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May 22, 2017

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Cardinal Raymond Burke receives the Law of Life 'Nail' award, May 19, 2017. LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal Burke: ‘I hope to continue to be able to suffer for the faith’

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By Pete Baklinski

ROME, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke received in person on Friday the Law of Life Achievement Award, a replica of the nail that held Jesus to the cross. The award, given to those who have endured suffering in the fight to defend and protect life and family, honors the Cardinal for his work in “defending faith, life, and family from all quarters.”

“I’m very honored to receive this award. I hope to continue to be able to suffer for the faith inspired by this recognition,” he said. 

Cardinal Burke was presented with the award in his apartment in Rome by LifeSiteNews Editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen. He was originally given the award in absentee at the January 26 Law of Life Summit in Washington, D.C., before the March for Life. 

During the January summit, Westen told the crowd of pro-life leaders and activists who gathered at the annual event that Cardinal Burke “has suffered a great deal for the cause of life and family.” 

“He has cheerfully borne this suffering, his public humiliation that he has received from all quarters. Every time you speak with him, you will hear his concern that has nothing at all to do with himself, always for the faith, for life, and for family,” said Westen at that time.

Cardinal Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and one of the world’s foremost authority on Roman Catholic Canon law, has been an outspoken champion of the Church’s pro-life and pro-family teachings.

In his commitment to defending the sacraments while holding fast to the Church’s teaching against abortion, the Cardinal has frequently insisted that persistently pro-abortion Catholic politicians be denied Holy Communion, as stated by Canon law.

He has called fighting the all-pervasive ‘contraceptive mentality’ “essential” for restoring the culture of life, has defended parents as the primary educators of their children, and has strongly defended marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman.

Burke has urged Catholics on numerous occasions in the past two years to brace for martyrdom in the face of growing opposition to the Church’s clear teachings on marriage and the family.

His motto “Secundum Cor Tuum” (After Your Own Heart) comes from the prayer “O good Jesus, make me a priest after Your own Heart.”

The Cardinal was vocal about problems arising during the Synod on the Family, stating that a door to offering Holy Communion for civilly divorced and remarried Catholics “does not exist and cannot exist.” He called the final synod report “deceptive in a serious way,” especially for its treatment of the sacraments and of parental responsibility for education.

In a 2015 interview, Burke said he was happy to be labeled a “fundamentalist” if that meant upholding the basics of the faith.

He caused a firestorm last year when he stated that the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia was “not an act of the magisterium,” but a “personal reflection of the Pope” and therefore not “binding in conscience.”

His strong, uncompromising voice has made him enemies, even within the Church, and at the highest levels. 

In 2013, the Cardinal was removed by Pope Francis from the Congregation for Bishops, the influential department that oversees the selection of new bishops, while liberal-minded prelates, such as Washington's Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Westminster Archbishop Vincent Nichols, were added to replace him. Under Pope Benedict, Burke is said to have played a major role in the appointments of some of the currently most orthodox bishops in the United States and other nations.

Burke was also demoted by Pope Francis in 2014 from being the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura due to what critics said was his uncompromising defense of Church's teaching on life and family issues. He was removed from the Congregation for Divine Worship in November, after submitting the "dubia" to the Pope. 

Westen told pro-life leaders at the January event that “there is no one I have ever seen who wears red more deservingly than Cardinal Burke," referencing the color symbolizing martyrdom.

"He has not shied away from truth, despite being demoted, ridiculed, objectified, attacked by the world’s media, and cruelly defamed even by his brother bishops," said Westen in additional comments for this report. 

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‘It Gets Better’ may not so good at preventing youth LGBT suicides: study

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By Doug Mainwaring

May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A new study questions the wisdom and utility of Dan Savage’s ‘It Gets Better’ video project.

Launched in 2010 in response to reports of ‘LGB’ youth suicides, ‘It Gets Better’ eventually collected more than 50,000 video remarks, including then-President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton.  

Meant to encourage, ‘It Gets Better’ may have had the opposite effect. The study, found in the Journal of Homosexuality, has produced stunning reports in gay-oriented media that  previously lauded the Dan Savage project.

A headline at the LGBT-targeted Logo Network’s NewNowNext’s website blares, “‘It Gets Better’ Is Bad Advice For Gay Kids, Study Claims,” and may “do more harm than good.”  

The Washington Blade, a website serving the LGBT community in Washington, D.C., features a similar headline, “‘It Gets Better’ may be harmful.” The article went on to say, “The ‘It Gets Better’ video series, started in 2010 to combat LGBT teen suicide, may not be effective.”

Queerty’s headline asks, “It gets better … Or does it? Study finds anti-bullying catch phrase may do more harm than good.”

The study “examined 245 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young adults’ (ages 21-25) retrospective reports of coping in response to LGB minority stress during adolescence (ages 13- 19) to test the reliability and validity of a measure of minority stress coping.”

Three strategies common to LGB teens were identified: LGB-specific strategies (e.g., involvement with LGBT organizations), alternative-seeking strategies (e.g., finding new friends), and cognitive strategies (e.g., imagining a better future).

Cognitive-based strategies, such as the ‘It Gets Better’ approach, were associated with poorer adjustment and less likelihood of high school attainment.

