Jill Stanek

Former boy band member turned pro-life activist shares testimony

Jill Stanek
Jill Stanek
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May 25, 2012 (JillStanek.com) - Since yesterday liberal websites have been aghast at the news former Lyte Funky Ones boy band member Brad Fischetti is now a pro-life activist.

LFO was a pop/hip hop group that had several hits between 1998-2002, the most prominent of which were “Summer Girls,” “Girl on TV,” and “Every Other Time.”

In 2009 Fischetti announced the band’s break-up on YouTube.

And then something obviously happened in Fischetti’s life to bring him to where he is today, as chronicled by Buzz Feed’s lament

Fischetti has indeed been doing some pro-life sidewalk counseling at the Orlando Women’s Center abortion clinic in Florida. Here is a sampling of Fischetti’s tweets that is so disturbing the pro-abortion community…

After I read about Fischetti and perused his tweets last night, I started researching him, because honestly, I’d never heard of LFO.

What I learned made me even more curious. Fischetti is now the Director of Contemporary Music and New Media at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Celebration, FL. Here’s his hip hop arrangement of “Awesome God,” pretty cool.

Thanks to God for His amazing favors, I indeed got to speak with Brad a little while ago, with the help of pro-life activist John Barros.

Brad has an amazing testimony, which I’m just going to let him share it with you….

Brad Fischetti’s pro-life testimony

I look back now and regret having such a serious platform but not using it.

With LFO I was out there and recognizable, selling millions of records and playing in front of tens of thousands of people, but I didn’t have strong convictions about anything. I wasn’t able to stand up about anything that was really important to me.

Don’t get me wrong, when we were on top of the world I was very spiritual. I was baptized Catholic, and I grew up Catholic. I carried my Bible around with me on the road and lead prayers before concerts. As a group we were very spiritual.  But over the course of time, witnessing the horrible things that occur in this world, I could tell I was slowly losing my faith.

Then one day sometime in 2000-2001 I heard a terrible story about young boys getting kidnapped near their house by devil worshipers. Their genitals were mutilated and they were murdered. I decided right then that if there was a God, He wouldn’t let that happen.

And so I stopped believing.  I stopped praying, stopped reading my Bible, and just lived without faith. I didn’t work against those who believed, I just didn’t.  And my life seemingly continued to go well.  (Later I discovered that “things of this world” can never satisfy the human heart.)

I lived without a faith for two or three years.

U-Turn

Then one summer I decided to take a handful of my bands from my record label, 111 Records, on a tour. We rented a big RV and hooked a trailer to the back of it. One of the girls touring with us had cancer. It was a slow moving cancer and didn’t effect her daily life too much.

But one night she starting having difficulty breathing and couldn’t feel her hands, and I rushed her to the closest ER. We were in a little town in upstate New York in the middle of nowhere, and the hospital was very small. The ER doctor wanted to send the surgeons down to operate to remove the tumor then and there, but I said no way.  I told the doctor I would drive her to her cancer hospital, which was about seven hours away.  The doc gave her weak pain killers and sent us on our way.

I started driving the RV. It was late at night, raining, and we were in the mountains with slick roads and fog all around us. I felt like I was already dead, already gone.

I took a wrong turn trying to find a gas station.  I drove miles and miles down this two-lane road looking for a place to make a u-turn.  Finally I happened upon a state police station.  So I pulled in and attempted the u-turn, when suddenly the RV got stuck on a flat boulder.  So here I was at three o’clock in the morning, in the pouring rain, stuck, with this girl in the back of the RV in pain.

And so I stepped out into the rain.  I looked up to the sky.  And I prayed. It was the first time in years.  And I said, “God, if you can get me out of this I will never again turn my back to You.”

And yes, I got the RV unstuck and got the girl to her hospital. This was a pivotal moment in my conversion. But it didn’t happen overnight.

Grains of rice

Before my conversion I didn’t like abortion, but it didn’t affect me. It was just grains of rice being aborted, I thought.

But my faith became supremely important to me, and through that the abortion picture became clearer.

And when you learn, when you get to know what really happens in an abortion, it becomes atrocious.

I didn’t ask for this seemingly newfound platform.  And it’s hard to understand why people care so much about what I have to say when there are so many others who have fought longer and harder for the pro-life movement than I.  But if God is calling me to use what little platform I have left to help educate people, to help people understand what abortion really is, then – “Here I am Lord.  I come to do Your will.”

Many people don’t really know what happens in an abortion. Rarely is a girl only a couple of weeks pregnant.  Most women don’t find out they are pregnant until they are four or five or six weeks along.  And then they spend time trying to decide if they want an abortion, and by the time they get to the clinic, they are 12 or 13 or 14 weeks pregnant.  Their babies have fingers and toes.

