Kristen Walker Hatten

An open letter to Ann Coulter

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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Dear Ann Coulter,

Dammit, Ann Coulter.

I like you. A lot. I’ve read all your books. No, seriously, all of them.

When I was in my 20s, I thought you were maybe the Antichrist. I didn’t know why exactly I thought you were the Antichrist. All the other liberals did, so I did, too. It wasn’t hard. Liberalism is easy. It makes you feel smart and cool. When the other smart, cool people said your name the way some people say “cockroach,” I got the picture.

They really, really hate you. About a year ago, someone close to me who is a big liberal was at my house. I had one of your books sitting on the coffee table. While I was out of the room, he took a receipt and drew a speech bubble on the back, with the words “Hi! I’m a c**t!” And put it right above your head. Later on, I asked him why he thought you were a “c**t,” but he didn’t have a specific answer. I would bet you everything I own of value (this mainly consists of this laptop, my wedding rings, and my 2005 Ford Ranger, “Truck Norris”) that he has never read a single word you’ve ever written.

Neither had I when I hated you. I think I had read about one sentence of your writing, out of context (obviously), and decided you were in league with Satan. Except I didn’t believe in Satan, of course; that was a fairy tale for dumb Christians. I hated you for the same reason I hated George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill O’Reilly, and many others: because I was told you were the enemy. I would not have been able to defend my hatred of any of these people – including you – with much depth. But I “knew” you were evil. The Nation and Mother Jones told me so.

In 2010, I was pretty new to Catholicism and becoming aware of conservatism as something more than “being mean.” I began making my way towards it by reading, for the first time, our nation’s founding documents. I also became familiar with de Tocqueville, Hayek, and the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. I was delving into this because I was pro-life, and ObamaCare – which was in the process of being rammed into law – scared me. The more I learned, the more it started to scare me for other reasons, too.

See, my worldview changed when, for the first time in my adulthood, God convinced me of His existence. That was in 2008. I no longer saw man at the center of the universe, and everything was turned on its head. I tiptoed toward the other side. It took me a few years. I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. I didn’t want to be conservative until I was absolutely convinced that conservatism was right, because I was beginning to discover that being conservative kind of, um, sucks. Everybody hates you. It doesn’t matter how much you tell people that you’re not mean or that you have a good argument. They won’t listen to you.

But you know all this. You live it.

It was sometime in 2010 that I first started reading your columns. My conversion was picking up steam, and I decided that I’d read quite a bit – though not enough, never enough! – of the philosophy that underpinned conservative thinking. I was ready to go right to the fiery furnace that drove the locomotive of liberal contempt for conservatives. That would be you. I figured if I could read your writing, and agree with it, I was a conservative for really real. I didn’t expect that to happen, though. I figured I would scoff and keep you on the enemies list.

But I didn’t. I loved you. I loved your style. Yes, it was somewhat lacking in subtlety. No, it was not nice. But I’ve always thought subtlety is overrated, and I was never that great at “nice.” True kindness – true love – is a lot of things, but it is not “nice.” I am a Christian. “Nice” is for quasi-Buddhists who live in the Bay Area and drive Smart cars and secretly hate everyone east of Oakland. Being nice at the expense of being honest is not kind. It is not loving.

I had to look up the word “polemicist.” (I dropped out of college because rules were for Republicans.) It took me a while to understand what you were doing, but I got it. I started trying to explain to people that you’re honest and funny and nobody researches as well as you. Meanwhile, I was reading all your books and sharing them with people, or buying them as gifts. I pre-ordered your most recent one, Mugged, months before its release. If I hadn’t been in the throes of wedding planning, I would have read it in one day. It was brilliant, and everyone in America should have to read it because it is truth.

I like you because you are funny and you are not afraid. So many conservatives lack courage. They’re scared of being silenced and ostracized, and I don’t blame them. I’m scared of it, too. I’ve lost friends. I still lose them occasionally. It can be lonely.

Then the election happened. And your column, “DON’T BLAME ROMNEY,” came out.

Sigh.

