All articles from July 11, 2019


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Ex-gays rip Amazon for banning reparative therapy books, keeping pro-suicide books

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By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Tell Amazon not to ban books dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction Sign the petition here.

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Ex-gays, who launched a petition earlier this week after Amazon banned books aimed at helping those with unwanted same-sex attraction, are continuing to pressure the retail giant to reverse its decision, calling out Amazon’s blatant hypcrisy. 

“Hey! Amazon and LGBTQ activists, it is disingenuous to use the suicide argument as a reason to remove the exLGBTQ Christian’s testimony and Christian discipleship books,” wrote Daren Mehl, founder of Voice of the Voiceless, an organization that seeks to defend the rights of former homosexuals and those with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA).  “That lie doesn’t work.”

“First, seeking Jesus leads to LIFE, not death,” continued Mehl. “We declare the goodness of God through Jesus Christ to rescue everyone, including people who identify as LGBTQ, from death.”

“Many of us were suicidal or depressed before Christ was revealed to us. It was Christ that healed the depression and suicidal thoughts, and gave us a new living identity and lifestyle in HIM,” said Mehl. “We were born again!”

Mehl called out Amazon’s hypocrisy, asserting that if the online giant truly cared “about suicide and preventing books from contributing to suicides, as you claim your motivation for the actions of removing our books,” the many books that Amazon now sells on how to commit suicide would have banned a long time ago.

At the moment, Amazon is promoting at least ten books that facilitate suicide. Here’s a sampling:

Mehl also pointed out that by removing books whose purpose is to deal with unwanted SSA, Amazon is hindering men and women searching for important resources pertinent to their Christian faith journey. “Many of us have read these and other books and have been helped and discipled in our faith. Don’t discriminate against our religious materials.”

Amazon is “overtly discriminating against the message of Christ, against our books because of our religious conclusions and messages,” said Mehl. “Jesus does great works in our lives and can even reform a person from the LGBTQ identity and lifestyle.” 

“You are lying in justifying censorship of our messages by using the strawman of ‘conversion therapy,’ and then lie that change in sexual orientation isn't possible,” said Mehl.

“Change is possible, Jesus does this work for anyone who calls him Lord and believes and confesses it,” he added.

Amazon: ‘Ex-gay and transgender testimonies are out, but Satan is AOK’

“Isn’t it great that Amazon took my audiobooks down from every platform so they don’t risk offending anyone?” asked Jeremy Schwab, a former homosexual and founder of Joel 2:25, a ministry whose mission is to help men and women who experience same-sex attraction, encouraging relational healing, sexual sobriety, and spiritual growth.

“Let’s see what highly-rated items they are selling right now,” continued Schwab on Facebook. “‘With Prime, if you order in the next 20 minutes, you can have this delivered to your front door tomorrow.’ What a deal!”

Schwab then posted a screenshot of some of the satanic products Amazon sells, including a shirt with a large pentagram, emblazoned with the words “Not today Jesus,” and a 10-inch “Baphomet Horned Sabbatic Goat Solve et Coagula Statue.”

Amazon also peddles a “Drag Queen Prayer Candle Set,” picturing four drag queens from RuPaul’s “Drag Race” TV show portrayed with halos beneath a cross.


Drag Queen Prayer Candle Set / Amazon Screen Shot

Schwab told LifeSiteNews that the audio and Kindle versions of the books banned by Amazon are now no longer available anywhere.  

“That’s the main problem,” said Schwab, “they have a virtual monopoly.” 

He explained that this presents a real problem: “In my ministry, Joel 2:25, we have members spread across many cities and countries and cannot afford to have books printed and shipped everywhere, so the audible and kindle format was the only way for many to access them.”

“Also, we had been translating these books into Spanish and other languages which were then sold through the Amazon Kindle app,” added Schwab. “Those are all gone now as well.”

Schwab said that since the books — an important part of his organization’s ministry — have been blocked from every platform, he hopes to file a complaint with the FTC today.

“Every time we create our own app, the gay activists force Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. to remove us,” Schwab said. “They are trying to cut us off on every side and they have never even read our material. They have no idea what they are even opposing.”

Regarding assertions from activists and echoed by online retailers such as Amazon that therapies and personal choices to reject SSA can lead to suicide, Schwab said, “There may be some people who grew up in extreme cults or abusive families or churches, but none of that is what is practiced or advocated by Reparative Therapy or any of the books and resources that [Amazon] removed. Anything abusive or unethical is already illegal and has been for decades, thankfully.”

Amazon made the decision to remove the helpful books in response to a Change.org petition that mislabeled all materials dealing with leaving the practice of active homosexuality as destructive “conversion therapy.”  

Those who have left homosexuality and now live chaste single lives or who have gone on to marry and form families with members of the opposite sex see a different motive behind Amazon’s action. It is an attempt to silence all the voices of those who have found new life and freedom not through “conversion therapy,” but through conversion to Jesus Christ, a distinction that seems lost on LGBT activists.

The petition demanding that Amazon reverse its decision to ban books aiming to help those with unwanted same-sex attraction has already garnered more than 9,000 signatures and can be found here.

Check out Changed/Once Gay Stories and Two Prisms for testimonies by people who were once gay or transgender but now find their identities in Christ. 

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Gualberto Garcia Jones, President of the Personhood Alliance, and Scott Schittl, Campaigns Coordinator with LifeSiteNews
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LifeSite, Personhood Alliance deliver nearly 100k signatures against ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’

LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Wednesday, representatives from LifeSiteNews and the Personhood Alliance hand-delivered nearly 100,000 signatures to the American Library Association (ALA), against their promotion of the “Drag Queen Story Hour” (DQSH) phenomenon.

