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Stand against United Airlines: CEO chairing Planned Parenthood fundraiser

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By Abby Johnson

September 20, 2012 ( - Today I received my standard weekly email from my former Planned Parenthood affiliate, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. You would think they would have removed my name and email by name, but that is another story.

Anywho, it was a pretty boring update with nothing exciting to report, but as I was scrolling through, something caught my attention. This particular affiliate always has their big gala event at the Hyatt in downtown Houston. Lots of well-to-do Houstonians come to show support of this huge affiliate (4th largest in the country to be exact) and all of the “services” they provide, including abortion. No one that comes is surprised that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services. No, they know that all too well. In fact, the people that come to this particular gala for this particular affiliate come because they are PROUD to support the largest abortion clinic in the Western Hemisphere. They know what abortion is. They know what abortion looks like. They know, and they support it proudly…at $500 per individual ticket.

So, back to the attention-getter. I always like to see the names of the high rollers who are listed as the “co-chairs” of the event. These are donors who give tens of thousands of dollars to the affiliate and are therefore asked to put their name down on the invitation. They usually have some sort of status among the elite local community. Name recognition is important when you are trying to raise over a million dollars at one event. I scrolled through the invitation and there it was, a name that was very familiar to me. Jeff Smisek.

That name may not ring a bell to you. But I know it well. I spend most of my life on airplanes. Before every take off we get a little safety demonstration. If we are lucky enough to be on a decent sized plane, that demonstration is shown on a video. I personally prefer to fly on airlines that are in the “Star Alliance.” Some of those include United, US Airways, and Lufthansa. I am a million mile flyer with this program, which comes with a few perks. Because of this, I try to stick with United when I travel. When the United safety demonstration video begins, a message from the CEO comes on first. He is thanking us for traveling on United and talks about how image is so important to his airline. That man’s name? Jeff Smisek.

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

I almost couldn’t believe what I saw on this invitation. Surely not. Surely not my Jeff Smisek! Surely not the CEO of my favorite airline! Let it be a lie! He was actually listed with someone else, a lady named Diana Strassmann. Hoping there was someone else with the name, Jeff Smisek, I Googled both of their names together to see what I would find. Well, they are married. And Jeff Smisek, CEO of United and Jeff Smisek, co-chair of Planned Parenthood’s annual gala are one in the same.

Now I was disappointed…and angry. And I am doing something about it. Jeff Smisek runs the second largest airline in the world. And now he is co-chairing an event for the largest abortion clinic in the Western hemisphere. This abortion clinic’s goal is to perform at least 75 abortions, 6 days a week. They intend to perform abortions up to 25 weeks gestation. And that is what the CEO of United Airlines stands for.

Well, this million mile flyer has had enough. It is time to expose Jeff Smisek for who he really is. He is helping to kill the most defenseless among us. And apparently, he is proud to do it! He has his name plastered on their invitation!

I am taking a stand against United. Will you stand with me? Will you say NO to United Airlines? This one clinic alone in Houston is killing over 23,000 babies per year! That is what Jeff Smisek is supporting. Jeff says United Airlines cares about their image…well, let’s see how much they care. Let’s get this message sent out far and wide.

On my website at, I have included a sample “letter to the editor” that you can send in to your local paper. Share this article on your blog. Share it on your Facebook and Twitter. We need to hold these people accountable. Our voices do make a difference…and our dollars definitely make a difference! Stand against Jeff Smisek! Stand against United Airlines!  Email Jeff Smisek today and share your disgust.  [email protected]

Letter to the Editor

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, located in Houston is the 4th largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the United States. They run the largest abortion clinic in the Western Hemisphere. This clinic’s goal is to perform at least 75 abortions, 6 days a week. That totals over 23,000 abortions per year. And they terminate pregnancies up to 25 weeks gestation…that is babies over 6 months old.

So, you can imagine the surprise I felt when I found out that the CEO of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, was “co-chairing” this particular affiliate’s annual gala in Houston, Texas. When flying on United, you will often see a video of the safety demonstration on television monitors throughout the plane. Before the demonstration begins, Jeff Smisek will come on and thank you for flying and tell you that “image” is very important to his airline. Well, let’s see if that is really true. Myself, along with thousands of other pro-lifers across the country, are taking a stand against United Airlines. Jeff Smisek runs the second largest airline in the world. And now he is co-chairing an event for the LARGEST ABORTION CLINIC IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. Enough is enough. It is time to expose Jeff Smisek for who he really is. He is helping to kill the most defenseless among us. And apparently, he is PROUD to do it! He has his name plastered on their invitation! I am taking a stand against United. Will you stand with me? Will you say NO to United Airlines? Our voices DO make a difference…and our dollars DEFINITELY make a difference! Stand up for life!  Email Jeff Smisek today and share your disgust.  [email protected]

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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

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By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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