All of yesterday's articles

October 19, 2017


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LifeSite is hiring! - Developer, Marketer, Business Manager

LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

LifeSiteNews is currently accepting applications for the following positions:

Web Developer

To apply for this position, click here.

The web developer will be in charge of designing, coding, and modifying the LifeSiteNews website, as well as overseeing our web servers and security, as our needs continue to grow and expand.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to join a vibrant, passionate team of professionals committed to promoting the Culture of Life, and to grow what is already the #1 most-read pro-life and pro-family website on the Internet.

LOCATION: While LifeSiteNews has offices in Front Royal, Virginia and Toronto, Ontario, many of our staff telecommute from home offices. As such, this position is open to telecommuters.

Candidate requirements:

  • A strong commitment to advancing LifeSite's pro-life and pro-family mission via the application of the latest web-based technologies
  • 5 years of experience in web development
  • Strong understanding of UX, cross browser compatibility, general web functions and standards
  • Proficient knowledge of SEO, Google Amp, Apple News, and other challenges and opportunities that will impact our readership
  • Strong understanding of Web Apps and proficiency in programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP
  • Ability to build reusable code and libraries for future use
  • Focus on optimizing our site for maximum speed and scalability
  • Strong understanding of mobile first design and user experience
  • Strong emphasis on security principles and how they apply to certain E-Commerce applications, such as our donation platform
  • Ability to integrate data from various back-end services and databases
  • Be responsible for maintaining, expanding, and scaling our website as our needs and technology continues to develop
  • Management of hosting, including database administration and scaling applications to support needs
  • Strong organizational skills to juggle multiple tasks within the constraints of timelines and budgets
  • Focus on staying plugged into emerging technologies and industry trends, applying them into our everyday operations and activities

To apply for this position, click here: https://lifesitenews.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=24

 

Assistant Manager of Digital Marketing

To apply for this position, click here.

The assistant manager of digital marketing will assist in coordinating all of LifeSiteNews' marketing activities: including managing our large social media properties and e-mail lists, implementing strategies to grow our social media and e-mail subscriber base, designing digital marketing campaigns aimed at raising awareness about pro-life and pro-family issues, and running our quarterly fundraising campaigns.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to join a vibrant, passionate team of professionals committed to promoting the Culture of Life, and to grow what is already the #1 most-read pro-life and pro-family website on the Internet.

LOCATION: While LifeSiteNews has offices in Front Royal, Virginia, and Toronto, Ontario, many of our staff telecommute from home offices. This position is open to telecommuters.

Candidate requirements:

  • At least two years' marketing experience on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, with a proven track record of achieving excellent fan engagement levels and growing follower base
  • Experience working with Facebook's advertising platform
  • Intimate familiarity with using Google Analytics to identify actionable insights
  • A keen interest in keeping abreast of the latest developments in the constantly shifting social media landscape
  • Highly analytical and committed to measuring success through data analysis from various channels: Google Analytics, Facebook page analytics, Mailchimp e-mail reports, etc.
  • Excellent understanding of email marketing concepts and metrics such as Sender Score, deliverability, and sender reputation
  • Familiarity with the Mailchimp e-mail marketing platform, or related products
  • Excellent writer and communicator (in both the written and verbal form)
  • Highly self-motivated, creative, and entrepreneurial, with a passion for trying new things, rigorously testing new initiatives, and adapting based upon the results
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, to adapt quickly to new challenges
  • And, above all, a passion for the mission of LifeSiteNews - to spread the message of the Culture of Life and Family

Responsibilities will include:

  • Optimizing LifeSite articles (headlines/images, etc) for social media
  • Posting LifeSite articles to our social media accounts
  • Creating Facebook ad campaigns to optimize traffic to LifeSiteNews' website, petitions, and fundraising campaigns
  • Creating regular e-mail campaigns (twice a week or more) for the various segments with relevant LifeSiteNews articles and other updates
  • Creating customized e-mail nurture streams
  • Minimizing e-mail list decay and unsubscribes while increasing the productivity of our email sends
  • Developing and implementing strategies to increase social media followers and e-mail acquisition
  • Identifying opportunities and executing strategies to disseminate LifeSite's content to the widest possible audience
  • Providing regular reports on social media and e-mail list health and campaign effectiveness
  • Helping draft fundraising e-mails targeted at specific e-mail segments

SALARY: Salary is negotiable based upon need and experience. Keep in mind that LifeSiteNews is a mission-based non-profit, although we always seek to meet our employees' legitimate financial needs.

To apply for this position, click here: https://lifesitenews.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=16

 

LifeSite Canada Business Manager

To apply for this position, click here.

The Business Manager is an administrative position that oversees many administrative aspects of the Canadian branch of LifeSiteNews.com. They work closely with the senior management staff to ensure that LifeSiteNews.com, Inc. is compliant with all necessary federal and local laws.

The ideal candidate should have experience in customer service and bookkeeping. They must possess strong computer and communication skills. The candidate must be detail oriented with excellent follow-up abilities and a self-starter. They must be organized, have the ability to prioritize, have a strong sense of responsibility, and be able to work independently.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Experience in office management

Specific job responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining and updating financial and legal records on a daily basis
  • Administering all payroll related activities
  • Assisting the President, Editor-in-Chief, and staff
  • Assisting the development staff in maintaining the database
  • Organizing LifeSiteNews involvement in various conferences, meetings, and travels, including the March for Life
  • Assisting in organizing various events for LifeSiteNews, including group conference calls, board conference calls, and the annual meeting
  • Making reports, agendas, and keeping minutes for calls and meetings
  • Acting as main contact for outside vendors
  • Other job duties as assigned

Skills:

  • A passion for pro-life work
  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Detail oriented and a multi tasker
  • Experience in events and travel coordinating a plus
  • Familiarity with Salesforce a plus
  • Non-profit management a plus

The position is based in Toronto, ON.

SALARY: Salary is negotiable based upon need and experience. Keep in mind that LifeSiteNews is a mission-based non-profit, although we always seek to meet our employees' legitimate financial needs.

To apply for this position, click here: https://lifesitenews.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=23

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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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Judge temporarily stops gov’t from facilitating abortion for illegal immigrant teen

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has temporarily prevented a minor in the U.S. illegally from obtaining an abortion until another hearing takes place on Friday.

