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April 19, 2018


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California school district says parents can’t pull kids from new LGBT sex ed

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By Calvin Freiburger

ORANGE COUNTY, California, April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – California is about to implement new abortion- and homosexualty-promoting sex education lessons, and one school district has told parents they have no choice but to expose their children to them.

California enacted the California Healthy Youth Act in 2015, but only now are its controversial provisions starting to take effect in classrooms. Under the auspices of health, the law says it will equip students to develop “healthy attitudes” on “gender [and] sexual orientation,” among other things. It also says it will inform students about the “effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods,” and facilitate “objective discussion” about “parenting, adoption, and abortion.”

RedState contributor Kira Davis, a resident of Orange County, California, warns that among the teaching materials approved for use under this law are a study guide for the transgender children’s book I Am Jazz, as well as a “sexual health toolkit.”

This “toolkit,” funded in part by the George Soros-connected Tides Center, offers kids tips on using sex toys and anal lubricant. It defines “anal intercourse,” “phone sex,” and more as “common sexual behaviors.” It teaches that “abstinence” and “virginity” can mean engaging in a variety of sexual activities, but stopping short of intercourse.

“What if you don’t have time or money to buy sex toys?” the guide asks on page C-51. “Cucumbers, carrots, and bananas (with the peel) make great dildos. Just remember to use a condom!”

It teaches that one of the “cons” of abstaining from all sexual activity is that it “requires motivation, self-control and communication from both partners.” 

The “toolkit” lists as resources Planned Parenthood and the radically pro-homosexual and pro-abortion group Advocates for Youth.

The law also mandates that lessons and materials “affirmatively recognize” varying sexual orientations, and that they “be inclusive of same-sex relationships.” Instruction must take a positive view of gender confusion, and explore “the harm of negative gender stereotypes.”

Davis notes that the California Healthy Youth Act expressly protects parents’ rights to “excuse their children from participation” in sex education courses without penalty of any kind, because “parents and guardians have the ultimate responsibility for imparting values regarding human sexuality to their children.”

The Orange County school district apparently interprets this differently.

In a memo dated March 29 to the Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Department of Education general counsel Ronald Wenkart says that the law’s opt-out provision “does not apply to instruction, materials, or programming that discusses gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation, relationships, or family and does not discuss human reproductive organs.”

Parents who disagree with the state’s LGBT positions “may not excuse their children from this instruction,” Wenkart continues. He then suggests that parents still having the right to “advise their children that they disagree with” such lessons compensates for this restriction.

He also cites judicial precedent to claim that “parents do not have a constitutional right to excuse their children from portions of the school curriculum that they find objectionable.”

Heidi St. John, an author and speaker who covers faith, motherhood, and homeschooling as The Busy Mom, forcefully spoke out Wednesday against the memo.

“The Orange County Department of Education feels it is their right to GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO DISAGREE WITH THEM,” she wrote on Facebook. “These are our children! They do not belong to the schools.”

St. John advises California parents to contact their local school boards and Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, the law’s author, and to pull their children out of schools that force LGBT lessons on children.

She also urges parents to participate in the Sex Ed Sit Out on April 23, an event spanning the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia in which parents pull their children out of school for the day in protest of radical sex education programs.

RedState’s Davis has similar advice.

“Make noise. Lots and lots and lots of noise,” she writes. “When [lawmakers’] constituents get cranky, they pay attention…and so few people actually call and write anymore that just a few hundred voices go a very long way to making your representative and governor think twice about proceeding with something that seems unpopular.”

Davis also stresses that parents who pull their children out ensure the school does not record it as an excused absence.

“The reason your public school demands you call to excuse a child’s absence is because they lose state and federal dollars on every unexcused absence,” she writes. “If you really want to make an impact, hit them where it hurts.”

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Bishop: We are facing a ‘frightening new Dark Age’

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By Lisa Bourne

PORTSMOUTH, England, April 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A “frightening new Dark Age” brought on by the end of faith in society is imminent for Britain, a Catholic bishop there says.

Despite “amazing advances in knowledge and technology,” the basis for Christian morals is being weakened by a departure from prayer and faith, Bishop Philip Egan of the Diocese of Portsmouth told his flock in an April 15 pastoral letter.

“The demise of faith and religion, the demise even of people praying, is rapidly undermining in Britain the foundations of ethics,” Bishop Egan wrote. “This dilution of our Christian patrimony threatens to usher in a frightening new Dark Age.”

“No wonder a death-wish is arising for assisted suicide and euthanasia,” the bishop said. “As Catholics, as people of life, we cannot ignore these challenges. We must act. We must ask Jesus to help us reach out in love to those around, to assist people develop a personal relationship with God.”

In his letter, the Portsmouth bishop touched on sexuality, love, and human dignity. He also discussed a half-century of legalized abortion in England and current government efforts to ban pro-life advocates from helping women outside abortion facilities.

“Consider this. It’s over fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act, one of the most liberal in the world, came into effect,” Bishop Egan wrote. “Since then, ten million babies in the UK have been aborted, one in five pregnancies.”

“As a people of life, our efforts to defend the unborn child, to care for pregnant mothers and to reverse or blunt this Act have had mixed results and it now looks as if, unjustly, our secularist government will no longer allow us even to pray outside hospitals and clinics,” the bishop said.

He then explained he was in discussions with pro-life groups and diocesan staff about new ways to witness, and announced a diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life each year on the Abortion Act’s October 23 anniversary. Priests are asked to offer a Mass for the Progress of Peoples, while wearing the purple vestments of penitence.

The Portsmouth city council voted last fall to ban pro-life vigils outside a local abortion facility. Other British municipalities have also moved to enact buffer zones.

Bishop Egan also mentioned the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Blessed Pope Paul VI’s landmark encyclical reaffirming Catholic teaching on married love and artificial contraception. He called the encyclical “prophetic.”

“It restates the Church’s doctrine on the integrity of sexual intercourse,” Bishop Egan wrote, “reserved to a husband and wife in marriage, as an act of love open to life and that these two aspects, openness to life and love, must not be split or artificially separated.”

“Otherwise, the Pope warned, there would be catastrophic consequences for persons, families and society,” he added. “Years on, we can now see exactly what he meant in broken family relationships, the reduction of sex to a casual activity, the trafficking of people for prostitution and pornography, the sexualisation of the young and the explosion of addictive behaviours leading to despair, shame and guilt.”

