Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

Hilary White: How a fire was lit within me

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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September 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - I’ve never been much of a one for anniversaries. I’m notorious amongst my friends for forgetting birthdays and other significant dates. So I can’t really tell you when, exactly, I got involved in the pro-life movement, but I’m better with words and can relate to you exactly the conversations I had that got it all started.

I had spent the year, 1998, being very ill and so, not working and without much energy and a lot of time on my hands, I decided it was a good opportunity to fill a gap in my education and get read up on philosophy. One book led to another, and I ended up spending most of that year learning all about the two hundred and fifty years of philosophical developments (the “Enlightenment,” utilitarianism, etc.) that led up to our current and ongoing abortion holocaust and the whole Culture of Death, as the late John Paul II so succinctly described it. The abortionist culture did not just start in 1968.

In that year well spent, I discovered the pro-life movement through the back door, so to speak. Unlike most people who become interested in life issues, I did not start with abortion, which I already recognised as a horror that had to be outlawed and punished. I started with the new reproductive technologies.

In my reading, I had found out a good deal about how the ethical problems surrounding embryo research, cloning, artificial procreation, had been glossed over through lies and linguistic and political manipulation.

I learned in detail how the world was made to accept IVF, with all its attendant atrocities, and how one thing literally led to another and we now have embryo experimentation, cloned human/animal hybrids, organ farming and “disposable” human beings, while all the world’s “ethicists” continue to tell us that everything is just fine.

The new thought started in 17th and 18th centuries, and said that man was just a random collection of cells and that human life had no transcendent meaning. It says that individual human beings are unimportant and their needs should be subordinated to those of the state. It asserts that individual “autonomy” is the highest good and once it is gone, a human life has no value.

These theories have led to the belief that it was acceptable, indeed meritorious, to end the lives of those whom others considered unsatisfactory or inconvenient. This is the core of the Culture of Death.

I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the time and I hung out a great deal with a group of young Catholics in a Catholic bookshop that served at the time as a kind of meeting place. I remember quite distinctly towards the end of that year one of the ladies who worked in the shop asked me how my reading was going.

I said I had learned a lot but that it had started something else in me, something I hadn’t known was there. I told my friend that learning these things, having my eyes opened to just how far western society had sunk, had lit a fire in me. I was filled with a desire to do something about it, to try to show others how these ideas were evil disguised as good, and to reverse these terrible trends of thought.

“There is a war going on that hardly anyone even knows about but that affects everyone,” I said. “And I want to get into the fight.”

She invited me to a meeting of the local pro-life organisation. Since then, I’ve served in the war in Toronto and now in Rome, working in lobbying and education. In writing for LifeSiteNews for seven years, I’ve seen the big picture and learned that the same war is being fought on numerous fronts in nearly every country in the world.

I remember once being told by a woman who didn’t like the pro-life movement, that she rejected such “confrontational” language. She thought everyone should just be nice and get along, that people in the pro-life movement should drop terms like “opposition” and “fight”. I was told that we had to find “common ground” and “be a part of the dialogue” and not “shut ourselves off” from the political process with these “extreme” views.

But what else is it possible to call this but a war? We who do this work, in all sorts of venues, see that there are many people, deluded and corrupted by these false ideologies, who are clearly opposed to us, who want to continue expanding the Culture of Death until it has engulfed the whole world and all opposition is quashed and silenced forever. They want to remake the world in the image of a death camp.

How can this not be opposed? How can we try to “find common ground” with people who want to do this? How is this anything but a war? One that is fought in boardrooms, and parliaments, at the UN and the EU, in ethics committee rooms in hospitals and in doctors’ offices. It has already taken countless millions of innocent lives, and destroyed the souls and ruined the happiness of millions more?

I don’t hate the people who oppose us, but I know that what they want to do must be stopped. The world they want, though they don’t understand this, would be a horror, a dystopia worse than any science fiction movie.

A few months after I had moved to Toronto to work for Campaign Life Coalition, the pope came to visit. John Paul II made one of his last trips abroad to visit Canada for World Youth Day and as a participant, I went to confession in a big barn-like building on the CNE grounds with hundreds of others.