The Trump administration appealed U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan’s Wednesday ruling that an illegal immigrant minor in the government’s custody be allowed to abort her baby “promptly and without delay.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals has stayed Chutkan’s order. A hearing on the case will take place tomorrow.

Chutkan, an Obama appointee, ordered the abortion to take place on October 20 or 21, depending on the abortionist’s availability. The American Civil Liberties Union argued that the 17-year-old from Mexico, only identified as “Jane Doe,” should be allowed to obtain an abortion.

Politico released an extensive report on how the Trump Department of Health and Human Services encourages illegal immigrant minors in its custody to choose life for their children.

“In some cases, a senior HHS official has personally visited or called pregnant teens to try to talk them out of ending their pregnancies,” Politico reported. Other times, they’ve been taken to pregnancy resource centers.

According to Voice of America, the teen is 15 weeks' pregnant. Government lawyers noted she still can legally abort her child for five more weeks in Texas.

Lawyers from the Department of Justice appealed the abortion sentencing “hours” after Chutkan issued it, according to media reports.

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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

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Campaign Life endorses pro-life Jason Kenney to lead Alberta Conservatives

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

EDMONTON, Alberta, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition is backing Jason Kenney in the Alberta United Conservative Party leadership race.

Kenney is one of three men vying for leadership of the UCP, a new center-right party born in July when the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties merged.

He and former Wildrose leader Brian Jean are acknowledged frontrunners in the race, which includes Calgary lawyer and longtime Conservative organizer Doug Schweitzer.

Former Wildrose Party president Jeff Callaway dropped out October 4, and now endorses Kenney.

UCP members will vote by preferential, non-weighted ballot between October 26 and 28, and the result announced at the party’s Calgary convention on October 28.

An Angus Reid Institute October 11 poll found 70 percent of Albertans see Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government as “out of touch with what Albertans really want,” according to Global News.

Angus Reid predicted the victor in the UCP leadership election “will find himself on a relatively promising path to the premier’s office.”

Campaign Life echoes this in its voters’ guide on the contest.

“This is a rare opportunity to elect a pro-lifer to a position where they will almost certainly become Premier of Alberta, in the future,” it states.

“Don’t waste that opportunity.”

Campaign Life gives Kenney, 49, a green light for his impeccable pro-life and pro-family voting record during his 19 years as a Calgary MP.

Well-known for his social conservative views, Kenney held a number of high level portfolios in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, such as immigration, multiculturalism, employment, and defence.

He kept his seat in the Liberal sweep of October 2015 but resigned last September to run as leader of the PC Party on the ticket of creating a united party with Jean’s Wildrose.

Campaign Life red-lights Jean and Schweitzer as unsupportable for pro-life and pro-family UCP voters.

Now MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin, Jean had a perfect pro-life, pro-family voting record as a Tory MP under Harper, but has since publicly disavowed such convictions, according to CLC.

Jean told Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell in 2015 that he was not a social conservative.

“It’s none of my business what people do behind closed doors in their personal life. It’s absolutely none of my business. It’s not any of their business what I do either,” Jean said.

Jean earlier told reporters: “Abortion … is a boat that has already sailed … I am not interested in pursuing these issues.”

Jean initially supported Alberta schools not telling parents when their child joined a gay/straight alliance, a policy the NDP government intends to enshrine in law, according to the CLC voter guide.

But after observing Kenney’s support in speaking out for parental rights, Jean began criticizing some curriculum changes as “ideological,” contended Campaign Life.

“Voters ought to be wary of such a convenient, last-minute conversion, seemingly brought on only after witnessing Kenney’s support grow due to his pro-parental rights stance,” it stated.

Schweitzer gets a red-light rating from CLC for endorsing abortion and LGBTQ rights. He has also signaled support of the NDP stance against parental rights when it comes to GSAs.

Kenney has seven endorsements within the 27-member UCP caucus, and at last report Jean had 11.

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LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen
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LifeSiteNews co-founder: Problems in the Church today are ‘unthinkable’

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – There has been a “monumental shift” over the past four years in how the Vatican interacts with promoters of population control, one of the founders of LifeSiteNews told the International Population Conference.

“These past four years have been the most painful and difficult reporting we have ever done,” John-Henry Westen, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews, told the online conference’s attendees.

Whereas Pope St. John Paul II II “actually called on pro-life groups to involve themselves in the battle against population control,” Pope Francis has invited some of its biggest proponents to speak at the Vatican and even given credence to some of their positions.

John Paul the Great urged pro-life groups to lobby the United Nations against population control, but now the Vatican under Pope Francis works with some of the biggest promoters of birth control at the UN.

Under Pope Francis, abortion supporters like Paul Ehrlich, one of the founders of the modern movement to dramatically reduce human reproduction even if by coercion, have been invited to address the Vatican. Ehrlich has said Church teaching on contraception is tantamount to terrorism. Ehrlich is the author of the discredited alarmist book "The Population Bomb."

Pope St. John Paul II “understood” that “there was actually a movement” by the population control movement to use public sentiment to assert greater control over the world “or to implement a program of population control,” said Westen.

The “mild-mannered” saintly pope opposed this vehemently and reiterated in Evangelium Vitae and Familiaris Consortio Church teaching against the state limiting family size. John Paul II’s “stinging criticism” of population control put in their places “those who would threaten the poor.”

Despite John Paul II’s pleas that the poor be respected and not eliminated, “we are killing the third world by imposing abortion on them,” said Westen.

Westen outlined the history of the West’s attempts to impose contraception and abortion on developing nations.

Westen offered an explanation similar to one given by Fr. Shenan Boquet and Dr. Brian Clowes in a talk on October 18: developing countries using their natural resources and becoming more powerful was seen as a threat to the west.

This is one of the reasons wealthy countries often give funding and aid they to poorer countries on the condition that they accept contraception programs.

Westen said this is intentionally done in a deceptive way.

“There’s a lot of inherent racism in this concept of population control,” he said.

Current papacy empowering population controllers 

Pope Francis criticized population control in his encyclical Laudato Si’, Westen explained, but also insidiously gave credibility to some of the issues population controllers use to push their agenda.

In paragraph 60 of the encyclical, Pope Francis criticizes the “extreme” view that humans are a threat to the ecosystem.

But he also then says another “extreme” is “those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change.”

The guise of reducing carbon emissions is a “perfect tool” for population controllers to use to impose their agenda, Westen warned. And one of the biggest ways this supposedly can be done is by having fewer children.