The bishop issued an invitation for reflection on the graces of natural family planning. And he recommended re-reading Pope Francis’ ecological encyclical Laudato Si alongside the prophetic Humanae Vitae, also recommending espousing a natural way of life for Catholics.

Bishop Egan opened his letter to Catholics with a look at what it means to be a human child of God.

“There is now in society great confusion and conflict about what it means to be human, about relationships, sexuality and love,” he said, “but also, most seriously, about the actual value and dignity of human life itself from conception to natural death.”

He went on to state that Christ is the model for us, and the Gospel our guide.

“As Catholics, the Gospel is always a sure guide,” said Bishop Egan. “Jesus Christ is God, Deum de Deo, but as the Creed also affirms, the New Adam, from the earth the Perfect Human.”

“He is our Model,” the bishop added. “It is thrilling that we humans, body and soul, live at the intersection between the two realms of creation, the material and the spiritual! This should make us a people of life, a people of joy and good will, people who promote the sanctity of life in all its beautiful diversity.”

Bishop Egan also released a statement Wednesday that was critical of proposed “no-prayer zones” surrounding abortion facilities.

In it he said such bubble zones were “disrespectful to vulnerable women” and “unhelpful, unjust and unnecessary.” 

“Abortion is not a morally neutral topic, nor a taboo,” Bishop Egan asserted. “It can cause a mother grave psychological damage.”

“So how can those who speak of a woman’s ‘right to choose’ not also acknowledge a woman’s ‘right to change her mind’?” he asked. “Or her right to hear other options to choose from?”

“To remove from the environment of the abortion clinics alternative voices is to limit freedom of choice,” the bishop said. “Indeed, research shows that many women have been grateful for the last-minute support they have thereby received.” 

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Critic sues Catholic school board for ban on pro-abortion funding

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By Lianne Laurence

BURLINGTON, Ontario, April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic school board is being taken to court over its policy banning school donations to charities that support abortion, euthanasia and other activities which violate Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life.

David Harvey filed an application Tuesday with the Ontario Superior Court against the Halton Catholic District School Board.

The retired Burlington lawyer is asking the court to either revoke the Sanctity of Life policy or suspend its implementation until the board completes “a meaningful process of community consultation” and adopts “a revised Fundraising Policy.”

The pro-life policy prohibits funds generated by the board’s 53 schools from going to any charity or non-profit that directly or indirectly supports abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, contraception, and embryonic stem cell research.

Harvey, who has one child of three still enrolled with the Halton Catholic board, argues the trustees violated Regulation 612/18 of the Education Act by not consulting school councils before passing the motion in February.

He also asked the Superior Court to consent to hear the case, because waiting for a hearing in the Divisional Court “would likely involve a failure of justice.”

The case is scheduled be heard May 9 in Milton.

LifeSiteNews contacted Halton Catholic board for its response, but had not heard back by deadline.

Harvey’s court action is the latest in a firestorm of bitter protest against the pro-life motion from parents and students who are angry schools can no longer raise funds for such groups as the Canadian Cancer Society, SickKids Hospital, WE Charities, Doctors Without Borders, and United Way.

As a result of the acrimonious controversy, the board agreed in March to seek feedback from stakeholders on the motion. Individuals can submit comments on the policy through the HCDSB website until June 1.

Harvey handed notice of his court action to Education Director Paula Dawson before Tuesday night’s board meeting, and in a subsequent presentation asked the board to vote that night to suspend the policy.

“You will choose where this matter is resolved: around the table tonight, or in court,” he said.

However, the trustees voted five to four to refer the matter to a board meeting following the June 1 deadline for feedback from stakeholders.

During a highly emotional address to the board, Harvey described the issue as “deeply personal” for him, and disclosed that his wife, a devout Catholic, is being treated for Stage 4 cancer.

In his written submission, Harvey accused the trustees who voted for the motion of sitting on a “perch of moral superiority” and “insulated from the very real pain and anguish your decision is causing.”

He also referred to a letter from Minister of Education Indira Naidoo-Harris which encouraged the trustees to “pause” implementation of the motion.

Action by the minister “could include her taking over the board,” warned Harvey. “We have reached our limit.”

Halton Catholic students Ben Sabourin and Julia Joseph appeared Tuesday before the board for the third time to oppose the motion.

They rebuked trustees Anthony Danko, Anthony Quinn, Paul Marai, Helena Karabela, and Susan Trites for, among other things, allegedly forming an alliance and voting in a block.

“This has not only inflicted clearly biased decisions but is also completely unfair,” charged Joseph, while for his part Sabourin contended these trustees “destroy democracy” by “voting together on issues.”

Sabourin, who has spearheaded a lobby against the policy, reminded the board that some 23,000 people signed a petition opposing it. He warned trustees that if they did not take action, he and Joseph would “would call upon the Ministry of Education to take control of this board.”

Joel MacLeod, parent of a child in senior kindergarten, also objected to the policy, as did a group representing the parent councils of Christ the King high school and St. Brigid elementary school.

The latter delegation blasted the trustees for allegedly violating the Trustee Code of Conduct, and creating “a polarizing issue for those that seek to end publicly funded Catholic education.”

Trustees don’t “hold superior knowledge of Catholic teachings,” they charged, and “need to accept direction from their constituents even if it is contrary to personal opinion.”

But Catholic trustees have a fiduciary duty to “maintain the Catholicity of Catholic schools,” says Geoff Cauchi, a lawyer and Halton Catholic elector.

That duty “flows from a constitutional right” and is superior to the “so-called regulatory right of the school council to be consulted.”

PLEDGE: I support trustees taking a stand for life in Catholic schools. Sign the petition here.

As for Harvey’s court action, if he is not a Catholic elector, he won’t have standing to challenge the motion, Cauchi said.

Moreover, a judge has to consider the effect of an order, and the effect of an order quashing the pro-life motion would be that “Catholic schools are going to be caught in a hypocrisy of saying they’re pro-life, but then cooperating with things they believe are evil,” he told LifeSiteNews.

After the motion passed, board administration asked the 100 charities Halton Catholic schools have donated to in the past to affirm they comply with the pro-life policy.

