Christina Martin

I’m pro-life and eat chicken: Is animal cruelty equal to abortion?

Christina Martin
By Christina Martin
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November 27, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - I once gave a lecture on abortion at a college in Connecticut. After I finished my talk, I allowed time for students to share any questions they had related to the topic. One of the first people to approach me was a young man who ran a radio show on campus. I remember this man because he walked up to me and zealously stuck a pamphlet in my hand. When I looked at the information, I saw a picture of some miserable-looking chickens stuck in cages. The man began to inform me that eating meat was animal cruelty, that chickens are just as valuable as fetuses, and that a true “pro-lifer” should care for both.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I like animals. While I’m not a dog person, I have compassion for the creatures. I hate it when I hear about poor pooches being used for dog-fighting. That’s just plain wrong. Find a better hobby, people.

But while I’ll agree that animals should be protected, I do think our society often has its priorities mixed up when it comes to pets. Case in point: Michael Vick. The man gets caught taking part in illegal dog-fighting rings (like I said, totally wrong), is condemned by the media, pays thousands in fines and serves 18 months in a federal prison. Yet abortion doctors can tear apart six-month-old babies in the womb and there’s no national uproar. Sheesh, George Tiller is still considered a hero by many.

Back to my college story. I kindly told the well-meaning man that I defend children, not chicken. I’m not sure if I worded it like that, but he got the point.

Fast-forward a few summers. I’m leading a prayer meeting in downtown New Haven, CT at the Amistad memorial. The Amistad memorial is located on the spot of a former jail that once held the slaves who escaped from the ship Amistad. I was leading a prayer meeting focused on ending abortion in front of the statue of former slave and abolitionist Cinque.

I picked that location to make a point. Slavery was an atrocious crime that destroyed the lives of millions of Africans, but there is a greater evil that’s eliminating blacks from the planet. Many slaves lived lives of great oppression, but they lived nonetheless. If they hadn’t, Harriet Tubman couldn’t have been my personal hero. Abortion – unlike slavery – stops a beating heart and destroys life before it begins.

By some crazy occurrence, the same weekend I had my prayer meeting downtown, another organization was holding an event just feet away from ours. It was PETA, the animal rights group that seeks to protect their furry friends at all costs. You may recall some of their more radical members throwing paint at models wearing fur. Lady Gaga enraged them when she wore a dress made of raw meat.

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So PETA was holding an event on the New Haven green with huge pictures of Africans in chains placed alongside pictures of animals in cages. They declared the suffering of animals comparable to the pain Africans endured in slavery. As you can imagine, some found their exhibit quite offensive. I heard about it when a friend asked if I was downtown holding pictures of slaves and chickens. I made it very clear I was not.

A chicken and a child do not have the same value. While I’m at it, a tree and a child don’t, either. Trees are important, but so is paper, firewood, and the oak table I’m leaning on as I write this article. How can we as a society fight for the protection of whales, trees, and chickens while neglecting the right of innocent children to live?

A girl on a train once told me a story about the time her mom gave her a lobster to play with, then minutes later picked it up and threw it in a boiling pot of water. She was never the same. The girl was so struck by her playmate’s sudden death that she vowed to never eat meat again. The girl brought up the story when I began to tell her I was pro-life. She assumed that since I was pro-life, I should be vegetarian, vegan, or an animal rights activist. If I really cared about innocent life, surely I should battle to save the animals.

She’s not the only one who thinks that way. PETA even made a sign that says, “Pro-life? Go vegan.” Along with the words on the sign are three cute little chicks. PETA wanted to use the image in a billboard in the Houston area when Planned Parenthood was opening up its mega-clinic in that city. In the midst of the pro-life/pro-choice debates, PETA wanted to bring “peace” by telling people to respect the sanctity of all life.

I believe that humans are superior creatures to plants, animals, and all other forms of life. We can vote, floss, do complex math, knit sweaters, and create origami. At least some of us can, that is. Of course, being superior doesn’t mean we should be bullies who rule the planet with an iron fist. We should seek to treat animals with compassion,  take care of the earth, and defend human life at all stages.

I have a biblical worldview, or a worldview based on the Bible. In Romans 14:5-6, Paul the apostle writes:

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

The book known by Jews as the Torah and by Christians as the Old Testament has countless verses describing biblical characters offering up lambs for sacrifices, using them for food, and taking their skin for clothing. We can see from those verses that God didn’t have a problem with a fur coat or lamb stew. However, the scriptures reveal that there was one sacrifice God abhorred. Jehovah was continually angered at the Israelites for sacrificing their children to false gods. The shedding of innocent blood through child sacrifice was repeatedly condemned.

Catholic writer Jennifer Fulwiler was once an atheist and pro-choice vegetarian. In an article in the National Catholic Register titled “Why I was a Pro-Choice Vegetarian,” Jennifer describes the faulty reasoning behind her former views:

While I donated money to PETA and other animal rights organizations to help save pigs and cows, I also donated money to Planned Parenthood to support the abortion industry. I had not the slightest qualm about the idea of an early-stage abortion. On my spectrum of worthiness of life, adult humans were on the far right side; fetuses were on the left. Unborn humans were somewhere around shrimp and worms in terms of value, because they could not display any intelligence. And so it seemed unfair to ask women to turn their lives upside down for a lifeform that had all the value of a crustacean. Even though it would be years before I would come to see that this entire understanding of human life was founded on a lie, I would occasionally get a glimpse of the chilling implications of this view. For example, one time in college I heard a professor make the statement that it would be more ethical to kill a newborn baby than a pig, since pigs are more intelligent and aware of their surroundings. I scoffed at the absurdity of such a notion. Yet when I tried to argue against it, I realized that he was actually using my own worldview to justify his position.

Bottom line is this, I am pro-human life. I love people. I really like cheeseburgers. I don’t support animal cruelty, but I don’t think it’s cruel to eat animals. Yet when it comes to what’s most important, my time is best spent protecting and defending the lives of little humans. I don’t have a problem eating chicken while I do it.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“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,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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