“The pope has shown himself to be a believer in climate change,” he said, and has made “alarming proposals” about man-made climate change.

Pope Francis has suggested a global government could be a solution to environmental problems.

The pontiff has called for thinking of a “true world political authority,” Westen explained, which would play into population controllers’ desires to sanction countries that don’t limit reproduction.  

Westen also pointed to the pope’s seeming endorsement of the use of artificial contraception in cases where there was a threat of the Zika virus causing a birth defect in a baby. There may be a risk for a baby to have Down syndrome if the mother is over 40, he said, but the Church doesn’t approve of contraception in those cases – and in fact, there is always some risk that a baby won’t be perfect in the eyes of the world.

Westen urged pro-lifers to pray and fast because the current situation is an unprecedented, “unthinkable” problem.

“I don’t mean to scandalize anyone,” he said. He doesn’t point out concerning comments from Pope Francis “with any kind of want for attention or anything else.”

Rather, it’s to encourage the laity to defend the truth and pray for the pope.

“These issues are the most serious I’ve ever seen in my time,” said Westen. He said historians he has spoken with say what’s happening in the Church today has never been experienced in the Church before.

“It calls for ardent prayer,” he said.

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Krista Kennell / Shutterstock, Inc.
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Pro-abort Facebook exec slams Twitter for censoring pro-life ad

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

MENLO PARK, California, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The chief operating officer of Facebook lashed out against rival Twitter for its censorship while pro-lifers are saying it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Axios that Twitter decision-makers should not have banned a senate candidate’s ad.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, paid for a campaign ad on Twitter that was suppressed for being “inflammatory.”

Blackburn’s ad said, “I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God.” She also said she is “100 percent pro-life.”

Twitter told Blackburn that they cut her ad because they “deemed” her comment was “an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”

Twitter said the ad would be allowed only if Blackburn removed the “baby parts” line.  But that didn’t go well with Blackburn, who while chairwoman of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives saw firsthand how Planned Parenthood supplied fetal experimenters with aborted babies for profit.

The tenacious pro-life champion responded by taking to the same Twittersphere and calling supporters to protest the social media outlet. 

.@Twitter shut down our video ad, claiming it's "inflammatory" & "negative." Join me in standing up to Silicon Valley → RETWEET our message! pic.twitter.com/K3w4AMgW6i

— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 9, 2017

Twitter eventually caved to public outcry and allowed Blackburn to run her ad. “Our ad policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages,” a statement from the social media giant read. Officials said they made a “further review” by “reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message,” and while they reiterated the “inflammatory language” charge, they decided to allow the ad.

“We believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues,” Twitter admitted.

Last week, even after Twitter relented, Blackburn demanded an apology. “I am appalled by Twitter’s attempt to censor my pro-life record, and I believe that the entire pro-life community deserves an apology and explanation for their actions,” Blackburn said. “I have spent my entire career fighting to protect and honor life, and I refuse to allow an organization … the ability to silence our efforts to protect the unborn.”

Twitter has not apologized.

Sandberg, herself a pro-abortion activist and Planned Parenthood supporter, said blocking pro-life politicians’ factual ads goes too far. “In that ad, there’s a lot of positions that people don’t like, that I don’t like,” she said. “But the question is: Should divisive political or issue ads run? Our answer is yes.”

“I think the responsibility of an open platform is to let people express themselves,” Sandberg concluded, “because when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for other people.”

Twitter also censored ultrasound pictures tweeted by pro-life group Live Action. The group was commanded by Twitter to delete all of its tweets calling for an end of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, all of its tweets on its undercover investigations into Planned Parenthood, and any ultrasound images of preborn children.

According to the group, Twitter even demanded that Live Action delete its website and create a new one to be able to do business on Twitter.

Live Action was quick to join the Blackburn outcry. “Twitter must now lift the ban on similar advertising from Live Action and the Susan B. Anthony List,” Live Action’s Lila Rose said. “Twitter has significant power as a media channel to influence public opinion, and just as with Rep. Blackburn, they have no business silencing the pro-life voice.”

In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) led by investigator David Daleiden secretly recorded meetings and conventions of the abortion industry to expose possible criminal activity. Undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood officials eager to make profits off the illegal sale of baby parts, talking about the illegal modifying of abortion procedures to obtain “intact” babies for sale, and “fresh” specimens to pay for luxury cars for Planned Parenthood staff.

The shocking videos not only exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in aborted babies for profit but caught Planned Parenthood officials making statements such as abortionist Dr. Lisa Harris telling her approving colleagues that “killing” is “the most important thing I could do with my life,” and abortion business owner Renee Chelian saying that  burning aborted babies’ bodies to generate electricity is “a great idea.”

A firestorm of controversy erupted across the nation and Congress began hearings in an attempt to defund the abortion giant. Blackburn chaired the yearlong House investigation, which concluded in 2016 by urging Congress to de-tax fund Planned Parenthood.

Sandberg repeated Planned Parenthood’s denial of wrongdoing and blaming of CMP for “deceptively editing” its undercover videos. When President Donald Trump instituted a strengthened Mexico City Policy earlier this year, she went public criticizing any ban on tax paid foreign aid for abortion.

This is not the first time Twitter has been charged with Orwellian speech control.  Morally focused ads have been taken down by Twitter censors and certain conservative posts have been erased.

Sandberg’s Facebook is no stranger to censorship, either. The social media monopoly shut down Catholic pages, banned abortion photographs, edited comments critical of sodomy, disallowed other conservative posts, and kicked entire organizations off its platform.

With such censorship on the rise, social media “Gab” intends to offer an alternative to sites that censor posts.

Gab founder and CEO Andrew Torba grew so frustrated with the “left-leaning Big Social monopoly” that he decided to start a new social media network in 2016.  

Blackburn is running for the senate seat currently held by Republican Bob Corker, who is retiring next year.

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Ontario minor league hockey coaches forced to take ‘gender identity’ training

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By Lianne Laurence

ONTARIO, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — All Ontario minor hockey coaches and trainers must complete training on transgenderism as part of an Ontario Human Rights settlement reached with Hockey Canada three years ago.

The ruling dates back to a 2013 complaint filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal by Jesse Thompson, a girl who identifies as a boy.

Thompson said at the time she felt “outed” because she wasn’t allowed in the boys’ locker room or the girls’ locker room.

Hockey Canada agreed to a settlement in September 2014 that included its Ontario associations putting gender identity training in place for their more than 30,000 coaches and trainers by 2017.

