Ben Johnson

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Pimpin’ Soros-style: Soros-funded UN report says legalize prostitution, drugs worldwide

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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NEW YORK, August 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) –  A new report for a United Nations agency, underwritten in part by George Soros’ foundation, calls on the governments of the world to legalize prostitution and drug use, blasts “conservative interpretations of religion” about sexual morality, demands nations open their borders and state healthcare systems to AIDS-infected immigrants,  and argues that the spread of AIDS would be reduced by repealing laws against the intentional spread of HIV. Nations should end all laws against pimps, because women willingly go into prostitution for reasonable purposes, such as “a drug habit,” it claims. But leading experts tell LifeSiteNews.com the report is misguided and its prescriptions could lead to an increase in sex trafficking and deeper human misery.

Two years after its launch, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Global Commission on HIV and the Law issued its first report this month, entitled, “HIV and the Law: Rights, Risks, and Health.”

The report insists the law “dehumanizes many of those at highest risk for HIV: sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs, prisoners, and migrants.” This is particularly true in “governments influenced by conservative interpretations of religion,” where “people suffer and die because of inequality, ignorance, intolerance, and indifference.” It disparages laws based on “morality.”

It concludes nations could fight AIDS if they “repeal laws that prohibit consenting adults to buy or sell sex, as well as laws that otherwise prohibit commercial sex, such as laws against ‘immoral’ earnings, ‘living off the earnings’ of prostitution and brothel-keeping.”

The report’s authors attempt to distinguish willing “sex workers” from victims of sex trafficking. “The difference is that the former is consensual whereas the latter coercive,” they write. “Sex work is not always a desperate or irrational act; it is a realistic choice to sell sex – in order to support a family, an education or maybe a drug habit. It is an act of agency.” (Emphasis added.)

Making prostitutes illegal denies them the “human rights available to others,” including “the means by which others can make claims on elected officials,” such as through registered lobbyists.

The UN report suggests officials “shut down all compulsory detention or ‘rehabilitation’ centers for people involved in sex work or for children who have been sexually exploited.”

Nations, they insist, should “recognize the sexual autonomy of young people” by providing “sex education, harm reduction” – defined as condom and syringe distribution – “and comprehensive reproductive and HIV services…to youth.”

The report was underwritten by such major funders of the Left as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation, as well as the American Jewish World Service (whose new vice president for communications, Stuart Schear, recently held the same position at Planned Parenthood), Australia’s AusAID, and such UN offices as the UNFPA, UNICEF, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UNAIDS Secretariat.

Its commissioners include Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to vote against toppling the Taliban after September 11, and former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, a founding member of an internationalist organization known as “The Elders” with Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu.

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The report states its conclusions “do not necessarily reflect the views” of the UNDP. However, UN officials suggested repealing laws against homosexuality, trangenderism, and “laws that inappropriately criminalize HIV transmission” at the group’s launching in June 2010

In a seemingly counterintuitive assertion, they state laws outlawing knowingly exposing others to HIV help spread AIDS, because they “discourage people from getting tested or treated, in fear of being prosecuted.”

The world’s leaders should also distribute clean needles to drug users, give condoms to prisoners, end “bias” based on “HIV status,” and assure every “migrant” – legal or illegal – receives AIDS treatment. (George Soros has long funded efforts aimed at the legalization of drugs.)

Until this becomes reality, the agency encourages lawmakers to “creatively use traditional law in progressive ways.”

A prominent picture in the report encourages legislators to “Criminalize hate, not HIV.”

They should refrain from “shaming” prostitutes with STDs and “prohibit the mandatory HIV and STI testing of sex workers.” Instead, police should be put “to work alongside sex workers in enabling wider safer sex practices”; for example, they could “talk about improving condom distribution in venues where sex is sold.”
 
But many social scientists question whether it is possible to separate “willing” prostitutes from unwilling ones.

The British Crown Prosecution Service has found sex workers are subject to a variety of pressures, including physical and sexual abuse, and noted “strong links between street prostitution and the drug markets, particularly crack cocaine.”

Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychologist, pornography expert, and director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, told LifeSiteNews.com there is no “bright line of demarcation between prostitution and sex trafficking and child prostitution. These are all flowing, one into the other.”

“The average age of becoming a child prostitute in the U.S. is 12,” she said. “We call them a child prostitute until the day after their 18th birthday, and then we say it’s adult consenting sex.” She questioned whether someone in that position is really “making a free choice. Her brain has been raped as well as her body.”

“They way they get into this field is rape them as children. This is how you pipeline them into this.”

The radical feminist Andrea Dworkin once called incest “boot camp” for prostitutes. Israeli researcher Anat Gur believes the link between prostitution and childhood abuse calls into question a prostitute’s ability to freely choose a life in the sex trade.

“They’ve gone into this industry because it feels like home,” Dr. Layden told LifeSiteNews. “Now with the viewer taking the role of the perpetrator, we’ve got the whole cycle repeated.”