40,000+ signatures came from the joint petition launched by LifeSite and the Personhood Alliance last month, while 56,000+ signatures came from a joint petition on the same topic which was launched by The Activist Mommy and CitizenGO.

Scott Schittl, Campaigns Coordinator with LifeSiteNews and Gualberto Garcia Jones, President of the Personhood Alliance, met with the Senior Director of Public Policy & Government Relations Dr. Alan Inouye at the ALA’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

During the meeting, Schittl and Garcia Jones focused on four main issues:

  1. That DQSH is highly inappropriate for children who cannot consent to its sexualized content at such a young age, regardless of whether their parents accompany them. And, exposing young children to sexual material beyond their maturity is tantamount to child abuse.
  2. That DQSH is highly offensive to Christian communities, and will discourage library use in many communities – at a time when libraries should be encouraging literacy!
  3. That DQSH is dangerous because it exposes children to potential predators, as it is well-known that registered sex-offenders have already been caught “performing” in front of young children.
  4. That DQSH is a highly political issue with which libraries should not be involved, especially as they are in receipt of public funding. Libraries should be neutral zones, where one ideology is not preferred over another.

Schittl and Garcia Jones also delivered the message that we would be pursuing this issue – on grounds of child welfare – at both the state and federal level, and that we will be seeking to have Congress and state legislatures look at the issue, with a view to banning DQSHs (and other sexualized agenda topics) from libraries and classrooms.

Inouye said that he would pass along the petitioners’ concerns and help arrange further meetings.

Speaking about the delivery and the petition, LifeSiteNews’ Schittl said: “We are really enthusiastic about the fact that this petition struck such a chord with our readers. We want to thank everyone for signing this petition, and we want you to know that, where DQSH is concerned, this is only the first phase of our campaign.”

“We are committed to ensuring that this perverted practice is stopped. The psychological, spiritual, moral, and physical well-being of America’s children is at stake.”

If you have already signed the petition, but haven’t yet shared it with your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues, please take a moment to cut and paste THIS LINK into an email asking them to sign it.

If, on the other hand, you haven’t yet had a chance to sign, please CLICK HERE and SIGN, today!

We will continue to ask people to sign and share this petition until libraries cease to hold these events.

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Teacher fired from Catholic school for same-sex ‘marriage’ sues Archdiocese of Indianapolis

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By Calvin Freiburger

INDIANAPOLIS, July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A teacher at an Indiana Catholic school fired for entering into a same-sex “marriage” filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for discrimination.

Joshua Payne-Elliott taught for 13 years at Cathedral High School and renewed his contract on May 21, the Associated Press reported. But the school’s president informed him on June 23 that the archdiocese was ordering that he be fired because of his 2017 “marriage” to a male teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

As LifeSiteNews previously covered, the archdiocese also ordered Brebeuf to fire the other teacher, and when it refused to do so, Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson decreed that it “can no longer use the name Catholic and will no longer be identified or recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.” The Midwest Province of Jesuits is appealing the decision.

Cathedral complied with the archdiocese, however, so Payne-Elliott is seeking damages for compensation and emotional distress, as well as a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "We hope that this case will put a stop to the targeting of LGBTQ employees and their families,” Payne-Elliott declared.

The Indianapolis Star added that Payne-Elliott has arrived at a satisfactory and confidential legal settlement with Cathedral High School, but not with the archdiocese.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, homosexual relations are “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to the natural law,” and cannot be approved under any circumstances. Individuals afflicted with same-sex attraction must be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” while at the same time are “called to chastity.”

“In our Catholic schools, all teachers, school leaders and guidance counselors are ministers and witnesses of the faith whose ultimate responsibility is to educate and form students,” the Archdiocese of Indianapolis responded on its website. “Those who act as ministers of the Catholic Church must uphold the teachings of the Church in their daily lives, both in and out of school. We expect all who sign a ministerial contract do so in good faith.

“Religious liberty, which is a hallmark of the U.S. Constitution and has been tested in the U.S. Supreme Court, (and a value of the Catholic Church as described in the Second Vatican Council document Dignitatis humanae), acknowledges that religious organizations may define what conduct is not acceptable and contrary to the teachings of its religion, for its school leaders, guidance counselors, teachers and other ministers of the faith,” it added.

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Vincent Lambert Youtube screenshot
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Vincent Lambert’s death is a tragedy for the Church and the world: Here’s what we can learn

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

ANALYSIS

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, died on Thursday, July 11 at 8:24 a.m. Paris time in a room of the geriatrics and palliative care department of Reims University Hospital, where he had been kept under lock and key for the last six years. The tetraplegic and brain-damaged 42-year-old man, who suffered terrible injuries during a road accident 11 years ago, did not die of illness or injury, but because he was deliberately deprived of food and fluids in order for his vital organs to fail and thus provoke death.

It is the tragic but inevitable epilogue to an end-of-life procedure against which parents Viviane and Pierre as well as two of his siblings, David and Anne, had fought as long as there was hope for Vincent to live and recover from the damage done by a cruel and inhuman dehydration and starvation process.

Last Monday, they published a statement indicating that they would no longer be attempting to obtain a reversal of the process because nothing could be done to reverse the lethal effects of the dehydration to which Vincent had been submitted for nearly a week.

Finally, Vincent’s agony will have lasted nine days and nights: a very long time with regard to the barbaric treatment he received, dying of thirst under the eyes of his loved ones who could not even give him a drink.

Even worse, Viviane told LifeSiteNews on Wednesday morning that her son received no deep sedation and that during the first days of his agony, he was moaning and groaning, gasping for breath, and crying. He also had quieter moments but his eyes were open and he reacted to Viviane when she talked to him until then.