Hockey Canada also agreed to revise its Ontario co-ed dressing room policy.

The ruling applies to three associations: Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Northwestern Ontario.

According to the HEO website, coaches and trainers were required to complete a course on gender identity and a course on the new co-ed dressing room policy by October 1 if already assigned to a team. If assigned by the end of the month, they had 30 days to complete the two courses.

Each of the online courses takes about two hours to complete, reported the Ottawa Citizen.

The course on gender identity and expression includes “definitions of sex/assigned sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, gender diverse and transgender,” it reported.

At the time Thompson launched her complaint, Hockey Canada’s Ontario members required boys and girls to dress in separate change rooms after age 11, a policy “applied based on anatomical sex, not gender identity,” according to an Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) 2016 statement.

It reported Hockey Canada’s Ontario members amended the co-ed dressing room policy to state that players:

“have the right to use a dressing room that corresponds with their self-identified gender identity; will be addressed by their preferred name and referred to by pronouns corresponding with their gender identity; and are entitled to privacy and confidentiality about their trans status.”

The OHRC stated these steps would be implemented “in consultation” with homosexual activist group Egale Canada, which it described as “an expert on gender identity issues approved by the OHRC.”

Jeremy Dias, founder of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, told the Ottawa Citizen this development is “a huge step.”

His group runs “the only Ontario-funded LGBTQ training program in sports in the whole province, so we’re a huge fan of these new plans, and are interested in seeing where these associations take them,” Dias said.

But Gwen Landolt of REAL Women of Canada views the situation differently.

An inevitable consequence of “trans-inclusive hockey” is that boys who identify as girls will want to play in the girls’ league, Landolt said, adding that transsexuals are estimated at .05 percent of the population.

“We’re caring about this minute number of so-called transgendered,” she said. “Everybody has to accommodate them in their change rooms.”

Ontario minor has hockey girls-only leagues as well as co-ed teams for girls who opt to play with the boys, and is open to children from age 5 to 17.

The hockey association should be “concerned about the strength, stamina, physique and other specific male characteristics of a man who wants to play on a women’s team,” Landolt told LifeSiteNews.

“It’s absolutely lacking in common sense, and it’s just a trend or a fad, which is going to be destructive,” she said.

“What girl wants a 16-year-old male in her change room?”

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Global coalition fights UN effort to declare abortion a ‘human right’

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

NEW YORK, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.N. Human Rights Committee is attempting to modify its International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to exclude preborn children and the terminally ill from its “Every human being has the inherent right to life” declaration.

Since 1966, the U.N.’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has declared, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law.” But the committee is proposing a commentary interpreting the ICCPR that shuns the unborn and terminally ill. The Covenant has 175 signing parties, including six unratified signers.

If the proposed commentary changes are adopted, Article 6 of the covenant will include the demand that “States must provide safe access to abortion.”

Previous commentary specifically mentioned preborn children as worthy of protection, but the U.N. committee decided in March 2016 to take out references to babies in the womb. “It did not appear necessary to mention the right to life of the fetus,” one committee member reportedly said.

The new proposed commentary urges countries to legalize abortion-on-demand without mentioning any gestational limit. It criticizes any regulation of the dangerous procedure as “humiliating or unreasonably burdensome.”

While keeping the original covenant language that everyone’s right to life “shall be protected by law” and “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life,” the proposed commentary change will also enshrine assisted suicide as an international right.

The commentary justifies euthanasia so the “mortally wounded or terminally ill” can “die with dignity.”

The United States, Russia, Poland, Australia, Egypt, Malta, and more than 100 other governments and non-governmental organizations wrote to the committee opposing the proposed commentary changes.  

“As lawmakers, we believe we have a duty to protect the weak, disenfranchised, unwanted and vulnerable from violence and abuse,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, and a bipartisan coalition of 51 members of the U.S. House and Senate wrote.  “Therefore we write to affirm that the most elemental human right of all — the right to life — includes unborn children.”

Poland reminded the committee that the ICCPR “protects the life of every human being in every stage of its development, as the inherent dignity of a human person starts with the very first moment of its existence.”

The U.S. did not comment on the legality of abortion or assisted suicide but reasoned that “any issues concerning access to abortion … are outside the scope” of the commentary.

Pro-life leaders and organizations also urged the committee to abandon its non-binding but influential commentary changes. Many of the pro-life briefs may be read on the U.N. committee’s website.

“Abortion and euthanasia are not issues that should be decided or resolved by an unelected, unaccountable, and mostly obscure committee,” Civil Society for the Family, an alliance of more than 180 groups, wrote. The pro-family alliance added that abortion is not necessary care and does not improve women’s health.

The European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) delivered a statement accusing the committee of “trying to impose the legalization of abortion and euthanasia against the will of states” and of “openly promoting assisted suicide.”

In September, the ECLJ delivered an “oral intervention” at the UN against the proposed commentary.  

“It is absurd and unacceptable to draw from the right to life a ‘right to kill an innocent human being’ or a ‘right to be killed,’” the ECLJ stated, reminding the committee that its commentary is supposed to interpret the ICCPR and not change it.

“This is the most critical U.N. filing for life we’ve ever made,” an ECLJ press statement read. You may view the ECLJ’s brief address to the U.N. here.

Commentator Wesley J. Smith opined, “Perhaps we should be more honest and call the once most fundamental right, the ‘right to life for some.’“

The Vatican did not make any intervention.

The ICCPR is part of the U.N.’s International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Abortion-promoting governments also submitted briefs to the U.N. committee. Sweden and Finland supported a right of access to “safe abortion.” The Netherlands upped the euthanasia ante, saying assisted suicide should not be limited to terminally ill patients. France and Germany supported abortion but not assisted suicide.

Denmark and England went so far as to ask the committee to change its language to no longer use the “transphobic” phrase “pregnant women” because they said transgender men (women who present themselves as the opposite sex) may also get pregnant.  

In 1947, the authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights discussed including the right to life for children in the womb. Originally proposed language stated, “Everyone has the right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception regardless of his or her physical or mental condition.”  

However, China and the Soviet Union, supported by England, successfully nixed that language and made sure abortion was tolerated.