And at the clinic in Orlando I’ve seen girls 24 weeks pregnant have abortions done.  And I’ve seen girls who are up to 30 weeks pregnant referred to the clinic owner’s secret abortion facility in the DC area, where he will abort babies well past 30 weeks of pregnancy!

The “pro-choice” concept is ludicrous. It makes no sense to me. “Pro-choice” is the choice to have sex or not to have sex.  And, yes, I do realize that a small number of abortions are performed on women who have been raped or are victims of incest.  And those crimes are as despicable as abortion.

But abortion is not the answer.  We should not punish the baby for the sins of the father.  And further, in a situation like that, the woman has already been violated enough.  An abortion will just serve to violate her further.


Bodies

I saw the “Bodies” exhibit in Las Vegas. They had a whole display on fetal development, and it was astounding how developed a baby is early in pregnancy. That’s when it dawned on me that abortion is not right under any circumstances. I believe a baby is a gift from God, and abortion is an atrocious sin and not acceptable under any circumstances.

I further believe when abortion was legalized it was never intended to be what it has become: Men who call themselves doctors go inside a woman’s womb and tear babies apart – or deliver them dead – or sometimes alive. It’s disgusting.

I really don’t care what people think of my stance against abortion. I may lose family and friends. But I am obligated to speak the truth. If I have a platform of 500 or 5,000, my job is to speak the truth. We have God on our side, and eventually abortion will be a sad chapter in our history.

Just because abortion is legal does not make it right.  There was a time in this country when denying a woman the right to vote was legal.  Was it right?  No.  There was a time in this country when slavery was legal.  Was it right?  No way.  To quote the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “Legality does not equal morality.”

Although I regret not having stronger convictions when I had a platform, I wouldn’t change anything.  I am content with who I am and where I am.

I haven’t read what the other side is saying about me right now, but I don’t care and I don’t judge them or anyone.  I only want people to know the truth, and I only want to help.  And I’m content doing so in my little bubble in Orlando, Florida.  But if God calls me to take a larger role, I will do His will.

I’m a man, I’m a father, I’m a Christian, I’m a human, and I’m pro-life.

Jill again

Pro-life community, please join me in praying for our new dear friend Brad as he walks down this unknown path of speaking out against abortion to pro-abortion peers and fans.  It won’t be easy for him. But we are grateful for his voice, and more than us, so are the babies.

Reprinted with permission from JillStanek.com

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Vatican’s doctrine chief: ‘Absolutely anti-Catholic’ to let bishops conferences decide doctrine or discipline

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By John-Henry Westen

VATICAN, March 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has rejected outright the idea floated by Germany’s Cardinal Reinhard Marx that various bishops’ conferences around the world would decide for themselves on points of discipline or doctrine. 

“This is an absolutely anti-Catholic idea that does not respect the catholicity of the Church,” Cardinal Müller told France’s Famille Chrétienne in an interview published today

The question was raised because Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Catholic bishops’ conference and a member of Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Nine, told reporters that the German bishops would chart their own course on the question of allowing Communion for those in “irregular” sexual unions.

“We are not a subsidiary of Rome,” he said in February. “The Synod cannot prescribe in detail what we should do in Germany.”

Vatican Cardinal Müller remarked that while episcopal conferences may have authority over certain issues they are not a parallel magisterium apart from the pope or outside communion with the bishops united to him.

Asked specifically about Cardinal Marx saying that the Church in Germany is “not a subsidiary of Rome,” the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said pointedly “the president of an Episcopal Conference is nothing more than a technical moderator, and as such has no special teaching authority.”  He added moreover, that the dioceses in a particular country “are not subsidiaries of the secretariat of an Episcopal conference or diocese whose Bishop presides over the Episcopal Conference.”

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The CDF head warned that “this attitude makes the risk of waking some polarization between the local churches and the universal Church.” He did not however believe that there was the will for Episcopal conferences to separate from Rome.

The important interview also saw Cardinal Müller contest the notion that the pastoral practice or discipline could change while retaining the same doctrine. “We can not affirm the doctrine and initiate a practice that is contrary to the doctrine,” he said.

He added that not even the papal Magisterium is free to change doctrine. “Every word of God is entrusted to the Church, but it is not superior to the Word,” he said. “The Magisterium is not superior to the word of God. The reverse is true.”

Cardinal Müller rejected the notion that we would have to modify Christ’s unflinching words totally forbidding divorce and remarriage.  We cannot “say that our ministry should be more cautious than Jesus Christ Himself!”  Nor could we, he added, say that Christ’s teaching is out of date or that “we need to correct or refine Jesus Christ because He lived in an idealistic world.” 

