Katy French

Prince Grape and the magical fairy dust

Katy French
By Katy French
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July 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - My little sister was once a pro-choice, vegan animal rights activist.  She believed we shouldn’t kill bees trying to get their honey.  To try to convince her that a fetus was a life as worthy of protection as a honeybee, I used the magical fairy dust argument on her.  It goes like this: the birth canal is only a few inches long - is there magical fairy dust that is sprinkled on a fetus as it passes through the birth canal that confers humanity?  A few inches higher, before the fairy dust, killing ok.  A few inches lower, after fairy dust, killing not ok.  Magical!

Sis came around eventually.  The magical fairy dust argument is powerful because it highlights the semantic contortions necessary to reconcile abortion with the widely (though not universally) held idea that you shouldn’t kill humans.  Similarly, the pro-life movement seeks to focus attention on partial-birth and late-term abortions, and, more recently, the post-birth “abortions” of the Gosnell case, even if those situations represent a minority of abortions.  It’s because they challenge the it’s-not-a-baby moral cover for all abortions by forcing us to address the killing of beings that look an awful lot like babies. 

Which brings me to the Royal Birth.  I am a bit embarrassed to say that I have taken a gleeful delight in following all the details of His Royal Tiny-ness.  In my web-surfing on the subject, I came across the happy anecdote that the Duchess of Cambridge had nicknamed her unborn bundle “Grape” because that’s how small he was at some point in the pregnancy, long before he looked much like a baby at all.  I suspect she was reading one of those pregnancy sites that tell you, “at week X, your baby is the size of a grape.” 

The fact that the pop-culture media were so charmed by the “Grape” christening reveals the true fairy dust.  It’s not contact with a few vaginal inches. The real fairy dust is being wanted. Because this Royal Heir was so wanted, hoped-for, fawned-over, delighted-in, he was treated in the womb – even when he was as small as a grape - with the same loving protection and attention that he now will have outside it.  Not just his mother, but the whole world thought of him as a person, spoke of him as such, gave him a nickname.  Why?  Because he was wanted. 

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We see this on a less grand scale all the time with our pregnant friends and family.  We coo and fuss.  We ask them if it will be a girl or a boy (words we usually reserve for humans).  We ask them what they’ll name their baby.  We want to know if the baby is kicking yet.  We never ask a pregnant woman how her fetus is doing. 

But the other side goes to extreme pains to avoid using the b-word.  The semantic difference is a moral necessity if we are to condone the killing of one and the doting on the other.  A baby is wanted.  A “pregnancy tissue” isn’t.  But is the longing or lack thereof of one’s mother truly an acceptable basis on which to confer or deny humanity?  After all, you can’t kill a person already outside the womb for being unwanted by her mother, or because her dad was a rapist or a relative. But inside the womb, your fate as either a human to be fussed over or a “thing” to be disposed of is entirely dependent on what someone else thinks about you.  Would Prince Grape have been a non-human if the Duchess of Cambridge had not wanted him? Aborted him at six months - not really the little prince just yet?  Talk about unequal protection under the law.  

Blessed Mother Teresa once offered a powerful challenge to the idea that being unwanted was sufficient reason to kill the unborn.  In front of then-President Clinton and the assembled Washington illuminati at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast, she pleaded, “[p]lease don’t kill the child.  I want the child.  Please give me the child.” In other words, if you can kill the unwanted but not the wanted, then how about if Mother Teresa wants them?  Is that a sufficient amount of maternal wanting to call them humans again and let them be born?  

Here’s hoping that one day every, unborn baby will be wanted.  But until that day, I’d settle for every unborn baby being considered as human as His Royal Grapeness.

Katy French lives in Washington, D.C., where she is an epidemiologist who works on anti-malaria programs in Africa.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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