You’ve written about abortion before. Sometimes when you write about abortion, it’s hilarious. That’s something I’m always trying to do: be pro-life and funny at the same time. It’s hard. Nobody’s expecting a knee-slapper on the subject of dead babies. But humor disarms people. It reminds them you’re sane. Only the crazy are deadly earnest all the time. It’s hard to change people’s minds about abortion, but on any subject, if you can make them laugh, you’re halfway there.

CLICK ‘LIKE’ IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE!

I remember when you said this:

I wouldn’t kill an abortionist myself, but I wouldn’t want to impose my moral values on others. No one is for shooting abortionists. But how will criminalizing men making difficult, often tragic, decisions be an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the shootings of abortionists?

That was in 2009, in your column “49 Million to Five,” when you pointed out how absurd it is to call the pro-life movement violent. Anti-life zealots went insane over this, failing or refusing to notice that you were satirizing a pro-abortion argument. To anyone with a brain and a sense of humor, it was obvious that you were pointing out the hypocrisy of those who wept for the abortionist while condoning abortion.

This is just one example of the many times you have championed and defended the pro-life cause.

Then you wrote this:

The last two weeks of the campaign were consumed with discussions of women’s “reproductive rights,” not because of anything Romney did, but because these two idiots [Akin and Mourdock] decided to come out against abortion in the case of rape and incest.

After all the hard work intelligent pro-lifers have done in changing the public’s mind about a subject the public would rather not think about at all, these purist grandstanders came along and announced insane positions with no practical purpose whatsoever, other than showing off.

While pro-lifers in the trenches have been pushing the abortion positions where 90 percent of the country agrees with us — such as bans on partial birth abortion, and parental and spousal notification laws — Akin and Mourdock decided to leap straight to the other end of the spectrum and argue for abortion positions that less than 1 percent of the nation agrees with.

In order to be pro-life badasses, they gave up two easy-win Republican Senate seats.

No law is ever going to require a woman to bear the child of her rapist. Yes, it’s every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape. But sentient human beings are capable of drawing gradations along a line…

The overwhelming majority of people — including me — are going to say the law shouldn’t force someone who has been raped to carry the child. On the other hand, abortion should be illegal in most other cases.

Is that so hard for Republicans to say?

Purist conservatives are like idiot hipsters who can’t like a band that’s popular. They believe that a group with any kind of a following can’t be a good band, just as show-off social conservatives consider it a mark of integrity that their candidates — Akin, Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell — take wildly unpopular positions and lose elections.

Ann. Oh, Ann. This hurts.

I am not going to make the case in this column for being pro-life without exceptions. I’ve done it before, and you know the argument anyway.

What hurts is that you would question our motives. This isn’t an issue of tactics – graphic images vs. no graphic images; incrementalism vs. all-or-nothing. This is about the actual lives of actual children. How could you think for a second we are interested in being ”pro-life badasses” when what we are really interested in is not abandoning any children - no matter who their fathers are? Those “gradations along a line” are human lives. If we don’t believe that, what are we doing here? Why are we wasting our time writing and speaking and marching and praying and helping women and making our friends hate us?

If any lives are worth abandoning for votes, why not all of them?

It also needs to be understood that what Todd Akin said was stupid and what Richard Mourdock said was said stupidly. Todd Akin, bless his heart, made a truly idiotic comment out of total ignorance. Richard Mourdock said something totally true – that the child born of rape is wanted and loved and intended by God – in a way that made it sound like he thinks God likes it when ladies get raped. Todd Akin should have left the race. Mourdock should have clarified his statement.

I keep hearing all these Fox News pundits talk about how my party needs to start pandering to special interest groups and being “nicer.” And I think: no. Nice is not kind. We have to keep being honest. We have to be who we are, and then we’ll win.

Same thing here, Ann: until we explain and competently defend our belief that all children deserve life, without exception, those children will never have a chance. They will never be protected. There is no one else to do it but us. I am not willing to let even one of them go. I am not willing to win an election by abandoning the children of rape. I know you think it’s better in the long run to get pro-life people elected, but we can’t do it by lying and saying that babies conceived in rape and incest aren’t worthy of life. They are. If we don’t protect them now, we can’t ever. And I’m not okay with that.