I picked the priest that day because he looked like the most austere one there. He was quite slim and wearing a long black Benedictine habit. I was expecting someone terribly holy and severe, but the fellow turned out to be quite a friendly Midwestern American who heard my confession and then patiently listened to me complain that God wasn’t letting me know what my vocation was.

Suddenly, he asked if I were married.

“No, I’m not married,” I said, somewhat taken aback.

“Ah,” he said, smiling mysteriously. “Any kids?”

“No.”

“You look after elderly relatives, perhaps?”

“Actually, I have no family, really,” I said, wondering where this was going.

He looked at me quite seriously and said, “Oh, the Lord just LOVES people like you. He can send you anywhere; you’re free to do anything for Him.”

At the time I just laughed, maybe a bit uncomfortably and went on my way.

I’ve thought a few times about that exchange, nearly ten years ago now and wondered if this young priest didn’t have prophetic powers. Because he had hit the nail smack on the head.

It’s true. I am free to go places and do things, to be mobile and available, in a way that a married woman with children or a sister in a community would not be. And I’m grateful for this, in a way, though it has given me reason to complain.

I know that a lot of our readers have the same fire in the guts. How could you not, when you read LifeSiteNews every day?

I know that we receive a lot of mail from people who say that they would love to do what we do but can’t. Many of our readers are parents with grave responsibilities that keep them from being involved more actively. You want to get into the fight, to change the world, to reverse the disaster that we can all see coming on the world.

This week, we are trying to raise funds to keep us going another year. The Death Movement, in all its manifestations, has the benefit of millions of dollars of government funds. They are given unimaginable resources by the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

It seems to be a rule with God that He likes to keep His employees on their toes. The pro-life movement is not funded by rich philanthropists. We are funded a bit at a time, by regular people, people with kids and jobs and mortgages, who want to be in on the fight.

This is the key that we have that the Death Movement doesn’t. They may have money, and a lot of political influence, but we’ve got you. Polls continually show that ordinary people don’t want legalised abortion. They’re horrified by atrocities like human/animal hybrid clones. They want the natural family to be protected. And they want to be involved. And that is what LifeSiteNews allows you to do.

I’ve written this before. There is a way in which we are your proxies and your conduit to the war’s battlefronts. We do this work in the way we do, with our phone lines open and our email address available, so that everyone who wants to can participate.

When we write articles, we do so every time with a mind to help people understand the Big Picture of the war against human life and the natural family. We work for you to help you be informed and to understand and know how you can fight in the war in your current situation, without having to move to Washington or Toronto or London or Rome. We include contact information so that you can write to add your voices to say, Stop.

This is something no other organisation does as well as we do. This is war, a terrible global war for lives and souls. And you are involved in it with us.

To the extent that your circumstances permit, please join with us in this good work with a financial contribution today.

I want to thank you, for your generosity over the years that has allowed me and the rest of the LSN staff to keep doing this work. And to thank you for being in it with us.

Hilary White
Rome

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David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, on the right.
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All one fight: Why the leader of 40 Days for Life says he may become active in the fight for marriage

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just eight years ago, 40 Days for Life was founded as a pro-life Christian ministry. This year, it reached 252 cities in 19 countries.

Now, says founder and National Director David Bereit, he's discerning whether to expand his personal activism to marriage.

"The various moral issues we confront in our culture today are all intrinsically connected," Bereit told LifeSiteNews at Saturday's March for Marriage. “When you look at the various factors that lead to the breakdown of nations and civilizations, they are moral factors," Bereit said. "It's the devaluing of human life, it's the abandonment of religious belief and practice, it's immorality -- the increase thereof – and it's the breakdown of the family."

"They're all tied into this moving away from God, and America was founded as a nation with Christian principles and ideals that used to say 'In God We Trust.' And the further we've turned away from that, the more we have fallen,” he said. "I believe that with man, turning the tide in our culture is not possible, but with God, all things are possible."

Bereit stressed that his attendance at the March for Marriage, as well as his ongoing process of discernment, was representative only of his own circumstances -- not those of 40 Days for Life, which remains an abortion-focused ministry.

Bereit did not shy away from questions that are often raised about what President Barack Obama called America's “tragic” history.

