John Westen

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Confirmed: President Obama to speak again at Al Smith fundraiser for NY Catholic Charities

John Westen
John Westen
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NEW YORK, July 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Although controversy dogged his first appearance at the charity’s annual fundraiser in 2008 alongside Sen. John McCain, Catholic Charities has again extended an invitation to President Obama to speak at this year’s event.

Meghan Myers, the Executive Director of the annual fundraiser, told LifeSiteNews today that U.S. President Barack Obama has accepted the invitation to speak at the charity’s Al Smith Dinner in October. 

The annual fundraiser has traditionally featured the presidential candidates from each party during an election year. No word yet on whether Mitt Romney will attend.

While the event typically takes a lighter tone, with the presidential candidates roasting each other in humorous speeches, this year’s event comes at an especially awkward time, with the U.S. bishops having recently concluded their “Fortnight for Freedom” - a response to the Obama administration’s HHS mandate that will force employers, including many religious employers, to include contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in their health plans. That mandate, as well as other attacks on religious freedom coming from the Obama administration, have been condemned in the strongest terms by many of the country’s bishops and religious leaders.

Another major conflict with Catholics and other Christians developed when the president began to actively oppose the Defense of Marriage Act last year; he has also just recently announced his support for same-sex “marriage.”

The Al Smith dinner also comes a little over three years after 83 U.S. bishops publicly opposed the invitation and award given to President Obama by Notre Dame because of the president’s pro-abortion record.

When asked if consideration was given to the Obama administration’s recent attacks on religious freedom, particularly Catholicism, in inviting the president, Myers replied that she could not comment on the invitation since she did not extend it. Obama was invited, she said, by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

The White House did not return calls for comment by press time. 

Joe Zwilling, Director of the Office of Communications at the archdiocese of New York, told LifeSiteNews that he had not heard that the invitation had gone out, nor that it had been accepted.

The appearance of Obama at the Al Smith Dinner in 2008 caused considerable controversy.  At the time some pro-life leaders questioned the appearance in light of a 2004 policy of the U.S. bishops regarding politicians who “act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

In ‘Catholics in Political Life’, the U.S. bishops said: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The idea of cancelling the traditional appearance of the presidential candidates is not without precedent. On two occasions since 1960 the presidential candidates were not invited by the Archdiocese of New York to the dinner - in 1996 (Cardinal John O’Connor), when strongly pro-abortion Bill Clinton was a candidate, and in 2004 (Cardinal Egan), during the candidacy of also strongly pro-abortion Democrat John Kerry.

Obama is often referred to as “the abortion president” because of his record that is viewed by pro-life leaders to be the most extreme in U.S. history.

Deal Hudson, a well-known Catholic political activist and author of “Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals” in the United States opined after Obama’s 2008 appearance:

What are we doing here? If abortion really is what we say it is—the gruesome murder of unborn children—do our actions reflect that belief? And if those who support abortion are guilty of facilitating such a horror, how should we respond to them?

If this were 1855, would we be inviting pro-slavery politicians to take a break from a hard fought race, and share a laugh and a meal? As one who finds courage and inspiration in the example of the Radical Republican abolitionists, I just can’t imagine it.

But isn’t that what we’re doing today? I know that wasn’t Cardinal Egan’s intention—of course not. (I also recognize that I’m raising these concerns after the fact.) However, in today’s media driven society, images matter. The sight of Obama and the cardinal palling around sends the message—whether intentional or not—that the pro-choice senator is fine in Egan’s eyes.

Obama’s appearance at this year’s fundraiser would be no less contentious.  Michael Hichborn of American Life League told LifeSiteNews, “Regardless of what they’ve done in the past, it is unthinkable for a Catholic charity to invite the man seeking the destruction of religious freedom in America to a fund raising event.“Hichborn added: “This sends the wrong message to pew-sitting Catholics, who are anxiously looking to our bishops to stand up and fight against this clear enemy of the Church who will be joining them for dinner. The Apostle Paul said it best in his second letter to the Corinthians: ‘Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?’”

