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October 17, 2017

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Jack Phillips Alliance Defending Freedom
Kelsey Harkness


Satanists ask Christian baker to make ‘birthday cake’ for Lucifer

Kelsey Harkness

October 17, 2017 (The Daily Signal) — The Christian baker in Colorado who was sued for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception received a strange request last month: design and bake a cake celebrating Satan’s birthday.

“I would like to get a quote on a birthday cake, for a special event,” the email request to baker Jack Phillips, sent September 30 and exclusively obtained by The Daily Signal, reads. It continues:

It is a cake that is religious in theme, and since religion is a protected class, I am hoping that you will gladly bake this cake. As you see, the birthday cake in question is to celebrate the birthday of Lucifer, or as they (sic) are also known Satan who was born as Satan when he was cast from heaven by God.

The request for Phillips to quote a price for the cake also asks for an “upside down cross, under the head of Lucifer.”

The incident exemplifies the complexity of government laws mandating that those in creative occupations violate their religious beliefs in serving clients or customers.

This is a danger that lawyers for Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, say they’re raising before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June agreed to take the baker’s case.

Phillips gained nationwide attention after declining to make the wedding cake for the gay couple, and eventually being found guilty of discrimination by a Colorado state agency and the courts.

Phillips has told The Daily Signal and others that his Christian faith not only doesn’t allow him to design and make cakes celebrating same-sex unions, it prevents him from designing cakes that involve such elements as witchcraft or explicit sexuality.

“The request for Jack to make a cake celebrating Satan proves the danger of using these kinds of laws to force people in the artistic profession to create artwork that violates their beliefs,” Jeremy Tedesco, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“The request from the Satanists is essentially the same as the request that Jack Phillips received from the same-sex couple to create a cake that violates his beliefs, because in both instances, the requester can say the law covers my request. For the Satanists, they’re going to say it’s religious discrimination for you to say no to a cake that I’m requesting because of my protected status.”

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization, represents Phillips in his case.

Lawyers told The Daily Signal that Phillips received a second Satan-themed cake request by phone this month, this time asking that Satan be depicted smoking a joint.

The case dates to 2012, when the same-sex couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, got a marriage license in Massachusetts and asked Phillips to design and bake a cake for their reception back home in Colorado.

Lawyers for Mullins and Craig, who are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop with the state of Colorado, alleging Phillips’ refusal to make the cake violates the state’s public accommodation law.

Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled against Masterpiece Cakeshop on Dec. 6, 2013, concluding that Phillips discriminated against the couple “because of their sexual orientation.”

Phillips’ lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom have appealed the ruling through courts in Colorado and now to the Supreme Court.

Phillips received the email request for the Satanist cake on Sept. 30. His lawyers would not comment on how Phillips handled either request.

The individual emailing the request, whose name was redacted by Alliance Defending Freedom, appears to have targeted Phillips because of his Christian beliefs. The email reads:

I thought I would seek you out, to bake this cake since you appear to be a very moral person since you refused to bake a cake for same sex couples. And since religion is a protected class, I hope you will be willing to bake this cake, so my small group of religious friends can celebrate the birthday of Lucifer this coming November, just a few days after Halloween.

The request may end up helping Phillips’ cause rather than hurting it.

“If we’re going to live in a world where these kinds of laws can be used to force people like Jack Phillips to create cakes that violate his beliefs about marriage, we’re also going to have to live in a world where people can be forced to create cakes celebrating Satan,” Tedesco said, adding:

"It’s very easy to get caught up, and people do get caught up, in the idea that the case is just about a Christian cake artist who doesn’t want to create cakes supporting same-sex marriages, but the issue is much broader than that. If the government has the power to force Jack to create cakes and engage in artistic expression that violates his beliefs, it has that power over all of us. That’s why you can be for same-sex marriage, but you can also be for, and should be for, Jack Phillips to prevail in this case."

Oral arguments in the Supreme Court case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, are scheduled to take place December 5, with a decision expected next year.

​Reprinted with permission from The Daily Signal.

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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges


Apple removes popular pro-life prayer app after liberals complain

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

CUPERTINO, California, October 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Apple banned a pro-life mobile application after abortion supporters complained, even though the app was approved and previously offered on its App Store.

Human Coalition (HC) created a mobile app that sends prayer alerts to intercessors and church groups.

“Human Coalition’s prayer app is a platform where pro-life advocates can gather together in prayer for abortion-determined women and their children and families,” HC’s public relations director Lauren Enriquez told LifeSiteNews. “Our supporters have found the app helpful in their mission to extend all forms of support, including prayer support, to the women and children we serve and rescue.”