University of Arizona professor Russell Toomey, who headed the study, told NewNow Next, “Our findings question the ’It Gets Better’ narrative that’s been given to LGB youth. Asking youth to accept negative experiences as the only coping strategy potentially exacerbates stress.”

As a result, Toomey suggests that strategies like the “It Gets Better” campaign are “associated with more depressive symptoms, less self-esteem and less satisfaction in life.”

When launched, the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign was greeted with much fanfare with celebrities and political figures clamoring to post their video messages to the site.  

Savage once interpreted then-President Obama’s advice to LGB youth in this way:  “President Obama was telling queer kids, there's something wrong with your parents.  There's something wrong with your preachers. There's something wrong with your teachers.  And f*** those people.”  

In the inaugural video of the ‘It Gets Better’ site, Dan Savage said, “I was Catholic, went to Catholic high school, Catholic boys’ school. My dad was a Catholic deacon, my mom was a Catholic lay minister and my family was very Catholic.” Savage later became a severe critic of the Catholic Church.

The middle-aged Savage is now an Atheist who is known for his acerbic anti-Christian rhetoric, once telling an assembly of high school journalism students, “We can learn to ignore the bulls*** in the Bible.” He called a group of Christian students who walked out of the event “pansy ass.”

Savage is also an X-rated sex columnist and the inspiration and executive producer for ABC’s sitcom “The Real O'Neals.”

Savage has yet to respond to the gay media reports on Twitter or Facebook.

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa


‘Dress up is real:’ Drag queens, public libraries promote gender confusion to 3-year-olds

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By Lisa Bourne

BROOKLYN, New York, May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A program that aims to give young children “unabashedly queer role models” is making its way across the U.S. via various public libraries.

“Who wants to be a drag queen when they grow up?” an adult male dressed in drag asks a group of children at the Brooklyn Public Library during a recent installment of Drag Queen Story Hour.

“Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like — drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores,” the initiative’s website states. “DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.”

DQSH has been conducted at the Brooklyn Public Library in Park Slope since last fall, Christian News reported, with drag queens reading to children on such topics as homosexuality, gender identity and “non-conformity,” and “general youth discomfort.”

The recent Brooklyn session was chronicled on video by the UK media outlet Channel 4 News and shared on social media.

In it, drag queen “Lil Hot Mess” is singing to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus,” and has the children up dancing along with his rendition of “The hips on the drag queen go swish, swish, swish.”

The video includes praise from parents and library representatives.

“Drag Queen Story Hour is fantastic because it addresses all of these issues of gender fluidity and self-acceptance and all of thee topics that are real, very, very real,” states Kat Savage of the Brooklyn Public Library.

“Lil Hot Mess” is shown reading to the children from “Worm Loves Worm” a book that explains “marriage equality” for kids.

“Negative comments about the Brooklyn library program have been posted online,” a graphic in the video states.

“But those are people who think that gay people are sinful or evil, or, you know, bad to begin with,” “Lil Hot Mess” states in reply. “So we are just sort of starting from such different places that it’s kind of irrelevant to me.”

DQSH has a quote from the Brooklyn Public Library’s Director of Youth and Family Services on its “About” webpage endorsing its program.

“Drag Queen Story Hour is a fun and important program that celebrates diversity in the way that children may dress and act,” Judy Zuckerman states. “It encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace unfettered exploration of self. Programs like DQSH encourage acceptance of difference and help to prevent bullying, while providing an enjoyable literary experience.”

DQSH was started in San Francisco by author Michelle Tea, whose writings concern various areas, including queer culture and feminism. Tea also founded RADAR Productions, a platform for emerging queer artists, according to its website information. The San Francisco DQSHs are managed through the organization.

The San Francisco program is part of a broader effort at “Queering the Castro,” or “highlighting the full range of queer culture,” according SFGate.

“The Castro is predominantly a white gay men’s space now,” RADAR Executive Director Juliana Delgado Lopera said regarding “Queering the Castro. “This project is about taking back the radically queer roots of the neighborhood. With art and literature, we’re doing a series of interventions and bringing in other queer folks into that space.”

Besides New York and San Francisco, Drag Queen Story Hours are being held in Los Angeles, and other cities across the U.S., Canada, and the UK, according to its website.

DQSHs are scheduled in New York and San Francisco into June. A New York Times report said they will be expanding this spring and summer into Harlem, another Manhattan location, and to the Bronx.

The DQSH Facebook page also promotes DQSH for additional sites nationwide, stating, “Looking for a Pride activity for your preschool or elementary school? Bring Drag Queen Story Hour to your school this June!”

A flier for the April 27 DQSH at the New York Public Library Hudson Park location told readers, “A drag queen will read inclusive books as well as story time favorites and lead participants in a simple craft.”

“Come meet Harmonica Sunbeam!” it stated, next to “Harmonica’s” photo. “Best for ages 3 and up.”

In the NYT piece, a photo caption of “Harmonica Sunbeam” reading to children said that when the drag queen was asked to pinpoint the main difference between Drag Queen Story Hour and a nighttime drag show, “Harmonica Sunbeam” deadpanned, “I’m sober.”