That reduced the number of approved charities to about 30. The United Way Halton & Hamilton and WE Charities initially signed the compliance form, but then asked to be taken off the list.

To express support for Halton Catholic board’s pro-life policy, go here.

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Romanians hope to gather 1 million at pro-marriage rally next month

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By Calvin Freiburger

BUCHAREST, Romania, April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The dominant political party in Romania has announced plans for a May rally supporting the traditional family and opposing the redefinition of marriage.

“We decided to organize a big PSD rally in support of the traditional family, so there is no ambiguity about PSD’s approach to this issue,” said Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), according to Romania Insider. The comments follow a Monday meeting of PSD’s National Executive Committee.

Business Review adds that Dragnea hopes the event will attract one million supporters. A petition organized by the group Coalition for Family collected more than three million signatures last May supporting the preservation of true marriage.

At issue is a referendum to alter the Romanian Constitution’s current language, which states that families are formed by “consenting marriage between spouses.” The referendum proposes to specify that marriage is between “a man and a woman.”

“It is a well known fact that the family, created by the marriage between a man and a woman, is the only inter-human relation which ensures the ideal environment for delivery, upbringing and education of the children,” the Coalition for Family’s mission statement reads. “Family needs, above all, support and strengthening.”

If successful, the referendum would preemptively defeat any efforts to recognize same-sex “marriage” via legislation. However, PSD has also proposed legal recognition for same-sex civil partnerships as an alternative.

Protecting marriage enjoys bipartisan support among Romanian lawmakers, with Politico reporting that every major party but its youngest, the Union to Save Romania (USR), has endorsed the referendum.

“The identity and values of the society we live in have lately been under attack around the world,” National Liberal Party (PNL) deputy Daniel Gheorghe said last year. “Family has become a target. The relativization of morals aims to achieve the relativization of the family.”

The Romanian Constitutional Court approved the referendum in 2016, and last May the legislature’s Chamber of Deputies voted 232-22 to approve the referendum. The measure stalled in the Senate in May, with critics accusing both major parties of foot-dragging despite their public support. Last month, Dragnea said he expects the referendum to finally receive a Senate vote in the near future.

“After the President promulgates it, it will be released by the Official Gazette and then we’ll decide the procedure in the Senate, the vote for Constitution review and the date for referendum,” he explained.

Romanian deputy prime minister Paul Stanescu said last month that a final referendum vote could come in May as well. Local media outlet Digi 24 reports that the rally will take place in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, but a specific date has not yet been chosen.

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LIVE WEBCAST: Pope Francis’ plan to change the Church

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By LSN
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Pope Francis is on a mission to radically change the Church. We love him and pray for him, but we can’t let him harm the holy Catholic faith. Join this LIVE online event to learn from experts how the Pope is subverting the Church’s Tradition ... and what we can do to resist his agenda!

On this important webcast, you'll learn:

  • The latest evidence showing how Pope Francis’ agenda is opposed to that of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI

  • How this unprecedented attack on Catholic teaching is harming the faith ... and Pope Francis himself

  • The effects of five years of Pope Francis on the faithful, the pro-life movement, and clergy 

  • How YOU can help restore truth in the Church

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Raymond Ibrahim

Opinion

Revising history, whitewashing Islam

Raymond Ibrahim
By Raymond Ibrahim

April 19, 2018 (American Thinker) – Although the conflict between Islam and the West is not an aberration, but a continuation of history, the strategy of those who seek to whitewash and thus empower Islam is to fixate on peaceful aberrations while suppressing the continuum of hostility.

Thus, in "Italy must remember its pluralist past," Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University, Washington, D.C., highlights uncharacteristic episodes from Italy's past with Muslims in an attempt to convince Italians to be even more accepting of Muslim migrants.

Before looking at his claims, some actual historical context concerning Italy and Islam – otherwise devoid in Akbar's article about the "past" – is needed.

Once the jihad was unleashed from Arabia, not only was Italy bombarded and under threat for centuries, but as the seat of Rome – the capital of Western Christendom, which is to say Infideldom – several ambitious caliphs and sultans especially targeted it, often while making the perennial Islamic boast that they would be first to turn St. Peter's altar into a feeding trough for their horses.  

As early as the seventh century, "the nation of the Saracens that had already spread through Alexandria and Egypt," wrote Paul the Deacon (b. 720), "came suddenly with many ships, invaded Sicily, entered Syracuse and made a great slaughter of the people – a few only escaping with difficulty who had fled to the strongest fortresses and the mountain ranges – and they carried off also great booty ... and thus they returned to Alexandria."

By 846, Muslim fleets managed to land on the coast of Ostia, near Rome.  Unable to breach the walls of the Eternal City, they sacked and despoiled the surrounding countryside, including – to the shock of Western Christendom – the venerated basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul.  The invaders vandalized the two holy shrines, desecrated the tombs of Christendom's two most revered apostles, and stripped them of their treasures.

Such sacrilege prompted Pope Leo IV to erect strong walls and fortifications along the right bank of the Tiber to protect the basilicas and other churches from further Muslim raids.  Not ones to be deterred, "in 849 the Muslims attempted a new landing at Ostia; then, every year from around 857 on, they threatened the Roman seaboard," explains French medieval historian C.E. Dufourcq.

Indeed, the following entry from Ibn al-Athir's history dealing with southern Italy and Sicily is indicative of the quantity and quality of these Islamic invasions:

Another raid [in 835] directed at Etna and the neighboring strongholds resulted in the burning of harvests, the slaughter of many men and pillage.  Another raid was again organized in the same direction by Abu al-Aghlab in 221 [according to the Muslim calendar, which in this case corresponded to Christmas Day, 835]; the booty brought back was so extensive that slaves were sold for almost nothing[.] ... In the same year, a fleet was sent against the [neighboring Christian] islands; after having taken rich booty and conquered several towns and fortresses there, they returned safe and sound.  In 234 [August 5, 848], the inhabitants of Ragusa made peace with the Muslims in exchange for surrendering the town and what it contained.  The conquerors destroyed it after having taken away everything that could be transported.  In 235 [July 25, 849], a troop of Muslims marched against Castrogiovanni and returned safe and sound, after having subjected that town to pillage, murder and fire [Ye'or 2010, 289–290].

