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U of Ottawa Student Rioters Shut Down Ann Coulter Talk

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LifeSiteNews.com

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OTTAWA, March 24, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - American conservative firebrand Ann Coulter was forced to cancel her talk at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday night after hundreds of shouting student protesters showed up threatening disruption and violence if she was allowed to speak.

“The University of Ottawa is really easy to get into, isn’t it?” Coulter said in a Washington Times interview after the cancelled event. “I never get any trouble at the Ivy League schools. It’s always the bush league schools.”

“This has never, ever, ever happened before — even at the stupidest American university,” she said.

Coulter's security team told her they believed it would have been dangerous for her to appear to give her speech, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

“Since I’ve arrived in Canada, I’ve been denounced on the floor of Parliament — which, by the way, is on my bucket list — my posters have been banned, I’ve been accused of committing a crime in a speech that I have not yet given, I was banned by the student council, so welcome to Canada!” said Coulter.

Conservative political activist Ezra Levant, who is on the three university tour with Miss Coulter, spoke on behalf of the organizers of the event on Tuesday evening, telling CTV, "it would be physically dangerous for Ann Coulter to proceed with this event."

Levant said that Tuesday was “an embarrassing day for the University of Ottawa and their student body, who could not debate Ann Coulter ... who chose to silence her through threats and intimidation, just like their vice-president did.”

Levant laid the blame for the student riot on U of O Academic VP and Provost Francois Houle, who last week emailed Coulter advising her to watch what she said at the university or face possible hate crime criminal charges.

“A fish rots from the head down,” Levant said. “Francois Houle got his wish. He telegraphed to the community that the University of Ottawa is not a place for free debate.”

Coulter said the email from Houle, made public on Monday, set the tone for and encouraged the protesters.

“I’m pretty sure little Francois A-Houle does not need to travel with a bodyguard,” she told the Citizen. “I would like to know when this sort of violence, this sort of protest, has been inflicted upon a Muslim — who appear to be, from what I’ve read of the human rights complaints, the only protected group in Canada. I think I’ll give my speech tomorrow night in a burka. That will protect me.”

On Wednesday morning Levant spoke to CTV's Canada AM, denouncing the threat of violence by the protesters the night before.

"Last night, I went on a Facebook page for some of the protesters and there were clear calls for violence. And not just in an abstract way, I mean there were instructions to bring vegetables and eggs to throw," Levant said.

Coulter told MacLeans that the police “had been warning my bodyguard all day that they were putting up [messages] on Facebook: ‘Bring rocks, bring sticks, you gotta hurt Ann Coulter tonight, don’t let her speak.’ And the cops eventually said, we’ve got a bad feeling, this isn’t gonna happen. And they shut it down.”

Levant said that the spectacle showed “just how eroded our Canadian values of free speech have become”— especially on university campuses.

“I think this has turned into a teaching moment for the entire country, a reminder that freedom of speech is a Canadian value,” he said.

Pro-life conservatives have charged that mob rule appears to be becoming an increasingly common element on Canadian university campuses, where freedom of speech, especially when it comes to the issue of abortion, is curtailed by angry student protesters, sometimes with the complicity of school administration.

Last October, a pro-life presentation hosted by McGill University's pro-life club Choose Life was shouted down by protesters. Police were called to the scene and, after repeated requests for civility, two protesters were arrested.

Following the event, McGill University Deputy Provost  Morton Mendelson and other university officials condemned the protest.

Another student protest was staged at St. Mary's University (SMU) in Halifax, Nova Scotia last February, where pro-abortion protesters descended upon a pro-life presentation, disrupting the event with chants and yells. The pro-life presenter was astonished that a SMU administration representative, rather than stopping the rowdy pro-abortion group, ordered the pro-life presentation to end.

Mary Ellen Douglas, national coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), said she hoped Ezra Levant's comments on the "embarrassing day for the University of Ottawa" becoming a "teaching moment for the entire country" will be heeded.

"This truly is embarrassing for Canada - making us out to be an intolerant, mob culture," Douglas told LSN.


See previous LSN coverage:

Ottawa University Provost to Ann Coulter: Be Respectful or Else!
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/mar/10032309.html

See related LSN articles:
McGill Pro-Life Presentation Shut Down by Protesters - Two Arrested
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09100713.html

McGill University Officials Speak Out Against Silencing of Pro-Life Presentation
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101608.html

Pro-Life Event at St. Mary's U Told to Disband after Protesters Disrupt
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09020906.html

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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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