Delgado Lopera told SFGate in February after the group’s third DQSH in the area that it was a success.

"I think generally queers are not mixed with kids — especially drag queens," she said. "It's really beautiful to have drag queens painting children's faces and telling stories. It's disrupting that idea that queers can't mix with kids."

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Fr. Mark Hodges


New law may force pro-life groups to hire abortion activists

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life lawsuit seeks to nullify a city ordinance giving pro-abortionists “protected class” status.

In February, the City of St. Louis passed an ordinance criminalizing employment or housing “discrimination” against women and any employee's dependents who have had or were planning to have an abortion.

Ordinance 70459, introduced by Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green, also prohibits employment or housing “discrimination” against anyone for using contraceptives; abortifacient drugs; fertility treatments, including those that destroy embryos; and sterilization.

The city law additionally prohibits employers from inquiring about prospective workers’ experience or asking their opinion about abortion or contraception.

Christian schools, church charities, Christian employers, and religious non-profits immediately raised objections to the ordinance, saying it unconstitutionally stifles them from holding true to their beliefs.  

The Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit today on behalf of Our Lady’s Inn, a home for pregnant women; Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and the St. Louis Archdiocesan Elementary Schools; and Frank Robert O’Brien-owned O’Brien Industrial Holdings against the city ordinance.

Our Lady’s Inn et al vs. The City of St. Louis claims the ordinance violates the free speech rights of pro-life organizations and the freedom of religion rights of Christian schools and businesses. The complaint also lists violations of the First Amendment’s Right to Expressive Association, and the 14th Amendment’s Due Process clause and the Equal Protection clause.

“This ordinance does not prevent or resolve any problem,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Sarah Pitlyk told LifeSiteNews. “It certainly does not prevent discrimination; in fact, it is itself discriminatory. And it violates the constitutional and statutory rights of all St. Louis citizens. Therefore, we expect the court to declare it unconstitutional and invalid.”

“The city has taken the protections typically granted to prevent discrimination for ‘race, age, religion, sex or disability’ and applied them to those who have made or expect to make ‘reproductive health decisions,’” Pitlyk explained. “‘Reproductive health decisions’ is so overbroad as to include any decision that is any way related to contraceptive use or abortion. The law would therefore force nonprofit organizations like Our Lady’s Inn, whose mission is to promote and facilitate abortion alternatives, to hire abortion advocates, despite their opposition to the ministry’s reason for existence.”

The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division, also claims that Ordinance 70459 violates several state laws, including the Missouri Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“This ordinance does not exempt individuals with sincere religious, moral or ethical objections to abortion from its requirements in any way, and even for qualifying religious organizations, the exemption for employment … is extremely limited … vague and undefined,” Pitlyk said. “That is unconstitutional, and directly violates both federal and state law.”

A Thomas More Society press release explained, “The language of the new law creates protections for anyone who has ‘made a decision related to abortion,’ even when the abortion is not their own.” It is speculated that this could include anyone advising a woman to abort her baby.

Furthermore, the ordinance forbids “Christian organizations and individuals whose teachings hold abortion to be a grave sin, from refusing to sell or rent property to individuals or corporate organizations that promote or provide abortions.”

The city law seeks to “compel private businesses to include abortion coverage in their employee health plans, despite sincere objections by (Christian) company owners — a requirement that has already been held unlawful by the Supreme Court of the United States (Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius et al.) and is also unlawful under Missouri law,” the press release said.

The city ordinance is found here.

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Deacon Nick Donnelly


INTERVIEW: UK bishop questions LGBT involvement in Catholic schools’ sex-ed program

Deacon Nick Donnelly

May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, an English bishop has expressed his reservations about the Catholic Education Service [CES] program “Made in God’s Image: Challenging homophobic and biphobic bullying in Catholic Schools.”

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth responded to questions about the influence of the militant LGBT group Stonewall on the CES program for 14-year-old children and discussed how Catholic schools could best counter ideological colonization.

For the past two weeks, Catholics parents have taken to social media to protest against the "Made in God’s Image" program because it distorts the Church’s teaching on sexuality. The scandal deepened with the discovery that the CES program uses unacknowledged material taken from Stonewall and LGBTYouth Scotland. Stonewall has a reputation for militant advocacy of the LGBT agenda and for being anti-Catholic.

In a statement to The Catholic Herald, Stonewall denied “that the group had any specific involvement with the production of the document” but went on to praise the CES for using its material, welcoming "Made in God’s Image" as a “positive and welcome step from the Catholic Education Service.”

During the interview, Bishop Egan outlines in detail the use of Stonewall and LGBT Youth Scotland in "Made in God’s Image" program, expressing his surprise that the sources of this material were not acknowledged by the CES in the text.

In response to the question about how schools can counter the threat from ideological colonization, Bishop Egan references a remark made by Pope Francis in 2016 that warns about the acceptance of funding from powerful interests to promote gender ideology in schools.

The issue of the funding of the distribution of the "Made in God’s Image" program is a vexed question.

At first, the CES stated that it had “received funding to cover” printing and distribution of "Made in God’s Image" to every secondary school in England and Wales. Questioned about the funding source, the CES denied that it had received “external funding.” If this funding was merely internal, why mention the extra funding in the first place? The statements about funding raise questions about how much and who has approved this expenditure.