Sadistic treatment for the infidel always accompanied the raid, for "it was to the amusement of the Saracens to profane, as well as to pillage, the monasteries and churches," notes Edward Gibbon.  "At the siege of Salerno a Musulman chief spread his couch on the communion table, and on that altar sacrificed each night the virginity of a Christian nun."

Although centuries of crusades largely safeguarded Italy and Sicily from further Islamic attacks, by 1480, Ottoman Sultan Muhammad II invaded Italy and captured Otranto.  More than half of its twenty-two thousand inhabitants were massacred, five thousand led away in chains.  On a hilltop (subsequently named "Martyr's Hill") another eight hundred Christians were ritually beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, their archbishop sawed in half.

Here is how French priest Jérôme Maurand described the fate of the inhabitants of the tiny island of Lipari off Sicily after it was invaded by the Ottomans in 1544: "[t]o see so many poor Christians, and especially so many little boys and girls [enslaved] caused a very great pity[.] ... The tears, wailings and cries of these poor Lipariotes, the father regarding his son and the mother her daughter ... weeping while leaving their own city in order to be brought into slavery by those dogs who seemed like rapacious wolves amidst timid lambs."

Failing to comprehend why the Muslim conquerors so wantonly tortured the now enslaved population – including by slowly gutting the old and infirmed with knives "out of spite" – he "asked these Turks why they treated the poor Christians with such cruelty, [and] they replied that such behavior had very great virtue; that was the only answer we ever got."

Finally, a great many of those millions of Europeans enslaved and sold in Muslim Barbary between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries were originally seized from the Italian coastline and Sicily.

Needless to say, these centuries and events – documented in my book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West – never make it into Akbar's article, "Italy must remember its pluralist past."  

Instead – and because his agenda is to prompt Italians to be even more accommodating of Muslim migrants – he ignores the constants while fixating on those aberrations that might validate his thesis:

Italy produced Christian leaders such as Roger II, the King of Sicily, and Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Sicily, and King of Italy, who spoke Arabic, had Muslim bodyguards, and featured Arabic inscriptions on their royal mantle. Muslims and Jews were permitted to live by their own laws, and the jewel of Sicilian architecture, Roger's twelfth-century Palatine Chapel, incorporated Christian, Muslim, and Jewish influences.

Such is Akbar's evidence concerning Italy's "pluralist past."  While his anecdotes seem a far cry from the aforementioned centuries of unwavering hostility, one is still at loss concerning Akbar's point.  After all, few if any Italians today have a problem with knowing Arabic, employing non-Christians, allowing others to live according to their customs, or erecting exotic architecture.

Rather, they have a problem with facilitating the ancient jihad against their homeland by bringing in more and more Muslim migrants who act in accordance with the history that Akbar suggests never happened.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Bradley Mattes

Opinion

Doctors demolish study celebrated by abortion activists

Bradley Mattes
By

April 19, 2018 (Life Issues Institute) – Legal abortion was built on outright lies, half-truths and sloppy assumptions.

And then there's this: "Pro-life legislation kills women."

A key study alleged to support this reprehensible claim has just been shown to be highly flawed, contain major errors and come to conclusions its findings do not support.

The lead author of the study in question is Marian MacDorman of the Maryland Population Research Center. The MPRC has an extreme bias in support of abortion. It opposes bans on sex-selection abortion and instead espouses "mass messaging" and other measures to deal with severe gender inequities.

The MacDorman study focused on maternal mortality rates in the state of Texas. It found dramatic increases in pregnancy-related deaths from 2010 to 2012 after relatively stable numbers in the ten years prior. Coincidentally, this sharp increase followed the closing of several abortion facilities in response to pro-life legislation, which required these facilities to meet ambulatory surgical standards and allowed their abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The media, along with Planned Parenthood and its allies such as then-Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, used the study as conclusive proof that the Texas legislature was killing women. It has been cited more than 300 times by news sources and approximately 70 scholarly research articles.

Dr. James StudnickiDrs. James Studnicki (pictured) and John Fisher, scholars with the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, have published an editorial in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology recommending the study be formally corrected due to errors in methodology and data reporting.

They found that the MacDorman study did not evenly apply a correction formula to the Center for Disease Control data it used. This masked an increase in maternal mortality rates in Texas between 2004 and 2006. MacDorman's numbers showed a 16.5% decrease in maternal mortality rates during those years but more accurate numbers show a 73% increase. As Drs. Studnicki and Fisher state, "Both the size and the suddenness of the 2010-2012 increases are artifactual."

Tell Congress to keep their promise and defund Planned Parenthood. Sign the petition here!

The new research also refutes comparisons the MacDorman study made between Texas and California.

Accurate data shows that California, which has liberal abortion laws, had a staggering maternal death rate between 2007 and 2008 of 142%, which is more than twice "the percentage of any single-year increase in Texas during the study period (2000-2014)." So much for the abortion industry's claim that pro-life laws hurt women.

In fact, Drs. Studnicki and Fisher found that the late maternal mortality rate in California from 2004-2014 "was typically twice the national average." And from 2012 to 2014, the rate in California "was 4-5 times higher than in Texas." Such high late maternal mortality numbers caused Drs. Studnicki and Fisher to conclude that these discrepancies in data beg "for either a data-reporting or clinical explanation, or both."

This new analysis effectively undermines the pro-abortion argument that closing abortion facilities in Texas led to higher maternal mortality rates. Drs. Studnicki and Fisher write that "no such cause and effect has ever been demonstrated," and the MacDorman study does not provide evidence "to suggest that relationship."

Sarah Stevens.The damage caused by flawed studies such as the MacDorman article is incalculable. Fortunately, scholars such as Drs. Studnicki and Fisher and organizations like the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Life Issues Institute are working together to provide Americans with reliable science the abortion industry doesn't want you to know.

Please read one of my past commentaries on maternal mortality and see how the abortion industry blurs fact and fiction. Also, please watch a two-part episode of Facing Life Head-On (click here and here) that tells the story of Sarah Stevens (pictured), who found out suddenly she was expecting quadruplets. This episode demonstrates how proper pregnancy care can help lessen maternal mortality rates and allow mothers to deliver healthy babies.

Pro-life education based on rigorous scientific conclusions and backed by solid data is key in overturning Roe v. Wade and enabling life to triumph once again in America.

Published with permission from the Life Issues Institute.