Lying is for them, not us.

I freakin’ love you, Ann. You’re smarter about politics than me. You’re smarter than me, period. But you’re wrong about this. I don’t know if I’ve ever disagreed with you, but I have to now. (And not just because you compared me to a hipster. I can’t stand hipsters, although I like European beer and I wear really cool glasses and hero-worship Jack White.)

I am going to continue to be 100% pro-life, without exception, and encourage others to do the same. If that makes me a pro-life badass, fine. If it makes me an annoying purist, fine. But it also makes me right.

Your friend,

Kristen

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Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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Drew Belsky

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2016 candidates react to the Supreme Court’s marriage decision

Drew Belsky
By Drew Belsky

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Five days after the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision mandating the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples, most of the 2016 presidential candidates have made their opinions on the issue known.

While all of the Democrats currently in the race aggressively supported the ruling, the Republicans' reactions to the Supreme Court's marriage ruling have been more varied.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who is expected to announce his candidacy soon, criticized the Obergefell decision, calling it "a grave mistake." Walker suggested that "the only alternative" to Friday's decision is "to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage."

Texas senator Ted Cruz has doubled down on Walker's call for a constitutional amendment. Not only is Cruz seeking an amendment to protect states' right to define marriage, but he also hopes to amend the Constitution to demand "periodic judicial retention elections" for Supreme Court justices – namely, Cruz said, for those who "overstep their bounds [and] violate the Constitution."

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush shied away from a constitutional marriage amendment. "Guided by my faith," Bush said in a statement, "I believe in traditional marriage." However, "in a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate."

Florida senator Marco Rubio agreed with Bush, exhorting Republicans to "look ahead" and concentrate on the nomination process for new judges. Likewise with Ohio governor John Kasich, who said on Face the Nation that "it's time to move on" and "take a deep breath."

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina concurred. While "I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage," Fiorina said, "[m]oving forward...all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience."

South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham forthrightly condemned a constitutional marriage amendment as "a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail." Graham told NBC News, "I would not engage in the Constitutional amendment process as a party going into 2016. Accept the Court's ruling. Fight for the religious liberties of every American."

Libertarian-leaning Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wrote in Time Magazine that the federal government should remove itself completely from the marriage issue. "Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married, not Washington, D.C.," Paul wrote.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal "strongly disagree[s]" with the Obergefell ruling, but he admitted on Sunday that his state would ultimately comply with the Supreme Court's decision. "We do not have a choice."

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went one step farther. While he "agree[s] with Chief Justice John Roberts" that "this is something that should be decided by the people, and not ... five lawyers," the governor admitted that "those five lawyers get to impose it under our system, and so our job is going to be to support the law of the land[.]"

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum foresees a widespread silencing of those who dissent from the Supreme Court's interpretation of marriage. "There's no slippery slope here," Santorum told the Family Research Council Friday; "religious liberty is under assault today – not going to be, it is – and it's going to be even more so ... with this decision."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee expressed similar sentiments, excoriating the Supreme Court for flouting millions of Americans who voted to affirm "the laws of nature." Huckabee said on Friday, "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat."

On the other end of the spectrum, former Democratic Maryland governor and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley contended that it is homosexuals, not religious objectors to the Obergefell decision, who need more protections from the state.

Calling the ruling a "major step forward," O'Malley proceeded to demand passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that criminalizes "discrimination" based on an "individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity." Opponents worry it would force religious employers to hire homosexuals and transgender people.

Passing ENDA, O'Malley said, would help "more fully realize the vision of an open, respectful, and inclusive nation that Friday's decision aspires us [sic] to be."

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Drew Belsky

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Obama Department of Justice to Virginia school: Let girl use boys’ bathrooms

Drew Belsky
By Drew Belsky

July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - The Obama administration's Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a "statement of interest" Monday in support of a Virginia high school sophomore who is seeking to use bathrooms designated for members of the opposite sex.

