Archbishop to Pelosi, critics: No, I won’t drop March for Marriage
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has responded that, despite criticism from political leaders in his home state, he will attend the March for Marriage this week, because his position requires him to act as a defender of the Catholic faith.
In a letter released today, Cordileone wrote that he is required “as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing ... especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife,” Cordileone wrote. “That is what I will be doing on June 19th.”
Political figures from Nancy Pelosi to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom had written to Cordileone, asking him not to take part in the second annual march in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Pelosi, who supports marriage redefinition, called the march “venom masquerading as virtue.”
"We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco," she wrote to her archbishop. But she said some of the event's participants show “hate and disdain” for homosexuals.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League accused Pelosi of selective outrage. “When gays go naked in the streets of San Francisco, and mock Catholicism in patently obscene ways, Pelosi is never offended. What offends her is her archbishop's public defense of the Church's teachings on marriage,” he said.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a separate letter with numerous homosexual activists asking that he “reconsider [his] participation and join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred.”
They criticized the National Organization for Marriage and added that “the Family Research Council, which is co-sponsoring the event, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Among those who signed Lee and Newsom's letter is Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, an openly dissenting Catholic group condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when it was led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Other prominent signatories include Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun magazine and Harry Knox, a defrocked Methodist minister whom President Obama named to his Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. Knox now leads the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Dr. Christine Mugridge, head of the Archdiocese of San Francisco's department of communications and outreach, told LifeSiteNews.com that the politicians had allowed ideology to blind them to an archbishop's mission. “They are forgetting the fact that he has an obligation to teach the faith,” she said. “In the public arena, they are not responsible for every speaker’s opinion at a public meeting.”
“It isn’t his personal opinion; it is the teaching of the Church,” she said.
Both letters quoted an off-the-cuff remark by Pope Francis, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?" The statement has been used to confuse the faithful and public at large about the Church's stance on homosexuality – confusion Archbishop Cordileone aims to dispel.
“The Holy Father is being misquoted repeatedly to defend acceptance of the gay lifestyle,” Dr. Mugridge told LifeSiteNews. “The Pope has said he is a son of the Church and that he does not defend the gay lifestyle and opposed lobbyists for that lifestyle.”
“His 'who am I to judge?' quote is now being used to condone the active homosexual lifestyle, which is in complete contradiction to our Catholic faith,” she said.
In his response letter released today, Cordileone, who chairs the USCCB's Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, cited words of Pope Francis that have attracted less media attention: “We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.”
That view, he said, is not “anti-LGBT” but simply pro-marriage.
He noted much of his correspondents' criticism of NOM and FRC was “based on misinterpretation or is simply factually incorrect.”
“There is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction,” he noted – and not merely rhetoric. “Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence ... such as, most notably, the attempted gunning down of those who work in the offices of the Family Research Council.”
He implored his left-leaning political correspondents to get to know him and other defenders of marriage as people. “Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images, and comments taken out of context,” he said. “Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings.”
“I myself am willing to meet personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart. In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible,” he continued. “I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen.”
“When all is said and done, then, there is only one thing that I would ask of you more than anything else,” he said, “before you judge us, get to know us.”
You may read Archbishop Cordileone's full response here.
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.