Bishop Egan concludes his interview with a succinct and beautiful summary of Theology of the Body as the “best defense” Catholic schools can use to protect children from LGBT ideological colonization.

LifeSiteNews: Bishop Egan, during your Easter homily, you singled out Stonewall as one of the bodies in our society enforcing a secular totalitarianism that is “destructive of the human person.” You said, “Hell-bent on burying the Christian patrimony of this land, they propose Orwellian changes to our language and place ever more draconian restrictions on religious expression, even on what we wear.”  Can you see this influence at work in the CES’s document?

Bishop Egan: “To respond, please let me quote the paragraph from my Easter homily once again:

“But in our world today two dangerous ideologies are mounting. Just as in 20C it was communism versus fascism so in 21C a new battle is brewing. On the one side is fundamentalism, religion without reason. It breeds fanaticism, violence, terrorism, to cause disruption and to force upon others its extremist views. This is a tragic reality in the volatile nations of the Middle East; it now threatens the West also. On the other side is secularism, reason without religion. Its champions seek to privatize religion, driving it from public affairs. Egged on by Stonewall and others, secularists are on the rise in local government, in education, in the media, in the social services, in the BMA, in the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, in the European Court of Justice and other institutions too. Hell-bent on burying the Christian patrimony of this land, they propose Orwellian changes to our language and place ever more draconian restrictions on religious expression, even on what we wear. Both fundamentalism and secularism are totalitarian; they’re destructive of the human person; they pose a grave threat to human happiness and to a healthy society.” 

Although I did single out Stonewall here — who have been in my view remarkably successful in promoting their aims within contemporary culture — the “they” that you cite refers of course not directly to Stonewall but rather to secularists. 

That having been said, I would say, yes, the influence of Stonewall and LGBT Youth is clear in the CES document because it includes quite a bit of 'cut and paste' from Stonewall’s "Getting Started: A Toolkit for Preventing and Tackling Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying in Primary Schools.” This is evident in the definitions of homophobic and biphobic bullying – “negative attitudes, beliefs or views about lesbian, gay or bi people” — on page 3, and also texts on pages 12, 14, 20, 23-25 and 26. In addition, some of the lesson plans use elements from the book "Dealing with Homophobia and Homophobic Bullying in Scottish Schools Toolkit Resource for Teachers" from LGBT Youth Scotland. Strangely, neither of these sources — available on the internet — are acknowledged.”

LifeSiteNews: Pope Francis has often warned of the dangers of the ideological colonization of our schools, highlighting the danger posed by gender ideology. How do you think head teachers and their staff can heed the Holy Father’s warnings and protect their children from ideological colonization?

Bishop Egan: “Pope Francis recently said in conversation with Polish Bishops (27 July 2016):

"I would like to conclude with this aspect, since behind all this there are ideologies. In Europe, America, Latin America, Africa, and in some countries of Asia, there are genuine forms of ideological colonization taking place. And one of these — I will call it clearly by its name — is [the ideology of] ‘gender.’ Today, children — children! — are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the persons and institutions that give you money. These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this terrible!"

The best defense against this form of ideological colonization is to promote attractively and clearly an authentically Catholic anthropology with its profound understanding of the human person, his/her infinite value and the sacred respect due to others. Personhood is grounded in the equality and difference of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity and every human being made in God's image. This is echoed in a person’s love of God and love of neighbor, and experienced notably in the joy of friendship. That image is most perfectly expressed in the complementarity and difference of the sexes and the ordering of men and women to a permanent relationship in marriage, loving and life-giving.

Bishop Egan’s recommendation that Catholic schools defend their children from ideological colonization with the Theology of the Body stands in marked contrast to the CES’s neutral presentation of homosexuality as a positive “sexual orientation” and “identity” alongside heterosexuality.

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Fr. Mark Hodges


Man in threesome marriage: ‘This should be the future of relationships’

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By Fr. Mark Hodges
Adam Lyons, Brooke Shedd (left), Jane Shalakhova, who is eight months’ pregnant, and 2-year-old son Dante

AUSTIN, Texas, May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Two bisexual women and one man proclaim threesome marriage “should be the future of relationships” and that their threesome parenting is “setting a good example.”

Adam Lyons, 36, lives openly with two women, 28-year-old Brooke Shedd — with whom he has a two-year-old son, and 27-year-old Jane Shalakhova — who is eight months’ pregnant with his third son. He already has a seven-year-old stepson from yet another relationship.

“Three parents are better than two,” Lyons told the New York Post. “It enables us to manage daily life so much better.”

He says he notices “normal” two-person couples are often exhausted and struggle to keep up with work and children. “With three people, it’s logistically so much easier. … We share out the responsibilities, and it fits our sexual preferences too.”

“This should be the future of relationships, where people are able to enjoy love in any way they feel works,” Lyons advocated. “Three people and three parents makes so much sense to us.”

Shalakhova says she never wanted children until she joined the threesome. “I always thought that when you had a baby, you became a slave to your child,” she shared. But “with three parents, we can still have a social life, make time for one another, and share the parenting tasks so you don’t end up like the typical sleep-deprived mom.”

