Kathleen Gilbert

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‘The Joan of Arc of the Gospel of Life’: pro-life movement bids farewell to Nellie Gray (photos)

Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, August 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The pro-life matriarch who saw the March for Life through its paltry beginning to its status today as the fulcrum of the pro-life movement in America - and arguably, the world - was laid to rest late Friday morning in Washington, D.C.

Over 150 mourners gathered in Mary Mother of God Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. to pay their last respects to Nellie Gray, whom Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston called “the Joan of Arc of the Gospel of Life.” Gray was foundress of the National March for Life that now draws over 400,000 Americans in a massive witness to the sanctity of life on Capitol Hill each January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Gray, 88, passed away and was found in her home August 14.

Both O’Malley and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington assisted at the ceremony, a Missa Cantata Requiem in the traditional Latin rite of the Catholic Church.

Hanging in the vestibule were Nellie’s trademark red fur coat and hat, seen at countless rallies throughout the decades, with a March for Life pin still attached. From the loft, the haunting melodies of traditional Catholic requiem chants, including the Dies Irae, graced the ceremony as a reminder of Nellie’s loyalty to her faith.

Following the ceremony, Gray’s body was interred at Cedar Hill Memorial Park Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.

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Those who knew Nellie remembered how she, a World War II veteran with three degrees, including a law degree from Georgetown, was tireless in her decades fighting full-time for the rights of the unborn.

“She dropped everything and took up this cross,” said pastor Alfred J. Harris during the homily.

Terry Scanlon, the founding Vice President of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund, called his longtime friend “a real Renaissance lady” who was content with little in return for her work: Scanlon said Gray, after beginning the March for Life, “accepted a small pension and lived on this pension for the rest of her life, never accepting any remuneration from the March.”

Nellie, Scanlon noted, died with her boots on - she was calling up fellow elders in the pro-life movement to share reminisces of the first Marches for Life only two weeks ago.

“There were to be no exceptions in legislation banning abortion, there would be no compromise. This was her tireless message, and one to which each board member has always subscribed,” he said.

Cardinal O’Malley fought tears as he recalled helping his charismatic friend organize the first March for Life in 1974. The initial results were discouraging, with four people filling four charter buses, he said. It was thanks to Nellie’s unflagging commitment that the March grew to the massive annual throng it is today - and of late, inspired several more around the globe, including in Rome.

Yet Nellie’s cause, according to O’Malley, was not “life” - that was too abstract for her.

“Nellie’s cause was babies, preborn babies. How many times did we hear about preborn babies?” said the cardinal. “She was the voice for the children of the silent scream.”

Cardinal Wuerl agreed that Nellie never saw people in the abstract.

He described his first time up on the speaking platform at the March for Life one year as a young bishop and being confronted by Nellie, who turned to him and asked, “where is your hat?”

“She didn’t see masses of people, she saw individuals. She saw this young bishop who should have had his hat,” he said. Her question to each of those individuals, he said, was: “Where is your voice?”

“‘Where is your voice?’ Isn’t that what was the driving force, and continues to be, of the March for Life?”

Maryland state senator Frank Shore recalled Nellie as “so full of life.” “She got us all to the march,” Shore told LifeSiteNews.com. “She would identify and introduce the entire audience.”

Sister Shirley Ann of the Sisters of Life told LSN that Nellie’s work “really put a face on pro-life.”

“I couldn’t imagine a January without a March for Life,” she said. “It always lifts our hearts to see so many people there, and to see the March become so young, too.”

The March for Life Board of Directors asked those wishing to honor Nellie to donate to the Nellie Gray Legacy Fund in lieu of flowers.

The Board of Directors of the march have published that they and many of Nellie’s friends are “planning a special memorial service in Nellie’s honor at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.”

Related story:
Nellie Gray in 1994 Video explains dangers of compromising life principles



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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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