How much did he suffer? And for how long? These are questions that will never be answered. The deep sedation process provided for in the Leonetti end-of-life law is intended to prevent any kind of suffering, as a precautionary measure.

In practice, when used on the elderly and the terminally ill, this deep and legally irreversible sedation prevents the dying from having awareness of their last moments and from communicating with their family members, sometimes making reconciliations and confessions impossible.

But in Vincent’s case, it would at least have made sure – insofar as that is possible, given the mystery of human consciousness – that he not suffer from the terrible pangs of thirst and dehydration that would ultimately kill him.

As far as is known at the present time, Dr. Vincent Sanchez – who implemented the end-of-life decision – was either unable or unwilling to explain the situation to family members. Half-nephew François Lambert, who repeatedly spoke with the press during the last week, went on record as saying the procedure was “sadistic,” repeating that a fully-fledged euthanasia law would be more humane.

Pope, bishops react

In the wake of the complaint filed by Pierre and Viviane for “attempted willful murder on a vulnerable person” last Friday, the prosecutor of the Republic in Reims has demanded an autopsy on Vincent Lambert’s body. He has also asked for Rachel Lambert, the deceased’s wife and guardian, to be questioned. Her legal counsel, Francis Fossier, called the decision a “grave error on the part of the judiciary,” adding: “You imagine you’re going through perpetual mourning and on the day everything seems to have been appeased, when you hope there will be a reconciliation within the family, this is what happens. It’s just adding to people’s suffering.”

Three hours after Vincent died, Pope Francis tweeted: “May God the Father welcome Vincent Lambert in His arms. Let us not build a civilization that discards persons those whose lives we no longer consider to be worthy of living: every life is valuable, always.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah also published a tweet shortly after news of Vincent’s death was broadcast: “On this sad day, I pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Vincent Lambert, who died a martyr, victim to the terrifying folly of the men of our time. I pray for his family and in particular for his parents, who are so courageous and so worthy. Let us not be afraid. God is watching.”

A number of French bishops also reacted to the news. Bishop Benoit-Gonnin of Beauvais said, “We are saddened by the epilogue of the drama that ended with the death of a person [who] was not at the end of his life.”

“The culture of death cannot have the last word,” wrote Bishop Matthieu Rougé of Nanterre, asking that “our society question itself about the respect and accompaniment given to the most fragile.”

Bishop Marc Aillet of Bayonne spoke of his “sadness” and “bitterness,” asking the priests of his diocese to offer Masses, this Thursday or Friday, for the intentions of the deceased.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris and Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon had already asked all the priests of their respective dioceses to do the same yesterday.

Two French bishops, other religious leaders express ‘confidence in the doctors of our country’

Reactions on the part of other religious leaders were less than adequate.

In Reims, where the drama unfolded over the last six years, an “interreligious declaration” was published, signed by the local rabbi Amar, imam Aomar Bendaoud of the Grande Mosque of Reims, Protestant pastors Xavier Langlois and Pascal Geoffroy, Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, and his auxiliary bishop, Bruno Feillet.

They wrote, in particular:

1. We fully recognize that it is proper to the dignity of every human being to renounce treatment deemed unnecessary, disproportionate or likely to cause additional suffering, as long as such a decision does not endanger the life of any other person...

4. We would like to thank all those who have contributed to the reflection on the situation at the end of life and on the singular situation of people in a state of minimal consciousness, who neither fall entirely into the category of sick people nor completely into that of people with disabilities. Medical and philosophical research is undoubtedly still necessary to accompany them as well as possible. We also think it is necessary to reflect on the practice of resuscitation. We believe it is important to continue careful and in-depth discussions on these medical and ethical issues.

5. We express our confidence in the doctors of our country. Our collective trust in their scientific and human capacities is necessary so that they can continue to make the best and wisest medical decisions by engaging in a genuine dialogue with people at the end of their lives or the relatives of people who have become unable to communicate.

This statement did not make clear that the administration of food and fluids, be it through a gastric feeding tube, is not treatment but rather care that is always due. It also proclaims “trust” in doctors who were in fact severely criticized by many of their peers for their handling of the Vincent Lambert case, at a time when his own father and mother are grieving the death of a son who was killed by a medical decision.

Troubling statement from Pontifical Academy for Life’s Archbishop Paglia

Even more disappointing was the article published on Wednesday, a day before Vincent died, in the Italian magazine Famiglia christiana. It was written by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

He wrote:

On Friday 28 June, the French Court of Cassation ruled against the ban on suspending Vincent Lambert's artificial feeding and hydration. This ban was imposed by the Court of Appeal at the request of the United Nations International Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ICRPD), that had been interrogated by the lawyers of the patient's parents. The hassles associated with orders and counter-orders from authoritative judicial bodies clearly indicate the difficulty of the situation.

Vincent Lambert's drama has taken on a media resonance and a symbolic meaning that goes beyond the singularity of his situation. Multiple levels are intertwined: family, medical, legal, political and media. All this makes it very difficult to make ethical judgments, especially because clinical data are very complex and not directly accessible in all their details.

For its part, the French Bishops' Conference stressed that it did not have the competence to express itself on the concrete case, avoiding substituting itself for the conscience of those responsible for the decision, but rather making its own contribution to enlighten the way to the judgment.

It was therefore limited to a few general considerations, without claiming to be involved in the assessment of the case, in particular because it was impossible to obtain all the necessary information.

The painful family conflict over the hypothesis of the suspension of artificial feeding and hydration, since access to the knowledge of the patient's wishes is excluded – an essential element in assessing the proportionality of treatment – has led to a deadlock that has lasted for years.

The ethical issue is therefore intertwined in the legal sphere. The use of judicial means has made the conflict more rigid and exacerbated it. 