In June 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against the Gloucester County School Board on behalf of 15-year-old Gavin Grimm, who is biologically female but wants to use male bathrooms and locker rooms.

Grimm claimed that she had used such facilities without incident for seven weeks until December 2014, when the school board enacted a policy requiring "transgender" students to use private restrooms.

Grimm testified in early 2015 that "[n]ow that the board has passed this policy, school no longer feels as safe and welcoming as it did before[.] ... Being singled out is a glaring reminder of my differences and causes me significant discomfort every time I have to use the restroom."

The Obama administration declared in May 2014 that sex discrimination under Title IX applies to those who identify as "transgender."  The Department of Education followed up last December by ordering federally funded schools to classify students based on "gender identity" rather than biological sex.

Regardless, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco told LifeSiteNews in June of this year that Grimm's and the ACLU's discrimination claims would not hold water.  Citing a district court case in Pennsylvania, Tedesco noted (emphasis in original) that "[t]he Court ... highlighted that Title IX's implementing regulations state that schools do not violate Title IX when they 'provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex.'"

Title IX, part of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, is a statute that "prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity."

"Every court to consider this issue has held that single-sex restrooms and locker room facilities are permitted under Title IX," Tedesco concluded.

Now, according to the DoJ's "statement of interest" in support of Grimm, filed this week, "[t]he United States has a significant interest in ensuring that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to learn in an environment free of sex discrimination and that the proper legal standards are applied to claims under Title IX" (p. 2, all citations omitted).  Per the DoJ, Grimm "is likely to succeed on the merits" of her Title IX claim, and "it is in the public interest to allow [Grimm] ... to use the male restrooms at Gloucester High School."

Regarding the Pennsylvania case mentioned by Tedesco, the DoJ claims that "[t]he district court's reasoning in that case was faulty and should not be followed."

One Gloucester County School Board member who voted against the December bathroom policy fretted that "federal dollars are at stake." Her concern was well-founded: five months later, the Obama administration threatened to deny Virginia's Fairfax County School Board $42 million in federal funding if the board refused to change its own bathroom protocols.  The Fairfax board ruled in May – over the strenuous objections of parents in attendance – that "transgender" students could use facilities in accordance with their "gender identity."

"Although certain parents and community members may object to students sharing a common use restroom with transgender students," the DoJ declared in its brief for Grimm, "any recognition of this discomfort as a basis for discriminating would undermine the public interest."

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Lisa Bourne

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Girl Scouts returns $100,000 donation over transgender stipulation

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - An unusual request from a major donor to a regional branch of the U.S. Girl Scouts has drawn attention to the organization’s ongoing support for gender ideology and transgender issues. 

Girl Scouts of Western Washington CEO Megan Ferland revealed last week that the council had recently received a donation for $100,000. However, after the Girl Scouts’ practice of allowing boys who identify as girls to join the Scouts hit the news during the media’s coverage of the Bruce Jenner case, Ferland says she received a note from the donor putting a condition on the donation.

“Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls,” the donor reportedly asked. “If you can’t, please return the money.”

In the end, Ferland said she chose to give the $100,000 - what could have comprised nearly a fourth of the council’s annual fundraising goal - back to the donor.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl,” Ferland stated in a report from SeattleMet.com. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”

In the meantime, the council used the publicity over the refused donation to launch a social fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo, a social fundraising site. The #ForEVERYGirl has far exceeded its goal, raising over $300,000 for the group in just three days.

"Our vision at Girl Scouts of Western Washington is that EVERY girl in our region—regardless of her race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or geographic location—is empowered to unleash her potential, build her future and transform her world," states the campaign.

This is not the first time that Ferland has been involved in a controversy over the Scouts’ support for transgenderism.

When a boy self-identifying as a girl attempted to join a Colorado Girl Scout troop in 2011 and was initially refused by the leader because of his male gender, Ferland, then head of the Colorado council, issued a statement welcoming boys identifying as girls, and saying efforts were in progress to find the boy a troop. The council also renounced the troop leader’s actions in refusing the boy access.

