Anger as UK homosexualists declare Edinburgh cardinal “bigot of the year”
EDINBURGH, November 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Christian believers and others in Britain are expressing outrage after the country’s leading homosexualist lobby group declared the Cardinal Archbishop of Edinburgh, Keith O’Brien, “Bigot of the Year” for his opposition to “gay marriage”. While Stonewall and some others continue to defend the award category, even some of the group’s greatest supporters have criticized it, saying the designation damages their own cause.
Gerald Warner, a Catholic journalist and sometime policy advisor to the Scottish Conservative party, called the award a sign that the homosexualist movement is sinking further into “homofascism”. He told LifeSiteNews.com, “How would the politically correct media respond if the most prominent Catholic pressure group in Britain last night voted Ben Summerskill, of Stonewall, ‘Weirdo of the Year’? We all know the answer.
“So why is ‘hate speech,’ and even a hate award, acceptable, so long as it is directed against a Prince of the Church for reasserting the timeless and unchangeable doctrine of the Catholic Church as it has stood for 2,000 years?”
While Stonewall and other homosexualist activist groups continue to defend the award, others have said it brings the tenor of the debate down to the level of the schoolyard.
“In seeking to humiliate and intimidate those who hold mainstream views on marriage rather than engaging with their arguments, Stonewall is stifling robust public discussion of an issue of great importance to the future of our society,” said Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern. a faith-based legal defence association.
Williams, who is not a Catholic, has called the Cardinal “a courageous Christian leader who has stood up for the truth.” She said, “Stonewall’s attack on him reveals their contempt and brazen attitude to those who will not capitulate to their agenda.”
“It is deeply ironic that an organisation that claims to be opposed to bullying and even runs an initiative in primary schools, entitled ‘Celebrating Difference’, responds to difference of opinion by resorting to name-calling that, were it not more sinister, would be reminiscent of playground antics,” she added.
At their lavish annual awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stonewall also named Scottish Tory leader and open lesbian Ruth Davidson “politician of the year” but then booed and jeered her at the ceremony when she objected to the “bigot” award.
“It is simply wrong. The case for equality is far better made by demonstrating the sort of generosity, tolerance and love we would wish to see more of in this world,” Davidson explained.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond also criticized the award, but said he will not withdraw any funding from Stonewall.
Homosexualists were infuriated when the Catholic Church in Scotland said it will “declare war” on the Cameron/Clegg government’s plans to institute “gay marriage” and pledged £100,000 in funds to the campaign. Cardinal O’Brien has been a staunch and outspoken critic of the plans, saying that it is a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.”
While most of the Catholic episcopate of Britain have objected to the plans in some way, O’Brien is perhaps being singled out because he is among the extremely small number of Catholic leaders who have been willing to criticize the homosexual lifestyle itself, rather than merely praising natural marriage. O’Brien has said that homosexual activity is “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved.” He was nominated for the “bigot” title along with fellow Scotland prelate, Philip Tartaglia, the archbishop of Glasgow.
Warner said the whole notion of “hate crimes” and “aggravated offences” has created a privileged political position “under Britain’s formerly equitable legal system” for “certain minorities” – who currently enjoy the fashionable caché and social approval of the leftist media and London’s “smart set” political establishment.
If such offenses are to exist, he said, “then there should be a level playing field.” “Christophobia is now the only tolerated - indeed encouraged - hate manifestation in Britain and the West.” He called branding Cardinal O’Brien “Bigot of the Year” “just the latest example of anti-Christian aggression” from the organized left.
“The Cardinal himself is entitled to regard the award as an unintended compliment, testifying that he has spoken up effectively for the Faith,” he said.
Warner also objected to the use of public funds to support, and public officials accepting, the awards. The tax funding of Stonewall, he said, means effectively that the government is paying Stonewall to lobby the government on issues that a small cadre of far-left politicians want to see pushed forward.
Warner also criticized Ruth Davidson for accepting the Politician of the Year award, and then attempting to salvage her position by chiding the group for the “bigot” award. “The point is: what was the leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, who is promoting same-sex marriage while leading the one party that socially conservative voters look to for representation, doing at such an event?”
He added, “No Scottish Catholic or Christian can now vote Conservative.”
“If Catholics do not come together and make a stand against this kind of aggression they will be marginalised from society. We hear much about ‘homophobia’ - a propagandist, illiterate neologism used to intimidate - but what would its users say if Christians retaliated with the charge that such conduct amounts to ‘homofascism’?”