Without going into the technical details of the sentence, it can be said that the Supreme Court examined the choice of suspension (of treatment), which was taken by doctors after collegial discussions, and was compatible with the law currently in force in France.

But in this long and protracted controversy, opposition (between the parties) has invaded the public sphere, with wide media coverage, taking the form of a battle between those who are for and those who are against euthanasia. The bishops first clearly reaffirmed the negativity of this practice. They also drew attention to the importance of the weakest for the construction of social conviviality. And they highlighted the impact that the choice to stop treatment can have on those in similar situations (about 1,700 people in France), their families and health professionals. This observation is particularly relevant.

In addition, other recent cases, such as those of Alfie Evans in England and Noa Pathoven in the Netherlands, have also deeply disrupted and divided public opinion beyond the borders of their respective countries. It should be noted that these situations are very different and not comparable, for clinical and existential reasons. But they have some things in common. On the one hand, the fact that decisions about life and death are at stake, which makes the definition of who has the right to make such choices conflictual: the sick person, family members, doctors, judges. On the other hand, the increasingly powerful means available to medicine increasingly raise the question of limiting treatments.

These events therefore require us to clarify and deepen the role and meaning of medical care and the criteria that govern its use. Pope Francis also reminded us that it is necessary to avoid a blind extension of biological functions, losing sight of the integral good of the person (Address to the World Medical Association Convention on Assisted Suicide, 16 November 2017). 

In the face of these dramatic divisions, it is first of all a question of assuming an attitude of contemplation and prayer of proximity, so that we can find means of communication that promote reconciliation rather than controversy, at family and social levels. We must also avoid entrusting the solution only to a technical or legal action in order to seek together the broadest possible agreement. It is a journey that requires a commitment, not only personal but also collective, to develop that sense of life that suffering challenges and to confront the radical limit of death. It is a question of awakening the forces that culture has always mobilized in the history of humanity, in all its symbolic expressions, from artistic to religious, offering reasons to live. Only a broader and deeper formation of consciousness can prepare us for such dramatic and complex decisions. Knowing that no one should ever be abandoned. That love must always accompany him. A love that also overcomes death.

These remarks by Archbishop Paglia clearly suggest that “biological life” sometimes can be “blindly” prolonged, and therefore should cease. They also directly accuse those who went to the courts in the Vincent Lambert case. His parents, in fact, were trying to save their son’s life in the face of medical decisions made by doctors who, in contrast with the declarations of Mgr de Moulins-Beaufort and his interreligious friends, did not have their trust at all.

Far from recalling the Church’s clear teaching on the fact that ordinary care is always due to the ill, the handicapped, and the dying as well as to any human being – including water and food insofar as they fulfill their function of sustaining life – Paglia’s declaration perpetuates the confusion between medical treatment and administration of food and fluids.

On the other hand, several hundred people, young and old, joined a vigil for Vincent on Wednesday evening in front of the Parisian church of Saint-Sulpice, where lawyers Jérôme Triomphe and Jean Paillot and several specialized doctors spoke in turn about their fight for Vincent’s life and where public prayers were held for the dying man.

At the end of this tragic day for France, which makes clear that French end-of-life laws are tailored to allow and promote slow euthanasia by dehydration, the question now is how Vincent will be buried. That decision is in the hands of his wife Rachel.

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Trump vows to stop tech censorship ahead of White House social media summit

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning that his administration will not allow social media giants’ discrimination against conservative users to continue, ahead of a White House summit with conservatives and Republicans to discuss the issue.

The Daily Beast reported that while a full, official invite list hasn’t been released, known attendees include U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee; representatives of the conservative organizations Prager University and Turning Point USA, and right-wing personalities Ali Alexander, “Gateway Pundit” Jim Hoft, Bill Mitchell, Joy Villa, and cartoonist Ben Garrison (who was later disinvited after critics highlighted a 2017 cartoon of Garrison’s that the Anti-Defamation League deemed anti-Semitic). 

Representatives from Facebook and Twitter were not invited, CNN reported.

“A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies,” the president tweeted in a thread that quickly detoured into colorfully mocking the mainstream media and several Democrats running for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination. “We will not let them get away with it much longer.”

There has been some consternation on the right over the White House declining to invite several individuals who have been most drastically impacted by social media crackdowns, such as online pundit Laura Loomer or anyone from Alex Jones’ conspiracy website InfoWars, both of whom were banned from Facebook in May as “dangerous” individuals or organizations.

“What benefit would it be to anyone if Laura Loomer were in the same room with the president?” an unnamed administration official told The Daily Beast. “Why on earth would we do that? We aren’t that stupid. Come on.”

Nevertheless, conservatives are awaiting with great interest the outcome of the summit, particularly whether it leads to the administration finally taking action against Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google for political bias and censorship.

In May, the White House launched an online form for those who “suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you” to share their stories with the president. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai told Congress last month that he considers “unregulated Silicon Valley tech giants” to be today’s “greatest threat to a free and open internet.” 

While conservatives are divided on what the proper remedy is, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, has proposed legislation that would require social media platforms to certify their political neutrality with the FCC if they want to keep their congressionally-granted immunity from legal liability they allow users to post. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has also suggested that lawmakers consider applying existing antitrust laws to break up companies like Google, or exploring whether biased enforcement of what most users assume to be neutral and open forums constitutes fraud.

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Jordan Steyer, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance Facebook page
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Left-wing clergy gather to ‘bless’ scandal-plagued Texas abortion facility

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By Calvin Freiburger

AUSTIN, Texas, July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A small multi-faith group of left-wing “religious” leaders gathered at the Austin location of Texas abortion business Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) Tuesday to “bless” the location, granting a veneer of religious legitimacy on an organization that kills human beings and has a history of health violations.