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William Kilpatrick

Opinion,

On Islam, Catholics can’t have a sixties mindset anymore

William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick
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The face of Islam in Nigeria.

April 19, 2018 (The Catholic Thing) – I recently received an email from a reader who took issue with my skeptical view of Islam. Between 1963 and 1965, he worked for the Peace Corps in a Muslim area of Nigeria. He came away from the experience convinced that "all people are basically the same" and "all want the same basic things." Cultural differences, he maintained, were merely surface phenomena.

His view is common among people who came of age in the sixties and seventies. And, since many of our society's controlling narratives were developed in that period, that optimistic view is still widespread. But times change, even if narratives don't.

For example, the reality in Nigeria today is quite different from what my correspondent experienced in the mid-1960s. It no longer seems that all want the "same basic things." In fact, many Muslims want to deny Christians some of those basics – such as the right to worship in peace, and even the right to life.

Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan (in northwestern Nigeria) reports that in his diocese alone: "53 villages burned down, 808 people murdered and 57 wounded, 1422 houses and 16 Churches destroyed." Moreover, last year a report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law revealed that 16,000 Christians had been murdered in Nigeria since June 2015.

What's happening in Nigeria has been happening all over the Muslim world. Open Doors USA reports that globally some 215-million Christians face severe persecution, mostly at the hands of Muslims. The question is, which is the real Islam: the peaceable Islam experienced by my correspondent in the mid-sixties or the aggressive Islam of today?

In the context of Islam's 1,400 years of aggression, the relatively peaceful interval that began with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century seems to be the aberration. At the time my correspondent worked for the Peace Corps in Nigeria, the Muslim world was far more moderate than it is today or was in the past. The Islam he experienced was a marked departure from traditional Islam.

Some of the flavor of that period is captured in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Ali A. Allawi, a former Iraqi cabinet minister:

I was born into a mildly observant Muslim family in Iraq. At that time, the 1950s, secularism was ascendant among the political, cultural, and intellectual elites of the Middle East. It appeared to be only a matter of time before Islam would lose whatever hold it still had on the Muslim world. Even that term – "Muslim world" – was unusual, as Muslims were more likely to identify themselves by their national, ethnic, or ideological affinities than by their religion.

In short, Muslim societies were more moderate in those days because they were moving away from Islam. As Allawi notes: "To an impressionable child, it was clear that society was decoupling from Islam. Though religion was a mandatory course in school, nobody taught us the rules of prayer or expected us to fast during Ramadan. We memorized the shorter verses of the Koran, but the holy book itself was kept on the shelf or in drawers, mostly unread."

The more moderate Muslim world of the last century was not the result of deeper piety, but rather of increased secularization. There are still remnants of that moderation in Muslim lands, but it should be clear to anyone who is paying attention to current events that traditional, by-the-book Islam is once again ascendant. Mini-skirts are no longer worn in Tehran and Kabul as they were in the seventies, and the hijab has made a comeback almost everywhere in the Muslim world. In other words, the process of secularization has been reversed.

The amazing thing is that much of the Western world hasn't caught up with the changes. Why? Perhaps because the return of 7thcentury Islam undercuts the multicultural belief that all cultures share the same values. Hence, many prefer to think that the Muslim world is still much the same as it was in the days of King Farouk and the Shah of Iran – that relatively brief moment when "secularism was ascendant."

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Unfortunately, one of the important organizations that still lives in the past in regard to Islam is the Catholic Church. Many in the Church seem to think and act as though it's still 1965, and that Nostra Aetate (which was promulgated in 1965) is still the last word on Islam.

The section on the "Moslems" in Nostra Aetate reflects the multicultural notion that cultural differences are unimportant, and that all people have the same basic desires. Thus, the writers of the document took pains to emphasize the similarities between Christianity and Islam, even going so far as to suggest that the two faiths share the same moral values.

Of course, it's nearly impossible to ignore the radicalization that so many Muslims have undergone since 1965. But in their anxiety to preserve the Nostra Aetate "narrative" about Islam, Church leaders have found a way to get around this inconvenient fact.  Muslims who persecute and terrorize non-Muslims are said to have "distorted" or "perverted" their religion because, in the words of Pope Francis, "authentic Islam and a proper understanding of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence."

Indeed, as recently as March 16, Pope Francis told the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that there is no link between Islam and terrorism. On other occasions, the pope had even said that the remedy for radicalization is for Muslims to go deeper into their faith, and find guidance in the Koran. That, of course, is the very opposite of Allawi's first-hand observation that moderation is the result not of deepened faith, but of "decoupling from Islam."

Church leaders are still clinging to a view of Islam that should have gone out with the seventies. Unless and until they acquire a longer view of Islam, they will continue to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.

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J. Marsolo

Opinion

Here’s what Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook really want

J. Marsolo
By J. Marsolo

April 19, 2018 (American Thinker) – Many members of Congress want Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to ban "hate speech" on Facebook.  Zuckerberg agreed:

BY THE END OF THIS YEAR by the way WE'LL HAVE MORE THAN 20,000 PEOPLE WORKING ON SECURITY AND CONTENT REVIEW[.] ...

SO HATE SPEECH IS ONE OF THE HARDEST BECAUSE DETERMINING IF SOMETHING IS HATE SPEECH IS VERY LINGUISTICALLY NUANCED. YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS A SLUR AND WHETHER SOMETHING IS HATEFUL. NOT JUST IN ENGLISH, BUT MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK USE IT IN LANGUAGEs that are DIFFERENT ACROSS THE WORLD[.]

Zuckerberg cannot define hate speech, but he will have 20,000 employees reviewing content to ban the hate speech he cannot define.  He said artificial intelligence (A.I.) will sort out the offensive hate speech he is unable to define.

It will be interesting to see how the Facebook Employee Handbook will instruct the 20,000 employees on how to flag hate speech to delete and ban it. 

Every group, especially politicians, will lobby Facebook to ban language it deems offensive or hate speech while protecting the language the group favors.  For example, Planned Parenthood will object to language used by pro-life groups as hate speech, while pro-life groups will object to ads for access to abortion by Planned Parenthood.

Senator Cruz grilled Zuckerberg on Facebook's current "censorship" of conservatives to show the leftist bias of Facebook, citing Diamond and Silk as examples.

