Susanna Rose

Redemption in a prison trashcan

Susanna Rose
By Susanna Rose
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September 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Redemption is not always found where you might expect it. For Christopher Yuan, a former drug dealer who had been living the promiscuous homosexual lifestyle, the new beginning he so desperately needed was found in one of the unlikeliest places on earth: a prison trashcan. 

It was in that trashcan that Yuan, who was just three days into a six year prison sentence for dealing drugs, discovered the Gideon’s New Testament that was to completely turn his life around.

Ever since he could remember, Yuan says, he had always been smaller than his peers and was frequently made fun of.  His size combined with a studious, nonathletic demeanor meant he felt out of place. 

“Kids are always cruel, and they pick on kids for being different,” Yuan told the Christian Broadcasting Network in a video interview.

At nine years of age, he was exposed to pornography at a friend’s house and was surprised to find he was attracted to the men as well as to the women. This confused him, but he kept his feelings to himself.

After high school, Yuan began visiting gay bars and actively pursued a homosexual lifestyle.  Before enrolling in dental school, he came out publicly about his sexuality.  His parents were blindsided and told their son he had to choose them or his lifestyle.  He chose the latter.

“I believed homosexuality was at the core of who I was,” Yuan told CBN.

Yuan started using drugs and then moonlighting as a drug dealer, living as a student by day and a dealer by night, while engaging in numerous homosexual encounters.  It was only a matter of time before his double life caught up with him.  Yuan was expelled from dental school and from then on, his life spiraled out of control. 

For a while he felt like he was on top of the world, making big money and having as much sex as he wanted; but his lifestyle was brought to a halt one morning by a knock on the door. Twelve federal drug agents stood on his doorstep. Yuan was caught red-handed and arrested for possessing the street value equivalent of 9.1 tons of marijuana. 

Ironically, a jail sentence would be the best thing that happened to Yuan. 

While Yuan was in medical school, his parents had become Christian. They both prayed regularly for Yuan. Those prayers were to pay off.

Three days after arriving in prison, Yuan saw a book out of the corner of his eye as he walked past a prison trash bin.  He retrieved the book out of the filth and discovered it was a Gideon’s Bible.  He had never read the Bible before but Yuan, who was at the end of his rope, decided to open it up. That night he read the entire Gospel of Mark. 

But though it seemed that Yuan’s life could not get any lower, several weeks after discovering the Bible, he was called in by the prison nurse. She told him she had some bad news: he had tested HIV positive. One night, some days after receiving the devastating news, Yuan was lying in his cell, in despair, and while looking at the graffiti in his prison bunk, he noticed graffiti that encouraged bored prisoners to read Jeremiah 29:11. Yuan did so.  Verse 11 says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”

Yuan devoured the Bible over a yearlong period, and the words began penetrating his heart until he was convicted that he was not living rightly before God.

In the process he searched the Scriptures for any justification for his homosexual lifestyle. “I never found anything,” Yuan says.

After serving only three years, Yuan was released from prison and from then on, he says he has desired to live each day before God with purpose.  His positive HIV status has contributed to this sense of urgency. 

Now Yuan teaches at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and is pursuing his doctorate in ministry.  He also travels the world to speak about his past and has written a book with his mother entitled, “Out of a Far Country.” 

He encourages young people to live what he calls a holy sexuality.  Yuan believes Christians should not speak in terms of heterosexuality or homosexuality, as all, whether married or single, are called to live lives of purity and faithfulness.  Yuan says God told him, “Don’t focus upon feelings. Don’t focus upon your sexuality, but focus upon living a life of holiness and living a life of purity.”

There is also another challenge Yuan gives his audience.  He says there is a tendency to think individuals can make an easy switch from living as homosexuals.  This is not the reality.  Yuan say recovering homosexuals need to be treated with the same grace as recovering drug addicts or alcoholics. There is no easy road out of the homosexual lifestyle, and often, the homosexual inclination will remain.

Yuan states, “Being a Christian is not an easy thing. I may still struggle, but God has given me the grace. God has claimed the victory on the cross. Though I may still have struggles, I’m not going to be bound by them.”

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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
The Editors

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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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