The gathering was organized by the so-called Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) and Texas Freedom Network (TFN), according to a WWHA Facebook post calling it a “very powerful and empowering moment, complete with ritual, poetry, singing and insight that served to break away from the perception that religious communities are opposed to abortion.”

HuffPost reports that the gathering featured a “prayerful walk” of the path through the facility’s waiting area, patient rooms, counseling rooms, and offices. The Texas Observer adds that the group also sang “Hallelujah.”

“As people of faith, it’s not that we think we’re bringing God to this place; we believe God is already present in that space,” Austin campus minister Amelia Fulbright told HuffPost. “But it’s to ask for prayers of safety, healing, and peace, to infuse the space with an energy that is life-giving for women, a lot of whom are in an anxious time.”

Fulbright added that at one point during the event she breastfed her own four-month-old baby, and claimed that nursing a child inside an abortion center somehow demonstrated that it was a “life-affirming space” because it “paints a different picture than what the anti-abortion movement would like you to think happens in abortion clinics” (while employees or women who visit abortion centers for other reasons may occasionally breastfeed onsite, it is not, in fact, representative of what happens to most preborn children who accompany their mothers inside).

“We’re trying [to] say [that pro-lifers’] narrative isn’t the only narrative related to faith,” Kentina Washington-Leapheart of the Connecticut-based Religious Institute, another event organizer, told the Observer. “Women seeking an abortion are largely women of faith. They’re not having an abortion in spite of their faith, it’s in many ways informing the decision they make [...] They have a God-given right to make decisions about their life.”

The Bible repeatedly condemns “murder” and “shed[ding] innocent blood” as “detestable to” the Lord, because “in the image of God has God made mankind.” From there, “there’s really only one question left to ask,” pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf argues. “If the unborn are human, then the same commands that forbid the shedding of innocent blood in these other cases apply to them as well.” Long-settled biological criteria and mainstream medical textbooks establish that a whole, distinct, living human exists once fertilization has occurred.

Neither report on the incident quotes any of the gathering’s participants as grappling with either the Bible or embryology to justify supporting abortion in God’s name. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice’s page on the “moral case” for its position claims as its “religious principle” “compassion for the complex choices each individual may confront and the impact of these choices on families,” but doesn’t attempt to construct an argument.

The Texas Freedom Network’s website purports to cite dozens of texts, but a cursory overview reveals the group’s interpretations to be torturous at best. For instance, from God concluding in Genesis 1:31 that “all that he had made” was “very good,” TFN infers that “this includes the bodies of women, who are under threat when they cannot receive equal access to full reproductive health services” (TFN doesn’t address the obvious conclusion that the “bodies of women” would still be “very good” and therefore worth protecting while developing in the womb).

Furthermore, Whole Woman’s Health is a particularly problematic example to use in framing the abortion industry as a model of Christian compassion. 

In 2017, a Texas Department of State Health Services report identified numerous offenses at the chain from 2011 to 2017, including rusty equipment, failing to properly disinfect and sterilize instruments between use, lacking proper written operation procedures, improper storage of hazardous chemicals, unsanitary surfaces, failing to follow up with patients, holes in the floor, and more.

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Vincent Lambert
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, dies after 9 days without food and water

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vincent Lambert, the disabled man a court ordered to be starved to death in a French hospital, died this morning. After nine days without food and fluids, showing a remarkable will to live despite the cruel death of thirst that doctors had prepared for him, France’s Terri Schiavo departed from this earthly life at 8:24 a.m. on Thursday, July 11. He died of heart failure induced by the malfunction of his kidneys in Reims University Hospital in the room where he had been kept under lock and key for the last six years.

Minutes after his passing, his half-nephew François, favorable to his relative being denied food and water, informed the media that Vincent had died.

Whatever his death certificate will say, Vincent Lambert did not die of natural causes, nor as a consequence of his serious handicap and brain damage. His death was deliberately brought about by a medical decision to deprive him of food and fluids that was approved by France’s highest courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

France deliberately ignored the request from the United Nations Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons that asked for provisional measures for the end-of-life procedure to be lifted while it examined his case.

The last weeks of Vincent Lambert’s life were particularly distressful for his father Pierre, mother Viviane, and siblings David and Anne, who fought for his life over the last six years. They were given only limited time with their son and brother, alternating visits with Vincent’s wife and guardian Rachel and those family members who were favorable to his death, and only being allowed to approach him one at a time.

Their visits took place under close surveillance and they were promptly ordered to leave each time their visiting hours came to an end.

Contrary to the dispositions of the Leonetti “end-of-life” law of 2016, Vincent was given no deep sedation. During the first days of his ordeal, he cried and moaned a great deal, also showing signs of suffocation, to the horror of his family. Viviane Lambert told LifeSiteNews the procedure was “horrific.”

In a statement, lawyers Jean Paillot and Jérôme Triomphe said:

“Vincent has died, killed for reasons of State and by a doctor who has forsaken his Hippocratic oath. This cathedral of humanity that had been burning for a week under our powerless eyes has collapsed. No account has been taken of the dignity of this handicapped man, [who] was condemned because he was handicapped.

For the first dignity of all is to respect a person's life.

Part of our common humanity has left us today, because this heinous wrongdoing that is shaking the foundation of our laws and civilization affects us all.

The time has come for mourning and silent prayer. But also for meditation on this State crime.”

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Cardinal Sarah laments death of ‘martyr’ Vincent Lambert, a victim of euthanasia

By Martin Barillas

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vincent Lambert, the disabled Frenchman who died early this morning after being starved to death, “died as a martyr, a victim of the frightful madness of the men of our time,” Cardinal Robert Sarah tweeted. 