The app, launched in 2014 for both Apple and Android phones, sends anonymous, real-time information about women who call crisis pregnancy centers considering abortion so that pro-lifers can pray for them.

One of the top five “Must-Have Pro-Life Apps” according to the American Life League, the HC app alerts prayer warriors with messages such as “pray for someone in Texas who just placed a call to inquire about abortion,” or “who scheduled an appointment with a Colorado pregnancy resource center.” The app suggests that Christians pray for women to keep pro-life appointments and to choose life for their baby.

Human Coalition culls anonymous information from its crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Raleigh, North Carolina, along with its connections at more than 30 CPCs across America. The app encourages intercessors with real-time results, noting how many people are praying using the app and how many women the user has prayed for that have chosen to give birth.

“Let’s pray our way to ending abortion in America,” the app’s web launch states.

Abortion activists took notice. In June and July, media attacks on Human Coalition exploded. The “hit pieces and podcasts” mocked the idea of praying for women considering abortion.

Critical media also falsely claimed the HC app revealed women’s identities, even though no user is given any personal information. Despite 100 percent anonymity, the Slate’s Christina Cauterucci accused Human Coalition of violating people’s privacy.

Cauterucci called the prayer app “bizarre” and went to great lengths to ridicule both the app and its developers. The New Statesman’s Amelia Tait joined in, questioning the efficacy of “ridiculous … digital anti-abortion prayers.”

In July, the tech giant ripped the app out of its App Store.  

Human Coalition noted that Apple caved to the pro-abortion media ridicule. “On the heels of pro-abortion media pushback, Apple notified us that they had removed the Human Coalition app from the App Store, citing violations of certain functionality requirements,” an HC statement said. “However, Human Coalition spoke with Apple and demonstrated that not only were the cited requirements met but that the Human Coalition app exceeded minimum requirements and functioned better than similar apps from other developers.”

Human Coalition added that Apple wouldn’t specify how they could make the app acceptable. In fact, Apple refused to reconsider offering the app unless HC “completely overhaul(ed) the app -- a cost-prohibitive and unnecessary demand.”

After Apple censored the app, pro-abortionists stepped up their campaign against Human Coalition. Well-publicized protests were organized against HC.

Human Coalition responded to the product censorship in a statement. “Censorship of pro-life voices is a growing trend in the United States,” HC said in response. “Pro-abortion media, for their part, have demonstrated time and again their willingness to reinforce bogus and false narratives about pro-life Americans, going so far as to try to bully pro-life voices into silence.”

“For all the mocking and deriding pro-lifers get from pro-abortion groups for being backward, stupid, etc, they sure do seem to put a lot of effort into making sure no one gets a whiff of pro-life points,” Red State’s Brandon Morse noted. “If pro-abortion groups are that dismissive of pro-life ideas and research, why do they fight so hard to silence it instead of openly debating the facts?”

“Corporations are cowards who would sooner bend to the whims of political activist groups than stand on the principle of free speech, and their self-professed love of diversity,” Morse commented.

Apple has revealed its liberal, pro-abortion bias numerous times. After riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, CEO Tim Cook announced his company’s $1 million plus two-for-one matching donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labels pro-marriage and family organizations “hate groups.”

“So Apple is donating to a radical leftist group that some believe had a hand in inspiring violence, and now they’re removing pro-life apps because leftist groups are unhappy with there being anything in the app store that might run contrary to their very strict, pro-abortion narrative,” Morse charged.

“Apple must now answer the question: Which is it? Are you politically biased, are you cowardly, or are you both?”

Human Coalition counsel Colin LeCroy explained the uniqueness of HC’s ministry is seeking to reach women who have decided to abort their baby. “The average crisis pregnancy center sees about 239 abortion-vulnerable women per year, only 22 of whom are said to be abortion-minded,” LeCroy said. “An average Human Coalition care center will see 563 women, 542 of whom who stated that they planned to get an abortion.”

Concerned citizens may contact Apple regarding their pro-life product censorship here.

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Diane Montagna / LifeSiteNews
Diane Montagna


Cardinal Burke: Be agents of Mary’s Immaculate Heart to combat ‘diabolical forces’

Diane Montagna
By Diane Montagna
Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks at Buckfast Abbey, England, on October 12, 2017, the eve of the 100th anniversary of Fatima's Miracle of the Sun. Diane Montagna / LifeSiteNews

LifeSite shares the full authorized text of Cardinal Burke’s talk on the 100th anniversary of Fatima's Miracle of the Sun.

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke has summoned the faithful to become “agents” of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to combat the “diabolical forces” that have been “unleashed upon the world” and are “entering into the very life of the Church.”