The unmarried polygamous arrangement has been going on for five years, which proves, Lyons says, “we’re a real family with healthy, happy kids.” All three say they are “setting a good example” for Lyons’ stepson, Oliver.

All three also admit they occasionally bring in a fourth sex partner. “We’re still open to fun when it comes along,” Lyons said. “We do sleep with other people outside the three of us” and “if we wanted to add someone, I’m sure we could.”

“We still make time to go to strip clubs together,” Shalakhova happily added. “We just hang out and have fun there.”

Shedd hints at a possible future political front in the culture wars. “I would definitely love to get married to Adam and Jane. It’s something we’ve always wanted, even though it’s not legal.”

Shedd says one thing is certain. “We definitely want a few more kids.”

Pro-marriage and family advocates say the threesome are in delusion.

“This is a form of child abuse, pure and simple,” National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown told LifeSiteNews. “A child has a mother and father … period. To introduce an additional sexual partner into the home is to create confusion and chaos for an innocent child.”

Brown said this proves what opponents of homosexual “marriage” knew all along.

“We predicted that this would be the next step with the court creating the legal fiction of same-sex ‘marriage:’ This is a further step down the path of sacrificing children’s real needs to the sexual desires of parents.”

“I pray for the children who are being robbed of their innocence in such a home,” Brown added.

Dr. Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, expressed concern to LifeSiteNews over a lack of stability for the children.

“From a social scientific perspective, this is an inherently unstable arrangement — and we know stability is good for children,” the professor explained.

“Adding children to the ‘mix’ is likely to destabilize the (polyamorous) arrangement, whereas it often functions to unite a marriage between a man and a woman,” Regnerus observed.

Jennifer Johnson, the Ruth Institute’s director of the Children of Divorce Project, has seen the damaging effects of non-traditional family structures on children.

“These adults have created a structural inequality for the children and are celebrating it,” she explained to LifeSiteNews. “This is very typical for adults in our culture, who place their sexual liberty ahead of family structure equality for their children.”

“Family structure equality means that kids are raised with their own married mother and father, and that they don’t have step and half siblings to contend with,” Johnson illustrated. “Mom, dad, kids. That is equality from the child’s point of view.”

Johnson’s book, Marriage and Equality: How Natural Marriage Upholds the Ideal of Equality for Children, notes:

“Children are observant. Any school-aged child can see which of them live with their own married parents and which do not. They can see that some kids know and are connected to both halves of their origins, and others are not. If a particular child thinks or feels something about the inequality in which he finds himself, his thoughts and feelings may not be welcome. This is because they cannot be welcome. To welcome those thoughts and feelings might cast doubt upon the structure of the family itself.”

This inner disconnect is most often only acknowledged years later, once the damage is done to the child.

“For example, the now-adult children of unilateral divorce are finding their voices and beginning to speak out,” Johnson said. “They were silent for many years because of not wanting to hurt their parents, feeling too afraid to reveal their true feelings, and feeling isolated.”

Johnson says the pain, insecurity, and inner conflict that adult children of non-traditional family structures witness to shows that polygamous arrangements like Lyons, Shedd, and Shalakhova’s are deeply harmful.

“They are now telling their stories, and what they have to say isn’t pretty,” Johnson said. “It will undermine the belief that ‘kids are resilient.’”

The current generation is cursing the coming generation with an unbearable psychological and emotional (and sexual) burden.

“I will not be surprised when all the other kids of other kinds of family structure inequality also grow up, find their voices, and tell the ugly truth about what it was like to have their own intact families sacrificed on the altar of sexual liberation,” Johnson added.

Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg pointed out that if Lyons’ “arrangement” is true, it confirms the many warnings of concerned Christians.

“Those of us who opposed the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples were routinely mocked for making ‘slippery slope’ arguments suggesting that such eliminating the male-female requirement for marriage would lead to further redefinitions, such as eliminating the requirement that marriage be limited to two people,” the senior fellow for policy studies told LifeSiteNews. “The slope is proving even more slippery than I might have imagined.”

Sprigg echoed his pro-family colleagues’ concern for the children.

“Living in a household with their mother, father, and another woman they also refer to as ‘Mom’ is likely to create confusion about their place in the world,” he explained. “As they grow older, there may well be rivalries between the half-siblings who have different mothers — as is clearly seen in the polygamous families of the Old Testament.”

Furthermore, polygamous relationships are unstable, Sprigg says.

“This ‘throuple’ is even more likely to eventually break up than a typical married couple, which can cause lasting trauma to a child,” he said. “While they present a rosy picture in this article, it is almost inevitable that jealousies would arise in this situation.”

“That’s not to mention the destructive role model of self-indulgent promiscuity that these three are providing for the children in their home,” the family advocate added.

“I would think that it is not only conservatives who should be concerned about such an arrangement, but feminists as well,” Sprigg noted. “One rarely hears of a woman sharing a household with multiple male sexual partners. If this model were to spread, it would mean more men would have difficulty finding wives, and a surplus of unmarried men in a society is a recipe for instability.”

“The one-man, one-woman model of marriage is one of the most egalitarian social institutions,” Sprigg concluded, “because it maximizes the likelihood that everyone, regardless of social status, will be able to find a suitable mate.”