Two major banking firms, Barclay’s and Coutts & Co – the latter being the publicly owned bank used by Queen Elizabeth – have threatened to withdraw their support for the annual awards ceremony if the category is not removed from the list.
Coutts & Co said in a statement, “Coutts are sponsors only of Stonewall’s Writer of the Year Award and have in no way been involved in the judging or support of the Bigot of the Year category.
“We have advised Stonewall that we will be withdrawing our support of the awards unless they remove this category.”
Speaking for Barclay’s, Mark McLane, Managing Director and head of the office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, said, “Let me be absolutely clear that Barclays does not support that award category either financially, or in principle and have informed Stonewall that should they decide to continue with this category we will not support this event in the future.
“To label any individual so subjectively and pejoratively runs contrary to our view on fair treatment, and detracts from what should be a wholly positively focused event.”
But Gerald Warner said these statements are not “good enough.”
“The fact remains,” he said, “they have sponsored this insult.
“Barclays’ claim that they were unaware of the ‘bigot’ award suggests they are not very careful in handing out money. Any Catholic with an account at Barclays should close it.”
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Pro-life group asks: Pray for abortionists who sell baby body parts
February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - This Lent, a pro-life group would like you to pray for an abortionist - specifically, an abortionist who facilitates the sale of unborn babies' body parts.
The Pro-Life Action League is asking for people to pray for three people in particular throughout the 40 days of Lent. All three were caught on video by the Center for Medical Progress.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola appeared in the first video released last July, sipping red wine and stabbing her salad as she discussed the dismemberment of aborted children, including where to “crush” their bodies for a "less crunchy" technique.
The second is Dr. Mary Gatter, who appeared in the second undercover video, haggling over the prices Planned Parenthood expected to receive for the aborted children's organs and tissue. At one point, she joked that she wants the revenue to pay for “a Lamborghini.”
And the third is Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who was also caught in the first video praising Dr. Nucatola.
Despite the shocking evidence uncovered by CMP, Richards has insisted her organization did not receive any profit for what she dubs its "fetal tissue donation program." She apologized only for Dr. Nucatola's "tone." She has since said that Planned Parenthood will not receive any remuneration for babies' body parts.
"These three architects of Planned Parenthood’s baby parts scheme have devoted their lives to the destruction and exploitation of human life in the name of ‘choice,’" said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. "If we won’t pray for them, who will?”
He asked Christians to pray for these three abortion industry profiteers - and for Richards, who is a post-abortive woman - in order to fulfill Jesus Christ's commandment in the Bible, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (St. Matthew 5:44).
“In God’s eyes, what abortion has done to these three women may be worse than what they’ve done to unborn children, who now rest in our Lord’s loving arms," Scheidler said.
For most Catholics, Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, and lasts 40 days.
Texas AG faces ethics probe for defending conscience rights of natural marriage supporters
AUSTIN, Texas, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The attorney general of the state of Texas is facing an ethics investigation for having affirmed the constitutional religious freedom of state workers to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it goes against their religious beliefs.
Attorney General Ken Paxton took steps to address the issue of conscience protection in his state before and after last June's Supreme Court's Obergefell decision imposing same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states, first issuing a statement the day prior clarifying that Texas law recognizes the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and recommending that state officials wait for direction from his office should the High Court move to redefine marriage.
Paxton then issued a statement two days after the ruling, his office allowing county clerks and their employees to retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and said as well that justices of the peace and judges would similarly retain religious freedoms.
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A month later, a group of some 200 attorneys filed a complaint asserting that Paxton's position encouraged officials to violate the U.S. Constitution and break their oaths of office, according to ABC News.
The complaint was dismissed at first by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, but it was reinstated February 2 by a state Supreme Court-appointed appeals board, which contended that the complaint alleges a "possible violation" of professional conduct rules.
The appeals board decision to reinstate the case does not mean Paxton violated professional ethics, according to the ABC report, but does require him to respond to the complaint in conjunction with the investigation.
"The complaint has always lacked merit," said Paxton spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer, "and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out."
Paxton was among several state officials across the U.S. who moved to ensure conscience protection in the immediate aftermath the Obergefell ruling, at times garnering the ire of homosexual activists.
Last July, South Dakota's attorney general granted permission to county clerks with conscientious objections to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as another clerk in the office would issue the license.
In a highly contentious case, Davis had asked for a religious accommodation allowing her office to issue altered licenses to homosexuals without her name on them, which was eventually granted by Kentucky's Governor Matt Bevin. However, the ACLU sued, seeking to force Davis to issue the old forms with her full name on them. A federal judge rejected the suit earlier this week.