Given the existing bias which Senator Cruz demonstrated with his cross examination of Zuckerberg, guess how the 20,000 Facebook employees will analyze hate speech.

Congress cannot require Facebook or any other similar social media to ban hate speech for the same reason it cannot require ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, and the rest of the media to ban hate speech.  Such a law violates the First Amendment.

Congress cannot define "hate speech" any better than Zuckerberg.  But it is trying to force Facebook to do that which Congress cannot do.  The term "hate speech" is too broad and vague; it cannot be narrowly defined to inform the public about what the law seeks to prohibit.  The courts deal with First Amendment issues on a case-by-case basis limited to the facts at issue.  A law prohibiting "hate speech" is a law of prior restraint trying to ban speech, and laws on prior restraint are subject to strict scrutiny by the courts.

Why is Zuckerberg so eager to ban hate speech?  Why does he welcome some "regulation"? 

He knows regulation will make it more difficult for new companies to compete with Facebook, which now enjoys a near monopoly.

Zuckerberg also does not want an investigation of how Facebook assisted Obama during the 2012 election through the mining of information.

Zuckerberg wants to be in the good graces of the D.C. swamp.  He will do the dirty work of censorship that Congress cannot do.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Alfie Evans and his parents Tom and Kate. Action4Alfie.com
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‘One of our own’: Why Alfie Evans is Liverpool’s baby

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LIVERPOOL, England, April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – People in Liverpool dress well.

That was my first impression when I got off the train from Edinburgh that dark wet night. The station was busy with women in fancy dresses and astonishing hats and men–even young men–in expensively cut suits. It took me a moment to remember that it was the High Holy Day of Liverpool fashionistas: Ladies’ Day at the Aintree Racecourse. The Grand National, one of the most important events of the British horseracing year, took place the next day.

But the snazzy outfits were not confined to racegoers. On Saturday morning, as I hunted around the railway station for a new camera, I noticed well-dressed people standing outside a theatre. And two things occured to me: first, Liverpudlians–or as they are more commonly known, “Scousers”–dress better than Edinburghers; second, these people have a point to prove.

My sense that Liverpool is a collective identity as much as a city was born in the cab ride to my hotel near Alder Hey children’s hospital, where 23-month-old Alfie Evans is being held against his parents’ wishes. His parents Tom Evans and Kate James want to take Alfie to the Bambino Gesù in Rome before Alder Hey can remove Alfie’s life support. When I told my cab driver, a thin middle-aged man with a beanie pulled down to his eyebrows, I was covering the story, he declared how sad it was.

“They should give him a chance,” he said of the courts and the hospital that want the mysteriously sick Alfie to die. “There’s a lot of feeling in this town about it. He’s one of our own.”

‘Liverpool never stops fighting’

The theme of Alfie-as-Scouser was repeated the next morning when a larger, more talkative cabbie took me back to downtown Liverpool. All the way there, he praised Tom Evans, ranted against the establishment, including the “faceless” administrators of the National Health Service, and bragged of Liverpool’s collective, fighting spirit, which Evans embodies.

“He’s only 21 years old,” shouted the cabbie. “He’s done everything for his son. Every year they make celebrities Mother or Father of the Year, like Victoria Spice. Well, that should be Tom.”

The cabbie recalled Liverpool’s battle for justice after the Hillsborough Disaster. In 1989, Liverpool fans were unfairly blamed by police for the 96 fatalities and hundreds of injuries caused by overcrowding at a semi-final soccer match. It wasn’t until 2016 that the fans were exonerated.

“Only this city would have fought so long for Hillsborough,” said the driver. He indicated that the “Scousers” were prepared to fight just as hard for Alfie. “Liverpool never stops fighting.”

In his opinion–and I heard it from others–Alder Hey’s opposition to Alfie’s transfer to Rome stems from fear the Italian doctors will discover some negligence on the English hospital’s part. Liverpool has not forgotten the Alder Hey organ scandal of 1999-2001, when horrified Scousers discovered that a pathologist there had illegally stripped hundreds of dead children of their organs. My driver said his son’s girlfriend’s mother had had a baby who was one of the victims. Now because of what is happening to Alfie Evans, he said, people were avoiding taking their children to Alder Hey.

When I asked this driver why Liverpool was such a close-knit city, there was an uncharacteristic moment of silence. He then admitted that it might be because Liverpool had a rough reputation and “people look down on us.”

‘Scousers help each other’

My experience of Liverpool is limited to 16 hours shuttling between the railway station, Alder Hey, and a Travel Lodge. But I have lived in the UK for almost a decade, and I’ve learned a few things, like cultural differences between traditional British working-class folk and upper-middle-class High Court justices. For example, it makes sense that Tom Evans, a professed Catholic, is not married to his son’s mother, with whom he is still in a relationship, when you know that he left school at 16 and trained as a plasterer. Marriage, in the UK as elsewhere, is increasingly a middle-class and upper-class phenomenon.

But family–extended family and multiple children–is still crucial to traditional working-class folk. One woman I spoke to outside Alder Hey on Friday night, Evonne, is the mother of seven “and the grandmother of one.” Tom Evans himself is one of nine children. Kate James is said also to come from a big family although Alfie’s Aunt Georgina didn’t know that side of the family well enough to say how big.

Aunt Georgina had come along to stop Evonne from speaking to the press. Alfie’s Army, which includes the dozens who protest daily outside Alder Hey and the thousands of armchair warriors reading their Facebook page, appears to be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, Alfie’s Army offers emotional, social, and material support. On the other, it spreads ill-founded rumours. Thus, only family members were supposed to speak to media.

Not all the Army got that memo. On Saturday afternoon, a smiling young couple caught my eye. They were among the 50 people protesting cheerfully outside Alder Hey, and they hoped I would take their photograph for the papers.

“Are you members of the family?” I asked hopefully. Depending almost entirely on cab drivers for quotes did not strike me as journalistic best practise. However, it seems the young man thought I was asking why he was there.

“Naw. We’re Scousers,” he said proudly. “Scousers help each other.”

My train to London was to leave shortly. I flagged down another cab and interviewed yet another driver. This one, young and bespectacled, said that he had removed his sick daughter from Alder Hey because of the Alfie Evans scandal. He had also been at the thousand-person-strong rally at Alder Hey on Thursday night after Tom Evans sent an SOS through Facebook.

