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By Patrick B. Craine

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – LifeSiteNews was developed in 1997 as a response to the anti-life media that refuses fair treatment of pro-life views, explained editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen at the International Pro-Life Conference in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday. 

LifeSite “was and is now an incredible way of reappropriating the media,” he said.  “We are the news voice of the pro-life, pro-family movement.  We want to be there for you.  All across the world, we try to be there for the pro-life movement.”

Christians and pro-lifers must “reappropriate” the pagan and anti-life media to spread the the beauty of human life and the light of Christ, said Westen.

He explained that in Rome, where he and LSN managing editor Steve Jalsevac recently attended Human Life International's World Prayer Congress for Life, they saw numerous examples of formerly pagan temples that have been reappropriated from paganism and turned into Catholic churches. This is an image of what Christians and pro-lifers need to do with the media, said Westen.

“There is one way in which the media is most dangerous,” and which pervades all forms of media, he explained.  Pornography “is probably the most dangerous thing on earth.”  According to Westen, “there's more loss in the culture wars from this enemy than from any other, because with this we lose our souls, we get out of the right to life.”

This applies to “pornography itself,” he said, not “hardcore” and “softcore”, or “whatever distinction you want to make.”

Westen quoted Matthew 5, where Christ says: “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in his heart.”

“We've got to confront this monster,” insisted Westen, noting that it is a particular problem for men.  “There are very few men on this earth who have no problem with this, although you'll hear many men say 'It doesn't affect me.  I'm okay.'”

Pornographic images are burned into one's mind and stick with you for years, he said, and so we need to confront lustful temptations with aspirations – short prayers.

He also emphasized the importance of the ancient practice called “custody of the eyes,” which he summed up simply: “Look away.”  Looking away from pornographic or tempting images is “necessary because we can't fool ourselves and say 'Oh, it doesn't affect me',” explained Westen.  “It is essential today, probably more than any other time in history.”

But he said the dissemination of pornography is only one way the media promotes an anti-life culture, noting that “it also hides the truth” or manipulates the facts.

As an example, he pointed to the media's promotion of in vitro fertilization, which is often portrayed as a pro-life measure for couples unable to conceive.

A more accurate image, he said, is to picture two buildings beside each other, with a doctor on top of one and an open window facing him on the other.  The doctor has 20 living babies in his building, and throws them off the building in groups of four trying to get one through the window. The ones that don't make it fall to their death.

He said this presents an accurate picture of IVF, which involves the destruction of large numbers of unborn babies for every child who is successfully implanted and carried to term.

“At the first meeting of egg and sperm, it's a child,” he said.  “You know what's missing?  Growth and time.”

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Ottawa Teachers and Students Motivated by “Amazing” Experience at International Conference  
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/nov/10110111.html

14-Year-Old Lia Mills at Pro-Life Conference: “I have learned to embrace conflict” 
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/oct/10102908.html

UK Pro-Life Leader Tells International Conference: “We Will See the Culture of Life Take Root” 
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/oct/10102811.html

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