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PA Governor Ridge who ignored Gosnell’s House of Horrors accuses social conservatives of ‘tyranny’

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Republican governor faulted by a grand jury with allowing Kermit Gosnell to operate his “house of horrors” free from state inspections has delivered a scathing address, denouncing the GOP's pro-life and pro-family wing as “narcissists and ideologues” seeking to impose their own brand of “tyranny” on the United States.

“Sometimes we [Republicans] just come across as too damned self-righteous, and I’m sorry, that’s just not the 21st century political party GOP that I think we need to govern America,” he said.

Tom Ridge, a two-term governor of Pennsylvania and the first Secretary of Homeland Security, made his remarks to the Log Cabin Republicans' Spirit of Lincoln dinner on October 23.

“Many Americans are outraged by the moralistic attacks on the gay and lesbian community from some within our party,” he said.

He decried “the narcissists and ideologues within our party” who promote an “offensive and exclusionary view,” as well as an “unacceptable rigidity and self-righteousness on social issues.”

Amidst those scathing remarks, Ridge bemoaned the modern “lack of civility and statesmanship.”

Pro-life activists, he said, “forget about separation of church and state” and engage in activities that are “consistent with what a church may propose but should not necessarily be at the epicenter of governing.”

He added that “God-fearing” people might support abortion and homosexuality. Opponents of those practices “should be more concerned about their own relationship with God,” quoting the admonition, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Ridge may be referring to himself. The Catholic has long supported abortion-on-demand and in February, he became one of 130 self-identified Republican leaders who signed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court to support gay “marriage.”

So compelling was his commitment to a woman's “right to choose” that a grand jury laid the blame for Kermit Gosnell's “house of horrors” directly at his feet.

The Gosnell grand jury report stated, “With the change of administration from” pro-life Democratic Governor Bob “Casey to Governor Ridge” in 1995, “officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”

Despite a spate of warnings that Gosnell's abortion facility violated health and safety standards and state abortion laws, Gosnell was arrested only after officials learned he was selling prescription drugs to Philadelphia drug peddlers.

That record did not keep Ridge from giving a healthy dose of advice to his party.

Click "like" if you want to end abortion!

A longtime advocate of amnesty for illegal immigrants, Ridge said the Republican Party must find a way to “legitimize” illegal immigrants or risk becoming a party of “just white males.”

He called for the GOP to become “a party worthy of the 21st century, a non-judgmental party” and “a more positive and compelling force for change.”

He allowed, “you can be an advocate in a private way for those points of view, but in my judgment, that’s not to be at the epicenter of your political agenda” and “certainly shouldn’t be...such a critical issue for the GOP nationally.”

While he lamented “there are Republicans out there who will be forever pro-life,” he told the homosexual group, they could be dealt with “perhaps by changing their rhetoric, if not their hearts.”

First he had to explain his own change of heart to the LGBT group, which supports gay “marriage” and hate crimes legislation.

“When I was governor, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “Since that time, frankly, my point of view has evolved.” 

In 1996, Ridge signed the state's marriage defense act that his successor, Tom Corbett, had had to defend in courtDespite their differences, Ridge promises to campaign for Corbett's re-election.

The 1996 law helped cement Ridge as an up-and-coming force in national politics two decades ago. He was touted as a possible running mate for Bob Dole in 1996.

President George W. Bush considered Tom Ridge as a possible vice president but balked because of Ridge's abortion views. He later appointed Ridge the first Secretary of Homeland Security after the 9/11 attacks.

After leaving the Bush administration, Ridge wrote a memoir insinuating that George W. Bush pressured him to change terror threat warnings for political reasons. However, the New York Times said he provided “no evidence that politics motivated the discussion,” leading columnist Michelle Malkin to label Ridge a "weasel."

In 2008, John McCain called Ridge “one of the great leaders” of his party, “and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don’t think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out” as a vice presidential running mate, McCain said.

All three candidates settled for a pro-life running mate more amenable to the party faithful.

Aside from his emergence as a voice for the LGBT movement, Ridge's most recent appearance on the political stage has been less than flattering.

After Virginia Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe promised to keep subpar abortion facilities open, Steve Rossie of the Virginia-based Family Foundation said, “Remember, it was then-Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge who ignored the law in that state requiring abortion center inspections that allowed Gosnell to go unnoticed for years, harming untold numbers of women and children.”

You can read the full text of Ridge's remarks here.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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