“It’s disgusting what they’re doing to that child,” he said, meaning the hospital and the courts.

In my cabbie’s opinion, shared by almost everyone I spoke to in Liverpool, Tom Evans was doing what anyone would do for his children.

But here’s the thing: judge after judge has disagreed with Tom Evans’ fight to keep his son alive, to keep him ventilated, and to get him transferred to another hospital. These are, presumably, people who would allow their brain-damaged infants to die, were they in Alfie’s parents’ shoes. But then these judges are not Liverpool working-class folk, are they?

I sense a class-based culture clash here. I’ve wondered for a week about Mr Justice Haydon’s strange appeal to Alfie’s “privacy.” Haydon’s February 20 ruling, detailing Alfie’s state of health, makes for sober reading and subsequent soul-searching. But Haydon’s April 11 remarks about how he would not want videos of himself in Alfie’s situation online raises questions about the judge’s impartiality. His obsession with privacy and what he calls “dignity” is just so … middle-aged and middle-class. Privacy has not been a prime consideration of any infants I have known, let alone the social media generation. Are the courts imposing middle-aged, middle-class ideas about what makes life worth living on working-class Alfie and his young parents?

“What do you think about the judge’s interest in Alfie’s privacy?” I asked this last cab driver.

“That child will never have any privacy,” said the driver proudly, as if privacy were abuse and neglect. “We’ll be with him until the end. And when he dies, there will be thousands of us at his funeral. The whole city will be there.”

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Michael L. Brown Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael

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Free speech: Use it or lose it

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By Dr. Michael Brown

April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For many years, I've said that when it comes to America, I'm more concerned with the absence of light than with the presence of darkness. In the same way, I'm more concerned with our failure to speak freely than with those who are trying to silence us.

This is not to deny that there is a frontal assault on our most fundamental freedoms. I've witnessed this firsthand and documented it for years.

Just this week, media researcher Brent Bozell sounded the alarm about this concerted attack. He said, "This is the emerging of the greatest censorship of free speech worldwide in the history of man. Now, let me explain this, the left is on a jihad against conservative thought. It's happening in academia, entertainment, business, religion, everywhere."

Bozell's warning follows on the heels of the release of a major study done by his Media Research Center (MRC), titled "CENSORED! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech."

According to this study: Twitter Leads in Censorship; Facebook's Trending Feed Has Been Hiding Conservative Topics; Google Search Aids Democrats; YouTube Is Shutting Down Conservative Videos; Tech Firms Are Relying on Groups That Hate Conservatives; Liberal Twitter Advisors Outnumber Conservatives 12-to-1; Tech Companies Rely on Anti-Conservative Fact-Checkers.

In short, the MRC study confirms what we knew to be true already: there is a war against conservative and religious speech. And it is not just in the realm of online media, as Bozell rightly observed.

But, to repeat, that's not my greatest concern today, as weighty as these developments are.

Instead, my focus is on our failure to stand up and speak out, especially as religious conservatives.

Who's stopping pastors from speaking freely from the pulpit? I'm not talking about endorsing political candidates. I'm talking about addressing abortion and LGBT activism and racial division and more. Who's stopping us from being socially and culturally relevant?

Why must we dance around these issues with the constant fear of stepping on people's toes? How can we possibly take gospel-worthy, moral stands if we are such people-pleasers? If we are so ambiguous in our declarations? Why are we more concerned with not offending people than with genuinely helping people?

And what about the rest of us who are not preaching behind pulpits (or speaking over the airwaves)? Who's stopping us from speaking the truth in love on our social media outlets? Or in our social circles? Why are we more concerned with the opinions of people than with the opinions of God? Why don't we share our faith our convictions more clearly and boldly and publicly?

A young man once reached out to me on Facebook. He wrote, "I shared one of your articles recently, and I was shocked at the negative comments I received. Some folks even unfriended me. So, what do you think I should do? Should I pull the article?"

Seriously? Pull an article you agree with because you got some flak? Delete a post you feel is important because some people unfriended you? Our fellow believers around the world are being tortured and killed for the gospel, and we're afraid of losing friends on social media?

No wonder we're losing our freedoms. We're handing the jailer the keys.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for being sensitive and compassionate. I'm all for using wisdom. But true compassion speaks the truth. Love warns. Wisdom doesn't waver.

Unfortunately, so much of what we call sensitivity and compassion and wisdom is nothing more than cowardice and compromise. Let the truth be told.

Again, I'm not downplaying the very real assault on our freedoms. We are getting hit on every front. I don't deny this, and I don't minimize it.

But if we all started to speak up together, things would change. If pastors and leaders took their clues from the Word of God rather than from what's trending, the nation would be rocked. If we used the freedoms we do have and used them to the full, those freedoms could not be taken from us in 100 years. (I'm speaking in particular of the situation here in America.)

Jesus urged us to let our shine, to put it on a lampstand where everyone could see it rather than hiding it under the bed. It's time we let our shine for America to see.

If we do, our nation will be blessed and our freedoms will be preserved. If we don't, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

So let your light shine!

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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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A short exchange between Alberta politicians shows just how much the Left opposes freedom

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By Jonathon van Maren

April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – So last week, United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney and most of his caucus walked out of the Alberta Legislature rather than debate and vote on the NDP’s “bubble zone” Bill 9, which would restrict freedom of speech around abortion clinics. The bill, Kenney stated, was being put forward purely to distract from Premier Rachel Notley’s disastrous economic record rather than any genuine concern about pro-life protesters, who are universally peaceful. Notley was merely playing the same game Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was playing when she sprang similar legislation on then-PC leader Patrick Brown, who immediately responding by demanding that his caucus either show up and vote for the bill or keep their mouths shut.

For the record, I think that Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party made a mistake in trying to avoid the issue. I understand what they were trying to accomplish: They did not want Notley to be able to accuse them being insufficiently supportive of “women’s rights” for the next year or so when they want to be hammering her on piplelines. But of course, they didn’t dodge that bullet, anyway—the NDP is now accusing them of “running away” from their responsibility to protect women trying to access abortion. Short of actually voting for the bubble zone legislation, the UCP was going to face identical accusations from the NDP regardless of what route of action they chose. I don’t think the UCP gained anything by appearing squishy to their own base while facing the same NDP attacks they would have had they voted against the bill on free speech grounds.