“Every girl that is a Girl Scout is a Girl Scout because her parent or guardian brings her to us and says, ‘I want my child to participate,’” Ferland stated at the time. “And I don’t question whether or not they’re a girl.” 

Western Washington Girl Scouts current program brochures show that gender ideology is woven right into the council’s programming for girls, with promotion found right in the council’s workshops:

SafeZone for Girl Scouts Sat, May 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tacoma Learn how you can become an ally and advocate for your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) peers. Includes activities and discussion around: inclusive language, the process of coming out, the power of the straight ally, how to respond to homophobic/trans-phobic incidents, where to go for help and much more. Bring lunch.

Girl Scouts and radical feminism

For years, pro-family leaders have raised alarms about partnerships and programs that indicate that the Girl Scouts have moved toward embracing a radical feminist identity.

As far back as 2004 a U.S Catholic Bishop intervened when a Girl Scout-Planned Parenthood partnership threatened young girls. 

Then-Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond warned local Catholics not to sign their children up for Planned Parenthood’s “Nobody’s Fool,” a sex-ed campaign designed for pre-pubescent children which had been integrated into the local Girl Scouts.

A survey, also from 2004, found that many Girl Scouts councils were partnering with Planned Parenthoood in some fashion. 

In 2010 the Girl Scouts were found to be pushing a radical agenda on its young members with Planned Parenthood given access to distribute an explicit ‘sex guide’ at a closed-door, no-adults-welcome meeting at the UN sponsored by the Girl Scouts.

Lincoln, Nebrask Bishop James Conley warned in 2011 as auxiliary bishop of Denver that involvement in the Girl Scouts could serve to make girls more open to the pro-abortion agenda.

Roughly 90 Girl Scouts of Northern California members and their families marched in San Francisco’s 2013 Gay Pride Parade. 

"The San Francisco Girl Scouts participate in many parades that celebrate the diversity of San Francisco," Girl Scouts of Northern California Communications Manager Dana Allen told LifeSiteNews at the time. "Girl Scouts is inclusive and reflects the communities we serve."

A sexuality-based Girl Scout troop was started earlier this year in Utah aimed at gay and lesbian families and boys who consider themselves “transgender.” It meets at the Utah Pride Center.

"As long as a youth identifies as a girl or with girls, even if they are genderfluid on the day that they registered, then they can become a Girl Scout," Shari Solomon-Klebba, the Utah Girl Scout outreach coordinator, and an open lesbian who started the troop, told a local news station at the time.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urged caution last year in engaging with the Girl Scouts after conducting a two-year examination of the scouts. That study identified concerns about several Girl Scouts USA policies, affiliations and structural weaknesses.

Girl Scout alternatives

The representatives of two organizations for girls frequently considered a Christ-centered alternative to the Girls Scouts told LifeSiteNews this latest incident with the Western Washington Scouts underscores the need for other options for families and their children.

“There has been a huge cultural shift in redefining life-long truths that have many families carefully considering their youth program options. American Heritage Girls has often been regarded as a Christian-based alternative to the Girls Scouts,” American Heritage Girls National Communications Specialist Jennifer Troutman said.

American Heritage Girls marked its 20th anniversary this past week. There are more than 40,000 members within the organization.

“Now more than ever American Heritage Girls recognizes the importance of bringing Christ-centered, character development programming to girls across the nation.”  

The head of Little Flowers Girls’ Club concurred.

“I feel very blessed that we can offer an authentically Catholic alternative to Girl Scouts,” Joan Stromberg told LifeSiteNews.

Little Flowers started over 20 years ago, not as a reaction against what Girl Scouts were doing, or where they are now, Stromberg said, but as a way to help moms and girls bond together to learn about the world through a Catholic lens.

“It is sad that Girl Scouts policies and positions have put them in direct conflict with Church teachings,” Stromberg continued. “I am just pleased that girls and moms have alternative places like Little Flowers where they can go.”

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