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Homosexual ex-priest who opposed Humanae Vitae dies at 94

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By Pete Baklinski
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Gregory Baum with Fr. Thomas Rosica on Salt and Light Television in 2012. Salt & Light Video frames

MONTREAL, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Dissident Canadian theologian and laicized homosexual priest Gregory Baum died Wednesday in Montreal. Catholics are being asked to pray for the repose of his soul. 

Baum was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital Center 10 days ago after a fall in his home, reported Presence Information Religieuse. He had previously suffered from kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis three times a week. He was 94. 

He was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1923 into a wealthy bourgeois family of Jewish origin and Protestant culture. He traveled to Great Britain at age 15 as a refugee and was interned by the British government because of his German origin. 

Baum was then sent by the government to a confinement camp in Montreal, where he eventually secured his freedom in 1942 with the help of Emma Kaufman, a wealthy Protestant from Kitchener, Ontario. He went on to study mathematics and physics at McMaster University in Hamilton. He entered the Augustinian order in 1946 after having read the Confessions of St. Augustine. 

Baum attended the Vatican II Council (1962-65) as a peritus, or theological expert. He vigorously opposed Catholic teaching on a range of issues, including contraception, priestly celibacy, and homosexuality.

He leaves a legacy in Canada of having been one of the most outspoken critics of Pope Paul VI's 1968 condemnation of contraception in the encyclical Humanae Vitae, even to the point of rallying opposition to the teaching.

Baum played no small part in the outcome of the Canadian bishops adopting a position of open dissent from Humanae Vitae two months after its release. 

In their September 27, 1968, controversial “Winnipeg Statement,” the bishops opened a door for couples to use contraception, stating that if a couple has "tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience."

Monsignor Vincent Foy, who was known until his death as the foremost expert on the Canadian bishops’ dissent in Winnipeg, wrote that Baum’s influence over the bishops’ proceedings at that time cast a “black shadow.”

“If it had not been for the black shadow of Baum over Winnipeg, his influence over some Bishops, the Canadian theological establishment and pressure groups, the Winnipeg Statement of the Canadian Bishops on Humanae Vitae would not have refused to endorse the teaching of the encyclical as it did,” he wrote. 

The ex-priest revealed in a book published this year that he secretly led an active homosexual life for decades. 

In The Oil Has Not Run Dry: The Story of My Theological Pathway, Baum states that he chose to keep his homosexuality a secret while appearing to be a faithful priest so he could continue to exert his influence within the Catholic Church. 

“I did not profess my own homosexuality in public because such an act of honesty would have reduced my influence as a critical theologian,” he wrote. 

“I was eager to be heard as a theologian trusting in God as salvator mundi (Savior of the world) and committed to social justice, liberation theology, and global solidarity,” he added. 

In his book, Baum details his homosexual experiences.

“I was 40 years old when I had my first sexual encounter with a man. I met him in a restaurant in London. This was exciting and at the same time disappointing, for I knew what love was and what I really wanted was to share my life with a partner.”

He wrote that he considered resigning from the priesthood but did not go through with the formality, rather choosing to announce it in the national newspaper. He later married a divorced ex-nun who he says “did not mind that, when we moved to Montreal in 1986, I met Normand, a former priest, with whom I fell in love.” Normand, he wrote, “is gay and welcomed my sexual embrace.”

Noted Toronto Catholic priest and Vatican consultant Fr. Thomas Rosica hosted a controversial appearance of Baum at the Catholic Newman Centre of the University of Toronto in 1996 and in 2012 made him a featured guest on his Canadian Catholic TV station Salt and Light Television.

During the Salt and Light interview, Fr. Rosica professed to having known Baum for a long time and praised him for his theology. 

“I’ve certainly admired very much your theology, your writings but also your love of the Church, your love of Christ, and you helped to keep alive not only the spirit of the Second Vatican Council but also the authentic teaching of the Council,” Fr. Rosica said of Baum.

“You remain a faithful, deeply devoted Catholic, love Jesus, the Church, the Eucharist,” he added.

Monsignor Foy, on the other hand, considered Baum as having “done more than any person to harm the Church in Canada.”

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North Carolina governor signs order forcing businesses to allow men to enter women’s bathrooms

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By Claire Chretien

NORTH CAROLINA, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order yesterday making “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” protected classes, forcing businesses to allow men in women’s restrooms and vice versa.

The order applies to employment in state government and the provision of government services, including programs and services concerning public safety, health, and welfare.

In order to be awarded a state contract or grant, a business will have to comply with the pro-transgender order. Public facilities must also allow men to use women’s restrooms in accordance with their “gender identity.”  

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC Values Coalition, called the Democrat governor’s order “a massive power grab, with sweeping changes that only the Legislative Branch has the authority to enact.”

“Governor Cooper has betrayed the people of North Carolina with an Executive Order that not only allows boys and men into girls' and women's showers and bathrooms but also forces private businesses to adopt sweeping LGBT privileges,” said Fitzgerald.

Earlier this year, Cooper signed HB 142 into law. HB 142 “kept in place longstanding laws that required that showers and bathrooms be used in accordance with one's sex on their birth certificate,” Fitzgerald explained.

HB 142 was supposed to be a compromise of HB 2, North Carolina’s famous bathroom privacy bill. The left was upset that Cooper didn’t sign a full repeal of HB 2. HB 142 weakened but still left in place some key parts of HB 2. It also prevents cities from passing pro-LGBT “public accommodation” nondiscrimination laws until 2020.

“Bathroom privacy and safety are sacrificed under Roy Cooper's bathroom plan, which is more akin to Harvey Weinstein's bathroom plan,” the NC Values Coalition wrote in a press release.

The pro-freedom, pro-family group warned that this executive order means religious business owners will have to choose between following their faith or losing government contracts.

“Anyone who has or seeks a government contract with the state or receive government benefits (like churches and religious organizations) will have to adopt internal operating policies that favor and give preference to people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender,” NC Values Coalition explained.

Cooper’s executive order cites Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision imposing same-sex “marriage” on the U.S., and a study from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“The majority of federal courts that have addressed the issue to date have held that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is unlawful,” the order says. “It is necessary to provide state and local government actors with clarity and guidance regarding existing laws and policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.”

Fitzgerald said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is “elevating LGBT privileges above the rights of common everyday people to privacy and safety in bathrooms and showers.”

She blasted him for not “failing to defend the laws of the state.”

The executive order claims it’s “not inconsistent” with existing state and federal laws.

“It is despicable, and the voters of NC will hold (Cooper and Stein) accountable,” said Fitzgerald.

