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Larger than Life Hollywood Icon and Pro-life Advocate Charlton Heston Dies at 84

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By Hilary White

BEVERLY HILLS, California, April 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In his legendary film career he played saints, geniuses, prophets, soldiers and even the occasional bad guy, but in real life, Charlton Heston was a genuine hero for his defence of civil rights for blacks and for the unborn. His death on Saturday, at age 84, was met with an outpouring of admiration and tributes on the internet and television news and on countless blogs. Admirers lauded him as one of the last of the old-time Hollywood movie stars, and as a man who also embodied in his off-screen life the integrity, patriotism and honour he often portrayed in films. 

"If Hollywood had a Mt. Rushmore, Heston’s face would be on it," Michael Levine, Mr. Heston’s publicist for twenty years, said. "He was a heroic figure that I don’t think exists to the same degree in Hollywood today."

The exact cause of death has not been announced, but in August 2002, a spokesman for Mr. Heston announced that he had been diagnosed with neurological symptoms "consistent with Alzheimer’s disease." In April 2006, various news sources reported Heston’s illness was at an advanced stage and his family was worried he might not survive the year.

With his booming baritone voice, chiselled and ruggedly handsome features and commanding screen presence, Heston was best known for his larger-than-life roles, including Moses in the Ten Commandments, Michelangelo, the medieval crusader knight El Cid, saints John the Baptist and Thomas More and Cardinal Richelieu. But his off-screen activism reflected the same values of freedom and personal initiative, moral integrity and civic responsibility as the iconic roles he played.

In 1944, Heston enlisted in the military, serving for two years as a B-25 radio operator/gunner stationed in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands with the Eleventh Air Force, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. In the same year, at age 20, he married his bride, Lydia Marie Clarke, to whom he remained faithful for 64 years. Lydia was by his side when he died Saturday.

In his life as actor, every role he played, Heston played big. In the majestic 1959 film Ben Hur, possibly his most popular role, Heston was the only cast member who volunteered to drive his own chariot in the scene that is still considered the greatest ever action scene in cinematic history. Ben Hur was the first film to take eleven Oscars, including one for Heston for best actor, an achievement unmatched until Titanic and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur are on the list of all-time top grossing films.

His political activism started in the early 1960s. When an Oklahoma movie theatre premiering his movie was segregated, he joined a picket line outside in 1961. He risked his livelihood campaigning for black civil rights at a time before it was a fashionable Hollywood cause. More recently, as president of the National Rifle Association for five years he spoke out for Second Amendment rights against gun control.

Equal to his support for the black civil rights movement, Heston opposed abortion and gave the introduction to the 1987 pro-life documentary by Bernard Nathanson, Eclipse of Reason, that describes the horror of late-term abortions.

For his conservative stands, however, Heston was attacked and reviled by his Hollywood colleagues. In 2003 actor and leftist political activist George Clooney joked about Heston’s illness, and, after Heston criticised him for the remark, he retorted, "I don’t care. Charlton Heston is the head of the National Rifle Association. He deserves whatever anyone says about him."

In a speech at Harvard Law School in 1999, Heston deplored the culture of political correctness that had, he said, suppressed the freedoms of ordinary people. "I’ve worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life - throughout my whole career. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe."

"From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they’re essentially saying, ‘Chuck, how dare you speak your mind like that. You are using language not authorized for public consumption’. But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we’d still be King George’s boys - subjects bound to the British crown."

Later he called political correctness "tyranny with manners". In a recorded statement on Rush Limbaugh’s radio programme, Heston called the popular notion that global warming is the result of human activity a case of "intoxicating vanity". In July 2003 Charlton Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, the highest civilian award in the United States.

A statement from his family said Heston "was known for his chiselled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice". But, his family said, his greatest roles were those of "adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humour. He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved."

Links:

Heston speaks with Vatican Radio on the influence of Hollywood (RealPlayer required):
http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=197741

Memorable Heston moments:
http://www.youtube.com/v/8nonx0JmrcQ&hl=en

Or driving the chariot in Ben Hur:
http://www.youtube.com/v/pbQvpJsTvxU&hl=en

Judah Ben Hur meets Jesus:
http://www.youtube.com/v/gdiBrNnLfCE&hl=en

And reading the Gospel:
http://www.youtube.com/v/VLaiBHwh2ig&hl=en

And the immortal line from Planet of the Apes
http://www.youtube.com/v/nRG6ahCs_t0&hl=en



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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

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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