Doctors stopped providing Lambert, a former nurse, with nutrition and hydration after a years-long legal battle that pitted his devout Catholic parents against Lambert’s wife and the powers of the French state. 

“On this sad day, I pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Vincent Lambert,” tweeted Cardinal Sarah, “who died as a martyr, a victim of the frightful madness of the men of our time. I pray for his family and especially for his parents, so brave, so worthy. Do not be afraid. God watches.”

Sarah, who is from Guinea, is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In his book The Day is Long Spent, which is due to be published in English this September by Ignatius Press, Cardinal Sarah writes, “Europe seems programmed for self-destruction.” The problem that he sees is that the West “seems to hate itself,” while the Catholic Church appears to be in the midst of internal apostasy.

Doctors claimed that Lambert had suffered irreversible brain damage following a near-fatal automobile collision in 2008 that also rendered him a quadriplegic. Video of Lambert showed him to be alive and reacting to interactions with his family.

“In May, when learning about his planned death, he cried,” according to his mother Viviane.

As she was fighting to keep her son from being starved to death, his mother explained, “He sleeps at night, wakes up during the day, and looks at me when I talk,” according to Reuters. “He only needs to be fed through a special device and his doctor wants to deprive him of this so that he can die, while legal experts have shown that this is not necessary.”

In May, she said, “Vincent is doing well. He's not at the end of his life. He only needs something to drink and to eat and some love.”

Lambert previously survived 31 days without food and only 500 mL of water per day before a court ordered the hospital to resume feeding him.

On July 2, doctors began denying the stricken man food and water after a ruling by a high French appeals court that his feeding tubes could be removed. 

Lambert’s wife Rachel wrote a book, Parce que je l'aime, je veux le laisser partir (“Because I love him, I want to let him go”), in which she sought to justify his passive euthanasia.

Pro-life advocates often note that in many jurisdictions, starving and dehydrating a pet animal is a crime.

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Tony Perkins Tony Perkins

Opinion ,

NYC public schools begin complete transgender insanity, blindsiding parents

Tony Perkins Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins

PETITION: Support 10-year-olds suspended for asking to be excused from LGBT lesson Sign the petition here.

July 11, 2019 (Family Research Council) — In New York City public schools, students can choose their classes, their sports, and their genders! Starting this fall, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is making the Big Apple an even bigger news story by radically changing the city's policy on registered names, dress codes, bathrooms, locker rooms, and athletics. He says this is his way of celebrating Pride month. But "proud" is the last word most parents would use to describe the news.

In this new Wild West of gender identity, Carranza is giving the green light to everything from unofficial name changes to unisex school uniforms. "Schools are safe havens for students to develop their passions and discover their true identities, and these new guidelines celebrate and affirm all students," Carranza insisted in a statement. For the first time, kids in the 2019–2020 school year will be able to "self-report names and genders" when enrolling in the city's public schools.

"With this updated policy, which allows students to change their name and gender on school records without legal documentation, we are signaling our support for all students regardless of gender identity," City Council Speaker Corey Johnson cheered. Once the families submit their "name and gender change request form," every piece of school-related data — including report cards, diplomas, and even official enrollment numbers — will reflect this non-reality. Just imagine the nightmare this will be for colleges, as admissions officers try to reconcile transcripts with different names and sexes.

As if that weren't enough, "school dress codes must be... free of gender stereotypes and must be written, enforced, and applied equally to all students regardless of gender." The goal, officials say, is to help "ease the trauma that can be unintentionally inflicted on girls, trans, and gender-nonconforming youth, particularly youth of color, by the uneven application and enforcement of dress codes."

Divided sex ed into boys' and girls' classes also will be a thing of the past, since the city thinks "puberty education classes must be inclusive and affirming to all genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations." And, as a part of everything, teachers and students will be expected to use language and pronouns that ignore biological realities. When it comes to sports, the College Fix points out, "generally" students must be permitted to compete "with the gender identity they assert at school." All in all, it adds up to one of the most shocking roll-outs of transgender ideology in any school district nationwide.

Like a lot of parents, New York City's were probably unprepared for changes this extreme, this fast. In Arlington, Virginia, moms and dads learned the hard way how quickly activists can work — and Kristen Allen is hoping other communities are prepared when the threat shows up on their doorstep. "There is no roadmap for grassroots groups to follow," she warns in a timely piece for the Daily Signal. But there are five lessons she wants every family to know as they brace themselves for impact: 1. Courage is contagious; 2. Put together a diverse coalition; 3. The gatekeepers (like the NEA, APA, AAP, and others) have failed parents; 4. Spread the truth about gender-affirming therapy; and 5. There are no opt-outs for kids.

In a culture that's changing faster than most people can keep up, "Concerned parents are, to borrow from the musical Hamilton, 'out-gunned, out-manned, out-numbered, out-planned,'" Allen explains. "If you already are stretched in terms of time and attention, the situation can feel too big, too scary, and too inevitable." But, she warns, "Only parents can demand accountability from school systems and set boundaries around their children. We can't walk away."

Learn how you can get involved by reading FRC's pamphlet, "A Parent's Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education."

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.

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Joseph Nicolosi, Jr.

Opinion , ,

These books helped thousands quit homosexuality. Amazon just banned them.

Joseph Nicolosi, Jr.
By Joseph Nicolosi Jr.

PETITION: Tell Amazon not to ban books dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction. Sign the petition here.

July 11, 2019 (Daily Signal) — On Amazon, you can buy almost any book written throughout human history — from the Bible to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," or even a book glorifying pedophilia. 

As of last week, however, you cannot get any of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Sr.'s books about leaving homosexuality — because Amazon just banned them all. 