The LGBT lobby said Cooper’s order doesn’t go nearly far enough, especially because HB 142 is still on the books.

It’s just “a step in the right direction,” the interim director of Equality North Carolina, Matt Hirschy, said of Cooper’s major olive branch to the LGBT movement.

“It’s not nearly enough,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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‘Regular’ voter in Democrat’s ad is actually a professional abortion activist

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By Claire Chretien
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VIRGINIA, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Ads for the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor depict an abortion activist as a “regular” voter.

Ralph Northam, the current Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, is competing against pro-life Republican Ed Gillespie to be the commonwealth’s next governor.

Erin Matson, the co-founder of Reproaction, appears in two ads for Northam that criticize Gillespie for his pro-life views.

“Ed Gillespie wants to end a woman’s right to choose,” the ad “Want to See” says as Matson sits on a porch with her small daughter. The ad says Gillespie wants the “government in charge of women’s personal decisions,” not mentioning that these “decisions” involve the killing of a tiny human being.

Matson and her daughter also appear at the end of the pro-Northam ad “Sold,” which doesn’t mention abortion.

Reproaction’s mission is “to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice,” according to its website. Its vision “is to uphold abortion rights and advance reproductive justice as a matter of human dignity.”

It seeks to “empower and inspire the reproductive rights movement and the broader progressive community to openly and enthusiastically stand up for abortion rights.”

Reproaction recently protested outside Values Voter Summit (VVS) with a banner proclaiming, “Abortion: Not just for your mistress.” This was an apparent reference to Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, who despite his publicly “pro-life” positions was revealed to have asked his mistress to obtain an abortion when he thought she was pregnant.  

Murphy is resigning from the U.S. House later this month.

Reproaction also paid for a snapchat filter to reach VVS attendees, giving them the option to superimpose their disappearing photo messages with a promotion of abortion.

“I am not surprised in any way that Ralph Northam is using pro-abortion activists in his ads,” Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, told LifeSiteNews.

The abortion lobby “came out right up front swinging for their guy, Ralph Northam. So we’ve known from the beginning that they would use tricks like this,” she said.

“We knew that as the weeks drew closer to the election we would see these very nasty, obnoxious ads coming out that try to make Ralph look like he cares about women, that he cares about mothers,” said Turner. “We know that’s absolutely not true, because abortion is often as dangerous and sometimes as deadly for the mothers as it is for the babies.”

Race could come down to 'couple hundred votes'

"Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry (have) poured millions of dollars into this race and devoted plenty of volunteers to the campaign,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Yet the best person Northam could find to represent a regular voter is an abortion extremist.”

“Voters rejected letting Planned Parenthood and NARAL set up shop in the White House, and as Northam's desperation grows, it looks like Virginia voters are rejecting the singularly pro-abortion focus of the Northam campaign,” observed Hawkins.

“Ralph Northam is an abortion extremist who supports the Democratic Party position of abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth, paid for by taxpayers,” said Mallory Quigley of the Susan B. Anthony List, which is running digital ads in support of Gillespie, Jill Vogel for Lieutenant Governor, and John Adams for Attorney General.

“His supporters include the most ardent pro-abortion activists from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the like. It is therefore no surprise to see an abortion backer like Erin Matson appear in his campaign ads, which have largely focused on attacking pro-life Ed Gillespie,” said Quigley.

Virginia has become increasingly “purple” rather than red in the past decade. Obama won Virginia in 2008 and 2012. Hillary Clinton won it in 2016. Virginia’s current governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, is strongly pro-abortion.

However, Republicans have a majority in the state legislature.

“Numbers are coming out that bring this race within a one-point advantage to pro-lifer Ed Gillespie,” said Turner. “Every single person who cares about protecting unborn children, the elderly, the disabled, or any other vulnerable population in this state is going to have to get to the polls.”

The race could even come down to “a couple hundred of votes,” she said, noting recent Virginia elections have become closer and closer.

Northam came under fire recently for removing his African-American running mate from some of his campaign materials to appeal to unions.

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Polish bishops follow John Paul II in refusing Communion to remarried in new guidelines

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By Pete Baklinski

LUBLIN, Poland, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Conference of Polish Bishops has released guidelines for implementing Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia that adhere to perennial Catholic teaching of refusing Holy Communion to remarried Catholics living in adultery. 

The guidelines, prepared for the bishops’ General Assembly that met last week in Lublin, make it clear that Pope Francis’ teaching on ‘accompaniment’ must be interpreted according to previous Catholic teaching. The guidelines have not yet been publicly released, but Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana has published excerpts. 

The guidelines state that Catholics who are sacramentally married and who have entered into a new relationship, either informally or civilly, are in a situation that “prevents them from receiving absolution and receiving Holy Communion.”

“The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist,” the guidelines state. 

“To remain in the sin of adultery prevents them from receiving absolution and receiving Holy Communion,” the guidelines add. 

The guidelines come four months after the bishops stated in a declaration that Catholics in adulterous relationships should be led to “true conversion and reconciliation with children born in this union and the sacramental spouse.” 

The bishops’ guidelines stress what form authentic accompaniment must take for Catholics living in “irregular” situations. 

Priests are encouraged to accompany cohabiting couples who have no canonical impediments to the “full acceptance of the Gospel, preparation for marriage, and if possible, until then, the practice of chastity and separation.”

Catholic couples who are joined civilly, but not sacramentally, and who have no impediments to being joined sacramentally in marriage must be accompanied with “patience, but without access to the sacraments.”

Remarried Catholics for whom it is not possible to separate, for instance, because of children, and who “sincerely repent and decide before the confessor to live in full continence, that is to abstain from intercourse, can receive sacramental absolution and receive Communion” when scandal is avoided. 

The bishops back their teaching with citations from Pope John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, Benedict XVI’s Sacramentum Caritatis, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1994 Letter to Bishops. 

The Polish bishops have maintained a strong front in defense of Catholic teaching during Francis’ pontificate.

Their guidelines come a year and a half after the release of Amoris Laetitia. The exhortation has been used by various bishops and bishops’ groups, including those in Argentina, Malta, Germany, and Belgium, to issue pastoral guidelines that allow Communion to be given to civilly divorced and remarried Catholics living in adultery. But other bishops, such as some in Canada, have issued guidelines based on their reading of the same document that forbids such couples to receive Communion. 

