Calvin Freiburger

People should ‘dress modestly’? That’s anti-abortion misogynist oppression!

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger
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September 20, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Nothing is more certain to freak out pro-aborts than suggesting that sexuality should be accompanied by a degree of responsibility. On Friday, ThinkProgress reported on a Modesty Matters pamphlet distributed at the Family Research Council’s 2012 Values Voter Summit:

Modesty Matters criticized women for dressing “immodestly” at church, and blamed women for causing men to stare lustfully at them.

Women must “embrace MODESTY in dress and behavior,” one of the handouts read. Women dressed immodestly in church are “an insult to a holy God,” another said.

Other excerpts:

- From the “Modesty: It’s nothing to be ashamed of” pamphlet: “Since men are particularly visual, immodesty in church can trigger lustful thoughts.”

“My men’s bible study group talks frequently about controlling our lust, thoughts, and eyes. Yes the problem and responsibility are ours, but is it really reasonable for the women of the church to make it THIS difficult for us?”

- From the “True Woman Manifesto”: “All women, whether married of single, are to model femininity in their various relationships, by exhibiting a distinctive modesty, responsiveness, and gentleness of spirit.”

Today, our old pal Amanda Marcotte seized the opportunity to slander conservatives as “fear[ing] women’s liberation and want[ing] to control women’s lives and bodies.”

I’ll be the first to agree that men have every bit as much responsibility to be sexually mature and prudent as women. No matter how sexily a woman is dressed, basic decency demands that men treat her with respect and resist whatever temptation they may feel to take advantage of her or betray their own significant others.

But right out of the gate, one omission should raise suspicion: if the people at ThinkProgress have the pamphlet, why doesn’t their article include or link a full version that readers can judge for themselves? We’ve noted before how ThinkProgress distorts and omits facts to suit its agenda; could it be that they’ve left out quotes that do place equal responsibility on men? (I’ve sent inquiries to ThinkProgress, FRC Action, and Modesty Matters about the pamphlet, and I will update if I receive a response.)

For what it’s worth, though, the above image from the pamphlet mentions “quotations from Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour (Applewood Books),” a famous collection of advice revered by noted Old White Guy George Washington, which includes such admonitions as “Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed” and “In your Apparel be Modest and endeavor to accommodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.” Neither says anything about applying to only one sex. How controversial!

As for Marcotte, her argument is – as usual – a parade of lazy, clichéd mischaracterizations that can be distilled to two basic points. First, modesty is code for “second-class status” and “trying your best to be invisible,” or the idea conservatives are really “trying to shame women out of wearing clothes that make them feel attractive.”

Marcotte seems to have a mental block that simply will not let her rationally consider the possibilities that maybe there’s a time and place for different modes of dress, that maybe there’s a downside to emphasizing one’s sex appeal in everyday wear. Despite Marcotte’s use of the term “mandatory,” nobody’s calling to enshrine dress codes into the law; one group is merely sharing its perspective on how to control one of the human race’s most powerful impulses.

I assume that even Amanda Marcotte’s not so far gone that she favors public nudity, meaning she at least partially grasps Modesty Matters’ underlying rationale. So somewhere, there is a line of good taste between “stark naked” and “burqa” after all. Yet Modesty Matters is unreasonable for discussing it? And no, it’s not that she simply thinks the group takes it too far – note that she doesn’t propose her own alternative clothing standards or critique a particular standard posited by the pamphlet. To her, merely raising the subject is outrageous.

Second, because the pamphlet doesn’t mention abortion, somehow that illustrates the “anti-woman and anti-sex roots of their hostility to” abortion. No, seriously:

What’s interesting is that neither of these arguments for or against mandatory modesty mentions “life,” the supposed concern of conservative Christians who pass laws controlling female sexuality by attacking reproductive rights. Even the most strained Christian rationalizer who has convinced him or herself that merely looking at a birth control pill causes spontaneous miscarriages of nine-month pregnancies isn’t crass enough (yet) to argue that a man’s stray glance at a woman’s legs in a miniskirt takes any kind of “life.”

Not only does Marcotte go on to again out herself as biologically illiterate (or pretending to be) by equating sperm cells with unborn human beings, but she may have set a new world record for straw-grasping. The Summit – like many large political gatherings – had many different exhibitors, each with different interests, businesses, and focuses. Modesty Matters isn’t a political or pro-life advocacy group, but a small business that sells sewing patterns and courses for modest clothing.

Why do they need to wade into the abortion debate? Why can’t they simply be interested in and value their modesty message for its own sake? And how does FRC giving them a table even remotely call into question the sincerity of the pro-lifers in attendance?

Marcotte’s warning that conservatives and pro-lifers see women as “creatures put on earth to serve men” (by…not dressing in man-pleasing ways, apparently) might not be so laughable if these people didn’t see misogyny and oppression around every corner. But when outrage becomes an industry, when your entire raison d’être is to keep a particular demographic group perpetually offended and fearful, no cause for war is too petty.

Reprinted with permission LiveActionNews.org

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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
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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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