John Jalsevac

U.S. pro-lifers rally outside Irish embassy, demand ‘keep Ireland abortion free!’

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ireland is one of the very few countries left in the West where the unborn child is protected from being murdered in his mother’s womb, and today U.S. pro-life activists lent a hand to their Irish colleagues in their effort to keep it that way in the face of mounting attacks.

A group of just over two dozen American pro-life advocates gathered today outside the Irish embassy in Washington, D.C., where they held a news conference and prayed that Ireland will stay true to its pro-life roots.

“We stand with pro-life Ireland because we have seen the devastating effects of legal abortion in America, with the deaths of over 55 million preborn baby girls and boys, the victimization of millions of women, and the crumbling of countless families,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

“It has taken us more than 40 years to start turning our nation back around after Roe v. Wade, but now we have the chance to exert international pressure to stop another Roe v. Wade moment in Ireland.  The time is now to stand in solidarity with pro-lifers in Ireland as they courageously defend the preborn and prevent the genocide of millions of Irish children.” 

The Irish government recently introduced an abortion bill that would allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if the mother’s life is at risk, or if she threatens suicide. 

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Local pro-life activists have said that the bill is unnecessary, since Irish law already allows doctors to perform medical procedures that may unintentionally cause the death of an unborn child, if doing so is necessary to save the mother’s life. They also say that there is no evidence that abortion is necessary to treat a mother who is suicidal, adding that the suicide exception will likely only open the door to widespread abuse. 

Irish pro-lifers also say that the bill would almost certainly prove to be the crack that would bring down Ireland’s pro-life protections for the unborn, ushering in abortion-on-demand.

There are more than 36,000,000 Irish Americans living in the United States, and according to the pro-life activists who organized today’s event, a “vast majority” of them are troubled that the Irish government would legalize abortion. 

Rev. Patrick  J. Mahoney, the principal organizer of the protest, has a long history of involvement in Ireland, which has included leading a  peace walk from Dublin to Belfast praying for an end to sectarian violence 23 years ago and just last month holding a 100 mile prayer walk to keep Ireland abortion free. 

"As an Irish American, I have always been proud of my Irish heritage and history,” said Mahoney. “The land of my ancestors has a rich history of literature, art, music, love of family and a deep concern for the poor and needy around the world. 

"Sadly, Taoiseach  Enda Kenny has not only broken his word and public trust by attempting to legislate abortion into Ireland after promising not to do so, he is also crushing the rich tradition that Ireland has had through the centuries of being a nation that has embraced and honored their children,” he added. 

"We call upon the Irish government to stand for human rights and justice for all and keep Ireland abortion free.  We pray that Ireland learns from the mistakes that America has made regarding abortion and never allows the violence of abortion on Irish soil." 

Kate Bryan, grassroots director for  Live Action, agreed. "Women and their children deserve better than the brutality of abortion," she said. 

"As the proud granddaughter of an Irish immigrant, I have always been in love with the purity of my Irish heritage," said Kathleen Hennesey, Communications Director for the Christian Defense Coalition. "Ireland is a nation with a long standing tradition of centuries of promoting and standing bravely for human rights, and a place that has always cherished and protected mothers, holding the children of it's nation in high esteem -- born and preborn.

"We plead with the Irish government to stop this mad track that you are on to go off the road of your life affirming value of the preborn child, that you have held so dear for all of your existence!  It is FOR women, and FOR children to maintain this oath!  Please, learn from our mistakes in our own nation...it is a travesty of justice...not a human or woman's right."

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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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