It was over this issue of Communion for the remarried that four Cardinals issued five formal questions (dubia) to Pope Francis, asking him if his teaching conformed to perennial Catholic teaching. They specifically asked him if Amoris Laetitia allows habitual adulterous couples to be granted absolution and to receive Holy Communion. So far, the Pope has refused to answer their questions. In the meantime, two of the Cardinals have died. 

Last month, more than 60 Catholic clergy and lay scholars issued a “filial correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.” Listed among the “words, deeds and omissions” of Pope Francis that they say promote heresy are the Pope’s endorsements of interpretations of his Exhortation that allow Communion to be given to adulterers. 

The signers explicitly call it a heresy that “Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried … who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.”

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Opinion

Is the pro-life movement making a mistake supporting the 20-week abortion ban?

Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones Esq.

October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — If you support abortion in 99 percent of the cases, should you be considered pro-life or pro-abortion? The answer to this question illustrates why I oppose the 20-week abortion ban as a viable pro-life strategy.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as the 20-week abortion ban, recently passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 237-189. Besides the failed one-year defunding of Planned Parenthood — and a Conscience Protection Act that seems to be stalled in the House — it is the mainstream pro-life movement’s only legislative goal for the 115th Congress.

Over two years ago, I wrote an article entitled “Four reasons why I can’t support the 20-week abortion ban and you shouldn’t either.” In that article, I laid out four reasons for my opposition to the 20-week ban based on the text of the bill. First, the legislation made pro-lifers complicit with the crime of abortion by setting out mere “requirements for abortion;” second, it was based on value judgments about the dignity of human life that are contrary to our beliefs as pro-lifers (a human being’s worth is in no way related to his or her ability to feel pain); third,  it discriminated against the weakest and most defenseless among us (children conceived in rape and incest are specifically excluded from protection); and finally, the bill justified some abortion as legitimate medical treatment.  The current version of the 20-week ban is essentially the same as the one introduced in the previous Congress and therefore all of my concerns with the language of the bill remain the same.

I also mentioned two larger strategic miscalculations made by the supporters of the 20-week ban, which underlie my opposition to the 20-week abortion ban. In this article, I would like to further analyze those two strategic miscalculations.

Strategic Miscalculation #1: This incremental bill is the best legislation that has a chance of passing right now.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a chance. Pro-lifers are not even close to having the votes in the U.S. Senate necessary to pass a bill so modest that it seeks to prohibit less than 1 percent of the total number of abortions. This is evident when we consider that as recently as July the U.S. Senate was not able to muster 50 votes for the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare with its one-year defunding of Planned Parenthood.  

Consider also that in the last Congress, when Republicans had two more Senate seats than now and nothing was on the line because President Obama had vowed to veto the bill, 54 senators voted for the 20-week ban, still well short of the 60 votes needed. This new Congress has two fewer Republican senators, one pro-abortion Republican (Sen. Kirk - Illinois) who voted against the bill and one (Sen. Ayotte - New Hampshire) who voted in favor of it.  In their place are two solidly pro-abortion Democrats.  It also remains to be seen if the three Democrat senators who voted for the bill when they knew President Obama would veto it would dare vote for it now that President Trump has vowed to sign it into law. Most likely, this bill will not get much further than the 45 original co-sponsors it currently has, thus failing to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster and send it to the president.  

Honest proponents of the 20-week ban might agree that it has no chance of passing the Senate, but would argue that forcing votes on this bill will separate pro-lifers from pro-aborts, making it easier for pro-lifers to target them in upcoming elections. I believe the clear and convincing evidence in the House of Representatives refutes this theory.

Strategic Miscalculation #2: the 20-week ban will help us root out pro-abort politicians.

The 20-week ban has been introduced in three successive sessions of Congress, the 113th (2013-14), the 114th (2015-2016), and now the 115th (2017-2018). Interestingly, the vote totals have remained very consistent, 228-196 in the 113th, 242-184 in the 114th, and now 237-189 in the 115th Congress.  Most of the politicians voted along party lines with only a few going against their party. Of the few Republicans who voted against the bill in past years, not a single one lost in a primary challenge. The same is true of the few Democrats who voted in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks. Let’s take a closer look.

In the 113th Congress, six Republicans voted against the 20-week abortion ban in the House of Representatives. Two of them, both with strong pro-life records, Rep. Broun and Rep. Woodall of Georgia, voted against the bill because it specifically denied protection for children conceived in rape.  The other four Republicans were pro-abortion politicians from relatively liberal districts on the East Coast: Reps. Hanna (New York), Dent (Pennsylvania), Frelinghuysen (New Jersey),  and Runyan (New Jersey). Of these four pro-abortion men, only Rep. Runyan was replaced by a politician who went on to vote for the 20-week ban in the 114th  Congress, and he was not primaried but simply retired. The other three pro-abortion Republicans won their next election and continued to vote against the 20-week abortion ban.  

The political result of the 113th Congress’ 20-week abortion ban upon the composition of the House of Representatives was that two conservative representatives from Georgia were convinced to drop their advocacy for children conceived in rape, and two pro-abortion districts on the East Coast gained legislators willing to vote for the bill.

In the 114th Congress, the story is even more grim. During that legislative cycle, there were four Republican representatives who voted against the 20-week ban. Three of them, Reps. Hanna, Dent, and Frelinghuysen, were hardened pro-aborts who had also voted against the ban in the 113th Congress. Of these, only one, Rep. Hanna, was replaced by someone who in the current year voted for the 20-week ban. It is worthwhile to emphasize that Rep. Hanna was not primaried but was replaced after he retired. The other Republican voting against the ban was Rep. Dold (Illinois), who was subsequently unseated by a pro-abortion Democrat. In total, after the 114th Congress, one pro-abortion Republican would be replaced by a pro-abortion Democrat and another by a nominally pro-life Republican.

Unfortunately, even this small positive effect is cancelled out if we look at the disappearance of nominally pro-life Democrats. In the 113th Congress, there were six Democrats who voted in favor of the 20-week ban, and in the  114th only two Democrats were left who voted in favor of it. The net change in the Democratic Party since the 113th Congress is therefore a -4.  If we combine the net positive effect to Republicans (+2) with the net negative to Democrats (-4), we are left with an overall net of - 2 pro-life representatives after six years of attempted legislation.

As we can see from this analysis, there is no positive political impact to the makeup of Congress from the successive attempts to pass a 20-week ban.

