Ben Johnson


New Homeland Security lumps anti-abortion groups in with terrorists

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D,C, July 5, 2012, ( –  Two years after incensing pro-life conservatives and believers in limited government, the Department of Homeland Security has funded another report fingering anti-abortion groups, “fundamentalists,” and those “suspicious of centralized federal authority” as potential sources of terrorism.

The report, which seeks to analyze the regions of the U.S. most susceptible to terrorist attack, attributes the greatest share of violence over the last 40 years to “single issue” organizations, mentioning “anti-abortion” groups as the first of only four examples: “anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro.”

Brian Clowes, Director of Research for Human Life International was incensed with the report. “They are cherry picking,” he told LifeSiteNews.  “They put in the anti-nukes as a sop when they’re really after the pro-lifers,” Clowes added. “What’s amazing is that unions are not mentioned at all in the report, when they’ve likely been responsible for more terrorist acts than all the listed single issue group examples combined.”

“Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008,” written by Gary LaFree and Bianca Bersani, concluded that single issue groups had perpetrated more atrocities over a longer period of time than “extreme left-wing,” “extreme right-wing,” “religious,” or “ethno-nationalist” terrorists.

“The most recent decade has been dominated by single issue attacks,” they wrote.

Aside from two references to “anti-abortion” protesters, other potential malefactors include conservatives, fundamentalists, marxists, and nationalist groups.

Possible terrorists aligned with the “extreme right-wing” are described as “nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

Its account of religious terrorists – a category broad enough to include Gary North with Osama bin Laden – warns against those who “seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists),” or “forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists).” 

Beneath the seal of the DHS, the report states it was compiled to “aid the intelligence and law enforcement communities in identifying potential terrorist threats and support policymakers in developing prevention efforts.”

LeFree and Bersani drafted the paper for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, which received an initial $12 million grant from DHS to carry out research on terrorism.

The researchers claim to have found zero religiously motivated terrorist attacks during the 1990s, a tally that appears to overlook the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, conducted by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s nephew.

Their assessment, published in late January, continues the Obama administration’s trend of downplaying Islamic extremism while emphasizing an alleged conservative, Christian, pro-life, and pro-marriage “terrorist threat.”

An April 2009 DHS report entitled “Rightwing [sic.] Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” identified “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and opposition to same-sex “marriage” as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The DHS later pulled the report.

Yet DHS and FBI agents subsequently attended a terrorism training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism, hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. After equating free speech with violence, organizers distributed a resource guide listing three pages of purportedly extremist websites such as Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The same ideological assumptions extended to the previous Democratic administration. The Clinton-era Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy (VAAPCON) program, which ran from 1994-96, compiled a vast database of information on pro-life activists as diverse as the late John Cardinal O’Connor of New York, Concerned Women for America, and Feminists for Life, assuming the right to life movement concealed a secret plan to murder abortionists. No such plot was uncovered.

Constitutional expert John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute has voiced concern the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “would allow the military to show up at your door if you’re a ‘potential terrorist,’ and put you in military detention.”

The START study claims that during 40-year window it examined, single issue groups struck the greatest number of locations, 185 counties. Religious terrorism was “much less prevalent,” affecting only 26 counties.

LaFree concluded that “language diversity,” associated with polyglot regions, “evidences a strong and significant positive relationship with terrorist attacks and ordinary crime.” Comparing the variables for politically based terror with crime, they conclude “our research…does suggest that ethnic heterogeneity is significantly associated with the counties where terrorists attack.” Conversely, “residentially stable counties and those with a higher proportion of non-Hispanic white residents are less likely to experience both terrorist attacks and ordinary crime.”

The analysts hope to do further research into which foreign languages terrorists might tend to speak.

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

Share this article

Featured Image
Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

Share this article

Featured Image
A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

, ,

‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

Share this article


Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook