Canadian gvmt will maintain Crossroads grant after review over beliefs on homosexuality
OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Canada’s Conservative government is defending its grant to a Christian organization working to improve water access in Uganda after a media report on Sunday called for its defunding because of its Christian beliefs on sexuality.
International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino had called for a review of the $544,813 grant to Crossroads Communications Inc. after The Canadian Press reported that the evangelical organization’s website included a statement labeling homosexuality a “perversion” and a “sin.” The review, he said, would happen “before further payments are made.”
The news prompted concern from pro-family advocates who warned the move risked sidelining the Christian voice in the public square, but Minister Fantino’s office contacted LifeSiteNews Monday night to say that the review was complete and Crossroads’ funding would remain in place.
Minister Fantino defends the grant
Meagan Murdoch, a spokeswoman for Fantino, told LifeSiteNews that Crossroads’ funding had not been halted. “It was simply a review … to confirm that the funds that the government had given them were still being spent on the water project,” she explained. “We just wanted to double check everything was in accordance with the agreement.”
In an e-mail Monday night, a spokeswoman for the Canadian International Development Agency confirmed that the grant remains in place after the review found Crossroads’ project complies with the funding agreement.
“CIDA evaluates projects based on merit, and flows funding based on effectiveness,” said Amy Mills. “Funding decisions are not made on the basis of an organization’s religious affiliation.”
The New Democrats, Canada’s official Opposition, challenged Fantino on the grant during Question Period on Monday.
“How did Crossroads, an anti-gay organization, get sign-off from the minister to operate in a country that Canada has strongly criticized for its persecution of its gay citizens?” asked Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie), the NDP's International Cooperation critic.
In response, Fantino said, “We fund results-based projects, not organizations, and projects are delivered without religious content, including this particular project.”
Crossroads ‘delighted’ to continue serving Ugandans
In its report on Sunday, The Canadian Press said they found a page on Crossroads’ website urging users to “repent” of sexual sins that misuse the “true purpose” of sexual intercourse, including homosexuality. The news agency charged that the federal government is funding a so-called “anti-gay” group in Uganda while at the same time ardently opposing a proposed Ugandan law that would institute harsher punishments for same-sex relations.
But Crossroads, in a statement sent to LifeSiteNews Monday night, insisted they are “not anti-gay” and are committed to “lov[ing] people unconditionally,” while also affirming their belief that “God’s blueprint encourages sexuality within a marriage.” They said they “welcomed” the CIDA review as part of government efforts to ensure accountability.
Speaking to LifeSiteNews Tuesday morning after learning the grant would continue, Lara Dewar Laurie, Crossroads’ Chief Corporate Services Officer, said they were “delighted.”
“We enjoy a really positive working relationship with CIDA and we’re inclined to do what it takes – save of course giving up on any of our principles, which we’ve not been asked to do,” she said. “The work that’s being done is incredibly important – people deserve clean drinking water and we’re delighted that there will be no delay in getting that to them.”
The organization, which is famous for its Christian television station, has run development projects overseas for over 30 years, distributing over $35,000,000 in relief funds in 41 countries. They have partnered with CIDA for ten years, receiving $2,664,000 during that time.
In their statement, the organization also said they are not involved in lobbying in Uganda, and in fact support the Canadian government’s opposition to criminalizing homosexuality. “Crossroads provides aid based solely on human need and does not discriminate, nor does Crossroads attempt to influence or lobby foreign governments or policies,” they said.
Dewar Laurie told LifeSiteNews they had intended to remove the webpage on “sexual sins” several months ago and have now done so, but insisted that their commitment to Biblical doctrine on sexuality remains firm.
“Our particular views on Biblically the treatment of sexuality has not changed and will not change, but we believe that it was outdated in tone and message,” she explained. “Culturally in the last five to ten years we’ve seen a very different dialogue shaped around same-sex attraction and many other things in culture and we always want to make sure that those resources are not hurtful.”
Pro-family leaders react
Don Hutchinson, vice president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told LifeSiteNews the government’s decision to continue the grant is “entirely appropriate,” noting that Canada is a “free and democratic society where people are not disqualified from participating in relationship with the government because of religious beliefs.”
“I’m quite sure that the original reasons for providing the grant to Crossroads are still being satisfied and that those who are impoverished and in need of fresh water and latrines and training in proper hygiene in Uganda will be the beneficiaries as a result,” he said.
Andrea Mrozek, executive director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, said she did not see a need for a “specific review” of Crossroads’ work.
“Have people ever seen their programming? These are people who wouldn’t know how to hate if you paid them good money to try,” she said. “If we are coming to a place where people who have a traditional view of sexuality apparently can’t do unrelated development work, then that’s a very dangerous place to be.”
On Monday, Joseph C. Ben-Ami, president of the Meighen Institute, had criticized Fantino’s decision to review the grant because, he said, Crossroads’ views on homosexuality “couldn’t be less relevant” to its work in Uganda. After learning on Tuesday that the grant would continue, he said his concerns still apply.
“The allegation of impropriety was absurd at face value and ought to have been dismissed outright,” he said. “The fact that his office even conducted some sort of ‘review’ ought to offend all practicing Christians, regardless of their political affiliation. [Would] a group made up of pro-abortionists [who] were involved in food distribution be subjected to the same - or any - scrutiny in similar circumstances? I think not.”
“The real problem here, however, is not the government, but the media that ran the story in the first place. It betrayed either a deep ambivalence toward Christian organisations, or a profound ignorance, and ought not to have been run,” he added.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Hon. Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation
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.
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.”
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.