"America was built on Judeo-Christians principles,“ he said. “There are still fallen people that make up our churches and our communities."

"The question is, will people of faith and conscience turn back to God and do their very best to align themselves with the principles that formed our nation and made our nation such a great place in history?"

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

The third annual March for Marriage, which was organized by the National Organization for Marriage and exclusively livestreamed by LifeSiteNews, drew thousands of people, mostly minorities, just three days before what is being billed as the definitive U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue of same-sex "marriage."  

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‘Persecution plain and simple’:  Franklin Graham fundraises for Oregon bakers after GoFundMe shuts them down

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By Ben Johnson

BOONE, NC, April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – First, they were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage” ceremony. Then, a rival business owner convinced GoFundMe.com to stop Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein from raising money to pay the fine on the grounds that, since their religious beliefs violate state law, they are common criminals.

Now, one of the nation's most well-known Christian ministers and philanthropists is coming to their aid.

An administrative law judge fined the Oregon bakers, proprietors of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, $135,000 to pay for the emotional suffering of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer – a lesbian couple who say they feel the Kleins “mentally raped” them.

The Kleins have since closed their Portland-area business and lost substantial income. After hearing of the fine on Friday, Melissa said the amount would financially crush them.

The family opened a GoFundMe page and, within hours, they collected more than $109,000.

Then Lisa Watson, the co-owner of Cupcake Jones in Portland, began lobbying the website to banish the couple's appeal.

“The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting,” Watson wrote on Facebook. She added that the website's “terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign.”

GoFundMe then suspended the Kleins' fundraising.

“While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “However, the subjects of the 'Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa' campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

The day after the announcement Watson, who operates her business with husband Peter Shanky, posted a photo of her 2015 Equality Advocate Award “for outstanding leadership to advanced lived equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians.”

The Kleins hope the website will reconsider. “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions,” the Kleins wrote on Facebook.

That's when the Reverend Franklin Graham and his ministry Samaritan's Purse stepped in, allowing those who wish to alleviate the couple's suffering to donate on its website.

"The fund was created to help persecuted Christians in the U.S., including Aaron and Melissa Klein,” an employee at Samaritan's Purse told LifeSiteNews today. “It was only activated over the weekend and the organization has not yet announced any numbers. Currently, Samaritan's Purse is focused on the earthquake in Nepal and providing relief supplies to people impacted by the disaster.”

Graham praised the Kleins' steadfastness in the face of legal challenges. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” the ministry's founder and president Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children. Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”

“God bless Reverend Franklin Graham,” AFR Talk radio host Bryan Fischer said today. 

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

The Kleins will still receive the money raised by GoFundMe, in addition to any supplemental funds raised by Graham's international charitable ministry.

Conservative author Dan Calabrese wrote that “Melissa's Sweet Cakes will not have to go into bankruptcy and the family won't personally be ruined. And what a disappointment that must be to the gay mafia, whose agenda is to intimidate all gay marriage opponents into not just silence but compliance, for fear of just such” an outcome.

Christians have risen to the challenge before. Memories Pizza raised more than $840,000 after the Indiana pizzeria was harassed into closing its doors for saying it would cater a same-sex “wedding.”

Calabrese warns that these victories may lead to more intense anti-Christian persecution.

“When put in an untenable position like this, Christians and others who support their right to operate their business as they see fit will come to their aid. So the gay mafia will take it up a notch, attempting to intimidate the fundraising organizations from cooperating with the effort,” he said.

If that fails, “Maybe they can persuade friendly Democrat lawmakers (or terrified Republicans) to legislate them out of business.”

Readers can donate to the Klein family here.

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Opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ – a deeper love

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By John-Henry Westen

April 27, 2015 (CNSNews.com) -- Same-sex “marriage” – the legal recognition of same-sex relationships – is one of the most contentious issues in America. Laws, constitutional interpretation, and the future of religious liberty may well rest on what nine justices decide two months from now.

Many observers seem to believe that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of redefining marriage. And while many on all sides of the debate, especially those who are undecided, believe this will bring cultural peace, evidence around the world points in the exact opposite direction.

Rather than settle animosity and ease cultural tensions, the advent of same-sex “marriage” will lead to the repression of religious freedom and determination to root out dissent to the gay rights doctrine. At LifeSiteNews, we have watched this play out for nearly two decades in 17 countries around the world – and America is next.

