Steve Jalsevac

, , ,

Spirited, diverse crowd at Ontario Legislature demands Bill 13 defeat

Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

* See follow up report with video highlights.

TORONTO, March 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A crowd of an estimated 2000 or so concerned parents from a wide range of ethnic and faith communities demonstrated outside Ontario’s legislature Thursday demanding the defeat of the Liberal government’s “anti-bullying” Bill 13. The speakers and spirited, chanting crowd, many with homemade signs, expressed fears of a dangerous loss of freedoms from the government bill and its imposition on all Ontario schools of a sexual culture radically opposed to their own beliefs.

Kim Galvao, the main organizer from Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario, expected just a few hundred but was overwhelmed to see the far larger number of protesters show up with hundreds of signs. Galvao told LifeSiteNews that she started organizing the rally only two weeks ago and networked with several other groups to get the word out.

Galvao said she is “just a mother” and decided to to try to get a rally going because the government was not responding to her serious concerns about Bill 13. “There was just silence and so I just felt I needed to do something.”

Galvao stated, “I am alarmed to see a sexual agenda imposed on our schools by the Liberal government. ... As a mom I do not want my children taught that there are seven different genders. As a mom, I do no want my young children taught the disputed theory that a person’s gender is not connected to their physical anatomy.”

There were notably large numbers of participants from the Chinese Catholic, Chinese Protestant and Korean Christian communities. The rally was attended by Christians of several denominations and the many ethnic and religious communities represented included Sikhs, Muslims, Koreans, Chinese, Somalians, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Portuguese, Spanish communities, Filipinos, and more.

Several speakers gave passionate speeches warning of the loss of liberty, parental rights and freedom of religion that would result from what they claimed is the unconstitutional proposed legislation.

Speakers included: Kim Galvao, Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario; Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Catholics; Dr. Charles McVety, Institute for Canadian Values; Reverend Dominic Tse, North York Chinese Community Church; Teresa Pierre of Parents As First Educators; Allan Tam, Chinese community leader and School Trustee at York Region District School Board; Phil Lees, Family Coalition Party leader and several religious leaders from various Christian denominations, as well as a Sikh speaker.

Charles McVety, holding a copy of Bill 13 and a copy of the resource guide from the Toronto District School Board titled, Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism, said there were three main things he strongly rejected: the violation of parental rights, the attack on religious liberty and the restriction that any person or group renting schools would also have to abide by the new legislation.

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Catholic charged that “McGuinty’s Bill 13 is about social engineering. It is about indoctrinating kids to reject the moral and religious beliefs of their parents on human sexuality, in favour of the government’s ideology.” He added, “that’s why the bill contains bizarre things like the 7-gender theory.”

Fonseca continued: “Dalton McGuinty is requiring the Catholic church to violate its religious beliefs. ... Where does he think we are? The former Soviet Union?”

Dominic Tse, pastor of North York Community Chinese Church accused the Liberal government of using Communist totalitarian tactics similar to those those used in the Communist China that many in his community fled from.

Tse told the crowd to loud cheers, “What do we call these things? We call them dictatorship. We call it totalitarianism. Where we come from we know what that means, right? We are not going to allow the government to Bill 13 us, to dictate to us what we need to do and what we need to think.”

Theresa Pierre call Bill 13 “a grave violation of our conscience rights” and that is “going to cause social upheaval”.

Phil Lees shouted in his speech, “We will not allow the rights of responsible, principled Ontarians to be taken away”.

A pleasant surprise to the organizers was the number of MPPs who came and joined the rally. At least four PC MPPs mingled with the parents, listening to the speakers and chatting with demonstrators. Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Essex, received enthusiastic response to his brief speech commending the parents for their strong, public opposition to Bill 13. Several other MPPs were spotted coming to the steps of the legislature to watch the large, very determined crowd and to hear what they were saying.

At one point during the rally, former Education Minister and homosexual activist Kathleen Wynn came outside and walked past the huge parents group. She then went over to the small group of 40 counter-protestors who had gathered nearby to demand that Dalton McGuinty force the Catholic Church to violate its religious beliefs. She also spoke to Omni TV in favor of Bill 13, downplaying the concerns of parents.

One MPP told organizers that the parents could be heard shouting “Stop Bill 13” inside the chamber. Coincidentally, lawmakers were at the time debating Bill 14, the alternate anti-bullying bill initiated by Progressive Conservative MPP, Elizabeth Witmer. Her bill, without the sexual agenda of Bill 13, is not opposed by the demonstrators.

All speakers at the rally expressed support for legitimate anti-bullying legislation that targets genuine causes of bullying, of which body image was said to be by far the most common target.

Near the end of the rally a moving prayer was presented by Korean pastor, Rev. Soo. He humbly pleaded in his prayer, “Please grant wisdom to our leaders and support them as they make changes to our laws affecting our families and especially our precious children. Children are our future.”

Several mainstream media outlets were present, although rally organizers reported what so far appears to be a news blackout on the event in all the local television media - CBC, CTV, Global and CP24. Local newspapers and talk radio were said to have given at least some coverage to the event.

Rally organizers strongly encouraged Ontario parents to email, write, phone and visit their MPPs and to urge them to vote against Bill 13.

* See follow up report with video highlights.

Only 6 days remain!

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


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

Advertisement
Featured Image
Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Red Alert!

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

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

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

Thank you so much for your support. 

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook