Susan Michelle

Pat Robertson’s adoption comments reveal a deeper heart issue in the nation and church

Susan Michelle
By Susan Michelle Tyrrell

August 22, 2012 ( - My mouth dropped open, gaping in shock, as I sat in the prayer room readying myself to pray for the orphans and fatherless and then saw the story. Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson had criticized some types of adoption. In a viewer question from a woman who had adopted three children internationally, Robertson’s advice as to why men seemed to lose interest when they found out she adopted her children, said:

“A man doesn’t want to take on the United Nations, and a woman has all these various children, blended family, what is it – you don’t know what problems there are. I’m serious. I’ve got a dear friend, an adopted son, a little kid from an orphanage down in Columbia. Child had brain damage, grew up weird. And you just never know what’s been done to a child before you get that child. What kind of sexual abuse has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation, etc. etc. “You don’t have to take on somebody else’s problems. You really don’t. You can help people – we minister to orphans all over the world, we love helping people. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to take all the orphans around the world into my home.”

Robertson displays the ignorance that has fostered the grief of many adopted children over the years, a mentality the church is charged with tearing down, not building up.

He is correct that some adopted children might have problems or abuse, but he fails to add that natural born children may too. I can name numerous families with natural-born children whose children tragically suffered sexual abuse at the hand of someone, a babysitter or relative, or even stranger.  I can also think of parents who have had brain-damaged children or children with other health issues that greatly impair them from having “normal” lives, but I wouldn’t say that made them grow up weird. Different isn’t weird. It’s different.

Adoption is not a dirty word. It’s not a second class word. It’s not a fringe word. It’s the heart of the Father.

Perhaps most troubling is the fact that Robertson seems to forget that none of the gentiles are God’s “own” either. The Father took us all, sexually abused, verbally abused, treated cruelly, deprived of things, in grief and pain and agony, He accepted us, He adopted us, and He chose to take on the United Nations.  Further, He calls us to take the United Nations into our homes sometimes.

Obviously not everyone should adopt for various reasons, but prejudice isn’t one of the better reasons. To be a believer and to harbor an attitude that adoption is for some fringe group is unacceptable. This is an attitude which is all-too-prevalent anyway, but to hear it come from a Christian leader is heart wrenching to me.

See, I am the United Nations. Arab-born, American adopted, left-on-the-street baby who was adopted by a single mom, and it was (and is) a mystery to which nation I belong. In an orphanage for six months, every bias would have said I was not worth fighting for. Sending money to an orphanage is nice. Ministering to orphans in nice. But the heart attitude displayed here is not. Orphans are not some group you take a week’s vacation to go minister to so you can do your Christian duty. Orphans are the very heart of Jesus. That’s why the last verses of the old Testament tell us:

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (NASB)

Literally the exemption from the curse is the restoration of the hearts of the fathers to the children. As I wrote last week, this is a time in history in which there are more orphans, spiritual and natural, than ever before — to not adopt orphans and/or be an active part of that is missing the mark of the Father.

Luke 1:17 echoes Malachi 4: 

“It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (NASB)

We should take on the United Nations—or support those who do without exception and excuse. No, we may not know “what we’re getting.” But we may not when we birth children. The mentality in our land that adoption is a second choice and a by-product of real parenting is destructive to the church, the nation and the will of God for His people.

I have loved, honored and respected Mr. Robertson over the years, but his position cannot excuse his comments. In his response statement, he says he has helped many orphans over the years and we need to look at his record. It is absolutely true the work and charity of CBN and Robertson’s ministry have helped many in need. The body of Christ is better for his work, but we clearly must continue speaking out on adoption.

And to the lady who sent the question to Robertson originally: Nothing is wrong with you. Your selfless acts of the love of Jesus are beautiful. Meanwhile, let’s all continue to pray for a the spirit of adoption to be raised up in the church — and for Mr. Robertson. My intent isn’t to condemn him, but my heart ached so deeply at the comments that they needed to be addressed biblically and not just critically. Ultimately, this is a heart issue — not just for him but for all of us. We have to do more than think it’s nice someone adopts orphans; we have to examine our hearts as to the value we place on children — all children, even when we don’t know what we’re getting. That’s where faith comes in. That’s where Jesus comes in. That’s where the lives of the orphans change and our lives change with them. And together we become the true family of God which knows only one bloodline: the blood of Jesus.

Reprinted with permission from

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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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