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Three vital issues that were ignored at Monday's presidential debate

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October 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The wide range of foreign policy issues discussed at Monday night’s third and final presidential debate revealed mostly narrow differences between the two major candidates. Despite the moderator’s commendable job, a number of important issues were never raised, issues that Americans who believe in America’s traditional social principles hold dear.


Taxpayer funding of abortion around the world

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan instituted the Mexico City Policy, which keeps foreign aid from funding any organization that performs or refers for abortion. Barack Obama repealed this protection as one of his first acts as president. The Obama administration has since given $145 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and has asked for another $47 million this year. Mitt Romney has promised to issue an executive order “on day one” to keep American taxpayers from financing the killing of unborn children around the world. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed that attempts to reimpose the policy would be “debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy.” 

The Obama administration also played a legally dubious role in promoting Kenya’s new constitution, which opens the door to abortion on demand.

Despite the relatively small amount of money – at least by the standards of the Beltway Leviathan – the American people deserved a debate about this misuse of their money and influence.


China’s One-Child Policy

Obama’s decision to renew funding to UNFPA had a deeper impact: the UNFPA is involved in China’s brutal regime of forced abortion. This human rights abuse broke through the sleepy summertime news cycle when pictures of women forced into the procedure hit the internet.

This should not be a partisan issue. As Reggie Littlejohn has said, “No one can support forced abortion, because it is not a choice.” The Obama administration could have presented the peaceful release of Chen Guangcheng as a foreign policy accomplishment. However, pro-life activists appear to have foisted the release upon an uninterested or unwilling State Department that tried to force him to return to his village gulag and throw himself upon the mercies of his torturers.

Did Vice President Joe Biden represent American values when he said he would not “second-guess” the one-child policy? Will Romney’s ambassador work more closely with Chinese exiles to pressure Beijing to end this policy?

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Normalizing homosexuality as an anchor of foreign policy

Despite the blind eye it has turned to suffering Chinese women, the Obama administration is not devoid of a human rights agenda. It has placed promotion of the LGBT agenda at the heart of its advocacy.

In making this grandiloquent announcement last December, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said religious objections to homosexuality – an abiding pillar of traditional Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – were no different than honor killings and widow burning.  The rest of the administration’s advocacy has veered between offensive and tone deaf.

At the same time, the acting ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte – a recess appointment whose refusal to take a polygraph about whether she was ever recruited to work for Cuban intelligence kept her from being confirmed – wrote an op-ed referred to traditionalists as “those who promote hatred.” Three dozen Central American leaders united in protest.

The U.S. Embassy made the poor decision to hold a “pride celebration” in Pakistan, the nation whose fundamentalist Muslim population is giving aid and comfort to al-Qaeda terrorists and Taliban regulars killing American soldiers. The Defense Department had only recently launched its re-education of the Marine Corps to comply with the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, starting in the most dangerous region of Afghanistan. These Obama administration initiatives succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of untold numbers of Muslims – for al-Qaeda and the Taliban.


U.S. participation in LGBT marches incited backlash in Serbia and Eastern Europe

When the administration threatened to cut off foreign aid to Gambia because of its rejection of homosexuality, President Yahya Jammeh replied, “If you want us to be ungodly for you to give us aid, take your aid away. We will survive.” 

The Obama administration has allowed its intolerant desire to force Western cultural norms on the rest of the world inflame virtually every continent on earth. Economists call this unintended consequences. Political scientists call it cultural imperialism. Either way, it has ill-served U.S. interests. Would a Romney State Department respect the cultures, and the traditional morality, of the rest of the world?

None of these questions were raised at last night’s debate, and the Romney campaign seems content to leave foreign policy out of its final electoral push. But Americans deserve a president who will answer these questions the right way.

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Lisa Bourne

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

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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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