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Of trucks and ballerinas: A Christmas lesson

Peter Baklinski
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OTTAWA VALLEY, ON, December, 24, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – My three daughters (ages 3, 4, and 6) love to dance to the Nutcracker musical by the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky during the Christmas season. They don their sparkling costumes and flit across the floor like pixie-dust fairies.

I filmed their beautiful dancing the other night so that I might share their joy and even elegance with family and friends. As I was capturing the precious moments of my dancing daughters, my one year-old son suddenly decided to make an unscripted grand entrance onto the scene, pushing his favorite red truck.

The contrast between “dainty dancing fairies” and “man-child motoring behind red monster-truck” couldn’t have been more stark. And a statement about the difference between the sexes couldn’t have been better orchestrated.

Prominent sociologists would have us believe that behavioral differences between boys and girls are matters of “social construct.” These are the same folks who make the distinction between “gender” and “biological sex,” saying that “gender traits” boil down to “acquired learning.” These folks promote sex-change operations for biological boys who think they are girls and for biological girls who think they are boys.

In the final analysis, these folks do not believe “men should be men” and “women should be women” because they sincerely believe that there is no basis for a genuine notion of masculinity and femininity.

But my girls dancing like fairies and my son pushing his truck into the middle of it smashes the crazy idea to smithereens. My wife Erin and I never told our girls to dress-up and dance to music. We never told our son to push a truck around. They simply do these things on their own initiative.

Erin and I find ourselves approving of our female and male children expressing their biological differences. We want our daughters to embrace the fullness of womanhood and to reject the false-feminism that would see them become like men in order to find fulfillment.

We want our boy to grow into a real man who knows who he is and where he stands. We want to affirm them in their journey of discovering their womanhood and manhood so that they might avoid a sexual identity crisis in the years to come.

But how will our children grow into becoming real men and women when the prevailing culture-of-death offers predominantly weak, sick, and totally deformed male and female role models?

I found an answer in a Christmas bible passage:

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great…” Luke 1:31-32.

God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came into the world as a biological male. He was conceived in and born of a perfect woman. Nothing is accidental from God’s perspective. Jesus and Mary reveal how a male is to be a man and how a female is to be a woman.

Mary, who the angel hailed as “full of grace,” was the greatest woman that ever existed and that will ever exist. She teaches women that true empowerment comes not from asserting one’s self, but by becoming a Christ-bearer to the world. Every woman, through her gifts and talents, is called to bear Christ to others. This will happen in as many different ways as there are women. Every woman will find her true self by bearing Christ to others in her own unique way.

Jesus was the greatest man that ever existed and that will ever exist. He teaches men that true greatness comes not from dominating others, but in laying down one’s life through a sincere gift of self. Every man, through his own unique gifts and talents, is called to imitate Christ’s sincere gift of self on the cross. There are as many ways to make a sincere gift of self in imitation of Christ as there are men. Every man will find his true self by making a sincere gift of himself to others.

In a culture saturated with porn-stars, prostitutes, and sexually confused people, it is Jesus and Mary who we must turn to in the journey of rediscovering our true male and female identities. In a world where increasing sexual deviancy creates new genders as a regular occurrence (doesn’t the UN recognize more than a dozen genders now?), we must turn our attention to the most real man and woman that ever existed. 

Let us meditate on Jesus and Mary as we celebrate the feast of Christmas. Let us seek to discover through their example the source for an authentic renewal of our own masculinity or femininity.

And the next time you see “girls being girls,” and “boys being boys,” don’t just take their behavior for granted. Vocally affirm the good you have perceived.

May Jesus and Mary find their way into our hearts and help us all to become the men and women God created us to be.

I wish you a most blessed Christmas!



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A photo of Kim Tucci at 25 weeks gestation Erin Elizabeth Photography
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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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