From 1981 until his death in 2017, my father was the driving force behind reparative therapy. He invented, refined, and used this innovative counseling method to help thousands of men overcome the effects of sexual abuse and other deep-seated childhood traumas.

These men told my father that his scientifically sound practices helped re-orient their sexuality away from obsessions with pornography, and helped them reduce their unwanted same-sex attractions. 

The books Amazon banned are the continuation of my father's legacy and of the changes that can take place through his methods. The books have hundreds of endorsements, from typical readers to past presidents of the American Psychological Association.

In one comment, which Amazon has now "banned," a man said the book "Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality" saved his marriage.

Luckily for that man, he was able to find marital help before Amazon became the PC police. Today, he and many other families will now find fewer online resources than ever — not because science dictates their removal, but because LGBT ideology has shouted down sound science.

While Amazon is banning books — and restricting choice among those with unwanted same-sex attractions — some state governments are banning my father's therapeutic practices.

But it's clear that no government official who is voting to restrict client choice actually knows what reparative therapy entails. And with Amazon banning his books, radical LGBT activists hope to prevent even more lawmakers from ever finding out the truth.

Contrary to what these activists and their allies at Amazon claim, my father never advocated so-called conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is broad, ill-defined, has no ethics code, no governing body, and is typically practiced by unlicensed individuals. My father had nothing to do with these or any similar practices, and as a therapist myself, I wholeheartedly condemn such a concept.

What my father did do was use his psychological training and his Judeo-Christian worldview to help men overcome traumas that they — and he — believed were leading them into a life that did not reflect the men they were truly designed by their creator to be.

He counseled families who were struggling with accepting their children, and he always told them, "Love your child, whatever the outcome of therapy may be."  

This week's book ban by Amazon and radical LGBT activists reveals the blatant hypocrisy of today's leaders of the LGBT movement: They celebrate exploration of every kind of sexuality they can imagine, unless that exploration happens to lead an individual toward a traditional, heterosexual lifestyle. That sort of exploration, of course, must be banned.

My hope is that there will be a large enough outcry from consumers that Amazon will rethink its decision. If it doesn't, my dad's books won't be the last to get blacklisted.

Published with permission from Daily Signal.

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Jorge Plaza

Opinion

Ariana Grande, Teen Vogue defend singing graphic sex songs to 9-year-olds

Jorge Plaza
By Jorge Plaza

July 11, 2019 (NewsBusters) — On July 9, Vogue published a cover story about Ariana Grande, including an image of the artist posing sensually in her makeshift studio at her childhood home. The photo is meant to capture her "child star gone rogue" persona (à la Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears, Macaulay Culkin, Lindsay Lohan, and many others) that she has embraced. In the article, the former Nickelodeon star waved off criticism for performing sexual songs, such as hit single "Side to Side," to 9-year-old kids. 

Like most other pop stars, Grande often ventures into sexually explicit territory, but unlike most other stars, Grande had previously amassed a child fanbase from her Nickelodeon days.

Many so-called "Arianators" have barely hit puberty. Ariana acknowledged one of her best-selling singles "Side to Side" is "a fun song about sex," but when asked about the thousands of underaged fans listening to her fun sex songs, Grande replied, "I promise that your kid's gonna have sex. So if she asks you what the song's about, talk about it." 

The former child star's response is awkward, to say the least, but Teen Vogue quickly rushed to her defense. Shortly after the Vogue article was released, the teen magazine assured that Grande's comment was about championing sexual education rather than childhood promiscuity. 

A quick glance at the lyrics to "Side to Side" will raise some eyebrows at Teen Vogue's clumsy defense. For one, the song doesn't go into the messy details of the birds and the bees, though it implies that the listener is already well-informed. The song's title itself is a flippant innuendo to the inability to walk straight after the deed is done "all night" and "all day." Second, the lyrics hardly provide any useful facts about sex, unless you think there is educational value in Nicki Minaj riding a "d--- bicycle."

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that "Side to Side" isn't school appropriate; however, Teen Vogue acknowledged that Grande isn't giving kids a traditional classroom lesson on sex. In fact, they celebrated the fact that the artist openly talks about sexual pleasure with her young audience:

In the United States, sex education in schools is lacking, and the education young people do get isn't uniform, and is not always required to be medically accurate. Even rarer, in and out of schools, are frank discussions about sexual pleasure [...] "Side to Side" isn't a song about the biological realities of sex, it's about pleasure. Maybe we're making a leap here, but we certainly stan a pleasure-positive sex ed queen.

Teen Vogue accidentally showed its hand, revealing the left's true intention with its sex ed crusade. For the left, no one should be ashamed to seek sex purely for pleasure: it should be free and open to the public, unbounded by social constructs like marriage and family. The end game is to completely restructure sexual morality, and it all starts with child indoctrination.

"Maybe we're making a leap here," but once public schools monopolize sex ed, parents lose a say in what kids get taught. Public schools are then free to fill children's heads with whatever nonsense fits the left's vision of society.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.

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Kristine Marsh

Opinion , ,

Oblivious Whoopi Goldberg claims Christians don’t condemn sex-trafficking

Kristine Marsh
By Kristine Marsh

July 11, 2019 (NewsBusters) — You would think that having a national television platform would cause one to think twice before making baseless accusations. But when you're a host of The View, you're allowed to make fact-free claims all the time. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg did that on Wednesday's show, claiming evangelical leaders don't care enough about sex trafficking and pedophilia, while discussing the Jeffrey Epstein case.

