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Over 150,000 Sign Manhattan Declaration in Less than a Week

LifeSiteNews.com

By John Jalsevac

November 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The unprecedented pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-religious freedom Manhattan Declaration, unveiled in a press conference last Friday, has already been signed by over 150,000 individuals in less than a week, and the numbers are continuing to rise by the second.

The 4,700-word "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience"was drafted by Dr. Robert George, Dr. Timothy George and Chuck Colson. At the time of its release last week it was signed by more than 125 prominent religious figures, including figures from Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christian denominations. That number has now risen to over 170, including 18 Roman Catholic bishops, in addition to the 150,000 ordinary Christians.

Colson says he hopes that the document will eventually be signed by more than 1,000,000 individuals, which, given its current momentum, hardly seems out of the question.

The Declaration is a non-denominational statement that throws down the gauntlet to a secular culture that is increasingly encroaching upon the rights of Christians who hold to traditional moral values, especially on the issues of marriage and the right to life.  "We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers," says the document, "that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence."

The document goes on to challenge the growing movement to silence Christians by force of the law in the strongest terms, going so far as to intimate civil disobedience. "Unjust laws degrade human beings," says the document. "They lack any power to bind in conscience. [Martin Luther] King's willingness to go to jail, rather than comply with legal injustice, was exemplary and inspiring."

The enormous popularity of the document appears to arise largely from its ability to bind together Christians from diverse theological and denominational backgrounds to fight for a common cause - the right to life, the preservation of true marriage, and the right to religious liberty.

Dr. Albert Mohler, the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and one of the original signatories to the document, admitted earlier this week that he usually does not sign on to such statements, which often require the signatories to compromise on key doctrinal issues.  However, he said, the Manhattan Declaration is "not a wide-ranging theological document that subverts confessional integrity." Rather, "It is a statement of urgent concern and common conscience on these three issues - the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the defense of religious liberty."

While, he says, he still believes that the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations have got it wrong on important theological issues, "when Catholic Charities in Massachusetts chose to end its historic ministry of placing orphaned children in good homes because the State of Massachusetts required it to place children with same-sex couples, this is not just a Catholic issue."

Indeed, he said, the issues at stake are simply too urgent to ignore. "I believe," he said, "we are facing an inevitable and culture-determining decision on the three issues centrally identified in this statement. … There is every good reason to believe that the freedom to conduct Christian ministry according to Christian conviction is being subverted and denied before our eyes."

The Declaration has become a rallying point for Christian leaders, like Mohler, who have read the signs of the times and come to believe that the public square is becoming increasingly hostile to basic Christian values.

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, said about the Declaration that, "Standing in the shadow of the cross, Christian leaders have drawn a cultural and political line in the sand from which they have pledged they will not be moved."

"We are bringing our faith to bear on public policy because we see the efforts of the Left as a frontal assault on human dignity, the American family, and the future of our children," he continued. "For this reason, we will not retreat an inch and will make the case for life, marriage, and religious liberty in the public square."

In the U.K., where the rights of Christians are under attack more fiercely than almost anywhere else in the West, Telegraph writer Gerald Warner wrote that, "For harassed, demoralised faithful in the pews [the Manhattan Declaration] will come as the long-awaited call to resistance and an earnest (sic) that their leaders are no longer willing to lie down supinely to be run over by the anti-Christian juggernaut."

The timeliness of the document is highlighted by the fact that earlier this month the House of Commons in the U.K. voted for the fourth time to remove conscience protections from proposed "equality" legislation that explicitly would have allowed Christians to continue to express moral disagreement with homosexual behavior. While the conscience language was later reinserted by the House of Lords, the momentum in the U.K. is clearly on the secuarlists' side, for the moment. Numerous Catholic adoptions agencies were either forced to close or secularize after the government passed the so-called Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) in 2007, and there are increasing reports of Christians being forced out of their jobs or visited by the police simply because they expressed their moral convictions, usually on the issue of homosexuality.

It is precisely the increasing occurence of these types of anti-Christian actions on the part of government that have led the organizers of the Manhatten Declaration to issue and sign the document.

"In a world" continued Gerald Warner, "where a Swedish pastor has been jailed for preaching that sodomy is sinful, similar prosecutions have taken place in Canada, the European Court of Human Rights (sic) has tried to ban crucifixes in Italian classrooms, Brazil has passed totalitarian legislation imposing heavy prison sentences for criticism of homosexual lifestyles, Amnesty International is championing abortion, David Cameron has voted for the enforced closure of Catholic adoption agencies, and Gordon Brown's government has just been defeated in its fourth attempt to abolish the Waddington Clause guaranteeing free speech - this robust defiance [of the Manhattan Declaration] is more than timely."



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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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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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