Kathleen Gilbert

Abortion lobby pillories conservatives for shooting of pro-abort U.S. Rep Giffords

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert
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TUCSON, Arizona, January 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a fiscally conservative Democrat with a strong pro-abortion record, has been critically injured in a shooting that took the lives of at least six individuals during a political appearance in Tuscon Saturday morning. While the National Organization for Women (NOW), one of the country’s leading pro-abortion groups, and other liberal commentators quickly blamed the conservative tea party movement, evidence available on the Internet is initially painting a portrait of the alleged gunman as an enigmatic, anti-religion figure described as decidedly “left-wing” and a “quite liberal” drug abuser.

An additional twelve individuals were critically injured in the attack that took place at 10 am MST, at the start of a scheduled “Congress on Your Corner” event featuring Giffords at a local Safeway grocery store. Among the dead are Justice John Roll, Arizona’s chief federal trial judge, and an unidentified 9-year-old girl.

Giffords was reportedly shot once through the head at point-blank range and was airlifted to the University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson for emergency surgery. In a press conference hours later, UMC surgeon Dr. Peter Rhee said that congresswoman was in critical condition but responding to commands, and the surgeon was “very optimistic” about her recovery.

Giffords, a three-term congresswoman with a 100% pro-choice NARAL record, barely defeated her tea party-backed opponent and Marine veteran Jesse Kelly in November. However, she sides with conservative voices on some issues: Giffords is a proponent of tougher immigration control and, as an opponent of out-of-control government spending, joined a Republican-led reading of the Constitution on the House floor two days ago.

Justice John Roll faced a slew of death threats in 2009 after ruling that a civil rights case brought against an Arizona rancher by illegal immigrants could move forward.

The alleged gunman, identified as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, was tackled by others present at the scene as he attempted to flee, and is now in custody. Officials say he claims to have acted alone.

President Obama, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and several other Republican and Democrat figures including tea party favorite Sarah Palin offered prayers for Giffords, her family, and other victims and their loved ones within hours of the shooting. “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve,” said House Majority Leader John Boehner.

Despite a dearth of information on the gunman’s motives, fingers were quickly pointed at Giffords’ tea party opposition as news of the bloodbath sent a shockwave through Twitter and other Internet media outlets.

The New York Post reported that, when asked whether Giffords had any enemies, the congresswoman’s weeping father Spencer Giffords responded, “Yeah, the whole tea party.” He added that politicians “always get” threatened and that there was little information.

Several Internet commentators blamed militia-style rhetoric of the movement’s favorites such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Top liberal voices such as the Daily Kos immediately laid the shooting at the feet of the broad grassroots movement that erupted primarily in reaction to tax-and-spend policies in the Bush and Obama administrations. “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin,” tweeted Daily Kos founder Mark Moulistas after the event.

The president of the top pro-abortion lobby group National Organization for Women went so far as to openly blame “extreme right-wing opponents” hours after the shooting, chastising Republican leaders and calling for a Justice Department investigation “to the fullest extent of federal anti-terrorist legislation” to determine whether the shooting was “part of a conspiracy.”

“Conservatives cannot have it both ways, screaming sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at legislators as they vote for health care reform, putting legislators on a violence-inciting ‘Targets’ list, and then simply saying how sorry they are when someone explodes into murder,” declared NOW president Terry O’Neill in a statement emailed to supporters.

Meanwhile, the blogosphere quickly dug up Internet footprints that appear to belong to the gunman, who is believed to be a military veteran, and paint a still-blurry picture of an unstable left-wing activist and drug abuser.

On a Youtube channel created by one “Jared Lee Loughner” from Tucson appear several video manifestos that reference the Constitution and suggest mistrust of government and currency. In one, titled “My Final Thoughts” and posted last month, Loughner poses several bizarre syllogisms and states among them, “I didn’t write a belief on my army application, and the recruiter wrote on the application: none. ... No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver! No! I won’t trust in God!”

A second video discusses religion as a product of “mind control” and another, not created by the user but listed as a “favorite,” shows a flag being burned to the lyrics, “let the bodies hit the floor.” Among favorite books listed on the Youtube account are an anti-communist work by atheist philosopher Ayn Rand, The Communist Manifesto, and Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.

Local news service KTLA.com reported that a friend of Loughner’s tweeted that the alleged gunman “was a pot head and into rock, like Hendrix, The Doors, Anti-Flag,” and whom she knew in 2007 to be “left wing, quite liberal and oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”

“He had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in 2006 and dropped out of school. Mainly a loner, very philosophical,” wrote the friend. KTLA also reported that Loughner was charged with drug possession in 2007.

A Washington Post article noted that Trent Humphries, an organizer for the Tucson Tea Party, said that among the group’s 4,000-person contact list none by the name of Jared Loughner were found. Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, lambasted the knee-jerk media reaction blaming the conservative movement.

“If we ever needed an official political obituary to political civility in this country, we’ve seen it,” said Phillips. “The facts weren’t even out there, Rep. Giffords had been carted away in a stretcher, we didn’t even know her condition, but the war had already started. The folks on the hard left were already out there blaming the tea party.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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