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Hundreds of thousands join record-breaking U.S. March for Life (93 PHOTOS: Updated)

Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 25, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Huddled under winter coats and hats and scarves, hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists gathered on the Mall in Washington D.C. this morning to send a clear message to politicians in the Capitol, and the whole country: 40 years is too long, abortion must end! But despite the frigid January temperatures, the crowd, made up largely of teens and young adults, was boisterous, with many groups chanting pro-life slogans and singing hymns as they walked.

This year's March marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, since which an estimated 55 million babies have been killed by abortion in America.

While accurate estimates of the number of attendees at the march are hard to come by, organizers had said in the days leading up to the event that all signs pointed to a record-breaking crowd. Hotels in the D.C area sold out far in advance of when they normally do, and organizers installed two jumbotrons just to ensure that all marchers could get a glimpse of what was happening on the stage.

Last year's march was estimated at around 400,000 participants, likely putting this year's at the half million mark, or even beyond. The popularity of the event could be seen on social media, with the March for Life trending on Twitter for a time in the early afternoon, and Facebook exploding with photos and status updates from attendees. 

Before opening the march rally with an opening prayer, Cardinal Sean O'Malley announced to cheers that Pope Benedict had just tweeted his support for the marchers. "I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life," the pontiff tweeted from his @Pontifex account.

And while the chances of a national pro-life political victory seem as bleak as the weather on the overcast winter day, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and the other activist and political leaders who addressed the crowd were certain they are on the right side of history.

“One day, we will be here and triumph, because love and truth always triumph,” said former Pennsylvania senator Santorum, who made a strong showing for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

Santorum spoke alongside his wife, Karen, and four of their children – but his speech revolved around his absent daughter Bella, who was born with Trisomy-18. “The response to this little girl and the struggles she was going through and who she was...was just amazing to us, and affirmed to us the goodness of the people in this country,” he said.

“We were encouraged to abort, because she would be saddled with disabilities and it would be better for her – but we all know death is never better,” he said, “What it's about is it would be easier for us.” “Bella is better for us, and we are better because of Bella.”

He asked anyone faced with the prospect of special needs children to “give them a chance. Welcome them in to your home.”

After leaving the campaign trail, Santorum founded the advocacy group Patriot Voices, which carried an enormous banner in today's march.

“This country is in search of truth, and they're not finding much of it in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Those who love the unborn are instead making the world a better place through their own initiative. “Everyday [they] go out and open up their arms...and reach out their hands in love for little children,” Santorum observed.

The highest ranking public servant to address the crowd – Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY – had some philosophical questions about how our policies affect the soul of our country.

“Can a nation long endure that does not respect the sanctity of life? Can a nation conceived in liberty carry its head high if its denies protection the youngest and most vulnerable of its citizens?” he asked.

“I believe great nations and great civilizations spring from a people who have a moral compass. Our nation is adrift, adrift in a wilderness where right and wrong have become subservient to the hedonism of the moment,” he stated.

Polls show the vast majority of abortions occur – not for rape, incest, or maternal health – but out of personal convenience.

“I believe our country is in need of a revival,” Senator Paul said. “I believe our country is in need of a spiritual cleansing.”

The senator, like his father, credits his medical career with influencing his pro-life worldview, remembering days when he held one-pound babies in the palm of his hand.

“I defy [pro-abortion ideologues] to come to the neonatal nursery with me and look at these tiny little miracles and say, 'We're not going to protect that,'” he said.

Four other members of Congress addressed the crowd, a significantly lower number than in years past.

Rep. Diane Black, R-TN, promised to reintroduce H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would bar U.S. family planning dollars from financing any organization that performs abortions. Former Congressman Mike Pence, who was elected governor of Indiana in November, encouraged her to take up the charge.

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House Speaker John Boehner addressed the gathering by video, promising he was busy at work “putting together a bipartisan pro-life majority and getting to work. In accordance with the will of the people, we will again work to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, formally codifying the Hyde Amendment.”

The March featured a bipartisan moment, as Congressman Dan Lipinski, an Illinois Democrat, spoke to the crowd in a recorded message.

“We mourn the 40th anniversary of a talking away of a most basic and essential right to our most vulnerable sisters and brothers,” he said. “There are legislative battles to be fought, and I will continue to fight them as a pro-life Democrat, because life should not be a partisan issue.”

Lipinski was the only Illinois Democrat to vote against ObamaCare in March 2010.

Democrats for Life of America had a breakfast Friday morning before the march, as well.

However, the March's close proximity to Barack Obama's second inauguration drew sometimes heated remarks on the part of speakers – and marchers.

The chairman of the House Pro-life Caucus, Chris Smith, R-NJ, gave a stirring speech that commemroated the “horrific legacy” of Roe v. Wade 40 years and 55 million abortions later – “a death toll that equates with the entire population of England.”

His speech directly challenged President Obama.

“Know this,” he said, addressing the president, “the pro-life movement is comprised of noble, caring, smart and selfless people. It is an extraordinarily powerful, non-violent, faith-filled human rights struggle that is growing in public support, intensity, commitment and hope.”

“And know this Mr. President: The pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion; we are on the right side of responsible science and of history.”



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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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