Speaking at the 2017 Fatima Centennial Summit held at Buckfast Abbey, on October 12-13, exactly one century after the Miracle of the Sun, Cardinal Burke said these diabolical forces are working to draw souls away from the faith into a widespread apostasy. Such forces have entered even into the ranks of the priesthood, he said, leading some pastors to offer “poisonous fruits” to “the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually.”

“How easily today the unthinking member of the faithful can be deceived and beguiled by appearances, attractive gestures and flashy slogans, under which the substance is poison for his soul,” the cardinal said.

In his talk, Cardinal Burke explained the concrete nature of apostasy, distinguished it from heresy, and discussed the corruption within the Church caused by the embrace of a worldly culture lacking a foundation in sound philosophy and theology. He also traced the historical progression of this widespread apostasy from the early 20th century until today, as described by Pope Pius X to John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

The “spiritual remedy”

In the Message of Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary indicates the “spiritual remedy” for “the deplorable situation in which the world and the Church find themselves,” the cardinal said. It is the way of prayer, penance, and reparation, including the Communion of Reparation of the First Saturdays.

Cardinal Burke called the faithful to make their own the prayer which the Angel taught the children at Fatima: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope [in] and I love You. I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope [in] and do not love You.”

He also encouraged the faithful to follow the counsel of the Angel to “make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an action of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.” And he invited them to “embrace whatever suffering comes from our faithful witness to Him Who is the true treasure of our hearts.”

While we should be “realistic” about “the great evils which beset the world and the Church,” Cardinal Burke said, we should also be “full of hope in the victory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for which we battle each day with the incomparable spiritual armaments of prayer and penance, and of reparation for sins committed.”

“We have the assurance of Our Lady that her Immaculate Heart will triumph, that the truth and love of her Divine Son will triumph,” the cardinal said. “We are called to be agents of her triumph by our obedience to her maternal counsel.”

We are grateful to His Eminence for sharing with LifeSiteNews the text of the address which he delivered on October 12 at the conference, which was entitled: “Fatima 100 Years Later: A Marian Call for the Whole Church.”

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Youth Defense / Facebook
Voice of the Family


Ireland is about to legalize abortion. Here’s the sad story of how it happened

Voice of the Family

October 17, 2017 (Voice of the Family) — For nearly half a century, Ireland has stood almost alone in western Europe in defence of the right to life of every unborn human being. Yet Ireland is now on the brink of repealing her pro-life constitutional amendment and opening the way to the killing of her unborn children. If she takes this step, the reverberations will be felt across the world. How has Ireland, a nation that so long prided herself on fidelity to the Catholic faith and love of children and the family, reached this point?

This is the subject of our new paper, written by a friend and supporter of Voice of the Family in Ireland. Ireland’s Tragic Abandonment of Catholic Teaching traces the secularisation and demoralisation of “Catholic Ireland” from independence to the present day. It analyzes the most significant events and trends that have led the Irish nation to repudiate much of its Christian heritage and have brought her to the brink of permitting the killing of unborn children.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, has announced that the long expected referendum on the repeal or alteration of Ireland’s pro-life constitutional amendment will be held in May or June next year. Abortion advocates have long sought the repeal or alteration of this amendment, which upholds the right to life of both the mother and her child. The amendment reads:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

The Eighth Amendment, which was approved 67 percent of Irish people in a referendum on September 7, 1983, came into effect on October 7, 1983, the feast of the Holy Rosary. Estimates suggest that more than 100,000 lives have been saved by the amendment.

Yet there is now a very real danger that the Irish people will reverse that decision and vote for the repeal or alteration of the amendment. In a 1992 referendum, the people voted to permit women to “travel between the State and another state” in order to have an abortion and also permitted provision of “information relating to (abortion) services lawfully available in another state." Further referendums in 1995 and 2015 permitted divorce and so-called “same-sex marriage,” respectively, thus ending the Irish state’s adhesion to the true understanding of marriage.

In November 2016, the Irish government established a “Citizens’ Assembly” consisting of 99 members of the public, supposedly selected at random, to consider the future of the Eighth Amendment. In April, the Citizens’ Assembly concluded its discussions by voting that the Eighth Amendment should be repealed. The Assembly voted by 95 percent that abortion should be permitted on grounds of a mental or physical threat to the life of the mother, by 80 percent in cases of disability, and by 72 percent for socio-economic reasons.

The development of the trends that have led Ireland to this point are discussed in great detail in Ireland’s Tragic Abandonment of Catholic Teaching. We commend this important text to our readers.

​Reprinted with permission from Voice of the Family.

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