But what I want to draw attention to is an exchange in the legislature between Angela Pitt of the UCP and Deborah Drever of the NDP. Pitt explained, rather eloquently I thought, why she was abstaining from voting on the bubble zone law:

Madam Speaker, any law that we pass in this Legislature must balance the objective that it is trying to achieve with the protection of our Charter rights and freedoms. We all have a responsibility as MLAs to defend the Charter rights of all Albertans, even those we disagree with. As a party rich with history of protest I truly hope that the government has considered these implications, but many have expressed concerns that the government has not. Yes, women entering and exiting abortion clinics absolutely have a right to do so free of intimidation and harassment, but citizens also have a right to express peacefully their opinion as it relates to abortion, even if some don’t want to hear it. Bill 9 impacts one’s ability to do so. What’s more, it offers no more protection than the existing court injunctions do today. But like I said earlier, Madam Speaker, that wasn’t really the intent of this bill. The intent all along has been to draw this side of the House into a debate on an incredibly contentious social issue and claim any opposition to their flawed legislation as sinister. The NDP is trying to pit Albertan against Albertan. Well, I will not take this bait. I will be abstaining from voting on Bill 9. I know that the reasons for being on one side of this issue or the other are complex and deeply personal, and it’s not up to any of us to judge Albertans for their personal beliefs, especially if those beliefs are expressed peacefully and in accordance with the law. In closing, Madam Speaker, let me leave you with this quote from Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who famously wrote: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Thank you.

That final quote is a very common one in libertarian circles and is frequently invoked by supporters of free speech as a way of illustrating the absolute necessity of freedom of speech in a free society. The sentiment is clear: No matter what you believe, you have the right to articulate that belief in the public square—even if I disagree with what you have to say and despise the ideology you hold. That sentiment was once a unifying one, something both liberals and conservatives could agree on. In fact, it was a sentiment they needed to agree on for society to function. But apparently the NDP’s Honorable Member for Calgary-Bow did not find that idea a unifying one. Instead, she found it deeply triggering.

“That was really hard to hear on my end,” she told her female colleague. “I am offended by these comments. I’m offended as a woman. Not only are these comments hurtful to me; they are hurtful to all women in this province. I believe that the Member for Airdrie should apologize to all women.”

Go ahead and read that twice if you need to. To sum up: A female MLA from the NDP informed a female MLA from across the aisle that she was “offended as a woman” because another woman dared to disagree with her. In fact, she felt that her female colleague should apologize to both her and all females for not holding the exact same ideology as herself, because apparently she is incapable of recognizing the monumental arrogance it takes to assume that all Albertan women agree with her on abortion. Spoiler alert: Many of them don’t. In fact, most of the peaceful pro-life protesters who show up near abortion clinics are women.

That short exchange reveals the danger today’s Left poses to our fundamental freedoms. Not only can the NDP vote against free speech rights in the name of protecting other rights, but one MLA can even respond to her colleague’s declaration of support for freedom of expression by saying that such sentiments are “hard to hear” and arrogantly demanding an apology on behalf of all women. This arrogance combined with an utter lack of respect for the bedrock right of freedom of speech is a toxic and dangerous combination—and one that all Albertan voters should be taking note of.

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Pope Francis meets with Italy's most prominent abortion advocate, Emma Bonino, whom he has praised as a "forgotten great."
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7 reasons why pro-lifers are unhappy with Pope Francis’ leadership

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By John-Henry Westen

April 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In the past, among pro-life activists – both Catholic and otherwise – you’d find the biggest fans of the pope. Pope John Paul II was often touted as the worldwide leader of the pro-life movement and Pope Benedict XVI regarded as a major contributor to the intellectual defense of life. But the situation after 5 years of Pope Francis’ pontificate is very different indeed.

Pro-life activists all over the world today will tell you that while they continue to pray for the pope, they are unhappy with the direction the Pope is taking the Church.

Here are some of the main reasons why:

Join LifeSite’s live webcast on April 23 at 9PM EST: Pope Francis’ plan to change the Church. Register here.

1) From the outset of the papacy has come an overt shift in focus on pro-life to other concerns. (“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods… I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”)

2) The sentiment has remained consistent throughout the papacy and has gone from merely interviews into official Church teaching in the latest apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate. In that document, he equated issues such as immigration and poverty with abortion in contrast to statements from previous Popes.

3) The approach explains the seemingly incomprehensible praise that Pope Francis lavished on Italy’s most prominent promoter of abortion, whom he called one of the nation’s “forgotten greats” for her work on immigration. Even though unrepentant and an abortion pusher making Cecile Richards look tame, the Pope’s praise for her has led to her speaking at various Catholic churches despite protests from pro-lifers.

4) Since shortly after the election of Pope Francis there has been a steady stream of population control advocates speaking at the Vatican. These include: Paul Ehrlich, the father of the population control movement; John Bongaarts, vice president of the pro-abortion Population Council; pro-abortion U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; pro-abortion UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs; and Prof. John Schellnhuber. The head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Sciences, Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, who ran most of those conferences, is himself a population control advocate. Sorondo said on camera at one such Vatican conference that limiting births was an obligation of the Church – something he wouldn’t have dared under previous popes.

5) There have been numerous appointments and elevations of bishops and cardinals who are hostile to pro-life, alongside a demotion of strongly pro-life churchmen. Examples include Blase Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago and Cardinal despite his reputation for telling priests not to join 40 Days for Life; Belgium’s Cardinal Danneels; Germany’s Cardinal Kasper; and Belgium’s Josef de Kesel. Demotions and removals of strongly pro-life bishops and Cardinals include Cardinals Burke and Muller, Bishop Finn, and Bishop Nienstedt.

6) He removed the pro-life pledge from the Pontifical Academy for Life. And now appoints pro-abortion members, one of whom recently said the Bible calls for abortion in some cases.

7) Pope Francis pushed for the passage of the Sustainable Development Goals and praised its passage without reservation. Pro-life groups at the UN, including the Holy See Mission, have fought the SDGs for years because Target 3.7 explicitly calls for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.” The UN defined these terms at the 1994 Cairo conference to mean providing women with “modern contraception” for “family planning” and with “safe abortion” where it is legal.

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