Rather, the cardinal said, bishops must be ready for martyrdom.  Quoting Jesus he said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and if we speak all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

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‘Groundbreaking’: Kansas may become first state to ban dismemberment abortions

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By Ben Johnson

TOPEKA, KS, March 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kansas will become the first state in the country to ban a procedure in which unborn children are dismembered in the womb, if Gov. Sam Brownback signs a bill that recently passed the state legislature.

The state House passed a ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, called dismemberment abortions in common parlance, by 98-26 on Wednesday.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which had already passed the state Senate in February 31-9, now heads to Gov. Brownback's desk.

Brownback, a staunch defender of life, is expected to sign the act into law.

"Because of the Kansas legislature's strong pro-life convictions, unborn children in the state will be protected from brutal dismemberment abortions," said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, which has made banning dismemberment abortions a national legislative focus.

The procedure, in which an abortionist separates the unborn child's limbs from his body one at a time, accounts for 600 abortions statewide every year.

Nationally, it is “the most prevalent method of second-trimester pregnancy termination in the USA, accounting for 96 percent of all second trimester abortions,” according to the National Abortion Federation Abortion Training Textbook.

“It’s just unconscionable that something happens to children that we wouldn’t tolerate being done to pets,” Katie Ostrowski, the legislative director of Kansans for Life, told The Wichita Eagle.

Leading pro-life advocacy groups have made shifting the debate to dismemberment a national priority, with similar legislation being considered in Missouri and Oklahoma. Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., who is NRLC's director of state legislation, called the bill's passage in Topeka “groundbreaking.”

"When the national debate focuses only on the mother, it is forgetting someone," she said.

The abortion lobby has made clear that it is uncomfortable engaging in a public relations tussle on this ground.

Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues associate of the Guttmacher Institute, said that dismemberment is “not medical language, so it’s a little bit difficult to figure out what the language would do.”

On the state Senate floor, Democrats tried to alter the bill's language on the floor by replacing the term “unborn child” with fetus. “I know some of you don’t believe in science. But it’s not an unborn child, it’s called a fetus,” said state Senator David Haley, D-Kansas City.

If the bill becomes law, the abortion industry has vowed to fight on.

Julie Burkhart, a former associate of late-term abortionist George Tiller, said the motion's only intention is “to intimidate, threaten and criminalize doctors.”

“Policymakers should be ashamed,” she said, adding, “if passed, we will challenge it in court.”

Gov. Brownback has previously signed conscience rights protections and sweeping pro-life protections into law.

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How NOT to move beyond the abortion wars

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By Anne Hendershott

March 26, 2015 (CrisisMagazine.com) -- A few years ago, when an undergraduate student research assistant of mine—a recent convert to Catholicism—told me that he was planning to meet with a well-known dissenting Catholic theology professor who was then ensconced in an endowed chair at a major metropolitan Catholic university, I told him: “Be careful, you might end up liking him too much.” I jokingly told my student not to make eye contact with the theologian because he might begin to find himself agreeing with him that Catholic teachings “really allow” for women’s ordination and full reproductive rights—including access to abortion.

I was reminded of that conversation this week when I began reading a new book by yet another engaging Catholic theology professor at a major metropolitan university who also claims (pg 6) that the argument he puts forward in his book, Beyond the Abortion Wars, is “consistent with defined Catholic doctrine.” Written by Charles Camosy, associate professor of theology at Fordham University, the new book purports to be in line with Catholic teachings and promises “a way forward for a new generation.” But, Camosy delivers yet another argument for a woman’s right to choose abortion when confronted with an unborn child that he has described—in the past—as an “innocent aggressor.”

Indeed, Camosy has spent much of his career trying to convince us that he knows Catholic teachings better than the bishops. Criticizing Bishop Olmsted for his intervention and excommunication of a hospital administrator for her role in the direct abortion at a Phoenix Catholic hospital, Camosy suggested in 2013 that “the infamous Phoenix abortion case set us back in this regard.” Implying that Bishop Olmsted was not smart enough to understand the moral theology involved in the case, Camosy claimed that “The moral theology in the case was complex—which makes the decision to declare publicly that Sr. McBride had excommunicated herself even more inexplicable. The Church can do better.” For Camosy, “Catholics must be ready to help shape our new discussion on abortion. And we must do so in a way that draws people into the conversation—not only with respectful listening, but speaking in a way that is both coherent and sensitive.”

This new book is likely Camosy’s attempt to “draw people into the conversation.” But, there is little in his book that is either coherent or sensitive. Claiming to want to move “beyond” the abortion wars, Camosy creates an argument that seems designed to offend the pro-life side, while giving great respect to those who want to make sure abortion remains legal.