Last year, homosexual activists sent harassing messages, including threats of violence, to Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk and his family after the Republican legislator sponsored a bill that would have given the state's business owners the freedom to follow their religious convictions in regard to homosexual "marriage."
Paxton faces penalties varying between a reprimand and disbarment resulting from the ethics complaint. The Texas attorney general is also facing securities fraud charges.
This pro-abortion billionaire may run for president
NEW YORK, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - He's an upwardly mobile, socially liberal billionaire whose political affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He's teased numerous presidential campaigns in the past, but this time he's talking like he's serious. And no, he's not who you think he is.
Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York City, has confirmed to media sources that he is considering running for president as an independent in 2016.
Bloomberg told told the Financial Times this week that he finds American political "discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," and that he's “looking at all the options."
The 73-year-old tycoon was a registered Democrat before switching parties to run in the less contested Republican primary in 2001. He became a registered independent in 2007.
As mayor, Bloomberg governed as a social liberal who strongly supported abortion and the LGBT political agenda.
In 2011, Bloomberg signed a controversial gag order directed at crisis pregnancy centers. A year later, he endorsed Barack Obama's re-election, saying that abortion-on-demand is part of "the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there."
That's the same year Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand "reproductive health," including a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to overturn pro-life laws in four nations: Nicaragua, Sengal, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.
Mayor Bloomberg played a pivotal role redefining marriage in New York state, giving the four Republican state senators who voted for New York’s same-sex “marriage” bill the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law. One retired and a second lost his primary fight.
His strong emphasis on health regulations, such as attempting to ban soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, did little to enhance his popularity and were deftly parodied by Sarah Palin. (A state court struck down the proposed regulation.)
The financial heft he could bring into the race, as well as his quirky politics, has tempted Bloomberg to enter presidential politics in the past. He considered a presidential run in 2008 and thought more strongly about a third party bid in 2012, after hosting the inaugural convention of the “No Labels” movement in New York City in 2010, but he backed off each time after not seeing a viable path to victory.
With an estimated fortune of $39 billion, he has said he would be willing to spend more than $1 billion on his campaign in 2016 - but he would only enter the race if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and the Democratic Party nominates Bernie Sanders.
He called Jeb and Hillary Clinton "two quality” candidates and "the only two who know how to make the trains run." Jeb reciprocated last month, telling CNN that Bloomberg is "a good person, and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”
At least one of his competitors is eager to see Mike run. "I hope he gets into the race," Donald Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday night. "I'd love to compete against him...I would love to see Michael in the race."
That is likely because polling shows Bloomberg would draw most of his support from the Democratic candidate. "Although he is characterized as the New York counterpunch to Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is more the nemesis of Bernie than he is of Donald," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Bernie Sanders would defeat both Trump and Cruz in a head-to-head match, according to Quinnipiac. But if Bloomberg entered the race, he would win 15 percent of the vote largely from Sanders, giving Trump a one-point victory in the popular vote (and narrowing Cruz's loss to one point).
However, he could throw a major wrench in the Democrats' electoral college total, according to columnist Pat Buchanan.
"Not only would Bloomberg lose the Big Apple, his statewide vote would come mostly from the Democratic nominee, giving Republicans the best opportunity to carry the Empire State since Ronald Reagan coasted to re-election in 1984," wrote Buchanan, who served as White House communications director during Reagan's second term.
“It’s not beyond imagining that he could get in and have an effect on the race,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, told The Hill.
Perhaps sensing this, numerous Democrats - including Senators Claire McCaskill and Jeanne Shaheen - have thrown cold water on a Bloomberg presidential run.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said this week that an independent Bloomberg candidacy "won't be necessary" - because the Democrats already represent social liberals.
"I really think when he takes a good hard look, he will conclude that the issues that are important to him...[have] a natural home among our Democratic candidates," she said. "And so, I think Michael Bloomberg's agenda is well cared-for and advanced among our Democratic candidates, and his candidacy, I think he will find, won't be necessary.""
His entrance into the race would be a true injection of "New York values" - making him the third or fourth New Yorker in the race - alongside fellow billionaire Trump from Queens, the Brooklyn-born Sanders, and onetime New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
Annie Linskey, a reporter for the Boston Globe who once worked for Bloomberg, told Fox News on Monday that there is "about a four" percent chance that Bloomberg will run.