Jon Fidero

An encouraging letter

Jon Fidero
Jon Fidero
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I have spoken with many Canadian Catholic donors about their frustrations over the silence and dreadful weakness of most of their bishops on the pro-life and pro-family struggles. 

This is a serious situation that is of course not unique to Catholic leaders in Canada. We have frequently heard the same dismay about poor leadership expressed by Christians of other denominations and faithful Jews and in other western nations. 

As Rabbi Yehuda Levin proclaimed in a powerful Friday LifeSiteNews story, ultimately the responsibility for the decaying morality of modern society lies with religious leaders, who have not acted with sufficient vigor to counteract such trends.

But I want to share with you today a little bit of sunshine.  We must not despair, for there are many who still do stand in this fight and, because of them, the truth ultimately will prevail. 

We just received a letter sent to LifeSiteNews from a Canadian Catholic priest.  It should be encouraging for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We regularly receive similar correspondence or comments from numerous other priests and from clergy of other denominations who are devoted LifeSiteNews readers.

The letter is published below with the priest’s name withheld:

  • “I have been looking for some worthy organizations to support financially, and have no doubt that LifeSiteNews is one of them.  I have just sent you my donation of $100 to show my support for your excellent ministry to the Church and to the world.

    As a priest, it would be a strong understatement to say that I am disappointed by the actions of my fellow brother in the Priesthood, Fr. Gravel. I wholeheartedly support LifeSiteNews in your fight for the Truth, and offer my donation in reparation for Fr. Gravel’s behaviour toward you.

    I promise to keep you in my prayers at the altar, as I ask Our Lord and Our Lady to bless your apostolate and make it bear much fruit.

    Unfortunately, many of today’s clergy have still not fully understood the enormous importance of your work, and of speaking the Truth to the world—even when that Truth is not “politically correct” or convenient to say. 

    I must say that it is faithful organizations and people like those at LifeSiteNews that bring the most joy to my Priesthood and to my priestly ministry.

    I fully applaud LifeSiteNews in their unabashed reporting of the Truth, and for their unconditional stance in favour of Life.  After all, didn’t Our Lord Himself say, “I am the Life”?

    I intend to contribute further to LifeSiteNews, as I am able.  For now, I offer my $100 donation as a small token of my immense gratitude and appreciation for all that you at LifeSiteNews do.

    - Anonymous
    Associate Pastor

  • Coupled with recent appointments of especially faithful and aware new bishops in Canada and the United States, it appears that the long and arduous task of turning the tide in North America is now finally underway.

    The recent development of all the US Catholic bishops together with Evangelical and other religious leaders boldly acting against the tyrannical Obamacare mandate is another sign that the Church is awakening from its long sleep.

    Maybe the young priest who sent this letter will one day be elevated into the ranks of that growing new breed of fearless, evangelizing bishops that are creating new hope. We will do whatever we can to help them restore a Culture of Life.

    Tomorrow is the last day of our Spring Campaign.  Right now we are $40,000 shy of our goal.

    We hope that more of our regular readers will find in us a “worthy organization to support financially,” as this priest has.  If you haven’t already, please donate today!

    Help LifeSiteNews continue its “unabashed reporting of the Truth,” and help continue to turn the tides.


    Jon Fidero
    Development and Fundraising
    LifeSiteNews.com

    Red alert! Only 2 days left.

    Support pro-life news. Help us reach our critical spring fundraising goal by April 1!


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    Newsbusters Staff

    ,

    Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

    Newsbusters Staff
    By

    March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

    A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

    Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

    “Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

    “By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

    “If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

    Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

    “Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

    Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

    • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

    • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

    • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

    • Promoting marital infidelity

    • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

    • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

    • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

    Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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    Jacqueline Harvey

    Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

    Jacqueline Harvey
    By Jacqueline Harvey

    AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

    H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

    Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

    Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

    This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

    Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

    Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

    H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

    There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

    Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

    2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

    This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

    “Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

    Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

    H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

    H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

    It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

    On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

    “reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

    This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

    1. Hasten the patient’s death;
    2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
    3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
    4. Be medically ineffective; or
    5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

    With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

    Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

    It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

    The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

    Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

    And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

    The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

    Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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    Only 3 Days Left!
    John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

    Only 3 Days Left!

    John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
    By John-Henry Westen

    I can’t believe how quickly our annual Spring campaign has flown by. Now,with only 3 days remaining, we still have $96,000 left to raise to meet our absolute minimum goal.

    That’s why I must challenge you to stop everything, right now, and make a donation of whatever amount you can afford to support the pro-life and pro-family investigative reporting of LifeSite!

    I simply cannot overemphasize how important your donation, no matter how large or small, is to the continued existence of LifeSite. 

    For 17 years, we have relied almost exclusively on the donations of our growing army of everyday readers like you: readers who are tired of the anti-life and anti-family bias of the mainstream media, and who are looking for a different kind of news agency.

    We at LifeSite have always striven to be that news agency, and your ever-faithful support has encouraged us to forge ahead fearlessly in this mission to promote the Culture of Life through investigative news reporting.

    You will find our donation page is incredibly simple and easy to use. Making your donation will take less than two minutes, and then you can get back to the pressing duties scheduled for your day. But those two minutes means the world to us!

    If you have not had the opportunity to see the video message from the Benham Brothers to all of our readers, I encourage you to do so (click here to view).

    The Benham Brothers are only one of many, many pro-life and family leaders, media personalities, politicians, and activists around the world who rely on LifeSite on a daily basis!

    Since our humble beginnings in the late 90s, LifeSite has gone from a small non-profit to an international force in the battle for life and family, read by over 5 million people every month

    This is thanks only to the leaders, activists, and ordinary readers just like you who have recognized the importance truth plays in turning the tides of the Culture.

    I want to thank the many readers who helped bring us within striking distance of our minimum goal with their donations over the weekend. 

    But though we have made great strides in the past few days, we still need many more donations if we are going to have any hope of making it all the way by April 1st.

    In these final, anxious days of our quarterly campaigns, I am always tempted to give in to fear, imagining what will happen if we don’t reach our goal.

    In these moments, however, I instead turn to prayer, remembering that God in his providence has never yet let us down. With His help we have always been given precisely what we need to carry on!

    You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

    Thank you so much for your support. 

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