A prime example is Canada. Same-sex “marriage” passed in 2005. Similar to European countries which have done so, there has been a relentless pursuit of the minds of children against the wishes of their parents. Schools, both public and private, were first mandated by law to have gay-straight alliance clubs under the auspices of anti-bullying. Then, sex-education, teaching the normalcy of homosexual sex, was given to children without parents being permitted to opt their children out of the classes.

We have arrived at this state of affairs because of the silence of Christian pulpits on sexual matters, and the concomitant shouting from every secular pulpit, screen and book. Even the current discussion around same-sex “marriage” in the United States reveals a grave reluctance to speak about the heart of the issue – homosexual sex. Rather, arguments are made about the goodness of natural marriage, about its benefit to children, and its unchangeable character.

From reporting on the subject every day for so many years, we knew that the struggle for same-sex “marriage” has very little to do with marriage. In fact, until just recently, gay activists didn’t even want to be “married” to each other. Most had no interest in the constraints that such a formalized union would entail in terms of exclusive partnership.

However, the leaders among the activists convinced the movement that they must attain marriage as a societal stamp of approval to homosexual behavior. And, frankly, they have largely succeeded.

Today, in many of the nations where same-sex “marriage” is law, opposition to it is seen as akin to racism. It is seen falsely as an animosity against someone for who they are—an unwillingness to recognize the human dignity of a class of persons due to an immutable characteristic.

However, that false perception is due to a purposeful agenda to conflate animosity against homosexual sex acts with animosity against persons who experience same-sex attraction. The ancient Christian teaching to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is an impermissible distinction in the minds of some. It is, however, the key to understanding the majority of the opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The plain truth of the matter is that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is rooted not in hatred and bigotry, but just the opposite – in love. Like parents who do not allow children to behave dangerously without lovingly correcting them, opponents of same-sex relationships are hoping to save people with same-sex attractions from severe physical, psychological, and spiritual harm.

Just as, out of love and concern for their children’s welfare, parents must correct and discipline, despite the protests they may get in return, any true believer in marriage, natural law and science must lovingly correct their fellow man.

In other nations, the perception that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is based upon bigotry has led to laws that violate religious liberty, parental rights and freedom of speech. This is why those who oppose same-sex “marriage” must present their reasoning as based on love and concern for the welfare of those in homosexual relationships, in addition to concerns for children and society itself. And there is ample evidence on which to base that concern in the numerous studies showing the grave harm of homosexual sex to both body and psyche.

When I’ve spoken of these findings at conferences around the world, some have questioned if the researchers who showed these harms weren’t themselves biased by anti-gay sentiment. And so I’ve taken to carrying with me on my phone the quotes of the late Canadian gay activist Gens Hellquist, whose testimony proves the harms of gay sex better than any study ever could.

Speaking a year after the passage of same-sex “marriage” into law, Hellquist was seeking more healthcare dollars for the LGBT community. "We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country,” he said. “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,” he added. “We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer.”

He concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don't have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don't see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I'm tired of watching my community die."

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

Pastors and preachers must take up this call to speak the truth in love, for without this approach, the public will be led to believe that those opposed to same-sex “marriage” are indeed haters needing to be stopped with the force of law. Love is the most powerful force in any argument, and gay “marriage” pushers have used it very effectively. As Hilary Clinton tweeted as she fought religious freedom laws in Indiana: “We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT”

The truth is that those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are showing a deeper love, as any parent does when instilling difficult discipline. We have enough love and concern for those with same-sex attraction to warn them not to engage in behaviors proven to be very harmful. We won’t encourage people to enter into such harmful behaviors by redefining marriage to encourage it, nor will we allow our children to be indoctrinated into regarding it as a healthy and safe alternative lifestyle.

We have failed so far to get this message of love out to the public. I will not be surprised if the Supreme Court approves of same-sex “marriage” – and I will be even less surprised to see a subsequent  crackdown on religious freedom, as already seen in states like California and Colorado.

Pope Benedict XVI predicted it a decade ago. Observing the international trends, the then-Cardinal said “very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS News

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