestic church, first government, first school, first hospital, first economy and the first mediating institution of society. Within this primary school, children learn moral and gospel values, which ultimately give shape to our cultures and societies. After all, society passes through the family, the first school.

Defending the truth about life, marriage and family is costly. The visionaries of Fatima suffered greatly because of the apparitions. Family and friends who failed to understand what the children received from Our Lady persecuted them. Newspapers waged a bitter campaign to discredit the apparitions and the visionaries. Despite all the ill treatment, the children bore it all with patience and charity, always mindful of Our Lady’s request to offer their sacrifices for the sake of poor sinners.

As we enter the good fight in the battle over marriage and family, we know that we too will be besieged by hatred and rejection. Our Lord reminds us, “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). We stand before two opposing views; one set upon a path of obedience and life and the other upon disobedience and death.

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We also know that the attacks against God’s divine plan for marriage and family do not come only from outside the Church but also come from within – born of sins from disobedience, dissent and rejection. This is why the Church, the people of God, needs the message of Fatima to be a constant reminder as to the universal call for repentance conversion, and renewal. Only in this spirit, renewal of heart and soul, can we be the leaven in the dough. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…(1 John 4:18) We draw strength and comfort from Our Lady of Fatima who reminded Sister Lucia that she was not alone in this great battle – in her Immaculate Heart we find refuge.

There is still much for us to learn from Our Lady of Fatima. Her message is a sign of hope to a world torn by strife and discord. The answer to the attacks on marriage, family and society is the same today as it was 100 years ago – repent and be obedient to the will of God.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Reprinted with permission from Human Life International.

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56,559 people signed the petition against the bill, making it one of the largest ever tabled in the NSW Parliament
Isaac Spencer

Opinion

Australia just rejected the most extreme pro-abortion bill I’ve ever seen

Isaac Spencer

May 15, 2017 (RighttoLifeNSW) -- Last Thursday, Parliament debated one of the most extreme abortion bills I’ve ever seen.

Mehreen Faruqi’s abortion bill would have legalised abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth – meaning it would have been completely legal to perform an abortion on a fully viable nine-month-old unborn child an hour before delivery.

This proposal was, as one commentator observed, “so mind-bogglingly extreme and dangerous that it’s hard to fully believe [Faruqi is] actually being serious.”

Thankfully, members of the Legislative Council recognised the enormous risk the bill posed to women’s health, and voted decisively to reject the bill by 25 votes to 14.

Make no mistake, this is an historic victory for women and unborn children.

Backyard abortions

One of the many shocking elements of the Faruqi abortion bill was the way it would have removed any legal requirement for abortions to be performed by a qualified medical practitioner, thus potentially leaving vulnerable pregnant women at the mercy of unscrupulous or incompentent backyard abortionists.

Pro-abortion campaigners have argued for years that legal abortion is necessary in order to prevent women dying from dangerous backyard abortions. Of course, this has never really been true. Ireland for example, where abortion was entirely illegal until 2013, had one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.

But even so, why on earth would anyone who cares about women introduce a bill that removes legal safeguards for mothers as well as their unborn children?

Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’

Tragically, this hypocrisy from the abortion industry is nothing new. Readers may remember the case of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.

Through his abortion ‘business’, Gosnell preyed on vulnerable women for decades. In total, 46 lawsuits were filed against him over 32 years before he was finally stopped in 2011. Investigators described his clinic as a “house of horrors”, with corpses of dead babies and body parts to be found everywhere, including in fridges and cabinets.

And yet the abortion lobby has consistently objected to every single piece of regulation that offers women protection against men like Dr Kermit Gosnell.

It is simply staggering to see the sheer hypocrisy and naked ideology of pro-abortion campaigners, who create scare stories about illegal backyard abortions – and at the same time they try to pass bills that would make those same backyard abortions fully legal.

Pro-woman, pro-life

What a contrast with the pro-life movement, which creates laws designed to protect both women and unborn children. Because women don’t gain anything from unregulated abortion on demand.

At times like these, I am reminded once again that a consistent and authentic pro-life ethic is the only way to meet the needs of women, children and indeed every single member of the human race.

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And last Thursday's result shows that pro-lifers can succeed when we work together on legislation.

The pro-life majority

A huge number of people – 56,559 – signed an official parliamentary petition in just two weeks, calling on politicians to reject both the Faruqi bill and another pro-abortion bill proposed by Labor MLC Penny Sharpe. It’s one of the largest petitions Parliament House has ever received.

That only happened because we got out into the NSW community and made people aware of this bill and the horrendous effects it would have, both for women and their unborn children. We have to continue engaging with the public, and remember that we are the pro-life majority.

Independent polling results released by Galaxy Research in the last few weeks show that so much of mainstream media coverage is completely removed from what people actually think of abortion. Just 5% of people wanted to see abortion legal up to birth.

Meanwhile, 83% of people want to see a ban on sex-selective abortion. Let’s start moving the conversation forward.

Thank you to our politicians

Finally, I want to thank the courageous 25 men and women who voted to reject Faruqi’s abortion bill. Because they voted to reject abortion on demand, many of them are now being smeared and attacked online.

It’s important that we hold politicians to account and call them out when they do wrong. It’s also vitally important that we thank them when they hold true to their principles and vote to protect life in the face of fierce opposition.

These folks need to know that we support and appreciate them, and that we thank them for voting pro-life. So please join me in signing our open letter to thank every politician who voted against Faruqi’s extreme abortion bill.

