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UN’S EXTREMIST VIEW OF “WOMEN’S RIGHTS” CONFIRMED BY CEDAW

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LifeSiteNews.com

NEW YORK, July 23 (LifeSiteNews.com) The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) wrapped up their three-week-long 1998 meeting on July 10 during which time they critiqued the record of eight nations on “women’s rights.” More importantly, however, they used the opportunity to reaffirm a radical agenda which includes further demands on nations to surrender their sovereignty, the condemnation of motherhood and a reiteration of the need to replace cultural and religious traditions with their radical notion of “human rights.”

These regular meetings are authorized by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been signed by 161 countries including, of course, Canada. The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and came into force in 1981. The UN considers it legally binding despite the fact that 54 signatory nations have issued reservations with the document. Countries are also required to provide periodic reports updating their progress at implementing the Convention.

Supremacy over religion and culture

At the recent meeting, the Committee reiterated its opposition to the use of cultural and religious distinctives as reasons to resist implementing CEDAW resolutions: “Traditional, religious and cultural practices, or incompatible domestic laws and polices, did not justify violations of the Convention.”  The Committee advocated direct state interference in family life by specifically targeting for criticism reservations made to article 16 of the Convention on “eliminating discrimination in marriage and the family.”

Threatening the traditional family

In recent correspondence to concerned Americans, Republican Senator Ashcroft noted that CEDAW’s belief that all education in the US should conform to the Convention’s view of women’s rights would in effect require the government to impose curriculum on all parents including those who teach their children at home. He also condemned CEDAW’s radical centralist agenda, arguing that most of the issues “covered by the Convention should be determined by states, local communities and private citizens.”

CEDAW’s anti-family mentality recurred repeatedly. The Committee “expressed concern about [Slovakia’s]  legislative and cultural overemphasis on motherhood and family roles for women. The stereotyped view of women as mothers reflected misunderstanding of concepts such as gender roles, indirect discrimination and de facto inequality,” they claimed. The Committee also questioned why Slovakian women should have to choose between work and raising a family. To alleviate this apparent problem, it recommended state-funded day-care. In several places the Committee also condemned what it termed “patriarchal values.”

CEDAW’s anti-life sentiment

The Committee also demonstrated an anti-life attitude. It argued that the solution to high abortion rates is “an increase in family planning education and expanded access to inexpensive contraception.” The Committee went so far as to lie in response to Peru’s report when it “stressed that criminalizing abortion had the effect of making the procedure unsafe and dangerous without stopping abortions.” Research well over 10 years old indicates that, at least in America, 70% of women who have had abortions said they would not have pursued them if abortion was illegal. 

Also, in what appears to be thinly veiled advocacy for a coercive population control scheme, the Committee recommended that South Africa implement “specific measures ... to overcome high fertility rates.” The recommendation was made to deal with “vulnerable groups of women, especially rural women.”

National sovereignty opposed

The Committee continued to communicate CEDAW’s disdain for national sovereignty. As noted above, they do not believe that domestic traditions are legitimate reasons to refrain from implementing certain CEDAW resolutions. The Committee specifically criticized South Africa because its “Constitution accommodated religious and customary laws, which at times [perpetuated] practices that were discriminatory to women and hampered implementation of the Convention.” On the other hand, it commended Slovakia for allowing international treaties such as CEDAW to “[take] precedence over domestic legislation.” CEDAW’s view is that the reservations to implementing the Convention made by over 50 signatory nations are “impermissible.”

Further disdain for democratic ideals were evident in a number of other comments made by the CEDAW Committee. It suggested that centrally-controlled (e.g. communist-style) regimes are better for women’s rights than free market democracies. Specifically, it told Slovakia that, “since [it] was moving from a centrally controlled economy to a democracy and social market-oriented economy,” specific protections —“gender-sensitive policies”— would have to put in place to protect against the “negative impact”  such a transition could have on “women’s enjoyment of their rights.”

This must be taken seriously

To many “ordinary” individuals, CEDAW’s agenda is so extreme that it seems hardly believable. It appears to be moving in a direction antithetical to the dynamics we see in so many nations around the world which are experimenting with freedom. The UN, however, appears to be deadly serious about this agenda, and Canada, which for years has been a champion of the most radical feminist agendas at United Nations conferences, also seems committed to this course of action.

People concerned about family, faith and freedom have become increasingly concerned about the direction of the UN over the past decade, with certain groups getting involved directly with the hope that they can reign in the international body. Such activity has not been without success, but the battle is far from over judging by the fervency of the anti-family, anti-life forces entrenched in the leadership of the United Nations.

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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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