Especially offensive for pro-life readers will be Camosy’s description of the abortifacient, RU-486 as a form of “indirect abortion.” The reality is that RU-486, commonly known as the “abortion pill,” effectively ends an early pregnancy (up to 8 weeks) by turning off the pregnancy hormone (progesterone). Progesterone is necessary to maintain the pregnancy and when it is made inoperative, the fetus is aborted. For Camosy, who claims that his book is “consistent with settled Catholic doctrine,” this is not a “direct” abortion. To illustrate this, Camosy enlists philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson’s 1971 “Defense of Abortion”—the hypothetical story of the young woman who is kidnapped and wakes up in a hospital bed to find that her healthy circulatory system has been hooked up to a famous unconscious violinist who has a fatal kidney ailment. The woman’s body is being used to keep the violinist alive until a “cure” for the violinist can be found. Camosy makes the case—as hundreds of thousands of pro-choice proponents have made in the past four decades—that one cannot be guilty of directly killing the violinist if one simply disconnects oneself from him. Likewise, for Camosy, simply taking the drug RU 486 is not “directly” killing the fetus. He writes:

The drugs present in RU 486 do not by their very nature appear to attack the fetus. Instead, the drug cuts off the pregnancy hormone and the fetus is detached from the woman’s body…. Using RU 486 is like removing yourself from [Judith Jarvis Thompson’s] violinist once you are attached. You don’t aim at his death, but instead remove yourself because you don’t think you have the duty to support his life with your body…. Some abortions are indirect and better understood as refusals to aid (pp 82-83).

Perhaps there are some readers who will find Camosy’s argument convincing, but I am not sure that many faithful Catholic readers will agree that it is consistent with settled Catholic doctrine.

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As one who is hardly a bystander in the abortion wars, I wanted to like this book. As an incrementalist who celebrates every small step in creating policy to protect the unborn, I had high hopes that this book would at last begin to bridge the divide. A decade ago, in my own book, The Politics of Abortion, I joined the argument begun by writers like Marvin Olasky in his Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America, that it is more effective to attempt to change the hearts and minds of people than to create divisive public policy at the federal level. I share Charles Camosy’s desire to end the abortion wars—but this war cannot end until the real war on the unborn ends. This does not mean that the two sides cannot work together—battling it out at the state level—where there is the opportunity for the greatest success. But, complex philosophical arguments on whether RU 486 is a direct or indirect form of abortion are not helpful to these conversations.

Camosy must know that we can never really “end” the abortion wars as long as unborn children are still viewed as “aggressors” or “invaders” and can still be legally aborted. Faithful Catholics know that there is no middle ground on this—the pro-life side has to prevail in any war on the unborn. It can be done incrementally but ground has to be gained—not ceded—for the pro-life side. Besides, Camosy seems a bit late to the battlefield to begin with. In many ways, he seems to have missed the fact that the pro-life side is already winning many of the battles through waiting periods, ultrasound and parental notification requirements, and restrictions on late term abortion at the state level. More than 300 policies to protect the unborn have been passed at the state level just in the past few years. The number of abortions each year has fallen to pre-Roe era levels—the lowest in more than four decade.   Much of these gains are due to the selfless efforts of the pro-life community and their religious leaders. Yet, just as victory appears possible in many more states, Camosy seems to want to surrender by resurrecting the tired rhetoric—and the unconscious violinists—of forty years ago.

While it is disappointing, it is not unexpected considering Camosy’s last book lauded the contributions of Princeton’s most notorious professor, Peter Singer—the proponent of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide. Claiming that Singer is “motivated by an admirable desire to respond to the suffering of human and non-human animals,” Camosy’s 2012 book, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization, argues that, “Though Singer is pro-choice for infanticide, on all the numerous and complicated issues related to abortion but one, Singer sounds an awful lot like Pope John Paul II.”  In a post at New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a progressive organization led by Rev. Richard Cizik (a former lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals who was removed from his position because of his public support for same sex unions, and his softening stance on abortion) Camosy wrote that he found Singer to be “friendly and compassionate.”  Camosy currently serves on the Advisory Board of Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership—where he has posted Peter Singer-like articles including: “Why Christians Should Support Rationing Health Care.”

One cannot know the motivations of another—we can never know what is in another’s heart so it is difficult to know why Charles Camosy wrote this book. It must be difficult to be a pro-life professor at Fordham University—a school known for dissenting theologians like Elizabeth Johnson. But, if one truly wants to advance a culture of life in which all children are welcomed into the world, it would seem that inviting Peter Singer to be an honored speaker to students at Fordham in 2012 is not the way to do it, nor would claiming that RU-486 “may not aim at death by intention.” Perhaps it is unwise to continue to critically review Camosy’s work from a Catholic perspective because it gives such statements credibility—and notoriety. But, as long as Camosy continues to claim that his writings and policy suggestions—including his newly proposed “Mother and Prenatal Child Protection Act”—are “consistent with defined Catholic doctrine,” faithful Catholics will have to continue to denounce them.

Reprinted with permission from Crisis Magazine. 

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