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It is absolutely essential that we do not utilize genuine problems like the Syrian migrant crisis as a scapegoat for European angst and miss entirely the real problem. (PHOTO: Akcakale Refugee Camp) Shutterstock
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Blogs

Maybe we should stop blaming Syrian migrants for what we did to ourselves

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

May 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - Across the right-wing Twittersphere and on alt-right and even a few traditionalist blogs, one phrase has become common: White Genocide. The meaning is simple, although less dramatic than the name would seem to indicate. The claim is that the governments of Western nations are deliberately moving millions of non-white immigrants into their countries, and that policies of multiculturalism force white people to the fringe, ensuring that they will eventually acquire minority status in countries they once dominated.

Like so much of grievance politics, the #whitegenocide crowd misses something essential: the upcoming minority status of white Westerners in some Western countries has nothing to do with a conspiracy, unless we’re going to revisit the history of the Sexual Revolution. If European culture is dying, it is dying by suicide, not crumbling in the face of an immigrant invasion.

Just look, for example, at birthrates across the West. With the possible exception of the United States, white Westerners are not replacing their populations. Italy is now attempting to insert information on having children into sex education courses. In 2015, the average age of inhabitants in the United Kingdom passed the age of forty. For the first time since Confederation in 1867, there are more seniors than children in Canada. In Germany, over 30% of women are childless. From Scandinavia to the Lowlands, from the Spanish coast to the Caucuses, birthrates are plunging—and white Europeans are abandoning the future of their culture by voluntarily deciding to discontinue it.

The problem goes all the way to the top: Europe’s most important leaders are all childless. As Giulio Meotti put it, “Being a mother or a father…means that you have a very real stake in the future of the country you lead. Europe’s most important leaders leave no children behind.” Included in the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the new French leader Emmanuel Macron, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. One stark statistic highlights how successful the Sexual Revolution’s introduction of contraception and abortion really were: A quarter of European women who were born in the 1970s are childless.

As the result of a nearly collective European refusal to reproduce, huge numbers of immigrants from other places around the world have entered to ostensibly make up the missing labor force. It is important to remember that the Syrian migrant crisis was not the catalyst for this discussion: Mark Steyn highlighted skyrocketing rates of Islamic immigration in his book America Alone over a decade ago, and pointed out that Islamic terrorists who wished to conquer Europe only needed to wait for demographics to do the job for them—why blow up buildings owned by people who had no children to leave them to, in the first place?

Of course, the tension between immigrants from cultures that still believe in things and post-Christian and post-modern Europeans who believe in a castrated tolerance—some Dutch men responded to news that European women were getting sexually assaulted by migrants by donning miniskirts and hosting a parade in solidarity—is only going to increase. Europeans, for the most part, exist in a spiritual vacuum and do not possess a worldview robust enough to respond to those entering their nations. This has resulted in an angst that is fueling the alt-right, and contributing to the popularity of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen in France.

But as we attempt to identify the problem, it is absolutely essential that we do not make the mistake of utilizing genuine problems like the Syrian migrant crisis as a scapegoat for European angst and miss entirely the real problem: Europeans decided to abandon their heritage and stop having children. Syrian migrants didn’t cause the 30% rate of childlessness among German women, regardless of Merkel’s stupidity. Moroccans didn’t demand that Dutch women reject the idea of having a family. Immigrants didn’t create the population vacuum across Europe that they took advantage of: Europeans did that themselves.

The reason it is so important to point this out is that if we do not correctly identify the problem, we will end up with the wrong solution. Playing the victim is not the solution here, and is ridiculous to boot: European culture was not wrested from the hands of those desperately clinging to it. Culture must be given up voluntarily. I’m a Canadian of Dutch heritage—both my maternal and my paternal grandparents immigrated here—and yet, much of Dutch culture has been preserved in our families. Many still speak Dutch, attend a Dutch Reformed Church, are familiar with Dutch history, and consider themselves to be Dutch-Canadian. I own a pair of wooden shoes modeled after the pair my Opa still wore here in Canada, and have a framed 1675 engraving of Dutch admiral Michael de Ruyter hanging in my foyer. But that’s because Dutch culture was passed on.

No one forced Europeans to leave their great cathedrals empty and silent but for the occasional echo of a tourist’s camera clicking. No one ordered Dutch parents across the Netherlands to leave their pews vacant, or fail to even tell their children what the Canons of Dordt are. No one demanded that the French pretend that their history was a long march towards secularism. No one shuttered the little country churches of the Church of England and ordered the Common Book of Prayer burned. No, the churches were abandoned. Faith was abandoned. The sacred was abandoned. Tradition itself was abandoned.

It is true that some Europeans may be looking around and coming to the conclusion that their parents and grandparents gave up too much. It is the upcoming generation, of course, that must live with the suicidal decisions that resulted in the obliteration of European heritage and culture in the first place. But it must be said that many young men and women are rootless cosmopolitans more loyal to the Eurocrats in Brussels that assist in the maintenance of a system that enables their lifestyle than they are to any nation state, or values system, or culture, or heritage. If only young people had voted, Brexit wouldn’t have happened.

During the recent Munk Debate between Niall Ferguson and Fareed Zakaria on the question, “Is the International Liberal Order Over?” these things got mostly ignored. Zakaria tried to portray the forces that fueled Trump and Brexit as a mere blip on the road to secular utopia, and Ferguson tried to explain that this Order had not been good for a lot of people who might reject a system that seemed to perpetually exclude them. But as I noted in my debate review, it is essential that we start to talk about what made Europe great in the first place: the Judeo-Christian values that founded it. If we do not realize what created European culture, we will begin to return to the gods of blood and soil—and there are still those who remember what happened the last time they were with us.

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