Georges Buscemi

Meet the Antigones: an antidote to breast-baring ‘terrorist’ group FEMEN

Georges Buscemi
By Georges Buscemi
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June 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The breast-baring, self-styled female “terrorist” group FEMEN, which has become known the world over for its provocative, often violent protests against “patriarchy”, fascism, prostitution and religion, seems to have met its match.

The Antigones, named after the woman of Greek mythology who in Sophocles’ play was sentenced to death for choosing to follow “Divine Law” in opposition to the “man-made laws” of a tyrant, consists of a group of 25 or so attractive French women clad in virginal white dresses. On their website they quote Antigones declaring “I was born to join in love, not hate,” a clear reference to their opposition to FEMEN’s breasts-and-placard, spittle-flecked protest style.

Seeming inversions of their infamous adversaries, but employing similar guerrilla marketing tactics, the Antigones scored a media coup when their de facto leader, 21-year-old Iseul Turan, announced through a video interview released on YouTube on June 1st that she had infiltrated the France division of FEMEN for a period of two months.

On the 30 minute video, Turan describes how what “frightened” her most about the Femen was the ideological “vacuum” behind the movement. “The only thing behind Femen is three words, and as for the rest you can do what you want– it’s an abyss, a vacuum.”

Femen’s motto, according to French Wikipedia, consists of three statements: “Get out, get naked, and win.”

The Antigones were officially founded in June of this year, following Turan’s undercover experience. Their website indicates that theirs is not merely “yet another movement”. “We’re a simple gathering of women … We advocate for our fundamental right and duty to be women, whole and complete. A woman has her dignity, which does not require exhibitionism or hysteria," the website’s mission statement reads.

In their first official act as a group, the Antigones attempted to film a face-to-face meeting between themselves and the Paris-based, French division of Femen. A Youtube video which has since gone viral shows how the Antigones, accompanied by a reported 150 female friends and sympathisers, approached the Femen’s HQ, only to be met with a barrage of police trucks, gates and riot police. The footage of the thwarted attempt at meeting with Femen was later overlaid with shots of the Antigones clad in white and reading from a sheet of paper a manifesto-style message to the radical feminist group:

“Femen, you affirm that a woman’s fight is feminist, we say that it is feminine.

“Femen, you affirm that women’s rights are defended with bared breasts, we say that they are acquired through dignity.

“Femen, you affirm that religion is alienation; we say that for many of us it is the way to freedom and self-realisation.

“Femen, you affirm that machismo dominates society and you combat men. We answer that it is only with men that we can truly become women, whole and complete.”

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Not everyone is happy, however, with the arrival of this wholesome alternative to Femen. Several French media outlets have darkly hinted at the “extreme” right-wing ties of some of its members. The Express, a French publication, titled their article on the Antigones phenomenon, “The Antigones: the anti-Femen activists with the Funny CVs,” implying that all was not well with the backgrounds of at least some of the Antigone membership. The Huffington post France edition stated that the Antigones path had been opened up by a counter-revolutionary Catholic women’s group who had, earlier this year, stormed the Femen headquarters to shout “Women but not Fem’hate” while holding aloft a banner. (video here) “Birds of a feather flock together?” the article’s author asked rhetorically.

On the conservative side of the spectrum, Richard Décarie, communications expert and long-time observer of French-language conservative movements, considers the Antigones’ decision to oppose Femen on their own terrain “a strategic mistake”. “When you confront media-hungry groups like Femen on their own terrain, you just give them more publicity, which is exactly what they want. What’s more, by pulling a stunt like trying to confront them, you allow them to play the victim card, which can only help their cause.” In opposition to the Antigones’ fire-with-fire approach, Décarie suggests that Femen and other provocateurs should be denounced, “but never imitated.”

On the Antigones website Young Iseul Turan states: “We want to peacefully but firmly intervene in the public debate, to make our views known and not allow feminists to monopolize [the debate]. Their time has passed … What we want is to give a pulpit to all these women who today contact us by the hundreds; to organise them and to produce original content to promote women’s dignity and integrity.”

Asked about what she sees down the road for the Antigones, Turan promises that her group reserves the right to “firmly” intervene in the public square. Their website indicates that they are actively recruiting: “You are welcome to join! … age, appearance, political or religious affiliation do not matter, as long as you agree with our fundamental principles.” Contrary to some feminist groups, the website indicates that men are also invited to join, albeit in a support role: “Daughters of our fathers, wives of our husbands, mothers of our sons, we do not reject men. To the contrary we are persuaded that it is only with men, in complementarity, that we can build our future.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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