Contact info for respectful communications to the archdiocese:

[email protected] (apparently emails are no longer being accepted at this address) an alternative is [email protected]

Office of the Cardinal
Diocese of New York
1011 First Ave
NY, NY 10022

** IMPORTANT: See Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports

Red alert! Last call.

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Brian Brown

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Supreme Court betrays us with illegitimate marriage ruling

Brian Brown
By Brian Brown

June 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Though expected, today's decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.

Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.

Urge Congress to pass a marriage protection amendment now. Sign the petition!

The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today's ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.

In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King discussed the moral importance of disobeying unjust laws, which we submit applies equally to unjust Supreme Court decisions. Dr. King evoked the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that an unjust law or decision is one that is "a human law that is not rooted in eternal law or natural law."

Today's decision of the Supreme Court lacks both constitutional and moral authority. There is no eternal or natural law that allows for marriage to be redefined.

This is not the first time that the Supreme Court has issued an immoral and unjust ruling. In 1857, the Court ruled in the infamous Dred Scott v Sandford case that African Americans could not become citizens of the United States and determined that the government was powerless to reject slavery. In 1927 the Court effectively endorsed eugenics by ruling that people with mental illness and other "defectives" could be sterilized against their will, saying "three generations of imbeciles are enough." And in Roe v Wade, the Court invented a constitutional right to abortion by claiming it was an integral element of the right to privacy. Over 55 million unborn babies have died as a result.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

We urge the American people and future presidents to regard today's decision just as President Abraham Lincoln regarded the Dred Scott ruling when he said in his first inaugural address that "if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made…the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

Today's decision is by no means the final word concerning the definition of marriage; indeed it is only the beginning of the next phase in the struggle. NOM is committed to reversing this ruling over the long term and ameliorating it over the short term. Specifically:

  1. We call on Congress and state governments to move immediately to protect the rights of people who believe in the truth of marriage from being discriminated against by passing the First Amendment Defense Act through Congress, and similar legislation in the various states.
  2. We also call on Congress to advance to the states for consideration a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage in the law as it has existed in reality for the entirety of our nation's existence – the union of one man and one woman.
  3. We call on the American people to make the definition of marriage a pivotal issue in the 2016 presidential contest and to elect a president who will be a true champion for marriage, one who is committed to taking specific steps to restoring true marriage in the law including appointing new justices to the Supreme Court who will have the opportunity to reverse this decision.
  4. NOM will work tirelessly along with allies to help change the culture so that Americans have a better understanding of the importance of marriage to children, families and society as a whole.

While today's decision of the Supreme Court is certainly disappointing, it is not demoralizing to those of us who fervently believe in the truth of marriage and its importance to societal flourishing. Indeed, the decision will be energizing. Just as the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v Wade infused the pro-life movement with new energy and commitment, so too will the decision today reawaken the American people to join the marriage movement.

Our prayer for America is that today's injustice can be corrected quickly, sparing the nation decades of anguish of the kind that has followed the Court's decision in Roe.

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Gay ‘marriage’ ruling opens door to polygamy and religious persecution: Dissenting justices

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court's conservative justices lambasted today's majority opinion that the U.S. Constitution grants an inalienable right to same-sex “marriage,” emphasizing the threat the opinion poses to religious liberty, the democratic process, and the institution of marriage even as it is redefined.

In a series of scathing dissents, each of the High Court's four conservative justices took apart Justice Anthony Kennedy's Obergefell v. Hodges decision piece-by-piece.

Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, wrote that “the majority fails to provide even a single sentence explaining” how the 14th Amendment applies to redefining marriage.

“The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent,” he wrote. “There is, after all, no 'Companionship and Understanding' or 'Nobility and Dignity' Clause in the Constitution.”

