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In 2013, pro-life fight shifts to the states

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 25, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pro-life movement intends to transform the political landscape over the next four years with successful measures sweeping through statehouses across the nation, according to pro-life leaders and a prominent Republican strategist.

The last two years have witnessed more pro-life laws than any time since the advent of abortion-on-demand mandated by Roe v. Wade. In all, lawmakers enacted 83 such measures in 2011 and 43 last year.

“Over the past two years, we have had 2,500 requests for AUL [Americans United for Life] model legislation,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, the organization's president, at a conference the organization held at the National Press Club on Thursday.

AUL's most popular measures deal with defunding abortion providers and reinforcing conscience rights, she said.

Legislation winding its way through states from Georgia to Idaho is “dramatically changing the contours of abortion policy in this country” in the level of government that is “closest to the people.”

The new stratagem is both a practical response to and a tacit acknowledgment of the fact that the national government, for the next four years, is in enemy hands.

“We really won't see much if anything happen at the national level in the next several years, although we will try,” Dr. Yoest said.

Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, told the group of several hundred leaders, “I wish we could look at great advances in federal legislation and executive orders and judicial appointments,” but “I think it's pretty obvious that's unlikely.”

The judicial branch, which imposed the abortion-on-demand regime on the United States, could tilt even further away from the unborn, making it an unreliable source of change.

At the Supreme Court “at best it's 5-4 against us, with Justice Kennedy and the four Democratic nominees” supporting Roe v. Wade, said Ed Whalen, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a blogger at NRO.

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Among those rumored to retire from the bench during the next four years, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is perhaps the court's most ardent supporter of abortion, having spent most of the 1970s as an ACLU attorney.

But should Justice Antonin Scalia, 76, step down, that would dramatically shift the balance of the court against life, Whalen said.

Barack Obama will also appoint the federal judiciary, from which future justices are drawn.

That does not mean the movement should have no agenda on the federal level, though, said the leaders.

Kristol encouraged participants to protect the unborn “incrementally, yet in a principled way.”

Kristol – whose father, Irving, was one of the founders of the Neoconservative movement – is not often associated with the pro-life wing of the Republican Party.

“Holding the line and winning what small victories one can is underrated, I would say generally, in politics,” he offered.

“I think in practice over the next 2, 3, 4 years a lot of realistic, incremental, modest things have to be attempted,” he suggested. “Some will work. Others won't work so well.”

Turning back the Obama administration's most radical goals – such as the HHS mandate, which he called “an unbelievable overreach” – is well within Republicans' means, he said.

The Obama administration's decision to target religious liberty irks some of Kristol's Democratic friends. One told him after speaking with officials inside the White House, “They know what they're doing. They think it's a winning fight.”

“Defending religious freedom is in a sense easier,” Kristol added. “Just as a practical political matter, it requires one to make less ambitious arguments.”

The Supreme Court's 9-0 decision upholding religious freedom in the Hosanna v. Tabor case, which was supported even by the newly appointed Elena Kagan and fellow Obama appointee Sonia Sotomayor, illustrates the limits of left-wing successes in attacking religious freedom.

Although the court upheld the Affordable Care Act – known popularly as “ObamaCare” – by a 5-4 margin, the justices did not rule on the constitutionality of the HHS mandate.

“The intellectual problems they're having will result in they're having political problems... maybe not in the very far future,” Kristol said.

Meanwhile, politicians like Rick Perry of Texas, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, and Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall have laid out ambitious pro-life goals for 2013.

“We don't need the White House for the fifth decade of fighting Roe,” Dr. Yoest said.



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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

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.”



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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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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.



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