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Thousands turn out in Rome for March that’s ‘taking on a life of its own’

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By Claire Chretien
A ray of sunshine lands directly on Stéphane Mercier as he speaks on stage at the Marcia per la Vita on May 20, 2017. Mercier is being investigated by the Catholic university at which he teaches for presenting philosophical arguments against abortion. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

ROME, Italy, May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Thousands of Italians marched against abortion and euthanasia on Saturday at the nation's annual March for Life (Marcia per la Vita) alongside Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. 

The Rome March for Life is "taking on a life of its own," Father Francesco Giordano, director of Human Life International's Rome office, told LifeSiteNews. 

There were groups of priests and religious from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of the Incarnate Word, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and the Society of St. Pius X. Students, youth groups, families, and a group of bagpipers from Tradition, Family, Property carried banners and flags. The Italian branch of Rachel's Vineyard and other Christian organizations were represented as well.

The March ended with a rally at which abortion survivor Gianna Jessen urged pro-lifers to be "unashamed of Jesus" and Belgian Professor Stéphane Mercier praised Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mercier is facing investigation, and possible sacking, from the Catholic University of Louvain for presenting his students with philosophical arguments against abortion. Jessen was born during a failed saline abortion. 

"This is a battle between life and death and we need God's help," she said. "It's a broken world and broken people need real answers that come from God."

Jessen had a special message for men and women who have participated in abortion: "The only freedom any of us will ever find from our sin is Jesus."

She encouraged the many young people attending to embrace chastity.

"Young women: you are made to be loved and respected," she said. "Women, we are not meant to be used and to have the men walk away. Men, you are made to be courageous and honorable."

"Men, you can only be courageous if you know who you are," Jessen continued. "And you are made in the image of God, just as women are. So stand up and be who you're born to be: protectors of women and children. And be honorable."

The Marcia per la Vita was just one day after Burke, the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and current Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, called for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Some marchers carried images of Our Lady of Fatima. The March was just one week after the 100th anniversary of the first of the Marian apparitions during which the Mother of God warned about the consequences of sin and told three shepherd children to pray the rosary for the restoration of world peace.

Giordano said pro-lifers must "network globally and work locally," something he took away from the Rome Life Forum. 

"Last year, the war was against the so-called gay marriage" in Italy, said Giordano. "Now it’s euthanasia. It seems like everything [is] on the agenda," and deceptively-worded legislation worsens the problem.

Another "battle to fight" is efforts in Europe to ban pro-life websites, he warned.

But the "hope of our future" are young couples who form big, "holy" families, he said. "I can’t encourage that enough."

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Powerful pro-life conference for women coming in June

May 22, 2017 (ATTWN) — Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director, is now a pro-life advocate and founder of And Then There Were None, a registered nonprofit organization that exists to help abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry. Abby and a few other women had a discussion last year that provoked them to start something unprecedented. This group of women recognized that pro-life conferences are being held across the country year after year with men as keynotes and coordinators. They posed the question: What would it be like if we, as women, led our own conference and empowered each other to engage and be equipped to change the culture of our own community? This discussion birthed the Pro-life Women's Conference.

Building off  the 2016 conference momentum, And Then There Were None Pro-Life Outreach and Alice Paul Group are inviting you to the second annual Pro-life Women’s Conference to be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida, June 23-25, 2017.

The conference is reclaiming the narrative of women's empowerment. ATTWN and Alice Paul Group have been very intentional about choosing the speakers, panelists and breakouts. Each session builds on itself. The keynote speakers are Melissa Ohden and Lacey Buchanan, both of whom have powerful stories of courage to share and truly embody what women's empowerment is all about. Abby will speak on Friday night at a reception dinner along with two brave former clinic workers who will share their stories.

This conference is loaded with panels that will challenge attendees to focus and set their sights on solutions for ALL women: every race, every culture, every social status. You will be provoked to consider what defines a crisis pregnancy with a panel of women who faced an adverse diagnosis in utero and rejected abortion. Following up on this panel will be a group of pro-life physicians who will educate us on fertility awareness and the effects of contraceptives on a woman’s body.  The schedule includes a panel of black female pro-life leaders from around the nation who will speak to us about engaging the black community in the fight for life. You will be equipped to talk about adoption with a birth mom panel who though they were abortion-minded, each of them ultimately rejected abortion and made an adoption plan instead. You will walk away from this conference empowered, not just informed.

Abby stated, “We are building upon the fact that 53% of Millennials believe that abortion should be illegal in almost all cases. This recognition, by a generation that has never known a world that did not include legalized abortion, is evidence that the abortion industry no longer controls the narrative. The lie that abortion somehow empowers women is just that – a lie. Life Empowers.”

This is a three-day event, FOR women, BY women proclaiming that women’s empowerment cannot be attained by the oppression of other human beings. For far too long our voices have been stifled by those who meant well but cannot speak for us. Our time is now! Will you join us?