It is evident beyond a reasonable doubt that sacrificing the moral high ground has not produced incremental gains but instead has cemented the political status quo. The right to abortion is as strong as it has ever been, and year after year Republicans get elected who promise to fight for the right to life but never actually show up to the fight.  

The United States is now going into its third generation of legalized abortion and, clearly, the greatest enemy of the pro-life movement is complacency with the status quo, so why would we choose a strategy that only entrenches the status quo? One possible reason is that in our current decadent culture, maintaining the status quo is the best that we can do, but I don’t think so. The U.S. Congress is more pro-abortion than the average American, therefore pro-lifers can and should demand more from them without fear of being called unrealistic. 

Having had 15 years of experience speaking with legislators in Washington, D.C., I can tell you that only a handful of congressmen truly care enough about the evil of abortion to spend any serious political capital on it. Sadly, the 20-week ban is perfect for these weakest of the weak  “pro-life” politicians because it doesn’t require them to spend any of their political capital.  

To illustrate this, just think of going on the street and asking random people if they support abortion in 99 percent of the cases. Surely, a vast majority of the people would say that they are not 99 percent pro-abortion. And yet this is the standard that we are asking our pro-life legislators to meet in order to receive a pro-life stamp of approval: if you are 1 percent pro-life and 99 percent pro-abortion,  you too can wear the pro-life badge during your next election in your conservative district.

While in the short term it might seem wise and prudent to attempt to legislate on a very modest level, two strategic miscalculations give us the opposite of the expected results. Pro-lifers will get no incremental gain by pushing for the 20-week ban for two simple reasons: because it doesn’t have the votes necessary to become law, and because it will only entrench the weakest of the weak “pro-life” legislators by lowering the standard of what is required to be called pro-life to a point even lower than the general population.  

The effective result of this strategy is that the evil of abortion will continue to be a legislative non-issue on Capitol Hill and babies will continue to be murdered in the womb. But, hey, at least Republican legislators will continue to receive the votes of pro-lifers.

Washington, we have a problem.

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Blogs

WATCH: Trump adviser ‘stunned’, ‘broken-hearted’ over politicization of soldier’s death

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By Steve Jalsevac

This is one of the most powerful presentations from the White House seen in many years. There have been some concerns about General John Kelly as Trump's Chief of Staff, but my estimation of him has greatly increased after viewing this. Watch and then make your own judgement.  General Kelly's statement starts at 2:24.

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‘Cheap sex’ is destroying marriage and faith in America: new book

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

AUSTIN, Texas, October 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — “Cheap sex” is to blame for the marginalization of traditional marriage, says famed sociologist Mark Regnerus.

In his recently released book "Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage and Monogamy," Regnerus examines the dramatic changes in American sexual beliefs that have led to an inability among increasing numbers of young men and women to marry, have children and be faithful to one another.

The answer, in short, is “cheap sex” — sex that carries neither the high price tag of a lifelong committed monogamous relationship nor that of reproduction. Three technological developments — highly effective contraceptives, internet pornography and online dating/meeting services — have made sex (or sexual release) as easy to get in the U.S. as  water from a tap.

But even cheap sex comes with strings attached. Regnerus writes that these “price suppressors” have “created a massive slowdown in the development of committed relationships, especially marriage, have put the fertility of increasing numbers of women at risk — subsequently driving up demand for fertility treatments — and have arguably even taken a toll on men’s economic and relational productivity, prompting fewer of them to be considered marriage material than ever before.”

Cheap sex has also changed American attitudes towards homosexuality. Apparently, pornography use is a very significant predictor of men’s support for both same-sex marriage and the proposition that “gay and lesbian couples do just a good a job raising children as heterosexual couples.” (Only 26 percent of the lightest porn users agree with that statement, compared with 63 percent of the heaviest porn users who did.)  

To explain why there is a “stable link” between porn use and “same-sex marriage support,” Regnerus suggests that porn “redirects sex away from any sense of it as involving relationships of permanence, exclusivity, or expectations of fertility.”

“On the contrary,” he continues, “pornography typically treats gazers to a veritable fire-hose dousing of sex-act diversity, and presses its consumers away from from thinking of sex as having anything to do with love, monogamy, or child-bearing — all traits that most Americans have long equated with marriage.”

Unsurprisingly, there is evidence that porn — like other forms of non-marital sex — also ”deadens” religious impulse and leads to a cessation in church attendance. Whereas in the past it was commonplace for Americans to absent themselves from church in early adulthood, they usually returned upon marriage and parenthood. However, as the numbers of Americans who marry drop, and the age of first marriages among those who do marry rise, those who leave church worship have not been returning.

“Cheap sex has a way of deadening religious impulses,” Regnerus writes. “We overestimate how effective scientific arguments are at secularizing people. Narratives about science don’t secularize. Technology secularizes. And sex-related technology does so particularly efficiently.”

Cheap sex has even made American Christians less orthodox. Among weekly church attenders, Regnerus found that 14 percent were unsure about marriage being outdated, 21 percent didn’t know what they thought about no-strings-attached sex, and 25 percent didn’t know if viewing pornography is OK or not. Ten percent were unsure as to whether extramarital sex might ever be permissible.  

A sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Regnerus combines solid research — much of it from the 2014 Relationships in America survey project — with an engaging writing style that makes his work highly accessible to readers. He also sums up his take-home points in a conclusion at the end of each chapter. Being so reader-oriented, it is no wonder that Regnerus has been published in such popular journals as Slate, Christianity Today, The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Regnerus, 46, became famous when, in 2012, he published his New Family Structures Survey (or NFSS) in the academic journal Social Science Research. The NFSS illustrated that children raised by adults in same-sex relationship were at greater risk than other children of being on welfare, being unemployed and of having lower educational attainments. The outcry was long and loud. This may explain the slightly defensive tone in which Regnerus presents his conclusions in Cheap Sex.

Fortunately, Regnerus’ verbal brow-moppings do not take away from the book, which is a must-read for anyone wondering why they have, or their son or daughter has, been unable to find a marriage partner. The answers aren’t pretty, and Regnerus isn’t celebrating with champagne. He observes that those who are unhappy with current sexual trends are “considered misfits, threatened with social isolation and shaming.”

Then, after giving us all the bad news in as balanced a way as he can, Regnerus offers eight  predictions for 2030. Most of them are dire, and hopefully seeing them in type will inspire pro-family, pro-life activists to work even harder, and smarter, to create a Culture of Life.  

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