This is all too plain to the “sex workers.” One prostitute explained: “We’ve all been molested. Over and over, and raped. We were all molested and sexually abused as children, don’t you know that? We ran to get away…We were thrown out, thrown away. We’ve been on the street since we were 12, 13, 14.”

A survey of 50 young adults who are or were prostitutes conducted by UK’s Children’s Society found that half had been molested, 25 percent of them before the age of 10. Most were runaways. Two-thirds had used drugs before entering prostitution. 

The painful memories so haunt some women that they use dissociation as a defense mechanism.

The same kind of women “choose” prostitution as those forced into it: poor women in desperate straits. Melissa Farley, a psychologist who studies prostitution at a San Francisco nonprofit, wrote, “Prostitution is ‘chosen’ as a job by those who have the fewest real choices available to them.”

Yet some on the Left have hailed the UN report as a step forward for feminist liberation. Cheryl Overs wrote at RH Reality Check that the report “marks a significant advance for sex workers’ struggle,” fretting only that the very acknowledgment of white slavery “suggests that very significant numbers of sex workers are enslaved which is not borne out by  experience or statistics.” 

Dorchen A. Leidholdt, the Director of the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City, wrote: “The proponents of this distinction are sending the following message: ‘Don’t pay attention to the poverty, the familial pressure, the incest she survived, the battering by her boyfriend, the lack of employment options available to her. Just ask whether there is a gun pointed at her head or whether she is being overtly deceived. No gun, no deceit; then no problem; not only is she voluntarily in the sex industry, she is a ‘sex worker.’”

Far from solving the problem of the global sex trade, Dr. Layden told LifeSiteNews that legalizing prostitution would increase sexual trafficking, rape, and abuse.

“When you increase the demand in prostitution in a country,” she said, “pretty soon there won’t be enough prostitutes, so that means we’re going to have to get women and children and sex traffic them.”

“When you send a message to your culture that sex is a product you buy – if you can buy it, you can steal it,” she said. “In this particular context, the stealing is rape.”

The British Crown Prosecution Service revealed that female prostitutes “are often at risk of violent crime in the course of their work.”  One study found 85 percent of prostitutes in Minneapolis-St. Paul had been raped in the course of their “work.”  Another discovered that 12 percent of all strippers are slapped by the manager or other male staff, and 85 percent report being verbally or physically abused on the job.

This ignores the working conditions themselves. Shulamit Almog, a law professor at Israel’s University of Haifa, wrote in The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law: “A typical shift in a Nevada brothel runs from twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for three weeks. The woman has almost no control over the number of clients per day, their identity, or her working hours. One woman who has engaged in prostitution in one of these establishments testified that ‘it was like a prison.’”   

After the brothel owners take their cut, the prostitute takes home “about fifty percent of her earnings.”

Legalization has given some countries incentive to view prostitution as a jobs program.

The nation of Belize boasted in a November 1996 report to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that “recognized prostitution in Belize is a gender-specific form of migrant labor that serves the same economic functions for women as agricultural work offers to men, and often for better pay.”

Justifying the trade has another side effect, as well. “When prostitution is assumed to be a reasonable ‘job option,’ women’s intense longing to escape it is made invisible,” Farley wrote.

Leidholdt agreed: “Those women fortunate enough to survive sexual exploitation emerge, usually in their 30’s, when they are no longer marketable commodities, with no job skills, traumatized from years of enduring unwanted sex and violence, and physically debilitated from sexually transmitted diseases and the substance abuse necessary to endure the sex of prostitution.

“What is available to these women?” she asked. “Destitution or a career as a madam or mama san, helping the pimps control the younger women who are marketable commodities.”

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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Pope Francis eases forgiveness of abortion for Jubilee Year of Mercy

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By John-Henry Westen

ROME, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- In an announcement today, Pope Francis said that he is enacting an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 through November 2016. As part of the Jubilee, the pope has allowed priests to forgive the sin of abortion, which St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 58) is “murder.”

The statement marks the most extensive remarks on abortion that Pope Francis has made during his pontificate. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of abortion, as some media contend, in the statement the pope encourages the millions of women who have aborted their children to go to confession and seek God’s forgiveness.

In the Catechism, the Church calls abortion a “criminal” practice, and imposes the penalty of excommunication on those who do it -- essentially, removing those who commit abortions from the Church. In the past, typically re-entry into the Church for those who have separated themselves from it by excommunication can only be undertaken by a bishop. However in much of North America priests have already been given standing permission by their bishops to forgive abortion.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput explained in an email sent to LifeSiteNews today, “For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia archbishop, who will play host to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit later this month added, “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

“This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion,” concluded Chaput. “What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The pope declared that all priests may forgive the sin of abortion for “those who have procured it and who with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.'"

