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Julio Severo Interview - Part 1

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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
  See introductory story at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082811.html

  SAO PAULO, August 28, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com)

LifeSiteNews.com: How long have you been involved in pro-life and pro-family work?  How did you get started?

Julio Severo: My first contact with the pro-life message was through publications from Last Days Ministries, in 1986. Through them I learned about Americans Against Abortion (a branch of Last Days Ministries). Before, I supported abortion in cases of rape and risk of life. Later, after reading the LDM materials, I had a change of mind.

  In 1986, I wrote LDM asking for their help because I wanted to close a clandestine abortion clinic in Sao Paulo.  But I was afraid, because I did know that there were policemen covering this clinic. LDM could not help me, but they gave me several contacts in the US.  One of these pro-life contacts suggested that I get in touch with Fr. Paul Marx [founder of Human Life International], which I did. Fr. Marx put me in touch with Dr. Talmir Rodrigues and Dr. Humberto Vieira.  They gave me a lot of guidance, but they could not help me. So I found a special police agency and explained the problem, but what helped most was that a friend of mine, who worked in a police station, asked the police officers to get involved.  They were able to close the clinic.

  The next year, 1987, I went to the American consulate in São Paulo and delivered Americans Against Abortion leaflets. I did it because I had read, through Americans Against Abortion literature, that America had a horrible abortion law, but that President Reagan was against it. I greatly admired Reagan because of his strong moral stances. 

LifeSiteNews.com: When you took this anti-abortion literature to the US consulate, what were you trying to accomplish?

Julio Severo: Well, I was 22 years old and I had read a lot about Americans getting jailed at the front of abortion clinics just because they were peacefully praying. I did not understand it. America had much more democracy than Brazil, but Brazil had never jailed pro-life people. This was unthinkable. 

  I heard about cases where American pro-lifers were jailed just because they had distributed pro-life literature and I decided to get involved in this battle.  Within the consulate, I received an order to stop my activities and an American official told me that I should deliver to her all my pro-life leaflets.  I told her that if she took them I was going to get in touch with Brazilian TV channels, and she did not take them from me.  I told her that even though she hindered me from distributing them within the consulate, I was going immediately to distribute on the sidewalk of the consulate, because that place was Brazilian territory, and in Brazil abortion was illegal. They respected my decision, even though some American officials were near.  I distributed them to all people entering the consulate.

LifeSiteNews.com:Do you find it ironic that you began this battle fighting against legal abortion in the USA, and now you are fighting against US-based organizations in Brazil who are attempting to expand legal abortion in your country?

Julio Severo: Yes. My two first great battles were: to close a clandestine abortion clinic and help and sympathize with all my pro-life brothers and sisters who were getting jailed in America. That is why I decided to distribute pro-life leaflets in the US consulate. It was also a frightening experience, because in the next days a dark car was near my house in a very suspicious way!!

LifeSiteNews.com: Did anything happen with regard to the car?

Julio Severo:It came sometimes, but some time later it did not come back. Were they watching me? Today I think: could my name be on some U.S. black list?

LifeSiteNews.com:And so, you began your pro-life work in a political environment that was very different from the one that you have today in Brazil, correct?

Julio Severo:Oh, yes!  I do not remember any pro-abortion activities.

LifeSiteNews.com: Abortion was illegal in almost all circumstances, and the public was strongly against it?

Julio Severo:Yes!  The Brazilian people were completely against it, but I believe popular soap operas were slightly undermining moral and religious stances. Soap operas were and are extremely popular in Brazil. Brazil at that time was much, much different from the current Brazil.

LifeSiteNews.com:How has Brazil changed since the late 1980s with regard to human life issues?

Julio Severo:The great difference is that today there are many organized and coordinated efforts and NGOs promoting abortion. Moreover, the current Brazilian government supports abortion. No past Brazilian government has supported abortion. 

LifeSiteNews.com:How has the culture changed?  Are Brazilians as opposed to abortion today as they were in the 1980s?

Julio Severo: There is a survey showing that most Brazilians do not want abortion decriminalization. Yet, in the past Brazilians could not even hear and see support for abortion on TV and radio. Today they tolerate this, but are against abortion.

LifeSiteNews.com: Would you say, then, that the media has changed, but the culture has changed less?

Julio Severo: I would say that the liberal media could not freely reveal its views on abortion, but today it does it freely. The public has been molded by it. This is my perception. I remember that in early 1990 Rede Globo, the biggest TV channel in Brazil, was given an award because its soap operas were indoctrinating the public with family planning ideals.

LifeSiteNews.com: Who gave them the award? Do you remember?

Julio Severo: Yes, the United Nations.  I have this UN document in some place of my things.

LifeSiteNews.com: Let’s go back to the issue of NGOs and other organizations involved in promoting abortion in Brazil.  Generally, from where are these organizations receiving their support, and where are they based?

Julio Severo: In early 1990, I visited the UNFPA office in Brazil, and I saw that they had a book showing all international groups funding many anti-life groups in Brazil.  Most of these groups were based in America. Yet, through Fr. Paul Marx, I already knew that Brazil and other Third World countries were being heavily assaulted by the investments from anti-life groups in America, Canada and Europe. Yearly, I visited the UNFPA office in Brazil.

LifeSiteNews.com: What are the principle struggles that pro-life people are involved in and have been involved from the time when you began your work in the late 80s, to today?

Julio Severo: In the late 80s, I saw only Catholics in the pro-life movement, and their focus was abortion. In the 90s, the pro-life movement was still Catholic, and in the mid 90s they added sex education to the important items on the pro-life agenda. Through their kind assistance I came to know the Brazilian Congress and I learned how to promote the pro-life principles and values there. I am specially indebted to Dr. Humberto Vieia, the president of Providafamilia [Pro-Life and Family].

  More recently, evangelicals entered in the battles, not only because of abortion, but also because of the furious advance of the gay movement. Interestingly, Catholics until very recently did not want to get involved in the fight against the gay agenda, because they feared that it could in some way harm their focus on abortion. But now they are increasingly conscious that the anti-life forces are composed by pro-abortion and gay militants, This is a very recent change, though. As you have seen, I have struggled to awaken people about the gay agenda since 1998.

  Part II http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082901.html



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

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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

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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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News,

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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