To find out more about this conference and our sponsors, visit Reduced room rates effective until May 25 at the Orlando World Marriott Resort. If you have questions, email [email protected]


Powerful pro-life conference for women coming in June

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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon


Making sense of Trump: 10 things every pro-lifer needs to know

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The last several weeks of the Trump presidency have been, to say the very least, exhausting to keep track of — I can’t even imagine the levels of despair and hopelessness felt by White House staffers trying to keep up. The campaign was frenetic enough, but the day-by-day, hour-by-hour media scream-a-thon version of piranhas-on-the-president is politics at warp speed. The media accuses, Trump flails back angrily, staffers leak their side of the story, Trump contradicts them, and then the entire circus starts over the following morning. I was no fan of Trump throughout the campaign season, for reasons of character that are now manifesting themselves as a bigger deal that people at first thought. To try and sort out my conflicting thoughts on Trump’s tenure thus far, here are 10 observations that may provide food for thought.

  1. Donald Trump is not a stupid man, even though he is currently attempting to give every indication to the contrary. He’s just discovering that the skills that served him so well in the real estate market and subsequently in turning himself into a household-name celebrity aren’t nearly as useful as he presumed they were in the day-to-day slog of governing. Just as his immediate connection to millions of people via social media was a boon during his campaign but a liability as president of the United States, when every word uttered potentially holds tremendous global significance, the transition from Campaign Trump to President Trump hasn’t happened. As it turns out, there is only one Trump, and evolving isn’t his thing.

  2. The fact that Trump is Trump has sort of placed most of his hardcore supporters in a tough place. During the campaign, they promised that every tweet and every inflammatory statement was a carefully plotted strategic move. It’s now clear that this is not the case: Trump simply says what he wants, when he wants. That’s the new pattern: Trump commits some sort of ignorant bungle. The White House staff scrambles to explain, deny, and defend said bungle. Then Trump emerges, ignores their PR work entirely, and explains that he’s the president and can do whatever he wants.

  3. In regard to the relentless pack of dogs that is the media, harrying and nipping Trump incessantly, two things are true: Yes, they are trying to take Donald Trump down. And secondly, he’s making it as easy for them as he possibly can. He fires the FBI director investigating him because he’s irritated without telling his staff because he’s afraid of leaks. He creates a White House culture that is almost entirely based on leaks because the media are how Trump gets his information, so his staffers feel that talking to the press is the only way to reach him. After his staff scrambles to cover for his most recent gaffe, he promptly does his own media interview contradicting the official White House line — and doesn’t seem to care. I don’t think there’s any smoking gun evidence that Trump collaborated with the Russians, because I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that he did. But Trump certainly seems determined to create a whole lot of smoke, allowing the media to continue their yowling about an illegitimate election and an illegitimate president.

  4. It is difficult for many conservatives to know how to respond to Trump’s war with the media, especially considering that many of the media’s criticisms are now accurate. The media, which bankrupted any remaining credibility it had after attempting to blatantly side with Hillary with the Election Night meltdown, is suffering from the Boy Who Cried Wolf Syndrome: Everything they say about Trump triggers the immediate “well, of course you guys would say that” response from Trump’s supporters, and even if the media aren’t wrong, his supporters aren’t necessarily wrong, either. The result is a scenario in which it’s very difficult to know where to get unbiased information. The media that tried to defeat Trump are now trying to topple him, but that doesn’t mean all their info is inaccurate. The alternative media — like Breitbart — that tried to elect him is now willing to cover for him no matter what. That’s not helpful, either. So those of us trying to understand each new story pick our way across a corpse-littered media minefield, looking for answers.

  5. The “double standard” game is very tiring. Trump gave classified information to — and of course he did — the Russians, information that the U.S. received from the Israelis? Well, Obama did that too! Not to mention — are you all you Hillary supporters really going to suddenly care about where classified information ends up? Now, all of that is true, but also proves that principle has completely given way to pragmatism. Your guy did it, now our guy did it, and that’s just the way the game works. We bludgeon each other for hypocrisy, we just take our turn.

  6. While Christians have certainly received some good news out of the Trump administration: A sweeping reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy banning abortion overseas that goes further than any other Republican president, the repealing of Obama’s transgender directive, his raising the profile of the National March for Life, and his appointing of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and other pro-life appointments. But the presence of enormously influential progressives like Jared and Ivanka Kushner have ensured that Christians have faced some blistering disappointments, too — especially the Religious Liberty Executive Order, which did absolutely nothing to promote religious liberty. In the White House battle between Mike Pence and the so-cons and the Kushners and their entourage, the liberals won definitively, even prompting The Daily Caller of all places to highlight Trump as the best president the LGBTQ community could have asked for. We can hope for good judicial appointments, but Trump isn’t going to help Christians targeted by what even Bill Maher called “the gay mafia.”

  7. Which brings me back — again — to the main reason Christians voted for Trump in the first place: the fact that he is not Hillary Clinton, which means that even his bungling is better than what would have been Hillary’s four to eight years of relentlessly cementing the progressive Reconstruction of America that Barack Obama began. Has Donald Trump’s presidency thus far been a disaster? It’s pretty hard to argue that it hasn’t been. Sure, it’s a combination of the fact that half the country has mobilized against him and the fact that he’s a thin-skinned narcissist who can’t help but respond to attacks on him, but nonetheless, when even the author of the book “In Trump We Trust” Ann Coulter is voicing her doubts, things aren’t looking great. And that’s why the only thing that makes me feel slightly better about Trump’s Twitter feed is taking a jaunt over to Hillary’s and reading what could have been.