Out of the blue, Whoopi blamed evangelicals for not calling out sexual predators like Epstein:

Do you know who I'm waiting to hear from? All those folks that are out there to talk about that they want to take care of young people and make sure young people are good. I just, you know, why isn't the evangelical community coming forward? Where is everybody? That was worrying me because I thought, well, one of the ways that you show that you care about people is you -- you come out and you condemn this kind of stuff, but, you know, and all the folks that I'm used to hearing talk about, you know, this one is bad or this is bad or this -- haven't said much, and I was just wondering where they were.

Co-host Meghan McCain tried to counter Whoopi. "I don't think evangelicals are okay with pedophilia," she stated. But Whoopi wasn't backing down.

"Have they said anything? I haven't heard from Jerry Fallwell Jr.," Joy Behar snarked.

After McCain argued they shouldn't "blame evangelicals," Whoopi and Behar got defensive.

"No, no, no. I want to be very clear. I'm not blaming anybody," Whoopi claimed. But McCain held her feet to the fire, reminding her she just did, claiming they didn't "speak out enough."

That made Whoopi attack Christians again, as only caring about abortion:

We have heard from the community and the voices of the community quite a bit about a lot of different things. How I want to deal with my body, how you want to see your kid, whether children should be where, and I have been waiting for them to say, and by the way, this isn't okay with us either.

"About the kids at the border too!" Behar added to the dogpile.

McCain pointed out that she was being political, and Epstein was a huge donor to Democrats, if she wanted to go there.

That riled up Whoopi who yelled, "This is my opinion! I'm just saying I would like to see some of the people that have been talking about all the ills in our country, I want to see them come out and say, yeah. This is one of them! Because it sounds like there's no response!"

After McCain asked whom they were wanting to hear from, Behar and Whoopi named Jerry Falwell Jr., Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham.

Whoopi clearly is ignorant of the many Christian charities and churches that help women and children who've been sex trafficked. Franklin Graham's own charity, Samaritan's Purse, directly helps in this very area.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.

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Lightning strikes the Vatican, Feb. 11, 2013, hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

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These two books can help frustrated Catholics through a confusing papacy

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Two books have recently been published that can greatly assist Catholics in navigating this tempestuous period in Church history. Now more than ever, laity must educate themselves, for they are not likely to receive the education they need from Church officials — or at least not as abundantly and consistently as would be desirable.

As a friend of mine remarked, in certain ages of the Church, it would hardly have been necessary for the laity to be well read in theology, as they could trust their shepherds to be orthodox in faith and to be discharging their duties well. Today, however, a layman without such formation runs the serious risk of deviating from the Faith, either by adopting the errors of fashionable ecclesiastical circles or by embracing an extreme position that fuels its easy answers with the pieces of a shattered Catholicism.

The first book is Love for the Papacy and Filial Resistance to the Pope in the History of the Church by the esteemed and prolific professor Roberto de Mattei, one of the best Catholic historians writing today. He has the special merit of being unafraid to look at the dark side of Church history so as to shed light on our present situation. In this book, de Mattei takes a close look at cases of papal trouble over the centuries, with particular attention to how zealous Catholics responded, including by means of a serious, sustained, and public opposition for which they often suffered.

While vigorously defending the office of the papacy and its infallibility — rightly understood as the means by which Christ preserves the infallible deposit of divine revelation already held by His Church — de Mattei articulates a realistic view of the inherent limitations of the papal office and its (at times all too human) incumbents. Above all, he evinces a strong “Catholic common sense” about how popes may go off the rails into heresy or prudential disaster. This book is not only intellectually illuminating, but encouraging and consoling, because it places our current woes in a larger context and points the way forward with honesty and childlike confidence in God’s Providence and Our Lady’s unfailing intercession, which brought forth wine at Cana when the wedding feast was about to end in catastrophe.

The second book is Subversive Catholicism: Papacy, Liturgy, Church by Martin Mosebach, author of the acclaimed book The Heresy of Formlessness. I cannot rival the publisher’s description:

In this stirring and often surprising collection of essays, award-winning German novelist Martin Mosebach confronts the reader with Catholicism’s correctives to regionalism and the tyranny of fashion. He shows us how the great wonder and beauty of the traditional form of the Mass leads us to appreciate and recover our childlike faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He explains why popular devotion to Our Lady, in spite of the kitsch that often surrounds it, is more vital, permanent, and world-changing than mountains of learned discourse or political messianism. Resting on the rock of dogmatic confession rather than the shifting sands of journalistic opinion, Mosebach exalts the Christ-given office of the papacy and diminishes its recent man-made agendas.

These records of pilgrimage and reflection bear witness to the perennially “subversive” nature of full-blooded Catholicism, which challenges the assumptions not only of those outside the fold, but perhaps even more, of those within it who exchange their birthright of holy and heavenly mysteries for a mess of modern pottage. Despite the sins and escapades of her members, the Church still makes present in our midst an “incessant repetition of the Incarnation.” This book opens our eyes and ears to this ongoing miracle.

For a book to combine so lyrical an appreciation of Catholicism with such unerring dagger thrusts of critique is rare. One is left feeling exhilarated to be Catholic, period, and to be Catholic at this very moment in history, when God in His mercy has permitted us to see, perhaps for the first time since the Second Vatican Council, both the full scope of the intraecclesial calamity and the full splendor of the treasury committed to the Church and permanently available to her, whenever the will to receive gifts prevails over the will to novelty and self-proclamation. It is a book that made me once again rejoice to be alive at just this time in the Church’s history, as messy and menacing as it is. God has a purpose in mind for each one of us, a reason He called us into existence here and now. It is our privilege to seek out that purpose and serve Him loyally in our various stations.

These books have many features in common, but the one that unites them most closely is their profound love for the office of the papacy and their equally profound disgust at how it is sometimes abused for private agendas.

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