The pope says in his letter that abortion is a “tragedy” wherein “extreme harm” takes place, and calls it “profoundly unjust.”  He admits however, as does the pro-life movement, that it is an “agonizing and painful decision” and many women “believe that they have no other option.”

In order to be forgiven by God of such a serious offence, the pope says the one who has procured the abortion must be made aware of the “gravity of the sin committed” and be truly repentant. They must come, says Francis, with a “contrite heart, seek forgiveness for” the abortion and hoping for “reconciliation with the Father.”

The full statement from the Pope on the matter of abortion follows:

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

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TLC stars Kody Brown and his four "wives"
Fr. Mark Hodges

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Surprise, surprise: New suit says gay ‘marriage’ ruling laid ground for legal polygamy

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – When "The Pill" was made available to the public in 1964, Christians warned it could lead to promiscuity and disassociation of sex with marriage and children.  They were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

When abortion was made legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, Christians warned that it would not save women's lives, but would instead lead to devaluing all human life, especially children's lives. They were dismissed as moral-legislating hate-mongers.

When euthanasia was legalized in Oregon and other states, Christians warned that the non-terminally ill and eventually the mentally handicapped, or simply the unwanted, would be killed in the name of mercy. They were mocked as right-wing crazies.

When sodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere were stricken from the books in 2003, Christians warned that societal approval of that harmful practice would lead to an increase in disease and further perversion. They were ignored and vilified.

When DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) rules for the military were reversed, Christians warned that the epidemic of rapes in the armed services would increase, not decrease, and that combat readiness would continue to diminish. They were called bigots, their words "hate speech."

And so on. Recent history is rife with examples of conservatives warning against societal degradation being vilified as "slippery slope" straw man creators, who want only to legislate morality.

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That's how those who warned that the Supreme Court's same-sex "marriage" decision would lead to legalization of any and all kinds of "marriage," such as a man and several wives or vice versa.

And, as in every case cited above, what Christian conservatives warned is exactly what has now happened.

In a U.S. 10th Circuit court filing, reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives point to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage to buttress their pro-polygamy case.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, summarized to LifeSiteNews, "The left's chaotic cultural agenda knows no boundaries. Once 'marriage' could be redefined to accommodate sexual perversion, it would be impossible to stop other perversions from being recognized." 

The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano told LifeSiteNews, "It has been clear for decades that sexual radicals in America have been targeting the God-ordained institution of marriage for destruction. Toss in a handful of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, beginning in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), and ending with this summer's debacle (Obergefell v. Hodges), and we are on the verge of seeing the secularists succeed." 

The AFA executive vice president concluded to LifeSiteNews, "We have no doubt that the polygamists will be next to step into the federal courts."

Indeed. Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, have asked the court to uphold a judge's ruling striking down part of Utah's law against polygamy. To prove their case, they cite precedents involving same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges), and a case that struck down a ban on sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas).

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence, to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to ... punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Brown's filing states. "This case is about the criminalization of consensual relations."

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that the move to legalize polygamy is no surprise. "Once the argument for homosexual so-called 'marriage' became 'Love Is Love,' it was only a matter of time before multiple-partner activists would start defending the 'right' to have THEIR [perversion of] 'love' legitimized by state-recognized 'marriage.'"

The Browns, who appear on the television show "Sister Wives," sued the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy, which Brown calls "plural relationships." They argue that the law violates their right to freely practice their religion and their right to equal protection under the law.

Specifically, Brown is challenging the state's assertion that polygamy is harmful to societies that condone it.

Brown argues that the state should not have "the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens."

LaBarbera concluded, "Social conservatives and Christians must work to overturn Obergefell, just like homosexual activists worked to overturn the Supreme Court's Bowers v. Hardwick decision in 1986 that allowed anti-sodomy laws. Otherwise, we are guaranteed to lose more and more freedoms as 'gay' power grows, using legalized 'marriage' as leverage."

Arguments in the Brown polygamy case could take place before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver before the end of the year.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD, on March 6, 2014. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Sen. McConnell: GOP won’t push Obama on Planned Parenthood defunding

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Planned Parenthood won't lose its funding for at least 18 months, says America's top senator.

Speaking on WYMT TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said, "The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood."

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

McConnell's comments came despite pressure from Senators and Representatives alike, as well as pro-life groups, who want Republicans to make defunding a priority.

"If the president of the United States and Harry Reid think it's more important that Planned Parenthood get your tax dollars than to pay our troops, then they are shutting down the government,” Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan, R-OH, told CNN last week.

Jordan and others have pushed GOP leaders to attach defunding efforts to must-pass pieces of legislation, such as a highway bill earlier this summer and the upcoming Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running. GOP leaders have generally opposed this strategy, which has created a schism within the party.

Conversely, Democrats have been largely united. Leaders and rank-and-file members in both parties have generally supported taxpayer funding of the abortion giant, despite the possibility of illegal abortions being done to illegally harvest fetal organs and other body parts.

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