  8. Those who argued that “character doesn’t matter” are getting an up-close look at what happens when a man of very deficient character becomes president of the United States. Most of Trump’s problems are entirely self-inflicted — even after winning the presidency and forcing all of his political and pundit enemies to eat the biggest, ugliest crow possible — beak, wings, claws and all — he still cannot help but explode at the criticism directed his way. His staff consistently holds interventions to try and talk him out of his round-the-clock tweeting and ad hoc statements, and he often refuses. His behavior is, to put it bluntly, infantile — it’s hard to fathom anyone else who would be so willing to destroy his own administration by simply refusing to take advice from those hired to protect him.

  9. Christians need to stop defending Trump when what he does is stupid and indefensible. Sure, defend him when the media are simply trying to create a story where none exists — like their breaking news expose that Trump takes two scoops of ice cream at dinner where others receive merely one — but don’t defend him simply because he’s Trump and he’s a Republican. Conservatives should not join cults of personality, and some of the defenses of Trump have been worrisome, while others seem to be based on the premise that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Principles are still more important than pragmatism.

  10. Has anyone heard what Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry are up to? While everyone is busy trying to find photos of Trump and Putin spooning, perhaps the conservatives Trump hired to reduce and restructure the federal government are actually doing their job. Trump has a lot of good people on his team that have vanished from the headlines since they were sworn in, and it’d be interesting to know what they’ve been doing in the meantime.

Trump is Trump, and it appears that this presidency is going to be a crazy ride. Understanding it and writing about it isn’t going to be very easy, either. In an interview earlier this week, the writer and social critic Os Guinness told me that he believes Donald Trump is “God’s wrecking ball.” He’s certainly a wrecking ball, anyhow. Time will tell what sort he is.

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Fr. Mark Hodges

The Pulse

Oops. Planned Parenthood’s latest ad celebrates ‘slaying.’ Seriously.

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

NEW YORK, May 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The nation's largest abortion conglomerate is urging pro-abortionists to "slay" like they do.

Inexplicably, someone at Planned Parenthood thought "Watch, Share, Slay" was a good title for an ad highlighting a pro-abortion video by Hollywood director Joss Whedon.

"If there's anything we've learned from Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, The Avengers) over the years, it's this — every single one of us has a hero inside, and it's our responsibility to use our superpowers to slay."

Oblivious to the semantic faux pas, the terminators continued to embarrass themselves.

After exhorting the faithful to watch the video propaganda, the ad tells Planned Parenthood minions to “share, share, share,” concluding:

“That's how we slay.”

The Media Research Center called it “a gruesomely ironic display of tactlessness … Planned Parenthood literally just said it’s great to slay.”

The Daily Caller described the Planned Parenthood ad as “bizarre.”

The Blaze reported that folks considered it intentionally “provocative” on the abortion giant’s part.

As the Daily Wire noted, "Sometimes, the truth slips."

The American Mirror benignly reported, “The irony of Planned Parenthood’s choice of words – “hero inside,” and “use our superpowers to slay” – … did not go unnoticed.”

Patheos put it kindly: "'Slaying' is an apposite verb to describe what the nation’s largest abortion provider does. But, if you watch the video, then you will realize that’s not something Planned Parenthood wants to highlight. It was a slip."

The tragic irony was not lost on social media. The Twittersphere was swamped with snide comments.

Amanda Prestigiancomo tweeted about the dumbfounding ad:

See the ad here.

Abortion is a very lucrative business. According to a recent annual report (2014), Planned Parenthood slays 324,000 pre-born children a year.

Students for Life noted that babies are not the only ones slain:

  • Cree Erwin-Sheppard died last summer in Michigan when she died from a botched abortion.

  • Tonya Reaves’ death in 2012 followed a botched second-trimester abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility in Chicago.

  • Holly Patterson died after she was given RU-486 at a Planned Parenthood in San Francisco.

  • Diane Lopez’s cervix was punctured after an abortion at the Los Angeles Planned Parenthood. She bled to death at a nearby hospital.

The Planned Parenthood “slay” ad praises the Whedon video, which it claims shows how “chilling” women’s lives would be without the abortion behemoth. The video depicts a horrifying cancer death, a gruesome STD infection, and an “unwanted” baby, all the direct result of taking tax dollars away from their business.  

Whedon himself promoted his Planned Parenthood video, adding, “Planned Parenthood has been around for 100 years. Here’s to fighting for the next 100.”

Whedon either failed to mention or did not know that Planned Parenthood never came under the government dole until the presidency of Richard Nixon. So it existed for more than half of its lifespan without what Whedon is campaigning for: tax funding.

Students for Life (SFL) noted that Planned Parenthood, which does not give prenatal care, has no services besides abortion.

“This week, the last Planned Parenthood in Wyoming is closing,” SFL illustrated. “Their CEO said it was because their patients are able to find care at Community Health Centers and don’t go to PP anymore – which is exactly what we have been saying would happen when Planned Parenthood shuts their doors, (and) which cannot come soon enough.”

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