Kathleen Gilbert

8 votes: but Romney spent $1.47 million compared to Santorum’s $22,000

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert
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DES MOINES, Iowa, January 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - With only eight votes separating them, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have proved after last night’s Iowa primary vote that the battle between moderate and conservative forces in the Republican party will continue to both define and divide the GOP 2012 caucuses.

Ron Paul landed in a close third place, while U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, one of the strongest social conservatives in the race, announced the end of her candidacy Wednesday after coming in at sixth place.

In the final count released this morning, Santorum’s 30,007 (24.54%) votes were defeated by 30,015 (24.55%) cast for the former Massachusetts governor. Ron Paul, whom many earlier polls placed at second or even first place, garnered 26,219 votes, or 21.5 percent. Newt Gingrich was fourth at 13 percent.

The results were a stunning turnaround for the pro-life and pro-family Santorum, who had trailed badly in polls earlier last year before shooting to the top of the pack in recent days after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hit a downward spiral. The outcome was even more surprising given the financial spread of the Iowa campaign: Santorum spent a mere $22,000 in personal funds, while Romney laid out $1.47 million, according to data published by Buzzfeed.

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Ron Paul, another social conservative, was the overwhelming winner of a Drudge poll the same night, with 33.6 percent of Iowans on the popular news nexus favoring him, leaving Santorum in second at nearly 21 percent and Romney at 20 percent. Paul also had a significant lead among nationwide Drudge participants.

Polls show Romney in a distant lead in the run-up to the New Hampshire caucus, with Ron Paul in second. 

In a speech earlier this morning, Santorum thanked God for the strong showing and said that America faces a choice: “whether we will be a country that believes that government can do things for us better than we can do for ourselves, or whether we believe, as our founders did, that rights come to us from God, and when he gave us those rights, he gave us the freedom to go out and live those rights out to build a great and just society, not from the top down but from the bottom up.”

Romney said the sharper contours of the race means that he will have a “big target” on him, but said he isn’t fazed. “I’ve got broad shoulders. I’m willing to handle it,” he said. Ron Paul said that he was not disappointed with the outcome, pointing out his popularity with both young and independent voters.

In a press conference this morning, Bachmann said that Iowa voters had made it clear she would have to stand aside. “I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing we ran it with the utmost integrity,” she said.

The pro-life women’s political group Susan B. Anthony List praised Bachmann for her leadership on the right to life issue following the announcement of her departure from the race. Echoing the sentiments of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said the group looked forward to Bachmann’s continued leadership in the House of Representatives.

“We are sad to see such a strong leader leave the race, but know that her pro-life leadership is desperately needed in Congress,” said Dannenfelser.

Gov. Palin also weighed in on the tumultuous nature of the race, saying that the party must coalesce behind one conservative candidate. The Tea Party favorite stopped short of backing Santorum, however, whose support of life and family she commended.

Palin also emphasized that, in order to win, the GOP must recognize the power behind Ron Paul’s message of radical fiscal reform, which continues to attract enthusiastic, particularly among a younger crowd: the 76-year-old politician drew a rockstar reception at an Iowa high school among caucus-eligible youths just before Tuesday’s vote.

If Paul continues to be ignored by party elites, Palin said, “the GOP is going to lose, and there will be no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Despite Paul’s strong social conservatism, his flagship issue of states rights has run him into conflict with pro-family leaders such as the National Organization for Marriage, who launched a campaign attacking his unwillingness to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Paul responded that he supports the Defense of Marriage Act, but that otherwise the matter should be deferred to the states as a matter of Constitutional integrity.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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