Instead, the court ignored its own precedent in the 1972 Baker v. Nelson case, which ruled there is no constitutional right to homosexual “marriage.”

Urge Congress to pass a marriage protection amendment now. Sign the petition!

In a separate dissent, Justice Scalia called the decision a “judicial Putsch” that is “lacking even a thin veneer of law.” He described the majority's often flowery language as “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

Roberts said the opinion took an “unprincipled approach” that he likened to the Dred Scott decision, which ratified slavery on the eve of the Civil War.

While all of the dissenting justices warned that the decision usurped the role of the people in a democratic government, each made his own distinctive critiques, as well.

Justice Roberts warned that today's ruling was not comparable to striking down laws against interracial marriage, because at no time was the ethnicity of the spouses considered a defining factor of marriage itself.

He also warned that by changing the fundamental definition of marriage, the justices had opened the door to redefining other vital components of matrimony. “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” he wrote.

Justice Thomas wrote that the opinion holds “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” Recognizing the threat that the government may revoke the tax-exempt status of religious institutions, Thomas added that “the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious property.”

The traditional American view of limited government was another casualty, he wrote. “Our Constitution — like the Declaration of Independence before it — was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from — not provided by — the state.”

Justice Samuel Alito alone said that marriage existed for the sake of procreation and child-rearing. The majority opinion is based on ideas of romantic love, he wrote. “This understanding of marriage, which focuses almost entirely on the happiness of persons who choose to marry, is shared by many people today, but it is not the traditional one. For millennia, marriage was inextricably linked to the one thing that only an opposite-sex couple can do: procreate.”

All of the justices had a similar concern, though: The decision substitutes the views of five unelected justices for the democratic process, much as Roe v. Wade did for abortion in 1973.

“If a bare majority of justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate,” Justice Alito wrote in his dissent.

He concluded, “All Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.”

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Pro-traditional marriage activists march to the Supreme Court at the annual March for Marriage in Washington D.C. on March 26, 2013. American Life League
The Editors

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John-Henry Westen: U.S. Supreme Court rules against God and human nature

The Editors
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LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen, who also co-founded the international organization Voice of the Family, released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to require states to uphold same-sex "marriage".

Today, the Supreme Court undermined marriage, effectively making it open season on religious liberty in America -- and providing the Court's blessing to a redefinition of marriage that is opposed to the Will of God, basic human nature, and the U.S. Constitution.

With its decision, the Court has found a "civil right" where none exists. Thanks to the Supreme Court's majority, LGBT activists and their allies are now free to continue their state-sanctioned discrimination against social conservatives. In fact, they have been empowered to do so. This is no surprise, however, as such policies have become the norm in the Obama administration and in states across the nation, where state-sanctioned discrimination against religious and social conservatives is fully accepted.

Perhaps the worst consequence of the Court's decision is its promotion of damaging sexual relationships -- which are, like discrimination, now empowered all across America. Contrary to what the Court's liberals and many other judges believe, opposition to redefining marriage is based upon love -- the kind of tough love that requires a parent to tell their child to not play in traffic, or to get good grades.

Urge Congress to pass a marriage protection amendment now. Sign the petition!

Science has proven that sexual relationships between persons of the same-sex, as opposed to the God-ordained man-woman marital relationships, cause terrible harm to those in them. To quote former leading Canadian LGBT activist Gens Hellquist, speaking to government officials a few years after marriage was redefined in Canada:

We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country. Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS.

There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community. We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer.

Hellquist closed his testimony by saying that he was "tired of watching my community die." In this country, the Centers for Disease Control has shown that while men who have sex with men are perhaps two percent of the U.S. population, they make up nearly two-thirds of all HIV/AIDS victims.

Similarly, social science -- especially the work of Dr. Mark Regnerus and Dr. Paul Sullins -- has shown that children raised by same-sex parents are more emotionally damaged than their counterparts raised in homes led by a mom and a dad.

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